White cannibals: Fantasies of racial violence in the Andes

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30 Scopus citations


This paper challenges the commonly-held view that race is relatively unimportant in the Andes, as elsewhere in Latin America. The terrifying white man known as the ñakaq, a ubiquitous figure in Andean folklore, points to the constant presence of racial fear and hatred within rural indigenous societies, as well as in urban zones. Analysis of the nakaq as an indigenous representation of racial violence does not displace class and nation, gender and sexuality as foci of inquiry, but rather reveals the articulation of all of these within race itself. Further, the frequent identification of anthropologists as ñakaqs speaks to specific anthropological practices that reinforce the destructive relationship between Indian and white, despite ethnography's potential as an anti-racist discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-43
Number of pages35
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1997


  • Andes
  • Folklore
  • Latin America
  • Race
  • Ñakaq

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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