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Interconnecting Worlds: Weaving Community Narratives, Andean Histories & the Library’s Collections

This guide facilitates research about Andean peoples, cultures, and knowledges. It also connects Library of Congress collections to the Quechua language, storytelling & literature, visual arts, and music.

Introduction: ¡Allillanchu!

Orqokuna Andaguapi (Andagua Mountains). Andagua, Perú. (2022). Courtesy of A.B. Bejar.

¡Haykuykamuy! The Latin American, Caribbean, and European Division (LAC&E) at the Library of Congress welcomes you to Interconnecting Worlds: Weaving Community Narratives, Andean Histories & the Library’s Collections. In this guide, with resources in English, Spanish and Quechua, we seek to facilitate research about Andean peoples, cultures, and knowledges through the themes of language, storytelling and literature, visual arts, and music.

The Andean region encompasses the geographic areas in Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Perú, and parts of Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela. While Andean communities are distinct, they also share a history of both resistance and resilience. This guide aims to reflect this shared history by weaving relevant materials from the Library with interviews from Andean and Quechua visual artists, musicians, scholars, educators, poets, and community members.

From discussions about textiles and music to poetry readings and more, our Narratives from the Ayllu (family and community) Interview Series serve to preserve and share diverse community perspectives.

Narratives from the Ayllu

This interview series begins with Dr. Elizabeth Sumida Huaman and Luisa Castellon, both of whom contribute to a strong foundation for this guide. For Dr. Sumida Huaman, a key quality of ancestral systems of knowing is their adaptability. From her personal and academic experience, she views Quechua and Andean communities as strong, beautiful, and intellectually brilliant.

For Luisa Castellon, the shared values of Indigenous Andean communities are extremely important to understand their cultures. Her experiences growing up around the Quechua language shaped the way she interacts with these cultures and her conceptions of unity, family, and community.

Learn more about Dr. Elizabeth Sumida Huaman’s work with Indigenous communities External

Pachamama of the Andes

From the Library: Introductory Materials

This selection of books and StoryMap introduce the people, culture, geography, and region of the Andes for general audiences and researchers. Each title offers a glimpse into the traditions, rites, iconography, history, and culture of Indigenous peoples in across this broad and diverse area. Staff in the Hispanic Reading Room can provide access to the materials located at the Library of Congress. If you cannot visit us in person send us a message through Ask a Librarian to further assist you.

Cultural Exchanges in Quechua Dictionaries, a history of encounters told through lexicons

This StoryMap narrates the Spanish encounter with the Incan Empire and how the subsequent colonization of South America brought on a series of substantial changes for both Indigenous and Spanish populations. Among these changes were the introduction of Christianity to the local population, and the need for missionaries to learn Quechua to proselytize effectively. Learn more about this historical period by visiting this StoryMap created by Pamela Padilla, 2022 Summer participant in the Library of Congress Internship (LOCI) program with the Latin American, Caribbean, and European Division.