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Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin
AmericaRace, Nation, and Community During the Liberal Period$
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Nicola Foote and Rene D. Harder Horst

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034874

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034874.001.0001

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Racial Conflict and Identity Crisis in Wartime Peru

Racial Conflict and Identity Crisis in Wartime Peru

Revisiting the Cañete Massacre of 1881

(p.263) 12 Racial Conflict and Identity Crisis in Wartime Peru
Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin America

Vincent C. Peloso

University Press of Florida

This chapter subjects the historiography and evidence of the massacre of Chinese immigrants in the Cañete valley by Afro-Peruvian peasants, led by women during the War of the Pacific, to critical analysis in light of recent discussions of the nexus of race, culture, and nation. It validates the motives of the peasants who carried out the massacre by examining the event as an aspect of racial and cultural identity formation. The study highlights the self-serving character of contemporary evaluations, and it gives attention to the cultural tensions and ambiguous meanings present in the massacre, which illustrate the character of national identity projects in late nineteenth-century Peru.

Keywords:   racial conflict, Cañete massacre, Chinese immigrants, wartime Peru, War of the Pacific, Afro-Peruvian peasants, cultural identity

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