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Nation-States and Indians in Latin America -- Joel F. Sherzer, Greg Urban, eds.

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Nation-States and Indians in Latin America, 2nd ed.
edited by Greg Urban, Joel Sherzer

Paperback, 6x9 in, 335 pages
Hats Off Books, April 2001
ISBN: 1587360349


What happens to Amerindian cultures when they come into contact with the Europe-derived nation-states of Latin America? How are the nation-states in turn affected by this experience? These questions motivate the essays in Nation-States and Indians in Latin America. While furnishing a sweeping overview of Latin America, the essays are empirically focused, dealing with such issues as how the Guatemalan tourist industry appropriates indigenous clothing to create a national image, how highland Indian music has adapted to Peruvian state interventions since the colonial period, and how debates developed in turn-of-the-century Brazil over the proper method for integrating isolated Indian populations into the national society.

The essays also pose a challenge to classical anthropological theory and methodology, in which Indian cultures have been analyzed in isolation, without regard for the role of state interventions. The essays suggest not only that anthropologists should pay attention to the nation-state contexts of their research but also that modern nation-states are themselves appropriate objects for anthropological investigation.


". . . a sweeping review of Indian-State relations in contemporary Latin America. . . [and] an important new contribution to the field of anthropology."
—William F. Hanks, Anthropology and Linguistics, University of Chicago

"A real strength of the volume is the advancement of the discussions of identity ideology, and discourse which have demonstrated their importance in the last decade."
—Madeline B. Leons, Towson State University

"In sum, a valuable and needed collection, useful at both undergraduate and research levels."
—Peter Wade, University of Liverpool

". . . this collection provides an unparalleled survey of issues concerning the Indian, not as exotic or frontier peoples, but rather as self-conscious, politically-active, organized social groups within modern Latin American societies."

About the authors

Greg Urban is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Joel Sherzer is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas.


Introduction: Indians, Nation-States, and Culture (by Greg Urban and Joel Sherzer)

1. An Ideological Triangle: The Struggle over San Blas Kuna Culture, 1915-1925 (James Howe)

2. Symbolic Counterhegemony among the Ecuadorian Shuar (Janet Hendricks)

3. In Neca Gobierno de Puebla: Mexicano Penetrations of the Mexican State (Jane H. Hill)

4. To Be Indian, to Be Bolivian: "Ethnic" and "National" Discourses of Identity (Thomas Abercrombie)

5. Being and Becoming an Indian in the Vaupés (Jean E. Jackson)

6. Ethnic Discourse and the Challenge to Anthropology: The Nicaraguan Case (Martin Diskin)

7. Strategies of Ethnic Survival in Central America (Richard N. Adams)

8. Becoming Indian in Lowland South America (David Maybury-Lewis)

9. On Indigenism and Nationality in Brazil (Antonio Carlos de Souza Lima)

10. The State and Andean Musical Production in Peru (Thomas Turino)

11. Images of the Indian in Guatemala: The Role of Indigenous Dress in Indian and Ladino Constructions (Carol Hendrickson)

12. The Semiotics of State-Indian Linguistic Relationships: Peru, Paraguay, and Brazil (Greg Urban)