Reyes-Garcia, Dr. Victoria, Brandeis U., Waltham, MA - To aid research and writing on 'Ethnoecological Knowledge and Markets: How to Measure the Link?' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. VICTORIA REYES-GARCIA, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in January 2005 to aid research and writing on 'Ethnoecological Knowledge and Markets: How to Measure the Link?' Information learned in school is considerated a main form of knowledge and is associated with positive outcomes (i.e more income, better health), but for most of human history people's main form of knowledge has not been schooling, but traditional ecological knowledge. Using a quantiataive approach, this research explored: 1.) the link between traditional ecological knowledge and economic activities; and, 2.) the benefits that traditional ecological knowledge offers to the people and societies holding the knowledge. Results showed that integration to the market economy did not explain per se why people acquire or lose traditional ecological knowledge. Activities that take people out of their habitat (e.g. wage labor) were associated with less traditional ecological knowledge, whereas activities that kept people in the forest (e.g. sale of forest products) were associated with more traditional ecological knowledge. Findings also suggested that people with more traditional ecological knowledge have better health, and that traditional ecological knowledge is related to lower clearance of tropical rainforest for agriculture. Thus, traditional ecological knowledge benefits the people and the societies holding the knowledge. To continue this line of research, researchers should address methodological issues, such as how to measure individual traditional ecological knowledge with accuracy and reliability.
Reyes-García, Victoria. 2006. Personal and Group Incentives to Invest in Prosocial Behavior: A Study in the Bolivian Amazon. Journal of Anthropological Research, 62(1):81-102.
Vadez, Vincent, Victoria Reyes-Garcia, Tomás Huanca, William R. Leonard. 2008. Cash Cropping, Farm Technologies, and Deforestation: What are the Connections? A model with Empirical Data from the Bolivian Amazon. Human Organization 67(4):384-395.
Godoy, R., V. Reyes-García, T. McDade, T. Huanca, W. Leonard, S. Tanner, and V. Valdez. 2006. Does Village Inequality in Modern Income Harm the Psyche? Anger, Fear, Sadness, and Alcohol Consumption in a Pre-Industrial Society. Social Science & Medicine 63:359-372.
Godoy, Ricardo, Victoria García-Reyes, Elizabeth Byron, William Leonard, and V. Valdez. 2005. The Effect of Market Economies on the Well-Being of Indigenous Peoples and on Their Use of Renewable Natural Resources. Annual Reviews in Anthropology 34:121-138.
Reyes-Garcia, Victoria, R. Godoy, V. Valdez, T. Huanca, and W. Leonard. 2006. Personal and Group Incentives to Invest in Prosocial Behavior. Journal of Anthropological Research 62:81-101.
Reyes-Garcia, Victoria, V. Valdez, S. Tanner, T. McDade, T. Huanca, and W. Leonard. 2006. Evaluating Indices of Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A Methodological Contribution. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2(21):1-9.
Reyes-Garcia, Victoria, T. Huanca, V. Valdez, W. Leonard, and D. Wilkie. 2006. Cultural, Practical, and Economic Value of Wild Plants: A Quantitative Study in the Bolivian Amazon. Economic Botany 60(1):62-74.
Reyes-Garcia, Victoria, T. Huanca, V. Valdez, W. Leonard, and D. Wilkie. 2006. Knowledge and Consumption of Wild Plants: A Comparative Study in Two Tsimane? Villages in the Bolivian Amazon. Ethnobotany Journal, Vol. 3.
Fordred-Green, Dr. Lesley J., U. of Capetown, Capetown, South Africa; and Neves, Dr. Eduardo G., U. Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo, Brazil - To aid collaborative research on historiography and archaeology in the Reserva Uaca, Amapa, Brazil
Scarborough, Isabel M., U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Market Women Mothers and Daughters: Politics and Mobility in the New Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Andrew Orta
ISABEL M. SCARBOROUGH, then a student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Market Women Mothers and Daughters: Politics and Mobility in the New Bolivia,' supervised by Dr. Andrew Orta. Market women in Bolivia have a long history of political participation and as brokers of ethnic concerns with broader populist social movements. This research sought to explain how recent processes of social and ethnic mobility across two generations affected identity negotiations and constructions for these women. The study is framed within the context of Bolivia's ongoing transformations where current state policies and ideology are based on a reversal of former neoliberal values and the importance of ethnicity and indigenousness in national belonging. Ethnographic fieldwork was carried out with two generations of market women using in-depth interviews and participant-observation methods. Research results confirmed the extent of this upward mobility through education, and how this journey affects broader economic practices, including how these women imagine, embody, and practice both the formal and informal markets, challenging this dichotomy. Additionally, queries on the current political participation of both market women and their university-graduate daughters show both groups fractured along rapidly escalating hostilities between the opposition and the government, which in turn reflect the conflict raging between the highland regions that support the state's indigenous-based politics and the lowland regions where the opposition decries the government's anti-capitalist stance.
Hirsch, Eric Michael, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Investing in Indigeneity: Development, Promise, and Public Life in Andean Peru's Colca Valley,' supervised by Dr. Justin Richland
Preliminary abstract: This project investigates investment's role in the 'revalorization' (Toche 2011) of indigenous identity in Andean Peru's Colca Valley. My inquiry is situated at the conjuncture of two broader shifts in Peru, Latin America, and much of the globe beyond: a shift in development policy from state-centered modernization schemes to an emphasis on devolution, community self-determination, and empowerment through the market; and a shift in attitudes about indigenous identity from a point of shame to a point of pride. In Colca, development organizations are trying to effect this validation through financial investments; but unlike other contexts in Latin America and elsewhere, indigeneity in Colca is not visibly mobilized for citizenship, land rights, or political voice (Povinelli 2002, 2011; Postero 2007; Greene 2009). Indeed, many Colca residents did not call themselves 'indigenous' until indigeneity became a target of development investment. My research asks why these communities have begun to see the indigenous past as the new way forward, and investigates the role that investment has played in organizing this new priority and in reconfiguring relationships to the past and the future. I seek to understand the everyday encounters and non-instrumental investments of emotional energy and imagination that both emerge from and provide the conditions of possibility for financial investment. To do so, I will track four heritage promotion projects underway in Colca's communities, while ethnographically examining the broader significance that notions of indigeneity and investment have for residents and development professionals. My research draws on studies of value, aspiration, and selfhood to contribute an investigation that foregrounds investment as an ethnographic problem.
Bessire, Lucas Britton, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Becoming the Ayoreo: Shortwave Radio, Power, and Emergent Indigenous Identities in the Gran Chaco,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers
LUCAS BESSIRE, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Becoming the Ayoreo: Shortwave Radio, Power, and the Emergent Indigenous Identities in the Gran Chaco,' supervised by Dr. Fred Myers. In March 2004, seventeen of the worlds last 'voluntarily isolated' hunter/gatherers walked out of Paraguay's Gran Chaco forest, fleeing ranchers' bulldozers and ecological devastation. Five months after this 'first contact,' they had converted to evangelical Christianity and joined their more settled relatives in using an inter-community, Ayoreo-language radio network to establish a collective ethnic identity across the Bolivia-Paraguay border. Based on extensive fieldwork, this research explores how certain kinds of social futures are relationally produced and circulated as possible for the cross-border Ayoreo Indians to imagine. It describes how electronic media technologies shape indigenous understandings of modernity, belonging, and faith in politically significant ways, as the Ayoreo navigate a neo-colonial maze of often conflicting value systems brought by North American missionaries, state projects, humanitarian NGOs, and transient anthropologists. This research charts the ways that violence and upheaval come to be knowable as sentiments of shame, trauma, and hope. Bearing witness to a little known human drama, this project explores the sentimental mechanisms by which religious conversion and media technologies shape Native cultural and political futures in the Gran Chaco.
Publication CreditsBessire, Lucas. 2011. Apocalyptic Futures: The Violent Transformation of Moral Human Life among Ayoreo-Speaking People of the Paraguayan Gran Chaco. American Ethnologist 38(4):743-757.
Bessire, Lucas. 2010. A Fieldnote on Shame. Anthropology Now 2(2):1-8.
Taddei, Renzo R., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Metapragmatics of Political Disputes Over Water in Ceara, Northeast Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas
RENZO R. TADDEI, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received a grant in October 2003 to aid research on 'The Metapragmatics of Political Disputes Over Water in Ceara, Northeast Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Lambros Comitas. This research focused on the socio-semiotic dimensions of new participatory arenas for water allocation in the Jaguaribe Valley, in the semi-arid hinterlands of the State of Ceará, in the Brazilian Northeast. The field research, carried out during 2004, involved over one hundred interviews with farmers, community leaders, politicians, technicians, government agents, individuals knowledgeable in traditional rain forecast techniques (locally called 'rain prophets'), journalists and local researchers in the areas of water management and meteorology. Additionally, rain prophets' meetings were filmed, as were basin-level water committee meetings in the Jaguaribe, Banabuiú and Curú Valleys, meetings of the State Water Resources Council and the international climate outlook fora that take place in Fortaleza. The research was complemented by broad-reaching archival research in local newspapers. A central element being studied, namely the disputes for authority and legitimacy to lead collective action, in committee discussions as well as in daily productive activities (like farming decisions), was addressed through the documentation and analysis of how authoritative discourses were created in the political game. Three institutionalized rituals were picked as case studies: the annual rain prophets' meeting, the climate outlook forum of Fortaleza, and the water allocation meeting that takes place in the Jaguaribe Valley. In each of these cases, the research gathered evidence of how semiotic manipulations - that is, transformation of meanings associated to environmental issues - are used strategically or are 'bricolaged' towards envisioned goals, by different stakeholders involved in the political process.
Leinaweaver, Jessica, U. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada and Anderson, Jeanine, Pontificia U. Catolica del Peru, Lima- To aid collaborative research on 'Children's Agency and the Household Organization of Care Under Conditions of Rural Transformation'
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2009. Raising the Roof in the Transnational Andes: Building Houses, Forging Kinship.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15(4):777-796.
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2008. Improving Oneself: Young People Getting Ahead in the Peruvian Andes. Latin American Perspectives 35(4):60-78
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2010. Outsourcing Care: How Peruvian Migrants Meet Transnational Family Obligations. Latin American Perspectives 37(5):67-87.
Cardenas, Dr. Roosbelinda, Rutgers, U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid engaged activites on 'Articulations of Blackness: Reconstructing Ethnic Politics in the Midst of Violence,' 2013, Bogota and Tumaco, Colombia
DR. ROOSBELINDA CARDENAS, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, received an Engaged Anthropology Grant to aid 'Articulations of Blackness: Reconstructing Ethnic Politics in the Midst of Violence, in Bogotá and Tumaco, Columbia.' For this Engaged Anthropology project, the grantee organized a workshop with each of her three research communities in Colombia: 1) the rural inhabitants of a legally recognized 'comunidad negra' that holds a collective land title in the southern Pacific; 2) the black residents of an urban shantytown in Bogotá, where a large concentration of internally displaced people (IDPs) reside; and 3) a group of leading black activists from two organizations that work for the defense of Afro-Colombians' ethnic rights to territory. The purpose was to share with them the insights gathered throughout the grantee's dissertation research and which she thought would be most useful in furthering their strategies to remap racial and territorial politics in Colombia. Though inter-related, these three communities are currently undergoing very different political moments and as a result, each of the workshops was unique in both content and style. Each of these workshops was an incredibly humbling challenge to articulate, in the most explicit terms, the grantee's analytical critique of each community's political project. At the same time, the workshops provided each of these communities with a unique opportunity to reflect upon their political work and outline new strategies for the future.
Walker, Robert, U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid research on 'Skill Investment and Subsistence Activities among the Maku-Nadeb of Northwest Amazonas, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Kim Hill
ROBERT WALKER, while a student at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, received funding in July 2002 to aid research on skill investment and subsistence activities among the Maku-Nadeb people of northwestern Amazonas, Brazil, under the supervision of Dr. Kim Hill. Walker investigated the long length of the human juvenile period, analyzing age- and sex-dependency in time allocation, food production, and physical performance in the Maku-Nadeb's small-scale economy for clues to the processes involved in the evolution of this trait. He gave special attention to play activities, observation of others, and work output by youngsters. Under the premise that the human juvenile period is necessary to obtain adult proficiency in important life skills, Walker evaluated two competing models, that of a complex foraging niche and that of a complex social niche.