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Mana

Print version ISSN 0104-9313On-line version ISSN 1678-4944

Abstract

LEPRI, Isabella. Identidade e alteridade entre os Ese Ejja da Bolívia setentrional. Mana [online]. 2005, vol.11, n.2, pp.449-472. ISSN 0104-9313.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-93132005000200005.

This paper explores the construction of self-identity in relation to others in a Bolivian Amazon society, through the lens of the ambivalent attitudes of the Ese Ejja towards non-indigenous Bolivians. I argue that the Ese Ejja's ambivalence reflects the mutable, contextual and relational nature of identity, understood as self-image. The relationship described here is characterised by self-debasement on the part of the Ese Ejja. This is partly attributable to historical, economic and political factors, but is also consistent with the indigenous strategy of avoiding direct confrontation with dangerous entities. Moreover, it is suggested that this stance towards powerful foreigners can also be read in terms of indigenous socio-cosmological notions of otherness and of Other-becoming and of the Ese Ejja's own sense of being in history

Keywords : Amazonia; Bolivia; Indigenous people; Self-image; Identity; Alterity.

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