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The Strange and the Native: Ritual and Activism in the Aymara Quest for Decolonization

Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 457-475
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Volym: 15
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: John Wiley & Sons


The notion of spirit loss is widespread throughout the Bolivian Andes. Because of fright, a person loses her spirit whereupon another "strange" spirit may take its place and cause illness. In one and the same ailment, then, we find notions of "loss" and

"imposition." In the context of "emergent indigeneities," colonialism too is frequently visualized and expressed in terms of both loss and imposition: loss of "native" identities, imposition of "strange" identities. This article argues that a study of Aymara

ritual curing practices elucidates indigenous activism and vice versa. Certain underlying premises that inform ritual practice and activism alike are identified and scrutinized.Thus, the intertwining of ritual practice and decolonizing activism is explored,and it is claimed that in order to understand indigenous activism it is crucial to consider cosmologically embedded notions of "self" and "other" and ritual practices of relating to that which is "strange."


  • Social and Economic Geography
  • Andes
  • Aymara
  • Bolivia
  • colonialism
  • decolonization
  • El Alto
  • identity
  • indigenous activism
  • ritual curing practice
  • spirit loss


  • ISSN: 1935-4932

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