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The Qhapaq Nan Project: A critical view



The Qhapaq-Ñan Project promotes the integration of shared cultural values among six countries: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. These countries are collaborating to nominate the Main Andean Road or “Qhapaq-Ñan” for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Although the participants envision local and Indian communities as the true beneficiaries of the project, and the archaeological effort is already under way, communities associated with the road have not been involved. (At the very moment we are editing this article (March 2007) Argentina is holding the first meeting about a project that is already five years old, with some of the Indian communities of the territories where the project will be carried out. The participation, however, was far below what we expected.). Following the guidelines of the World Archaeological Congress and the current emphasis of many heritage professionals on community participation, we strongly advise that these dynamics must be changed and that the program must be developed jointly with affected communities from the beginning of the project and not in subsequent steps, or (even worse) once the project already taken shape.
M. Alejandra Korstanje1 & Jorgelina García Azcárate2
RESUMEN (in Spanish):
El Proyecto Qhapaq-Ñan promueve la integración de los valores culturales compartidos entre seis países: Argentina,
Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Ecuador y Colombia, que preparan la candidatura del Camino Principal Andino, “Qhapaq-Ñan”,
para que sea declarado "Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad" por UNESCO.
Si bien, el proyecto busca asociar a las comunidades de la región, las cuales serán las beneficiarias directas de la puesta
en valor de los bienes, hasta ahora la participación en el mismo de las comunidades indígenas y otras comunidades
locales asociadas al mismo han sido nulas. Desde la perspectiva de trabajo del WAC y desde otras experiencias de
participación comunitaria, advertimos que esta dinámica debe ser llevada adelante conjuntamente con las comunidades
y no en pasos sucesivos donde se les dé intervención cuando el proyecto ya tenga forma.
In Third World countries, doing “Archaeologies outside the borders” is not very common. In most cases an
archaeologist starts working in his/her own country and dies working in the same one. Most of us, work even in the
same region most of our lives. Some are trained and complete degrees abroad but until recent days only a very small
number do research abroad. Among other reasons, this pattern is mostly the result of funding being provided by
national government agencies that encourage national projects.
Therefore, until now there are very few researchers who have actually “crossed the border”. While it is not uncommon
to share research projects with foreign scholars who carry on their work in the Third Word countries, the opposite
situation is rare. Yet, academic globalization has started to open opportunities through improved communication
avenues, thereby promoting the involvement of local archaeologists who face questions that cross current national
borders. This is the case of the Qhapaq Ñani or “Camino Principal Andino” project, where both authors are currently
involved in different roles.
It is important to point out however that even though both of us are archaeologists working in this international project,
we are not involved as “foreign” professionals that will make decisions in a country other than ours, or even in a
different provinceii where we usually work. We are both local archaeologist, working locally in an international
heritage project.
The Qhapaq Ñan was the main Andean road during the time of the Inkas, who were able to integrate and develop a
widespread Andean road system it taking advantage of the road network built both previous and contemporary cultures.
An estimated 6,000 km long. This main route linked a coordinated network of roads and infrastructure constructed over
more than 2,000 years of pre-Inka Andean culture. The whole network of roads, over 23,000 km in all, connected
several production, administration and ceremonial centers.”Great part of the system was built over more ancient roads.
It presented a series of architectural structures, each of which had different and specific functions. Bridges and pulley
bridges used over rivers were built to save the continuity of trails along rugged geography of the Andes. Besides the
road s, the transportation system was compose d of other important architectural elements such as “tampus”(lodging
places with storage facilities), “kanchas” (rectangular spaces surrounded by walls enclosing several structures),
“kallankas” (large rectangular buildings within the kanchas, probably used as rest areas), storage facilities
(warehouses) and other minor architecture elements but not of less importance, such as “apachetas”, “chaskiwasis”,
sacred sites, control places for people and products and other evidences such as landmarks, boundary marks and
“huancas”(Tejiendo los lazos de un legado:117)
The Qhapaq Ñan project was born in 2001 as an initiative of the Peru government to propose the Inka Road System as
a World Heritage site in the UNESCO´s list. The project thus has the particularity of having been generated by a
government agency and constituted at the same time a government cultural policy to be followed by other countries
with common ancient road heritage. Of course, since governors have the option to initiate any programme to promote
and protect the cultural heritage, this is a good start, but by current standards and definitions of heritage they have to
1 Instituto de Arqueología y Museo. Fac. de Ciencias Naturales e IML, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. CONICET. Argentina.
2 Dirección de Patrimonio Histórico y Antropológico. Secretaría de Cultura de la Provincia de Tucumán. Instituto de Arqueología y
Museo. Fac. de Ciencias Naturales e IML, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina. E-mail:
promote real participation, assessment, acceptance and interest from the local + indigenous population. The form in
which this participation takes place is the current challenge we are going to discuss in this article.
The initiative to promote the Multilateral Postulation of the Qhapaq Ñan (or “Andean Main Road”) as a cultural
itinerary arose in 2002. It was formalized in a joint declaration between the governments of Peru, Chile, Argentina,
Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. In the document named “Pre-Hispanic Andean roads and the routes of Tawantisuyu”,
they summarized the importance of promoting the Inka Road as part of the Cultural Humanity heritage in recognition
of its natural and cultural significance and associated tangible and intangible inheritance. All the participating countries
show evidence of ancient roads and Andean culture. However, in this document the patrimony is considered beyond its
historical-anthropological meaning and its material existence in Andean geography. Heritage is also seen an
exceptional opportunity for the integration and sharing of cultural values and regional development among these six
On 2003, at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the Permanent Delegates of the Andean countries unanimously
consent requested the World Heritage Centre to take charge of the overall coordination of the project and to assist them
in the procedure for placing heritage property on the list. This was the first time the World Heritage Center’s Latin
America and Caribbean unit had to design an inclusion procedure for a site common to six States Parties.
For the last two years, UNESCOS’s World Heritage Centre had been assisting these countries in a pioneering project:
drafting of a single nomination for the inclusion of Qhapaq Ñan in the World Heritage List, which entailed an
original and innovative regional cooperation process.
(from: , highlighted in the original)
Several international and national technical meetings were organized so as to allow of different social agents. These
meetings were held in Lima (April 2003); Cuzco (October 2003); La Paz (April 2004) and Buenos Aires.
Networks started to be organized at these international meetings. For example, participants agreed that the proposal
would be made by two countries to make the postulation process more expeditious: Argentina and Chile; Peru and
Bolivia; Colombia and Ecuador. Among other common strategies, it was suggested that each country would enlist the
Qhapaq Ñan in their respective national indicative lists, etc.
The importance of this initiative as a state policy became apparent at the MERCOSUR meeting of Ouro Preto,
December 2004, when the presidents of the state parties (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay) and associated
states (Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela), signed a document containing the following article:
27. They [the presidents] support the Andean Cultural Itinerary/Qhapaq Ñan, which involves four countries of
the block, since it constitutes an integration project that has a high impact on the regional development given the
fact that culture mediates as an articulation axisiii.
The document also states that the Interamerican Development Bank (BID in Spanish acronym) is already investing in
this project, at least in Peru, as: “TC0209054 : Action Plan Development Qhapaq Ñan (Principal Andean Way)”,
currently in initial phase, connected to tourism and technical implementation. (See:
The international aspect of this project were complemented and followed by national policies, therefore simultaneous
national meetings were held at the participating countries. In Argentina, for example, these meetings were organized
along with technical teams (consisting only of archaeologists) and governmental representatives of the seven involved
provinces: Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, Catamarca, La Rioja, San Juan and Mendoza. The Secretary of Culture of the
Presidency of the Nation led the organization. At this governmental national level they signed the Resolution Nº
1979/04 in which the Program “Andean Cultural Itinerary” was created as the legal frame for the development and
operations of the Project Qhapaq Ñan. At this stage, the international project became national state policy.
At these national meetings, provincial representatives asked technical teams to select the sections of the Inka road
which needed to be preserved and were valuable for the project. The requested information included details of the
related Inka facilities and their geographic location, register data, governmental resolutions that had declared them
historical monuments when available- and the constitution of the local and Indigenous communities related to the
chosen sections of the road. Actors of different organisms from national government agencies and universities
participated at these meetings. The idea was to first identify the tracks that the archaeologists considered had to be
preserved due to the universal values settled by UNESCO, and later to initiate conversations with the communities
(Indigenous or not) involved in these sections and sites. The ultimate goal was to incorporate the intangible patrimony
of the entire region and that the management plans for the sites would be jointly organized with these communities.
However, a few points indicated that the national agenda was being promoted over local goals and interests.
An example of this clash became apparent during a consulting in which the authors of this paper participated. The
province of Tucumán team proposed the following tracks and sites to be incorporated in the general Argentinean
1. “La Ciudacita” (within the main jurisdiction of Los Alisos National Park with no local or Indigenous
communities involved);
2. “Los Cardones” and “El Remate” (within the main jurisdiction of the Indigenous Community of Amaicha of
the Valley);
3. “Quilmes” and “El Pichao” (within the main jurisdiction of the Indigenous Community of Quilmes).
This decision was made taking into consideration local interests, traditions and ideas about past and heritage. Since
Tucumán only participated with a single site with unambiguous Inka characteristics (“La Ciudacita”), it was pertinent
(and the Project allowed so) to include the current social dimensions of two Indigenous communities directly bound to
that past (Amaicha and Quilmes). Both communities have long histories of settlement in the area that is crossed by
Tucumán’s portion of the ancient main Inka road and they inhabit a space that includes a series of archaeological sites
connected with this past. By making this decision, Tucumán’s team supported the idea that interaction with the
communities would begin as soon as the archaeologist start working in the area. Since there is a substantial record of
the places and areas through which the ancient main road passed, it was relatively simple to know in advance which
communities would be involved. At least in the case of Indigenous communities, which tend to be more engaged with
the pre-Hispanic past and heritage, this cooperation should have started with the selection of the tracks and sites of
common accord. However, the general opinion of the organizers was that technical work should lead the process.
Therefore we opted to draw on our experience and the knowledge gathered through our ongoing interaction with
indigenous communities to select those sites we felt might have liked to be included. This led us to choose sites that
did not fully match UNESCO’s standards, but coincided with our own understanding of the historical moment in which
the Inkas arrived to northwestern Argentina at a very late time regarding the long-term history of the region. The
following statement shows, for example, the view and position of the Tucumán team of archaeologists regarding this
“Brief note regarding our position as Archaeologists on the Qhapac Ñan Project:
The archaeological team of Tucumán has participated in the Qhapac Ñan meetings, debating the methodology
chosen by the National Culture Secretary for the inclusion of the tracks and sites of each province. We want to
sate in this document the reasons that motivated us to collaborate in it, in spite of the multiple professional and
social inconveniences that it can create.
In the first place, not all projects organized from the high spheres of the government have possibilities of being
successful when they involve local values that must be respected (see Belli and Slavutzky 2005, Haber2005,
Endere 2005). In this particular case, considering they involve six countries with different legislations, cultures,
languages and heritage attitudes the possibilities of succeeding might be less. In any case, we consider that if the
project is carried out seriously and following the enunciated objectives accurately, its expansion as an
advantageous form for the protection of the cultural patrimony and the development of the associated
communities is possible.
Although we think that participation of the communities should have occurred parallel to our contribution, the
technical directives distributed from the Nation were that should be the first ones to evaluate and choose the sites
and tracks of the road that best fits in the UNESCO´s standards for the nomination.
However, although here we presented the sites and tracks of the ancient road that according to us and from a
technical-academic point of view would be important to be included in the project, we want to stress that these
only must be incorporated if the Indigenous or rural communities associated agree that this will bring them
benefits and not new destructions or disputes. We have set this position in many national meetings pointing that
in case any community, by any reason, would not want to participate, then the sites included in their territory
should be excluded from the project.
At the end of this report we raise some considerations about how we considered that the relationships with the
mentioned communities in the next segment of inter-institutional work might be done.
Should anyone would be interested in having us expand this information, you should contact those
signing below: Alejandra Korstanje, Carlos Angiorama, Alvaro Martel and Osvaldo Díaz (Korstanje et al 2006:
The objectives of the project are:
Promote the local and regional sustainable development of the communities associated with the Andean Main Road
in Argentina through their empowerment.
Obtain the nomination of the Qhapaq Ñan as Cultural Landscape in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
Encourage research and promotion and conservation plan for the Andean main road.
Persuade the active participation of numerous social actors, such as the involved Andean communities; authorities at
various levels, as well as representatives of nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.
The Qhapaq Ñan or Andean Main Road, taken as heritage, fulfils all and each one of the established criteria of
universal value for cultural goods. According to the UNESCO’s Convention Concerning the Protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage, these requirements are:
1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world,
on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or
which has disappeared.
4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which
illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of
a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable
under the impact of irreversible change;
6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and
literary works of outstanding universal significance.
But Qhapaq Ñan offers new challenges: it is the first project that would be presented to the UNESCO’s list involving
an infrastructure of humanity that spans over more than 23.000 km. and more than 2000 years of culture while
involving a large number of communities through the coordinating efforts of six countries.
This is the reason why in this occasion we pursuit the discussion of some crucial aspects for the development of a
participative cross-border archaeology and heritage management. In light of the results achieved by similar projects of
smaller magnitude, we cannot help but wonder how the necessary practices and strategies to foster the participation of
truly indigenous and local communities will be implemented. This is clearly the first and main goal of the project, but
the methods and strategies to achieve it remain unclear. The large scale of the project may certainly conspire against
including indigenous and local communities in every decision step, with the undesirable yet likely result of such
participation being more nominal than constitutive. Thus we may ask, how can archaeologists contribute to widen the
basis for Andean heritage’s significance and esteem, without letting private or external operators be the principal
beneficiaries of this project?
One of the most outstanding problems identified in our experience with the Qhapaq Ñan project is the
misunderstanding among different organizations involved. On one hand, the teams of archaeologistswho selected the
archaeological sites that would integrate the projectand, on the other, national and provincial organisms in charge of
linking the project with other areas of government and public practice: tourism, environment, education, social
development. Although not all of the members of those organisms were present in all the different meetings, according
to national organization directives, the members of the indigenous communities have not been asked to participate
The richness of this Program, we insist, is that it offers the invaluable chance of taking decisions that include a truly
diverse cultural web, considering the international opinion and even more, that of the people from each country.
Consequently it’s challenge is to plan it throughout the different dimensions involved (communities, researchers,
authorities, public, etc.). So, the strategy must include the participation of all the national and provincial organisms and
particularly the communities associated to the ancient main road.
Traditional conceptions of some cultural policy organisms often promote decisions to be taken at the upper levels, and
these can be valid to certain extent since they respond to a consensual international aesthetic and system of values.
However, from our perspective, this decision-making process must respond to the communities’ requirements in order
to achieve a truly consensual form. Both international and the Argentinean National government objectives seem to
give precedence to communal and regional development. But how is it possible to even get to the point of planning
such strategies, when the principal actors are excluded from the initial scene? How can we incorporate their ideas,
feelings and initiatives once the project has reached its final form?
The Quebradaiv de Humahuaca (Jujuy, Argentina) as a World Heritage cultural itinerary is an interesting case, which
shows the difficulties of these processes. Unlike Qhapaq Nan, this was originally a project requested by the local
communities of the Quebrada, and it was later incorporated as a state policy. For a while, this seemed to be an
exemplary case for heritage conservation. Yet a few years ago, the building of a high voltage electro duct in the
Quebrada prompted different indigenous and local communities to initiate a boycott to what then seemed an
unquestionable government decision. This boycott consisted of night incursions to the places where the towers were
going to be set, moving landmarks and strictly measured points, among other things (Champa, com.pers. 2005).
Later on, pamphlets and announcements started to circulate petitioning the government to consider the reasons why the
population did not want those electrical towers in the Quebrada. Among the many issues raised, some of which were
environmental, there was the somehow astonishing consideration that if the towers were to be constructed, the
Quebrada would never have the chance to be included in the UNESCO´s list of World Cultural Heritage.
The government decided to change the route of the electrical duct and started the work on the project for UNESCO’s
files. But once again, the decisions taken were not appropriate.
In spite of the likely good nature of the original intentions, the government did not succeed in making it a real project
with local participation of the communities involved. The results were like in many others sites included in UNESCO’s
list all over the world: the appropriation of the project by private capitals attracted by the extremely raised price
market of lands, instead of the actual protection of the sites. Worst of all, none of these changes caused the
development of the living and labor conditions of local communities.
Unfortunately, failing in one of the goals may lead to the failure of the project in general, therefore something that was
created for people’s well-being (as UNESCOS’s list) becomes discredited, as local people tend to feel that such
projects merely pay lip service to their needs. In this way, neither heritage is preserved and protected, nor people’s
lives improve as a result of the regional development brought about by such projects.
We think that our experience could be capitalized to improve the aspects that we consider key in these kinds of
programs, namely local participation as opposed to merely “local agreement” (Meskel 2005).
We think an interesting point in this discussion could also be the lack of interaction or intersection among some
institutions with similar purposes. WAC (World Archaeological Congress) enhanced our views on local communities
and indigenous rights and participation on the management of heritage. But are WAC and UNESCO really working
side by side to spread this view in cultural policy makers, taking into account the many different local views of the
same problem?
Browsing the huge and somehow complicated UNESCO´s webpage we find the amazing richness of the various kinds
of projects in which this organism (or “we”, if UNESCO is really international) is involved. Yet we could not help but
wonder to what extent these projects, designed in bureaucratic offices by highly trained people, have been planned with
local people’s needs in mind, within local people’s aims and expectations. It is unclear whether UNESCO really tries to
identify such aims and expectations by interacting with local people directly, or whether this is left in the hands of
Given the still high prestige of UNESCO as an organization of the presently discredited
United Nations, these questions could look impractical. But as it is said in Spanish “de buenas intenciones esta lleno el
camino al infierno.v How can UNESCO make their heritage projects (since the Heritage World List IS an UNESCO
project itself, even when each country proposes the sites) available to local people if they are not really acting locally?
In this sense, WAC understanding of public heritage policies seems much more democratic and also more effective.
Their experiences do not merely on the discourse to give participation to broader groups, but they do the work, as a
core action, together with the different local groups accepting they have the control of their patrimony. The difference
is that they are not just asking for local opinion, but are working in the truly understanding of both opinions (local
people and technicians) in an equally hierarchized cooperative way.
Let’s quote, for example some WAC ideals:
“(…) Archaeology can no longer afford or even consider reasonable - a belief that archaeologists are the primary
stewards of the past and somehow the only ones who have access to the “truth” about the past. Many archaeologists
have come to realize that all past is collaboratively constructed it is a community “invention”. Communities also
maintain their own pasts, which are as adaptative as any element in their ideology” (Zimmerman 2006: 86). (…) “In
many ways, the discussions in WAC were not just about indigenous people’s rights to their legacy they claimed as
their own, but were actually more about the rights of any stakeholders to these pasts” (Zimmerman 2006: 91).
We agree that nobody can “throw the first stone” about these colonizing ideas and practices. Most of the actors’
decisions currently involved in heritage were born as a part of colonialist and authoritarian government practices: the
governments of independent republics, national parks administrations, international organizations, archaeologists and
archaeological associations. As it has already been largely debated, these institutions were all born in the same spirit of
having the truth and neglecting or underestimating indigenous knowledge. Things seem to be slowly changing, not in
the least as a consequence of a indigenous peoples having more access to promote the wider acceptance of different
views of the past, and of the management of the past itself. What has become clear for all of us in government and
academic bodies in recent years is that we have to broaden and deepen our involvement with indigenous actors and
their worldviews in order to have concrete results beyond our good intentions or “goals”. Good intentions are never
Modern states, in Latin America in particular, have nowadays a unique chance to prevent the further denial of
indigenous peoples’ identity, culture, language and their ways of life (including their lands) by implementing real
policies of inclusion and participation, instead of merely demanding them to reconstitute themselves as natives,
performing an Andean indigenous stereotype “for export.” This is not the same as saying that such a performance may
be less real than other cultural identity performances, as people adapt and manage their cultural pool of resources in
creative ways all the time. Yet we argue against the demands placed on communities to re-shape themselves as suitable
citizens of an apparently new “multiculturalism” with the promise of reconstructing their economies, which finally
only gives them breadcrumbs of profitable enterprises that are only cover-ups for new ways of real estate advance on
their lands.
The participation must be equal, with control of the communities on their resources and with double training
workshops that would include actors of both sides in order to achieve a better understanding.
We said the participation of local communities and Indigenous groups may transform the project into a problem, when
it should be a strength point if well performed.
Maybe before going on we should first make a consideration about Indigenous groups in northwestern Argentina.
While people forming current Indigenous communities are doubtlessly predecessor and inheritor, in more or less
intensity, of ancient Indigenous groups and culture, the former of the Spanish Colony but, mostly, the Independent
Republic policies led them to refuse for centuries to be part of that Indigenous collective, since Indians were considered
“lazy”, “brainless”, “drunk”, and all kinds of negative and discriminative labels. Most of them lost their original names,
their traditions, and most importantly, their languages and their land. This high decomposition of the Indigenous social
tissue started to be mendedat least in written national lawonly in the 1994 Constitution, where the 75th article
recognizes the “precedence of the Indigenous groups” and give them the legal frame to reclaim their rights on their
lands in a collective way. Since then, they are able to organize them in “Indigenous Communities” with legal rights,
and some new opportunities have arisen as a result of this new status.
Therefore, much reconceptualization and resignification of identities came after 1994, and many of our current
Indigenous groups are only recently organized as such. This generates among them conflicts, misunderstandings,
power struggles and situations that are not common, for example, to archaeologists of other countries of Latin America,
who are used to working with Indigenous peoples that have a long tradition and have been organized as such for a long
Although archaeologists were not initiators of the project they were invited to work in it, it is still our responsibility to
make sure that all activities programmed towards the nomination are considered and done with full respect to
indigenous and local communities. Our own professional standards as defined by AAPRAvi also require this respect,
and for this reason we cannot limit our intervention to technical advising and then assume we have no other
responsibilities on how the project develops (see WAC codes of ethics, for example).
In Argentina there are some successful programs that we can take into consideration from this participatory point of
view. They are mostly related to organizations that work in economic areas, as it is the case of the Farming Social
Programmevii depending on the National Secretary of Agriculture, Cattle, Fishing and Feedingviii. Their purpose is to
improve the quality of life of small producers and peasants increasing their income and promoting their organized
participation. These programs aspire to elaborate the projects with the producers, as opposed in quality to those
others, which work for the people in a charitable or paternalistic way.
Other successful experiences have demonstrated its capacity to arrive to the proposed objectives when participation of
its members is done in solidarity, as the case of the programs for construction of communitarian houses.
We have to consider also that current approaches to local Indigenous or peasant communities consist on a “face to
face” communication in arguments made with local people. These encounters might be to tell them about what
archaeologist’s work consist; of to involve the school teachers and students in an archaeological educative project, or
either to make more participative Indigenous archaeologies. Depending on the spirit of the professionals involved, the
biggest efforts were made in doing meetings with different, but always small enough communities (Chambers 1977,
Calvelo 1988).
This custom-established system has proved to be unsuccessful in recent larger heritage management projects.
Indigenous communities in Latin America are requesting a different kind of participation. Let’s call it real
participation based on the control of the heritage. Therefore, new communication tools are needed when projects
involve larger active native populations like in the case of Qhapaq Ñan. Since the early 70’s the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) developed “Massive Audiovisual Pedagogy”, a video based multi-media methodology for the
sharing of knowledge and skills (Calvelo 1994, 1995, FAO 1989). This communication strategy is aimed at “listening
to peasants”, in the first place: After a period of participatory research to select the contents, communicators design
and produce a communication tool suited to share knowledge with people (most of the times formally uneducated
people). The production of this kind of material and the massive dissemination by workshops allow the facilitators to
place themselves between the scientific and peasant universes making cross-cultural communication possible. This also
broadens the participation limits, extending the problems not only to the leaders but to a larger population, process that
enhances the discussion, participation, production and results, avoiding local conflicts. This participatory approach
shows its full potential when one or more of these conditions are present:
a) Massive population
b) Extreme cultural differences, including native languages
c) Illiteracy
d) Complex contents
A peasant proverb resumes the pedagogic strategy: "What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I know."
(Korstanje et al 1999)
This methodology registers significant precedents in the national and international situation for the last forty years. At
the international level experiences have been made in countries of diverse socio economical conditions as Mexico,
Honduras, Dominican, Cuba, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile (FAO 1987a, 1987b). In Asia the experiences
were made in China, Korea and India. In Africa (Mali) a denominated organism CESPA exists, dedicated to the
communication for the development. These experiences have been developed with FAO support, which has
documentation on all these experiences. Perhaps at the UNESCO level it happens just like in Third World countries:
the organisms are disarticulated and they do not learn or know their bureau neighbours experiences.
The particular aspect of this cross-border archaeological and heritage project that includes the participation of six
nations and a large but still unidentified number of different communities present new challenges to us from the point
of view of the actual participation.
Although it is welcome and interesting that the initiative is coming from the governments, the participation must be
ampler in the decision making level. The election of the sites does not have to respond only to technical criteria, but to
local traditions and interests. Achieving consensus requires time and money, but it also saves time, money, and
problems and dignifies the involved people. This is a criterion not always shared by government agencies. But essential
in any conservation programme.
How do we perceive these difficulties? The actions undertaken between the different sectors are directed to common
objectives, in this case to propose the Andean Main Road for its nomination. Nevertheless we have not yet been able to
implement an effective dialogue among all the involved participants. This results in efforts to be duplicated and in
proposed goals not getting in place. We are lacking the whole vision of the project in where each component should be
closely articulated with the following one. While we have a segmented perception of the totality and each organization
faces the project alone, its fragility will be a threat.
We consider the urgent to reorient the general approach, to an holistic perspective (Savory 1999) in which all the
participants can celebrate and maintain their participation in the long breath.
Belli, E. y R. Slavutzky.
2005. Patrimonio: Territorio, Objetos, Símbolos, Personas. ¿Cuál es la disputa?. Mundo de Antes 4:13-19. Instituto de
Arqueología y Museo (UNT), Tucumán.
Calvelo, M.
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i This is the quechua name for the main road Inka system
ii In Argentina, a “province” is the larger political unity within the country, in a federal system.
iii 27. Apoyan el Itinerario Cultural Andino / Qhapaq Ñan, que involucra cuatro países del bloque, por tratarse de proyecto de
integración que supone un alto impacto sobre el desarrollo regional, teniendo la cultura como eje articulador
iv “Quebrada” means narrow valley
v Of good intentions the way to hell is full.
vi Asociación de Arqueólogos Profesionales de Argentina.
vii Programa Social Agropecuario (PSA)
viii Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganadería, Pesca y Alimentación de la Nación.
... El 21 de junio de 2014 se aprobó la inscripción del Qhapaq Ñan o Sistema Vial Andino (en adelante QÑ) en la Lista de Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO, en la categoría de Itinerario Cultural, en la 38ª sesión del Comité de Patrimonio Mundial realizada en Doha (Qatar). Parte del colectivo arqueológico, turístico y patrimonial celebró esta declaratoria, otra parte permaneció indiferente; pero un grupo en el cual me incluyo -que venimos siguiendo el caso y hemos comenzado a tener una visión crítica desde el proyecto de expediente para la declaratoria y la declaratoria misma-, mostramos nuestra preocupación (Gnecco 2016;Jallade 2014; Jofré Luna 2016, Korstanje y García Azcárate 2007. A partir de las experiencias que otras declaratorias han tenido sobre el patrimonio cultural en la práctica para los pueblos (Belli y Slavutzky 2005;López Lenci 2005;Martorell Carreño 2002) y algunas características intrínsecas del proyecto QÑ mismo (Díaz 2015(Díaz , 2016Korstanje y García Azcárate 2007), consideramos que éste es un claro caso de neocolonialismo sobre territorios, patrimonio y recursos de los pueblos andinos en particular. 1 Esta visión de resonancia radical podría parecer exagerada: UNESCO en principio es una organización internacional, conformada por estados soberanos y democráticos, de carácter principalmente consultivo. ...
... Parte del colectivo arqueológico, turístico y patrimonial celebró esta declaratoria, otra parte permaneció indiferente; pero un grupo en el cual me incluyo -que venimos siguiendo el caso y hemos comenzado a tener una visión crítica desde el proyecto de expediente para la declaratoria y la declaratoria misma-, mostramos nuestra preocupación (Gnecco 2016;Jallade 2014; Jofré Luna 2016, Korstanje y García Azcárate 2007. A partir de las experiencias que otras declaratorias han tenido sobre el patrimonio cultural en la práctica para los pueblos (Belli y Slavutzky 2005;López Lenci 2005;Martorell Carreño 2002) y algunas características intrínsecas del proyecto QÑ mismo (Díaz 2015(Díaz , 2016Korstanje y García Azcárate 2007), consideramos que éste es un claro caso de neocolonialismo sobre territorios, patrimonio y recursos de los pueblos andinos en particular. 1 Esta visión de resonancia radical podría parecer exagerada: UNESCO en principio es una organización internacional, conformada por estados soberanos y democráticos, de carácter principalmente consultivo. Sus objetivos y programas han significado en muchos casos un gran aporte a la conservación y el respeto de la diversidad cultural mundial. ...
Tomando como hilo las actividades y reuniones del “Programa Qhapac Ñan. Camino Principal Andino”, en las que participé informalmente (agosto del 2004 a abril 2008) y formalmente (siempre ad honorem) como parte del Comité Técnico de Gestión Provincial (abril 2008 a diciembre 2009), seguiré el entramado de este proyecto. En este ensayo plantearé mi visión crítica sobre el proyecto, desarrollando los fundamentos de mi decisión de participar como también de mi renuncia. Centraré el análisis de este ensayo, en el hecho de que toda la orientación del mismo se ha dirigido –al menos hasta mi renuncia en el año 2009– al único objetivo que no figuró nunca explícitamente en el proyecto: el Turismo. Por último, reflexionaré sobre los alcances y consecuencias de este tipo de proyectos, realizados de la forma en que este ha sido realizado, para nuestra profesión, para nuestra región y para las comunidades rurales e indígenas que se encuentren en los territorios afectados por los mismos.
... Por ello, ante la pregunta que se hacen unas colegas sobre "¿cómo pueden contribuir los arqueólogos a ampliar la base de la importancia y la estima de la herencia andina sin que los operadores privados o externos sean los principales beneficiarios de este proyecto?" (Korstanje y García 2007) me atrevo a decir que eso se logra desde la gestión participativa y democrática, lo cual no es sencillo, pues los gobiernos deben resignar el control absoluto y compartir decisiones y acciones con los pobladores locales. La buena noticia es que no es imposible, pues nosotros lo estamos logrando, ergo, cualquiera puede hacerlo. ...
... Llegamos a pensar que QN podía ser una oportunidad para ello (Korstanje y García 2007), aun dentro del paradigma hegemónico, donde se habla de "consentimiento previo, libre e informado", como la gran victoria de los derechos humanos ("consentimiento" ... todo dicho). Pero no lo fue. ...
El presente ensayo está dividido en dos partes. La primera, y en consonancia con el título, se refiere a un hecho puntual basado en la experiencia con una comunidad antes, durante y después de la patrimonialización del QN. También daré una idea general sobre cómo se estructura el QÑ y su funcionamiento. Por razones de espacio y volumen informativo sólo realizaré una apretada síntesis para contextualizar y dar lugar a lo que sigue. La segunda parte tratará sobre lo dicho, tanto en términos generales como en algunas de las particularidades que plantea Cristóbal Gnecco, siempre contrastando con los hechos que suceden en otras latitudes alejadas al QÑ. Allí estarán los comentarios, discusiones, reflexiones sobre estos temas patrimoniales que hoy nos convocan con una temática puntual y de gran vigencia. No está demás aclarar que las confrontaciones de ideas y empleo de frases irónicas o provocadoras no son bajo ningún punto de vista de carácter personal, ya que siento un gran aprecio y respeto por Cristóbal Gnecco; sólo pretenden poner un poco de condimento a los a veces aburridos o insulsos discursos académicos que solemos producir los investigadores; además, en estas cuestiones siempre hay una gran cuota latina de apasionamiento y humor.
... Como ejemplo de lo antes mencionado, recientemente, diversos autores (Gnecco 2017; Jallade 2011:2; Korstanje y García 2007; Losson 2017; Rendón 2017) han escrito sobre el Qhapaq Ñan. Ellos sostienen que este bien patrimonial es un discurso creado desde arriba por los Estados, de manera vertical, con poca o nula participación de las comunidades (Gnecco 2017;Korstanje y García 2007;Losson 2017). Jallade (2011:2) sostiene que la "irrupción de los caminos prehispánicos en el imaginario colectivo" representa una intromisión estatal que desvincula la relación sociedad-naturaleza. ...
... ¿Cómo hacer para diferenciar el acuerdo de las poblaciones locales, con una participación real y activa en el gobierno y manejo del patrimonio? (Korstanje y García 2007;Perkin 2010). ...
Full-text available
Heritage studies have recently adopted a dichotomic perspective in which State-sponsored heritage management and the will of communities are contradictory. This approach understands cultural heritage as an object-discourse used for hegemonic purposes, not as the result of the existing social relations, failing thus to understand it as a process. In this article we will use the case of Qhapaq Ñan to illustrate this conceptual discussion underlying the management of cultural heritage. We will discuss how recent academic publications discuss the topic of Qhapaq Ñan from the perspective of a discourse created by the State that allows its authors to claim to be the interlocutors of the communities, consciously or unconsciously. Then, we will discuss a conception of heritage as a space for social negotiation that precedes official discourses. Finally, we propose that the management of Qhapaq Ñan should be understood as the need to ensure the democratic participation of all the actors involved, without imposing views -as academics or heritage managers-, allowing the actors to have their own voice. Thus, the Qhapaq Ñan can become a dynamic space that facilitates the social recomposition and democratization oriented to co-management policies of the space.
... About criticism of the procedures realized during the nomination process, in which indigenous peoples were absent or only figurative, see for example:Korstanje and Azcárate 2007, gómez salazar 2012, Korstanje 2016, gnecco 2017 ...
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p>El objetivo del artículo es presentar las relaciones entre los países de América del Sur en cuanto a la política de la protección y salvaguarda de uno de los elementos más excepcionales del patrimonio cultural de los pueblos indígenas de la región, representado por el Sistema Vial Andino – Qhapaq Ñan. La primera parte describe el sistema de las rutas precolombinas y su significado para los habitantes de la región andina desde tiempos prehispánicos hasta los tiempos modernos. Las partes siguientes presentan el proceso de la nominación y la declaración de Qhapaq Ñan como el símbolo del Patrimonio Cultural Mundial por la UNESCO (2001–2014). La nominación fue posible gracias al esfuerzo de los representantes de los seis países vinculados actualmente por el Sistema Vial: Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile y Argentina, y se presentó en términos de la integración y la cooperación interregional (a través de las estructuras de la Comunidad Andina de Naciones, OEA o CONSUR). La última parte del artículo presenta algunas reflexiones sobre el estado actual de la política cultural y el proceso de implementación de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas en relación con el derecho a la participación y la gestión de su patrimonio cultural.</p
Since Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, China has increasingly engaged in UNESCO’s Silk Roads project. China’s emphasis on its western routes signals its strategic interest in the reconstruction of its historical connections that matches China’s global networking in Eurasia, the Middle East, and Europe. However, whether China will successfully reformulate the international visions of the past, present, and future for its benefit remains an open question. This article focuses on the responses from Japan and South Korea, both of which hold critical positions as the owners of eastern Silk Roads heritage and the funders of UNESCO’s Silk Roads heritage studies and World Heritage nomination assistance. Extending the conceptual framework of memory infrastructure to the study of heritage politics and diplomacy highlights the competitive aspect of a transnational heritage project in shaping and reshaping historical and contemporary geographical landscapes.
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Cet article propose d’interroger la fabrique patrimoniale des routes transnationales culturelles à l’aune des narrations patrimoniales mises en place à différentes échelles par les acteurs de la patrimonialisation. L’article s’accompagne d’une réflexion heuristique de la notion de patrimonialisation et sur la quête du label UNESCO à travers les catégories des paysages culturel et des routes patrimoniales. L’étude du Qhapaq Ñan (Camino principal andino / Andean road system), route de plus de 4000 kms du Nord (Colombie) au Sud (Argentine et Chili) regroupant six pays andins, inscrit sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO en 2014 permettra une lecture géopolitique d’un projet culturel transnational ambitieux. La question du partage des valeurs de la route patrimoniale sera interrogée à travers les narrations plurielles, glorifiant une mémoire partagée qui ne fait pas encore consensus. La mise en tourisme (écotourisme) du Qhapaq Ñan se révèle être à la fois attendue, rejetée et conflictuelle à l’image des narrations plurielles qui ponctuent le Chemin de l’Inca et des difficiles appropriations de cette route patrimoniale morcelée.
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Este artículo pretende investigar el tejido patrimonial de las rutas culturales transnacionales a la luz de los relatos patrimoniales establecidos a diferentes escalas por los actores de la cultura. El artículo va acompañado de una reflexión heurística sobre la noción de “patrimonialización” y sobre la obtención de la marca de calidad UNESCO a través de las categorías de paisajes culturales y rutas patrimoniales. El estudio del Qhapaq Ñan (Camino principal Andino / sistema vial andino), una carretera de más de 4000 km de norte (Colombia) a sur (Argentina y Chile) que reúne a seis países andinos, inscritos en la Lista del Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO en 2014 permitirá una lectura geopolítica de un ambicioso proyecto cultural transnacional. La cuestión de la puesta en común de los valores de la ruta patrimonial se analizará a través de múltiples relatos, alabando una memoria compartida que aún no es forma parte de un consenso. La introducción del turismo (ecoturismo) del Qhapaq Ñan está a la espera, es rechazada y resulta conflictiva, a la vez, la imagen de los diferentes relatos que jalonan el Camino Inca y las complicadas “apropiaciones” por esos relatos de esta fragmentada ruta patrimonial.
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This article discusses the heritage producing machine where transnational cultural routes are concerned, and specifically in the light of the heritage narratives established at different scales by those involved in heritage development. It comprises a heuristic reflection on the notion of heritage and on the quest for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List through the categories of cultural landscapes and heritage routes. The study of the Qhapaq Ñan (Camino principal andino / Andean road system), some 4,000 km of roads across six Andean countries from Colombia in the north to Argentina and Chile in the south, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2014, provides a geopolitical interpretation of an ambitious transnational cultural project. The issue of sharing the values embodied by the heritage route are examined through multiple narratives, glorifying a remembrance that, while shared, yet lacks consensus. The tourism development (ecotourism) of the Qhapaq Ñan is expected, rejected and conflictual, as are the multiple narratives that punctuate the Inca Road System and the difficult appropriations of this fragmented heritage route.
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Patrimonio es un concepto que, en los últimos años, ha sido ampliamente debatido; se lo ha discutido en el campo de las ciencias sociales y las humanidades y en el ámbito de la gestión y ad-ministración pública, se lo ha vinculado con el desarrollo turístico, aparece frecuentemente mencionado en los medios de comunicación y es disputado por grupos subordinados que empiezan a adquirir visibilidad y expresión propia. Ahora bien, ¿qué se entiende por patrimonio? Sin caer en una definición precisa y exhaustiva del término, se podría decir que son elementos (materiales o inmateriales), considerados bienes, que están relacionados con la identidad de un colectivo determinado, con su cultura, sus tradiciones e historia. Este libro aborda el tema de la relación entre patrimonio y pueblos originarios en lo que hoy es Argentina. A diferencia de otros trabajos publicados sobre la temática, en este volumen se presenta la voz originaria en primera persona. En efecto, a lo largo de los distintos capítulos el lector podrá interiorizarse, a través de la vocería de referentes, delegados, autoridades y colectivos indígenas, sobre qué consideran patrimonio los pueblos originarios y cuál es el vínculo que se establece con estos elementos.
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WAC ha desafiado la noción constante que la arqueología es objetiva y apolítica. Esta noción ha alienado a los indígenas porque tiende a deshumanizar tanto a ellos como a sus antecesores. WAC reconoció que la arqueología existe en un contexto político, que debe ser considerado en cualquier construcción y uso del pasado. WAC estructuró una organización que dió una voz a aquellos cuyo pasado había sido excavado, interpretado, y adueñuado por otros. WAC también defendió la colaboración directa entre los indígenas y otros desciendientes de las comunidades. En esencia, WAC apoyó la liberación de la arqueología practicada como un colonialismo científico, una historia que este artículo relata brevemente. Todavia hay trabajo que hacer. Los arqueólogos necesitan producir epistemologías de colaboración y lo que significan para nuestro conocimiento de los pasados, que han sido creados en este proceso. Una tarea más difícil es estar seguros que los arqueólogos y las comunidades con las cuales ellos trabajan entiendan cuan importante la arqueología puede ser para construir una comunidad y mantener su identidad cultural.
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Este artículo esboza las posibilidades para una práctica mixta, a la que yo denomino etnografía arqueológica, que enlaza la arqueología y antropología sociocultural. Mi trabajo de campo se ha realizado en los límites del Parque Nacional Kruger con individuos de la comunidad de Malatji, y también con ecologistas sociales, guardas del parque, intérpretes y agentes del patrimonio que trabajan en el parque nacional. La investigación contribuye y evalúa críticamente el centralísmo del patrimonio arqueológico de Sudáfrica y sus múltiples papeles en la formulación de nuevas subjetividades en la nación cosmopolita y postcolonial. Cet article illustre la possibilité d'utiliser l'ethnographie archéologique comme pratique hybride permenttant de faire le pont entre l'archéologie et l'anthropologie socioculturelle. Mon travail de terrain se déroule à la limite du Parc National Kruger avec des individus de la communauté Malatji et aussi des spécialistes en écologie sociale, des agents de la conservation, des guides interprètes et des représentants du patrimoine employés du parc national. Cette recherche entend contribuer et faire une évaluation critique de la centralité du patrimoine archéologique en Afrique du sud et de ses rôles multiples dans la formation d'une nouvelle subjectivité dans la nation cosmopolite postcoloniale.
Patrimonio: Territorio, Objetos, Sí, Personas. ¿Cuá es la disputa
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