5164 - "¡Aquí no hay recursos para repartir!": The translation of a project budget into public wealth.

Indigenous interpretations of development projects, and more specifically of project money, offer interesting clues for exploring the role of indigenous notions of wealth, leadership and well-being in contexts of interethnic and intercultural relations. This paper describes the ways in which a group of indigenous elders in the process of creating an interethnic organization and of legitimizing their leadership, used ‘project money’ to sort out and instantiate these notions. The strategies they envisioned to fetch, administrate, and more generally make sense of ‘project money’ place emphasis on the key concept of ‘work’, which embodies and materializes intentional ‘thought’ and ‘speech’. This concept links such disparate domains as shamanic predation, food production, and teaching/learning. The analysis of these linkages allows me show how predation and conviviality, far from being mutually exclusive, must function synergically to attain and maintain public wealth. It also indicates that wealth in general is self-destroying if it’s not circulated, and that conviviality is just ‘a barren word’ if there is no wealth to be absorbed and redistributed. This suggests that accumulation and abundance are quite opposite notions in indigenous understandings, and that ‘well-being’ seems to have nothing to do with accumulation. Rather, indigenous understandings of well-being are grounded on abundance as the moving force, although in itself a fleeting state, stretched between work and commensality.     

Palabras claves: leadership, well-being, development, public wealth

Autores: Micarelli, Giovanna (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia / Kolumbien)


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