Canessa, Andrew (2000) Fear and loathing on the Kharisiri Trail: Alterity and Indentity in the Andes. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 6 (4). pp. 705-720.
The well-documented figure of the Andean kharsiri (alternatively ñakaq, pishtaco) who steals the fat of Indians and sells it to bishops or hospitals has generally been understood in terms of the fear Indians have of outsiders and anxiety about modernity. As such there are similarities with the wider phenomena of organ-stealers around the world. This article, however, examines the cultural specifities of khasiri beliefs and outlines important differences from these more generalised phenomena. Kharisiris steal fat, and by understanding the role of fat in Andean culture we understand better not only the phenomenon of the kharisiri, but also how he comes so horrifyingly to represent the "racialized" outsider. Moreover, such an analysis also illuminates how the distinction between Indian and non-Indian is understood emically and thus introduces a way of understanding differen ce that goes beyond analyses based on the categories of ethnicity, race, or class: that is, difference as a boundary between alterity and identity.
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