Wanka Ceramic Use and Discard Survey

Surveys of cooking vessel usage and discard were conducted during 1985 in 18 Wanka villages (Table 1), located in the foothills of the cordillera flanking the eastern and western margins of the Mantaro River Valley of Peru's central highlands, between Jauja and Huancayo (Figure 1). These villages are remote,

Table 1. Usage Survey Village Households, Vessels, and Fuel Types

Village

Households

Family Members

Vessels

Fuel

Ceramic

Metal

Straw

Kerosene

Gas

Acashalaco

11

70

81

51

11

0

0

Achuscullo

10

60

67

33

10

2

0

Aramachay

14

87

96

57

13

4

1

Canchas

13

73

65

58

9

6

1

Charquihuasi

13

88

94

21

13

0

0

Chucchu

11

72

68

23

11

0

0

Chullpas

13

76

78

53

12

5

1

Cuticuti

9

43

56

15

9

0

0

Huila

8

48

40

23

8

0

0

Llacuari Pampa

11

51

105

32

11

3

1

Llacuari Pueblo

14

80

104

47

14

5

1

Malaytune

10

45

64

10

10

0

0

Massac Cancha

12

52

64

59

11

5

1

Quisuar

10

62

73

32

9

1

0

Santa MarĂ­a

10

58

80

45

8

4

1

Tila

9

60

40

29

9

0

0

Ulpaypuquio

11

64

69

52

10

2

1

Yuracancha

10

45

66

19

10

2

0

TOTAL

199

1134

1310

659

traditional Andean farming communities where the household structures a domestic economy based on subsistence farming of tubers, quinoa, corn, beans, and grains, along with animal husbandry involving sheep, chickens, pigs, cows, and bulls. Several varieties of potato constitute the dietary staple. Highland farmers supplement their food production with wage labor and intensive production of a single crop and/or craft manufacture such as potting, weaving, embroidery, or wood carving. These crops and crafts are sold or bartered during local harvest festivals and in periodic markets held valley wide throughout the year.

These villages rely primarily on ceramic vessels for cooking (66 percent), although metal cooking vessels also are present (34 percent). In every village, ceramic cooking vessels constitute more than 50 percent of the total cooking vessel assemblage (Table 1). Primary uses for cooking vessels are for boiling potatoes, typically just before being consumed, and for parching grains. None of the Man-taro pottery-making villages (primarily Quicha for cooking vessels, Hagstrum 1989) were included in the present study, although the majority of vessels recorded were produced locally. By avoiding pottery-producing families, we guard against ceramic production and use within the same family, although this would be an appropriate topic for future study. Pottery production occurs during the dry months of July through September, between agricultural activities of planting and harvesting. The time that most households acquire cooking pots is during the annual harvest season festivals held during August and September. Wanka households consist typically of a nuclear or extended family with three or four related adults. The mean commensal family size is 5.7 (median = 5), including only those people regularly present for cooking and eating. The maximum commensal family size encountered was 12. The majority of families (94 percent) cook using an open flame, with straw and dung as the main fuels (Table 1). Some families cook using kerosene (20 percent) or, more infrequently, with natural gas (4 percent). There is a strong correlation between use of straw for fuel and use of ceramic cooking vessels (75 percent ceramic, 25 percent metal); metal cooking vessels occur more frequently when kerosene (51 percent ceramic, 49 percent metal) and natural gas (33 percent ceramic, 67 percent metal) are used as fuel. Household living structures are organized around an enclosed open-air patio. Structures around the patio are separate roofed kitchens, sleeping, and storage areas. Cooks prepare meals in the roofed kitchen where the family eats around the hearth; food is served to guests in the adjacent patio area. (See Hagstrum 1989:89-90 for Wanka house plans.)

Conducted by a single interviewer using a standardized form, the usage survey recorded the numbers, types, and ages of all ceramic and metal vessels

Table 2. Discard Survey Village Households and Vessels

Village

Households

Total Vessels

Ollas

Large Ollas

Chatas

Large Chatas

Tostaderas

Acashalaco

14

24

13

2

4

2

3

Achuscullo

15

29

10

3

7

4

5

Aramachay

15

28

12

2

8

3

3

Canchas

12

20

11

1

5

1

2

Charquihuasi

15

30

14

1

6

2

7

Chucchu

7

12

7

1

2

1

1

Chullpas

9

15

6

1

3

2

3

Cuticuti

15

35

16

3

5

4

7

Huila

11

20

13

3

1

0

3

Llacuari Pampa

13

28

13

2

4

5

4

Llacuari Pueblo

15

29

13

2

6

3

5

Malaytune

7

16

8

2

3

1

2

Massac Cancha

11

21

10

1

2

4

4

Quisuar

14

29

13

3

4

4

5

Santa Maria

15

38

20

4

6

1

7

Tila

13

23

11

1

8

0

3

Ulpaypuquio

7

17

7

2

4

2

2

Yuracancha

15

25

13

2

5

3

2

TOTAL

223

439

210

36

83

42

68

employed by the household, both for cooking and for water storage. In this paper, we focus exclusively on cooking vessels used for food preparation and serving, since in this realm ceramic vessels are still predominantly used. Use of ceramic vessels for water storage and transport has been replaced significantly by the use of metal and plastic buckets.

A total of 199 households were interviewed between July 22 and August 3, 1985. In all but two cases, the interviews were conducted with the female household member most responsible for cooking; in two exceptional cases an older female was interviewed. In most cases (61 percent), the interview was conducted inside the kitchen structure, allowing the cooking vessels to be present to ensure an accurate assignment of their numbers, types, and ages. Data were collected on both ceramic vessels and metal pots, since the availability of metal pots might affect ceramic usage. The age of each vessel was recorded, although ages were best remembered up to about 10 years (cf. Neupert and Longacre 1994). This inaccuracy was particularly evident for large pots that had been inherited or acquired many years earlier. A total of 1,310 ceramic and 659 metal cooking vessels were recorded by the usage survey (Table 1).

A separate survey of ceramic discard, involving a total of223 households from the same villages, was conducted during November 7-15,1985. A total of 439 discarded ceramic cooking vessels were recorded by this survey (Table 2). Few discarded vessels were recalled by each family; typically two were recorded per family, one olla and one other vessel type. Informant accuracy is known to decrease with time since the discard event, diminishing the value of events recalled from many years previous (Neupert and Longacre 1994). An effort was made to interview the same households involved in the usage survey, but in some cases this was not possible because of the absence of key family members. To increase the total number of discarded vessels recorded, additional households were added to the survey. In 13 of the 18 villages, the total number of households interviewed increased over that of the usage survey. The interviews were conducted in the kitchen whenever possible (86 percent) and with the person primarily responsible for food preparation (93 percent). The type of cooking fuel in use was recorded. Informants were asked to recall the type and age of recently broken vessels. In addition, the cause of breakage was recorded (accidental or service wear), as was the location of breakage and subsequent discard or recycling (Deal and Hagstrum 1995).

People use cooking pots in small (chica), medium (media), and family (familiar) sizes for everyday food preparation. They also have large ones (grandes) for occasional use, and extra large ones (fiestas grandes) for special events such as annual

Table 3. Dimensions of Ceramic Cooking Vessels

Diameter Diameter Surface Volume

Vessel Maximum (cm) Rim (cm) Height (cm) Area (cm2) Weight (kg) (liters)

Olla

Small

21

14

Medium

26

17

Family

33

21

Large

39

25

Chata

Small

24

18

Medium

29

21

Large

41

27

Tostadera

Small

23

19

Medium

28

23

Large

43

36

festivals (Table 3). In addition, ceramic cooking vessels take three primary forms: ollas, chatas, and tostaderas (Figure 4). Ollas are approximately spherical vessels with relatively constricted openings that are used primarily for boiling and stewing (e.g., soups, potatoes, porridge, and meats). Chatas have a more squat form and larger opening that can be used for either boiling (e.g., quinoa and rice) or frying

frying (b, chata), and dry roasting (c, tostadera).

15

1,200

1.0

3.5

18

1,800

1.5

6.5

23

3,000

2.5

13.5

27

4,200

3.5

21.0

12

1,150

1.0

2.5

13

1,650

1.5

5.5

20

3,500

3.0

14.0

8

800

1.0

1.5

9

1,150

1.5

2.5

14

2,700

3.5

8.5

(e.g., eggs and meats). Tostaderas have a more flattened form with a large opening and pitcherlike lip and are primarily used for dry roasting (e.g., maize for cancha). Handles occur on all cooking vessels to allow them easily to be placed on or removed from the cooking flame. Metal cooking vessels are analogous in use to ceramic ollas, primarily used for boiling foods, and are classified in the same size categories as their ceramic counterparts. One class of cooking vessel, called tetera, is a teapot with spout, handle, and lid. These pots are entirely metal and are used exclusively to boil small to moderate volumes of water. Virtually every cook has a tetera whether she cooks in metal or in clay.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment