The "retourn" of traditional knowledge. Dialogues triggered by the repatriation of ethnographic registers among the Náayeri
Margarita Valdovinos (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores the mobility generated by anthropologists when they bring back to the community of origin part of the traditional knowledge gathered by previous explorers. For this purpose, I will analyze the mobility of the wax cylinder recordings made in Mexico by K. Th. Preuss (1906).
Paper long abstract:
Anthropologists participate in the mobility of knowledge as soon as they register facts of a particular culture, transform this evidence into scientific observations, and present them to an academic audience. Here, I want to explore the mobility of knowledge generated in a later stage: the process through which an anthropologist goes back to the field and conveys to a community cultural information gathered there by a previous explorer. In this paper I will analyze the dialogue triggered by the encounter of two events of this particular situation. On one hand, the process followed by the people of the community in order to (re)contextualize this "new" knowledge and make sense of it. On the other hand, the confrontation of the anthropologist with the (meta)knowledge produced by the arrival of that "new" knowledge. My observations will be based on a concrete ethnographic experience: the return to the field of the Wax cylinder recordings made by Konrad Theodor Preuss among the Náayeri of Western Mexico in 1906.
Making knowledge mobile: knowledge production and transfer in/to/across/between anthropology's actors, locations, and performances