8974 - Modernity and Amerindian Cosmologies: The Hybridization of Technology, Body and Spirits in Lower Amazon Riverine Communities.

This paper describes ethnographically how lower-Amazon riverine (i.e. ”mestizo”, “traditional”) communities integrate the Amerindian cosmologies in their increasingly modernized sociotechnical systems. On the one hand, amazon riverines hold a wide range of practices and beliefs that derivate from the indigenous animism. On the other hand, their body-technics constitute the structural nucleus of their technological strategies. These aspects are confronted with the fact that they incorporate new tools (as chain saws, shotguns or synthetic fiber bags) and new concepts (“science”, “theory”, “intelligence”) to their traditional activities.   The instrumental capacity of those tools and concepts to transform their environment and their culture is, in some sense, limited by a cosmology that defines “Nature” as a social subject, and by a perspective of world that has the body as a locus of conscience. The cultural ambiguity in which riverine communities are immersed, lead them to hybridize their sociotechnical systems, by using the new tools and concepts with indigenous spiritual and bodily parameters. Nevertheless, this particular accommodation to modernity is not exclusive from mestizo-riverine communities, but extensible to many indigenous groups that keep in contact with modern contexts. Here will be suggested that, if Amerindian spirits, body and technology appear mixed in most of amazon sociotechnical systems, is because some of the topics referring “indigenous modernity” concern far more than indigenous societies.    

Palabras claves: Catolicismo, Pentecostalismo, Creencias Amerindias, Tecnología, Bajo Amazonas

Autores: Arregui, Aníbal, García (Universidad de Barcelona, Spain / Spanien)


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