Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY ( (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

Subscriber: null; date: 17 September 2019

Livestock, Livelihood, and Agrarian Change in Andean Peru

Summary and Keywords

Agrarian transformations in Andean Peru, subject to larger sociopolitical and economic processes, entailed major material, environmental, and biological changes. The long history of sheep introduction in Andean environments, its specific impact on the central highlands, and the making of an Andean breed of sheep—the oveja Junín—illustrate how such transformations shaped rural Peru as a societal space. Following larger environmental patters in Latin America, sheep became the dominant animal of the upper Andean regions, populating depleted landscapes and refashioning otherwise hostile environments as areas of agrarian productivity. Many of the transformations that occurred during colonial times, particularly the consolidation of the hacienda system and the rise of sheepherding as a form of peonage, served manifold purposes in the transition to the national period. While the 19th-century liberal obliteration of corporate identities and property obscured the legacy of indigenous communities, sheep continued to thrive and set the conditions for the incorporation of the Peruvian countryside into the global world economy. In the 20th century, with the parallel arrival of state and capital governance, transforming sheep and sheepherding from vernacular expressions of livelihood into advanced forms of modern agrarian industrialism merged together scientific and veterinarian knowledge with local understandings, producing the oveja Junín as the ultimate result. As sheepherding modernized based on efficient husbandry, sheep modernity efficiently nurtured rural developmentalism, bringing together communal and capitalist interests in unprecedented ways. The state-sponsored project of granjas comunales devoted to capital-intensive grazing economies reveals how husbandry and modern grazing activities both reinforced and transformed societal organization within indigenous communities, sanctioning existing differences while providing a vocabulary of capital for recasting their internal social relations of production. When the state envisioned the centralization of otherwise profitable communal grazing economies, through the allegedly empowering language of agrarian reform, the cooperativization of land, labor, and animals led to communal, family, and individual disenfranchisement. Indigenous community members, turned into campesinos, sought new battlegrounds for resisting state intromission. Eventually, the very biology of the oveja Junín as an exclusive domain of state and capital became the target of campesino sabotage. As the agrarian reform collapsed and revolution engulfed the countryside, rural livelihoods—sheep included—faced their ultimate demise, often with severe degrees of violence. In this entire trajectory, sheep—and the oveja Junín—ruled the upper regions of the Andes like no political power ever did.

Keywords: peru, sheep, livestock, livelihood, communities, indigenous, campesinos, Junín, agrarian reform, revolution

What’s in a Name?

The word campesino has shaped major social and intellectual understandings of the Latin American countryside throughout the last century. As John Womack once claimed, campesinos—not peasants—semantically conveyed a much more accurate image of the vast populations that produced and struggled in haciendas and villages.1 Campesino as a category, however, is not exempt from entangled politics of state cooptation and coercion.2 Campesinos are often the result of specific social engineering programs, often associated with agrarian reform processes and subsequent transformations in the social relations of production. The making of campesinos entails dramatic cultural and social changes with equally intense material correlates, as the rural dwelling becomes an increasing domain of state surveillance. In the Peruvian case, campesinos became a dominant feature of the rural lexicon after the 1969 agrarian reform. Following an aggressive prose of alleged “revolution” and reformation, a military junta intended to recast rurality at large through the transformation of indios into campesinos.

The category of campesino ultimately ends up hiding much more than it reveals. Besides delivering a fundamental sense of belonging in referring to the campo, campesinos appeal to the homogenization of an otherwise diverse countryside—socially, economically, geographically, and environmentally. In turn, campesinos may refer to a number of different rural identities, including family-based agriculturalists in lower altitudes, market-engaged valley farmers, hacienda peons and other forms of indentured laborers, upper plateaus grazers and shepherds, and rural workers at large. As manifold forms of rural labor became subject to centralizing dynamics, whether held by the state or by private capital, campesino as a homogenizing categorization became a functional political, social, and semantic device. Livelihood in the Andes, conversely, has been shaped through the ecological making of environments, human settlements, and enduring economies of subsistence, all of which provide a much more heterogeneous image of rural dwelling. In Peru, most of the land available for agrarian use lies above an altitude that makes grazing and herding the most feasible economic activities.3 The availability of natural pastures merged with the widespread presence of a particular animal biota that turned seemingly hostile high-altitude landscapes into domains of economic profitability for domestic producers, haciendas, and capitalist corporations alike. Pastores, not campesinos, ruled the history of rural Peru in still unacknowledged ways.

Andean Animal Biota: Colonial Foundations and National Transformations

Elinor Melville provided one of the most vivid descriptions of the environmental impact of the colonization of the Americas.4 As an unintended result of the Columbian Exchange, the introduction of European livestock into “virgin soils” produced ungulate irruptions that defined essential characteristics of colonial landscapes in centuries to come. Sheep, a foundational animal in the domestication of global landscapes, arrived together with other European forms of life—from viruses and bacteria to cattle and horses. Every newcomer triggered unprecedented and unforeseeable environmental outcomes. While viruses and bacteria became responsible for the dramatic demographic collapse of millions of indigenous populations throughout the Americas, animals—sheep, goats, cattle, horses, pigs (the so-called “big five”)—aided colonization, repopulating devastated regions and nourishing ecological niches that became, as Alfred Crosby labeled them, “neo-Europes.” The rapid expansion of European livestock on American virgin soils, however, corresponded solely to the first stage of the ungulate irruption, the “predictable demographic response of populations presented with more food that needed to ensure their replacement in the next generation.”5 In subsequent stages, referred to by Melville as “the overshoot” and “the crash,” animal populations faced starvation and demographic collapse after previous generations depleted available resources. Eventually, livestock reached a much-needed equilibrium with their food supply, but that occurred only after an “ecological revolution” transformed environments, social and economic formations, and the cultural correlates that help fundamental explanations and negotiations.

Melville focused on the Mezquital Valley, in central Mexico, as a laboratory for testing the environmental impact of the arrival of sheep and their enduring aftermaths. The lands of this fertile valley—including the plateaus of Actopan, Alfajayucan, Tasquillo, and Ixmiquilpan—lie between 5,000 and 7,000 feet above sea level. The Otomi had prospered in this area, centuries before Aztec rule, largely based on a combination of nomadism and cotton agriculture. Upon the arrival of Spanish conquistadors, the Otomi of the Mezquital—who had successfully avoided Aztec subjugation through mobility and trade—faced decimation and obliteration as European disease expanded. Melville challenged standing conventions on the correlation between demographic collapse and the expansion of European livestock, traditionally seen as interconnected trends. According to Melville’s central argument, the Mezquital represented the quintessential example of “abundance of New World vegetation and the complete absence of competition from indigenous domesticated animals.”6 The same scenario repeated nearly everywhere in the Americas, from the Great Plains and the Caribbean to the central valleys of Mexico and deep south Patagonian region. The Andes, however, proved to be a major exception. The notable presence of large domesticated animals—particularly Andean camelids—rivaled European livestock for hegemonic control over pivotal ecological niches.

The variety of Andean camelids, most recent evidence suggests, share the guanaco as a common ancestor. Together with the vicuña, the guanaco dominated most of the central Andean region, spanning as far north as southern Colombia and south down to the Tierra del Fuego in contemporary Chile and Argentina. The vicuña did not have such a widespread presence, often enjoying upland environments beyond 9,000 feet above sea level. Alpacas and llamas are the result of evolution, selection, and domestication of wild guanacos. While llamas provided a necessary heavy-burden capacity, in lieu of donkeys and horses, alpacas offered abundant, fine wool, a role fulfilled by sheep in the Old World. Clear evidence about the first sign of camelid domestication is not entirely clear, either geographically or chronologically. The Pikimachay and Telarmachay caves, in Ayacucho and Junín, respectively, seemed to store the remnants of early domestic camelids dated approximately 4,000 bce.7 At the moment of arrival of European conquistadors and their livestock, llama and alpaca herding had become constitutive activities of the social fabric of power and production of Andean civilizations. Herding fostered labor specialization and class formation within larger processes of state making. Beyond a source of protein and comfort, these large mammals also became essential features in rituals of power. Alpacas and llamas shaped pre-Hispanic livelihood in the same “civilizing” fashion as horses, sheep, and cattle did when moving from the Fertile Crescent to the European central plains.

Beyond this set of great Andean mammals, guinea pigs deserve a special note. These small rodents arrived in the Americas millions of years ago, likely from Africa, and seemingly became domesticated 5,000 bce.8 While small and tender at first sight, domesticated guinea pigs—larger than their wild ancestors—became a foundational source of protein for pre-Hispanic Andean settlers. Known as cuy in Quechua-speaking regions, or wanku in Aymara provinces, guinea pigs adapted perfectly to high-altitude environments, mastering the biological resistance against hypoxia—a challenge every domestic mammal, including European ones, needed to face. Similar to llamas, guinea pigs also fulfilled major ritual roles, serving as omens of agrarian fortune for rulers and common villagers alike. Early colonial reports on cuys, particularly Spanish and mestizo chronicles, have emphasized the importance of these animals in the making of domestic households and family economies since immemorial times.

Andean camelids and guinea pigs belonged to a larger natural world deemed constitutive of the material and immaterial lives of Andean communities. Unlike European perceptions of nature as disassociated from the spiritual realms of the individual, environments at large—and animals, more specifically—played pivotal roles in human understandings of their inner worlds. Other animals like chinchillas, viscachas, pumas, spectacle bears, and condors (among others) completed the native animal biota of the Andes prior to the beginning of the Columbian Exchange. The colonization and conquest of the Americas, including the Andean region, became a major ecological transformation. Pigs and cattle quickly turned island forests of the Caribbean into grazing pastures, also facilitating the establishment of plantation landscapes. In traveling to the far edges of continental America, horses and donkeys ably assisted conquistadors in their fortune-seeking endeavors, reshaping history for centuries to come. Goats and sheep allowed European to travel with some essential habits, including diet and comfort. Every component of what Alfred Crosby labeled as the “portmanteau biota”9 not only came into contact with native species and virgin ecological niches but also hybridized landscapes in ways that anticipated other forms of social, cultural, and racial miscegenation. The ecological exchanges and transformations, and the role of animals, became the prelude to everything colonial in the Americas.

Throughout centuries of colonization and the “creolization” of landscapes, European livestock profoundly altered the environment and the societal organizations embedded within. While the impact of European animals in the Andes might not compare to the ungulate irruption described in the Mezquital, the colonial environmental and ecological regime that emerged in the upland plateaus of Peru did share some transformative aspects with the Mezquital valley. The hacienda system in the Peruvian Andes dominated the structure of land ownership in regions that presented lower demographic indexes, largely the result of the impact of pandemics. Surviving native populations became subject of a major social engineering project known as the reducciones de indios, the quintessential vision of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo.10 Both haciendas and reducciones de indios organized the spatiality of the colonial regime, the domains of power and production of the Spanish Empire. The reorganization of Andean populations further increased the availability of lands for extensive agrarian economies, expanding the average hacienda size and the hacienda system as a whole. Within reducciones, indios endured colonization on a combination of subsistence farming and labor under the encomienda system. The enlargement of the hacienda system became centered on the prosperous introduction of sheep, also known as the ganado de Castilla, in the Andes. By the 18th century, sheepherding and related grazing activities dominated the economies of upland regions of the Andes.11 Beyond the making of haciendas, European livestock also nurtured the remanufacturing of “native” human geographies. As demographic recoveries posed pressures on the lower areas of the Andes, inside fertile valleys, mestizo and landless or community-less indigenous populations ventured into upper regions seeking for remaking their livelihoods. Such was the case of San Juan de Ondores, a self-claimed pueblo de criollos whose main economic activity relied on sheep and pastures.12 Their alleged criollo identity was based on the centrality of sheep as a European animal as the centerpiece of their livelihood. Upon contact with colonial structures of power, which implied the signing of an emphyteutic lease with a powerful hacendado, San Juan de Ondores promptly became a pueblo de indios.13 Nevertheless, sheep remained central in their lives for centuries to come.

The national period did not bring much social change for upland regions. The hacienda system withstood the combination of nominal republicanism and ambivalent liberalism, albeit experiencing a number of challenges. A great part of the wars for independence, including the concluding battles of the continental process, unfolded in the upper highlands of the central and southern Peruvian Andes. Both patriots and royalists ravaged the rural countryside, ransacking haciendas for sustaining their armies and resisting the environmental hostility of high altitudes. In Cerro de Pasco, at the core of the central highlands, reports on the desolation left behind by the troops included livestock robbery, beggary, material destruction, and hundreds of casualties among hacienda peons and villagers.14 More interesting, the degree of material consumption triggered by thousands of soldiers threatened the very subsistence of Lima, which experienced a major shortage of staple items. Upland regions experienced deeper scarcities. According to some army reports, 12,000 men required 2,400 rams and 36,000 pounds of potatoes daily.15 Intensifying scarcities led soldiers to compete with animals for whatever food was available, culminating in a major famine that fully destroyed Andean livelihoods. Upon material destruction, 19th-century liberalism brought further obliteration for the highlands—especially for Andean villagers and rural communities. Communal landholdings came under attack as part of a wider dismissal of collective and corporate properties.16 Undergoing legal disenfranchisement, villagers and their flocks were thrown into indentured labor and servitude within a recovering hacienda system.

The collapse of Spanish imperialism preceded the rise of British informal imperialism and the expansion of the industrial revolution dynamics at a global scale. The Andes became incorporated into an increasingly monocentric global scheme of production and circulation, reshaping material foundations and societal organizations based on the centripetal development of industrializing capitalism.17 Andean sheep became pivotal in how the Andean region experienced British informal imperialism and capitalism. Wool demand in Europe exceeded English production, particularly as cotton became the dominant fabric of the global textile industry.18 Thousands of Andean rams nourished European demands in unprecedented ways. While subject to seemingly imperial constraints, foreign powers did not fully “dominate” local production. Local hacendados and politicians actually complained about British firms imposing unfair commissions and paying extremely low prices for Peruvian wool.19 British capital needed to resort to extremely sophisticated commercial strategies, including the establishment of trade cartels that fixed wool prices. When possible, the British also purchased haciendas from local hacendados, which typically included the acquisition of their assets—livestock and labor. The material devastation and overall sociopolitical meltdown brought by the War of the Pacific (1879–1883)—the major conflagration between Bolivia, Peru, and Chile—also entailed opportunities for further venturing. In 1899, after settling along the Chilean coast with a number of trade houses and being involved in the cotton production of the Peruvian northern coast, the Duncan Fox Company acquired Atocsaico. Once pastures of San Juan de Ondores, the Atocsaico hacienda became the quintessential laboratory for grazing endeavors, sheepherding, and animal husbandry in the 20th century.

Livestock, Livelihood, and Agrarian Change in Andean PeruClick to view larger

Figure 1. Lana (sketch by Enrique Camino Brent, Colección Camino Brent, Colecciones Especiales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú).

The Making of Andean Sheep

As Peru entered the 20th century, rural policymakers reinforced the role of sheep as an integral component of Andean landscapes and the national agrarian economy. The Reseña industrial del Perú, commissioned to Alejandro Garland and published in 1905 by the Ministry of Development (Ministerio de Foment), accused the worrisome neglect of grazing production observed throughout the country. “All branches of livestock economies,” Garland accused, “are in more or less the same conditions left behind by coloniality.”20 In spite of a handful of isolated efforts conducted by ganaderos—primarily foreign corporations and a limited number of associated hacendados—to improve the situation, including animal husbandry, grazing and sheep showcased the abandonment of the rural countryside: “Among us, herds of sheep graze the vast and lonely steppes of the Andean plateau, with no precautions of any kind, and devoid of any help, as if God has not given men the intelligence to improve . . . [their] natural conditions . . .”21

Andean sheep, Garland continued, did not resemble the condition of modern husbandry elsewhere in the world, where selection and breeding had improved the physiognomic features of rams, offering remarkable improvements in the quality and weight of the wool fleece. According to export accounts, Peru produced close to 1.5 million tons of sheep wool per year, reporting more than 50,000 Peruvian pounds in revenue. Improving the breed of Andean sheep, therefore, became a much-needed step in promoting the modernization of grazing economies at large. Garland concluded an otherwise pessimistic overview on a hopeful note. In the heartland of the central sierra, the British company Duncan Fox had brought 4,500 Lincoln and Romney lambs and 500 Australian rams along with Scottish dogs and shepherds to enhance sheep husbandry. In past years, the Duncan Fox had purchased the Atocsaico hacienda, transforming a seemingly abandoned rural estate into the forefront of modern grazing and husbandry. In decades to come, Atocsaico became the epicenter of rural projects related to the making of Andean sheep, the recasting of sheepherding, and the reconfiguration of grazing economies.

A few years later, in another publication of the Ministry of Development, Marcial Helguero y Paz-Soldán documented the first results of the Duncan Fox project. Prior to the arrival of the British company, “rams and sheep offered a rachitic and miserable appearance.”22 Conversely, the introduction of western breeds had already reported a significant improvement. Wool traders from all over the country required what progressively became known as the “Peruvian Romney sheep” for breeding them with their own herds. While the characteristics of this husbandry project, focused on the “improvement” of native sheep through their breeding with European species, may be seen as a colonizing or imperial endeavor, the key of the enhancement of sheep was environmental adaptation. The first steps toward the making of an Andean breed of sheep helped redefine how western husbandry as a quest for “improvement” was understood:

[In crossbreeding Andean sheep] the aim is not to lose the sangre nativa, in a way that the resulting specimens will bring together the superior conditions of the imported breed along with the power of adaptation to the environment, which does not exist in imported specimens and which continued and persistent [indigenous] habits have turned into a typical and essential feature.23

The economic outcomes of the early successes in making of a distinctive central sierra sheep were tangible. Atocsaico wool was traded in London and Liverpool at higher prices than Chilean and British wool. The weight of an average Atocsaico sheep was also considerably greater than other sheep, with capones—young castrated males—averaging seventy pounds. Livestock infrastructure had developed extensively, benefiting herds from other haciendas and even flocks belonging to neighboring indigenous villagers. Atocsaico, in the words of Helguero, had become the first colonia pastoril of Peru, a successful socioeconomic laboratory for the industrialization of agrarian economies.

Adaptation to high-altitude environments made Andean sheep unique on every level. Originally domesticated in the Fertile Crescent and brought to Europe through the manifold interactions between Christian and Muslim shepherds, sheep were rarely exposed to high-altitude environments during sustained periods of time. When the Columbian Exchange began, most of Europe relied on two varieties of sheep. The Merino sheep provided wool—deeply appreciated in regions beyond the Iberian Peninsula and particularly in England, which eventually became economically reshaped by weaving Merino wool and progressively transitioning toward cotton. On the other hand, the Churra sheep provided meat and milk. At no point prior to the arrival of these sheep to the Americas did European livestock confront the environmental conditions present in the Andes.

Altitude affects the biology of organisms in manifold ways. Once humans reach 7,000 feet, saturation of oxyhemoglobin falls dramatically and produces what is known as soroche, or altitude sickness, in the Andes. Adaptation to altitude occurs in both the short and long term.24 In the case of livestock, short-term adaptation involves a higher consumption of kilocalories and proteins. For sheep, lack of adaptation to altitude meant the triple effect of a leaner carcasa, considerable less production of milk, and a lesser quality of wool.

The Duncan Fox effectively tackled the aforementioned environmental and biological challenges in crossing local sheep with European breeds. When the Duncan Fox left, the Sociedad Ganadera Junín (SGJ)—a conglomerate of local hacendados from the central sierra, based in Huancayo—purchased Atocsaico and maintained a limited version of their sheep husbandry practices, primarily focused on enforcing the mingling and mixing of high-quality sheep and flocks property of hacienda peons and other indigenous villagers, also referred as waqcha sheep. However, the SGJ faced budgetary constraints in their capacity for reinvesting capital and promoting further sheep advancement. In the meantime, the Peruvian state—as framed within President Augusto B. Leguía’s paradigm of a Patria Nueva (1919–1930), a country with renewed social contracts and expanded state presence—acknowledged the legal existence of indigenous communities, enforcing a special framework for governing an emerging human geography based on communal organizations and imposing greater limits for the SGJ—ultimately a remnants of the old hacienda system—to continue the technification of the sheep and wool business.

Unable to advance the profitability of Atocsaico and other equally important rural estates facing even more unstable circumstances after the Great Depression, the SGJ sold their properties to the Cerro de Pasco Copper Corporation (CPCC), a massive US mining company established at the dawn of the century. Beginning as an endeavor for cultivating and raising the needs for mining workers, the CPCC created a División Ganadera in 1942, a department specifically devoted to the supervision of livestock business, employing a large number of engineers, technicians, and veterinarians, and otherwise mobilizing an unprecedented amount of scientific knowledge. Throughout the course of two decades, the biological intervention of Peruvian sheep—making the ultimate animal resilient against high-altitude environments—became the central goal of this major importation of veterinarian expertise. Unlike other agrarian projects of the first half of the 20th century, from Cold War developmentalism to agrarian reform, the making of the oveja Junín—as the breed became popularly known—endured most political atmospheres, lived through cycles of social mobilization, and fully flourished under state centralization. While most visions on the advancement of agrarian economies confronted the state, the CPCC, and hundreds of indigenous villagers, showcasing the oveja Junín as the pivotal link between the central sierra and the wider world brought together historically conflicted interests.

The recognition of the oveja Junín as a breed was finally achieved in 1959 through a careful examination conducted by Helen N. Turner, one of Australia’s foremost geneticists.25 Turner had devoted her entire career to improving the quality of wool produced by Australian flocks, and in 1956 she assumed the executive leadership of the Animal Breeding Section in the Division of Animal Genetics at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. Turner spent nearly two months closely working with the División Ganadera of the CPCC in Pachacayo, determining that the oveja Junín had distinctive features present in at least four generations of sheep. Among these observable characteristics were the fineness and coloration of wool, the length of the fiber, along with other phenotypical features. By the time of its official recognition as a breed, there were 150,000 specimens of oveja Junín throughout all the haciendas of the División Ganadera. The breeds or types of sheep involved in the making of the oveja Junín were the Columbia, Corriedale, Warhill, and Panama sheep—besides the aforementioned Romney and Marsh.26

Livestock, Livelihood, and Agrarian Change in Andean PeruClick to view larger

Figure 2. Oveja Junín (photography by the División Ganadera of the CPCC, Colección Carlos Monge, Colecciones Especiales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú).

Most of the haciendas of the CPCC—which included Atocsaico, Casaracra, Cochas, Consac, Piñascochas, Pucará, Punabamba, and Pachacayo—lay between 11,000 and 16,000 feet above sea level. Historically, these estates had presented challenges and advantages to both landowners and indigenous communities. With little agriculture viable at this altitude, rich pastures offered the possibility of engaging grazing economies at manifold scales. Pueblos de indios, transformed and reorganized into comunidades, had appropriated a communal scheme of production based on sheepherding as early as the 18th century. The expansion of the hacienda system through the 18th and 19th centuries partially disenfranchised pueblos insofar as it restricted legally sanctioned land tenure. Indigenous grazers, however, remained essential for hacienda-based sheepherding. Grazing haciendas relied on indigenous, pastoral labor as a pivotal resource. As wool economies expanded and contracted, depending on international markets, pastores shifted back and forth from wage labor to sharecropping. When the División Ganadera of the CPCC purchased haciendas from the Sociedad Ganadera Junín, the symbiosis between pastures and pastores made comunidades key agents in future agrarian endeavors, including the making of the oveja Junín.

The project of the oveja Junín was far from being an isolated initiative. In 1959, perhaps based on the seemingly rising success of the central sierra, the Peruvian state elaborated a larger project to improve the breeding techniques of sheep and poultry throughout the country.27 The purpose of this project—according to the Office of Indigenous Affairs in the Ministry of Labor—was to “introduce new protein resources . . . to further improve local breeds and serve as a center of dissemination for new breeding and sanitary techniques.”28 In the technification and modernization of sheep-breeding and highland husbandry, indigenous populations and pueblos held a seemingly active role. As the succeeding years made clear, much of the flocks and pastures for the development of a national livestock industry were in possession of comunidades. According to this project, the Ministry of Labor envisioned introducing rural developmentalism in the heart of communal and domestic economies.

While in the past pastores and their flocks represented a problem for haciendas when their mutt sheep mixed with purebred flocks, the extent of the presence of oveja Junín suggests the División Ganadera effectively mobilized labor, controlling unregulated breeding and otherwise persuading pastores and their comunidades to join the oveja Junín project. As Turner observed, the breeding of the oveja Junín was conducted openly, efficiently using native pastures, and without resorting on stabling and supplementary feeding. With plentiful rainfall—ranging between twenty-five inches below 13,000 feet above sea level to thirty inches above the same altitude, along with abundant spring waters—natural pastures of this region had been treasured for decades by almost every agrarian agent, including the state. As a result of the combination of careful sheepherding, rich pastures, and continuous veterinarian supervision, specimens of the oveja Junín exhibited a robust structure, with strong head and above-average height, wide face free of fleece, broad chest, long and strong tips, dark and deep nostrils for better oxygen intake, and an overall strong physiognomy that was claimed to provide better adaptation to harsh environmental conditions, preserve a greater production of meat, and enhanced consumption of proteins. Additionally, the oveja Junín possessed a considerable degree of precocity and very low mortality rates. Ewes became crossable at 18 months old, and approximately 90 percent of ewes could successfully gestate. Of all lambs born, 88 percent were properly marked and became productive sheep—as capones, nulliparous, wool, or meat.

The extent of the oveja Junín project enhanced Andean husbandry, livestock production, and sheepherding, bringing grazing economies to industrial levels. Years before the 1969 Peruvian agrarian reform, the División Ganadera controlled 250,000 hectares of some of the richest pastures of Peru—all located in the upper central sierra region, in the midst of the Bombón plateau. In between the Pachacayo and Casaracra sectors of the División Ganadera, a total of 150,000 ovejas Junín were registered. Once conceived to be a supplementary branch of the mining business conducted by the CPCC, the División Ganadera allowed the corporation to partake in the worldwide wool business. Furthermore, by controlling the socioeconomic structure of landownership—including pastures, sheep, and people—the CPCC truly consolidated a modern enclave system. The history of wool and wool business described in the following section further illustrates the ecological intersection between development and local livelihood, and the transformation of Andean lives through the enhancement of sheep.

On Wool and Andean Livelihood

The Peruvian pursuit of advancement in sheep husbandry was also a quest for larger participation in the global wool market. As early as the first appraisals of the situation of grazing economies, a rising class of technocrats emphasized the importance of bettering wool production. In 1908, Edmundo de León—a professor in the National School of Agriculture—published Lanas, pelos y plumas, a manual of the Ministry of Development on poultry and livestock management. According to de León, the economic prosperity of Europe had relied on the profitability and industrialization of sheep and goat herding.29 The “geographic position, nature of its prairies, and special climate”30 made the Peruvian countryside an ideal space for these pastoralist activities at a scale comparable to the European scenario. De León noted that in contrast to other types of livestock economies, “sheep and goat offered the most profitable, most economically feasible zootechnical speculation.”31 He implicitly promoted the abandonment of cattle raising as the primary livestock activity in the Peruvian countryside and encouraged the widespread adoption of sheep in every industrializing hacienda. According to the author, having observed the ideal environmental conditions of the Peruvian sierra, the lack of wool-based agrarian industrialism was only explainable due to the lack of preparation of both the large-scale hacienda and the indigenous shepherds alike. “It is evident,” De León affirmed, “that rational methods of husbandry . . . could have created a main source of national wealth. [However, haciendas and shepherds] never selected or renewed their breeds.”32

In responding to consolidating perceptions about the potential of wool-based industrialization, and the clear economic trends of the global wool market, the state intended to parallel corporate efforts inside the haciendas of the División Ganadera of the CPCC through one of the most important state-sponsored projects of agrarian development, the promotion of granjas comunales. On July 28, 1943, President Manuel Prado—a member of the aristocratic Partido Civil and a US-aligned policymaker—announced a path-breaking project: to convert every indigenous community in Peru into a granja indígena.33 The goal of the project was to “orient the activities of our aborígenes towards new fields of production and labor.”34 The granjas indígenas, shortly after being renamed granjas comunales, could be devoted to grazing activities or collective agriculture depending on the geographic and environmental condition of a given community. This project allowed the state to enter the intimate realm of indigenous social organization while employing a previously remanufactured human geography of the countryside. Rural indigenous communities, as envisioned and legally produced by the state, served the purpose of promoting grazing advancement and agrarian modernization.

If successful, the granjas project had to achieve a long-sought goal of the nation-making process in Peru: “the integration of the indio into national life.”35 Granjas established norms and regulations for communal economies that led their members to “progress and welfare, not only of these groups [the communities] but also for the positive national advantage.”36 The entrance of state logics into communal realms could fuel rural industrialism from within communities while, at the same time, basing such industrialism upon socioeconomic preconditions inherent to communal organization: land, labor, and cooperativism. Ultimately, industrialism could lead to the democratization of communal societal formations. Comuneros could achieve a supreme, noble, political spirit by understanding their individual and collective roles while engaging with the state. These granjas had to be the forefront of agrarian industrialism within the core of indigenous communities in mid-20th-century Peru.

In the upper central sierra, the quintessential grazing domain, granjas came under direct supervision of the Junta de Industria Lanar, a state bureau conformed by several important Peruvian businessmen including entrepreneur Ricardo Bentín Mujica and hacendados Elías Fernandini and Enrique Gildemeister.37 The central sierra symbolized the ideal place for the establishment of granjas comunales. Such places—which also included the Puno and the wider Altiplano region—were considered economically backward, “underdeveloped,” politically neglected, and yet having an enormous social and natural potential to be exploited. While the Altiplano became the vanguard for the establishment of granjas comunales in the early 1940s, the central sierra quickly took over as the main area for the formation of these projects by the end of the decade. Only during the course of 1947 did the central sierra witness the establishment of twelve granjas comunales, with a total of nearly 12,000 sheep registered as their capital.

Livestock, Livelihood, and Agrarian Change in Andean PeruClick to view larger

Figure 3. Clasificación de Lanas del Perú, Memoria de la Junta de Industria Lanar, 1946 (Archivo General de la Nación del Perú).

Aiming to further enhance communal production, reports of the Junta de Industria Lanar explained the need to shape everyday economies of the granjas. Among the necessities observed for reaching the full potential of modernizing granjas, building ranching infrastructure—particularly wallows, pens, and shearing sheds—became pivotal. Nearly every granja comunal welcomed state building projects in ways no community had done before. Communal herds were soon reported to be in better condition as a result of receiving better veterinary treatment and increased professional care. Scabies and ticks, major concerns for the condition of sheep and the production of wool, had been efficiently eradicated. Twenty-four communal wallows were established throughout major communities of the region, with more than a quarter million sheep bathed in them.38 No agrarian project of development in Peru had reached such a scale in the history of state-communal relations and the governance of the rural countryside.

While nourishing the agrarian economy of the country and reshaping state communal relations, granjas comunales also transformed the internal organizations and social relations of communities. Upon submitting an application to the Junta de Industria Lanar to have granja comunal established, powerful families within communities assumed leading roles while claiming a seemingly altruistic goal of “rising the standard of labor in the zone, surpassing and being surpassed by other indigenous groups that have the same capacities but lack of an example and stimulus.”39 The initial social capital of the newly constituted granjas comunales also elucidated deeply hierarchical societal organizations within.40 Dominant families typically held control of the granjas by contributing with the majority of sheep of the rising communal patrimony. Profits to be produced by the granja—namely wool revenues—were distributed at the end of every fiscal year, corresponding to the distribution of social capital as originally established. Before distributing yearly profits, the granja administration reserved 10 percent of revenues for infrastructural and technical improvements, and another 10 percent saved as reserved capital. Most granjas operated for a precise number of years, typically a period of ten years. All lambs born within these ten years automatically increased the capital of the granja while preserving the distribution of capital. After two years of operations, partnering members could redeem their capital according to their original contribution or, alternatively, they could transfer their capital to other partners. All partners needed to name and pay for a caporal de campo or field administrator, whose responsibilities—as well as the larger operational description of the granjas—were described in an internal statute written by Junta de Industria Lanar.41 All in all, the formation of granjas comunales made evident, and sometimes deepened, the highly differentiated societal structures of indigenous communities, providing a language of capital for recasting fundamental inequalities.

The enhancement of sheep-based communal economies became a much larger mission than uplifting the material condition of the “impoverished indio.” The promotion of communal development fostered an ideal of agricultural industrialism based, in the case of the central sierra, on wool production. International prices of wool in the postwar global economy showed both signs of recovery and changes in trends.42 Unlike demand in times of war, the new international market required high-quality wool—a challenge efficiently addressed by Junta de Industria Lanar in bringing sheep husbandry and veterinarian science as pivotal knowledge for the conduction of granjas comunales. Demonstrating encouraging results, 59 percent of all Peruvian wool produced in 1946 was classified as superior quality.43 Internally, domestic markets also resembled global trends in demanding superior wool.44 The unexpected merge of the Junta de Industria Lanar and the granjas comunales—representing hacendados and communities, respectively—put the wool industry in an optimal position for supplying both domestic and foreign demand. In order to further extend the aid provided by the Junta to communities and their granjas, the state envisioned the establishment of agrarian educational facilities. The central sierra, once again, had to become the laboratory for this painstaking effort. The project considered the foundation of rural schools where communities hosting granjas could learn about husbandry, modern sheepherding, and veterinary care. The project also considered the widespread circulation of both university students and granja members in different regions, learning about grazing in different contexts and funded by the Junta de Industria Lanar. Finally, the project considered supporting the School of Veterinary Medicine and the National Institute of Andean Biology in their research on sheep fertility in the central sierra.45 While “western science” and “local knowledge” have been historically at odds with each other, the granjas comunales and the larger husbandry projects illustrated the limits and reach of rural development as a truly ecological process. When the oveja Junín became king of the central sierra and symbol of a new age of agrarian development, no one anticipated the collapse of the countryside and Andean livelihood that followed.

Projects of rural development did not end with the granjas comunales, and they continued to address changing socioeconomic environments. On September 3, 1943, a group of deputies led by Ernesto More—representative of Huancané, one of the major provinces of Puno—presented a legal project that paralleled the granjas comunales. According to their diagnosis, while Peruvian economy had flourished in the years of World War II, it had done so bringing Peru to a “heterogeneous situation:”46 most of the population—the vast majority of them from indigenous origins—did not have the means to exploit the land they possessed or simply did not have any land at all. Without the enactment of an integral plan to remedy the land ownership problem, the “incorporation” of the indigenous population was deemed impossible and was simply limited to becoming modern through the granja model of developmentalism. Countries that refused a dramatic change of their material foundations and their internal structures of land ownership in times of worldwide peace, More asserted, would not be prepared for the challenges of the new rising global political economy. An organic demand for state-sponsored agrarian reform had risen in the Peruvian political vocabulary, a demand that strengthened as granjas prospered and communities thrived.

Sheep and Livelihood in Reform and Revolution

In October 1965, the union of employees and workers of the División Ganadera addressed the Zonal Direction of Agrarian Reform, referring to the enactment of Law 15037 and the declaration of the CPCC’s haciendas as zonas afectas—areas subject of being expropriated and redistributed under agrarian reform premises. The union inquired about why “the best livestock company of our country, based on our joint efforts, is affected [by agrarian reform].”47 The División Ganadera, according to their manifesto, was an expression of all positive things brought by multiple private efforts of developmentalism. “Dismembering [the División],” the union asserted, “meant more years of reconstruction, . . . negative effects against miners and the state, . . . labor shortages,”48 among other repercussions. In presenting their cause, employees and workers suggested sheep husbandry—symbolized making of the oveja Junín—had created an “environment of deep understanding and social wellness.”49 Intending to transcend the dichotomous rivalry between corporation and communities, the letter affirmed most of the people employed by the División Ganadera came from neighboring indigenous communities. Based on this narrative, knowledge and resources generated at the interior of the corporation eventually transited through the core of communal economies, nurturing granjas comunales, pueblos, and domestic sheepherding. Rural developmentalism and livestock husbandry had allegedly fostered a sort of sheep pax.

There is no clear evidence to affirm whether the aforementioned narrative is actually accurate. Social mobilization in the central sierra is well documented. Tomas de tierras, land seizures, were frequent, though they rarely implied violence or eviction and in most circumstances were followed by agreements or state sanction of the communal property of the land seized. What seems certain, however, is that interests at the interior of communities were differentiated. While some community members—typically the leadership—viewed developmentalism, the Junta de Industria Lanar, and the División Ganadera positively, others had a different perspective. The position of domestic economies at the interior of the developmentalist projects offers a glimpse of how seminal communal hierarchization was for the remaking of the central sierra. The making of the oveja Junín, as well as the use of traditional sheepherding knowledge and indigenous labor, involved the cooptation of enfranchised community members and powerful families. Global trade of refined wool fostered by communal production reported revenue equally differently—families who contributed with more capital, expressed in number of purebred sheep, accessed the profits. Conversely, community members who had little to offer when establishing a granja, or were not employed by the División Ganadera, experienced further economic displacement. In spite of multiple reports about the total elimination of low-quality, waqcha sheep in the haciendas of the División Ganadera, waqchas remained absolutely essential for the daily subsistence and scarce trade of the less enfranchised families. The property of sheep and the hierarchized participation of communities in the wool trade reinforced the idea that when referring to lo comunal, social equivalence did not entail egalitarianism.

After a coup empowered a group a radical military officers who claimed the need for conducting a verdadera revolución, the junta led by General Juan Velasco promulgated a law of agrarian reform on June 24, 1969. Originated from within a particular momentum of Latin American militarism, in which the armed forces envisioned a critical participation in national development—often at the expense of toppling democratic administrations—Velasco became the quintessential symbol of a larger military intelligentsia ably aided by civilian technocrats and diverse progressive political forces. The “Peruvian Revolution,” as Velasco labeled the manifold transformations his regime stimulated, became an unprecedented amalgam of sociopolitical actors that fundamentally redefined the country for decades to come.50

Velasco’s vision of the remaking of the nation focused on a quest for manifold emancipations centered on natural resources.51 Internationally, Peru had been subject to a larger geopolitical order, which heavily undermined national sovereignty and negatively affected Peruvians’ dignity. The “Peruvian Revolution” addressed this issue through a radical repositioning of the country within the hemispheric political landscape, best represented by the seizure and expropriation of the International Petroleum Company, a US corporation subsidiary of the Standard Oil, and the nationalization of oil reserves on October 9, 1968. However, national emancipation could not be fulfilled without addressing urgent domestic issues. Internally, Velasco argued how an enduring oligarchic order condemned the vast majority of Peruvians to a subjugated position in their own country. In particular, the regime of land property and the persistence of the hacienda system posed seminal concerns for the materialization of the Peruvian Revolution. Without reforming land tenancy through a comprehensive agrarian reform, Velasco’s regime could not gain enough social legitimacy. Hence, oil and land structured the foremost goals of the military experiment.

Agrarian reform, as envisioned by the so-called Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces, intended to dramatically alter the existent structures of land ownership by giving “land to those who work it.” However, environmental constraints and the remaking of the ecology of the central sierra proved to limit this aim. In their reports to General Velasco, agrarian reform technocrats explained how communities already owned most lands available for direct redistribution and fragmentation into family units. More concerning, land owned by foreign companies—such as the haciendas of the División Ganadera—could not be parceled. At the altitude in which these lands were located, agriculture was limited and pastures needed to remain collectively owned for grazing economies to continue being productive. Following a hemispheric recipe of land reform, Velasco and his technocrats embraced a collectivized form of exploitation by which communities became partners of cooperatives and other forms of state-supervised agrarian enterprises, whereby land could be collectively exploited and revenues were redistributed based on the initial contribution of each partnering community. Collectivized property, state surveillance, and centralized revenue redistribution are the essential components of defining the making of Peruvian campesinos. The campesinización of indigenous communities was much more than a change in the political language of the relationship between the state and rural populations; the process carried a major shift in the ecological relations that brought together sheep, land, and comuneros, now renamed campesinos. While in the early years of the period of agrarian reform, the promise of agrarian justice helped bringing communal cohesion behind the state project of reform, the latter part of the process was engulfed by international questioning and dissent—collectivization aggravated internal differentiation in a way that threatened not only agrarian reform but also the very existence of the community as an ideal.

Beginning in 1973, the SAIS Túpac Amaru—established on the basis of the haciendas and communities once mobilized by the Duncan Fox, the Sociedad Ganadera Junín, and the División Ganadera of the CPCC—filed a number of complaints claiming some members of partnering communities were deliberately sabotaging cooperative activities. Among the acts of sabotage accused was the introduction of waqcha sheep in what were considered “cooperative pastures.” More importantly, the deliberate crossing of these sheep with ovejas Junín proved to be the most subversive action ever conducted by communities against state interests. By the end of the military regime, in 1979, the SAIS reported a serious economic decline due to the deterioration of the genetic line of oveja Junín. Mismanaged husbandry became a useful vehicle for disenfranchised campesinos to deliver a political message against enfranchised campesinos, the SAIS, the state, and campesinización itself. The very biology of the Junín sheep had become a focal battleground between the centralizing muscle of a deteriorating state and communal quests for recovering essential autonomies.

As the country returned to democracy, after twelve years of military rule, an Ayacucho-based Maoist party declared an armed struggle against both the state and civil society.52 Accusing the expiration of a traditional order, Sendero Luminoso targeted nearly every aspect of citizenry, including those resulting from the unprecedented transformations delivered through the military’s revolutionary efforts. In the highlands, where the lucha armada concentrated in the early 1980s, hundreds of communities and thousands of campesinos became the focal objective of revolutionary violence. After 1983, when the conflict acquired an increasingly militarized tone, campesino livelihood as shaped through decades of community-state negotiations—including the liminal experience of agrarian reform—faced almost total obliteration.

In 2003, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established that nearly 70,000 Peruvians had died during the course of the conflict.53 The vast majority of the casualties did not speak Spanish, lived in impoverished rural areas of the country, and survived on some form of agrarian subsistence economy. The same campesinos cast by the agrarian reform as a pivotal partner in the modernization of the countryside became the foremost victims of both insurrectionary violence and counterrevolutionary repression. Besides the gruesome human tragedy, Sendero Luminoso’s war also tore apart the foundations of agrarian livelihood, attacking communities as a form of societal organization and destroying every material basis of rural life. In the absence of hacendados and foreign corporations, already displaced or totally abolished by the 1969 agrarian reform, Sendero massacred campesino communities, ravaged agrarian cooperatives, terrorized Sociedades Agrarias de Interés Social, and brutally assassinated hundreds of mildly enfranchised campesinos as representatives of the “traditional order.”

In the early months of the conflict, the word abigeato—or rural thievery—circulated widely among rural communities and campesinos first facing Sendero and the dynamics of civil warfare. Animal robbery had been a major subversion of communal morality since the dawn of pastoralism in the Andes. Inside cooperatives and enfranchised communities, Sendero conducted massive animal seizures claiming to be delivering a revolution through the redistribution of animals—sheep included—among poor campesinos. In unfolding their insurrectional violence, Sendero labeled some of their victims as abigeos, threats against the moral order that the revolution intended to establish. The property of animals and their revolutionary confiscation structured an aspect of the political vocabulary of Sendero’s war and shaped some of the dynamics of political violence observed in the Peruvian Andes. When internal armed conflict fully unfolded, rural life fostered by the making of oveja Junín violently dissolved, bringing communal livelihood and agrarian ideals of productivity into absolute demise.

Discussion of the Literature

The transformation of agrarian livelihood, and the role of livestock within, has received little attention in Peruvian historiography. While the countryside indeed held a prominent position as a battleground in social, political, and economic terms, the material foundations of everyday conflicts—animals included—have not sparked much interest among scholars of 20th-century Peru.54 Yet nearly every account of socioeconomic and political struggles mentioned, in passing, a pivotal participation of animals in unleashing transcendental transformations. In a recent edited volume, Martha Few and Zeb Tortorici have invited scholars to “center” animals in Latin American history, rethinking human–animal binary understandings, unveiling the social life of animals, and ultimately considering the very animalization of human history.55 Human groups, such as 20th-century rural dwellers, came to experience a number of historical processes—state formation, agrarian reform, and revolution, to name a few—through animals just as animals also reshaped everything we considered solely result of human agency.

The history of Andean animals, particularly mammals, owes a great deal to a group of archeologists, anthropologists, and ethnographers who have provided essential narratives of rural livelihoods as produced by the symbiosis of human dwelling and animal remaking of space.56 Animals not only became instrumental for social relations of production to materialize but also nourished structural societal organizations within herding communities, enforcing patriarchal values and organizing household economies. In explaining how pastoral livelihoods emerged and consolidated as central means of life in the Peruvian Andes, sheep became the dominating agent in the refashioning of Andean landscapes and the sustenance of every social relation of production. While llamas and other camelids retained their ritual roles, sheep became a primary means for the material and economic foundations of contemporary rural livelihoods, thus making them markers of social prestige.

Pastoralism, and nomadism as a fundamental correlate, did not remain exempt from incorporation into both nation-state–making and capitalist production processes. The age of primitive accumulations in the Andes—a departure moment in the process of capitalist seizures– from the conquest and the consolidation of the hacienda system to the corporate appropriation of indigenous lands, brought land into the property of a powerful few.57 Far from considering the persistence of foraging and herding as signs of socioeconomic atavism, capitalism turned “modern” herding into essential indentured labor for the production of livestock surplus. The history of pastoralism in the global 20th century, the Andes included, is another tale of increasingly industrialized profitable exploitation for livestock-based haciendas and corporations at expense of livelihood deterioration and demise for thousands of disenfranchised shepherds. In Peru, as this article reveals, the capitalization of pastoralism brought early 20th-century state interests in the industrializing capacity of modern husbandry and grazing activities, along with series of private and foreign agents who envisioned Peruvian wool as a pivotal commodity for engaging with world markets.58

Focusing on the history of animals, Andean sheep and the oveja Junín in particular, poses new directions in understanding the latter part of the 20th century, particularly the impact of agrarian reform and the internal armed conflict on rural livelihoods.59 As the two most salient sociopolitical processes of the contemporary history of Peru centered on the countryside, material foundations and environments structured everyday experiences of state and revolution. The origins, rise, and near extinction of the oveja Junín parallel narratives of state expansion, agrarian centralization, and violent socioeconomic meltdown. This article intends to be the first step toward a major historical reconceptualization of the rural countryside, aligning with Marisol de la Cadena’s seminal contribution toward transcending nature–society binaries that were functional to the enduring neglect of rurality in post-conflict Peru.60

Primary Sources

Two main repositories should be of particular interest for scholars working on agrarian topics, including the role of animals and the interconnections between livelihood and livestock. First and foremost, researchers should explore the Archivo del Fuero Agrario (AFA) within the Archivo General de la Nación, in Lima. Once an independent institutional repository, the AFA is the documentary result of the 1969 agrarian reform and the major expropriations conducted by the military regime of Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968–1975). Along with hacienda seizures and land confiscations, the agrarian reform also appropriated the documentary legacies of Peruvian haciendas and corporate properties. These documents became absolutely pivotal for the administration of justice at the Tribunal Agrario, a special court commissioned to deal with the legal aspects of expropriation and redistribution of agrarian land. AFA is “organized” based on the origins of the documentation—regional and local. When the AFA ceased to exist as an independent repository and became part of the AGN, the original serialization and classification was lost. Today, the AFA lies in one of the basements of the Palacio de Justicia in Lima, the Supreme Court building, seemingly neglected by archival authorities. Access to the documents stored here depends on the goodwill of the current Director of the AGN and the availability of assistance from archivists. Otherwise, there is no regular procedure for requesting these materials.

Some of the original documentation of the Tribunal Agrario and the AFA, particularly documents that informed ongoing trials, became a separate unit and—at some point in the early 1990s—became transferred to the Organismo para la Formalización de la Propiedad Informal (COFOPRI), a state institution devoted to legalize family private property and a quintessential device of the “formality” paradigm within neoliberal capitalism. As much of the “informality” that COFOPRI intended to “solve” concentrated in the rural countryside, the documentation of the Tribunal Agrario became essential for the advancement of formalizing endeavors. In the early 2000s, as part of the decentralization of the Peruvian state, the central government commissioned the formalization of rural property to regional governments. In a misguided understanding of decentralization, COFOPRI transferred portions of the Tribunal Agrario documentation to regional governments. Some regional governments preserved and organized these documents, but many decided to discard and destroy them. For those cases in which documents have been preserved, such as the case of the Regional Government of Junín, they are in custody of the Dirección Regional Agraria (DRA). DRAs are governmental organizations without a policy regarding public access to their records. Access to their archives is, therefore, elusive to say the least. Many of these documents are being used in ongoing trials between communities and the state, among communities, and even among community members within the same community. However, the archives of the DRAs might very well be the best repositories for researchers interested in how communities transited the structures of power and production of the state.

State sources, as scarce or abundant as they may be, offer little to no information about the reception of modernizing projects and developmentalism within the intimate realm of indigenous and campesino communities. Besides those instances of resistance and other forms of visible reactions, often against state projects of rural development, how dwellers perceived their participation in larger schemes of modernization is obscured due to the institutional weight of the state. Therefore, venturing into communities is a worthwhile exercise for historians, typically untrained for such endeavors. Since their legal recognition in 1921, rural communities were required to have weekly communal assemblies and register the topics of their internal discussions. In more than a handful of fortunate cases, some communities still preserve minutes of these assemblies in spite of years of state confiscation and revolutionary violence. Information contained in these minutes are, without a doubt, the finest sources for unveiling how communities experienced every external power they faced. However, approaching a rural community for accessing their historical intimacy is not an easy task; there is no formula for having access granted, and ethnographic training or assistance is wholeheartedly recommended.

Further Reading

Archetti, Eduardo. Guinea-Pigs: Food, Symbol, and Conflict of Knowledge in Ecuador. New York: Berg, 1997.Find this resource:

    Bonavia, Duccio. The South American Camelids. Los Angeles: The Cotsen Institute of Archeology Press, 2008.Find this resource:

      Butler, Alan. Sheep: The Remarkable Story of the Humble Animal That Built the Modern World. Winchester: O-Books, 2006.Find this resource:

        Chang, Claudia, and Harold A. Koster. Pastoralists at the Periphery: Herders in a Capitalist World. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1994.Find this resource:

          Crosby, Alfred W. The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Westport. CT: Greenwood Press, 1972.Find this resource:

            Crosby, Alfred W. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900–1900. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.Find this resource:

              Few, Martha, and Zeb Tortorici, eds. Centering Animals in Latin American History. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013.Find this resource:

                Flannery, Kent, Joyce Marcus, and Robert G. Reynolds. The Flocks of the Wamani: A Study of Llama Herders on the Punas of Ayacucho, Peru. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1989.Find this resource:

                  Flores, Jorge. Pastoralists of the Andes: The Alpaca Herders of Paratía. Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1979.Find this resource:

                    Fulcrand, Bernardo. Las ovejas de San Juan: una visión histórico-antropológica de la introducción del ovino español en la sociedad rural andina. Cusco, Peru: Asociación Arariwa, 2004.Find this resource:

                      Jacobsen, Nils. Mirages of Transition: The Peruvian Altiplano, 1780–1930. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.Find this resource:

                        Mayer, Enrique. Ugly Stories of the Peruvian Agrarian Reform. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009.Find this resource:

                          Melville, Elinor G. K. A Plague of Sheep: Environmental Consequences of the Conquest of Mexico. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1997.Find this resource:

                            Miller, Rory. Empresas británicas, economía y política en el Perú, 1850–1934. Lima: Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, 2011.Find this resource:

                              Orlove, Benjamin S. Alpacas, Sheep, and Men: The Wool Export Economy and Regional Society in Southern Peru. New York: Academic Press, 1977.Find this resource:

                                Smith, Gavin. Livelihood and Resistance: Peasants and the Politics of Land in Peru. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.Find this resource:


                                  (1.) John Womack Jr., Zapata and the Mexican Revolution (New York: Vintage, 1970).

                                  (2.) Christopher Boyer has offered a finely grained analysis of the intricacies of campesino identities in post-Revolutionary Mexico. See Christopher Boyer, Becoming Campesinos: Politics, Identity, and Agrarian Struggle in Postrevolutionary Michoacan, 1920–1935 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003).

                                  (3.) During the 1970s, the Oficina Nacional de Evaluación de Recursos Nacionales (ONERN), an organization established in 1962, became responsible of providing the most detailed studies about the environmental potential and constraints of Peru in the midst of an agrarian reform process, making the most comprehensive cartographic study of the country. See ONERN, El perfil ambiental del Perú and Los recursos naturales del Perú (Lima: ONERN, 1986).

                                  (4.) Elinor Melville, A Plague of Sheep: The Environmental Consequences of the Conquest of Mexico (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

                                  (5.) Melville, 49.

                                  (6.) Melville, 6.

                                  (7.) Kent Flannery, Joyce Marcus, and Robert G. Reynolds, The Flocks of the Wamani: A Study of Llama Herders on the Punas of Ayacucho, Peru (New York: Routledge, 2008).

                                  (8.) Daniel H. Sandweiss and Elizabeth S. Wing, “Ritual Rodents: The Guinea Pigs of Chincha, Peru,” Journal of Field Archeology 24, no. 1 (1997): 47–58.

                                  (9.) Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900–1900 (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

                                  (10.) On the rearticulation of Andean populations under Spanish rule, see Karen Spalding, Huarochirí: An Andean Society Under Inca and Spanish Rule (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1984), and Jeremy Mumford, Vertical Empire: The General Resettlement of Indians in the Colonial Andes (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012).

                                  (11.) Pablo Macera, Instrucciones para el manejo de las haciendas jesuitas del Perú, ss. XVII–XVIII. (Lima: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 1966).

                                  (12.) I have provided a detailed account of the colonial history of San Juan de Ondores elsewhere; see Javier Puente, Closer Apart: Indigenous and Peasant Communities and the State in Capitalist Peru, 1700–1990 (PhD diss., Georgetown University, Washington, DC, 2014).

                                  (13.) A legal mechanism of medieval origins, the emphyteusis is a contractual land lease in which the arrendatario observes long-term interests in the occupation and economic exploitation of land. The arrendatario pays a rent, often annual, which provides perpetual usufruct of the leasehold. Some emphyteutic leases allowed the recalculation of rent at the end of a given period of time. In colonial Latin America, most perpetual emphyteutic contracts became a form of hereditary leases, preventing the arrendador from raising the rent amount almost under any circumstance. Colonial emphyteusis has deserved little attention in the Peruvian Andes. One exception is Jorge A. Guevara Gil, Propiedad agraria y derecho colonial: los documentos de la hacienda Santotis, Cuzco, 1542–1822 (Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1993). For a thorough and recent review on property land rights, see Rosa Cangost, Jorge Gelman, and Rui Santos, Property Rights in Land: Issues in Social, Economic, and Global History (New York: Routledge, 2017).

                                  (14.) Raul Adanaqué, “Cerro de Pasco en el proceso de la Independencia (1819–1824),” Investigaciones Sociales 14, no. 25 (2010): 105–140.

                                  (15.) Adanaqué, 105–140.

                                  (16.) On 19th-century liberalism in Peru, see Paul Gootenberg, Between Silver and Guano: Commercial Policy and the State in Postindependence Peru (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989). On the impact of liberalism in Andean communities, see Richard Smith, “Liberal Ideology and Indigenous Communities in Post-Independence Peru,” Journal of International Affairs 36, no. 1 (1982): 73–82.

                                  (17.) On the incorporation of the Andes and other regions of the emerging “global south” into the British-dominated global schemes of capital circulation, see Mike Davies, Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World (New York: Verso Books, 2000).

                                  (18.) On the global domination of cotton and the industrial revolution, see Sven Becker, Empire of Cotton: A Global History (New York: Vintage, 2015).

                                  (19.) Rory Miller, Empresas Británicas, economía y política en el Perú, 1850–1934 (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos: 2011).

                                  (20.) Alejandro Garland, Reseña industrial del Perú (Lima: Imprenta La Industria, 1905), 95.

                                  (21.) Garland, 95.

                                  (22.) Marcial Helguero y Paz-Soldán, Viajando por la República (Lima: Imprenta La Moderna, 1917), 113.

                                  (23.) Helguero y Paz-Soldán, 113.

                                  (24.) For a careful study about Andean livelihood at high altitude, adaptation, and the role of hypoxia—as well as the sociopolitical implications of regarding the Andes as a hostile environment—see Jorge Lossio, El Peruano y su entorno (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 2012).

                                  (25.) For a review of Turner’s contribution to the wool industry worldwide, see Nessy Allen, “Helen Newton Turner and the Wool Industry,” Journal of Australian Studies 33 (1992): 56–62.

                                  (26.) Hernán Caycho, Las SAIS de la Sierra Central (Lima: ESAN, 1977), 25.

                                  (27.) AGN, Trabajo, Asuntos Indígenas, Varios, legajo 17, f. 5 and ss.

                                  (28.) AGN, Trabajo, Asuntos Indígenas, Varios, legajo 17, f. 5 and ss.

                                  (29.) Edmundo de León, Lanas, Pelos y Plumas (Lima: Imprenta del Estado, 1908), 3.

                                  (30.) de León, 3.

                                  (31.) de León, 3.

                                  (32.) de León, 4.

                                  (33.) This project was not the first attempt to capitalize the countryside and wool-based economies, but it was certainly the first organic one to propose so based on the social engineering of comunidades. Otherwise, Víctor Caballero Martín suggests that the capitalization of haciendas restarted in 1937—after a stop in its territorial expansion and experiencing a major economic contraction in 1929—emphasized the production of refined wool for international trade. See Víctor Caballero Martín, Imperialismo y Campesinado en la Sierra Central (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Andinos, 1981).

                                  (34.) AGN, Ministerio de Trabajo, Asuntos Indígenas, legajo 2

                                  (35.) AGN, Ministerio de Trabajo, Asuntos Indígenas, legajo 2.

                                  (36.) AGN, Ministerio de Trabajo, Asuntos Indígenas, legajo 2.

                                  (37.) AGN, Ministerio de Hacienda, Impresos, Ministerio de Agricultura, Memorias, Memoria que presenta la Junta de Industria Lanar por el Año 1946, 3.

                                  (38.) AGN, Ministerio de Hacienda, Impresos, Ministerio de Agricultura, Memorias, Memoria que presenta la Junta de Industria Lanar por el Año 1947, 13.

                                  (39.) AGN, Ministerio de Trabajo, Asuntos Indígenas, legajo 2.

                                  (40.) AGN, Ministerio de Trabajo, Asuntos Indigenas, legajo 2 (my table and calculations). “U.V.” is the unitary value estimated for every ewe. “T.C.” is the total capital represented by the multiplication of the amount of ewes and their unitary value. Every ewe was considered as one stock; therefore “%” represents the percentage of stocks held by every comunero.

                                  (41.) The Junta de Industria Lanar had been established in 1937. According to Gerardo Rénique, the improvement of sheep husbandry as surveyed by the Junta was a “fake modernizing project,” insofar as it aimed to reduce comunidades to their minimum expression. See Gerardo Rénique, Comunidades Campesinas y Recuperaciones de Tierras en el Valle del Mantaro (Lima: Taller de Estudios Andinos, 1977). Something that Rénique underscores is the agency of traditional, family-based sheepherding and livestock property in the making of the granjas.

                                  (42.) Rénique, 18. In years after the end of World War II, there was a consistent decrease in the international price of sheep wool.

                                  (43.) Rénique, 18.

                                  (44.) AGN, Ministerio de Hacienda, Impresos, Ministerio de Agricultura, Memorias, Memoria que presenta la Junta de Industria Lanar por el Año 1946, 18.

                                  (45.) AGN, Ministerio de Hacienda, Impresos, Ministerio de Agricultura, Memorias, Memoria que presenta la Junta de Industria Lanar por el Año 1946, 19.

                                  (46.) AGN, Ministerio de Trabajo, Asuntos Indígenas, legajo 2. The group of deputies included the representative of Camaná, Gustavo Gorriti, and the representative of Andahuaylas, G. Cáceres Gaudet.

                                  (47.) AGN, Archivo del Fuero Agrario, Cerro de Pasco Corporation, División Ganadera, 476.

                                  (48.) AGN, Archivo del Fuero Agrario, Cerro de Pasco Corporation, División Ganadera, 476.

                                  (49.) AGN, Archivo del Fuero Agrario, Cerro de Pasco Corporation, División Ganadera, 476.

                                  (50.) For a recent interpretation of the numerous heterodoxies embodied within Velasco’s regime, see Carlos Aguirre and Paulo Drinot, eds., The Peculiar Revolution: Rethinking the Peruvian Experiment under Military Rule (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2017).

                                  (51.) On the discourse on independence and emancipations, see Javier Puente, “Second Independence, National History and Myth-Making Heroes in the Peruvian Nationalizing State: The Government of Juan Velasco Alvarado, 1968–1975,” Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research 22, no. 3 (2016): 231–249; Carlos Aguirre, “The Second Liberation? Military Nationalism and the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of Peruvian Independence, 1821–1971,” in The Peculiar Revolution: Rethinking the Peruvian Experiment under Military Rule, ed. Carlos Aguirre and Paulo Drinot (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2017).

                                  (52.) On the origins of Sendero Luminoso, see Carlos Iván Degregori, El Surgimiento de Sendero Luminoso, Ayacucho 1969–1979 (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1990). For a thorough review of Sendero’s various effects on Peruvian state making, see Steve Stern, ed., Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980–1995 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999). Two recent accounts of Sendero’s lucha armada stand out as fascinating interpretation of the larger history of political violence before the conflict and the heterogeneous impact upon campesino communities. See Jaymie Heilman, Before the Shining Path: Politics in Rural Ayacucho, 1895–1990 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010); and Miguel La Serna, The Corner of the Living: Ayacucho on the Eve of the Shining Path Insurgency (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

                                  (53.) Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación, Informe Final (Lima: CVR, 2003).

                                  (54.) The study of the 1969 agrarian reform and the subsequent Internal Armed Conflict (1980–2000) that brought rural Peru, and the larger 20th-century state-making process, to an almost total collapse have largely neglected the essential role of animals as a key material component of livelihoods undergoing stressful processes of land reformation and political violence. Enrique Mayer’s account of the agrarian reform and its enduring aftermath stands out in bringing in a more materially and ecologically texturized narrative of this season of political liminality, shedding light upon what agrarian reform ultimately meant in everyday terms for indigenous community members turned into campesinos; see Enrique Mayer, Ugly Stories of the Peruvian Agrarian Reform (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010).

                                  (55.) Martha Few and Zeb Tortorici, eds., Centering Animals in Latin American History (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013).

                                  (56.) Kent Flannery, Joyce Marcus, and Robert G. Reynolds, The Flock of the Wamani: A Study of Llama Herders on the Punas of Ayacucho, Peru (New York: Routledge, 2008); Benjamin Orlove, Alpacas, Sheep, and Men: The Wool Export Economy and Regional Society in Southern Peru (New York: Academic Press, 1977); and Jorge Flores, Pastoralists of the Andes: Alpaca Herders of Paratia (Charlottesville, VA: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1979).

                                  (57.) Claudia Chang and Harold Koster, eds., Pastoralists at the Periphery: Herders in a Capitalist World (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1994).

                                  (58.) On the British interests on wool export, see Rory Miller, Empresas británicas, economía y política en el Perú (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos: 2011); on the impact of wool dynamics in a regional economy, see Nils Jacobsen, Mirages of Transition: The Peruvian Altiplano, 1780–1930 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).

                                  (59.) On the “traditional” historiography of the Internal Armed Conflict, see Steve Stern, ed., Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980–1995 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999). Recent literature has began to explore the daily lives of villagers engulfed by political violence; see Miguel La Serna, The Corner of the Living: Ayacucho on the Eve of the Shining Path Insurgency (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012). Finally, there is a very recent rise of a testimonial literature that brings together the lives and historical perspectives of key actors of the conflict; see Lurgio Gavilán, Memorias de un soldado desconocido: autobiografía y antropología de la violencia (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 2012); José Carlos Agüero, Los rendidos: sobre el don de perdonar (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 2015); and Jaymie Heilman and Miguel Llamojha Mitma, Now Peru Is Mine: The Life and Times of a Campesino Activist (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016). The agrarian reform has also received an equally recent and innovative turn, raising new questions on the manifold meanings of Juan Velasco’s alleged revolution; see Carlos Aguirre and Paulo Drinot, eds., The Peculiar Revolution: Rethinking the Peruvian Experiment under Military Rule (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2017).

                                  (60.) Marisol de la Cadena, Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practices across Andean Worlds (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015).