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Politics of Conservation and Consumption: The Vicuna Trade in Peru


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POLITICS OF CONSERVAT ION AND CONSUMPTION: THE VICUA TRADE IN PERU By AMY ELIZABETH COX A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

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ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This study was made possible through grants from Tinker Foundation and the Polly and Paul Doughty Latin America Research Grant. I would like to give my thanks and gratitude to Grupo Inca and its employees the officers of CONACS, and especially the members of Sociedad Nacional de la Vi cua. Without their assistance, candor and trust I would not have had the opportunities and experiences th at they so willingly invited me to share with them. I would also like to thank the directors of Conatura, Jorge Torres and Dr. Catherine Sahley, who helped plan and execute this study. Without their insights and contacts it would have been difficult to conduct this rese arch. I am eternally grateful to them. I should also thank Dr. Marianne Schmink who gave me Dr. Sahleys email address and started this entir e endeavor. Many thanks go to fellow vicua researcher Jennifer Davies, who helped with this projec t on so many levels. I would like to thank Dr. Allan F. Burns, Dr. Anthony R. Oliver-Smith and Dr. Glenn G. Willumson who provided intellect and encouragement, and tempered my frustrations and confusions with kind words and support. I would also like to thank my Dad who actually read the entire rough draft, provided useful editorial comments, and helped me with my calculations. Never has there been a more productive spring brea k. Finally, eternal appreciation and thanks go to my Mom who manages to support me through everything.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS..................................................................................................ii LIST OF TABLES...............................................................................................................v LIST OF FIGURES...........................................................................................................vi ABSTRACT......................................................................................................................vii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................1 Research Question...................................................................................................1 Methods and Timeline.............................................................................................8 2 HISTORY AND BACKGROUND.......................................................................17 A History of Conservation.....................................................................................17 Conservation Today...............................................................................................21 Property Rights and Concepts of Wilderness........................................................23 Tradition, Chaku and Environmentalism...............................................................26 3 COMMODITY CHAIN OF VICUA MANUFACTURING..............................34 Vicua to Market...................................................................................................34 SNV vs. Almar.......................................................................................................39 IVC.........................................................................................................................41 Costs and Profits....................................................................................................45 4 THE GLOBAL MARKET AND ITS EFFECTS ON LOCAL COMMUNITY......................................................................................................52 Market Participation and its Effects Locally.........................................................54 Community Reflections.........................................................................................61 Tambo Caahuas, Department of Arequipa...................................................61 Ondores, Department of Junin and Rancas, Department of Cerro de Pasco..63 Lucanas, Department of Ayacucho.................................................................67 Memory and Power................................................................................................71 iii

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5 CONSUMING IDENTITIES.................................................................................75 Creating the Neo-Indigenous Identity....................................................................79 Invoking Inca.........................................................................................................87 6 CONCLUSION......................................................................................................93 REFERENCES................................................................................................................100 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................105 iv

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Change in population for selected departments...........................................................20 2-2 Vicua timeline............................................................................................................20 3-1 Price of vicua fiber per kilogram 1994-2002.............................................................37 3-2 Commodity chain of vicua........................................................................................40 3-3 2002 Financing of SNV and Almar, price per kilogram.............................................41 3-4 Sales 2001....................................................................................................................43 3-5 IVC consumption, 2001...............................................................................................43 3-6 Production and waste for vicua processing...............................................................46 3-7 Percentage waste and end purchase price per kilogram..............................................47 3-8 Raw material cost ($385/kg) vs. retail price................................................................48 3-9 Purchase price vs. retail price......................................................................................48 v

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Chaku I........................................................................................................................30 2-2 Chaku II.......................................................................................................................31 2-3 Vicua..........................................................................................................................32 2-4 Peruvian crest..............................................................................................................32 5-1 Front Cover of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.........................................................81 5-2 Page one and two of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet................................................82 5-3 Page three and four of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.............................................83 5-4 Page five and six of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.................................................84 5-5 Page seven and eight of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet...........................................84 5-6 Page nine and ten of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet................................................85 5-7 Last Page of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.............................................................86 vi

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts POLITICS OF CONSUMPTION AND CONSERVATION: THE VICUA TRADE IN PERU By Amy Elizabeth Cox August 2003 Chair: Allan F. Burns Major Department: Anthropology During the Incaic period it is estimated that between 1.5 and 2 million vicua roamed the Andes. However with the arrival of the Spanish colonists those numbers rapidly began to decline and the vicua has been threatened with extinction since the Spanish arrived in the New World. In the latter half of the twentieth century the vicua population began to recover. Today there are approximately 130,000 vicuas living in the Peruvian highlands. This study focuses on how the trade of the vicua, a wild, endangered and heavily protected species, is affecting local communities. With the reintroduction of the historic Incan ritual, the chaku, the government has worked for 10 years with Andean communities implementing this conservation program. As a result, ritual, history and identity are being re-invented and re-imagined in order to gain access and usufruct rights over the valuable resource. I examine three interrelated questions surrounding the vii

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commercialization and trade of the vicua. How does consumption and production of the vicua shape cultural meaning of the resource and identity of those working with the animal? How is the chaku as a method for conservation being conceptualized and actualized locally? Finally, through an investigation of the vicua commodity chain, I ask the question, can the vicua deliver on its promise to bring economic prosperity to communities? Indigenous identity and history are being promoted not only as a way to market the vicua internationally but also as a way to encourage communities to perform the chaku ritual. In order to give usufruct rights to Andean communities, conflicting concepts of tradition and rights related to identity and history are deployed. Initial observations show that communities are active and dynamic in reshaping the Incan chaku ritual with respect to defining the space and meaning it will hold in their local economic and social structures. As consequence, however, there is much miscommunication and debate between those who have implemented the chaku and those who are subjects of that implementation. Lastly, it is doubtful that the vicua can deliver on its promise to bring wealth to all the communities. Rather, a few communities that have large populations of vicua will and are experiencing success, but the majority of the communities are not. viii

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Fugitive vicuas of winged lightness Toward the snow they run to reflect their shadows As if they were lead by instincts of purity They are, by heraldic sign, made for heights To melancholys and serenities They love the cold peaks, they love the cold snow They love distance, they love solitude The vicuas are not princesses or vestals That in the pythagorism of reincarnations In their sticks maintain priestly fires Or ruminate dances and songs of melancholy Polished and serene, romantic and slight In a gallop full of agility and grace Running out towards the calmness of the perpetual snows Seek shelter in the peaks, their aristocratic shearing -Jose Santos Chocano (original in Spanish, my translation) Research Question During the Incaic period it is estimated that 2 million vicua roamed the Andes (National Organization of South American Camelids CONACS 1997). However with the arrival of the Spanish colonists those numbers rapidly began to decline and the vicua has been threatened with extinction since the Spanish arrived in the New World. In the latter half of the twentieth century, however, the vicua population began to recover. Today there are approximately 130,000 vicuas living in the Peruvian highlands (CONACS 2002). 1

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2 Vicua fiber is the finest that can be woven and its preciousness has contributed to the poaching of the animal. In 1995 the endangered species status of the vicua was changed so that Peru could export and sell the fiber. The motto became a vicua sheared is a vicua saved (Amy Cox interview with CONACS, 5/16/02 Lima, Peru). It was argued that through commercialization the species would be best conserved. Peruvian officials also believed that the vicua resource was economically exploitable for its high value of fiber, and could be a mechanism and new source of income by which to improve the quality of life for Andean communities. The communities were given sole exclusive rights to the fiber as a way creating a new source of income and preserving the animal. I argue that while the program was developed to integrate communities into the national economy and improve communal well being, the promotion and sustainability of the vicua resource as a commercial endeavor requires indigenous history, heritage and the highlanders themselves. With the reintroduction of the historic Incan ritual, the chaku, the government has worked for 10 years with Andean communities implementing this conservation program. The chaku, first described in 1586 by Diego Cabeza de Vaca (Portus 1994:22), is a round up of the animals for shearing. During todays chaku ceremony people climb into the hills, hold long strings of flags, which form a human chain/net and round up the wild vicua for shearing. Once the shearing is complete, the animals are released alive back into nature. The chaku ritual, as well as other aspects of indigenous Peruvian heritage, is being commodified, re-invented, and re-imagined, in order to create a new source of income as well as to gain access and exclusive rights over the valuable resource. Vicua

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3 management embodies the articulation of power over an endangered natural resource and cultural symbol. The intention of this study is to look at the international trade of vicua fiber as a way of investigating questions of globalization, development, and identity. By focusing on what I view to be a dense symbol of wealth, history, and culture, the vicua, I research the socioeconomic effects international trade has on rural communities. I explore how meaning and cultural values change at different phases in the commodification of this natural resource. In addition, I look at how an ancient Incan ritual and constructions of indigenous identity are being modified and manipulated to suit the needs of the community, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other international entities. My study has three questions, two of which stemmed from the needs of the National Society of the Vicua, (SNV). One of the needs outlined in the action plan of the SNV was to explore new markets. In order to accomplish this the SNV outlined several needs areas, two of which were 1) a need for the aggregated worth of the fiber and 2) a need to understand the promotion and production process of the vicua on the national and international level (Sociedad Nacional de la Vicua SNV 2002:Appendix 3). I examine three interrelated questions surrounding the commercialization and trade of the vicua. 1) How does consumption and production of vicua fiber shape identity as well as cultural meaning of the resource? 2) How is the chaku as a method for conservation being conceptualized and actualized locally? 3) Is the vicua delivering on its promise to economically develop communities?

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4 I trace out the commodity chain driving an increase in shearing of the vicua in order to understand how economic value and cultural meaning shift in the stages of commodification and production. I research the raw material extraction, the manufacturing process, and the final production and consumption of the product. My central concern is to look at how each part relates to one another forming the links that make up the commodity chain. One of the goals of the SNV was to learn more about vicua fiber processing to be able to better manage the vicua resource. While my investigation satisfied their need I also simultaneously investigated the purported economic benefits of the program. I focus on two aspects of promotion: use of Incan history both for exclusive access to animals and for marketing to elite consumers. Indigenous identity and Incan history are the cornerstone for the promotion of the final product as well as for the chaku. I make clear that all parties are active in this process of using history for political and economic advancement. The result is the commodification of culture and history and a perpetuation of socio-biological claims about the naturalness of indigenous people. The vicua fiber is sheared using the historic chaku ritual. In Chapter 4 I compare three chakus in terms of their production capacity and their elaborateness of Incan ritual. I argue that the two are related. That is, the greater the number of vicua, the greater Incaness is displayed, and the greater commodification of culture occurs. Supporting examples of this are the introduction of religious ritual, dance, Incan performance and ceremony, and development of eco-tourism operations as a way of buttressing and expanding economic opportunities from vicua shearing. Culture does not just represent society; it also fulfills, within the context of the requirements of the production of meaning, the functions of reelaborating social

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5 structures and inventing new ones. In addition to representing relations of production, it contributes to their reproduction, transformation, and invention. (Garcia-Canclini 1993:10, italics in original) The chaku ritual is being manipulated so that it can eventually become a tourist attraction. This ritual is continuously changing as people see ways to better promote heritage, the vicua, and develop a new source of income. History, heritage and identity are based on todays globalized world and its needs. How the public views what is indigenous influences the outcome of the historic ritual. I do not argue that the ritual is inauthentic or that the rural people do not have a different cosmovision. I argue that authenticity and tradition are terms that ignore dynamism and we cannot continue to use them. New authenticities are being created from what we think should be authentic Inca and indigenous. Objects represent a way of appropriating and preserving symbols of identity(Garcia-Canclini 1993:34). Because the vicua is a symbol steeped in history and part of Peruvian culture, studying how the symbol is used sheds light on how globalization is affecting Peruvian identity. Identity, ritual and heritage are constructs developed from todays history. It is not that globalization is the ultimate homogenizer. Rather, it is currently the ultimate creator of nationalism, specialized identities, and otherness. In Chapter 5 I examine the promotional pamphlets and marketing philosophy of Grupo Inca, one of the three companies that have been given exclusive rights to manufacture vicua fiber. Besides portraying current indigenous Peruvians as remnants of the past, Grupo Inca seeks to capitalize on Peruvian history in order to promote consumption. In its pamphlet Grupo Inca states: The hair of the vicua, the finest in the world was reserved in the time of the Inca for only the emperor and his nobility. Presently vicua fiber is obtained through

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6 an ancient Inca tradition called the chaku which consists of using a large human chain to capture the animals and herd them into a corral where they are shorn and then liberated back into the wild, converting this magical ritual into a colorful party. (Grupo Inca Marketing Pamphlet 2002) Along with a promotion of the vicua as historic, scarce and elite, the fiber is marketed as a sustainable, ecological and indigenous. This marketing plan of conservation and nature have elevated the importance of the vicua and created a new indigenous ritual history based on nature, pristine, and Inca. Purchasing these products, you can feel good about your consumerism because you are helping to conserve a species and develop impoverished rural communities I argue that all of this is acting within the sphere of globalization, which requires the exotic, the past, and nature. The promotion of the vicua is based on an alteration of identity and history in relation to contemporary politics. Consumption is a powerful force. It, along with the very real hope of hitting a gold mine, are serving to create new notions of indigenous belief and history. At issue are concepts that cannot be easily defined: What is natural? What is wild? How do we define property? How do we view indigenous peoples not only in Peru but internationally? And finally, how does our consumerism serve to commodify culture and nature? In Chapter 3 I calculate the aggregate worth of the fiber and quantify the economic costs and benefits of vicua manufacturing. For example, a vicua scarf costs $400-$1000 USD. 1 Through my research, I calculate that a vicua scarf produced $53,865.00 of income for the Peruvian manufacturing plant and $28,702 for the Andean communities. However, only 20% of the vicua fiber is finished in Peru. The remainder 1 all monetary values in U.S. dollars.

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7 is finished and sold overseas. Furthermore most of the fiber has been stockpiled as evidenced in the small number of scarves sold and produced vs. the amount of fiber purchased. I conclude that the monetary benefit for the communities stemming from the sale of the vicua varies by community with the majority of communities not seeing any substantial monetary benefit. However, the communities with the highest concentration of vicua will and are benefiting greatly. The last issue I investigate was not one I had anticipated, but one that merits attention and thought. The entire conservation program of the vicua hinges on Peruvian law giving usufruct rights of the fiber to the communities. The communities are given the right to shear the animal in exchange for community protection of the vicua living on their communal land. Underlying this action is the belief that if given rights to the resource, poaching would cease. These rights, however, were not clearly defined and an ongoing struggle over access to the resource has ensued. In Chapter 2, I begin to explore how usufruct is conceptualized and the problems created because of this law. The chaku, a dynamic ritual system that was newly introduced to the communities, came to be a crucial component in my analysis of how tradition, belief, and power are altered. My original hypothesis asserted that as the community becomes more involved in the international market, the monetary and cultural value of the vicua will become stronger while class divisions will become greater. While it is difficult to assess causal relationships stemming from the vicua, my observations show that new hierarchies have been created and indigenous identities are being manipulated by the state, local and corporate levels to gain socioeconomic and political leverage. The process is not a top-down domineering imposition. The local communities have very different perceptions,

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8 problems, and projections for the vicua. This is clearly manifested in the differences exemplified in the chaku ritual and beliefs of each community. Methods and Timeline I operationalize my three research questions through the exploration of the commodity chain. This research is somewhat different than classic anthropological research because of the nature of the study. Instead of conducting all my fieldwork in one community, my research required that I follow the production and consumption of vicua products. Consequently, I spent a lot of time in urban centers like Arequipa and Lima, researching the main manufacturing plant, working with the Peruvian government, community organizations, and other private companies. I also had to change my community visits several times for a variety of reasons. In the end I worked in three communities Rancas in Cerro de Pasco, Pampa Galeras in Ayacucho and Tambo Caahuas in Arequipa. I also visited a research station outside of Cuzco and had plans to visit another community in that department but due to a freeze that occurred, the visit was canceled. My methods included participant observation, open-ended interviews, and simple random surveys of community members. In the workshops sponsored by Conatura, a NGO located in Arequipa, Peru, I passed out questionnaires and conducted shorter informal interviews. I also used data from published materials and interviews to quantify the aggregate worth of the fiber and the profits and costs of the vicua production. Lastly I collected and analyzed visual material culture, such as promotional pamphlets, posters, photographs and marketing materials.

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9 I visited four communities in four different departments, one research station outside of Cuzco, participated in two chakus, and interviewed leaders of the SNV, Almar, Conatura, National Organization of South American Camelids (CONACS), National Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (INRENA) and Grupo Inca. In addition I worked with Conatura in two community planning workshops and attended several government meetings, local community congresses, and community meetings. I began my study in Lima, Peru on May 12, 2002. Conatura had assisted me with the initial proposal and helped me set up contacts and community visits. Because Arequipa is located about twelve hours from Lima, I needed to contact the Lima organizations first. I called the SNV and CONACS and set up interviews. These interviews were the first of many and the discussions allowed me to get an overview of the stakeholders and as well as organize crucial community visits. The SNV and CONACS helped me gain entry into several communities and without their cooperation, this study would have been difficult, if not impossible, to execute. During this week I also met with the director of Conatura to organize my site visits and workshops for the following weeks in Arequipa. Lastly, I visited the exclusive retail shop, Alpaca III, which sells vicua products in the LarcoMar shopping center. At this shop I had the great fortune of getting the contact information for the only Peruvian factory that is permitted to work with vicua fiber, Grupo Inca. I contacted them while in Lima and they agreed to meet with me the following week in Arequipa. Gilberto was my contact at Grupo Inca and was open and candid about the vicua production process. 2 He gave me a tour of the factory and introduced me to key players in the vicua production 2 Names are changed, unless last name included.

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10 process whom I later interviewed. I returned to the factory several times and Gilbertos kindness, frankness and availability, helped me to gain more insight into the process and understand how Grupo Inca viewed the vicua in its overall business plan. I had initial plans to visit a community in the department of Junin before departing to Arequipa, but the chaku was canceled. 3 This would become a common occurrence and hindrance for not only my study but for the SNV. Instead, I flew to Arequipa where I began my work with Conatura. They had facilitated my initial meeting with the SNV and had agreed to help me with community visits in the departments of Arequipa and Puno. My first week in Arequipa I participated in a workshop sponsored by Conatura. The two-day workshop was attended by all of the participating communities in the Arequipa department. This session provided me with the opportunity to conduct a survey, interview community leaders, and participate in discussions about community needs and problems. It also helped strengthen my relationship with the SNV and Conatura. With the assistance of Conatura I had originally planned to visit two communities in the Arequipa region, Salinas and Pampa Caahuas, and Picotani in the department of 3 Throughout the summer several obstacles presented themselves. The community I was scheduled to visit in Arequipa decided at the last minute that they did not want Conatura to conduct the scheduled fiveday workshop. Without the assistance of Conatura I was also unable to visit the community. The two site visits I had scheduled in Cuzco were canceled because Peru was experiencing a severe freeze and shearing of the vicua was canceled for fear that this would endanger the animals. My rescheduled visit to a community in the department of Junin was also canceled because the corral holding the animals broke and all of the vicuna escaped. Lastly, two community visits were shortened because of national strikes and riots. These experiences, while extraordinarily frustrating, also served to shed light on the instability of Peru and the difficulty of planning and promoting the chaku as a development alternative.

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11 Puno. However, due to a conflict between Conatura and the community the Salinas visit was postponed and I was not able to attend. The Picotani visit was canceled due to conflicting schedules and reports of dangerous travel in Juliaca, the larger town on the way to Picotani. 4 Consequently I only visited one community with Conatura, Pampa Caahuas, which is an annex of four smaller communities. I visited Pampa Caahuas with Conatura and participated in a community workshop and strategic vicua management planning session. Following this, I interviewed the managers at Grupo Inca. I was given a factory tour and initially they were quite open and willing to discuss manufacturing, marketing and their business plans with me. However, as my search for more sensitive information increased, their reluctance did as well. I interviewed the production manager, two textile engineers, and the Director of Retail Sales and Marketing. I attempted to interview the other major knitwear factory of Peru, Mitchell Company, (they were denied the opportunity to export vicua), but was refused an interview. From Arequipa I returned north where the SNV had agreed to take me to several different communities to participate in local congresses, meetings and chakus. 5 First, I 4 Communities can be very fickle and in this particular instance two NGOs were vying for the exclusive right to work the community. Conatura had this workshop planned for several months but ARACUARIA, a Spanish NGO, had told the communities that if they worked with Conatura they could not work with ARACUARIA. Competition for community access continues to be a problem. 5 I had difficulties getting to and staying in communities. Because I had no reliable transportation, I had to rely on the SNV, Conatura or CONACS to take me to sites. In addition I needed them to help me enter these communities that would otherwise not necessarily welcome an outside researcher. While I visited several different types of communities I was unable to stay as long as I had originally planned, due not only to the time constraint of the summer, but also due to transportation and planning. Consequently

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12 visited Ondores in the department of Junin and then went on to visit Rancas in the department of Cerro de Pasco. In Ondores I participated in a local congressional meaning and monthly planning meeting. There was also a forum for discussing the problems the community had experienced with the SNV and with Almar. Almar is a company named after Alfonso Martinez, a lawyer from Lucanas, Ayacucho. Martinez has been a key player in the development of the chaku program and in the promotion and production of vicua fiber as a method for increasing community income. The meeting in Ondores stemmed from the fact that Almar was competing for rights to shear the vicua fiber of several communities, offering better prices and plans than the SNV. Almar was targeting several of the major producers of fiber and threatening the stability and longevity of the SNV. The SNV believed that Almar was spreading rumors about them and the SNV had gone to Ondores in order to clarify and quell those rumors. Martinez was supposed to attend the meeting but failed to show up. This raised the ire of the SNV because they felt that they could not quell the rumors without speaking to him face to face in front of the entire community. In Rancas, Cerro de Pasco I participated in my first chaku. This was also my third community visit. What I had begun to see was that while there were similarities between sites, there was much discontinuity. What was true in one community was not always true in another community. Not only was there discontinuity in the way the historic ritual was conducted, but also in terms of the presence of social capital, infrastructure, I was unable to research much of what was originally scheduled. On the other hand, I sat in on meetings and met people who I had not originally planned for either.

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13 leadership, organization, and financial well-being. My idea of a unified rural population and community structure was exploded. Following this visit I returned to Lima and attended meetings with the SNV and CONACS learning more about the SNVs battle to maintain exclusive selling and shearing rights. The problems with Almar continued to be a thorn in the SNVs side and they were at constant battle with this phantasm. Accompanied by the SNV I went to the department of Ayacucho to visit the town of Lucanas, the biggest producer of vicua fiber. Lucanas is the site where it all began. Here in the late 70s a German NGO began a program to repopulate the vicua. This is also the home of the first leaders of the SNV and CONACS. This visit turned out to be pivotal. During the Festival of Cheese and Vicua, dignitaries, tourists, and government officials had come to participate in the famous Incan chaku ritual. Creating the chaku, totally different from the one I saw in Rancas, into a national event, people from all over Peru came to participate and witness the shearing of the vicua. Here I met Alfonso Martinez, the first president of CONACS and owner/founder of Almar. He introduced me to several of his friends and the first President of the SNV. The dialogues started to shift as new perspectives, politics and agendas came into play. I felt as if I was in a novel and the plot was thickening. Returning to Lima I followed up on my new contacts and conducted several formal interviews before heading off to Junin again. I was scheduled to visit the community of Cachi Cachi and see another chaku. Leaving Lima I was robbed while sitting in traffic and worse, the visit to Cachi Cachi in Junin never happened because the fence surrounding the vicua broke and all of the vicua escaped, resulting in no chaku

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14 for me to visit. At this point I had four community visits in four different departments. My last community visit was in the department of Cuzco. I flew to Cuzco, took a course in Quechua and continued to research. In Cuzco, a totally different angle was spun and a politic that was separated from the vested interests of Lima was displayed. Unfortunately my Cuzco visits were canceled because of the immense freeze that Peru experienced, ultimately leading to a state of emergency and national campaign to send blankets and aid to the farmers and herders living in the high plains. No shearing of vicua would be conducted during this time. Nonetheless I was able research in the university library and met three anthropologists who would help me greatly with literature and years of experience: Dr. Jorge Flores Ochoa, Dr. Carmen Escalante, and Dr. Ricardo Valderrama. After a few weeks of waiting and after the freeze let up, I participated in the Department of Cuzcos Congress for Vicua and met the Cuzco and Apurimac CONACS workers. While I never made it to Quispicanchis in Cuzco, I did visit La Raya, a university field research site that works with alpaca, llama, vicua, cattle, and sheep. I also attended a festival in Sicuani where community members brought and showed their animals. La Raya is dedicated to answering biological questions of territoriality, family make-up, illness, and issues of fertility with the captured vicua. They have extensive research facilities and are associated with the university in Cuzco. La Raya also performs chakus and has benefited monetarily from the sale of the fiber. Their chaku ritual, as told by my guide, was nothing like the one in Lucanas, but was similar to the chaku of Rancas.

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15 Out of all the research conducted I am most disappointed with the absence of community visit in the Cuzco department. Cuzco communities are more isolated and separated from the politics of Lima and Arequipa. Moreover Quechua is spoken without shame in front of foreigners. This study would be improved with the experience of another chaku in the department of Cuzco. It is difficult to capture and set down on paper the feeling of dynamism that life, projects and politics take on. A good example of this is that while in Peru the United States lifted the ban on the importation of vicua products. Witnessing how everyone reacted to this policy change helped me to see the power the U.S. has in the creation of policy and ideology in other countries. However, I left during the development and opening of this new market. Being away from Peru and from contacts has left a void in this new development in the ongoing evolution of vicua management. What lies ahead is unpredictable but watching it develop should prove interesting. The conclusions of this research are not new. Rather this is a case study supporting the work of many anthropologists who have looked at international trade and the commodification of culture. Peru has been part of the globalized economy and trade for over six centuries (Wolf 1982). It is characteristic of the Andean area that the coast, the piedmont, the altiplano highlands, and the tundra steppe (puna) afford very different environments and resources, and hence require and enable different human activities (Wolf 1982:59). Trade between those areas was critical for survival and the Inca flourished by trading through these areas. More recent, Peru followed another export boom in the guano trade in the 1800s and in the1900s wool was exported in mass quantities. Copper, silver and other minerals continue to be a part the Andean export

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16 economy. The vicua trade is simply another iteration of adaptability to a flexible trade economy. My goal is that this research and observation provide insight into the way that local communities participate in the global marketplace and explain how they mobilize conventions of cooperative work and resource management to engage international markets. Curiously, knowing how important indigenous heritage is to the sustainability of the vicua resource and its retail success may help empower the communities to take control over the portrayal and use of their history, heritage, ritual and identity. This, in turn, will allow them to actively engage in the development of their future.

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CHAPTER 2 HISTORY AND BACKGROUND Quechua Myth The gods had mercy on men And decided to people the earth By alpaca and llamas By vicua and guanacos They emerged from the wells From the pacarinas and the fountains They offered their meat, their hide, and their blood Thoughtful man in the darkness That day they will be treated well (In Silva 1994, my translation) Qolla Myth Apullarghagua had a beautiful daughter named Qhori Chaska. All the young men of the region wanted her, but their parents did not accept any of them. One day when the Inca arrived in the village to govern, knowing of the young girl, he wanted to meet her, but her parents, to prevent this from happening, transformed the young girl into a vicua. Nonetheless, in his dreams the Inca saw her as she was described to him. Sick and sad because of this, his servants brought to him the aforementioned vicua. Healed by contemplating the greatness of the animal, he ordered that she be released in a prairie where he visited her every day. His wife, with jealous rage, killed the animal and ordered a dress made with its skin. When the Inca found out about this, he prohibited all women from wearing the vicua skin. (In Brack 1987 and reiterated in interview with Alfonso Martinez, 6/28/02, my translation) A History of Conservation In 1553, a Spanish chronicler, Pedro Cieza de Leon described the following: Before the Spaniards took this kingdom, there was all around these lands and open fields great quantity of sheep of those lands, and greater number of guanacos and vicuas, but with the quickness that the Spaniards took to kill them, so few remain that there are almost none. (Ochoa 1994:30, my translation) 17

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18 The vicua resides in the puna, or high treeless pampa plateau in the Andes Mountains, and grazes in elevations between 4000 and 5000 meters (Wheeler 1997). The puna, or high plateau, is a treeless pampa in the Andes Mountains. The vicua is the smallest member of the camelid family and its hair is considered the finest in the world (Grewell 2002:2). The fiber of vicua, after natural silk, is the finest fiber the world knows, with an average diameter of 13.2 microns, outdoing the wool of alpaca and cashmere (Brack 1987:7). Others argue that the vicua width is typically between 10 and 11.4 microns, while Cashmere is 15-19 and the Alpaca is 18-22. Duccio Bonavia states that the vicua is the finest wool that can be woven and is the only wild ungulate that develops well in the high plains of the Andes (Bonavia 1996). In general, one vicua every two years produces approximately 200-250 grams of fine fiber. This preciousness has spurred three centuries of use and abuse of the animal. In 1825 Simon Bolivar signed into effect law #135 stating the prohibition of killing the vicua and limiting the shearing to the months of April, May, June and July. A law in 1917 sought to increase the vicua population through a teaching program of caring for the young of the vicua, llama and alpaca. In 1920 and 1926 two laws prohibited the fabrication and exportation of the fiber (Silva 1994). In total between 1786 and 1964 over 40 legal motions were made to protect the vicua and prevent extinction. Most did nothing to protect the animal from near extinction and in 1964 there were approximately 5000 vicua left in Peru (Silva 1994). In 1965 the Peruvian government along with assistance from WWF, UICN, Sociedad Zoologica de Frankfurt and the Belgian government created a 6,500-hectare (16,061.85 acres) reserve in Pampa Galeras,

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19 Ayacucho. Their goal was to protect the vicua and eventually use these animals to repopulate all of the Andes and to create income potential for the communities. The German Society for Technical Cooperation in 1977 stated: The vicuas although not domesticated, form part of the high puna ecosystem. We consider the vicuas for the possibility to use them in benefit for the human populations and for the need to conserve this valuable natural resource. The Rational Utilization Project of the Vicua has the basic objective of repopulating the puna with a native species of grand economic potential and to augment the profitability of the marginal lands of the Andes, through the use of the vicua and other wild fauna species for the benefit of communities and campesina businesses. (Ochoa 1982:22, my translation) Law 17816 in 1969 prohibited the exportation, importation and commerce of vicua fiber and pelt. In 1975 this law was reinforced through the Forest and Wild Fauna Law. Argentina joined the coalition in 1971 as did Chile in 1972 (Rabinovich 1985 in Grewell 2002). The first technical conference for the conservation of the vicua was held in Lima and Nazca in 1971 and included the participation of FAO, OEA, UICN, and WWF. Another conference was held in 1979 for the Conservation and Management of the Vicua. National Parks in both Chile and Peru have successfully protected the vicua. The 2000 census from INRENA reflects this growing cipher and shows that there are approximately 134,000-150,000 vicuas living in Peru. This is about 65 -70% of the worlds total (National Institute of Environment and Natural Resources INRENA 2000). Vicuas were transferred from Pampa Galeras in 1977 to SAIS and then to two cooperatives in Junin. Following that, the vicua was transferred to Arequipa. In 1980 SAIS-Cusco began a project to start a vicua-breeding program (Ochoa 1982).

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20 Table 2-1 Change in population for selected departments. Department 1982 1994 1998* Arequipa 630 2079 3310 Pasco 248 65 Junin 1853 7106 12341 Cusco 956 1849 3306 Puno 8618 16340 Ayacucho 20893 18430 39175 National Total 6781 120210 Source: INRENA 1994 *Estimate The years 1983 to1993 are referred to as the gran matanza or grand killing. In this five year period about half of the vicua were killed because scientific calculations called for an optimal population of vicua per hectare, permitting communities and other members to trim their populations (Amy Cox interview with CONACS 5/16/02 Lima, Peru). Exacerbating this were violent attacks by Shining Path guerrillas on the Pampa Galeras Reserve. They dismantled the posts and the area was abandoned, making it vulnerable to poachers (Lichtenstein et al 2002:3). Table 2-2 Vicua timeline. 1824 Simon Bolivar expresses concern about the vicua and seeks to protect it by enacting laws 1860-70 Vicua enter into danger of extinction 1964 Grand alarm because only 5000 vicua left. University makes program, lots of news about the vicua 1973 Begin practice of using park guards 1977 Culling of vicua occurs. Still no talk of introducing the chaku. 1983-1994 The vicua population grows, but the Shining Path attacks this area and it is estimated that over 50,000 vicuas were killed during this era, due either to their violence or to a massive drought. 1994 Chaku introduced 1995 CITES permits purchase of vicua products. Commercialization to save the vicua. Involve the community, shearing and caring reduces poaching and also improve lives of vicua. Motto a vicua sheared is a vicua saved started. Source: Interview with CONACS 5/16/02, Lichtenstein et al 2002

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21 Conservation Today From the outset the vicua project has been called ideal for what is considered a combined effort of conservation with development motives for the financial betterment of the local communities. A plan that works from a paradigm of natural, tradition, and native has been hailed as innovative because it promotes the use of a natural Andean resource for community development. The first to create a government committee to promote the commercialization of camelid products was Alan Garcia, who in 1985 created the National Institution for the Investigation and Promotion of Agriculture. The organization was not well run however, and several other institutions were subsequently created. Most of these organizations focused on camelids in general or specifically on the alpaca. In 1980 the treaty for the conservation and management of the vicua was approved and then in 1989 the CONACS was created. This legislative declaration, #653, stated that: 1. The state declares the vicua a wild species under protection, prohibiting the exportation of live animals. 2. The activities of management and utilization of the vicua pass to the campesino communities. 3. The use is extensive, making it possible to enjoy the usufruct of the fiber products of live animals. 4. The campesino communities are the possessors of the populations of the vicua of the country, the law confers them the preferential treatment and guarantees the custody and usufruct rights of the vicua. (Marin 1994:33, my translation). In this same decree, the council was given power to dictate policy surrounding the vicua that was not specifically mentioned in the decree. In 1992 Supreme Decree 026 created CONACS with the function of promoting the protection and development on a national level for South American camelids (Marin 1994:34). With the creation of CONACS a national program of management and shearing was implemented.

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22 The motto of CONACS during the 1990s was a vicua sheared, is a vicua saved. It was believed that if the community profited from the sale of the vicua fiber, then the community would be more encouraged to help protect and manage the vicua and therefore less likely to poach the animal. While poaching remains one of the biggest risks for the vicua population, communities have begun to see that working with these animals can be a new source of income. In addition new and more potent laws have discouraged poaching. Up until 1995 the vicua was listed as level one on the endangered species list meaning that any part of the vicua could not be exported. In October of 1995 a petition from the International Vicua Consortium (IVC) was submitted requesting that the vicua be removed from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) list. Eighty-five comments were received during the public comment period. One comment from Loro Piana, one of the business members in the IVC argued that strong economic incentive, through an open international market, would increase sustainable management of the vicua. However, there were also many comments from stakeholders who did not support the harvest of fiber from captured animals. For Peru many of the negative comments were related to the perceived detrimental competition from domestic livestock and limits on watershed. The CITES status of the vicua was changed and downlisted to an appendix level two species. The vicua could be sheared and its fiber sold and exported. The U.S. was the only market that continued to refuse importation rights and until June of 2002 it was illegal to import products made from vicua into the U.S. The SNV was created in 1995 in order to assist communities in bringing their fiber to market. The commodity chain is

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23 explained in deeper detail in Chapter 3, but essentially CONACS overseas the management of the vicua, the SNV shears the fiber and sells it through their exclusive contract. The company that has received the exclusive rights to manufacture and export the fiber is the IVC, which consists of Loro Piana, Agnona (recently sold), and Grupo Inca. Grupo Inca is located in Arequipa, Peru and Loro Piana and Agnona are located in Italy. Property Rights and Concepts of Wilderness Today the laws surrounding the vicua have entered a period of heightened conflict. In 1991 Supreme Decree 653, which established usufruct rights for the communities and affine organizations was challenged with Decree 26496, which gave rights to private landholders to sell vicua fiber. Prior to this only communities selling through the SNV were allowed to sell the fiber. Usufruct is a Latin word meaning use and fruit. Usufruct rights provide organizations or individuals, in this case the community, an opportunity to take advantage of the fruit of the wild animal. The government gave the communities usufruct rights as a way to circumvent the detrimental poaching that plagued the vicua population. It was reasoned that the communities aided in and were responsible for poaching. If they were given the rights to benefit from the animal, then the poaching would cease. Moreover, since the animals lived on their property, who best to protect them but the community? Usufruct rights were also used as a way to gain access to the international market after CITES had restricted the exportation or sale of vicua fiber. Commercialization was the best protection for the species.

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24 Giving the animal back to the community was considered a sustainable development opportunity. The chaku allowed Peru to capitalize on the resource by arguing that by shearing the animal, the animal would be saved. Markets needed to be open in order to accomplish this. CONACS established a three-prong plan to protect the vicua; 1) The efficient response of the communities in the management of the species; 2) The opening of the legal international market; 3) Legal enforcement against poaching (Agronoticias 1998). This controversial law giving usufruct rights has spawned battles with private owners, non-community members, and businessmen, who while wanting to profit from the sale of vicua fiber, were not explicitly included in the initial plan. How were private landowners supposed to shear the vicua and get their fiber to market? The legal route was not clearly outlined in the original law and a subsequent law, conflicting with the original law, was passed permitting another route for the sale of vicua fiber. This law has permitted organizations like Almar and Tupac Amaru to exist outside of the SNV and promote and manage the vicua in more private terms. Confusing the situation even more, CONACS in 1996 began to sell fences to the communities in order to improve the management of the vicua. Fences were given to the communities in exchange for vicuas; each vicua being valued at approximately $1,000 USD (Lichtenstein et al 2002). The vicuas given to CONACS were then used to repopulate other areas of Peru. Leaving questions of consanguinity and animal territoriality aside, the use of fences as a way to protect and promote the conservation of the vicua has spawned a philosophical change in the perception of the vicua that is irreversible. It has also challenged the notion of usufruct with the notion of ownership.

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25 As the animals, once virtually ignored by most community members, came to occupy a large space of enclosed property requiring watchmen, the perception of wild dissolved into domestic. In Agronoticias, they state that in 1996 107 fences were installed and 128 the following year, making a total of 235 fences, in equal number of communities. On a national scale they want to increase the vicua population to 250,000 heads across Peru, produce 16,000 kg and install 300 sustainable use modules (fences) for 1,000 operating communities (Agronoticias 1998). This large-scale fencing program diluted the idea of wilderness and has further created space for private landowners and ranchers to capture and cultivate their own quarry of animals. After all, if fences are used in communities, why not with individuals whose property lines those same fences? What is wild about fences? If the animal is no longer wild, what is the rationale for giving communities exclusive rights? The communities have come to relate to the vicua in domestic terms. Two brothers, who have worked extensively with the SNV, exemplify this perfectly. In a meeting between the SNV and CONACS right after the notice that the U.S. opened their market to vicua fiber, Carlos and his brother were very concerned. They did not understand that they did not own the animals and that the usufruct status was subject to changes in Peruvian law. Although the lawyer for CONACS explained the concept, they still did not understand. Usufruct, as concept of ownership and care for wild animals, has created confusion and reinforced feelings of being tricked. Later that day at lunch, the lawyer for CONACS felt the people were misled and that people treat them (community members) like children. They lie and make things pretty and are afraid to tell them the

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26 truth because the communities have the power to kill the animals (CONACS and SNV meeting, 6/27/02 Lima, Peru). The communities feel like they own the vicua, but the reality is that they only are allowed access to the fruits of the animal. The vicua is a resource of the state. The vicua belongs to the Peruvian state through the Peruvian legislation. But the resource can be exploited by the communities (Amy Cox interview with CONACS 5/16/02 Lima, Peru). The communities do not own the animals and it is now difficult for CONACS to legislate policy. CONACS is concerned that if the community members believe that they fully own the animals that they will think that they can sell the animal and poaching will rise again. This concept is further muddied when one asks: Why is this not a concern with private ranchers? Why is the animal wild on indigenous land and property on private land? The question of usufruct rights is not a simple dispute with the law. Philosophical questions arise: What is wild? What is natural? Who owns the animal? These concepts have become confused and problematic as community members, governmental organizations and private partnerships see that they can profit from the animal. In addition, as the community members have begun working, caring for, maintaining and guarding the animal, notions of ownership and property have positioned the vicua as something other than a simple wild animal where the community can take advantage of its fruits. The animal has become property and part of the communitys identity. Tradition, Chaku and Environmentalism In a magazine advertisement for the chaku in Ayacucho, the chaku is described as:

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27 The chaku is an ancestral ritual, realized since the epoch of the pre-Inca, in order to round up wild vicua in the zone toward a corral where they are classified and sheared in order to obtain their valuable fiber without endangering the species. (Agrovalle 2002, my translation) CONACS actively promoted the chaku believing that if incentive was given to the communities, poaching would decrease. All people participated in the chaku, making a human circle and closing the circle until capturing them. During the colonial epoch all sense of the chaku was lostThe entire fiber went to the Inca. The fiber has always been important (Amy Cox interview with CONACS 5/16/02 Lima, Peru). There is reverence for the past as the government pushes this lost history on community members. The chaku is promoted as an ancient way of protecting and conserving the species (Marin 1994:32). However, this historic tradition is not in the memory of the community. The community members do not have any recollection of working with the vicua and are adopting this history as it is being promoted. Consequently this ritual is being reinvented, both by CONACS and by herders, as it is refashioned from the past for the present. Each community organizes their own guard for the vicuas and plans for their chaku. Each community has a set date for their chaku, the same as the Inca conducted the chaku (Amy Cox interview with CONACS, 5/16/02 Lima, Peru). The times set for the shearing, while in line with the periods specified by the Inca, are not necessarily the best for the animal. Many biologists argue that the summer months are the worst times to shear due to cold temperatures. In addition, it is so early that pregnant vicua are often undetected and spontaneously abort during the stress of the chaku and shearing. A few others argue that it is precisely shearing that will be the demise of the vicua. Alfonso, the technical director at Grupo Inca stated:

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28 Each time you shear the fiber, the fiber thickens. With the alpaca, you should only shear 3 to 5 times, no more. The alpaca can live to be 25 years old, but at age 14 they (herders) usually kill and eat the alpaca because the animal is no longer producing valuable fiber. The problem with the vicua is that you dont know how many times the fiber has been cut. The ideal would be to shear every 2 years only twice. No more. But what happens? Surely there are vicuas that have been cut every year. Now the fiber is thickening (Amy Cox interview with Grupo Inca. 6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru) Alfonso likens some of the vicua fiber sheared today to cashmere and says: You can buy the bristle of cashmere. You can say that is cashmere but not tell anyone that it is the bristle of cashmere. It is the same with the vicua. Further research disputes the benefits of the chaku. The chaku has also been one of the causes that have helped without a doubt and in an important manner, in the destruction of the native Andean fauna. While this indigenous custom continued to be practiced in the viceroyal times, but without the necessary order like that in the Incaic time, to such an extreme that the chaku was forbidden. (Bonavia 1996) Nonetheless, the SNV and CONACS argue that the main threat to the growth of vicua population is poaching not shearing. Grewell offers another perspective and argues that the threat to the vicua is no longer dwindling population, but rather encroachments on the species habitat (Grewell 2002:19). In an evaluation conducted by INRENA they state that: The census has received the support of the campesino communities, facilitating the identification of the sites and they have contributed and participated in taking the census. The vicua resource is economically exploitable for its high value of fiber, making it a mechanism of integration in the active economy of the country and of the Andean population in order to improve their level of life through direct advantage. The campesino communities, for their ancestral identification with the preservation of the ecosystem and in general for their ideological concept, are more suitable to assume the protection, conservation and management of the vicua. (INRENA 2000:27) This is contradicted by the community members themselves, many of whom stated that they had never imagined working with the vicua. No, we never worked with

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29 the vicua. We hardly knew they were there (Amy Cox interview with community member, 6/8/02 Ondores, Junin). The government and NGOs have a romanticized vision that the communities are linked to the Inca and that environmentalism is embedded in their culture. Watching people toss candy wrappers, and garbage in the pen of the vicua makes one question this assumption. While the herders obviously work in nature, it does not mean that they know how to care and manage a wild animal that they have previously never worked with. The idea that ancient equals natural, authentic and harmless is the main marketing tool for the chaku. NGOs refer back to the Inca, claiming that they knew best, and had lots of vicuas without fences, thus hoping to promote the pristine. CONACS argues that the calendar is set by the Inca and they should stick to it. The SNV argues that the chaku belongs to them and they are the authentic caretakers of the animal. There is a prevalent belief that the chaku is naturally the best technique because old is sacred, and the Incas ways (native) is better for the environment. In a book published by Grupo Inca titled Oro de Los Andes (Gold of the Andes), several photos serve to depict the historicity of the chaku. One shows nude men with bow and arrows chasing what might be a vicua, but the animal looks more like a deer. The Figure is titled Chaco (1582) (Figure 2-1). The other graphic (Figure 2-2) is also titled Chaco, 1779-1789 and is a childlike portrait that shows people constructing a fence around mountains and trees and stabbing the vicua that are inside of the roped in structure.

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30 Figure 2-1 Chaku I. It is unclear in both graphics who the people are, who is hunting and whether or not the animals shown are vicua, guanaco, alpaca or llama. Grupo Inca publishes Oro de los Andes. This book along with several other books and films are part of the holistic marketing plan of the company to become the best and only producer of South American camelid fibers. These drawings serve to legitimize the chaku not only as part of Peruvian heritage but also as naturally good. The book also shows photographs of the vicua as depicted in colonial drawings and as part of the Peruvian shield (Figures 2-3 and 2-4). These serve to legitimize the vicua as part of the cultural heritage of Peru as well as to provide heritage and pedigree for the vicua, thus supporting usufruct law for the communities, which are based on heritage and culture. Ultimately all of this buttresses

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31 the vicua as a treasured product, well deserving of space in fine boutiques, displaying price tags of thousands of dollars. Figure 2-2 Chaku II.

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32 Figure 2-3 Vicua; Figure 2-4 Peruvian crest. Was a gold mine promised? According to CONACS there is land use of 13,800 hectares (34,100.5 acres) in the puna zone. Brack estimates that the carrying capacity in Peru for the vicua population is 3 million. It is believed that the vicua has lower costs and greater benefits than other sources of income like mining. Vicua, although fragile, are very adaptable. In addition, many argue that there are not a lot of other alternatives as the alpaca sales are so low and pastoralists are looking for any option. Some communities have even purchased the fence offered by CONACS without having any vicua. While no projection for consumer capacity for vicua products is known, the vicua does represent an alternative source of income for Peru. The vicua has become a source of indigenous identity and a prospective economic gold mine for the future. This is perpetuated not only by Peruvians, but also by those interested in exoticizing the Andean people and the wildlife. The conflation of monetary value, development and

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33 preservation battle against one another. Can tradition, environmentalism and growth be combined? The answer is really not that it can, but that it must. People in Andean communities are dissatisfied with a life of poverty compared to outsiders. In contrast those in government and business must promote and preserve the rural Andean people, as is, in order to maintain the exotic Incan ancestry. Tradition has to be combined with growth.

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34 CHAPTER 3 COMMODITY CHAIN OF VICUA MANUFACTURING No object, no thing, has being or movement in human society except by the significance men give it. -Marshall Sahlins Vicua to Market The vicua live in the high Andean plains around 3000 to 4000 meters. About 60 to 70 percent of the world s vicua population live in Peru. The remaining 30 to 40 percent live in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. A harsh arid climate, very few animals and plants are capable of living and thriving in this environment. Consequently the vicua have become an idealized resource for the people living in this resource poor area. Several systems of commercialization for the vicua exist: 1) A cooperative of communities comprising the SNV have been give n the rights to shear and sell; 2) private organizations like Almar or Tupac purchase fiber from private owners or communities and assist them in shearing and selling the ra w material to manufacturers; 3) local artisans use the shorter fibers that are useless in mass production to make lesser quality garments; 4) poaching. The vicua fiber of Peru arrive s to market in mainly the first two ways. At every shearing a CONACS officer is present to insure proper care and management of the vicua. CONACS, estab lished in 1992, is an autonomous institution, independent from the ministry of agriculture, and was established to manage the camelid resources of the state. For wild cam elids the role of CONACS is to:

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35 1. Conserve and protect the species 2. Evaluation of the population of the vicua 3. Management and development of the vicua. 4. Instruct, support and organize the communities how to manage resources. 5. Sustainable use of the vicua. (CONACS 2002) CONACS has a direct role in controlling and supervising the management and care of the vicua from the states point of view. They are given this power because the vicua is a national subject. They supervise the chaku because it is part of the management process. In each chaku there is a CONACS member to see how many are animals are sheared, captured, and how much the fiber weighs. They give their certification that the fiber is sheared from live animals but do not have anything to do with the sale. Although some argue that this is a crucial part of the management process and, therefore, they should be more actively involved, CONACS does not want to be involved in monetary issues and disputes (Amy Cox interview with CONACS, 5/16/02 Lima, Peru). The vicua fiber is sheared utilizing a traditional method dating back to the Inca. This method is called the chaku and consists of capturing the wild vicua, shearing them, and then releasing them into the wild. The chaku is conducted with assistance and equipment lent to the community by either the SNV or a private company like Almar. Private entities that have vicua can also shear the fiber but CONACS members are present for this as well. 1 1 That private parties have access to the fiber has caused great conflict and concern that such privatization will encourage domestication of the animal.

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36 The capture is conducted with about 100 to 200 people who hold hands, making a large human chain. The people hold a long plastic rope adorned with colorful flags and gently persuade the vicua into a holding pen. Several communities also use horses to assist in the round up. Recently communities have installed large permanent corrals to make the round up of the animals easier. Consequently the chaku can either be inside the corral or in the open plains without the assistance of a preexisting pen. Capturing vicua inside the pen typically results in a more efficient and more productive capture. Some communities like Ondores, Junin conduct both pen and non-pen chakus. 2 Before the fiber is sheared a ritual is performed. These rituals vary by communities but could be a marriage, a pagapa, or another type of offering. Once the fiber is sheared it is weighed and recorded with the CONACS technician. If the fiber was sheared with the SNV the fiber moves to Nazca, Peru where it is cleaned and bagged. If the fiber was sheared with Almar it goes directly to the buyer, the IVC. Almar has negotiated a contract with the IVC whereby they sell un-cleaned fiber directly to the manufacturer. Both parties have to secure verification from INRENA insuring that the fiber has been legally sheared. A contract is negotiated between the seller, the SNV, and the buyer. A call for bids is sent out and a company wins the rights to be the sole manufacturer of vicua 2 Because the fiber is so valuable, many people would like to exploit this valuable product more efficiently and increase profits. Six months ago, there was much discussion over the implementation of permanent corrals as a way of increasing efficiency and profitability (Sahley et al 2002). This option has been tabled for the time-being and the communities have returned to a more wild animal management policy. The question remains, however, how will use and meaning of the resource change when more and more monetary value can be derived from its sale.

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37 products. In 1994 the fiber was sold for $816.38/kg. The price continued to fluctuate in the following years and a system was developed to improve dependability and stability. Now a price is negotiated with the manufacturer and set for a specified number of years. During the first call for bids the fiber was sold for $358.00/kg. However, during the second solicitation nobody submitted a bid. The SNV became very concerned because they needed to sell the fiber. Because of their lack of financing and organizational instability, they accepted a bid that was lower than desired. Vulnerability has forced the SNV into a position of powerlessness. Table 3-1 Price of vicua fiber per kilogram 1994-2002. Year $/kg 1994 I 816.34 1994-II 425.30 1995 482.38 1998 358.00 1999 358.00 2001 385.00 2002 385.00 Source: SNV data presented at May 2002 workshop When asked why they did not submit a bid, the companies said it was because of the Asian financial crisis. The crisis had a big impact on them because Japan is one of their main clients. The SNV had no choice but to send out another solicitation. They finally negotiated a price of $385/kg. This was satisfactory until one year later they heard that the Chileans sold their fiber for $575/kg. They regretted making the contract and wanted CONACS to assist in renegotiating. The IVC, the consortium that had agreed to purchase the fiber, felt that they had paid market price and negotiated a fair and binding contract. There has been two calls for bids and the IVC has won each time. A third solicitation was conducted in early 2003. The IVC consists of three companies, Incalpaca

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38 of Grupo Inca, Loro Piana and Agnona. The IVC believes that they won the bids because they offer the best marketing package, strongest alliance of manufacturing and the finest manufacturing of natural knit fibers in the world (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto at Grupo Inca 5/22/02 Arequipa, Peru). Besides Chile, Argentina has also opened up their vicua trade and last year also received over $500/kg for the fiber. After the fiber is cleaned approximately 30% is sold directly to Grupo Inca in Arequipa. The other 70% are shipped to the Italian partners of the IVC. Once the fiber arrives to Grupo Inca it is either stored or cleaned again and readied for processing. Typically after cleaning they get about 79-82% of usable fiber. They conduct this part by hand because if do it by machine they only get about 64% (Amy Cox interview with Alberto of Grupo Inca, 5/22/02 Arequipa, Peru). The fiber is then combed, carded, spun, dyed and knit. Most of the vicua products are not dyed and kept in the natural cinnamon color. However, they do offer vicua products in black and navy dyes. Finally the product is finished and packaged. From the vicua fiber they manufacture only shawls, capes, scarves and an occasional blanket. Currently they do not make sweaters but in the future hope to perfect this technology. The highest grossing store in Lima sells about one vicua cape per month and three vicua scarves per month. If other stores sell vicua products it is because Grupo Inca has licensed that store. Grupo Inca is primarily a vendor of alpaca and baby alpaca, but are working with the vicua to complete their image as the only producer of all four South American camelid fibers. They have improved their product immensely to get it to be as soft as it can be. They have an on-line website and sell their wares at their Alpaca III stores much

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39 cheaper than their European counterparts. The scarves made from vicua are packaged in a cedar box, lined with tissue. A decorative metal pin and authentication tag detailing the item number and its legality, are pinned delicately to all products. The end result is elegant, luxurious and treasured. SNV vs. Almar The recent battle in the vicua management struggle has been between the SNV and the corporation Almar. Almar s president and founder is Alfonso Martinez. Martinez was integral in the promotion and protection of the vicua in the early 1990s under President Fujimori and encouraged the creation of CONACS, later becoming its president. Two conflicting laws exist regarding the commercialization of the vicua. One states that the SNV is the exclusive group to manage and sell the fiber to the IVC. Another takes a loophole in the previous law and questions it by stating that private parties and communities can opt to sell their fiber to any organization, not just the SNV. People have to be with SNV to sell their fibers. They made the contract bid and the SNV is the only way communities can sell the fiber, but there are particulars that arent a part of a community. This has brought jealously to the SNV not all are communities. SNV wants to ignore them and say that they do not exist. But the law did not say how they would sell their fiber. (Amy Cox interview with CONACS 5/16/02 Lima, Peru) The threat of Almar has caused the SNV to become very concerned about their place in the vicua business. Part of the problem arises because the SNV has not been able to pay communities on time. The SNV is supposed to pay the communities when they are paid by Grupo Inca. However, due to bureaucracy and inefficiency many communities have not been paid for the previous years fiber production. Moreover there has been much corruption at the hands of past and transient SNV and regional leaders. Consequently the current SNV leaders have to contest with those memories and those

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40 financial deficits. Almar has taken the opportunity to come up with a more efficient and effective purchasing program whereby communities are paid when the fiber is sheared. Table 3-2 Commodity chain of the vicua. Organize chaku between community and CONACS Chaku (shear vicua) Round-up, classify & tag, shear, weigh, bundle Fiber goes to SNV or private company like Almar SNV Almar Weighed, stored and cleaned in Nazca Sold directly without cleaning to IVC Secure INRENA verification Secure INRENA verification Fiber bundled and shipped to IVC GRUPO INCA Cleaning IVC ITALY Fiber shipped in bulk to Loro Piana and Agnona Fiber stored for long periods of time in a locked cabinet Carded, Combed, Dyed, Woven Finished, Packaged Quality Control, Shipping Retail Stores

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41 Almar is able to do this because they have secured financing and a different selling contract from Grupo Inca (Amy Cox interview with A.Martinez 6/28/02 Lima, Peru). Grupo Inca declined to comment about their financing with Almar or with their Italian partners. Almar and businesses like it threaten the SNV because they fear a loss in the control of production, an increase in poaching and illegal commercialization of the fiber, and ultimately a decrease in the prices paid to the communities. The SNV feels that a cooperative system would be the most beneficial for the communities. Table 3-3 2002 Financing of SNV and Almar, price per kilogram.* SNV $ Almar $ SNV arrives in communities and performs chaku. Almar arrives in communities and performs chaku Sells fiber after cleaning Buys Uncleaned fiber Discount 10 % regional assoc. $ 38.50 Discount to SNV 10% $ 38.50 60% to community $226.00 Total to community $308.50 40% to Almar $114.00 Total IVC Purchase $385.00 Total IVC Purchase $340.00 Source: SNV Almar confirms their numbers but disputes the SNVs numbers. IVC The vicua represents less than 0.5 percent of their business. The image of being authorized to work with the finest fiber, one of the two finest in the world, Ahah, is very good. This gives us a lot. It is very important strategically. It is very important. (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto of Grupo Inca, 5/22/02 Lima, Peru) The IVC buys a certain quantity of fiber. When ready, the fiber is processed and sold. In the past, the IVC paid 10% royalties from the sales to the communities. This payment is no longer part of the contract. We are not going to get rich using the vicua. I want to leave that well understood. What we gain is prestige. Do you want a scarf of vicua? I have it. Do you want a scarf of guanaco? I have it. But my business is alpaca. (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto of Grupo Inca, 5/22/02 Lima, Peru)

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42 The entire platform for Group Incas marketing plan is that they are a sustainable company whose communities that provide the raw material, benefit through a unique system of tradition and modernity. One of the conditions of the group is that they cannot damage the environment in any way. To protect the environment is to protect the industry. In their brochure, Grupo Inca states: Promote ancient methods and modern technologies. Peasant communities are well rewarded for the sale of the fiber and receive the necessary financing for the preservation and raising of the vicua. Worked by the hands of the virgins of the sun, the company has grown from working with nature. The directors follow this mission and one of the managers stated: For example, our managers of the business are very preoccupied with providing jobs in Arequipa where the industry is or to the Andean communities where we have our raw material. Thirty years ago, the owners had a very open and modern mind. During an era, which was all exploitation, they began with this mentality. The group began with this philosophy and still today they maintain it. This is one of the reasons the Peruvian government gave them the right to work with the vicua. (Amy Cox interview with Grupo Inca 6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru) After speaking with several communities the biggest complaint, however, was that they were not compensated for their fiber. This does not mean that Grupo Inca did not pay. Grupo Inca paid but either the money vanished, was stolen or was excruciatingly slow in arriving to the communities. Vicua sales are less than 1% of the total sales for Grupo Inca. For 2001 they sold 338 items (Table 3-4). However Grupo Inca only produces 30 percent of the total fiber and the items are sold at significantly lower prices than their Italian partners. One should be wary of extrapolating this number to $2,564,000.00 (to include Italian partners) to obtain the total worlds sales of vicua because the European prices are often three times higher than those provided to me by Grupo Inca. Raw fiber is exported to Italy and only a small portion is processed within Peru. There is a strong and

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43 somewhat complicated relationship between the Italian factories and the Peruvian factory. When asked why the company would opt to export their fiber when they could add value to the fiber here in Peru, the manager thought that either the Italians had better financing or better access to markets. I asked if Grupo Inca was getting kickbacks and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, well I guess that might be possible. Table 3-4 Sales 2001. Item Sold Retail Price Total Male Scarf 225 $ 400 $ 90,000 Female Scarf (wrap) 76 $ 800 $620,800 Blanket 2 $2000 (est) $ 4,000 Cape 34 $1600 $ 54,400 Total 338 $769,200 Source: Grupo Inca, store price reflects Lima retail price. Table 3-5 IVC consumption, 2001. Company % of Total Total Amount Loro Piana 70% 1974 kg Zegna (Agnona) 10% 282 kg Incalpaca 20% 564 kg Total 100% 2820 kg Source: Incalpaca of Grupo Inca Grupo Inca has stored much of the vicua fiber for later production in anticipation of the opening of emerging markets. For the last eleven years the U.S., under CITES, had forbidden vicua imports. 3 According to the textile engineer at Grupo Inca, their biggest customers are the Japanese, but the U.S. offers a profitable market. When the U.S. market opened up in July of 2002, the marketing manager exclaimed that this was the moment they were waiting for. Incalpaca exports 26% finished goods, approximately 290 pieces, 3 When President Bush visited Peru in 2001, the government gave him a present of the Gold of the Andes made by Grupo Inca. This cedar box contains four scarves each one made from a different South American camelid. Gilberto declared: Your President is a contrabandista!

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44 and sells 74% locally, about 810 pieces, through their chain of stores (email communication Grupo Inca 9/14/02). Grupo Inca has a strategic alliance because they are partners with European companies. They formed the IVC because they wanted to insure that they won the solicitation. If all three companies entered, only one company could win, creating unnecessary competition and exclusion. The upper management of Grupo Inca is trained in the Italian factories. The companies normally do not work on the same thing and try to make sure that they do not compete. But, to weave the vicua you need high technical skills. The marketing manager still felt that under my concept, as a Peruvian, it would be good if it all stayed in Peru (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto, 6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru). Alberto, the factory manager, is very proud of the fact that they are one of three companies that can work with vicua. Even that which is made by hand cant compare to what we do. You are buying 100 percent of fiber from a live animal. That is to say that to buy the fiber you are contributing to the protection of this animal for that the major part of the money is going to the highlanders. I dont say that better ways dont exist, but ours, the manner in which we are working the fiber is adequate and sufficient for a quality product. (Amy Cox interview with Alberto, 6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru) The prestige of Grupo Inca and their marketing platform culminates in one of their products, The Gold of the Andes. A customer can purchase four scarves, each made with a different animal fiber llama, alpaca, vicua and guanaco, packaged together in a tissue-lined cedar box. This gives us an image; it gives us the power to negotiate. For us it is very important. In economic terms it isnt, for example a cape of vicua costs in the international market $3000 and we sell it for $1600. We are suppliers of this. In reality there is little profit, very little. There are many more personal gains than

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45 what you get selling it. But for us it is worthwhile because we went the simple act of supplying vicua. (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto 6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru) Costs and Profits Arequipa is a very important economic center of Peru and Grupo Inca is a very important business. Their net sales are 45 million dollars year and they employ more than 1000 people. In the textile group alone they employ around 250 people. Because it is such an important business they have much political power. When asked why they were awarded the right to sell the vicua, the retail manager remarked: They gave us the possibility of working with the vicua because of our philosophy. We have won the public bid two or three times. We have won the right to process the vicua for the next few years and well see what happens in the next bid. We enter equally with others from all over the world. The other companies can win too. (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto 6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru) Grupo Inca has two to three eight-hour shifts each day. During the high season (September, October, November) they hire seasonal workers and have three shifts. In addition, they contract piece workers for other projects to work out of their home. All the workers wear navy blue overcoats and have time cards. They wear badges in order to pass through security to enter the building. Grupo Inca pays their employees about $150-200 USD/month including taxes and health insurance. The workers are mostly young, staying at Grupo Inca for an average of five years. They are permitted to employ workers aged 15 to18 because the workers formed a labor union, and fought so that they can work if they are under 18. If a worker is under 18 they can work two to three hours per day but are paid the same per hour as the other employees.

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46 I visited one out of Grupo Incas three factories. The factory is extremely clean, which is not uncommon for knit manufacturers. The factory floor is cleaned three times a day and is spacious. At any given moment the managers know exactly what they produce and everything is controlled through mechanization and computers. Each product comes with a special printed tag so that the manager knows where and what is being processed. We not only invest in human capital, which is our principal investment, but we invest a lot in technology. You are going to see now and going to know the plant and we are very very avant garde. Grupo Inca is not the biggest but they are the best. There is not enough fiber to grow (the company) more. (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto 5/22/02 Arequipa, Peru) Grupo Inca processes vicua one to three times per year. The total process, from start to finish, takes approximately fourteen days. The textile engineer at Grupo Inca provided me with the following timetable and waste calculation: Table 3-6 Production and waste for vicua processing. 160kg dirty fiber 70kg cleaned 56 kg washed (1 day) 47.2 kg yarn (2 days) 46.8 kg crude fabric (2 days) 42.1 kg final fabric Source: Grupo Inca I tried to verify these numbers to see if the numbers were accurate and received the following reply from an U.S. garment company: With regard to loss in knitting and finishing, I am not sure what percentage, if any, should be applied. I imagine it would depend on whether the fabric is washed and tumble dried and what the shrinkage rate is. Your question is actually really complicated and essentially almost impossible to figure out without some textile engineering. It isnt straight match because it has to do with how tightly or loosely the knitting is done. However, you know the weight of the scarf so you could basically assume the weight of the scarf is the same weight of fiber +5-6% for waste. That may be a little high but should cover whatever issues. The only other determinate would be if there is any finish added to the fiber or knitted

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47 material. This would also add a little weight but fairly minimal. (email communication 9/7/02) The real difficulty in calculating cost is that all the waste is recycled so it is almost impossible for an outsider to determine the actual cost and profit of the product. Each garment is made with 70% new and 30% recycled fiber. I do not know if the textile engineers numbers reflect the re-use of fiber and what percentage is actually lost and what percentage is actually recycled. If they do not, and I presume that they do not, then the actual cost will be significantly lower than what I have calculated (looking only at the % waste from post-wash to end result). Another discrepancy is that I have conflicting answers from Grupo Inca with respect to how much waste there is from the dirty to the clean fiber. Albertos numbers show 160 kg down to 70 kg, a loss of 57%. Another contact said that they could get about 80% usable fiber from the dirty fiber, a loss of only 20%. Nonetheless I will use Albertos numbers which will reflect the highest possible cost of the garment: Table 3-7 Percentage waste and end purchase price per kilogram. Dirty Clean Wash Yarn Crude End 160kg 70kg 56kg 47.2kg 46.8kg 42.1kg $385/kg 26% (74% loss) $61,600 per 160kg $61,600 per 42.1kg processed fiber Source: Grupo Inca Sixty-one thousand six hundred dollars divided per 42.1 kg of processed fiber accounts for the material cost and does not include the labor, overhead, profit, shipping and general operating costs that Grupo Inca incurs from processing this fiber. Nonetheless given these numbers, one can calculate the raw material cost per item. Sixty-one thousand six hundred dollars divided by 42,100 grams results in a price of $1.46 per gram. Looking at three items, the womans scarf, mens scarf and the blanket, I calculate

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48 that the actual fiber used by taking the final weight and dividing it by the waste (Table 3-8). Table 3-8 Raw material cost ($385/kg) vs. retail price.* Item Actual fiber used Weight Cost Retail Price Peru Difference Mens Scarf 418.25 gm 110 gm $160.60 $ 400 $239.40 Womans Scarf 760.00 gm 200 gm $292.78 $ 800 $507.22 Blanket 2661.50 gm 700 gm $1022.00 $2000 $978.00 Table 3-9 Purchase price vs. retail price.* Item Total Sold Difference Total Net Profit Grupo Inca Total Income to SNV Mens Scarf 225 $239.40 $53,865.00 $36,135.00 Womans Scarf 76 $507.22 $38,548.72 $22,251.28 Blanket 2 $978.00 $ 1956.00 $ 2044.00 Total $94,369.72 $60,430.28 *Cape not included because weight unknown If in 2001 there was a total of 2820 kg of fiber purchased by the IVC, (see table 3-5) and each animal produces about 200 grams of fiber, it will take four animals to make a womans scarf, two animals to make a mens scarf and thirteen animals to make a blanket. 4 At a total of 2820 kgs of fiber purchased, approximately fourteen thousand one hundred animals were sheared or about 10% of Perus vicua population. Therefore, each pelt is worth about $77.00. Looking at the community of Rancas, they sheared 21.9 kg of fiber is 2002. It took about 150 community members to execute the chaku, plus the CONACS technicians and five SNV employees. About eight hours was spent between arrival, organization, execution of chaku, shearing and weighing. For the 21.9 kg they received, the SNV 4 The back of the vicuna is the only part sheared. The belly, legs and necks are not sheared.

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49 received $8431.50 in payment. The community received $6,679.50 (reflecting SNV price to community of $305.00/kg after discounts). Dividing that number by the amount of workers and hours spent, the hourly wage is $5.56. For the community of Ondores they sheared 95.29 kg of fiber. 5 At a price of $305 per kilogram, they earned $29,063.45. Using the same number of workers and eight-hour day, these community members earned $24.22 per hour. The amount of money to be gained from this resource is unfortunately minimal for most communities. In a survey taken at one of Conaturas capacity building workshops, the communities had anywhere from 0 to 150 vicua. Given this low number and that they can only shear once every two years, this leaves very little fiber to be sheared. If out of 150 vicua they can shear 20% of the animals (between actual capture and if the animals fiber is long enough) that leaves 30 animals sheared. 30 animals with 200 grams of fiber each results in a total of 6 kg sheared for about $1800. The situation is worsened when one looks at all of the kickbacks that are taken out of this and the fact that about half of the communities have never received the money from shearing. The only communities that will make any money are those with significant populations of vicuas; and those are few. Some argue that the resource is free and waiting to be plucked. The rationale is that any income is better than none. Leonidas Gutierrez Hermoza, a university professor in Huancayo, explains this resource does not cost anything to produce and costs very little in exploiting it. They are a key species (Cuzco Congress for Vicua and Guanaco 5 I was not present to verify number of participants.

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50 7/23/02 Cuzco, Peru). This is not exactly true. The labor of the community members should be valued. Moreover, if the community has a fence they also have the cost of the fence to deal with, maintenance and supplying guards for the corrals. Shearing a few vicuas from each community is not going to draw the communities out of poverty. On the contrary it has inspired and taken labor away from other jobs. Because the fiber is reworked and value added, most of the profit goes to the companies and retailers. The SNV hopes that by combining all of the communitys vicua that they will be able to form a political alliance that will help bolster the prices that are paid to each community. It is a difficult and expensive task to include 700 communities into a cohesive unit. If they are not linked, however, the competition between communities will increase and the price will plummet. Those with very few vicua will be left with a resource that is really not worth working with. The SNV hopes to increase profitability with better shearing and management. For example in Picotani, department of Puno, they increased their clean fiber from 68.24 kg to 74.18 kg. The profits could be increased if there were more efficient shearing and control over the process. Another option is to sell dirty fiber to the IVC similar to what Almar has negotiated. Given that the price in the last ten years has decreased from $800 to as low as $358/kg one must ask where about will the price bottom out? Will it go as low as the alpaca? Furthermore, given the nature of the apparel industry, what will happen if the vicua scarf never catches on? Will the treasured aspect of the vicua fade away? Annual production of vicua fiber in Peru is 2000 kilograms. Production of alpaca worldwide is about 5000 tons. Another comparison is that only 8% of fiber textiles

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51 in the world are wool or animal fibers, 52% is cotton. Of this 8-7% about 93% is wool and .001 % is alpaca. The vicua fiber as a real resource on this scale seems minuscule. The managers at Group Inca feel that in relative terms, the alpaca is a fiber that is produced very little, the vicua even less. The production of vicua is for prestige not profit (Amy Cox interview with Alberto and Gilberto 5/22/02 Arequipa, Peru). As far as profits go, the vicua is not making most of the communities wealthy. What it offers for many is the prospect of wealth, a future to be capitalized on either in elite apparel, artesania, or eco-tourism. The vicua embodies hope. Identity is used as a way of realizing this hope. In the next two chapters I look at how identity and heritage are being transformed around the vicua commodity. In Chapter 4 I show how the chaku ritual is changed in order to create and enhance economic opportunities. These changes are mostly based on the interests and desires of outsiders. In Chapter 5 I examine the promotion and marketing of vicua products to end consumers. I conclude that the retail success of vicua products is dependent upon Peruvians indigenous history and current Andean population. Identity is best conceptualized contextually. It is not a stagnant concept nor do people have one singular identity. Rather, identity is part of an ethnoscape, where definitions are dependent on time and space (Appadurai 1996). Identity is used selectively. It is slippery. If objects indeed represent a way of appropriating and preserving symbols of identity (Garcia-Canclini 1993), then looking at how identity, heritage and ritual are recontextualized and reinvented around the vicua commodity, allows one to see how trade and commodification alter and inform our concepts of self and other.

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CHAPTER 4 THE GLOBAL MARKET AND ITS EFFECTS ON LOCAL COMMUNITY Juana is 54 years old. Her husband is 86. They have six children. She wanted to come to the meeting to ask for help, not really to attend the workshop on conducting a census. Her husband cannot work because he is old and so she has no one to help her. Nobody is at the workshop and she is annoyed because she walked an hour to get there and everyone should know about the workshop because they talked about it at the prior assembly. Juanas family has a few alpacas and llamas but they do not grow anything because of the altitude. There are no jobs in the city. She wants to know what I have brought her from the U.S. She asks if I can bring one of her children to the U.S. I want a nice warm coat. What have you brought? We need stuff. There is no work. We are hungry. It is very cold. I want you to take my daughter with you. I weakly explain the difficulties and I know that she thinks I am lying. My words fade off. She gets close because I am foreign and she believes I have money and a way out. No, the vicua has not brought us any money. She has no idea where the money went. She does not know about the truck. The other community members ostracize her husband and so this year she will be the one who participates in the chaku. She wants part of the money. The money goes to certain individuals and doesnt help the whole community. She doesnt get any help from the community and she has come here to complain. I hope to God that the vicua helps. I hope to God. 52

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53 Nobody showed up that day, and Juan, the workshop leader, had to go door-to-door asking people to attend tomorrows workshop. There should have been about forty people in attendance, and on the first day only five showed up. Unfortunately, some are willing to miss work and attend the meeting and others are not. Everyone said they would attend but they did not and this adds to a feeling of disunity and lack of confidence in the word of their fellow community members. Juan is concerned because he needs to deliver numbers to his funding agency and if people do not participate, he will not be able to continue to receive money (Amy Cox interviews with Juan and Juana 6/14/02 Tambo Caahuas, Peru). The town square in Tambo Caahuas is approximately one city block. Small houses line the outer edges and in the center are a flagpole and plaza. The latrines are off in one corner facing the river. The people have not showed up because they are working and conducting the trueque (bartering) with people in the Colca Canyon. They are trading fiber and meat to obtain other goods like flour, beans, and vegetables. Juana, along with most of the people attending the census workshop, did not come to town to learn about how to conduct a census of the vicua. Rather they came to ask the NGO for assistance. Four smaller communities have been annexed into what is called Pampa Caahuas. Conatura invited 150 families, each consisting of about five to eight people. Some people are not very involved with the community so the workshop leaders hope to have approximately forty people. A few of the families have trout farms that they hope to cultivate and sell either to a local restaurant or to Arequipa. They have a restaurant but it is not open and not many people stop anyway.

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54 The people of the community are angered and disillusioned about the sale and income from the sale of the vicua fiber. The money has disappeared into the hands of a few individuals and this has spawned a dialogue of community vs. individual. Many feel the money would be better served if it were divided individually instead of through a community purchase that has risks of corruption and opacity. With the money from the last sale, Tambo Caahuas purchased a truck and one of the community leaders stole the rest. The truck has disappeared and now nobody has access to it. Many argue that everyone would benefit more if the money were divided up individually so that each family could use the money how they see fit. Conatura discourages this and says that if the money was pooled together everyone could reap greater benefits. They argue that the chaku, as ancient Incan ritual, should promote community, not the individual. Market Participation and Its Effects Locally Sahlins (1999) states that groups will absorb some symbols of modernization but can be successful in maintaining their identity. There is a determination on the part of Eskimos to maintain traditional Eskimo culture and at the same time to adopt a pragmatic acceptance of the benefits of modern technology (Jorgensen 1990:6 in Sahlins 1999:viii). In short, an Eskimo is still an Eskimo even if he drives a pick-up truck. Indeed changing global conditions whether economic, political, cultural or environmental are relocalized within the national, regional or local frameworks of knowledge and organization (Arce 2000:188). International symbols and conceptions are reworked so that they will fit in with traditional practices and beliefs. If Arce and Sahlins are correct in their assertion that indigenous communities are able to maintain their traditions and culture, even in the face of global economic

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55 interaction, then marketing the vicua will have little real impact on their cultural values and identity. Sahlins case concurs with Orlove: What is striking about rural Arequipa, which has largely been ignored by Andean ethnography, is that the social formation there has remained remarkably stable despite changing articulations in state apparati over several centuries (Orlove 1989:150). Furthermore, Sahlins points out that the greater a persons success in the money economy, the greater their participation in the indigenous order (Sahlins, 1999:xvi). Following this logic, the communities working with and profiting from the vicua will experience greater participation on the part of the communitys elite and subsequent reinforcement of vicua as a cultural symbol of identity and heritage. While Sahlins and Orlove may glorify the potential for local communities to retain their culture in the face of modernity, it is important to note that this is not unilaterally agreed upon. Guillet asserts that the Andean community is illiterate and monolingual which causes difficulties in dealing with bureaucracies (Guillet 1979:165). Consequently, the groups rely on certain people (presumably those with greater success in the money economy) who can communicate with those outside of the community. Information is a powerful tool when allocating resources. Who makes the decisions about the management of the vicua holds the power of the communitys economic development. As a point of comparison, Kenya has attempted to implement communal ranches. This serves as a useful comparison because shearing the vicua is also an attempt to harvest a communal property. In Kenya, the decision making of communal ranches lies in the hands of a single owner/manager. Policies that encourage private ranching in Africa

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56 have only benefited the elite and mostly non-pastoral entrepreneurs. Group ranches in Kenya have resulted in an expropriation of land by the rich and loss of access rights by women and the younger generation (Folke 1998:256). He further states that communal is actually a system of usufruct exchange and agreement between herders (Folke 1998:49). He argues that the biggest problem with group ranching or communal farming is that people do not respect the boundaries agreed upon (Folke 1998:120). In the mid-1990s President Fujimori placed ownership of the vicua into the hands of the communities. In doing so, Peru hoped to increase the participation of the indigenous community in the global and national economy. The Andean indigenous communities have formed a national alliance, the SNV that is empowered with the sale of vicua fiber. The mission statement of the SNV reflects their commitment to the vicua not just as an economic resource, but also as an important part of their culture. We are a representative entity of wild vicua, conservationists charged with its sustainable development in benefit of the Andean population (and)to treat our cultural identity with respect, ethics, dignity, solidarity, democracy and transparency (SNV 2002:22). The SNV hopes to unite the Andean community through communal management of a resource. They hope this will strengthen their social capital, which will strengthen their bargaining power. At the same time, market forces are encouraging individualized shearing of the vicua through the use of fences. Some argue that the vicua provides social capital. Social capital has been defined as the social relationships that people have with each other through the collective knowledge of a group and the subsequent supervision that the group exercises over its members (Winch 2000:5). Social cohesion is created when individuals form social

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57 networks to produce goods, i.e. communal shearing of vicua. Many contend that this leads to a more productive and healthier community. Social capital, then, is an amalgam of moral, cultural and cognitive elements all dependent on one another (Winch 2000:6). For example, the nets used for funneling the vicua into temporary shearing pens during the chaku are sometimes shared amongst communities and their use coordinated. Sharing the nets reinforces bonds of reciprocity and neighborly goodwill. The chaku is a ritual way of nurturing natureThe human community thins or prunes what is strictly necessaryIn this way nature is pruned to permit a regeneration, at the same time the human community is nurtured (Apffel-Marglin 1998:179). What my observations show, however, is that this nurturing vision of cooperation and taking only what one needs is simplistic and romantic. What in fact often occurs is the nets are not shared even when it is in the financial interest of the community leaders. Sharing the nets is a political decision not only an economic one. There is a continuous adjustment of alliances as individuals negotiate this space. We see this readjustment and example of agency in Enrique Mayers and Marisol De la Cadenas study of conflict and cooperation in Huancayo. In the studies about communities there exists a black and white tendency full of nostalgia of the past to qualify positively the existence of collective organization and negatively of the predominance of individual aspects. Accompanying this tendency is the concept that community signifies collectivity and egalitarianism. Correlatively the notion of the community excluded individual aspects. Fieldwork reflected that the work of collective organization did not offer the same benefit for all of the community members. The validity of the campesino community is relativeIt is presumed implicitly that private property of the family parcels changed the material conditions of production in the Andes, something that evidently does not occur. (Mayer and De la Cadena 1989:113) (my translation)

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58 Mayer and De la Cadena rightly point out that the concept of community is a romantic notion that does not allow for critique. Worse this notion obfuscates the fact that community does not mean lack of hierarchy. There is a presumption with the chaku program that it will benefit everyone equally and that a jockeying for its resources will not occur. While local politics affect the chaku, it is more important to say that the chaku is being reworked communally within their system of production as well as within the local social hierarchy. The alternative proposal would understand that: 1) The campesino families technically need instances of collectivity (group or communal) for their reproduction, for that which is the development of certain individual aspects like the property of the land does not exclude the existence of communal institutions. 2) The communal activities can benefit community members or groups of community members in unequal form without that signifying the process of communal destructuration. (Mayer and De la Cadena 1989) (my translation) The chaku program, while still in its adolescent stages is being absorbed into the communal system. However, as Mayer and De la Cadena state this can and is benefiting the communities and groups of communities unequally. The chaku is working communally and individually on various levels. A hierarchy and culture of the community existed prior to the conception of the chaku. This history, memory and structure of that system is inserting the chaku into that system. In addition the chaku is also acting to reinforce and remake certain politics and hierarchies of the communities. Currently a reshaping of subjects occurs through a reshaping of the space in which they live. Restructuring their communities by building fences and altering the landscape acts on the individual and community to re-contour their daily lives, attitudes, and tasks. Reshaping does occur but as Sahlins argues the culture of the community is not lost in this.

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59 Whether Asanaqi To Inca, Indian to Spaniard, or rural community or individual to the Bolivian government, all have found themselves engaged not only in political struggle but also in a struggle to mark out relatively autonomous spheres in which to gain control over the meanings of their lives. Crucial to this endeavor are efforts to gain and retain control over the definition, transmission, and interpretation of the past. (Abercrombie 1998:5) I argue that while integration into the global marketplace does affect rural communities social structure and subsequently their culture, individuals and communities are active participants in this creation. The chaku is not a totalizing top-down structural adjustment to the community life. Rather it is being negotiated and integrated according to the conditions of the community. We see evidence of this in the organization and mobilization of the chaku. As Abercrombie explains above in his study of festivals in Bolivia, control over the interpretation of the past and how it should be remembered today is crucial to communities. The struggle over how the chaku will be performed and how the vicua will be managed reflect this struggle. Deciding what part of Incan history to keep or reinterpret and deciding how the vicua will be absorbed into the current communal structure is part of the ongoing debate between communities, government and businesses. Together, all participants are active in altering the perception of the past and the subsequent promise the vicua has for the future. An example of this is the chaku calendar. The calendar is important and most codified aspects of social existence (Bourdieu 1977:97). By this Bourdieu means that while there are always different interpretations, of the calendar is understood because it is codified as it becomes the custom. There is both a logic and a praxis behind the working of the calendar which is exemplified in the codification and then the ignoring of that codification.

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60 The calendar of the chaku operates exactly the way Bourdieu is suggesting. It has been reworked and will continue to be reworked for each community. The dates are planned a year in advance and negotiated with CONACS. As the date has become more consistent through the last five years and as it coincides with the period recorded as chaku conducted during the Inca period, this classification system will become more solidified. Nonetheless these dates change as the community members see fit. The people in the communities often change and ignore the times set for the chaku much to the frustration of CONACS, the SNV and NGOs. For example, community members in Arequipa wanted to change the date of their chaku because all of the equipment was ready for them to use. They wanted to capitalize immediately on the opportunity. The NGO Conatura fought with them about the change because they had already planned the chaku and dignitaries had been invited. If the chaku was changed at the last minute, all of their planning would be wasted. In the end the chaku was conducted on schedule, but not without strong negotiation. At root of Bourdieus, Sahlins, Abercrombies, Mayers and De la Cadenas argument is that the indigenous communities are not helpless. They have and wield power in the politics of their lives. How international trade affects communities depends on the individual community. A generalized assertion is an erroneous one and a dialectic of power shows how the global and the local interact, resulting in a variety of outcomes. The following discussion offers local perspectives from four communities in three departments. How the community members view the vicua and how the chaku is performed are important for understanding how each community is benefiting and reacting differently from the vicua trade.

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61 Community Reflections Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves. The tradition of all the dead generations weigh like a nightmare on the brain of the living. (Marx 2001:15) The communities are not homogenous. Each is unique and regional with different feelings, attitudes, and problems with the vicua. These categories of culture are subject to reinterpretation and reinvention. For any human group the tradition at issue is a set of accumulated meaning: collective and historical theory, which makes their perception a conception (Sahlins 1995:65). Tambo Caahuas, Department of Arequipa. Lucia says that in the past there was lots of food. We lived so well. Now it is terrible. We live. We die. We live. We die. So it is. Nobody knows our poverty but God. God helps us. The vicua is a joke that has not given us one cent. I participated and worked and nothing. I received nothing. Some did but me no. I wont participate this year. They tricked us. We have beliefs about the vicuas. My daughters know. (authors translation) (Amy Cox interview with Lucia, 6/14/02 Tambo Caahuas) The reason for poverty is too many people and not enough farms. Arequipa is now nothing more than rooms. In the past it wasnt that way. Too many people not enough farms. Now it is kilos and kilos for nothing. The price of meat and fiber is really low. The intermediaries trick us and take advantage of us. Now we have to go buy stuff. We have to make chicharrones of them. Eat the ticks. Ha Ha!! (authors translation) (Amy Cox interview with Lucia, 6/14/02 Tambo Caahuas) Lucia thinks the best way to develop is through handicrafts. She works with fiber, knitting gloves and scarves to sell. She thinks that there could be a shop where they worked and sold goods to tourists and exported their products. She wants to get rid of the intermediaries because she feels they hurt them. She is at the Conatura workshop today to learn even though she thinks the vicua is a scam.

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62 One boy said he liked the chaku. Yes, all have to participate. There is a belief. He wants to use the money to make more money. The money is for business. They could have a shop or restaurant for tourists, car traffic, also a hotel or thermal bath. They use the money for the community, for example they bought the car. Other women said that they would be better off splitting the money individually. A pervasive feeling of distrust taints the workshop as many members argue that if the money goes to the community leaders, then the money will disappear. What then? one woman asks. She says that it is better to pay them for their work like individuals. The truck they purchased is stopped and people rob money from their community. She will participate today. But, many people have not participated today because the vicua leaders robbed the money. The vicua is not a good investment. Others are angry and exclaim during the workshop in June: You should realize quickly and make reality your promises or support us with more certainty and more sincerity to be able to continue forward with our management of vicuas. Another community representative argues that there is a lack of methodological capacity and technology. That is to say how can we organize our community for its development if my community lacks organizational support? Frustration and loss of hope is the overarching theme in the Arequipa workshops. It is unclear if the chaku will occur this year and if it does, no one knows how many people will participate. In 2001, Tambo Caahuas sheared 18 kg of fiber (SNV email 9/14/02). 18 kg of fiber is worth approximately $6930 USD. Their chaku is conducted without horses and there is no marriage ritual before the shearing ceremony. The only ritual conducted

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63 before the chaku is a payment to the Gods consisting of burning an offering (Amy Cox interview with Conatura 6/12/02 Tambo Caahuas). This ritual is performed before every harvest or shearing and is thought to insure prosperity. Ondores, Department of Junin and Rancas, Department of Cerro de Pasco People were so nice to me. I cant believe that they were so open and wanted to talk (to me). It is because they want you to take them to the U.S. Cerro and Junin have their mines. Ondores and Rancas are wealthier than Tambo Caahuas. One of the SNV workers commented on the large community center, electricity and improvements being done to the church as evidence of this wealth. What I see is that Lake Junin is so toxic that the colors match the bright hues of the Andean blankets. 1 I traveled to Ondores for an assembly and then to Rancas to participate in their chaku. I interviewed a group of six people before the assembly in Ondores. Most of the men thought that the vicua money should go toward improving dairy operations, creating another business or toward protecting the vicua. Many of the workers of Junin City, ten minutes from Ondores, had been contracted by U.S. companies to migrate and work for several years in dairy farms in Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Their knowledge and labor are valuable in these areas where migration out of rural U.S. towns is prevalent. The town has benefited from their remittances. In Ondores, CONACS has complemented them because their vicua population has doubled in three years. Ondores is benefiting from the vicua and are 1 Lake Junin is toxic from the mine tailings and other waste that occurs during the mining process.

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64 experiencing growth in their vicua population. This, opposite of the Arequipa region, is reflected in hope and planning for how to invest the money from the vicua in order to benefit the community. In Ondores in 2001 they sheared 18.424 kg of fiber, worth about $7093.24 USD. In 2002 they sheared a total of 114.29 kg for about $44,001.65 USD (SNV email communication 9/14/02). University professors and NGOs in Cerro de Pasco are also planning for the future. At the chaku, two university professors from Cerro told me of their plans to start an eco-tourism business with the chaku at the center of the marketing. How could it work? they wanted my opinion. Dont you think it would be good? We have deer, vicua, alpaca, and vizcacha. Of course, then there is the chaku. We could promote a package where people could come and stay and do trekking. It is a good idea right? (Amy Cox interview, 6/09/02 Rancas). What the professors do not discuss is the toxicity that lurks everywhere. Lakes are unnatural colors at 4300 meters. Views of the cold expansive plains are interrupted by mines and hydroelectric plants. Many of the animals have sarcoma from the contamination. The area is also politically unstable. The day that the chaku occurred, a strike that would last four days began. The chaku in Rancas begins early with people having to be bused from the town to the corral. University students, CONACS officers, the SNV, and community members are all waiting outside the fence. We arrive at the chaku around 8:30 am. People have already arrived. The actual chaku starts around 10 am. Two buses and several cars bring

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65 people to the corral. There, people mill around, chew coca, drink cane alcohol, and wait for direction. A lady talks to me about menopause, aging, and the celebration of the saint. Directions are given and the men on horseback start to go up to the top of the hill. Young men and women pile into the truck, so full that the vehicle almost tips over. The truck climbs to the top of the mountain and the rest of us walk up the mountain to participate too. We group ourselves off and line up along the nylon fence, but sit still so as not to disturb the animals. All of this takes several hours and it is now noon. The vicuas begin to run down the fence. A few male vicua jump the fence. The vicua try to escape back up the mountain. This proves chaotic and the struggle to herd them into the corner of the fence lasts around 30 minutes. A line of people holding a long string of colored flags appears on the top of the hill and they start screaming and whistling. The men on horseback ride back and forth to insure that all the vicuas enter in tip of the corral. Finally they close in and secure a net, making a triangle in the corner of the fence, which serves to enclose the vicua in a compact space. There is more chaos and decisions are made about what to do next and a man is speaking into a bullhorn. Most of the people are sitting outside the corral on blankets, having a picnic, unable to see anything. The pre-shearing ritual begins. A song that the singer cannot remember all the words to is sung before the marriage ceremony. This lasts 20-30 minutes, or at least it seems that way. Two adolescent vicua are selected and placed side by side, legs wrapped around each other, hugging one another. Several people place coca, cigarettes, wine, and candy on their bellies. On the table where the vicua lay (a tablecloth laid on the ground), aguardiente, cigarettes, coca leaves, cups, flowers, quinoa, crackers, maca, wine and candy are displayed. A blessing is said and the Godfather, in todays chaku the

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66 SNV president, cuts a slice out of the vicua ear. The blood is mixed with wine and the mixture is poured into the mouths of the vicua. The Godmother and Godfather of the now married vicua consume the remainder of the wine mixture. Following this toast, blood is wiped on the faces of those witnessing the marriage. The matrimony is a fertility ritual that will insure that the population will grow. Earrings (colored tags) and flowers are placed on the ears and the animals are set free, walking down the aisle. People have lined up in two rows and celebrate the marriage by throwing candy and popcorn onto the couple. The animals run skittishly around the mayhem back into the mountainside. People scream and are excited as they begin to grab the candy from the ground while the two animals are set free. After this people clap and mingle, celebrating the successful marriage. Chaos again ensues as men enter the pen and begin releasing the babies and animals that are too young to shear. The community members and CONACS feel this is better because they do not want the animals in the crowded pen for too long. However the babies, upon release, are constantly trying to reenter the pen, ostensibly to be with their family, and then get caught in the net. The loud electric shearer is brought out and the animals are selected one at a time, their fiber measured to see if it is long enough to be sheared. Once they are sheared, they are released. The wind whips around and it is cold at this altitude. After the fiber is weighed and certified, it is bundled and taken by the SNV to Nazca where it is cleaned by women. 2 2 The workers in Nazca are mostly women and make $5/kg. A good worker can clean one kilogram in a day. I was not allowed to see the site because the SNV was embarrassed about its condition.

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67 When asked about the environmental effects and stress on the animal caused by the chaku ritual, the CONACS officer said it is what they do. We do not want to interfere with their ritual because they will get angry at us and not want to do the chaku. Everyone says cutting the ears and drinking the blood is a good thing but no one can really tell me why. The drinking of the blood disgusts the girl who is acting as the Godmother, but she drinks it anyway. The fence is permanent and people think that it encompasses about 400 hectares. However, the vicua population is growing. What will happen when the population is too big and the area is no longer healthy? People talk about this but it is not their primary concern at the moment. They are worried about poachers and encouraging community members to guard the fence. They are paying for the fence in kind with vicuas. Each vicua is valued at $1,000 and each fence cost $23,000 (Lichenstein 2002). Unless they shear a certain amount of fiber, the community does not have to pay that year. Most people feel it is a fair deal. Only a few people are allowed inside the fence. As we leave there are caramel wrapper and bottles strewn on the ground. There are 700 people in community and about 100-200 people show up to participate in the chaku. Many are students from the university in Cerro de Pasco. In 2001 Rancas sheared a total of 6.88 kg. For 2002 Rancas sheared 21.9kg (SNV email communication 9/14/02). They are pleased with this years chaku. Lucanas, Department of Ayacucho. The chaku is conducted in Pampa Galeras throughout the year from May to October. Approximately $100,000/year is spent on vicua management and about 25

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68 people are employed year-round for the shearing. This chaku, in contrast with Rancas, is very commercial and is widely promoted throughout Peru. In 2002 Pampa Galeras captured 500 vicua during the festival but normally they try to capture 1500. Although they shear year-round, this is the only chaku celebration that is performed. The night before the chaku there is a pagapa or payment to the Gods. Garcia, the CONACS officer, says it is a small demonstration because normally a pagapa will last at least four hours. Shamans conduct the ceremony and they chitchat, hang out, and smoke their cigarettes. This pagapa is two hours long because CONACS feels that tourists really cannot wait for four hours. The pagapa in conducted in Pampa Galeras with a small group and the shamans bury a package wrapped in newspaper consisting of alcohol, coca, cigarettes, maca and a variety of other things. The purpose of the ceremony is to give thanks and payment to the apus or mountain Gods. After the pagapa there is a street party. Lots of groups are dancing, celebrating, and drinking. The music is folkloric with bands from all over, but mostly from the city of Ayacucho. Rock in Quechua is also sung. The bands are excellent and the performances are conducted on a stage, with lights, and television crews surround the stage. No snacks or hot foods are sold, but there are the ubiquitous soda carts with cigarettes, gum, candy, and soft drinks. Mostly though there are hot alcoholic beverages made with eucalyptus syrup, rum, and orange juice. Sometimes the beverage is made with bee honey. Bottles are shared and swigs are taken out of a little Dixie cup that is passed around until it the bottle is empty. Then someone exchanges the bottle for another one or a woman comes by selling another bottle. There is also straight cane alcohol sold to keep the cold at bay. Large groups stand around talking, dancing and drinking. In my particular group, made

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69 up of current and ex-SNV and CONACS workers, contentious debates about vicua management are the focus of the evening. Mario, a schoolteacher from Lucanas, believes that the money can go to build roads, and pay for electricity. The vicua has been helpful there. Carlos Espinosa, the first SNV president and close friend to Alfonso Martinez, is revered in the community for helping to stop terrorism and promote the vicua. He and Martinez helped to start the SNV and CONACS. He argues that today the money is not going to the communities and this is why he is supporting Martinezs efforts to begin a new company, which can help the communities. SNV members argue that Espinosa and Martinez are criminals and stole money, which has now imperiled the SNV because it, as an organization, is being held accountable for those actions. Nonetheless Lucanas has obviously benefited from the sale of fiber in Pampa Galeras and are working on expanding the operation. Umberto, a CONACS member, whom I met in Rancas was participating in the festival. Umberto warned me that it was very dangerous and that I should be careful who I spoke with and what questions I asked. He was worried about me and was embarrassed by the behavior of his fellow Peruvians who were all extraordinarily intoxicated. Dont trust anyone not even me. He wanted to show me a non-commercial chaku where the people are excited and are into it. I told him I did not think that existed and that the chaku was about making money. He disagreed with me and said that Lucanas was too commercial. He has seen the pleasure and spirit of community members totally enraptured with the chaku. The following day the chaku occurs. This one begins later than the one in Rancas. Two men from Lucanas offered their opinions of the vicua.

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70 We suffer. Only the people who work come to the chaku, CONACS, dignitaries. We are community members. We do not really have alpaca, or cattle. We work and try our hand at other things, but there is not a lot of vicua. (Amy Cox interview Pampa Galeras 6/24/02) The chaku is a much larger performance than any of the other events I had witnessed. A large circular pen is surrounded by hundreds of on-lookers. Buses line the highway. A large group of high school students are dressed in bright colors and enter the ring where the vicua are held. They dance and chant and are followed by the Incan King. Another high school student, selected to play the part of the King, is carried on their shoulders on a wooden structure. The King and Queen climb to the top of a stone mound. The stone mound represents the apu. Two vicua are again carried out and are married. The ears are cut and the blood mixed with wine. The Inca King offers the wine up to the Gods speaking the entire time in Quechua. Cameramen swarm the area preventing those outside the fence to see what is actually going on. After the offering is made, the King and Queen exit and more dancing occurs. One vicua is selected and ceremonially sheared for the audience and cameras. The rest of the vicua will be sheared tomorrow under more efficient conditions. Following this the vicua are released into the larger enclosed circular pen and visitors can enter the pen to get their picture taken with the vicua. These vicua are much more docile and less jittery than those of Rancas. The ceremony and performance lasts about an hour most people go to the visitors center where lunch is being served. At the visitors center there is also a small museum and a band beginning to play. Three girls, all around 16 years old, come from Picquoi, the community further along the highway from Lucanas. They wanted to come and see the event but do not know much about the vicua. A lady from Nazca, a few hours down the highway from

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71 Lucanas, has come to sell cakes and beverages. She is from the sierra but moved to Nazca for variety and to give her children a better education and more opportunities, a chance to improve life. She came to see the chaku but really she came to sell bread and soda. She thinks this year is so-so. There are not many people and therefore she has not made a lot of money. Also she is disappointed because there are very few vicua captured this year. A family from Lima is on vacation, visiting Lucanas to see the chaku. The mother states: We wanted to see and enjoy. It is our first time. I remember vicua from when I was younger. They enjoyed it but had seen enough and were taking the bus home that evening. During this chaku Pampa Galeras only sheared 25 kg of fiber. I do not have the total amount sheared for 2002 but in 2000 the entire Department of Ayacucho sheared a total of 1,376,410 kg of fiber, Lucanas being the main producer shearing approximately 44,000 kgs/year. The second largest producer is Puno shearing 393,510 kg (SNV 2001:27). The remaining departments shear an average of 126,493 kg/year, Cajamarca shearing the least at 4,661 kg. The vicua trade is big business for Lucanas and for Ayacucho. Memory and Power Bourdieu (1977) discusses mimicry as a way of creating memory and power. A logic of mimicry, he argues, supports the notion that through mimicry a beginning of memory occurs. At this point a change has occurred as social history comes to bargain with the dynamic system. Bourdieu contends that there is a historical consciousness, whether it is remembered or not. The chaku ritual was taught to the communities. There was no current memory of working with the animal. However through mimicry of the

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72 ancient ritual, participants are active in the creation of a new memory that is derived from knowledge both political and historical. In practice, it is the habitus, history turned into nature, i.e. denied as such, which accomplishes practically the relating of these two systems of relations, in and through the production of practice. The unconscious is never anything other than the forgetting of history which history itself produces by incorporating the objective structures it produces in the second natures of habitus.Conversely, we are very much aware of the most recent attainments of civilization, because being recent they have not yet had time to settle into our unconscious. (Bourdieu 1977:79) An ancestral linkage to the chaku is absent from todays consciousness of the communities but through historical ties these habits and practices are performed and included into the structure. A re-creation and reinvention of this ritual has occurred through mimicry and memory making on the part of historians, NGOs and the Peruvian government. So much so, that this new history is writing a future whereby the communities will be delivered out of poverty through the shearing of this sacred animal. Peruvians are returning to history and heritage in order to be saved from the poverty that engulfs their Andean communities. Eric Hobsbawm in The Invention of Tradition shows that traditions have their own political and economic history. During the 1700s political institutions, ideological movements, and groups were so new that they had to invent their own historic continuity. New symbols that personified the nation came into existence. He cites such devices as the national anthem, national flag or the personficiation of the nation in image, i.e. Uncle Sam (Hobsbawm 1983). Invented tradition is taken to mean a set of practices, normally governed by overtly or tacitly accepted rules and of a ritual or symbolic nature, which seek to inculcate certain values and norms of behavior by repetition, which automatically implies continuity with the past. In fact, where possible, they normally attempt to establish continuity with a suitable past. (Hobsbawm 1983:1)

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73 CONACS began to encourage communities, because of their heritage, to shear the vicua, cashing in on the fruits of this wild animal, by utilizing the ancient chaku ritual once used by their Incan ancestors. CONACS taught the communities how to conduct the chaku and through mimicry, and agency, a ritual tradition is born. Through an indigenous heritage belief that categorizes the vicua as sacred, Peruvians are actively creating a memory that spins heritage for political and economic gain. Originally, this ritual was constructed from the point of view of CONACS. Commodification of heritage by the state is not unique to Peru or to the chaku and has been researched by countless anthropologists in places like the Southwest United States, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala and Ecuador to name a few. Lynn Stephen in her research on textile production in Oaxaca, Mexico, states: The ideological package, which was and is sold to tourists who come to states with high indigenous populations, is based on a homogenized image of Indian culture and the material remains of that culture which can be visited or purchased and taken home. Of primary import in this cultural package is the Mexican Indian. (Stephen 1993:39) Along similar lines, Garcia-Canclini argues that Artisans are not there to talk about what they know, but to find out how their work can appeal as a commodity based on a logic created by others (Garcia-Canclini 1993:64). The communities, however, are also working with this system for their own purposes. Some communities do not shear every year because it might not have worked the first few times or they might not have received their payment. Most have added new steps to the ritual such as the pagapa and the marriage ceremony. There is dynamism on the part of the community that is shaping this ritual. The communities have begun to take ownership of the chaku and the vicua.

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74 Rules are broken as a form of resistance and power on the part of the communities. Both CONACS and the community are negotiating this space to create a ritual that will fulfill their needs. In The Practice of Everyday Life, De Certau argues that humans work within systems of structure and classification to make it their own. La Perruque is the workers own work disguised as work for the employerhe cunningly takes pleasure in finding a way to create gratuitous products whose sole purpose is to signify his own capabilities through his work and to confirm his solidarity with other workers. (DeCertau 1984:25) Extrapolating this logic from the workplace onto the chaku (after all it is labor output), communities have worked within the structure of CONACS to make the ceremony their own. In the smaller chakus, picnics are set up and chicken dishes sold to outsiders. In the larger chaku, embellished dances and costumes are inserted. Marriage rituals have been added. People sell cakes and beverages. This is a cleverness that does not recognize itself as such (De Certau 1984:55). All four communities display different perceptions and feelings about the vicua. Some are hopeful, others are not, and still others have achieved a distance that comes from mechanization and commercialization. The chaku and the discussions around the vicua reflect these different hopes, perceptions and place they have in the political and economic structure of the communities. Community members are active agents in the pragmatic acceptance, rejection and restructuring of globalization, heritage and their development.

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CHAPTER 5 CONSUMING IDENTITITES However, insofar as there is such reference to a historic past, the peculiarity of invented traditions is that the continuity with it is largely fictitious (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983:2). Recently globalization and international trade was severely criticized in the Global Social Forum 2002 in Brazil. Is globalization the ultimate homogenizer? Does international trade really have socio-economic benefits? In the last five years, the vicua has been spotlighted because of its growing significance in the world as a luxury good and commodity for rural development. Through an investigation of the promotion and commodification of vicua, I argue that it is globalization that is encouraging heterogeneity not homogeneity by actively producing constructions of indigenous identity and otherness. In my original proposal I asked the following: The community believes that the vicua has cosmological and cultural heritage value. If, after several years of working in the western marketplace, they come to believe that the vicua is nothing more than a commodity for development then consumer demand is indeed driving cultural meaning of a resource. This is a critical question not only for Andean communities, but all rural communities who are beginning to interact in the global marketplace. While my research shows that consumption is indeed a powerful and political force, the result is not that the cosmological value of the object decreases with an increase in monetary value. Rather, it is the contrary. It is precisely this increase in monetary value and the emphasis on the chaku ritual as part of Incan history that is working to develop a 75

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76 historical memory and cultural value. However, this return to heritage is malleable and influenced by todays politics. Consumerism and capitalism has been criticized as fears that globalization will remove localized aspects of culture. This fear of homogeneity coupled with our desire for the exotic combines to create traditions, perpetuate erroneous histories and strengthen identities of indigenous. There is probably no time and place with which historians are concerned, which has not seen the invention of tradition in this sense. However, we should expect it to occur more frequently when a rapid transformation of society weakens or destroys the social patterns for which old traditions had been designed, producing new ones to which they were not applicable, or when such old traditions and their institutional carriers and promulgators no longer prove sufficiently adaptable and flexible, or are otherwise eliminated; in short, when there are sufficiently large and rapid changes on the demand or supply side. (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983:5) Applying the above statement to the chaku, Hobsbawm and Ranger are correct in that this ancient Incan ritual applied today stems from a change in the supply a decrease in the vicua population. However, the chaku is also being created from the promised wealth from increased consumption and demand. The chaku was resurrected as a way to conserve the species and prevent poaching. Nonetheless, its ongoing invention and its promotion are derived from increased consumer demand, not only change in supply. Appadurai describes this creation more accurately. Elite tastes, in general, have this turnstile function. Selecting from exogenous possibilities and then providing models, as well as direct political control for internal tastes and production (Appadurai 1986:31). It is not that globalization is the ultimate homogenizer. Rather, it is currently the ultimate creator of nationalism, specialized identities, and otherness. The international trade of the vicua, and Perus place in the global economic sphere, is not smoothing

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77 edges. It is working hard at creating these edges so that the consumer can purchase culture and difference. Steiner agrees and in his work on African art argues that purchases of African art are made in order to buy a piece of the cultural system (Steiner 1994:93). A certain evangelism aligns itself with the question of the vicua. The vicua will get you. You wont leave Peru (Daniel Zevallos, President SNV). In an effort to dissuade community members from purchasing corrals from CONACS, the President of Conatura declared that the Inca knew more than us and they did not use fences. Not only is there a belief that touches on values and identities (indigenous or environmentalist or Peruvian nationalism) but this belief is proselytized to the communities. The vicua is a unique richness, there will be much more, an employee of Conatura declares assuring community members of the promise of wealth from the vicua. The entire chaku program came about through efforts to convince communities to reclaim their heritage, perform the chaku, and participate in the creation of a new source of income. CONACS visited communities and convinced them to reserve a day to perform this ritual. CONACS taught the communities the ritual and convinced them to purchase corrals and fence in 800 hectares of their property. Furthermore, CONACS introduced the implementation of the marriage ritual before the Lucanas chaku as a way to strengthen the event (Amy Cox interview A. Martinez 6/24/02 Lucanas). 1 These efforts are shaping the place the vicua and the ritual have in Peruvian society and the world. The importance of todays ideology is grafted onto the history of the people and 1 It is unclear how the ritual was disseminated to other communities.

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78 the place the vicua has had in history. History, identity and culture are the foundation for the success of the vicua trade. One of the necessary components for the survival of capitalism has been the procurement of raw materials. Historically the north has extracted a variety of products from Latin America tin from Bolivia, copper from Chile, oil from Venezuela, rubber from Brazil. In the case of the vicua, fiber is sold to an international consortium where the fiber is made into treasured products for elite consumption. Treasure and scarcity are important to outside consumers. Vicua fiber is the most expensive natural fiber in the world and fetches a price of around $500/kg (Sahley et al 2002:1). The products made from the fiber reflect this price and are considered luxuriously fashionable. Scarves made from vicua fiber sold for $550 $1000 pounds (Symington 2001). Agnona Italy, one of the worlds top woolen mills, supplies the largest design houses, like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Chanel, with vicua knitwear. Agnona is one of three members that holds the world exclusive for the sale and promotion of vicua (Conti 1997). Agnonas financial plan is to boost sales from $41 million to $59 million by the year 2001 (total knitwear including alpaca, cashmere, etc.). Hernan Blacazar, who sells the merchandise in his exclusive shop in Britain, claims that: Increasingly, people demand quality as well as luxury. Once they experience vicua, they will be hooked. Its not a trend that will disappear (Morgan 1997:2). Consumption has become a more powerful political and economic force than production (Arce 2000). Because consumption has become such an important force it shapes meaning through its promotion of resource extraction and emphasis on monetary

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79 value. One of the implications of economic globalization has been that consumer taste in the first world is increasingly able to impact the third world by encouraging rural communities to become more export oriented (Arce 2000:107). The meaning of those material goods is important because it is linked to cultural identity and social formation (Bauer 2001). The increasing demand for vicua fiber increases its value and therefore increases the communitys desire to export more fiber. The discussion and marketing surrounding the vicua, the myth making that goes into shoring up conceptions of treasure, exotic and sacredness, increases its preciousness and value to not only those purchasing the unique and elite final product but also for those responsible for procuring the raw fiber. Along with a promotion of the vicua as scarce and elite, the fiber is marketed as a sustainable, ecological and indigenous. This marketing plan of conservation and nature have elevated the importance of the vicua and created a new indigenous ritual history based on nature, the pristine, and Inca. Consumption indeed has become a more powerful political and economic force than production. Creating the Neo-Indigenous Identity Tradition in this sense must be distinguished clearly from custom which dominates so-called traditional societies. The object and characteristic of traditions, including invented ones, is invariance. The past, real or invented, to which they refer imposes fixed (normally formalized) practices, such as repetition. (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983:2) The chaku tradition, as Hobsbawm and Ranger define it, has not yet become tradition. It continues to be constructed. We see this in the comparison of how individual communities are inventing the chaku. For example in Ondores, Junin during a community assembly the women were very excited to work with the vicua because they felt it

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80 would bring great fortune. Other community members argued that the income derived from the vicua fiber could be used to make more money and improve other important operations of the community like cattle and alpaca. They want to continue to perform both the fence and non-fence chakus. The SNV and many communities are interested in developing the chaku as a tourist attraction. In Rancas, university professors believed that tourists would love the area. They could come, go hiking and see exotic animals and then participate in the ancient Incan ritual, helping to round up the vicua. In Picotani, a community in the department of Cuzco, three communities work communally for four days conducting the chaku. They capture the vicua bringing them to the pen and on the fourth day shear the animals. They have plans to build large structures to house tourists. They can come and sleep in dormitories with food and participate in the ancient ritual (Picotani Representative Conatura Workshop 6/2/02). In Lucanas, where the chaku has been in existence the longest and has the most vicua, an elaborate display of Incan ancestry has been added to the performance. While this might be taboo to say in Peru, all of the Quechua speakers are not descendants from Inca. The Inca were the nobility and several other indigenous cultures existed in Peru prior to the Inca and were conquered by the Inca. The conflation of indigenous as Inca reflects the value Incan identity has in Peru. No one is claiming to be of Moche or Wari descent. Steiner argues that people in Cote DIvoire manipulate ethnic identity for perceived shift in economic advantage (Steiner 1994:90). Ethnicity is claimed rather than determined (Steiner 1994:81). Where this process is evident is in the pamphlets of Grupo Inca and CONACS. Incan identity and heritage are being invoked to promote an exotic product tied to history as well as to promote a notion that indigenous is

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81 more primitive and therefore closer to nature, the environment and better for conservation and preservation. The mean of production is disguised and is replaced with an elegant final product. The indigenous population of Peru nothing more than a nostalgic remnant from the past. Grupo Inca markets the vicua and themselves through a captivating presentation of wealth, ecology and indigenous camaraderie. The first picture in the Alpaca III store catalog, the retail face of Incalpaca, shows a fashionable European woman in a lovely coat standing imposed upon a scene in the Andes of Suri Alpacas feeding on green grass (Figure 5-1). In the lower corner a tag line states: Gold of the Andes, Vicua, Guanaco, Alpaca y Llama. Figure 5-1 Front cover of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet. On the first page, A tradition knit in time, shows pre-Hispanic textiles and an anglo model in a multi-colored alpaca sweater (Figure 5-2). A full page photograph of two indigenous woman hand spinning yarn, complete in their skirts, neck scarves and

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82 hats convey a picture of purity, harmony and a turn away from industrialization to a simplistic harmony that indigenous Peruvians still enjoy today. Indigenous peoples are presented as Perus living history. Figure 5-2 Page one and two of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet. The second page titled, Preserving the Millenarian Heritage and Gold of the Andes, Treasure Dressing the World, shows a brunette, olive skinned man and blond pigtailed woman with a baby alpaca lying comfortably in their crme colored luxurious scarves. Beauty, happiness, and contentment shine through this golden-lit frame. On the opposite pages, four pictures of each animal highlight and promote the natural resources that Peru boasts (Figure 5-3). We see the transformation from primitive to modern. A double-truck layout of Vicua, Fiber of the Gods follows (Figure 5-4). Here, against an Incan wall (possibly the famous puma wall in Cuzco), a light colored brunette, adorned in a vicua cape, confidently strolls by. Behind her is an indigenous woman with a bright fuchsia colored blanket holding her possessions. The text under this photo states:

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83 Figure 5-3 Page three and four of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet. The hair of the vicua, the finest in the world was reserved in the time of the Inca for only the emperor and his nobility. Presently vicua fiber is obtained through an ancient Inca tradition called the chaku which consists of using a large human chain to capture the animals and herd them into a corral where they are shorn and then liberated back into the wild, converting this magical ritual into a colorful party. (Grupo Inca Marketing Pamphlet 2002) In this photo the European woman is wearing the vicua cape. The picture, along with the text, serves to promote the vicua product as noble, treasured and elite. This picture also serves to take past hierarchies and graft them on to todays privileged populations. Who wears vicua is noble. The following page, one that is the most perplexing in this series, is titled Working with Nature. It features a white brunette woman and her white Aryan male partner sitting next to an indigenous woman weaving. They are dressed in Alpaca sweaters and baby alpaca scarves. All wear white straw hats (Figure 5-5). Who or what is nature in this photo? Who is working with it?

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84 Figure 5-4 Page five and six of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.. Figure 5-5 Page seven and eight of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet. The middle section shows off some of the colors and products that Grupo Inca designs and manufactures (Figure 5-6). Again they link their products with Perus history, showing how they have improved on the past and natures resources in order to offer a garment made for todays standards.

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85 Figure 5-6 Page nine and ten of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet. The pamphlet concludes with the brunette woman dressed in a lovely knit dress, with matching scarf and hat (Figure 5-7). She strolls in tall black leather riding boots next to a campesino man and woman. The man is wearing rubber boots and is steering his donkey laden with straw. The woman, walking in sandals made of tire rubber, is carrying her bundle of goods in her brightly colored blanket. Our products which take advantage of the best that nature has to offer are produced using fibers and materials of the highest quality and their transformation is a harmonious union of modern technology and the capacity of our Peruvian workers, whose ancestral abilities ensure hand finished products of excellence. (Grupo Inca Marketing Pamphlet 2002) What is interesting about these photos is not that these images do not exist. All of the people are Peruvian. However, the mixture and juxtaposition tells a story that blends nature, conservation, indigenous, and industrialization into one. The goal for Grupo Inca is to profit from Perus resources by promoting themselves as benevolent capitalists. Modern luxury is combined with its historic Incan past. The animal fiber is harmlessly plucked from nature and made better through technology. All of these pictures seek to

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86 Figure 5-7 Last Page of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet. conflate and unite the current Peruvian indigenous population into the past and subsequently into the natural. Indigenous as natural and good is pictured in harmony with examples of todays achievement. The pictures, although depicting the difference in wealth and lifestyle, ignore this conflict and tension and place the two groups as working and living together in harmony. Grupo Inca promotes indigenous Peruvian history as ecological and natural in order to sell their products. Without this heritage and exotic other, the scarf would not be a treasure. In their handout Incalpaca describes the vicua as: The vicua is the most graceful and scarce of the South American Camelids. Vicua fiber, the finest in the world was reserved in the time of the Inca for only the noble class. In the 1960s, the vicua was on the brink of extinction, today, after an intensive recovery program, the most luxurious fiber of the world returns to the markets in very limited quantities. Our company, member of the International Vicua Consortium, has the worldwide exclusive rights of the production of the vicua product. In the same pamphlet they say the following about Alpaca: Alpacas are the most numerous of the four South American Camelids. With a population of approximately 3.5 million head in the Peru (near 75% of the world

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87 total). Alpacas are the main means of subsistence for thousands of families for whom it constitutes an inexhaustible source of soft, beautiful and resistant fiber occurring naturally in a fantastic array of colors characteristic that is impossible to find in other natural noble fibers. In order to gain a niche, they play on our love of nature, native, exotic and elite. The vicua is the perfect commodity for the 21 st century. It includes historic Incan ritual, conservation, environmentalism, and Indians, all knitted together in a treasured, silky soft, exorbitantly priced garment. Wearing a vicua you can feel good about your elitismhelping to bring money to needy communities and not pollute the environment. Invoking Inca It is more, to personify the Incan nobility and be a specialist in the Quechua language was a means to acquire aristocratic rank (De la Cadena 2000:298). Grupo Inca is not the only party promoting indigenous. This is also claimed from community members. Marisol de la Cadena in La Decencia en el Cusco de los Anos 20: la Cuna de los Indigenistas argues that people living in Cuzco created a social hierarchy within a racialized hierarchy based on intellectualism and education. Since colonial times, the local upper class had glorified the memory of the Quechua dramas written by Incas and acted by elite gentlemen. Reviving and preserving the past was an academic mission (De la Cadena 2000a:293, my translation). She discusses indigenaity and how the indigenous elite in Cuzco formed a group and had a political discourse, and academic daily life to dispute the supremacy of those from Lima. They did so in order to help them acquire political and intellectual influence. This intellectualism and decency, through a promotion of Inca as generous, wise, decent and good, converted itself into the ultimate protection against the nobility through the creation and strengthening of indigenous. On the contrary, this group of Cuzco

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88 regionalists searched the racial regeneration in the reenactment of the spirit of the Incan race (De la Cadena 2000a:283, my translation). She goes onto argue that the creation of the Incaic Theatre was an efficient tool in order to demonstrate the cultural purity of the elite and self-perception as superior Cuzco group in bio-moral terms: the decent people (De la Cadena 2000a:296, my translation). While the social hierarchy is still in place today, Perus place in the global marketplace has resulted in Perus placement into another hierarchy. This hierarchy is encouraging an emphasis and return to indigenous. In the same way Cuzco elite positioned themselves against a racial hierarchy, Peruvians are acting within a global world to secure an elevated position in this new hierarchy. While this does not imply that the higher echelons of societies are returning to the farms, it does imply that there is a continuing emphasis on the history and noble past of Peru; particularly the Incan past is used in order to participate in todays globalized hierarchy. Inca is used to varying ways; either to show a naturalized intelligence, a native sense of environmentalism or a proud history of power and strength. What is rarely talked about is the Incan history of brutality, forced societal restructuring, enslavement, conquering and tithing. Similar to what De la Cadena argues happened in the 1920s in Cuzco, we see a return to the Incan nobility in order to sell vicua products, sell the chaku method of shearing the vicua, and compete in the global marketplace. The chaku is nested in this hierarchy and is an ethnic performance and display of power. In Pampa Galeras, where the chaku has been performed the longest and is the most widely advertised and promoted, personifies this performance of political maneuvering and promotion of indigenous power and desire for the exotic. The press is

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89 allowed inside the ring after the vicuas have been corralled. Lining the outside of the fence are the spectators. Prior to the singular shearing (only one vicua is sheared that day) there is an Incan celebration of giving the vicua to the Gods and thanking the Apu. Students from the local high schools are dressed in traditional costumes, some dance, and an Incan King is carried out atop the shoulders of several people. Gold Aluminum medallions and fabrics of bright oranges, fuchsias, greens and yellows adorn their bodies. The King and Queen are brought to the top of a stone mound. After the King, in this case played by a high school student who resembles what they think an Incan should look like, drinks the blood and speaks in Quechua, the animal is sheared. The marrying ritual performed before the chaku, actually comes from something that the ranchers use with their cattle and acts as an offering and prayer for fertility, health and prosperity. However, it was not until the third year of the chaku in Pampa Galeras that they had the matrimony ceremony. The first two years performing the chaku they didnt include this rite. Moreover this is the first year that they have the Inca celebration with costumes, dances, and Quechua representation. I was curious about the marrying rite and I asked some people in Tambo Caahuas about whether or not they perform the marriage. They said no, and actually had no idea what I was talking about. They perform a small pagapa before shearing. I am not arguing that the ceremony is inauthentic. Rather I am arguing that this ritual is active, dynamic and political. With each new ceremony, memory, nostalgia and identity become embedded in the consciousness of the nation. The chaku in Pampa Galeras is nine years old and is closely linked with the promotion and tourism enterprise that Peru hopes to create around the vicua. Eventually this ritual will become more

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90 solidified but it is currently being perfected to perform and achieve the ultimate display of indigenous heritage and nostalgia. A national identity with Inca at its center is further developed through the ritual whereby the Inca is invoked as a better time, before the Spanish colonists. The European presence and power encourages a return to the native and exotic because authenticity and purity are desired. The Peruvians are capitalizing on and supplying what is in demand. Incan history has provided tourist dollars and interest from outsiders. A country in need of income reshapes itself in order to become more marketable. From phone cards to hotel signs, images of Inca are promoted as powerful and intelligent, a nostalgia of yesteryear. While it seems false, it is very real in the minds of the performers. As globalization bears down and blurs the lines and definitions of communities, culture, and personhood, a return to the past is inspired. Steiner in his book African Art in Transit discusses an anxiety over authenticity and a crisis of misrepresentation as our boundaries become blurred through transnationalism and a confounding global dialectic that often reinvent their objects of desire. While Western notions about the authenticity of African art are constructed by privileging aesthetic forms imagined to have existed in the past worlds that never were but might have been African beliefs about Western authenticity are projected into the future worlds that arent yet but someday could be. (Steiner 1994:129) The value of the vicua is not strictly monetary. Its promise to act not only as economic savior but social power has come to play an important role in the ideological importance of the animal has in Peruvian culture and beliefs. The local communities and their institution, the SNV, exist because of the usufruct rights given to them based on

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91 their Incan history and identity. A political force has arisen that strives to preserve the vicua and perpetuate a sustainable development alternative through a platform of community rights, indigenous power, and environmentalism. Indigenous is important for everyone. The myth that Peruvian indigenous peoples are isolated and pristine is a simplistic representation that ignores the dynamic of the human capacity for change. The idea of indigenous community, however, is a necessity if Peru wants to continue their promotion of Incan tradition, history and identity. In order to sell things like vicua scarves it is essential to have a current indigenous population working with the animal. The notion of indigenous is bound up in a colonial history that is currently being transformed into an industrialized history. We see this in the fact that these groups were given usufruct rights to shear the vicua because they are indigenous and deserve rights to the resources that exist in their land. If they are no longer considered indigenous and if this privilege and othering ceased to exist, then this exclusive right would break down. The notion of native as being more environmental and closer to nature is a construction to be used when necessary. The reality is that these groups can be impoverished, some more than others, some are descendent from the Inca, some only speak Quechua, some are bilingual, some only speak Spanish. The Othering separation is being actively promoted and used in different ways and in different contexts. With respect to the vicua, it is used as a way to promote conservation, authenticity of the past, and the vicua as sacred treasure. It perpetuates a separation based on race and encourages further hierarchy in Peruvian society. It also acts as De la Cadena asserts, as a way to gain socio-economic and political access. The

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92 creation and consumption of identity is acted upon by the community members, the government, the consumers and the businesses, in order to promote, purchase and sustain this resource. It is especially powerful in this case because it adds much value to a commodity like the vicua. Without the indigenous identity, people lose their rights to shear the animal, the state loses income, the corporation loses a crucial marketing component, and the end consumer loses out on an authentic elite scarf that was once reserved only for the Inca. For Incalpaca TPX, the vicua is not just a symbol of Perus past, but is now part of the worlds future (Grupo Inca Marketing Pamphlet 2002).

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CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION If Grupo Incas marketing philosophy is based around selling the vicua, I wondered what would happen if they do not win the solicitation again. Gilberto states: We will continue doing it. It is part of the philosophy of the group. Today there are very few who can knit the vicua. We think 20, 30, 40 years there is the possibility of much competition. And perhaps, no more solicitations. It will be open, free, and this group will not work, but today this group works. I repeat it in benefit through the development of the group and the work of the future. The group started 30 years ago. We know the possibility. We know it is possible to make a business. (Amy Cox interview with Grupo Inca 6/04/02 Arequipa) Grupo Inca has 18 stores in Peru, two in France, one in Switzerland, one in Korea, and one in Seattle. The salesperson at Alpaca III emphasizes the fine fabric and the wonderful touch and warmth and the fashion of it. She urges me to feel it. In a near empty store there are four people working. An article recently written for the New York Times reflects the desire for authentic and pristine. The town of Qero, Peru is depicted prior to the invasion of tourism as a community that was isolated, primitive and still much the same as it was before western tourists bungled onto the scene. A proof of this is that the men still knit the hats, and the women still weave the fabric, and rarely are the textiles up for sale. John Cohen, a photographer, documentary filmmaker, musician and collector donated several textiles for the Museum of Natural History in New York and Textile Museum. These textiles are not just commodities, because they communicate the spirit of their makersOn Easter Sunday, before the communal feasting begins, the Qero people sanctify their 93

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94 fabrics, Mr. Cohen said. They take the finest womens shawls and mens vicua scarves produced in the previous year and raise them up on long forked poles to the top of an arch of timbers. Then the townspeople move in a procession through the arch bearing crosses and banners to bless the weavings, marching to the music of two flutes and a drum (Washington 2002). The power of these items (vicua) is derived from the ritual and spiritual investment culturally embedded in the artifact. The vicua is as much revered internally as it is externally. All players are active in constructing the vicua as something other than a strict commodity. Nonetheless, the vicua is a commodity, whether it is invested with a supernatural cosmovision or not. The value of the vicua is based on its sacredness and this sacredness has become part of its commodification. Even though the fiber is the finest in the world, without Incan history and an indigenous population, the vicua is not an exotic treasure. Unfortunately accompanying this value is the issue of sustainability of the vicua as a resource for commercialization. In the case of the alpaca, it is well known that the commercialization of alpaca fiber has impacted the breeding of the animal. Consumer preference and marketing has influenced the breeding of the alpaca because of a desire for bright colors. It is easier to dye white alpaca fiber and therefore more valuable to those companies that process the fiber. The breeds of the alpaca have been reduced as more money is paid out to the pastoralists who sell white alpaca fiber (Ochoa 1982, Orlove 1977). Commercialization is also beginning to impact the vicua. Concerns about consanguinity, wildness and health are rampant. In the communities of Cala Cala and Picotani they have 1,200 and 3,000 vicuas respectively. It is profitable and less

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95 problematic to fence in large quantities of vicua. However, when there is not a plentiful supply of vicua there is the danger of consanguinity because of the few animals breeding in an enclosed space. The CONACS biologist explains the confusion about fencing in the vicua. There is a risk of a pacovicua or a llamavicua if the animals cross breed. The fiber will thicken and the price will decrease. He avoids telling me if he thinks it would be a good idea, but shows a chart that determines the optimal size for the biology of the species but also for efficient shearing and management of the animal. Bigger fences are too expensive and you have to care for, feed, regenerate pasture; but they are efficient to shear. The ideal is to conserve the species. But also that we move forward(Amy Cox interview with CONACS biologist 05/16/02 Lima). Although referring to sheep and alpaca, Orlove in Alpacas, Sheep and Men states: Without large sums of money and considerable political influence, pastoral units cannot fence their land; this step is a necessary antecedent to the introduction of improved breeds of animals, the sowing of higher quality pasture, the systematic use of veterinary medicineIn short, to increase the value of the wool the pastoralist has to increase its volume, which entails obtaining more land to graze larger herds. (Orlove 1977:192) Enclosure and volume are issues that prevent wide scale commercialization of the vicua and thus wide scale economic development in the communities that house these animals. Capture and enclosure are part of the economic viability of the vicua trade but these concepts conflict with the marketing foundation for the vicua. Enclosure and breeding question the authenticity of the chaku ritual, the scarcity of the vicua and the wildness of the animal. In addition to issues of genetic purity, other health issues are beginning to affect the worth of the fiber. In Pampa Galeras dandruff has appeared on many of the animals

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96 for the first time. The suspected root of the problem is the corral and the close contact of the vicua with other domestic animals. This indicates possible health issues and concern over the continued high price for the fiber. During a site visit to Rancas, one of the CONACS officers discussed with a leader of the community that they should not allow their domestic animals (sheep especially) to graze and enter into the vicua corral because this poses additional health concerns. Health problems may prevent further enclosure. The political struggle surrounding the rights to capitalize on the animal has come to represent a longer and deeper struggle. The animal has come to symbolize a historical struggle of individual (capitalism) vs. community (socialism) and industrial vs. rural. The majority of the one hundred plus communities that actively shear and work with the vicua have less than 75 vicua. The business plan is not profitable for the majority of communities because it takes the same amount of people to round up 2000 vicua as it does to round up twenty. Yet people are attending workshops, congresses and working hard at developing plans to work with the animal. A representative for the Cuzco congress, a younger man from far beyond Sicuani, admits that he does not know anything about vicuas but is excited to learn. Possibility is motivating participation, creating new meanings, and affecting social structure. Hopes of making this enterprise benefit communities are encouraging the creation and perpetuation of a political and economic organization like the SNV. Rural fiestas in Mexico are changed to become urban shows to fit the needs of tourists. Fiestas as well as artesania are altered in an attempt to appeal to outsiders (Garcia-Canclini 1993:64). In the same way, the chaku ritual is being altered to fit the

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97 needs of the tourists. Whether it is shortening a religious offering or including colorful dances, the ritual becomes a performance based on the desires of outsiders. Emphasizing Incan history and indigenous heritage gives impoverished communities a new source of income and outsiders the exotic Indian. When used by anthropologists the term local seems to take on an authentic preserved quality. Globalization is a process acting on people. People are also acting on globalization. The idea of local identity is itself born out of, and created by, our increasing globalization. Its use is employed not only by locals, but by outsiders interested in creating, consuming and profiting from that identity. As such, local identity can be viewed as powerful resistance from inside but also as a product created from the powers of integration into global circuits of exchange. Contemporary globalization is the increasing flow of trade, finance, culture, ideas and people brought about by the sophisticated technology of communications and travel and by the worldwide spread of neo-liberal capitalism and it is the local and regional adaptations to and resistance against these flows. (Lewellen 2002:7) The vicua trade reflects Lewellens definition of globalization. It involves the movement of goods across borders and integration of Peru into an international economy. Reflecting his concept of a bi-directional flow we see how the vicua and notions of indigenous identity are sold across those lines and purchased in Europe. However, the integration of the local economy does not necessarily mean a liberalization of trade and investment. A monopoly on the production of vicua fiber clashes with the neo-liberal philosophy of international trade. One must be wary of assuming that these groups are powerless in this creation. Insertion into capitalism acts upon groups but those groups are also acting upon it (Wolf 1982). Local economies are interacting in this globalized marketplace with different

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98 ideologies and conceptions of efficiency, property and value. As Lewellen suggests there is resistance and adaptation to these flows. Its adoption locally and regionally has taken and will continue to take on different shapes. Present day Andean communities are not vestiges of the past, isolated and unspoiled by the modernity existing outside their rural homes. They have traded with outsiders for centuries. From spondylus shells, to copper, to cotton, to guano, to wool, Peruvians have been involved in the boom and bust cycles of global exchange. Community integration, stemming from usufruct rights, is an active component in the development of an ideology about the animal and the identity of a people. The effect of this integration is dependent on each community and cannot be generalized for all communities across the Andes. The vicua will deliver on its promise for many communities but certainly will not be the savior many hope for. The consequences from such success remain to be seen, but each community will bear those consequences and benefits uniquely. The value of the vicua is rooted in marketing campaigns, political efforts to include communities, and plans for future business operations based on the chaku ritual. The growing gap in wealth among sectors of the same society and nations in the global order creates a demand for exotic products that preserve the very features destroyed in the globalization of world production (Nash 1993:129). Consumption is shaping identity, ritual and cultural meaning of the vicua. The international trade of the vicua will not result in an increasingly homogenous world, as its success is dependent on indigenous history and tradition. Both the manufacturers and the rural peoples need this history. Its reinvention will continue in order to compete in todays globalized economy.

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99 The vicua trade is simply another example of how adaptation to international trade and the desire for the exotic continues to take on new forms. The chaku has decreased poaching making it a success based on the original objective of conservation. It is also an unquestionably viable and profitable new source of income for several communities. Along with these successes the vicua trade has resulted in a conflation of possession and wilderness and commodification of culture. It has created an untenable feeling of ownership amongst the communities that have been given usufruct rights to the vicua. It has also begun to alter identity, culture and reinforce class and race lines based on marketing and heritage. The development of the vicua trade exemplifies how power and wealth continue to be unequally distributed, and shows how first-world consumptive desires are affecting the beliefs, behavior and cultural practices of other nations. Unfortunately at root of our desire for elegance and luxury is a desire for the unique and exotic. In the case of the vicua, that sacred exotic treasure has become not only the animals fiber but also the indigenous peoples producing the raw material. The consequences of this program are far-reaching and have deep implications into the sociopolitical situation of Peru. Indigenous culture continues to be commodified for the benefit of tourists and the nation, while the actual indigenous people remain at the margins.

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REFERENCES Abercrombie, Thomas 1998 Pathways of Memory & Power: Ethnography and History Among an Andean People. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. Agronoticias 1998 Avances, Logros y Perspectivas en el Manejo Sostenible de la Vicua. Agronoticias, May:221. Agrovalle 2002 IX Festival Internacional de la Vicua. Agrovalle, Abril-Mayo. Apffel-Marglin, Frederique, eds. 1998 The Spirit of Regeneration, Andean Culture Confronting Western Notions of Development. New York:Zed Books. Appadurai, Arjun 1982 The Social Life of Things. Ne w York: Cambridge University Press. 1996 Modernity at Large. Minneapolis :University of Minnesota Press. Arce, Alberto 2000 Anthropology, Development and Modernities. New York:Routledge Press. Bauer, Arnold J. 2001 Goods, Power, History Latin Am ericas Material Culture. New York:Cambridge University Press. Bonavia, Duccio 1996 Los Camelidos Sudamericanos. Li ma, Peru, IFEA-UPCH Conservation International. Bourdieu, Pierre 1977 Outline of a Theory of Practice. Ca mbridge:Cambridge University Press. Brack, Antonio 1987 Historia del Manejo de la Vicua en el Peru. Li ma, Peru,Boletin de Lima (50). 100

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101 Conti, Samantha 1997 Four Decades of Spinning Yarns. Womens Wear Daily Italy Supplement, August:52. Cueto, Luis J. 1985 Management of Vicua: Its Contribution to Rural Development in the High Andes of Peru. Rome, FAO. DeCertau, Michel 1984 The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley:University of California Press. De La Cadena, Marisol 1997 La Decencia y el Respeto: Raza y Etnicidad entre los Intelectuales y las Mestizas Cuzquenas. Documento de Trabajo 1022-0365(86). Lima:Insituto de Estudios Peruanos. 2000 Indigenous Mestizos: The Politics of Race and Culture in Cuzco, Peru 1919-1991. Durham, NC:Duke University Press. 2000a La Decencia en el Cusco de los Aos 20: La Cuna de los Indigenistas. In El Hechizo de las Imagenes Narda Henriquez, ed. Pp. 249-314. Lima:Pontifica Unversidad Catolica del Peru. Folke, Carl 1998 Linking Social and Ecological Systems. New York:Cambridge University Press. Friedman, Jonathan 1994 Cultural Identity and Global Process. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Garcia-Canclini, Nestor 1993 Transforming Modernity, Popular Culture in Mexico. L. Lozano, transl. Austin:University of Texas Press. Grewell, Justin Bishop 2002 The Vicua: The Worlds Smallest Camelid. Unpublished Article: PERC. Grupo Inca 2002 Alpaca III Gold of the Andes, Marketing Pamphlet. Arequipa, Peru. Guillet, David 1979 Agrarian Reform and Peasant Economy in Southern Peru. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. Hobsbawm, Eric and Terence Ranger 1983 The Invention of Tradition. New York:Cambridge University Press.

PAGE 110

102 Jorgensen, JG 1990 Oil Age Eskimos. Berkeley:University of California Press. Lewellen, Ted C. 2002 The Anthropology of Globalization. London:Bergin & Garvey. Lichtenstein, Gabriela, Fernando Oribe, Maryanne Grieg-Gran, Sergio Mazzucchilli 2002 Community Management of Vicua in Peru. Proceedings from the 2 nd International Wildlife Management Conference, May. Mallon, F. 1983 The Defense of Community in Perus Central Highlands: Peasant Struggle and Capitalist Transition, 1860-1940. Princeton, New Jersey:Princeton University Press. Marin, Mario Ruiz de Castilla 1994 Camelicultura: Alpacas, Llamas del Sur del Peru. Cuzco:Editorial Mercantil. Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels 2000 Feuerbach: Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook. In Anthropological Theory, An Introductory History. McGee, Jon and Richard L.Warms eds. Pp. 53-66. Mountain View, California:Mayfield Publishing Co. 2001 Bourgeoisie and Proletarians. In Readings for A History of Anthropological Theory. Erickson, Paul A. and Liam D. Murphy eds. Pp.15-25. Ontario, Canada:Broadview Publishing Co. Mayer, Enrique and Marisol de la Cadena 1989 Cooperacion y Conflicto en la Comunidad Andina. Lima, Peru:Instituto de Estudios Peruanos. Morgan, Andrew and Adam Lusher 1997 Nature Watch: Inca System Revived to Keep the Vicua Wild. Sunday Telegraph, London, July 9:18. National Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (INRENA) 1994 Evaluacion Poblacional de Vicua a Nivel Nacional. Lima, Peru, Ministerio de Agricultura. 2000 Evaluacion Poblacional de Vicua a Nivel Nacional. Lima, Peru, Ministerio de Agricultura. National Organization of South American Camelids (CONACS) 1997 Sustaining Vicua Populations Through Community Involvement. Electronic Document, http://www.solutions-site.org/cat1_sol105.htm accessed January 2002

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103 2002 Promotional Pamphlet. CONACS: Lima, Peru. Nash, June C., ed. 1992 Maya Household Production in the World Market: The Potters of Amatenango del Valle, Chiapas, Mexico. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. Ochoa, Jorge Flores 1979 Pastoralists of the Andes: The Alpaca Herders of Pataia. Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues. 1982 Yapicheros y Alpaqueros. 1995 Pastoreo Contemporaneo: un Legado Andino que Persiste. In Oro de los Andes, Volumen II. Madrid, Spain: Julio Soto. Orlove, B.S. 1977 Alpacas, Sheep and Men: The Wool Export Economy and Regional Society in Southern Peru. New York:Academic Press. 1979 Native Andean Pastoralists: Traditional Adaptations and Recent Changes. Studies in Third World Societies 17:95-136. 1989 State, Capital and Rural Society. San Francisco:Westview Press. 1997 The Allure of the Foreign. Ann Arbor, Michigan:University of Michigan Press. Perez Ruiz, Wilfredo 1994 La Saga de la Vicua. Lima, Peru: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia Y Tecnologia. Portus, Javier 1994 Los Camelidos Andinos y Europa: Imagenes y Palabras para una Historia de Integracion Cultural. In Oro de los Andes, Volumen II. Madrid, Spain: Julio Soto. Rabinowich, J.E., Hernandez, M.J. and Cajal, J.L 1985 A Simulation Model for the Management of Vicua Populations. In Ecological Modeling 30:275-595. Sahley, Catherine T., Jorge Torres Vargas, Jesus Sanchez Valdivia 2001 Community Ownership and Live Shearing of Vicuas in Peru:Evaluating Management Strategies and Their Sustainability. Unpublished Arequipa, Peru. Sahlins, Marshall 1995 How Natives Think: About Captain Cook for Example. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1999 What is Anthropological Enlightenment? In American Anthropologist. Annual Review of Anthropology 28:i-xxiii.

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104 Silva, David Guillermo Gamarra 1994 Legislacion Internacional para la Conservacion de la Vicua. Pontifica Unversidad Catolica del Peru. Sociedad Nacional de la Vicua (SNV) 2002 Sociedad Nacional de la Vicua, Planeamiento Estrategico 2002 2015. Lima, Peru. Steiner, Christopher 1994 African Art in Transit. New York:Cambridge University Press. Stephen, Lynn 1993 Weaving in the Fast Lane. In Crafts in the World Market: The Impact of Global Exchange on Middle American Artisans. June Nash, ed. Pp. 25-58. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. Symington, Nicki 2001 The Fleece of El Dorado. The Daily Telegraph (London), September 8:7. Washington, Rita Reif 2002 Weavers of Genius, Long Perus Secret. New York Times, May 26. Webster, S. 1973 Native Pastoralism in the South Andes. Ethnology 12:115-133. Wheeler, Jane 1997 Community Participation, Sustainable Use, and Vicua Conservation in Peru. Mountain Research and Development 17(3):283-287. Winch, Christopher 2003 Education, Work and Social Capital: Toward a New Conception of Vocational Training. New York:Routledge Press. Wolf, Eric 1982 Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley:University of California Press.

PAGE 113

105 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Born and raised in Petaluma, CA, Amy Cox received her bachelor’s degree in political science from The University of California at Los Angeles in 1995. Upon graduation, she worked in Washington, DC, as an intern for the U.S. Department of Agriculture researching rural development programs in the U.S. After completing the internship she moved to Bozeman, MT, where she worked for several years as a product manager, manufacturing and importing clot hing made overseas. She began graduate school at the University of Florida in th e fall of 2001. She has traveled extensively, including Taiwan, Indonesia, Europe, Canada Mexico, South America, and plans to do her dissertation fieldwork in northern Brazil. She currently lives in Gainesville, FL, where she teaches computers to senior citizen s at Santa Fe Community College and is a graduate assistant at the Samu el P. Harn Museum of Art.


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Title: Politics of Conservation and Consumption: The Vicuna Trade in Peru
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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POLITICS OF CONSERVATION AND CONSUMPTION:
THE VICUNA TRADE IN PERU










By

AMY ELIZABETH COX


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003
















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This study was made possible through grants from Tinker Foundation and the

Polly and Paul Doughty Latin America Research Grant. I would like to give my thanks

and gratitude to Grupo Inca and its employees, the officers of CONACS, and especially

the members of Sociedad Nacional de la Vicufia. Without their assistance, candor and

trust I would not have had the opportunities and experiences that they so willingly invited

me to share with them. I would also like to thank the directors of Conatura, Jorge Torres

and Dr. Catherine Sahley, who helped plan and execute this study. Without their insights

and contacts it would have been difficult to conduct this research. I am eternally grateful

to them. I should also thank Dr. Marianne Schmink who gave me Dr. Sahley's email

address and started this entire endeavor. Many thanks go to fellow vicufia researcher

Jennifer Davies, who helped with this project on so many levels. I would like to thank Dr.

Allan F. Burns, Dr. Anthony R. Oliver-Smith and Dr. Glenn G. Willumson who provided

intellect and encouragement, and tempered my frustrations and confusions with kind

words and support. I would also like to thank my Dad who actually read the entire rough

draft, provided useful editorial comments, and helped me with my calculations. Never

has there been a more productive spring break. Finally, eternal appreciation and thanks

go to my Mom who manages to support me through everything.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S .................................................................................................. ii

L IST O F T A B L E S .................... ...... .. .... ....................... .. ......... .......... .... ....

LIST O F FIG U R E S .... .............................. ....................... ........ .. ............... vi

ABSTRACT ........ .............. ............. .. ...... .......... .......... vii

CHAPTER

1 IN TR O D U C TIO N ........................ ...... ...................... ........ ..... ................

R research Q question ................................................... .. ...... .......... ... ............ 1
M ethods and Tim eline ................. .... .... ................ .. .. ....... .......... .......

2 HISTORY AND BACKGROUND .............................. ........................... 17

A H history of C conservation ......................................................................... ... ... 17
Conservation Today .................................................. ...... ......... ................. 21
Property Rights and Concepts of Wilderness .................................................23
Tradition, Chaku and Environmentalism ............... ..............................................26

3 COMMODITY CHAIN OF VICUNA MANUFACTURING............................34

V icu ia to M ark et ........................................................................ .................... 3 4
SN V v s. A lm ar................................................. ................ 3 9
IV C ................... ........................................................ ................ 4 1
C costs and P profits .....................................................................45

4 THE GLOBAL MARKET AND ITS EFFECTS ON LOCAL
C O M M U N ITY ................. ........ .......... ............................. .. .............52

M market Participation and its Effects Locally ............................... ............... .54
Com m unity Reflections ........................... ................................ 61
Tambo Cafiahuas, Department of Arequipa ................................................61
Ondores, Department of Junin and Rancas, Department of Cerro de Pasco..63
Lucanas, Department of Ayacucho ............... ......................................67
M em ory an d P ow er............ ........................................ ................ .. .... .... .. ..7 1









5 CON SU M IN G ID EN TITIE S.............................................................................75

Creating the Neo-Indigenous Identity.................. .... ......... .. ............... 79
Invoking Inca ............. ............... ............... ........ ...... ..............87

6 CONCLUSION ................ ............. ............................ .............. 93

REFERENCES .......................... ......... .... ......... ............. 100

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........................... ............................................... 105













































iv
















LIST OF TABLES
Table p

2-1 Change in population for selected departments............... ................. ............... 20

2-2 V icufia tim eline...................... ........ .. .......... .. ............20

3-1 Price of vicufia fiber per kilogram 1994-2002........................ .................... 37

3-2 C om m odity chain of vicuia .............................................................. .. ..................40

3-3 2002 Financing of SNV and Almar, price per kilogram ..........................................41

3 -4 S ales 2 0 0 1 ......... .... .............. ................................... ..........................4 3

3-5 IV C consume option, 200 1....................................................................... ..................43

3-6 Production and waste for vicufia processing .................................... ............... 46

3-7 Percentage waste and end purchase price per kilogram ...........................................47

3-8 Raw material cost ($385/kg) vs. retail price..... .......... ...................................... 48

3-9 Purchase price vs. retail price ......................................................................... ... ... 48






















v
















LIST OF FIGURES
Figure page

2 1 C h a k u I .................................................................................................................. 3 0

2-2 C haku II ......................................3............................1

2 -3 V icu fi a ...................... .. ............. .. ........................................................3 2

2 -4 P eru v ian c re st .............................................................................................................. 3 2

5-1 Front Cover of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet ........... .................... 81

5-2 Page one and two of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet ..........................................82

5-3 Page three and four of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet ....................................... 83

5-4 Page five and six of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet ............. ..... .......... 84

5-5 Page seven and eight of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet .............. ...................84

5-6 Page nine and ten of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet ..........................................85

5-7 Last Page of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet ........... ................. ...... .........86















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

POLITICS OF CONSUMPTION AND CONSERVATION:
THE VICUNA TRADE IN PERU

By

Amy Elizabeth Cox

August 2003

Chair: Allan F. Burns
Major Department: Anthropology


During the Incaic period it is estimated that between 1.5 and 2 million vicufia

roamed the Andes. However with the arrival of the Spanish colonists those numbers

rapidly began to decline and the vicufia has been threatened with extinction since the

Spanish arrived in the New World. In the latter half of the twentieth century the vicufia

population began to recover. Today there are approximately 130,000 vicufias living in the

Peruvian highlands.

This study focuses on how the trade of the vicufia, a wild, endangered and heavily

protected species, is affecting local communities. With the reintroduction of the historic

Incan ritual, the chaku, the government has worked for 10 years with Andean

communities implementing this conservation program. As a result, ritual, history and

identity are being re-invented and re-imagined in order to gain access and usufruct rights

over the valuable resource. I examine three interrelated questions surrounding the









commercialization and trade of the vicuia. How does consumption and production of the

vicufia shape cultural meaning of the resource and identity of those working with the

animal? How is the chaku as a method for conservation being conceptualized and

actualized locally? Finally, through an investigation of the vicufia commodity chain, I ask

the question, can the vicufia deliver on its promise to bring economic prosperity to

communities?

Indigenous identity and history are being promoted not only as a way to market

the vicufia internationally but also as a way to encourage communities to perform the

chaku ritual. In order to give usufruct rights to Andean communities, conflicting concepts

of tradition and rights related to identity and history are deployed. Initial observations

show that communities are active and dynamic in reshaping the Incan chaku ritual with

respect to defining the space and meaning it will hold in their local economic and social

structures. As consequence, however, there is much miscommunication and debate

between those who have implemented the chaku and those who are subjects of that

implementation. Lastly, it is doubtful that the vicufia can deliver on its promise to bring

wealth to all the communities. Rather, a few communities that have large populations of

vicufia will and are experiencing success, but the majority of the communities are not.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION


Fugitive vicuhas of winged lightness
Toward the snow they run to reflect their shadows
As if they were lead by instincts of purity

They are, by heraldic sign, made for heights
To melancholys and serenities
They love the cold peaks, they love the cold snow
They love distance, they love solitude

The vicuhas are not princesses or vestals
That in the pythagorism of reincarnations
In their sticks maintain priestly fires
Or ruminate dances and songs of melancholy

Polished and serene, romantic and slight
In a gallop full of agility and grace
Running out towards the calmness of the perpetual snows
Seek shelter in the peaks, their aristocratic shearing
-Jose Santos Chocano (original in Spanish, my translation)

Research Question

During the Incaic period it is estimated that 2 million vicuha roamed the Andes

(National Organization of South American Camelids "CONACS" 1997). However with

the arrival of the Spanish colonists those numbers rapidly began to decline and the vicuia

has been threatened with extinction since the Spanish arrived in the New World. In the

latter half of the twentieth century, however, the vicuha population began to recover.

Today there are approximately 130,000 vicuhas living in the Peruvian highlands

(CONACS 2002).









Vicuia fiber is the finest that can be woven and its preciousness has contributed

to the poaching of the animal. In 1995 the endangered species status of the vicufia was

changed so that Peru could export and sell the fiber. The motto became "a vicufia sheared

is a vicufia saved" (Amy Cox interview with CONACS, 5/16/02 Lima, Peru). It was

argued that through commercialization the species would be best conserved. Peruvian

officials also believed that the vicufia resource was economically exploitable for its high

value of fiber, and could be a mechanism and new source of income by which to improve

the quality of life for Andean communities. The communities were given sole exclusive

rights to the fiber as a way creating a new source of income and preserving the animal. I

argue that while the program was developed to integrate communities into the national

economy and improve communal well being, the promotion and sustainability of the

vicufia resource as a commercial endeavor requires indigenous history, heritage and the

highlanders themselves.

With the reintroduction of the historic Incan ritual, the chaku, the government has

worked for 10 years with Andean communities implementing this conservation program.

The chaku, first described in 1586 by Diego Cabeza de Vaca (Portus 1994:22), is a round

up of the animals for shearing. During today's chaku ceremony people climb into the

hills, hold long strings of flags, which form a human chain/net and round up the wild

vicufia for shearing. Once the shearing is complete, the animals are released alive back

into nature. The chaku ritual, as well as other aspects of indigenous Peruvian heritage, is

being commodified, re-invented, and re-imagined, in order to create a new source of

income as well as to gain access and exclusive rights over the valuable resource. Vicufia









management embodies the articulation of power over an endangered natural resource and

cultural symbol.

The intention of this study is to look at the international trade of vicuha fiber as a

way of investigating questions of globalization, development, and identity. By focusing

on what I view to be a dense symbol of wealth, history, and culture, the vicuha, I research

the socioeconomic effects international trade has on rural communities. I explore how

meaning and cultural values change at different phases in the commodification of this

natural resource. In addition, I look at how an ancient Incan ritual and constructions of

indigenous identity are being modified and manipulated to suit the needs of the

community, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGO's) and other

international entities.

My study has three questions, two of which stemmed from the needs of the

National Society of the Vicuha, (SNV). One of the needs outlined in the action plan of

the SNV was to explore new markets. In order to accomplish this the SNV outlined

several needs areas, two of which were 1) a need for the aggregated worth of the fiber

and 2) a need to understand the promotion and production process of the vicuha on the

national and international level (Sociedad Nacional de la Vicuha "SNV" 2002:Appendix

3). I examine three interrelated questions surrounding the commercialization and trade of

the vicuha.

1) How does consumption and production of vicuha fiber shape identity as well as
cultural meaning of the resource?
2) How is the chaku as a method for conservation being conceptualized and
actualized locally?
3) Is the vicuha delivering on its promise to economically develop communities?









I trace out the commodity chain driving an increase in shearing of the vicuha in

order to understand how economic value and cultural meaning shift in the stages of

commodification and production. I research the raw material extraction, the

manufacturing process, and the final production and consumption of the product. My

central concern is to look at how each part relates to one another forming the links that

make up the commodity chain. One of the goals of the SNV was to learn more about

vicuha fiber processing to be able to better manage the vicuha resource. While my

investigation satisfied their need I also simultaneously investigated the purported

economic benefits of the program.

I focus on two aspects of promotion: use of Incan history both for exclusive

access to animals and for marketing to elite consumers. Indigenous identity and Incan

history are the cornerstone for the promotion of the final product as well as for the chaku.

I make clear that all parties are active in this process of using history for political and

economic advancement. The result is the commodification of culture and history and a

perpetuation of socio-biological claims about the naturalness of indigenous people.

The vicuha fiber is sheared using the historic chaku ritual. In Chapter 4 I compare

three chakus in terms of their production capacity and their elaborateness of Incan ritual.

I argue that the two are related. That is, the greater the number of vicuha, the greater

"Incaness" is displayed, and the greater commodification of culture occurs. Supporting

examples of this are the introduction of religious ritual, dance, Incan performance and

ceremony, and development of eco-tourism operations as a way of buttressing and

expanding economic opportunities from vicuha shearing.

Culture does not just represent society; it also fulfills, within the context of the
requirements of the production of meaning, the functions of reelaborating social









structures and inventing new ones. In addition to representing relations of
production, it contributes to their reproduction, transformation, and invention.
(Garcia-Canclini 1993:10, italics in original)

The chaku ritual is being manipulated so that it can eventually become a tourist

attraction. This ritual is continuously changing as people see ways to better promote

heritage, the vicuia, and develop a new source of income. History, heritage and identity

are based on today's globalized world and its needs. How the public views what is

indigenous influences the outcome of the "historic" ritual.

I do not argue that the ritual is inauthentic or that the rural people do not have a

different cosmovision. I argue that authenticity and tradition are terms that ignore

dynamism and we cannot continue to use them. New authenticities are being created from

what we think should be authentic Inca and indigenous. "Objects represent a way of

appropriating and preserving symbols of identity"(Garcia-Canclini 1993:34). Because the

vicufia is a symbol steeped in history and part of Peruvian culture, studying how the

symbol is used sheds light on how globalization is affecting Peruvian identity. Identity,

ritual and heritage are constructs developed from today's history. It is not that

globalization is the ultimate homogenizer. Rather, it is currently the ultimate creator of

nationalism, specialized identities, and otherness.

In Chapter 5 I examine the promotional pamphlets and marketing philosophy of

Grupo Inca, one of the three companies that have been given exclusive rights to

manufacture vicufia fiber. Besides portraying current indigenous Peruvians as remnants

of the past, Grupo Inca seeks to capitalize on Peruvian history in order to promote

consumption. In its pamphlet Grupo Inca states:

The hair of the vicufia, the finest in the world was reserved in the time of the Inca
for only the emperor and his nobility. Presently vicufia fiber is obtained through









an ancient Inca tradition called the chaku which consists of using a large human
chain to capture the animals and herd them into a corral where they are shorn and
then liberated back into the wild, converting this magical ritual into a colorful
party. (Grupo Inca Marketing Pamphlet 2002)

Along with a promotion of the vicufia as historic, scarce and elite, the fiber is

marketed as a sustainable, ecological and indigenous. This marketing plan of

conservation and nature have elevated the importance of the vicufia and created a new

indigenous ritual history based on nature, pristine, and Inca. Purchasing these products,

you can feel good about your consumerism because you are helping to conserve a species

and develop impoverished rural communities

I argue that all of this is acting within the sphere of globalization, which requires

the exotic, the past, and nature. The promotion of the vicufia is based on an alteration of

identity and history in relation to contemporary politics. Consumption is a powerful

force. It, along with the very real hope of hitting a gold mine, are serving to create new

notions of indigenous belief and history. At issue are concepts that cannot be easily

defined: What is natural? What is wild? How do we define property? How do we view

indigenous peoples not only in Peru but internationally? And finally, how does our

consumerism serve to commodity culture and nature?

In Chapter 3 I calculate the aggregate worth of the fiber and quantify the

economic costs and benefits of vicufia manufacturing. For example, a vicufia scarf costs

$400-$1000 USD.1 Through my research, I calculate that a vicufia scarf produced

$53,865.00 of income for the Peruvian manufacturing plant and $28,702 for the Andean

communities. However, only 20% of the vicufia fiber is finished in Peru. The remainder


1 all monetary values in U.S. dollars.









is finished and sold overseas. Furthermore most of the fiber has been stockpiled as

evidenced in the small number of scarves sold and produced vs. the amount of fiber

purchased. I conclude that the monetary benefit for the communities stemming from the

sale of the vicuha varies by community with the majority of communities not seeing any

substantial monetary benefit. However, the communities with the highest concentration

of vicuha will and are benefiting greatly.

The last issue I investigate was not one I had anticipated, but one that merits

attention and thought. The entire conservation program of the vicuha hinges on Peruvian

law giving usufruct rights of the fiber to the communities. The communities are given

the right to shear the animal in exchange for community protection of the vicuha living

on their communal land. Underlying this action is the belief that if given rights to the

resource, poaching would cease. These rights, however, were not clearly defined and an

ongoing struggle over access to the resource has ensued. In Chapter 2, I begin to explore

how usufruct is conceptualized and the problems created because of this law. The chaku,

a dynamic ritual system that was newly introduced to the communities, came to be a

crucial component in my analysis of how tradition, belief, and power are altered.

My original hypothesis asserted that as the community becomes more involved in

the international market, the monetary and cultural value of the vicufia will become

stronger while class divisions will become greater. While it is difficult to assess causal

relationships stemming from the vicufia, my observations show that new hierarchies have

been created and indigenous identities are being manipulated by the state, local and

corporate levels to gain socioeconomic and political leverage. The process is not a top-

down domineering imposition. The local communities have very different perceptions,









problems, and projections for the vicuia. This is clearly manifested in the differences

exemplified in the chaku ritual and beliefs of each community.

Methods and Timeline

I operationalize my three research questions through the exploration of the

commodity chain. This research is somewhat different than classic anthropological

research because of the nature of the study. Instead of conducting all my fieldwork in one

community, my research required that I follow the production and consumption of vicufia

products. Consequently, I spent a lot of time in urban centers like Arequipa and Lima,

researching the main manufacturing plant, working with the Peruvian government,

community organizations, and other private companies. I also had to change my

community visits several times for a variety of reasons. In the end I worked in three

communities Rancas in Cerro de Pasco, Pampa Galeras in Ayacucho and Tambo

Cafiahuas in Arequipa. I also visited a research station outside of Cuzco and had plans to

visit another community in that department but due to a freeze that occurred, the visit was

canceled.

My methods included participant observation, open-ended interviews, and simple

random surveys of community members. In the workshops sponsored by Conatura, a

NGO located in Arequipa, Peru, I passed out questionnaires and conducted shorter

informal interviews. I also used data from published materials and interviews to quantify

the aggregate worth of the fiber and the profits and costs of the vicufia production. Lastly

I collected and analyzed visual material culture, such as promotional pamphlets, posters,

photographs and marketing materials.









I visited four communities in four different departments, one research station

outside of Cuzco, participated in two chakus, and interviewed leaders of the SNV, Almar,

Conatura, National Organization of South American Camelids (CONACS), National

Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (INRENA) and Grupo Inca. In addition I

worked with Conatura in two community planning workshops and attended several

government meetings, local community congresses, and community meetings.

I began my study in Lima, Peru on May 12, 2002. Conatura had assisted me with

the initial proposal and helped me set up contacts and community visits. Because

Arequipa is located about twelve hours from Lima, I needed to contact the Lima

organizations first. I called the SNV and CONACS and set up interviews. These

interviews were the first of many and the discussions allowed me to get an overview of

the stakeholders and as well as organize crucial community visits. The SNV and

CONACS helped me gain entry into several communities and without their cooperation,

this study would have been difficult, if not impossible, to execute.

During this week I also met with the director of Conatura to organize my site

visits and workshops for the following weeks in Arequipa. Lastly, I visited the exclusive

retail shop, Alpaca III, which sells vicufia products in the LarcoMar shopping center. At

this shop I had the great fortune of getting the contact information for the only Peruvian

factory that is permitted to work with vicufia fiber, Grupo Inca. I contacted them while in

Lima and they agreed to meet with me the following week in Arequipa. Gilberto was my

contact at Grupo Inca and was open and candid about the vicufia production process.2 He

gave me a tour of the factory and introduced me to key players in the vicufia production


2 Names are changed, unless last name included.









process whom I later interviewed. I returned to the factory several times and Gilberto's

kindness, frankness and availability, helped me to gain more insight into the process and

understand how Grupo Inca viewed the vicufia in its overall business plan.

I had initial plans to visit a community in the department of Junin before

departing to Arequipa, but the chaku was canceled.3 This would become a common

occurrence and hindrance for not only my study but for the SNV. Instead, I flew to

Arequipa where I began my work with Conatura. They had facilitated my initial meeting

with the SNV and had agreed to help me with community visits in the departments of

Arequipa and Puno.

My first week in Arequipa I participated in a workshop sponsored by Conatura.

The two-day workshop was attended by all of the participating communities in the

Arequipa department. This session provided me with the opportunity to conduct a survey,

interview community leaders, and participate in discussions about community needs and

problems. It also helped strengthen my relationship with the SNV and Conatura.

With the assistance of Conatura I had originally planned to visit two communities

in the Arequipa region, Salinas and Pampa Cafiahuas, and Picotani in the department of




3 Throughout the summer several obstacles presented themselves. The community I was
scheduled to visit in Arequipa decided at the last minute that they did not want Conatura
to conduct the scheduled five- day workshop. Without the assistance of Conatura I was
also unable to visit the community. The two site visits I had scheduled in Cuzco were
canceled because Peru was experiencing a severe freeze and shearing of the vicufia was
canceled for fear that this would endanger the animals. My rescheduled visit to a
community in the department of Junin was also canceled because the corral holding the
animals broke and all of the vicuna escaped. Lastly, two community visits were
shortened because of national strikes and riots. These experiences, while extraordinarily
frustrating, also served to shed light on the instability of Peru and the difficulty of
planning and promoting the chaku as a development alternative.









Puno. However, due to a conflict between Conatura and the community the Salinas visit

was postponed and I was not able to attend. The Picotani visit was canceled due to

conflicting schedules and reports of dangerous travel in Juliaca, the larger town on the

way to Picotani.4 Consequently I only visited one community with Conatura, Pampa

Cafiahuas, which is an annex of four smaller communities. I visited Pampa Cafiahuas

with Conatura and participated in a community workshop and strategic vicufia

management planning session.

Following this, I interviewed the managers at Grupo Inca. I was given a factory

tour and initially they were quite open and willing to discuss manufacturing, marketing

and their business plans with me. However, as my search for more sensitive information

increased, their reluctance did as well. I interviewed the production manager, two textile

engineers, and the Director of Retail Sales and Marketing. I attempted to interview the

other major knitwear factory of Peru, Mitchell Company, (they were denied the

opportunity to export vicufia), but was refused an interview.

From Arequipa I returned north where the SNV had agreed to take me to several

different communities to participate in local congresses, meetings and chakus.5 First, I




4 Communities can be very fickle and in this particular instance two NGO's were vying
for the exclusive right to work the community. Conatura had this workshop planned for
several months but ARACUARIA, a Spanish NGO, had told the communities that if they
worked with Conatura they could not work with ARACUARIA. Competition for
community access continues to be a problem.

5 I had difficulties getting to and staying in communities. Because I had no reliable
transportation, I had to rely on the SNV, Conatura or CONACS to take me to sites. In
addition I needed them to help me enter these communities that would otherwise not
necessarily welcome an outside researcher. While I visited several different types of
communities I was unable to stay as long as I had originally planned, due not only to the
time constraint of the summer, but also due to transportation and planning. Consequently









visited Ondores in the department of Junin and then went on to visit Rancas in the

department of Cerro de Pasco. In Ondores I participated in a local congressional meaning

and monthly planning meeting. There was also a forum for discussing the problems the

community had experienced with the SNV and with Almar. Almar is a company named

after Alfonso Martinez, a lawyer from Lucanas, Ayacucho. Martinez has been a key

player in the development of the chaku program and in the promotion and production of

vicuia fiber as a method for increasing community income. The meeting in Ondores

stemmed from the fact that Almar was competing for rights to shear the vicuia fiber of

several communities, offering better prices and plans than the SNV. Almar was targeting

several of the major producers of fiber and threatening the stability and longevity of the

SNV. The SNV believed that Almar was spreading rumors about them and the SNV had

gone to Ondores in order to clarify and quell those rumors. Martinez was supposed to

attend the meeting but failed to show up. This raised the ire of the SNV because they felt

that they could not quell the rumors without speaking to him face to face in front of the

entire community.

In Rancas, Cerro de Pasco I participated in my first chaku. This was also my third

community visit. What I had begun to see was that while there were similarities between

sites, there was much discontinuity. What was true in one community was not always

true in another community. Not only was there discontinuity in the way the historic ritual

was conducted, but also in terms of the presence of social capital, infrastructure,





I was unable to research much of what was originally scheduled. On the other hand, I sat
in on meetings and met people who I had not originally planned for either.









leadership, organization, and financial well-being. My idea of a unified rural population

and community structure was exploded.

Following this visit I returned to Lima and attended meetings with the SNV and

CONACS learning more about the SNV's battle to maintain exclusive selling and

shearing rights. The problems with Almar continued to be a thorn in the SNV's side and

they were at constant battle with this phantasm.

Accompanied by the SNV I went to the department of Ayacucho to visit the town

of Lucanas, the biggest producer of vicufia fiber. Lucanas is the site where "it all began".

Here in the late 70's a German NGO began a program to repopulate the vicufia. This is

also the home of the first leaders of the SNV and CONACS. This visit turned out to be

pivotal. During the Festival of Cheese and Vicufia, dignitaries, tourists, and government

officials had come to participate in the famous Incan chaku ritual. Creating the chaku,

totally different from the one I saw in Rancas, into a national event, people from all over

Peru came to participate and witness the shearing of the vicufia. Here I met Alfonso

Martinez, the first president of CONACS and owner/founder of Almar. He introduced me

to several of his friends and the first President of the SNV. The dialogues started to shift

as new perspectives, politics and agendas came into play. I felt as if I was in a novel and

the plot was thickening.

Returning to Lima I followed up on my new contacts and conducted several

formal interviews before heading off to Junin again. I was scheduled to visit the

community of Cachi Cachi and see another chaku. Leaving Lima I was robbed while

sitting in traffic and worse, the visit to Cachi Cachi in Junin never happened because the

fence surrounding the vicufia broke and all of the vicufia escaped, resulting in no chaku









for me to visit. At this point I had four community visits in four different departments.

My last community visit was in the department of Cuzco. I flew to Cuzco, took a course

in Quechua and continued to research. In Cuzco, a totally different angle was spun and a

politic that was separated from the vested interests of Lima was displayed.

Unfortunately my Cuzco visits were canceled because of the immense freeze that

Peru experienced, ultimately leading to a state of emergency and national campaign to

send blankets and aid to the farmers and herders living in the high plains. No shearing of

vicufia would be conducted during this time. Nonetheless I was able research in the

university library and met three anthropologists who would help me greatly with

literature and years of experience: Dr. Jorge Flores Ochoa, Dr. Carmen Escalante, and Dr.

Ricardo Valderrama.

After a few weeks of waiting and after the freeze let up, I participated in the

Department of Cuzco's Congress for Vicufia and met the Cuzco and Apurimac CONACS

workers. While I never made it to Quispicanchis in Cuzco, I did visit La Raya, a

university field research site that works with alpaca, llama, vicufia, cattle, and sheep. I

also attended a festival in Sicuani where community members brought and showed their

animals. La Raya is dedicated to answering biological questions of territoriality, family

make-up, illness, and issues of fertility with the captured vicufia. They have extensive

research facilities and are associated with the university in Cuzco. La Raya also performs

chakus and has benefited monetarily from the sale of the fiber. Their chaku ritual, as told

by my guide, was nothing like the one in Lucanas, but was similar to the chaku of

Rancas.









Out of all the research conducted I am most disappointed with the absence of

community visit in the Cuzco department. Cuzco communities are more isolated and

separated from the politics of Lima and Arequipa. Moreover Quechua is spoken without

shame in front of foreigners. This study would be improved with the experience of

another chaku in the department of Cuzco.

It is difficult to capture and set down on paper the feeling of dynamism that life,

projects and politics take on. A good example of this is that while in Peru the United

States lifted the ban on the importation of vicufia products. Witnessing how everyone

reacted to this policy change helped me to see the power the U.S. has in the creation of

policy and ideology in other countries. However, I left during the development and

opening of this new market. Being away from Peru and from contacts has left a void in

this new development in the ongoing evolution of vicufia management. What lies ahead is

unpredictable but watching it develop should prove interesting.

The conclusions of this research are not new. Rather this is a case study

supporting the work of many anthropologists who have looked at international trade and

the commodification of culture. Peru has been part of the globalized economy and trade

for over six centuries (Wolf 1982). "It is characteristic of the Andean area that the coast,

the piedmont, the altiplano highlands, and the tundra steppe (puna) afford very different

environments and resources, and hence require and enable different human activities"

(Wolf 1982:59). Trade between those areas was critical for survival and the Inca

flourished by trading through these areas. More recent, Peru followed another export

boom in the guano trade in the 1800s and in the 1900s wool was exported in mass

quantities. Copper, silver and other minerals continue to be a part the Andean export









economy. The vicufia trade is simply another iteration of adaptability to a flexible trade

economy.

My goal is that this research and observation provide insight into the way that

local communities participate in the global marketplace and explain how they mobilize

conventions of cooperative work and resource management to engage international

markets. Curiously, knowing how important indigenous heritage is to the sustainability of

the vicufia resource and its retail success may help empower the communities to take

control over the portrayal and use of their history, heritage, ritual and identity. This, in

turn, will allow them to actively engage in the development of their future.
















CHAPTER 2
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

Quechua Myth

The gods had mercy on men
And decided to people the earth
By alpaca and llamas
By vicuha and guanacos
They emerged from the wells
From the pacarinas and the fountains
They offered their meat, their hide, and their blood
Thoughtful man in the darkness
That day they will be treated well
(In Silva 1994, my translation)

Q'olla Myth
Apullarghagua had a beautiful daughter named Qhori Chaska. All the young men of the
region wanted her, but their parents did not accept any of them. One day when the Inca
arrived in the village to govern, knowing of the young girl, he wanted to meet her, but her
parents, to prevent this from happening, transformed the young girl into a vicuha.
Nonetheless, in his dreams the Inca saw her as she was described to him. Sick and sad
because of this, his servants brought to him the aforementioned vicuha. Healed by
contemplating the greatness of the animal, he ordered that she be released in a prairie
where he visited her every day. His wife, with jealous rage, killed the animal and ordered
a dress made with its skin. When the Inca found out about this, he prohibited all women
from wearing the vicuha skin.
(In Brack 1987 and reiterated in interview with Alfonso Martinez, 6/28/02, my
translation)

A History of Conservation

In 1553, a Spanish chronicler, Pedro Cieza de Leon described the following:

Before the Spaniards took this kingdom, there was all around these lands and
open fields great quantity of sheep of those lands, and greater number of guanacos
and vicuhas, but with the quickness that the Spaniards took to kill them, so few
remain that there are almost none. (Ochoa 1994:30, my translation)









The vicuha resides in the puna, or high treeless pampa plateau in the Andes

Mountains, and grazes in elevations between 4000 and 5000 meters (Wheeler 1997). The

puna, or high plateau, is a treeless pampa in the Andes Mountains. The vicuha is the

smallest member of the camelid family and its hair is considered the finest in the world

(Grewell 2002:2). "The fiber of vicuha, after natural silk, is the finest fiber the world

knows, with an average diameter of 13.2 microns, outdoing the wool of alpaca and

cashmere (Brack 1987:7). Others argue that the vicuha width is typically between 10 and

11.4 microns, while Cashmere is 15-19 and the Alpaca is 18-22. Duccio Bonavia states

that the vicuha is the finest wool that can be woven and is the only wild ungulate that

develops well in the high plains of the Andes (Bonavia 1996). In general, one vicuia

every two years produces approximately 200-250 grams of fine fiber. This preciousness

has spurred three centuries of use and abuse of the animal.

In 1825 Simon Bolivar signed into effect law #135 stating the prohibition of

killing the vicuha and limiting the shearing to the months of April, May, June and July.

A law in 1917 sought to increase the vicuha population through a teaching program of

caring for the young of the vicuha, llama and alpaca. In 1920 and 1926 two laws

prohibited the fabrication and exportation of the fiber (Silva 1994). In total between 1786

and 1964 over 40 legal motions were made to protect the vicufia and prevent extinction.

Most did nothing to protect the animal from near extinction and in 1964 there were

approximately 5000 vicufia left in Peru (Silva 1994). In 1965 the Peruvian government

along with assistance from WWF, UICN, Sociedad Zoologica de Frankfurt and the

Belgian government created a 6,500-hectare (16,061.85 acres) reserve in Pampa Galeras,









Ayacucho. Their goal was to protect the vicufia and eventually use these animals to

repopulate all of the Andes and to create income potential for the communities.

The German Society for Technical Cooperation in 1977 stated:

The vicufias although not domesticated, form part of the high puna ecosystem. We
consider the vicufias for the possibility to use them in benefit for the human
populations and for the need to conserve this valuable natural resource. The
Rational Utilization Project of the Vicufia has the basic objective of repopulating
the puna with a native species of grand economic potential and to augment the
profitability of the marginal lands of the Andes, through the use of the vicufia and
other wild fauna species for the benefit of communities and campesina businesses.
(Ochoa 1982:22, my translation)

Law 17816 in 1969 prohibited the exportation, importation and commerce of

vicufia fiber and pelt. In 1975 this law was reinforced through the Forest and Wild Fauna

Law. Argentinajoined the coalition in 1971 as did Chile in 1972 (Rabinovich 1985 in

Grewell 2002). The first technical conference for the conservation of the vicufia was held

in Lima and Nazca in 1971 and included the participation of FAO, OEA, UICN, and

WWF. Another conference was held in 1979 for the Conservation and Management of

the Vicufia.

National Parks in both Chile and Peru have successfully protected the vicufia. The

2000 census from INRENA reflects this growing cipher and shows that there are

approximately 134,000-150,000 vicufias living in Peru. This is about 65 -70% of the

world's total (National Institute of Environment and Natural Resources "INRENA"

2000).

Vicufias were transferred from Pampa Galeras in 1977 to SAIS and then to two

cooperatives in Junin. Following that, the vicufia was transferred to Arequipa. In 1980

SAIS-Cusco began a project to start a vicufia-breeding program (Ochoa 1982).









Table 2-1 Change in population for selected departments.
Department 1982 1994 1998*
Arequipa 630 2079 3310
Pasco 248 65
Junin 1853 7106 12341
Cusco 956 1849 3306
Puno 8618 16340
Ayacucho 20893 18430 39175
National Total 6781 120210
Source: INRENA 1994
*Estimate

The years 1983 to1993 are referred to as the grann matanza" or grand killing. In

this five year period about half of the vicufia were killed because scientific calculations

called for an optimal population of vicufia per hectare, permitting communities and other

members to trim their populations (Amy Cox interview with CONACS 5/16/02 Lima,

Peru). Exacerbating this were violent attacks by Shining Path guerrillas on the Pampa

Galeras Reserve. They dismantled the posts and the area was abandoned, making it

vulnerable to poachers (Lichtenstein et al 2002:3).

Table 2-2 Vicufia timeline.
1824 Simon Bolivar expresses concern about the vicufia and seeks to protect it
by enacting laws
1860-70 Vicufia enter into danger of extinction
1964 Grand alarm because only 5000 vicufia left. University makes program,
lots of news about the vicufia
1973 Begin practice of using park guards
1977 Culling of vicufia occurs. Still no talk of introducing the chaku.

1983- The vicufia population grows, but the Shining Path attacks this area and it
1994 is estimated that over 50,000 vicufias were killed during this era, due either
to their violence or to a massive drought.
1994 Chaku introduced
1995 CITES permits purchase of vicufia products. Commercialization to save the
vicufia. Involve the community, shearing and caring reduces poaching and
also improve lives of vicufia. Motto "a vicufia sheared is a vicufia saved"
started.
Source: Interview with CONACS 5/16/02, Lichtenstein et al 2002









Conservation Today

From the outset the vicufia project has been called ideal for what is considered a

combined effort of conservation with development motives for the financial betterment of

the local communities. A plan that works from a paradigm of natural, tradition, and

native has been hailed as innovative because it promotes the use of a natural Andean

resource for community development.

The first to create a government committee to promote the commercialization of

camelid products was Alan Garcia, who in 1985 created the National Institution for the

Investigation and Promotion of Agriculture. The organization was not well run however,

and several other institutions were subsequently created. Most of these organizations

focused on camelids in general or specifically on the alpaca. In 1980 the treaty for the

conservation and management of the vicufia was approved and then in 1989 the

CONACS was created. This legislative declaration, #653, stated that:

1. The state declares the vicufia a wild species under protection, prohibiting the
exportation of live animals.
2. The activities of management and utilization of the vicufia pass to the campesino
communities.
3. The use is extensive, making it possible to enjoy the usufruct of the fiber products
of live animals.
4. The campesino communities are the possessors of the populations of the vicufia of
the country, the law confers them the preferential treatment and guarantees the
custody and usufruct rights of the vicufia.
(Marin 1994:33, my translation).

In this same decree, the council was given power to dictate policy surrounding the

vicufia that was not specifically mentioned in the decree. In 1992 Supreme Decree 026

created CONACS with the function of promoting the protection and development on a

national level for South American camelids (Marin 1994:34). With the creation of

CONACS a national program of management and shearing was implemented.









The motto of CONACS during the 1990's was "a vicuha sheared, is a vicuia

saved". It was believed that if the community profited from the sale of the vicuha fiber,

then the community would be more encouraged to help protect and manage the vicuia

and therefore less likely to poach the animal. While poaching remains one of the biggest

risks for the vicuha population, communities have begun to see that working with these

animals can be a new source of income. In addition new and more potent laws have

discouraged poaching.

Up until 1995 the vicuha was listed as level one on the endangered species list

meaning that any part of the vicuha could not be exported. In October of 1995 a petition

from the International Vicufia Consortium (IVC) was submitted requesting that the

vicufia be removed from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

(CITES) list. Eighty-five comments were received during the public comment period.

One comment from Loro Piana, one of the business members in the IVC argued that

strong economic incentive, through an open international market, would increase

sustainable management of the vicufia. However, there were also many comments from

stakeholders who did not support the harvest of fiber from captured animals. For Peru

many of the negative comments were related to the perceived detrimental competition

from domestic livestock and limits on watershed.

The CITES status of the vicufia was changed and downlisted to an appendix level

two species. The vicufia could be sheared and its fiber sold and exported. The U.S. was

the only market that continued to refuse importation rights and until June of 2002 it was

illegal to import products made from vicufia into the U.S. The SNV was created in 1995

in order to assist communities in bringing their fiber to market. The commodity chain is









explained in deeper detail in Chapter 3, but essentially CONACS overseas the

management of the vicuia, the SNV shears the fiber and sells it through their exclusive

contract. The company that has received the exclusive rights to manufacture and export

the fiber is the IVC, which consists ofLoro Piana, Agnona (recently sold), and Grupo

Inca. Grupo Inca is located in Arequipa, Peru and Loro Piana and Agnona are located in

Italy.

Property Rights and Concepts of Wilderness

Today the laws surrounding the vicufia have entered a period of heightened

conflict. In 1991 Supreme Decree 653, which established usufruct rights for the

communities and affine organizations was challenged with Decree 26496, which gave

rights to private landholders to sell vicufia fiber. Prior to this only communities selling

through the SNV were allowed to sell the fiber.

Usufruct is a Latin word meaning use and fruit. Usufruct rights provide

organizations or individuals, in this case the community, an opportunity to take advantage

of the fruit of the wild animal. The government gave the communities usufruct rights as a

way to circumvent the detrimental poaching that plagued the vicufia population. It was

reasoned that the communities aided in and were responsible for poaching. If they were

given the rights to benefit from the animal, then the poaching would cease. Moreover,

since the animals lived on their property, who best to protect them but the community?

Usufruct rights were also used as a way to gain access to the international market after

CITES had restricted the exportation or sale of vicufia fiber. Commercialization was the

best protection for the species.









Giving the animal back to the community was considered a sustainable

development opportunity. The chaku allowed Peru to capitalize on the resource by

arguing that by shearing the animal, the animal would be saved. Markets needed to be

open in order to accomplish this. CONACS established a three-prong plan to protect the

vicuia; 1) The efficient response of the communities in the management of the species;

2) The opening of the legal international market; 3) Legal enforcement against poaching

(Agronoticias 1998).

This controversial law giving usufruct rights has spawned battles with private

owners, non-community members, and businessmen, who while wanting to profit from

the sale of vicufia fiber, were not explicitly included in the initial plan. How were private

landowners supposed to shear the vicufia and get their fiber to market? The legal route

was not clearly outlined in the original law and a subsequent law, conflicting with the

original law, was passed permitting another route for the sale of vicufia fiber. This law

has permitted organizations like Almar and Tupac Amaru to exist outside of the SNV and

promote and manage the vicufia in more private terms.

Confusing the situation even more, CONACS in 1996 began to sell fences to the

communities in order to improve the management of the vicufia. Fences were given to the

communities in exchange for vicufias; each vicufia being valued at approximately $1,000

USD (Lichtenstein et al 2002). The vicufias given to CONACS were then used to

repopulate other areas of Peru. Leaving questions of consanguinity and animal

territoriality aside, the use of fences as a way to protect and promote the conservation of

the vicufia has spawned a philosophical change in the perception of the vicufia that is

irreversible. It has also challenged the notion of usufruct with the notion of ownership.









As the animals, once virtually ignored by most community members, came to

occupy a large space of enclosed property requiring watchmen, the perception of wild

dissolved into domestic. In Agronoticias, they state that in 1996 107 fences were installed

and 128 the following year, making a total of 235 fences, in equal number of

communities. On a national scale they want to increase the vicufia population to 250,000

heads across Peru, produce 16,000 kg and install 300 sustainable use modules (fences)

for 1,000 operating communities (Agronoticias 1998).

This large-scale fencing program diluted the idea of wilderness and has further

created space for private landowners and ranchers to capture and cultivate their own

quarry of animals. After all, if fences are used in communities, why not with individuals

whose property lines those same fences? What is wild about fences? If the animal is no

longer wild, what is the rationale for giving communities exclusive rights?

The communities have come to relate to the vicufia in domestic terms. Two

brothers, who have worked extensively with the SNV, exemplify this perfectly. In a

meeting between the SNV and CONACS right after the notice that the U.S. opened their

market to vicufia fiber, Carlos and his brother were very concerned. They did not

understand that they did not own the animals and that the usufruct status was subject to

changes in Peruvian law. Although the lawyer for CONACS explained the concept, they

still did not understand. Usufruct, as concept of ownership and care for wild animals, has

created confusion and reinforced feelings of being tricked. Later that day at lunch, the

lawyer for CONACS felt the people were misled and that people "treat them (community

members) like children. They lie and make things pretty and are afraid to tell them the









truth because the communities have the power to kill the animals" (CONACS and SNV

meeting, 6/27/02 Lima, Peru).

The communities feel like they own the vicufia, but the reality is that they only are

allowed access to the fruits of the animal. "The vicufia is a resource of the state. The

vicufia belongs to the Peruvian state through the Peruvian legislation. But the resource

can be exploited by the communities" (Amy Cox interview with CONACS 5/16/02 Lima,

Peru). The communities do not own the animals and it is now difficult for CONACS to

legislate policy. CONACS is concerned that if the community members believe that they

fully own the animals that they will think that they can sell the animal and poaching will

rise again. This concept is further muddied when one asks: Why is this not a concern with

private ranchers? Why is the animal wild on indigenous land and property on private

land?

The question of usufruct rights is not a simple dispute with the law. Philosophical

questions arise: What is wild? What is natural? Who owns the animal? These concepts

have become confused and problematic as community members, governmental

organizations and private partnerships see that they can profit from the animal. In

addition, as the community members have begun working, caring for, maintaining and

guarding the animal, notions of ownership and property have positioned the vicufia as

something other than a simple wild animal where the community can take advantage of

its fruits. The animal has become property and part of the community's identity.

Tradition, Chaku and Environmentalism

In a magazine advertisement for the chaku in Ayacucho, the chaku is described









The chaku is an ancestral ritual, realized since the epoch of the pre-Inca, in order
to round up wild vicufia in the zone toward a corral where they are classified and
sheared in order to obtain their valuable fiber without endangering the species.
(Agrovalle 2002, my translation)

CONACS actively promoted the chaku believing that if incentive was given to the

communities, poaching would decrease. "All people participated in the chaku, making a

human circle and closing the circle until capturing them. During the colonial epoch all

sense of the chaku was lost... The entire fiber went to the Inca. The fiber has always been

important" (Amy Cox interview with CONACS 5/16/02 Lima, Peru). There is reverence

for the past as the government pushes this lost history on community members. "The

chaku is promoted as an ancient way of protecting and conserving the species" (Marin

1994:32).

However, this historic tradition is not in the memory of the community. The

community members do not have any recollection of working with the vicufia and are

adopting this history as it is being promoted. Consequently this ritual is being reinvented,

both by CONACS and by herders, as it is refashioned from the past for the present.

Each community organizes their own guard for the vicufias and plans for their

chaku. "Each community has a set date for their chaku, the same as the Inca conducted

the chaku" (Amy Cox interview with CONACS, 5/16/02 Lima, Peru). The times set for

the shearing, while in line with the periods specified by the Inca, are not necessarily the

best for the animal. Many biologists argue that the summer months are the worst times to

shear due to cold temperatures. In addition, it is so early that pregnant vicufia are often

undetected and spontaneously abort during the stress of the chaku and shearing.

A few others argue that it is precisely shearing that will be the demise of the

vicuia. Alfonso, the technical director at Grupo Inca stated:









Each time you shear the fiber, the fiber thickens. With the alpaca, you should only
shear 3 to 5 times, no more. The alpaca can live to be 25 years old, but at age 14
they (herders) usually kill and eat the alpaca because the animal is no longer
producing valuable fiber. The problem with the vicufia is that you don't know
how many times the fiber has been cut. The ideal would be to shear every 2 years
only twice. No more. But what happens? Surely there are vicufias that have been
cut every year. Now the fiber is thickening (Amy Cox interview with Grupo Inca.
6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru)

Alfonso likens some of the vicuia fiber sheared today to cashmere and says:

"You can buy the bristle of cashmere. You can say that is cashmere but not tell anyone

that it is the bristle of cashmere. It is the same with the vicufia."

Further research disputes the benefits of the chaku.

The chaku has also been one of the causes that have helped without a doubt and in
an important manner, in the destruction of the native Andean fauna. While this
indigenous custom continued to be practiced in the viceroyal times, but without
the necessary order like that in the Incaic time, to such an extreme that the chaku
was forbidden. (Bonavia 1996)

Nonetheless, the SNV and CONACS argue that the main threat to the growth of

vicufia population is poaching not shearing. Grewell offers another perspective and

argues that "the threat to the vicufia is no longer dwindling population, but rather

encroachments on the species' habitat" (Grewell 2002:19).

In an evaluation conducted by INRENA they state that:

The census has received the support of the campesino communities, facilitating
the identification of the sites and they have contributed and participated in taking
the census. The vicufia resource is economically exploitable for its high value of
fiber, making it a mechanism of integration in the active economy of the country
and of the Andean population in order to improve their level of life through direct
advantage. The campesino communities, for their ancestral identification with the
preservation of the ecosystem and in general for their ideological concept, are
more suitable to assume the protection, conservation and management of the
vicufia. (INRENA 2000:27)

This is contradicted by the community members themselves, many of whom

stated that they had never imagined working with the vicufia. "No, we never worked with









the vicuha. We hardly knew they were there" (Amy Cox interview with community

member, 6/8/02 Ondores, Junin). The government and NGO's have a romanticized vision

that the communities are linked to the Inca and that environmentalism is embedded in

their culture. Watching people toss candy wrappers, and garbage in the pen of the vicuia

makes one question this assumption. While the herders obviously work in nature, it does

not mean that they know how to care and manage a wild animal that they have previously

never worked with.

The idea that ancient equals natural, authentic and harmless is the main marketing

tool for the chaku. NGO's refer back to the Inca, claiming that they knew best, and had

lots of vicuhas without fences, thus hoping to promote the pristine. CONACS argues that

the calendar is set by the Inca and they should stick to it. The SNV argues that the chaku

belongs to them and they are the authentic caretakers of the animal. There is a prevalent

belief that the chaku is naturally the best technique because old is sacred, and the Inca's

ways (native) is better for the environment.

In a book published by Grupo Inca titled Oro de Los Andes (Gold of the Andes),

several photos serve to depict the historicity of the chaku. One shows nude men with bow

and arrows chasing what might be a vicuha, but the animal looks more like a deer. The

Figure is titled Chaco (1582) (Figure 2-1).

The other graphic (Figure 2-2) is also titled Chaco, 1779-1789 and is a childlike

portrait that shows people constructing a fence around mountains and trees and stabbing

the vicufia that are inside of the roped in structure.










~!~I~-4$ ~FCLi3 ~~~ro~~;"~s~s ~Jq~
_____________________: ~ 2~~F~ne SF~Ij


Figure 2-1 Chaku I.

It is unclear in both graphics who the people are, who is hunting and whether or

not the animals shown are vicuha, guanaco, alpaca or llama. Grupo Inca publishes Oro de

los Andes. This book along with several other books and films are part of the holistic

marketing plan of the company to become the best and only producer of South American

camelid fibers. These drawings serve to legitimize the chaku not only as part of Peruvian

heritage but also as naturally good. The book also shows photographs of the vicufia as

depicted in colonial drawings and as part of the Peruvian shield (Figures 2-3 and 2-4).

These serve to legitimize the vicufia as part of the cultural heritage of Peru as well as to

provide heritage and pedigree for the vicufia, thus supporting usufruct law for the

communities, which are based on heritage and culture. Ultimately all of this buttresses









the vicufia as a treasured product, well deserving of space in fine boutiques, displaying

price tags of thousands of dollars.


Figure 2-2 Chaku II.









HISTORIC 1ATVRZ LIB.i

NPA


Figure 2-3 Vicuha; Figure 2-4 Peruvian crest.

Was a gold mine promised? According to CONACS there is land use of 13,800

hectares (34,100.5 acres) in the puna zone. Brack estimates that the carrying capacity in

Peru for the vicuha population is 3 million. It is believed that the vicuha has lower costs

and greater benefits than other sources of income like mining. Vicuha, although fragile,

are very adaptable. In addition, many argue that there are not a lot of other alternatives as

the alpaca sales are so low and pastoralists are looking for any option. Some communities

have even purchased the fence offered by CONACS without having any vicuha.

While no projection for consumer capacity for vicuha products is known, the

vicuha does represent an alternative source of income for Peru. The vicuha has become a

source of indigenous identity and a prospective economic gold mine for the future. This

is perpetuated not only by Peruvians, but also by those interested in exoticizing the

Andean people and the wildlife. The conflation of monetary value, development and









preservation battle against one another. Can tradition, environmentalism and growth be

combined? The answer is really not that it can, but that it must. People in Andean

communities are dissatisfied with a life of poverty compared to outsiders. In contrast

those in government and business must promote and preserve the rural Andean people, as

is, in order to maintain the exotic Incan ancestry. Tradition has to be combined with

growth.















CHAPTER 3
COMMODITY CHAIN OF VICUNA MANUFACTURING

No object, no thing, has being or movement in human society except by the significance
men give it.
-Marshall Sahlins

Vicufia to Market

The vicufia live in the high Andean plains around 3000 to 4000 meters. About 60

to 70 percent of the world's vicufia population live in Peru. The remaining 30 to 40

percent live in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. A harsh arid climate, very few animals and

plants are capable of living and thriving in this environment. Consequently the vicufia

have become an idealized resource for the people living in this resource poor area.

Several systems of commercialization for the vicufia exist: 1) A cooperative of

communities comprising the SNV have been given the rights to shear and sell; 2) private

organizations like Almar or Tupac purchase fiber from private owners or communities

and assist them in shearing and selling the raw material to manufacturers; 3) local artisans

use the shorter fibers that are useless in mass production to make lesser quality garments;

4) poaching. The vicuia fiber of Peru arrives to market in mainly the first two ways.

At every shearing a CONACS officer is present to insure proper care and

management of the vicufia. CONACS, established in 1992, is an autonomous institution,

independent from the ministry of agriculture, and was established to manage the camelid

resources of the state. For wild camelids the role of CONACS is to:











1. Conserve and protect the species
2. Evaluation of the population of the vicufia
3. Management and development of the vicuia.
4. Instruct, support and organize the communities how to manage resources.
5. Sustainable use of the vicufia.
(CONACS 2002)

CONACS has a direct role in controlling and supervising the management and

care of the vicufia from the state's point of view. They are given this power because the

vicufia is a national subject. They supervise the chaku because it is part of the

management process. In each chaku there is a CONACS member to see how many are

animals are sheared, captured, and how much the fiber weighs. They give their

certification that the fiber is sheared from live animals but do not have anything to do

with the sale. Although some argue that this is a crucial part of the management process

and, therefore, they should be more actively involved, CONACS does not want to be

involved in monetary issues and disputes (Amy Cox interview with CONACS, 5/16/02

Lima, Peru).

The vicuia fiber is sheared utilizing a traditional method dating back to the Inca.

This method is called the chaku and consists of capturing the wild vicufia, shearing them,

and then releasing them into the wild. The chaku is conducted with assistance and

equipment lent to the community by either the SNV or a private company like Almar.

Private entities that have vicufia can also shear the fiber but CONACS members are

present for this as well.1




1 That private parties have access to the fiber has caused great conflict and concern that
such privatization will encourage domestication of the animal.









The capture is conducted with about 100 to 200 people who hold hands, making a

large human chain. The people hold a long plastic rope adorned with colorful flags and

gently persuade the vicufia into a holding pen. Several communities also use horses to

assist in the round up. Recently communities have installed large permanent corrals to

make the round up of the animals easier. Consequently the chaku can either be inside the

corral or in the open plains without the assistance of a preexisting pen. Capturing vicufia

inside the pen typically results in a more efficient and more productive capture. Some

communities like Ondores, Junin conduct both pen and non-pen chakus.2 Before the fiber

is sheared a ritual is performed. These rituals vary by communities but could be a

marriage, a pagapa, or another type of offering. Once the fiber is sheared it is weighed

and recorded with the CONACS technician.

If the fiber was sheared with the SNV the fiber moves to Nazca, Peru where it is

cleaned and bagged. If the fiber was sheared with Almar it goes directly to the buyer, the

IVC. Almar has negotiated a contract with the IVC whereby they sell un-cleaned fiber

directly to the manufacturer. Both parties have to secure verification from INRENA

insuring that the fiber has been legally sheared.

A contract is negotiated between the seller, the SNV, and the buyer. A call for

bids is sent out and a company wins the rights to be the sole manufacturer of vicufia



2 Because the fiber is so valuable, many people would like to exploit this valuable
product more efficiently and increase profits. Six months ago, there was much discussion
over the implementation of permanent corrals as a way of increasing efficiency and
profitability (Sahley et al 2002). This option has been tabled for the time-being and the
communities have returned to a more wild animal management policy. The question
remains, however, how will use and meaning of the resource change when more and
more monetary value can be derived from its sale.









products. In 1994 the fiber was sold for $816.38/kg. The price continued to fluctuate in

the following years and a system was developed to improve dependability and stability.

Now a price is negotiated with the manufacturer and set for a specified number of years.

During the first call for bids the fiber was sold for $358.00/kg. However, during the

second solicitation nobody submitted a bid. The SNV became very concerned because

they needed to sell the fiber. Because of their lack of financing and organizational

instability, they accepted a bid that was lower than desired. Vulnerability has forced the

SNV into a position of powerlessness.

Table 3-1 Price of vicuia fiber per kilogram 1994-2002.
Year $/kg
1994 -I 816.34
1994-II 425.30
1995 482.38
1998 358.00
1999 358.00
2001 385.00
2002 385.00
Source: SNV data presented at May 2002 workshop

When asked why they did not submit a bid, the companies said it was because of

the Asian financial crisis. The crisis had a big impact on them because Japan is one of

their main clients. The SNV had no choice but to send out another solicitation. They

finally negotiated a price of $385/kg. This was satisfactory until one year later they heard

that the Chileans sold their fiber for $575/kg. They regretted making the contract and

wanted CONACS to assist in renegotiating. The IVC, the consortium that had agreed to

purchase the fiber, felt that they had paid market price and negotiated a fair and binding

contract.

There has been two calls for bids and the IVC has won each time. A third

solicitation was conducted in early 2003. The IVC consists of three companies, Incalpaca









of Grupo Inca, Loro Piana and Agnona. The IVC believes that they won the bids because

they offer the best marketing package, strongest alliance of manufacturing and the finest

manufacturing of natural knit fibers in the world (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto at

Grupo Inca 5/22/02 Arequipa, Peru). Besides Chile, Argentina has also opened up their

vicufia trade and last year also received over $500/kg for the fiber.

After the fiber is cleaned approximately 30% is sold directly to Grupo Inca in

Arequipa. The other 70% are shipped to the Italian partners of the IVC. Once the fiber

arrives to Grupo Inca it is either stored or cleaned again and readied for processing.

Typically after cleaning they get about 79-82% of usable fiber. They conduct this part by

hand because if do it by machine they only get about 64% (Amy Cox interview with

Alberto of Grupo Inca, 5/22/02 Arequipa, Peru).

The fiber is then combed, carded, spun, dyed and knit. Most of the vicufia

products are not dyed and kept in the natural cinnamon color. However, they do offer

vicufia products in black and navy dyes. Finally the product is finished and packaged.

From the vicufia fiber they manufacture only shawls, capes, scarves and an occasional

blanket. Currently they do not make sweaters but in the future hope to perfect this

technology. The highest grossing store in Lima sells about one vicufia cape per month

and three vicufia scarves per month. If other stores sell vicufia products it is because

Grupo Inca has licensed that store.

Grupo Inca is primarily a vendor of alpaca and baby alpaca, but are working with

the vicufia to complete their image as the only producer of all four South American

camelid fibers. They have improved their product immensely to get it to be as soft as it

can be. They have an on-line website and sell their wares at their Alpaca III stores much









cheaper than their European counterparts. The scarves made from vicufia are packaged in

a cedar box, lined with tissue. A decorative metal pin and authentication tag detailing the

item number and its legality, are pinned delicately to all products. The end result is

elegant, luxurious and treasured.

SNV vs. Almar

The recent battle in the vicufia management struggle has been between the SNV

and the corporation Almar. Almar' s president and founder is Alfonso Martinez. Martinez

was integral in the promotion and protection of the vicufia in the early 1990's under

President Fujimori and encouraged the creation of CONACS, later becoming its

president. Two conflicting laws exist regarding the commercialization of the vicufia. One

states that the SNV is the exclusive group to manage and sell the fiber to the IVC.

Another takes a loophole in the previous law and questions it by stating that private

parties and communities can opt to sell their fiber to any organization, not just the SNV.

People have to be with SNV to sell their fibers. They made the contract bid and
the SNV is the only way communities can sell the fiber, but there are particulars
that aren't a part of a community. This has brought jealously to the SNV not all
are communities. SNV wants to ignore them and say that they do not exist. But
the law did not say how they would sell their fiber. (Amy Cox interview with
CONACS 5/16/02 Lima, Peru)

The threat of Almar has caused the SNV to become very concerned about their

place in the vicufia business. Part of the problem arises because the SNV has not been

able to pay communities on time. The SNV is supposed to pay the communities when

they are paid by Grupo Inca. However, due to bureaucracy and inefficiency many

communities have not been paid for the previous year's fiber production. Moreover there

has been much corruption at the hands of past and transient SNV and regional leaders.

Consequently the current SNV leaders have to contest with those memories and those








financial deficits. Almar has taken the opportunity to come up with a more efficient and

effective purchasing program whereby communities are paid when the fiber is sheared.

Table 3-2 Commodity chain of the vicuia.
Organize chaku between
community and CONACS
4
Chaku (shear vicufia) Round-
up, classify & tag, shear,
weigh, bundle


Fiber goes to SNV or private
company like Almar


SNV


Almar


Weighed, stored and
cleaned in Nazca
4
Secure INRENA
verification


Sold directly without
cleaning to IVC
4


Secure INRENA verification


Fiber bundled and shipped
to IVC



IVC ITALY
Fiber shipped in bulk to
Loro Piana and Agnona


GRUPO INCA


Cleaning

4
Fiber stored for long periods
of time in a locked cabinet
4
Carded, Combed, Dyed,
Woven
4
Finished, Packaged
4
Quality Control, Shipping

Retail Stores










Almar is able to do this because they have secured financing and a different

selling contract from Grupo Inca (Amy Cox interview with A.Martinez 6/28/02 Lima,

Peru). Grupo Inca declined to comment about their financing with Almar or with their

Italian partners. Almar and businesses like it threaten the SNV because they fear a loss in

the control of production, an increase in poaching and illegal commercialization of the

fiber, and ultimately a decrease in the prices paid to the communities. The SNV feels that

a cooperative system would be the most beneficial for the communities.

Table 3-3 2002 Financing of SNV and Almar, price per kilogram.*
SNV $ Almar $
SNV arrives in communities Almar arrives in
and performs chaku. communities and performs
chaku
Sells fiber after cleaning Buys Uncleaned fiber
Discount 10 % regional assoc. $ 38.50
Discount to SNV 10% $ 38.50 60% to community $226.00
Total to community $308.50 40% to Almar $114.00
Total IVC Purchase $385.00 Total IVC Purchase $340.00
Source: SNV
* Almar confirms their numbers but disputes the SNV's numbers.

IVC

The vicufia represents less than 0.5 percent of their business. The image of being
authorized to work with the finest fiber, one of the two finest in the world, Ahah,
is very good. This gives us a lot. It is very important strategically. It is very
important. (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto of Grupo Inca, 5/22/02 Lima, Peru)

The IVC buys a certain quantity of fiber. When ready, the fiber is processed and

sold. In the past, the IVC paid 10% royalties from the sales to the communities. This

payment is no longer part of the contract.

We are not going to get rich using the vicuia. I want to leave that well
understood. What we gain is prestige. Do you want a scarf of vicufia? I have it.
Do you want a scarf of guanaco? I have it. But my business is alpaca. (Amy Cox
interview with Gilberto of Grupo Inca, 5/22/02 Lima, Peru)









The entire platform for Group Inca's marketing plan is that they are a sustainable

company whose communities that provide the raw material, benefit through a unique

system of tradition and modernity. One of the conditions of the group is that they cannot

damage the environment in any way. To protect the environment is to protect the

industry. In their brochure, Grupo Inca states:

Promote ancient methods and modern technologies. Peasant communities are well
rewarded for the sale of the fiber and receive the necessary financing for the
preservation and raising of the vicuia. Worked by the hands of the virgins of the
sun, the company has grown from working with nature.

The directors follow this mission and one of the managers stated:

For example, our managers of the business are very preoccupied with providing
jobs in Arequipa where the industry is or to the Andean communities where we
have our raw material. Thirty years ago, the owners had a very open and modern
mind. During an era, which was all exploitation, they began with this mentality.
The group began with this philosophy and still today they maintain it. This is one
of the reasons the Peruvian government gave them the right to work with the
vicuia. (Amy Cox interview with Grupo Inca 6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru)

After speaking with several communities the biggest complaint, however, was

that they were not compensated for their fiber. This does not mean that Grupo Inca did

not pay. Grupo Inca paid but either the money vanished, was stolen or was excruciatingly

slow in arriving to the communities.

Vicufia sales are less than 1% of the total sales for Grupo Inca. For 2001 they sold

338 items (Table 3-4). However Grupo Inca only produces 30 percent of the total fiber

and the items are sold at significantly lower prices than their Italian partners.

One should be wary of extrapolating this number to $2,564,000.00 (to include

Italian partners) to obtain the total world's sales of vicufia because the European prices

are often three times higher than those provided to me by Grupo Inca. Raw fiber is

exported to Italy and only a small portion is processed within Peru. There is a strong and









somewhat complicated relationship between the Italian factories and the Peruvian

factory. When asked why the company would opt to export their fiber when they could

add value to the fiber here in Peru, the manager thought that either the Italians had better

financing or better access to markets. I asked if Grupo Inca was getting kickbacks and he

just shrugged his shoulders and said, "well I guess that might be possible".

Table 3-4 Sales 2001.
Item Sold Retail Price Total
Male Scarf 225 $ 400 $ 90,000
Female Scarf (wrap) 76 $ 800 $620,800
Blanket 2 $2000 (est) $ 4,000
Cape 34 $1600 $ 54,400
Total 338 $769,200
Source: Grupo Inca, store price reflects Lima retail price.

Table 3-5 IVC consumption, 2001.
Company % of Total Total Amount
Loro Piana 70% 1974 kg
Zegna (Agnona) 10% 282 kg
Incalpaca 20% 564 kg
Total 100% 2820 kg
Source: Incalpaca of Grupo Inca

Grupo Inca has stored much of the vicufia fiber for later production in anticipation

of the opening of emerging markets. For the last eleven years the U.S., under CITES, had

forbidden vicufia imports.3 According to the textile engineer at Grupo Inca, their biggest

customers are the Japanese, but the U.S. offers a profitable market. When the U.S. market

opened up in July of 2002, the marketing manager exclaimed that this was the moment

they were waiting for. Incalpaca exports 26% finished goods, approximately 290 pieces,





3 When President Bush visited Peru in 2001, the government gave him a present of the
Gold of the Andes made by Grupo Inca. This cedar box contains four scarves each one
made from a different South American camelid. Gilberto declared: "Your President is a
contrabandista!"









and sells 74% locally, about 810 pieces, through their chain of stores (email

communication Grupo Inca 9/14/02).

Grupo Inca has a strategic alliance because they are partners with European

companies. They formed the IVC because they wanted to insure that they won the

solicitation. If all three companies entered, only one company could win, creating

unnecessary competition and exclusion. The upper management of Grupo Inca is trained

in the Italian factories. The companies normally do not work on the same thing and try to

make sure that they do not compete. But, to weave the vicufia you need high technical

skills. The marketing manager still felt that "under my concept, as a Peruvian, it would be

good if it all stayed in Peru" (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto, 6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru).

Alberto, the factory manager, is very proud of the fact that they are one of three

companies that can work with vicufia. "Even that which is made by hand can't compare

to what we do."

You are buying 100 percent of fiber from a live animal. That is to say that to buy
the fiber you are contributing to the protection of this animal for that the major
part of the money is going to the highlanders. I don't say that better ways don't
exist, but ours, the manner in which we are working the fiber is adequate and
sufficient for a quality product. (Amy Cox interview with Alberto, 6/4/02
Arequipa, Peru)

The prestige of Grupo Inca and their marketing platform culminates in one of

their products, The Gold of the Andes. A customer can purchase four scarves, each made

with a different animal fiber llama, alpaca, vicufia and guanaco, packaged together in a

tissue-lined cedar box.

This gives us an image; it gives us the power to negotiate. For us it is very
important. In economic terms it isn't, for example a cape of vicufia costs in the
international market $3000 and we sell it for $1600. We are suppliers of this. In
reality there is little profit, very little. There are many more personal gains than









what you get selling it. But for us it is worthwhile because we went the simple act
of supplying vicuia. (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto 6/4/02 Arequipa, Peru)

Costs and Profits

Arequipa is a very important economic center of Peru and Grupo Inca is a very

important business. Their net sales are 45 million dollars year and they employ more

than 1000 people. In the textile group alone they employ around 250 people. Because it is

such an important business they have much political power. When asked why they were

awarded the right to sell the vicuia, the retail manager remarked:

They gave us the possibility of working with the vicufia because of our
philosophy. We have won the public bid two or three times. We have won the
right to process the vicufia for the next few years and we'll see what happens in
the next bid. We enter equally with others from all over the world. The other
companies can win too. (Amy Cox interview with Gilberto 6/4/02 Arequipa,
Peru)

Grupo Inca has two to three eight-hour shifts each day. During the high season

(September, October, November) they hire seasonal workers and have three shifts. In

addition, they contract piece workers for other projects to work out of their home. All the

workers wear navy blue overcoats and have time cards. They wear badges in order to

pass through security to enter the building.

Grupo Inca pays their employees about $150-200 USD/month including taxes and

health insurance. The workers are mostly young, staying at Grupo Inca for an average of

five years. They are permitted to employ workers aged 15 tol8 because the workers

formed a labor union, and fought so that they can work if they are under 18. If a worker is

under 18 they can work two to three hours per day but are paid the same per hour as the

other employees.









I visited one out of Grupo Inca's three factories. The factory is extremely clean,

which is not uncommon for knit manufacturers. The factory floor is cleaned three times a

day and is spacious. At any given moment the managers know exactly what they produce

and everything is controlled through mechanization and computers. Each product comes

with a special printed tag so that the manager knows where and what is being processed.

We not only invest in human capital, which is our principal investment, but we
invest a lot in technology. You are going to see now and going to know the plant
and we are very very avant garde. Grupo Inca is not the biggest but they are the
best. There is not enough fiber to grow (the company) more. (Amy Cox interview
with Gilberto 5/22/02 Arequipa, Peru)

Grupo Inca processes vicufia one to three times per year. The total process, from

start to finish, takes approximately fourteen days.

The textile engineer at Grupo Inca provided me with the following timetable and

waste calculation:

Table 3-6 Production and waste for vicufia processing.
160kg dirty fiber
70kg cleaned
56 kg washed (1 day)
47.2 kg yam (2 days)
46.8 kg crude fabric (2 days)
42.1 kg final fabric
Source: Grupo Inca

I tried to verify these numbers to see if the numbers were accurate and received

the following reply from an U.S. garment company:

With regard to loss in knitting and finishing, I am not sure what percentage, if
any, should be applied. I imagine it would depend on whether the fabric is washed
and tumble dried and what the shrinkage rate is. Your question is actually really
complicated and essentially almost impossible to figure out without some textile
engineering. It isn't straight match because it has to do with how tightly or loosely
the knitting is done. However, you know the weight of the scarf so you could
basically assume the weight of the scarf is the same weight of fiber +5-6% for
waste. That may be a little high but should cover 'whatever' issues. The only
other determinate would be if there is any finish added to the fiber or knitted









material. This would also add a little weight but fairly minimal. (email
communication 9/7/02)

The real difficulty in calculating cost is that all the 'waste' is recycled so it is

almost impossible for an outsider to determine the actual cost and profit of the product.

Each garment is made with 70% new and 30% recycled fiber. I do not know if the textile

engineer's numbers reflect the re-use of fiber and what percentage is actually lost and

what percentage is actually recycled. If they do not, and I presume that they do not, then

the actual cost will be significantly lower than what I have calculated (looking only at the

% waste from post-wash to end result).

Another discrepancy is that I have conflicting answers from Grupo Inca with

respect to how much waste there is from the dirty to the clean fiber. Alberto's numbers

show 160 kg down to 70 kg, a loss of 57%. Another contact said that they could get about

80% usable fiber from the dirty fiber, a loss of only 20%. Nonetheless I will use

Alberto's numbers which will reflect the highest possible cost of the garment:

Table 3-7 Percentage waste and end purchase price per kilogram.
Dirty Clean Wash Yam Crude End
160kg 70kg 56kg 47.2kg 46.8kg 42.1kg
$385/kg 26% (74% loss)
$61,600 per 160kg $61,600 per 42.1kg
processed fiber
Source: Grupo Inca

Sixty-one thousand six hundred dollars divided per 42.1 kg of processed fiber

accounts for the material cost and does not include the labor, overhead, profit, shipping

and general operating costs that Grupo Inca incurs from processing this fiber.

Nonetheless given these numbers, one can calculate the raw material cost per item. Sixty-

one thousand six hundred dollars divided by 42,100 grams results in a price of $1.46 per

gram. Looking at three items, the woman's scarf, men's scarf and the blanket, I calculate









that the actual fiber used by taking the final weight and dividing it by the waste (Table 3-

8).

Table 3-8 Raw material cost ($385/kg) vs. retail price.*
Item Actual fiber Weight Cost Retail Price Difference
used Peru
Men's Scarf 418.25 gm 110 gm $160.60 $ 400 $239.40
Woman's 760.00 gm 200 gm $292.78 $ 800 $507.22
Scarf
Blanket 2661.50 gm 700 gm $1022.00 $2000 $978.00

Table 3-9 Purchase price vs. retail price.*
Item Total Sold Difference Total Net Profit Total Income to
Grupo Inca SNV
Men's Scarf 225 $239.40 $53,865.00 $36,135.00
Woman's 76 $507.22 $38,548.72 $22,251.28
Scarf
Blanket 2 $978.00 $ 1956.00 $ 2044.00
Total $94,369.72 $60,430.28
*Cape not included because weight unknown

If in 2001 there was a total of 2820 kg of fiber purchased by the IVC, (see table 3-

5) and each animal produces about 200 grams of fiber, it will take four animals to make a

woman's scarf, two animals to make a men's scarf and thirteen animals to make a

blanket.4 At a total of 2820 kgs of fiber purchased, approximately fourteen thousand one

hundred animals were sheared or about 10% of Peru's vicufia population. Therefore, each

pelt is worth about $77.00.

Looking at the community of Rancas, they sheared 21.9 kg of fiber is 2002. It

took about 150 community members to execute the chaku, plus the CONACS technicians

and five SNV employees. About eight hours was spent between arrival, organization,

execution of chaku, shearing and weighing. For the 21.9 kg they received, the SNV



4 The back of the vicuna is the only part sheared. The belly, legs and necks are not
sheared.









received $8431.50 in payment. The community received $6,679.50 (reflecting SNV price

to community of $305.00/kg after discounts). Dividing that number by the amount of

workers and hours spent, the hourly wage is $5.56. For the community of Ondores they

sheared 95.29 kg of fiber.5 At a price of $305 per kilogram, they earned $29,063.45.

Using the same number of workers and eight-hour day, these community members

earned $24.22 per hour.

The amount of money to be gained from this resource is unfortunately minimal

for most communities. In a survey taken at one of Conatura's capacity building

workshops, the communities had anywhere from 0 to 150 vicuia. Given this low number

and that they can only shear once every two years, this leaves very little fiber to be

sheared. If out of 150 vicufia they can shear 20% of the animals (between actual capture

and if the animal's fiber is long enough) that leaves 30 animals sheared. 30 animals with

200 grams of fiber each results in a total of 6 kg sheared for about $1800. The situation is

worsened when one looks at all of the kickbacks that are taken out of this and the fact that

about half of the communities have never received the money from shearing. The only

communities that will make any money are those with significant populations of vicufias;

and those are few.

Some argue that the resource is free and waiting to be plucked. The rationale is

that any income is better than none. Leonidas Gutierrez Hermoza, a university professor

in Huancayo, explains "this resource does not cost anything to produce and costs very

little in exploiting it. They are a key species" (Cuzco Congress for Vicufia and Guanaco


51 was not present to verify number of participants.









7/23/02 Cuzco, Peru). This is not exactly true. The labor of the community members

should be valued. Moreover, if the community has a fence they also have the cost of the

fence to deal with, maintenance and supplying guards for the corrals.

Shearing a few vicufias from each community is not going to draw the

communities out of poverty. On the contrary it has inspired and taken labor away from

other jobs. Because the fiber is reworked and value added, most of the profit goes to the

companies and retailers. The SNV hopes that by combining all of the community's

vicufia that they will be able to form a political alliance that will help bolster the prices

that are paid to each community. It is a difficult and expensive task to include 700

communities into a cohesive unit. If they are not linked, however, the competition

between communities will increase and the price will plummet. Those with very few

vicufia will be left with a resource that is really not worth working with.

The SNV hopes to increase profitability with better shearing and management.

For example in Picotani, department of Puno, they increased their clean fiber from 68.24

kg to 74.18 kg. The profits could be increased if there were more efficient shearing and

control over the process. Another option is to sell dirty fiber to the IVC similar to what

Almar has negotiated. Given that the price in the last ten years has decreased from $800

to as low as $358/kg one must ask where about will the price bottom out? Will it go as

low as the alpaca? Furthermore, given the nature of the apparel industry, what will

happen if the vicufia scarf never catches on? Will the treasured aspect of the vicufia fade

away?

Annual production ofvicufia fiber in Peru is 2000 kilograms. Production of

alpaca worldwide is about 5000 tons. Another comparison is that only 8% of fiber textiles









in the world are wool or animal fibers, 52% is cotton. Of this 8-7% about 93% is wool

and .001 % is alpaca. The vicufia fiber as a real resource on this scale seems minuscule.

The managers at Group Inca feel that in relative terms, the alpaca is a fiber that is

produced very little, the vicufia even less. The production of vicufia is for prestige not

profit (Amy Cox interview with Alberto and Gilberto 5/22/02 Arequipa, Peru).

As far as profits go, the vicufia is not making most of the communities wealthy.

What it offers for many is the prospect of wealth, a future to be capitalized on either in

elite apparel, artesania, or eco-tourism. The vicufia embodies hope. Identity is used as a

way of realizing this hope. In the next two chapters I look at how identity and heritage are

being transformed around the vicufia commodity. In Chapter 4 I show how the chaku

ritual is changed in order to create and enhance economic opportunities. These changes

are mostly based on the interests and desires of outsiders. In Chapter 5 I examine the

promotion and marketing of vicufia products to end consumers. I conclude that the retail

success of vicufia products is dependent upon Peruvian's indigenous history and current

Andean population.

Identity is best conceptualized contextually. It is not a stagnant concept nor do

people have one singular identity. Rather, identity is part of an ethnoscape, where

definitions are dependent on time and space (Appadurai 1996). Identity is used

selectively. It is slippery. If objects indeed represent a way of appropriating and

preserving symbols of identity (Garcia-Canclini 1993), then looking at how identity,

heritage and ritual are recontextualized and reinvented around the vicufia commodity,

allows one to see how trade and commodification alter and inform our concepts of self

and other.















CHAPTER 4
THE GLOBAL MARKET AND ITS EFFECTS ON LOCAL COMMUNITY

Juana is 54 years old. Her husband is 86. They have six children. She wanted to

come to the meeting to ask for help, not really to attend the workshop on conducting a

census. Her husband cannot work because he is old and so she has no one to help her.

Nobody is at the workshop and she is annoyed because she walked an hour to get there

and everyone should know about the workshop because they talked about it at the prior

assembly. Juana's family has a few alpacas and llamas but they do not grow anything

because of the altitude. There are no jobs in the city. She wants to know what I have

brought her from the U.S. She asks if I can bring one of her children to the U.S.

"I want a nice warm coat. What have you brought? We need stuff. There is no

work. We are hungry. It is very cold. I want you to take my daughter with you." I weakly

explain the difficulties and I know that she thinks I am lying. My words fade off. She

gets close because I am foreign and she believes I have money and a way out.

"No, the vicufia has not brought us any money."

She has no idea where the money went. She does not know about the truck. The

other community members ostracize her husband and so this year she will be the one who

participates in the chaku. She wants part of the money. The money goes to certain

individuals and doesn't help the whole community. She doesn't get any help from the

community and she has come here to complain.

"I hope to God that the vicufia helps. I hope to God."









Nobody showed up that day, and Juan, the workshop leader, had to go door-to-

door asking people to attend tomorrow's workshop. There should have been about forty

people in attendance, and on the first day only five showed up. Unfortunately, some are

willing to miss work and attend the meeting and others are not. Everyone said they would

attend but they did not and this adds to a feeling of disunity and lack of confidence in the

word of their fellow community members. Juan is concerned because he needs to deliver

numbers to his funding agency and if people do not participate, he will not be able to

continue to receive money (Amy Cox interviews with Juan and Juana 6/14/02 Tambo

Cafiahuas, Peru).

The town square in Tambo Cafiahuas is approximately one city block. Small

houses line the outer edges and in the center are a flagpole and plaza. The latrines are off

in one corner facing the river. The people have not showed up because they are working

and conducting the trueque (bartering) with people in the Colca Canyon. They are trading

fiber and meat to obtain other goods like flour, beans, and vegetables. Juana, along with

most of the people attending the census workshop, did not come to town to learn about

how to conduct a census of the vicufia. Rather they came to ask the NGO for assistance.

Four smaller communities have been annexed into what is called Pampa

Cafiahuas. Conatura invited 150 families, each consisting of about five to eight people.

Some people are not very involved with the community so the workshop leaders hope to

have approximately forty people. A few of the families have trout farms that they hope to

cultivate and sell either to a local restaurant or to Arequipa. They have a restaurant but it

is not open and not many people stop anyway.









The people of the community are angered and disillusioned about the sale and

income from the sale of the vicufia fiber. The money has disappeared into the hands of a

few individuals and this has spawned a dialogue of community vs. individual. Many feel

the money would be better served if it were divided individually instead of through a

community purchase that has risks of corruption and opacity. With the money from the

last sale, Tambo Cafiahuas purchased a truck and one of the community leaders stole the

rest. The truck has disappeared and now nobody has access to it. Many argue that

everyone would benefit more if the money were divided up individually so that each

family could use the money how they see fit. Conatura discourages this and says that if

the money was pooled together everyone could reap greater benefits. They argue that the

chaku, as ancient Incan ritual, should promote community, not the individual.

Market Participation and Its Effects Locally

Sahlins (1999) states that groups will absorb some symbols of modernization but

can be successful in maintaining their identity. "There is a determination on the part of

Eskimos to maintain traditional Eskimo culture and at the same time to adopt a pragmatic

acceptance of the benefits of modern technology (Jorgensen 1990:6 in Sahlins 1999:viii).

In short, an Eskimo is still an Eskimo even if he drives a pick-up truck. Indeed "changing

global conditions whether economic, political, cultural or environmental are

'relocalized' within the national, regional or local frameworks of knowledge and

organization" (Arce 2000:188). International symbols and conceptions are reworked so

that they will fit in with traditional practices and beliefs.

If Arce and Sahlins are correct in their assertion that indigenous communities are

able to maintain their traditions and culture, even in the face of global economic









interaction, then marketing the vicufia will have little "real" impact on their cultural

values and identity.

Sahlin's case concurs with Orlove: "What is striking about rural Arequipa, which

has largely been ignored by Andean ethnography, is that the social formation there has

remained remarkably stable despite changing articulations in state apparati over several

centuries" (Orlove 1989:150). Furthermore, Sahlins points out that the greater a person's

success in the money economy, the greater their participation in the indigenous order

(Sahlins, 1999:xvi). Following this logic, the communities working with and profiting

from the vicufia will experience greater participation on the part of the community's elite

and subsequent reinforcement of vicufia as a cultural symbol of identity and heritage.

While Sahlins and Orlove may glorify the potential for local communities to

retain their "culture" in the face of modernity, it is important to note that this is not

unilaterally agreed upon. Guillet asserts that the Andean community is illiterate and

monolingual which causes difficulties in dealing with bureaucracies (Guillet 1979:165).

Consequently, the groups rely on certain people (presumably those with greater success

in the money economy) who can communicate with those outside of the community.

Information is a powerful tool when allocating resources. Who makes the decisions about

the management of the vicufia holds the power of the community's economic

development.

As a point of comparison, Kenya has attempted to implement communal ranches.

This serves as a useful comparison because shearing the vicufia is also an attempt to

harvest a communal property. In Kenya, the decision making of communal ranches lies in

the hands of a single owner/manager. "Policies that encourage private ranching in Africa









have only benefited the elite and mostly non-pastoral entrepreneurs. Group ranches in

Kenya have resulted in an expropriation of land by the rich and loss of access rights by

women and the younger generation" (Folke 1998:256). He further states that "communal

is actually a system of usufruct exchange and agreement between herders" (Folke

1998:49). He argues that the biggest problem with group ranching or communal farming

is that people do not respect the boundaries agreed upon (Folke 1998:120).

In the mid-1990's President Fujimori placed ownership of the vicufia into the

hands of the communities. In doing so, Peru hoped to increase the participation of the

indigenous community in the global and national economy. The Andean indigenous

communities have formed a national alliance, the SNV that is empowered with the sale of

vicufia fiber. The mission statement of the SNV reflects their commitment to the vicufia

not just as an economic resource, but also as an important part of their culture. "We are a

representative entity of wild vicufia, conservationists charged with its sustainable

development in benefit of the Andean population (and)... to treat our cultural identity

with respect, ethics, dignity, solidarity, democracy and transparency" (SNV 2002:22).

The SNV hopes to unite the Andean community through communal management

of a resource. They hope this will strengthen their social capital, which will strengthen

their bargaining power. At the same time, market forces are encouraging individualized

shearing of the vicufia through the use of fences.

Some argue that the vicufia provides social capital. Social capital has been defined

as the social relationships that people have with each other through the collective

knowledge of a group and the subsequent supervision that the group exercises over its

members (Winch 2000:5). Social cohesion is created when individuals form social









networks to produce goods, i.e. communal shearing of vicufia. Many contend that this

leads to a more productive and healthier community. "Social capital, then, is an amalgam

of moral, cultural and cognitive elements all dependent on one another" (Winch 2000:6).

For example, the nets used for funneling the vicufia into temporary shearing pens

during the chaku are sometimes shared amongst communities and their use coordinated.

Sharing the nets reinforces bonds of reciprocity and neighborly goodwill. "The chaku is

a ritual way of nurturing nature... The human community 'thins' or 'prunes' what is

strictly necessary... In this way nature is pruned to permit a regeneration, at the same time

the human community is nurtured" (Apffel-Marglin 1998:179).

What my observations show, however, is that this nurturing vision of cooperation

and taking only what one needs is simplistic and romantic. What in fact often occurs is

the nets are not shared even when it is in the financial interest of the community leaders.

Sharing the nets is a political decision not only an economic one. There is a continuous

adjustment of alliances as individuals negotiate this space. We see this readjustment and

example of agency in Enrique Mayer's and Marisol De la Cadena's study of conflict and

cooperation in Huancayo.

In the studies about communities there exists a black and white tendency full of
nostalgia of the past to qualify 'positively' the existence of collective
organization and negatively of the predominance of 'individual' aspects.
Accompanying this tendency is the concept that 'community' signifies
collectivity and egalitarianism. Correlatively the notion of the community
excluded individual aspects. Fieldwork reflected that the work of collective
organization did not offer the same benefit for all of the community members.
The validity of the 'campesino community' is relative... It is presumed implicitly
that private property of the family parcels changed the material conditions of
production in the Andes, something that evidently does not occur. (Mayer and De
la Cadena 1989:113) (my translation)









Mayer and De la Cadena rightly point out that the concept of community is a

romantic notion that does not allow for critique. Worse this notion obfuscates the fact that

community does not mean lack of hierarchy. There is a presumption with the chaku

program that it will benefit everyone equally and that a jockeying for its resources will

not occur. While local politics affect the chaku, it is more important to say that the chaku

is being reworked communally within their system of production as well as within the

local social hierarchy. The alternative proposal would understand that:

1) The campesino families technically need instances of collectivity (group or
communal) for their reproduction, for that which is the development of certain
individual aspects like the property of the land does not exclude the existence
of communal institutions. 2) The communal activities can benefit community
members or groups of community members in unequal form without that
signifying 'the process of communal destructuration'. (Mayer and De la Cadena
1989) (my translation)

The chaku program, while still in its adolescent stages is being absorbed into the

communal system. However, as Mayer and De la Cadena state this can and is benefiting

the communities and groups of communities unequally. The chaku is working

communally and individually on various levels. A hierarchy and culture of the

community existed prior to the conception of the chaku. This history, memory and

structure of that system is inserting the chaku into that system. In addition the chaku is

also acting to reinforce and remake certain politics and hierarchies of the communities.

Currently a reshaping of subjects occurs through a reshaping of the space in

which they live. Restructuring their communities by building fences and altering the

landscape acts on the individual and community to re-contour their daily lives, attitudes,

and tasks. Reshaping does occur but as Sahlins argues the culture of the community is

not lost in this.









Whether Asanaqi To Inca, Indian to Spaniard, or rural community or individual to
the Bolivian government, all have found themselves engaged not only in political
struggle but also in a struggle to mark out relatively autonomous spheres in which
to gain control over the meanings of their lives. Crucial to this endeavor are
efforts to gain and retain control over the definition, transmission, and
interpretation of the past. (Abercrombie 1998:5)

I argue that while integration into the global marketplace does affect rural

communities' social structure and subsequently their culture, individuals and

communities are active participants in this creation. The chaku is not a totalizing top-

down structural adjustment to the community life. Rather it is being negotiated and

integrated according to the conditions of the community.

We see evidence of this in the organization and mobilization of the chaku. As

Abercrombie explains above in his study of festivals in Bolivia, control over the

interpretation of the past and how it should be remembered today is crucial to

communities. The struggle over how the chaku will be performed and how the vicufia

will be managed reflect this struggle. Deciding what part of Incan history to keep or

reinterpret and deciding how the vicufia will be absorbed into the current communal

structure is part of the ongoing debate between communities, government and businesses.

Together, all participants are active in altering the perception of the past and the

subsequent promise the vicufia has for the future. An example of this is the chaku

calendar.

"The calendar is important and most codified aspects of social existence"

(Bourdieu 1977:97). By this Bourdieu means that while there are always different

interpretations, of the calendar is understood because it is codified as it becomes the

custom. There is both a logic and a praxis behind the working of the calendar which is

exemplified in the codification and then the ignoring of that codification.









The calendar of the chaku operates exactly the way Bourdieu is suggesting. It has

been reworked and will continue to be reworked for each community. The dates are

planned a year in advance and negotiated with CONACS. As the date has become more

consistent through the last five years and as it coincides with the period recorded as

chaku conducted during the Inca period, this classification system will become more

solidified. Nonetheless these dates change as the community members see fit. The people

in the communities often change and ignore the times set for the chaku much to the

frustration of CONACS, the SNV and NGO's.

For example, community members in Arequipa wanted to change the date of their

chaku because all of the equipment was ready for them to use. They wanted to capitalize

immediately on the opportunity. The NGO Conatura fought with them about the change

because they had already planned the chaku and dignitaries had been invited. If the chaku

was changed at the last minute, all of their planning would be wasted. In the end the

chaku was conducted on schedule, but not without strong negotiation.

At root of Bourdieu's, Sahlins', Abercrombie's, Mayer's and De la Cadena's

argument is that the indigenous communities are not helpless. They have and wield

power in the politics of their lives. How international trade affects communities depends

on the individual community. A generalized assertion is an erroneous one and a dialectic

of power shows how the global and the local interact, resulting in a variety of outcomes.

The following discussion offers local perspectives from four communities in three

departments. How the community members view the vicufia and how the chaku is

performed are important for understanding how each community is benefiting and

reacting differently from the vicufia trade.









Community Reflections

Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do
not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves. The tradition of all the
dead generations weigh like a nightmare on the brain of the living. (Marx
2001:15)

The communities are not homogenous. Each is unique and regional with different

feelings, attitudes, and problems with the vicuia. These categories of culture are subject

to reinterpretation and reinvention. "For any human group the tradition at issue is a set of

accumulated meaning: collective and historical theory, which makes their perception a

conception" (Sahlins 1995:65).

Tambo Caiiahuas, Department of Arequipa.

Lucia says that in the past there was lots of food.

We lived so well. Now it is terrible. We live. We die. We live. We die. So it is.
Nobody knows our poverty but God. God helps us. The vicufia is ajoke that has
not given us one cent. I participated and worked and nothing. I received nothing.
Some did but me no. I won't participate this year. They tricked us. We have
beliefs about the vicufias. My daughters know. (author's translation) (Amy Cox
interview with Lucia, 6/14/02 Tambo Cafiahuas)

The reason for poverty is too many people and not enough farms. Arequipa is
now nothing more than rooms. In the past it wasn't that way. Too many people
not enough farms. Now it is kilos and kilos for nothing. The price of meat and
fiber is really low. The intermediaries trick us and take advantage of us. Now we
have to go buy stuff. We have to make chicharrones of them. Eat the ticks. Ha
Ha!! (author's translation) (Amy Cox interview with Lucia, 6/14/02 Tambo
Cafiahuas)

Lucia thinks the best way to develop is through handicrafts. She works with fiber,

knitting gloves and scarves to sell. She thinks that there could be a shop where they

worked and sold goods to tourists and exported their products. She wants to get rid of the

intermediaries because she feels they hurt them. She is at the Conatura workshop today to

learn even though she thinks the vicufia is a scam.









One boy said he liked the chaku. "Yes, all have to participate. There is a belief."

He wants to use the money to make more money. "The money is for business. They could

have a shop or restaurant for tourists, car traffic, also a hotel or thermal bath. They use

the money for the community, for example they bought the car."

Other women said that they would be better off splitting the money individually.

A pervasive feeling of distrust taints the workshop as many members argue that if the

money goes to the community leaders, then the money will disappear. "What then?" one

woman asks. She says that it is better to pay them for their work like individuals. The

truck they purchased is stopped and people rob money from their community. She will

participate today. But, many people have not participated today because the vicufia

leaders robbed the money. The vicufia is not a good investment.

Others are angry and exclaim during the workshop in June:

"You should realize quickly and make reality your promises or support us with

more certainty and more sincerity to be able to continue forward with our management of

vicufias." Another community representative argues that "there is a lack of

methodological capacity and technology. That is to say how can we organize our

community for its development if my community lacks organizational support?"

Frustration and loss of hope is the overarching theme in the Arequipa workshops.

It is unclear if the chaku will occur this year and if it does, no one knows how many

people will participate.

In 2001, Tambo Cafiahuas sheared 18 kg of fiber (SNV email 9/14/02). 18 kg of

fiber is worth approximately $6930 USD. Their chaku is conducted without horses and

there is no marriage ritual before the shearing ceremony. The only ritual conducted









before the chaku is a payment to the Gods consisting of burning an offering (Amy Cox

interview with Conatura 6/12/02 Tambo Cahahuas). This ritual is performed before every

harvest or shearing and is thought to insure prosperity.

Ondores, Department of Junin and Rancas, Department of Cerro de Pasco

"People were so nice to me. I can't believe that they were so open and wanted to
talk (to me)."

"It is because they want you to take them to the U.S."

"Cerro and Junin have their mines."

Ondores and Rancas are wealthier than Tambo Cahahuas. One of the SNV

workers commented on the large community center, electricity and improvements being

done to the church as evidence of this wealth. What I see is that Lake Junin is so toxic

that the colors match the bright hues of the Andean blankets. I traveled to Ondores for an

assembly and then to Rancas to participate in their chaku. I interviewed a group of six

people before the assembly in Ondores. Most of the men thought that the vicunfa money

should go toward improving dairy operations, creating another business or toward

protecting the vicuha.

Many of the workers of Junin City, ten minutes from Ondores, had been

contracted by U.S. companies to migrate and work for several years in dairy farms in

Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Their knowledge and labor are valuable in these areas

where migration out of rural U.S. towns is prevalent. The town has benefited from their

remittances. In Ondores, CONACS has complemented them because their vicuia

population has doubled in three years. Ondores is benefiting from the vicuha and are



1 Lake Junin is toxic from the mine tailings and other waste that occurs during the mining
process.









experiencing growth in their vicufia population. This, opposite of the Arequipa region, is

reflected in hope and planning for how to invest the money from the vicufia in order to

benefit the community.

In Ondores in 2001 they sheared 18.424 kg of fiber, worth about $7093.24 USD.

In 2002 they sheared a total of 114.29 kg for about $44,001.65 USD (SNV email

communication 9/14/02).

University professors and NGO's in Cerro de Pasco are also planning for the

future. At the chaku, two university professors from Cerro told me of their plans to start

an eco-tourism business with the chaku at the center of the marketing. "How could it

work?" they wanted my opinion. "Don't you think it would be good? We have deer,

vicufia, alpaca, and vizcacha. Of course, then there is the chaku. We could promote a

package where people could come and stay and do trekking. It is a good idea right?"

(Amy Cox interview, 6/09/02 Rancas).

What the professors do not discuss is the toxicity that lurks everywhere. Lakes are

unnatural colors at 4300 meters. Views of the cold expansive plains are interrupted by

mines and hydroelectric plants. Many of the animals have sarcoma from the

contamination. The area is also politically unstable. The day that the chaku occurred, a

strike that would last four days began.

The chaku in Rancas begins early with people having to be bused from the town

to the corral. University students, CONACS officers, the SNV, and community members

are all waiting outside the fence. We arrive at the chaku around 8:30 am. People have

already arrived. The actual chaku starts around 10 am. Two buses and several cars bring









people to the corral. There, people mill around, chew coca, drink cane alcohol, and wait

for direction. A lady talks to me about menopause, aging, and the celebration of the saint.

Directions are given and the men on horseback start to go up to the top of the hill.

Young men and women pile into the truck, so full that the vehicle almost tips over. The

truck climbs to the top of the mountain and the rest of us walk up the mountain to

participate too. We group ourselves off and line up along the nylon fence, but sit still so

as not to disturb the animals. All of this takes several hours and it is now noon. The

vicufias begin to run down the fence. A few male vicuia jump the fence. The vicufia try

to escape back up the mountain. This proves chaotic and the struggle to herd them into

the corner of the fence lasts around 30 minutes. A line of people holding a long string of

colored flags appears on the top of the hill and they start screaming and whistling. The

men on horseback ride back and forth to insure that all the vicufias enter in tip of the

corral. Finally they close in and secure a net, making a triangle in the corner of the fence,

which serves to enclose the vicufia in a compact space. There is more chaos and decisions

are made about what to do next and a man is speaking into a bullhorn. Most of the

people are sitting outside the corral on blankets, having a picnic, unable to see anything.

The pre-shearing ritual begins. A song that the singer cannot remember all the

words to is sung before the marriage ceremony. This lasts 20-30 minutes, or at least it

seems that way. Two adolescent vicufia are selected and placed side by side, legs

wrapped around each other, "hugging" one another. Several people place coca, cigarettes,

wine, and candy on their bellies. On the "table" where the vicufia lay (a tablecloth laid on

the ground), aguardiente, cigarettes, coca leaves, cups, flowers, quinoa, crackers, maca,

wine and candy are displayed. A blessing is said and the Godfather, in today's chaku the









SNV president, cuts a slice out of the vicuha ear. The blood is mixed with wine and the

mixture is poured into the mouths of the vicuha. The Godmother and Godfather of the

now married vicufa consume the remainder of the wine mixture. Following this toast,

blood is wiped on the faces of those witnessing the marriage. The matrimony is a fertility

ritual that will insure that the population will grow.

Earrings (colored tags) and flowers are placed on the ears and the animals are set

free, "walking down the aisle". People have lined up in two rows and celebrate the

marriage by throwing candy and popcorn onto the couple. The animals run skittishly

around the mayhem back into the mountainside. People scream and are excited as they

begin to grab the candy from the ground while the two animals are set free. After this

people clap and mingle, celebrating the successful marriage.

Chaos again ensues as men enter the pen and begin releasing the babies and

animals that are too young to shear. The community members and CONACS feel this is

better because they do not want the animals in the crowded pen for too long. However

the babies, upon release, are constantly trying to reenter the pen, ostensibly to be with

their family, and then get caught in the net. The loud electric shearer is brought out and

the animals are selected one at a time, their fiber measured to see if it is long enough to

be sheared. Once they are sheared, they are released. The wind whips around and it is

cold at this altitude. After the fiber is weighed and certified, it is bundled and taken by the

SNV to Nazca where it is cleaned by women.2





2 The workers in Nazca are mostly women and make $5/kg. A good worker can clean one
kilogram in a day. I was not allowed to see the site because the SNV was embarrassed
about its condition.









When asked about the environmental effects and stress on the animal caused by

the chaku ritual, the CONACS officer said "it is what they do. We do not want to

interfere with their ritual because they will get angry at us and not want to do the chaku."

Everyone says cutting the ears and drinking the blood is a good thing but no one can

really tell me why. The drinking of the blood disgusts the girl who is acting as the

Godmother, but she drinks it anyway.

The fence is permanent and people think that it encompasses about 400 hectares.

However, the vicuha population is growing. What will happen when the population is too

big and the area is no longer healthy? People talk about this but it is not their primary

concern at the moment. They are worried about poachers and encouraging community

members to guard the fence. They are paying for the fence in kind with vicuhas. Each

vicuha is valued at $1,000 and each fence cost $23,000 (Lichenstein 2002). Unless they

shear a certain amount of fiber, the community does not have to pay that year. Most

people feel it is a fair deal.

Only a few people are allowed inside the fence. As we leave there are caramel

wrapper and bottles strewn on the ground. There are 700 people in community and about

100-200 people show up to participate in the chaku. Many are students from the

university in Cerro de Pasco. In 2001 Rancas sheared a total of 6.88 kg. For 2002 Rancas

sheared 21.9kg (SNV email communication 9/14/02). They are pleased with this year's

chaku.

Lucanas, Department of Ayacucho.

The chaku is conducted in Pampa Galeras throughout the year from May to

October. Approximately $100,000/year is spent on vicuha management and about 25









people are employed year-round for the shearing. This chaku, in contrast with Rancas, is

very commercial and is widely promoted throughout Peru. In 2002 Pampa Galeras

captured 500 vicufia during the festival but normally they try to capture 1500. Although

they shear year-round, this is the only chaku celebration that is performed.

The night before the chaku there is a pagapa or payment to the Gods. Garcia, the

CONACS officer, says it is a small demonstration because normally a pagapa will last at

least four hours. Shamans conduct the ceremony and they chitchat, hang out, and smoke

their cigarettes. This pagapa is two hours long because CONACS feels that tourists really

cannot wait for four hours. The pagapa in conducted in Pampa Galeras with a small group

and the shamans bury a package wrapped in newspaper consisting of alcohol, coca,

cigarettes, maca and a variety of other things. The purpose of the ceremony is to give

thanks and payment to the apus or mountain Gods.

After the pagapa there is a street party. Lots of groups are dancing, celebrating,

and drinking. The music is folkloric with bands from all over, but mostly from the city of

Ayacucho. Rock in Quechua is also sung. The bands are excellent and the performances

are conducted on a stage, with lights, and television crews surround the stage. No snacks

or hot foods are sold, but there are the ubiquitous soda carts with cigarettes, gum, candy,

and soft drinks. Mostly though there are hot alcoholic beverages made with eucalyptus

syrup, rum, and orange juice. Sometimes the beverage is made with bee honey. Bottles

are shared and swigs are taken out of a little Dixie cup that is passed around until it the

bottle is empty. Then someone exchanges the bottle for another one or a woman comes

by selling another bottle. There is also straight cane alcohol sold to keep the cold at bay.

Large groups stand around talking, dancing and drinking. In my particular group, made









up of current and ex-SNV and CONACS workers, contentious debates about vicufia

management are the focus of the evening.

Mario, a schoolteacher from Lucanas, believes that the money can go to build

roads, and pay for electricity. The vicufia has been helpful there. Carlos Espinosa, the

first SNV president and close friend to Alfonso Martinez, is revered in the community for

helping to stop terrorism and promote the vicufia. He and Martinez helped to start the

SNV and CONACS. He argues that today the money is not going to the communities and

this is why he is supporting Martinez's efforts to begin a new company, which can help

the communities. SNV members argue that Espinosa and Martinez are criminals and stole

money, which has now imperiled the SNV because it, as an organization, is being held

accountable for those actions. Nonetheless Lucanas has obviously benefited from the sale

of fiber in Pampa Galeras and are working on expanding the operation.

Umberto, a CONACS member, whom I met in Rancas was participating in the

festival. Umberto warned me that it was very dangerous and that I should be careful who

I spoke with and what questions I asked. He was worried about me and was embarrassed

by the behavior of his fellow Peruvians who were all extraordinarily intoxicated. "Don't

trust anyone not even me." He wanted to show me a non-commercial chaku where the

people are excited and are into it. I told him I did not think that existed and that the chaku

was about making money. He disagreed with me and said that Lucanas was too

commercial. He has seen the pleasure and spirit of community members totally

enraptured with the chaku.

The following day the chaku occurs. This one begins later than the one in Rancas.

Two men from Lucanas offered their opinions of the vicufia.









We suffer. Only the people who work come to the chaku, CONACS, dignitaries.
We are community members. We do not really have alpaca, or cattle. We work
and try our hand at other things, but there is not a lot of vicufia. (Amy Cox
interview Pampa Galeras 6/24/02)

The chaku is a much larger performance than any of the other events I had

witnessed. A large circular pen is surrounded by hundreds of on-lookers. Buses line the

highway. A large group of high school students are dressed in bright colors and enter the

ring where the vicufia are held. They dance and chant and are followed by the Incan

King. Another high school student, selected to play the part of the King, is carried on

their shoulders on a wooden structure. The King and Queen climb to the top of a stone

mound. The stone mound represents the apu. Two vicufia are again carried out and are

married. The ears are cut and the blood mixed with wine. The Inca King offers the wine

up to the Gods speaking the entire time in Quechua. Cameramen swarm the area

preventing those outside the fence to see what is actually going on. After the offering is

made, the King and Queen exit and more dancing occurs. One vicufia is selected and

ceremonially sheared for the audience and cameras. The rest of the vicufia will be sheared

tomorrow under more efficient conditions. Following this the vicufia are released into the

larger enclosed circular pen and visitors can enter the pen to get their picture taken with

the vicufia. These vicufia are much more docile and less jittery than those of Rancas. The

ceremony and performance lasts about an hour most people go to the visitor's center

where lunch is being served. At the visitor's center there is also a small museum and a

band beginning to play.

Three girls, all around 16 years old, come from Picquoi, the community further

along the highway from Lucanas. They wanted to come and see the event but do not

know much about the vicufia. A lady from Nazca, a few hours down the highway from









Lucanas, has come to sell cakes and beverages. She is from the sierra but moved to Nazca

for variety and to give her children a better education and more opportunities, a chance to

improve life. She came to see the chaku but really she came to sell bread and soda. She

thinks this year is so-so. There are not many people and therefore she has not made a lot

of money. Also she is disappointed because there are very few vicufia captured this year.

A family from Lima is on vacation, visiting Lucanas to see the chaku. The mother

states: "We wanted to see and enjoy. It is our first time. I remember vicufia from when I

was younger." They enjoyed it but had seen enough and were taking the bus home that

evening.

During this chaku Pampa Galeras only sheared 25 kg of fiber. I do not have the

total amount sheared for 2002 but in 2000 the entire Department of Ayacucho sheared a

total of 1,376,410 kg of fiber, Lucanas being the main producer shearing approximately

44,000 kgs/year. The second largest producer is Puno shearing 393,510 kg (SNV

2001:27). The remaining departments shear an average of 126,493 kg/year, Cajamarca

shearing the least at 4,661 kg. The vicufia trade is big business for Lucanas and for

Ayacucho.

Memory and Power

Bourdieu (1977) discusses mimicry as a way of creating memory and power. A

logic of mimicry, he argues, supports the notion that through mimicry a beginning of

memory occurs. At this point a change has occurred as social history comes to bargain

with the dynamic system. Bourdieu contends that there is a historical consciousness,

whether it is remembered or not. The chaku ritual was taught to the communities. There

was no current memory of working with the animal. However through mimicry of the









ancient ritual, participants are active in the creation of a new memory that is derived from

knowledge both political and historical.

In practice, it is the habitus, history turned into nature, i.e. denied as such, which
accomplishes practically the relating of these two systems of relations, in and
through the production of practice. The 'unconscious' is never anything other than
the forgetting of history which history itself produces by incorporating the
objective structures it produces in the second natures of habitus... .Conversely, we
are very much aware of the most recent attainments of civilization, because being
recent they have not yet had time to settle into our unconscious. (Bourdieu
1977:79)

An ancestral linkage to the chaku is absent from today's consciousness of the

communities but through historical ties these habits and practices are performed and

included into the structure. A re-creation and reinvention of this ritual has occurred

through mimicry and memory making on the part of historians, NGO's and the Peruvian

government. So much so, that this new history is writing a future whereby the

communities will be delivered out of poverty through the shearing of this sacred animal.

Peruvians are returning to history and heritage in order to be saved from the poverty that

engulfs their Andean communities.

Eric Hobsbawm in The Invention of Tradition shows that traditions have their

own political and economic history. During the 1700s political institutions, ideological

movements, and groups were so new that they had to invent their own historic continuity.

New symbols that personified 'the nation' came into existence. He cites such devices as

the national anthem, national flag or the personficiation of the nation in image, i.e. Uncle

Sam (Hobsbawm 1983).

'Invented tradition' is taken to mean a set of practices, normally governed by
overtly or tacitly accepted rules and of a ritual or symbolic nature, which seek to
inculcate certain values and norms of behavior by repetition, which automatically
implies continuity with the past. In fact, where possible, they normally attempt to
establish continuity with a suitable past. (Hobsbawm 1983:1)









CONACS began to encourage communities, because of their heritage, to shear the

vicuia, cashing in on the fruits of this wild animal, by utilizing the ancient chaku ritual

once used by their Incan ancestors. CONACS taught the communities how to conduct the

chaku and through mimicry, and agency, a ritual tradition is born. Through an indigenous

heritage belief that categorizes the vicufia as sacred, Peruvians are actively creating a

memory that spins heritage for political and economic gain.

Originally, this ritual was constructed from the point of view of CONACS.

Commodification of heritage by the state is not unique to Peru or to the chaku and has

been researched by countless anthropologists in places like the Southwest United States,

Mexico, Panama, Guatemala and Ecuador to name a few. Lynn Stephen in her research

on textile production in Oaxaca, Mexico, states:

The ideological package, which was and is sold to tourists who come to states
with high indigenous populations, is based on a homogenized image of "Indian
culture" and the material remains of that culture which can be visited or
purchased and taken home. Of primary import in this cultural package is the
"Mexican Indian". (Stephen 1993:39)

Along similar lines, Garcia-Canclini argues that "Artisans are not there to talk

about what they know, but to find out how their work can appeal as a commodity based

on a logic created by others" (Garcia-Canclini 1993:64).

The communities, however, are also working with this system for their own

purposes. Some communities do not shear every year because it might not have worked

the first few times or they might not have received their payment. Most have added new

steps to the ritual such as the pagapa and the marriage ceremony. There is dynamism on

the part of the community that is shaping this ritual. The communities have begun to take

ownership of the chaku and the vicufia.









Rules are broken as a form of resistance and power on the part of the

communities. Both CONACS and the community are negotiating this space to create a

ritual that will fulfill their needs. In The Practice ofEveryday Life, De Certau argues that

humans work within systems of structure and classification to make it their own.

La Perruque is the worker's own work disguised as work for the employer.., he
cunningly takes pleasure in finding a way to create gratuitous products whose sole
purpose is to signify his own capabilities through his work and to confirm his
solidarity with other workers. (DeCertau 1984:25)

Extrapolating this logic from the workplace onto the chaku (after all it is labor

output), communities have worked within the structure of CONACS to make the

ceremony their own. In the smaller chakus, picnics are set up and chicken dishes sold to

outsiders. In the larger chaku, embellished dances and costumes are inserted. Marriage

rituals have been added. People sell cakes and beverages. This is a "cleverness that does

not recognize itself as such" (De Certau 1984:55).

All four communities display different perceptions and feelings about the vicuia.

Some are hopeful, others are not, and still others have achieved a distance that comes

from mechanization and commercialization. The chaku and the discussions around the

vicufia reflect these different hopes, perceptions and place they have in the political and

economic structure of the communities. Community members are active agents in the

pragmatic acceptance, rejection and restructuring of globalization, heritage and their

'development'.














CHAPTER 5
CONSUMING IDENTITIES

"However, insofar as there is such reference to a historic past, the peculiarity of

'invented' traditions is that the continuity with it is largely fictitious" (Hobsbawm and

Ranger 1983:2).

Recently globalization and international trade was severely criticized in the

Global Social Forum 2002 in Brazil. Is globalization the ultimate homogenizer? Does

international trade really have socio-economic benefits? In the last five years, the vicuia

has been spotlighted because of its growing significance in the world as a luxury good

and commodity for rural development. Through an investigation of the promotion and

commodification of vicuha, I argue that it is globalization that is encouraging

heterogeneity not homogeneity by actively producing constructions of indigenous

identity and otherness.

In my original proposal I asked the following:

The community believes that the vicuha has cosmological and cultural heritage
value. If, after several years of working in the western marketplace, they come to
believe that the vicuha is nothing more than a commodity for development then
consumer demand is indeed driving cultural meaning of a resource. This is a
critical question not only for Andean communities, but all rural communities who
are beginning to interact in the global marketplace.

While my research shows that consumption is indeed a powerful and political

force, the result is not that the cosmological value of the object decreases with an increase

in monetary value. Rather, it is the contrary. It is precisely this increase in monetary value

and the emphasis on the chaku ritual as part of Incan history that is working to develop a









historical memory and cultural value. However, this return to heritage is malleable and

influenced by today's politics.

Consumerism and capitalism has been criticized as fears that globalization will

remove localized aspects of culture. This fear of homogeneity coupled with our desire for

the exotic combines to create traditions, perpetuate erroneous histories and strengthen

identities of indigenous.

There is probably no time and place with which historians are concerned, which
has not seen the 'invention' of tradition in this sense. However, we should expect
it to occur more frequently when a rapid transformation of society weakens or
destroys the social patterns for which 'old' traditions had been designed,
producing new ones to which they were not applicable, or when such old
traditions and their institutional carriers and promulgators no longer prove
sufficiently adaptable and flexible, or are otherwise eliminated; in short, when
there are sufficiently large and rapid changes on the demand or supply side.
(Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983:5)

Applying the above statement to the chaku, Hobsbawm and Ranger are correct in

that this ancient Incan ritual applied today stems from a change in the supply a decrease

in the vicufia population. However, the chaku is also being created from the promised

wealth from increased consumption and demand. The chaku was resurrected as a way to

conserve the species and prevent poaching. Nonetheless, its ongoing invention and its

promotion are derived from increased consumer demand, not only change in supply.

Appadurai describes this creation more accurately. "Elite tastes, in general, have

this 'turnstile' function. Selecting from exogenous possibilities and then providing

models, as well as direct political control for internal tastes and production" (Appadurai

1986:31). It is not that globalization is the ultimate homogenizer. Rather, it is currently

the ultimate creator of nationalism, specialized identities, and otherness. The international

trade of the vicufia, and Peru's place in the global economic sphere, is not smoothing









edges. It is working hard at creating these edges so that the consumer can purchase

culture and difference. Steiner agrees and in his work on African art argues that

purchases of African art are made in order to "buy a piece of the cultural system" (Steiner

1994:93).

A certain evangelism aligns itself with the question of the vicufia. "The vicufia

will get you. You won't leave Peru" (Daniel Zevallos, President SNV). In an effort to

dissuade community members from purchasing corrals from CONACS, the President of

Conatura declared that "the Inca knew more than us and they did not use fences." Not

only is there a belief that touches on values and identities (indigenous or environmentalist

or Peruvian nationalism) but this belief is proselytized to the communities. "The vicufia is

a unique richness, there will be much more", an employee of Conatura declares assuring

community members of the promise of wealth from the vicuia.

The entire chaku program came about through efforts to convince communities to

reclaim their heritage, perform the chaku, and participate in the creation of a new source

of income. CONACS visited communities and convinced them to reserve a day to

perform this ritual. CONACS taught the communities the ritual and convinced them to

purchase corrals and fence in 800 hectares of their property. Furthermore, CONACS

introduced the implementation of the marriage ritual before the Lucanas chaku as a way

to strengthen the event (Amy Cox interview A. Martinez 6/24/02 Lucanas).1 These

efforts are shaping the place the vicufia and the ritual have in Peruvian society and the

world. The importance of today's ideology is grafted onto the history of the people and


1 It is unclear how the ritual was disseminated to other communities.









the place the vicufia has had in history. History, identity and culture are the foundation

for the success of the vicufia trade.

One of the necessary components for the survival of capitalism has been the

procurement of raw materials. Historically the north has extracted a variety of products

from Latin America tin from Bolivia, copper from Chile, oil from Venezuela, rubber

from Brazil. In the case of the vicufia, fiber is sold to an international consortium where

the fiber is made into treasured products for elite consumption. Treasure and scarcity are

important to outside consumers.

"Vicufia fiber is the most expensive natural fiber in the world and fetches a price

of around $500/kg" (Sahley et al 2002:1). "The products made from the fiber reflect this

price and are considered luxuriously fashionable. Scarves made from vicufia fiber sold

for $550 $1000 pounds" (Symington 2001). "Agnona Italy, one of the world's top

woolen mills, supplies the largest design houses, like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein,

Chanel, with vicufia knitwear. Agnona is one of three members that holds the world

exclusive for the sale and promotion of vicufia" (Conti 1997). Agnona's financial plan is

to boost sales from $41 million to $59 million by the year 2001 (total knitwear including

alpaca, cashmere, etc.). Hernan Blacazar, who sells the merchandise in his exclusive shop

in Britain, claims that: "Increasingly, people demand quality as well as luxury. Once

they experience vicufia, they will be hooked. It's not a trend that will disappear" (Morgan

1997:2).

Consumption has become a more powerful political and economic force than

production (Arce 2000). Because consumption has become such an important force it

shapes meaning through its promotion of resource extraction and emphasis on monetary









value. One of the implications of economic globalization has been that consumer taste in

the first world is increasingly able to impact the third world by encouraging rural

communities to become more export oriented (Arce 2000:107). The meaning of those

material goods is important because it is linked to cultural identity and social formation

(Bauer 2001). The increasing demand for vicufia fiber increases its value and therefore

increases the community's desire to export more fiber. The discussion and marketing

surrounding the vicufia, the myth making that goes into shoring up conceptions of

treasure, exotic and sacredness, increases its preciousness and value to not only those

purchasing the unique and elite final product but also for those responsible for procuring

the raw fiber.

Along with a promotion of the vicufia as scarce and elite, the fiber is marketed as

a sustainable, ecological and indigenous. This marketing plan of conservation and nature

have elevated the importance of the vicufia and created a new indigenous ritual history

based on nature, the pristine, and Inca. Consumption indeed has become a more powerful

political and economic force than production.

Creating the Neo-Indigenous Identity

'Tradition' in this sense must be distinguished clearly from 'custom' which
dominates so-called 'traditional' societies. The object and characteristic of
'traditions', including invented ones, is invariance. The past, real or invented, to
which they refer imposes fixed (normally formalized) practices, such as
repetition. (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983:2)

The chaku tradition, as Hobsbawm and Ranger define it, has not yet become

tradition. It continues to be constructed. We see this in the comparison of how individual

communities are inventing the chaku. For example in Ondores, Junin during a community

assembly the women were very excited to work with the vicufia because they felt it









would bring great fortune. Other community members argued that the income derived

from the vicufia fiber could be used to make more money and improve other important

operations of the community like cattle and alpaca. They want to continue to perform

both the fence and non-fence chakus. The SNV and many communities are interested in

developing the chaku as a tourist attraction. In Rancas, university professors believed that

tourists would love the area. They could come, go hiking and see exotic animals and then

participate in the ancient Incan ritual, helping to round up the vicufia. In Picotani, a

community in the department of Cuzco, three communities work communally for four

days conducting the chaku. They capture the vicufia bringing them to the pen and on the

fourth day shear the animals. They have plans to build large structures to house tourists.

"They can come and sleep in dormitories with food and participate in the ancient ritual"

(Picotani Representative Conatura Workshop 6/2/02). In Lucanas, where the chaku has

been in existence the longest and has the most vicufia, an elaborate display of Incan

ancestry has been added to the performance.

While this might be taboo to say in Peru, all of the Quechua speakers are not

descendants from Inca. The Inca were the nobility and several other indigenous cultures

existed in Peru prior to the Inca and were conquered by the Inca. The conflation of

indigenous as Inca reflects the value Incan identity has in Peru. No one is claiming to be

of Moche or Wari descent. Steiner argues that people in Cote D'Ivoire manipulate ethnic

identity for perceived shift in economic advantage (Steiner 1994:90). "Ethnicity is

claimed rather than determined" (Steiner 1994:81). Where this process is evident is in the

pamphlets of Grupo Inca and CONACS. Incan identity and heritage are being invoked to

promote an exotic product tied to history as well as to promote a notion that indigenous is









more primitive and therefore closer to nature, the environment and better for conservation

and preservation. The mean of production is disguised and is replaced with an elegant

final product. The indigenous population of Peru nothing more than a nostalgic remnant

from the past.

Grupo Inca markets the vicufia and themselves through a captivating presentation

of wealth, ecology and indigenous camaraderie. The first picture in the Alpaca III store

catalog, the retail face of Incalpaca, shows a fashionable European woman in a lovely

coat standing imposed upon a scene in the Andes of Suri Alpacas feeding on green grass

(Figure 5-1). In the lower corner a tag line states: "Gold of the Andes, Vicufia, Guanaco,

Alpaca y Llama".


ALPACA; I I



















Figure 5-1 Front cover of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.

On the first page, A tradition knit in time, shows pre-Hispanic textiles and an

anglo model in a multi-colored alpaca sweater (Figure 5-2). A full page photograph of

two indigenous woman hand spinning yarn, complete in their skirts, neck scarves and









hats convey a picture of purity, harmony and a turn away from industrialization to a

simplistic harmony that indigenous Peruvians still enjoy today. Indigenous peoples are

presented as Peru's living history.




















Figure 5-2 Page one and two of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.

The second page titled, Preserving the Millenarian Heritage and Gold of the

Andes, Treasure Dressing the World, shows a brunette, olive skinned man and blond

pigtailed woman with a baby alpaca lying comfortably in their creme colored luxurious

scarves. Beauty, happiness, and contentment shine through this golden-lit frame. On the

opposite pages, four pictures of each animal highlight and promote the natural resources

that Peru boasts (Figure 5-3). We see the transformation from primitive to modern.

A double-truck layout of Vicuia, Fiber of the Gods follows (Figure 5-4). Here,

against an Incan wall (possibly the famous puma wall in Cuzco), a light colored brunette,

adorned in a vicufia cape, confidently strolls by. Behind her is an indigenous woman with

a bright fuchsia colored blanket holding her possessions. The text under this photo states:































Figure 5-3 Page three and four of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.

The hair of the vicuha, the finest in the world was reserved in the time of the Inca
for only the emperor and his nobility. Presently vicufia fiber is obtained through
an ancient Inca tradition called the chaku which consists of using a large human
chain to capture the animals and herd them into a corral where they are shorn and
then liberated back into the wild, converting this magical ritual into a colorful
party. (Grupo Inca Marketing Pamphlet 2002)

In this photo the European woman is wearing the vicufia cape. The picture, along

with the text, serves to promote the vicufia product as noble, treasured and elite. This

picture also serves to take past hierarchies and graft them on to today's privileged

populations. Who wears vicufia is noble.

The following page, one that is the most perplexing in this series, is titled

Woi king i i/ h Nature. It features a white brunette woman and her white Aryan male

partner sitting next to an indigenous woman weaving. They are dressed in Alpaca

sweaters and baby alpaca scarves. All wear white straw hats (Figure 5-5). Who or what is

nature in this photo? Who is working with it?


























Figure 5-4 Page five and six of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet..



















Figure 5-5 Page seven and eight of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.

The middle section shows off some of the colors and products that Grupo Inca

designs and manufactures (Figure 5-6). Again they link their products with Peru's

history, showing how they have improved on the past and nature's resources in order to

offer a garment made for today's standards.



























Figure 5-6 Page nine and ten of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.

The pamphlet concludes with the brunette woman dressed in a lovely knit dress,

with matching scarf and hat (Figure 5-7). She strolls in tall black leather riding boots next

to a campesino man and woman. The man is wearing rubber boots and is steering his

donkey laden with straw. The woman, walking in sandals made of tire rubber, is carrying

her bundle of goods in her brightly colored blanket.

Our products which take advantage of the best that nature has to offer are
produced using fibers and materials of the highest quality and their transformation
is a harmonious union of modem technology and the capacity of our Peruvian
workers, whose ancestral abilities ensure 'hand finished' products of excellence.
(Grupo Inca Marketing Pamphlet 2002)

What is interesting about these photos is not that these images do not exist. All of

the people are Peruvian. However, the mixture and juxtaposition tells a story that blends

nature, conservation, indigenous, and industrialization into one. The goal for Grupo Inca

is to profit from Peru's resources by promoting themselves as benevolent capitalists.

Modem luxury is combined with its historic Incan past. The animal fiber is harmlessly

plucked from nature and made better through technology. All of these pictures seek to



























Figure 5-7 Last Page of Grupo Inca marketing pamphlet.

conflate and unite the current Peruvian indigenous population into the past and

subsequently into the natural. Indigenous as natural and good is pictured in harmony with

examples of today's achievement. The pictures, although depicting the difference in

wealth and lifestyle, ignore this conflict and tension and place the two groups as working

and living together in harmony. Grupo Inca promotes indigenous Peruvian history as

ecological and natural in order to sell their products. Without this heritage and exotic

other, the scarf would not be a treasure.

In their handout Incalpaca describes the vicuha as:

The vicuha is the most graceful and scarce of the South American Camelids.
Vicuha fiber, the finest in the world was reserved in the time of the Inca for only
the noble class. In the 1960's, the vicuha was on the brink of extinction, today,
after an intensive recovery program, the most luxurious fiber of the world returns
to the markets in very limited quantities. Our company, member of the
International Vicuha Consortium, has the worldwide exclusive rights of the
production of the vicufia product.

In the same pamphlet they say the following about Alpaca:

Alpacas are the most numerous of the four South American Camelids. With a
population of approximately 3.5 million head in the Peru (near 75% of the world









total). Alpacas are the main means of subsistence for thousands of families for
whom it constitutes an inexhaustible source of soft, beautiful and resistant fiber
occurring naturally in a fantastic array of colors characteristic that is impossible to
find in other natural "noble" fibers.

In order to gain a niche, they play on our love of nature, native, exotic and elite.

The vicufia is the perfect commodity for the 21st century. It includes historic Incan ritual,

conservation, environmentalism, and Indians, all knitted together in a treasured, silky

soft, exorbitantly priced garment. Wearing a vicufia you can feel good about your

elitism- helping to bring money to needy communities and not pollute the environment.

Invoking Inca

"It is more, to personify the Incan nobility and be a specialist in the Quechua

language was a means to acquire aristocratic rank" (De la Cadena 2000:298).

Grupo Inca is not the only party promoting indigenous. This is also claimed from

community members. Marisol de la Cadena in La Decencia en el Cusco de los Anos 20:

la Cuna de los Indigenistas argues that people living in Cuzco created a social hierarchy

within a racialized hierarchy based on intellectualism and education. "Since colonial

times, the local upper class had glorified the memory of the Quechua dramas written by

Incas and acted by elite gentlemen. Reviving and preserving the past was an academic

mission (De la Cadena 2000a:293, my translation).

She discusses indigenaity and how the indigenous elite in Cuzco formed a group

and had a political discourse, and academic daily life to dispute the supremacy of those

from Lima. They did so in order to help them acquire political and intellectual influence.

This intellectualism and decency, through a promotion of Inca as generous, wise, decent

and good, converted itself into the ultimate protection against the nobility through the

creation and strengthening of indigenous. "On the contrary, this group of Cuzco









regionalists searched the racial regeneration in the reenactment of the spirit of the Incan

race" (De la Cadena 2000a:283, my translation). She goes onto argue that the creation of

the Incaic Theatre "was an efficient tool in order to demonstrate the cultural purity of the

elite and self-perception as superior Cuzco group in bio-moral terms: the decent people"

(De la Cadena 2000a:296, my translation).

While the social hierarchy is still in place today, Peru's place in the global

marketplace has resulted in Peru's placement into another hierarchy. This hierarchy is

encouraging an emphasis and return to indigenous. In the same way Cuzco elite

positioned themselves against a racial hierarchy, Peruvians are acting within a global

world to secure an elevated position in this new hierarchy. While this does not imply that

the higher echelons of societies are returning to the farms, it does imply that there is a

continuing emphasis on the history and noble past of Peru; particularly the Incan past is

used in order to participate in today's globalized hierarchy.

Inca is used to varying ways; either to show a naturalized intelligence, a native

sense of environmentalism or a proud history of power and strength. What is rarely talked

about is the Incan history of brutality, forced societal restructuring, enslavement,

conquering and tithing. Similar to what De la Cadena argues happened in the 1920's in

Cuzco, we see a return to the Incan nobility in order to sell vicufia products, sell the

chaku method of shearing the vicufia, and compete in the global marketplace.

The chaku is nested in this hierarchy and is an ethnic performance and display of

power. In Pampa Galeras, where the chaku has been performed the longest and is the

most widely advertised and promoted, personifies this performance of political

maneuvering and promotion of indigenous power and desire for the exotic. The press is









allowed inside the ring after the vicufias have been corralled. Lining the outside of the

fence are the spectators. Prior to the singular shearing (only one vicufia is sheared that

day) there is an Incan celebration of giving the vicufia to the Gods and thanking the Apu.

Students from the local high schools are dressed in traditional costumes, some dance, and

an Incan King is carried out atop the shoulders of several people. Gold Aluminum

medallions and fabrics of bright oranges, fuchsias, greens and yellows adorn their bodies.

The King and Queen are brought to the top of a stone mound. After the King, in this case

played by a high school student who resembles what they think an Incan should look like,

drinks the blood and speaks in Quechua, the animal is sheared.

The marrying ritual performed before the chaku, actually comes from something

that the ranchers use with their cattle and acts as an offering and prayer for fertility,

health and prosperity. However, it was not until the third year of the chaku in Pampa

Galeras that they had the matrimony ceremony. The first two years performing the chaku

they didn't include this rite. Moreover this is the first year that they have the Inca

celebration with costumes, dances, and Quechua representation. I was curious about the

marrying rite and I asked some people in Tambo Cafiahuas about whether or not they

perform the marriage. They said no, and actually had no idea what I was talking about.

They perform a small pagapa before shearing.

I am not arguing that the ceremony is inauthentic. Rather I am arguing that this

ritual is active, dynamic and political. With each new ceremony, memory, nostalgia and

identity become embedded in the consciousness of the nation. The chaku in Pampa

Galeras is nine years old and is closely linked with the promotion and tourism enterprise

that Peru hopes to create around the vicufia. Eventually this ritual will become more









solidified but it is currently being perfected to perform and achieve the ultimate display

of indigenous heritage and nostalgia.

A national identity with Inca at its center is further developed through the ritual

whereby the Inca is invoked as a better time, before the Spanish colonists. The European

presence and power encourages a return to the native and exotic because authenticity and

purity are desired. The Peruvians are capitalizing on and supplying what is in demand.

Incan history has provided tourist dollars and interest from outsiders. A country in need

of income reshapes itself in order to become more marketable. From phone cards to hotel

signs, images of Inca are promoted as powerful and intelligent, a nostalgia of yesteryear.

While it seems false, it is very real in the minds of the performers. As globalization bears

down and blurs the lines and definitions of communities, culture, and personhood, a

return to the past is inspired.

Steiner in his book African Art in Transit discusses an anxiety over authenticity

and a crisis of misrepresentation as our boundaries become blurred through

transnationalism and a confounding global dialectic that often reinvent their objects of

desire.

While Western notions about the authenticity of African art are constructed by
privileging aesthetic forms imagined to have existed in the past worlds that
never were but might have been African beliefs about Western authenticity are
projected into the future worlds that aren't yet but someday could be. (Steiner
1994:129)

The value of the vicufia is not strictly monetary. Its promise to act not only as

economic savior but social power has come to play an important role in the ideological

importance of the animal has in Peruvian culture and beliefs. The local communities and

their institution, the SNV, exist because of the usufruct rights given to them based on









their Incan history and identity. A political force has arisen that strives to preserve the

vicuha and perpetuate a sustainable development alternative through a platform of

community rights, indigenous power, and environmentalism. Indigenous is important for

everyone.

The myth that Peruvian indigenous peoples are isolated and pristine is a simplistic

representation that ignores the dynamic of the human capacity for change. The idea of

indigenous community, however, is a necessity if Peru wants to continue their promotion

of Incan tradition, history and identity. In order to sell things like vicuha scarves it is

essential to have a current indigenous population working with the animal.

The notion of indigenous is bound up in a colonial history that is currently being

transformed into an industrialized history. We see this in the fact that these groups were

given usufruct rights to shear the vicuha because they are indigenous and deserve rights

to the resources that exist in their land. If they are no longer considered indigenous and if

this 'privilege' and othering ceased to exist, then this exclusive right would break down.

The notion of native as being more environmental and closer to nature is a construction to

be used when necessary. The reality is that these groups can be impoverished, some more

than others, some are descendent from the Inca, some only speak Quechua, some are

bilingual, some only speak Spanish.

The Othering separation is being actively promoted and used in different ways

and in different contexts. With respect to the vicuha, it is used as a way to promote

conservation, authenticity of the past, and the vicuha as sacred treasure. It perpetuates a

separation based on race and encourages further hierarchy in Peruvian society. It also acts

as De la Cadena asserts, as a way to gain socio-economic and political access. The









creation and consumption of identity is acted upon by the community members, the

government, the consumers and the businesses, in order to promote, purchase and sustain

this resource. It is especially powerful in this case because it adds much value to a

commodity like the vicuia. Without the indigenous identity, people lose their rights to

shear the animal, the state loses income, the corporation loses a crucial marketing

component, and the end consumer loses out on an authentic elite scarf that was once

reserved only for the Inca. "For Incalpaca TPX, the vicufia is not just a symbol of Peru's

past, but is now part of the world's future" (Grupo Inca Marketing Pamphlet 2002).