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Long Live Atahualpa

Indigenous Politics, Justice, and Democracy in the Northern Andes

Emma Cervone

Publication Year: 2012

Long Live Atahualpa is an innovative ethnography examining indigenous political mobilization in the struggle against discrimination in modern Ecuador. Emma Cervone explores the politicization of Indianness—the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination and political participation—through an analysis of Quichua mobilization in the central Andean province of Chimborazo, Ecuador. That mobilization led to the formation of grassroots organizations, such as the Inca Atahualpa. Cervone’s account of the region’s social history since the formation of a rural unionist movement in the 1950s illuminates the complex process that led indigenous activists to forge new alliances with the Catholic Church, NGOs, and regional indigenous organizations. She describes how the Inca Atahualpa contested racial subordination by intervening in matters of resource distribution, justice, and cultural politics. Considering local indigenous politics in relation to indigenous mobilization at the national and the international levels, Cervone discusses how state-led modernization, which began in the 1960s, created political openings by generating new economic formations and social categories. Long Live Atahualpa sheds new light on indigenous peoples operating at the crossroads of global capitalism and neoliberal reforms as they redefine historically rooted relationships of subordination.

Published by: Duke University Press

Cover

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pp. c-ii

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

Like so many books, this one is a point of arrival and of departure, and I hope it conveys some of the many lessons I learned en route to its publication. My research project and fieldwork in Ecuador started all at once and without the benefit of preliminary visits to acquaint me with what was for me unknown intellectual and human terrain. A few months before I left...

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Introduction: Redefining Indigenous Politics

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pp. 1-38

June 1990 marked a turning point for Ecuadorian politics, with events that changed Ecuadorian political culture and redefined the way different social forces related to the state. A large number of indigenous people from all over the country gathered in the streets of the capital Quito and in many other provincial capitals to claim their rights as ethnically and...

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1. The Time of the Lords

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pp. 39-72

The social history of a small rural town such as Tixán is emblematic of the process of formation of modern Ecuadorian highland society and its hierarchies. Tixán’s social structure was profoundly shaped by the hacienda regime and later by its disintegration. The point of departure for my examination of the local development of political mobilization is, therefore,...

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2. Tixán Becomes Modern

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pp. 73-102

The self- contained world of the hacienda regime exploded, dispersing all its contents—lands, produce, political power, racism, and inequality. By reincorporating new and old pieces, the people inhabiting that world reconstituted a new one and repositioned themselves as well as they could....

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3. Invisible Victories

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pp. 103-134

Postreform changes had major implications for the empowerment of the local indigenous population. In this chapter I focus on the quotidian sociality of the conflict involving Quichuas, chagras, and tixaneños in spaces which usually are not regarded as political, for example, marketplaces, grocery shops, and ritual kinship...

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4. When the Hills Turned Red

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pp. 135-162

The consolidation of ethnic mobilization gradually institutionalized mechanisms for the inversion of power relations or invisible victories that were embedded in daily life. During this process both local and national indigenous organizations led actions to empower and develop their constituencies as well as affirm their own political legitimacy. The forging of...

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5. Words and Scars

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pp. 163-198

The dynamics that led to the formation of the Inca Atahualpa as well as the arenas through which the organization consolidated its political legitimacy resonate with the overall lived perception of a life of injustices that Quichuas’ resilience managed to reverse. The rejection of los de arriba’s vexations, the struggles against the...

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6. Celebrating Diversity

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pp. 199-232

The process that transformed the summer harvest celebration in Tixán into the “festival of the Quichuas” exemplifies the intertwining of culture and politics. During this event, the Tixán public square becomes the site for the ritualization of conflict involving Quichuas, chagras, and tixaneños. A relatively recent creation in historical and ethnographic terms, the harvest...

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7. Beyond Recognition

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pp. 233-266

My examination of the Inca Atahualpa’s political practice has delineated the different arenas in which access to power and resources is disputed by grassroots organizations, and has contextualized the local case within the larger process of political empowerment of indigenous people at the national level. I now focus on the national level in order to examine the reach...

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Conclusion

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pp. 267-278

I return now to a question formulated at the beginning of this volume: how do we approach and interpret the specificity of indigenous politics? And, more specifically, how do we understand the interplay of cultural and political distinctiveness in relation to larger processes of change in geopolitics and transnational economics? How have the many changes in Ecuador’s...

Appendix

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pp. 279-282

Glossary

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pp. 283-284

Acronyms

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pp. 285-286

Notes

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pp. 287-304

References

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pp. 305-322

Index

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pp. 323-bc


E-ISBN-13: 9780822395096
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822351757

Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 6 illustrations
Publication Year: 2012