The foodpaths of Chawpirana people : an ethnography of living inbetweenness in the Bolivian Andes
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This thesis explores the everyday lives of the people of Cabreca ethnographically. Cabreca is an Andean hamlet in the chawpirana of Northern Potosí in Bolivia. The chawpirana is a zone which lies in-between the highlands (puna) and the valleys. Chawpi is the Quechua word for middle/centre, rana means zone. While much anthropological work has been carried out in puna and valley, the chawpirana has so far been neglected. Through an ethnography from the middle I consider what it means to live in this in-between position. My analysis focuses on the everyday spheres of the home, childhood, agricultural tasks and pastoralism, food and movement. The themes that emerge from my ethnography are local Cabreca ways of learning and knowing; feeding, reciprocity and the maintenance of relationships between humans, animals, plants and spirits; flexibility; and mobility. The latter two demonstrate the distinctiveness of the chawpirana particularly well: Cabrequeños move extensively within the zone as their fields lie in the surroundings of the hamlet. The flexibility of their households is manifested through these movements. This study is an ethnography which pays attention to detail and provides minute descriptions of everyday activities in Cabreca. The emphasis on ethnographic detail is created in interaction with the intimacy which developed between Cabrequeños and me during 13 months of participant-observation. While living in a Cabreca household I had access to the daily activities and particularly to those which women typically carry out. My experience is embedded into anthropological literature on dwelling, kinship, ways of knowing, work, embodied practice, reciprocity, and sharing.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: Electronic copy restricted until 22nd October 2019
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations