Stay informed: Sign up for eNews Subscribe
Read Chapter 3
Chapter 3. Transitions in Farm Nature and Society, 1969-1990

  Resource Paradoxes of the Land Reform of 1969

Late one June afternoon in 1969, the joking Eufemia had cajoled a then-youthful Faustino—who years later guided me to the Big Hill or Hatun Loma field—while she heaped platefuls of steaming floury potatoes with meaty hominy and ladled frothy maize beer into a glass that was being passed around. A tipsy Faustino was serving the homemade brew and the maize and potato plates to family and neighbors, who had finished stacking the adobe walls and thatching the roof of the newlyweds' home. The couple's jest hinted at their happiness with the new single-room hut. Its site even offered some space for future expansion of their quarters. They owed the site to Faustino's father, once a tenant worker of the Umamarca hacienda. His family was an updated version of Quechua haves, and both Faustino and Eufemia planned to pursue the current concept of a fit livelihood.

By 1990 the couple's home had grown to include a pair of adjoining huts. When Santusa, Faustino's now-aged mother, looked over the enlarged house compound that year, she pointed out the huts built since 1969, each a new room housing backpack cannisters for spraying insecticides, large piles of fresh seed potatoes, and bags of granular fertilizer. 1 The equipment and supplies stored in the corner huts in 1990 were not unknown twenty-one years earlier, but they have tended to be few. Santusa and her neighbors in Umamarca, literally the Head Place, had hoped their livelihoods would better after 1969, when the coup d'etat of a new Peruvian government—"the government" as the Quechua style it—declared a radical land reform. The hacienda of Umamarca was converted into the official Peasant Community of Umamarca; but their outlook of guarded optimism faded to troubling uncertainty, Umamarca's free peasants finding few hopes behind the hyperbole of the Land Reform of 1969.

Mixed fortunes also faced the diverse crops during the decades after 1969. Soon after the thatched roof covered Eufemia and Faustino's first hut, a small mound of multihued and many-shaped potatoes was heaped on its dirt floor. The modest-size mound of seed to be planted the following year was replete with tubers of the diverse landraces. Santusa had sacked the seed tubers from her larder so that, as she put it, a "decent subsistence" could be enjoyed by Faustino and his new wife. Recollecting her gift, Santusa referred to them with the vernacular floury potatoes, or hak'u papa, which aptly described the mealy or flaky texture of their pulp once cooked. The young couple was pleased to receive the seed tubers from Santusa, although the gift incurred yet another social debt. Indeed, the etiquette-conscious mother-in-law had lorded her gift by baptizing them with the precious epithet ancient potatoes, or ñawpaq papa.

A rainbow of types had colored the ancient or floury potatoes gifted by Santusa to the newlyweds. Two decades later, Santusa recalled a few landrace varieties present in the pile: Red Mother, or puka mama, a rose-skin tuber; Aborted Guinea Pig, or qowisuyu, with its mottled blood-red and purple skin; the lumpy Pig Manure, or khuchi aka; and the symmetrical Sunflower, or sunch'u. She also recounted having given them the variety called That Which Makes the Daughter-in-Law Weep, the unforgettable qachum waqachi, whose tortuously convoluted skin tried the peeling talents of the most adept wife. "Don't forget," she told me, "this is the one called choqllos Corn-on-the-Cob in other communities." The pile also held a few saqma, or Fist, the knuckled tuber that some farmers called Jaguar's Paw, or puma maki.

During the decades after 1969, floury potatoes like the ones gifted by Santusa were sprouting less widely in the farm landscape of the Paucartambo Andes. To be sure, some potatoes, like Red Mother, Aborted Guinea Pig, and That Which Makes the Daughter-in-Law Weep could still be said to flourish in 1990; however, the stocks of other varieties dwindled drastically or even vanished, which occurred in the case of the unique Fist type. One keen observer who noted the decline of saqma and othe diverse potatoes in Paucartambo was the Cuzco-born and internationally renowned taxonomist Carlos Ochoa of the International Potato Center. Venturing to Paucartambo since the 1940s in order to collect potatoes, Ochoa first observed the local disappearance of precious landraces beginning in the mid-1970s:

The variety Sajma or saqma from south Peru was first collected by us in 1948 at Humana near Umamarca in the important potato-growing zone of Paucartambo at 3600 m in Cuzco Department. Its chief distinguishing feature was the curious shape, similar to a clenched fist, very like a boxing glove. We have looked for it repeatedly during the last ten years on numerous occasions but without success. It appears to have become completely extinct. (Ochoa 1975, 170)
By 1990, more than one-third of Quechua farmers in Paucartambo did not sow the richly diverse floury potatoes. They also curtailed other diverse crops, withdrawing some to a greater extent than the floury potatoes. Less decisive outcomes were dealt to still others like ulluco and quinoa. During the two decades since young Eufemia and Faustino had thanked Santusa for her gift, farm families were refashioning both their livelihoods and their expectations about a kawsay-style subsistence. A number chose to make do without the diverse landrace-rich crops; however, the Quechua farmers who deserted them during the period from 1969 to 1990 were not culturally transformed. Although they were no doubt more worldly than their parents, their new experience and learning did not spell dramatic Western acculturation or massive out-migration. Instead, the process of curtailing landraces and undercutting the ethical norm of a fit livelihood was waged in the countryside itself, albeit inconspicuously, with thousands of Quechua peasants deciding to alter farming field by field.

Countless field-scale changes in the farming systems of the Paucartambo Andes were swept along in the wake of the land reform propelled across Peru by the national government in 1969. One of the most radical land-to-the-tiller fiats ever designed in Latin America, Peru's reform of 1969 abolished the rules of seignorial land tenure that for centuries had set the chief historical context for the diverse crops' fortunes (de Janvry 1981; de Janvry et al. 1989). The land reform did not, however, crest in a great transformation of society. Paucartambo peasants remained among the poorest in Peru, earning no more than their version of a few hundred dollars each year. Most of the countryside still lacked basic medical services, clean water supplies, and any electricity. Despite its personality as a backward hinterland, the region was being remade under upended circumstances. The Land Reform of 1969 was simply supplementing a series of powerful changes rather than dictating them.

The story of Eufemia and Faustino foretold a basic paradox of the Land Reform of 1969: How livelihoods of the Quechua in Paucartambo bettered somewhat, while their vaunted dressing of diverse food plants and other livelihood customs suffered. A perplexing set of contradictory processes was set in motion by the Land Reform. On the one hand, the Quechua farmers benefited from the nationwide overturn of seignorial land tenure in October of that year by the powerful, nine-month-old Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces, a military junta headed by General Juan Velasco Alvarado (1969-75). 2 Within months, all Paucartambo haciendas were expropriated under the Supreme Edict 17716 on grounds that they operated "inefficiently," involved "anti-social forms of land tenure," and exploited "illegal labor conditions" (La Prensa 1970, 61). Almost overnight, the Umamarca hamlet and the other bastions of seignorial dominion ceased to exist as manorial estates. The Peruvian government ceded the Paucartambo countryside through usufruct to Santusa, Eufemia, Faustino, and more than twenty thousand other Quechua farmers.

Peru's national government and the regional Agrarian Reform Offices headquartered in cities like Cuzco created three categories of reform units to replace the former haciendas and Indigenous Communities. The three categories were Peasant Communities, Peasant Groups, and Peasant Cooperatives (Fonseca and Mayer 1988; Mayer 1988). Reform officials defined Peasant Communities to be "slightly capitalized peasant agricultural enterprises." In hinterland regions like Paucartambo the newly designated Peasant Communities far outnumbered the other reform units. The uncommon Peasant Cooperatives were described as "small or medium-size, moderately capitalized peasant agricultural enterprises." Peasant Groups formed a residual category of units awaiting official title from the government. By the mid-1980s, the numbers of each reform category in the core area of Paucartambo were as follows: Peasant Communities (forty-seven), Peasant Groups (thirty-one), and Peasant Cooperatives (three). Paucartambo's social landscape had become a complex of peasant institutions (map 5).

Resource availability in the period between 1969 and 1990 did not vary much among the different government-designated reform units that were designated in Paucartambo (Fonseca and Mayer 1988; Mayer 1988; see also Flores Galindo 1988). In all three categories, the Quechua farmers found that their access to resources rested with their families and with the direct control of their community institutions (such as the sectoral fallow commons). Farm resources adequate for the diverse crops appeared to be ensured by the main reform decrees, the Agrarian Reform Law of 1969 and the follow-up Special Statute of Peasant Communities issued in 1970 (La Dirección y Promoción de la Reforma Agraria n.d.; La Prensa 1970). The law of 1969 seemed to seal the fate of labor resources, since former estate peasants were immediately freed of their labor obligations in order to pursue "completely autonomous economic ends." Diverse plants, it could have been wagered, were assured farmers' labor-time due to the proclamations, although that appraisal would later seem naive in light of ensuing transitions.

Farmland for the diverse plants also seemed assured by the laws of 1969 and 1970 (La Dirección y Promoción de la Reforma Agraria n.d.; La Prensa 1970). Former estate peasants gained the expropriated land minus up to twelve acres, or five hectares, that could be retained by the ex-owner. Since the official Peasant Communities of Paucartambo were deeded the boundaries of previous haciendas and Indigenous Communities, most new territories encircled the various farm habitats needed by the diverse crops (map 5). In fact, the majority of the region's newly recognized communities, like their prereform predecessors, held lands from the river channels near 8,850 feet (2,700 meters) to rolling grasslands above 13,450 feet (4,100 meters). They characteristically combined a range of generalized land use activities based on agriculture and livestock-raising in various elevation-related, or "compressed" environments (Brush 1976; Brush and Guillet 1985; Guillet 1981b; Rhoades and Thompson 1975). Most Paucartambo communities thus exemplified the contiguous elevation-related compressed model of verticality, still widely utilized in the eastern Andes of Peru and Bolivia.

Map 5. Paucartambo After the Land Reform of 1969.

While the legal measures of Peru's Land Reform of 1969 appeared to grant ample grounds for tilling the still-esteemed diverse plants, the inferred promise was not fulfilled for many Quechua farming in Paucartambo. In fact, a broad series of social and economic transitions powerfully undermined the apparent assurance of autonomy in the government's legal provisions. An irreconcilable contradiction was riven between the Velasco junta's much-publicized goal of protecting Peru's peasant economy through its Land Reform of 1969 and its less-publicized but more forceful macroscale policies of economic development, which were biased strongly toward urban growth, industrial expansion, and mechanized, large-scale agriculture in the coastal valleys and low-lands of the country. The development model of General Velasco's "revolution" enforced a strong bias against the economies of Andean regions, contrary to its rhetoric (Alvarez 1983; de Janvry 1981; Figueroa 1981, 1984; Guillet 1992; Mitchell 1991; Wilson and Wise 1986). 3

While the policies of the velasquista Land Reform and development model of 1969 filtered into Paucartambo, many of the region's twenty-thousand-odd Quechua peasants were already embroiled in contentious issues of control over their farmlands and resources. Protests by estate workers had begun erupting by the early 1960s. The peasants openly challenged strictures on a number of haciendas, including Sipascancha, Majopata, and Mollomarca. Organizers from the Departmental Federation of Cuzco Peasants (Federación Departmental de Campesinos de Cusco) helped plan many of their protests. One FDCC rally in the central plaza of Paucartambo village was described in the diary of peasant leader Domingo Cruz:

At this time, around 9 A.M., it was full of groups of campesinos who came from high altitudes playing cornets and drums of pig skins. Peasants had come from the southwest, others from the north, also the high lands of Tahuanpata; and also from the east, the campesinos of Llaycho. It looked like an army of campesinos arriving, commanded by Melquiades Huaman, director of the FDCC and a native of Urubamba....Approximately 2,000 campesinos arrived....The list showed 110 comunidades participated and later at 12 o'clock everyone assembled in the Plaza de Armas and each group expressed their protests. (Watters 1994, 255-56)
Their protests renewed attention to land rights and to the role of farmlands as a sine qua non of fit and customary livelihood. In 1964 peasant squatters occupied sparsely used lands belonging to the large 7,207-acre (2,918 hectare) estate of Majopata across from Challabamba in the northern Paucartambo Valley (ADC 1962a, 1962b). They rallied behind their right to land for "subsistence and other purposes," thus dramatizing the claim to farmland in both their livelihoods and politics. Upstream on the hacienda of Mollomarca, the tenants and tenant sharecroppers of the estate rejected an offer by its modernizing owner to substitute wage payments in exchange for his full control of farmland (Cotler 1975). In the actions of estate workers it was obvious that the influence of organizers and ideology from Cuzco's peasant movement did not detract from the local issues of land resources and fit livelihoods but rather reinforced them. Livelihood rights were still a vital umbrella concept in the stormy world of the Quechua peasants in Paucartambo.

Contention over the rights of estate peasants to their own labor-time was also waged in various protests. The tenants on several Paucartambo haciendas including the large Majopata estate staged a full-scale strike at the height of the planting season from October through December in 1963, a season when hacienda owners tended to be notoriously violent and coercive with their workers (Martínez Alier 1973). Edgar Vizcarra Rojas and Abraham Vizcarra Rojas, owners of Majopata, along with the other hacienda owners, conceded to improvements of pay and working conditions in a negotiated "Act of Reconciliation" in order to bring the peasants' strike to an end. Perhaps most significant for the diverse crops was a legal cap of fifteen days per month placed on the work obligations owed by estate peasants. It seemed to promise them the labor-time needed to ensure their livelihoods with a kawsay-style cuisine, protecting their labor-time reserves even in seasons of peak demand (Cotler 1975, 148-49, Whyte and Alberti 1976).

The owners, however, callously disregarded their agreement to curb the labor-time forced from estate workers. The unresolved issue of the claim of estates on peasant labor persisted at the center of bitter conflicts until the appropriation of Paucartambo haciendas. Although the protests of Quechua peasants would eventually cease after the Land Reform of 1969, a series of related albeit less vocal struggles for resources replaced them. The estate peasants and owners—about to become community members and ex-owners respectively—vied to find favor in local implementation of the reform. Both groups discreetly pressured some officials, quietly evaded others, unobtrusively disobeyed laws, created unannounced alliances; in short, they deployed on-the-ground tactics of discreet "everyday resistance." Furthermore, both groups met goodly success in evading the legal edicts of the Land Reform of 1969. Their accomplishments resulted in mixed consequences for the ecology of farming. Three instances of their de facto practice taking precedence over de jure policy foretold the fate of diverse crops: the continued de facto custom of semiprivate land ownership, new immigration to Peasant Communities, and the decapitalization of estates prior to expropriation.

Long-term usufruct rights to farmland had traditionally fastened the livelihoods of the Quechua peasants on estates as well as the Indigenous Communities to their diverse crops. Individual families had controlled the right to farm parcels, although their claim to sole use typically complemented forms of common property access, such as sectoral fallow and gleaning, at times when cropping did not occur. Yet Article 119 of the Agrarian Reform Law of 1969 declared the Peruvian government's intent to remake the holdings of individual families into community cooperatives. Although the scenario of land tenure transformation spelled out in Article 119 was vague, it nonetheless held the potential to undermine the cultivation of diverse crops. Soon after declaration of the 1969 law it became clear, however, that cooperative landholding was doomed due to the resourceful, unabated resistance of peasants. One tiny leaf in this voluminous resistance against forced cooperatives was turned in Umamarca's Peasant Community by the youthful Faustino, then eighteen and newly married, who had purposefully misled a visiting reform official: "He the inspecting official from the Agrarian Reform Office was crazy to ask openly about my fields. I would never tell him what I own. That which grows here is what we eat. Other production from these fields is what we sell. Every community member has that right." 4

The edict for cooperative landholding was rescinded, not surprisingly, in the Special Statute of Peasant Communities of 1970, issued six months after the Agrarian Reform Law. The statute of 1970 legalized the lease and inheritability of land by families within communities. In its words "The Peasant Community is an aggregation of families that possess and identify with a certain territory" (La Dirección y Promoción de la Reforma Agraria n.d.). Through their own dogged resistance and the Special Statute of 1970, the Quechua farmers in Paucartambo solidified their grip on field parcels as quasi-private property. Contrary to the reform's prohibitions, they even rented them to noncommunity members. While de facto field ownership was planted neither in outright favor of the diverse crops nor in direct opposition to them, it was a foundation of land tenure that could not help but shape the scenario of ultimately influential social and economic transitions.

De facto norms of property rights also prevailed over de jure statutes in the case of measures to change the territorial jurisdiction of communities. For example, the ill-fated cooperative named Peasants' Union, or Unión Campesinos, was ordained by the reform officials as a collectivized conglomerate of small prereform Indigenous Communities in Misquihuara, Roquechiri, Huaranca, Orconpuquio, and Roquepata (bordering Orconpuquio) (map 5). Each community had commanded a slice of territory in the middle section of the Quencomayo watershed that officials sought to sandwich together and thus gain an advantageous economy of scale. 5 In the wake of the government's titling, however, residents of the five communities stonewalled this unpopular unification into the Peasants' Union Cooperative so effectively that reform officials eventually withdrew their mandate. By the mid-1980s the residents had successfully petitioned for official dissolution of the Peasants' Union into separate communities, each derived from its prereform predecessor (Mayer 1988).

Immigration of numerous persons into peasant communities after the Land Reform of 1969 counted as yet another instance of de facto practices redoing the Quechua farmers' access to resources. Most of that immigration was illegal according to reform law. 6 A great flow of immigration occurred during the prolonged lapse while estates were expropriated and communities entitled (1969-72). Well-disposed residents of communities coaxed the immigration of family members and friends, usually winning over or bypassing their reluctant neighbors. Although much of the massive immigration of Quechua peasants violated rules of the reform of 1969, the weak and disinterested local government did not deter it. In fact, reform officials in Paucartambo unwittingly acknowledged the extra-community origins of peasants in census lists recorded for each Peasant Community. These immigrants arrived from various departments of southern Peru (Puno, Apurímac, Ayacucho) and most Cuzco provinces as well (appendix C.2). Networks of newcomers arriving from the same and neighboring locales peopled many Paucartambo communities in a peasant version of geographical chain migration. 7

The weight of this underground immigration pushed a nearly twenty percent climb of population in Paucartambo between 1961 and 1981 (appendix C.3). Force of the reform-era surge of migrants pressed unevenly on different places within the region. In some peasant communities the rate of population growth far outstripped the regionwide average. Population of Pasto Grande near Challabamba in the northern Paucartambo Valley, for instance, grew from zero families in 1955 to twelve by the late 1960s and no less than sixty-three in 1975 (ARA 1972; Palacio Pimental 1957b). Other communities near Pasto Grande also counted major increments of population growth. Surreptitious migration in the wake of the 1969 reform eventually weighed against the landraces by adding to factors that shrunk the availability of land to individual families. Access of families to the prime parcels for farm commerce in particular was whittled away by the flow of new immigrants.

Further sapping of the resources for landrace-growing took place when a number of Paucartambo hacienda owners illegally transferred or destroyed the productive assets of their estates in the years prior to expropriation. Forewarned by nearly one decade of rural unrest, few owners failed to anticipate the Land Reform of 1969. In advance many liquidated their valuable farm implements and livestock; the owners of Majopata hacienda, for instance, sold livestock and destroyed irrigation works and fences prior to expropriation. Such removal of estate capital and infrastructure deflated the working assets later granted to the Peasant Communities. This easy evasion of reform law by the hacienda owners again proved the plain weakness and obvious disinterest of numerous government officials in Paucartambo and Cuzco. With this tacit approval "from above," the ex-estate owners exiting from Paucartambo's countryside stamped one last mark on the landscape to be inherited by the Quechua residents.

Soils and vegetation were also depleted on the eve of estate expropriation. In some cases chronic overcropping drained the fertility of fields or flooded them with buildups of insect pests and fungal pathogens. Some owners shortened fallow periods and planted fewer fertility-enhancing crops such as leguminous broad beans and tarwi. In one instance tenants of Pasto Grande near Challabamba filed a legal protest with evidence of how the hacienda owners, Plácido Corrales Barrionuevo and Martha Yabar de Corrales, had mined soil resources and degraded field environments during the years preceding expropriation (ARA 1972). Incensed, the tenants wrote "it's clear to see that there's no rotation of crops so that later we will not be able to sustain ourselves." The same legal brief attested that the owners had also destroyed vegetation at the brink of the reform's takeover, indiscriminately cutting full-grown tress of fruit-yielding Bird Cherry, known as capulí, or Prunus serotina. Indiscriminate tree felling deprived the peasants of convenient food and fuel items and sent them on the uncertain road of postreform livelihood change minus an important resource (ARA 1972).

The Land Reform of 1969 clearly helped to catapult the farm resources and diverse crops of a desired livelihood in Paucartambo into a new postreform version of the region's peasant economy. Dismantling of seigniorial estates promised that demands on peasant resources would lessen. It turned out to be true that some reform-era pledges were adhered to and that the lot of Quechua peasants was improved as a result. The Land Reform of 1969 did not, however, improve their livelihoods either significantly or pervasively. Nor did it alone determine the future of the diverse food plants but rather it fixed major new settings in the economy of Paucartambo. Like unsettling aftershocks, the jolts of economic diversification and social differentiation, dietary change, and the recasting of ethnicity and personal power repositioned the recent role of the diverse crops in peasant life.

Diversification and the Postreform Political Economy

The U-shaped compound of farmery occupied by Eufemia and Faustino in 1990 was in contrast to the image of their dwellings twenty years before. In the scene of 1990 the center hut served as a kitchen-bedroom-living quarter for the couple and their three children. A few yards away one new hut sheltered several large mounds of seed tubers composed of the improved high-yielding varieties of mariva and yungay, what they often called money potatoes (qolqe papa). Another new hut quartered an assortment of farm tools and field inputs: five well-used picks, a worn oxen-drawn plow, fertilizer sacks, half-used pesticide tins and fertilizer bags, three lanterns for the nighttime barley harvest, and new hose and pipe fittings for an irrigation sprinkler.

Their new farm equipment was set within the framework of a restyled peasant economy. The most palpable change after the Land Reform of 1969 reverberated from the surge and diversification of farm commerce. The Quechua in Paucartambo angled widening flows of their farm goods and labor toward either Cuzco or eastward to the upper Amazon reaches of Pilcopata and Qosñipata. Their growing streams of commerce were directed influentially, albeit at a distance, by the national economic policies emanating from Lima, first of Velasco's military government and then its successors—the military regime of General Francisco Morales Burmúdez (1975-80), the conservative civilian government of President Fernando Terry Belaúnde (1980-85), and the populist platform of President Alan García Pérez (1985-90). Despite their differences, the development models of all the governments promoted urban and lowland growth at the expense of highland agriculture (Alvarez 1983; Caballero 1981; Hopkins 1981; Thorp and Bertram 1978; Wilson and Wise 1981). Peasant producers throughout the Peruvian sierra forced themselves to diversify commerce in a quickening search for income in the post-1969 political economy (Collins 1988; Deere 1990; Figueroa 1981, 1984; Guillet 1992; Mitchell 1991; Watters 1994). At home, the Quechua in Paucartambo sought to profit from the new flows of commerce.

Dramatic transitions in the farming of Quechua peasants in Paucartambo were witnessed firsthand by anthropologist Catherine Allen, who conducted field studies in the Peasant Community of Sonqo in the heart of Colquepata beginning in the mid-1970s:

Since 1975 the amount of land in Sonqo devoted to cash crops has increased dramatically. Most of Sonqo's barley is now destined for sale to the Cuzco brewery, and, while the oats grown in Sonqo are fine for animals, they are not fit for human consumption.... For the first time, the people of Sonqo are putting major amounts of land and energy into crops they cannot eat.... Rapidly, Sonqo is being transformed (Allen 1988, 30).
Impetus for the Sonqo farmers and their counterparts in other Paucartambo communities to diversify commerce after 1969 was driven by an admixture of new consumption needs, government policies, chronic inflation, the changing demand for farm goods, and environmental deterioration. Demand for consumer wares greased their market integration. Enamelware bowls and tin spoons, plates and pots, plastic buckets, soap and matches, and hoe blades were taken up as standard possessions during the years from 1969 to 1990 (Figueroa 1981, 1984). Families also purchased school supplies, treadle sewing machines, kerosene for lanterns, and, in a few cases, kitchen stoves. Bicycles, sold in village stores in large numbers by the 1980s, allowed much faster travel than walking, at least downhill. With leftover savings, the peasants bought transistor radios that broadcast daily news, popular music, and personal messages. Their acquisition of the durable consumer goods grew severalfold during the 1970s and the 1980s, and diversifying commerce was concomitant with making the new purchases.

A treadmill propelled the commercial endeavors of the Quechua farmers. Buying and selling linked them to the national economy of Peru and to the needs of its urban centers. Lubricated by the consumer demands of Quechua farmers, the treadmill was turned by so-called terms of trade, which compared the changing value of farm goods relative to nonfarm goods. Throughout most of the postreform period, the terms of trade motored in a direction counter to the interests of producers in Paucartambo and other Andean regions, since the prices received for their farm goods rose less rapidly than the costs of other commodities (Alvarez 1983; Collins 1988; Figueroa 1981, 1984; González de Olarte 1987; Guillet 1992; Hopkins 1981; Mitchell 1991; Thorp and Bertram 1978). 8 Since the Quechua farmers in Paucartambo purchased a variety of consumer goods including farm inputs like manufactured pesticides, fertilizers, and insecticides, the terms of trade treadmill was not easily sidestepped. Rampant inflation in much of the period from 1969 to 1990 further accelerated the treadmill effect of the terms of trade.

Accelerating commerce in the peasant economy could not, however, merely slide along the familiar tracks of previous market endeavors. During the decades prior to 1969, wheat and potato farming by the Quechua in Paucartambo and other Andean regions had successfully gained a sizeable share of sierran markets (Baca Tupayachi 1985, 25; Caballero 1981; Lehman 1982a, 1982b). Wheat and potato markets plummeted after 1969, however, due to government "cheap food" policies designed to supply the staple foodstuffs at rock bottom costs to the masses of low-paid urban workers in Peru's teeming cities. Wheat markets collapsed under government-subsidized imports, most from the United States, that rose more than fifty percent during the 1960s and the 1970s. Potato prices during the same period became subject to below-market caps that were imposed by government policy (Alvarez 1983; Guillén Marroquín 1989; Hopkins 1981). 9 While the Land Reform of 1969 was ending economic competition from estate owners, the Quechua farmers faced a steep drop-off in returns from their mainstay products.

By contrast, market demand for two other major crops—beer-making barley and rice—kept pace with Peru's rapid industrialization and urbanization during the postreform decades. The beverage preferences and food tastes of the urban populace elevated barley and rice prices. Unstinting government subsidies for agroindustries and lowland agriculture lifted them still further. Malting barley made up the principal ingredient of beer, which claimed almost four percent of the country's industrial output in the late 1970s (Hopkins 1978, 5). In the Paucartambo Andes, Cuzco, and other regions south of Lima the Beer Company of Southern Peru, known as Companía Cervecería del Sur del Perú, nearly monopolized the brewing industry. 10 With a large factory located on a main street in Cuzco, the company processed a vast tonnage of malting barley raised in nearby regions. Prescient of what occurred in Paucartambo after 1969, the neighboring Urubamba Valley had witnessed more agricultural change during the mid-1960s due to demand from the Cuzco brewery than from any other driving force (Gade 1975, 67).

The Paucartambo Andes bypassed the Urubamba Valley and other Cuzco regions as the cultivation center of malting barley during the decades after 1969. Barley cropping blanketed a major share of Paucartambo's rugged terrain, increasing severalfold by 1990. It built on an already substantial business that Parcartambo estates and their peasant workers had conducted with the Beer Company of Southern Peru as early as the mid-1950s (Palacio Pimental 1957a). By the 1976-77 season, the yearly cultivation of more than 6,000 acres (2,500 hectares) of malting barley in Paucartambo surpassed all its other sources of raw material in the southern Peruvian sierra (Hopkins 1978, 26). By the 1970s, a high-yielding six-row barley, bred by the brewery and known as griñon, had replaced the older two-row German type. Yields in Paucartambo averaged almost one ton per acre (1,400-2,000 kilograms per hectare), enough for the brewery to post one company agent—a field "technician"—permanently in the region.

The improved griñon variety, required by the Beer Company of Southern Peru, seeded an exceedingly narrow biological base (table 3). Its biological uniformity did not, however, deter widespread adoption in the region. Quechua farmers perceived a regular market and income source in the company's crop. Via legally binding contracts, or so-called bailment, the Quechua farmers and a slew of subcontracting villagers were credited seed and fertilizer from the brewery's Paucartambo-based agent. The brewery contracted the right to purchase all harvested barley. By fixing the prices of seed, fertilizer, and barley, not surprisingly, it realized comfortable profits. Price setting more than the bailment contracts themselves—which put the full burden of economic risk on barley growers—had on occasion unloosed peasant anger and even led to an ill-fated boycott of Paucartambo growers in the mid-1970s. 11 Nonetheless, facing few alternatives, plentiful numbers of Quechua farmers opted for the malting barley as a chief route of their new commerce.

Table 3. Commercial Crops in Paucartambo after 1969
Commercial Crop Principal Variety
Barley griñon (improved variety)
Off-season potato crop mariva (improved variety)
Off-season ulluco wawa yuki (Cradled Baby)
Rainfed potato crop mariva, mi Perú, yungay, papa blanca, renacimiento, revolución, mantaro (improved varieties)
Maize k'ellu sara (Yellow Maize)
Rice production also skyrocketed during the post-1969 period, outpacing the other major food crops and embedding firmly as the principal staple of urban diets and a new addition to many rural ones (Alvarez 1983, 39; Figueroa 1981, 1984; Hopkins 1981; Mitchell 1991; Weismantel 1988). In the Andean foothills, or montaña, fields of upland rice sprawled over former tracts of tropical rain forest. Rice farms added to the day-wage work available in logging, placer gold mining, tropical fruit production, and coca fields that boomed in the Pilcopata and Qosñipata lowlands east of the Cordillera Paucartambo (map 5). 12 The frontier economies paid a day-wage three times greater than sierran farms. This wage gap drew hordes of short-term or seasonal migrants who could arrive in less than eight hours on the many trucks that careened down the Tres Cruces Pass. During intervals of one week or more, the Paucartambo migrants searched for wage-earning work in the thriving extractive and plantation enterprises. Usually successful, they could not, at the same time, escape new stresses and strains in the familiar framework of farm production at home.

Short-term migration after the Land Reform of 1969 was substantial. An upswing in seasonal migrations was due to the accentuated forces of "pull" from the prosperous lowland economies and "push" from the stagnant or deteriorating economy of Paucartambo (Baca Tupayachi 1985; Figueroa 1981, 1984; Radcliffe 1986; Skeldon 1985). Still, the region's frequency of shortterm migration registered as moderate compared to the neighboring sierra, where it was frequently the major form of "capitalist penetration." Only thirteen percent of families in the Ninamarca community near Colquepata, for example, supplied a migrant during the 1976 to 1979 interval, while the average in other Cuzco provinces exceeded sixty percent (Figueroa 1984, 69). Nonetheless, some communities in Paucartambo, such as Callacancha (estimated twenty-five percent) and Huaynapata (estimated thirty-four percent), saw migration rates approaching the Cuzco average. There was, in any case, an unprecedented laboring for off-farm wages among the Paucartambo peasants.

Breaking the agricultural calendar with off-season crops of potatoes and ulluco also became a common route for the Quechua in Paucartambo seeking to escape from the market traps of wheat and conventional rainfed potatoes. They sowed off-season fields in a variety of humid sites (bogs, irrigation, floodplain, cloud forest) during the nearly rainless "winter" season in June and July and harvested them as early as January and February (map 5). Their off-season crops included an early planting of potatoes, known as papa maway or papa maguey, and an early planting of ulluco or maway lisas. Farmers reaping the two off-season crops prospered from the seasonality of price swings in the rapidly growing Cuzco markets (Zimmerer 1991d). The prices for potatoes from the early plantings harvested in January fully doubled those depressed by the glut of the rainfed crop in July. An even more extreme peak in ulluco prices due to its perishability led the Paucartambo farmers to convert their fields into a major source of this off-season crop as well. By the mid-1980s, more than one half of the region's farmers grew off-season plantings of potatoes and ulluco.

A single improved high-yielding potato variety known as mariva and a single ulluco landrace—the Cradled Baby, or wawa yuki—were seeded in the majority of their off-season fields (table 3; plate 3). Farmers preferred the mariva potato, a member of S. tuberosum subsp. tuberosum, since its yield rose sharply in response to fertilizer additions. Mariva, popularized as one of the money potatoes or new potatoes, excelled in the off-season planting. Ripening in six months or slightly less, the mariva crop could be shipped early to market. Loans from the national Agrarian Bank, increased under the ill-fated populist program of President Alan García Pérez in 1985 and 1986, helped to swell the wave of off-season cropping. The bank's regional branch in Paucartambo counted 270 peasant borrowers in 1983, 430 in 1984, and 800 in 1985. In Colquepata district a nongovernmental organization funded in the Netherlands ran a credit program for farmers that also supplied much-needed capital.

early planting ulluco
Plate 3. Cultivators filling gunny sacks with their Early Planting ulluco known as Cradled Baby (wawa yuki), which will be sold at the Cuzco market. Behind them are the slopes of Majopata, now a Peasant Community but formerly one of the largest haciendas of Paucartambo.

The peasant borrowers, or prestatarios as they called one another, invested in seed tubers for their off-season crops as well as good-size amounts of various commercial inputs. They regularly applied commercial fertilizers (ammonium nitrate, potassium chloride, phosphorous, and a 12-12-12 mix of N-P-K), pesticides, and insecticides (including the toxins aldrin and parathion). In some areas of Paucartambo farmers found that irrigation technology was a requisite for successful off-season cropping. Their new Green Revolution package of money potatoes and inputs was depicted faithfully in the scene from Eufemia and Faustino's storeroom circa 1990, stocked with its sprinkler apparatus, piles of improved seed, sacks of Cachimayo fertilizer, and half-used agrochemical tins.

Potato cropping during the rainfed growing season was also a standard-bearer of postreform commerce. Cropping in the high-sun rainy period between November and April was already widespread before 1969, earning the tag big planting, or hatun tarpuy. Given the impetus of greater Cuzco's market, many Quechua in Paucartambo found the pursuit of commerce in rainfed cropping more accessible than its off-season analogue, since the big planting did not depend on irrigation. Their big planting did, however, call for the moderate use of agrochemicals and high-yielding varieties (My Peru, or mi Perú; the mariva; Mantaro [a valley in central Peru], or mantaro; and White Potato, or papa blanca) (table 3). 13 It thus parlayed meager diversity and in this resembled the other forms of expanded farm commerce. Although thin profits scarcely measured up to the hefty gains of the off-season crop, the big planting remained true to its name, forming the largest cropping regime in Paucartambo (Mayer and Glave 1990, 1992).

Nor did even a modicum of landraces line the lengthening rows of commercial maize. Maize commerce in Paucartambo seeded a single landrace type known as Yellow Maize, or k'ellu sara (table 3). Market demand for the region's Yellow Maize emanated from scores of popular chichería cantinas in Cuzco that poured endless pitchers of homestyle beer brewed from the maize that had been germinated and ground. Many Cuzco entrepreneurs turned to a handful of Paucartambo and Challabamba villagers who negotiated maize inexpensively from peasant farmers. The middlemen mainly bought from growers with fields at the prime sites downstream of Paucartambo and below 9,850 feet (3,000 meters). The Quechua farmers that supplied the Yellow Maize planted it solo in single fields and apart from other landraces in order to prevent the diluting and devaluing effects of hybridization. Their commercial rationale to confine maize diversity in the market-bound plots was thus reinforced by a biological imperative.

Sheep and cattle raising supported other avenues of postreform commerce. Farm animals were long combined and closely coordinated with cropping in Paucartambo and other Andean regions (Brush 1977; Brush and Guillet 1985; Guillet 1981a, 1992; Mayer 1985; Orlove 1977a). In Paucartambo the post-1969 phase of livestock-raising meshed well with other pursuits because of its small labor requirements and its by-product of fertile manure. Applications of livestock manure to potato fields totaled as high as 1,600 pounds per acre (1,800 kilograms per hectare; Mayer and Glave 1992, 127). Between the early 1970s and 1987, the farmer-herders of the region nearly doubled the average size of sheep flocks and cattle herds that were made up of rangy mixed breeds (appendix C.4). Stocks of pigs, horses, llamas, and alpacas—although smaller in number—grew at a similar pace. The Quechua in Paucartambo multiplied the size of their livestock herds more after the Land Reform of 1969 than did their counterparts in other Cuzco regions (Figueroa 1984). This unbridled emphasis on livestock-raising in Paucartambo accented the relatively land-rich and labor-poor nature of the region's peasant economy.

Marketing in particular and the tradition of nonsubsistence production more generally were deeply rooted among the Quechua farmers. Their postreform commerce differed little from earlier trends in designating a small handful of crop varieties. They chose griñon barley, mariva and other improved potatoes, Cradled Baby ulluco, and Yellow Maize to fill the swelling streams of commerce after 1969 (table 3). Meanwhile, similar to earlier periods, the fate of the diverse crops was enacted in their farming slated for self-consumption, that of subsistence. In their self-provisioning the protagonists such as Eufemia and Faustino confronted a mounting challenge: could they bring together the resources to husband their diverse crops and livelihood expectations while wedding farm assets to the new demands of expanded and diversified commerce? Fresh challenges of the postreform economy did not provoke bland responses; the Quechua in Paucartambo innovated piquantly, but not always with the desired result for diversity.

Synopsis: Biodiversity's Fate

By 1987, more than thirty-five percent of Quechua farmers in Paucartambo did not cultivate one or more of the potato, maize, ulluco, and quinoa crops (appendix C.5). Many fell from the ranks of diversity's tenders when, like Eufemia and Faustino, they failed to renew their diverse plantings. Asked why they had abandoned the potato landraces gifted years ago by Santusa in the memorable pile, Faustino once replied there was an obvious reason: they lacked seed tubers. 14 The answers to why Faustino, Eufemia, and the others forfeited seed of their former crops were also less obvious and more deliberate. Fuller answers hung on the rationales related to farmers' shrinking stocks of resource that were prescribed by the field systems and agroecology of the plants themselves.

In a sketch of the role of resources a line could be drawn between the limiting resources that often inhibited farmers from growing their diverse plants and the sufficient resources that typically enabled them in the years from 1969 to 1990 (Zimmerer 1991c, 1992a, 1992b). Limiting resources were headed by the quantity or quality of farmland and labor resources whose status many farmers were finding inadequate. Typical sufficient resources encumbered a different class of crucial inputs—farm technologies, techniques, and knowledge—accessible in adequate amounts and thus offering little impediment to the cultivation of diversity. A first-order estimate of diversity's fortunes then rested on a farm family's access to the resources that either enabled or conversely constrained its means to couple the kawsay-style foodstuffs—and the agroecological desideratum prescribed by their farming systems—with the no less desired network of new commerce.

This first-order estimate introduced below of how diverse crops fared based on farmers' access to resources does not imply that input status alone determined the course and quality of diversity's fortunes. Indeed the Quechua in Paucartambo proved able and sometimes ingenious innovators in adjusting a number of their kawsay-yielding traditions that nurtured the diverse crops. Although the skillful innovations and artful adjustments of the farmers filled a key chapter after the Land Reform of 1969, it was one that followed from the pressures and capacities sketched out first in the concrete terms of limiting and sufficient resources. The two categories were like markers fixed on by Quechua families as they blazed their trails of agricultural change.

The sets of limiting resources and sufficient resources hoisted markers near the trailhead that could be gauged in terms of both social and environmental units. The main social units were the farm household, house-family, or wasi familia in the vernacular, and its woman head. Most house-families among the Quechua in Paucartambo were conjugal groups of parents and children, although some spread across three generations and included close social kin, such as widows, orphans, and medium-term visitors (an unwed cousin or a displaced friend). While the households were patriarchal, women wielded authority and ruled work in various farm tasks. The Peasant Community, recognized by national government, sanctioned the resource use of its house-families but it did not exert much direct control. Groups of farm households frequently influenced one another's use of resources informally, but there, too, the power to choose rested in large measure with the family and its individual members (Collins 1986; Deere 1982; Guillet 1981b; Mayer 1977; Mayer and de la Cadena 1989; Orlove and Custred 1980; Radcliffe 1986).

The individual field was to the space of Quechua farming what the household and woman head were to its social sphere. Farmers endowed each field as an elemental unit in terms of agronomic inputs, crop types, and techniques and technologies. A plot of high-yielding, Green Revolution mariva potatoes was tended in a fashion quite unlike the mixed landraces of floury potatoes. Rich cultural relevance reinforced the economic salience of individual fields. Conspicuous meanings were conveyed in the names assigned to each field, such as the Big Hill field of Líbano, and in farmers' easy recollections of each field's past use. Nearly all fields were defined as outfields, or chacras, located at a distance from the farmhouse.

Most farm families also planted a small dooryard garden or infield—known as huerta or kanchón—though their garden plots lacked main crops, such as potatoes, maize, ulluco, and quinoa. Dooryard gardens nonetheless flourished with a wide variety of temperate fruit trees (such as Bird Cherry, or capulí; the Andean elderberry, or sauco [Sambucus peruviana]; native lucuma [Lucuma obovata]; medlar, or níspero [Mespilus germanica]; apples; and peaches), flowers, spice plants like rokotu chile peppers, and vegetables, all closed off with rock walls, hedgerows, and spiny "living fences" (Zimmerer 1989). 15

Limiting Resources

The number and quality of chacra outfields foretold much of the fate of potatoes, maize, quinoa, and ulluco. The median number of parcels cultivated annually by a Quechua household in Paucartambo was eight, half sown with potatoes (table 4). Each family held an average of five acres, or two hectares, including fallow sites. Their modest number of fields was typically scattered across community territory; some, such as floury potato parcels, were located as far as one mile or more from the farmhouse, while others, like early potatoes and maize, tended to be closer. The combination of quasi-paritable inheritance, a desire to hold a range of growing options and reduce the risk of crop failure, and community institutions like the sectoral fallow commons together conspired to enforce the scattering of field parcels, which was common in the central Andes (Brush 1977; Brush and Guillet 1985; Goland 1992; Guillet 1981a, 1981b, 1992; Mayer 1979; Mitchell 1991; Orlove 1977b). As a result of the moderate quantity of fields, typical farm families enlisted a limited capacity to diversify their venues of commerce without reducing their repertoire of landrace-rich plots. 16 If they wished to add parcels of barley or off-season early potatoes, they likely faced difficult decisions with respect to the sowing of a diverse crop.

Table 4. Cultivated Fields per Family in the 1986-1987 Growing Season 1
Crop Type Number of Fields
Maize-Quinoa 1
Barley 1
Other nontubers (fava beans, tarwi) 1
Rainfed Improved potatoes 2
Early Planting Improved potatoes 1
Fluory Potato landraces 1
Ulluco, oca, mashua 1
1. Values are the median of sixty families.  Back.
Deteriorating quality of their fields added to the constraints apparent in the sheer smallness of holdings. When farmers intensified cropping and livestock-raising in the wake of the Land Reform of 1969, they often depleted the fertility of field soils. In order to harvest more crops many were shortening fallow and eliminating the rotation of lower-yielding, nitrogen-fixing leguminous crops, such as broad beans and tarwi. Negative consequences often ensued for the diverse potatoes, maize, ulluco, and quinoa, which all depended on fields with at least moderate nutrient status. The vulnerability of diverse crops to declining soil fertility was compounded because they augmented yields only slightly in response to mineral and chemical fertilizers (Evans 1980; Wilkes 1983). Thus purchased amendments did little to remedy the effects of falling fertility, quite unlike the fertilizer-responsive cropping of improved high-yielding varieties.

Access to field sites was not fixed. Quechua farmers in Paucartambo could supplement their holdings by sharecropping, rental, or purchase. Sharecropping, termed in parts (a partir), provided use of a field in exchange for the provisioning of labor and often times inputs, the parties agreeing to split harvest equally. Sharecropping, however, afforded the Quechua families meager help in finding farmland for diverse crops. While some may have wished to sharecrop for that purpose, they were usually lacking the labor that was demanded. Their shortfalls of labor-time derived from the demands dictated by bustling commerce in the years from 1969 to 1990 (Zimmerer 1991c). 17 New activities geared toward the openings offered by markets and agroindustry—such as short-term migration, off-season crops, and contracted barley-growing—pressed heavily for the reallotment of labor-time.

Tasks in the new work regimes fell to both men and women, although it was the latter who shouldered a heavier share of responsibility for the families' diverse crops. Women customarily managed seed, playing primary roles in harvest, postharvest processing, selection, and storage. Their work was especially intense in crops like maize, where a barrage of duties started at harvest: cutting canes and drying them in shocks; pulling and husking ears; drying ears; and selecting, storing, and shelling ears. 18 Although the gender-based division of labor in Quechua households was flexible, women's duties seemed to multiply disproportionately after the Land Reform of 1969. They weeded and monitored the finicky off-season plantings, herded livestock, and sometimes migrated with their husbands. In addition they labored in the unrelenting and familiar routines of cooking and housekeeping, raising children, spinning wool, gathering firewood, and, occasionally, marketing farm goods (Collins 1986, 1988; Radcliffe 1986; Weismantel 1988).

Quechua families relied on workers from extra-household sources, especially the reciprocal exchange of labor (ayni) and the payment of a daily wage (jornal), to supplement their own workforce. Their recruiting labor was, however, far from effortless. Its well-known difficulties led most people to recruit from among social kin—also known as fictive kin and ritual kin—established in the widespread custom of godparenthood, or compadrazgo. 19 Farmers also devised variations on the major forms of labor recruitment to make them more flexible; mink'a or minga, for instance, referred to the sending of another person in one's stead in the process of labor swapping. Only through a combination of resourceful recruiting could field tasks be finished. Potato growing, the cornerstone of Paucartambo cropping, typically mixed fifty-seven percent of labor from the family, twenty-four percent from labor exchange, and nineteen percent from wage payments (Mayer and Glave 1992, 131; see also Deere and de Janvry 1981). Peasant Communities qua communities, it should be pointed out, did not source much labor for farming; they used the community corvée, or faena, mainly for collective projects such as school building and repair, road-work, and waterworks.

In sum the Quechua farming in Paucartambo suffered a constricting supply of labor-time for diverse crops after 1969, when they greatly expanded and diversified commerce (Zimmerer 1991c, 1992a). Labor shortages had long plagued sierran farming, where low yields and marginal environments seemed to demand a standing army of farm hands (Golte 1980, 11). The farming term topo and its etymological history illustrated this point. During the Inca and early colonial periods, topo had referred to a land unit, one topo defining the field area suitable for the subsistence of a household (Cobo [1653] 1979; Rowe 1947a). Its later definition, however, denoted a unit of labor-time expenditure. The Quechua in Paucartambo took it to mean the field area that a single skilled ploughman could till in one day with a team of oxen. 20 While commonly calibrating farm work by vernacular measures of labor-time, the latter was a resource that for their diverse crops the peasants found in shrinking supply during the years from 1969 to 1990.

Sufficient Resources

A host of other resources afforded most Quechua in Paucartambo with sufficient supplies to farm their diverse crops. Key albeit inconspicuous inputs included field tools and technologies, farm knowledge, and culinary preferences and know-how. The Quechua farmers worked the landraces with a versatile array of rustic hand tools: from various plows and hoes to mattocks and husking-and-shelling and threshing devices (appendix C.6). In handpicking their farm tools through home manufacture or purchase they matched technologies to growing conditions and to their own labor and capital resources. They tilled thick sod and dense clay with the levered foot-plow, for instance, while preferring the hand pick for use with sandy soils on steep slopes. Meanwhile, the oxen-drawn plow worked well in sandy but less-steep sites.

Standard tools for landrace cropping were affordable to most Quechua farmers in Paucartambo. Farmers purchased iron and steel components such as blades, plowshares, nails, and fasteners at village stores, while they gathered other materials from sites and sources on the farm or nearby. Cowhide sinew for lashing the traction plows, for instance, was plentiful. Wooden handles and pegs could be carved from the stout limbs and slow-growing trunks of preferred hardwoods like q'euña (Polylepis racemosa), kishwar (Buddleia incana), chachakoma (Escallonia resinosa), and llok'e (Kageneckia lanceolata). None of the trees formed dense or even full stands due in part to overcutting for fuel, but they remained adequate in number to furnish the farm tools. Eucalyptus trees, most common of all, also rendered usable wood for farm implements. Although the Australian gum tree had naturalized in the Andes during the 1800s, it was less desirable than stronger native hardwoods.

Farm knowledge equipped the Quechua in Paucartambo to produce their landrace crops. Farmers rarely betrayed their diversity-filled fields due to inadequate or lacking skills. Their rising interest in commerce after 1969 did not, in other words, devalue the relevant stock of local knowledge for tending to the diverse plants. Local farm knowledge consisted of technical skills for work routines, social acumen for such tasks as recruiting workers, and cultural beliefs such as ritual calendars that helped time those tasks such as planting and harvest. Farmers gained the know-how necessary for diverse crops through a wide variety of experiences beginning in childhood. Younger Quechua in the postreform period clearly cobbled farm skills in a number of new settings. Nonetheless, even the more complex procedures, such as the selection and storage of seed, exceeded the practical skills of no more than a few persons. 21

Culinary preferences and the cultural commitment to a kawsay-style cuisine stayed planted firmly in favor of the diverse crops. Farmers' liking of their traditional crops did not, however, translate into an aversion toward new foods; many Quechua in Paucartambo welcomed greater rice-eating, for example, during the postreform decades (see also Mitchell 1991; Weismantel 1988). But they also partook eagerly of long-familiar fare for everyday consumption, such as wayk'u papa (boiled potatoes); hominy-like boiled maize kernels, or mot'e; and parched hank'a maize, which all derived directly from diverse landraces. Quinoa and ulluco were basic foodstuffs for hearty soups and stews. More than gustatory appeal whetted their appetites for these traditional crops; lightweight hank'a maize, for instance, could be easily packed to distant fields or pastures as a snack food, a genre of parched grains and beans that the Quechua called qaqaw (Zimmerer 1992b).

Religious uses affirmed the formidable status of diverse crops. The Paucartambo farmers proudly embellished their chief religious fiestas with particular dishes made from the tasty staples. The temptable thimp'u dish served during Carnival, for instance, was prized for its meaty maize kernels shelled from the native landraces. The farmers also celebrated numerous other ceremonial events with landrace-containing special occasion foods (Isbell 1978; Mitchell 1991; Weismantel 1988). They served them at minor holidays, family gatherings, and work parties like the one Eufemia and Faustino sponsored in 1969. Special occasion foods were drawn from an eclectic palette: the diverse potatoes served alongside rice; roast guinea pig, or qowi, with bottled beer from the Cuzco brewery; quinoa soup with maize thickener and wheat breads bought in one of the villages. Customs of special cuisine among the Quechua in Paucartambo clearly did not rule out new foods but they also placed high regard on diverse crops.

Farmers also rated highly the agronomic qualities of the diverse crops. Quechua peasants held keen regard for the tolerance to climatic stress, which buffered the risks of failure that many farmers were amplifying by adopting the especially risk-prone commerce that was based on off-season production. Potato landraces withstood drought and frost better than the improved varieties, quinoa and ulluco yielded dependably in a gamut of environments, and maize, although subject to damage from frost and drought, was protected with special cultivation and irrigation techniques. The peasant tillers typically planted mixtures of landraces in all four crops. Their intercropping of diverse varieties lessened the threat of crop loss and thus subsistence failure, adding an increment of insurance that they would taste the fruits of their desired food plants.

Resource assets and debits notched after the Land Reform of 1969 bore a resemblance to some landmarks inscribed in the history of diverse crops under Spanish colonialism beginning in the 1500s. Farmland and labor-time shortages stressed Quechua cultivators in both periods and pressured them to surrender their preferred food plants. In both epochs the availability of other resources, such as farm tools and technologies, knowledge, and outright preferences, did not detract from viability of the varied crops. Skillful cultivators at both times tried to meet the challenge of dwindling resources by innovating new farm practices that could replenish their diverse crops under an altered agriculture. The continued creativity of kawsay customs and cultivator innovation could not, however, curtail fully the consequences of recent resource shortfalls.

Socioeconomic Differences and Dietary Change

The diverse crops did not shed evenly among the Quechua in Paucartambo who tilled the rugged countryside during the post-1969 period. A peasant house-family deciding whether to sow the landraces sighted a pair of circumstances on their economic horizons. In one line of sight the household eyed the prospect of combining the diverse crops in some fields with the farming of high-yielding varieties in others. Every farmer in the region sought to couple the perceived advantages of subsistence with commerce. In another corner of the decision-making horizon, the Quechua cultivators took stock of their personal resource endowments and consumption customs. There, all families did not view the same landscape, for their production capacities and consumption patterns differed markedly among one another.

Differences in resource stocks surfaced as the individual families sought to forge ahead with their commerce while embossing a range of diverse crops on their livelihood styles. Disparate effects led the relatively well-to-do peasants to number disproportionately among the tenders of diversity by the 1980s (table 5). Many extremely poor families, however, suffered input shortfalls that prompted them to disown the diverse crops. Socioeconomic differences in the years from 1969 to 1990 tended to follow the fissures formed earlier among estate peasants. The descendents of full tenants or the sector persons (mañay runa) on Paucartambo haciendas held up to 28 acres (12 hectares) when the Land Reform of 1969 was actually enacted in the early 1970s. 22 Former tenant-sharecroppers held medium-size areas half that size or a bit more. A number of the poorest families, former servants, clung to less than seven acres. Although the land areas appeared substantial, only between one third and one fifth was typically arable.

Table 5. Growers of the Diverse Crops by Socioeconomic Group 1
Economic Category Potatoes Maize Ulluco Quinoa
Well-to-do peasants 75% 100% 38% 38%
Middle peasants 43% 71% 14% 19%
Poorest peasants 61% 48% 22% 6%
1. Based on a sample of eight well-to-do peasants, twenty-one in the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum, and thirty-one of the poorest peasants (on categories, see Brush and Taylor 1992; Mayer and Glave 1992).  Back.
Socioeconomic differences within the Paucartambo peasantry were not altered much by the land reform. Although Article 102 of the Special Statute of 1970 had sought to moderate landholding differences, those inequalities persisted and were plainly documented in the reform's census reports registered shortly after 1969 (appendix C.7). Since reform officials field the census reports along with community titles, they legalized the transfer of the preexisting disparities of landholding into the postreform period. Expropriation of the forty to sixty percent of an estate's land that typically had belonged to the demesne did not lessen these disparities and may have worsened them (Mayer 1988; Martínez Alier 1983). While reform officials sometimes awarded a share of ex-demesne land to a community's poorest peasants, they often granted the expropriated parcels to better-off persons; or, as was still rumored decades later, the powerful and more wealthy Quechua in the community seized many former demesne lands, often the very finest fields.

Differentiation resulted in the socioeconomic ranks of rich, middle, and poor peasants being evident among the Paucartambo people during the post-reform decades (Mayer and Glave 1992, 76-77). The hierarchy of economic status compared a family's wealth, particularly the quantity and quality of its land, livestock, labor, and nonfarm business activities (like running a small dry goods store). Skewed differences existed in the size, number, and location of fields, the kind and size of livestock herds, and the age and gender composition of household members. Names assigned to the three categories stressed the salience of contrasts, although none of the peasants were especially prosperous by nonlocal standards. A similar degree of socioeconomic differentiation in the period between 1969 and 1990 was noted in other Cuzco communities and ones elsewhere in Peru, Bolivia, and other Latin American countries, such as Mexico (Baca Tupayachi 1985; Fonseca 1988; Godoy 1990; Guillet 1979; Isbell 1978; Mitchell 1991; Orlove 1977a; Sheridan 1988; Watters 1994).

The Quechua themselves noted the salient economic contrasts within their communities. Paucartambo people termed the well-to-do peasant a qhapaqruna (wealthy person), while the poorest person was cast as a wakcharuna, or orphan. A family in the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum did not bear a particular label, although they were often distinguished as neither qhapaqruna nor wakcharuna. In some cases they were described as "being like qhapaqruna without really being qhapaqruna." Agile ability of the perceptive Quechua peasants in Paucartambo to categorize one another's wealth was not surprising; they shared a well-seasoned and sometimes envious familiarity with their neighbors' endowments of land, livestock, and family composition. 23 A community member could easily spot a wealthy person, or qhapaqruna, typically someone with lots of farmland and large herds including oxen for plowing. With similar ease, he or she could distinguish a poor orphan, or wakcharuna, that held scant land and few livestock.

One indicator of a household's wealth was whether its head, usually a male, regularly held a role in community government. By law the Peasant Communities in Paucartambo periodically elected a leader known as either the president (Presidente) or lieutenant governor (Teniente Gobernador), as well as a several member governing body known as the Junta Directiva or Concejo de Administración. Community members expected that their leaders would come from the ranks of the more well-to-do. A wealthy person, it was thought, would wield more clout in the enforcement of community institutions like the corvée, or faena, which although sanctioned by a moderate fine for absence was unpopular at times and thus in need of powerful leadership. An orphan, by contrast, was often noted as someone too weak and too poor to lead. The powerful roles of post-1969 community government were inherited in part from hacienda life; tenants or sector persons had dominated the intrapeasant politics of estates, often both enforcing the discipline of owners and heading the resistance of peasant workers.

Economic divisions within the Paucartambo peasantry could be reckoned readily with access to the diverse crops. Better-off farmers were more likely than their poorer counterparts to seed the diverse landraces of potatoes, maize, ulluco, and quinoa (table 5). Nonetheless the poorest peasants, the wakcha orphans, proved in general to be more probable planters of diversity than peasants in the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum. (The reverse, it should be noted, held with respect to the diverse maize crop.) Although both the better-off and the most destitute sowed the diverse crops, the two groups of socioeconomic opposites created consumption roles for them that were dissimilar. On the one hand, for the well-to-do, the diverse crops harnessed prestige and reinforced status, frequently helping the leaders host a community or religious feast (see also Mitchell 1991, 84). For the poorest farmers who could not afford anything else, on the other hand, the diverse crop plants were more an unchosen item in their hardscrabble diets.

Production-related rationales also differed among the three groups of peasant farmers. Wealthy planters who could command upward of forty fields—as many as twenty cultivated in a season—abounded in lands that were apt for the varied landraces of each diverse crop. They also could convert many fields to commerce while keeping ample others for the diverse crops. Labor-time likewise impeded them less than the other socioeconomic groups. They recruited workers through wages, sharecropping, labor exchange, and payment-in-kind. In the case of labor exchange they could benefit from the local custom of mink'a that permitted paying another person as a substitute in the exchange. Payment-in-kind also helped assure the wealthy a ready supply of workers for their diverse crops. They regularly gained the helping hand of their less well-off neighbors by offering them either a fixed amount or a portion of the work effort in harvest—meted out by their harvested rows and piles known as q'ama, qhaña, and phiña.

Many of the poorest peasants in Paucartambo, inhabiting the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum, also cropped the diverse plants. As a result of the Land Reform of 1969, the poorest farmers tended to hold a modicum of land; however, their production-related rationales for the diverse crops were not the same as those of their well-to-do neighbors. Field holdings of the poorer Quechua clustered in marginal sites and, especially, at the high elevations unsuited to farm commerce. Their poor farmland pressed them to grow potato and ulluco landraces in order to furnish the nearly sole source of everyday subsistence. Their capacity to cultivate maize and quinoa was, however, much less. A majority of the poorest peasants lacked access to the fields valued located at elevations low enough for maize and quinoa parcels (below 11,650 feet, or 3,550 meters). In general their measly means of farm commerce left them with little choice but to till the diverse tuber crops.

Diversity's greatest absence from agriculture turned out to be in the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum (plate 4). Peasants in this middle group confronted critical shortfalls of one resource or another due to the channeling of sizeable assets to growing commerce. Labor-time, for example, strained them sensibly when they exhausted much of their farming effort on new activities and, in doing so, were less able to recruit extra-household workers than their better-off neighbors. Many families being squeezed for resources failed to muster the workers needed for the diverse crops. Central to their predicament was that the middle group could adopt a fair share of farm commerce during the postreform period; they were, for instance, among the chief adopters of improved potato varieties (Brush and Taylor 1992; Zimmerer 1991b). They overcame the obstacles that otherwise impeded the pursuit of commerce, but they often did so without the means to continue cropping their diverse plants.

faustino, a paucartambo farmer
Plate 4. Faustino, a Paucartambo farmer of middling means, threshes the stalks of freshly cut quinoa. The quinoa belongs to his well-to-do neighbor, who will pay Faustino with a small sack of quinoa seed.

That Eufemia and Faustino had deserted the multicolored floury potatoes gifted by Santusa in 1969 was not unexpected in light of the couple's hopeful but only half-founded foray into new commerce. By 1980 the couple, with the help of their young children, was forging ahead with four parcels of high-yielding potatoes—mostly mariva—destined for Cuzco markets and two medium-size barley plots contracted by the Beer Company of Southern Peru. In some years Faustino traveled to the gold mines at Quince Mil, not far from the Paucartambo montaña, where he earned piecemeal pay for the glittering specks he uncovered by hand-washing and screening placer deposits. Still other endeavors dated to 1985 when they became prestatarios, borrowing a low-interest loan from the Agrarian Bank in order to buy irrigation equipment for off-season potatoes. Strapped for field parcels, their family decided that tending the potato landraces was no longer affordable.

It was in order to obtain a small supply of the savory spuds that Faustino religiously sharecropped with his neighbor Don Líbano in the Big Hill field of upper Umamarca. While sharecropping gained him and his family the desired foodstuff, it nonetheless cost them labor-time. Although he and Eufemia viewed the arrangement to be convenient, it was not what they hoped for. Barter arrangements offered a similar trade-off for those persons angling to obtain the diverse crops. The most common form of barter involved the swapping of maize and potatoes. They were traded according to a standard unit of volume known as the chimpu for the shawl that farmers used to carry them: one chimpu of shelled kernels could be exchanged for an equal amount of freeze-dried chuño or moraya. Alternatively, one chimpu-worth of unshelled maize traded for an equal volume of fresh potatoes. Although farmers could, therefore, turn to barter to obtain diverse crops, this mechanism did not make up for the supplies lost due to cultivation changes.

Consumption habits of the Quechua in Paucartambo shifted swiftly in the years from 1969 to 1990. A number of major changes delved deeply into their dietary customs at the expense of diverse crops. High-yielding potatoes grown at home were filling their blackened cooking pots and worn enamelware with a spiralling frequency. Although most high-yielding types ended up in market stalls, the Green Revolution ingredients also served to sustain many farm families. High-yielding improved varieties, such as renacimiento (Rebirth) and later mariva, could be cooked like the diverse floury potatoes, that is, by boiling to serve in soups or with a requisite spicy relish known as ají, which was ground from the hot capsicum, or aji chile peppers. Good-size harvests of the high-yielding varieties could be substituted for the less-prolific landraces. The inconspicuous substitution of high-yielding varieties thus subsidized the growth of farm commerce. Quechua farmers also shifted their dietary fare by adopting more barley-based dishes into their cuisine. By discreetly retaining unnoticed portions of the company-contracted crop or tending their own, they consumed more barley soups (lawa, chupe), gruel (mashka, hak'u pichisqa), and homemade beer (teqte).

After the Land Reform of 1969 consumption by the Quechua in Paucartambo also shifted toward the purchase of marketed foodstuffs. A detailed study of their consumption habits revealed that large percentages of inhabitants were buying the following foodstuffs by the 1980s: onions (ninety-four percent), rice (ninety-four percent), carrots (eighty-eight percent), sugar (eighty-six percent), macaroni and spaghetti noodles (eighty-six percent), cabbage (sixty-seven percent), and cooking oil (forty-five percent) (Fano and Benavides 1992). Commonplace purchases of noodles and rice signaled a regionwide shift that was displacing the older eating customs of many farmers. Since the macaroni and spaghetti noodles sold at the lowest prices, countless Quechua families realized that the store-bought fare cost less than sowing some of their diverse crops. Their cost-saving substitution of noodles for a landrace-based cuisine did not, however, usher in a radical upheaval of taste preferences; consumers lamented and joked derisively about the abject lack of flavor and "cardboard" texture of the noodles and other cheap foodstuffs given as aid (for example, canned meat from the European Economic Community).

Diverse crops and the corresponding culinary dishes went on garnering unique esteem for their taste, nutrition, and ceremonial value in the post-1969 decades. Rather than relinquish renown to the new foodstuffs, the diverse landraces of potatoes, maize, ulluco, and quinoa actually attracted quite a bit of prestige in the course of accelerated economic and dietary change. Potato landraces such as the Red Mother, Aborted Guinea Pig, Village Plain, One Who Cries for Her Inca, and Fist once grown by Eufemia, Faustino, and their neighbors in Umamarca were heaped with renewed feeling when they became rarer. The diverse crops, much like the finely woven and increasingly rare garments of homespun wool that gained local status, were becoming a sort of traditional luxury. Even Eufemia and Faustino, who no longer cultivated the floury potatoes, agreed without hesitation that a larger supply in their larder would bring a welcome renewal of kawsay-style eating. 24 They agreed that maize, ulluco, and quinoa similarly grew in memorability even while, ironically, they made up ever-smaller portions of the family diet.

The social fissure that cut through cultivation of the diverse crops widened since the ready supply of prestigious foodstuffs helped the better-off farmers to recruit crucial labor. Whether a Quechua family in Paucartambo prospered in expanding postreform commerce turned on its recruiting extra-household labor. In addition to direct payment with the diverse crops a well-to-do family used them to sweeten the culinary prospects of the midday meal that was served to workers. The midday meal, referred to as mesa puesta (provided meal, or simply as food comida), appeared at first glance to be a minor fare compared to a worker's basic return in his or her wage, ayni labor exchange, or payment-in-kind. The laborers took serious stock of the meal, however, when deciding whether to toil for a certain field owner. Together with coca leaves or cigarettes, a robust midday meal could decisively sweeten the terms of a labor arrangement. Prominence of the meal also affirmed the pivotal role of household women not only as skillful cooks but also as agents of labor recruitment, a function often overlooked.

As a result, more wealthy farmers like Don Líbano of Umamarca and Don Pedro seen in Nova's Seeds of Tomorrow could use their quotient of diverse foodstuffs to edge economic advantage still further in their direction. The unexpected twist of diversity's usage within the peasantry was illustrated by the household headed by Líbano and his wife, Doña Natividad. The well-to-do landrace-growers regularly deployed their prestigious crops to help recruit extra-household labor for their suite of commercial endeavors. By serving a renowned midday meal heaped with steaming floury potatoes and succulent maize kernels, flavorful soups and stews stocked with quinoa and ulluco, and generous helpings of maize-brewed chicha beer, Don Líbano and Doña Natividad held a reputation among the poorer Umamarca peasants as the most rewarding field owners for whom to work.

Outcomes of the manifold transitions in farm nature and society after the Land Reform of 1969 took on definitive shape in the small fields and out-of-the-way storehouses of the Quechua, who tilled the scores of Peasant Communities in Paucartambo. Yet the full story of farming in the mountainous countryside and of diverse crops was unavoidably set across the broader arena of the Paucartambo Andes, where the peasant tillers resided together with villagers and merchants, government officials, agribusiness agents, and the personnel who staffed the national government's Agrarian Bank and nongovernmental aid programs. By exerting economic and political power as well as pull on people's feelings of ethnicity, the various groups in regional society put in motion several dynamics that moved the post-1969 saga of diverse crops in more complex and, at times, surprising ways.

Ethnicity, Power, and Biodiversity

The Land Reform of 1969 led to the relocation of many ex-estate owners to villages in the Paucartambo Andes—Paucartambo (1981 population: 1,928), Challabamba (1981 population: 201), Colquepata (1981 population: 484). The erstwhile seignors joined a few thousand other non-Quechua residents already living in the country towns. There, the new villagers craftily redid their economic portfolios. Their influence as economic agents, and especially their interaction with the Quechua farmers, compounded the effects of new commerce and socioeconomic differences, thereby adding new complexities to the already varied social roles of diverse crops. An anecdote of the well-to-do Don Líbano in 1986 illustrated a common scene amid the regional-scale forces of power and ethnicity that pressed on diverse plants:

One reason I grow the floury potatoes is so that I can host my village friends when they come to visit and relax and to do a little business here in the countryside. Just last week Señor Juancito was here in Umamarca. You know that he used to be the owner of the Huaynapata estate near here. Together we ate three big platefuls of floury potatoes with aji chile-pepper relish and fresh cheese that Natividad made last week, and that was after he finished two bowls of quinoa soup. Anyway, with the election victory of the APRA party, Señor Juancito is now the assistant tax collector for motor vehicles, which I know is good for me. [Líbano was part owner of the Darwin truck at the time.] 25
Peru's Land Reform of 1969 mandated that Líbano's friend Señor Juan—the diminutive Juancito bespoke an etiquette of deferential affection—and the other hacienda owners immediately cede most estate land. 26 The majority of ex-estate owners relocated to one of the country towns of Paucartambo, Challabamba, and Colquepata, while a handful resettled in Lima and Cuzco. At least a few of the latter benefited from the enlarged apparatus of the Peruvian state; one, for instance, eventually became entrenched as a middle-level bureaucrat in the government's national oil company PETROPERU. Former estate owners who took up permanent residence in the Paucartambo villages still managed to extract their livelihoods from the region's agriculture. With plentiful social power and economic aspirations, but without farmland of note, they immersed their assets and energy in the commercial flows that followed the Land Reform of 1969.

The ex-estate owners flexed a surprising muscle in regional farming, their economic power reconstituted but not much reduced if at all. Refracted through the prisms of resettlement and entangled development, domination by the new class of villagers must have been unforeseen, or at least unstated, by the planners who designed Peru's most radical land reform. An invisible mesh of economic entanglements bound the powerful but landless villagers to the Quechua farmers of the Paucartambo countryside. Described as patron-client bonds and asymmetrical reciprocity, the power relations between villagers and peasant farmers were "a response of individuals to grossly unequal distributions of wealth and power and to situations of risk and uncertainty" (Orlove 1979, 84; see also Collins 1988; Fonseca 1988; Guillet 1992; Mayer 1988; Mitchell 1991; Orlove and Custred 1980; Thurner 1993; Weismantel 1988). 27

In the Paucartambo Andes the "grossly unequal distributions of wealth and power" after the Land Reform of 1969 translated geographically into a flaringout of the village economies like funnels that diverted quickening flows of goods, labor, and capital being swept loose in the expansion and diversification of the peasant economy. Although the Quechua in Paucartambo possessed the vast majority of land and composed nearly the whole of the rural labor force, they resorted out of necessity to social ties with their village patrons, often fictional kin. Their village patrons helped to ensure the off-farm supplies and services crucial to farm commerce in the period from 1969 to 1990. Four resource types—field inputs, money, transportation, and brokering with government officials—levered the farm economies of the Quechua into new positions of commercial advantage, but led directly to the tightening of patron-client ties with villagers in Paucartambo, Challabamba, and Colquepata.

The chief field inputs transferred through the villager-peasant mesh were seed, fertilizer, and pesticide. According to the terms of one common pact between the landless villagers and the Quechua farmers, the villagers contributed seed and other inputs in a sharecropping or a partir deal that stipulated an even division of harvest. Under that sharecropping, the farmland and labor-time were proportioned entirely by input-poor peasants. Such sharecropping was widespread and crucial in the spread of much input-intensive off-season cropping after the Land Reform of 1969. Powerful villagers also managed access to productive fields and peasant labor through small cash sums exchanged for land mortgages and land rental, transactions that prevailed in the Peasant Communities of Paucartambo despite prohibition by laws of the Peruvian land reform.

Money advanced as credit knotted a mass of patron-client ties between the powerful villagers and many Quechua farmers seeking to adopt new commerce. Formal credit that was dispensed by the Paucartambo branch of Peru's Agrarian Bank ran out before reaching more than a small fraction of farmers in the region. Even at the height of its lending in the mid-1980s the bank forwarded loans to less than fifteen percent of the region's credit-hungry cultivators. Seizing economic opportunity, numerous villagers financed the major share of farm credit for the Quechua, who committed to repayment either in cash with interest or in farm goods at harvest. In setting terms for harvest-season sales the villagers manipulated indebtedness in order to fix prices that were seen as either invitingly favorable or scandalously exploitative contingent on one's perspective. This exploitative practice was already familiar, in fact, for it had been common under the haciendas prior to 1969. Credit, either in money or goods, thus continued to entrap those peasants who fell into debt in the lean preharvest months or in years when revenues, harvests, or both, failed outright.

Without any external sign of a twin function, the retail stores in the country towns of Paucartambo discretely doubled as credit agencies and buyers of farm goods for thousands of Quechua cultivators. In the mid-1980s the cobbled streets of Paucartambo were lined with more than sixty such dry goods outlets, which tended to occupy a single storefront room, venturing in sale items from candy to kerosene to loudspeakers (Mayer 1988). Stocking also a disarming array of out-of-date bric-a-brac, many stores were properties of the ex-estate owners. These "new hacendados," as more than one frustrated peasant farmer called them, used their stores to forge a potent alchemy that combined liquid money reserves for credit and the political power of local government offices for patronage.

One index of the far-reaching power and influence of storeowning villagers was the absence in Paucartambo and Challabamba of an open-air marketplace. Lack of a periodic marketplace in the two villages contrasted nearly all the analogous-size villages throughout the southern Peruvian sierra, including nearby Colquepata. 28 In effect the powerful village patrons completely captured the wholesale trade of rural clients, leaving farm markets cornered and marketplaces closed without ever opening. Efforts to develop a marketplace—and there were some attempts by the Paucartambo branch of the nationwide Ministry of Agriculture, as well as discussion by visiting nongovernmental organizations—failed in not being able to sever the social mesh binding peasants and villagers. A farmer trying to sell in a new marketplace risked the wrath of his or her patron along with the withdrawal of inputs or other supports. In defense of their rural ties the provincial villagers of Paucartambo liked to say in the late 1980s that the channels of villager-peasant communication were what deterred the Shining Path from locating in the region. 29

Control of transport likewise rewarded the powerful albeit landless villagers. With few exceptions, such as Líbano's ill-fated stint owning Darwin, it was the villagers who held the fleet of workhorse flatbeds that trucked goods across Paucartambo's decrepit dirt roads. Truck owners shipped farm goods from the hinterland to markets in Cuzco and Sicuani and occasionally Arequipa, with a smaller fraction headed eastward to the sprawling towns of Pilcopata and Puerto Maldonado in the upper Amazon. As many as eighteen trucks with names as colorful as Noble Merchant (Noble Comerciante) departed daily from the villages of Challabamba, Paucartambo, and Colquepata at the peak of harvest in May and June. The Quechua farmers, for their part, depended more than ever on timely shipping. Success of their commercial ventures, such as off-season plantings and the brewery-bound crop of malting barley, rested on prompt delivery to extraregional markets. Faustino's abrupt concern about the upcoming departure of the trundling Darwin when we checked out the Big Hill field, described in the opening chapter, attested to transport's everyday presence in the Paucartambo countryside.

Constraints in the transportation network of Paucartambo truly bottlenecked farm commerce and benefited the powerful villagers. Villagers could use their lumbering vehicles as a convenient platform to loan money and lock up the purchase of farm goods. The vehicle owners operated trucking oligarchies, moreover, that were empowered by their small number and provincial location. They fearlessly inflated freight costs. One sign of oligarchic pricing was that per unit shipping costs from Challabamba to Cuzco averaged twenty-five percent more per unit than those from Paucartambo to Cuzco, notwithstanding the close proximity of Challabamba and Paucartambo. While the Quechua farmers resented and occasionally decried the blatant exploitation by the truckers, they dutifully aided at regular intervals in repairing the maintenance-hungry mountain roads that carted the fruits of their burgeoning commerce. Due to its many branches into the farm economy, the obstructionist role of transport was not strictly analogous to a simple roadblock.

Newfound functions of regional government seated in the hopeful country towns also added glue to the patron-client bonds between villagers and peasant farmers. The Quechua cultivators increasingly had reason to ply the bureaucracy of Peru's Ministry of Agriculture, for instance, which ran a regional office in Paucartambo and branches in the other villages. The local outposts of the country's farm bureau administered tasks varying from the arbitration of land conflicts to the approval of loands from the national Agrarian Bank and the institutional coordination of food aid and development projects, of which there were few. For the farmer beset by a pending problem or an unresolved request, the issue's outcome stood a better chance of success with the assistance of a well-connected, influence-peddling villager. The enterprising and circumspect Don Líbano, wealthy and well-known in the village, wisely consulted his social kin such as Señor Juan on even minor affairs, such as the disliked truck tax, as well as on more potentially upending matters.

The favor-brokering villagers garnered further patronage from farmers due to the worrisome uncertainty of reform measures that remained unresolved long after 1969. In fact the Ministry of Agriculture fanned the deep-seated in-security of the peasants in 1986 when it reverted the ownership of prize farmland on a community near the Paucartambo-Challabamba roadway to a powerful villager and former estate owner. In response to urging by the ex-owner and his dispossessed but influential clan the ministry's headquarters had ruled that the peasant community demonstrated "inefficient use." This manipulation of widely recognized national laws heightened the chronic anxiety of Quechua tillers throughout the region about the vulnerability of their benefits from the Land Reform of 1969. Still further anxiety was instilled by the slow pace of the government's issuance of titles: even in the late 1980s twenty-two Peasant Groups anxiously awaited the minor procedural adjustments that would award them their legal title as Peasant Communities (Mayer 1988). 30

The patron-client bonds that lashed down regional commerce and reached into the farming of diverse crops were merely retied rather than permanently undone following the Land Reform of 1969. A comparison of scholarly notes on the functions of the many bric-a-brac stores run by patronage-wielding villagers in Paucartambo illustrated the grim scenario. Perceptive commentators had recognized that those storefront rooms counted primarily for the purpose of patron-client exchanges rather than retailing merchandise. Prior to the Land Reform of 1969, the sixty-plus stores run by villagers—store people, or tendayoq, as the Quechua called them at times—were thought to lift a hopeful sign of multiple options and, therefore, a seller's market for the Quechua farmers in need of patronage. That was a perceptive rendering of the town's social landscape at the time (Cotler 1975, 151). By the mid-1980s, however, the similar presence of dry goods stores in Paucartambo had come to symbolize the entrenchment of economic domination and inequality. By the later date this was an equally accurate but decidedly more pessimistic verdict, well-versed in the economic reality of the postreform decades (Mayer 1988). 31

The diverse crops lay inextricably entwined in the web of patron-client ties spun after the Land Reform of 1969. While the facility of farmers to seed the floury potatoes, maize, and other plants did owe to their economic assets, their access to the resources took shape through the economy and its actors, both powerful and weak. Peasants wishing to strengthen their economic status through patronage managed to make good use of the diverse crops in a new assertion of cultural identity amid the many strands of patron-client webs. Villagers, for their part, were remaking their expression of a distinct "townsperson" culture—one cemented via opposition to the countryside—that prided itself on public parlance of the Spanish language, albeit in a provincial dialect. Village people most commonly referred to one another as neighbor (vecino). They mostly used the derogative Indian when referring to a Quechua person, with the notable exception of public addresses, which since the Land Reform of 1969 were heavily dosed with the term peasant, or campesino.

The new ethnic role of diverse crops in the years from 1969 to 1990 was evident in the identity practices of villagers—with their provincial culture and plentiful ties to the countryside—and the analogous expressions of the Quechua farmers. Like the villagers, the postreform Quechua cast their personal identities in opposition to the other social group (Allen 1988). In frequently referring to themselves as either person (runa), or peasant (campesino), or community member (comunero) they set their identities apart from the villagers that they cast as whites, or mistis. That difference was exaggerated further in face-to-face settings where the latter were deferred to as "sir" or "madam," in keeping with an "etiquette of inequality" (van den Berghe and Primov 1977). 32 The linguistic artifices behind this ethnic barrier between runa peasants and vecino villagers were accurate reflections of pronounced difference; however, they also belied a small but definite permeability and changeability in the ethnic categories.

Greater permeability in the social categories was made plain by the growing number of Quechua peasants, especially the more well-to-do, who outfitted a village residence as well as their main dwelling in a Peasant Community. The four settlement quarters of Paucartambo Village, for instance, showed a growing number of residents that bridged neighborhoods in the capital directly to the countryside: Carpapampa to the southern Paucartambo Valley, Callispuquio and Virgen del Rosario to the central and northern valley, and Quencomayo to the interior. The villages of Challabamba and Colquepata also housed neighborhoods that, although no more than a few blocks in size, were inhabited mainly by Quechua peasants rather than "white" villagers. In Challabamba and Colquepata some peasant villagers followed the dual residence pattern of Paucartambo people, while others resided full time in town and still retained membership and access to lands in Peasant Communities.

The coexistence of deeply felt difference and subtle sentiments of similarity gained a peculiar expression in the ethnic status of the diverse crops. Irreconcilable difference was indeed one meaning of the landraces and their farming after the Land Reform of 1969. Cast as cultural icons of mutual opposition, they typified the identity of the Quechua in Paucartambo, both to themselves and to villagers. The farming of landraces, like the chewing of coca leaves, stood for an integral part of their widely shared idea of being Quechua. By contrast, the provincial townspeople would no sooner nurture the diverse landraces of potatoes, maize, ulluco, and quinoa than they would publicly masticate the mildly stimulating and sacred leaf. Growing landraces was inimical to mestizo identity. The Quechua names of the scores of peculiar landraces and their myriad dishes did indeed express exclusively the cultural realm of the Quechua. Such strong symbolism of the diverse crops suggested that its place rested solely on one side of the bipolar barrier, much like the purported allegiance of Indian food, or comida del indio, which had begun in the colonial period.

Nevertheless, the unity of diverse crops as ethnic expressions after the Land Reform of 1969 was in some ways more apparent than real. One reason for this ambiguousness resembled the persistent fallacy of the term Indian food, which was purported to, but did not, furnish an all-inclusive cultural marker. After the Land Reform of 1969 many Quechua tillers and the commerce-strained middle peasants in particular no longer farmed the diverse crops, even though they remained as rural and Quechua as any group in Paucartambo. 33 The ever more striking presence of the Quechua farmers who grew little diversity did not detract from the continued vitality of the cultural meanings owed to diverse crops. It did indicate, however, that use of them was not uniform among the ethnically indigenous.

The inflated value of diverse crops as cultural icons for the Quechua was due partly to scarcity's effect in making the familiar dear; however, a major new source of cultural value also emerged. Rural clients and village patrons regularly relied on the diverse crops as means to renew their bonds of social kinship. In one diversity-rich custom that flourished after the reform of 1969, the diverse crops furnished food gifts that the Quechua farmers lavished on their social kin in the village. Many Quechua sacrificed sacks replete with hak'u papa (floury potatoes), fresh corn, and recently butchered beef, pork, or even qowi (guinea pig), hauling them down country paths and discreetly into the back doors of the villagers' houses. At other times, the wealthy Quechua farmers hosted feasts at home in their Peasant Communities where they served diverse crops and other foods to the visiting villagers.

Farmers also paraded the diverse crops in performing public and religious offices, or cargos, of the civil religious hierarchy. An office-holder, or carguyoq, was expected to sponsor a fiesta specified in his or her office, usually in celebration of a Saint's Day (appendices D.4 and E.5). As part of sponsorship, maize-brewed chicha, food, and often one or more bands and dance troupes were secured. Food was served in large feast meals consisting of certain prescribed dishes and customary cuisine. Some Saints' Days specified special soups and platters, such as thimp'u at Carnival, merienda at Cruz Velacuy (Saint Elena's Day), and chiriuchu at Corpus Christi. Diverse crops supplied the basis for the unique feast dishes as well as the special foods served in other celebrations. During the years between 1969 and 1990, well-off Quechua farmers frequently invited some village friends and patrons to their fiestas, lubricating their economic relations with liberal portions of cherished food, not to mention chicha.

Some fruits of the Paucartambo countryside, with potatoes and maize foremost, plainly did not present anathema to white villagers. The element of cultural commensurability grew due to the myriad patron-client ties in regular need of reinforcement after the Land Reform of 1969. Boiled floury potatoes served with the savory chile-pepper relish of spicy ají furnished one example of a shared cuisine built on the diverse crops. Villagers frequently referred to them as native potatoes, or papa nativa, but they unhesitantly embraced the flaky texture and delicate tastes of the sumptuous country-style meals hosted by their fictive kin. A few other types of diverse crops eagerly consumed in public meals by feasting villagers and Quechua farmers had in fact quietly been an ingredient of non-Quechua cuisine for centuries. Ulluco and maize in particular, which enjoyed great popularity during the postreform decades, had already been absorbed into non-Indian food habits during the colonial epoch.

The widespread popularity of diverse crops took a new turn after 1969 in further cleaving economic differences among the Quechua themselves. Wealthier Quechua farmers dined powerful village patrons to their mutual advantage. Don Líbano—the well-to-do Quechua farmer of Umamarca—regaled in telling of the hearty quinoa soup and relished floury potatoes that he and Doña Natividad served as both symbol and sustenance to the visiting Señor Juan, tax collector and loyal member of the ruling APRA party. 34 (He knew that I, too, was an avid eater of these foodstuffs.) Líbano's poorer neighbors, many who did not seed the landraces, apprehended the shrewed investment of his surfeit. The diverse crops were not being cast as simple symbols of social status, in other words, but were being used to help regenerate that status. Advantages of a fit or kawsay-style livelihood were advancing the future prospects of those who already benefited.

Biodiversity and Recent History

Diverse crops of the Paucartambo Andes were not eclipsed in the remaking of culture and ethnicity, town and countryside, and subsistence and commerce after the Land Reform of 1969. The landraces supplying floury potatoes and parched maize epitomized a double usefulness of the diverse crops: they afforded the valued staples of a fit livelihood as well as the chief ingredients of delectable feasts and food gifts. The double rewards of everyday value and special purpose testified to a re-created vitality of the diverse crops as cultural matter during the years from 1969 to 1990. Unassuming organisms were being reinvented as expressions vital to a broad-based popular culture. In post-reform Paucartambo, unlike premodern Europe, accustomed potatoes were not becoming a poverty food of last resort but rather a surprisingly elusive food-stuff akin to a traditional-style luxury item.

Quechua farmers in Paucartambo did not surrender their diverse crops as a matter of first choice. Yet families like Eufemia and Faustino labored mightily to expand and diversify their commerce of the off-season high-yielding potatoes, plots of barley contracted with the Beer Company of Southern Peru, and market-bound ulluco. In their budding endeavors they glimpsed an incongruous pairing of the modernizing urban markets—even global outlets for their farm goods, since the brewery exported its Cuzco Beer abroad—and the intensifying sweat of gritty work routines at their mountain-based field sites. Much like the nonsubsistence economies of earlier epochs, moreover, specialized market farming from 1969 to 1990 called for a sparse range of diversity in the way of crops and landraces. As before, therefore, diversity was reaped almost entirely in a family's cultivation for its own larder.

New dilemmas beset the self-provisioning share of farming both before and after the Land Reform of 1969. The Quechua peasants in Paucartambo practiced a micropolitics that seized on subsistence rights and the claim to diverse crops in their recurrent efforts to secure better livelihoods in the late 1950s and the 1960s. The radical reform of 1969 cast the diverse crops into a medley of political roles, since environmental resources in general struck a high profile among the contending parties of anxious peasants and existing estate owners. The reform also introduced paradoxical effects in the region via peasant migration and soil degradation that set in motion some resource scarcities that would worsen sharply after 1969. The macroscale economic policies of Peruvian governments further worsened the scarcity of resources. Overall, the Quechua in Paucartambo were the losers in the post-1969 models of development that exerted strong biases in favor of economic growth among other geographical regions, producing sectors, and social groups.

Many Quechua farmers in Paucartambo nonetheless succeeded in coupling the diverse crops for self-provisioning with the pell-mell demand of their new commerce. The successful cultivators managed to squeeze them into a smaller albeit still vital corner of their farming. Other families, however, were unable to adjust and innovate adequately. On the one hand, numerous families in the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum found that their struggling engagement with new markets did not permit the diverse crops. Shortfalls of land, labortime, or capital at the farm level pressed their unwelcome decisions. The farmers curtailing diversity often shifted to less expensive diets, including home-grown improved potato varieties and cheap noodles and other food aid. The well-to-do peasants, on the other hand, reaped growing rewards from the diverse crops in recruiting the labor and loyalty of other peasants as well as capital and patronage from villagers. Enterprising use by the better-off Quechua peasants reflected new social and ideological roles for the diverse crops.

The Quechua in Paucartambo transformed not only the peasant economy from 1969 to 1990; they also reshaped the geography of farm space. They were especially successful at recasting the spatial order of dual production—the coupling of commerce with kitchen-bound farming. Their most recent reconfiguring in the region capped a long series of spatial changes. As early as the Inca period, discussed in chapter two, the major nonsubsistence crops such as coca and maize derived from well-demarcated lands set in environments and districts distinct from the self-provisioning fields of commoners. Under Spanish colonialism, that spatial distinction was an intra-regional one, since Indian peasants sent tribute such as wheat, barley, and chuño from their own fields to the rulers. After 1969, however, unprecedented marketing drove farmers once again to reorder their use of territory. When the crux of conservation took shape during the 1969 to 1990 era—that is, landrace loss versus diversity's revival in continued cropping—it became clear that the environmental outcomes were a matter of farm spaces and farming places. 35


Note 1: Santusa Castillo Quispe, Umamarca, June 5, 1987.  Back.

Note 2: General Velasco's Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces planned land reform in order to modernize peasant production, end the skewed concentration of land ownership (eighty-seven percent of the country's agricultural land was held by four percent of its population), and defuse political opposition that included a variety of pro-Communist parties, peasant and trade unions, and popular social movements. The military junta discouraged and repressed popular participation as part of its public concern "to prevent Communism." While fervently anti-Communist, the military government was equally opposed to Peru's ruling civilian oligarchy, which was thwarting the country's development by resisting much-needed economic and social reform (Bourque and Palmer 1975; Cotler 1975).  Back.

Note 3: The macroscale policies of Velasco's military government resembled the "functional dualism" model of economic development, whereby the peasant sector served "both as a source of primitive accumulation through cheap semiproletarian labor and cheap food and a contradictory process that leads to the destruction of the peasantry" (de Janvry 1981, 4). Peru's military rulers and their economic planners did indeed envision that the peasant sector would produce inexpensive foodstuffs for urban populations while, at the same time, lessening the need for costly imports (Cotler 1975). Furthermore, like earlier Peruvian governments, they also planned for the transfer of capital from the countryside to the city and mines. Although "functional dualism" was initially defined partly on the basis of the peasant sector eventually being eliminated, economic circumstances in Paucartambo and other highland Peruvian regions during the postreform period neither impoverished peasants so much nor offered sufficiently compelling opportunities for migration that peasant farmers and their economic sector disappeared (de Janvry et al. 1989). Macroeconomic policies in Peru during the postreform period could also be understood as turning from an earlier orientation based on the largely separate sectors of exports (sugar cane, cotton) and national production (wheat, potatoes) toward one where national commerce was integrated with growing agroindustries and urban markets under the umbrella of import-substitution policies (Alvarez 1983; Hopkins 1981; Thorp and Bertram 1978).  Back.

Note 4: Faustino Condori Castillo, Umamarca, March 8, 1986.  Back.

Note 5: The preference for community units could also be seen in the unquestioned devolution of various Paucartambo haciendas that were consolidated by single owners into separate Peasant Communities following the Land Reform of 1969.  Back.

Note 6: Section IV of the Special Statute of Peasant Communities of 1970, entitled "About Community Members," had stipulated that community membership could be conferred only due to birth there or marriage with a member (La Dirección y Promoción de la Reforma Agraria. n.d., 7).  Back.

Note 7: Substantial immigration from Puno Department belonged to a long-term historical flow of outmigrants that was present as early as the sixteenth century and that probably peaked during the waves of forastero migration to Paucartambo in the 1600s and 1700s (chapter two; see Mörner 1978; Polo de Ondegardo [1561] 1940, 168; Wightman 1990).  Back.

Note 8: Terms of trade for highland agriculture remained negative throughout most of the period from 1969 to 1987 (Alvarez 1983; Hopkins 1981; Thorp and Bertram 1978). Among items considered in the terms of trade were agricultural inputs such as seed, fertilizer and pesticide—inputs that had become commonplace in Paucartambo during the postreform period (Figueroa 1984, 33). In Ninamarca, ninety-three percent of families purchased pesticides during a three-year study in the late 1970s.  Back.

Note 9: Unfavorable market conditions for potato agriculture in the Peruvian Andes stemmed from chronic overproduction and the biases of government policy following 1969. Postreform governments in Peru steered credit, technical assistance, and research and development toward large-scale commercial potato farms in the irrigated coastal valleys (Alvarez 1983; Wilson and Wise 1986).  Back.

Note 10: Founded in Arequipa in 1898 by a pair of German-born Peruvians, Ernesto Gunther and Traservo Rehder, the predominantly Swiss-owned company continued as one of the country's three main beer producers through the 1980s (Hopkins 1978, 14).  Back.

Note 11: A similar arrangement whereby peasant producers shoulder the bulk of economic risk operates in small-scale mining operations in Bolivia (Godoy 1990, 59). One major injustice that the Quechua in Paucartambo perceived was that the Beer Company of Southern Peru set barley prices according to three "grades" that were assigned to a lot at the time of sale. Peasant growers complained that their product was never awarded the top grade with the highest buying price (grade one) and that it was frequently assessed grade three when it merited the second level. Clapp (1988) discusses how the growing contracts appeared on the surface to be fair but were in fact biased against peasant growers. It bears mention that the real market prices of barley fell during the period from 1950 to 1969 and continued this trend during the postreform epoch, which further favored the beer company's capacity to contract peasant growers (Fano and Benavides 1992).  Back.

Note 12: Although coca fields covered less area of the Pilcopata-Qosñipata lowlands than during the colonial epoch, they were still substantial. Their production was destined mainly for regional consumption rather than export in the coca-cocaine trade. Migration from Paucartambo for longer periods frequently involved ninety-day contracts that sent workers to the Quince Mil placer mines. A secondary destination for temporary migrants from Paucartambo was the La Convención lowland in northern Cuzco Department.  Back.

Note 13: Improved potato varieties were introduced in the Peruvian Andes during the 1950s (Gade 1975, 207).  Back.

Note 14: Faustino Condori Castillo, Umamarca, November 13, 1986.  Back.

Note 15: The Quechua farmers in Paucartambo managed a special flora of spinescent shrubs for use as fence plants. These shrub taxa included paqpa (agave, Agave americana), cheqche (Berberis lutea), roqe (Colletia spinosissima), chanki (prickly pear cactus, Opuntia sp.), llawlli (Bernadesia horrida), and tankar (Solanum sp.) (Zimmerer 1989). A few of the dooryard garden plants are listed in table 1.  Back.

Note 16: Landlessness remained rare in the Paucartambo countryside throughout the 1970s and the 1980s due in part to provisions in the Special Statute of Peasant Communities that prohibited community members from selling land. Although some community members violated the reform law, the transfer of land ownership among peasants was generally uncommon.  Back.

Note 17: The existence of labor-time shortages in peasant agriculture in the Peruvian highlands following the Agrarian Reform of 1969 has been widely documented, although the environmental consequences of the shortages have been assessed only with respect to frontier colonization sites. Other studies assess the impact on general social and economic activities in the highlands (Baca Tupayachi 1985; Brush 1977, 107; Caballero 1981; Collins 1988, 137; Kervyn 1989; Orlove and Custred 1980, 36; compare with Zimmerer 1991c, 1992b).  Back.

Note 18: Studies on the labor demands of postharvest processing and other time-consuming tasks such as intercropping in the peasant growing of diverse crops include Brush et al. (1981), Clawson (1985), Collins (1988), Gade (1972b), Johannessen (1970), Richards (1985, 1986), Weismantel (1988), and Zimmerer (1991b, 1991c).  Back.

Note 19: On the use of social kinship for labor recruitment in other Andean regions, see Brush (1977), Collins (1988), Guillet (1992), and Mitchell (1991).  Back.

Note 20: In similar fashion an analogous term masa defined the field area that two ploughmen with the foot-levered hoes known as chakitaklla, or foot-plows, could furrow in a single day.  Back.

Note 21: While the vast majority of Paucartambo cultivators commanded an adequate and frequently sophisticated knowledge of landrace work, such knowledge did vary among individuals and groups within the peasant society, which is discussed in chapters five and six.  Back.

Note 22: Palacio Pimental (1957a, 1957b) wrote that some wealthy tenants of Paucartambo estates in effect operated "small haciendas" of their own. He also pointed out that the sector people tended to be the most influential of estate peasants in everyday affairs as well as in occasional disputes with the hacienda.  Back.

Note 23: Differences among the three socioeconomic groups were readily apparent. Many Paucartambo peasants could sit on a hillside above the scattered huts of their community and discuss the economic resources of most or all inhabitants. In Peasant Communities with emphasis on a certain resource that endowment weighed heavily in the assessment of wealth. In sheep-raising Colquepata, for instance, the well-off typically owned more than thirty head of sheep, while the poor owned less than fifteen. Additional factors such as dress and the style of one's home (for example, whether or not it was painted) might also be considered.  Back.

Note 24: Eufemia Champi Amao, Umamarca, January 5, 1987.  Back.

Note 25: Líbano Yapa Flores, Umamarca, May 4, 1986.  Back.

Note 26: According to law, former owners could retain the estate houses and upward of thirteen acres. The thirteen acres in many cases comprised prime lands. With the resettlement of owners into villagers, the estate houses became rarely used and slipped into disrepair and decay, poignant reminders of the downfall of the haciendas.  Back.

Note 27: Patrons and clients usually cemented ties through the customs of social kinship. Much Andeanist scholarship has investigated the symbolic properties of this relationship (Allen 1988; Isbell 1978; Mayer 1977). Cultural ecology research in the Andes has emphasized the important role of social kinship in economic exchanges for agricultural production given the labor costs, technology, and social organization of farming (for example, Brush 1977; Golte 1980).  Back.

Note 28: Examples of market villages included Pisac, Calca, Ocongate, Urubamba, Urcos, Santo Tomas, and Sicuani, and literally scores of others.  Back.

Note 29: The claim could just as easily be inverted to argue that their domination of the countryside made the region ripe for activity by the Shining Path, or Sendero Luminoso. In any case the Shining Path took only a few actions in Paucartambo, due in part to the fact that its activity near Cuzco gained greater publicity from attacks in the city and well-known places, such as the Machu Picchu Railroad.  Back.

Note 30: Government recognition of Peasant Communities in Peru slowed after climbing from roughly 1,600 to 2,337 during the early 1970s (Bourque and Palmer 1975; Isbell 1978, 29; La Dirección de Promoción de Reforma Agraria n.d.). By 1977 that number had grown to 2,837, and by the late 1980s it reached 3,500 (Flores Galindo 1988, 7; Kervyn 1989).  Back.

Note 31: Villagers' continued economic advantage was illustrated by the terms of sharecropping. Prior to the Agrarian Reform of 1969, estate peasants and especially the relatively wealthy tenants (the mañay runa, or "sector people") typically sharecropped with landless villagers through the latter supplying seed together with some labor inputs in order to gain an even share of yield from a field (Palacio Pimental 1957a, 197). By the 1980s, the sharecropping villagers supplied seed and field inputs such as fertilizer and pesticide, but no longer furnished any labor in the joint-venture fields. The balance of economic power between village and countryside, as evidenced in sharecropping, thus shifted even further toward the villagers after the Land Reform of 1969.  Back.

Note 32: By way of cultural geographic comparison, it is interesting to note that Quechua-speaking peasants in the Ayacucho region north of Paucartambo deployed the term naked one, or qala, in reference to nonindigenous villagers (Isbell 1978).  Back.

Note 33: Size of the diversity-poor fraction of Quechua farmers in the years from 1969 to 1990 likely surpassed that of preceding eras. During earlier epochs many of the diversity-poor peasants tended to desert their farms altogether due to death or desperate migration.  Back.

Note 34: Líbano later explained that the feast concocted for Señor Juancito merely intimated at the countless gunny sacks of potato landraces and fresh corn that he and Natividad gifted each year after harvest to a few principal villagers including the mayor and the priest. All the expenditures were worthwhile, he added.  Back.

Note 35: In this sense the macroscale dictates of new policies such as the Peruvian government's land reform and its economic programs and the microscale imperatives of resource access and cultural meaning were accurate first-order estimates of the environmental outcomes that issued forth from the transitions of farm nature and society between 1969 and 1990. The political economic and socioeconomic forces could not, however, account fully for the unevenness of diversity's fortunes at the regional scale, where the characters of farm spaces and farming places were strong forces.  Back.