Author Archives: alotspike

Exploring the Yareta of Northern Chile Through the Archives

Posted by Amanda Lotspike – MA Candidate at CLACS

To write a story of the yareta is to start from its partial absence in the Chilean altiplano. It’s a hard thing to do. The yareta demands attention; it grows “like a tortoise—big and green”[1], a plant with almost animate qualities despite its resolute grounding in the Andean volcanic belt. Thriving at altitudes of twelve to fifteen-thousand feet above sea level, the yareta is more than a single cushion shrub. Hundreds of tightly wound, waxy succulent leaves make up the flat surface area of its circular outcroppings—bulbous growths that take on the appearance of carpet moss from far away. At eye level, a heavy resin (yaretawaqa or “tears” of the yareta) smudges its bright green surface, while dried yellow flowers collect in small pockets where the slopes of the yareta rise and fall.

Lotspike_Chile_yareta

The yareta, photo taken by author.

 

This summer I’ve set out to learn of and from the history of the yareta (its abundant growth, extraction and decline) in the Norte Grande of Chile. From stories of the “king” of the yareta (a Bolivian entrepreneur who led commercial exploitation of the species during the mid-twentieth century Chilean mining boom) to its representation in the writings of award-winning poet Miguel Urrelo Valdivia, I have explored the ways in which the yareta exists beyond its material presence (as a poetic imaginary, an heirloom, a divine resource and finally, a warning call).

In this series of blog posts I will highlight a few of these stories. First stop: the library at the National Service for Geology and Mining and the National Archive of Chile.
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Imadi kan kichwa warmikuna?

Mirian_family

Kay podcastpi parlarikanchik runa warmikuna imada rurashkada kikin kunaq yuyayda p’akta chingabuk.

En este podcast, hablamos con Mirian sobre cómo las mujeres indígenas trabajan para alcanzar sus sueños.

In this podcast, we speak with Mirian on how indigenous woman strive to reach their goals.

Jony Hernan Prudencio Parlan Gerardo Huaracha Huarachawan Historiata Yanquemanta

Rimasun_Jony-y-Gerardo-Yanque

Gerardo Huaracha Huaracha museoyoq kan Yanque llaqtapi, Valle del Colcapi, Arequipa, Peru. Gerardoq taytan wasichakuran, ña huk pachaq iskay chunka watakunamantaña. Chay wasipi museo kaq ichaqa qayna Agosto killapi, 2016pi, hatun pachakuyuy chayta thunichiran. Kay podcastpi, grabasqa qayna Mayopi, Jony Hernan Prudencio, wayna Tuti llaqtamanta, tayta Gerardowan parlashan museonmanta.

Rimasun_Gerardo-Museo-Yanque

Tayta Gerardo takes Jony on a tour through his museum in Yanque.

Gerardo Huaracha Huaracha tiene un Museo en el Valle del Colca en Arequipa, Peru. El padre de Gerardo construyó la casa él mismo, hace más de ciento veinte años. En esta casa solía ser un museo pero el Agosto pasado, en el 2016, un terremoto la derrumbó. En este podcast, grabado en el mes de Mayo, Jony Hernan Prudencio, un joven del pueblo de Tuti, habla con el tayta Gerardo sobre el museo.

Gerardo Huaracha Huaracha has a Museum in the Town of Yanque, in the Colca Valley in Arequipa, Peru. Gerardo’s father built the house himself, more than a hundred and twenty years ago. This house used to be a Museum but last August, in 2016, an earthquake knocked it over. In this podcast, recorded in the month of May, Jony Hernan Prudencio, a young man from the town of Tuti, talks to tayta Gerardo about the museum.