SALSA 2019 Accepted Papers XII Sesquiannual Conference

Presenters and abstracts
2019 SALSA XII Sesquiannual Conference, Vienna, Austria

(in alphabetical order by last name)


Acosta García, Nicolás Fold, Niels
University of Copenhagen (neag@ign.ku.dk, nf@ign.ku.dk)

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.

Panel 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations


Arregui, Anibal
University of Barcelona / University of Vienna (anibal_arregui@hotmail.com)

Afrofuturism: Quilombola Horticulture, Kinesthesia and the Ecopolitics of Abundance
Institutional discourses recognise the quilombola (Brazilian maroon) identity and territorial rights through ethno-historical criteria. By presenting an ethnography of traditional modes of swidden horticulture, I propose a future-oriented ethnographic framing of quilombolas current ecopolitical prospects. I first look at the so called “quilombola movement“, not as a political current attached to African ancestry, but as a kinesthesic way of self- identifying with a specific constellation of everyday gestures and corporeal features. I secondly discuss the idea of quilombolas “sustainable“ modes of production. Instead I draw attention to the pursuit of “fartura“ (abundance), as a notion that better captures quilombola ethos and current socioeconomic aspirations. The main argument is that while history and ethnicity constrain quilombola livelihoods from and exotizising outside, the self-awareness of a corporeality that leads to a productive abundance reflects the actual ways in which quilombolasproject their future into the global ecopolitical arena.

Thematic Session 3


Arteaga, Claudia A.
Scripps College (carteagao@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Athias, Renato
NEPE/UFPE, Brazil (renato.athias@ufpe.br)

Anthropological research in ethnographic museums, new issues for an old debate
This presentation aims to raise museological and ethnological issues from research activities with ethnographic objects on the indigenous peoples of Rio Negro, held in European and American museums. There are many ethnographic objects of the indigenous people exhibited and kept in the museums. The research sought to inventory the ritual objects that have shamanistic characteristics in these museums of the ethnic groups that mainly inhabit the Uaupés basin. For this presentation, we seek to explore questions that are at the interface of museology and ethnology to analyze the displacements and the documentation of these objects, which are a significant part of the mythological narratives among the indigenous groups. Certainly the debate about the virtual repatriation of these objects and made available to the indigenous peoples will grow interest and will undoubtedly lead to an important debate on collaborative aspects in the broad understanding of indigenous representation on these objects.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Bacchiddu, Giovanna
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (gbacchiddu@uc.cl)

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.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Bacigalupo, Ana Mariella
SUNY Buffalo (anab@buffalo.edu)

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.

Thematic Session 3


Baldi, Norberto Francisco
Laboratory of Biological Anthropology, University of Costa Rica (norberto.baldi@ucr.ac.cr)

Mitochondrial diversity of six Honduran indigenous populations: Exploring the genetic boundaries of Chibchan Speaking populations
This study investigated maternal genetic diversity and population structure of six Central American indigenous populations from Honduras (Tolupan, Chorti, Lenca, Tawaka, Pech and Miskito) using full mitochondrial DNA sequences. Previous studies stated that the genetic structure of the Chibchan-speaking populations that inhabit the Isthmo-Colombian area, was likely shaped by relative geographical isolation since the Holocene. However, the genetic relationship remains unclear between the indigenous populations that inhabit Honduras, in the northern periphery of the Isthmo-Colombian region with the Chibchan speaking populations from southern Central American and Colombia. To test the hypothesis of Chibchan genetic relationships, we compared a mtDNA data set with additional indigenous populations from Mesoamerica, Northern South America and the Caribbean Islands, and calculated haplotypic diversity applying three different hierarchical levels: geography, linguistic affiliation, and cultural region. Statiscal analyses show interconnected phylogenies among Chibchan populations and differences from Mesoamerican populations earlier than 10,000 YBP.

Panel 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Ball, Christopher
University of Notre Dame (Christopher.G.Ball.44@nd.edu)

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


Bammer, Nora
Universität Wien (nora.bammer@univie.ac.at)

Vocal Shuar masks in motion: Shuar tonal techniques for transformation and their current recontextualization
For the Shuar in Ecuador, invisible and musical masks like those of jaguars, toucans or spirits are used for a transformation of the self and for effective interaction with Shuar non-human agents. These transformative masks are primarily created by singing. Given the knowledge and use of adequate contexts, musical techniques, and vocal masks, Shuar humans can transform, communicate with non-humans, create a protective shield, or transfer powers from one being to another. Despite their enduring meaning in daily Shuar life, these musically induced transformation methods are increasingly limited to older generations. With younger generations, singing is shifting towards folklorized representations of Shuar-ness, as well as new creative musical forms for indigenous activism. The aim of this presentation is to show which musical and social parameters, and which creative processes make Shuar songs of all generations effective, be it for transformation, political (self-) representation, or for activism.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Beckerman, Stephen
Universidad de los Andes (stv@psu.edu)

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 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Benitez, Ernesto J.
Florida International University (ebeni026@fiu.edu)

“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.

Panel 09: Gender Reconfigurations in Indigenous Amazonia


Berger, Martin E.
National Museum of World Cultures, The Netherlands (Martin.berger@wereldculturen.nl)

Shopping for Completeness: Collecting Latin America at Museum Volkenkunde Leiden in the 1960s
This paper addresses the acquisition of indigenous objects from Latin America for the collection of the National Museum of Ethnology in the Netherlands during the 1960s. This moment in time is not only marked by global movements of decolonization, but also by the first formations of ethical codes and principles for museum professionals. In this context, the paper investigates the means through which such collections were acquired, as documented in the correspondence and other archival records of the museum. Special attention is paid to the relationship and contradictions between acquisition policy, the museum director’s views on the matter, and the actual practice of purchasing collections.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Bermudez, Natalia
The University of Chicago (bermudez@uchicago.edu)

An interdisciplinary empirical reconstruction of Chibchan spirituality
I reconstruct traits of Chibchan spirituality by comparing primary linguistic data to ethnographic and archaeological records. The Chibchan languages in Costa Rica (Bribri, Cabecar), Panama (Naso-Teribe), and Colombia (Kuna) share the use of ritualistic doublets “difrasismos” which mainly refer to cosmology, such as animal spirits (frogs, birds, and tigers), or plant species used in curing ceremonies. Knowledge and use of these difrasismos is restricted to specialized shamans and to ritualistic discourse performed in a traditional house which represents eight cosmological levels. The difrasismos parallel gold metallurgy found across the Chibchan world, which dualistically represent animal spirits and are used in rituals. Chibchan cultures in Sierra Nevada train people in specialized knowledge. I argue that these parallel traits in geographically distinct Chibchan societies can be reconstructed to “core” traits: the use of linguistic and conceptual dualities to represent spiritual indices, and the stratified knowledge and multilayered view of a cosmological universe.

Panel 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Bomfim, Virgilio
Universidade Federal de Pernambuco – Núcleo de Estudos e pesquisas em Etnicidade (abomfim.virgilio@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Botero Marulanda, Daniela
Universidade Federal da Bahia (danielabotero@gmail.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?

Panel 09: Gender Reconfigurations in Indigenous Amazonia


Boyer, Véronique
CNRS, Mondes Américains, France (veronique.boyer@ehess.fr)

Discussant
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.

Panel 08: Cristianismos controvertidos: diversificación de los modelos cristianos y relaciones interdenominacionales en las tierras bajas de América del Sur


Brabec de Mori, Bernd
Independent scholar (leukozyt@hushmail.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’.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Bravo Diaz, Andrea
University College London (andrea.diaz.15@ucl.ac.uk)

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.

Panel 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations


Brust, Alexander
Museum der Kulturen Basel (alexander.brust@bs.ch)

Pinturas, objetos y los seres nobles: Multiples usos e interpretaciones de colecciones entre Brasil y Europa
Armin Caspar trabajó en los 1940s para el Gobierno Federal de Brasil y el Museo Goeldi. Junto con la pintora de origen suizo, Anita Guidi, realizó dos expediciones al interior del pais. En 1945 viajaron al Rio Tiquié en la región del Alto Rio Negro y en 1948 visitaron a los Ka’apor del Rio Gurupi. Sus metas eran contrarrestar la imagen negativa que tenían los indígenas en la opinión pública de Brasil por su resistencia en contra el frente colonializador. Su trabajo se plasmó en una colección de objetos y pinturas de la artista suiza. Las obras de Anita Guidi del Alto Rio Negro fueron expuestas por primera vez en la Semana do Indio Americano en 1946 bajo el patrocinio de Cándido Rondón del SPI. El presente ensayo explora los distintos usos e interpretaciones que han recibido los objetos y pinturas por parte de diferentes actores  entre 1945 y 2019 en Brasil y Europa.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Buitrón-Arias, Natalia
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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Buitrón-Arias, Natalia
London School of Economics – LSE, UK (n.buitron-arias@lse.ac.uk)

Discussant
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

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Campbell, Jeremy
Roger Williams University (jmcampbell@rwu.edu)

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.

Panel 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Capredon, Elise
EHESS, Paris (elisecapredon@gmail.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.

Panel 08: Cristianismos controvertidos: diversificación de los modelos cristianos y relaciones interdenominacionales en las tierras bajas de América del Sur


Caromano, Caroline Fernandes
Independent scholar (carolcaromano@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Caruso, Emily
Global Diversity Foundation (emily@global-diversity.org)

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.

Panel 06: Memorias de violencia, visiones para el futuro: perspectivas antropológicas en contextos de pos-conflicto amazónicos


Carvalho, Josue
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (carvalho.josue@yahoo.com.br)

While adults play: ancestor epistemologies and the indigenous children of the contemporary South of Brazil
The paper deals with the own forms of learning of the child belonging to the Kaingang Indigenous People of the contemporary South of Brazil. In Brazil, studies on the indigenous child are still scarce, therefore I seek to bring the conceptions of the child by old indigenous people, parallel to other languages of conception with which, over time, indigenous families were being attacked, principally with the arrival of the school and other important border landmarks resulting from the colonial processes, which were and still are at the present time against the indigenous knowledge to think and conceive their children culturally and socially. I also present a current conversation, with and from the children themselves, their longings, their ways of socializing with each other, which results in their own processes of teaching and learning in peers. Theoretically, I outline dialogues in the field of child anthropology, with interfaces in education, communication, sociology and indigenous children’s rights in Brazil, but it is in the child´s daily activities, in the analysis of their own contexts of teaching, learning and socialization that the study justifies, fixes and gains form.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Carvalho Rodrigues Lopes, Thais de
University of East Anglia (t.de-carvalho@uea.ac.uk)

Extractivism in the Amazon basin and its effects on indigenous childhoods: what threatens the rainforest’s children?
This paper discusses the challenges for indigenous child protection in the Amazon basin in face of increasing deforestation, based on an extensive literature review conducted for my doctoral thesis. It explores the relation between extractivist activities (e.g. gold mining and logging) and the violation of children’s rights. The paper shows that a neoliberal view of the rainforest as natural resource not only affects environmental conservation and indigenous land rights, but also the wellbeing of indigenous children. For instance, by forcing the displacement of indigenous peoples towards urban settlements, land invaders expose children to a plethora of health hazards and trauma, hence disrespecting the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. The paper argues that the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights is crucial to safeguard indigenous childhoods in the Amazon region, and points to the need of a culturally sensitive approach to child protection in contexts of land dispute.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Cascon, Leandro Matthews / Françozo, Mariana
Leiden University (l.matthews.cascon@arch.leidenuniv.nl, m.de.campos.francozo@arch.leidenuniv.nl)

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.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Castrillón, Juan
University of Pennsylvania (juancas@sas.upenn.edu)

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.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Caviedes, Mauricio
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia (mauriciocaviedes2009@gmail.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.

Panel 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Ceriani, César
FLACSO / CONICET (cesar.ceriani@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 08: Cristianismos controvertidos: diversificación de los modelos cristianos y relaciones interdenominacionales en las tierras bajas de América del Sur


Cesarino, Pedro de Niemeyer
Universidade de São Paulo (pncesarino@usp.br)

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


Cevallos, Sofía
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (sofiacevallosv@gmail.com)

‘Nuestro territorio, nuestras decisiones': el proceso de (in) consulta previa, libre e informada en la comunidad Kichwa de Llanchama (Amazonia ecuatoriana)
El objetivo del trabajo es analizar las estrategias de articulación y de resistencia de los Kichwa de Llanchama, comunidad indígena del Parque Yasuní (Amazonia ecuatoriana), en el contexto de la incumplimiento del proceso de consulta previa, libre e informada, mecanismo de regulación de las actividades extractivas reconocido en la Constitución del Ecuador (2008). Desde el 2013, los Kichwa del Yasuní asisten a una transformación drástica del discurso estatal relativo al respeto de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, de la naturaleza y a la voluntad de reducir la economía de extracción para dar paso a un modelo post-extractivista. Por parte del Estado, los intereses por el petróleo amazónico superan las esferas legales incitando dinámicas de cooptación y de clientelismo para evitar el proceso de Consulta; por su parte, los Kichwa redefinen estrategias de organización y se apropian de la jurisdicción para defender su territorio, su autonomía y su autodeterminación.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Chyc, Pawel
Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland (pchyc@amu.edu.pl)

Animism and language shift among the Moré from the Bolivian Amazon
This paper examines how ontological assumptions (animism) emerges in the daily discourse of young Moré hunters who no longer speaks the native language. Since the 1940s, Moré language speakers living on both sides of the Guaporé river were exposed to very rapid language shift to Spanish (in Bolivia) and Portuguese (in Brazil). Today, around 200 Moré maintain strong cultural identity despite a small population and language change. I analyze a hunting story about “an encounter with a strange peccary” to study relations between modes of thinking and language. Comparing two versions of the narration about “a strange peccary” (in Moré and Spanish) I can identify that animistic assumptions are “blurred” in the Spanish narration by use of unspecific words. Exploring this I will ask more general questions about relations between ontology, language and history.

Thematic Session 2


Colón, Emily
University of Maryland (ecolon@umd.edu)

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.

Panel 09: Gender Reconfigurations in Indigenous Amazonia


Colpron, Anne-Marie
Université de Québec à Montréal – UQAM, Canada (anne-marie.colpron@umontreal.ca)

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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Comandulli, Carolina
University College London (carbrasil@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Conklin, Beth
Vanderbilt University (beth.a.conklin@vanderbilt.edu)

Between Science and Symbol: Microbial Perspectives on Sensory Perception and Social Practice in Native Amazonia
This paper explores how recent findings from western scientific research on human and more-than-human microbiomes open intriguing perspectives on classic issues in native Amazonian ethnology. In everyday life, microbes make themselves known through bioactivity–the responsiveness and material transformations of bodies and substances perceived in sensations of smell, taste, and changes in physical forms and properties. For Amazonian ethnographers, attention to microbial relations brings sensory experiences of animacy into focus, illuminating how meanings, materials, emotions, and sociality entwine as human and non-human beings co-produce and co-configure local lifeworlds. Focusing on the Wari’ of western Brazil, this talk explores how “thinking microbially” invites rethinking of classic issues in native Amazonian ethnology related to indigenous concepts of the body, biosocial identity and transformation, and the shaping of anthropogenic environments.

Thematic Session 2


Cova, Victor Sacha
Aarhus University (vcova@cas.au.dk)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Davenport, Rob
University of California Santa Cruz (rbdavenp@ucsc.edu)

Between the ‘wild’ and the enslaved: Amazonian cacao landscapes in the Anthropocene
Before and after 1492, the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) lived multiple human and biological temporalities in Amazonian worlds. This paper connects historical ecological with phenomenological engagement, contrasting the relationality of native historical ecologies and embodied landscapes with the non-relationality of deforestation and plantations. I first follow the cacao tree through history: in native, colonial and African experience with the tree, and in the Brazilian Amazon’s environmental and social resistance to plantation organization prior to the twentieth century. Second, I participate in working with the cacao tree with peasants and smallholders on a ruined but strangely reforested post-frontier along the Transamazon highway. Drawing on the work of Anna Tsing, Jeremy Campbell and other scholars of frontier conjuration and scale imagination, the paper tracks nonhuman and human interfaces around the cacao tree to develop a dynamic concept of scale – moving through operational, observational, and interpretive ‘moments’ that variously produce relations or non-relations.

Panel 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations


De la Hoz, Nelsa
Universidad Externado de Colombia (nelsadelahoz@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Dodaro, Lauren
Tulane University (laurendodaro@gmail.com)

Exploring Connections in Environmental Education, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Empowerment in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) is an important means of empowerment for young girls in the Amazonian community of Canelos, Ecuador. Ceramic-making, garden-keeping, and chicha-making are a few of the TEK-reliant skills that young girls learn and that support their livelihood and cultural resilience. However, as the introduction of formal education contributes to the increase in both globalized knowledge and globalized ways of learning in children’s lives, it also contributes to the decrease in the persistence of local TEK amongst younger generations; therefore, these empowering skills are also at risk. This research explores ways that TEK empowers young girls, as well as the ways that TEK may coexist with formal education for indigenous residents of the Amazon.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Durand Guevara, Natali
Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México – IBERO (natali.durang@gmail.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.

Panel 06: Memorias de violencia, visiones para el futuro: perspectivas antropológicas en contextos de pos-conflicto amazónicos


Echeverri, Juan Alvaro
Universidad Nacional de Colombia (jaecheverrir@unal.edu.co)

Language isBreath: “Aunque aprendas poco se te abre el coco”
The quotation in Spanish was the motto of our Cátedra de lenguas nativas ‘La lengua es espíritu’ (Leticia, 2018), a practical attempt to research into the “natures of language” by focusing not on language as a codified system of references (that needs to be “learnt”) but on language as activity (Breath) that involves sociocultural encounters, painting, singing, dancing, food sharing (food “speaks”), healing and, indeed, articulate speech (in several languages). By posing language as a dynamic, acting force (energeia, sensu W. von Humboldt) instead of a static artifact (ergon), this paper seeks to address not only the important theoretical issues raised by the organizers, but also quite practical issues relating to current (indigenous) concerns about language endangerment, revitalization, documentation, etc., which squarely fit into a naturalistic view of language. What is language – and how is it to be taught, documented? ‘Though you learn little, this [Energeia] opens up your nut’.

Workshop: Amerindian Linguistic Natures


Ehrenreich, Jeffrey David / Kempf, Judy
University of New Orleans (jehrenre@uno.edu) / Independent Researcher (jskempf@yahoo.com)

The Awá-Coaiquer of the Northwest Littoral Region of Ecuador: Environment, Dissembling, Ritual and the Maintenance of Ethnic Identity
Chibchan-speaking peoples have historically employed various tactics to preserve traditional lifeways. This paper looks at strategies employed by one lowland indigenous group, the Awá-Coaiquer of northwestern Ecuador. Such tactics as adopting western dress and hairstyle, hiding native language, dissembling behavior, and physical isolation, allow the Awá to conceal and protect their ethnic autonomy and identity—to hide in plain sight. The Awá-Coaiquer—living in the 1970s–80s, descendants of Colombian migrants—shroud their world in secrecy. Outsiders rarely encounter Awá behavior or culture free from dissembling. Awá appear to be acculturated farmers, yet, in the face of cultural contact with a dominant and demeaning society, their use of dissembling allows them to hide their ongoing traditional culture. One such example is hiding their traditional shamanic curing ritual. This ritual, using archetypal indigenous shamanic practices, reveals continued indigenous beliefs and behaviors and serves as a method to reinforce and maintain them.

Panel 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Erazo, Juliet S.
Florida International University (jerazo@fiu.edu)

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.

Panel 09: Gender Reconfigurations in Indigenous Amazonia


Erikson, Philippe
University Paris Nanterre, France (erikson@u-paris10.fr)

“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”.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Espinosa, Oscar
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) (oespinosa@pucp.edu.pe)

Ancestors and Descendants: Different indigenous youth’s ways for dealing with their ethnic identity and their future in the Peruvian Amazon region
There is not a unique way for indigenous youth for dealing with their ethnic identity and their future as indigenous peoples. In this presentation I address and compare some of these possible paths followed by youngsters from four different indigenous peoples from the Peruvian Amazon region: Shipibo-Konibo, Awajún, Kukama and Yanesha. I’m especially interested in describing how they talk about their own identity, how they connect with the traditions inherited from their ancestors, and finally how they view their future as individuals and as indigenous peoples in a social and political context crossed by racism and the struggle for indigenous rights. While some youth accept their cultural heritage and seek new ways of expressing their indigenous identity in new cultural and political contexts, others prefer to define themselves as “descendants” to mark the difference between the “traditional” way in which their ancestors used to live and the “modern” ways in which they live now.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Fabiano, Emanuele
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú – PUCP, Peru (emanuele.fabiano1@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Faure, Agathe
London School of Economics (a.faure@lse.ac.uk, agathef.24@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Ferro, María del Rosario
Universidad de los Andes (md.ferro26@uniandes.edu.co)

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 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Feest, Christian
Independent scholar (christian.feest@t-online.de)

Collecting and Displaying Botocudos in Europe in the 1820s
In the 1820s at least seven Botocudos were brought to Europe where three more children were born. Some of them lived in households of imperial or noble families, others were displayed to the public, and all of them attracted considerable attention. Only one of them returned to Brazil, while the mortal remains of three became part of museum collections.
This paper outlines the experiences of these involuntary witnesses of cultural diversity, places them in the context of the history of indigenous peoples coming to Europe, and explores the motivations of their “collectors,” the strategies of the operators of their display, and their impact upon the public perception of “savagery” in terms of both alterity and shared humanity.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Fernandes Moreira, Daniel
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú – Grupo de Antropología Amazónica (GAA-PUCP) (dafmor78@hotmail.com)

Territorio kukama: El mapeo territorializado, cartográfico y cosmológico en la Amazonía peruana
Entre los amerindios Kukama (hablantes de la lengua Tupí de la Amazonía occidental), existe una imaginación conceptual que les permite tejer y transformar su multiverso, toda esa ideología está plasmada en su iconografía material contemporánea y ancestral. Apoyándome en 5 etapas de campo (octubre de 2017  – febrero de 2019), este poster tiene por objetivo presentar los resultados de la etnografía realizada con los sabios y apus de las comunidades ubicadas dentro y fuera de la Reserva Nacional Pacaya Samiria (Loreto, Perú), posibilitando la realización del primer mapeo territorializado, cartográfico y cosmológico. Siendo así, en un escenario etnológico de las tierras bajas tropicales, es posible reflexionar sobre las diferentes formas de manejo, distribución del patrón de asentamientos y dinámicas de los grupos locales ubicados entre los ríos Marañón, Ucayali y Amazonas, contribuyendo con una nueva configuración, interpretación y protección del territorio Kukama.

Poster presentation


Fink, Travis
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.

Panel 09: Gender Reconfigurations in Indigenous Amazonia


Fischer, Manuela / Muñoz, Adriana
Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin (mm.fischer1@gmail.com) / Världskulturmuseet, Göteborg (aomunoz@hotmail.com)

Archives for the future
Most of the Amazonian collections actually hosted at European „ethnological“ museums were collected in the 19th c. In Berlin for example the most important part was collected by the pioneers of Amazon anthropology since the 1880ies. One aspect of these early Amazon studies is the interinstitutional exchange of collections not only between European museums, but also between Europe and Brazil. This history of interactions within global systems (Osterhammel) does not only concern the circulation of objects, and knowledge within scientific networks, but also epistemological, political, social, economic aspects, as there are changing scientific interests, collections gathered within colonization projects or those related to extractivism. The collections, only from Amazonia (Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Guayanas) at the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin and at the Världskulturmuseet in Göteborg, add up to nearly 20,000 objects, photographies, early recordings and films as the archive of almost 100 indigenous communities.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Forline, Louis
University of Nevada, Reno (forline@unr.edupane)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Fotiou, Evgenia
Kent State University (efotiou@kent.edu)

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.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Franky Calvo, Carlos Eduardo
Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Amazonia (cefranky@unal.edu.co)

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.

Panel 06: Memorias de violencia, visiones para el futuro: perspectivas antropológicas en contextos de pos-conflicto amazónicos


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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Garcia-Briceño, Luis
London School of Economics and Political Science (l.garcia-briceno@lse.ac.uk)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Gaspar, Meliam Viganó
Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia da Universidade de São Paulo (meliamvgaspar@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Goletz, Anne
Philipps-Universität Marburg (anne.goletz@uni-marburg.de)

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.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Gow, Peter
University of St Andrews, UK (peterggow@gmail.com)

“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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Graham, Laura
University of Iowa (laura-graham@uiowa.edu)

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


Grünewald, Leif
Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados (leifgrunewald@gmail.com)

Anthropology and ‘Anthropology’? Stories of an Ayoreo anthropology-maker
This paper focuses on the stories of an Ayoreo – A Zamucoan speaking group from Paraguayan Chaco – man I knew quite well that gave vent several times to his hope of becoming an ‘anthropology maker’. This experience afforded me the opportunity to observe how these stories provided an alternative interpretation to what anthropology could be with a different rationale and politics. I also show how these insights derived from an Ayoreo analysis of a set of relationships with alterity contribute to current theoretical debates on the issues of an ‘indigenous anthropology’ and count as interventions within the scope of this exploration of the politics of ontology and the relational view of method it provides.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Guevara Berger, Marcos
Universidad de Costa Rica (marcos.guevara@ucr.ac.cr)

Estudio comparativo de los sistemas de parentesco de los pueblos chibchenses, líneas hipotéticas sobre su evolución
La información sobre sistemas de parentesco de los pueblos chibchenses es incompleta, a tono con su situación histórica y con el interés que los académicos mostraron para entenderlos. Las referencias surgen de trabajos etnográficos, encuestas lingüísticas, vocabularios recogidos por viajeros, o inferencias a partir de información etnohistórica. Sin pretender plantear interpretaciones definitivas, se intenta esbozar, de manera preliminar, elementos de una posible explicación sobre diferencias encontradas en un sentido evolutivo, partiendo de la lingüística histórica que ha demostrado un desarrollo sociocultural a partir de un ancestro común 7 mil años atrás. Se exploran las posibilidades de cambio cultural de los distintos sistemas presentes de acuerdo a la documentación en todo el espectro de estos pueblos, entre Honduras y Venezuela, considerando filiación, sistema referencial, presencia de clanes o linajes y residencia postmarital.

Panel 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Guzmán-Gallegos, María A.
University of Oslo (m.a.guzman-gallegos@sai.uio.no)

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.

Panel 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations


Halbmayer, Ernst
Philipps-Universität Marburg (ernst.halbmayer@uni-marburg.de)

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.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Hauck, Jan David
University of California, Los Angeles (jan.d.hauck@ucla.edu)

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


Hemming, John
Independent scholar (j.hemming@hgluk.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.

Thematic Session 1


Heurich, Guilherme Orlandini
University College London (g.heurich@ucl.ac.uk)

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 (jhill@siu.edu)

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.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Hill, Jonathan D.
Southern Illinois University – Carbndale (jhill@siu.edu)

Discussant
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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Hoffmann-Ihde, Beatrix
Universität Bonn (bihde@uni-bonn.de)

The Xipaya and Kuruaya collection at the Ethnological Museum Berlin
The Ethnological Museum Berlin houses a small collection from the Xipaya and Kuruaya. These two people used to live on the Iriri river and live today mainly in Altamira, on the Xingu river. The ethnographic objects were gathered by Emilie Snethlage on behalf of the museum and are probably the only existing material testimonies from the ancestors of these two people. Some objects of this collection reflect the cultural exchange of the Xipaya and Kuruaya with their former indigenous neighbors and allow conclusions about the ethno-history of this region. Further objects testify the non-indigenous influence on the two groups and today recall its devastating consequences. After both groups were forced to leave their homeland in the early 20th century and began to lose their cultural identity. Today’s Xipaya and Kuruaya fight for revitalization of their cultural identity and for land rights, taking the ethnographic objects as support for their efforts.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Hoopes, John
University of Kansas (hoopes@ku.edu)

“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 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Hoskins, Charlotte
University of Oxford (charlotte.hoskins@anthro.ox.ac.uk)

Body & Soul: Technical, Vital Processes on Guyana’s Frontier
In this poster I will outline my doctoral research project which considers techniques of body formation among Makushi communities in Guyana. Ethnographic research demonstrates that the Amazonian body is not given, but made by way of vernacular processes; however, Makushi bodies are increasingly brought into being not only through Makushi techniques, but also through techniques of governmental oversight, measurement and intervention. My research explores the interrelations of Makushi body-making techniques with the interventions of national public health systems by tracing the ongoing formation both of bodies and the techniques which maintain them. As part of my research project, ;I plan to critically consider the extent to which the châine opèratoire as a method can be used to document the making of bodies.

Poster presentation


Jaimes Betancourt, Carla / Souza, Taynã Tagliati
University of Bonn (cjaimes@uni-bonn.de)

Rauschert’s archaeological ceramic collection from northwest Amazon in Bonn
Between the 50s and 70s Manfred Rauschert lived in the northwest Amazon among the Aparai and Wayana groups and collected pre-Columbian archaeological ceramics. He crossed distinct cultural and geographical regions, which reflects on the diversity of ceramic styles collected. Part of these objects resides today in the Bonner Collection. In his field notes Rauschert mentions many times the participation of local people during his search for archaeological objects. In several moments it is the people from the villages themselves who indicate possible archaeological sites, or even exchanged objects with him. In this respect, this presentation has as objective to discuss the established relations between archaeological objects and communities that interact with them in the present, thinking how these objects are resignified and incorporated into the communities’ life. Therefore, the proposal is to discuss these relations between society and archaeology using as reference the ceramics that today lie in Bonn.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Janik, Tarryl
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (tjanik@uwm.edu)

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.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Jomantas, Sarunas
Wageningen University and Research (WUR), The Netherlands (sha.jomantas@gmail.com)

Interethnic Enjoyment, Myth and Materialism

Social antagonisms within capitalist societies are steeped between a ‘logic of fantasy’ mystifying objective appearances, and a capitalist ‘logic of production’, distorting and hiding structural contradictions. Against this backdrop, contextual and theoretical insights are essential to elucidate the role of fantasies and delusions embedded in the complex interplay between the Marxian commodity form, and the human psyche, where it is conceived. Using a novel approach, based on the Lacanian psychoanalysis, continuous human reproduction of the capitalist market economy is scrutinized, including therein-forged subjectivities and their overall commodification. Using the inter-ethnic frontier of the northeastern Amazon as a case study, the research aims to clarify the paradoxical ability of capitalism to successfully  submit people to a depriving market economy, while as a byproduct simultaneously evoking the semblance of their enjoyment in such a process.

Poster presentation


Kapfhammer, Wolfgang
Institut für Ethnologie, LMU München (kapfhammerwolfgang@gmx.com)

Wahi. Stories of beads, wars, and resilience
This paper takes the risk to “abduct” (Alfred Gell) meanings from an object we do not know very much about. The object, a woman’s tanga (partly) made of glass beads of the Waimiri-Atroari, obtained probably during one of the violent contact periods experienced by this Carib speaking group of the Brazilian Amazon and today part of the Fittkau collection in the Museum Fünf Kontinente in Munich, inspires to interweave stories of submission, flight and resilience. The mesh of stories on experiences on the “attraction front” (frente de atração), reference at the collector’s biography (forced emigration after WWII), and urban indigenous resilience (the Sateré-Mawé women’s organization in Manaus) should create empathy with traumas, as well as the healing processes (Amy Lonetree) enclosed in material objects.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Kaviany, Schabnam
Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie, Philipps-Universität Marburg (kavianys@staff.uni-marburg.de)

Human-plant relations among the Bribri of Talamanca, Costa Rica
The cultural diversity of the Isthmo-Columbian area is not covered yet in recent debates on Amerindian ontological principals. Moreover the focus hitherto lies on human-animal-relations, while human-plant-relations are, with a few exceptions, regarded only marginally. This paper deals with traditional plant conceptions and relations between humans and plants of the Talamancan indigenous Chibcha-speaking Bribri population. The Bribri cosmos is populated by multiple beings from different temporal and spatial dimensions associated with plants to which people maintain diverse context-related patterns of interaction. This social realm is conceived in agricultural terms: humans, animals and plants are all planted as aliments by someone. Prevailing patterns of interaction show an agricultural logic which subverts the ontological debate’s classical modes of predation and exchange. Parallels with animistic and analogic ontologies are obvious but the Bribri plant ontology seems to be more than just a hybrid of established categories in Amerindian studies.

Panel 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Killick, Evan
University of Sussex (e.killick@sussex.ac.uk)

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.

Panel 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Klein, Tatiane Maíra
PPGAS/USP (tatimaklein@gmail.com)

‘Nossa arma é somente nossa reza’: como os xamãs kaiowa e guarani vão à guerra

Na região de fronteira entre o Brasil e o Paraguai, o estado de Mato Grosso do Sul concentra hoje a maior população guarani no Brasil: ali, os Kaiowá e Guarani enfrentam há mais de um século graves violações de direitos humanos marcadas pela privação do direito à terra. Partindo de uma etnografia sobre os cantos-rezas dos ñanderu e ñandesy, esta comunicação enfoca a dimensão agentiva da palavra no xamanismo e na ação política kaiowá e guarani, de 2016 ao pós-Eleições 2018. Entre falas, cartas e cantos-rezas, em especial aqueles empregados em assembleias e mobilizações deflagradas por situações de conflito, busco refletir sobre o que fazem as palavras desses xamãs, como lideranças indígenas falam e por que a reza tornou-se arma indispensável neste contexto.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Kremer, Flavia
University of Manchester (flaviakremer@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Krøijer, Stine
Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen (stine.kroijer@anthro.ku.dk)

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.

Panel 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations


Kuboyama, Waka
University of Southampton (waka.kuboyama@gmail.com)

Pre-Columbian Costa Rican Axe-god Jade Pendant: A New Archaeological Perspective on Crafting Technologies
The Axe-god jade pendants form the majority of Costa Rican jade artifacts. The utilization of these pendants was accompanied by the emergence of social complexity and hierarchy, and are interpreted as a symbol of status and prestigious objects. These pendants were valued for their celt-like shape. The superior region is typified by human or animal curving while the inferior axe portion is not decorated. In previous studies, it hasn’t answered to a basic question, “how crafting people behaved with the artifact”. The Axe-god itself has plenty of crafting traits (string-sawing, polishing, and perforation) which would help us to reconstruct the activity of the crafting people. This paper focuses on step-by-step production of Axe-god, which were to be organized according to an internal logic specific to the groups, ;hence the technological variation is important aspect to know not only life-history of the artefacts, but also human interaction and social background.

Poster presentation


Levin, Erik
University of Chicago – Departments of Anthropology and Linguisitics (elevin@uchicago.edu)

The Amawaka Sensorium and the Practice of Perspectivism
Investigations of Amazonian perspectivist systems have heretofore assumed that subjects organize qualia through an Aristotelian sensorium. This is problematic in two regards. First, the Western sensorium delimits legitimate sensotypes to five exteroceptors. Second, its laminations of “micro-qualia” into analytic sensotypes are often mistaken for universals. For example, the ostensibly atomic units that Westerners call “colors” are contingent laminations of hue, saturation, and brightness. The Amawaka (Amahuaca) sensorium, however, includes emotion as a sensotype. Moreover, it includes locally analytic sensotypes that are laminations of exteroceptors and mental phenomena, a combination that Western sensoria proscribe. By grounding a semiotics in Amawaka qualia, the conditions for iconicity (that is, a subject’s experience that a given qualisign is common to distinct entities) change. Iconicity underlies more complex signs, which, in turn, sustain rituals. In this paper, I argue for a novel interpretation of an Amawaka healing ritual by approaching it through the Amawaka sensorium.

Thematic Session 2


Lewy, Matthias
Universidade de Brasília (UNB) (matthiaslewy@gmail.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.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Linstroth, J. P.
Barry University (linstroth@yahoo.com)

Amerindian Racialized Selves and Others in Manaus: Urban Amerindigeneities, Structural Violence, Politics, and the Cognition of Otherness
Narratives from different urban Amerindian peoples: Apurinã, Kambeba, Kokama, Munduruku, Mura, Sateré-Mawé, Tikuna, and Tukano are analyzed for their ontological significances and for an epistemology of structural violence among urban Amerindigeneities in Manaus, Brazil. Racism against urban Amerindians in Manaus is partially about their racial discourses and racialized memories. These are biographical stories of selfhood in juxtaposition to racialized discourses about “white Brazilians” (os brancos), or their “others”. Different urban Amerindians peoples utilize varying coping strategies for life within the city of Manaus, not only for their survival, but also for maintaining their Native identities within a homogenizing environment, a struggle against being civilizados. Moreover, the latest cognitive and neurological interpretations about “othering” among humans are discussed and how such neuro-biological views may better enhance our sociocultural interpretations of urban Amerindigeneities as fluid ontologies for an overall Amerindian epistemology of the city and its impact upon these Natives.

Thematic Session 3


Lizarralde, Manuel
Connecticut College (mliz@conncoll.edu)

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 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Londoño Sulkin, Carlos David
University of Regina (carlos.londono@uregina.ca)

Morality and the inimical gaze
In many Lowland South American indigenous societies, relations with enemies and other figures of alterity are portrayed as necessary for the reproduction of persons and of groups. The indispensability of Others is a core element in a widespread pattern of accounts—an “Amazonian package”—centred as well on the concepts that persons, and mainly, persons’ bodies, are fabricated socially and that the process of making the bodies of consociates takes place in a more or less perspectival cosmos. This talk attempts to elaborate on how discursive and non-discursive practices regarding enemies and other figures of alterity express, feature in, and shape individuals’ moral evaluations and experiences, and how the latter relate to the larger social and historical processes of relatively conservative reproduction of the Amazonian package. The point of departure is a myth about animals’ attempts at turning a child into an enemy.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Losonczy, Anne Marie
Independent scholar (alosonczy1956@gmail.com)

Discussant
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.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Mader, Elke
University of Vienna, Dept. of Social and Cultural Anthropology (elke.mader@univie.ac.at)

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.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Mancuso, Alessandro
Università degli Studi di Palermo (mancusoale@yahoo.it)

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.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Maguire, Pedro Fermín
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) (pedritofmaguire@gmail.com)

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.’

Panel 06: Memorias de violencia, visiones para el futuro: perspectivas antropológicas en contextos de pos-conflicto amazónicos


Mahecha Rubio, Dany / Arias, Leonardo
Universidad Nacional de Colombia (dmahecharu@unal.edu.co) / Laboratorio de Genética Molecular Humana Universidad del Valle (leoarias2@gmail.com)

Una mirada multidisciplinar a la historia de las relaciones inter-étnicas en el Noroeste Amazónico
La exploración de la historia de los pueblos catalogados como aislados revela justamente lo contrario. En esta ponencia presentamos evidencia lingüística, histórica (de tradición oral y documentos escritos) y genética (marcadores uniparentales de ADN) de la existencia de amplias relaciones entre los ancestros de los Nükak, Curripaco, Piapoco, Saliba, Puinave, Hiw y Barasano a lo largo de una extensa área del noroeste amazónico, desde tiempos prehispánicos. Los hallazgos sugieren distintas formas de relaciones entre los grupos, las cuales corresponden a alianzas matrimoniales con predominio del movimiento de mujeres entre grupos, conflictos interétnicos y situaciones de aislamiento o de mayor contacto. Además, esta evidencia apoya la existencia de una alta movilidad espacial de los ancestros de estos pueblos, a través de amplias redes de intercambio, así como también el uso de distintas estrategias para garantizar su supervivencia, como procesos de etnogénesis, aislamiento y cambios en la cosmología y la organización sociopolítica.

Thematic Session 1


Maizza, Fabiana
Universidade de São Paulo – USP, Brasil (fabianamaizza@gmail.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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Martínez Mauri, Mònica
Universitat de Barcelona (martinezmauri@ub.edu)

A common core of Chibchan culture? Internal organisation and conflict management among the Guna (Panama)
This paper want to make a contribution to the debate about the existence of a common core of Chibchan culture. To do that I will focus on one of the traits that have been suggested as common to all, or almost all, the Chibchan peoples: the absence of internal warfare. In this paper I will analyse the internal organisation of the Guna people of Panama and their involvement in violent conflicts during the last decades in connection to the ontological principles that guide their life. How do the present Guna handle conflict with other groups? What role has violence played in these conflicts? Does internal organisation based on the specialisation of certain individuals imply hierarchy? Who holds the authority in the Guna society of the present? These and other aspects will be analyzed in dialogue with existing literature on other Chibchan groups.

Panel 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Martínez Mauri, Mònica / Orobitg Canal, Gemma
Universitat de Barcelona (martinezmauri@ub.edu, orobitg@ub.edu)

Medios indígenas: un proyecto comparativo y plural
Este poster quiere dar a conocer los objetivos y resultados del proyecto “Pueblos indígenas, medios de comunicación y significados del conflicto en América Latina” (2016-2018) realizado por investigadores de distintas universidades. A partir de un enfoque etnográfico y un trabajo de colaboración con comunicadores indígenas de toda América Latina, el proyecto se centra en estudiar  tanto las especificidades locales, como los aspectos comunes, de los medios de comunicación usados y creados por los pueblos indígenas de las tierras bajas suramericanas, los Andes, Mesoamerica y América Central. Se trata de un proyecto diseñado para facilitar y multiplicar los intercambios entre académicos, comunicadores, organizaciones, creadores, y población indígena en general. Entre sus resultados más visibles destaca la elaboración de un mapa y una página web (mediosindigenas.ub.edu)

Poster presentation


Meiser, Anna
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (anna.meiser@ethno.uni-freiburg.de)

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.

Panel 08: Cristianismos controvertidos: diversificación de los modelos cristianos y relaciones interdenominacionales en las tierras bajas de América del Sur


Mezzenzana, Francesca
University of Kent (F.Mezzenzana@kent.ac.uk)

The living forest? Children and animism in indigenous Amazonia
Despite the recent interest for animism in anthropology, the question of how children learn to develop such disposition has rarely been addressed. Drawing on psychological research on children’s relationship to the natural world and my own ethnographic fieldwork in the Ecuadorian Amazon, this paper explores the ways in which indigenous Runa children learn to recognize nonhumans—including animals, features of the landscape and spirits—as subjects with intentions. First, I will look at Runa caretakers’ practice of encouraging children to take the perspective of nonhuman others. Second, I will explore how children’s understandings of nonhuman agency emerge from a direct and independent exploration of the natural world during activities such as fishing, hunting trips and forest walks. Third, I will argue that specific corporeal practices that Runa children undergo from an early age shape the ways in which they come to experience themselves in relation to the nonhuman world.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Micarelli, Giovanna
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá (giomica@gmail.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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Monsalve Morales, Diana / Buenaventura Rodríguez, Bibiana
Universidad Católica Luis Amigó, Medellín Colombia (diana.monsalvem@udea.edu.co) / FLACSO/SEDESI – UNSAM Buenos Aires (bbuenaventurar@gmail.com)

Indigenous childhood? Disputes of meaning between the public policies of childhood and the indigenous struggle for own education
In Colombia, the proliferation of norms aimed at children stands out as a central element of government plans in the last decade. The organization of the national strategy De cero a siempreaimed at early childhood care has been characterized by focusing state intervention on the development of early education programs in historically underserved communities, as is the case of indigenous communities. Although initial education is defined as an out-of-school educational cycle, we are interested in problematizing the strategy De cero a siemprewith the purpose of questioning the effects of the naturalization of the school form, that is, the progressive schooling and pedagogy of the areas of socialization and training, materializing the educational experience in typical school activities. It also seeks to present ways in which communities generate appropriations, resistances and transformations, which establish limits from their own educational system.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Montanaro Mena, Adriana
University of Vienna (adrianamontanaro@gmail.com)

In search of justice: Indigenous in Costa Rica against ‘El Diquís’ Dam
The research is about the strategies of an indigenous group bröran to stop the government’s plan to build El Diquís, an hydroelectrical project in the “Territorio indígena de Térraba”.  Doing that, they had to confront in their daily live the racism in the near city, Buenos Aires- who defended the dam’s project. The poster presents a review of their activities (2006-2011), interactions with other social actors and the main discourses used to stop the dam and the work, that already had begun in Térraba. It shows the difficulties for the indigenous groups regarding the project and the role of international institutions in the process to stop El Diquís. The sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (after Keller) was used to analyse the discourses.

Poster presentation


Morelli, Camilla
University of Bristol (camilla.morelli@bristol.ac.uk)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Napurí Espejo, Andrés
University of Oxford (andres.napuri@anthro.ox.ac.uk)

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.

Panel 06: Memorias de violencia, visiones para el futuro: perspectivas antropológicas en contextos de pos-conflicto amazónicos


Naucke, Philipp
Department for Comparative Cultural Research – Cultural and Social Anthropology and the Study of Religions, Philipps-Universität Marburg (nauckep@uni-marburg.de)

¿Cómo estudiar las memorias de la violencia política? Reflexiones metodológicas a partir del caso de la masacre de Cuarto Pueblo (Ixcán, Guatemala)
La ponencia busca dialogar con antropólogos que trabajan en la Amazonia, sobre los métodos que implementamos en el estudio de las memorias de la violencia política, partiendo de un caso del conflicto guatemalteco. Para estudiarlas nos apoyamos mayoritariamente en entrevistas y testimonios, así pretendiendo (tal vez sin quererlo) que las memorias se pueden conocer mejor a través de expresiones orales. Eso no solo ignora, que ciertos aspectos de la violencia política no son expresables por sus victimas (Scheper-Hughes, Bourgois 2004), sino también que, por sus limitaciones lingüísticas, narraciones muchas veces son cerradas (cronológicamente y causalmente linear), consistentes (sin contradicciones) y generalizadas (sin detalles específicos). Pero, como la violencia política se dirige generalmente hacia un grupo de personas, las memorias de aquella son en si ambiguas, contradictorias, complejas y diversas. Tanto la finalidad política de las memorias en contextos de pos-conflictos como una metodología basada en narraciones lleva a favorecer ciertas memorias y a des-visibilizar otras.

Panel 06: Memorias de violencia, visiones para el futuro: perspectivas antropológicas en contextos de pos-conflicto amazónicos


Niederberger, Thomas
University of Bern (thomas.niederberger@students.unibe.ch)

Productive contradictions? Practicing engaged anthropology with the Autonomous Government of the Wampis Nation (Peruvian Amazon)
In 2015, the Gobierno Territorial Autonomo de la Nacion Wampis (GTANW) was constituted with the aim of governing a self-demarcated “integral territory” of over 1.3 Mio. hectares in the northern Peruvian Amazon. The paper presents findings from the author’s engaged participant observation, embedded in the GTANW’s equipo técnico as a PhD student of anthropology, over the first two years of this innovative indigenous institution. How can the contradictions that arise from a position of “dual loyalty” (Hale 2006) – advancing the aims of the GTANW, while contributing to critical theory – become a productive driver for new insights, useful to both sides of the exchange?

Panel 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Nieto Moreno, Juana Valentina
Independent scholar (juananieto@yahoo.com)

Narrar la violencia: Mujeres uitoto, agencia y transformación
Mi presentación reflexiona sobre narrativas de experiencias de violencia de mujeres uitoto que migraron para Bogotá desde el Caquetá-Putumayo (Colombia), una región que históricamente ha afrontado formas de violencia extrema. Las narradoras reconstruyen y reflexionan sobre acontecimientos difíciles, evidenciando las estrategias que movilizaron para actuar y reconquistar su cotidianidad. En este proceso su subjetividad se transforma, ellas “abren los ojos”, “recuperan la fuerza”, “obtienen alas” y se vuelven “otras mujeres”, mujeres intrépidas, rebeldes, libres, superando narrativamente una posición de víctima. Así, narrar se constituye como un mecanismo en el que las narradoras elaboran un sentido de agencia frente a los acontecimientos violentos.  En estas narrativas el parto emerge como una metáfora que da sentido a estos eventos liminales en que se prueba el coraje para enfrentar y actuar para ganar la batalla por la vida en ese espacio que se aproxima a la muerte y al dolor.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Niño Vargas, Juan Camilo
Universidad de los Andes (juancamilonino@gmail.com)

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 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Oikonomakis, Leonidas
Durham University, Anthropology Department (leonidas.oikonomakis@eui.eu)

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.

Panel 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Opas, Minna
University of Turku (minna.opas@utu.fi)

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.

Panel 08: Cristianismos controvertidos: diversificación de los modelos cristianos y relaciones interdenominacionales en las tierras bajas de América del Sur


Ossa Reyes, Humberto
Laboratorio de Genética y Biología Molecular, Colombia (hossa@genetica.com.co)

Analysis of admixture in Native American populations from Colombia
The current Colombian population is the result of genetic admixture among Native Americans, Europeans and Africans. In this work, a sample of 121 non-related individuals from two Native American groups is analysed. The studied groups belong to communities that have been less subjected to admixture with non-Natives. The Barí, known as “Motilones”, are a native group that inhabits the Serranía del Perija, Norte de Santander. They still speak their original Chibchan language, Barí-ara. We also studied a sample of natives from Guainía, composed of different groups that migrated from the Amazonia and Orinoquian regions, including the Desana, Curripaco, Puinave, Cubeo, Guaunano and Tucano, all belonging to Tucano and Arawak linguistic groups. This study determined genotypic and allelic frequencies for 46 ancestry informative InDels and estimated Native American, European and African admixture proportions. The results showed a very low European and African admixture in the Barí and Guainia native groups.

Panel 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Otaegui, Alfonso
Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile (aotaegui@uc.cl)

“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.

Panel 02: Creating, Transforming, Transmitting… – Creative Processes in Myth, Ritual and the Everyday in Lowland South America


Pache, Matthias
Universität Tübingen (matthias.pache@uni-tuebingen.de)

Linguistic diversity within Chibchan
Among the language families of Central and South America, the Chibchan family is particularly diverse in typological and lexical terms. This diversity has sometimes been argued to reflect a time depth of several millennia. For instance, Rama has only three phonemic vowels, /a/, /i/, /u/, whereas Bribri has fourteen. The morphology of some Chibchan languages, particularly of northern South America, is remarkably complex, especially with respect to person marking. Instead, person marking in Kuna, a Chibchan language of eastern Panamá/northwestern Colombia, is straightforward, and only unbound elements are used for this purpose. This talk aims to discuss the following questions: (1) Which are the domains of particular variability/relative uniformity within Chibchan? (2) What could have been factors triggering family-internal variability? (3) Which features have presumably been preserved, in single languages, from Proto-Chibchan, and which have not?

Panel 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Palumbo, Scott / Rodríguez-Sánchez, Keilyn / Morales-Céspedes, Frank
College of Lake County, USA (spalumbo@clcillinois.edu) / Universidad de Costa Rica (keilyn.rodriguez@ucr.ac.cr) / 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 04: The Chibchan Peoples


Peluso, Daniela
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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Penfield, Amy
University of Bristol (amy_penfield@yahoo.com)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Pérez Gil, Laura
Unversidade Federal de Paraná (lauranawa@gmail.com)

Pusangas, brujería y relaciones conyugales entre los Yaminawa (Amazonía Peruana)
A lo largo de las dos últimas décadas entre los Yaminawa (Amazonía peruana) se puede observar una intensificación de los viajes a la ciudad, así como el aumento del número de familias que se establecen allí. Entre las causas o efectos asociados a este hecho, uno de los más significativos es el de la ampliación del campo chamánico. No sólo diversos tipos de especialistas, sino también técnicas y conceptos, se han ido introduciendo en la práctica chamánica yaminawa. En esta presentación mi objetivo es analizar el efecto de esta transformación en las relaciones conyugales. Una buena parte de los conflictos entre esposos y/o amantes se manifiesta a través del lenguaje de la brujería y es gestionado en función de conceptos, prácticas y practicantes disponibles para los Yaminawa a partir de este, para ellos, nuevo campo chamánico.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Piña Ahumada, Gabriela
London School of Economics-CIIR (g.a.pina-ahumada@lse.ac.uk)

The pine nuts are waiting for you: Pine nut gathering and learning experiences in the forest
The proposed paper is a product of long-term ethnographic fieldwork in a Pehuenche community in southern Chile. The Pehuenche have a tradition of seasonal migration between small valleys at the foothills of the Andes, known as invernadas(winter lands), and the forests located higher up in the hills, called veranadas(summer lands). In this paper I will discuss the importance of the trips to the veranadafor understanding Mapuche relationships with the environment. I will do so by looking into the ways sensorial experience, storytelling and skill development work towards acknowledging non-human entities as existent and establishing a relationship of mutual respect. I will analyse the way in which the visits to the veranadapresent an exceptional time of the year in which children learn a particular mode of sociality, a mode that very much includes non-humans as well as humans and that gives them a strong sense of place and attachment to the landscape.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Pozo-Buleje, Erik
LAS-EHESS / GAA-PUCP (epozo@pucp.pe)

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.

Panel 08: Cristianismos controvertidos: diversificación de los modelos cristianos y relaciones interdenominacionales en las tierras bajas de América del Sur


Rattunde, Naomi
University of Bonn, Dep. of Anthropology of the Americas (naomi.rattunde@uni-bonn.de)

Chaquiras de las tierras altas y bajas de Sudamérica
En este póster esbozaré mi proyecto de investigación doctoral sobre chaquiras, término que aglutina tanto cuentas de una variedad de materiales como los artefactos hechos de las mismas. Las cuentas, especialmente las de vidrio, han sido objetos de intercambio y de negociación de alteridad e identidad en la “zona de contacto” y más allá. Los artefactos de chaquira son elementos sustanciales para la creación de cuerpos humanos y están relacionados con mitologías y prácticas rituales. Presentaré la base material de mi investigación, que son las chaquiras arqueológicas y etnográficas en el museo universitario BASA en Bonn, enfocándome en los materiales de tierras bajas. Ejemplificaré que el estudio de las chaquiras en una perspectiva de larga duración y comparativa entre tierras altas y bajas de Sudamérica puede contribuir a comprender más profundamente las relaciones entre seres humanos, no-humanos y artefactos en las sociedades amerindias.

Poster presentation


Revilla Minaya, Caissa
Max Planck of Evolutionary Anthropology (caissa_revilla@eva.mpg.de)

Biological Conservation and Ontological Conflicts among the Matsigenka of the Peruvian Amazon
While indigenous societies are increasingly viewed as fundamental actors in guaranteeing the success of biological conservation strategies in their localities, these strategies are largely based on “modern” conceptualizations of the world, though this often goes unrecognized. Recent approaches in anthropology challenge such ontological hegemony, alluding to the existence of distinct ontologies that constitute alternative worlds or realities. However, such approaches tend to exoticize non-Westerners, conceptualizing ontologies as bounded, atemporal constructs. This paper addresses this issue from a theoretical and empirical middle-ground, by exploring the environmental factishes –half material, half ideological things – underlying biological conservation efforts in the context of a community of indigenous Matsigenka located in a national park of the Peruvian Amazon, and examining whether the worlds of the actors involved are as radically different as ontologists suggest.

Thematic Session 2


Ricaud Oneto, Emmanuelle
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (ricaud.oneto@hotmail.fr)

Estrategias alimentarias infantiles y comida escolar entre los Napuruna – Kichwa del río Napo – y los Maijuna – Tukano occidentales -, Amazonía peruana
Desde 2012, el Estado peruano dispensa el programa de alimentación escolar Qaliwarma, priorizando a partir del año 2014, por medio de una resolución ministerial, los niños indígenas de la Amazonía. Este proceso ha generado la reconfiguración de sus estrategias alimentarias, basadas en saberes etno- ecológicos y en relaciones tejidas con sus parientes y otros cuidadores. Este ensayo busca comparar los procesos de selección, rechazo, y combinación de alimentos de los niños maijuna y napuruna, así como su vínculo con la figura del Estado. Mostraremos que la familiarización de los niños a alimentos industriales les permite navegar dentro de entornos tanto selváticos como urbanos, el “aprender a comer como” siendo un eje de la construcción identitaria en la Amazonía. Además, analizaremos las tensiones existentes entre los diferentes modelos alimentarios. Éstas implican la intervención de los cuidadores en la educación alimentaria de los niños para que se puedan convertir en personas fuertes y vigorosas según su propia cosmovisión.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Rodríguez-Sánchez, Keilyn
Universidad de Costa Rica (Keilynrosa@gmail.com)

El amamantamiento hasta la pubertad y alomaterno como técnicas familiares para la cohesión  intergeneracional étnica y ambiental entre los borucas y los cabécares
Se expone de manera comparativa la función cultural del amamantamiento tardío, incluso hasta la pubertad, en dos pueblos chibcha de Costa Rica, con 3.800 años de separación lingüística: los borucas (de contacto temprano con lo conquistadores) y los cabécares del norte de Chirripó (que no fueron conquistados).  En el ámbito mundial solo se ha registrado prácticas de amamantamiento hasta los 7 años, por lo que este hallazgo supone un aporte importante para la comprensión de la forma en que la cultura predispone la vinculación de las personas al grupo y al territorio, durante la socialización primaria y donde la leche materna para la cría humana es importante. Pero el amamantamiento no tiene esa única función; encontramos cómo esta práctica es un mecanismo femenino para la cohesión intergeneracional en el grupo y al ambiente, a manera de resistencia cultural ante los intentos de desindianización desde las sociedades dominantes.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Rogalski, Filip
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences (f.rogalski@gmail.com)

Name, voice, and ethos – enacting agents in the everyday life among the Arabela (Peruvian Amazonia)
The Arabela – a group of zaparoan origin – often claim to adopt other humans’ and non-humans’ ways of doing things and refering/reacting to their environment. They do it through a variety of speech acts (announcements of actions, comments about other peoples’ actions, exclamations, etc.) to accomplish various interactional ends (from avoidance to teasing). The paper will show that those different forms of enacting other agents in everyday life actualize an animic representation of the society composed of human and non-human persons sharing similar interiority but having different bodies. Also, a specific conception of the Arabela agent will emerge from this analysis where the Other is individualized as a static ethogram of gestures and voices, while the Self has to prove his/her ability to singularize Others and use their names, words, and gestures. The paper aims to stimulate a reflection about the links between everyday linguistic/gestural interactions, and the ontology.

Workshop: Amerindian Linguistic Natures


Rojas, Daisy Stevens
Cultural Exchange Institute (ds3bg@virginia.edu)

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.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Rolando Betancourt, Giancarlo
University of Virginia (Giancarlo.rb@gmail.com)

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.

Panel 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Romio, Silvia
EHESS- PUCP (silvia.romio@gmail.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.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Rosas Riaño, Diana
Universidad Nacional de Colombia (drosasr@unal.edu.co, diana.rosas.riano@gmail.com)

‘Yo me partí’: narrativas sobre la experiencia de la primera menstruación en mujeres tanimuca, matapi, yucuna y letuama
La antropología amazónica ha prestado una especial atención al cuerpo en los procesos de formación de persona a lo largo del ciclo vital. Como resultado el cuerpo se ha privilegiado como categoría analítica y operador lingüístico que permite comprender el ordenamiento social y simbólico de la sociedad, o como la clave ontológica para avanzar hacia una comprensión sintética de ella. Esto ha dejado de lado la dialéctica de la experiencia física, subjetiva y personal en el proceso de generar conocimiento. La experiencia corporal amazónica es la experiencia de vida, porque es con el cuerpo que se anda el camino del aprendizaje; por eso en esta propuesta exploro la experiencia de la menarca en la narrativa de mujeres de difernetes generaciones de la cuenca del Mirití Paraná, como una experiencia corporal, material, fisiológica, personal y subjetiva que configura una experiencia de vida que lleva a un aprendizaje social, cultural y existencial.

Panel 09: Gender Reconfigurations in Indigenous Amazonia


Santos-Granero, Fernando
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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Sarmiento Barletti, Juan Pablo
Center for International Forestry Research (J.sarmiento@cgiar.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.

Panel 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Scholz, Andrea / Oliveira, Thiago da Costa
Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Stiftung Preuβischer Kulturbesitz (a.scholz@smb.spk-berlin.de) / Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ/Museu do Índio-FUNAI (thiago.lc.oliveira@gmail.com)

On Boundary Objects: a new perspective on Brazilian collections in European museums

A number of studies have focused on the relation between museums and colonial powers, especially in the field of museum and heritage studies. However, not much attention has been given to the mutual implication of different kinds of knowledge, which characterizes several stages of knowledge production in museums, from historical times until now. To highlight this mutual implication in a non-hierarchical way, we will draw on Leigh Star’s framework around the notion of boundary objects. Boundary objects (artifacts, drawings, index cards, etc.) create bridges between different social worlds by preserving the autonomy of the knowledge infrastructures involved. In our presentation, we will discuss the production of boundary objects as an outcome of the interaction of three communities of practice that have collaborated since the beginning of the 19th century: the indigenous peoples from the Rio Negro (Brazil), and the professionals from the Ethnologisches Museum and the Botanischer Garten in Berlin.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Sanchez Caro, Carmen Maria
Université Paris 13 (carmenmsanchez@gmail.com)

Performando indigenismo en Bogota
A través de una exploración de documentos de políticas y una metodología multimodal (video-observación, observación focalizada y entrevistas) en cinco de las Casas de pensamiento indígena (CPI) de Bogota, intentamos comprender lo que significa atender a los niños pequeños de grupos minoritarios. ¿Podrían los servicios de educación y cuidado de la primera infancia (AEPI) reducirse a criterios étnicos? Considerando todo esto, se decidió realizar un trabajo de campo para comprender la vida cotidiana de los niños que asisten a estos servicios en Bogota y lo que ello significa para ellos. La pregunta central reside en una crítica fenomenológica de la interpretación (performing) de un indigenismo institucional, o cómo los cuidadores y los niños indígenas se enfrentan a un guion institucional que les pide que interpreten un indigenismo institucionalizado.

Thematic Session 1


Sempertegui, Andrea
International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Justus-Liebig University Giessen (andrea.sempertegui@gmail.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.

Panel 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations


Shepard Jr., Glenn H.
Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém do Pará, Brazil (gshepardjr@gmail.com, ethnoground.blogspot.com)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Silva, Viviane Luiza da
University of Manitoba (luizadav@myumanitoba.ca)

Kadiwéu Pottery and the Association of Kadiwéu Women Artists
For centuries Kadiwéu women of central Brazil have produced pottery for their own use as well as for mostly regional markets. Increased access to industrial products has obliterated the domestic needs. To maintain the significant contribution of the sale of pottery to the income generated by women, new national and global markets will have to be developed. The recently founded Association of Kadiwéu Women Artists (AMAK) has the goal to promote the leadership of women who keep alive Kadiwéu art—an important part of the traditional knowledge system—and thereby contribute to their empowerment as artists and entrepreneurs of their own craft. This paper places Kadiwéu pottery and its artistic aspects in the context of environmental, cultural, and social factors, with particular attention to changing gender relations.

Panel 09: Gender Reconfigurations in Indigenous Amazonia


Stafford-Walter, Courtney
University of Edinburgh (cstaffor@ed.ac.uk)

From the farm/forest to school: spirit relations and reciprocity in Southern Guyana
In the savannahs of Southern Guyana, the two most familiar places for Amerindian young people are their home communities and their boarding schools. In this paper I will explore how these radically different spaces inform the ways in which young people engage with human and non-human actors alike. Through the lens of relations with spirits specifically, I will focus on narratives about spirit interaction on the farm and in the forest, and put these in dialogue with a phenomenon called the sickness, a form of spiritual crisis that primarily affects young women in boarding school dormitories. Through highlighting how these interactions differ sharply-in characteristics and in structure-I will illustrate what the impact of a shift in environment can tell us about kinship, consubstantiality, and Otherness. Finally, I will consider the gendered aspect of these spiritual exchanges, and make connections between this and the history of gendered movement in the region.

Panel 12: Indigenous childhoods and environmental transformations


Sztutman, Renato
Departamento de Antropologia/Universidade de São Paulo (sz.renato@gmail.com)

Notas sobre a relação entre linguagem e política nas terras baixas da América do Sul
Sob diálogo com a literatura Americanista das últimas décadas, pretendo aqui articular dois problemas relativos à linguagem entre os povos ameríndios: a enunciação de discursos políticos – falas de chefes ou de aconselhamento, diálogos cerimoniais e também discursos dirigidos aos brancos – e o estatuto ontológico da palavra, que põe em questão a figura do enunciador como sujeito individuado e intencional. A perspectiva aqui assumida é comparativa e se situa na interface da etnografia americanista com ideias da filosofia política. O material mobilizado é um conjunto de etnografias, todas elas dedicadas de alguma maneira a esse imbricamento entre linguagem e política. O livro de Kopenawa e Albert, La chute du ciel: paroles d’un chamane yanomami, será especialmente abordado, uma vez que contêm uma reflexão decisiva sobre o que significa para os Yanomami uma fala política e em que sentido esta pode ser estendida ao mundo dos brancos.

Workshop: Amerindian Linguistic Natures


Testa, Adriana Queriroz
Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP, Brasil (aqtesta@yahoo.com.br)

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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Tobón, Marco
PPGAS UNICAMP (mtobon@gmail.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.

Panel 05: Configuraciones de la violencia y del conflicto en Espacios Periféricos


Torrealba Alfonzo, Gabriel
Southern Illinois University (gtorrealba@siu.edu)

Images of debt: Kukama perceptions of indebtedness in Peruvian Amazonia
Debt has been a crucial element of Amazonian peoples’ experience with colonialism and capitalism. Since the mid-19th century, debt-peonage, a specific form of labor relation notorious for turning extremely coercive, became part of indigenous peoples’ interaction with global market forces. However, recent anthropological literature has shown the existence of local ambivalent evaluations around this system going from total rebellion to positive moral conceptualizations of bosses. How can we understand such interpretive ambivalence in a context where debt systems tended to be so destructive? This paper presents an outline (and preliminary data) of my doctoral research project. This study will explore Kukama perceptions of indebtedness, with the aim to identify how debt is embedded in local systems of sociality and expressed in memory (e.g., mytho-historical narratives). I aim to answer the question: how and why do Kukama people understand their own past and present indebtedness in ambivalent terms?

Thematic Session 3


Torreggiani, Irene
University of Oxford (irene.torreggiani@wadham.ox.ac.uk)

Managing water and social outreach: past, present and future human adaptation to fluvial environments in Chontales, central Nicaragua
Alluvial valleys are dynamic environments that continuously change under the influences of flooding and erosive processes caused by climatic and tectonic events. Periodical inundations and draught are strongly affecting subsistence economies of many small-scale Nicaraguan communities, bringing the problem of water availability or floods as a central issue. The aim of PRISMA (Proyecto Arqueolόgico Interdisciplinario Santa Matilde) is to identify major environmental changes at the Roberto Amador site (Juigalpa, Chontales) and determine how pre-Columbian populations responded to these impacts. Fluvial and archaeological variations have been investigated through the integration of archaeological, geoarchaeological archaeobotanical and remote sensing techniques. Alongside with the academic research, from January 2018, multiple outreach events have been organized in the rural community of Aguas Buenas.  This knowledge-sharing is helping preserving and actively applying the local knowledge in order to create a more equal and sustainable strategy for local populations to cope with extreme alluvial event and water scarcity.

Poster presentation


Torres Espinoza, Luis Felipe
Museu Nacional / Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (lufelipeis@gmail.com)

What does it mean to ‘protect’? A Yine approach to rights protection policies for isolated indigenous peoples (Madre de Dios, Peru)
My paper addresses the space for collaboration between indigenous peoples, government agencies and civil society organizations, towards rights protection policies for isolated indigenous Amazonian peoples. In particular, I discuss what the Yine people of the community of Monte Salvado (Madre de Dios, Peru) understand about what it means to ‘protect’ the Mashco Piro, an isolated group on the border between Peru and Brazil. Their understanding will be analyzed in its convergences and discrepancies with the discourse of ‘protection’ towards the isolated natives proposed by the State and indigenous organizations, as well as with the discourse of ‘salvation’ promoted by religious missions.

Panel: 07-Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Vander Velden, Felipe
Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil (felipevelden@yahoo.com.br)

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.

Panel 10: Native Objects, World Histories: studies of Brazilian indigenous objects in European Museums


Vásquez Fernández, Andrea M
University of British Columbia (ecomundo.andrea@gmail.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?

Panel 07: Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Veber, Hanne
Frederiks Vaerk Museo Industrial (hanne.veber@gmail.com)

Discussant
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)

Panel 06: Memorias de violencia, visiones para el futuro: perspectivas antropológicas en contextos de pos-conflicto amazónicos


Virtanen, Pirjo Kristiina
University of Helsinki, Finland (pirjo.virtanen@helsinki.fi)

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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


von Bremen, Volker
Independent consultant/researcher (v.v.bremen@link-m.de)

Gestión Territorial – Un desafío para la cooperación indígena?
En base a los procesos de reconocimiento jurídico de tierras indígenas y su demarcación correspondiente, la gestión territorial indígena llegó a constituir un paso más con miras a la defensa y consolidación de territorios y pueblos indígenas. Existen conceptos y enfoques diversos elaborados e implementados por instancias y organizaciones diferentes. Desde organizaciones regionales indígenas, como la Confederación Indígena del Oriente Boliviano (CIDOB), hasta políticas públicas del Estado, como en el caso de Brasil, existen conceptos y propuestas de aplicación diferentes. Partiendo de prácticas de algunos pueblos indígenas y experiencias de implementación del enfoque en regiones seleccionadas de las tierras bajas sudamericanas, la ponencia se dedicará a la pregunta, hasta qué punto la gestión territorial indígena constituye un campo de cooperación posible en el apoyo a pueblos indígenas y su fortalecimiento considerando y reconociendo  sus dinámicas internas ante las experiencias múltiples de colonización y marginalización.

Panel: 07-Addressing Power Asymmetries: Hopes and Experiences of New Forms of Participation and Collaboration in Lowland South America


Walker, Harry
London School of Economics and Political Science (h.l.walker@lse.ac.uk)

Between pity and respect: rethinking Amazonian egalitarianism
The Urarina concepts of respect and pity constitute distinct and complementary modes of moral acknowledgement, and are presented here as useful starting points for thinking through some salient political tendencies that one might otherwise gloss as “egalitarian”. On the one hand, respect is a way of maintaining an appropriate sense of distance in an immediate social environment where unwanted proximity can easily feel stifling. Others are acknowledged, not as equals necessarily, but as unique individuals capable of pursuing life projects. Pity, by contrast, entails attunement to suffering and encourages people to act in response to needs irrespective of criteria of merit or desert.  It ensures that goods are continually subject to redistribution and provides an idiom in which political claims can be expressed. As eminently political emotions, respect and pity constitute the affective core of an Amazonian libertarianism.

Thematic Session 3


Walker, Harry
London School of Economics and Political Science (H.L.Walker@lse.ac.uk)

Discussant
Harry Walker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His publications on the Urarina people of Amazonian Peru explore topics ranging from local appropriations of law, sport and bureaucratic writing to happiness, intimacy and early child care. He is currently leading a 5-year collaborative research project on ideas and practices of justice in Amazonia and beyond, paying particular attention to the ways in which concepts of fairness and responsibility, and moral emotions such as compassion or guilt, are shaped by culture and history.

Panel 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations


Whitaker, James Andrew
Tulane University (jwhitake@tulane.edu)

Ontologies of Colonial Encounter Among the Makushi
The first-known documented reference to the Makushi occurs in the context of a slaving raid carried out in Brazil in 1740. Such raids continued well into the nineteenth century. Colonial encounters between Makushi persons and Europeans also occurred in the context of missions, trade, exploration, and regional plantation systems. These encounters varied between predation, e.g., slaving and raiding, and more reciprocal relations, e.g., trading. Historical memories of such encounters are reflected today in local Makushi ontologies involving non-human entities within the landscape. In particular, there are beliefs in Makushi villages in Guyana in mermaid-like beings called “water mamas” – tuenkaron in Makushi – that live underwater, entice and capture humans, and resemble colonial Europeans in appearance, behaviour, and lifestyle. This paper will examine related ontologies and how they reflect historically-documented encounters between Makushi persons and Europeans during the colonial era and today.

Thematic Session 3


Wierucka, Aleksandra
University of Gdańsk, Poland (aleksandra.wierucka@wp.pl)

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.

Panel 03: Indigenous futures: anthropology of the forthcoming in native Amazonia


Wright, Robin
University of Florida – USA (rowrightrobin@yahoo.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.

Panel 01: Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia: Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance


Zanesco, Alexander
City of Hall in Tyrol/University of Innsbruck, Austria (a.zanesco@cnh.at)

The Mission as an Indigenous Strategy. The Case of the Sirionó, BoliviaMission history has often dealt with missionaries and their orders only. To approach to an indigenous point of few, it´s necessary to read between lines and consult different types of sources. In 1927, Tyrolian Franciscans settled for the first time a group of Sirionó in the mission Santa Maria, Province of Marbán, Bolivia. Mission diaries and correspondence, among other sources, as well as independent ethnographic accounts, are providing data on the Sirionó’s efforts and strategies in adapting to changing living conditions. The paper cross-fades different types of developments and events the group was facing with seasonal environmental changes and population size, the latter serving as a proxy for their acceptance of the mission regime. The mission is seen as part of the Sirionó’s strategies of survival in the face of a desperate situation. Today, they are one of the indigenous peoples of Bolivia that survived, both physically and culturally.

Thematic Session 1


–Carlos D. Londoño Sulkin (SALSA President 2017-2020), Jeremy M. Campbell (SALSA President-Elect 2020-2023), Laura Zanotti (Secretary-Treasurer 2017-2020), Claudia Augustat (SALSA 2019 Conference Organizer), Juan Alvaro Echeverri (SALSA 2019 Academic Program Chair), Glenn Shepard (SALSA Webmaster).