Enemy - Stranger - Neighbour: The Image of the Other in Moche Culture
Enemy - Stranger - Neighbour: The Image of the Other in Moche Culture is dedicated to artistic renderings of the Recuay people in Moche art, in all available and preserved media. The Moche and the Recuay were the creators of the two main cultures of northern Peru in the Early Intermediate Period (approx. 100-750 CE). They were both illiterate and they left no written documents concerning the nature of their mutual contacts. The Moche, however, represented the Recuay quite extensively in their ceremonial art, which served as a powerful ideological tool of social influence and control. Its iconography gives an exceptional opportunity to study the mechanisms of perceiving and presenting the 'other' in a traditional society. This study offers an analysis of a set of several dozen complex, painted and bas-relief scenes, as well as several hundred mould-pressed, sculpted depictions of foreigners in Moche art. It tries to answer the questions of how the message regarding the 'other' was created and communicated, what its concept may have been and what social functions it may have served among the groups living in the Southern Moche Region. The attitude to foreigners - as reconstructed on the basis of Moche iconography - was not unidimensional. It was characterized by a combination of extreme feelings and emotions such as fear and admiration, resentment and interest, repulsion and fascination. It has many features of a typical approach to all 'others' studied by specialists of different disciplines in various contexts and cultures. The observations made in this book will prove of interest not only to Moche scholars, Andean archaeologists or, people interested in the pre-Columbian cultures of South America, but also - if only as an analogy - to historians, art historians, sociologists and anthropologists dealing with the issue of alterity.