From Flocks of Sheep to Bunches of Roses: Archaeology and Ecological Transformation, Labor and the Hacienda System in Cayambe, Ecuador

  • 07 Apr 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom (must register to receive log in information)


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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This talk will be presented online using Zoom. Registration is required, before 3:00 pm on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Log in information for Zoom will be emailed to those who have registered by 3:00 pm on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

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YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/yf9Fj7LXxz4

Speaker Zev Cossin, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, Montgomery College, Rockville

Date: Wednesday, 07 April 2021

Location:  Online meeting via Zoom
Time: 7:00 pm

About the talks:

From Flocks of Sheep to Bunches of Roses: Archaeology and Ecological Transformation, Labor and the Hacienda System in Cayambe, Ecuador

Inside the greenhouses that now cover the landscape along the Equatorial line in Cayambe, Ecuador, workers are busy processing bunches of roses to ship to eager consumers in the United States and across the world. Since global market investments in this new export product in the 1970s, Ecuador has become a key supplier of these material symbols of love and affection. But the agro-industrial plantations are located on the same lands of the formerly powerful haciendas of the Spanish colonial system and many of the workers are descendants of the generations of Indigenous families who toiled on those estates to produce wool textiles and agricultural products for regional markets. This presentation asks how the introduction of massive herds of sheep, cattle, new cereal grains, and eucalyptus forests since the 17th century transformed the physical landscape and everyday lives of resident Indigenous families of Hacienda Guachala in Cayambe. Archaeological, archival, and ethnographic research there since 2014 has revealed how families were impacted by major ecological and environmental change and how they continue to fight for alternative livelihoods, land rights and agroecology amongst the dominance of the flower industry today.

About the speaker:

Zev Cossin is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and teaches Anthropology at Montgomery College, Maryland. His research in the Andes investigates the social and ecological transformations of highland landscapes during Spanish colonization and the enduring effects for communities today. He uses archaeological excavations, ethnographic and oral historical research, and archival evidence to connect historical processes with contemporary social issues of environmental justice and economic precarity. 

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