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Latin America perspectives a series of information and comment about Latin America with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. These programs are recorded by station w s i u FM. Here now is Dr. Gardner. Come with me to wile us to wireless Peru. That is spelled H U A Y L A S wireless lies in a narrow mountain valley in north central Peru to the east. Rise the peaks of the quarter yet a Blanca appropriately named because it is snow capped. To the west of wireless is the call to yet a nigra also appropriately named because its peaks feature naked darkness rather than the whiteness of the opposing higher range. Wireless comes a population of about five and a half thousand people even as the crow
flies and Peruvian mountain heights deny Strait flights even to the birds. Wireless is several hundred miles from Lima and 100 miles in a mountain range away from the Pacific Ocean. It might be termed a typical Andean setting but Paul L.. Dotty thinks otherwise. His book wireless an end in District in search of progress published by Cornell University Press is an in-depth anthropological portrait of that community. It was the spring of 1960 when researcher anthropologist Doherty and his wife first visited while US Peru. They went there in custody of a Peruvian friend who in turn sought out a local acquaintance and in this indirect fashion they were made acquainted with the man who introduced the anthropologist as one interested in the life and customs of Peru. As
one interested in finding a subject for his intensive study. The first stop of the deputies that day as they before he first became acquainted with the community was at the church which had just been refurbished through local efforts. They then went to the council office of the District government where the mayor was conducting a meeting. This was interrupted by the presence of the mayor welcomed them and describe some of the activities in which the district was engaged at the time. Under his direction the people of the district were undertaking the installation of a new electrical system to utilize the current from a nearby hydroelectric plant. Upon hearing that anthropologist he was interested in the life and customs of the area. The mayor of wireless suggested that he take up residence there and study the community. This is the story like almost a
casual fashion in which the anthropologists became acquainted with the community. That was to be the heart of his study. Wireless of course was a capital point for his. Research purposes because it was a district capital because it had a church because it had this electrification program and some stimulus toward change. But basically Of course this is an area in which the Indian factor is very strong improve in life and the negative stereotype by which the Indian has been and continues to be classified. Is fortified in wireless by the Indians visibility his distinctive manner of dress his speech his behavior the Indian has traditionally been treated paternally and abusively the social distinctions with regard to the end Indian are essentially cultural in nature though some
may be possessed of racial undertones in the biological sense. The Indian can under certain conditions and with some totally age lose his visibility and thus become more quote acceptable to the National Society. It's not easy for an Indian to change a social status without considerable risk even sacrifice emigration from one's community is often the path chosen by those who seek to change their status to satisfy their needs and appetites. But experience has shown that even though migrants adopt the broader so called national culture. Once its appears in his own place of origin may refuse to accept this as representing a change in status. And yet the pressures that auger change in the face of this which seems to suggest a social stability and unchanging social nature the pressures that older
change in the Highland society have been intensified in these years since World War 2 in the last two decades. The national population of Peru has increased by approximately 60 percent. A fact which has led to correspondingly greater demands on the limited arable lands. In addition numerous industrial developments in the coastal regions particularly in the zone of Lima have created new Labor needs. And so as the demand on the land suggests that there must be basic changes in the farming techniques there is also in the industrialization programme a great pull toward the urban setting. In addition. There has been a spectacular growth of the fishing industry in Peru. Fifteen years ago Peru ranked about 17th among the fishing powers of the world. In the last year or two Peru has ranked first among those taking Tunney from
canning and marketing fish. This development is notable as an attraction. The mining developments in the southern part of the southern coastal areas of Peru have likewise been expansive and of cold far labor. In addition to all else the radio broadcasting the politics the educational system have also taken their toll. As regards stability and have injected and instability a tendency toward migration that has in turn affected the lives of any mountain district any mountain community the district in town of y los included and so the new generations of Highlanders whether they are Indians are mixtures of the Spanish and the Indian background are a restless breed rejecting many of the old ways yet reaffirming others and combining them with newer traits and ideas. And there is a struggle going on in their minds for a
share in the things that they believe should be theirs. In this the rise of national progress in consequence then we have in essence Peruvian Indians Proview an Indian Valley villages astride the pattern of modern times. In this the desire to be recipients in the better life. We have then a purpose behind the book by doubting that of seeking out and writing about a community that is experiencing change. And so Dottie describes and analyzes some of the new ingredients of Peruvian national culture as they are involving in this district that is his concern. In wireless as elsewhere in Peru one might indeed say throughout the world people are skeptical of the actions of governmental authorities especially at those levels that are sufficiently above you that you feel the
impersonal nature of them. And so the people of wireless talking about graph talking about corruption usually end with a remark Well that's the way we Peruvians are. And so it is they seem to anticipate to accept whether it actually occurs or not. The idea of malfeasance in office perhaps the most common expression of alienation of a political sort that one hears in while US is the complaint the government has forgotten us. This indeed could be a lament. By American farmers it could be a lament by American city dwellers. It could be a lament by citizens of the world. But government has forgotten us. And then there is that lament that they tell us that the government is going to do this and do that but it's just a bunch of lies even when they do send help it's too little too late. Not enough to make a difference. And so there is a negative political attitude as regards the rule
that higher government is going to play in the improvement of any community setting. Now this may of course become sufficiently negative that nothing is done. On the other hand it can well be an invitation to the community to realize that it must literally lift itself by its bootstraps and a great deal of the record of why the US particularly in the last decade is that of lifting itself by the so-called bootstraps. The analysis of population the analysis of social and cultural characteristics by anthropologist Dati points out the fact that the upper class is almost entirely urban but the middle class is a mixture of the urban and rural but the lower class is primarily rural but the language of the upper class is Spanish first with the kitsch wa the Indian language spoken by most that the middle class will almost evenly use the Spanish and the case that the lower class will have as the first language with most of them speaking some
Spanish. These differences as regards residence and language can be extended just as well in the areas of dress. The tendency is to migrate their patterns of religious life. And so you have what amounts to a social stratification that is a distinct upper class approximating 10 percent of the population. A middle class college broadly 60 percent and then a lower class that is 30 percent of the population. These are the human components in this society which in many respects can be called an Adobe culture. The classic mud brick of ancient origin shelters the family in the home in circles the animals in the corral and allows the dead to rest and security behind its walls. The adobe brick has no competition and while US as a building material extremely durable and remarkable for its debility it lends
itself to all kinds of construction designs and oh yes an adobe brick costs approximately eight tenths of a US penny per brick and this means of course that that kind of construction is available to just about all of the population. The public works projects that have caused wireless to lift itself by the bootstraps have included road building and the electrification project in one thousand sixty. They have built bridges a primary school a lighting system for the town plaza a Post Office building a potable water supply and so all in one way and another. The people of wireless have demonstrated that they have a capacity for doing things on their own and this has meant that despite the tendencies whether they be backward or reluctant in the support of education whether they be backward over elections in terms of the churches view of the social side of life the people have banded together
in numerous organisations and in numerous projects and have easily reached the conclusion that wireless can be a better place to live because they are willing to work for it. The study of this Indian community is entitled Why less than an Indian district in search of progress authored by Paul L. Dougherty published by Cornell University Press. This was another programme in the series Latin America perspectives with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program when Dr. Gardner will comment on another interesting aspect of Latin American affairs. These programs are recorded by station WFIU FM and are made available to this station by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 12 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
For series info, see Item 3544. This prog.: Huaylas, An Andean Community in Search of Progress by Paul Doughty
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-31-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:36
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 12 of 38,” 1968-11-20, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
MLA: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 12 of 38.” 1968-11-20. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Latin American perspectives II; Episode 12 of 38. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from