Quinoa in pre-Hispanic central Chile: contributions from archaeology and cultural processes

María Teresa Planella


This paper provides findings from archaeological, archaeobotanical, ethnographic and morphometric investigations regarding the ancient presence of Chenopodium and the use of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) in central Chile from before the Christian era up to the present times, and discusses the importance of this crop for the economic and social development of the various pre-Hispanic indigenous cultural groups who inhabited the different areas and ecosystems of the region. This background knowledge allows us to assess the beginning and unfolding of this crop’s long history, which shows how quinoa accompanied our predecessors, their descendants and the groups resulting from Hispanic-indigenous interbreeding in this territory, and how its cultivation and use remain current in different social events inside rural communities in Chile today.


Central Chile, cultural groups, quinoa

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7764/rcia.v46i2.2153

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