Trueque: An Ethnographic Account of Barter, Trade and Money in Andean Ecuador

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This article presents the ethnography of trueque, an exchange that takes place between villagers and itinerant peddlers in North Ecuador. The distinguishing feature of trueque is that it involves simultaneously money, animals, and goods, thus stimulating a rethinking of anthropological debates about exchange and money. It also encompasses relationships, ideas, values, and perceptions of the "transacting other" and of oneself, which are located within socioeconomic historical relationships between individual trading partners and social groups. Finally, it makes a case for the relevance of Andean data to anthropological debates on exchange, which have relied mainly on Melanesia and Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-184
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Andes
  • Barter
  • Ecuador
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Money
  • Trade

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