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Bolin makes this story accessible to a more general reader, with an almost novelistic eye for detail, and without sacrificing scholarly depth....Both experts and lay readers can be pleased with the result. (Johnny Payne, Founder and Director, Summer Intensive Program in Andean Studies in Cusco, Northwestern University)
In this beautifully written ethnography, Bolin describes the rituals of respect that maintain harmonious relations among people, the natural world, and the realm of the gods in an isolated Andean community of llama and alpace herders that reaches up to 16,500 feet. Bolin was the first foreigner to visit Chillihuani, and she was permitted to participate in private family rituals, as well as in public ceremonies. In turn, she allows the villagers to explain the meaning of their rituals in their own words.
From these first-hand experiences, Bolin offers an intimate portrait of an annual ritual cycle that dates back to Inca and pre-Inca times, including the ancient Pukllay; weddings; the Fiesta of Santiago, with its horse races on top of the world: and Peru's Independence Day, when the Rituals of Respect for elders and young people alike are carried out within male and female hierarchies reminiscent of Inca times.
From the Backcover