La identidad socio-cultural indígena: relaciones interétnicas y tradiciones pre-hispánicas (2014)

Monday, May 20, 10:30-12:00

Moderator:  Sara Levinson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Rapporteur: Virginia García, Instituto de Estudios Peruanos


  • Estudio sociocultural de la indígena kariña en el estado Sucre, Venezuela — Abul K. Bashirullah, Universidad de Oriente, Cumaná, Estado Sucre, Venezuela
  • Influencia de las relaciones interétnicas en el fortalecimiento o decadencia de la identidad cultural: El caso de los Mayas Chortí de Honduras — Adalid Martínez Perdomo, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán
  • Siglos de tradición Prehispánica: Xochitlallis Ixtaczoquitlán, Veracruz, México — Francisco Amador Damián, Alcalde del Municipio de Ixtaczoquitlán, Veracruz. México
  • Indigenismo en el Ecuador y la conservación de su cultura ancestral — Paola Franco de Gómez, Biblioteca Ecomundo Centro de Estudios, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Bashirullah opens with a description of the life and customs of ethnic Kariña in Sucre, Venezuela, based on data from 54 families in the community. These families consist of parents, children, grandparents, uncles, etc., all living in one house built of reinforced concrete, and with the support of the Venezuelan state. The population consists mostly of adults, and ethnic identity is [limited]. In this ethnic group it is still customary for the parents to arrange marriages for their sons or daughters, although most practice common-law marriage. Shamanism is practiced as much as Christianity. The main activity for men is farming and for women artisanal work, such as is sold on roadsides. The staple food is maize, or "cachapa", one of the characteristic foods of both this ethnic group and across the country.  Oral tradition is transmitted throughout the community by adults. Religious festivals are celebrated with various activities.

Martínez Perdomo continues with a discussion of the influence of interethnic relations in the strengthening and or the decline of cultural identity among the Chorti Maya in Honduras, again with a presentation of data drawn from a case study within the community. He addresses the reconstruction cultural identity in the Maya Chorti of western Honduras, after a period of decline; while also identifying and describing the characteristics of this group. Martínez Perdomo explains that there are two theories: one that identity is inherited; and another that it builds on what already exists. He considers the effects of inter-ethnic relations and notes that small details in Mayan artisanal work indicate the influence of the Lenca cultures.

Franco de Gómez addresses Indigenism in Ecuador and the preservation of ancestral culture. She offers a history of indigenism in the different communities of Ecuador; and describes the lives and customs of the various ethnic groups there, including information on their clothing as well as their social and political organization. She closes by recounting anecdotes and legends of these communities.