Hugo Cesar Ikehara 20 Feb 2015


Friday, February 20th at 12:00 pm in the Anthropology Lounge, 3106 WWPH

Hugo Cesar Ikehara

PhD Candidate, University of Pittsburgh

Leadership, crisis, and political change: the end of the Formative Period in the Nepeña Velley, Peru

A public dissertation presentation


This research focuses on the transformation of leaderships after crisis moments. The case is used to identify the factors that shaped the different societal configurations resulting from individual responses to the perceived crisis. A full coverage pedestrian survey carried out during 2012 permitted the reconstruction of the sociopolitical trajectory of the Nepeña Middle Valley communities (North Coast of Peru) between 800 B.C. and A.D. 500. The results indicate that, after the crisis generated by the disintegration of the Cupisnique-Chavin Religious Complex, around 500 B.C., leaders first attempted to reproduce traditional political practices, but they were unsuccessful. Instead, the period was characterized by an increased political fragmentation and leadership diversification. A dramatic population surge, escalated conflict, ritual innovation and changes in economic patterns were critical in the organization of the communities and in the way the variety of leaderships were constituted inside them. Finally, during the last century B.C., a new crisis would have emerged caused by a dramatic demographic collapse. However, during this period the survey zone was consolidated by two complementing districts and leadership became more homogenous.