Blanca Yagüe winner of Whitten Research Fund 2019

Blanca YagüeBlanca Yagüe winner or the Norm and Sibby Whitten Research Fund 2019

Blanca Yagüe, graduate student of the University of Utah , was one of the winners of a 2019 Norm and Sibby Whitten Research Fund Award of US$2,000 for her research on how indigenous peoples obtain, prepare and share food (both traditional and non-traditional) in the city of Mitú and in the rural indigenous communities of the Tiquié region (Vaupés, Colombia).

Indigenous foods in Vaupés, Colombia

The purpose of this proposal is to get approval from local indigenous leaders and communities to develop my investigation in the Vaupés region, strengthen collaboration, and obtain empirical data that will advance the development of my dissertation research project in Cultural Anthropology.

The Amazon region is experiencing rapid urbanization, and most of its inhabitants now live in cities. Indigenous peoples from different ethnic groups move to urban areas seeking health care, education and wage labor, but integrate into the market economy under inequality conditions. In Colombia, their indigenous identity is challenged by government policies that only recognize indigenous peoples living in their rural communities. Despite the exposure to new food systems in cities, indigenous peoples largely maintain their food practices as a way to express identity and stay connected to their kin. This project aims to understand the transformations indigenous peoples undergo when becoming “urban” by comparing the food practices in an almost self-sufficient indigenous community, and the food practices displayed by indigenous peoples in a small Amazonian city in the Colombian Vaupés region.

About Blanca Yagüe

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