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  • ICAA Record ID
    De la vida inkaica : Algunas captaciones del espíritu que la animó . -- Lima : Editorial Garcilaso, 1925
    p. [87]-111
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Valcárcel, Luis E. "Glosario." In De la vida inkaica: Algunas captactiones del espíritu que la animó, 87- 111. Lima, Perú: Editorial Garcilaso, 1925.

Peruvian historian and anthropologist Luis E. Valcárcel published “Glosario” in his 1925 book De la vida Inkaica: algunas captaciones del espíritu que la animó. In “Glosario,” Valcárcel reexamines the history of Incan civilization, asserting that instead of a chaotic and scattered civilization, the Incas were an organized and developed communal society. He claims that the Incas and surrounding indigenous communities were united by an agriculturalism that permeated all aspects of society, uniting the people to the earth. Valcárcel upholds that the Incas possessed a communal style of living whereby the rights of the individual were considered insignificant in comparison to the needs of the community. All individuals, Valcárcel writes, were required to work and to contribute to communal stores of agricultural and utilitarian goods at a level appropriate to their capacity. Valcárcel also comments on the sophistication and originality of Incan arts, dance, poetry, architecture, and culture, and suggests that modern Peru should return to the values of Incan civilization, such as agrarianism, solidarity, love of the earth, discipline, hard work, spare intellectualism, simple customs, and communal living.


Peruvian historian and anthropologist Luis E. Valcárcel (1891–1987) researched Pre-Hispanic Peru, and contributed to the Peruvian indigenismo movement, focusing on the study and valorization of indigenous cultures. Valcárcel taught in the Colegio Nacional de Ciencias and founded the first anthropological museum in Cusco. He was the director of the magazine El Comercio and an editor of several other publications, and was associated with the writer José Carlos Mariátegui and his magazine Amauta. During the 1930s, Valcárcel served as director of the Museo Bolivariano, the Museo de Arqueología Peruana, the Museo Nacional de Historia, and the Museo Nacional de Cultura Peruana. In his many books and publications, Valcárcel encouraged the respect and valorization of indigenous Peruvians and denounced the marginalization of indigenous peoples. "Glosario" is a chapter in De la vida Inkaica: algunas captaciones del espíritu que la animó, a book by Valcárcel illustrated by Peruvian artist José Sabogal, who was also associated with the magazine Amauta. In "Glosario," Valcárcel establishes unity and continuity in Peruvian history by emphasizing the relevance of the country’s indigenous past to its present and future. Valcárcel’s analysis of the communal organization of Incan civilization relates to José Carlos Mariátegui’s assertion that the poverty and misery of indigenous Peruvians could be attributed to the imposition of non-communal forms of agriculture by European colonizers.

Molly Moog; ICAA Team
International Center for the Arts of the Americas, MFAH, Houston, USA
Courtesy of Private Archives Luis E. Valcárcel, Lima, Perú