The Synthesis of All Things Peruvian, 2011
This chapter focuses on the centennial celebrations of Hiram Bingham’s “discovery” of Machu Picchu. The lavish ceremony illustrated how Peruvian national state now embraced Machu Picchu as a sign of national identity. It shows how transnational networks of capital, culture, and travel had made Machu Picchu into a global symbol of Peru. However, the continued lack of social or economic inclusion of Andean communities into the Peruvian nation casts light on the limits and potential threat that such processes can have. The influence of tourism and global consumption of Machu Picchu has unmoored the site from the region of Cusco. A century of tourism growth has transformed cusqueños into figurative owners of Peruvian national identity while simultaneously displacing their control over the region’s economic and political future.
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