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By David Lehmann

For hundreds of years Andean civilization and ecology has afforded a distinct fascination for ecu visitors and officers. during this quantity, 8 writers - anthropologists, economists and historians operating in Bolivia, Britain, France, eire and Peru - describe and examine features of rural society in a number of Andean areas. They specialize in the effect of capitalist improvement on either the peasant economic climate and the landed elite within the Andes and the ways that that effect has been formed via a particular Andean tradition and a attribute Andean ecology and weather. Their dialogue of Andean specificity centres at the inspiration of verticality, first constructed by means of John Murra to explain political and fiscal edition to climatic version within the Andean eco-system. the amount represents a considerable contribution to our figuring out of Andean rural society and the character of the Latin American peasantry and peasant financial system. it is going to attract all these attracted to financial anthropology, Latin the United States, peasant stories and the capitalist world-economy.

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This is due to the gradual 42 The role of the Andean ayllu attenuation of the kinship ties created by the earlier marriage, or by the subdivision of the originario tasa. We may suggest, then, that at any one moment, only a quarter of the domestic units on the Puna will have access to Valley lands as well. The rural survey of 1978 offers some support for this claim: out of the 500 Puna household heads interviewed, some 25% (127/500) declared themselves owners of land in both zones. We can therefore suggest that land fragmentation is counterbalanced by mechanisms of reunification such that, at any given moment and assuming constant demographic conditions, a quarter of the Puna peasants will enjoy privileged access to inter-zonal resources.

Unfortunately, on the whole the surplus extracted was limited, and perhaps non-existent, except in the case of the coastal sugar co-operatives. This rather depressing experience-depressing for those who seek either capital accumulation or income redistribution through moderate reformism - of a military government in the twentieth century should cast doubts on the success of stateimposed controls in earlier centuries. Apart from these external elements contributing to the dynamic of comunidad development or decline, there are also the internally differentiating factors, some of which I have already mentioned in discussing the role of caciques and kurakas.

Note Although this essay is primarily an introduction to the other papers in the volume, it also draws on field research in which I am currently engaged in collaboration with Miguel Murmis, in the province of Carchi, Ecuador. I would like to thank Olivia Harris and Tristan Platt for comments on earlier versions. 26 The role of the Andean ayllu in the reproduction of the petty commodity regime in Northern Potosi (Bolivia) TRISTAN PLATT 1. Introduction The north of the Department of Potosi - formerly the Province of Chayanta has long been considered one of the most 'traditional' regions of highland Bolivia, supposedly 'subsisting' at the fringes both of the market and of effective state control.

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