Capstones

Graduation Date

Fall 12-16-2018

First Advisor

Frederick Kaufman

Subject Concentration

Spanish Language

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Abstract

Lords from the Desert

This work explores a reality that is little talked about: how the most prestigious pre-Columbian art exhibits in the United States hide a murky origin. From looting of temples to illicit art trafficking, to smuggling and collectors’ affairs, the pieces gain value in proportion to the social prestige of their owner. Along the way, the most important is lost: research that provides context and allows us to know history. The First World wins a seductive, but simplistic story. The Third World, from which all these cultures emerge, loses patrimony and possibilities of understanding themselves. A pair of beautiful ear spools from the Moche culture, claimed and lost by the Peruvian government, take us through this story.

Este trabajo explora una realidad de la que se habla poco: cómo las exposiciones más prestigiosas arte prehispánico en los Estados Unidos esconden un origen turbio. Desde el saqueo de templos hasta el tráfico ilícito, pasando por el contrabando y los negocios de coleccionistas, las piezas van ganando valor en proporción al prestigio social del dueño. En el camino, se pierde lo más importante: la investigación que da contexto y permite conocer la historia. El primer mundo gana un relato seductor, pero simplista. El tercer mundo, de donde surgen todas estas culturas ricas, pierde patrimonio y posibilidades de entenderse a si mismos. Un par de bellas orejeras de la cultura Moche, reclamadas y perdidas por el gobierno peruano, nos llevan por esta historia.

Link:

https://medium.com/@Mercado/lords-from-the-desert-555e1817d8d3

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