Guinea Pig: Healing, Food, and Ritual in the Andes

Overview

The guinea pig pervades nearly every aspect of Andean life. Traditionally important in folk medicine, native religion, and as a food source, guinea pig use continues to proliferate. Once a woman's domestic chore, raising guinea pigs is today a profitable commercial practice in Latin America. This once-sacred animal is now exploited as a source of cash income. As the drive to integrate indigenous peoples into the modern global market economy becomes a priority with Latin American governments, the implementation of...
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University of Arizona Press, 08/01/1995, Paperback, Brand New! Shrink wrapped!

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Overview

The guinea pig pervades nearly every aspect of Andean life. Traditionally important in folk medicine, native religion, and as a food source, guinea pig use continues to proliferate. Once a woman's domestic chore, raising guinea pigs is today a profitable commercial practice in Latin America. This once-sacred animal is now exploited as a source of cash income. As the drive to integrate indigenous peoples into the modern global market economy becomes a priority with Latin American governments, the implementation of new economic policies regulating guinea pig husbandry is aggressively changing traditions and values in the Andes. Edmundo Morales traveled back to his homeland in the Andes to capture in words and pictures the changes and continuities in traditional uses of the guinea pig in his culture. Morales, a native speaker of Spanish and Quechua, easily ventured into many isolated communities and examined social customs centered upon the guinea pig. Although the guinea pig lives in the Andean home as a domestic animal, it is also enjoyed as a culinary delicacy. Folk doctors employ the black guinea pig to determine the cause of illness - pressed against an ailing body, the animal reportedly squeals when it finds the source of disease. These are only some of the uses for the guinea pig in the Andean cultures of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. A study of cultural traditions and changes, The Guinea Pig: Healing, Food, and Ritual in the Andes will be useful for social scientists, humanists, and policymakers, as well as for general readers interested in this unique aspect of Andean culture. The book records the cultural traditions of an indigenous people while demonstrating how participation in the global market economy can alter a way of life.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Sociologist (West Chester U., Pennsylvania) Morales travels back to his homeland in the Andes to capture the changes and continuities in the traditional uses of the guinea pig (or cuy) in his culture. Abundant and fascinating b&w photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816515585
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Pages: 177
  • Product dimensions: 7.01 (w) x 9.99 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 From Household Animal to Market Commodity 3
2 The Cuy as Food and Symbolic Social Binder 45
3 The Cuy in Andean Medicine 75
4 The Cuy in Andean Ideology, Religion, and Belief 99
5 The Future of the Cuy Economy 133
Appendix: Notes on Cross-Cultural Fieldwork 141
Notes 153
Bibliography 161
Index 171
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2001

    Read for College Anthropology class

    I personally thought that the book was interesting.....I had to read it for my Anthropology class and then write a report on it. The report part I found to be a little intimidating, since it was difficult to look back and find the parts recommended for the part of the essay. So, if you happen to be reading this book for an assignment, I strongly recommend that you make notes throughout the book.

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