"Paraje y parajización": the economic and political space of an indigenous community (Chaco-Argentina)
Zelda Alice Franceschi
(Università degli Studi di Bologna)
Paper short abstract:
My paper concerns my field work: during the period 2004-2014 I have been working in Chaco (Argentina) in an indigenous wichí community (mataco-maka linguistic family). At the end of the nineties Argentine government has given back to indigenous population 20,000 hectares of land around Franciscan Mission.
Paper long abstract:
Traditionally Wichí were hunters-gatherers organized in semi-nomadic bands, homogeneous regarding the sharing of their economic resources, today they are passing a phase of deep transition.
At the end of the nineties Argentine government has given back to indigenous population 20.000 hectares of land around Franciscan Mission (built by the Propaganda Fide missionaries in 1889 ). Wichí population settled following interesting dynamics : 1) they have built a series of parajes (households) far from the adjacent areas to the Mission (area which is mostly criolla), demonstrating, that they continue to share their economic resources; 2) the persistence of uxorilocality; 3) the birth of new leaders which has superseded the traditional figure of cacique (nyat).
These dynamics mean a complex transition from hunting-gathering activities. A deep and accurate analysis of kinship and of the economic activities demonstrates that a series of traditional dynamics are re-emerging again which re-propose a new space for social-political organization.
"Indigenous" space and local politics