Title

Ritual Practices and Wrapped Objects: Unpacking Prehispanic Andean Sacred Bundles

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-7-2015

Publication Source

Journal of Material Culture

DOI

10.1177/1359183515610135

Publisher

Sage Publications

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Collections of objects wrapped in containers, called bundles, are known throughout the Americas. Drawing upon ethnographic literature, especially descriptions of bundle use in the Andes, this article unravels the social context and practices involved in the creation and deposition of an archaeological bundle. The author presents an analysis of a bundle offering excavated from within the prehispanic fortification of Acaray, located on the Central Coast of Perú in the Huaura Valley. Careful attention to the configuration of the bundle offering, the contents, and their qualities permits a sophisticated interpretation of the offering’s broader meaning. The assemblage and deposition of the bundles solidified social bonds among people and powerful spirits. Through the bundling of people and place (Acaray), the building of physical defenses, and the calling of animated selves for spiritual defense through bundle ceremonies, new identities were made, and the dangers of war could be unmade, in the Huaura Valley.

Keywords

Andes, archaeology, bundles, ritual war

Disciplines

Archaeological Anthropology

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