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12114 - Matsigenka modernity

In common with many indigenous peoples the overwhelming majority of Matsigenka people live today what they themselves would describe as a modern life. Even though this life style shares some traits with life in the urban centres of the region that to local people represent the essence of modernity, Matsigenka modernity has a distinct flavour. Following Marshall Sahlins, Matsigenka modernity might be described as an expression of “indigenous modernity”, at least in the sense that it is a life influenced by extensive contacts with “modern” society and its representatives and, consequently, it is regarded as different from both pre- and early contact society. In order not to end up in the ahistoricism that commonly is implicated in the “modern”/”traditional” distinction we need to explore the significance that indigenous peoples give to the concept of “modernity”. Thus, in this paper I intend to examine Matsigenka people’s notions of “modernity” and social change in relation to local conceptions of time and development.

Author: Rosengren, Dan (Sweden / Schweden)

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