Advancing the rising field of engaged or participatory anthropology that is emerging at the same time as increased opposition from Indigenous peoples to research, this book offers critical reflections on research approaches to-date. The engaged approach seeks to change the researcher-researched relationship fundamentally, to make methods more appropriate and beneficial to communities by involving them as participants in the entire process from choice of research topic onwards. The aim is not only to change power relationships, but also engage with non-academic audiences. The advancement of such an egalitarian and inclusive approach to research can provoke strong opposition. Some argue that it threatens academic rigour and worry about the undermining of disciplinary authority. Others point to the difficulties of establishing an appropriately non-ethnocentric moral stance and navigating the complex problems communities face. Drawing on the experiences of Indigenous scholars, anthropologists and development professionals acquainted with a range of cultures, this book furthers our understanding of pressing issues such as interpretation, transmission and ownership of Indigenous knowledge, and appropriate ways to represent and communicate it. All the contributors recognise the plurality of knowledge and incorporate perspectives that derive, at least in part, from other ways of being in the world.
Exoticisation undressed is an innovative ethnography that makes visible the many layers through which our understandings of indigenous cultures are filtered and their inherent power to distort and refract understanding. The book focuses in detail on the clothing practices of the Ember'a in Panama, an Amerindian ethnic group, who have gained national and international visibility through their engagement with indigenous tourism. The very act of gaining visibility while wearing indigenous attire has encouraged among some Embera communities a closer identification with an indigenous identity and a more confident representational awareness. The clothes that the Embera wear are not simply used to convey messages, but also become constitutive of their intended messages. By wearing indigenous-and-modern clothes, the Embera-who are often seen by outsiders as shadows of a vanishing world-reclaim their place as citizens of a contemporary nation. Through reflexive engagement, Exoticisation undressed exposes the workings of ethnographic nostalgia and the Western quest for a singular, primordial authenticity, unravelling instead new layers of complexity that reverse and subvert exoticisation.
The Colombian activist Juan Gregorio Palechor (1923–1992) dedicated his life to championing indigenous rights in Cauca, a department in the southwest of Colombia, where he helped found the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca. Recounting his life story in collaboration with the Colombian anthropologist Myriam Jimeno, Palechor traces his political awakening, his experiences in national politics, the disillusionment that resulted, and his turn to a more radical activism aimed at confronting ethnic discrimination and fighting for indigenous territorial and political sovereignty. Palechor's lively memoir is complemented by Jimeno's reflections on autobiography as an anthropological tool and on the oppressive social and political conditions faced by Colombia's indigenous peoples. A faithful and fluent transcription of Palechor's life story, this work is a uniquely valuable resource for understanding the contemporary indigenous rights movements in Colombia.
This book presents the concerns, visions and struggles of women in Chiapas, Mexico in the context of the uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). The book is organized around three issues that have taken center state in women's recent struggles-structural violence and armed conflict; religion and empowerment and women's organizing. Also includes maps.
Anthropology by American Anthropological Association