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Culture, Genuine and Spurious: The Politics of Indianness in the Vaupés, Colombia

Jean E. Jackson
American Ethnologist
Vol. 22, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 3-27
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/646044
Page Count: 25
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Culture, Genuine and Spurious: The Politics of Indianness in the Vaupés, Colombia
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Abstract

In this article I use Edward Sapir's (1924) famous phrase as a theme to explore how Tukanoans of Colombia's Northwest Amazon are learning to change their notions of their own history and culture to achieve a better fit with received wisdom about Indianness. Situated in a highly politicized context, this process involves local and national Indian rights organizations and sympathetic international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). I also briefly address the issue of ethnographic authority--the confrontation between anthropological and native visions of indigenous culture and history. [Northwest Amazon, indigenous mobilizing, identity politics, construction of culture, ethnic nationalism]

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