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  • ICAA Record ID
    Extractos de El Nuevo Indio / J.U.G
    El Nuevo Indio / José Uriel García. -- Cuzco, Perú: Ed. H. G. Rozas, Sucesores.
    p. 5 - 10, 87 - 94
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    García, José Uriel. Extractos de El Nuevo Indio: ensayos indianistas sobre la sierra surperuana. 2da. Ed. Cuzco, H.G. Rozas Sucesores Librería e Imprenta, 1937, pp. [5]-10

El Nuevo Indio by the Cuzco-born historian and sociologist José Uriel García (1894–1965) outlines an astute proposal for the Peruvian national project. Rejecting forcefully any nationalist framework based solely on race or “blood,” Uriel García postulates “the new Indian” as a spiritual, ethical, and cultural construct that is to be the foundation of the Peruvian national identity. While this “new Indian” emerges from the strong affective and environmental rootedness in the Peruvian sierra (the Andes), anyone, regardless of origin—whether European, mestizo (of mixed blood), or indigenous—can develop and cultivate the connection to and valuation of this unique land. As an extension, Uriel García opposes any attempts to locate the source of the national project in the idealized and romanticized, in his view, Incaic past. According to Uriel García, the Spanish conquest caused irreversible changes in the people and culture of the Americas, bringing about new forms of life and expression, such as the art of the Colonial period. And, it is only from this dynamic, historically evolving formation that the new Peruvian people may emerge.


Written in 1929 and first published in 1930, El Nuevo Indio by José Uriel García (1894–1965) is an important contribution to the indigenista debate in Peru. His text is written against the grain of the dominant indigenista models proposed by the Peruvian Marxist political leader José Carlos Mariátegui (1894–1930) [see the series of Mariátegui’s articles “Peruanicemos el Perú” / “We Must Peruvianize Peru,” documents # 1136871, 1136888, 1136855, 1136906, 1140147, 1136839, 1136791, 1136807, 1126774, and 1125511] and also associated with him, historian and anthropologist Luis E. Valcárcel (1891–1987) [see his “Glosario: la antehistoria de la raza,” document # 1125527]. While both Mariátegui and Valcárcel located the models for the new Peruvian national identity in the pre-Hispanic, Incaic indigenous past, Uriel García advocates for the model of mestizaje that is based on the mixing of biological, social, and cultural factors.

Uriel García was a Cuzco-born historian and sociologist, and one of the first Peruvian scholars to seriously examine Incaic architecture and art in the Cuzco region. [Arte incaico en el Cuzco (Cuzco: Imp. Minauro, 1911), La ciudad de los Incas: Estudios arqueológicos (Cuzco: Imp. H. G. Rozas, 1922).] Throughout his career, he held various academic appointments at the Universidad Nacional del Cuzco and the Universidad Mayor Nacional de San Marcos in Lima. In the 1940s, he was also a senator from the Department of Cuzco to the Peruvian National Congress.


Dorota Biczel
International Center for the Arts of the Americas, MFAH, Houston, USA
Courtesy of Uriel García Cáceres, Lima, Perú