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The past is not another country: Exploring indigenous histories in Bolivia

Canessa, A (2008) 'The past is not another country: Exploring indigenous histories in Bolivia.' History and Anthropology, 19 (4). 353 - 369. ISSN 0275-7206

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The concept of indigeneity is founded on an historical relation: my people were here before yours and are therefore legitimate occupiers of this land. This aspect of indigeneity, and its concomitant claim to justice, is most clearly articulated in the indigenous politics of postcolonial nations and the rhetoric of indigenous leaders. The discourses of politicians who invoke five centuries of oppression are frequently heard and easily accessible but much less so are the views of indigenous people far from the arena of metropolitan politics. In its focus on European colonisation and conquest the standard understanding of indigeneity necessarily invokes Western concepts of identity and being focused primarily on descent and a particular relationship to history, that of being a conquered people. This paper looks at how the people of one Aymara-speaking hamlet understand their history and their place in it. It explores the profound differences in historical consciousness to that of "mainstream" indigeneity and raises questions about how people relate to their past; the importance of the Conquest to indigenous people; and, consequently, the consequences a differently rooted identity may have for the contemporary politics of indigeneity. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2012 16:20
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 16:16

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