front cover

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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p. vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

Ritual in the highlands of northern Ecuador is ubiquitous. It marks the cadence of life in indigenous communities. Among Otavalan indigenous people of Imbabura province, ritual is defined by the deep knowledge that emerges from an oscillating...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

My thanks go to the many people in the Otavalo and Cotacachi area communities who granted me interviews, invited me to participate in their activities, and enriched my research in innumerable ways. My greatest...

Note on Orthography

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pp. xv-xvi

List of Illustrations

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pp. xvii-xix

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Introduction: Otavaleños at the Crossroads

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pp. 1-26

Imagine a place, nestled in the dramatic landscape of the Andes, where technology intersects with religion and myth, where an international highway cuts across pastoral landscapes connecting rural agricultural laborers to global communities and metropolitan...

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1. Uku Pacha--The World Below

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pp. 27-47

This chapter provides physical and historical bearings for the world that humans inhabit and shape through their actions. I situate Otavalo and Cotacachi geographically and provide a brief overview, based on secondary sources, of key historical circumstances...

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2. Return of the Migrants

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pp. 48-71

In this chapter I consider the complexities involved in planning an annual festival known as Pawkar Raymi, and look at the various types of discourse that emerge in the multivocal spaces that the festival generates. The nature of dialogue among people...

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3. Encuentros: Dances of the Inti Raymi

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pp. 72-95

A human wall fifteen men across and dozens of rows deep advances at a slow trot toward the main square of Cotacachi, La Plaza de la Matriz. They are the San Juan dancers of the upper and lower moiety coalitions of local indigenous communities who have come to compete...

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4. Mythico-Religious Encounters--The Clash of Aciales

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pp. 96-111

Once the San Juan dancers reach the main plaza in Cotacachi, small groups gradually join larger upper- and lower-moiety coalitions in preparation for a competition among moieties to win the church square. This chapter centers on the performance of violence in...

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5. Conversations with the Dead

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pp. 112-138

Major holidays are opportunities for people to assemble. They are also occasions for the congregation of souls. Las alma, the souls, are said to return to the communities several times during the year. San Juan and San Pedro in late June are one such season in...

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6. Stations of the Cross: The Eternal Return to Existence and Hence to Suffering

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pp. 139-154

“The eternal return to existence and hence to suffering” refers to a phenomenon known as transmigration, which Mircea Eliade (1963:85–144) describes as the joining of the beginning to the end in a process that through memory constitutes a gradual return to the...

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Conclusion: Threshold People of Imbabura

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pp. 155-156

“Religious man attempts to remain as long as possible in a sacred universe . . .,” writes Eliade (1959[1957]:13). The prominence of ritual celebration in the Imbabura area and the energy, creativity, and resources that Otavaleños...

Appendix 1: Glossary of Quichua and Spanish Words and Acronyms

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pp. 157-164

Appendix 2: Calendar of Festive Rituals in the Imbabura Area

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pp. 165-168

Notes

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pp. 169-178

References

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pp. 179-194

Index

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pp. 195-208

back cover

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