The Association of the Andeans and the Spanish in the Arts of the Contact Zone by Mary Louise Pratt

The Association of the Andeans and the Spanish in the Arts of the Contact Zone by Mary Louise Pratt

Document details
Category: Anthropology Essay
Subcategory: Cultural Anthropology
Words: 979
Pages: 3

In Mary Louise Pratts Arts of the Contact Zone, she discusses the association of a less powerful civilization, the Andeans, and a powerful, dominant civilization, the Spanish. The Spaniards lack of knowledge of the Andean civilization prevented them from realizing their true culture and made them assume that the Andeans were an ignorant people. Pomas learning of the Spanish culture enabled him to act as a messenger between the two civilizations and thus gain more power in relating information between them. The Spanish had much power, but they did not know much about the Andeans, whereas Poma knew more about both cultures. In a sense, Poma had more power from his knowledge than the Spanish had knowledge from their dominant power. Therefore, knowledge is power, but knowledge does not always come with power. Guaman Pomas letter to King Philip III shows that even though the Andeans were not as powerful as the Spanish, they were still able to develop the knowledge to communicate with people from another culture or who speak a different language. Without the ability to communicate, we feel we are lost and alone. The Spanish had no interest in learning the language of the Andeans therefore, Poma was forced to learn Spanish. In learning about the Spanish and their language, Poma gains some power. He wanted to show King Philip III that the Andeans are not as ignorant as The Spanish thought them to be. Instead of writing a letter to the King in Spanish, he adapted it along Andean lines to express Andean interests and aspirations. (Pratt 532) The main purpose of this letter was to express that the Andeans were not as ignorant as the Spanish thought them to be. The people or things we learn from either keep us ignorant or actually teach us and let us gain some power through what we learn. Everything we learn is presented to us in an educational package. Unfortunately, A student who...

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