A common theme throughout the story of Ann Kendall and Cusichaca, was Kendall’s impressive ability to influence people and share her tremendous vision. All of Kendall’s main achievements were only possible if she worked well with others and harnessed the abilities of those around her. This could include her fellow archaeologists, the specialists she brought to Peru such as engineers, and the locals who would help reconstruct old Inca infrastructure. This required Kendall to lead by example, and do everything she could to share her wonderful vision and foresight. Her former colleagues and peers were full of stories about her infectious enthusiasm and energy.
Ann Kendall was also superb at getting people in authority on her side, as she was able to do with the Peruvian authorities whose support was critical. This was also not guaranteed, especially during the Falklands war where a British presence in the region may have been suspicious. Moreover, Kendall was a brilliant fundraiser, and the funds she raised were the lifeblood of the various projects that required immense people-power, technology, and investment. The Cusichaca archive includes various papers relating to fundraising and demonstrates how effective Kendall was at selling her vision and getting support. One of Kendall’s former colleagues said that Ann was once sitting beside a wealthy stranger on a flight to Peru, and by the end of the flight, the stranger had pledged £20,000 to her cause. This story is a great example of Ann’s perseverance and ability to influence people. Kendall’s wonderful energy and personality is best summed up in a quote about her, from her sister Sarita Kendall:
“Ann loved landscape; she revelled in exploring the Peruvian mountains and valleys and looking for evidence of sites and the connections between them. We went on some of these trips together - we both spent much of childhood in the farmland of inland Brazil and we did not mind discomfort. In Andalucia, where we shared a small farm, we went on local trips, Ann gazing out of the window and commanding sudden stops whenever she saw terrace work.She also had an extraordinary eye for detail - general, banal comments about views or pictures irritated her, she would be focusing on a particular cliff, a shade of blue in the top left corner of a painting or the texture of a pot.”
Ann Kendall’s story should be a lesson that enthusiasm is infectious, and you travel furthest when you are able to convince others to come on the journey with you.
Archives Manager, Senate House Library