A history of violence. The ritual reenactment of the capture of the Incas in the Central Andes

By Isabel Yaya McKenzie


This article explores the expressions of violence in a specific form of ritualized combat that numerous central Andean communities perpetuate each year. These encounters, commonly known as “conquest dances,” stage the Spanish capture of the last Inca ruler. I examine the celebrants’ belligerent engagement in Chiquían (Ancash, Peru) where the divide between mock combat and ritual battle is tenuous. I analyze this practice in light of the recent history of the town, where economic inequalities and important waves of migration have shaped the sociological profile of the ritual factions.


  • Andes
  • Dance of the Conquest
  • Ritual battle
  • Violence
  • Patron Saint festival
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info