Since the dawn of independence, Peruvian officials, intellectuals, and peasants have looked to the Incan past to negotiate the terms of state formation and citizenship. This is hardly surprising, given the Andean republic's geographic, racial, and linguistic ties to the Incas. What is far more surprising is that this same phenomenon occurred in Bolivia, a country marked by a profound Aymara presence and history. What explains this paradox? Gabrielle Kuenzli tackles this question head-on in her thought-provoking monograph Acting Inca. Through sophisticated analysis of underutilized sources, Kuenzli describes how the image of the Inca became a useful discursive symbol for both creole intellectuals and Aymara Indians in early twentieth-century Bolivia.

Acting Inca stands at the crossroads of Andean state formation history and the anthropology of citizenship. It contributes to a robust historiography that shows Andean state formation to be a negotiated...

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