An Analysis Of The Documentary Black Gold Using The Theoretic Works Of W.E.B Du Bois

3193 words - 13 pages

Thousands of years before the rule of the Inca, the Tiwanaku civilization emerged from the southern shores of Lake Titicaca and reached across the borders of present day Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The city of Tiwananku is recognized by many Andean scholars as a major center of political, economic, and religious life, and is marked as one of the most important civilizations of the pre-Colombian Americas. Reaching its height from 500 to 900A.D, only its impressive stone monuments remain as evidence of their influence that are now protected archaeological sites. Author John Wayne Janusek is associate professor of anthropology at Vanderblit University and has conducted extensive archaeological research in the Andes for the past two decades. On the topic of the ancient Tiwanaku, Janusek attempts to gather a wealth of past and current research to explore the civilization in its geological and cultural setting, along with its raise and violent fall to power, and its vast political influence. The author approaches the information in the novel from a theoretical approach that highlights the importance of the Tiwanaku’s environmental settings, the mundane daily life of its citizens, its extensive economic ventures, and religious prestige. In the concluding segments of the book, Janusek argues that the study of the Andean past can shed light on current national ideologies and geopolitics worldwide.
The novel itself is divided into nine chapters, of which there are sub-segments that aid the author in addressing specific concepts in the chapter. Chapter one is entitled, “Unveiling Tiwanaku’s Mystery” and details the history of the archaeological research conducted on the civilization, as well as an overview of their cultural development. The author beginnings his work by addressing the cloak of mystery that still surrounds the Tiwanaku today. Though much is yet to be known, the site’s name may have originated from the native term chucara “sun’s home” in Punkina, or taypikala, “central stone” in Aymara (Cobo 1990: 100 cited in Janusek 2008:2). The first native word provides a key as to the importance of the celestial icon of the sun which later became imperil to the Andean religions, and the latter word taypikala refers to the monumental stone work that shapes the “soul” of the people from the modern town of Tiahuanaco. Many of the stonework from the Tiwanaku culture have been defaced, buried, or repurposed to build residences, tombs, churches, and mills in the modern city of Tiahuanaco and its nearby towns. The cryptic stone structures and the massive architiectual construct inspired great admiration from the Inca who considered Twianaku as a place of spiritual genesis, the location where their creator deity Virachoca once rose from Lake Titicaca and brought into existence the sun, moon and stars. The Inca claimed Tiwanaku as their own by proclaiming it a divine site, yet the origins of people who inhabited the area before the Incan rule is question that...

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