Wine ceramic jars from colonial winery of the XVIII century, Moquegua valley, Peru
figureposted on 13.04.2011, 00:00 by Sofia Chacaltana
When the Spaniards arrived to the Andes (1532 A.C.), they brought with them their food and liquor. In the southern Peru, the colonial economy was mainly based on extractive resources such as mining that used Indian labor that needed liquor to support the harsh work environment of the high altitudes of the Andean plateau. Alcohol production and consumption was not an unknown product for the natives; indigenous leaders manufactured beer made of corn and other types of crops providing liquor to their subordinates as retribution for their labor input. However, during colonial times, Spaniards imposed a market economy transforming Andean life styles as well as their taste, in which wine played an important part. Spaniards produced and transport wine to the high altitudes and new urban markets to sell this Hispanic liquor to the indigenous and Spanish populations, context where wine became a beverage that symbolized colonization, good taste and class. These huge wine vessels materialize this process – jars of around 2.5 x 1.5 meters represent a new colonial economy, a colonized Andean life style, and a new imposed and acquired indigenous taste.