12071 - "I am drinking from to rivers." Transcultural Identities among Indigenous Christians of the Upper Amazon

“I am drinking from to rivers” is a quote taken from the lips of a Catholic Shuar. It was his answer to the question, how to describe the own cultural and religious identity which obviously unites two very different fonts, namely: the Western and the Shuar, the Christian and the indigenous, the foreign and the own.

The statement demonstrates on the one hand the author’s pluricultural commitment, on the other hand his productive handling with global, i.e. colonial, impacts; it expresses an identity that has become new and remained the same.

Based on the case study of Catholic and Evangelical “autochthonous churches” which emerged among Achuar and Shuar since the 1960s, the paper discusses indigenization processes propagating a Christian, but native identity and reinterpreting at the same time the (post)colonial history.

In this context, the “indigenization of modernity” is understood as a transcultural process which produces hybrids and mimicries (cp. Bhabha), in order to survive as indigenous in the modern world. Nevertheless the paper will also display that the strategies of transcultural appropriations and nostrifications are not new answers of postcolonial period, but rather cultural tradition founded in the indigenous cosmology.

Author: Meisner, Ana (Germany / Deutschland)


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