Exploring Indigenous Cultural Patrimony and the Capitalist Market Place in 20th Century Ecuador

Angela Corsa, University of Arizona

In this project, I explore the tensions between top-down definitions of indigeneity employed by the government on the one hand and indigenous narratives of their history and identity on the other hand. Tensions over meaning are not limited to semantics but are evident in practices that involve the performance of an indigenous “authenticity” through the use of indigenous clothing in the marketplace or within the political arena, through art, and through the sale of textiles (imported and made in Otavalo) in the city of Otavalo. Specifically, I explore how women have shaped the relationship between indigenous communities, non-indigenous communities, and the Ecuadorian government. My research complicates this relationship to show that it was the product of interactions between top-down government measures and women’s ability to negotiate the impact of such measures.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 85. Histories of Gender, Resistance, and Women's Empowerment in the Americas