Like the Chameleon Who Takes on the Colors of the Hills: Indigeneity as Patrimony and Performance in Coastal Ecuador
 

 
 

 
Kimbra Smith

Kimbra Smith

Kimbra Smith, Department of Anthropology

"Within Ecuadorian discourses of ethnicity, indigeneity can represent a valuable form of cultural patrimony, yet not all indigeneities are equally visible. Colonial, state, and touristic discourses construct Ecuador's central coast as comprising urban mestizo areas and rural landscapes inhabited by cholos pescadores (peasant fishermen) or montubios (cowboy-farmers). Both rural groups are denied access to and visibility within the ethnic hierarchy of the nation; their externally ascribed mestizaje is inscribed in their laboring bodies rather than thought of as being inherited through an "authentic" millenarian culture. In other words, their heritage is not imagined-not symbolically available-in ways that might permit them to be externally assessed as appropriate embodiments of indigenous praxis. Given these discursive limitations, I argue that the coastal community of Agua Blanca has developed practice-based strategies that both incorporate and challenge ideas of patrimony, thereby enabling them greater fluidity in self-representation." - from the journal

Like the Chameleon Who Takes on the Colors of the Hills: Indigeneity as Patrimony and Performance in Coastal Ecuador