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Book Cover
Author Leon Llerena, Laura

Title Reading the Illegible Indigenous Writing and the Limits of Colonial Hegemony in the Andes
Published Bristol : University of Arizona Press, 2023


Description 1 online resource (265 p.)
Contents Cover -- Title page -- Copyright -- Contents -- List of Illustrations -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction. "Writing Is a Strange Thing": Making the Case for Legibility -- 1. Reading Through the Eyes of an Extirpator of Idolatries -- 2. The Absent Knot: Narrating and Counting in the Andes -- 3. Writing in Quechua, Reading in Spanish -- 4. "We Christians": Andeans Rewriting Christianity -- Conclusions -- Notes -- References -- Index -- About the Author
Summary "Reading the Illegible examines the history of alphabetic writing in early colonial Peru, deconstructing the conventional notion of literacy as a weapon of the colonizer. This book develops the concept of legibility, which allows for an in-depth analysis of coexisting Andean and non-Native media. The book discusses the stories surrounding the creation of the Huarochirí Manuscript (c. 1598-1608), the only surviving book-length text written by Indigenous people in Quechua in the early colonial period. The manuscript has been deemed "untranslatable in all the usual senses," but scholar Laura Leon Llerena argues that it offers an important window into the meaning of legibility. The concept of legibility allows us to reconsider this unique manuscript within the intertwined histories of literacy, knowledge, and colonialism. Reading the Illegible shows that the anonymous author(s) of the Huarochirí Manuscript, along with two contemporaneous Andean-authored texts by Joan de Santa Cruz Pachacuti and Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, rewrote the history of writing and the notion of Christianity by deploying the colonizers' technology of alphabetic writing.Reading the Illegible weaves together the story of the peoples, places, objects, and media that surrounded the creation of the anonymous Huarochirí Manuscript to demonstrate how Andean people endowed the European technology of writing with a new social role in the context of a multimedia society"-- Provided by publisher
Notes Description based upon print version of record
Subject Quechua Indians -- Peru -- Huarochirí -- Manuscripts
Quechua language -- Peru -- Texts
Quechua language -- Peru -- History
Quechua language -- Writing -- History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural & Social.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies.
Quechua language -- Writing
Quechua language
Peru -- Huarochirí
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2022014545
ISBN 9780816547548