Leaving Behind Ways of Knowing: Hatun Yachaywasi by G. Juan Vilca


  • Mary Barnard


Hatun Yachaywasi depicts the rural to urban migration of its protagonist as an erasure of tradition, culture, and indigenous knowledge. Chawpi, a young indigenous man from the Andes, uses his entrance to Puno’s main university as an opportunity to distance himself from his village’s politics and his family’s poverty. The work questions how certain forms of knowledge are valued above others as Chawpi must redefine his relationship with his mute brother and uneducated, yet traditionally skilled father upon seeking higher education. The play also reframes debates on race and migration in the Andes by presenting the struggle between Chawpi’s father Román and his landlord Emilio as one born of a common event: the 1969 Reforma Agraria. As all the principal characters are of the same indigenous origin, their divisions lie in how they define themselves within cultural frameworks forged during this crucial period in Peruvian history.