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Cultural colonialism and ethnography : European travellers in nineteenth century Ecuador Fitzell, Jill 1994

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CULTURAL COLONIALISM AND ETHNOGRAPHY: EUROPEAN TRAVELLERS IN NINETEENTH CENTURY ECUADOR by JILL FITZELL B.A.Hon., Trinity College Dublin, 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1994 © Jill Fitzell, 1994 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. (Signature) Department of A -NTH i t o fo^PGry -4- S o o i o i - o G r ^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date *Tfr<l ^ 4 t L , 1 ^ 4 -DE-6 (2/88) Abstract As a contribution to the historical anthropology of colonial processes and the politics of ethnographic representation, I describe and analyse the work of European travellers in the highlands of nineteenth century Ecuador a a case study of the relationship between colonialism and representation in a particular historical context. I investigate European work through its practical application in the ethnographic context of Ecuadorian spatial politics and organization, as an alternative to the formal analysis of literary strategies and political discourses within a purely textual frame. The validity of Europeans' vision of Ecuadorian space is examined in relation to two different audiences. I questioned the legitimacy of their accounts for twentieth century anthropologists, as a basis for ethnographic knowledge about the organization and politics of space in Ecuador at that time. I also questioned the extent of their legitimation by nineteenth century Ecuadorians, and whether their work there came to be seen as a common-sense vision o the world. I address the concerns of these audiences through a comparative analysis of European and Ecuadorian points of view. The first section focuses on an ethnographic analysis of spatial representation in the travellers' accounts: the ways in which historical and cultural conditions limited their consciousness of Ecuadorian points of view, but also iii the ways in which they successfully described local organization of space. The second section focuses on a discursive analysis of the travellers' work: the new political languages which emerged as their scientific and progressive conceptions of space were removed from their intended discursive context and redeployed in the different environment of Ecuadorian culture and history. I conclude that the European accounts are valid sources of ethnographic knowledge about the organization and politics of space in Ecuador. Although travel accounts were dismissed as legitimate ethnographies in early twentieth century anthropology, they should be recognized today as early examples of fieldwork and ethnographic writing before anthropology became a professional discipline. Recognizing these accounts as marginalized forms of ethnography can contribute to current reflexive critiques of anthropological practice. They contribute to an understanding of anthropology's roots in the ideological tension between romantic natural history and objective natural science which continues to influence the discipline today. The accounts also foreground the sites and relations which have been excluded from more recent ethnographic frames, such as the process of "getting there", the national context and capital city which ethnographers pass through to reach the "field", and the cosmopolitan intermediaries and complex political negotiations involved in representing local points of view. Recognizing these external relations iv contributes to recent arguments that ethnographies must represent the larger global and national conditions through which local encounters are mediated. I also conclude that the Europeans were indirectly but inevitably involved in Ecuador in the nineteenth century process of imperial expansion. Their diplomatic services, their natural scientific fieldwork and collections, and their descriptive accounts, contributed knowledge which was useful in Europe to assess the potential for market expansion through trade relations and the extraction of raw resources. On the other hand, an examination of their influence in Ecuador, rather than in Europe, contributes to a recognition that their more direct involvement in the success of cultural colonialism was limited. Although they had social influence and intellectual legitimation amongst the cosmopolitan ruling elite of Quito, their ideas and activity in Ecuador were not generally accepted as a common-sense vision of the world. Furthermore, their work was variously and ingeniously appropriated by different social groups to bear unexpected meanings as Ecuadorians constructed their own visions of nationhood and modernity. V Table of Contents Abstract ii List of Figures vii Acknowledgement ix Preface x Introduction 1 Nineteenth century travel accounts 4 The politics of representation 11 The politics of truth 21 Cultural colonialism 27 The organization of space 32 The corpus of accounts 3 9 Chapter outline 47 Chapter 1: Great Expectations 51 The travellers and their shared habitus 57 The field of international diplomacy 61 A field for naturalists and romantic writers 69 The field of popular travel writing 76 Space and the fields of cultural production 86 Chapter 2: Such a distance to the centre 92 The physical friction of distance 93 The experience described 97 The significance of their experience 101 Spatial organization in Ecuador 106 Progress on the Royal Road Ill Crossing distances: the arrieros 117 Chapter 3: Locality and Social Influence 127 The rural tambos 12 9 Social influence in the tambos 137 The provincial centres 138 Guaranda 13 9 Ambato 142 Latacunga 14 7 Social influence in the provincial centres 149 Arrival at the centre: Quito 150 The landowning class in Quito 154 Social influence in Quito 161 Chapter 4 : Quito and the Politics of Space 165 The alienated viewpoint 168 A bird' s-eye view 170 The labyrinth 181 Spatial practice in the Plaza Mayor 203 The view from below 212 Sanitary control of urban space 215 Chapter 5: Everyone in Their Place: the Representation of Social Boundaries 219 The discourse on blood relations in Ecuador 226 The discourse on barbarians in Europe 232 The nature of Indian images 235 Specialized fields: objective science and exotic realism 246 vi Articulating images and ideological struggle 249 Deconstructing the generic Indian 257 Class boundaries 261 Chapter 6: New Visions: Nature and National Identity . . . 263 Classification and Collecting 268 Art and objectivity 274 Reappropriating the landscape 285 Objective national space 290 Forms of knowledge 299 Chapter 7 : A New Political Language 301 Europeans' relationship with the governing class .... 302 Europeans' relationship with the Catholic church .... 305 European scientific discipline 308 Garcia Moreno and the Church 312 State institution of scientific progress 317 Resistance to foreigners and scientific discipline . . 319 Ideological crisis 321 Confrontation between Church and State 324 Common-sense and the language of science 330 Conclusion 337 Travellers and Ethnography 342 Travellers and cultural colonialism 350 Archival Sources 3 56 Bibliography 3 57 Appendix I European travellers in highland Ecuador, 1830-1886 . . 379 Other accounts of travel in western South America, 1800-1910 405 vii List of Figures Figure 1 Inhabitants of Quito (from a drawing by Fuchs, based on a sketch by Charton; Charton 1867). ... 82 Figure 2 Ruins of the Cathedral of Ibarra (from a drawing by Riou, based on a sketch by Andre; Andre 1883) 83 Figure 3 Map of Ecuador showing route from Guayaquil to Quito 98 Figure 4 Street on the outskirts of Quito (from a drawing by E.Theroud, based on a sketch by Charton; Charton 1867) 153 Figure 5 Map of the City of Quito, 1858 (Villavicencio 1984 [1858] ) 174 Figure 6 Indian Water Carrier, and female Indian brush-Wood Carrier, of Quito (Stevenson 1829) 178 Figure 7 Indian Meat Carrier, Indian Milkmaid, Indian Water Carrier, Indian from Zambiza, selling plantains, Indian Barber (Avendano 1985 [1861]) 179 Figure 8 Costumes of Quito (Osculati Tav.VIII, 1854). .. 180 Figure 9 Road and inhabitants of Quito (from a drawing by Fuchs, based on a sketch by Charton; Charton 1867) 183 Figure 10 Diagram of social types in Charton's Quito. ... 188 Figure 11 Campesino (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981) 189 Figure 12 Campesina travelling in the old style (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981) 190 Figure 13 Male and Female Chagras or White Campesinos (Avendano 1985 [1861] ) 191 Figure 14 Bolsicona Cook (watercolour by Pinto; Samaniego Salazar 1985) 193 Figure 15 Lay Almsbrother (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981) 194 Figure 16 Weaver of Tocuyos (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981) 195 Figure 17 Butter Seller (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981) 196 Figure 18 Savage Indian from Nanegal: the Spouse (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981) 198 Figure 19 Earthernware Seller (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981) 199 Figure 2 0 Potter (watercolour by Pinto; Samaniego Salazar 1985) 200 Figure 21 Square and fountain near the cathedral, in Quito (from a drawing by E.Theroud, based on a sketch by Charton; Charton 1867) 201 Figure 22 Indian who presides at the entradas de Chamiza during Bullfights (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981) 207 Figure 23 Sacharuna (Osculati Tav.VI, 1854) 208 viii Figure 24 Eighteenth century social types (in Juan y Ulloa 1747; courtesy of Benson Latin American Collection, Austin, Texas) 228 Figure 25 Costumes of Quito (Osculati Tav.IX, 1854) 230 Figure 26 Fete-Dieu Procession in Quito (from a drawing by Toffani, based on a sketch by Andre; Andre 1883). 23 9 Figure 2 7 Huasicama (from a drawing by Ronjat, based on a photograph; Andre 1883), and Harlequin Beetle (drawn from Andre's collection; Andre 1883). .. 245 Figure 2 8 The Indians of San Roque (from a drawing by Riou, based on a sketch by Andre; Andre 1883) 259 Figure 2 9 Natural phenomena of South America (engraving XIV; Juan and Ulloa 1748) 276 Figure 30 Ruins at Callo (Terry 1834) 280 Figure 31 Cotopaxi Volcano in the great mountain chain of the Equator and the front of an ancient temple of the Incas (Osculati Tav.Ill, 1854) 281 Figure 32 Cotopaxi (19,613 feet), from the Hacienda of S.Rosario (10,356 feet) (engraving by Whymper) 282 Figure 33 Cotopaxi. A volcano which has erupted three times and which is presently in a state of alarming and dangerous effervescence (watercolour painting by Guerrero; Hallo 1981) 288 ix Acknowledgements To Pai, who taught me the value of daily life. I owe a special debt of gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Blanca Muratorio and her critical dedication to scholarship, and to Dr. Michael M. Ames, and Dr. John Barker for their encouragement and assistance during my graduate studies. I thank Sr. R. Avilar at the Archivo Historico del Banco Central, and Padre Bravo at the Biblioteca Aurelio Espinosa Polit for giving me permission to work in their research facilities. I am grateful to Ricardo Muratorio, Kim Clark, Carlos de la Torre, Rocio Pazmifio, Javier and Lucia Vasconez, and Patrica Galvez, for their kind support during my stay in Ecuador, and to Trevor Fitzell, Kate Zimmerman, Patricia Lee, James Hutchinson, and Deborah Tibbel, for their constant willingness to discuss and read my work in progress. Margaret Baskette was a much needed source of humour and administrative efficiency. My graduate studies would not have been possible if Trevor, Mae, Julian and Ruth had not been willing to reorganize their lives for my benefit. The research for this thesis was made possible by generous financial support received from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and graduate fellowships from the University of British Columbia, to whom I am most grateful. X Preface I selected the term cultural colonialism to refer to the nineteenth century relations between European travellers and Ecuadorians, as part of my stated intention (p.29) to contribute to the pluralization of the "colonial situation" concept. As discussed on pp.31-32, the term colonialism in Andean studies is used to refer to the earlier period of Spanish colonization, so I have used the term cultural colonialism to specify a particular historical and ethnographic focus on the influence of nineteenth century European ideas and practices introduced by travellers, which may have altered the ways in which Ecuadorians understood and organized their lives. Although the terms neocolonialism and imperialism are more widely recognized alternatives, these terms also have specific historical and ethnographic frames of reference in Andean studies. The term neocolonialism would suggest an analytical focus on the continued influence of Spanish colonial structures on the internal social and political relations of post-colonial Ecuador. The term imperialism would suggest a focus on more recent forms of North American domination during the twentieth century. Chapter 5, and parts of Chapter 1 and Chapter 3, are revised versions of material in press by the author which is included as part of the thesis. This material was submitted under the title Teorizando la Diferencia: Viajeros Europeos, XX la Ciencia del Exotismo y las Imagenes de los Indios, for publication in Blanca Muratorio ed., 1994 Imagenes e Imagineros. Representaciones de los Indigenas Ecuatorianos, Siglos XIX y XX. Quito: FLACSO. 1 Introduction The primary purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the historical anthropology of colonial processes (Stocking 1992:371, Comaroff and Comaroff 1992, Asad 1991), by describing and analyzing a particular case of cultural colonialism, and the response to this European cultural authority in Ecuador. I focus on the extent and limits of European experience and influence in highland Ecuador during the nineteenth century, a time in which Europeans' scientific and progressive conceptions of space were introduced and worked over in the context of Ecuadorian cultures and histories. My own perspective with regard to this case of cultural colonialism is based on three assumptions which provide a framework, or focus, for the story that I have constructed. Firstly, European travel accounts need to be examined as ethnographic descriptions of daily life in the highlands which help us to understand local conceptions of natural and social space. Considerable work has been done (some of which I discuss presently) to analyse the ideological and literary strategies through which subjective experience is represented as ethnographic truth. I also think, however, that it is necessary to recognize the historical and ethnographic validity of subjective interaction with the world, the experience on which these strategies are based. 2 Secondly, both European travellers and highland Ecuadorians were complex and internally differentiated collectivities, endowed with their own histories. It is necessary in an analysis of the kind proposed, to recognize that the process of cultural colonialism involves conflicting interests and divisions both within and between collectivities, even though Europeans could be expected to share cultural understandings, and Ecuadorians likewise. Thirdly, it is the interaction between these collectivities, in the negotiation of knowledge and power, which informs the process of cultural colonialism. The European travellers' perceptions of space, and their activities in Ecuador, were conditioned by the cultural understandings which they brought to their new experience. This unfamiliar experience, however, may have contributed to changing those understandings. In the same way, Ecuadorians' perceptions and activities were conditioned by different cultural histories; unfamiliar ideas introduced by Europeans may have changed their old understandings, but in very different ways. I investigate the issue of European cultural colonialism in the ethnographic context of Ecuadorian spatial practices, with the intention of moving beyond a formal analysis of textual representation in colonial discourses and authoritative literary strategies, to their application in the daily life of the supposedly colonized. I focus first on an analysis of the ethnographic descriptions 3 in travellers' accounts of Ecuadorian spatial practice. This section is followed by an analysis of the ideological and discursive frames through which they interpreted and made sense of their experience. In both kinds of analysis I attempted to juxtapose Ecuadorian points of view derived from local documentary sources, in order to demonstrate the relative extent or limits of European ethnographic understanding and ideological influence in Ecuador. I make no claims to be able to speak for either the Europeans or the Ecuadorians. I take full responsibility for speaking about them, for interpreting documented and visual traces from the nineteenth century which have survived in the present, in order to reconstruct some of the details of their mutual encounter which I thought would further our understanding of the process of cultural colonialism. My own ideological or authoritative strategy has been to argue that our contemporary understanding of cultural domination is not served by thinking in terms of absolutes or oppositions, both as regards Western domination or Third World resistance. To suppose that Western cultures have an infallible power to dominate the Third World merely perpetuates a form of Western ethnocentrism which denies the agency of third World peoples to actively negotiate the application of Western cultural forms within their own lives. This is not to suggest that cultural domination does not exist, but rather that its effects in practice are both 4 complex and unpredictable. In other words, I argue that in this case at least, European cultural domination in Ecuador had less success than one might think, and that Ecuadorians often turned European discourse and activity to address their own historical and cultural interests, not those of Europe. Nineteenth century travel accounts Literate, but not literary, anthropological but not anthropologists, exploring but not explorers, travel writers produce something like ethnography but not ethnography (Wheeler 1986:52). During the nineteenth century a number of Europeans travelled to the Ecuadorian Andes after Spanish colonial independence in 1809, intending to make contributions to the natural sciences and add to human knowledge about the physical world. Many were also interested in recording the social world which they witnessed in their travels, and they published their observations in popular travel accounts which entertained middle-class Europeans with stories and illustrations of seemingly exotic peoples in distant places around the globe. These travellers came to Ecuador from Europe during a period of global expansion in industrial production and international trade, confident in their identity as agents of civilization and progress. Today, many of their publications have been relegated to the storage shelves of research libraries, dismissed as relics of a misconceived 5 worldview, but others are still remembered in the academy for their early contributions to modern geography, geology, biology, and botany (von Hagen 1955, Smith 1960, Hanson 1967, Villacres 1967, Stafford 1984, Acosta-Solis 1985, Gomez 1987, Sauer 1989, Glacken 1990). Regardless of their current appreciation as individuals, many intended to contribute professionally to the natural sciences, with the conscious purpose of classifying, measuring and organizing natural space according to scientific criteria. Out of a total of 32 Europeans who wrote of highland Ecuador between 1809 and 1909, 20 of them gave the natural sciences, or its practical application, as one of their reasons for travelling to Ecuador. Historians also consider nineteenth century travellers' accounts to be important historical documents in their own right, especially until the end of the century when statistical and other historical documentation of the countries visited became more abundant (Morner 1982:92). The accounts must be carefully evaluated as historical sources, of course, taking into account factors such as linguistic ability, duration of stay, background, training, and the objectives of the author (Morner 1982:97). Although quantitative data in the accounts is often inaccurate, disciplinary interest in social and economic history has contributed to a positive reevaluation of these sources (Morner 1982:129). 6 Travellers' accounts have also been useful to historians for the study of images. Morner comments that this must be kept strictly apart from their evaluation as sources of history, although the images in travel accounts may have contributed to shaping events in Latin America, by influencing European attitudes to Latin American countries (Morner 1982:130). The study of Europeans' images not only documents individual authors' ethnocentrism but also the widely accepted and repeated opinions which were current during the nineteenth century (Ridley 1983:12). Moral judgements and stereotypical images can therefore be analysed as social facts of cultures in contact. A major focus of ethnohistorical research is the relationship between cultures in contact, and travel accounts are essentially about such encounters (Brettell 1986a:133, Krupat 1992:4-5). Ethnohistorical analysis of travellers' accounts is used to contribute to knowledge about the social, political and economic relations which made intercultural contact possible. Just as twentieth century ethnographies have been critiqued as a form of knowledge which emerged in the context of Western imperialism (Gough 1968), nineteenth century travellers' accounts also constructed knowledge which was conditioned by European political and economic interests in South America. In fact, travellers' accounts have been closely connected with the historical development of anthropology as a professional discipline. In whichever century this history 7 is conceptualized as beginning, it is generally accepted that the original motives arose out of curiosity concerning strange customs encountered by travellers on their voyages, and which developed into a mode of organized inquiry into the comparative physical and cultural differences among human populations (Rowe 1965, Hodgen 1964, Stocking 1987). It was in the nineteenth century particularly, however, that travellers' descriptions of social life in foreign places were seen to require more systematic evaluation as sources of valid data for organized ethnological inquiry. The preparation of Notes and Queries in the early 187 0s by the British Association for the Advancement of Science was specifically intended "to promote accurate anthropological observation on the part of travellers, and to enable those who are not anthropologists to themselves supply the information which is wanted for the scientific study of anthropology at home" (BAAS 1874:iv, quoted in Stocking 1983:71-2). According to Stocking, the development of anthropology as a scientific study in the post-Darwinian period reversed an earlier preference for travel and missionary accounts, in favour of data collected by academically trained natural scientists who became interested in ethnographic data while pursuing fieldwork (1983:74-5). By the early twentieth century anthropology was defined less by its comparative ethnological perspective, the work primarily of "armchair" theorists using travellers' data, than by ethnographic 8 fieldwork itself and the detailed descriptive information that it could provide about particular groups outside the Western European tradition (Stocking 1989:4). The history of the discipline as ethnography, Stocking argues, has been underemphasized, and this historiography is marked less by Enlightenment theories of scientific progress, than by other Western traditions of exploration, natural history and Romanticism (1989:4-6). The history of the discipline as an "ography", or descriptive discourse, and its relationship to the "ology" of scientific discourse, did not receive much critical analysis until the 1960s. The travellers' accounts which are the basis of my own study, provide interesting insights into this complex relationship between romantic natural history and objective natural science during the nineteenth century. Grounding anthropological knowledge in ethnography, and the interactive experiential process in which this knowledge is generated, has called attention to other aspects of the anthropological tradition. Travel writing has come under scrutiny in the discipline of anthropology again, not to evaluate its objective validity this time, but as part of an attempt to theorize reflexively on how professional ethnographic writing differs from other kinds of descriptions of social life (Marcus 1982, Marcus and Cushman 1982, Clifford 1983, 1992, Brettell 1986a, Pratt 1986, Wheeler 1986, Geertz 1988). Historically, as professional anthropologists began to collect field data themselves, they 9 sought to disassociate themselves from connections with earlier travellers' unscientific amateurism. In current analysis, as Wheeler comments The nonspecific antipathy toward any similarity drawn between the traveler and the ethnographer (Marcus 1982, Marcus and Cushman 1982) maintains that dissociation even at a time when the nature of scientific knowledge in anthropology is at issue (1986:54). Why not, she suggests, take the notion of anthropology as a collection of travellers' tales seriously? Alternatively, which is closer to my own intentions, why not take travellers' tales as ethnography seriously? Wheeler has summarized some of the accepted differences and similarities between the two activities, distinctions which have justified their separation as distinct activities. Although both travellers and ethnographers are strangers in the societies they visit, ethnographers remain in one locale for long periods, sometimes returning several times. Individual travellers rarely visited the same place twice. Travel accounts are dynamic in form, as the reader accompanies the traveller from one place to another, by different modes of transportation, amongst different social groups, and through the carefully documented weeks and months which it takes to accomplish the voyage. Professional ethnographies tend to be formally timeless, taking place in one locale and described in the present tense, except 10 perhaps for an introductory historical chapter at the beginning.x Travel accounts were written to interest a popular readership, and were intended to achieve commercial success if possible. Ethnographies on the other hand, are written for a professional audience, and popular or commercial success is met with ambivalence (Marcus and Cushman 1982: 51-2). The intention of travel writing is to convey an experience of different lives and places, to tell the audience what it felt like for a foreigner to be there. The intention of ethnography is (or has been until recently) to tell what it is really like to be there, an objective which requires a focus on local peoples' experience rather than the author's. Ethnographic commitment to objectivity and anti-egocentrism has required that the author's experience be separated from the abstract generalizations which explain why other people do what they do (Wheeler 1986:56). Both travel accounts and ethnographies use moral discourse, but the traveller makes moral judgements while the ethnographer makes moral assessments. The traveller expresses judgements about phenomena that violate the shared values of traveller and audience, with supreme confidence in what is normal; without normative anomaly there is no travel account, or story to tell. Ethnographers attempt to dissolve 1 These generalizations are most applicable to the professional ethnographies written during the early and mid-twentieth century: ethnographies have since become more experimental in form. 11 anomaly, by showing that the seeming anomaly is ordinary when placed in its own cultural context. The first requires nothing beyond one's arsenal of moral convictions and a case to which to apply them. The second requires a much more detailed description of what might be called the moral ecology within which the practice is observed (Louch 1966:161, quoted in Wheeler 1986:57). Wheeler also notes some accepted similarities between ethnographies and travel accounts. The legitimacy of both travel accounts and ethnographies depends on their realism: neither can achieve authority if they are perceived by their readers to be fictional. Both tend to be accounts produced by strangers in an unfamiliar society, and both describe these societies for an audience who may never follow them to the places they have visited. Both write mainly for the benefit of this readership at home, rather than for the people about whom they write. In the same way that ethnohistorians consider travel accounts particularly valuable for their documentation of intercultural frontiers, anthropological ethnographies are also the products of such circumstances. The politics of representation The legitimacy of the subjective knowledge which travel accounts produced became suspect as early twentieth century anthropologists sought ways of constructing more objective and scientifically valid forms of knowledge. This search resulted in what are currently described as the "classical 12 realist ethnographies" of the British functionalist school. These ethnographies have become the focus of suspicion themselves, as theoretical attention was directed towards critical analyses of the historical context in which ethnographic knowledge is produced (Gough 1968, Asad 1973), the ethical responsibilities of this production (Berreman 1968, Whittaker 1978), and the limits of scientific objectivity (Scholte 1969). The result has been a recognition that ethnographic knowledge is conditioned by historical circumstances and unequal relations of power, and that there cannot be an epistemological separation between the investigator and the object investigated. Scholte proposed that critical reflexivity must be a necessary ethnographic practice, and wrote that We must first subject anthropological thought itself to ethnographic description and ethnological understanding and try to determine the degree to which it is circumscribed or made possible by its diverse cultural settings...We must subsequently describe and assess the effects of the cultural mediation of anthropological inquiry on the nature of anthropological activity itself and on the lifestyles of those native "others" so investigated (1969:437). Reflexivity may be understood in its narrower sense, in which the anthropologist openly reinscribes the interpersonal relations which are the basis of ethnographic knowledge, and the subjectivity of the author in constructing that knowledge. Reflexive anthropology in its broader sense, examines the more general conditions and 13 modes of producing knowledge about other cultures (Callaway 1992:32-3). In both senses, therefore, it seems an appropriate exercise to reassess travellers' accounts which were dismissed for their overt subjectivity, and to reexamine the similarities between travel writing and ethnography as forms of cultural mediation and representation. For in the end, as Geertz argues of ethnographic writing, the task of travel writing is also to demonstrate that accounts of how others live that are presented neither as tales about things that did not actually happen, nor as reports of measurable phenomena produced by calculable forces, can carry conviction (1988: 141-2) . Geertz argues that Levi-Strauss' Tristes Tropiques is (among other things) both travel account and ethnography. Although the former genre focuses on "one damn thing after another", and the latter has a thesis that "the ensemble of people's customs has always its particular style" which form into systems (1988:37), what the book ultimately produces is a Quest Story, an experiential motif shared by the two text-types: The departure from familiar, boring, oddly threatening shores; the journey, with adventure, into another, darker world, full of various phantasms and odd revelations; the culminating mystery, the absolute other...the return home to tell tales, a bit wistfully, a bit wearily, to the uncomprehending who have stayed unadventurously behind (1988:44-5). Others have criticized ethnographic practice, whether implicitly or explicitly, by drawing on the similarities 14 between travel and ethnographic writing. Ethnographers, for instance are accused of constructing the very exoticism they thought they were explaining away. Fabian argues that ethnographers have not succeeded in avoiding the problem of widening and deepening the gap between the West and its Other, because their "excess of visualism" constructs "stereotypical knowledge of an exotic people" (1983: 134-7). Keesing comments that the discipline of anthropology has a vested interest in portraying other people's worlds as radically different from our own: "We are dealers in Exotica" (1987:168). The association between an exoticism previously attributed to travel writing and currently discovered in ethnographic texts becomes a means of reflexively critiquing the latter, of deconstructing ethnographic authority: Ethnographic accounts still seem to be regarded as a novel genre associated with professional anthropology, even though the most cursory reading of eighteenth and nineteenth century travel writing and ethnology makes significant continuities apparent (Thomas 1991:7). Two theoretical approaches to the problem of authority and representation have had considerable influence in anthropological discussions about the ways that texts purporting to describe other people's lives come to "carry conviction".2 Both approaches focused their analysis in 2 I limit myself here to a brief discussion of three specific publications. Although the problem of conflating ethnographic authority with rhetorical strategies has already been analysed in detail by many anthropologists (Fraser and Nicholson 1988, Hawkesworth 1989, Mascia-Lees et al 1989, Myers 1988, Polier and Roseberry 1989, Richardson 15 texts, but one examined literary strategies used to construct "author/ity" in early twentieth century ethnographies (Marcus and Cushman 1982, Clifford 1983), while the other examined political strategies which construct a common discourse shared in European writing about the "Orient" (Said 1979) . Literary criticism and discourse analysis reveal important insights into the formal construction of authority, but the decision to focus on texts and exclude the "reality" on which the texts were based raises two broader problems which extend beyond the concerns of the specific works, and which affect future anthropological practice. Firstly, are claims to authority merely formal and textual strategies? Secondly, if authoritative accounts give one voice dominance over others in the text, does that necessarily mean that this voice has dominance in practice? Clifford (1983) and Marcus and Cushman (1982) took an approach to the politics of representation derived from literary criticism, which they applied to the analysis of ethnographic texts. It was not their method that was unusual, but its application to a form of writing which had generally been written and read as a source of empirical fact rather than realist fiction. The issue of power is 1990, Roth 1989, Sangren 1988, Strathern 1991, Thomas 1991), the purpose of this section is to outline how the approaches discussed here have focused my own position with respect to the politics of representation. 16 addressed in their approach through an analysis of the ways that individual ethnographers constructed an authoritative voice in their text in order to convince readers of the objectivity of the account, and of the truth of their representation of the experience of others. This literary focus clarifies the ways in which an "authorial presence" is created through devices which include use of an active voice in the ethnographic present, narratives which describe the author's actual presence amongst the people portrayed, the use of specialized academic jargon, and evidence of ability to communicate in the language of the people being represented (Marcus and Cushman 1982; Clifford 1988:21-55). Through their focus on the authorship of ethnographic representations Clifford, Marcus, and Cushman critique assumptions that realist forms of writing are evidence of an objective truth which is not mediated by personal authority. They also reject the putative claim that ethnographic representation reflects the society it portrays, arguing that it was literary strategies which granted objectivity and authority to particular points of view. This critique of empirical transparency points to important questions concerning the prior epistemological, cultural and political assumptions with which a point of view is constructed. The methodological approach, however, can lead to an exclusive concern with text and literary analogy, as when Clifford equates participant-observation, data collection, and cultural description with metaphor (1986:11) . The analogy of ethnography as realist fiction, reduces realism to an "effect" achieved through artful choice of detail which projects a "distinctive illusion" of a whole world (Marcus and Cushman 1982:30). This literary position raises the problem of truth, equating ethnography with fiction and leading, at its most extreme, to a retreat into subjectivism and a denial of a world outside the text. The anthropologist as author is given the power to create the world, including self and other, through his or her text - ethnography becomes meditation or therapy (Tyler 1986:134), the ethnographer a god who evokes a world of the imagination. Truth becomes subjective point of view which is irreconcilable with the world of empirical phenomena, and therefore only possible dispute or verify through rhetorical strategies. The important problem raised by these, as well as earlier critiques of ethnographers' implications in colonialism (Asad 1973; Hymes 1969), arises from the recognition that neither the experience nor the representations of ethnographers can be considered politically innocent. The proposition, however, that the problem of authority could be solved through alternative textual strategies fails to recognize that ethnographic truths are not constructed out of politically correct intentions. Marcus and Cushman proposed a dialogical model as an alternative to realist strategies, in which the ethnographer's authority can be "dispersed" through the 18 "recognition that knowledge of other forms of life involves several detached authors who should have narrative presence in ethnographies" (Marcus and Cushman 1982:43). The notion that the problem of authority can be dispersed through a dialogic text of cooperative story-telling ignores the fact that discourses are not self-referential, but are constructed within social fields of power and privilege. In practice, the discursive space which the fieldworker occupies is not one of shared circumstance in which all are created equal, with equal freedom of speech. Said adopted an alternative approach to the politics of representation (1979). His approach is still based on an internal analysis of texts, but rather than focusing on the literary strategies employed to construct authoritative accounts, he was concerned with the power of discourse to give one kind of voice dominance over another. In an analysis of the ideological and discursive nature of texts and images established within particular fields of power, Said focused on the reality of the texts, rather than the reality they claimed to depict (Goldie 1989:5) . He states that although one should not assume that Orientalism is merely a structure of lies and myths, he personally believed that the value of its study lay more in its existence as a system of knowledge, and a sign of European-Atlantic power over the Orient, than as a veridical discourse (1979:6). What results is a monolithic construction of discursive 19 knowledge, in which Orientalists' power to speak for the Orient's identity is assumed to be absolute 3. He writes: ... a still more implicit and powerful difference posited by the Orientalist as against the Oriental is that the former writes about, whereas the latter is written about. For the latter, passivity is the presumed role; for the former, the power to observe, study, and so forth;... There is a source of information (the Oriental) and a source of knowledge (the Orientalist), in short, a writer and a subject matter otherwise inert (1979:305). While his methodological approach was an important contribution to an understanding of the nature of discourse in pre-established fields of power, it did not address the problem of whether such a discourse was accepted in practice, or how it came to achieve this status as such an apparently unassailable system of knowledge. Although textual analysis and critique of discourses successfully uncover rhetorical techniques of domination, I have ignored the positive contributions of these analyses in order to show that their preoccupation with rhetoric generates a challenge to those concerned with structures of power, and therefore calls for a "juxtaposition" which is "generated out of thoughts left over from the previous position" (Strathern 1991:xxiv-xxv). My own position was generated out of these "left-over" thoughts. There are other 3 Said himself admits to and has revised this position in his recent work Culture and Imperialism, in which he states "What I left out of Orientalism was that response to Western dominance which culminated in the great movement of decolonization all across the Third World" (1993:xii). 20 ways of analyzing the relationship between representation and power, a point made by Asad when he noted that we need to pay more attention to the "question of different uses (practices), as opposed merely to different writings and readings (meanings)" of ethnographic work (1986:160). The history of theory is composed of countless disjunctions between materialism/idealism, form/content, interpretation/explanation, or subjectivism/objectivism which may be used to justify the separation between meanings and practices, but this polarization is not the only theoretical route available, as Asad suggests. There has been a focus amongst some cultural theorists over the last twenty years, Williams (1958, 1977) being a notable example, to construct an approach to the study of cultural issues which is not limited by a mechanical Marxist version of the base/superstructure model, in which "false" ideology is seen to reflect an economic "reality". The result has been an emphasis on the intersection of meaning and activity, rather than the priority of one over the other, and the argument that culture is simultaneously socially constitutive as well as constituted. The concept of culture that results is intrinsically historical, because it can only be investigated as a social phenomenon, and because it is a process which is constantly being shaped, reproduced and transformed. Roseberry's definition is worth quoting in its entirety: 21 As one of many products of prior activity and thought, it [culture] is among the material circumstances that confront real individuals who are born in a concrete set of circumstances. As some of those circumstances change, and as people attempt to conduct the same sorts of activities under new circumstances, their cultural understandings will affect the way they view both their circumstances and their activities. It may imbue those circumstances and activities with an appearance of naturalness or of order, so that the utterly new may appear to be a variation on a theme. In this sense people's activities are conditioned by their cultural understandings, just as their activities under new circumstances may stretch or change those understandings (1989:42). By arguing that ethnographers or Orientalists construct a textual reality, and by focusing exclusively on the textual nature of knowledge about the Other, the two approaches discussed earlier seem to dismiss the possibility of claiming knowledge which is not determined either by rhetorical strategies or discursive conventions. This raises the question of whether legitimate claims to knowledge can even exist. The politics of truth The theory of knowledge is a dimension of political theory because the specifically symbolic power to impose the principles of the construction of reality - in particular, social reality - is a major dimension of political power (Bourdieu 1977:165). If knowledge claims are defined as a dimension of political power, the epistemological problems raised by the two approaches described above emerge quite clearly: namely, what does this imply about the status of objectivity and 22 fact, and must truth claims be dismissed as political strategies? Foucault's analysis of discourse involved rejecting the notion of ideology because "it always stands in virtual opposition to something else which is supposed to count as truth", and he focused his problem instead "in seeing historically how effects of truth are produced within discourses which in themselves are neither true nor false" (1984:60). Barrett comments that this statement has been understood as a form of radical relativism, but she argues that Foucault is not disputing the existence of truth, merely stating his distinct interest in the processes by which effects of truth are secured (1991:143). His objective in studying discourses, in other words, was not to assess their truth claims, but to construct a genealogy of epistemology. Foucault has also been criticized from the opposite pole, for speaking from a position of abstract correctness or truth, rather than grounding himself within the limitations of his own material and ideological perspective (Martin in Barrett ed. 1991:151), and for implying that the position from which he speaks is a neutral one. He does define the political role of intellectuals, however, in his statement that The essential political problem for the intellectual is not to criticize the ideological contents linked to science, or to ensure that his own scientific practice is accompanied by a correct ideology, but of ascertaining the possibility of constituting a new 23 politics of truth...of detaching the power of truth from the forms of hegemony, social, economic and cultural, within which it operates at the present time (1984:74-5). As I understand this statement, it is not the objectivity of scientific truth, or the subjectivity of individual claims to it, which should be the focus of critique, but the wider social, economic and cultural power relations in which truth claims (which need not be false) contribute to maintaining forms of domination. Foucault is not interested in analyzing discursive truth for evidence of a legitimate vision of reality, and for this we have to turn elsewhere. Bourdieu addresses the relationship of power to truth in terms of the symbolic power of those who produce discourses (1990:137-8), and focuses his analysis on the process through which truth claims are legitimated and recognized as authoritative forms of knowledge. He defines the work of symbolic power as involved in the struggle for the production and imposition of a legitimate vision of the social world. It involves a struggle, because in any society there is always a conflict between different groups to impose their particular vision of the world, and of the divisions which organize it. Symbolic power is used to conserve or transform present classifications when it comes to gender, nation, region, age and social status. Both ethnographers and travel writers are involved in constructing these kinds of visions about the social world. 24 Bourdieu proposes two conditions on which this symbolic power is based and on which it depends for success in legitimating a particular world-view. It has to be based on the possession of symbolic capital: The power of imposing on other minds a vision, old or new, of social divisions depends on the social authority acquired in previous struggles... it is the power granted to those who have obtained sufficient recognition... (1990:138) Its symbolic effectiveness also depends however, on the degree to which the vision proposed is based on reality: Evidently, the construction of groups cannot be constructed ex nihilo. It has all the more chance of succeeding the more it is founded in the objective affinities between people...It is only if it is true, that is, adequate to things, that a description can create things (1990:138). Symbolic power, therefore, is not based in making fiction appear as fact, but in selecting and designating recognizable facts in such a way as to legitimate particular social divisions. This, Bourdieu states, is "political power par excellence: it is the power to make groups, to manipulate the objective structure of society" (1990:138) . This understanding of successful symbolic power can be defined as a potential hegemony in Gramsci's terms, which depends on recognition of its basis in reality as well as the social authority of its proponents before it will be accepted by others as a "common sense" vision of the social world. Cultural hegemony results from the legitimation of the ideas, values and experiences of dominant groups which 25 are validated in public discourse as "common sense", in a way that those of subordinate groups are not (Lears 1985:572). It is this understanding of common sense, and its relationship to problems of representation and power, which I consider essential in order to move beyond the conception that a "dialogic" juxtaposition of voices within an ethnographic text will resolve the problem of political inequality inherent in the activity of representation. Hegemony involves a consent given by most members of a particular society to the general direction imposed on social life by the dominant group (Lears 1985:568). This general consent is produced by the prestige and consequent confidence which the dominant group enjoys because of its position and function in the world of production, but it also involves a complex mental state of contradictory consciousness which combines approbation and apathy, resistance and resignation (1985:570). Cultural hegemony helps mark the boundaries of acceptable discourse, and discourages clarification of social alternatives. This makes it difficult for subordinate voices to articulate their own point of view even if they are given the chance to speak, but no cultural hegemony is ever total or monolithic. My own position in relation to these discussions of the relationship between politics and representation is that cultural producers, whether they are authors of 26 ethnographies or of travel accounts, possess the symbolic power of social constitution through showing things and making people believe in them, of revealing, in an explicit, objectified way the more or less confused, vague, unformulated, even unformulable experiences of the natural world and the social world, and of thereby bringing them into existence. They may put this power at the service of the dominant...[or] of the dominated (Bourdieu 1990:146). The problem then, is to recognize representations as a series of constructions upon experience, in which facts are made to speak truths, or given meanings, which are contingent on the cultural and historical conditions in which they are constructed. Facts, the events we see and the stories we are told, do not speak for themselves, they have to be given meaning, but that does not mean that they are made up (Polier and Roseberry 1989:251). In order to understand the cultural production of facts, in terms of the relation between their material conditions of existence and their use in representations which produce meanings, it is necessary to analyze how they were made to make sense, by whom they were constructed, for whom, and what for. The problem of cultural power needs to be addressed at two levels. The first, focuses on a specific local history by asking who has symbolic power, who creates and defines recognized visions of that social world, and to what ends. The second follows up on these questions about the local control and distribution of knowledge, to connect local 27 histories in wider historical relationships of cultural, social, political and economic processes. The question of hegemony is important in such an analysis, not to claim that hegemonic representations are a conspiracy of absolute power to make lies appear as truths, but in order to question why the meaning attributed to certain kinds of facts makes more sense in particular historical circumstances, to most, if not all, people. Gramsci has clearly illustrated this relationship between power and truth in a historical context, through an analysis of the spatial notions of "East" and "West" which as he says, do not cease to be "objectively real" even though analysis shows them to be no more than "historico-cultural" constructions: Obviously East and West are arbitrary and conventional, that is historical, constructions, since outside of real history every point on the earth is East and West at the same time. This can be seen more clearly from the fact that these terms have crystallized...from the point of view of the European cultured classes who, as a result of their world-wide hegemony, have caused them to be accepted everywhere... and yet these references are real; they correspond to real facts... (Gramsci 1971:447-8). Cultural colonialism Insofar as global systems and epochal movements always root themselves somewhere in the quotidian, then, they are accessible to historical ethnography (Comaroff and Comaroff 1992:39). One can also 'do' the anthropology of national or international forces and formations (Comaroff and Comaroff 1992:11). 28 European travellers explored the globe in the nineteenth century in a search for knowledge which was made possible by the development of scientific discipline and the support of scientific institutions, European commercial and imperial expansion, the new technology of steam navigation, and the popular interest of a growing literate readership in Europe. There is a tendency to think of these travellers as a generic group, but closer study reveals individuals (mostly men) with many different interests. There were explorers, scientists, social critics, artists, diplomats, engineers, ethnologists, missionaries and administrators, each with their own individual motivations for travel, and each with disagreements and divisions amongst each other. Their intentions and the consequences of their activity have also tended to be unified by historical distance, telescoping the complexities and contradictions which constituted their lived experience into less problematic assessments of their roles as agents of colonialism or imperialism. As with all stereotypes, this generalization has been constructed out of historical facts, but their construction into an image of "nineteenth century travellers" depends on simplifying the real complexities which they had to confront. Our understanding of the relationship between representation, politics and truth is not served by accepting simplified images of the "West" any more than it is served by accepting such images of the "Rest". 29 As Stocking states in reference to anthropology's relationship with colonialism in the early twentieth century, Whatever its adequacy as historical generalization, that conception is, however, a somewhat problematic one from the point of view of a history of anthropology concerned also with the activities of particular anthropologists in specific ethnographic locales. Such a historiography demands a pluralization of the "colonial situation" concept. Going beyond ideal-[stereo?-]typicalization, it would explore in greater depth a variety of differing "colonial situations", the range of interaction of widely differing individuals and groups within them, and the ways in which these situational interactions conditioned the specific ethnographic knowledge that emerged (1991:5 brackets in original). Asad contributes to this program of work by arguing that to deepen our knowledge of the history of Euroimperialism, it is not only necessary to deepen our knowledge of specific individuals and groups within colonial situations but also to anthropologize the growth of Western imperial power. Questions about the cultural character of that hegemony need to be extended, he wrote, to include the changing conditions on which it was based: We do not advance matters much conceptually if we simply repeat slogans about conflict and resistance in place of older slogans about repression and domination. An anthropology of Western imperial power must try to understand the radically altered form and terrain of conflict inaugurated by it - new political languages, new powers, new social groups, new desires and fears, new subjectivities (1991:322-3). In her recent publication on travel writers, Pratt also raises the important problem of investigating the ways in which "subordinated or marginal groups select and invent 30 from the materials transmitted to them by a dominant or metropolitan culture" (1992:6). In a similar vein, Comaroff and Comaroff argue that European agents were not the only active participants in colonial or imperial transactions, and the histories of dominating discourses are not as predictable as one might expect. Not only did global forces play into local forms and conditions in unexpected ways, "changing known structures into strange hybrids", but European cultural products (discourses, and representations in texts, collections, maps and artists' sketches) "were variously and ingeniously redeployed to bear a host of new meanings as non-Western peoples... fashioned their own vision of modernity" (Comaroff and Comaroff 1992:5). The problem, of course, is how to do this anthropology of international forces. Comaroff and Comaroff find the answer in a historical anthropology which situates the fragments of human worlds by relating them to complex global systems (1992 :31) : Even macro-historical processes - the building of states, the making of revolutions, the extension of global capitalism - have their feet on the ground. Being rooted in the meaningful practices of people great and small, they are, in short, suitable cases for anthropological treatment (1992:32-3). In the study of these multilevelled engagements between worlds, we have first to characterize each party as a complex collectivity, each endowed with its own history, and then we have to retrace the minutiae of their interactions (1992:33). One of the principle distinctions between this 31 historical anthropology and social history is the methodological concern with meaningful practices rather than events, ambiguous processes rather than isolated incidents (1992:37) . Assuming that European travel accounts are an early form of ethnographic writing, an in-depth examination of the particular colonial situation in which they worked to produce ethnographic knowledge will contribute to our understanding of how historical conditions limit the kind of knowledge that can be produced. The general objective of this dissertation is to contribute historically and ethnographically to the pluralization of the "colonial situation" concept, taking nineteenth century highland Ecuador as an ethnographic case study. Indeed, the specific historical and geographical situation I have focused on could hardly be called a "typical" colonial situation, but rather a post-colonial situation during which an independent republic was created in opposition to three hundred years of Spanish colonial rule. Although such a historical focus might be deemed at first to pluralize the colonial situation out of existence, this would involve ignoring the process of cultural colonialism or imperialism: of attributing to others - and imposing on them - the ideas and practices of one's own culture. I focus, therefore, on whether European ideas and practices may have introduced new languages which altered 32 the ways in which Ecuadorians understood and organized their lives. This focus includes the possibility that European ideas and activities were ignored by many groups, and that they were recognized as authoritative forms of knowledge by others but appropriated for purposes that were not intended by the Europeans themselves. The organization of space The organization of space was a crucial problem in nineteenth century Ecuador, because republican independence from Spain resulted in new conceptions of territory, a new state power and means of governing this territory, as well as new ideas concerning the necessity of modernization and progress, with its concomitant demands for new roads, railways, postal services, sewage, lighting, and institutions. The ramifications of these innovations, and the changes in the ways that space would be talked about and used, were to be felt throughout the population, with different consequences for different social groups. The perception of space as a natural object to be scientifically defined was not common in Ecuador at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and European activity in this regard was received with mixed reactions by local people. The European travellers were intrinsically involved in these local issues. The benefits of progress were universally assumed by most of the travellers regardless of nationality, gender, or profession. Their assessments of 33 Ecuador's need for modernization and progress are evident throughout the accounts. By the 1870s, a group of Europeans came to Ecuador at the president's request, specifically to set up scientific institutions - a polytechnic college to teach practical applications of scientific methods such as road and bridge construction, a meteorological observatory, and a botanical garden, beginning the institutional legitimation of science in Ecuador, if not its commonsense acceptance. The travellers also served, as European outsiders who recognized the existence of the new republic and its territorial boundaries, to give legitimacy to the new conceptions of space involved in constructing a national identity. The fact that these Europeans were travellers also gave them an opportunity to experience the lived reality of spatial organization in the nineteenth century highlands, an experience which they did not necessarily relish, but which as a result was foregrounded in their accounts. Because this experience was common to all of them, their descriptions are comparable for analytical purposes, and the result of collating their accounts is a richly "thick" description, an ethnography of certain aspects of the spatial organization of daily life in the nineteenth century highlands. Their experience of different practices and perceptions of space included crossing physical and cultural distances in the company of muledrivers and porters, passing through rural and urban areas, and staying in a variety of accommodations 34 on the roads, the regional centres, and in the capital of Quito. While in Quito, they wandered the streets, as only outsiders have the inclination to do, and described the everyday organization of space in the city: the buildings, the churches, the markets, the plazas, and the activities that went on in them. Changes in perceptions of space during the nineteenth century also had repercussions in Europe. In Soja's analysis of the subordination of space to time in contemporary social theory, he marks the end of the nineteenth century as the point at which the compartmentalization of the social sciences and the domination of a "narrowed and streamlined historical materialism" reduced analysis and explanation of space "to little more than describing the stage-setting where the real social actors were deeply involved in making history" (1989:31). Over the period studied, there is evidence in the accounts of a development of scientific concerns for the objective, descriptive geography of space which contributed to what Soja calls the "submergence of space" in early twentieth century social theory (1989:34-5). He argues that society and history were being theoretically separated from nature, with the eventual result that ...spatiality is reduced to physical objects and forms, and naturalized back to a first nature so as to become susceptible to prevailing scientific explanation in the form of orderly, reproducible description and the discovery of empirical regularities (largely in the spatial co-variation of phenomenal appearances). Such a short-sighted approach to space has proved productive in the accumulation of accurate geographical information and seductive as a legitimization for a presumed science of geography. It becomes illusive, however, when geographical description is substituted for explanation of the social production of space and the spatial organization of society...(1989:123). The professionalization of the social sciences as mutually exclusive disciplines certainly contributed to the end of the kind of European travel narratives which are the basis of this study. These travel accounts combined objective inquiry into the natural world, social theories about progress, descriptions of subjective experience, and observations of Ecuadorian daily life or their "curious customs", into a text which strikes modern readers as a curious hybrid of topics only an amateur would think to combine. I would argue, however, that it is this very combination of interests which provides such a rich analytical focus for studying the politics and culture of spatial practice in Ecuador at that time, and Europeans' role in this process. Analysis of the politics of space demands an examination of both discourse on space as well its organization and practice in daily life. Focus on spatial politics has the advantage of being so fundamental to human existence that evidence of the representation, regulation, and operation of spatial visions is recorded unintentionally in apparently disparate sources. Lefebvre (1974[1991]), Soja (1989), and Harvey (1990) have made important recent contributions to reviving 36 awareness of space in critical social theory, and to clarifying the human activity and motivation involved in the organization and production of space. They argue that space is not a formal abstraction, or merely a natural object, but also a social phenomenon which is the product of prior activity and thought. Spatial organization must be critically examined in order to analyse how space acquires an air of apparent neutrality in particular historical contexts, and to discover what kinds of human activity are made possible or limited by particular spatial forms. The organization of space may be both socially repressive and creative. Foucault (1977), for instance, concentrated on spaces of social control and organized repression such as prisons and hospitals, while de Certeau emphasizes the creative production of everyday spaces, the popular trajectories which are "neither determined nor captured by the systems in which they develop" (1988:xviii). Representations of space, such as maps or landscapes for instance, need to be recognized and examined as ideological products, not merely representations of reality. The elements of a map are always a selection made from reality, and the inclusion of certain elements, with consequent disregard of others, may be used as a means of controlling space for the benefit of particular groups. The objectivity of maps, for instance, gives legitimacy to claimed national or colonial boundaries, and can be used in strategies of domination: 37 In European peasant societies, former commons were now subdivided and allotted, with the help of maps, and in the 'wilderness' of former Indian lands in North America, boundary lines on the map were a medium of appropriation which those unlearned in geometrical survey methods found impossible to challenge. Maps entered the law, were attached to ordinances, acquired an aureole of science, and helped create an ethic and virtue of ever more precise definition. Tracings on maps excluded as much as they enclosed (Harley 1988:285). What is at issue here, is not only whether particular techniques adequately represented a particular reality, but how these techniques were used to construct new political languages by particular social groups to impose their own vision of the social world and the divisions which organize it. La Condamine's scientific expedition to the Audiencia of Quito in 1736 triangulated and measured the Andean corridor with mathematical accuracy, producing a two-dimensional map of the territory later known as Ecuador, seen from above and far away. Maldonado's map (the Ecuadorian member of de la Condamine's expedition) is a remarkably accurate view of Ecuador as seen from a satellite: it closely matches modern satellite photos. It introduced a new visual language because it was quite unlike earlier maps of specific localities which represented mountains, trees and buildings as the viewer might experience them on the ground. As Harvey argues, perspectivism conceives of the world from the standpoint of the 'seeing eye', emphasizing the science of optics, and moving away from artisan and vernacular traditions toward privileging the intellectual activity of 38 the scientist or artist (1990:241-6). He connects perspectivism with the design of mathematically objective maps, because they were conceived by imagining how the world would look to a human eye looking at it from the outside. On a smaller scale, the technique of perspectivism was often used in European travellers' visual representations of Ecuadorian landscapes and society, and made it possible for them to represent their personal experience from a position outside the frame of reference. This technique supported their claims to objective representation, suggesting that their experience could be universally shared: any "seeing eye" standing in the same position in space would have recorded the same image as the traveller had made. In taking an approach which is particularly concerned with symbolic power at the local level, while connecting this local history to wider global relationships, my objective is to analyse European travellers' representations as the product of a particular history in Ecuador that was itself intertwined with a larger set of economic, political, and cultural processes, so that the extent of European influence on Ecuadorian history will become evident at the practical level of everyday life. I conceptualize the Europeans as cultural producers, whose work is to "show things, and make people believe in them". The ideas and practices I am concerned with are those which contributed to the representation, regulation, 39 distribution, and organization of particular spatial visions of the Ecuadorian highlands, and which the Europeans claimed to be true, or legitimate forms of knowledge. The potential success of their cultural production would depend on their previous social authority in Europe, but also on recognition of this cultural capital in Ecuador, as well as the degree to which their knowledge claims were perceived to be based in reality. The test of their success, however, would depend on the extent to which people accepted their proposed vision, and acted on it in practice, bearing in mind that recognition of their truth claims might vary between Europe and Ecuador, and between different social groups. A general, if not total, consensus regarding the legitimacy of these ideas and practices would constitute a hegemonic, common-sense vision of the social world described. I approach the cultural production of symbols and meanings within social fields characterized by differential access to political and economic power. I hope in this way to contribute to an understanding of cultural colonialism and the politics of representation which offers an alternative to realist fictions or textual domination: one in which objective facts are given meaning within complex historical negotiations of symbolic and social power. The corpus of accounts The corpus of accounts on which my research is based includes the work of 56 foreign observers who visited 40 Ecuador for a variety of reasons during the first century of independence from Spanish colonialism, between 1809 and 1909. These observers were British, French, Spanish, German, Austrian, Italian, North American, Brazilian and Colombian.4 All visited Ecuador, but not necessarily the highlands: some travelled along the western coast of South America, stopping only in the main coastal port of Guayaquil. Non-Europeans will not usually be directly referred to in my analysis of cultural politics, but I found that their perspectives on what were often similar topics added historical depth to European accounts. They are a source of ethnographic facts, events, activities and dates, which can be compared with the Europeans for verification purposes. In other words, I welcomed anything I could find which might contribute to my own ethnographic understanding of this historical period. The first century of independence from Spain between 1809 and 1909 constitutes the general limits of this study. It was a period in which great changes were taking place: in 1822 Ecuador changed from an administrative department of a Spanish colony to a region within the independent republic of Gran Colombia, and in 1830 to a separate republic in its own right. Twelve constitutions were written between 183 0 and 1906 (Trabuco 1975) as the new governments struggled to 4 Work written in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese was read in its original language. I have not enough facility with German or Italian, so depended for these on English or Spanish translations of the originals. All translations from French or Spanish in the text are my own. 41 define the political principles on which their republic should be based. I have focused in more detail on the years between 1830 and 1880. 1830 marks Ecuadorian independence, and new opportunities for European travel after the civil wars, and after 18 8 0 European travellers' accounts began to decrease in number, while North American travellers' accounts increase.5 Marcel Monnier, who visited Ecuador in 1886-7 wrote No America remains to be discovered...the field of investigations diminishes daily, the era of great adventures is coming to an must be recognized that the modern explorer will often be restricted to observing that which others have already seen (1890:i-ii) . The writing of observers between 18 0 9 and 183 0, and between 1903 and 1909, are important references however. Those who wrote before republican independence in 1830 describe conditions during the civil wars of the period, telling the story of separation from colonialism and the upheavals that were taking place. European as well as Ecuadorian documents written in the first decade of the twentieth century wrote with consciousness of a centenary completed (1809-1909) since the first separatist movement in Ecuador, and contributed summaries and assessments of a century of change. I have chosen, therefore, to focus 5 It may be a coincidence, but a noteworthy one, that the years between 1880 and 1914 mark a period in which most of the world outside Europe and the Americas was formally partitioned into territories ruled by the imperial states (Hobsbawm 1989). Ecuador had been rejected as a possible French imperial territory in 1861. 42 primarily on 26 of the total 56 observers,6 limiting the main corpus not only to those who came from Europe, but to those who travelled in the highlands and visited the capital city of Quito between 1830 and the 1880s. Of those 26 Europeans, 15 wrote detailed accounts of their travel experiences, 5 combined their travel accounts with accounts of professional pursuits, while 6 wrote professional texts which focused mainly on their scientific interests. I began my research on this corpus of accounts with an analysis of data which could establish each individual's cultural capital and social influence (Appendix I). This analysis was based on their reasons for travel, nationality, the length of time spent in Ecuador, the intended audience of the accounts, reference to other European observers, and reference to Ecuadorian scholars and acquaintances. I found that reasons for travel were an important criterion for selection (Chapter 1). European observers who travelled to Ecuador during this period were mainly natural scientists, diplomats, and critical observers or travel writers (travelling to observe and record a way of life), although these roles could be combined in particular individuals. As spokespeople for these perspectives, both their attitudes and interests, as well as their reception in Ecuador, were more uniform than national origins. 6 Almagro, Andre, Avendano, Boussingault, Charton, Fountain, Gayraud, Hassaurek, Holinski, Jameson, Kerret, Kolberg, Monnier, Osculati, Pfeiffer, Reiss, Sodiro, Spruce, Stanley, Stiibel, Thoron, Whymper, Wiener, Wilson, Wisse, and Wolf. 43 I had originally supposed that individual nationality would be a criterion of selection that would reveal differences in assumptions concerning religion, race and class. In practice, national origins are rather difficult to define in all cases. Hassaurek, for instance, was an American diplomat, and therefore presumably an American citizen, but he was born in Vienna and left Europe for the United States as a result of his involvement in the revolution of 1848 (Castro y Velazquez 1978:33). Is Hassaurek European or American? I would claim European, but he was considered an American while in Ecuador for diplomatic purposes. I did find that an individual's nationality affected his or her reception in Quito, where diplomatic and government circles were constantly negotiating economic and political privileges between nations. In rural areas, however, one European was much like any other - they were all foreigners. Nor did national origin provide much help in grouping Europeans according to national assumptions regarding religion, race and class. I found that the range of ideologies which could be used to make sense of social relations was flexible enough to be varied by each individual (Chapter 5), as long as the interpretation stayed within the discourse of progress, which was generally shared regardless of nationality. I had also presumed that gender would be a criterion for selection, but this proved impracticable. As I only 44 found accounts written by two women, it would be impossible to reach valid conclusions with regard to women's' attitudes as opposed to men's'. The unusual reaction of the local population in Quito to one of the women travellers, however, appears to have been directly related to her gender (see Chapter 3). My preliminary analysis also involved listing the topics which Europeans focused on, and had selected for written record. My objective was to establish criteria for my own selection of European ideas and practices as a basis from which to assess their ethnographic contribution, as well as their recognition in Ecuador as authoritative forms of knowledge. Preliminary analysis suggested a focus on daily life and public events, because of their common interest in these aspects of social life, which would therefore constitute a valid basis for comparative analysis. The next phase of my research, however, involved library and archival investigations at the Institute of Latin-American Studies in Austin, Texas, and in the libraries and archives of Quito, Ecuador. The purpose of this investigation was to collect a corpus of work with which to construct comparable Ecuadorian perspectives on an ethnographic topic addressed in the European accounts. These perspectives are intended to provide the means with which to assess recognition of the legitimacy of European knowledge. 45 I had intended to focus on representations of public events such as the religious festivals of Easter, New Year and Corpus Christi, or celebrations of a national identity, such as the celebration of independence in August, 1809. I was unable to find more than cursory descriptions of these events in newspapers, literature, or government reports, and they were more likely to be calls to patriotic or religious sentiment than ethnographic descriptions. As a result, I returned to descriptions of daily life, because I found a wealth of information in municipal reports, newspapers, French diplomatic reports, and recent publications by Ecuadorian scholars (Jurado Noboa 1989; Freire Rubio 1990, 1991; Marchan Romero et al 1986; Puga 1991; Kingman ed. 1989; Carrion et al 1991, 1992). I was faced with another problem in this area, however, because of the quantity of data available, both in the travellers' accounts, and in the Ecuadorian literature. The focus on daily life would have to be narrowed down to a more specific topic. The contents of Harvey's theoretical schema of spatial practices provided the specific ethnographic focus in everyday life through which I chose to study the international encounter between Europeans and Ecuadorians (1990:218-222). Harvey distinguishes between three dimensions of spatial practice. The first is material and experiential, and has to do with transport and communication systems, land uses and built environments, state and 46 administrative divisions of space, exclusionary zoning and other forms of social control. The second concerns perception, and representations of space in map-making, artists' sketches, and spatial discourses such as scientific objectivity or nationalism. The third focuses on spaces of representation, such as places of popular spectacle, streets, squares and markets, monumentality and constructed spaces of ritual, symbolic barriers, the construction of traditions, and Utopian plans. Both the travellers' accounts and the Ecuadorian literature which I had collected covered all three dimensions with considerable detail. As Harvey adds, the grid of spatial practices tells us nothing important by itself, because these practices only take on meanings within specific social relations of class, gender, community, ethnicity or race (1990:220-3). Space can only be understood in relation to social action and the power relations which are implicated in its practice. This focus in social action makes it possible for me to investigate the problem of European cultural colonialism in the ethnographic context of Ecuadorian spatial practices, and to move beyond a formal analysis of textual representation in discourses and literary strategies to their use and meaning in daily life. A further choice of method had to be made in terms of how I would try to represent this wealth of material from many sources, within a text which is limited to three hundred pages rather than three thousand. Two possibilities 47 were either to select a small sample of "representative" accounts and consider these in some depth, or to try and select examples from all of them and construct a composite vision from many points of view. As my own experience of the ethnographic "thickness" of travel accounts came from reading a large number rather than a select few, I chose breadth rather than depth. My hope was to interest readers with a survey that would convey enough of the details to induce some to turn to the original sources for the "authentic" accounts. I notice that Said regrets his own use of this method, and writes in his new publication Culture and Imperialism: As I discovered in writing Orientalism, you cannot grasp historical experience by lists and catalogues, and no matter how much you provide by way of coverage, some books, articles, authors, and ideas are going to be left out. Instead, I have tried to look at what I consider to be important and essential things, conceding in advance that selectivity and conscious choice have had to rule what I have done (1993:xxii). Even so, he continues, in discussing and analyzing what is in fact a global process, he was forced occasionally to be both general and summary. Such practical choices at least, can serve to remind us that textual representations of reality can never be its mimesis. Chapter outline So, finally, to my own choices, which have inevitably left out far more of the travel accounts than I have included. I have not written a chapter which is concerned 48 exclusively with a general historical background on Ecuador. I attempted instead to incorporate those aspects of earlier history which were necessary to elucidate current ideas and behaviour into each chapter. Chapter 1 examines the fields of cultural production in Europe within which the Europeans worked to establish symbolic capital and the social authority which would contribute to their legitimation. The next three chapters focus particularly on an ethnographic analysis of Europeans' descriptions of Ecuadorian space, and the ways in which historical conditions limited the specific ethnographic knowledge that emerged. In Chapter 2 I analyse the relationship between the pre-suppositions of the travellers' previously acquired knowledge, their experience of unfamiliar spatial practices, and the ways in which they attempted to cross cultural and geographical distances as they travelled from the coast of Ecuador to the capital city of Quito in the highlands. I argue that although the symbolic capital acquired in the different social and cultural context of Europe limits their interpretation of new experience to an outsider's perspective, they also had no choice but to participate in and observe the cultural practices of local people, especially the mule-drivers who were their guides. In Chapter 3 I analyse the travellers' ethnographic descriptions of the reception and accommodation offered them as they travelled between Guaranda and Quito, a route which passed through rural areas and provincial centres, ending at 49 the nation's capital. I argue that Europeans' social influence in the Ecuadorian highlands must be differentiated in accordance with the socio-historical conditions of spatial organization in Ecuador, which determined the extent and limit of the travellers' social influence in particular locales. In Chapter 4 I analyse the travellers' descriptions of everyday life in Quito during the nineteenth century. I argue that these accounts are sources of ethnographic knowledge which contribute to an understanding of the local politics of space at the time. The final three chapters focus particularly on a discursive analysis of the travellers' work, and the new political languages which emerged as their scientific and progressive ideas were employed to fashion new visions of Ecuadorian space. In Chapter 5 I examine European images of highland Indians, and analyse the ways in which ethnographic facts were articulated in discourse to construct a vision of hierarchical social space and the boundaries which defined it. I argue that although individuals disagreed ideologically over the reasons for the abject condition of the Indian population in the highlands, their general agreement that the Indians were barbarous was a premise which coincided with the hegemonic interests of the local ruling class. In Chapter 6 I analyse the work of Europeans as contributions to a new vision of universal Natural History, 50 and their application of scientific objectivity and romantic sensibility to the representation of nature in Ecuador. I argue that their collections and classifications were used in Europe to contribute to the global market expansion of raw resources, but that in Ecuador their representations of physical space in landscapes and maps were redeployed for popular democratic or liberal discourses on nationalism. In Chapter 7 I analyse the process through which scientific discipline was institutionalized by President Garcia Moreno with the help of Europeans. I argue that despite this institutionalization, a scientific vision of the world was not accepted as common-sense by the 1870s, but that the language of scientific objectivity was appropriated by both Church and State as a new political language, following a series of unprecedented political and natural crises in 1877. 51 CHAPTER 1 Great Expectations During the nineteenth century, European travellers boarded steamships heading west,1 and set off for Ecuador with an assortment of luggage. Most obvious, of course, would have been the trunks of clothes, scientific equipment and occasional stores of food, but they also brought a less visible form of baggage with them. This consisted of cultural assumptions, economic obligations, political affiliations, home readership expectations, and the consciousness of following in the footsteps of other earlier, and sometimes more famous, predecessors. A journey to the west coast of South America required considerable preparation, as well as considerable financial resources. Those who got the opportunity to do so usually had to have personal wealth, prestigious social connections, or some kind of institutional support. In other words, those people required the legitimization of their own social order before they could hope to proceed with their travels. Bourdieu discusses the notion of habitus which is a "feel for the game", the social constraints and demands which are embodied in individual members of a society and 1 The earliest travellers depended on naval sailing vessels. Although the first steamboat was launched on the Delaware River in 1787, it was not until 1839 that Samuel Cunard started the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., later known as the Cunard Line. In 1855 the first iron Cunard steamer crossed the Atlantic in nine and a half days. 52 turned into second nature (1990:63). Those who have a feel for the game recognize its necessity, and are prepared to carry out its demands and possibilities. He also discusses the concept of specialized fields within a shared habitus, defined as historically constituted areas of activity with specific institutions and laws of functioning (1990:87). Individuals who work within specialized fields invest commitments of time, effort and money in order to acquire the symbolic capital of legitimation and recognition specific to their field. They therefore have a personal stake in the preservation (or transformation) of the point of view generated by their specific fields. The argument that individuals work in specialized fields which are clearly defined must be recognized as a heuristic analytical construction. The individuals who travelled to Ecuador were most likely to work within three specialized fields in Europe: international diplomacy, natural sciences, and popular travel writing, but in practice work in one field did not preclude work in another. Work in any of the three fields, however, required that individuals acquire the symbolic power to organize the social world, by conserving or transforming existing classifications of cultural and natural space, and by making people believe in the validity of their classifications. As discussed earlier, Bourdieu proposes two conditions for the legitimation of a particular world-view: possession of social authority acquired through previous work in the 53 specialized field, and the degree to which the vision proposed is seen to be based on reality (1990:138) . Europeans who hoped to construct legitimate points of view through their work in Ecuador had these conditions doubled. In order to succeed, they had to possess social authority and recognition in Europe before they could travel, and also in Ecuador when they arrived. The vision of reality which they would construct while in Ecuador would then be tested for its validity by Europeans as well as by Ecuadorians. The symbolic capital acquired within these fields of cultural production reflected not only on the travellers' recognition and consequent prestige in Europe, but would also influence their recognition in Ecuador, perhaps in very different ways. I do not propose to analyse the relative symbolic capital of particular individuals in this chapter, but to examine the relative prestige of Ecuadorian diplomacy, natural science, and travel writing in Europe and in Ecuador. The objective of this chapter is to focus, in general terms, on who the travellers were, and the fields of cultural production in which they worked to establish the symbolic capital and social authority which would contribute to their legitimation as cultural producers. These fields in which nineteenth century Europeans worked to establish legitimacy, took a different form from the colonial strategies or "Utopias" of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. The latter's interest in South America was based on rather different enterprises in order to achieve personal wealth, social precedence and Christian conversion (Stern 1991:7-8). The Spanish colonists' early lust for gold is legendary, and was followed by the establishment of profit-making enterprises and commercial investments in the Americas. The dream of social precedence promised escape from old constraints in Spain, rise to positions of authority in the new colonial system, with the possibility of financial reward and social prestige which would accompany this rise. Christian conversion promised a Utopia of newly converted souls free from the corruptions o the Old World. After colonial independence from Spain in the nineteenth century, other European nations competed for les direct means of influence in South America. Politically, involvement in the European Napoleonic wars and delicate diplomatic relations dictated that neither Spain, France, nor Britain were in a position to assert their presence during the transition to independence in South America. Britain maintained its trading and commercial relationship (no longer illicitly), but South America received little in the way of financial or public political support (Waddell 1985:197-229) . As the stability of South American governments increased and European industrialization was accompanied by an increase in investment profits, European nations looked for trade relations with the independent nations. The 55 advantages expected from the commercial agreements negotiated in the 1820s and 1830s, however, proved to be considerably less significant than anticipated. The poverty of most of the population limited the demand for foreign imports, and the subsistence nature of most agriculture restricted the availability of export commodities. The hopes of rapid development were soon disappointed, as governments defaulted on loans, revolutions and civil wars continued, and early liberals and free traders gave way to traditionalists who favoured protectionism (Waddell 1985:197-229). The sharp increase in foreigners who visited South America after independence included merchants eager to take advantage of the elimination of colonial trade barriers, mercenary soldiers who came to serve in patriot armies (Bushnell and Macauley 1988:20-21), and the scientists, diplomats and travellers whose work is analysed in this study. It has been argued that the rediscovery of South America after independence by European scientist travellers, followed by industrialization with European capital, were succeeding phases of the same development (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1937:129). In addition to performing whatever mission had brought them to South America, the mere presence of these foreigners was significant, because they brought with them the lifestyles and ideas of Europe. There is some disagreement amongst historians regarding the importance of European 56 ideas on the early independence struggles in South America, however (Hale 1986:397-402). Recent historical opinion gives emphasis to internal social, political and economic upheavals at the end of the eighteenth century. It was not until the post-independence period that the ruling classes in South America looked specifically to European and North American models in their search for governmental forms, constitutions, and definitions of citizenship. New constitutions were uniformly inspired by the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, or the North American principle of the division of powers. The issue of the separation of powers was of specific concern to the Roman Catholic Church, which had been intimately connected with government during the Spanish colonial period (Bethell 1985;229-237) . It became increasingly aware of the dangers of secularization inherent in liberal, utilitarian and positivist ideas, both in Europe and in South America. The Church generally maintained a consistently conservative position in nineteenth century South America, against the developing liberalism of its opponents. These new political and economic conditions structured the Utopias of nineteenth century Europeans in South America in ways that were quite different from their Spanish predecessors. Aspirations of wealth and social precedence were sought through recognition and legitimation achieved in Europe rather than the New World, and the colonial Utopia of 57 Christian conversion was replaced by the rational progress of knowledge and technology. The travellers and their shared habitus I have compiled published work of 26 European observers who published accounts of their experiences in highland Ecuador between 1830 and 1886, and who include natural scientists, diplomats, and critical observers.2 All of these were men, except for Ida Pfeiffer, an Austrian world traveller and explorer who visited Ecuador in 1854, and Baronesa de Wilson, a Spaniard who was in Ecuador around 1878. A preliminary analysis of this group, therefore, revealed differences in sex, nationality, reasons for travel, and period in which travel took place. The European travellers constitute a comparable group despite these differences, not only because of their shared interest in visiting Ecuador, but most importantly because they considered themselves to be one. They read each others' works and cited each other in their writings, regardless of whether one was a geographer and the other a diplomat. One of the reasons for this mutual referencing was that the distinction between scientific, artistic and political work was not as clearly defined during the 2 Almagro, Andre, Avendaho, Boussingault, Charton, Fountain, Gayraud, Hassaurek, Holinski, Jameson, Kerret, Kolberg, Monnier, Osculati, Pfeiffer, Reiss, Sodiro, Spruce, Stanley, Stiibel, Thoron, Whymper, Wiener, Wilson, Wisse, and Wolf. 58 nineteenth century as we expect it to be in the twentieth,3 and a particular author might refer to previous scientific work in one section and to a diplomats' social observations in another. Not only did the observers refer to each other, but individual accounts combined several perspectives which we consider incompatible today. Humboldt, for instance, declared that scientific men were not considered to have fulfilled their engagements with the public until they had written their itinerary, in the form of a historical narrative: An historical narrative embraces two very distinct objects; the greater or the less important events connected with the purpose of the traveller, and the observations he has made during his journey. The unity of composition also, which distinguishes good works from those on an ill-constructed plan, can be strictly observed only when the traveller describes what has passed under his own eye; and when his principal attention has been fixed less on scientific observations than on the manners of the different people and the great phenomena of nature (1851:xix-xx). Osculati declared his desire to contribute to the advancement of science, natural science and geography, as well as to be an explorer in search of adventure and danger, to be seeking contemplation of the monumental, and to be a museum collector for the Civic Museum of Milan (1854: xii-xiii). Whymper was primarily a mountain climber who had climbed the Matterhorn in 1865, but he intended to observe 3 Separate institutions which feel as though they have the weight of centuries behind them today, were just being created during this period: the Royal Zoological Society in 1826, the Royal Geographical Society in 1830, the Botanical Gardens at Kew in 184 0, and the Natural History Museum in London in 1881. 59 and record the physiological effects of low atmospheric pressure, measure mountain altitudes, study the flora and fauna of the highlands, and collect pre-Columbian antiquities on route (1987 [1880]: introduction). In addition to their own subjective perception that they constituted a group, Ecuadorians often treated them as generic European observers. Their writing was usually directed at publication in Europe and therefore share this concern, and they also shared cultural assumptions which cut across differences in nationality and profession.4 The specific methods used by European observers to depict scenes of everyday life in Ecuador were based in empirical detail. Although these details were interpreted with varying personal intentions and from different theoretical perspectives, their claims and counterclaims about the way the world was, or should be, were bound and ultimately confined by the founding premise of progress, and its eventual achievement through civilization: If there is any idea that belongs properly to one century, at least by the importance accorded to it, and that, whether accepted or not, is familiar to all minds, it is the Idea of Progress conceived as the general law of history and the future of humanity. (Javary 1850; quoted in Bury 1955 [1932] :313) 4 See Chapter 5, in which I analyse the images which European observers constructed of highland Indians in Ecuador, and the ideologies and discourse through which those images were interpreted. They constructed the same three basic images regardless of nationality or profession, and the discourse of progress which they shared ultimately took priority over the individual differences of interpretation which could be partly explained through national and professional distinctions. 60 They accepted, (with the exception of Almagro), the limitations which this premise imposed on their interpretations and activities as if it were second nature. As "that part of a dominant worldview which has been naturalized and, having hidden itself in orthodoxy, no longer appears as ideology at all" (Comaroff and Comaroff 1991:24), the discourse of progress in the observers' accounts was rarely discussed as a negotiable worldview. All that needed to be negotiated through argument was an explanation for the evident lack of progress they saw around them. European observers explained the condition of the indigenous population through the discourse of racial progress, which provided a successful means of articulating their interests in science with their appetite for the exotic. Exotic differences perceived in Ecuador could serve as the empirical basis on which to argue scientifically for the European theory of progress. They saw economic and technological progress lacking everywhere. From their point of view, a national economic infrastructure between the highlands and coastal regions barely existed, so roads needed to be improved and railways built. As for the capital city of Quito, it would remain in the Middle Ages until proper lighting and sewage disposal methods were introduced. Progress was applicable in all contexts. Baronesa de Wilson wrote a tract for school children and their mothers, entitled La Ley del Progreso (1879), which begins with the 61 question: "What could I do to be useful to the progress of the sciences?", and ends with a discussion of progressive child-rearing methods and hygiene. This fundamental pre-supposition in the nineteenth century accounts helped to legitimate Europeans' activity in Ecuador from the point of view of their European readers, but simultaneously constituted an almost insurmountable cultural barrier with regard to much that they observed in Ecuador. The European observers were historical agents of what Habermas has termed the project of modernity which, formulated in the 18th century by philosophers of the Enlightenment, consisted in their efforts to develop objective science, universal morality and law, and autonomous art, according to their inner logic... Enlightenment thinkers of the cast of mind of Condorcet still had the extravagant expectation that the arts and sciences would promote not only the control of natural forces, but would also further understanding of the world and of the self, would promote moral progress, the justice of institutions, and even the happiness of human beings (1981: 9). Human emancipation would be achieved through the scientific domination of nature which could control the effects of natural calamities, and through the development of rational forms of social organization and thought which could replace the irrationalities of superstition. The field of international diplomacy When the South American colonies began to declare independence from Spain at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the new republics were opened up to Europeans' gaze 62 at a time which coincided with a development of increased public interest in travel, natural sciences, and the exotic. In 1810, for instance, it was said that Humboldt, the romantic natural philosopher, was the most famous man in Europe with the exception of Napoleon (von Hagen 1955: 147) . Other more pragmatic reasons stimulated political and financial support for the European natural scientists (geographers, geologists, botanists), engineers, diplomats, artists and collectors who made their way to South America over the next eighty years: the new republics were a potential source of raw materials, trade relationships, and political alliances. Ecuadorian governments fostered European political and financial support to encourage trade which would help bolster an economy shaken by the expenses incurred during the wars of independence. Several observers were actively involved in these political and economic concerns. Sir Edward Belcher, the captain of a British naval ship, was off the coast of Ecuador in 183 8 conducting a hydrographic survey of the coastline for shipping maps. He intended to complete existing surveys made previously by Fitzroy further south, and by Vancouver in the north (1843: xxxvi). The French engineer, Viscomte Enrique Onffroy de Thoron, was hired by President Garcia Moreno in 1861 to supervise the activities of the Ecuador Land Company, a British company created to take charge of 173 acres of coastal territory as part payment for the Ecuadorian debt incurred during independence. Viscomte Rene de Kerret was a 63 French naval officer, sent by the French government in 1853 with five warships to issue a diplomatic ultimatum to President Urbina as a result of his bad treatment of French residents (Lara 1972: 47-9). Joaquim de Avendaho was a member of the Spanish diplomatic corps sent to Ecuador in 1858, and Charles Weiner, the French Americanist, was sent as consul to Guayaquil in 1880 after his successful exhibition of pre-Columbian artifacts and natural history specimens from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia during the Exposition Universelle in Paris, 1878. Others were drawn into economic or political events from which they might have preferred to keep their distance. Bourdieu notes that ...intellectuals are a dominated fraction of the dominant class. They are dominant in so far as they hold the power and privileges conferred by the possession of cultural capital...[but] are dominated in their relations with those who hold political and economic power. (1990:145) Manuel de Almagro was a Spanish ethnologist, and a member of the royal scientific commission which coincided with Spain's attempt to reassert power in America in 1864, while the Civil Wars prevented the North American government from enforcing the Monroe Doctrine (Miller 1968:10).5 The Spanish crown gave economic reasons for including the commission on the warships which seized islands off the coast of Peru, and 5 The Monroe Doctrine was first stated in 1823, and expressed US government hostility to any further colonization or political intervention by European powers in the western hemisphere. 64 bombarded ports in Chile and Peru, but in South America the commission was thought to have been a screen intended to hide military aggression, and Almagro was boycotted by Quito society (1866:84) . Even a cursory survey of nineteenth century diplomatic reports verifies the existence of political and economic aspirations on the part of European powers, and intense competition between France, Spain, and Great Britain to negotiate preferred relations. France and Ecuador signed a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation in March 1845, guaranteeing constant peace and perpetual friendship between the two nations, a reciprocal liberty of commerce, a mutual freedom of entry, residence, importation and exportation of goods, as well as protection of person and property (FDA Rl 205/211, 28/iii/l845). Britain sent a treaty at the same time as France, but it was not ratified until May 1851 because of objections that France and Spain had been given better conditions. The individual diplomatic representatives of France, Spain, and Great Britain were obviously crucial agents in these negotiations, but their relative success at that time was conditioned by an earlier history of political and cultural affiliation in Ecuador. These early French and Spanish treaties were signed during the term of President Flores, a Francophile who claimed to be half French, and wore the rosette of the Legion d'Honneur (FDA R43, 8/vi/1861). Not all presidents were so enthusiastic about 65 continued connections with France, or Europe in general, however. Villamus, the French charge d'affaires in 1855, claimed that President Urbina was anti-European, that he was arresting aristocrats (who were most interested in maintaining European connections) regardless of party, position or sex, and that he was an active agent for North American propaganda (FDA R26-40, ii/iv/1855). French diplomatic relations were broken off twice between 1852 and 1856. Cope, the English charge d'affaires, made the most of these deteriorating relations with France and ratified the British treaty, while President Urbina signed a treaty of commerce with North America in 1854 (FDA R47, 19/v/1855). Villamus commented that the Flores aristocrats were the only ones "capable of recognizing the value of ties with more advanced societies" or of rejecting the current fanatical hatred of Europeans which seemed to be connected with Ecuadorians' memory of their ancient domination (FDA R76/80, 28/iv/l856). When President Garcia Moreno came to power in 1861 with Flores' support, he requested that Ecuador become a protectorate of France, with relations similar to those between Canada and England (FDA R43 8/vi/61). Excited letters were sent to the French Ministry in Paris as Fabre mused over the possibilities: it would be an arduous task for France, but might save the whole of South America, as Ecuador's example could be contagious (FDA R85/89, 66 viii/1861). England would object of course, and that would cause a problem (FDA R67/72, 17/vii/l861), but the ultimate deterrent was the Monroe Doctrine, as words like "reconquest" and "colonialism" would be inevitably be raised in North America (FDA R276/279, 30/ii/l862). The possibility was quietly dropped. This request for French protection was the most radical version of earlier requests from Ecuadorian governments for increased French relations. Presidents Flores and Rocafuerte had asked for French immigrants in 1844 and in 1848, and President Garcia Moreno brought over French doctors, engineers, artists, and twenty French Sisters of Sacre Coeur to educate Ecuadorian women. Flores eventually went to live in exile in France, and Garcia Moreno was accused by Congress of being more French than American (FDA R54/55, 14/viii/l863). Despite such flattering presidential regard, French diplomats were unable to recommend large-scale immigration, especially to the highlands. Lerrand thought that the Ecuadorian public's attitude would never be far from a vivid hatred of all those not born in their country: "It is difficult to express the mixture of hostile repugnance, and welcoming hospitality which foreigners receive here" (FDA R250/251, 15/iii/l844). Mendeville could recommend the climate, but thought that the instability of both men and things inspired fear (FDA R48/49, ix/1848). Whether relations between European powers and Ecuador were favourable or not during specific periods, those 67 relations always seemed to be deeply felt throughout the nineteenth century, and were most consistently favourable with France. The French consul Boulard's opinion in 1874, was that Ecuador was more intimately tied with France because of a community of religious principles: Spain was still considered an enemy, while England, Germany and the United States were Protestant and lacked affinity of character or taste with Latin races (FDA R66/67, 19/iii/l874). In the larger context of world diplomacy, Ecuador did not figure very prominently as a prestigious diplomatic posting which would lend symbolic power to its agents. France and England were the only European nations represented in Ecuador until they were joined by Spain in 1842, and by the United States in 1855. France sent Plenipotentiary Ministers to Peru and Chile, but a less prestigious Minister to Ecuador. England sent mere Consul-generals until moves were made in the Foreign Office in 1872 to integrate Latin America into the general diplomatic service, and the post was raised to that of Minister (Jones 1983: 206-7). Hamilton, who had been Consul-general in Ecuador between 1866 and 1870, returned as Minister Resident in 1873 (FDA R40/1, 4/v/1873) Consular offices had been the normal pattern of British diplomatic representation in Latin America until 1872. Consular officers had no career expectations, and were 68 appointed only for the duration of a particular post, so very few of these consuls entered the main stream of the diplomatic profession. The post of Consul-general in Ecuador was considered Fourth (or bottom) Class (Jones 1983: 69). It is not surprising, therefore, that there was a long-standing antipathy to South American postings in the diplomatic service, which the changes in 1872 were designed to alter. Posts in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina brought greater chances of preferment, but the acceptance of a Latin American mission was thought to be "the choice of a tombstone rather than a stepping stone" (Jones 1983:208). By 1904, Delebecque commented that most of the European powers no longer sent any ministers to Quito, and that the nations were now represented by mere consuls: "Ecuador... does not play a crucial role in the preoccupations of great nations" (1907: 83). France was the last European nation to degrade the French legation in Quito to a general consulate in 1905. Diplomatic observers in Ecuador, therefore, would have possessed less symbolic capital in European circles than they did in Ecuador itself. Those with diplomatic or other political connections could expect to be highly regarded in political circles in Ecuador, and to wield considerable social authority. Observers who based their claims to symbolic capital in Europe on the natural sciences, however, had the advantage of two famous predecessors whose academic recognition in Europe helped boost their own. Public and academic recognition of the work of these two men served as 69 a form of established capital on which later natural scientists would draw in their own struggle for public and academic legitimation. A field for naturalists and romantic writers6 Charles Marie de la Condamine and Baron Alexander von Humboldt were the two most famous influences in bringing the Ecuadorian Andes to European attention in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. These natural scientists were given permission by the Spanish crown to enter the colonies normally closed to all but Spaniards and foreign mercenaries in colonial armies. Perhaps their pursuits were considered harmless, or their accumulated symbolic capital of scientific prestige was thought to reflect on the colonial Spain. In either case, both were given exceptional permits. La Condamine's geodesic mission, the first major international scientific expedition, was allowed to travel in the Spanish colonies on condition that two Spanish naval officers, Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, accompany them and participate in their scientific investigations (Acosta-Solis 1985:155). Humboldt received a special passport which read "travelling for the acquisition of knowledge", which ordered that he be allowed to travel throughout the Spanish 6 In its 1937 publication on the republics of South America, the Royal Institute of International Affairs claimed that despite being "widely regarded hitherto as a field for naturalists and romantic writers" the British were aware "for the first time of the significance of South America in the modern world" (1937: introductory note). 70 colonies unmolested. Between them they laid the groundwork for scientific pursuits which were to occupy travelling academics in the region throughout the nineteenth century. Reference to La Condamine and Humboldt was almost a sine qua non in nineteenth century travel accounts. Mention of their names not only lent scientific credibility to the writings of nineteenth century observers, it also indicates that the authors read available sources of information before travel. Because cross-referencing these earlier influences, as well as each other, is normal practice in the accounts, the result is an accumulating inter-textual discourse shared throughout the century, in which each new arrival verified, challenged or added to earlier contributions.7 La Condamine was in the Audiencia of Quito in 173 6 to measure the precise length of an arc of a degree at the equator. An expedition to South America was a tremendous expense, but Quito was considered to be the only spot on the equator accessible to civilization: equatorial Africa was unexplored, Borneo was unopened, and the Amazon was thought to be inhabited by hostile Indians. La Condamine's purpose in Quito was to help determine the true shape of the earth 7 This cross-referencing also means that I had to exercise caution when looking for verification of ethnographic facts in the accounts. Orton (1876:60-1), for instance, does not reference his U.S. predecessor, Hassaurek (1868:104-5), in passages written almost verbatim in both accounts. 71 and settle the heated controversy in European academic circles between supporters of Newton's theory of flattened poles and Cassini's theory of a flattened equator (von Hagen 1955:7). He did in fact provide empirical evidence which would settle the debate in favour of Newton. The first thing they had to do was map the land over which they would later triangulate and measure. La Condamine's mission literally put Ecuador onto the world map. On his return to Paris the volcanic region was thenceforth known as Ecuador, after the publication of his book Journal du voyage fait par l'ordre du roi a 1'equateur (1751). The name became official after Gran Colombia was formed in 1822, and the region was designated the Department of Ecuador. By 1830, when Ecuador declared itself an independent republic, the name was considered natural and was adopted without discussion. Later national historians have lamented this oversight, claiming that the name Quito would have been a better choice, having a much longer, and indigenous, history (Gomez 1987:33-4). Despite the festivities with which the European scientists were welcomed on their arrival to Quito, their work was only partially legitimated in Ecuador. The symbolic capital which was valuable in European intellectual circles was not necessarily acknowledged by local people in Ecuador. When members of the town council (cabildo) of Quito went out to see what the Academicians were doing, suspicions were aroused by what they saw. Some scientists 72 were measuring the earth with theodolites, others were taking the transit of the stars with Hadley's octant, others were walking around with a toise. The Quitehos apparently took this instrument to be a divining rod for locating buried Inca gold, and the mission was reported to the President of the Audiencia.8 The situation became difficult: they were followed by inspectors, interrupted, and questioned incessantly. La Condamine decided to travel a thousand miles to Lima to ask for the Viceroy's support (von Hagen 1955:47-8). La Condamine's expedition was the beginning of a move away from navigational and coastal explorations of continents and into the interiors (Pratt 1992: 23-4). The next famous European to visit the Ecuadorian highlands made the scientific exploration of land masses into a romantic experience of the sublime. Baron Alexander von Humboldt was a Prussian diplomat, scholar, scientist, and romantic natural philosopher, also described as the Father of Modern Geography (Hanson 1967:295). He travelled through Gran Colombia and reached Quito in 1802. Humboldt was deeply impressed by the grandeur of the Cordilleras, especially its most majestic peak Mt. Chimborazo which he decided to conquer and climb (without success).9 As an old man in 8 Whymper reported that he was also thought to be seeking hidden gold on two separate occasions in 1880 (1987:155, 240) . 9 During their attempted ascent of the volcano they were affected by nausea and bleeding after 17,000 feet, but they did not give up their attempt to reach the summit until prevented by a chasm too wide to cross. 73 1859, when he sat for his last portrait, Humboldt requested that Mount Chimborazo be painted in the background: he considered the climb his greatest accomplishment in ninety years of life (von Hagen 1955:147-8). Pratt argues that Humboldt staked out a new northern European beginning for the history of South America, as a state of primal nature waiting to be written by nineteenth century scientists. She also comments that despite his focus on this untouched nature, Humboldt did not actually step beyond the social boundaries of the Spanish colonial infrastructure: he relied on the existing networks of roads, villages, haciendas and colonial labour systems to survive (1992:127). The material conditions and history of Spanish colonialism tended to disappear in the nineteenth century focus on nature, whether as objective natural science or romantic natural history. His scientific work in the Andes included research on the relationship between altitude and latitude, and he discovered the scientific fact that mean temperature decreased one degree Fahrenheit with each degree of latitude toward the poles. He also found that mean temperature decreased with each 300 feet of altitude, concluding that 300,000 feet of latitude equals 300 feet of altitude. His interest was not so much in the facts themselves, however, as in their connection into a vast cosmology. "The ultimate aim of physical geography," he wrote, 74 " recognize the unity in the vast diversity of phenomena... I have conceived the mad notion of representing in a graphic and attractive manner the whole of the physical aspect of the universe in one work, which is to include all that is at present known of celestial and terrestrial phenomena, from the nature of the nebula down to the geography of the mosses clinging to a granite rock..." (quoted in von Hagen 1955:145) . This philosophy permeates his essay Tableau Physique des Regions Equatoriales, in which Humboldt depicted the altitudinal distribution of plants, animals, even rocks, on his famous map of Chimborazo. He stated the need for similar maps, as case studies for the principle of unity in diversity, through worldwide botanical exploration followed by publication of the results on suitable maps (Glacken 1990:547). Humboldt played a leading role in creating an alliance between the natural sciences and romantic art. He combined objective descriptions of the distinctive typologies of climatic zones with an attempt to capture the imagination of his readers by conveying the sense of wonder and excitement he had experienced himself on witnessing the sublime in nature. He considered landscape painting well suited to this purpose, because it could best convey the special beauty of plants grouped together in their natural habitat, a beauty which he considered botanical dissection and classification was incapable of addressing (Smith 1960:153). The publications of numerous other artists, scholars and explorers, as well as the personal experience of many 75 men during the Napoleonic campaigns in Egypt and the Far East (1798-1801), provided Europeans at the beginning of the nineteenth century with exciting accounts of foreign and exotic customs. This period coincided with the Romantic cult of the exotic, which influenced the early development of Orientalism (Said 1979:118). Interest in American antiquity and pre-Columbian civilizations was slower to develop. In 1850, the catalogue for the first pre-Columbian exhibit in Paris noted that lack of interest in the Americas was not surprising since unlike Egypt, their past was not closely connected with Europe's own "sacred history" (Williams 1985:149). In 1859, however, a small circle of Americanists joined with colleagues in orientalist studies to found the Societe d' americaine et orientale (Williams 1985:150). Charles Weiner, one of the Europeans who visited Ecuador, was an Americanist and archaeologist, (later consul of France in Guayaquil in 1880), who returned to Paris in the mid-1870s from an excavation in Peru which had been financed by the French Ministry of Public Instruction. His collection included artifacts and natural history specimens from Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador, and was displayed in the Palais de 1'Industrie when the Exposition Universelle opened in Paris in 1878. This pre-Columbian exhibit was popular enough during the Exposition to convince the French authorities to proceed with the opening of an independent museum of ethnography in Paris. The Trocadero museum became 76 the acknowledged focus of interest in the art and artifacts of the Americas (Williams 1985:151-6). Humboldt's romantic natural philosophy and the new cult of the exotic were both concerned with apparently contradictory interests: in developing objective knowledge through the natural sciences or through realism, as well as communicating a subjective experience of wonder. This dual interest and problem is a perpetual theme which European observers struggled with in their accounts of Ecuador during the nineteenth century. The field of natural sciences undoubtedly provided individuals with the greatest symbolic capital in Europe, which suggests that it is no coincidence that 20 of 32 European travellers who visited Ecuador during the nineteenth century, claimed that they were contributing to that field. The field of popular travel writincr The accounts of travellers' experiences abroad were received with considerable interest in Europe. Publishing houses were beginning to cater to an increasingly literate public, not only in book form, but in several family magazines which began to appear intended for the new literate middle-class. Magazines such a Harper's Weekly, Illustrated London News, and Magasin Pittoresque provided its readers with small digestible tidbits of natural and cultural history, science and technology, art, archeology, and music (Farwell 1977:55). The French journal 77 L'Illustration published articles on contemporary events, travel, gossip and personalities, while Le Tour du Monde was devoted exclusively to travel accounts. Ernest Charton contributed to both L'Illustration and Le Tour du Monde, which was edited by his brother. Edouard Andre and Charles Weiner both had extensive accounts published in the latter, describing their travels in Ecuador. This new mass audience created a specialized field, and the construction of a different kind of discourse, for instance, from those which had interested the learned university audiences of theologians and jurists who had listened to the colonial relectiones in sixteenth century Spain (Pagden 1982:6-8). The development of this literate middle class in nineteenth century Europe, and the increase in public demand for empirical knowledge of all kinds, also stimulated the development of mass reproduction. In 1832, Charles Knight founded a weekly called Penny Magazine which was produced on a cylinder press and operated by steam. This new production method raised the output from 1,000 sheets reached by the old press, which was operated manually by two men working eight hours a day, to 16,000 sheet printed on both sides (Ivins 1969:107). Much of the popularity of Penny Magazine was apparently due to its engraved illustrations. While nineteenth century artists' and travellers' fascination with the direct experience of nature and of the exotic involved going to, seeing, and absorbing the original at first hand, these people were in a minority. The European 78 public for whom they wrote and sketched, knew nothing of the first hand experience, and had to be convinced that the descriptions and illustrations were faithful reproductions of a reality they would never see. European observers either made their own sketches of the scenery and customs which they witnessed, or larger missions would be accompanied by professional artists who made sketches for them. On their return to Europe the sketches had to be converted into engravings, the standard medium of nineteenth century mass reproduction, in order to present the illustrations to the reading public. The original sketch had to be redrawn on an engraver's block by a specialist draughtsman who would convert the original into a line drawing suitable for engraving. The next step involved another specialist who made the final engraving. The finished product was therefore the result of a chain of interpretations in which The responsibility for pictorial statements had been by-passed, and such statements as were actually made had been reduced to a flat dull plane of reasonability (Ivins 1969:99) . Although this veneer of "reasonability" is disappointing from an art historian's perspective, it was an important standard of reliability for the reading public to whom the finished product was addressed. Lacking alternative means of assessing the realism of printed reproductions, their judgement was based in the realm of accepted common-sense, and hence "reasonability". 79 Artistic conventions and the technology of production also revolved around a search for methods, techniques and media which could best express the values and ideals of a realism which combined both empiricism and art. Although engravings had the advantage of multiple reproductions and the end-product's veneer of reasonability, the chain of interpretations involved was perceived to be a disadvantage for the very reason that the finished product could not claim to be a first-hand representation of reality. The discovery of the daguerrotype and the development of photography were acclaimed as the perfect solution to this lack of immediate expression. The mechanical functioning of the camera was thought to eliminate the possibility of human interference, and had the added advantage of reproducing more detail than the human eye could perceive (Munsterberg 1982:60). Photography and the photographic process first eliminated the specialized draughtsman, and then the engraver. An English wood engraver, Thomas Bolton, developed a technique around 1860 which sensitized the surface of his woodblock on to which he could print a photograph from a negative. He then made an engraving through the photograph as though it had been a drawing. The next forty years of informative book illustration consisted in the gradual substitution of draughtsmanship for photography. By the end of the century the engraver himself had been dispensed with by a process 80 which reproduced photographs directly into print (Ivins 1969:107). The artistic conventions of draughtsmanship, and formal training in drawing were also based in realist ideals. In 1867, Charles Blanc wrote in his Grawmaire des Arts du Dessin that the artist must choose between the immense repertory of human forms those that serve best to translate his emotion and thought... there must be some method of representing the experience of nature with minimal mediation... The solution, then, is not to eliminate the means of making, not to cede all control, but to arrive at a means of immediacy. This ideal has been described as "the myth of the innocent eye" (Shiff 1982:2-4), in which naive sensation was a value requiring an apparently unmediated recording of vision. It was not that academics advocated an actual innocence of vision, but rather that the artist should be trained in technical skills of invention and composition whose aim was the appearance of spontaneity: To be sure, an excellent composition should seem to be a fortunate chance effect; but it will not be at all excellent if, under this appearance of a fortunate accident, it does not allow one to discover the beneficial principle of the beautiful. (Paillot de Montabert 1855, quoted in Shiff 1982:13). One of the techniques employed to create a composition which persuaded its audience of the immediacy and realism of the scene presented, was to eliminate the artist's presence as creator. This technique was particularly important in travel illustrations to ensure that the viewer did not 81 conclude that the images were the work of an overly creative imagination. As Munsterberg comments, these artists "were categorically unlike the splendidly isolated Romantic genius": they worked to establish a relationship between the viewer and the experience described, not between the artist and his art (1982:57). The artist was therefore substituted by the viewer, and the techniques used to eliminate the tension between interpretation and reality involved suppressing traces of the process of creating. They "recorded a point of view, and with it, an experience; they chose the spot on which we stand together" (1982:59). Figures 1 and 2 are illustrations by two French observers: Charton who was in Ecuador in 1862, and Andre who was there in 1876. The subject matter in each reveals their personal interests, while their methods reveal a shared concern with apparent spontaneity. Charton was an artist who had helped set up the Liceo de Pintura during an earlier stay in Quito in 1849 (Castro y Velasquez 1979:72), and he was particularly interested in the representation of urban types in Quito. Andre was a natural scientist, and he focused particularly on rural views of nature. Both chose a spot on which we, the viewers, stand as observers of the scenes before us. Not only do we have positions as observers, but both artists use various techniques to draw us further into the immediacy and specificity of time and place depicted. Our interest in these representations is stimulated by their detail, which Figure 1. Figure 2. 83 pill If r "2 X) o u x> c • T - l s c3 H-c OO ctf 1-1 <4—I <u OJ2 Pi o 'fell " H i , . 84 convinces us of the reality of the scene presented, as well as giving the composition an unplanned and unstructured appearance which masks their formal order. We are led by this apparent lack of structure from detail to detail until we are thoroughly immersed in the representation. In Charton's street scene we are standing in the street itself; in fact, we have very little time to stand aside before the mules kicking up dust in the foreground trample us down. It is twilight, so we have to peer closely to make out the figures in the darkened foreground. The figures themselves are so individualized that they verge on caricature,10 but the details convince us that they are not made up: the rondin in the bottom right corner, for instance, with his lantern, pipes, tattered clothes, and extraordinary hat. The sharp contrast in value at the top of the illustration leads our gaze into its bright light, past the people, down the street, and into the depths of the illustration to the outskirt of Quito. We stand at a much greater distance in Andre's view of cathedral ruins and mountains. The tiny human figures below us must already have descended the hill where we stand, a height that leads our eyes first to the top half of the illustration and an appreciation of the panoramic view. The pillars and arches, remnants of a devastating earthquake, 10 Catlin discusses the connections between traditions of caricature and costumbrismo (the interest in recording costumes and customs, social "types',or local fiestas and processions) in different Latin American countries during the nineteenth century (1989:84-86). 85 stand in the centre as visible proof of Nature's power and humans' frailty. We turn finally to the bottom foreground where a group of porters and mule-drivers (arrieros) wait, resting and chatting. One tiny figure is turned in our direction, and looks up at us in anticipation of our descent to join them. The popular success of published nineteenth century travel accounts was the result of a collaborative interpretive process between those who actually undertook the journey, the people involved in the process of publication, and the public who read the finished product. Underlying the specific objectives of each group was a common search for a realistic means of representing the direct experience of unfamiliar societies and landscapes, as if unmediated by any interpretation. Engraved illustrations have been ignored by contemporary scholars because they do not meet today's standards of either science or art, but the popularity of printed illustrations used to convey visual information in nineteenth century Europe, far exceeded that of prints intended to be works of art: ...the story of prints is not, as many people seem to think, that of a minor art form, but that of a most powerful method of communication between men, and of its effects upon western European thought and civilization (Ivins 1953:158). The importance of realism in the accounts provides a basis on which ethnographic facts about everyday life in the highlands can be verified empirically (although allowances 86 for the equally essential veneer of reasonability must also be taken into account). The realist movement in Europe was particularly interested in the mundane realm of everyday life or ordinary experience (Williams 1978; Swingle 1990), but the travellers' emphasis on empirical descriptions and illustrations was also a requirement for their own immediate purposes, which was to convince their home readership of the legitimacy of their accounts and of the reality of the "curious" customs recorded. This everyday life, which must have been consciously invisible to most Ecuadorians precisely because of its ubiquitous, and therefore "commonsensical" nature, appeared curious, exotic or bizarre to visiting Europeans. Their interest in social types and depictions of picturesque crowd scenes have left detailed records of the occupations and dress of specific social groups in Quito at that time (see Chapter 4) .1:L Space and the fields of cultural production Individual Europeans worked to acquire legitimation within the three fields of cultural production discussed, and gained symbolic capital to the extent that they successfully contributed to the continuity or development of their fields. These sources of cultural and social 11 Cowling has written a fascinating analysis of the relationship between early physical anthropology and popular perceptions of contemporary physiognomical types in paintings of crowd scenes in Victorian England (1989) . 87 authority, however, also constituted influences on the ways in which they would interpret their experiences in Ecuador, as well as on the kinds of experiences they would seek to record. Their personal stake in acquiring symbolic capital within their own fields in Europe conditioned and limited their vision. They were limited even further by their shared acceptance of progress, the future Utopia of world civilization, which few societies except Europeans had actually achieved in the present. Work in any of the three fields involved organizing the social world in Ecuador, by conserving or transforming existing classifications of cultural and physical space, but each of the three fields discussed provided a particular focus onto spatial practice. On the other hand, because accounts written for European audiences, as well as travellers' activities while in Ecuador, often combined the three fields, all three spatial dimensions discussed by Harvey are addressed and developed in the nineteenth century accounts. The field of international politics and diplomacy focused on the representational, or perceptual, dimension of spatial practice through discourses that revolved around issues of nationhood. The very concept of separate nations was legitimated by the presence of separate diplomatic representatives from European nations in Ecuador, whose presence there effectively recognized the existence of Ecuador as an independent political entity with a 88 geographically bounded territory. The vision of this territory was actually rather fuzzy round the edges, because attempts to define the limits of Ecuadorian territory caused perpetual skirmishes during the nineteenth century, and boundary disputes between Ecuador and Peru continue to this day. The material dimension was of particular interest in the field of diplomacy because the political presence of European representatives existed in order to diminish space through international trade, in the form of Ecuadorian resource exploitation and the importation of European produce.12 This objective created the need to transform existing classifications of space in order to create efficient transport and communication systems between the coastal port of Guayaquil and the highland capital, the administration centre of Quito. The competition between European nations to establish preferred trade relations with Ecuador involved bids to claim exclusionary zones for resource extraction: the Amazonian lowlands were one area of dispute, as were the Galapagos islands, and the British actually obtained a section of land on the northeastern coastline in exchange for unpaid debts (Thoron 1983 :143,195,205) . 12 The 2 6 Europeans who are the focus of this study were not directly involved in commerce themselves as far as I know, but their work in diplomacy, natural sciences and social description laid the groundwork for others to do so with the help of trade agreements, maps, natural resource information, and knowledge of local lifestyles. 89 The academic field of the natural sciences was connected to these economic and political interests because work in this field could establish the existence of valuable natural resources in Ecuador through geographical, geological and botanical studies. Knowledge of physical space also increased the practicability of constructing the roads, bridges, railways, and telegraph systems which would facilitate international trade relations. Individual natural scientists were not necessarily concerned with these eventual consequences of their research, however. Their immediate interests in the material dimensions of space in Ecuador were more experiential, involving exploration, climbing mountains and measuring altitude, latitude, and the physiological effects of these. They were also directly involved in opening and building various scientific institutions in Quito by mid-century. The representational dimension of the natural sciences involved discourse which revolved around objectivity as the goal for representing natural space. The problem of objectivity arose in all their representations whether they were maps, landscape paintings, or the classification of botanical and geological collections. This problem was also an issue in popular narratives. Realism was the key word in the representations of travel writing, both textual and visual, because individuals working in this field were interested in representing a place which both they and their readers perceived as exotic, and essentially irrational, so realism was an essential legitimizing device. The material dimension of spatial practice in the field of popular travel writing focused on the actual experience of daily life in Ecuador: what it was like to travel along existing roads, the quality of accommodation, the impression produced by built environments, and the particulars of encounters with individual Ecuadorians as they moved from place to place. Travel writing also specialized in one dimension of spatial practice which was almost entirely ignored by the others. Travel writers were particularly interested in the spaces of representation which existed in Ecuador at the time, and in the social activities through which symbolic spatial barriers were created. Their focus on everyday life in the streets, squares and markets of Quito, and on who di what at which time and place, resulted in thick ethnographi descriptions of the politics of local space. They were also interested in places of popular spectacle where Ecuadorians represented themselves to each other, such as the central plaza during bullfights and religious processions. Other spaces of ritual symbolism were also described, like the churches, or the gradual appearance of commemorative monuments. Bearing in mind the conditions, limitations and possibilities of the symbolic capital they sought to acquire, we can join the travellers on the west coast of 91 South America as they began their quest to observe and classify a new world. 92 CHAPTER 2 Such a distance to the centre The Pacific Steam Navigation Company was a British institution, founded by an American, William Wheelwright. This company had the monopoly of passenger transportation on the west coast of South America from the 1840s to the end of the century. One set of vessels ran from Panama to Valparaiso in Chile, where a change was made to another set built for heavy seas, which travelled through the Straits of Magellan, via Rio de Janeiro, to Liverpool. The ships that voyaged down the west coast were built for fair weather with open decks. They stopped at thirty eight ports stipulated by the company's contracts with South American states and the British government. One of these was Guayaquil, eight hundred and sixteen miles (four days) south of Panama. Guayaquil was the commercial port of Ecuador and according to Curtis x(1888:299) , the most important port on the west coast next to Callao in Peru, and Valparaiso in Chile. This British steamship company was the commercial means by which most Europeans reached Ecuador during the nineteenth century. Adrian Terry travelled before the steamers, by schooner from Panama to Guayaquil in 1832. Edward Stanley was the first to mention the South Pacific 1 William Elroy Curtis, an American, was Special Commissioner of the United States to Central and South America in 1887, and served as first director of the International Bureau of the American Republics (later the Pan American Union) between 1890 and 1893. 93 Mail in 1850, and the steamer "Peru" on which he travelled to Guayaquil; in 1886, Marcel Monnier also travelled with that company. There were others who travelled by means which were more politically conspicuous. Kerret arrived with a French naval fleet in 1853 on a political mission, and Almagro travelled with the Spanish navy in 1864. By 1904, there were several shipping lines visiting Guayaquil, the main ones being the Pacific Steam, the Chilean Compania Sud-Americana de Vapores, and the German Companie Kosmos (Delebecque 1907:32). The physical friction of distance life is never entirely free of such restrictive impingements as the physical friction of distance. The impress of this 'first nature' is not naively and independently given, however, for its social impact always passes through a 'second nature' that arises from the organized and cumulative application of human labour and knowledge (Soja 1989: 121) . Many European travellers were interested to observe and record everyday life in their accounts for popular audiences, but as foreign outsiders this focus was necessarily based on the experience of distance, both geographical and cultural. Whether specific European observers came to Ecuador as scientists, diplomats or social observers, they all shared every traveller's experience of geographical distance, of going somewhere beyond the boundaries of their own society. As Helms suggests, the symbolic significance of this experience is bound up with 94 the confrontation of uncertainty, with some degree of obstacle, and its association with concepts of the unknown "where geographical distance and its cultural contrasts may merge with temporal distance and its cultural contrasts" (Helms 1988: 57-64). The travellers embarked on a voyage which brought them not only to a different material space or territory, but also to a different way of organizing and thinking about that space. Their reactions to the radical effects of this distanciation were part of their experience of exoticism which the travellers were concerned with recording in their accounts for their European reading public. Many Europeans' first experience on arrival in Ecuador was the necessity of travelling from Guayaquil the main port on the coast, to Quito the nation's capital in the highlands, and the effort involved in undertaking this journey during the nineteenth century was therefore their first experience of "the physical friction of distance" in Ecuador. This experience included what Harvey has defined as the material spatial practices and interactions "that occur in and across space in such a way as to assure production and social reproduction" (1990: 218) . Eleven European travellers described that route between 1830 and 1886.2 It was the most direct means of reaching 2 D'Orbigny, Osculati, Stanley, Holinski, Kerret, Pfeiffer, Avendaho, Spruce, Almagro, Whymper, Monnier. I also referred to earlier and later travellers (Stevenson, Petrocokinco, Meyer, Delebecque, Mann), as well three 95 Quito, unless the traveller were coming south from Colombia or north from Peru along the highland corridor.3 The fact that twenty versions were written (including accounts written before or after those dates, or by non-Europeans) describing the same route and similar experiences, provides grounds for checking individual bias as well as for collating disparate ethnographic facts which could tell a detailed story of contemporary conditions. This possibility is augmented by the fact that Europeans' experience was communicated through the aims and methods of realism, with its focus on the observation of everyday life.4 Although I am proposing that the attributes of space and its social organization can be objectively described in a specific context, this objectivity may construct the appearance of a consensus which does not exist. Investigation into the diversity of human conceptions and perceptions regarding the meaning of those objective constructs constantly defies attempts to fix, measure, and pin it down: New meanings can be found for older materializations of space and time. We appropriate ancient spaces in very modern ways, treat time and history as something to create rather than accept...Beneath the veneer of common-sense and seemingly 'natural' ideas about space and time, there lie hidden terrains of ambiguity, contradiction, and struggle. Conflicts arise not Americans (Terry, Hassaurek, Orton) and a Colombian (Olano), providing twenty records for comparative purposes. 3 D'Orbigny, Lisboa, Fountain and Andre describe this route. 4 For discussions of the importance of everyday life in theories of literary realism see Jenkins 1978:9; Williams 1978: 265; Swingle 1990: 4-6. 96 merely out of admittedly diverse subjective appreciations, but because different objective material qualities of time and space are deemed relevant to social life in different situations (Harvey 1990: 204-5) . The question is not only whether they adequately described an observable reality. As Soja comments (quoted above 1989:121), the social impact of the physical friction of distance arises from the organized and cumulative application of human labour and knowledge. As I discussed in the previous chapter, the fields of interest in which the Europeans worked involved a specialization of focus which would limit what they recorded, as well as the way they would interpret what they saw. While the popular travel sections of accounts specialized in describing the Europeans' material experience of spatial organization in Ecuador, the natural scientists were concerned to interpret what they saw in terms of objective geographical and botanical regularities. The third specialized interest in international politics turned discussion in the works to the kind of transportation system that should replace the one that actually existed. These special interests tend to preclude any focus on the organization and cumulative application of labour and knowledge that made the existing organization of space a common-sense reality for most people in Ecuador. The Europeans' perceptions of the spatial organization which they experienced on the road to Quito focused more on their attempts to manipulate and appropriate the significance, or 97 meaning, of this established spatial practice, treating it as a history to create rather than understand. It is also necessary, therefore, to examine the ways in which their interpretation of a foreign reality was filtered through their cultural and ideological detachment from the daily life they experienced, in an objectification of the world they saw. It is equally important, however, to leave open the possibility that European travellers attempted, through intentionality or involvement, to cross the cultural distances experienced and learn something about the logic of spatial organization from local peoples' point of view. This chapter explores the relationship in the accounts, between the travellers lived involvement in the journey to Quito and the cultural influences which limited their interpretation of it. The experience described On arrival in Guayaquil, anyone wishing to proceed onwards to the republic's interior had to arrange for transportation fifteen leagues (60 miles) up the river from Guayaquil to Bodegas de Babahoyo (fig.3). Bodegas de Babahoyo was a customs point for goods entering and leaving Guayaquil (Stevenson 1829:257; Avendaho 1985:85) 5, a 5 The most important source of government revenue in Ecuador for the year 1849 was the customs duties collected: $328,000 of a total $792,000 (Stanley 1850: Appendix II). Figure 3. 9 8 (AT V. SCALE OF MAIN MAP) •:i'S&. Map of Ecuador showing route from Guayaquil to Quito. 99 gathering place for commercial agents, mule drivers, porters and travellers, and the main cattle market of the Republic (Stanley 1850: 79). Edward Stanley (Earl of Derby) travelled in an open canoe from Guayaquil to Babahoyo in 1850, as did Ida Pfeiffer in 1854, a trip which took up to two days depending on the tides: "being small and unprovided with either seats or raised planks in the bottom, the only practicable position is that of lying at full length" (Stanley 1850:69). Holinski would have preferred the freedom of travel by canoe in 1851, but was warned about the likelihood of piracy, so he chose to travel by the weekly steamer (1861:62-4), the Ecuadorian naval ship Guayas. Joaquim de Avendano, who came with the Spanish diplomatic mission between 1857 and 1858, also took this first steamer built in South America up the river to Babahoyo. The steamer had been built by an Englishman, which Holinski claimed was badly made, and had been rejected in New Orleans (1861:64). Taking a steamer up the river, however, shortened the trip from two days to eight hours (Hassaurek 1868:69). In 1904, J. Delebecque took a different route altogether, across the river from Guayaquil to Duran where the railway carried travellers up the western slopes of the Andes to Guamote in a few hours.6 Although he could now travel from Guayaquil to Quito in three days, instead of the 6 The train arrived in Quito for the first time on June 25, 1908. eight to twenty-one required by earlier travellers, he described the journey as costly and tiring, a trip that only those obliged to for business reasons should consider undertaking (1907: 34-5). The route from Babahoyo to Quito (26 0 miles) was the commercial lifestream between the highlands and the coast during the nineteenth century. Agricultural produce, imported manufactures, mail, traders, army troops, presidents, mule drivers, porters and private travellers passed each other on this route of sixty eight leagues which was only considered passable for six months of the year, during the dry season between June and November. During the rainy season, mud slides and inclement weather virtually prohibited its use. The unfortunate, but indomitable Ida Pfeiffer arrived in Ecuador in March, 1852, and set off to Quito in the middle of the rainy season despite dire warnings from residents of Babahoyo. The road from Babahoyo to Guaranda, where new mules would be obtained that were acclimatized to the altitude in the highlands, was notoriously treacherous: We had to go much up hill, and the ground was so slippery and sticky that the cattle slipped all sorts of ways, from hole to hole, and from puddle to puddle; it was well when they could find the bottom at all, and struggle out again, for very frequently they went in so deep that it was necessary to dismount, take off their loads, and pull them out (1856:363). Shortly after, Pfeiffer fell into a mud pool herself, and her plight was ignored by the servant she had hired. ...Fortunately one of the arrieros [muledrivers], an Indian, took compassion on me, dragged me out of the pool, and helped me on; but to every league we took two full hours...The country was very fine, and we had splendid glimpses of valleys traversed by hills and imbosomed in mountains (1856:363-4). The route was by no means an easy one even during the dry season. William Stevenson described the same road around 1809 when he accompanied the new (and last) colonial governor of Quito Province, his Excellency Count Ruis de Castilla, on route to his residence in Quito: some places the road ran along a narrow ridge, with a precipice on each side; in others we had to travel along laderas, or narrow skirts of the mountain beaten down by travellers into a path, with a deep valley on one side, and a perpendicular rock on another...To these may be added, that the whole of the road for six leagues is composed of abrupt acclivities or rapid descents, while the track in which the mules tread was composed of deep furrows, called camellones, filled with mud; some of them were more than two feet deep (1829:258-9). The significance of their experience Some travellers focused on what their experience could tell them about the influence of physical geography on social life. The country that Pfeiffer found so splendid, despite her mishap, was the valley of Chimbo, where tropical vegetation was replaced by temperate. For Hassaurek, this was a dividing line which marked the route: We behold another vegetation, another land, another world...It is only the active bustle of progressive life and civilization, the merry smoke-stacks and cheerful modern buildings that are wanting, to make us feel as if at home again, and to lessen the awe inspired by the grim presence of Chimborazo... (1868:42). Hassaurek was not the only one to notice the difference, and other travellers noted the sharp distinctions between the coastal and highland regions, not merely in vegetation but in social life. Stanley commented that the Spanish population was numerically dominant in the coastal region, and that the effects of frequent intercourse with visiting ships and strangers were plainly discernible in their habits. Inland, on the contrary, the Indian population was numerically greater, and The aborigines, cut off from communication with the outside world without (for the passage of the Andes, impracticable at some seasons of the year, is seldom made except by couriers and regular traders between Quito and Guayaquil), retain the habits and manners of life introduced among them by the early Spanish settlers (1850:95). Holinski reached the conclusion that the isolated Ecuadorians of the highlands were completely lacking in any notion of geography, the result, he was sure, of education which was devoted exclusively to the Roman Catholic catechism. When he informed someone that he was a European, the man exclaimed that Holinski was the first European he had ever seen. He did admit that he had indeed met English, French and Spanish people before, but remarked that he had always thought Europe was a different country (1861: 133-4) . Orton also commented in 1867 that the inhabitants of Guaranda "are in happy ignorance of the outside world". This perception of cloistered isolation and primitive habits was apparently shared by members of the social elite in Guayaquil. Holinski was warned by a Guayaquilena that highland women had no idea of civilized manners, and would not be bothered in the least to urinate in front of him (1861:81) . Others focused on how their own experience compared with that of earlier Europeans, and the relationship between objective conditions and the experience of the sublime. Manuel de Almagro contrasted the "dangerous, uncomfortable and inhospitable route" with the romantic wonder stimulated by marvels of a nature which amaze the soul, enthuse the spirit, and demonstrate that the artificial creations of man are small and ridiculous next to those which nature, mother of all things beautiful and all things sublime, produces through a thousand amazing mechanisms. Whatever fatigue or inconvenience may be caused by this wretched journey, they are generously repaid by the magnificent panorama which one enjoys along the entire road... (1866:80). Alexandre Holinski commented that he had found the difficulties he had been warned of exaggerated: "it seemed to me that I had only undertaken an agreeable outing" (1861:133). He also reproached earlier geographers (probably Humboldt) with misleading him: he had expected to see Quito from a distance in the midst of eleven snow peaks, but discovered that the eleven peaks were not all visible at one time, and Quito itself was only partially visible between the ravines and hillsides that broke it up. Richard Spruce was convinced that scientific explorations had been almost entirely limited to the central plain of the highlands because of the difficulties of getting about and procuring provisions (1908 [1859]: 221). He was too engrossed in his botanical pursuits, however, to question why: What is called the "road" consists of I know not how many deep ruts, crossing and anastomosing in a very bewildering way, and so muddy and slippery that my horse preferred stumbling along among the hassocks of paja blanca (white grass) - a species of Stipa with feather-like silvery panicles tinged with rose (1859:231). Spruce's interest in botanical detail apparently caused him to overlook larger aspects of the landscape: Edward Whymper later criticized his report that the western slopes of Mt. Chimborazo led continuously to the Pacific, even though he was admittedly the "best authority" in the area (1987:12). Whymper was mainly interested in verifying and challenging previous scientific findings, and he criticized existing local maps of Ecuador (Maldonado 1745, and Villavicencio 1858) for their inaccurate representation of the mountain range between Guaranda and the coast. He found the earlier maps so unsatisfactory that he decided to begin afresh and make his own route map, with details from my own observations (principally angles taken with a transit theodolite) except such courses of rivers as are given in dotted lines. Many of my names will not be found in earlier maps, and in the positions both of towns and mountains I frequently differ from my predecessors (1987: 17). At other times travellers were more interested in interpreting the political implications of the spatial organization that existed at the time. Although the road improved after reaching Guaranda and the highland corridor {callejon, as it was described locally (Spruce 1908 [1859]:224)), Pfeiffer did not think highly of attempts by the new governments to create infrastructures that would bind the nation together: Not even close to the capital does the present Government of this country pay any attention to either roads or bridges, and, if you find here and there a bit of road better than usual, or a solid stone bridge, you may be quite sure it dates from the time of the Spaniards (1856:378). Agreeing with Pfeiffer, Joaquim de Avendafio blamed the condition of the roads on government and public indifference in an area on which national progress depended (1985:272). Ernest Charton disagreed with Pfeiffer that the Spaniards had been constructive, and blamed them for vandalizing the superb Inca roads which had been built in a straight line from Cuzco to Quito (1867:406). Edward Stanley was also impressed by the remains of the Inca road, and interpreted its existence in an interesting way: We are in the habit of considering the Indians, previous to their discovery by Spain, as a people absolutely secluded from all others, and ignorant of the existence of nations beyond the sea. Yet if this were so, what motive had they for carrying their great line of communication over ground the most difficult...Nothing except the fear of maritime invasion... (1850:115-6) Although accounts of the route to Quito are biased by the demands of exoticism, natural science and theories of progress, the travellers' perceptions of highland isolation were based on historical facts. In terms of spatial practice, the poor physical conditions of the main connecting link between the highlands and the coast were empirical evidence of the tenuous symbolic nature of that connection. Spatial organization in Ecuador Although the travellers interpreted their lived experience through assumptions and influences brought with them from Europe, their descriptive accounts of that experience provide the empirical basis on which ethnographic questions may be asked which they did not. It is in this way that European accounts may be read, not merely to learn about the travellers, but also to learn from them. We can learn from the accounts' empirical descriptions of the route to Quito, by recognizing the fundamental question which the descriptions raise without addressing: given the fact that the route to Quito did not meet the perceived requirements (from the point of view of European observers and Ecuadorian politicians 7) of an efficient infrastructure between 7 Whymper mentions the history of a route from Esmeraldas on the north coast of Ecuador to Quito, which had been a source of political wishful thinking since 1641 (Stevenson 1829:354-357). Stevenson had been commissioned to re-explore the route in 1809, in the hopes that a less circuitous route could be opened between the capital and the highlands and coast, what were the everyday spatial perceptions and practices which created the conditions experienced by the travellers? There were several reasons for this highland isolation. The mules who carried loads along the highland corridor were not used to continue the trip to the coast because their physique could not stand up to the rapid change in altitude. Human beings acclimatized to high altitudes were similarly discomfited by the change. The Spanish colonists recognized this fact, because they found it unprofitable in terms of human labour to attempt to colonize indigenous people from the highlands in coastal areas, and resorted instead to the importation of African slaves.8 Nineteenth century Europeans were also aware of the physical effects of low atmospheric pressure, and most experienced them personally when they reached the paramo area of Chimborazo on their way to Quito. Stanley found that attempting to walk produced instant loss of breath, and a choking sensation (1850:93). Pfeiffer was more severely affected, writing "I was oppressed by a feeling of terror coast, which was less injurious to business. It was not, in other words, lack of political desire which was responsible for poor communication between highland and coast. Whymper commented in 1880, however, that the northern route had never come into general use. 8 Slavery was legally, if not practically, abolished in Ecuador in 1852. Indigenous people were not classified as slaves, so the legislation did not address their condition. European observers were quick to point out this omission, and were scathing in their assessments of the conditions of the "free Indian" (Pfeiffer 1856:389; Holinski 1861:83; Charton 1867:415; Almagro 1866:90; Kolberg 1977 [1876] :196; Andre 1883:388). and anxiety, my breath failed me, my limbs trembled, and I utterly dreaded every moment that I should sink down utterly exhausted;..." (1856:370). European interest in these effects was directed more towards their scientific value than towards understanding the ecological limitations on local use of space. Whymper's scientific rationale for travelling to Ecuador was to ascertain the heights at which the effects of altitude begin to manifest themselves (1987: intro.), but he did not apply this interest to understanding the logic of local life. Nor were these effects only experienced by foreigners: Pfeiffer remarked that the feeling was common, and was called veta, lasting for a few days or a few weeks (1856:370). Alcide d'Orbigny apparently made a postmortem examination of "some" highland Indians, and found their lungs to be of "extraordinary dimensions" (Orton 1870:95), a physiological phenomenon related to living at high altitudes. There were other reasons for limited connections between highland and coast. The regional relations of both Spanish colonialism and Inca imperialism were biased in a north-south direction with two main routes, one along the coast, and the other along the highland corridor, which connected Quito with the central administrative centres to the south, in Lima and Cuzco (Cobo 1979 [1653] :226-7) . Smaller local routes connected these royal roads {caminos reales) for trade with different ecological zones and with local population centres 9. Kingman, Goetchel and Mantilla have recently criticized the contemporary academic studies concerned with communication routes in Ecuador, because of their exclusive focus on "national society" and the connections between the highlands and exportation ports on the coast (1989:357-8). In nineteenth century accounts too, Paul Fountain was the only European who discussed the existence of local, unofficial routes within Ecuador. This was perhaps because he was the only one who travelled as "a poor man and a wanderer" through Ecuador in the 1880s, and entered the country "by the back door" because he wanted to avoid interference or supervision by the authorities: ... I think it is possible that there are several more or less dangerous and difficult passes over the mountains, known only to thieves and contrabandistas. There is at least one; for I myself crossed it, under the guidance of three individuals whose character might have been truly judged from their personal appearance (1902: 206-7). European travellers appeared quite unaware that the increase in international relations which followed Ecuadorian independence (and which was responsible for their presence in Ecuador) would have repercussions in many areas of daily life. The first half century of Ecuadorian independence was a period of profound economic crisis and 9 See Ecuador: del espacio al estado nacional (Deler 1987) for an analysis of the history of political and economic organization of national territory in Ecuador. restructuring. A report from the Commission of Agriculture to the national Congress in 1843, states that local markets were collapsing under the influx of foreign products which were replacing indigenous manufactures (in Kingman et al 1989:359-60). This collapse in local trade contributed to the poor conditions of local connecting routes, and was the beginning of the bilateral emphasis on relations between Quito and Guayaquil (1989: 360). Curtis wrote in 1886 that It seems almost impossible that any American goods would, after undergoing such a tremendous carriage [as the transport between coast and highlands], compete with native manufactures, however crude, in Quito, and yet they do. Nearly all the furniture in use in that city is brought from the United States in separate parts and put together on arrival; and in that, the highest and oldest city in America, many people sleep on Grand Rapids beds (1888:315). Spatial organization in the highlands at the beginning of the nineteenth century had been constructed around regional market centres inherited from the Spanish colonial administration. Nearly all settlements of asiento or higher administrative status had markets (Riobamba, Ambato and Latacunga being the three major towns in the central highlands). Bromley and Bromley (1975:92-4) argue that the physical distances between market centres deterred the development of mobile trade, and that the pattern of colonial economy was regional and local, largely self sufficient, and dominated by the urban centres. The increase in population and urbanization during the nineteenth century in the central highlands generally, as well as in the cities of Quito and Guayaquil 10 , contributed to the development of increased inter-regional trade. Relative isolation and lack of encompassing state power was an appropriate spatial reality for many local inhabitants of the highlands. It afforded greater personal power to local elites such as the hacienda owners, wealthy merchants, and the clergy, and greater self-sufficiency for indigenous populations who still lived in independent communities, a population which made up a total of 54% of indigenous tribute payers at the end of the colonial period in 1804 (Oberem 1981:346)). Edward Stanley referred to the independent Indian communities in his account: ...they openly maintain their old independence, allowing no white man to enter their villages, and even within fifty miles of the capital defying the whole power of the government to subdue them;...Those of the plains - the tame Indians as the Missionaries used appropriately to call them - are free in name, but in name only. The land on which they live belongs to their master, who takes his rents chiefly in labour, and moreover generally contrives to keep them in his debt (1850:96) Progress on the Royal Road The local name for the main route which they travelled from Bodegas de Babahoyo to Quito was Camino Real (Royal 10 The population in the central highlands increased from 156,00 in 1814 to 196,100 in the 1840s and 242,00 in 1875. Quito had a population of about 28,000 in 1780, rising to about 52,000 in 1906 (Bromley and Bromley 1975:94). Road), a source of sarcastic humour for several travellers.11 Whymper commented that Although republican Ecuadorians have done much levelling, and amongst other things have abolished titles of nobility, they have omitted to level their roads, and cling with curious tenacity to the pompous title of this primitive track...the Royal road was just such a beaten track as may be seen on many English commons (1987:8-9). His comment about the commons was closer than he knew, however. The first republican government's efforts to address the condition of public roads in 183 0, stated that the inhabitants of each canton, whether resident or not, should be responsible for repairing bridges and roads with their own personal service of four days labour per person, but that they need not exceed three leagues on either side of the community of residence (quoted in Kingman et al 1989:361, my emphasis). It was in this document that the new national state made its first bid for centralizing control over local use of space, but they focused first on built environments. The routes between local communities were in fact similar to the tracks crossing the English commons which Whymper referred to: available for public use without government administrative control. More inclusive state control of space was not claimed until a new law was 11 "Leaving the Arenal, we rapidly descended by the usual style of road - stone stairs. But down we went, as all goods for Quito "the grand capital', have done since the Spanish conquest. The old road from Beirut to Damascus is royal in comparison" (Orton 1870:51). "...the mountain streams that poured in a most disrespectful manner over this 'Royal Road' were intensely cold" (Pfeiffer 1856:366). issued in 1848, and the upkeep of roads connecting one province with another was assigned funds provided by those who preferred to contribute their personal service in money rather than labour (Kingman et al 1989: 362) . The reference to residents in the 183 0 decree presumes knowledge of a historically significant distinction inherited from the colonial period, which differentiated between the vecinos (residents) and the majority of the indigenous population (Fuentealba 1983:58). In the sixteenth century, the title of resident {vecino) or citizen { was the privilege of those who made a petition to the local town council {cabildo), promising to reside in the city for five years under orders of the king of Spain, and obliging them to serve and defend the community with offensive and defensive arms, horses, and infantry. The aspiring vecino also had to give a security bond to the town council (Andrade Marin 1934:233). The inclusion of all inhabitants, whether resident or not, in the personal service required by law in 183 0, resulted in inequities for members of the indigenous population. They also had to pay another form of tax, called the contribucion personal (personal contribution).12 A new law was passed in 1850 attempting to rectify this situation with a clause stating that indigenes who customarily paid the personal contribution were only required to contribute 12 This replaced the earlier colonial tribute {mita) in 1815 (Ackerman 1977:78) half the labour required of "inhabitants" for personal service (Costales y Costales Samaniego 1964:627);13 those indigenes who possessed personal property worth more than a thousand pesos were exempt from the personal contribution, but would be subject to the normal public works decreed for vecinos. (Costales y Costales Samaniego 1964:631) In practice, it was mainly indigenous labour anyway that was involved in the upkeep of roads and bridges. The class basis of the 1830 decree is evident in the inclusion of a clause which stated that the public works required could be contributed by the residents' servants, or alternatively by wages or food for free labourers hired to substitute for the resident. It seems that indigenous people were also forced to subsidize landowners' personal income, because another law was passed in 184 9 forbidding landowners, whose property bounded the public roads, from charging indigenes whose animals grazed on the roadways as they travelled (Costales y Costales Samaniego 1964:625). The most sweeping changes were brought in during the 1860s by President Garcia Moreno, who intended to bring order and progress to the organization of national space. He published the "Lei de regimen municipal" in 1861 (EN, 2 0 de junio, No.45, 1861), in which he effectively took state control of the town councils, codifying their function, their employees and their sources of income. One of these 13 The contribucion personal was redefined at the same time as an annual contribution of three pesos by highland indigenes between the ages of eighteen and fifty years. sources was the contribucion subsidiaria, as the personal service for public works came to be known, which could be paid in cash equivalent to four days' work. Garcia Moreno also issued the "Lei de division territorial" in the same month (EN 11 de junio, No.44. 1861), which codified the division and demarcation of national space, "in order to facilitate political and municipal administration." The state took increasing responsibility for public works as the century progressed: 20,000 pesos from government funds were spent up to 1859, 130,000 by 1865, and 400,000 by 1871 (Fuentealba 1983). In 1862, it was decreed that the contribucion subsidiaria be paid in money by all Ecuadorians, without distinction, including indigenous people as well as citizens (Costales y Costales Samaniego 1964:699). It was not until 1895, that this contrijbucidn subsidiaria was legally abolished (Costales y Costales Samaniego 1964:723). There had always been resistance to the practice, both from vecinos and the indigenous population (Fuentealba 1983:59; Ackerman 1977:111-147). James Orton's is the first travel account to mention the new carriage road from Latacunga to Quito in 1867, which was built through the state organized public works program under President Garcia Moreno's administration. He termed it "very fine" (1870:54). In 1879, Whymper travelled the road which had reached further south to the infamous tambo of Chuquipoquio, and noted that its great width was a mistake: it was used almost entirely as a mule-track, and due to neglect in keeping this "excellent" road in repair, it would be impassable for carriages within two years anyway (1987:90). Further north, the road had been erased by the volcanic eruption of Cotopaxi in 1877, and Scarcely a person was seen between Latacunga and Callo, for the arrieros (who form almost the whole of the travelling population of the country) prefer the old road on the left bank (eastern side), as this is more elevated above the stream, and has contiguous rising ground to which they can escape in case of inundation (1987:99). Attempts by the government to introduce progressive changes in the route were successively challenged by natural and social conditions. New ideologies take time to accept and their development and implementation in everyday practice is an uneven process. In 1886, Marcel Monnier commented that the only paved road in Ecuador remained unfinished, and that it had become hard to find in places, as a result of civil wars (1890:51). He refused to travel in the weekly carriage which hurtled from Ambato to Quito in a mere forty-eight hours, preferring to ride more safely by horse. Even in 1904, J. Delebecque commented that although the railway had now reached the highlands and Quito was beginning to wake up to the outside world, most merchandise still went by the old route (1907:65). Why did European observers not seek out local assumptions about spatial organization and practice which might have helped them to understand road conditions from Ecuadorian points of view? Clearly, because their main intentions were not to understand local meanings - they used their experience of cultural and geographic distanciation to measure life in Ecuador against European standards, for a European readership interested, (as they were), in natural science, exoticism and progress. They also had a personal interest in any form of "progress" that might shorten the distance between Guayaquil and Quito. For every progressive step made in the route, European travellers could travel in greater personal comfort (except for those like Paul Fountain, without the influence of wealth, class or professional affiliation). Each time they reached a regional market centre inhabited by local white elites, they were able to find a reception and living conditions which more closely approximated their expectations of personal comfort. Crossing distances: the arrieros The existence of cheap human labour to carry loads and supervise the cargo mules made it possible for members of the Ecuadorian elite to avoid much travel on the Royal Road themselves. Although presidents and diplomats, as well as wealthy highlanders returning from trips abroad, travelled the route when necessary, it was the porters and mule-drivers who had to make their living from regular travel to and from the coast. 118 Hassaurek describes the functions performed by the arrieros (mule drivers): accompanying travellers and their baggage, driving mule teams loaded with goods sent by merchants to and from the highlands, and obeying recquisitions for government use in which all the beasts that are within reach are seized and impounded, and the best selected by the managing officer. The compensation paid to the owner, provided he gets any, is then determined by the government, and not by the arriero (1868:26-7). This practice continued throughout the nineteenth century, a point verified by examining letters of complaint to the government (CO No.93, 1850; LC 1877, Archivo Nacional de Historia). In one case for instance, orders were sent to Chillogallo, the arriero centre nearest Quito, requisitioning mules for government troops. These orders were repeatedly ignored, because earlier requisitions of mules had not been returned to their owners (LC No.338, January 4, 6, 10, 23, 24, 1877). There was no way that visiting foreigners could get themselves and their baggage up the mountains to Quito without the help of an arriero and his mules. They were forced into the company of men whose lives were radically distant from their own, depending on them to find food and shelter as they crossed the rural areas of the highlands. The travellers' lives were quite literally in the hands of these men, on whom they often had to depend completely. A travellers' rumour recorded by Pfeiffer, and repeated by Hassaurek, reflects the unease produced by awareness of this dependence: ...others consider the stones as the memorial of a murder committed here some years ago on an Englishman, who undertook to cross the Chimborazo accompanied by only a single arriero. Perhaps he might have done so in safety, had he not had the imprudence, on all occasions when there was anything to pay, to display a purse well filled with gold. This glittering temptation the guide could not withstand, and when he found himself alone with the unfortunate traveler in this solitary region, he struck him a fatal blow on the back of the head...(Pfeiffer 1856:371). One of the first difficulties travellers encountered was finding the services of an arriero, which appears to have been a perpetual problem in both Babahoyo and Guaranda. When Gaeteno Osculati thought he had eventually succeeded, his departure was soon delayed again because of the arrival of an official with a government dispatch who laid claim to the mules that Osculati had arranged (1854:26-7). Osculati considered this very arrogant behaviour towards a European, but was not in a position to dispute the official's claim. Some of the travellers availed themselves of influential local officials to obtain mules and arrieros. Manuel de Almagro of the Spanish Scientific Commission got his through government recommendations, and Edward Whymper's were supplied through the local authorities at Guaranda. Ida Pfeiffer hired a man as a personal servant to accompany her to Quito, agreeing to pay for a mule for himself but not for his baggage, which was considerable. He turned out to be a trader on route to Quito, and charged her for an extra mule anyway, although she was relieved that the charge for a mule to Quito was only ten dollars (1856:362). She mentions that a load of 8-10 arrobas (about 250 pounds) was usually put on a mule or horse, and 5-6 on a donkey (1856:373). Hassaurek confirmed this (although Whymper thought the load was usually more than 3 00 pounds), adding that the traveller was expected to pay fodder for the saddle horse, while the arriero fed the beasts of burden (1868:24). Payment of the full amount was asked in advance, and could not be altered without considerable argument. Marcel Monnier hired a mule driver in 1886 who wrote out and signed a contract for him, promising to take him safe and sound with three beasts to Ambato (60 leagues distant), for the sum of thirty three pesos (1890:33). After successfully hiring the services of a mule driver in Babahoyo, the travellers set off for the Camino Real and Guaranda, where they would have to repeat the same process in order to acquire new mules for the highland road. Once on the route, the travellers found themselves in an unfamiliar world, the locus of arrieros' daily life. What would constitute an extraordinary experience for them, was a source of livelihood, familiarity and expertise for the mule drivers: Champagne assorted with iron bedsteads seemed to travel well, while sheets of corrugated iron laid flat across the backs of donkeys gave rise to much bad language in narrow places. Coming down from the interior, on the way to the coast, we met numerous teams, often twenty or thirty in a troop, bringing huge bales of quinine bark, accompanied by gangs of unkempt Indians, who humbly doffed their hats as they passed by... (Whymper 1987:8). Although it was the arrieros' world, this does not mean that social distinctions were not recognizable and acknowledged. The rich rode rather than walked,14 they wore thick boots and warm clothes, and the most foresightful brought provisions to eat on the route. Nonetheless, as some of the Europeans acknowledged, the arrieros were better equipped for the journey than themselves. Bare feet were often essential in order to climb slippery slopes or cross rapidly flowing rivers (Stanley 1850:79; Pfeiffer 1856:366), it was often necessary to walk rather than ride (Pfeiffer 1856:372; Avendano 1985:95), and the arrieros knew how to find shelter where there were no local whites to provide hospitality to the travellers for the night (Hassaurek 1868:59). Some of the travellers accepted their dependence with equanimity, as did Stanley, Pfeiffer and Monnier: worthy arriero, who had a mind for a holiday, assur[ed] me that no cattle could be obtained until tomorrow for love or money. I did not believe, but submitted with the better grace, because the temptations of rest and cleanliness are doubly felt after a journey like that which we had made (Stanley 1850:85) . 14 Some of them were carried, but this practice, common in Colombia (d'Orbigny 1853:101) and on the route from the highlands to the Amazon (Muratorio 1991:28) does not seem to have been a frequent practice between Guayaquil and Quito. The only instances described by Europeans in the accounts, were the decision to carry Joaquin de Avendano's sick daughter in a hammock for part of the journey (1985:95), and Whymper's journey on a stretcher to Ambato when he took ill (1987:87). Others were more ambiguous in their reactions, and Whymper, who had several battles of will with arrieros and porters (1987:39,60,62,63) personally begrudged them their ability to get by at his expense. When the hired mules and Indian guides disappeared overnight from one of his camps, he commented that "the arrieros could afford to take it cooly, as the hire of their animals had been paid in advance" (1987:42) . Regardless of their personal reactions to this dependence, arrieros and travellers were briefly, but mutually, involved in a journey which demanded that cultural and social distance be temporarily crossed. Meeting mules and their drivers coming in the opposite direction was a welcome relief on the often empty road, and they provided information as to what lay ahead: ..we ask the arrieros whom we meet, "como esta el cerro?" ("How is the mountain?") and their shivering reply, "Savoroso"[sic] ("Savory"), tells us that worse is to follow (Hassaurek 1868:53) Witnessing the mule-drivers' lives, and being forced to share in it, travellers discovered an empathy and respect for these men which would not otherwise have been possible. They climbed mountains which the mule-drivers called small hills (Terry 1834:120), they witnessed arrieros save mules from certain death by dragging them from torrential rivers (Stanley 1850:78) or by instant veterinary action (Monnier 1890:39), and shared briefly in lives of minimal comfort and great hardship (Pfeiffer 1856:373). The arriero system of transportation was instituted during the colonial period, and appeared to remain substantially the same until the end of the nineteenth century. Juan and Ulloa, the Spanish scientists and social critics who accompanied the French Scientific Mission to the Andes between 1735 and 1746, describe the mule repartimiento 15 in some areas of Peru, and the abuses that existed at this time (1978: 80-83). Corregidores (administrators of a province) in regions where there was trade from one province to another bought mules from breeding sites in lots of 5-600 beasts. They then assigned four or six mules to the Indians in a corregimiento,16 charging more than double the price paid, and compelling them to accept the ones assigned whatever their condition. The Indians were not allowed to make their own transactions for hire, but were obliged to obtain the corregidor's approval and involvement first. Travellers requiring mules, went first to the corregidor, who then sent word to the Indians who owed most 15 A repartimiento {repartir - to divide up or hand out) was a geographical division of the colonial provinces, and became an administrative unit equivalent to the early encomiendas {encomendar - to give in charge or entrust). An encomienda denoted all the people assigned to a Spaniard, who was charged with converting them to Catholicism in return for the privilege of using their labour as he saw fit (Spalding 1984:46-7). 16 The corregimientos were a state-controlled administrative system which gradually replaced the sixteenth and seventeenth century encomiendas, as the latter gradually relapsed to the Spanish Crown. Corregidores were interposed between the personal power of encomenderos and the Indians in their geographical division. on their debt. The corregidor collected the rental fee, kept half for the debt owed, paid one quarter back to the traveller to pay for food for the muleteers and animals on route, and one quarter to pay the owner of the mules, the day labourers and the muleteers needed to drive the animals. The similarities between this system and that described by nineteenth century travellers are obvious, but it is not clear how the system worked without a repartimiento system, or how the practice continued after national independence. What, for instance, was the relationship between Gil, the mule driver who lived in San Jose de Chimbo, and the curate of the same village who was "principal horse-jockey and trader" (Terry 1834:120), and owned the mules Gil drove? Did Juan Maria live in Guaranda (Stanley 1850:78), and did he own his own mules? What was the relationship between independent mule-drivers and Sr. Badillo, the owner of the only inn in Guaranda in 1857 (Avendaho 1985:95), which was also the consignment house for freight to the coast and the interior? What happened to F-, the arriero from Guaranda who was arrested without evidence by Whymper's assistant in 1880 (1987: 62-3) under suspicion of stealing? What was the role of the hacienda Galtes in Riobamba which belonged to the "Peres Redemptoristes" (Monnier 1890:43) and which raised large numbers of mules and horses? What happened to the arrieros after 1903 when Hans Meyer commented that they hung around like "proletarians" (1983:66), having lost their means of livelihood after the railway reached Guamote? 17 The arrieros' stories remain to be told, but the travellers introduced them as a key group in the Ecuadorian economy, responsible for facilitating contact between the highland region and the coast. They are also amongst the few people that the Europeans describe by name, rather than by racial category. The accounts of these intense, albeit brief interactions with arrieros have left records which raise important questions concerning the transition from colonial social and administrative organization to those of a republican and democratic state. Answers to the specific ethnohistorical questions raised above could tell us more about the relationship between the privileges accorded Spaniards through the colonial administrative regulation of corregimientos and repartimientos and their continuity in the republican period, as well as the opportunities which existed for arrieros to work within the existing systems for personal profit. European observers' attempts to cross the cultural distances were not necessarily particularly successful, but my objective was to make a point which tends to be overlooked in ideological critiques of cultural colonialism. 17 I was unable to find any answers in the archives of Quito, and limitations of time and focus prevented me from pursuing the issue further. I expect that local archives in Guaranda and Chillogallo would be the place to start. Europeans' interpretations of their travel experience were limited by the focus of their specialized interests and ideologies, but the experience was not conducted entirely on their own terms, and they were frequently forced into situations in which it was the "Other" who defined the context, and they had no choice but to acquiesce. The route to Quito was a great leveller of social influence: there were limited ways in which fame or fortune could be used to manoeuvre a more comfortable means of covering the distance during the first 70 years of the nineteenth century. Considering their minimal understanding of the local significance of established spatial organization in the highlands, or of the history of organized labour and knowledge which explained the logic of that practice, it may be hard to imagine that Europeans could have acquired any symbolic power in Ecuador: their vision of that world did not appear to match local perceptions of reality. Unless, that is, one includes the repeated government attempts to take control of local practices and to begin the modernization of the old Royal road. On the other hand, the vision which they proposed was based on reality; what they altered was the significance of that reality. Bourdieu, however, also proposed another condition on which symbolic power is based, and which has to be met in order to achieve legitimation: the possession of social authority. 127 CHAPTER 3 Locality and Social Influence Cultural imperialism can be defined as a historical process in which members of a dominant society or nation impose their vision of the world upon members of another. In order to examine the possible cultural imperialism of Europeans in Ecuador, I have argued that it is important to distinguish between the travellers in terms of their fields of cultural production in Europe. These constituted historical limits on the vision they would produce, as well as on the social authority they could possess. It is equally important to distinguish between the members of the society in which this cultural imperialism is supposed to take place, because the Europeans may have carried influence with some groups and not others. In this chapter, I ask the reader to continue with the travellers on their journey to Quito, but with a different focus. Instead of examining their experience and interpretation of "the physical friction of distance" on the Royal road, I shall focus on the extent and limit of their social influence in specific locales as they travelled along the highland corridor between Guaranda and Quito.x 1 The chapter is based on fourteen accounts (Stevenson, Terry, Stanley, Holinski, Pfeiffer, Avendafio, Charton, Hassaurek, Orton, Whymper, Delebecque, Monnier, Festa, and Meyer) and enlarged upon through other sources where possible. Highland Ecuador was not an undifferentiated social space. Particularly in the first half of the century, it was organized in terms of relatively isolated social islands dominated by the regional market centres of Riobamba, Ambato and Latacunga. Guaranda was a hub of social activity because it was the place where lowland mules were exchanged for highland ones. At the top of this spatial hierarchy was Quito, which had always been the colonial administrative centre for the former Audiencia of Quito, and which became the national capital at independence. This hierarchical and symbolic organization of space in the highlands was put into everyday practice through social relations and divisions. I address the question of the travellers' social influence through an analysis of their reception in these three hierarchically defined social spaces which had been created in Ecuador during the colonial period: the symbolically empty rural space between urban centres, the regional urban centres which were both administrative and market towns, and finally Quito, the administrative hub of the highlands, and new national capital. This focus makes it possible to compare the differences between the reception offered by different classes of rural and urban inhabitants in the highlands, as well as the changes in accommodation over the century which had consequences for the travellers' social relations in Ecuador. I argue that it was only amongst members of a small but powerful landowning class in Quito, that Europeans found recognition and social influence based on their own fields of interest. Elsewhere, what hospitality they received was based more on their association with this Ecuadorian social class, than on their own symbolic capital. The rural tambos European social influence was at its lowest and least effective in the rural areas. The only type of accommodation that travellers encountered in the rural areas along the route were the infamous tambos, a Quichua word for rest (Holinski 1861:80). Travellers commented in unison on the misery of these huts, comparing them to pig-sties (Pfeiffer 1856:373; Whymper 1987:11) and hovels (Pfeiffer 1856:363; Delebecque 1907:107): The inside of these hovels is without flooring; the ground is wet and muddy, notwithstanding the poor roof which covers it, and the inmates are filthy and besotted. These huts are without furniture, and almost always filled with smoke. The open space before them is a deep and muddy pool, worn by the hoofs of mules and horses (Hassaurek 1868:52). Holinski compared them to the caravansaries of Asia, houses where travellers found shelter but nothing else: food had to be found, or brought with their baggage (1861:80) . Pfeiffer appeared to disagree: How differently do the Turks, the Persians, the Hindoos, even the cannibal Battakers of Sumatra, provide for the wants of the wayfarer. In the caravansaries of the former, in the serais of the Hindoos, there is one room for the traveler and another for his attendants, besides a covered stable for the cattle. The Battakers have erected in every village a soppo, which is open without exception to natives and strangers, and in neither case is there any thing to pay (1856:373-4). But their difference of opinion was over the caravansaries, not the tambos. Tambos generally consisted of one-room huts, and Pfeiffer's point emphasized that there was no separate accommodation for servants. It appears that when muledrivers escorted members of the upper-classes, which included the Europeans, the arrieros were often relegated to the outside, and left to find what natural shelter they could. The empirical facts of spartan shelter are interpreted in accordance with the authors' ideological leanings. While Pfeiffer, for instance, was affronted by the conditions imposed on the arrieros (and by her lack of privacy), Whymper blamed the conditions on the mule drivers themselves: These classes commonly carry food with them, for economy, and are content to sleep in pig-styes. The tambo meets their requirements, and seldom contains accommodation or food for the few others who travel in Ecuador (1987:11). Hassaurek, with several years' experience, thought the arrieros were wise to sleep outside, as "civilized travellers" found the huts too filthy and full of fleas. It was better to sleep under the roof outside, protected from rain, on wooden platforms covered with alfalfa fodder (1868:41). The travellers distanced themselves from these accommodations by constructing class barriers between themselves and those accustomed to sleeping in the huts. The Indian tambo-keepers (when there were any) responded in kind, distancing themselves from the Europeans as they would from any other Ecuadorian white person. Being white-skinned automatically showed them to be elite, and sources of mistrust. Stanley was not hospitably received in La Chima, where he described the couple inside as sullen and churlish: all our demands he had only one answer, "no hay". There was no bread - no meat - no eggs - no fire - and he would have added no water, but that a huge bamboo in the corner, serving as pitcher, stopped the intended denial...supper was voted needless and we turned in forthwith (1850:82). Orton was lucky to be provided with a calabash of chicken and potato soup (locro) at Pogyos Tambo (1870:44). Pfeiffer complained that a few spoonfuls of sopa, with scarcely anything in it but water and red pepper cost a medio, or about threepence, and that one was expected to pay for food before receiving it (1856:367-8). Lodging was generally free, but payment was expected for animal fodder, and any human provisions available. Getting a meal could not be depended on, and food provided was often culturally distasteful to the travellers. According to Pfeiffer, the Indians ate little except slightly roasted barley pounded to meal, sometimes mixed with water (like Scottish porridge), or eaten dry. This was taken on any journey, whether by arrieros or soldiers, and old Spaniards did the same, but mixed it with sugar, cinnamon and pounded cacao-nut (1856:367). Hassaurek added raw Cayenne pepper (aji) eaten like fruit to this menu, and an occasional bag of toasted corn (1868:28). The tambo system had existed since the Inca empire built its royal roads, and had continued in use throughout the Spanish colonial period, into the nineteenth century. Guaman Poma listed ten royal tambos between Quito and Guamote in the early 1600s (1988:1002-3), but other than the names of the main towns of Quito, Latacunga, Ambato, Riobamba, and Guamote, the other five do not correspond with names used by European travellers. Whymper marked the tambos he encountered in 1879 on his map, listing six tambos between Babahoyo and the highlands, and four between Guaranda and Ambato (1987:11-14). Four additional tambos were named by other travellers between Babahoyo and the highlands (Pfeiffer 1856:363-6; Stanley 1850:82).2 None of the travellers were aware of the pre-Columbian origins of the tambo system, and it seems unlikely that any of the ones they stayed in were the royal tambos constructed under Inca rule. Terry and Hassaurek stated that the tambos on the highland route had been built by the government for soldiers on marches (Terry 1834:128; Hassaurek 1868:61), while Whymper and Meyer described them as stop-overs for drovers and mule-drivers (Whymper 1987:11; Meyer 1983:35). 2 Leaving from Babahoyo, the tambos encountered on the route were Savaneta, Playas, Torje, Bogia, Tamboco, Muhapamba, Balsabamba, Tambo Loma, Tambo Gobierno, La Chima, La Ensillada, Las Tortorillas, and Chuquipoquio. The tambo system was developed prior to Spanish colonization, as lodgings and storehouses for the Inca as well as his ministers, governors, and army, so that they would receive accommodation when they travelled either of the two royal highways {caminos reales) of the sierra and the coast. Large towns were located on the sierra road at intervals of about twenty or thirty leagues, and each had a tambo "supplied with a great abundance of all the things that could be obtained in these places"(Cobo 1979 [1653]:228). In addition to this, other tambos were located at intervals of a day's journey, every four to six leagues along the route. The royal tambos were large houses with only one room, 130 feet long and 30-50 feet wide, with no divisions, no furnishings, and two or three doors on one side. The tambos were not privately owned, but were constructed by the local community as part of their imperial tribute, with the obligation to keep them clean, in good repair, and provided with servants. According to Cobo, serving and supplying the tambos was considered to be a very oppressive kind of tribute (1979 [1653] :230) . Spalding states that the Spaniards continued this form of tribute as part of the labour draft (mita) required of the Indians. Writing about Huarochiri, east of Lima, in the 1560s, she says that the mita of the tambos was one of three mita services imposed on this community by the colonial state. One-seventh of the adult male population was assigned for six month rotations to maintain the tambo service along the route used by the mails, soldiers, officials and private travellers (1984:165). The mayor (alcalde) of the town council (cabildo) was responsible for the tambos within the jurisdiction of his village (1984:216). Four Indians each were assigned to four tambos along the route through the province, with instructions to keep them stocked with provisions, to serve as guides, and to perform other services requested by travellers. By the 15 8 0s, the mita of the tambos was regarded as a heavy duty, and by the mid-eighteenth century it was described as a major burden (1984:185). In theory, each adult male should have served a six-month turn every six or seven years, but the steady decline in population raised this rate by the eighteenth century, to at least once in every four to six years. The colonial mita was abolished before independence by the Spanish Court of Cadiz, but in some respects, the contribucion subsidiaria instituted by Bolivar in 1824, took its place (Fuentealba 1983:51,58). This was the contribution for public works discussed in Chapter 2, whereby local inhabitants were to provide four days' work or its equivalent in money. Further research in local archives would be necessary to ascertain how the tambo system survived in the nineteenth century, but a law written in 1850 makes it clear that care of the tambos was included in the trabajo subsidiario (Costales y Costales Samaniego 1964:627). It is apparent from the travellers' reports that in general, some tambos were uninhabited, and others continued to be run by indigenous people, but in what role is not made clear. What is clear, however, was the undercurrent of resistance encountered by the Europeans in the tambos, expressed through "churlishness", and refusal to provide anything but the barest minimum of service. The most famous, or infamous, was Chuquipoquio, a tambo situated near the foot of Mount Chimborazo at the northern edge of the Arenal desert. It was virtually impossible to travel the seventeen hours from Guaranda to Ambato in one day, and there was apparently no other form of accommodation between the two towns except the three tambos of La Ensillada, Las Tortorillas, and Chuquipoquio. Ten of the thirteen accounts consulted write in some detail about their experience in the latter, beginning with Stevenson in 1809 and ending with Delebecque in 1904, who wrote: Just the sight of the tambo of Chuquipoquio informs the traveller about the character and customs of Ecuadorians better than any stories or anecdotes. Imagine that for a long time, until the recent arrival of the railway on the plateau,3 thousands of people have slept in this infected hovel and found it perfectly acceptable; consider that amongst these people, some had travelled to Europe or North America and therefore had an idea of what comfort and cleanliness might be, and reach your conclusion. I doubt that the desire for progress is real amongst a people who accept the tambo of Chuquipoquio (1907:107). 3 When the railway reached Colta lake in the beginning of the twentieth century, the route between Guaranda and Chuquipoquio was abandoned by private travellers, who could travel by coach from Colta to Quito. This tambo was part of a hacienda (country estate) owned by a succession of old and highly esteemed landowning families, passing in the nineteenth century to Don Martin Chiriboga, Royal Corregidor of the Spanish Crown, former Marquis of Chimborazo before independence, and inhabitant of Riobamba (Whymper 1987:82).4 Whymper met Chiriboga in 1879, describing him as a man with "an intelligent head", but later considered suing him in Ambato, because was easier to get into the Tambo of Chuquipoquio than out of it. The bill had to be settled, and it could not be obtained, and in the meantime the caravan was kept locked up in the courtyard. When the bill came, its portentous total made me examine the items. It commenced by charging for each individual thing supplied at the meal. Bread was put down at two shillings for a few slices; half a pint of milk was entered at half-a-crown, and coffee at three shillings and twopence; and after this "the meal" was charged for over again, at a price which was quite adequate irrespective of the previous entries. A number of things were put down that had not been supplied, and the total was made to amount to considerably more than the proper addition of the items. These matters were explained through Perring to the major-domo, who took the account away, and kept us locked up (1987:88-9). At the earliest opportunity, I paid a visit to the Governor [of Ambato]....The Governor said that every one was robbed at Chuquipoquio, and that a week seldom passed without complaints coming to his ears. He suggested bringing an action against Sehor Chiriboga at Riobamba, and when I enquired whether it was not the fact that he was well connected, and that it was possible the result might be unfortunate, he replied "it is possible, it is possible" with an emphasis that shewed we understood each other (1987:91-2). 4 Following in the travellers' footsteps myself, I discovered that Chuquipoquio is still a travellers' stopover today, but under a different name and with a transformed level of comfort. It is owned by a hospitable Spanish proprietor (1992) who caters mainly to foreign tour groups and their guides, travelling between Cuenca and Quito or Bahos. Considering that Martin Chiriboga y Leon was regidor in perpetuity and had been mayor {alcalde), corregidor, and administrator of rents in the Riobamba town council {cabildo) (Arboleda 1910:42), it was probably just as well. Chiriboga's unbridled extortions could not be regulated, even in theory, except through recourse to the administrative centre where he lived. Even there, the power he wielded made it highly unlikely that any action against him would succeed. Whymper had no social authority in this context at all. Social influence in the tambos In the case of travellers' encounters with tambo accommodation their social influence was minimal. The tambos in nineteenth century Ecuador existed mainly to provide unadorned shelter from the elements for arrieros and army personnel, and only incidentally for any other travellers who found themselves on the route between the highlands and the coast. Money did not mean much, as accommodation was free, and although it could purchase meals, extra food was not always available. Their identification with native white elites was more likely to result in social avoidance than influence: indigenous people expected to be cheated, robbed, beaten, or conscripted to carry loads for the army, when they encountered white men (Terry 1834:118, Holinski 1861:74, 132, 197, Lisboa 1866: 359, Pfeiffer 1856: 388-9, Monnier 1890:38). Europeans did occasionally receive a minor form of privilege in accordance with local class distinctions: they did not always have to sleep in the same space as the arrieros and animals. The only other instance in which social influence was recognized was in 1809, when Stevenson travelled from Guayaquil in the entourage of the new President of Quito. A tambo at the foot of Chimborazo (probably Chuquipoquio) was prepared for their reception in advance, by covering the ground inside with long dry grass (pajon) (1829:265). Unfortunately, the grass caught fire during the night, but that is another story. The provincial centres Travellers arrived with a sense of relief at the provincial and administrative centres of Guaranda, Ambato, and Latacunga. More choices were available to them there, in accommodation which more closely approximated the standards they considered commensurate with their class. Some of these choices however, such as accommodation with local elites or foreign expatriates, usually depended on possessing letters of recommendation from residents of Ecuador (usually provided by contacts made in Guayaquil). This option was the most common before 1857, and resulted in the most luxurious forms of accommodation. Another alternative was to contact the local provincial administrator or governor {corregidor) who could provide accommodation in his own house. The final alternative did not exist until mid-century: Avendano, the Spanish diplomat, was the first to stay at inns {posadas) in the regional centres of Guaranda and Ambato when he travelled to Quito in 1857. After that date, European travellers no longer mention accommodation in private houses in these towns. Guaranda Guaranda was the first provincial centre in the highlands on the route to Quito from Guayaquil. It was an essential stopover because it was here that mule trains from the coast stopped, and fresh animals usually had to be acquired that were acclimatized to the altitude. For this reason, it was the main mule-drivers' centre in Ecuador. Because he was travelling with the new President of the Audiencia of Quito, Stevenson's experience in 1809 may be considered a model for local reception provided to those with the greatest social influence in Ecuador. They were met on the outskirts of Guaranda by Gaspar Moreno the corregidor, two alcaldes, several officers, and the "gentlemen of the province", with a fresh relay of horses on which they entered the town with a troop of militia cavalry. A group of Indian dancers escorted them to a triumphal arch for a religious oration and a firework display accompanied by trumpets. Following this, they retired to the corregidor's house, "where a most sumptuous dinner was on the table (1829:261-3). Privileged accommodation provided by the corregidor was a possibility for European travellers until mid-century. In 1832, Adrian Terry used a letter of introduction for Rovelli, the corregidor of Guaranda, which he had been given by a retired Ecuadorian colonel in Babahoyo (1834:126) . Osculati also stayed two days with Rovelli in 1846, possibly through the recommendation of Count Alessandro Litta Modigiani, a fellow Italian scientist who stayed with Rovelli in 1842 (Osculati 1854:29). Corregidor Rovelli was an Italian expatriate from Palma, who had been a subaltern officer in Napoleon's army (Terry 1834:127). Edward Stanley, English Earl of Derby, mentions no recommendation, or the name of his hosts in Guaranda in 1850. As there was no hotel, he found lodgings in a private house (1850:85). He noted the servant's curiosity as to the use he might have for the washing water he requested, and the South American custom of making only one formal meal a day. His hosts were equally curious about him. He spent three hours in a room filled with visitors, answering their questions: I passed the greater part of the afternoon indoors: listening to and answering as well as I could, a greater number of questions on all possible subjects than I ever remembered to have been asked before - even in New England. As it was a settled matter with the better informed among them that all "gueros" - fair-complexioned people - must be North Americans, I could not for a long while explain the fact of my having come from a still more distant country: and whether England was in Europe, or Europe was in England - whether the two were the same - how far they were - whether we had any religion (a favourite question, which was put half-a-dozen times) - whether Englishmen were allowed to have more than one wife - with a hundred equally-pertinent interrogatories...(1850:87). Stanley was such an unusual phenomenon to his hosts, that they found it hard to classify him comprehensibly, but his presence was important enough to cause an impromptu social event. When he left the house for a walk, he was followed by a crowd, and on his return found the house preparing for a "fandango", which he was surprised to note included dancing the polka: A ball in South America is easily got up. There are no carpets to take up, no chairs to displace, no fixing a day beforehand, engaging a band, and ordering a supper, perhaps to be cut out by some more popular rival after all. Two or three hammocks which, during the day, stretch across the room as a lounge for the family, are unhooked and taken down; a water jar or two tumbled out of its accustomed corner; sentence of banishment is pronounced against the cocks and hens, which in general enjoy the run of the house; and with a few cigars to offer to her friends, male and female, the lady is provided, and ready for all guests (1850:89) . In 1851, a year later than Stanley, Holinski met an Argentinean exile on the steamer between Panama and Guayaquil (1861:22). This man gave him a letter of recommendation for another Argentinean expatriate, a quinine collector living in Guaranda. Don Diaz de la Peha provided an excellent dinner with three types of wine, and a comfortable room for Holinski when he arrived in Guaranda. Pfeiffer arrived in Guaranda in March, 1854, and "alighted at the house of a rather opulent proprietor of a hacienda, and met with a very hospitable reception" (1856:368). She describes a child's funeral that took place as she arrived, but nothing else about her hosts or how she came to stay with them. Her account marks the last private accommodation described in Guaranda. Avendafio passed through with his daughter and son-in-law in 1857, and stayed at Badillo's posada for two days, which was also the consignment house for the local mule-drivers (1985:95). Hassaurek comments that there were two taverns (posadas) at Guaranda when he was writing in 1868: is a relief to enjoy the luxury of a covered room, chairs and bedsteads again; but the rooms of these taverns are sadly neglected, full of cobwebs and fleas; the furniture is covered with thick layers of dust; most of the window-glasses are broken, and filth is accumulated in the corners and on the floor (1868:47-8). The institution of posadas in the regional centres during the mid-nineteenth century provided travellers with the independence and assurance of paid-for accommodation. Their availability however, effectively closed the doors of local inhabitants to visiting foreigners, affording fewer opportunities for cultural interaction. They also entailed a loss of comfort; with the absence of selected wines and impromptu fandangos, "...were it not for the recollection of past hardships [in the tambos] the traveller would feel cheerless and uncomfortable" (Hassaurek 1868:48). Ambato Ambato was the next regional centre on the route, known locally for its healthy climate, and for the production of orchard fruits. Stevenson and the president's entourage arrived there at the beginning of the century with a similar reception to the one they had received in Guaranda. The corregidor and "other gentlemen" escorted them to the town, passing under two triumphal arches covered with strawberries (one of Ambato's specialities), and accompanied by dancing Indian girls and boys (1829:271) . Terry was also treated hospitably in 1832 by the corregidor, Coronel Machuca, who had two good horses in his stable sent for Terry's use from Quito by his future host, General Barriga of the Ecuadorian army (1834:141). In 1846, Osculati brought a letter of recommendation to a French expatriate, Rene, who was living in Ambato (he had been given the letter from a friend of Rene's that Osculati had met in Guayaquil). While he was staying at Rene's house, Osculati called in to visit two resident Europeans: the English Minister to Ecuador, Mr. Cope, and Dr. Jameson, the expatriate Scot and naturalist (1854:42-3). They were particularly interested in his news from the United States and New Granada. Spruce spent a large part of his three years' exploration of the Andes, between 1857 and 1859, as a resident of Ambato, and he also met Dr. Jameson while the latter was resident there (1908:210). Several foreign expatriates had residences in Ambato as well as Quito because of the presumed benefits of its climate. Philo White, the American Minister to Ecuador, lived in Ambato for nine months in the year when the national Congress was not in session, because he found the climate suited him better there. Spruce described evenings at his house: I often step into Mr. White's of an evening...we rail against the people of the country - after the fashion of foreigners in all countries - and I listen patiently to Mr. White's lectures on political aspects and complications (1908:200). A deserted house overhanging the river was the unorthodox accommodation improvised by Stanley, the fifteenth Earl of Derby, who would serve at home in England, twenty-five years' later, as Disraeli's foreign secretary. He and Juan Maria, the arriero, slept on the ground for a few hours before proceeding on towards Quito at one in the morning (1850:97). Holinski might have shared a similar fate a year later in 1851, because they could not find the house of a Spanish descendent to whom he had been recommended. His travelling companion, Pareja, belonged to one of the "best" families of Ecuador, and was returning to Quito from the army in Guayaquil days after General Urbina's successful revolution, which he did not support. Urbina had ordered him to leave Guayaquil and return where he belonged amongst the highland supporters of Flores (1861:85-6). By good fortune, Pareja and Holinski's arrival was heard by an acquaintance called Villagomez, Ambato's colonel in charge of the militia, who shared Pareja's political views against Urbina: ...he opened the window noisily, and shouted at us with an imperious voice: - Who are you caballeros? - I am Pareja whom you know, and my family as well. Urbina has exiled me from Guayaquil, the gentleman is a traveller from Europe. - Ah! Ah! It's you, my friend, I'm delighted to see you again. What's the news? What are the revolutionaries up to? Are their troops on the march? etc., etc., etc. Pareja answered this litany of questions as best he could. The colonel was so interested in the political state of the country that he had forgotten he was standing at the window, and we were in the road. He recalled himself after an interrogation of ten minutes. - You have arrived from Guaranda? Nineteen leagues in one day! Good going! You must be feeling in need of rest. Come on in. I have two beds I can offer you. After this invitation, he came down himself to open the coach gate for us, and led us to his bedroom, which would soon become a reception room. The important people of Ambato took no time in arriving, and between them they established a cacophony of invectives against the revolution in Quayaquil (1861:98). Urbina must have been right about the highlands, because they were apparently Flores' supporters to a man.5 When Avendaho passed through Ambato six years later, he was also involved in a political incident related to General Urbina. A gentleman approached his party with instructions from Urbina, president of Ecuador until a year earlier, and offered them the use of his house in Ambato. Avendafio refused the offer and went instead to one of the two posadas, which he found decently furnished (1985:101). The refusal had been politically instigated. Diplomatic relations between Spain and Ecuador were broken in December, 1851, when Urbina came to power. The particular incident that caused the breach involved the arrest of a Spanish 5 The history of Ecuadorian politics during the nineteenth century involved a perpetual enmity between the conservative highland and the liberal coast. employee and his conscription into the army, but the French diplomatic Minister to Ecuador also noted that Urbina's government was increasingly hostile to foreigners in general, and the French diplomatic mission had left shortly after the Spanish (FDA R236/240, 4/xii/1851; 245/249).6 The last native residents of Ambato described in the accounts are found again in Pfeiffer's report of her reception at a hacienda owner's house near the main plaza: ...the good people did not seem to understand that travelers coming in dripping wet and dirty, as was my case, like to be shown to some place where they may wash themselves and change their clothes...I had to sit down, wet and muddy as I was, among the family, and wait with patience more than two hours for the next meal. The rest of the company, having been all day swinging in their hammocks and gossiping, rather liked to have a new face to stare at; but, as I do not speak Spanish, I could afford them no other entertainment (1856:375). With regard to the two posadas in Ambato, Avendano and Whymper appear to have stayed in the smaller and more comfortable one. In 1879, it was owned by Pompeyo Baquero, and Whymper commented that it was the best kept house they entered in Ecuador: everything was clean, and it was free from fleas (1987:98). The larger one had three courtyards when Delebecque passed through in 1904: the first had rooms for distinguished guests and a dining room, the second contained the kitchen and less luxurious rooms, and the third had rooms around the poultry-yard. Although the level 6 Lopez-Ocon discusses the anti-Urbina policies of the government of Spain in his introduction to Avendano's account (1985:22-32). of service actually improved over the forty years between 1861 and 1904, Europeans always found room for complaint. Hassaurek remarked that there were bedsteads in the rooms in the early 1860s, but that travellers were expected to bring their own bedding (1868:70). Orton's bed was covered with a thin straw mat in 1867, but sheets and towels were not supplied (1870:53), and Delebecque grumbled about the dirty sheets in 1904 (1907:55). Latacuncra Latacunga was the last regional centre before reaching Quito. It lay in the path of the periodic eruptions of Cotopaxi volcano, and Terry commented in 1832 that it was "the very picture of desolation and ruin" (1834:143). It had been virtually destroyed in 1698, damaged by further eruptions in 1743, 1744, 1756, and by an earthquake in 1800: As far as the eye can reach, the whole country appears to be a mass of lava and volcanic sand; and although in some places there are patches of cultivation, it has a sickly hue, and the whole bears the appearance of a spot on which a withering curse has fallen (1834:143). Terry stopped long enough in Latacunga to be entertained by the corregidor, Col. Carreon (sic), and was offered a glass of fresco cooled by snow from Cotopaxi. The same governor Carreon invited Holinski for a "soiree" when he arrived twenty years later in 1851, and he was introduced to the town's elite, while Carreon's daughter entertained them at the piano (1861:112). Holinski was delighted to meet the eighty-two year old Simon Rodriguez, who had been friend and companion of the great Simon Bolivar when he was living in Europe. Dona Vicenta Garzon de Alvarez and her husband were their hosts in Latacunga, because they were friends of Pareja's (Holinski's travelling companion who was returning to Quito after expulsion from Urbina's army). Their kindly hospitality made Holinski feel completely at home, in one of "those sudden friendships which are the sweetest fruits of travel" (1861:112). Six years later, Dona Vicenta was a widow when Avendaho was entertained by her as well. Pfeiffer stayed in Latacunga, where ... I again took up my quarters in the house of a hacienda proprietor, where I was received, as indeed I had been before, in a friendly manner; but I was allowed, nevertheless, to depart in the morning without having so much as a cup of coffee or chocolate offered me, although the mornings were cold, foggy, and often rainy, and my hosts knew that I should not come to any place where I could get refreshment before the evening (1856: 376). At this point, Pfeiffer considered herself well enough acquainted with this class and their mode of life to pass judgement. It was not a flattering picture, in which "the penury, disorderliness, and dirt" were "beyond description": ...The house of any tolerably well-off German peasant would be a far preferable place of sojourn to one of these haciendas. The former is often so clean, that you might with pleasure sit down to table and partake of the simple but well-cooked meal. But in these more genteel abodes the table is covered with a cloth full of holes, and so dirty that it would puzzle you to find a white spot in it...A broken bedroom-ewer served to hold the water for drinking, and a single glass sufficed for the whole company...A negress in tattered garments, or her half-naked offspring, waited at table (1856: 376). ...In almost every house, nevertheless, there were grown-up daughters, who, without working at all hard, might have kept everything in excellent order; but they like much better to sit all day long with a great shawl thrown over head, shoulders, and arms, doing no mortal thing...With all this beggarliness is frequently mingled a good deal of luxury in matters that serve for show. In one of these houses the reception-room was furnished with looking-glasses and carpets; in another was a pretty good piano, and a handsome English dressing case, etc; the ladies showed me rich dresses, Chinese shawls, and so forth; and these things, having to be transported from such a distance across the mountains, are enormously expensive.(1856:3 77). Social influence in the provincial centres The travellers' social influence was more readily recognized in the more urban context of the regional centres than in the rural areas. I would argue, however, that this influence was not based on local perceptions that special treatment should be afforded them on account of their status as foreigners, or Europeans, except in so far as they were a source of curiosity. They were accorded similar privileges enjoyed by members of the Ecuadorian upper classes, or Whites. During the first half of the century, entrance into the most socially influential homes usually required a recommendation from an Ecuadorian known personally to the inhabitants. It also helped to be connected in some way with national politics, in which case the traveller became a source of current events. By mid-century, however, Europeans were no longer privy to the domestic lives in provincial towns. With the availability of posadas as an alternative, the Europeans' social influence generally decreased, and what influence they did possess was based more on money than social criteria. Whether this alteration in social influence was due entirely to the posadas is impossible to say, and other factors may have included a general increase in travellers to and from the coast, their loss of novelty value as foreigners, and an increase in alternate sources of news. Whatever the reasons, the result was a decrease in European contact with residents of provincial towns, and a decrease in their social authority there over the century. Arrival at the centre: Quito European excitement mounted, and romantic expectations rose as the travellers covered the last stretch of road to the nation's capital and highland centre of Quito: must be a matter of surprise to the traveller, after passing through primeval forests, crossing bridgeless rivers, floundering over bottomless roads, and ascending and descending immense mountains, to find a city with imposing public buildings, elegant private residences, and a luxury-loving aristocracy, in this almost inaccessible and forgotten corner of the world (Hassaurek 1868:103). Some voiced these feelings in poetic metaphor. Andre found the panorama without rival in the world, and approved the choice of site for "the navel of the world", as he claimed the Incas called it (1883:386). Monnier was elegiac in his assessment of Quito as "the mystic city where the soul of past generations floats in the shadows of the cloisters" (1890:97). Others were more prosaic: 151 One more hill - a long, tedious ascent - and the capital of Ecuador lay before us, at nine miles distance, its clean-looking houses spread out along the side of Pichincha like a row of tents. Our previous struggles were now exchanged for a pleasant gallop over the open plain: and it was still early morning, when weary, worn, and travel-stained, we rode through the crowded streets of the old Indian city of Quito (Stanley, 1850:104). The road had become busier after they left their final night's accommodation in the tambos or posadas of Machachi and Tambillo. The established influence of the arrieros in the rural areas gave way to influence measured more directly by class and racial distinctions, a basis of influence which was now allocated in the Europeans' favour. Instead of solitary droves of mule-drivers, the road into Quito was increasingly populated with gentlemen on horseback in their country attire of rich ponchos, and with Indians on foot, who touched their forelocks as they passed, bowed under heavy burdens of produce brought for the city from neighbouring communities (Orton 1970:55; Andre 1883:392). Green cattle pastures and country houses {quintas) indicated the presence of wealthy landowners in the surrounding area. Avendaho stopped off for an hour in one of these "oases" called La Arcadia, which was surrounded by beautiful flower gardens, whose scent was "a sweet intoxication for his soul" (1985:114). Holinski was more impressed by the poverty he saw on the outskirts of Quito: ...the misery of the inhabitants increases under one's eyes; their huts are increasingly badly built, their clothes more and more ragged, their physiognomies progressively suffering (1861: 133) . As they entered Quito, the travellers slipped into the ranks of the upper-classes. Those with letters of recommendation, and no qualms about losing their independence, headed straight for the houses of their wealthy hosts. Others sought rented rooms or the hotels which began to appear in the 1860s (Hassaurek 1868:108). The streets were busy, and the number of inhabitants, around 60,000, precluded the necessity of personal recognition as a means of assessing due respect. Clothing became the criteria by which distinctions of influence were measured (fig.4). White upper-class men in Quito dressed like Europeans (Osculati 1854), preferably Parisians: The upper class follow la mode de Paris, gentlemen adding the classic cloak of Old Spain. This modern toga fits an Ecuadorian admirably; it favors habits of inactivity, preventing the arms from doing anything, and covers a multitude of sins, especially pride and poverty. The an excellent riding habit, and is made of heavy woolen for mountain travel, and of silk or cotton for warmer altitudes. No gentleman will be seen in the streets of Quito under a poncho. Hence citizens are divided into men with ponchos, and gentlemen with cloaks. The panuelon is the most essential article of female gear...a bonnet in Quito is as much out of place as a turban in New York (Orton 1870:70). Ida Pfeiffer made a series of faux pas in this regard, which may have been the reason for continued social rebuffs in elite circles, because she dressed in a manner which confused these established codes of classification. Arriving Figure 4. 153 Street on the outskirts of Quito (from a drawing by E.Theroud, based on a sketch by Charton; Charton 1867), in Quito dressed in a poncho, a small crowd gathered round her: They not only stared, but laughed and pointed with their fingers at me as I came along, and sometimes ran after me, for strangers are rare in this forgotten country; and, if they are not dressed exactly like the natives, as I was not (for, although I had the poncho, I had not the little straw hat), they become objects of mockery to the populace (1856:379-380). She was saved by a stranger who lent her a straw hat to get to his house, where she changed and left again in search of the American charge d'affaires: costume was still not to the liking of this highly civilized people, as I wore a mantilla and a silk bonnet, instead of having a shawl thrown over my head; and, moreover, I was alone, for the Indian boy did not count as an escort (1856:381). The landowning class in Quito The wealthy landowners (terratenientes) of Quito were members of several distinguished families established during the colonial period, and included six marquises, three counts and one viscount in 1810 (Stevenson 1829:295), titles which were later abolished when Ecuador became an independent nation. In 1862, Charton counted the number of families distinguished by fortune or birth in Quito at six or eight (1867:412).7 The majority of large landowning families in the nineteenth century acquired their property after 1860, excepting those of Montufar, Aguirre, Fernandez-7 Marchan Romero, Andrade and Valencia have indexed twenty-three landowners in the northern sierra who owned more than ten properties for more than a decade between 1830 and 1930 (1986:537-561). Salvador, and Valdivieso in Pichincha; Jijon, and Larrea in Imbabura; and Chiriboga in Chimborazo. These seven families were already large property owners by the 1840s, and it is with them that the travellers socialized when they arrived in Quito. These families were represented in all levels of government administration from the earliest years of the republic: in the congress, in the courts, in the municipality, and in the army (Gangotena y Jijon 1947:140-4; Mendeville 1837:h/483; Arboleda 1910; Solano 1888:74). In 1875, Andre remarked that these people lived in the style of "gentlemen farmers" (his translation), and that it was the sons of these families that would see Europe and return with its customs, as men of progress who sought to introduce agricultural and industrial innovations at home (1883:388). Their wealth consisted mainly in hacienda property and livestock (Orton 1870:68), and their principle employment consisted in visiting these estates, where they took up residence during harvest time (Stevenson 1829:296) . Stanley attempted, (with difficulty), to find out how much property was required to constitute a rich man in Ecuador: Two or three proprietors were spoken of as possessing something like 1500 or 2000 pounds a year, in English money; but these were exceptions, and I am inclined to believe that for 500 or 600 pounds, a resident in Quito might enjoy all the luxuries and comforts attainable in such an out-of-the-way place (1850:111-2) .8 8 Spruce would have been grateful for a consular appointment paying 150 pounds annually in 1857 (1908:204). Manuel Larrea, former Marquis de San Jose, shared a reputation with Vicente Aguirre as the richest man in Ecuador. The Larrea haciendas in San Juan and Cotocollao had 50,000 sheep, 2 00 gauchos, and 500 horses when Kerret was in Ecuador in 1853 (quoted in Lara 1972:69-70). He was Minister of Foreign Affairs when Holinski visited in 1851, and exhibited strong Francophile habits and manners. The Larreas had a residence in Quito overlooking the central Plaza, and held lavish dinners at which the Marquesa dressed "a la Parisienne". Travellers also mention visits to their country house (quinta) in Chillo regarded as one of the country's marvels (Holinski (1861:171), and to another in Guapulo where The Larreas' country house occupies the highest elevation in the village and is surrounded by beautiful gardens filled with a thousand varieties of coloured flowers. We visited this lovely house, which is not large in dimensions but is very tastefully decorated... ...lunch was waiting for us. It was excellent. Prepared by a good French cook and served by French maids, there was nothing left for us to wish for (Avendaho 1985:167-8) . Several members of these Ecuadorian ruling families shared the European visitors' concern with scientific knowledge and the technology of progress. Carlos Aguirre was given a Legion d'Honneur in France in 1893 for his meteorological observations and their contribution to positive science (EM Aho IX, No. 143, 1893). He also imported weaving machinery from Europe, and set up a cotton factory in his hacienda in Chillo, hiring a Scotsman to set up and supervise the machinery (Hassaurek 1868:219). Vicente Aguirre, his father, was one of the two richest men in Ecuador in the 1850s (Holinski 1861:168) and the first to import a horse-drawn carriage into Quito in 1859 (Orton 1870:79). The Aguirre family were generally extremely hospitable to European travellers throughout the nineteenth century, even to Pfeiffer, who was rebuffed by the Larreas and the President of Ecuador. Like the Larreas, they owned a residence on the Plaza Mayor where they entertained on a lavish scale. Terry remarked in 1834, that "the Spanish Americans, whatever their faults may be, are certainly very hospitable and attentive to strangers" (1834:194). The occasion which caused this remark occurred the day before he left Quito and was instigated by Snra. Larrea: At about 10 o'clock in the morning, three servants came from the lady, two of them bearing each a large silver tray, and the third, a basket covered with napkins. The basket and trays contained three fine hams, a quantity of bread baked hard and dry for the purpose of keeping well, a neat round box of fresh butter, a cheese, and a great variety of delicate confectionery. This present, inappropriate as it would seem in our country, was exceedingly well timed, and proved of great convenience to us. . . (1834:194-5) . The travellers' general interest in the upper-class women of Quito revolved around their social graces, their religiosity, and the connection between the latter and their politics. Tertulias were the evening entertainment in Quito, which Holinski described as "pleasant and cold" (1861:167), consisting mainly in languishing conversations, with occasional music or dancing. Sunday was the usual visiting day, between twelve and three o'clock: Married ladies who want to assure a respectable foreigner or new-comer of their hospitality, send him their cards shortly after his arrival. The cards of married women contain both their maiden and their husbands' names. They are not known, however, by their husbands' names... An Ecuadorian lady does not rise when you enter, nor does she rise when you depart. It is considered good breeding in Spanish-America for a Lady to remain as motionless as possible. She will be seated on a sofa, and you sit down on a chair opposite. The conversation begins and ends with the customary quantity of compliments, or offers of services, protestations of friendship, etc. (Hassaurek 1868:172-3) . Charton described a tedious evening spent in the company of Quiteho matrons and their daughters, discussing the marriage strategies of another family (1867:415) . Uncomfortably aware that his own presence was connected with his unmarried state, he complained that he could not pretend to be married in order to avoid the insinuations, because female company would then be closed to him, and he would be disdainfully referred to as papel (burnt paper) . Women left the house to go to church in the mornings, and Avendaho opined that the fair sex was overly endowed with an excess of mysticism and sanctimoniousness (1985:145). Women were also in the habit of retiring for extended stays in religious retreats. Pfeiffer found that The ladies appeared amiable, but very ignorant, which may be in some measure attributable to the out-of-the-way situation of their city; for it is very seldom, indeed, that a good teacher can be procured there, or that a stray artist or man of learning comes wandering that way. The good people scarcely hear of such a thing as art, science, or literature; and I do not suppose a Quito lady ever by any chance takes up a book but a devotional one (1856:381). On the other hand, she thought their "natural capacities" greater than the men's (as did Holinski, Hassaurek and Orton): In native talent and capacity they are said, like the ladies of Peru, greatly to excel their masculine companions. They take part in all kinds of business, and especially in politics, in which they seem far more interested than the men; and it is to be observed that the women and girls are punished for political offences just as much as men, and often imprisoned for months, or even years, in convents (1856:3 81). According to Holinski, the upper-class women of Quito were directly responsible for the return of the Jesuits, after 83 years of exile, in 1851. They organized petitions all over the republic, and presented it at the legislative assembly with shouts of support for those who were favourable to the Jesuits, and labels of "heretic" and "atheist" for those who were not (1861:164-5). Holinski was surprised to be asked by a female member of the Aguirre family to explain why he was a communist: - I am a communist, senorita? - Why try to deny it? The Jesuits' influence seems a deplorable thing to you. - And how would that make me one? - By not loving the most saintly religious order, one is in revolt against the Catholic faith, and one is therefore a communist (1861:194-5). This definition of communism, he wrote, was quite common in Quito (1861:195). By the early 1870s, European travellers' close connections with the terrateniente class were beginning to loosen. Hotels started to appear in Quito, so local hospitality became more of a privilege than a necessity. By 1871, several European scientists were arriving in Quito at the request of the Ecuadorian government rather than through the support of European institutions. One of President Garcia Moreno's main projects for Ecuador was to develop the positive sciences, and he requested that European Christian Brothers be sent to Quito for this purpose. As a result of this request, Johanes Menten arrived in Quito in 1870 to create and direct an astronomic observatory. He was accompanied by Teodor Wolf a geologist, Luis Sodiro a botanist who created a botanical garden, Luis Dressel a chemist, and Joseph Kolberg an engineer and mathematician. These European Jesuits opened and ran the Escuela Politecnica in Quito until it was closed after Garcia Moreno's assassination. Two French medical academics, E. Gayraud and D. Domec, arrived in 1873 for three years, to teach surgery and anatomy in the Faculty of Medicine, and to direct the hospitals in Quito (1922:343). As local people received scientific training, and some visiting Europeans, such as Teodor Wolf and William Jameson, decided to remain in Ecuador, visiting European scientists began to seek out those professional connections as much as the political and class connections with the landowners (terratenientes) . Small European colonies of immigrants also developed as the century progressed, providing a ready source of sociable company for visiting nationals.9 Not unexpectedly, the European diplomats provided introductions for visiting foreigners to the social life in Quito, introducing them to influential Ecuadorians, and to their own national expatriate communities. The French colony, for instance, met regularly in the evenings at the French Hotel (Andre 1883:387; Monnier 1890:71). By the time Festa, the Italian naturalist arrived in Ecuador in 1895, his social connections depended entirely on the good services of the Italian consul Norero. The consul arranged accommodation for him, introduced him to the Spanish diplomatic Minister, to President Alfaro, to the "first" families of Quito, and to Padre Sodiro, the Italian botanist and one of three Jesuit teachers who had remained in Ecuador after the Politecnica closed. Social influence in Quito European travellers' social influence in Quito was considerable, and survived until the beginning of the twentieth century. Their social connections with the wealthiest and most powerful landowning families of the highlands, who had their own interest in Europe, its 9 The European colony of English, French, German and Italian expatriates numbered about 20 in the 1840s and 50s (Osculati 1854:49; Stanley 1850:124), and no more than 30 in the 1880s (Whymper 1987: 180; Monnier 1890: 85). fashion, progress, and science, gave their views a voice in national politics and the future of the republic. Even when the Europeans no longer stayed as guests in the houses of these families, they were provided with support from the diplomatic corps. The diplomatic circle had considerable social and political influence, and moved in the same circle in Quito as the terrateniente class, so the elite's houses were not closed to European visitors after they moved into hotels, in the same way as had occurred in the provincial towns. In 1904, however, Delebecque found Quito society turned inwards on its own national problems over the government's fight with the church, and the boundary dispute with Peru (1907:75). He made the mistake of being introduced by the Peruvian Secretary of Legation at the elite Pichincha Club in Quito: ...the next morning, the news came back to us that we had been taken for Peruvian spies. The affair went as far as President Plaza who felt it his duty, almost seriously, to request the details of my modest personality from the representative of France (1907:79) . Meyer, who was in Ecuador a year earlier, commented on the increasing influence of North America, despite renewed interest in France produced by the arrival of the second Scientific Commission to remeasure the arc of the Equator (1983:346) . Social influence in rural areas was based mainly in local knowledge, and an ability to survive, which gave more influence to the arrieros than to European travellers who depended on them. Influence in provincial administrative centres depended largely on the social connections and recommendation of Ecuadorian inhabitants, especially if these were au courant with national political affairs, and on a general curiosity concerning foreigners in general. In Quito, the travellers' influence was focused in an upper-class who often looked to Europe as a model for desirable standards of life, and therefore actively sought out the company and ideas of visiting Europeans. It was amongst this social group that the specialization of their particular fields of interest were recognized as authoritative forms of knowledge. Class ranking in Ecuador which was premised on racial distinctions, provided the travellers with a basic minimum of social influence which was due to the colour of their skin. The benefits of class distinction were enjoyed by the travellers throughout the highlands, as they were universally recognized and classified as white, a racial category which coincided with the highest Spanish colonial ranking of social types. The influence which this distinction afforded the Europeans, however, was greater in the houses of the administrative towns than in the rural tambos, and greater again in Quito than anywhere else. The differences in their reception according to location in the highlands are important distinctions which need to be made in an analysis of hegemonic influence or cultural imperialism. To generalize exclusively from their most successful connections with the Quito elites in the capital would lead to a distortion of their influence in other parts of highland space amongst people who were concerned with very different issues in their everyday lives. CHAPTER 4 Quito and the Politics of Space must be clearly demonstrated that there exists a corresponding spatial homology to traditionally defined class relations and hence to contingencies of class conflict and structural transformation...a space-to-class homology can be found in the... division of organized space into dominant centres and subordinate peripheries...(Soja 1989:78). The Europeans' symbolic capital in Ecuador, their power to impose a new vision of that world, was legitimated by a small but powerful group, who were members of the ruling class in Quito. This group recognized the social authority that the Europeans brought with them from Europe, through their respect for the work of natural science and diplomacy, and through the prestige which they accorded European material culture. The preceding chapters should have made it clear that I am not suggesting the Europeans were bias-free, nor that they succeeded, (or usually tried very hard), to understand highland culture from an "insider's" point of view. Their intentional focus on contributing to European natural science, diplomacy, and popular travel writing limited their interests to these fields. Popular travel writing, however, focused on the travellers' experience and observations of daily life. Especially in Quito, they focused on everyday life in the streets, squares, and markets, and on places of symbolic ritual, and popular spectacle. This focus provides a rich source of ethnographic data on spaces of representation, in which local people represented themselves to each other, and created symbolic barriers and exclusionary zones which defined the right time and place for aspects of social practice (Harvey 1990:217). In contemporary anthropology it is relatively unusual to find repeated records by different ethnographers working in the same locality, and spread across a considerable time period. For whatever reasons, whether the necessity of focusing on a small area or cultural group for long enough to claim in-depth knowledge, or the resulting tendency of individual fieldworkers to consider these locales as private intellectual property, few anthropologists work in a place previously studied by another. The travellers, in contrast, had no such limitations, and the accounts I collected constitute a corpus of 32 repeated descriptions of the same place at different times between 1809 and 1909, providing an invaluable opportunity to cross-check data and collate the results. I have organized the travellers' data on Quito following Pike's discussion of four spatial viewpoints from which an author may represent city life (1981). The first is an alienated viewpoint from outside that reduces people and places to generalized abstractions. The second is a viewpoint from above which emphasizes contemplation, judgement and diminishment, such as in panoramas and maps. The third focuses on the street-level, through active experience of the complex, everyday labyrinth which cannot be seen all at once, and the fourth is a viewpoint from below, which focuses on the instinctual, repressed part of social life, such as sewers and cemeteries. I have taken these viewpoints in the European accounts as the basis on which to construct an analysis of the changing politics of space in the city of Quito during the nineteenth century. I also consulted primary sources in Quito, such as municipal reports, correspondence with the Minister of the Interior, and newspapers, as well as secondary Ecuadorian sources, such as the writing of nineteenth century intellectuals on Quito, and research of twentieth century scholars based in Quito archives. The results presented here merely skim the surface of the ethnohistorical work that could be done, but I think it is sufficient to demonstrate the value of the travellers' accounts as sources of ethnographic knowledge. Their accounts do not provide a ready-made theoretical analysis of spatial practice, because this requires a different kind of interpretation than they were concerned with. The analysis is constructed out of my own theoretical and interpretive bias: an assumption that there is a cultural logic to everyday practice, and that this logic is politically organized. I have based this analysis on Harvey's argument that the symbolic orderings of space provide a framework for experience through which people learn who or what they are in society (1990:214). Spatial practices therefore become an essential ideological ingredient in social reproduction, and the rules constructed concerning the use of space achieve and replicate particular distributions of social power (1990:227). An analysis of changes in the social organization of space therefore reveals the negotiation and manipulation of shifting social relations. The alienated viewpoint ...a national capital bears the symbolic torch for the entire nation - the image the chosen city creates is a powerful factor in national status and internal self-conception (Eldridge quoted in Pike 1981). Quito was the national capital of Ecuador, and conjured up a vivid image for the Europeans before they arrived, an image which they partially constructed and certainly perpetuated. This outsider's viewpoint represented in the accounts has little ethnographic legitimacy, and I suspect has been the reason that travellers' accounts have been dismissed as sources of serious study. However, the simplification and condensation of complex historical circumstances into a few generalized abstractions, and their constant repetition in the accounts, lends an impact to this viewpoint which is hard to erase.1 This perspective is evident in the accounts through images which place the city in an abstracted past. Some 1 Fisher discusses the cultural impact of simplification and repetition in popular American novels such as Uncle Tom's Cabin: the "process by which the unimaginable becomes, finally, the obvious" (1985:8). travellers favoured the pre-colonial past, such as D'Orbigny, who wrote that few sites were more singular or savage than Quito, the ancient city of the Sun (1853:104). Osculati concurred that the customs of the city were bizarre and Indian (1854:54), and Andre depicted it as the Inca navel of the world (1883:386). Alternatively, Quito was described as a monastery located in the Middle Ages. Monnier saw Quito as not an old colony, but a pure fragment of sixteenth century Spain. There was no colony here, in the real sense of the term, an agglomeration of disparate parts, but the transport of a total society, with its habits, its customs, its feudal and religious traditions. She has remained unconscionably faithful to the past, situated in the fierce isolation of the mountains, despite herself and her political convulsions. The modern spirit has not ruffled the surface, just as the storm does not disturb the ocean depths. The true character of the Ecuatorian metropole is revealed at the first glance directed at her from the top of the hills. Quito, is a sanctuary on top of the Andes; it is the closest church to heaven (1890:61-2). Delebecque also represented it as an antique city asleep in the past, with cloisters instead of warehouses, a city with few souvenirs of the past, but breathing an air of antiquity and prehistory (1907:56). Ahistorical stereotypes of the Quiteho character also developed and hardened over the century. In 18 09, Stevenson generalized the white inhabitants as loquacious, frank, and courteous, whose only negative trait was a sort of fickleness or inconstancy (1829:297). The mestizo artisans were excellent imitators, but lacked inventive genius (1829:298), and the Indians were remarkably slothful and indolent, applying themselves more to drunkenness than to business (1829:300). Twenty five years later, Pfeiffer dismissed the entire continent: These countries are much too demoralized, and stand on too low a grade of civilization for a republic, which requires a people at once thoughtful and inspired by true patriotism. Here covetousness and selfishness are the only springs of action in public affairs. The higher class is only eager for place, the lower for plunder; and neither one nor the other thinks for a moment of the public welfare. Any other form of government, even a despotic one, would be better than this caricature of republican institutions (1856:387). By 1880, Whymper could summarize stereotypical generalizations of white and mestizo characters which are still common today, and sometimes serve to dismiss South Americans as a whole. The whites and mestizos were prone to high-sounding promises of hospitality which were not intended to be put into practice, an inveterate habit of procrastination (the manana attitude), and a general disposition to disregard the sacredness of business agreements and contracts. The Indians were extremely timid, heightened by the general and all-pervading mistrust which characterized the entire population (1987:176-8) . A bird's-eye view The viewpoint from above is more prosaic and is represented in two ways, both of which exclude human activity. The city may be diminished as on a map, and viewed from a distance, or alternatively, represented by listing its buildings, streets, and settlements, beginning from the central point of the Plaza Mayor and extending to the periphery. Both forms were objective, (which I distinguish from the alienated outsider's viewpoint discussed above), and both were also used in the nineteenth century by Ecuadorians to represent Quito, and Ecuador generally, both to themselves and to the world. Villavicencio used a map and lists in the first published geography of Ecuador (1858), Enriquez listed Quito's important buildings in his publication for the Ecuadorian exhibition at the Chicago Exposition (1893), and the same technique was used in the business guide, El Ecuador. Guia Comercial, Agricola e Industrial de la Republica (Compahia "Guia del Ecuador" 1909). Judgement is implied rather than stated explicitly: fifty churches in the city of Quito may be interpreted as a source of spiritual and aesthetic wealth or alternatively, of theocratic domination, depending on the reader's ideological leanings, and the intentions of the author. The travellers' intentions are rarely stated, but the choice of landmarks in their objective lists implies that European Civilization was the standard of judgement. In 1847, for instance, we are informed that Quito had 12 primary schools, 2 colleges, 1 university, a library, a public school of art and design, a new school of sculpture, no theatres, and no inns (Osculati 1854:47,49). By 1876, buildings of note included a school of medicine, a polytechnic school, an observatory, a natural history museum, a library, a public clock in the convent of la Merced, and no theatre (Andre 1883:389). In 1904 Delebecque included a Conservatory with bad piano-playing, several hotels, the Club Pichincha (a gentlemen's club in the British style), and a botanical garden (1907:67). These lists of civic achievements were a European (and Ecuadorian) measure of Quito's progress as a national capital which provided institutions for the "civilized" arts and sciences. Their ethnographic value is in the record of changes which provide evidence of the degree to which this standard was adopted in Quito, and put into practice through the gradual appearance of appropriately civilized institutions as the years went by. Judging by their lists, for instance, travellers seemed to consider theatres a prerequisite of civilized city life. Orton grumbled in 1867 that The amusements of Quito are few, and not very amusing. The Indo-Castilian blood runs too slowly for merry-making. There are no operas or concerts, no theatres or lectures, no museums or menageries. For dramas they have revolutions; for menageries, bull-baitings (1870:80) . In 1868, Congress banned bullfights (discussed below), and declared it the responsibility of the municipalities to establish theatres. In 1877, the Minister of the Interior officially approved the formation of the Sociedad "La Civilizacion", whose president was Manuel Larrea, and donated the land and building currently occupied by the slaughterhouse (Carniceria) to provide a theatre within two years (EOS 1877, March 31, No.26). Although private donators were slow to contribute, the municipality donated 10% of its income for two years, in recognition of the importance of the project (LIE, 1909 Aho 1:30). Construction began in 1880, using recalcitrant Indian labour from the parishes around Quito, through the public works program of the subsidiario (Kingman, Goetchel y Mantilla 1989:400). The city of Quito (fig.5) enclosed about one square mile, with twenty straight streets that crossed each other around the central plaza (Orton 1870:64). In 1809, the President's palace stood on the west side of the Plaza Mayor, which contained the president's apartments, the treasury, jail, government offices, and archives. On the east side was the municipal office {cabildo), with private residences on either side. On the north side was the Bishop's palace, and private houses, and on the south side stood the cathedral. In the centre of the plaza was a "handsome brass fountain" (Stevenson 1829:280). The private houses were owned exclusively by members of the Quito elite (Jurado Noboa 1989:93), who included Juan Larrea and Vicente Aguirre. At street level, small shopfronts run mainly by mestizo or Indian artisans were rented by the owners (Avendafio 1985:133). The Bishop's palace rented eighteen in 1894. Of the total 84 businesses in the plaza at that time, 46 were haberdashers, 11 were merchants (watchmaker, wig maker, Map of the City of Quito, 1858 (Villavicencio 1984 [1858]) hatmaker, tailor, shoemaker, tobacconist, ironmonger and chemist), 7 were stores, 4 were snack bars, 3 were gambling houses, 2 were gunsmiths, and 2 were public services (Jurado Noboa 1989:93). These businesses appear to have been run mainly by men (Jurado Noboa 1989:88-92), and provided services for the richer residents in the centre of the city. Street sellers {cajoneras), usually women, had stalls selling small oddments in the two arcades of the plaza (Jurado Noboa 1989:88-92). The city was composed of six parishes (nine by 1897) , each with its own parish church. The periphery of the city was marked in the south by the Machangara bridge, from where the road led through the straggling Indian settlements on the outskirts along the main route to Guayaquil (see Chapter 2). The Ejido, formerly common pastureland and hunting ground (Puga 1991:44, 352), was situated on the northern outskirts, past the slaughterhouse (Carniceria) and on the route to Colombia. The Ejido became a public park called the Paseo de la Alameda during the nineteenth century, the site of the new observatory and botanical garden, and was surrounded by country estates belonging to the Quito elite (Puga 1991:195).2 To the east lay steep cliffs and the valley of Chillo, which had rich agricultural and pasture 2 In 1909, an newspaper article reported that the music bands would be increased in the Alameda (as the Ejido was then called), and that it was hoped that this would encourage the park to become like many in Europe, which were social centres and places for rest, entertainment, life and pleasure (EC March 16, 1909). land and was the site of some of the most affluent haciendas in Ecuador. Pichincha volcano dominated the western periphery of Quito, and Indian settlements were built on its slopes. On the furthest periphery, about 4-5 leagues out from the centre and up to twenty leagues distance, were the Indian communities who provided the labour force of Quito. Chillogallo, for instance, was the arriero and mule centre (Whymper 1987:208), Zambiza and Nayon the labour source for street-cleaners (Kingman, Goetchel y Mantilla 1989:397), and for streetlighting (Samaniego Salazar 1985).3 The bird's-eye viewpoint from above reveals the spatial organization of power in Quito, which was instituted in the sixteenth century by the early Spanish colonists. An anonymous account written in 1573 describes virtually the same layout as the one described above (Ortiz Crespo 1989:164). When San Francisco de Quito was founded in 1534, the first tasks were to list the Spanish vecinos (see Chapter 2) who would administer and protect the town, allot residential plots for them, and delineate the town's boundaries. This was followed by establishing the ejido (common), and distributing the remaining land within four leagues of the town boundary to the vecinos for farming (quoted in Puga 1991:29). The vecinos were also given encomiendas (charges) or repartimientos (distributions) of 3 It is no coincidence that Zambiza today is the site of one of the municipal rubbish dumps (EC May 6, 1992). tribute-paying Indians who lived on the land they were apportioned, and were responsible for their indoctrination into Roman Catholicism.4 The Plaza Mayor in Quito was to be the symbolic and material site of a tripartite power structure: the colonial government (republican in the nineteenth century), the resident vecinos with their representative body the cabildo,5 and the Roman Catholic church. The spatial relationship of power between the white elite at the centre and the indigenous population on the periphery was also instituted during the colonial period. Apart from the tribute system of goods and payment (which brought Indians into the town centre to sell their produce for cash), the Spanish crown also instituted the mita system of forced labour. Labour tribute was provided by the indigenous population in the textile workshops and in agricultural labour, as well as through domestic work in the haciendas, town houses and monasteries, and rotating work in mail service, inn-keeping {tambos), road building, 4 In 1577, there were 41 vecinos, with total encomiendas of about 50,000 tribute-paying Indians between eighteen and fifty years old, according to Viceroy Toledo. Each year the tributes from the repartimientos were worth more than 100,000 pesos of silver, as well as supplies of cotton, flour, maize, and other things (Puga 1991:36-7). In 1838, the Indian tribute (by this time government imposed and called contribucion personal, see chapter 2), raised 184,000 pesos, placing it second to customs taxes as the largest source of national revenues (Ackerman 1977:76). 5 The political importance of the colonial cabildo, and its republican version, the municipio, in representing the interests of local elites has recently been recognized (Torres 1989; Ayala Mora 1991:70, 73). Figure 6. 178 ••1; *. UT\J7.AV W/,TJEK CAKRTER.,* FEMALE OTJJLAJ? BKB5M -WO>©U CARMEIii . Indian Water Carrier, and female Indian brush-Wood Carrier, of Quito (Stevenson 1825). Figure 7. 179 iii.ii M-.ihntnrrf.i-t M i tnM <Fluent IMHA. iMflo u i*wl td I I tuiBTa.ti v.itiMtc i\wo ro> iwnt^i vi svw>n ut PUTAIOV I\M<> nuomi) Indian Meat Carrier, Indian Milkmaid, Indian Water Carrier, Indian from Zambiza, selling plantains, Indian Barber (Avendafio 1985 [1861]). Figure 8. 1 8 0 Oscaki <%():*^er-- . . "0 \ ' *-i ' .4/ *Ss*.^X h«t Jtenestanfe >/t Oufta. PenJttrire (// Carrie. , jftt/terra ct>//'.-Jfa'/0 e/f/t'-tro Jif-2- {& arntsfra i Sails ai 5)uj*3 ais f'ens/SSrtrt' i/r Zeff/ia . fendi/ore til A'ere • MiUna Lif.PajMU /'er/a/uft e/i ma/fonL. Costumes of Quito (Osculati Tav.VIII, 1854). construction of public buildings, transportation, and the supply of agricultural produce, fodder and wood to the city (Villamarin and Villamarin 1975:72-3). The mita was abolished in the eighteenth century, but the relationship between the elite centre and dominated periphery remained through the nineteenth century. Indian conciertos (indentured labourers) from rural haciendas worked as house servants in their landlords' city residences, and the system of trabajo subsidiario (see Chapter 2) which replaced the mita, was used to bring Indians in from the rural periphery of Quito to complete public works, and to supply produce, fodder and wood to the city as before. The most common visual image of highland Indians in the travel accounts, the Indian as beast of burden, which I discuss in Chapter 5, provides detailed ethnographic evidence of this system of public works and service (figs.6,7,8). The labyrinth On the principal streets and plazas hundreds of people are continually in motion. It is true, they are chiefly Indians and Cholos, and you will meet twenty persons in ponchos and even in rags, barefoot or with alpargates (hemp-sandals), before you meet one respectably dressed. But, nevertheless, the motley crowd of men in ponchos of all colours, beggars in rags, vagrants in sackcloth, women in red, green, and brown, or blue pahuelones and rebozos, ladies with gay colored silk shawls, monks with their immense hats, monks in white, monks in brown, monks in blue, and canons and curates in black, and Indians of a hundred different villages in every variety of costume, not even omitting the naked and painted Indian from the wilderness of the eastern side of the Cordillera,- present a most lively and interesting spectacle. There are but few carts in use, as I have already said; nevertheless, the streets are thronged from morning to evening with mules, horses, oxen, donkeys, and llamas with loads (cargas) of every kind and description. Indians, men and women, with loads on their backs, limp to and fro; soldiers in queer clown-caps and with or without shoes, lazily saunter through the crowds; groups of merchants and their friends chat in front of their tiendas (stores); chagras (country-people) on horse-back dash through the streets; ladies will meet their lady friends and embrace and hug them, obstructing the narrow sidewalks; water-carriers with immense jars on their backs, butchers or bakers with meat or bread in troughs on their heads, wend their way to the houses of their customers; children and dogs run about in all directions; mule-drivers swear at their beasts; parrots chatter in the groceries and greenshops; in short, the life within the city favorably contrasts with its melancholy aspect from without (Hassaurek 1868:104-5). I have quoted at length from Hassaurek's account because this passage is a superb example of the viewpoint from street-level: the active experience of the complex everyday labyrinth which cannot be seen all at once. Hassaurek's impressionistic description of the Quito streets is a narrative version of Charton's equally descriptive illustration of the inhabitants of Quito (fig.9). Both representations are highly developed examples of the exotic realism with which Europeans attempted to convey the experience of everyday life in Quito. The exoticism (in the sense of foreign, curious, or bizarre) of the experience is expressed through the apparent disorder and intense activity of the scene described, and the almost overwhelming abundance of empirical detail. Hassaurek's choice of descriptive words heightens the effect: the sprinkling of Spanish vocabulary, adjectives such as motley, gay-colored, immense, lively, interesting, and queer, or verbs like Figure 9. 1 8 3 Li *>••* • ii*iS f - , j . 1 - * > - — *.— * r / » _ / t A ^•RBf-rr^r^^fvi r-» 3" r^:^  I » _ 1 ^ L » r "»r»— -^ ->r T , , thronged, limp, saunter, dash, obstruct, run, swear, and chatter, all combine to create an atmosphere of heightened confusion. But like Charton's illustration (Fig.9), the apparent disorder is a carefully constructed phenomenological effect. The details are empirically accurate, and the sheer quantity of detail conveys the experience of standing in a bewildering crowd. Closer examination of Charton's illustration reveals a theoretical interest in generalized social types, and a careful division of space between races and social classes. Charton portrays a scene which he was unlikely to have actually witnessed, because of his interest in depicting distinct types that might theoretically be seen at any time in the streets of Quito. His interest in generalized social types creates a tension between the apparent spontaneity of the crowd scene depicted, and is manifested in his careful division of space between races and social classes. The only people in the upper half of the illustration are the gentleman and his lady, who rise above the crowd and sit isolated on horseback. The two pairs of women who dominate the foreground represent the other main racial categories: two young mestizas, and two Indian women. Surrounding these are an assortment of recognizable Quito types, including a Franciscan friar, well-known as a sensualist type in the eyes of Europeans, who admires the women as he passes with his mendicant's basket overflowing with food. Similar divisions become evident on examination of Hassaurek's writing. His first general analytical division is created by distinguishing the obvious poverty of the larger proportion of scantily dressed Indians and Cholos, compared with the wealth of the few respectably dressed. The second distinguishes between the Indians who carry loads of every kind and description, and the chagras (country gentry) who are human loads carried by horses. The third differentiates between the soldiers, merchants, and ladies who leisurely saunter, chat, and embrace in the streets, and the water-carriers, butchers and bakers who strain under the burden of physical labour. These distinctions belie the impression of disorder portrayed, and reveal elementary relationships between race, class and wealth in Quito's social space. While the birds-eye-view represents the symbolic organization of physical space, and the means by which power relations were materially established in daily practice, the view from street level focuses on human interaction. Clothing and activity were the means of establishing visible evidence of social hierarchy, especially in an urban environment where people did not necessarily know each other's origins personally, and skin colour was a theoretical rather than practical means of assessing racial and class categories (Chapter 5). Further comparative examination of the social types represented with detailed empirical fidelity6 in the writing and illustrations of other European travellers, as well as the costumbrismo work of two Ecuadorian artists (Guerrero and Pinto), provides a basis from which to reconstitute the ordered complexity of social differentiation in the everyday life of Quito. The representations' focus on minute distinctions of clothing and activity may seem to be a pedantic absorption in meaningless empirical detail, but comparison reveals a vocabulary of signs which instantly place an individual in Quito's hierarchy of social space. The social types portrayed by the Ecuadorian artists Guerrero and Pinto legitimate the written and visual observations of Europeans. While it is undeniable that mutual borrowing of images occurred between European and Ecuadorian visual representations of daily life, there is enough difference in details, and agreement on general types, to establish their basis in reality rather than text. Charton's illustration (fig.9 above) will provide an example. Although it is obvious at first sight that the scene represents members of the upper class on horseback, mestizo women, Indian women, and a member of the church, 6 I distinguish here between empirical truths which are based on observation and experience (truth by correspondence) and which can be validated or falsified by comparison with independent sources, and syntactical truth in which a particular interpretation of experience is privileged as a means of explaining empirical facts (truth by coherence), which cannot be empirically tested (Bailey 1991: 15-19) . comparison with other illustrations (by Guerrero in Hallo 1981, Pinto in Samaniego Salazar 1985, Osculati 1854, Avendaho 1985, Stevenson 1829) and written descriptions makes clear that none of the details depicted are merely fortuitous. Individual details in the different representations complement and validate those in others. Referring to the simplified legend in fig.10, and beginning with the upper-class couple on horseback (1), the shape of their hats, the man's long scarf, and the woman's whip are signs which show them specifically to be "campesinos" (figs.11 and 12) or chagras (fig.13),7 racially categorized as white, and socially classified as members of the leisure class. Whymper describes the "correct get up" worn by the men of this rural elite: a Panama hat, poncho of superior quality, spurs on the boots, a carved drinking-cup, sheath-knife, guitar, and a whip with a wrought-iron handle: Such a person, according to the phrase of the country, is x a great cavalier', and if he is decently mounted he may aspire to marry any woman in the land (1987:101-3). Although they appear quite richly dressed, the two young women in the viewer's right foreground (2) are not members of the leisure class, but would be categorized as mestizas, de centro (from the centre of Quito city) or 7 Both the terms campesino and chagra no longer signify members of the white landowning class: the term campesino usually signifies a rural peasant, and chagra has somewhat denigratory undertones. As these terms accompany illustrations of the rural elite in the nineteenth century, however, it must be assumed that their meanings have changed. 8 Diagram of social types in Charton's Quito. H 00 00 Figure 11. 1 8 9 ^ . A - ^ T v " - . ^ " ^ s s ^ * fc * *_ . **: <V«*t".f. ^ ^ a s s s ^ * ^ m&< a> /z-&<k#2<9: Campesino (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981). Figure 12. 190 •^S- „ r f * -i ' » (Oa-??yi&£<<na. wat'ccrtcm a- MZ C&n&aeta.. Campesina travelling in the old style (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981). Figure 13. 1 9 1 Male and Female Chagras or White Campesinos (Avendano 1985 [1861]). bolsiconas. Holinski remarks that the term bolsicona included all women "condemned to work for a living" (1861:161), although in what way (as seamstress, embroiderer, washerwoman, cook (fig.14), or possibly prostitute) was not necessarily differentiated in their dress. These particular women's' satin slippers, earrings and necklaces are signs of their affluence as members of the serving class (Hassaurek 1868:124): women from the upper-class would never be seen shopping in the streets, as one does in the illustration. Members of the different religious orders, on the other hand, were easily identifiable by distinctions in their dress, and the lascivious monk (3) would be easily identifiable by his hat and habit as a Franciscan friar, with his mendicant's staff and basket (fig.15) . Hats were important signs of social identity. The Indian cloth merchant (fig.25 in Chapter 5) or weaver (fig.16) wears a shape of Panama hat (4) which is also depicted as worn by other Quito Indian tradespeople, such as a butter seller (fig.17), a marketseller and a travelling Indian (fig.25 in Chapter 5). Behind him is a waterproof rubber hat (5), worn by Indians who collected ice in the mountains and brought it to sell in the city (fig.8). On his left is a hat (6) which identifies a Jesuit priest. Indians are also identifiable by the objects they carry. The 7-8 foot staffs and the basket carried by the man to the Jesuit's left (7), identify a "savage" Indian Figure 14. 193 Jff ir> . i r t s>* /5 , Bolsicona Cook (watercolour by Pinto; Samaniego Salazar 1985). Figure 15. 194 ^£eaa fo tm&tez&te?. Lay Alms brother (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981). Figure 16. 195 K-S&'ed&i ate ^yr>cuyo&. Weaver of Tocuyos (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981). Figure 17. 196 renat&azyl c/& yfiemJ&ccZ: Butter Seller (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981). travelling from the eastern lowlands; he may have come from Nanegal (fig.18) with plantains to sell in the city (fig.7). The woman carrying large jars in the foreground (8) brought them to sell in Quito (fig.19), and may have been a pot maker from Pujili, near Riobamba (fig.20, Samaniego Salazar 1985); on her left is a young women who travelled to the city to sell baskets (9). The two women appear to have been travelling together, because their identical dress shows them to have come from the same ethnic community and geographical locale.8 The man on the far left (10) is a water-carrier or aguador (figs.6,7,21), either by trade (Monnier 1890:68) or as a house servant in the city (Avendafio 1985:121). The jar held 12-16 gallons of water, and was carried on the right side, which resulted in the limping gait described by Stevenson (1829:299), and Hassaurek above. The vocabulary of signs displayed in clothing and accessories constituted a visible system of racial categorization and its interconnected class hierarchy. One of the meanings attributed to these signs was coded evidence 8 Monnier commented that Indians would walk through the night and up to four days in order to reach the market in Quito, and that they absolutely refused to sell their produce on the route (1890:66-7). He interpreted this fact as the result of the highland Indians' passion for walking, similar to the Arabs', but it is more likely due to a colonial ordinance on Good Government issued in Quito in 1779, which included a chapter forbidding the sale or purchase of produce on its way to Quito until after midday, so that the vecinos and inhabitants of Quito could acquire all they needed at a good price (in Enriquez 1922:12). Figure 18. 1 9 8 tfi*AaiHa!.'5£& S •S^W^SBS^'S*' "—^^^^^^^TilSMIIllHi Cftt (Oowk>bJ&. Savage Indian from Nanegal: the Spouse (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981). Figure 19. 199 * > *^**£Jfci£jfr^ '*•*' t** ' J^ewc/edota- ae ^z?uubM&<>. Earthemware Seller (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981). Figure 20. 2 0 0 *J*£At atetct Potter (watercolour by Pinto; Samaniego Salazar 1985). Figure 21. 2 0 1 lace et fontaine pies de la oathedralej a Quito. — Dcssin de E. Tlierond d'apres M. Ernest Charton. Square and fountain near the cathedral, in Quito (from a drawing by E.Therond, based on a sketch by Charton; Charton 1867). of the need to labour for a living. The spurs and whip of the chagras was evidence that they rode horses rather than walked. The clothing of Quito tradesmen and bolsiconas revealed that they worked for a living, whereas the clothing of rural Indians revealed their community of origin. It was the bundles the Indians carried which showed not only how they worked for a living, but that part of this work included substituting as beasts of burden.9 There is also evidence in the distinctions displayed between the clothing of rural and urban Indians, of a shift from signs of ethnic and community origin in rural dress, to signs of the type of labour undertaken in the city. Rather than descriptions such as Indian from Nanegal, or Indian from Riobamba, urban Indians in Quito tend to be described in representations of social types as Bricklayer, Streetsweeper, or Fruitseller. These activities could also be read as signs of community identity, as discussed above with reference to the street sweepers and streetlighters of Zambiza and Nayon. Although each representation of the view from street-level is inherently incomplete, individual accounts contribute different perspectives which can be analysed as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle: when fitted together a larger, more coherent picture becomes visible. Stanley, for 9 According to Hassaurek, horses and mules were called bagages mayores (large beasts of burden), while asses and Indians were called bagages menores (small beasts of burden) (1868:185-6) . instance, uses a harsher economic realism to describe the crowded streets, which complements the exoticism of costumed types: The lower classes are filthy in their habits, and have many of them no settled home of any description: sleeping in the streets or under the colonnades of the public buildings, rolled in their ponchos, and equally safe from disturbance, whether by rain, or the meddling of the police. One cause of their wretched condition is to be found in the extreme cheapness of labour...I have myself seen water-carriers employed to bring up five or six heavy pitchers at a time, making altogether a load under which I could hardly stand, from a distance of half-a-mile, for a sum considerably less than an English farthing;10 and judging from the manner in which these and similar services were paid for, I should say that from 2d to 3d per diem 1:L would be held to be ample remuneration for the most laborious kind of employment (1850:108-9). Spatial practice in the Plaza Mayor The bird's-eye view of the city as a map reveals the political structure of spatial organization in Quito, but it tells us little about the ways in which this structure was negotiated in daily practice. The street-level view tells a different story, about the ways in which the ordered boundaries and exclusionary zones were crossed or redrawn, through the human activity which disappears from view at a distance. De Certeau writes that 10 Whymper mentions that a medio (equal to twopence) was the regular charge for a jar of water in 1880 (1987:168). 11 In 1872 Indian labourers working in the trabajo subsidiario on the roads were meant to be paid 2 reals a day, or 3 pesos for two weeks work (there were 8 reals to a peso), whereas the European teachers at the Escuela Politecnica received 1200 pesos annually, or 46 pesos every two weeks (EN 1872, No.126). It is as though the practices organizing a bustling city were characterized by their blindness. The networks of these moving, intersecting writings compose a manifold story that has neither author nor spectator, shaped out of fragments of trajectories and alterations of spaces: in relation to representations, it remains daily and indefinitely other (1988:93). The spatial organization of the buildings in the Plaza Mayor emphasized the tripartite power structure of society, and formally recognized the mestizo class in the rented shops and stalls around the base. According to this map, however, there were no Indians in the Plaza: they were located outside the city boundaries on the periphery of society. In practice, the opposite was the case, and the Indian population moved daily from the periphery to take over the centre, and back again. What looks like empty symbolic space in the centre of the Plaza encircling the fountain, or source of life, was the location of the daily market during the colonial period (Puga 1991: 196) and until the 1850s (Holinski 1861:143; Lisboa 1866:354).12 It was only in the evenings that the plaza became a promenade for the "fashionable set" to see and be seen (Holinski 1861:143). The Plaza Mayor was also used, until 1867, for bull-baiting. These popular spectacles took place on occasions specified by the cabildo since the seventeenth century, and 12 Andre said the main plaza had a market in 1876 (1883:382), but his account is rather confusing at this point: his engraving entitled Catedrale de Quito, (which was taken from a photograph), and showing the market in front, is actually a picture of the Plaza de San Francisco, not the Plaza Mayor or the cathedral (1883:383). included events like the successful construction of civic buildings, the arrival of colonial dignitaries, or a new king in Spain (in Puga 1991:92, 119-128). Hassaurek thought that the republican government of the nineteenth century considered it good policy to give bull-baitings whenever apprehensions of a revolutionary outbreak were entertained (1868:178), and Orton listed Christmas, New Year's, Inauguration day, and Independence Day as the bull-baiting calendar in 1867 (1870:81). The whole range of Quito society congregated in the plaza to celebrate, and it was considered the most popular diversion in Quito (Stevenson 1829:306-310). In 1809, according to Stevenson, the sides of the plaza were divided into gallery lots for families of distinction, public officers and colleges. The celebrations began with the masked entrance (entradas) ,13 when two thousand or more people entered simultaneously into the central space from the four corners of the plaza, and paraded masked from one gallery to another. Indians, mestizos, and many of the nobility and ecclesiastics disguised themselves in this way, ritually erasing the social distances of daily life. The houses of the rich were open to any masked person for 13 The entrada, in which the central plaza of a town is taken over at the beginning of a fiesta by masked Indian participants, such as in St.John's or Corpus Christi, was still a common ritual of inversion in the 1960s and 70s (Crespi 1981:489; Muratorio 1981:13), although Crespi found that the practice decreased as the asymmetrical social interdependence between Whites and Indians became both more equitable and more competitive (1981:500) . refreshments, and it was those who refused to participate in this liminal interlude of social equality who became the peripheried outsiders: ..the object of the masked is to laugh at the unmasked, and the attempting to discover any person who is thus covered by force, is considered extremely rude, and a breach of the privilege of the mask. If attempted in the circus, or the street, the assault would immediately be punished by the monkeys, who would flog the aggressor with their long tails, the friars would strike with their beads, and the muleteers with their whips. Some of the natives are remarkably skilful in making masks, and a person may procure, at a few hour's notice, an exact representation of the face of any individual in the city; whence it very frequently happens, that people are seen double, one very gravely seated in a gallery, and a fac simile dancing about the circus, to the annoyance of the original, and the diversion of the spectators (1829:308-9). The "civilized" centre was taken over by the "wild" periphery represented by the costumed presence of the Sacharuna (forest dweller or wildman, see figs. 22,23)14 and the Monkeys who symbolized the eastern lowlands, and who presided over the entradas. The entrance of the bull himself carried complex liminal symbolism. Holinski, for instance, had teased the mule-driver who accompanied him to Quito, for avoiding a bull they passed one night. Jose Maria replied that the bull had been black, and that the devil took on the shape of a black bull at night (1861:108-9). In Zumbagua in 14 See Salomon (1981, 1987) for a detailed analysis of the spatial symbolism of a contemporary ritual performance near Quito during Corpus Christi: men and adolescents from Quito's industrial suburbs dress as lowland "savages". He also comments that dressing up in lowland costume is an almost pan-Andean tradition (1981:163). Figure 22. 207 ' ~^?••^•'3• , 1 , 1 '*' ..Aft;. <ynafo pate t_Jbe&ca& /a-4 e?z &<Z€W& cm <£/za>m.(&a Indian who presides at the entradas de Chamiza during Bullfights (watercolour by Guerrero; Hallo 1981). Figure 23. 208 r*v.n J^^aFhinlo. J*™*„& *£ Tacunoa. Sac Wuna. Stefrxe-^ " f c (hilts 5K. 'fanes in J /tfdh /%/*sa mif. Litog: MiiMollFijim Yumbos />/n//f'a/it //?/ fluixos /'st rra »'*/'&. 'ft J Sacharuna (Osculati Tav.VI, 1854). the 1980s, bulls were considered to belong symbolically to the paramo (communal grasslands in the rural highlands), the habitation of many wild creatures that "cross the boundaries between human and animal, natural and supernatural, life and death" (Weismantel 1988:201-2). Crossing boundaries and masking social origin in the ritual space of the centre created a brief interlude from what Turner has called the "classificatory nets of quotidian, routinized spheres of action" (1977:vii). Crespi (1981:499) and Muratorio (1981:14) also remind us that rituals of reversal are illusory respites from everyday life, and that the real control of the plaza territory was in the hands of whites and mestizos. The same has to be acknowledged for the daily appropriation of the Plaza Mayor by the Indian market: it did not alter the power structure symbolized by the imposing architecture surrounding the vernacular market space. Nonetheless, President Garcia Moreno banned bullfights in Ecuador through legislative decree on February 11, 1868 (Cevallos 1975:133), and prevented further use of the Plaza Mayor for structural transgressions of both ritual and quotidian nature, by turning it into a cultivated garden (Kolberg 1977:191 and photo, Lamina 33). According to Andre, it was designed like a star with eight paths leading to the fountain at its centre. He commended the choice of "ornamentation" because the garden was planted with native plants as well as European, such as the "thorny Durantas hedges" (1883:382). Hassaurek noted that "perhaps no act of president Moreno gave greater dissatisfaction than his making a park of the plaza" (1868:178), although Orton missed the point when he commented that Garcia Moreno was ridiculed and threatened about the park, because of Spanish Americans' "singular antipathy to trees" (1870:76). The daily market was moved to the neighbouring Plaza de San Francisco. President Veintimilla reintroduced the bullfights in 1877 (Castro 1877, Puga 1991:253), but they were reinstituted away from the centre in the Plaza de San Francisco, not the Plaza Mayor. The popular appropriation of the centre for daily and ritual purposes had been actively and permanently peripheralized, as Hall describes: Cultural change is a polite euphemism for the process by which some cultural forms and practices are driven out of the centre of popular life, actively marginalized. Rather than simply 'falling into disuse' through the Long March to modernization, things are actively pushed aside, so that something else can take their place (1981:227-8). In 1886, Monnier wrote that the only entertainment in Quito was the evening promenade on the Plaza Mayor between 4 and 6 o'clock, and the departure of the post twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays (1890:83). The municipality put fences round the Plaza in 1896 (Cevallos Romero 1989:72), and by 1903, sentinels with bayonets and white gloves watched the public who came to listen to the military band which played in the Plaza when weather permitted (Meyer 1983:348). The public was made up of men from the upper classes in the park below, while the women watched and chatted on the balconies. The Indians' presence was only visible after 10 o'clock when the crowds left, seated on the steps of the Cathedral (Delebecque 1907:57). After a century of independence, the Plaza Mayor had become the "heart of Ecuador" (Franck 1917:130) instead of the centre of Quito. In 1906, it was renamed the Plaza de la Independencia, in honour of a centenary monument which was to replace the old fountain: ...a tall, showy monument topped by a bronze Victory or Liberty, or some other exotic bird, while at its base cringes an allegorical Spanish lion with a look of pained disgust on its face and an arrow through its liver. Much of the square is floored with cement, blinding to the eyes under the equatorial sun and only mildly relieved by staid and too carefully tended plots where violets, pansies, yellow poppies, and many a flower known only to the region bloom perennially. Its diagonal walks see most of Quito pass at least once a day. But neither Indians nor the ragged classes pause to sit on its grass-green benches; nor may anyone carry a bundle past its gates - unless the guard happens to be doing something other than his appointed duty (Franck 1917:130) . The changes in the social organization of the centre over the first century of independence, show a change in the cultural definition of the right place for particular social practices. The Plaza Mayor had been used as a reflexive spatial representation of society as a whole, maintaining the existing power structure through ritual incorporation, acted out for the benefit of the inhabitants of Quito alone. A hundred years later, the plaza had become an externally oriented representation of a civilized national capital, and the power structure was now maintained through permanent exclusion. Although the park was theoretically open to the public betwe en 4 and 10 o'clock, carrying bundles and wearing ponchos were prohibited inside the gates (Cevallos Romero 1989:81), which not only excluded most Indians, but all men who were not dressed in the European style. Franck used the Plaza to illustrate the lack of genuine democracy in Quito. He witnessed an incident in which a grandson of Flores, a youth of American school training, stepped on the flagging surrounding the new monument. The cholo policeman on guard hesitated, but finally screwed up unusual courage and informed the youth in a courteous, not to say humble, manner that he had been ordered not to let any one walk on the flagging. The descendant of Ecuador's founder turned a brilliant red, as if his noble house had been vilely insulted, then so white that his blond hair seemed to become dark brown. He strode across to the officer, who was considerably larger than he, caught him by the coat, and all but jerked him off his feet. The policeman abjectly apologized (1917: 146-7). Franck, (an American policeman), concluded The "best people" of Quito do not realize that it is not the individual policeman, their "inferior", giving them orders, but lawful and orderly society speaking through them (1917:147). The view from below In Pike's analysis of spatial perspectives, he defines the view from below as a focus on the repressed, instinctual aspects of social life, such as sewers and cemeteries. Nineteenth century travellers were certainly fascinated by the problems of sewage, hygiene, and disease in Quito, although the object of their fascination could not be described as repressed. Many practices which they thought should be repressed were blatantly open and visible. They described in detail how sewage was dumped in the ravines which ran through the city, feet were washed in the open canals of potable water, people urinated without shame in the streets, lepers in the hospital were allowed to marry, and lunatics sang mournfully in church. Travellers thought that the city's lack of hygiene successfully evaded pestilence because it was fortunate with respect to its climate and geography. Quito was reputedly the city of eternal spring, never hot and never cold. Hassaurek described it as one of the healthiest localities on the globe, where consumption and pulmonary diseases were rare, tropical fevers nonexistent, and dysentery uncommon (1868:116). Ravines (quebradas) which ran through the city, the sloping ground, and the frequent rains also provided a natural drainage which cleaned the streets (Whymper 1987:168). On the other hand, when one saw the quantity of filth that collected in the ravines during the dry season, "one could only marvel that more people in Quito did not die of typhoid and other epidemics" (Meyer 1983:345). In accordance with its colonial spatial organization, aspects of social life that Europeans thought should be invisible, such as dirt, sewage, poverty, and disease, were geographically peripheralized instead. An ordinance on Good Government, issued in 1779, stipulated that no person, regardless of rank, should throw dirty water, dead animals or foul-smelling objects into the city streets, but should deposit necessary filth in the ravines (in Enriquez 1922:11). These official sewage disposal sites were still in use at the beginning of the twentieth century, as Meyer described: When you go through the streets at night, before the inhabitants retire to sleep, you come across a train of boys and servants, each carrying one or two night pots, walking to one of the many deep ravines which cross the whole of Quito. They arrive one after the other at a hole made especially for the purpose in the parapet, and empty the contents into the abysmal dark. A policeman stands there to ensure order; an electric lamp shines from above with a dim light. This peculiar expedition to the ravines lasts about an hour; after half past nine, everything is peaceful and solitary on the streets (1983:345). Hospitals were located on the outskirts of the city, instituted as charitable organizations for those who were sick and/or poor.15 In effect, this meant urban Indians (those no longer connected with their community of origin) and poor mestizos. The rich could afford private treatment in their houses, and rural Indians consulted healers in their own communities (Bustos y Castelo 1989:389). The colonial ordinance of 1779 made it clear that destitution was to be kept outside the city boundaries. All "Vagabonds, persons of ill-repute and Ruffians" were to 15 Foucault describes similar conditions in seventeenth century Europe: "Sickness is only one among a range of factors including infirmity, old age, inability to find work, and destitution, which compose the figure of the "necessitous pauper' who deserves hospitalization" (1984:276) . leave the city within three days. If they remained, they were to be employed in a royal textile workshop (the infamous obrajes) for five years without pay. No one was to take them into their house under any pretext, or suffer a fine of 25 pesos and jail for 30 days (in Enriquez 1922:9). Dirt, disease, and poverty were peripheralized geographically, and treated as a personal responsibility or charitable function which had to be kept within certain limits, rather than as consequences of social relations which had to be treated politically. Sanitary control of urban space ...the health and physical well-being of populations comes to figure as a political objective which the "police" of the social body must ensure along with those of economic regulation and the needs of order (Foucault 1984:278). What Foucault has called "the emergence of health as one of the essential objects of political power" (1984:277) took place in Quito during the nineteenth century, when hygiene became a necessary objective of progress in a national capital. The travellers' expressed opinions on thi score appear to have contributed to this perception. An article in the newspaper El Comercio in 1922 wrote about this "undeniable progress" in Quito, as a result of which the travellers who visited the capital would have to agree that the city would be worthy of foreigners' admiration in few years, and entitled to the legitimate pride of Ecuadorians (in Enriquez 1922:60). The first congress after national independence in 1830 declared that one of the municipality's responsibilities was to watch over the police, who were in charge of safety, health, improvement and amenities (in Enriquez 1922:5). There is usually some distance between theory and practice, and Holinski complained in 1851, that although the water in Quito was abundant, its use was not regulated in any way by the police (1861:160). Kolberg assured his readers that by the 1870s there was no need to worry about filth because the streets in the centre of the city were under strict vigilance by the police, and they were cleaned daily, although the streets in the suburbs were still in the condition found everywhere before Garcia Moreno's arrival (1977:186).16 By the 1890s, city police sent in regular reports to the municipality which detailed their activities, and the fines imposed on offenders. Street cleanliness was a major source of these fines; out of 307 offences in the month of June 1893, 183 included unspecified acts against health and cleanliness, failure to clean the street, throwing unhealthy objects into the streets, throwing dirty water on passers-16 Garcia Moreno had employed Adolph Gohin, a French engineer, to regrade and repave the streets in the centre, removing dips where putrid water collected until the rains washed them away (Gayraud and Domec, in Puga 1991:203). He also had the canals covered, which carried potable water through the streets, to prevent sewage from being emptied into them (Petrocokinco 1903:73). by, and washing clothes in public fountains (EM 1893 Aho IX, June 15:6). Thirty-six street-cleaners (presumably from Zambiza) were hired through the trabajo subsidiario in 1895 at a rate of 20 centavos for a day's work, and 10 centavos on fiesta days (EM 1895, Aho XI, April 19:6). These were the streetcleaners that Avendaho dismissed as Indians of repugnant appearance and dirty clothes. He thought they were too stupid to understand the reason for their office, because he regularly saw them pulling up grass and leaving the pile of "filth" that lay next to it (1985:125). As Avendaho didn't mention that they had no shovels for their tasks, and had to collect the piles with their hands and fill them in their ponchos (Hassaurek 1868:114), it was hardly surprising. Avendaho's elitist perceptions and interpretation of what he saw were not uncommon in the accounts, especially when the travellers attempted to make sense of the Indian population. I have discussed what the travellers saw, and made sense of it through comparison with other historical sources, as well as through a theoretical perspective which focuses on the relationship between culture and politics, and therefore on the ways that the symbolic organization of urban space limited, and made possible, particular kinds of human activity. The Europeans travellers made sense out of what they experienced in a different way: through theories of barbarism and the discourse of progress. The legitimation 218 of this aspect of their work in Ecuador must be examined through an analysis of their own symbolic organization of social space. CHAPTER 5 Everyone in Their Place: the Representation of Social Boundaries As their experience of travel in Ecuador accumulated, the Europeans recorded their impressions and claimed legitimate knowledge of that social world both by attempting to demonstrate the reality of what they saw, and by successfully interpreting the significance of that reality through established discourses which could organize the chaos of experience through division and classification. The problem of cultural distance which they experienced in relation to much that they observed was modified through discursive arguments which explained those differences in the context of European interests. The impact of cultural difference which European travellers experienced was most strongly felt by many of them in their observation of the indigenous population. The least difference was experienced in their relations with the white landowning class and political elite of Quito. The organization of social space in Ecuador, the symbolic and practical division and classification of people into social groups, was also an issue which the travellers were interested in because Europeans were curious about the social conditions which existed in the new and controversial organizations called democratic republics, which were springing up all over South America with the demise of Spanish colonialism. Contemporary academic analyses of accounts which record the experience of difference, have worked to reveal the ideological basis of other early ethnographic interpretations (Berkhofer 1979, Said 1979, Marcus and Cushman 1982, Clifford 1988). These analyses have provided an essential corrective to the claims of empirical transparency in the accounts, but one of their other consequences has been the tendency to dismiss the authors and their accounts as valid sources of ethnographic and historical knowledge. The analysis of images from a theoretical perspective which concentrates on images as isolated products has revealed a collection of stereotypes -based in reality but generalized in a way we no longer find accurate today (Berkhofer 1979:3). If, on the other hand, one takes an approach which focuses on the process through which images were constructed rather than on the finished products, travellers' accounts continue to be a source of many interesting questions. The nineteenth century travellers, for instance, were consciously concerned with accuracy, so our contemporary judgement that they were unable to attain this goal raises further issues which need to be analysed. What was the history of cultural and political negotiation through which their experience of a different reality, (nineteenth century daily life in the Ecuadorian Andes), was transformed into representations of that reality, which with twentieth century hindsight are seen to be transparently ideological? Or alternatively, what could an analysis of images contribute to our understanding of the cultural and political interaction between European observers and local groups in highland Ecuador? Bailey distinguishes between the truth of experience or observation, as propositions which may be proved true or false empirically, and the truth of discourse, as claims and counterclaims whose truth can only be proposed with reference to a particular interpretive system (1991:15-16). Discursive truth is relative to the syntactical system employed, and is contingent on the premise or axioms shaping that system. Individuals shape culture, and other peoples' worlds, by successfully making others use a particular syntactical system, and in this way impose their own definition on a situation (Bailey 1991:17-18). Truths proposed in discourse can therefore be understood as political practices which reflect broader social projects and relations of domination. I argue in this chapter that images are based on selected empirical facts, the truths of experience and observation, but limited in their construction and articulation by the premises and concepts of current hegemonic conventions of representation. Images which are politically neutral when taken in isolation, acquire political implications when connected by their authors to make an argument within a predetermined discourse. It is in this sense that the cultural production of images must be examined as a political practice which contributes to (or challenges) hegemonic assumptions, sustaining or critiquing dominant discourses of meaning. Although the representations of highland Indians that nineteenth century Europeans constructed now seem obvious and stereotypical, their analysis is important as a case study of the ways in which the discourse of a particular period and place tends to emphasize certain constructs, whilst blinding the authors to alternatives. Just as in the twentieth century we no longer discuss the Other through arguments about evolution from savagery through barbarism to civilization, the European travellers of the nineteenth century no longer argued about the Other in the terms of earlier periods of history. The travellers' accounts that I discuss, for instance, show no evidence of conscious familiarity with the complex scholastic and theological debates of sixteenth and seventeenth century colonialism (Pagden 1982): Charles Marie de la Condamine, and Alexander von Humboldt are the earliest sources referred to. The nineteenth century accounts were written for an emerging middle-class readership in Europe, which was interested in stories of travel to exotic foreign places, not the philosophical and legal issues concerning natural law that were important two or three centuries earlier. Pagden, writing about the historical changes in the colonial accounts he examined, states that The crucial differences between these writers are to be found, not in the fact that the one achieved a greater power of recognition or greater intellectual honesty than the others, but rather in the different kinds of goals they set out to achieve (Pagden 1982:3). The same could be said of the difference between those and nineteenth century writers. European curiosity about the Andes was stimulated by de la Condamine and Humboldt's scientific expeditions, as well as the recent independence from Spain, which resulted in speculation and exploration in search of raw resources, trade relationships, and political influence. The travellers juggled with dual and contradictory purposes in their claims to accurate representation of their experience. On the one hand they took a position as scientists and realists, bringing the benefits of European progress to Ecuadorians; on the other, they took a point of view as amateurs of exoticism and the picturesque, recording the romance of travel in Ecuador for the benefit of European readers. The travellers' primary interests were not in the Indians per se, but they were interested in the assessment of social conditions witnessed in a new democratic republic as it emerged after the period of Spanish colonialism. This goal was achieved through the comparison of Ecuador's relative social, cultural and technological progress against the measuring stick of European civilization. The condition of the Indian population was an important element of this assessment, because despite individual disagreement about the reasons for their abject condition, it was generally agreed that the highland Indians were barbarous.x In order to examine the process through which the travellers' experience of a foreign reality was transformed into evidence of barbarity in their accounts, I analyse their representations of highland Indians at three different levels. The first and most abstract level was the fundamental premise on which most arguments about the Indians' condition were based: the assumption that the Indian was Other. Europe had a long history of defining the Other as barbarian, although particular meanings of the word changed according to cultural and historical context. Nineteenth century European conventions of representing the barbarian Other were bound by the discourse of racial evolution and progress, defining the criteria for categorizing social and cultural differences in Ecuador in ways that were less subtle than the local conventions of social differentiation used in daily life in the Andean highlands. These criteria therefore tell us more about the 1 My analysis is based on the nineteenth century European images of the highland Indians of Ecuador constructed in 14 travel accounts written for the new mass publications, and 2 published diaries (Boussingault and Almagro). European accounts distinguished between the barbarous highlanders, and the savage forest dwellers who were considered to be lower on the evolutionary scale, and were the subjects of quite different images. In my examination of 57 European and North American authors who visited Ecuador and Peru during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, Andean, or highland, Indians were never defined as savages. travellers' own cultural assumptions than those of the people they represented. The second level discussed is the detailed record of travellers' experience while in the highlands. This repetitive accumulation of selected empirical facts and hearsay in the accounts creates vivid generic images of the highland Indians, whose descriptive detail convinces readers of the reality of the representations. Three generic images emerge, with which the travellers encapsulated their experience of this social group: the Indian as beast of burden, the Indian as exotic pagan, and the subversive or resistant Indian. At the third level discussed, they articulated these three images in a surprising variety of ways to construct ideological arguments that explained the condition of the Indian population as they saw it. Some Europeans argued, for instance, that the Indians could progress from a condition of barbarism to the goal of civilization through rational education, others that they had degenerated from an earlier and happier condition of civilization (the Incas) to their present barbarity as a result of colonial slavery. Despite the different personal intentions evident in the ways images of the Indian were articulated in ideological argument to explain existing conditions, the travellers were unable, (with the exception of Manuel de Almagro), to avoid the fundamental discursive premise that the Indian was the Other. This premise, which effectively drew the boundaries around those considered qualified to maintain social and political order, suggests a coincidence of hegemonic interests between the European travellers and the ruling terrateniente class in nineteenth century Ecuador, even though they used different discourses to explain the existence of racial hierarchies. The discourse on blood relations in Ecuador A racial typology had been used in Spanish America since the sixteenth century which classified an individual's place in society according to the concept of limpieza de sangre, and the hierarchy of three races which supplied the original blood: White European, Negro Africans, and Indian aborigines. Miscegenation among these groups produced a complex categorization of racial mixtures which described all children born to parents from two different racial categories (Burkholder and Johnson 1990:107). By the middle of the seventeenth century, the term casta was widely applied to any non-white who was not clearly an Indian. Although the intricacy of the nomenclature within the casta category was based on a precise reckoning of racial mixture, the reality of the local inhabitants' social organization in the Andes was not based on criteria of blood alone, but included a hierarchy of diverse social and cultural characteristics attributed to each group. All these characteristics needed to be recognized in order to make sense of existing social relations. This was difficult for most visiting Europeans to do. Ida Pfeiffer, for instance, who was on her second journey around the world when she visited Ecuador in 1854, was struck by the similarity of the Indians' condition to the "Pariah caste of Hindostan" (1856: 367,389), an impression partly produced by her inability to perceive some of the finer internal distinctions of social differentiation and mobility. In actual practice, proximity to European norms demonstrated in speech, dress, manner, occupation, and wealth proved most important in determining racial status. Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, Spanish scholars who accompanied de la Condamine and the scientific mission to the colonial Audiencia of Quito in 173 6, demonstrated a more subtle recognition of some of these cultural and economic criteria in a representation of eighteenth century Quito social types, which was published in Relacion historica del viaje a la America Meridional in 1738 (fig.24). A hierarchy of class and ethnic differentiation is depicted in this image, and is represented by arranging the social types in a line which decreases in size and foregrounding from the viewer's left to right. The largest and closest to the viewer is an Espanola Quitena, a white urban woman; an India Palla is second in line, but of equal stature. Separated 2 It was possible during the nineteenth century, for instance, that a man known previously as an Indian should be publicly recognized as a Mestizo by becoming an urban artisan (Luna Tamayo 1989:173). Figure 24. ! f i ? ^ '**Hl ^A-•«*.* &'. - , 1 ^ r -- X '-. .*s=:- ". • ?^ ' . - < • ' • v m% -«r v-^- • !'• "-«£•• .\ i' W/!' ^=" _ ^ "5 \ > • • - ^ & -; - * T :.S .-£-./" r, ?« • ; *^  s. =T : J S -.; t '~~ -^-: '-f;. »>* > £ • / , /^ y -7~H ^ Mm ^Sfe&sfi?^/ xZislP ^ l *?K ?? -feL. <%W C;*?5c«&.' >= v .^/ •«:•: ^ N - 3 ' " .- > sis, *AMII /» • is ^ ?S \ *?&%% .•»&r « ; . ^ , f ; - f c « : • v s r- - - » -KK: - ^ v , • S l . - . lii -* VJS c o 0) to CD G Wo from the two upper class women is an Indio Barbero. He is paired with a Mestiza Quiteha, who appears to have lesser status than the barber because she stands behind him.3 Finally, separated into their own class are two Indians, an Indio Rustico and an India Ordinaria. Juan and Ulloas' sensitivity to the finer distinctions of social organization reveals a practical complexity that is not apparent in the theoretical racial typology. Race is certainly an element, but there are also necessary distinctions between urban and rural inhabitants, between those of noble birth and those involved in trade, and also between the sexes. In 1809, William Stevenson, then secretary for the last president of the Audiencia of Quito, Count Ruis de Castilla, recorded his experience of twenty years on the western coastal regions of South America. His descriptions of the urban Indian population in Quito support Juan and Ulloas' visual analysis of internal ranking within the racial groupings: The lowest and poorest class of indian men and women wear a very scanty and coarse apparel... Those Indians who are in better circumstances cloth themselves in an elegant manner... The Caciques, alcaldes, some butchers and barbers, also wear the long Spanish cloak, breeches over drawers, shoes, and large square silver buckles, but never any stockings (1825:304-5). 3 The trade of barber was an urban activity often exercised by Indians, and carried considerable prestige. The Cabildo of Quito had passed a resolution in 1548 stating that no one could exercise the office of barbero unless he could show qualifications of competence (Angel Puga 1991:44). This prestige was undoubtedly also based on the barber's alternative title of bloodletter {Sa.ngra.dor) (Osculati 1854:55), and the consequent power he wielded over life and death. Figure 25. 2 3 0 CO.-UHHI it Kin to /*v: //. ' fa.} flariicrr. SlH- -• yr/tr/itnrc' r/t /'flflffos. < 1)1!? ppr depasno 4' icqu.i) f?/>i>/if<>rf> ///s////;/e tferr/a/a/a /nt/ia/ia. . tforranfr t/i /'/a iaji'/a. 5 •- ' - • • ••- ' .:•-• !-ri..:- - V-, ' '.\:.r • I ; ; Costumes of Quito (Osculati Tav.IX, 1854). He also remarks that Some of the Indians are barbers, and manage a razor with the greatest dexterity: they may easily be distinguished among the indian tradesmen, because the brass or silver basin is always peeping from under their cloak (1825:301). Gaetano Osculati, an Italian, was in Quito for only a month in 1847. He limits himself to visual classifications of types seen in the streets of Quito. The barber is still there in his cloak, carrying the bowl which symbolized his relative prestige (fig.25), but the composition of social types in the illustration is now purely descriptive rather than analytical. Nineteenth century European travellers often accepted the simple tripartite discrimination by putative blood-descent, of White, Mestizo and Indian, as the sole criterion for explaining hierarchical relations in Ecuador. The inherent problems produced by distinguishing social groups and their relations by this criterion alone are evident in the disparity and vagueness of the travellers' guesses concerning the relative distribution of racial groupings, especially as regards the mestizos.4 Their interpretation of the meaning of racial discrimination in local terms was 4 Boussingault (1985:106) proposes that the three racial groups are evenly divided; Stanley (1850:111) that the Indians make up nine-tenths of the population; Avendaho (1985:125) that the Indians make up more than half; Almagro (1866:84) that the Quichua Indians and pure blooded whites make up the majority; Andre (1883:388) that the popular masses consist mainly of the quichua group; and Whymper (1987:177) simply that the Indian population is larger than the White. generally simplistic and inadequate, because they were using the same terminology for rather different ends. Racial differences became a means of discussing and making sense of the condition of the Indian population in the highlands as the Europeans perceived it. This entailed explaining that condition within an discursive framework that they were more familiar with: the barbarian Other defined against European civilization. The discourse on barbarians in Europe Hall (1990:16) proposes that although the specific meanings of images may change, they often continue to be constructed according to an ancient grammar. This grammar serves to classify the world through old categories that frame our understanding, even though the images themselves may be contemporary. The world classified into Us and Other is an ancient premise on which the polarizing concepts of superiority versus inferiority, domination versus subordination, and incorporation versus resistance provide a framework for a long history of up-dated imagery of the Other.5 Nineteenth century Europeans chose the term barbarian to represent the highland Indians of Ecuador in their accounts. A brief history of the changing applications of this term in Europe illustrates how the application of 5 I limit myself here to European images of "us and other", but there is literature which I do not address here, such as Harbsmeier (1985), that analyses similar distinctions in other societies. the term barbarian changed, but the Us/Other premise remained constant. The word barbarian was invented by the Greeks as a term to describe the Scythians and other peoples, "who differed from the Greeks in their lack of appreciation for the polis, the Greek language, and the literary and artistic ideals of the city-state" (Jones 1971:379). Jones examines some of the ways in which this classical image of the barbarian was accommodated to suit changing historical circumstances in Europe. Fifth century Romans considered the difference between civilization and barbarism to be that which separated Christians from pagans (1971:382). By the eleventh century, the term was applied to express the condescension of some Europeans towards others assumed to exist at lower levels of material, intellectual and moral development (1971:3 94). Teutonic scholars in the sixteenth century used the word in a positive sense, to exalt their ancestors as upright, brave, and hardy, unencumbered by a civilized past (1971:406) . Preoccupation with barbarians was diminished around this time by a growing interest in the more exotic, non-European Other: the American savage. By the eighteenth century, exponents of primitive exoticism were critiquing civilization and contrasting it negatively with the condition of the American noble savage who was thought to be uncorrupted, and still in that state of innocence Europeans seemed to have lost forever (Baudet 1965:55-59). In the nineteenth century, Europeans began to construct national histories of advancing progress, and Michelet rediscovered the unencumbered barbarian in the lower classes: Often these days, the rise and progress of the people are compared to the invasion of the Barbarians...Yes, that is to say, full of new, living, regenerating sap (quoted in Baudet 1965:61). European superiority regained much of its former self-evidence, and became the cornerstone of the historical and social evolutionary theories which proliferated during the nineteenth century (Stocking 1968:121-2). The explicit hierarchy of races, and the imputed inferiority of those described as savage, barbarous, uncivilized or primitive, gave the assumption of white (European) superiority a new scientific rationale for this ancient discourse. European travellers in Ecuador were born into, and inherited this ancient grammar. In the nineteenth century, the terms of the dominant discourse limited their arguments to locating Indians on a progressive or descending scale between savagery, barbarism and civilization. Since the grounding premise was based on an Us/Other dichotomy, it goes without saying that the possibility of arguing that an Indian race was civilized was a logical impossibility, unless the grounding premise itself was challenged. The nature of Indian images The images that I documented are vivid mental pictures of generic highland Indians, which are created through written and/or visual means. These images describe chosen aspects of the world, but do not supply explanations about that world or peoples' place in it. When examined independently, they are removed from the discursive context in which images are articulated by individual Europeans to illustrate the point they want to make. Their power as isolated images derives from the gradual accumulation of detailed descriptions of experience and hearsay, which convinces the reader of their reality, particularly as the images recur repeatedly as s/he reads different accounts. Although these images are constructed out of travellers' lived experience while in Ecuador, it must be remembered that the range of experiences available to them was limited, constrained by their status as European visitors, and perceived from a particular position in social space. As a result, European travellers' interaction with the Indian population in the highlands was generally based on a shared social distance which had more in common with the perspective of the White elite than the Indian people that the images portray. As Foster observes, the "selection of what is significant is given over to the observer, so that the resulting representations express mainly the observational style and social placement of the... outsider" (1982:29). In accordance with their shared experiences, social status, and sex, it is not surprising that the same images appear constantly in the accounts. There are exceptions, however. Ida Pfeiffer was a woman, and Paul Fountain was poor, and the experiences of each were consequently of a different nature from the main corpus of accounts analysed. For this reason it is useful to consider what kinds of differences they experienced, and whether their generic images of Indians differed from the more common type of European travelers. Ida Pfeiffer must have been an extraordinary woman in her time. She was an Austrian, born in Vienna in 1797, and a divorcee, which gave her the independence and freedom to travel round the world on two separate occasions (Castro y Velazquez 1978:31). She was fifty-seven years old when she climbed from Guayaquil to Quito in 1854, arriving in the city dressed in a poncho, to be received there by a crowd of "ragged people" pointing at her and laughing. She received hospitality with the American Charge d'Affaires, but found that despite letters of introduction to the president and high officials, she could not succeed in getting an audience with them. She was also deliberately snubbed by Larrea who sent an invitation to her host inviting him to a dinner without including Pfeiffer (1856:392). Pfeiffer left Quito as quickly as possible, three weeks after her arrival. Paul Fountain was an Englishman who had been living in the United States before he went to South America around 1884. He described himself as "a pedlar or travelling huckster" who wandered on the outskirts of settled country supplying farmers and ranchmen with "small necessaries and comforts". He also collected animal pelts to sell, and intended to survive by this means while he travelled in South America. The real object of his travels was "to gratify an intense longing to visit remote and little-known spots on the earth" (1902:2-3). While in Ecuador he travelled as "a poor man and a wanderer", entering by the "backdoor" in order to avoid interference or supervision by the authorities (1902:206). He never went to Quito, but travelled instead along routes which he claimed were known only to thieves and contrabandistas. Despite these differences in experience, their generic images constructed to represent the highland Indians of Ecuador were the same basic three that were also constructed by other travellers. The only distinction in Pfeiffer and Fountain's images was their highly coloured and graphic nature.6 The social distance of Europeans in relation to the Indian population applies equally to Pfeiffer and Fountain. Their relationship with Ecuadorians was still that of European outsiders, if perhaps eccentric ones. Ultimately, their experience of Ecuador had more in common with other Europeans than with any other group encountered or observed. 6 Pfeiffer' s account is still criticized by contemporary Ecuadorians for its exaggeration (Toscano 1960:93, Castro y Velazquez 1978:32, Carvalho Neto 1964:339-40). The most powerful image of the highland Indian throughout the nineteenth century was encapsulated in the visual and written images of the Indian as a beast of burden (figs.25 and 6,7,8,9 in Chapter 4). They walk for entire days carrying burdens that would make a mule collapse... The development of muscular strength amongst the indian women is even more remarkable; apart from the dreadful burdens which they are given to carry, they often have one or two children hanging at their necks. As soon as the child can walk, the mother puts it on the ground from time to time and makes it walk beside her; later, she puts a light package on its shoulders, increasing the weight to the point which taxes the strength of the little porter (Charton 1867:403). This image emphasizes the Europeans' perceptions of slavery, wretchedness, oppression and suffering. It includes related descriptions of Indians in the textile workshops (obrajes) where they were "reduced to the most abject state of servitude and bondage, compared to which the slave belonging to the plantations on the coast of Peru, is free indeed" (Stevenson 1829:266), Indians on haciendas where "their masters contrive to keep them in debt" (Stanley 1850:97), and Indians as huasicamas: These poor creatures reminded me exactly of the Pariahs of Hindostan; they eat everything that is thrown away by the rest of the household - for instance, the outside leaves of cabbages and the refuse of the herbs; these they boil up with a little barley-meal, and eat it so without even the addition of salt. They sleep on the bare ground in a corner of the kitchen or in the open veranda, scarcely half covered by their ragged ponchos (Pfeiffer 1856:389). The second image of highland Indians stresses European perceptions of exoticism, sensualism or debauchery, and Fete-Dieu Procession in Quito (from a drawing by Toffani, based on a sketch by Andre; Andre 1883). focuses on activities surrounding festivals and celebrations. Visual images are not prominent in constructing this image (fig.23 Chapter 4), although Andre claimed that his illustration of a Fete-Dieu procession in Quito (fig.26) would be the only means of convincing his readers of the bizarre costumes worn in this spectacle, which he said provided material evidence of the pagan cults of the Incas (1883:392). Some of these exotic images concentrate on the Arcadian innocence of Indian amusements. Stevenson describes arriving in Ambato where we passed under two arches covered with strawberries, and for more than a league the indian boys and girls danced along with us; ...running and singing, with long wreaths of strawberries hanging about them (1825:271). Others emphasize their brutish sensualism: The only thing that brings the Quechua out of his habitual stupor is a fiesta. His inclination to drunkenness is such that the end of an orgy is a sad spectacle. Everyone falls together on the ground, without caring whether they lie near someone else's wife or their own sister, or their own daughter... (Boussingault, 1985:106). and Fountain thought that ...the immorality of these people is too shocking to dwell on. They frequently, if not habitually, sell their female children, and I have known little things of eight or nine offered for money. Girls of twelve are frequently legally married, and I strongly suspect infanticide is much practised (1902:214). The third image revolves around perceptions of Indians' resistance or subversion with regard to established social, civil and religious structures. There are no visual images, but written descriptions refer, for instance, to attacks of Whites by Indians in remote mountain passes. "My man", wrote Andre, held his cheek with one hand and showed me a ball of baked earth with the other, which he had just received full in the face...At the same moment an indigene appeared, blocking our path and seated on the hindquarters of a donkey accompanying a troop of cattle (1883 :370) . Boussingault was convinced that if he had not been accustomed to military life we would certainly have been the victims of a group of Quechuas...we saw that several Indians were approaching us, each with a garrote; their numbers increased and we could soon count about fifteen individuals, one of whom had the insolence to hit my horse. . . (1985:109) . This image of resistance also includes descriptions of Indian withdrawal and seclusion in the remote Cordilleras, and stories of hidden or stolen gold and secret pacts with the devil. The image is encapsulated in the sixteenth century legend written down by Juan de Velasco, the eighteenth century chronicler of Quito history, and is recounted by Holinski (1861:145-152) and Avendaho (1985:148-151), with different ideological interpretations. Avendaho emphasized Cantuna's repentance and eventual subordination to Christian order, whereas Holinski was more interested in Cantuna's subversion of Christian morality for the benefit of the underprivileged. The outlines of the story are as follows. Cantufia was the crippled son of an Indian resistance leader under the famed Rumifiahui, who set Quito on fire when the first Spanish colonists arrived. Cantuha was orphaned, and was adopted by a Spanish general who mysteriously acquired great wealth and bequeathed it all to Cantuha when he died. Cantufia gave large sums to the poor, and to churches and convents, but he was arrested by the colonial regime and ordered to reveal the original source of this wealth. The options presented were either that he was concealing the whereabouts of hidden Inca gold, or that the wealth was acquired through a pact with the devil; if the former, the treasure belonged lawfully to the Spaniards and Cantufia was a thief, if the latter, he should be tried and executed by the Inquisition for heresy. Cantufia claimed he had sold his soul to the devil, which proved awkward for the Church, as it had been a recipient of his liberality. The official version of the story, which Avendafio shared, ironed out this potential problem by maintaining that Cantuha made a private confession to a priest that the gold was the Inca Atahualpa's, and that he was really a good Christian. In other words, Cantufia was a thief of low moral standing, but he confessed his sins, and the Church was not morally sanctionable for accepting devil's money. An alternative version which subverted the dominant discourse was one held by contemporary Indians whom Holinski spoke to. They rejected the story of Inca gold, maintaining that there was no contradiction between making a pact with the devil and being a good man. Cantuha was a pious and holy man because he became a friend of the devil in order to help the poor.7 The three images described were constructed out of the travellers' experience in Ecuador, whether from personal observation, from stories related to them by people they met, or from earlier written sources. The Europeans' emphasis on detailed empirical observations and illustrations was also a requirement for their own legitimation, to convince their home readership of the reality of the "curious" customs and people described. The Spanish diplomat Avendaho, for instance, provides minute details of exactly what he observed, apparently assuming that the empirical descriptions would convince readers of the brutish, abject and degraded scenes he perceived them to be: During my morning excursion through the city, I have carefully contemplated many of these degraded beings lying in the streets which I frequented; some formed a circle which obstructed the passage, and they ate their corn and drank their chicha everywhere... I have seen very few people occupied with anything. All I have noticed in passing the Carniceria (meat market), were some extremely dirty indian women hauling meat, and nursing a child at the same time...the dairymaids..a few watercarriers...two or three indian women selling...those who carry occasional plantain seller...and the previously mentioned street cleaners (1985:126-7). 7 Nash (1979), Taussig (1980), and Silverblatt (1989) have written extensively on the relationship between devil-worship, gold, and indigenous Andean worldviews, during both the colonial and contemporary periods in different parts of the Andes. Despite the fact that his descriptions of Indian activities rather contradict his perceptions of their laziness, Avendaho maintains that the entire indigenous race is of minimal use: "In general, this class neither produces nor consumes. They consider work repulsive because of their laziness; their frugality makes them virtually unnecessary" (1985:127). Charton, with his romantic sensibility, was more concerned with how an abundance of details would convey the emotional experience of standing in the streets of Quito (fig.9 in Chapter 4). Andre's detailed empiricism emphasize objective fact (fig.27), and resembles the specimen collection of a natural scientist recording individual details for future scientific classification of types. The realism of his image of a huasicama in Quito is based on a photograph, but like the harlequin beetle, the image is pinned to an empty space without context or interpretation. Andre is not interested in the meaning of his observations but in the collection of empirical data: The most common type of indian women who carry produce to Quito is characterized by women... of medium size, thick-set, with thin, wiry extremities, and strong muscles...The head is round and large, revealing coarse, hard features, a flat nose with delicate nostrils, a large mouth with heavy lips, eyes slightly upturned at the outside corners, a low forehead,...The costume is generally composed of an ample tunic made o coarse grey cloth (jbayeta) with black stripes, called anaco, and of a yellow belt with red embroidery on a grey background (1883:382). Figure 27. 245 w Huasicama, ou fi-mmo ilu poiipio, a Quilo. — Dessin >lo K. Ituujat, d'aprta tinu |ihulograplii>i. U'npiv:. lo >»j''t r;i|>]M>i'tii p;ir M. An-liv. Huasicama (from a drawing by Ronjat, based on a photograph; Andre 1883), and Harlequin Beetle (drawn from Andre's collection; Andre 1883). As such, the images can be proved to be empirically true or false, and there is ample historical evidence which corroborates the basic facts on which the images were built. Specialized fields: objective science and exotic realism Although there is little question that the Europeans did record real events and activities, their own position within the social space recorded limited their points of view. Not only were they outsiders, but their commitment to scientific knowledge and realistic representation precluded an interest in the local significance of what they saw. Their focus on science constantly challenged their ability to make sense of daily life in the highlands. Guides and porters, for instance, were a perpetual problem for them, impeding their scientific work and behaving in a manner which was at such odds with European purposes that several travellers concluded that the Indian race was ignorant, apathetic, deceitful and unreliable. Boussingault, the French meteorologists, complained that Indians were generally poor guides "because since they go no higher than the limit of permanent clouds, they cannot acquire exact knowledge of the route that has to be taken" (1849:208). While climbing the volcano of Antisana, he wrote My pulse beat at more than 13 0 pulsations per minute, but the nuisance passed when I rested briefly. The Indian who followed me felt ill and dizzy, and cried his heart out; I left him lying on the snow...(1985:115). Osculati, the Italian natural scientist, complained that he couldn't obtain porters for eight days because the village of Tumbaco was celebrating the octavo of Corpus Cristi. He had to spend his time in entomological research while the population drank all the chicha prepared for the festival. The scene eventually disintegrated into a continuous "bacchanal" in the main plaza which had been adorned with triumphal arches, flowers, and fruit (1854:70). Whymper's porters were supplied by the Municipality in Guaranda in order to carry his equipment up Chimborazo. He complained that They were paid in advance, according to the custom of the country, and had to be provided with shoes. Although natives of all sorts were continually met with trudging bare-footed along the roads, whenever one was hired he found himself unable to walk without shoes, and that he had none (1987:39-40). The indians...proved an undesirable contingent. They lagged behind under various pretences, with the obvious intention of bolting, and would speedily have disappeared had not somebody kept in the rear to prevent their escape. One of them, and exceptionally sulky and stubborn fellow, carried his poles in such a manner that they struck everything we passed, and by these and other antics delayed us so considerably that we occupied seven hours in getting to the Arenal(1987: 39-40). After a freezing night, he was disappointed to find that the Indians and five of the mules had disappeared. Manuel de Almagro was a member of the Spanish Scientific Commission sent to America in 1862. He was a trained ethnologist and, unlike the others, put considerable effort into understanding situations from the porters' point of view. When he discovered that the porters were kept in jail by the authorities so that they would not run away, and that they were paid only 1/2 a real daily, he provided them with smaller loads than customary and paid them considerably more. The Indians arrived promptly; each one took his load, arranged it, and assured us that they would not run away and that they would help us on the route. The leader was called Rafael Cayaguaso; the others Quilumba (Pedro, Jose and Manuel), Quina (Santiago), etc. I cite these names to show that these individuals, barbarized by civilization, still care for their indigenous names...The indians... serve because they are made to, always with distaste, and when they can, demonstrate the independence of their character (1866:88). In contrast to Whymper, Almagro assumed their competence rather than discredited it, when he described how they maintained an even pace by resting on the ground for about 4 or 5 minutes every hour. The next day, he found the Indians still with him. Concern with the advancement of science tended to blind Europeans to the perspectives of local people who failed to share their exploratory enthusiasm for scaling mountains, peering into craters, collecting natural specimens and measuring natural space. Few of them made an attempt to understand everyday life from an indigenous point of view, although they did record its observable forms. However, the fact that there was one exception (Almagro), is enough to indicate that it was possible to overcome the limitations of cultural and historical assumptions. Articulating images and ideological struggle [The word civilization] awakens, when it is pronounced, the idea of a people which is in motion, not to change its place but to change its state, a people whose condition is expanding and improving. The idea of progress, development, seems to me to be the fundamental idea contained in the word civilization (Guizot 1828, quoted in Bury 1932:274). The images employed in the accounts are based on empirical truths, and are constantly repeated throughout the nineteenth century regardless of nationality, profession, sex, or time period. This does not mean, however, that the authors agreed amongst themselves on the meaning of the specific images described. There were a range of ideologies available which could make sense of experiential truths in different and competing ways. As Hall argues ...ideologies do not consist of isolated and separate concepts, but in the articulation of different elements into a distinctive set or chain of meanings... One of the ways in which ideological struggle takes place and ideologies are transformed is by articulating the elements differently, thereby producing a different meaning... (1990:9). These chains of meaning, or ideologies, are not completely open to individual manipulation and choice, however, because they are structured by prior histories of social relations and experience which individuals are not completely conscious of, and which pre-date them. The European travellers' thought was structured by the long history and ancient premise of Us and Other in a European context, which was up-dated historically through the ideology of racial progress. Their commitment to the benefits of science and reason, and their fascination with the exotic and picturesque, could be articulated with the images of highland Indians in as many ways as there were individuals. The image of the indian as beast of burden, for instance, could be used in argument as proof of their moral degeneration, or of colonial domination. But these claims and counterclaims about the way the world was, or should be, were shaped by the Us/Other premise, which framed and limited their ability to make sense of what they saw, even though the barbarian Other was clothed in the detailed empiricism of nineteenth century realism. To read the travellers' accounts is to witness ideological struggle, although as Hall continues, accepted chains of meaning are only broken when struggles in the head are carried out in practice. The concept of progress provided a successful means of articulating science and the exotic. It explained the social and cultural differences which travellers observed, and was a scientific justification for interest in exotic experience. Indians were a perfect counterpoint for both projects: focusing on Indians would convey the experience of exoticism for European audiences, and the differences described would serve as a data base to argue theories of scientific racism and progress. Indians almost inevitably epitomized a lack of progress in nineteenth century accounts (with one exception amongst the 15 analysed), whether as active subjects (subversive barbarians) or as passive objects (slavish barbarians). The first issue for discursive argument was whether Indians should be considered to be developing from a state of barbarism towards civilization, or if on the contrary they had degenerated from an earlier stage of civilization to their present condition. Individual arguments for either position were consistent with the conscious ideological positions of their proponents. Joseph Kolberg, the German Jesuit who came to Quito in 1870 at Garcia Moreno's request, was firmly committed to the perfectibility of mankind, and while he was not primarily interested in the Indian population, his attitude towards them was extremely sympathetic. He combined the three images in his ideological argument, focusing on the Arcadian innocence of Indian rituals, but including the beast of burden, and resistance by hiding gold. He argued that their racial character was generous, sociable, hospitable and brave, but that intellectual and spiritual abandonment had degenerated their moral character to a condition of servility and apparent cowardliness and feebleness. Proper education would enable their descendants to regain a high level of civilization in the future, at which point they would be capable of contributing to the Ecuadorian nation. Alexandre Holinski was Polish, wealthy, connected politically with the Russian court, widely travelled, and resident in Paris. He was committed to progress through reason, and focused on images of oppression, but included images of pagan ritual, and resistance to the church to construct his argument. He visited Ecuador in 1851, and like Kolberg sympathized with the plight of the Indians, arguing for the Black Legend of Spanish colonialism. He dismissed the theory of racial evolutionism, proposing instead that the universality of human reason proved the equality of all races. The claim to racial superiority was a strategy used by one race to subjugate another, which was what had happened when ignorant Spanish adventurers and church bigots had combined in oppressing the Indians' reason. Despite Holinski's theoretical claim for the universality of reason he found the Indians lacking in this capacity, and falls back into the discourse on progress. Their present irrationality was evident in their primitive paganism, and the legend of Cantuna revealed that good relations with Satan, and devotion to the Virgin, were perfectly compatible in Indians minds. If the Indians were to receive a rational education they would regain the power to reclaim their freedom. Other travellers were not so optimistic. Joaquin de Avendaho, the Spanish diplomat who was in Ecuador between 1857 and 1858 described the "copper-coloured race" as dirty, lazy, stupefied, abject and degraded. He focused almost entirely on the image of the indian as beast of burden, but included the story of Cantuna's gold to illustrate the failure of Indian resistance. He argued for the White Legend of Spanish colonialism, and was ideologically committed to Condorcet's law of social progress in stages towards civilization. He had no doubts that the Spanish race would attain this final stage in Ecuador, although he considered mestizaje to be a cancer that was visibly deteriorating the white race. Spain had imported its blood, race, language, religion and civilization of seventeen centuries' duration to complete Condorcet's law in Ecuador. Even the Indian race's semi-enslavement, on the other hand, had contributed little of social value in the long run. Charton, the French artist who was in Quito in 1862, also focused almost exclusively on the image of the beast of burden, but unlike Avendaho, he admired the contemporary Indians' strength and fortitude under oppression. He was a Romantic whose sensibilities turned to nostalgia for ancient cultures, and argued for an ideology of degeneration which focused on the glories of a past which could only deteriorate in the future. The highland Indians were sad remnants of this pre-Columbian culture, and as he tried to empathize with their condition, he imagined that their melancholic Quichua songs and music expressed their longings for an irretrievable liberty. This liberty had been taken from them through vices which put civilization to shame. Despite Charton's empathy, he believed that progress would never come from within Ecuador: immigrations must come to assist or replace the primitive population which has been destroyed or dispersed by an unintelligent oppression. The republic of Ecuador cannot base any serious hope in anything except colonization (1867:416). Inextricably intertwined in this primary discourse concerning progress and degeneration ran moral and value-laden arguments about the source of blame for the Indians' current condition. Should the blame be placed on the shoulders of the oppressed or of the oppressors? Were the Indians a barbaric race because they defied the benefits offered them by civilization, or were they the degraded objects of an inhuman slavery? Boussingault thought that the Indians were responsible for their own condition. He argued this position by focusing on two of the images, resistance and debauchery, to illustrate their defiance of Christian and civil order in laziness and drunken excess. He claimed that the Quichua Indian was a natural and efficient thief, an aggressive coward, apparently incapable of learning the Spanish language or the Christian doctrine. Few accounts fail to include imagery of oppression, but Boussingault's only reference was to the huasicamas, who, he wrote, were free agents, but had not broken their ties with their owners, and so continued to establish themselves in Quito houses. He did admit to a grudging admiration for one Indian tailor to whom he gave a piece of Chinese linen, asking him to make four pairs of trousers: the tailor returned a week later, and with no apparent expression, handed over four pair of miniature trousers. The length of cloth and Boussingault's foolish instructions had determined their size. Edward Stanley was more sympathetic than Boussingault towards the Indians, but ultimately blamed their passivity for their condition. All three images of oppression, resistance, and paganism rather than debauchery, were used to illustrate their submission to oppressive conditions. The only resistance he perceived was a form of passive retreat, either into uninhabited mountain regions, or into the past and secret paganism. His observations of highland Indian life reminded him of the Irish peasantry in Europe.8 The rural aborigines were free in name only, argued Stanley, and they endured complete subordination with passive patience in a form of slavery worse than that of the United States. The passive nature of their resistance demonstrated the natural harmlessness of their character. Despite the fact that they outnumbered the Spanish and mixed population by nine to one, they had never taken the opportunity offered by the civil wars in Ecuador to revenge themselves on their oppressors. Only one European actively attempted to challenge the hegemony of progress in his account, and to argue for an explanation of existing conditions which was based on 8 European peasants in the nineteenth century were also described through images of beasts of burden and exotic sensualism (Brettell and Brettell, 1983; Brettell, 1986). The Irish peasant in particular, had been used as a barbaric contrast to civilized European peoples since the twelfth century (Jones, 1971:396-7). See also Oberem (1981) on the transformation of the highland Indian in Ecuador into rural peasant, or campesino, during the nineteenth century. historical necessity rather than intrinsic moral virtue or vice. Manuel de Almagro visited Ecuador in 1865, and his professional and primary interest as an ethnologist were directed towards understanding indigenous culture. He was also firmly committed to democratic principles, which he argued would be a more successful basis on which to build social relations in the new republics. He also used all three images, beasts of burden or oppression, resistance, and fiesta drunkenness, to argue that although the Indians seemed like imbeciles or idiots in their relations with the white race, they were acquired rather than natural characteristics. These had been imposed by a colonial domination in which fanaticism, greed, and disregard for human life had been historical conditions imposed on the early colonists themselves. Despite this, the Indians were a dignified people, who served because they were obliged to, but with visible distaste, and they demonstrated their independent nature whenever possible (1866:88). He challenged the discourse of progress by arguing that it is a sad law of humanity that when a more powerful race contacts a weaker one, history has shown the result to be domination, slavery, or outright destruction. The new republic of Ecuador, however, was premised on equality and brotherhood, so contemporary republicans could no longer be excused the despotism which had seemed logical in another historical period. They were making a serious error in failing to win over the Indians through democratic principles, because the Indian detested and avoided contact with whites. Almagro was also an exception amongst his fellow Europeans in that he tried to put his democratic principles into practice in everyday life, and so challenged the "common-sense" of social boundaries which existed at the time. In his personal dealings with individual Indians he behaved on the assumption that they were both dignified and reasonable. Deconstructing the generic Indian In order to construct generalizations and an argument that would conform to a scientific model of progress, travellers had to replace the particular with generic images of Indians. The concept of race facilitated this generalization of everyday experience and abstracted the travellers' personal relations with what were in fact a small number of specific individuals. As discussed in Chapter 1, however, the travellers were simultaneously attempting to convince their European readership of the veracity of their accounts by compiling detailed empirical descriptions of individualized experience. It was through this strand of empiricism that racial generalizations were partially deconstructed and replaced by a greater sensitivity to internal differentiation as it was used in Ecuador. This sensitivity had been most clearly expressed by Juan and Ulloa in the eighteenth century with their visual analysis of the relationship between the multiple criteria of class, ethnicity, race, and urban/rural residence (fig.24). It is in the detailed descriptive passages and illustrations about urban Indians in nineteenth century accounts (see Chapter 4), that this earlier sensitivity to internal criteria reappears in place of generic images, and Indian inhabitants are distinguished by class and occupation as well as by race. Rural Indians, on the other hand, are more usually measured only against the assumed universal standards of Civilization and Barbarity. Rural Indians continued to be perceived as the embodiment of a backward or barbaric race living in the past, and closely connected with nature. When Andre passed by the Lake of San Pablo (fig.28) in 1876 he came across a "curious tribe which has kept its semi-barbaric customs in the midst of the civilization that surrounds it" (1883:378). Stanley described the Indians north of Tacunga as lower in the scale of civilization than any we had yet seen. Their houses, if such they could be called, were mere breakwinds... and the structure when complete, suggests the idea of a dunghill, with a hole in the side, or a remarkably ill-constructed mud-pie. Firewood is scarce: and the only means of warming these miserable dens is by stuffing the entrance..., and leaving the animal heat of the inmates to produce its effect (1850:101). Stanley's description of rural Indians in their "natural habitat" uses imagery of earth and bodily functions to emphasize the animal nature of the people described. to oo The Indians of San Roque (from a drawing by Riou, based on a sketch by Andre; Andre 1883). to Ul VD Charton also emphasized animal nature when he described an Indian couple disappearing into a ruined cabin, and reappearing half an hour later carrying "un fardeau de plus" - a new-born infant (1867:403). When rural Indians are removed from Nature and enclosed in an environment of Culture, such as haciendas (country estates) and obrajes (textile workshops), the animal imagery changes to imagery of slavery: I here beheld the South American indian reduced to the most abject state of servitude and bondage. Alas! these beings are the degraded original proprietors, on whom the curse of conquest has fallen with all its concomitant hardships and penury (Stevenson 1829:266). Even Avendafio was moved to criticize the treatment of Indians in the obraje at Pisanqui, despite his conviction that Indians were naturally slothful. On arrival in Quito, European attitudes toward Indian inhabitants change noticeably. Stevenson no longer talks of "original proprietors" but of service and trades, jails and rascals, and most importantly of classes. Avendaho is no longer critical of their treatment, but of their failure to complete tasks allotted to them. The public street-sweepers are Indians of repugnant appearance and dirty clothes, [who] do not understand the reason for the office which they exercise, and I have often seen them pulling up a plant and leaving filth beside it (1985:125). Indians in the city were reclassified by Europeans, both perceived and judged in relation to European expectations of working class behaviour rather than in relation to Nature and Culture. Class boundaries Despite individual sympathy and concern for the material conditions and social oppression which many Europeans were shocked to witness, and despite the differences in theoretical positions from which they explained what they saw, there was ultimately little variation in the travellers' final conclusions: they were witness to the laws of "natural" progress, which would run its own course. The claims and counterclaims of the arguments constructed within the barbarism/civilization polarity clearly revealed divisions and disagreements amongst the authors of travel accounts. With the exception of Almagro, however, these arguments were all in agreement on one fundamental premise - that the Indian was the Other, even if theoretically capable of becoming Us - effectively drawing the boundaries around those who were considered qualified to maintain social and political order. If truths proposed in discourse are understood to be political practices which reflect broader social projects and relations of domination, the travellers' conclusions concerning the indigenous population of highland Ecuador reveal shared class interests with the controlling elites.9 In Bailey's words, they ...collude with one another in limiting the right of entry into the political arena and so, in that respect, maintain the existing social and political order (1991:81). The breakdown of generic racial typologies into class analysis in an urban context was not just a recognition of internal distinctions in Ecuador, but also a revelation of the travellers' own class position in relation to the people they observed. European images of highland Indians, and their detailed descriptions of daily life were based on empirical fact, and contribute to historical and ethnographic knowledge of nineteenth century Ecuador. The articulation of those facts in discourse, on the other hand, contributes to knowledge of European travellers and of the politics of hegemonic practice. 9 See Poole's analysis of French travellers' illustrations of the tapadas in nineteenth century Lima, and "the dominant gaze" exchanged between European colonial interest and the controlling elites of Peru (1988:361). CHAPTER 6 New Visions: Nature and National Identity We must be instantly aware of how space can be made to hide consequences from us, how relations of power and discipline are inscribed into the apparently innocent spatiality of social life, how human geographies become filled with politics and ideology (Soja 1989:6). Humboldt's project for a universal Natural History was part of the larger project of modernity developed during the eighteenth century, in which the scientific domination of nature and the development of rational forms of social organization promised universal liberty, equality and reason (Harvey 1990:12-13). As Foucault incisively points out, however, the Enlightenment, "which discovered the liberties, also invented the disciplines" (1984:211). I referred earlier (Chapter 1) to the fact that the disciplines were not as rigidly defined in the nineteenth century as we expect them to be today. Geography and anthropology, for instance, were closely connected until the late nineteenth century when they were instituted as independent disciplines in professional bodies and university departments (Ellen 1988:229-262).1 Both emerged as fieldwork-oriented disciplines as opposed to laboratory 1 This overlap of interests continues today in cultural ecological approaches in anthropology. The link between anthropology and geography was particularly strong in Germany: Adolf Bastian, the ethnologist, was president of the Berlin Geographical Society between 1871 and 1873. Franz Boas' work on Baffin Island was explicitly geographical, and his student Alfred Kroeber continued the disciplinary collaboration which focused on the relationship between culture and environment (Ellen 1988:232-3) . sciences. Ellen postulates the common expeditionary, discovery, and natural-historical background as one of the main reasons for the centrality of fieldwork in anthropology and geography (1988:234). Many of the European travellers in this pre-disciplinary phase in Ecuador were involved in investigations which included ethnographic and archaeological descriptions of human populations, geographical descriptions of the topography of newly discovered areas, as well as geological, botanical, and meteorological enquiries. From the corpus of thirty two European works produced during the nineteenth century between 1809 and 1909, twenty travellers gave science, or its application, as their reason for travelling to Ecuador (Appendix I). As discussed in Chapter 1, the popular success of Humboldt's "rediscovery" of the Andean Cordilleras for natural history, was a source of borrowed symbolic capital that later travellers used to legitimate their own pursuits. Humboldt's influence on future work in the field was ascertained by the recurrent appropriation of his symbolic capital by later Europeans to justify their own travels to the Andes. His prestige in Europe contributed both to the recognition afforded European natural science in Ecuador, as well as to the value of the equatorial regions of South America in European natural sciences. Although Europeans borrowed Humboldt's authority to legitimate their own pursuits, this is not to say that their appropriation was motivated merely by self-interest. Humboldt was a visionary, a cultural producer in Bourdieu's terms, who proposed a vision of the world and the divisions which organize it (1990:137). Many Europeans visited the Ecuadorian Andes because they had been inspired by Humboldt's work, and wanted to contribute to defining his vision which called for the collection of such facts as are fitted to elucidate a science of which we have scarcely the outline, and which has been vaguely denominated Natural History of the World, Theory of the Earth, or Physical Geography... ...These results comprise in one view the climate and its influence on organized beings, the aspect of the country, varied according to the nature of the soil and its vegetable covering, the direction of the mountains and rivers which separate races of men as well as tribes of plants; and finally, the modifications observable in the condition of people living in different latitudes, and in circumstances more or less favourable to the development of their faculties (Humboldt 1851:x, xiv). These were the broad outlines of a program of work, and a vision of the world, which would consciously occupy many Europeans in Ecuador for nearly a century. This chapter examines the Europeans' role in introducing new ideas and activities, through the application of scientific discipline, romantic sensibility, and objectivity to the organization of nature in Ecuador. Humboldt's romanticism placed an emphasis on subjective experience as much as on scientific objectivity.2 When he recorded an experience of the sublime at the sight of the 2 The following section was written prior to reading Pratt's more detailed discussion of Humboldt's role in the reinvention of America (1992:111-143). Andean mountains of Cotopaxi, the Illinizas, and Quilindaha, he described the view as one of the most majestic that he had witnessed in both hemispheres: Cotopaxi "shone with a dazzling brilliance when the sun reached it, contrasting with the blue of the heavens' dome" (quoted in Sauer, 1989:88-9). Landscape art was the form he thought best suited to combining objective descriptions of climatic zones with the experience of romantic sensibility. Europeans travellers followed his advice and transformed physical space in Ecuador into representations of landscape. Other ways in which romantic sensibility could be combined with scientific work of classification and collecting were based on an interest in the exoticism of cultural difference, which the Europeans perceived in precolonial antiquity and the contemporary costumes and rituals of the indigenous population. The early interest in Pre-Columbian monuments was also part of Humboldt's legacy of romantic natural history. In his seventh volume of work on the equinoctial regions of America, Vues de Cordilleres, he wrote that he intended to represent a few of the grand scenes which nature presents in the lofty chain of the Andes, and at the same time to throw some light on the ancient civilization of the Americans, through the study of their monuments of architecture, their hieroglyphics, their religious rites, and their astrological reveries (1851:xvii). Scientific objectivity and classification, however, increasingly became the best route to legitimation in Europe, and this fact is evident in the development of European work over the century. As observers intent on contributing to European natural sciences, their purpose during the nineteenth century was increasingly focused on the classification, measurement, and organization of natural space according to scientific criteria. This involved the classification and ordering of flora and fauna, the measurement of heights and distances and their organization on maps. European work was legitimated in Europe through the purchase of botanical and ethnological collections in museums, and their study as sources of knowledge which contributed to commercial and imperial expansion. The perception of natural space as an objectified natural phenomena, whether through landscape drawing or scientific collections, was not common in Ecuador at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and European activity in this regard was often interpreted with suspicion. In the 1850s, however, the idea that landscape could constitute an object for artistic representation was appropriated by a group of Quito artists and applied to the creation of a popular democratic nationalism. The results of objectification in maps and geographical knowledge were also recognized by some as a means with which to claim the objective boundaries of national identity. Classification and Collecting Charles Darwin's admiration for Humboldt was a primary influence in undertaking his voyage to South America in the 183 0s, where he laid the basis for his theory of evolution on the Galapagos islands off Ecuador. His diaries record the geographical origin: ...Had been greatly struck from about month of previous March (1836) on character of S.American fossils - & species on Galapagos Archipelago. - These facts origin (especially the latter) of all my views (Darwin 1837; quoted in von Hagen 1955). The basis of meteorological science was established by Jean Boussingault, also in the 1830s, and with a letter of recommendation from Humboldt, when he set up a laboratory in the Ecuadorian Andes to study barometric levels, and the relationship between temperature and altitude in the tropics. Other Europeans were busy making collections for museums. Osculati was collecting for the Civic Museum of Milan. William Jameson (who became a resident of Ecuador) sent botanical collections to Edinburgh and London, and augmented his meagre university income in Quito by collecting and selling hummingbird specimens to collectors in Europe. Charles Wiener collected pre-colonial artifacts for the Exposition Universel in Paris in 1878, and for the Trocadero Museum which resulted from it. Alphons Stubel made geological and botanical illustrations for the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, Edward Whymper collected antiquities as a pastime, and Paul Fountain hoped to pay his way in the 1880s by collecting animal pelts and selling them. Spain sent its own scientific commission to South America in 1862, conscious that national museums and universities lacked the collections being purchased by the British, French and Germans. The advisory committee included the Dean of the College of Science at the University of Madrid, and officials from the Botanical Garden, Planetarium, and Museum of Natural Science. The basic objectives formulated by this committee were To gather facts and information in order to resolve some outstanding scientific problems, and to