Life and Death in the Wari World
This chapter integrates the data from the book and elsewhere to describe how Wari policies and practices structured health and lifeways for heartland and hinterland communities. The author argues that the creation of a military class tasked with conducting and overseeing violent activities, combined with the creation of a ritual class which managed the ceremonial and ritual activities, was a crucial component in the expansion and maintenance of the Wari Empire. She describes studies of Wari presence in other Andean regions, showing that militarism and ritual exceptionalism were not the only means for establishing imperial control. The Wari also smartly deployed resources and developed flexible strategies of rule that often led to varied policies and practices in distinct regions, and which were highly contingent and related to state goals, state means, local landscapes, and specific social circumstances. Thus, the author shows how imperial practices are never purely defined by political elites or other leaders but must also operate within a complex field of social relations, political alliances, environmental constraints, and local perceptions of the expanding polity.
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