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Introduction To Understanding the Development and History of Indentured Labour in Peru
To understand modern unfree labor in Peru, we have brought together sources on historical context, both pre-colonialism and during the time of the Spanish Empire, as well sources detailing growth and development in the modern era. This Library Guide is split into three sections: the Inca Empire, the Colonial era of Peru, and Republican Peru. Our sources on the pre-colonial time cover the labor systems put in place by the Inca to subjugate conquered peoples and fuel imperial expansion. In the center column, we examine how the Spanish changed the Inca labor systems already in place to meet their needs as an empire. Finally, in the third column we explore unfair labor and enslavement practiced in recent history and today. As a whole, our Library Guide will navigate you through Peru's association with slavery in the Inca, Colonial and Republican eras.
Articles: Unfair Labor in Inca Empire
Publication Date: December 2017
Garrido and Salazar explore how intensification of economic expansion happened as a consequence of bottom-up reactions of small groups. This article looks at the Inca labor-tax system and local agency in Tawantinsuyu. This research explores how communities engage with and resist the political economy of the state by negotiating spaces and activities outside the control of the Inca Empire.
Publication Date: 1987
The Inca Empire powered their imperial expansion through the mobilization of production and labor on a mass scale, needing to create a complex system of land tenure and labor. This article looks at a particular part of the system, the use of enclaves for production, administration, and mobilization of permanent retainer labor.
Books: Unfair Labor in Inca Empire
Publication Date: 1996
Introductory book to Inca Empire and daily life through examining life-cycle events, such as rites of passage, food and drink, ways of dressing and ornaments, religious rituals, and labor systems.
Publication Date: 2001
A cross-cultural comparative study on imperialism through the Inca empire. Hastorf and D'Altroy use archaeological methods to explore domestic economy and environment in relation to economic expansion and labor both in the pre-Inca era and under Spanish rule.
Other Resources: Unfair Labor in Inca Empire
An accessible beginner's guide, with audio transcription, to Inca society and culture which includes a brief history, important Inca words and terminology that are likely to be encountered during research, class systems and culture practice explanations, and a guide to the daily life of both lower and higher classes.
Books and Articles: Slavery in Colonial Peru
Colonial Rule in Peru
This article provides the historical context for the precedence of slavery in Peru, by going over the basic history of colonial rule in Peru and the lasting effects. It covers how the physical land was changed by disease and economic changes.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles: Slavery in Colonial Peru
An Economic Analysis of Slavery (Yoram Barzel, 1977)
"This paper seeks to explain certain observations pertaining to slavery. Several of the implications made in this article will test against data provided in Fogel and Engerman's recent work on the subject, in conjunction with a scattering of information from numerous other sources."
While this article may not be in direct correlation with Peruvian slavery it still provides context to be used when examining slavery in Peru during the colonial era.
Colonial Peru and the Inquisition: Race-Thinking, Torture, and the Making of the Modern World (Irene Silverblatt, 2011)
Silverblatt questions the lack of legitimacy of colonial rule in Peru. This article also takes a closer look at colonial bureaucracy such as the Inquisition and how they were used to oppress and "enslave" natives of Peru, all in an effort to civilize them.
Video on Colonial and Inca Slavery in Peru
NGOs and Websites: Republic of Peru
This website includes information on Peruvian unfree labor, particularly trafficking, and features a list of news articles from around the web. Though it has not been updated recently, it still provides a valuable archival space for learning more on Peruvian unfree labor practices.
United States Department of Labor Reports
The United States Bureau of International Labor Affairs released in 2016 new reports on Child Labor and Trafficking. This site contains basic information and context for Peru, as well as a more in depth report in English and Spanish.
Other Research on Labor in the Republic of Peru
From Chattel Slaves to Wage Slaves (ed. by Mary Turner, 1995)
Gonzales' piece on Asian Plantation Workers, one of the later chapters of the book, provides context on the racial diversity of Peruvian laborers. Other chapters in the book provide further context on changes of slavery post-colonialism throughout the Americas.
Paying the Price of Freedom (Christine Hunefeldt, 1994)
Hunefeldt covers slavery in Lima from 1800 to 1853, which includes the period of change from Spanish control to independence. The book uses historical documents to craft narratives, particularly regarding family.
Inequality in the Peruvian Andes ( Pierre L. Van den Berghe and George P. Primov, 1977)
In this book, Van den Berghe and Primov study labor and ethnicity in Peru, especially focusing on how they intersect in the 1960s. Though the book does not focus on slavery, attention is paid to the remnants of the colonial slave system, and how it is still felt in current modes of labor.
Geography of Peru