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Indigenous VisionsRediscovering the World of Franz Boas$
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Ned Blackhawk and Isaiah Lorado Wilner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300196511

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300196511.001.0001

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Seeing Like an Inca: Julio C. Tello, Indigenous Archaeology, and Pre-Columbian Trepanation in Peru

Seeing Like an Inca: Julio C. Tello, Indigenous Archaeology, and Pre-Columbian Trepanation in Peru

Chapter:
(p.344) Chapter 14 Seeing Like an Inca: Julio C. Tello, Indigenous Archaeology, and Pre-Columbian Trepanation in Peru
Source:
Indigenous Visions
Author(s):

Christopher Heaney

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300196511.003.0015

This chapter examines how anthropology affected Peruvian archaeologist Julio César Tello's sense of himself. Indigenous individuals like Tello often were present at archaeology's inception, as informants and laborers, and their participation directed their more personal trajectories. Tello came to anthropology at a moment when the physical categories that informed the scientific racism of the nineteenth century were being complicated in favor of a more cultural bent. Tello overcame multiple worlds of prejudice by using skulls, the materia prima of nineteenth-century scientific racism. Like Boas, Tello collected the indigenous dead, and his collection was central to his early career. Yet unlike Boas, whose turn to a cultural study of texts in a university setting forestalled an honest reckoning with the physical collections of Native remains held by America's museums, Tello never left the dead behind. Understanding this distinction reveals how North American anthropology's turn to culture also prefaced a tragic erasure of its obligations to the indigenous dead.

Keywords:   archaeologist, Julio César Tello, Peru, anthropologists, scientific racism, skulls, dead

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