La circulación entre mundos en la tradición oral y ritual y las categorías del pensamiento quechua en Hanansaya Ccullana Ch'isikata (Cusco, Perú),

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


This thesis pertains to the field of auto-ethnolographical anthropology. It studies the possibilities offered by the Quechua language to carry out auto-ethnography without being limited to the problems of objectivation and subjectivation. I am from the Ch’isikata community which is located in the Peruvian Puna of the Yauri Espinar village region (department of Cuzco, Peru). My family trained and established me as a story-teller, following in my mother’s footsteps, and also as a weaver, like all the other girls of my generation in Ch’isikata. Taking up the education I received, this thesis is conceived of as a fabric which as it is woven narrates and analyses the narrative and ritual universe of the Ch’isikata community told from my own experience, from my story-telling memory, from my own thought processes and from information collected in interviews with members of my extended family and, more extensively, other people from Ch’isiskata. The work begins with a tour of the mythological-topological map drawn up by my mother. This map represents all the places in the lands where the wak’as can be found –those supranatural non-humans. These places-narrations constitute the atmosphere of the community. They are places of narrations (mythsstories and conversational narrations) about the wak’as situated in some of the characteristic places of the landscape. These narrations are studied centred on the wak’as as entities with the gift for producing effects such as hap’iqi, llaksay, samay, larphay. These qualities-conditions of the wak’as are something like thought categories through which the ch’isikatas perceive and think about their physical world and give meaning to the events in their daily life. The categories organise the stories-myths and conversational narrations (or experiences) as told by the ch’isikatas and give meaning to the rituals and to daily life. A third theme focuses on the transmutation of entities. The narrations tell of the relationship between the runa-people and the non-human beings. In many of the stories the non-humans become runa-humans, seducing, tricking and impregnating them. At the same time, under certain circumstances the runa-people become animal, vegetable or mineral entities or suprahuman-non-humans. This work studies the bands of identification that make this exchange between beings of different conditions-kay possible. Finally, and by way of conclusion, it is observed that the Quechua language opens up new possibilities for conceiving the transmutations from their structural characteristics which impede the designation of entities as essential and establish immutable classifications.
Date of Award23 Nov 2015
Original languageSpanish
SupervisorMontserrat Ventura Oller (Director)


  • Andean ethnography
  • Categories of quechua thought
  • Andean mythology

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