Goods, Power, History: Latin America's Material Culture
Why do we acquire the things we do? Behind this apparently ingenuous question are several answers, some straightforward and others more interesting. To feed ourselves, might be the first response, for we can easily see that we expend much energy in the quest for food. Clothing and shelter as well would seem to constitute our basic needs. Yet we quickly see that even in the Garden of Eden, people want more than they need. This simple impulse has created the ever-mounting abundance we call progress and nearly all of the subsequent trouble on our planet. Four main interwoven themes run through this exploration of material culture and consumption in Latin America over the past five centuries: supply and demand; the relationships between consumption and identity; the importance of ritual, both ancient and modern, in what we buy; and the relationship between colonial and post-colonial power in consumption.
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Andean Argentina Aztecs became began belle epoque Bolivia Brazil capital Caribbean central chicha Chile Chilean chocolate church civilized cloth coca Coke colonial common conquest consumers consumption cotton countries creole cuisine Cusco Cuzco decades diet dishes dress drink early economy eighteenth century elite encomienda ethnic Europe European example food regimes foreign French global Granada Guatemala highland Historia household houses Iberian imported Inca Indian Indies indigenous industrial labor later Latin America Lima maize material culture Mesoamerica mestizaje mestizo Mexican Mexico City million mills modern mules native nineteenth century nixtamal obrajes ordinary patterns percent perhaps Peru Peruvian plants plaza policies political popular population potatoes practice pre-Columbian pre-Hispanic present present-day production pulque Quechua Quito rituals rural San Jose Santiago shoes sixteenth century social society Spain Spaniards Spanish tamales textile thousand tortillas towns trade tribute tropical twentieth century University Press urban village wheat wine women wool woolen workers