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Ancash, Peruvian department northeast of Lima known as Huaylas before 1839, when it was renamed Ancash (Quechuan for "blue"). The capital city of Huaraz (population 50,000 in 1990) stands at 10,000 feet above sea level. The department's highland region features the impressive Callejón de Huaylas, a canyon formed by the river Santa and flanked by the White and Black ranges of the Peruvian Andes. This region has been struck by devastating earthquakes and subsequent landslides, especially in 1941, 1962, and 1970. In the latter, approximately 70,000 people died, including most of the inhabitants of the cities of Yungay and Ranrahirca, who were buried by an avalanche from the northwest side of the Huascarán, the highest mountain of the Peruvian Andes.

Tourist sites include the towns of Caraz, Carhuáz, and the pre-Inca center of Chavín. The major industrial city is the port of Chimbote (1990 population 325,000), powered by the Santa hydroelectric complex.

See alsoEarthquakes .


Félix Alvarez-Brun, Ancash: Una historia regional peruana (1970).

Anthony Oliver-Smith, The Martyred City: Death and Rebirth in the Andes (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Salinas Sánchez, Alejandro. Parroco y señor: gamonalismo en Macate (Ancash), 1853–1893. Lima: Seminario de Historia Rural Andina, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 2005.

Thurner, Mark. From Two Republics to One Divided: Contradictions of Postcolonial Nation-making in Andean Peru. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1997.

Varón Gabai, Rafael. Curacas y encomenderos acomodamiento nativo en Huaraz, siglos XVI y XVII. Lima: P.L. Villanueva, 1980.

                                  Alfonso W. Quiroz

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