My name is Braeden Dimitroff, and I am an Anthropology major at New Mexico State University with a minor in geology. I will be working on a research project in Peru for the next seven months. Though my main research will be a provenience study focusing on a petrographic analysis of the ceramics found at a ceremonial platform at a late formative archaeological site called Hualcayán in the highland Andes, I hope to discover much more throughout this experience. As an anthropology major it is my nature to try and analyze everything about the culture I am in, but through this blog I would like to remove myself from the perspective of the anthropologist to truly discover what it means to be a Peruano.
However, being Peruvian is simply not the same to anyone you ask who is from Peru, and part of what I love about this country is that it is truly a land of contrasts, from the diverse cultural groups to the incredibly stark difference in geography. Throughout this period of seven months, I will be spending the majority of my time in three very (this cannot be emphasized enough) different places in Peru. I will start off my journey for a month in Cusco, the former capital of the Incan empire and recently deemed tourist capital of South America where the overwhelming inflow of tourists has created new opportunities and problems for the city where the currents of Andean culture still run strong. Next I will continue to the small highland village of Hualcayán where I will be doing my research at the archaeological site located next to it (which conveniently has the same name). The residents of Hualcayán still practice subsistence agricultural and live in houses made of adobe, yet the children have cellphones and on almost every house a brightly colored Claro satellite dish can be seen. Finally, I will spend my fall semester in Lima, the capital of Peru. In the city of “Los Reyes”, once the capital of the Spanish Crown’s largest viceroyalty in the Americas, I will be attending the Catholic university, PUCP (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) in order to complete the analysis for my provenience study in an attempt to recreate a shred of the Andean past that the Catholic church tried so hard to erase from memory.
I hope that through this blog I can give a different perspective of this beautifully complicated country that has so much more to offer than the tourist destinations. I truly have so much more to learn from the people of this country and through my posts I hope that you see my own transformation as I continually build on the experiences I have and the people I encounter throughout this adventure!
Follow Braeden’s research experiences here.