Land and Water Management in Andagua Valley, Peruvian Andes

Authors: Blaise Murphy*, Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Texas at Austin, Alexander Menaker, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Land Use, Latin America
Keywords: Andes, agricultural soil, land management,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Buchanan, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The agro-pastoral community of Andagua, located in the southern Peruvian Andean highlands, has navigated the increasingly globalized world through adaptation to changing state policies and by use of natural, cultural and infrastructural resources. Interdisciplinary research, involving archaeological, historical, ethnographic and soil studies provide foundational insight into land and water management in the Andagua Valley. Composed of a unique volcanic landscape, Andagua has a deep occupational history with millennia of habitation prior to Inka and Spanish imperial reigns manifest in a complex patchwork of agricultural construction, maintenance and rehabilitation. Soil analysis results imply that cultivation across the Andagua Valley is enabled by productive soil properties that are not dramatically diminished by abandonment. Local populations dynamic relationships’ with the landscape in non-state and state contexts is evident in the rehabilitation of the agricultural infrastructure of pre-Hispanic occupations of Paccareta and Tauca during the twentieth-century. Rather than land-ownership forcibly and unevenly restructured by the government during the Agrarian Reform, the agropastoral smallholders were able to put land back into use through community organization. As such, the dynamic patterns of cultivation on the landscape is made possible through the natural fertility of the soil articulated with specific local, regional and global cultural and historical circumstances and practices.

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