The Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA) is an independent professional association for anthropologists specializing in lowland regions of South America. SALSA’s main goals are to foster sound and ethical research and to promote the education of students and the general public on issues that we study.

SALSA’s Aims and Organization

SALSA is an international society, bringing together specialists who live in Latin America, Europe, North America, and elsewhere. It seeks to facilitate connections and develop exchanges of information among them, disseminate original scholarship of high quality, and encourage students to learn about and carry out research in this region. SALSA has a voting membership with an elected board of directorsby-laws, and official status as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.

Brief history of SALSA

SALSA’s ethos is collegial and inclusive. This orientation draws inspiration from the Bennington Meetings, an annual weekend gathering hosted for many years by Kenneth Kensinger, a legendarily generous and insightful colleague. In 2001, William Balée and Jeffrey Ehrenreich brought a group of scholars together in an Organizing Meeting in New Orleans, and the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America was formed. A Steering Committee comprised by William Balée, Jeffrey Ehrenreich, Janet Chernela, Lori Cormier, Stephanie Heulster, Ken Kensinger, Maria Moreno, Donald Pollock, and Terence Turner developed the organizational framework from which SALSA has grown into the largest international association of lowland South American anthropology specialists.

SALSA's Scholarship and Actions

We publish the online journal Tipiti, and sponsor sesquiannual Conferences (biennial, since 2017), which rotate among South America, Europe, and North America. We have a Public Issues and Actions Committee (PIAC), which encourages public attention and action to address injustices, harmful policies, and human rights violations. We disseminate news about the region and about new books and films by SALSA members. We host themes and links aimed to provide materials, information and inspiration for teaching Lowland South American anthropology and have created AmaSonic, a meeting-point for accessing links of interest, news and events about sound, spoken word and musical practices in Lowland South America.

The SALSA Voluntary Fund

SALSA is a non-profit group run by volunteers. Our organization’s administrative budget derives entirely from membership fees, and is fully dedicated to publishing the journal Tipití, and maintaining our website and listserv.  SALSA meetings are funded by conference registration fees and sponsorship by a hosting institution.

The Voluntary Fund is an additional source of funds donated by members and supporters. Its purpose is to allow us to explore new possibilities, such as stipends for international travel to the Sesquiannual Meetings; student awards; an indigenous library fund; and other activities that support our goals of furthering the anthropology of Lowland South America through intellectual and collegial exchange.

The Fund is administered in accordance with the financial regulations and rules of the Society (see By-laws) and administered by the President with the Secretary/ Treasurer.  Decisions on the use of the funds are made by these officers with the Board of Directors, in consultation with the membership.

SALSA is a tax-exempt (501.c.3) organization and your contributions are tax-deductible.

Your contributions are sincerely appreciated.  This Voluntary Fund was created through the leadership of Past President Janet Chernela. The current Officers and Board of Directors welcome your suggestions for future initiatives.