Indigenous history. Shamans and mythopractice Cover Image

Historia tubylcza. Szamani Kiczua i mitopraktyka
Indigenous history. Shamans and mythopractice

Author(s): Anna Przytomska
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: Ecuador; Quichua; anthropology of history; folk history; shamanism

Summary/Abstract: The article discusses issues of reproducing history, that is, indigenous strategies and mechanisms of constructing historical narrative among the Quichua in the Ecuadorian Andes. The indigenous historical practices are based on Inca myths and local tales transmitted orally (mythopractice). The background for this practices is constituted by contemporary political and social transformations in Ecuador – indigenous movements, obtaining legal personhood, multicultural policy, all of which offer the indigenous groups new opportunities to redefi ne themselves. Quichua shamans are also involved in these processes, and their activities have bottom-up and local character. In this paper, the following questions are addressed: how Quichua shamans reproduce history, why they do it, and what mechanisms they use. The responses to these questions allow to disclose and analyse the bottom-up attempts of building an identity and indigenous subjectivity in the postcolonial context of South America. This process is presented against the historical background of colonial policy about indigenous shamans and their involvement in colonial policy. The phenomenon of mythopractice is also explained through fundamental elements of Quichua worldview related to local understanding of time and change. This paper is based on fi eld research on shamanistic practices conducted among the Ecuadoran Quichua in 2010 and 2012.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 84-107
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: Polish