Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-2

The chapters of this edited volume are based on papers presented in the symposium, “The Dynamics of Changing Styles and Practices of Indigenous Leadership across Lowland and Highland South America” at the 54th International Congress of Americanists (ICA) in Vienna, July 2012. The papers presented in Vienna were subsequently expanded and rewritten for publication.
The original panel included five additional participants, who chose not to join the book project for various reasons....

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Introduction

Hanne Veber and Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen

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pp. 3-42

This edited compilation offers in-depth analyses of indigenous perceptions of power and the changing forms of indigenous leadership in lowland South America. Reflecting on the relations between indigenous culture and politics, the chapters link the themes of perception of political power, forms of leadership, and the nature of indigenous incorporation into contemporary South American states. By the 1990s most of these states had recognized indigenous cultural and territorial rights in accordance with international law, and ideas of plurinationalism as a...

Part I. Indigenous Perceptions of Leadership

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pp. 43-44

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1. “Becoming Funai”: A Kanamari Transformation

Luiz Costa

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pp. 45-74

The Kanamari, a Katukina-speaking people from the western edge of Brazilian Amazonia, say that they are becoming Funai. Funai is the acronym of the Fundação Nacional do Índio (National Indian Foundation), the Brazilian government agency responsible for the tutelage of indigenous people in the country.1 “We are becoming Funai” (Funai-pa adik [anin] tyo; Port: estamos virando Funai) is a statement that the Kanamari make in a variety of settings: when explaining to the anthropologist the historical events that brought them to their present predicament, when...

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2. Variabilities of Indigenous Leadership: Asháninka Notions of Headship in Peru’s Selva Central

Hanne Veber

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pp. 75-106

Indigenous leadership remains a somewhat bizarre topic in Amazonian anthropology. Perceived to be non-authoritarian and “weak,” it has seemed well suited to the needs of egalitarian small-scale societies existing in relative isolation from each other and from more encompassing sociopolitical systems (Dole 1966; Lévi-Strauss 1967). This study offers a brief review of the perception of leadership in Amazonian anthropology and points to the need to take into account the dramatic and pronounced effects that colonization had on the indigenous Amazonians. Drawing...

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3. The Rise of the Egalityrant (Egalitarian Tyrant) in Peruvian Amazonia: Headpeople in the Time of the Comunidad Nativa

Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti

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pp. 107-126

In this essay I explore an issue that puzzled me during my doctoral fieldwork (2007– 2010) and that I am still trying to understand: why do Asháninka people1—and in my experience this also applies to the Yine people of the Bajo Urubamba River in Peruvian Amazonia—allow their headpeople2 a high degree of potentially abusive authority in their dealings with outsiders? That they are allowed such power is especially puzzling as it can, when abused, allow headpeople to profit materially in their interactions with outsiders, even at the expense of creating a great deal of...

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4. Guarani Cosmopolitics in the World of Paper

Valéria Macedo

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pp. 127-152

Kuaxia1 is the word the Guarani Mbya use to refer to “paper” and objects made of paper. Incidentally, paper is something strongly associated with jurua (nonindigenous) agency and subjectivity. Many Guarani Mbya say that for the jurua something exists only if it is on paper. For being a person, you need an identity card (ID); for being an Indian, you need a FUNAI ID; for living somewhere, you need a land title; for having a land title, you need a technical report; for having a technical report, you need historical records. For having memory, you need photographs. For...

Part II. Changing Styles of Leadership in Lowland South America

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pp. 153-154

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5. The Young Kayapó Movement (Movimento Mebengokre Nyre) among the Mentuktire Kayapó

Terence Turner

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pp. 155-168

This chapter considers the formation, actions, and leadership of a new social movement among the Mentuktire Kayapó of the middle Xingu River in Brazilian Amazonia. The movement, called by its members the “Young Kayapó Movement” (Movimento Mebengokre Nyre, MMN), was initially, and is still primarily, organized and led by Mentuktire Kayapó young people of both genders. Among its more remarkable social features are the leading roles played by educated young women as founders and leaders of the group and its activities, the prominent role played by the...

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6. “All Together”: Leadership and Community among the Asháninka (Brazilian Amazon)

José Pimenta

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pp. 169-196

Since Claude Lévi-Strauss’s (1944) pioneering article on Nambiquara chieftaincy and Robert Lowie’s (1948) first attempt at systematizing this issue, a plethora of works have discussed the role of the leader and leadership forms in Amazonian indigenous societies. Among this vast literature, a 1974 article by Pierre Clastres stands out on the issue of power in these societies and has become a must in political anthropology. According to him, the Amazonian Indian chief, rather than ruling by coercion, would base his legitimacy on oratory skills, ability to make alliances and...

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7. Leadership in Movement: Indigenous Political Participation in the Peruvian Amazon

Jean-Pierre Chaumeil

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pp. 197-214

For more than three decades, the indigenous peoples of the Amazon have become active subjects—and even major actors—in the political scene of Amazonian countries. Their political claims have also received broad international recognition. This phenomenon of “making politics”—or politicization—of the indigenous movement by the indigenous peoples themselves can be observed in every Amazonian country, with distinctive features and variable intensities, depending on the case....

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8. Gender and Political Leadership: Indigenous Women Organizations in the Peruvian Amazon Region

Oscar Espinosa

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pp. 215-236

In the last two decades, a growing number of Amazonian indigenous women in Peru have been adopting leadership positions in local communities, regional and national indigenous organizations, as well as in government offices. In this process, a distinctive number of these women have acquired a high-profile political status, both within their communities and in their regions. Nowadays it is possible to find indigenous women as heads of local communities or holding major positions, including the role of president of regional or national indigenous organizations. Nevertheless, they...

Part III. Amazonian Indigenous Actors in State Politics

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pp. 237-238

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9. “The Colonos Come in Like Termites to Take Our Land”: A Study of Indigenous Leadership, Women Representatives, and Conflict in the Bolivian Amazon

Esther López

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pp. 239-258

A few years ago I was living in northern Bolivia as I worked for an NGO with indigenous people on the logistics of land-tenure management plans. One afternoon, as I stood in the small Tacana comunidad1 (village) of Puerto Bello,2 I watched as a wooden contraption composed of two heavy beams placed one on top of the other was carried to the plaza (main area). Children stood around as men lifted the beams of the socalled cepo (trap), a Tacana tool of punishment. Each comunidad has a cepo, I was told, as I looked on, somewhat bewildered, for the instrument could be likened to medieval...

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10. “All This Is Part of My Movement”: Amazonian Indigenous Ways of Incorporating Knowledge in Urban Politics

Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen

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pp. 259-284

Over the last few decades, many of Amazonia’s indigenous political leaders have come to hold positions in indigenous organizations. More recently, some have acquired posts in state offices in Amazonian towns and in state capitals. Drawing on my research in the states of Acre and Amazonas, Brazil, this chapter discusses the experiences of urban administrative employment by Apurinã and Manchineri political actors. The urban character of the indigenous movement has already been recognized and addressed in the ethnographic literature, such as the volume edited...

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11. Shifting Leadership Legitimation: From Heredity to Election among the Kali’na (French Guiana)

Gérard Collomb

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pp. 285-302

In October 2011 in Kourou (French Guiana), a meeting was held, initiated by the Organization of Indigenous Nations of Guiana (Organisation des Nations Autochtones de Guyane, ONAG), “to set the status of the traditional and customary authorities” and to draft a “charter for the customary authorities of the indigenous peoples of French Guiana.” Seeking to set up a formal frame for these authorities and to define the scope of their responsibilities, the educated young Kali’na leaders who were the architects of the meeting also intended to promote the idea of...

List of Contributors

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pp. 303-306

Index

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pp. 307-312