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Accepted Paper:

Anthropological translation and Mythological transformation: lessons from the Awajún of Northern Peru  
Nils Haukeland Vedal (University of Bergen)

Paper Short Abstract:

My paper explores the possibility of constructing concepts of translation based on how the Awajún people of northern Amazonas express ideas about the introduction of new knowledge forms into their society. Such changes are often brought by foreigners, such as animals, spirits, and anthropologists.

Paper Abstract:

My paper explores the possibility of constructing a concept of translation based on how the Aénts Chicham (formerly known as the Jivaro) in general, and the Awajún (a sub-group of the Jivaro also known as the Aguaruna) in particular, express ideas about the introduction of foreign/new knowledge forms into their society. And further, (2) how these ideas allows for a unconventional methodology wherein interlocutor and anthropologist are positioned vis-à-vis each other illustrative of an Amazonian flavoured insider : outsider dialectic (i.e. :: congeners : enemies :: nativos : mestizos :: aénts (Awajún word for "people") : whites, etc.). The ethnographic basis for discussing these topics are my 17 months of fieldwork in the high jungle of Northern Peru where I primarily focus on how ritual song facilitates the relationship between humans and nonhumans in the context of garden cultivation. The mythological narratives that accompany these practises furnish a idea of transformation that focuses on how "outside" aspects—the predatory attitude of wild species of flora and fauna, for example—are incorporated, e.g. made into a basis for productive social interaction. This logic of engaging the wants of outside beings in this way directly implies anthropologists as well. The explicit discussions had with my Awajún interlocutors concerning this last point birth my departure for engaging the topics presented above.

Panel P196
Uncertain methods, elusive lives: exploring the methodological and relational horizons of doing research with more-than-humans
  Session 3 Wednesday 24 July, 2024, -