(in alphabetical order by last name)
Decolonising the gift of development: Fish farmers in Caquetá, Colombia
In this essay, we ask: “what kind of social and economic relations should a project of development aim at constructing in order for it to be decolonial?” Our question of development arises from the politics of consent in which local people seek to foster their own economic incomes and wellbeing by expanding the role of governments and networks of capital. The expansion of development has been a frequent object of critique by development scholars, yet consent for development has been left largely unexplored. Building on Mauss’ classic, we conceptualise ‘development’ as a gift, in order to bring forth its obligations and detachments. Based on our work with fish farmers in Caquetá, Colombia, we argue that the appropriation of the production of knowledge and technology partly embodies a potential for transitioning towards an autonomous status in farming communities. We explore the opportunities and challenges in ensuring solidarity, diversification of production and sustainable management.
Arteaga, Claudia A.
Scripps College (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Visibilizando la precariedad en dos documentales sobre el pueblo amazónico Amahuaca
Amahuaca Siempre (Valdivia, 2017) y Amahuaca construyendo territorio (Arteaga, 2018) son dos documentales de tipo participativo que retratan la lucha del pueblo Amahuaca ante las precariedades económicas, sociales, culturales, y pese a narrativas antropológicas que auguraban su extinción. Frente a estas narrativas, estos filmes no certifican simplemente la existencia Amahuaca, sino exponen los múltiples factores que afectan la vida de este pueblo, posibilitando, a través de sus formulaciones discursivas y tecnológicas, su visibilización en pantalla. Dichas formulaciones se constituyen a través de discursos en tensión que dan paso a una imagen propositiva de este pueblo, pero a la vez basada en la precariedad económica y la posible pérdida de sus tradiciones. Me pregunto cómo esta precariedad aminora o no la potencialidad política de la representación, o cómo constituiría una narrativa alternativa a la típica de extinción con que se entiende usualmente el destino de los pueblos amazónicos en el Perú.
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (email@example.com)
In dialogue with rural schoolchildren: constructing knowledge between art and life in Chiloé, Chile
This contribution reports on the intervention of a multi-disciplinary team composed of an anthropologist (myself) and an artist/educator in a small, rural school in an indigenous area of insular southern Chile. The team partook in the daily activities of a school with thirty students (four to twelve years old), sharing with them time, space, conversations, and engaging them in several artistic activities and creative practices. This paper will present ethnographic findings from the collaborative, multidisciplinary experience. Some of the themes that emerged were: a discrepancy between the children’s independence at home and the dependency on the teachers’ instructions; the children’s passionate interest in outdoor activities that resembled their regular home activities; their great familiarity with and knowledge of the environment, the difficulty of recovering traditional aspects of knowledge that are being forgotten, and their strong attachment to their native island. These themes are crucial in a context of modernity and rapid changes that are affecting this small, remote indigenous community.
Bacigalupo, Ana Mariella
SUNY Buffalo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places: Climate Change, Collective Ethics, and Environmental Justice in Peru
Poor mestizos on the coast of Northern Peru offer a new way to theorize humanism and sentient landscapes that interact with humans in terms of environmental justice, collective ethics, and health. This model transcends the limits of ontological cosmopolitics and political ecology. Poor mestizos respond to climate change and environmental devastation and challenge the governance of late liberalism by engaging indigenous sentient landscapes as co-creators of an interethnic world. They attach moral agency to the natural world for social and environmental transformation and open up a new kind of political debate. By defining “community” and “well-being” as humans-in-relationship-to-places-as-persons, poor mestizos resignify “nature” itself as an anchor for social justice.
Panel: Independent (to be assigned to a Thematic Panel or Session)
University of Notre Dame (Christopher.G.Ball.email@example.com)
Enaction in Amazonia
Language use among speakers of Wauja (Arawak) in Brazil’s Upper Xingu exemplifies enactive (Rumsey) versus referential language ideology. The worlding effect of language has been approached in different ways. In Whorf’s understanding, enaction is fundamental to Hopi conceptions of the power of words and thoughts to act in the world as indexicals. This helps to show that Whorf was actually theorizing the natures of languages rather than simply language diversity in the typical sense of linguistic “relativity,” such that linguistic relativity is about ontological relations, not referential or labelling relations. Enaction provides a way to think about how speech is interpreted in dicent modes (meaning that a sign is taken as an index) that can be creative and performative, but not only that, it may establish various sorts of continuities that enact in more or less explicitly performative ways, such as by nurturing, breaking, filling, emptying, and replacing.
Workshop: Amerindian Linguistic Natures
Universidad de los Andes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Semi-sedentism among Chibchan peoples
At the time of European contact, most if not all of the Chibchan speaking peoples of South America were semi-sedentary. They cycled from one residence to another, typically over the course of a year. This residence pattern was unusual world-wide. One interesting aspect of this phenomenon was the diversity of reasons given by the South American Chibchan peoples for their changes of residence. The Kogi cited both religious and ecological motives. The U’wa (Tunebo) referred to ritual needs. The Barí gave a variety of reasons for particular moves: Fishing (or hunting) will better at the new location. We have finished weeding the fields at this longhouse. Invaders are encroaching on this territory. This variety of explanations offers an opportunity to explore the contrast between proximate motives and ultimate (e.g., ecological) causes, as well as the way these different levels of explanation meet in traditional patterns of recurring behavior.
Panel: The Chibchan Peoples
Benitez, Ernesto J.
Florida International University (email@example.com)
“All great warriors had long hair”: the impact of Amazonian tourism on Kichwa masculinity and sexuality in Napo, Ecuador
This paper will examine young Kichwa (also Runa) men’s participation in the booming Amazonian tourism industry in Tena, the provincial capital of Napo, Ecuador. Early dissertation fieldwork has revealed that engagement in tourism, and particularly the increasing opportunities that ecotourism has created for intimate encounters with foreign females, is having a profound impact on how young Kichwa men present themselves as indigenous individuals and as men. The data collected suggests that there are important points of contention between urban and rural Kichwa men (and women) regarding proper male behavior, Kichwa aesthetics and customs, and interactions with foreigners. This paper will also illuminate the notions that drive female tourists’ desires for sexual intimacy with indigenous men; the ways in which the latter have responded to these relatively new economic and intimate opportunities; and how these encounters may be slowly shifting understandings of indigenous masculinity and sexuality among the broader population.
Universidade Federal de Pernambuco – Núcleo de Estudos e pesquisas em Etnicidade (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Culture in our hands: Semantic bridges between indigenous peoples and Western society in the era of projects
The Katukina people have their territory within the state of Acre in Brazil. Their first contact with Western society was in the late 19th century, when migrants traveled through the Amazon basin in search of rubber trees. Since then they have been in permanent contact, first helping the rubber tappers and bosses as guides, hunters and in the production of rubber. The recent success of neighboring peoples in obtaining resources from NGO projects has awakened in the Katukina leadership the interest of doing something similar and thus promoting through “culture” the entry of resources in their land. This communication will discuss the spontaneous collaboration between anthropologists and the Katukina to founding an association. From this discussion we will be able to analyze in perspective the complexity of the relations between indigenous people and the surrounding society as well as what our interlocutors really seek when engaging in these emerging activities.
Botero Marulanda, Daniela
Universidade Federal da Bahia (email@example.com)
Cambios en las relaciones de género en las danzas murui-muina en un contexto urbano
Este trabajo discute las relaciones de género en la transmisión de conocimientos dentro de las danzas murui-muina, en el contexto urbano de la ciudad de Leticia. Las danzas tradicionales murui-muina presentan unos roles de género en los que la mujer aparece principalmente como acompañante. Ese rol contrasta con el papel de las mujeres en la vida cotidiana – en el trabajo agrícola, de producción de alimentos y tejidos – que son actividades fundamentales que sustentan el baile. En el contexto de migración hacia la ciudad de Leticia los espacios festivos de los murui-muina han cambiado. En el espacio urbano algunas mujeres indígenas han adquirido visibilidad política y liderazgo en la preparación de los bailes que se presentan en espacios no tradicionales (turismo, eventos politicos, festivales locales). ¿Que implicaciones tienen en términos de relaciones de género estos nuevos espacios? ¿Existen cambios en los conocimientos y relaciones que se reflejan en la danza?
CNRS, Mondes Américains, France (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Antropóloga en el Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), en Francia. Además de haber desarrollado una reflexión sobre categorías etno-legales usadas en Brasil (quilombolas, “indígenas”, “poblaciones tradicionales”), estudió varios fenómenos religiosos en la Amazonia: después de trabajar sobre los cultos de posesión afro-brasileños en la ciudad de Belém (Femmes et cultes de possession : les compagnons invisibles, L’Harmattan, 1993), realizó una investigación sobre la difusión de los movimientos evangélicos en la Amazonia (Expansion évangélique et migrations en Amazonie brésilienne, Karthala, 2008) y se interesa actualmente en las transformaciones de fiestas católicas.
Brabec de Mori, Bernd
Independent scholar (email@example.com)
Contemporary Inka – The presence of the remote past in Panoan mythology
In many narratives collected among Pano-speaking Indigenous groups in the Peruvian lowlands, “the Inka” or “Inkas” operate as prominent protagonists. These Inka figures often are held responsible for the current state of the world: they created today’s different groups, and they saved the people in the great flood, for example. Most of these references and narratives link the Ucayali valley with the Andes within a timescape removed from everyday experience but within reach for trained specialists. This timescape is considered absolutely real by many indigenous (and mestizo) people of the region. Working with the Kakataibo and Shipibo-Konibo, I present Bruno Latour’s ‘modes of existence’ as an analytical tool used to delineate and describe the different ontological layers that are accessible for ritual specialists. It results that the Inka are important agents in the making of ‘real people’, either as direct ancestors, or as agents of constructing a ‘transcendent indigeneity’.
Bravo Diaz, Andrea
University College London (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stories of networks that infrastructures tell
This paper considers the relation between infrastructure design and the maintenance of networks among the Waorani, from Ecuadorian Amazonia. The traditional Waorani longhouse is made with palm, which is an extension of the forest. There, several beings coexist reinforcing their links to the forest. In 2014, the Ecuadorian State offered cement houses to a Waorani village. The Waorani have navigated a transition from longhouses to small cement houses, and the way back, according to their intention of sharing with extended kin, and the need for maintaining the palm house as an extension of the forest. The cement house draws boundaries that respond to the State’s logics: social (smaller families), temporal (modern) and spatial (disconnected from the forest). The palm house, when it is burned draws temporal/spatial boundaries while allowing continuity. I suggest that the Waorani navigate these infrastructures acknowledging different networks and boundaries.
London School of Economics – LSE, UK (N.Buitron-Arias@lse.ac.uk)
Cities of the Forest: A Utopia that Averts Thousand Dystopias or Power through Urbanization among the Shuar of Ecuadorian Amazonia.
Jivaroan Shuar living in forest villages seek out external resources and capacities that enable them to urbanise the forest for seemingly antithetical reasons: to develop their communities so that they look more like surrounding mestizo settler towns, while keeping their communities from turning into mestizo settler towns. This paper analyses this paradoxical endeavour through the lens of Shuar utopian and dystopian urban imaginaries as embodied in life stories, bodily habits and everyday political strategies. As such, it discusses the various meanings Shuar project onto cities, the means through which they bring about the urbanisation of their territory, and the Sisyphean challenges they encounter in the process. Theoretically, the paper sheds light on a process of controlled ‘opening to the other’ whereby people transform everyday spatiality and livelihoods so as to preserve a crucial relationship of antagonistic acculturation vis-à-vis mestizo people, as new targets of mimetic enmity.
London School of Economics – LSE, UK (email@example.com)
Natalia gained a BA in Anthropology and Ethnology at the University of Siena (Italy) and trained in Anthropology of Learning and Cognition (MSc), leading to the completion of her PhD at LSE, in 2016. Her research focuses on the institutional developments that are taking place in contemporary Western Amazonia and the constructions of personhood and self-formation that mediate these transformations. She currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship as part of the ERC funded Project ‘Justice, Morality, and the State in Amazonia’ at LSE. She has written on processes of socioeconomic transformation, childhood and schooling among the Shuar of Ecuadorian Amazonia. http://www.lse.ac.uk/anthropology/people/natalia-buitron
Roger Williams University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Anteater and the Anaconda: Territorial Auto-Demarcation and Interethnic Collaborations in the Brazilian Amazon
Over the past several years, “auto-demarcation” (auto-demarcação) has become a prominent territorial strategy adopted by indigenous peoples, riverine (ribeirinho) populations, and Afro-descendant (quilombola) throughout the Brazilian Amazon. In a context of retrenching governance, a surging tide of violent land grabs threatens both the material existence and the constitutional rights of these “traditional peoples” (povos tradicionais) to remain in their territories. Auto-demarcation serves as a bold practical and political tool whereby communities assert their rights to occupy, use, and protect their lands from settler incursions. Comparative in scope, this paper explores the cultural, social, political, ecological, and historical dimensions of auto-demarcation throughout the Brazilian Amazon. Instructive in all cases of auto-demarcation (from the Tapajós and Trombetas to Maranhão and Bahia) is the Munduruku dictum that they are as anteaters (tamanduá) confronting the giant snake (sucuri gigante) of settlers and government encircling their lands: tranquil until provoked, the anteater is a fierce combatant.
EHESS, Paris (email@example.com)
Uniones y divisiones entre las Iglesias evangélicas indígenas: el caso de las Iglesias shipibo de la Amazonía peruana
Durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX, una parte de los Shipibo, grupo indígena de la Amazonía peruana, se convirtió al cristianismo evangélico bajo la influencia de misioneros extranjeros. En los años 1960, los convertidos empezaron a crear Iglesias y en 1971, se agruparon para formar la Asociación de Iglesias Evangélicas Shipibo-Conibo (AIESHC). Sin embargo, no consiguieron juntar todas las Iglesias del grupo: algunas se quedaron independientes y otras se reunieron en asociaciones disidentes. Si estas dinámicas de agregación y de fragmentación son frecuentes en los movimientos protestantes, que no tienen poder centralizado ni doctrina de referencia, obedecen entre los Shipibo a lógicas particulares. En esta ponencia, buscaremos entender estas lógicas reconstituyendo la historia de la AIESHC y analizando los discursos de pastores y fieles shipibo relativos a la ortodoxia.
Caromano, Caroline Fernandes
Independent scholar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The musealization of fire: What can Amazonian artefacts in European museums bring to light?
For centuries objects manufactured by Amazonian indigenous populations have been collected and distributed to European museums, amongst which many understudied fire-related objects. Certain categories of artifacts produced by fire or used in fire structures are subject to regular analysis, such as pottery, but in narratives produced from these objects fire is almost absent, being a mere coadjutant. Fire, however, is not limited to a secondary role in relationships, requiring an adjustment in the investigator’s gaze to tell stories about people and things through time, intertwined with the story of the fire itself. This work presents results of a study of ethnographical Amazonian artifacts housed in European museums, having fire-use as an investigative guiding thread. By applying the concept of family of objects to fire-related artifacts, the study intends in demonstrating how such approach can stir new narratives on objects that are, despite their common relation in fire, frequently interpreted separately.
Global Diversity Foundation (email@example.com)
When the body can’t forget: Narratives of war-related disease among Ene Ashaninka survivors of the Peruvian internal conflict
The Ene river valley in Eastern Peru was the setting for a particularly horrific chapter of the Peruvian internal conflict (1980-2000). The 20 years of brutal conflict tore to the heart of Ashaninka social fabric. Since then, Ashaninka communities have had one main focus: to rehabilitate their bodies, communities and lands and to shore up their defences against similar bloodshed in the future. To do so, they must grapple with the horror of their memories of the violence. Memories are substantive: they stagnate in the bodies of those who witnessed and participated in the violence, enter into the bodies of innocent bystanders, causing physical and mental disease, and poison the earth. Ashaninka deal with these troubling memories through herbal and shamanic healing, performance and daily practices of living well (kametsa asaike), like proper Ashaninka (Ashaninka sanori). I examine contemporary challenges to these difficult, unstable and uncertain processes and what they mean for Ene Ashaninka futures.
Museum Objects, Native Choices: Investigating Tupi ethnographic artifacts as sources of transmission of indigenous knowledge and agency
Ethnographic museum artifacts have traditionally been discussed regarding a number of questions, such as the historical background in which such collections were produced and the contribution of specific travelers and naturalists for the amounting of such material. However, little attention is given to the role of indigenous people on the forming of collections. This paper will present an on-going study of Brazilian ethnographic artifacts currently housed in European museums, and how these objects simultaneously express ample historical aspects as well as indigenous agency. By focusing on artifacts produced by indigenous groups of the Tupi linguistic stock, the presentation will demonstrate how, through dialogue with historical and ethnographical sources, these objects may be understood as playing part in the transmission, from Colonial Brazil to Europe, of Tupi knowledge regarding plants and animals, a body of information that would ultimately lead to important contributions in the very forming of Western science.
University of Pennsylvania (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dis-appearing the Yuruparí in three acts, or A Shamanic organology without instruments: Woman laughter, radio towers, and sound recordings in the Uaupés
Few ethnomusicologists have analyzed sound recordings of Yuruparí instruments among Tukanoan-speaking groups of the Northwestern Amazon in Colombia. The literature about the Yuruparí has revealed in great detail, even graphically, its essential meanings, mythical origins and functions. The way in which this academic gaze saw and heard the Yuruparí constrained its ritual appearance, and masked male-oriented politics of labor and gender in the region instead of interrogating them. However, the predominance of woman laughter over Yuruparí’s sounds recorded during a male initiation ritual, the female performance of local activism through radio, and the irruption of restricted sounds into large audiences are cases that call scholars to rethink how they have seen the Yuruparí. This paper attempts to disappear the Yuruparí from the scholars’ eyes addressing how it’s aural occurrence accompanies Amerindians in the ambiguous unfolding of everyday events, when reproduced by new technics and infrastructures always open to creative reenactments.
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia (email@example.com)
Enseñar marxismo entre los Uitoto: La experiencia de un antropólogo promoviendo el movimiento indígena amazónico
Esta ponencia analiza la experiencia de algunos antropólogos profesionales colombianos, para entender el origen de un movimiento que buscó apoyar las luchas indígenas por la tierra entre 1960 y 1980, considerado un salto de la antropología clásica hacia nuevas formas de investigación colaborativa por la literatura antropológica colombiana. El texto analiza por qué los antropólogos en el Amazonas desarrollaron una actitud crítica hacia la antropología clásica, pero fracasaron en promover movimientos como los que, con ayuda de otros antropólogos, crecían en los Andes en el mismo periodo. La ponencia argumenta que ese movimiento no habría florecido sin la experiencia frustrada de los antropólogos que intentaron acompañar el nacimiento de un movimiento indígena amazónico. Su objetivo es encontrar lazos entre experiencias de investigadores de los pueblos amazónicos y las de investigadores en otras regiones de Colombia. Tales lazos podrían fortalecer la frágil relación entre organizaciones indígenas andinas y amazónicas.
FLACSO / CONICET (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Procesos de misionalización y políticas de la cultura en el Chaco indígena argentino
El trabajo indaga en las articulaciones entre acción misionera y políticas de la cultura en las sociedades indígenas del Chaco Argentino durante el siglo XX. Su objetivo principal es inquirir en los efectos mediadores que tuvieron los procesos de misionalización en las re-adscripciones étnicas a partir de la definición de categorías, clasificaciones y jerarquías. Basado en la investigación de fuentes misioneras y el trabajo etnográfico prolongado en el área, el estudio problematiza el papel de las misiones católicas y protestantes en la producción de etnicidad, a fin de comprender sus similitudes, diferencias y consecuencias en las construcciones identitarias de los grupos toba/Qom, wichí, pilagá y mocoví. El ensayo explora las dinámicas sociopolíticas implícitas en estas configuraciones sociales, cruzadas por estrategias de encapsulamiento cultural o bien de integración a la sociedad nacional.
Cesarino, Pedro de Niemeyer
Universidade de São Paulo (email@example.com)
Verbal arts and speculative knowledge in Amazonia
This presentation concerns the relations between language and thought in Amerindian societies, discussing long and complex modes of verbal art that Lévi-Strauss has highlighted throughout the volumes of the Mythologiques, such as the “Ayvu Rapyta” and the “Jurupari” as well as others collected among Tukanoan and Panoan speaking peoples. The objective is to reflect upon the speculative, ontological, and political presuppositions of such genres, which could project an original way of conceiving and acting upon contemporary cosmopolitical transformations. The presentation will offer the outlines of a new comparative project about such corpora of verbal arts, inspired by the intersection of philosophical, linguistic, and anthropological conceptual problems.
Workshop: Amerindian Linguistic Natures
University of Maryland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Female Indigenous Engagement with Belem +30
Until recently, Indigenous and Traditional Peoples have had limited representation and engagement with global environmental policy, despite their lands holding 80% of the world’s biodiversity. Impacts of climate change hold women at higher risk, and thus, many organizations have emphasized the need for participation of women in these decision-making arenas. This paper uses data collected as part of an interdisciplinary collaborative event ethnographic team at sites of global environmental governance such as the Paris Climate Summit (COP21), the World Conservation Congress, and the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE) Congress, focusing on female Indigenous participation and engagement at the recent ISE meeting.
Université de Québec à Montréal – UQAM, Canada (email@example.com)
The forest of multipliCities: Shipibo-Conibo shamanic experiences of becoming “urban” and “White”
This paper will explore urbanity from the standpoint of Shipibo-Conibo shamans, which underscore how the forest – an extremely hi-tech and cosmopolitan entity – encompasses all forms of knowledge. This statement leads to an important asymmetry: while the forest enables access to “urban knowledge”, the opposite does not hold true since cities do not transmit knowledge about the forest. In spite of this asymmetry, Shipibo-Conibo shamans are interested in “urban knowledge” – found in books and manufactured goods –, which they consider easier to incorporated through similar bodily practices and initiations than those of plants and trees. This paper will show how these shamanic practices cannot be reduced to mere representations or mimetic process through which Shipibo-Conibo shamans seek to appropriate the power of white people’s cities. Rather, it will describe how shamans engage in bodily transformational processes and ontological experiences where becoming “urban” or “White” adds and intertwines with other forests becoming.
University College London (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cultivating diversity in the Anthropocene: the case of the Ashaninka people from Amônia River
The Ashaninka from Amônia River are part of an indigenous population inhabiting the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon. During the 1980s they engaged in a struggle to title their territory, combat illegal logging and fight against an exploitative patron system. Their land was recognized in 1992, when they began working on strengthening their culture and protecting their territory – which are fundamental for the continuation of their way of living. To that end, they created a series of strategies encompassing traditional and new elements to respond to contemporary challenges. In that way, they are actively designing their future – something they carry out drawing from shamanic visions and from their experience of contact beyond the borders of their territory. Their history as an indigenous population makes them a noteworthy case of effort to nurture cultural and environmental diversity. This paper aims at contributing to current debates on sustainability and indigenous social change.
Cova, Victor Sacha
Aarhus University (email@example.com)
I will kill everybody, then the army will kill me: Extermination scenarios among the Shuar
In discussing contemporary political and economic challenges facing the Shuar, many of my Shuar interlocutors would recount to me scenarios of extermination which took a similar form: Shuar people will refuse to submit, then the army will come and exterminate them. It would manifest in a variety of genres: political diagnostic, Biblical commentary, revenge fantasy, dream… At the same time it cohabited with everyday entanglements and sometimes active collaboration with the capitalist market, the Ecuadorian State and the army. This paper relates these scenarios of extermination with Shuar ideas about compassion, dignity, and shame, with materials taken from Christianity, Islam, popular culture and contemporary geopolitics, and with the transformation of their relation to Macabeo settlers with the generalization of wage labour and democratic protocols. I argue that extermination scenarios should not be read only as a reflection on cultural destruction, a call to resistance or as bravado but rather as the condition for meaningful action within a capitalist society.
De la Hoz, Nelsa
Universidad Externado de Colombia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dueños del rezo y dueños del soplo
El mantenimiento de relaciones basadas en la solidaridad, el respeto y la reciprocidad, así como un constante rechazo a la violencia física han hecho a los u̧wo̧tju̧ja̧ (piaroa) famosos en la literatura etnográfica por ser personas pacificas. Sin embargo, más allá de la calma de su vida cotidiana bulle en el interior del mundo u̧wo̧tju̧ja̧ otro universo que para los no iniciados permanece invisible. Es en ese universo en el cual se libra la verdadera batalla. Los hombres conocedores tienen un doble papel, mantienen la solidaridad entre los cercanos y a un mismo tiempo manejan las relaciones conflictivas del universo invisible que subyace en el corazón del mundo u̧wo̧tju̧ja̧. Mi propósito en está ponencia es presentar un breve esbozo de la configuración del sistema chamánico y su papel en el manejo de la violencia simbólica entre los u̧wo̧tju̧ja̧ de Selva de Matavén en el contexto actual de la orinoquia colombiana.
Durand Guevara, Natali
Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México – IBERO (email@example.com)
Cuando los río se cruzan – mitología, etnicidad y resistencia en el conflicto armado interno peruano: una mirada desde el pueblo asháninka
La ponencia tiene como eje principal el proceso de construcción de memoria del pueblo amazónico asháninka en relación al conflicto interno peruano y los mecanismos que se construyen para no olvidar, centrándose en el papel del pueblo asháninka durante el conflicto interno armado, a partir del ingreso del MRTA a su territorio, lo cual transformó su quehacer cotidiano y dio lugar a uno de las últimas grandes guerras de la selva central. Sobre estos hechos se plantea investigar el proceso de construcción de la memoria colectiva y del pensamiento mítico de los pueblos asháninkas, articulado en torno al conflicto armado interno y las dinámicas de su vida social en la selva central del Perú.
Erazo, Juliet S.
Florida International University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Becoming Politicians: Indigenous Women’s Processes of Running for and Holding Elected Office
Indigenous women have long been hindered from participation in formal politics due to economic and educational constraints. Furthermore, sexism and racism drive multiple forms of psychological and physical aggression toward indigenous women who attempt to run for political office. Despite these ongoing hurdles, in the last decade, some indigenous women have begun to enter formal politics in Ecuador. This paper will examine the cases of three of these women, outlining their processes of becoming political figures, their struggles with negotiating ongoing prejudices and envy, and their attempts to juggle family obligations with those of political positions that were unthinkable a generation ago. It probes what it means to “become a [woman] [indigenous] politician” in a world that is both globally connected and locally fashioned.
University Paris Nanterre, France (email@example.com)
“Originally, Riberalta was called Xëbiya and it was ruled by Mawa Maxokiri…” Urban Imaginaries and Urban Migration among the Chacobo (Beni, Bolivia)
In the early 1990’s, I overheard a group of people making fun of a fellow Chacobo who, while drinking with a group of mestizos in Guayaramerín, was ashamed to admit his indigenous descent, and therefore allegedly insisted: “Yo no soy chacobo, no, soy de Wa-la-la-mi-li.” A tinge of indignation increased the humorous effect stemming from his self-contradicting phonetics. Back then, far from denying their origins, most Chacobo were politically self-assertive, and proudly insisted that the locations of present-day Bolivian or Brazilian towns once were Chacobo strongholds, led by past-time leaders of great renown. In the 1990’s, only a handful of Chacobo lived in cities. Since then, about one third of their population came to own houses and spend a good part of the year living in urban settings. This presentation will concentrate on how this came to happen and what effects it has on their “urban imaginaries”.
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú – PUCP, Peru (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Arboreal City-States, Phyto-Warfare, and Dendritic Societies: An Urarina Metropolitan View of the World
In the Urarina’s urban imaginary, an extensive network of metropolises occupies the rainforest: one for each tree. These “dendritic cities” have strongly normative and even oppressive features, inspired by hierarchical and authoritarian socio-political models, which define the relationship between the non-human plant entities that dwell within them, the different tree species, and their “human neighbors.” War, production, technology, and trade control the governments of these huge city-states, places noted for their productivity and efficiency, in which intensive cultivation, large-scale cattle ranching, and the manufacture of industrial artifacts sustain a widespread “phyto-war policy.” My paper will analyze how the production –and constant updating– of this indigenous urban imaginary serves to “denaturalize” the effects deriving from closer relations with the stratified and technological national society, through the construction in a forest environment of a complex metropolitan universe.
London School of Economics (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Forced displacement of Embera Dobida families in Medellin and social reconfigurations around violence
This paper is based on ongoing PhD fieldwork with lowland indigenous Embera Dobida families who have moved to deprived areas of the city of Medellin in order to flee continuing armed conflict in their long-established territories in the Choco department of Colombia. This paper aims to explore the extent to which recent memories of violence in indigenous rural areas are related with present experiences of violence in poor urban neighbourhoods. It intends to investigate how these different experiences of violence have come to reconfigure the Embera families’ social organisation throughout their forced migration. As such, this paper proposes to examine how violence can be a starting point for social reconstruction in experiences of displacement.
Ferro, María del Rosario
Universidad de los Andes (email@example.com)
Tracing ancestral connections: walking and thinking through Donald Tayler’s writing in Ika territory in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
I revisit Donald Tayler’s texts and field notes from 1968 to 1970, in order to explore the network of peaks, sites and landmarks that he narrates around Ika territory in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. In doing so I trace the ancestral connections acknowledged fifty years later by Ika inhabitants. Despite political, economic, social and environmental changes, Donald Tayler (1931-2012) sustains that in understanding Ika offerings, shrines and pilgrimages, we can comprehend, not only their ethnicity but also their historical relations to a Chibcha speaking territory. He refers to Ika land as a map and guiding force that helps us understand what “holds them together as a people.” As I study these intergenerational links through text and field work, I analyse both the historical connections we can build upon as well as the ruptures that allow us to deepen an understanding of Ika territory and ancestry.
Panel: The Chibchan Peoples
Tulane University (Tfink1@tulane.edu)
Gender and Historical Memory in the Ecuadorian Amazon
History is recounted and told in different ways and in an array of contexts, and anthropologists specializing in the anthropology and ethnohistory of Amazonia have shown that indigenous Amazonians conceptualize and remember historical events in vastly different ways. They choose which events and aspects of history to remember, and also which to forget or ignore. This paper will discuss the diverse ways that history is recounted among indigenous groups of Amazonia, and specifically how gender impacts the way that histories are told within these cultural groups. Women and men recount histories in separate settings, and they narrate different aspects of history. The focus for this discussion will be the Kichwa and Chicham (Jivaroan) speaking groups of the Ecuadorian Amazon who exhibit contrasting types of historical consciousness.
University of Nevada, Reno (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What’s next? Prospects and challenges for the Awá-Guajá in the times of Bolsonaro
The Awá-Guajá of Maranhão state, Brazil, have faced a series of challenges since coming into permanent contact with Brazilian mainstream society in 1973. After contact, they were settled into five separate communities by Brazil’s Indian Service (FUNAI) yet a number of Awá-Guajá prefer to remain in voluntary isolation and avoid contact with Brazilian nation society. As regional development encroaches upon them, they are undergoing a series of transformations in their livelihoods, social organization, and worldview. In this paper, I would like to explore these scenarios from their perspective. While a number of ethnologists have provided interesting insights, we need to pair these up with Awá-Guajá perspectives to arrive at an intersubjective truth and engage in a productive dialogue. As their ongoing transition unfolds in the 21st century members of their community embrace new forms of alterity and social relations with actors of Brazil’s moving frontier.
Kent State University (email@example.com)
Embodiment and Sorcery in Shamanic Tourism
This paper, based on fieldwork conducted near the jungle town of Iquitos, Peru, focuses on the ways that sorcery is conceptualized in the context of shamanic tourism. While initially shamanic tourism tended to “sanitize” ayahuasca shamanism or to at least deprive it of one of its most real dimensions, which is the manipulation of violence—symbolic and non—inevitably with its inherent power inequalities has exacerbated sorcery related discourse and accusations and allowed them to enter the global arena. Approaching sorcery as embedded in particular locations, the paper places it in the midst of western modernity and will reflect on the subjective/embodied experience of sorcery as reflected in the ethnographic data.
García Bonet, Natalia
University of Kent (N.C.Garcia-Bonet@kent.ac.uk)
The future is in the past: Indigenous people and the Bolivarian revolution’s ‘new man’
The paper will explore how Pemon indigenous people in Southeastern Venezuela, conceive and construct desirable futures, by negotiating with the imaginary of indigeneity reproduced in the Bolivarian Revolution’s discourse. The ‘new man’, who according to Hugo Chavez, would be brought about by the Revolutionary process, has been linked to traditional indigenous ways of living, in a discourse that emphasises the inherently revolutionary character of indigenous practices and indigenous identities. Indigenous people, therefore, have been portrayed by the government’s discourse as the original revolutionaries, with a long history of resisting foreign powers, and of developing ways of living independent from the global market. The positioning of the indigenous past as a revolutionary ideal for the future, implies that indigenous people are expected to articulate their aspirations for the future in terms of a return to their past.
London School of Economics and Political Science (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The future is (almost) now: Immediatism and Change in Christian Dhe’kwana’s understandings of time
Most of the Dhe’kwana people of the Upper Orinoco converted to protestant Christianity in the second half of the last century. This brought about alterations in their notions of temporality including their everyday life. Christian ideas of time locate the human within a superior chronological flow between poles we call past and future. However, these temporal notions do not fully define Christian Dhe’kwana’s organisation of, and ideas of time. For the Dhe’kwana the passage of time is defined as physical paths to be trekked by the person accompanied by others. Time flow is not independent from the immediate inhabitation of the world. This emphasis on presentism and immediacy conditions how the Dhe’kwana shape their own Christianity and how they conceive of their future in general. This paper culminates with reflections on the implications that Amerindian notions of time might impose on debates about the future of the region.
Magia de la ciudad, magia del Diablo: urbanización y acusaciones de brujería entre los Awajún (Amazonas, Perú)
En los últimos veinte años, dentro de las comunidades awajún, se han venido multiplicando las acusaciones de brujería ligadas a la difusión de lo que se considera como como una forma de manipulación y agresión espiritual particularmente peligrosa: la magia negra. Los discursos de los Awajún sobre esta “brujería de los mestizos” se relacionan con las experiencias y los imaginarios contemporáneos: la lectura como medio de adquisición de poderes, la acumulación capitalista como depredación, la figura del Diablo como esencia del mal en el mundo. La mayoría de las personas acusadas de realizar este tipo de hechizos son hombres que vivieron durante un cierto tiempo en los centros urbanos regionales o las grandes ciudades de la costa, antes de volver a sus comunidades. A partir del análisis de este fenómeno, describiremos algunas de las tensiones y los conflictos provocados por la intensificación de las relaciones entre los Awajún y el espacio urbano.
An (ethno)archaeology of ethnographic collections: Cariban case studies
The study of ethnographic collections of Amazonian peoples in different museums is valuable both for researchers and the groups who produced them. Each collection originated at different periods and with distinct interests, complementing each other in relation to the type of material collected, the dates of collection, as well as the typology of objects. These objects are produced according to specific materials and techniques, therefore archaeological approaches allow observations of the choices responsible for their variability and production sequence. At the same time, these studies contribute to a better understanding of the material history of the Amazonian peoples, advancing the debate on material culture and ethnolinguistic frontiers. As an example, we present our work with pottery and plaitwork of Cariban speaking peoples in museum collections.
Philipps-Universität Marburg (email@example.com)
Corn Master Osema – On Transmitting Mythical Knowledge into the Everyday in the Serranía del Perijá, Northern Colombia
In a historical-mythical past, corn owner osema, visited a Yukpa community, gave the people corn kernels and explained them how to cultivate, harvest and process corn. The narration not only reports on the handing over of corn and the imparting of rules and techniques, but also presents the introduction of agriculture and related ritual and shamanic practices to the Yukpa in Northern Colombia. This paper will explore multi-faceted interweaving of this mythical transmission into Yukpa everyday life: first, its reversal in the case of misconduct – osema manifests himself in earthquakes and collects seeded corn kernels; second, its reinforcement through rituals in honor of the corn owner – osema rewards ritual activities with a rich harvest; and third, its re-enactment in the vocation of specialists – osema is a transmitter of specialized knowledge and is the implicit role model of Yukpa specialists.
University of St Andrews, UK (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Work Colleagues, Neighbors and Friends”: The Existential Projects of Urban Dwellers in Peruvian Amazonia
Despite the fact that the majority of people in Peruvian Amazonia (defined as the departments of Loreto and Ucayali) live in the cities of Iquitos and Pucallpa, there is surprising little ethnography of their lives. The paper uses my knowledge of life in small settlements on the Bajo Urubamba river to re-read what little is known about urban lives in the region as imagined alternatives to village lives. Urban lives are specifically ‘anti-village’ lives, whereby the existential project available to village dwellers are ‘traded in’ for the much riskier existential projects of urban dwellers. The demographic data is clear that most people in Peruvian Amazonia have opted for urban lives. The paper seeks to answer the question of why this should be so.
University of Iowa (email@example.com)
Ontology or Ideology? Considerations of the natures of language among Native Amazonians
This presentation poses a series of questions regarding the relationship(s) between multinaturalist approaches to language (and other forms of verbal expression) and understandings of language that are more traditionally framed in terms of language/communication ideology. It invites us to think about ways that thinking about language in terms of ontology and multinaturalism may or may not be different from ways that linguistic anthropologists think about language in terms of ideology. Lowland South America provides exceptionally rich ethnographic material and a set of well-documented cases with to think through questions of language’s multiple “natures” and ways that multinaturalist approaches extend, diverge, enrich and/or corroborate ideological approaches to language and expressive communication. I will use ethnographic examples from various indigenous groups and especially the central Brazilian Xavante, for whom dream audition inspires song composition and ancestral spirits’ oneiric communication with the living, to frame provocations and formulate questions for discussion.
Workshop: Amerindian Linguistic Natures
Guzmán-Gallegos, María A.
University of Oslo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Small scale gold mining and barren landscapes in Southern Ecuadorian Amazonia
Congüime may be depicted as a place that exemplify the current expansion of extraction activities in the borderlands of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazonia. Thirty years of underground and alluvial gold mining have changed rivers, forests and settlements in profound ways. Nevertheless, Congüime defies and exceeds common understandings of extraction. The Shuar small-scale miners of Congüime are owners of a mining company and of several concessions granted by the Ecuadorian state. This paper is concerned with gold’s multiple and ambiguous condition and with the various assemblages through which gold come into being. For the Shuar miners, gold is a life taking and live giving person, an animal, a thing and a desired mineral. Gold and its assemblages are related, moreover, to processes of erasures of particular modes of existence, and to these modes’ constant re-arrangement. I show how this re-arrangement may defy ethnic asymmetries while confirming the difficulty of creating vital kin relations in barren landscapes.
Philipps-Universität Marburg (email@example.com)
Mythical Actors and Forms of Creation among Carib and Chibcha-speaking Groups of Northern South America
In reviewing the extensive corpus of myths from Carib and Chibcha speaking groups of northern South America one faces a sheer endless list of activities that may lead to creation and transformation and of consequences resulting from these processes. However if we focus on mythical actors and the forms of creation a simplified picture of basic differences emerges that may be instructive for a renewed reflection on elementary differences not only of mythical narratives but the cosmologies of the area and the spectrum of differences between Carib- and Chibcha-speaking groups. The paper will present the picture of socio-cosmological differences emerging from such an analysis of processes of creation and reflect on their theoretical consequences.
Hauck, Jan David
University of California, Los Angeles (firstname.lastname@example.org)
On the emergence of language
Amerindian origin narratives imply a communicative transparency across emergent species-boundaries, which is eventually replaced by mutually incomprehensible forms of expression in the course of the acquisition of distinct bodies, but which can also be invoked anew through particular communicative practices and modalities such as songs, incantations, transspecies pidgins and the like. In this fractal schema, language and nonlanguage, communicative transparency and opacity are mutually constituted as figures and ground of one another. This stands in contrast to approaches in the Western intellectual tradition that treat the origin of language as an (evolutionary) achievement of humans while communicative opacity is the given, at the same time informing the understanding of intra-specific communication among humans. I discuss the potential of Amerindian conceptions and practices to provide new perspectives on language and communication relating them to Western approaches such as semiotics, performativity, emergentism, as well as microsociological studies of talk-in-interaction.
Workshop: Amerindian Linguistic Natures
Independent scholar (email@example.com)
Relations between the Villas Boas brothers and anthropologists in the Xingu, 1947-1975
The Villas Boas brothers reached the upper Xingu in 1947 as leaders of the government-sponsored Roncador-Xingu Expedition, and soon decided to devote their lives to the wellbeing of the area’s indigenous peoples. They made four first contacts and four (controversial) inward migrations. In 1961, after an 8-year political struggle, they and others got the area protected as the 26,000-sq-km Xingu Indigenous Park, the first of its kind in South America. Because they organised free Air Force flights and basic infrastructure, and because the region’s 17 peoples were of great interest, this became the destination of choice for some thirty anthropologists during three decades. The brothers themselves wrote popular studies, particularly of mythology, and their relations with academic anthropologists were guarded but businesslike.
Panel: Independent (to be assigned to a Thematic Panel or Session)
Heurich, Guilherme Orlandini
University College London (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Voice and voicing in Amazonia
This communication addresses instances in which another person’s speech is made one’s own. Starting with the presentation of reported speech practices in daily conversations, then moving to semi-ritual retellings, speech play and the capture of another’s voice by force, it finally brings examples of voicing nonhumans in ritual discourse. Drawing on studies of reported speech, voicing and capture in Amazonia and elsewhere, it suggests a possible connection between these different modalities of using another’s speech. Reporting, taking and voicing speech, here, are related acts, but with a decreasing distance between animator and author. Finally, the presentation argues that Amerindian understandings of the voice are a step in understanding the meaning of reference in the Amerindian linguistic natures.
Workshop: Amerindian Linguistic Natures
Hill, Jonathan D.
Southern Illinois University – Carbndale (email@example.com)
The Chant-Owner and his Music: Steps toward an Integrated Musical and Mythic Approach to the Poetics of Social Life in an Amazonian Community
Using ethnographic examples from the Arawak-speaking Wakuénai of the Venezuelan Amazon, this paper will explore the interplay between musical sounds and mythic meanings as the creative core of an indigenous poetics of social life. Sung myths, chanted speech, and narrative discourse are ritually powerful ways of singing-, chanting-, and speaking-into-being powerful mythic beings in specifically human social and historical contexts. These mythic beings – a trickster-creator, proto-human beings, ancestor spirits, and animal-human beings, among others – embody simultaneously life-giving and life-taking powers that are enacted in big, collective rituals, such as male and female initiations at puberty, as well as in shamanic healing rituals. In such contexts, the interplay of musical sounds and mythic meanings is used to define and transcend the boundaries of distinctively human life worlds, providing the basis for a poetics of social life which in turn is re-inscribed in everyday settings through a variety of little rituals.
Hill, Jonathan D.
Southern Illinois University – Carbndale (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Professor and former Chair of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University and Visiting Professor at Vytautus Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. He is the author of Keepers of the Sacred Chants: The Poetics of Ritual Power in an Amazonian Society (1993) and Made-from-Bone: Trickster Myths, Music, and History from the Amazon (2009). His research interests include ethnohistory, ethnomusicology, and verbal art as performance with a focus on indigenous Amazonia. He has done fieldwork with the Arawak-speaking Wakuénai (Curripaco) of southernmost Venezuela in the 1980s and ‘90s and served a three-year term (2014-2017) as President of SALSA.
University of Kansas (email@example.com)
“Diffuse Unity,” Chibchan Archaeology, and the Isthmo-Colombian Area: Assessing the Utility of Provisional Concepts
We first proposed the concept of an “Isthmo-Colombian Area” based primarily upon the historical and current geographical distribution of speakers of Chibchan languages in a contribution to a 1999 symposium at Dumbarton Oaks. In the twenty years since then, archaeologists have explored and critiqued this model as well as alternatives such as an emically conceived “Chibchan world” and also a “Pan-Caribbean” culture area, the latter characterized by long-term interactions among Chibchan speakers and people of the Antilles and southern Mesoamerica. This paper will review multidisciplinary evidence for relationships and interactions among pre-Hispanic populations of southern Central America and northern South America with a specific emphasis on archaeology, material culture, and iconography. It will evaluate how well we can identify aspects of kinship and social structures, semiotic systems, and worldviews among the archaeological cultures of Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia, and their connections with living indigenous Chibchan peoples.
Panel: The Chibchan Peoples
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Return to Dark Shamans: Kanaima & the Cosmology of Threat
Kanaima among the Patamuna of Guyana have been theorized as “cultural expression” of “hyper-traditionality” in response to an encroaching state, its industry and development, evangelism, and modernity. Kanaima is a mode of terror and violence, of healing, enhancing power, and performing masculinity—a symbol that operates in Patamuna mythology, cosmology, and place-making. Kanaima is intimately entangled with jaguar identity and the wildness of the Pakaraimas, functioning as the ultimate symbol of terror and control over the Patamuna and outsiders. Drawing on two months of fieldwork in Paramakatoi Guyana in 2017, the field site for Neil L. Whitehead’s important ethnography Dark Shamans, I explore how terror is operationalized as a repertoire for personal power enhancement and as a collective assertion by the Patamuna that ties their identity to the jaguar, the wild hinterland, and as masters of violence.
University of Sussex (email@example.com)
Decolonial Limitations? A consideration of apparent barriers to equalizing research and collaboration in Peruvian Amazonia
Responding to the recent, powerful and usefully unsettling debates on decolonising academic research and writing, this paper notes that the current literature offers few clear and concrete examples for how these questions can be negotiated by researchers not studying their own communities. The paper explores some of these issues through a discussion of preliminary, collaborative work in the Peruvian Amazon. One focus will be on the perpetuation of ‘civilizing’ discourses within different groups, particularly in relation to educational practices and imaginaries. The difficulty of undermining hierarchical understandings in research collaborations will also be discussed in relation to the continuing reification of particular forms of knowledge and ‘expertise’ within the local context as well as the role that funding inevitably plays in shaping research relationships. Through these examples the paper will consider how collaborative research can balance taking seriously and ‘deferring’ to local understandings while also maintaining a critical edge.
University of Manchester (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Debating the Future of Bororo villages: Smartphones, Facebook and the politics of representation
This paper looks at the impact of the proliferation of smartphones among Bororo people in Central Brazil. It looks at how smartphones transformed traditional modes of indigenous self-representation and enabled peripheral perspectives of Bororo society, often excluded from “official” forms of community representation, to become public and participate actively in political debates regarding the future of indigenous Brazilians. I argue that the proliferation of smartphones enabled the intensification and pluralisation of Bororo people’s political engagement on Facebook. I also argue that the moral experience of the Bororo navigates tensions between “external” values linked to identity or party politics and powerful “internal” values, such as the moral exchanges predicated in Bororo myth. Through the analysis of “memes” and other Facebook posts, I will examine how they imagine, discuss and negotiate the future in the wake of the 2018 elections, when a far-right candidate, who made explicit threats to their acquired rights, rose to power.
Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen (email@example.com)
Oil Palms and Emptiness: The Clearcutting of Tree Spirits in Northeastern Ecuador
This paper takes as its methodological point of departure the emptiness (po’say’yo) that emerged after the Sieko-pai, living along the the Aguarico River in Northeastern Ecuador, decided to clear-cut parts of their forested territory to engage in commercial palm oil production. The paper interweaves the story about wi-watí (the being of growth), who made the forest come into being in mythical time while leaving the lands of ‘others’ empty, and a shaman’s concerns about the barren patches that now exist in sieko-pai territory as a consequence of the substitution of a forest agroecosystem with a commercial agro-industrial one. I show how the loss of tree spirits that usually inhabit the large slow-growing trees give way to space inhabited by other beings, which are not easily related to or appropriated.
Langdon, Esther Jean
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ph. D. por Tulane University, es coordinadora del Instituto Nacional de Pesquisa: Brasil Plural. Sus principales intereses de investigación son la antropología de la salud, la lingüística antropológica de narrativas, y las transformaciones del chamanismo como un proceso histórico y dialógico.
Universidade de Brasília (UNB) (email@example.com)
Intersemiotic Translations (Transmutations) in Mythical Complexes in the Guianas
Indigenous groups in the Guianas understand mythical complexes as one ontological unit. These mythical complexes are hardly perceived by Western academics as they are constituted by different semiotic systems. As an example, the mythical complex that refers to the manufacturing process of wowori (casabe mats) and sebucan (yucca squeezer) will be analyzed. The Aretauka (new endonym of former Pemón) men cut the plants and transform the leaves into the mentioned products. Doing so, they have to interact with the mythical layer (pia daktai) of the Aretauka multiverse (Halbmayer) using verbalizations of magic formulas (tarén). Both performances, the manufacturing process and the magic formulas, reflect two different semiotic systems which have to be translated to understand the mentioned ontological unit. The method refers to Carlos Severi’s and Roman Jacobsen’s transmutation that helps to overcome the material/immaterial dichotomies of Western classifications.
Connecticut College (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Bari, a Chibchan lowland people: Some interpretations of an indigenous people of Colombia and Venezuela
The physical features of the Barí are similar to those of other Chibchans, such as the Kogi or Arhuacos. Genetic studies support this impression and their mythology has them coming from the Sierra de Santa Marta. Although in their subsistence the Barí appear more like Amazonians (for example, they eat mostly manioc and bocachico, a typical Amazonian diet), their ethnomedical inventory (17 medicinal plants) is poor in comparison to that of Amazonians such as the Matsigenkas of Peru (300 species). Their shallow ethnobotanical and ethnoecological knowledge allows the suspicion that they have not been long in the lowlands east of the Sierra de Perijá. Are the Barí refugees or survivors of a high mortality event in the past? The paper explore all available data to address these questions.
Panel: The Chibchan Peoples
Losonczy, Anne Marie
Independent scholar (email@example.com)
Directora de estudios en la EPHESS y profesora en la Universidad Libre de Bruselas. Sus principales temas de investigación son la antropología de las relaciones interétnicas, las recomposiciones chamánicas y su conexión con las etnicidades políticas, y los regímenes históricos en conflicto y transformación.
University of Vienna, Dept. of Social and Cultural Anthropology (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nunkui, the Potter: Creativity, Ontology, and Myth
The close interlacement of myth, pottery and womanhood among Jivaroan groups has been analyzed from a variety of perspectives since the work of Claude Levi-Strauss. It is associated with Nunkui, a female owner and master of aspects of life including gardening, giving birth, and pottery. In this contribution, I focus on the interactions between creativity, myth, ritual and the everyday. This includes the genre of pottery-anent ritual chants that serve to become and to be a successful potter. I will theorize pottery and related myths and rituals in regard to ontology and beinghood, in particular the logics of the material and the immaterial. This integrates features that range from animistic ontology to notions of owners or masters of certain domains of life. Nunkui, the potter, demonstrates of how diverse dimensions of being in the world come together in creative processes ranging from stories and chants to making and using pots.
Università degli Studi di Palermo (email@example.com)
The “Twin myth” among the Wayuu in comparative perspective
There has been a comeback of interest for the “Twin myth” in Indigenous Lowland South America. Following Lévi-Strauss, some studies stress how historical changes are incorporated and, in some sense, “prefigured” in indigenous socio-cosmological regimes through their incorporation in the story which is told in it (Gow). Other studies have paid attention to the peculiarities of its narrative construction (Hirtzel) and to its discursive and performative devices (Uzendoski) which make it especially suitable for transmission and controlled variation. Versions of this myth have been recorded also among the Wayuu of the Guajira peninsula. Through other versions recorded during my fieldwork, I will aim to revise the interpretations of the “twin myth” among the Wayuu, showing in particular its importance for Wayuu ideas about creativity, transformation, power, ordering of the world and the relationship between “times of the origin” and the present time.
Maguire, Pedro Fermín
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Arqueología de las ‘cárceles indígenas’ de Minas Gerais, Brasil
El objetivo de esta exposición es presentar el estudio de dos cárceles indígenas establecidas en Minas Gerais, Brasil: el ‘Reformatorio Krenak’ y la ‘Fazenda Guarany’. El uso de las cárceles ha sido considerado constitutivo de graves violaciones de los Derechos Humanos en un juzgado brasileño y ha abierto la posibilidad de contribuir a una investigación con el objetivo de obtener medidas de reparación a los pueblos indígenas afectados. La memoria oral y viva sobre los mismos lugares, hoy Tierras Indígenas, también permite entender los vestigios materiales de tales episodios de violencia, así como a otras experiencias traumáticas de interacción con el estado y la sociedad no indígenas. Una de las posibilidades de la integración de las dos series de este trabajo arqueológico es la comprensión de la memoria de los crímenes de Estado en diálogo con las violencias ejercidas por otros agentes de la región como los ‘fazendeiros.’
Mahecha Rubio, Dany / Franky Calvo, Carlos Eduardo
Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Amazonia (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Olvidar para renacer: Elementos para comprender las formas de la memoria entre los Nükak (Amazonia colombiana)
La historia de las relaciones interétnicas de los Nükak ha estado marcada por la violencia. Según los Nükak, sus ancestros fueron perseguidos por seres antropófagos y por ello se movían constantemente para sobrevivir, hasta que se refugiaron en el interfluvio de los ríos Inírida y Guaviare, donde criaron a sus descendientes, pero continuaron evitando el contacto, hasta la década de los setenta. Esta visión de su pasado contrasta con la evidencia lingüística, sociocultural e histórica que permite establecer antiguas relaciones con pueblos indígenas de habla Arawak y Tucano oriental, así como transformaciones en sus patrones sociales y culturales. En esta perspectiva, la ponencia explora las formas de construcción y uso de la memoria nükak comparando cómo son recordados eventos del pasado remoto y del pasado reciente, el cual ha estado marcado por efectos del conflicto interno colombiano, como el desplazamiento, el confinamiento y el reclutamiento forzados o el asesinato selectivo.
Universidade de São Paulo – USP, Brasil (email@example.com)
Jarawara Town-Villages and the Domestic Domain in Anthropology: Reverse Reflections
Based on my ethnographic research with the Jarawara people (Brazil) the presentation will explore the concept of “domestic” domain through the images of the town-villages of the jarawara upper layer. The souls of the plants cultivated by the jarawara come out of their bodies and are raised in the villages of the “the upper layer”. Those villages are where the jarawara will go when they decease, and they are very much alike the Labrea village (in Amazonas – Brazil): In the town-villages, everyone is good-looking, and people flirt all the time but don’t have children, they only raise the plant-children of the living jarawara. My presentation will try to think those city-residences through its double aesthetic: in one side as an “hyper-indigenous-village” – tidy, beautiful, with parties-; and on the other side, as an “hyper-white people’s-village”, with no pollution, with cars and motorcycles that don’t run over people, with money and goods.
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cómo (y hasta qué punto) indigenizar el cristianismo?: Debates entre y dentro iglesias indígenas sobre la autenticidad e identidad del ser “indígena cristiano” en la Amazonía Alta
A partir de finales del siglo XIX, las misiones cristianas están presentes en la Amazonía Alta. Se fundan parroquias católicas y evangélicas en el territorio indígena – que en su mayor parte buscaban una asimilización de los indígenas hacia la sociedad dominante mestiza. Sin embargo, a partir de los años 60 emergen críticas hacia este modelo: Entre los misioneros nace la convicción que las iglesias deben tener un rostro indígena. Se forman “iglesias evangélicas nativas” y la “iglesia católica autóctona”. Esa aproximación caracterizada por discursos postcoloniales quiere quitar la vestimenta occidental de las iglesias y valorar la identidad indígena. Sin embargo, ese proceso no queda libre de debates, tanto entre las dos confesiones, como dentro de las mismas iglesias y los indígenas cristianos. Por tanto el conflicto de la indigenización de las iglesias es al final un debate sobre el qué de la autenticiad e identidad, tanto cristiana como indígena.
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá (email@example.com)
Humanizing the future: indigenous historicities and healing
Collaborative research on Muinane knowledge of health and illness offers a tip for unraveling one dimension of indigenous historicity: its orientation to the future. Through discussion of the knowledge system itself, the process of recreating it collectively, and the commentaries provided on such process, I outline a way in which historical experience and healing connect in indigenous perspectives. Knowledge of health and illness vests people with the responsibility to avert evil and materialize the good life permanently. By assuming this responsibility, people “construct the future”. To construct the future means essentially to heal it, but healing cannot be achieved but through the skillful joining of difference. Difference, although inherently threatening, is also a source of power and knowledge, and by entering into relation with it, people “humanize it”, humanizing themselves at once.
University of Bristol (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Right to Change: Social Transformation and the Uncertain Futures of Matses Children in Peru
This talk examines the life-trajectories of Matses children and youth in Peru who are leaving behind the forest-based lifestyle of their elders in the hope to attain a different future in urban settlements. Drawing on an ongoing project that uses animation and collaborative film-making in Amazonia, I will show that in order to attain the adulthood they desire, young Matses make active choices that are not only shaping their social environments, but also posing the basis for radically different futures – even if this means entering unprecedented conditions of poverty and marginalisation as they become part of a global economy in which they occupy a peripheral position. While considering how children and young people’s desires, aspirations and expectation for the future are setting in motion radical processes of socioeconomic change on a global scale, I will discuss how participatory visual methods in collaborative anthropological research can create a space for indigenous youth to discuss the life they hope to attain amidst the critical challenges they face in the present.
Napurí Espejo, Andrés
University of Oxford (email@example.com)
Eeja múúja: The testimony of an indigenous Bora woman during the Amazon Rubber Boom
This work presents the testimony given by an indigenous Bora woman to his grandson when he interviewed her with a cassette recorder in the nineties. In her narration, she tells him about the violence suffered during the Amazon Rubber Boom, and what strategies Bora people took to take control of their own lives. Her story also reveals episodes close related to indigenous perspectivism after the creation of new settlements in Peruvian territory—tapirs kidnapping children, or spirits scaring them. Moreover, her life story provides us with new perspectives on the relationships among Bora clans and other indigenous groups of the People of the Center.
Niño Vargas, Juan Camilo
Universidad de los Andes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
La cosecha de animales: la agricultura como marco para manejo del entorno entre los Chibchas
Estudios arqueológicos en el área chibcha señalan la existencia de una forma de subsistencia centrada en la “cosecha” de vegetales y animales–una serie de técnicas agrícolas que estimulaban el crecimiento de la biomasa animal silvestre, favorecían la práctica de la caza en el interior de los cultivos y funcionaban como un sustituto de la domesticación animal. Esta ponencia examina a esta tesis, y sostiene que la agricultura puede funcionar como un esquema general para la conceptualización del entorno. Muchas prácticas chibchas adquieren pleno sentido: desde la orientación marcadamente agrícola y la participación de los dos sexos en las faenas en los campos, hasta la concepción del mundo como un sembradío, los ritos para asegurar la continuidad de la vida animal y las asimilación de frutos vegetales a especies faunísticas.
Panel: The Chibchan Peoples
Durham University, Anthropology Department (email@example.com)
From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba
How do social movements form their political strategies? The relevant theory places considerable attention on structure, and argues that when political opportunities are open, movements are more likely to opt for a systemic political strategy; when they are closed, movements are expected to take a more revolutionary turn. However, political opportunities can make some options appear more ‘realistic’ and others less so–but movements don’t always behave ‘realistically.’ They might explain when movements are more likely to mobilise and what repertoires they adopt once they do so, but they don’t account for what happens earlier on: through what mechanisms the movements form their political strategies. Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and c) the political formation of their grass roots.
University of Turku (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Spaces in-between: Inter-denominational dynamics among the Yine
What is a Christian denomination in indigenous Amazonia? How is a denomination and its role understood within different forms of Amazonian indigenous Christianities? The significance of denominationalism becomes particularly visible in multi-denominational contexts such as that of the Yine people living in southeastern Peru. In a community with three active denominations – Evangelicals, Catholics and Pentecostals – the Yine Christians work at times to enforce the boundaries between denominations and at other times to cross and dissolve them. This paper is an attempt to understand Yine people’s movement between, and dwelling in-between, denominations: what in this context is a denomination and what is the meaning of denominationalism for Yine Christians? Through the examination of the Yine inter-denominational dynamics, the paper aims to contribute to wider discussions on the significance of denominationalism for people’s lived Christianities.
Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile (email@example.com)
“You only cry for the good Ayoreo”. On ritual wailing and the poetic creation of normativity in the northern Paraguayan Chaco
This contribution analyzes how the Ayoreo from the northern Paraguayan Chaco strategically use the creative process of wailing song composition and its ritual-like performance to deal with grief and its possible disruptive effects. These wailing songs typically depict the mourned one as morally good and make references to non-humans, yet every composition is singled out as unique. The creative process of composing a wailing song falls halfway between the specificity of a new composition and the regularity of genre tropes. We will show that this tension allows the Ayoreo to poetically reframe the social disruption of a death –or the threat of one– and re-inscribe it in the normativity of the everyday, while forcing a conviviality-led interpretation of events.
Palumbo, Scott / Rodríguez-Sánchez, Keilyn / Morales-Céspedes, Frank
College of Lake County, USA (firstname.lastname@example.org), Universidad de Costa Rica (email@example.com), Asociación de Desarrollo de Boruca (indigenous Elder)
The Historic and Ethnographic Use of Knotted String Records in southern Central America
This paper presents the evidence for the use of knotted cord records (or tsa-wö in Bribri) from southern Central America. The article first examines a museum example (Smithsonian number E15438-0) associated with a population census from the 1870s. We then summarize the historic references to the use of knotted cord records over the past 200 years. Finally, we present information from ethnographic interviews we conducted with elder members of three indigenous groups in southern Costa Rica (Cabecar, Boruca and Ngöbe). We discovered that knotted string records are within the living memory of several individuals, but these devices exhibited different characteristics than their Peruvian counterparts. While khipu studies largely concern state administration in the Central Andes, we highlight how less hierarchical societies used similar technology. We emphasize that southern Central America represents a previously unknown area associated with the use of knotted cord keeping.
Panel: The Chibchan Peoples
University of Kent – UKC, UK (D.Peluso@kent.ac.uk)
A tale of three cities: power relations amidst Ese Eja urban imaginaries
This paper examines the interrelationships between Peruvian Ese Eja communities, the regional capital and the ‘land of the dead’ as they unfold around one community’s particular encounter with a mysterious young girl. My analysis of the encounter brings into focus Ese Eja social imaginaries, with varying degrees of urbanity, about places and alterities in social, economic and legal aspects of Ese Eja quotidian life. Here, I propose that such imaginaries speak of potential states of being and serve to confirm as well as to subvert indigenous understandings of power relations while keeping Ese Eja at the centre of their worlds.
University of Bristol (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Terror of Imminence: Temporality and approaching non-indigenous worlds in Amazonia
During fieldwork among the Sanema of Venezuelan Amazonia, strange and dangerous beings continually lurked at the outskirts of the community: ‘oka töpö’, or camouflaged raiders. These were beings that were never seen, but were described as the source of much misfortune in Sanema lives. Oka töpö infused stories of the recurring deaths and continual migrations that defined the past; but they also permeate an underly present-day anxiety concerning the advancing non-indigenous world in its many forms. This paper will explore how often-recounted tales of timeless inexplicable forces – specifically in this case oka töpö – fringe anxieties about radically changing and unknown futures. By examining the motif of oka töpö, Sanema perceptions of historical and contemporary transformation, as well as their strategies for navigating the unfamiliar, are examined in depth. The analysis in turn sheds light on transforming Amazonian temporalities in general, and the emerging subjectivities that are increasingly bound to national society, urban lives, and broader state initiatives.
Pérez Gil, Laura
Unversidade Federal de Paraná (email@example.com)
Profesora en el Departamento de Antropología de la UFPR y directora del Museo de Arqueología y Etnología de la misma universidad. Sus principales intereses son la conexión entre chamanismo y violencia en contexto indígena, la transformación de los sistemas chamánicos, y las colecciones etnográficas en museos.
LAS-EHESS / GAA-PUCP (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Católicos y evangélicos: sobre las formas correctas de matrimonio y parientes prohibidos para la vida conyugal cristiana y la persistencia del sistema de parentesco y matrimonio jíbaro awajún (aguaruna) de la Amazonía Peruana
El cristianismo es el marco espiritual generalizado en el que interactúan los jíbaros awajún (aguaruna) de la Amazonía peruana tanto dentro de sus propias comunidades de origen como en los espacios urbanos a los que constantemente se desplazan. Así se configura un espacio relacional gobernado por ideologías tanto católicas como evangélicas. Si la base común relacional es el cristianismo, no obstante, las formas dichas correctas de ser cristiano desde el punto de vista awajún están en constante disputa tanto dentro de sus comunidades de origen como en los espacios urbanos. Una de esas formas correctas en disputa son las maneras de establecer lazos matrimoniales y la manera de definir parientes prohibidos para el matrimonio. En esta ponencia mostraré la manera en que estos tipos de disputas de formas correctas tanto católicas como evangélicas se manifiestan en los discursos awajún para luego contrastarla con los matrimonios que se realizan en la práctica entre ellos.
Rojas, Daisy Stevens
Cultural Exchange Institute (email@example.com)
Youth driving change: Environmental preservation, microeconomics and political discourse with indigenous communities in Costa Rica
Morphing views on environmental practices and the participation of youth in microeconomies is becoming common practice in las zonas indigenas of Costa Rica. Cultural and environmental tourism are popular attractions and native communities such as the Bribri and Boruca peoples integrate common practice with public display to earn income through the interface of applied indigenous knowledge and environmental preservation. Conflicts arise between micro and macro level environmental consciousness and the preservation of native communities. An example of the friction came to a head in November of 2017 with the Supreme Court decision to halt the imposition of a large scale hydro-electric project planned by the electric cooperative ICE planned to be located in the Boruca zona of Terraba, Costa Rica. Youth participation in the microeconomic activities of the region as well as activism on behalf of the community is integral to larger conversations and has potential for influence at the national level.
Rolando Betancourt, Giancarlo
University of Virginia (Giancarlo.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Trouble in Paradise: collaboration and participatory conservation
The Alto Purus National Park and the Purus Communal Reserve were created in 2004, covering a territory which many of the neighboring Indigenous Peoples consider to be their ancestral homeland. According to the State agencies and NGOs involved in the process of creating and managing these protected areas, this process was done following a collaborative and participatory approach in order to be respectful of the rights and desired futures of the local populations. However, these protected areas have become the source of conflict and political tension in the Purus province. This presentation will discuss preliminary findings on the sources of these tensions and conflicts, paying particular attention to the perspective of the Mastanawa people, their ideas of collaboration, what the State is, and how public servants and researchers should behave.
EHESS- PUCP (email@example.com)
El “pre-Baguazo” y sus historias: anatomía de un conflicto (Alto Marañón- Perú)
Tomando distancia de la versión oficial de “la historia del Baguazo”, el presente estudio quiere tomar en cuenta las percepciones y los recuerdos propuestos por los mismos manifestantes, poniendo en valor aspectos que hasta ahora no han sido tomados en cuenta. Esto llevará a la reconstrucción de una dinámica local extremamente compleja dentro del Paro Amazónico, con elementos como el surgimiento de diferentes facciones de insurgentes (los Comités de Lucha), a particulares dinámicas de poder y jerarquía entre ellos, así cómo a formas violentas y de competencia hacia la disputa “del poder”. La sobre-posición de diferentes formas y conceptualización de la organización de la lucha por parte de los actores locales llevará a una agudización de la violencia entre ellos mismos, fenómeno hasta ahora poco considerado y descrito. La presente ponencia mirará la elaboración de un análisis inter-disciplinario, capaz de conjugar las herramientas puestas a disposición por la antropología de la violencia, la etnografía amazónica y los estudios políticos.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (SantosF@si.edu)
The Deep Roots of Southern Arawak Urban Imaginaries: Tales of Alterity in the “Longue Durée”
Yanesha and Ashaninka cosmologies mention the existence of underwater and subterranean cities inhabited by non-human or other-than-human beings. For these peoples, cities seem to be the epitome of “otherness”. One would be tempted to think that the large towns and cities of modern Peru have been the templates upon which these imaginaries were modeled. But are they? Some theoreticians have argued that the history of humanity is, largely, the history of the opposition between polis and nomos, that is, between city dwellers and peoples that are more mobile. In their view, cities are as crucial to the shaping of mobile peoples’ identity, as mobile peoples are essential to urban identities. Here I explore the relationship of Arawak peoples with cities and city dwellers by adopting a “longue durée” perspective in the hope of demonstrating that native Amazonians’ fascination with urban life may be much older than we have previously assumed.
Sarmiento Barletti, Juan Pablo
Center for International Forestry Research (J.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Who represents whom? The challenges of collaboration and representation in Loreto’s Mesa PIACI (Peruvian Amazon)
I examine an under-explored issue in relation to isolated indigenous peoples- their representation in decision-making spaces. This is a key issue as, by definition, they cannot represent themselves. Scholarly and policy discussions stop at the guidelines of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for their participation, without considering the representativity of the actors that fulfill this role. I think through this representativity through my work with the Mesa PIACI in the Peruvian region of Loreto. Set up as a multi-stakeholder collaborative roundtable, it has the complicated task of discussing the approval of five reserves for isolated peoples in areas with overlapping (and clashing) land-use regimes. Based on interviews with participants and non-participants to the Mesa, representing indigenous organizations, local and national government agencies, and NGOs, I engage with the issue of representativity noted above by considering the perspectives at play in the Mesa and the motivations behind them.
International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Justus-Liebig University Giessen (email@example.com)
Amazonian Women and Ecofeminists in Ecuador: A Partially Connected Allyship
“Alliance” and “allyship” imply different ontologies of relationality. Under neoliberal conditions, an alliance is a relation between two self-interested, closed units. Allyship, by contrast, describes entities that are connected by intra-relations that are integral to the entities themselves. Even if the latter is permeated by conflict and power asymmetries, allyship should be understood as a partially connected relationship between beings that respond to and incorporate each other’s positions in order to facilitate what I call, borrowing from Marisol de la Cadena, “co-labor.” In this paper, I focus on the allyship between ecofeminist activists and a group of Amazonian women from the southeastern rainforest in Ecuador. Even if both of these collectives have conflictual and sometimes irreconcilable imaginaries of territory, communality, and even solidarity, they co-labor for the common goal of stopping the expansion of oil extraction projects, and have thus transformed one other’s discourses and political strategies in the process.
Kaya-Pop: Appropriation, authenticity and indigenous modernity in Brazil
Indigenous people throughout Latin America have become active consumers of electronic media, making use of video cameras, cell phones and laptops to create and transmit their own artistic and cultural productions and political views. The Mebengokrê-Kayapó people of Brazil have been pioneers in indigenous media production. The results can be complex and surprising, ranging from the spectacle of the “Miss Kayapó” beauty pageant to catchy electronic music including an indigenous-language cover of the Beatles. The Kayapó concept of nekrex (“ceremonial wealth”) governs the circulation of ceremonial objects and other forms of cultural prestige, including names, specialized knowledge and songs. The Kayapó’s unique forms of engagement with video cameras, cell phones, television and pop music are strongly shaped by the cultural logic surrounding nekrex. This paper explores how Kayapó appropriations of digital technology challenge our notions about cultural authenticity, while revealing new fault lines in the evolving paradox of indigenous modernity.
Testa, Adriana Queriroz
Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP, Brasil (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ambivalent liaisons with(in) the city and beyond: alterity and power among the Guarani Mbya
This paper is based on research carried out among the Guarani Mbya in Brazil, where part of their territory coincides with densely populated urban areas. Cities and their inhabitants are given a spectrum of meaning within cosmology and everyday life, expressing ambivalent (or polyvalent) relations of alterity and power. Alongside conflicts, constraints and discrimination, living in cities provides access to money, technology and other resources which are used to amplify ritual practices and the circulation of people and things throughout villages. Technology, money and increased knowledge of non-indigenous politics have also aided the Guarani in their political endeavors. This paper also explores how cities, forests and their inhabitants are described and connected in mythology and personal narratives. In these discourses, relationships with non-indigenous people are often compared to interactions with supernatural animals, both prone to dangerous transformations involving bodily changes and soul switching.
PPGAS UNICAMP (email@example.com)
Os bailes rituais e a cura da guerra. A Amazônia indígena nos pós-acordos de paz na Colômbia
O povo indígena Murui-Muina têm realizado, ao longo da sua história, bailes rituais com o propósito de transformar as forças ameaçantes da animalidade em experiência humana, o perigoso em proteção, a hostilidade em festividade. Nos últimos vinte anos, quando a guerra entre a guerrilha das FARC e as forças militares chegou no território indígena, esses grupos armados foram nomeados como animais do mato, predadores forasteiros. Atualmente, com o término da guerra através do acordo de paz (peace making) e, com os desafios históricos de implementar o conteúdo do pactuado (peace building), os bailes rituais adquirem uma centralidade vital atuando como ferramenta política voltada a construir cenários de encontro na vida local, além das agendas estatais e oficiais. O complexo cerimonial dos Murui-Muina expõe formas de luta política coletiva capaz de intervir e construir a história, assim como expõem uma tomada de posição formadora de um sujeito político coletivo amazônico.
Vander Velden, Felipe
Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Penas de galinha, couro de bois: explorando a introdução de animais exóticos nas coleções museológicas sul-americanas na Europa
Os artefatos indígenas das terras baixas sul-americanas nas coleções museológicas mobilizam, quase sempre, imagens da natureza dos trópicos e de sua rica e colorida fauna: plumas de araras e tucanos, couros e dentes de jaguares, peles de guanaco, instrumentos de ossos e chifres de veados. Mas sabe-se que desde o século XVI, com a introdução de animais domésticos do Velho Mundo na América do Sul, partes de corpos desses seres vêm sendo empregados em diversos domínios da produção material ameríndia, desde penas de galinha nos mantos Tupinambá aos couros bovinos pintados pelos Kadiweu, passando por uma ainda pouco conhecida gama de artefatos utilitários e cerimoniais. Este trabalho discute, preliminarmente, algumas possibilidades de se conhecer a trajetória do encontro entre ameríndios e esses animais por meio da análise de objetos e coleções recentemente identificados em museus etnográficos Europeus.
Vásquez Fernández, Andrea M
University of British Columbia (email@example.com)
Mutual Respect? A collaborative project with the Asheeninka and Yine Peoples from the Peruvian Amazon
Amazonian Indigenous Peoples have said they are disrespected. Their accounts of exploitation and violent dispossession of their territories include the Rubber Boom in the 19th century and current contexts in which hydrocarbons, minerals, and timber exploitation occurs. There is a broad plea for mutual respect in the face of current violent clashes of civilizations. The UN Secretary-General has called for “mutual respect and mutual tolerance…among all people, regardless of where you are coming from.” Mutual respect is a commonly used argument to encourage dialogue and understanding and to promote peace. The term “mutual” suggests that the parties involved in the relationship have a shared comprehension/perception of how respect is understood, practiced, and felt. However, who defines the praxis of mutual respect? Considering our culturally mega-diverse world, do we know and understand the various conceptions, practices, and sensitivities about what in western realities would be called “respect”? Is respect culturally/contextually/paradigmatically dependent?
Frederiks Vaerk Museo Industrial (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hanne Veber es investigadora senior independiente, ahora retirada. Es doctora en antropología de la Universidad de Copenhague, especializada en culturas indígenas y en la historia de la colonización de las Américas. Ha trabajado con los Ashéninka de la Selva Central del Perú y ha publicado sobre organización política y social ashéninka, relaciones interculturales, cultura material, mitos, relaciones de género e indigenidad. Trabajó intensamente con historias autobiográficas para su volumen editado Historias para nuestro futuro / Yotantsi ahsi otsipaniki: Narraciones autobiográficas de líderes asháninkas e ashéninkas, y es coautora de una monografía sobre los Ashéninka del Gran Pajonal para la Guía Etnográfica de la Alta Amazonía, volumen 5. Coeditó el volumen Creating Dialogue. Indigenous Perceptions and Changing forms of Leadership in Amazonia. Otras publicaciones incluyen números especiales de revistas académicas, capítulos de libros y artículos. (English)
Virtanen, Pirjo Kristiina
University of Helsinki, Finland (email@example.com)
Parallel narratives and relationality lost in modern urban Amazonia
Several Amazonian Indigenous reserves are closely interconnected with urban areas due to contemporary state practices and socio-economic relations, spurring my examination of urban imaginaries in Southwestern Amazonia through knowledge-making practices. Despite the alterity of cities – with their different foods, smells, language, and social relations – for the Arawak-speaking Apurinã, urban areas and their actors are crucial for life-making. Like shamanic initiation, spending temporary periods in urban employment, particularly in offices, can lead to special expertise and mastery of relations with the Other. However, in Apurinã thinking, modern cities make mindful bodies dangerously weak by severing their ties with the environment. The paper discusses this key feature of today’s Apurinã urban imaginaries – the lack of human-environment relationality – contrasting it with archaeological evidence that one of the leading design ideas behind the pre-historic urban structures and geometric enclosures of the Purus River region was the continuum between humans and nonhumans.
University of Gdańsk, Poland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Between Oil and Tourism – Young Huaorani’s Plans for the Future
This paper explores the occupational plans and perspectives of Huaorani youth living in Eastern Ecuador. A growing body of anthropological literature suggests that young indigenous people plan to leave their family’s settlements in search of better life in the cities. Research was carried out in one of the most recent settlements and almost all of our respondents indicated their will to stay there. Nearby cities were described by them as inhabitable. The local environment still supplies the settlement’s inhabitants with almost everything that is needed for their survival and only some extra commodities require money that is obtained through tourist services. Huaorani youth’s decisions regarding their future prove that they can find their own way through the complicated web of modern demands and by doing so they can also maintain their cultural heritage.
University of Florida – USA (email@example.com)
“Cities” in the Hohodene Cosmos: Spaces of Alterity and Power as Exegetical Tools in Mythic Narrative
The imagery of a “city” permeates the cosmos of the Hohodene Baniwa, as expressed by the most elderly of their pajes. In the heavenly “Other World”, there is a “place of happiness and joy” (kathimakwe), compared to a “city”, where all the bird-people are beautiful and good. The “Underworld” is again, “like a city” consisting of multiple places of incomplete spirits. Both are spaces of alterity. The Other World is certainly a place of power, where great spirits reside watching over humans, and even instructing religious authorities of the White Man on the proper ways of living. The great spirit “owner of sickness” is ambiguously both the source of ancestral power yet is alterity in its most violent, extreme form (his face is that of the White Man). At the heart of the Baniwa cosmos, the “center of the universe” is also compared to a “city”, dense in its symbolism of mythic spaces. Many of these comparisons highlight the density of alterity at the center; others seem to reflect the situation of the narrator. This paper will explore these multiple facets of comparisons with “cities” in relation to the axes of alterity, power and self-reflection.
–Carlos D. Londoño Sulkin (SALSA President 2017-2020), Jeremy M. Campbell (SALSA President-Elect 2020-2013), Laura Zanotti (Secretary-Treasurer 2017-2020), Claudia Augustat (SALSA 2019 Conference Organizer), Juan Alvaro Echeverri (SALSA 2019 Academic Program Chair), Glenn Shepard (SALSA Webmaster).