Juan Javier Rivera Andia

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2013/2014
discipline Anthropology
Postdoctoral Fellow University of Bonn

Research project

Ethnic assessments of transformation in the Andes: indigenous rituals and narratives on cultural changes


This ongoing project is interested on exploring perceptions and experiences of cultural and social transformations among the inhabitants of two specific regions of Peru. The project will explore this in the cases of two different Quechua ethnic groups of the Andes in which I have previously conducted fieldwork: Chancay (central Andes, 1999-2003) and Cañaris (northern Andes, 2008-2011). I will compare Andean self-representations and local narratives on contemporary changes through their ritual practices and oral traditions. A secondary goal of this analysis is to bring insights and understandings to how people in the Central and Northern Peruvian Andes represent “alterity”.


I want to relate the contrast among both Andean cases to the different degrees and types of cultural transformations undergone on each region. The project will profit from these differences in order to examine how to detect diverse reactions to the exposition to new conditions, objects, techniques and ideas. I think different recent processes of modernization undergone by both Andean regions would be linked to particular ideologies concerning ethnic alterity. What kind of ideology is used by these indigenous peoples when they evaluate the transformations in their rituals or narratives? What can we learn from these indigenous points of views when we try to understand rural peasant societies in Latin America?



Juan Javier Rivera Andia is Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) at the Department of Anthropology of America of the University of Bonn and Lecturer in the Catholic University of Peru. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. 


His research examines rituals and oral tradition among indigenous groups of the Andes of South America, particularly Quechua-speaking people of central and Northern Peruvian highlands.


Selected publications


The Owners of the Land. Culture and the Spectre of Mining in the Andes,  with P. Snowdon, 4 DVD, Het-Vervolg, Coalface, NIAS, University of Bonn, Genk, 2013. 


Una etnografía olvidada en los Andes. El valle del Chancay (Perú) en 1963, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, 2012.


'John the Bear', in M. Herrera-Sobek (ed.), Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions, ABC-CLIO, California, 2012, pp. 635-637.


‘A partir de los movimientos de un pájaro…La « danza de la perdiz» en los rituales ganaderos de los Andes peruanos’, Revista Española de Antropología Americana, vol. 42, no. 1, 2012, pp.169-185.


‘Ritos de ciclo vital en la sierra de Lima (valle de Chancay, 1963) del archivo etnográfico inédito de Alejandro Vivanco’, Folklore. Arte, cultura y sociedad. Revista del Centro universitario de Folklore, Lima, 2010, pp. 99-121.


'Killing What You Love: An Andean Cattle Branding Ritual and the Dilemmas of Modernity', Journal of Anthropological Research, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 2005, pp. 129-156.


Músicos en los Andes. Testimonios y textos de dos músicos del valle de Chancay, with A. Dávila  (eds), Catholic University of Peru, Lima, 2005.


La fiesta del ganado en el valle de Chancay (1962-2002). Religión y ritual en los Andes: etnografía, documentos inéditos e interpretación, Catholic University of Peru, Lima, 2003. 



junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Political Science
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Linguistics and Discourse Analysis
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Cultural Studies
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline History