Cholas and Pishtacos: Stories of Race and Sex in the Andes

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 10, 2001 - Social Science - 326 pages
Winner of the 2003 Senior Book Prize from the American Ethnological Society.

Cholas and Pishtacos are two provocative characters from South American popular culture—a sensual mixed-race woman and a horrifying white killerwho show up in everything from horror stories and dirty jokes to romantic novels and travel posters. In this elegantly written book, these two figures become vehicles for an exploration of race, sex, and violence that pulls the reader into the vivid landscapes and lively cities of the Andes. Weismantel's theory of race and sex begins not with individual identity but with three forms of social and economic interaction: estrangement, exchange, and accumulation. She maps the barriers that separate white and Indian, male and female-barriers that exist not in order to prevent exchange, but rather to exacerbate its inequality.

Weismantel weaves together sources ranging from her own fieldwork and the words of potato sellers, hotel maids, and tourists to classic works by photographer Martin Chambi and novelist José María Arguedas. Cholas and Pishtacos is also an enjoyable and informative introduction to a relatively unknown region of the Americas.
 

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Contents

City of Indians
3
City of Women
45
Sharp Trading
83
Deadly Intercourse
136
White Men
179
The Black Mother
219
Strong Smells
259
Notes
269
Works Cited
295
Index
315
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Mary Weismantel is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and chair of Latin American studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of Food, Gender and Poverty in the Ecuadorian Andes.

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