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Barter and Social Regeneration in the Argentinean Andes

Olivia Angé

232 pages, 22 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-682-9 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Not Yet Published (May 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-683-6 eBook Not Yet Published

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“Olivia Angé has crafted an engaging, insightful, and timely work that constitutes an important contribution to Andean/Latin American Studies, economic and religious anthropology and the study of exchange. The author artfully weaves an edifying tapestry of the performativity of regional fairs among Kolla people of Argentina.” · David Berliner, Université Libre de Bruxelles


Despite the pervasiveness of barter across societies, this mode of transaction has largely escaped the anthropologist’s gaze. Drawing on data from fairs in the Argentinean Andes involving highland herders and lowland cultivators, this book explores barter’s regime of value and its related social performativity. Considering fairs’ embeddedness within religious celebration shows that interecological transactions are addressed as a sacrifice to catholic figures and local ancestors, which challenges a pervasive view of barter as a non-monetary form of commodity exchange. Looking at value creation, identities, and circulation at fairs, furthers our understanding of how social groups create themselves through instrumental exchanges.

Olivia Angé is Associate Professor in Economic Anthropology at the Université libre de Bruxelles. She specializes in the study of material circulation, agriculture, and value creation in the Andes. Since 2005, she has conducted extensive fieldwork on barter fairs in the Argentinean cordillera. She is the co-author (with David Berliner) of Anthropology and Nostalgia (Berghahn, 2014).

Subject: General Anthropology Political Economy
Area: Latin America




Chapter 1. Household Economy in an Argentinean Highland Village
Chapter 2. Historical Perspectives on Andean Fairs
Chapter 3. Fiesta: A Religious Gathering of People and Things
Chapter 4. Transactional Fabric at Fair
Chapter 5. Barter and the Making of Society



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