HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in Spanish) on the history of Andean kinship studies.

Sendón, Pablo F., 2024. “Revisitando los estudios de parentesco en los Andes: entre la historia de la antropología y el análisis computacional de fuentes parroquiales,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

This article reassesses the anthropological studies on kinship in the Andes in the light of new research on the ayllu among contemporary Indigenous peasant and Quechua-speaking populations of the southern Peruvian Andes. Through the prism offered by computational tools, the ayllu (groupings of individuals who are related to each other as kin and share a common territory) is reframed as an institution that, far from being strictly Indigenous, is inseparable from the local history of Christianity. Additionally, some salient characteristics of the earlier studies in question are highlighted, not with the intention of questioning the exceptional quality of what has been done in the past, but rather to contribute to a reflection on the ways in which ongoing anthropological research in the Andes may affect the writing of a particular chapter in the history of the discipline. The case study in question suggests an approach to the problem of the ayllu from the present to the past, and not the other way around, as has classically been done by postulating more or less hypothetical models of social morphology. The temporal information recorded in the new databases allows us to follow the trail of this institution until at least the middle of the 19th century. Two major records shape the corpus—genealogies and parish registers available in peasant villages in the southern Peruvian Andes—and allow us to offer a fresh characterization not only of the ayllu but also of its historical vicissitudes. Far from being a timeless entity, the ayllu transforms itself in the diachrony not only from exogenous and conjunctural factors but also from endogenous and structural regularities that also explain its continuity over time. Due to the volume of basic information, as well as the complexity of the combination of weighted variables, this dialogue with the history of anthropology would be impossible and unmanageable without the use of computational tools.

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