Accepted Paper:

'Humanity' among the Chachi and other so-called indigenous people: reviewing core concepts of anthropology and biology  
Istvan Praet (University of Roehampton)

Paper long abstract:

Amazonia specialists have often been intrigued by the fact that Amerindian people refer to themselves as 'the people', 'real people' or 'we, humans'. Such notions of humanity are always premised on the perpetuation of a particular effort. To take an example from my own fieldwork in Ecuador, eating cherished food such as plantains and peccaries is or, at least, used to be critical to count as Chachi, 'real human beings'. Those who fail to nourish themselves in that particular way and, more generally, those who fail to 'live well' are not considered human. This notion of a humanity requiring continuous 'fabrication' has been documented not only in the Americas but also among so-called indigenous peoples elsewhere. Grasping it may cast a different light on the concept of 'humanity' which developed under the auspices of anthropology as well as on the idea of 'life' as it has emerged within biology.

Panel IW007
Beyond the biological and the social: anthropology as the study of human becomings