Articles with tag: indigeneity

Reclaiming Possession: A Critique of the Discourse of Dispossession in Indigenous Studies (Corrected Version)

1_Introduction Indigeneity is more or less universally defined by claims concerning the experience of dispossession of land and culture, and indigenous critique is defined by a range of different claims concerning how this condition of dispossession can best be responded to, by indigenous peoples themselves, as well as by anyone concerned with the present plights of indigenous peoples. There are, of course, multiple differences between indigenous peoples, and ‘being indigenous’ means different things to different peoples. This reality is testified to, also, in the multiplicity of ways in which dispossession has been experienced among indigenous peoples, in different regions of the world, and in different historical periods. Possession, too, has meant different things to different indigenous peoples in different times and places. Prior to Mexican independence, indigenous communities of Colonial Mexico made use of colonial judicial mechanisms to defend their traditional land rights — a quite different form of possession compared with that of indigenous communities in North America. However, in spite of this multiplicity of ways in which dispossession has been experienced, and in spite of the multiplicity of possession as a practice, there is an overriding assumption that being indigenous is to have in some way undergone dispossession, and to be dispossessed. In response to the assumed universality of this condition, some argue for the return of land into indigenous possession, while many others argue that indigenous ways of life are intrinsically hostile to the very practice of possession, which is seen to emanate from a specifically Western way of life. This essay is especially interested in forms of critique that valorize the condition of indigenous dispossession as a foundation for rethinking not just the futures of indigenous peoples, but the future of the West and all societies globally. Do indigenous peoples offer alternative models of existence that non-indigenous peoples might learn from in order to overcome the possessive ways of being that have caused so much damage? In contrast to Western modernity, it is claimed that indigenous peoples have no interest in turning their world into property. An indigenous approach to life and world starts from the principle, it is said, that “we belong to the world, the world does not belong to us.” The task is one of learning to live with the land, in the understanding that we are possessed by it, rather than it belonging to us for our own use and benefit. Indigenous critique…

Reclaiming Possession: A Critique of the Discourse of Dispossession in Indigenous Studies

Indigeneity is more or less universally defined by claims concerning the experience of dispossession of land and culture, and indigenous critique is defined by a range of different claims concerning how this condition of dispossession can best be responded to, by indigenous peoples themselves, as well as by anyone concerned with the present plights of indigenous peoples. There are, of course, multiple differences between indigenous peoples, […]

Protecting the Line

Clinton Rickard, Border-Crossing and Haudenosaunee Trans-Indigeneity

The Haudenosaunee (Six Nations or Iroquois) Confederacy is a political and sociocultural alliance historically located in what is presently New York. After the American Revolution, portions of this group that supported the British relocated to lower Ontario and Quebec. Despite the international boundary between the United States and Canada, the Haudenosaunee maintained their collective national identity. […]

Earthly ​​Indi​geneity

The Cognitive and Ethical Implications of a Disregarded Cosmic Occurence

I would like to begin this essay by analyzing the simple and somewhat whimsical question I offer as a title for this prologue. To this end, let me introduce myself: I was born in Sicily, thereby in Italy, to native Italian parents; I do not belong to a decolonized territory, nor am I a member of any minority group or ethnicity. I am a legal scholar, and a full professor at Parma University. I cannot express any serious complaints about my ability to ‘live’ my culture and — flaw of flaws — […]

07/31/2018 _Perspective

Building New Concepts

Concepts in Indigenous Architecture as an Interdisciplinary Enhancement Factor?

1_Introduction: On Accordance and Discordance between Architecture, Intention, and Translation In order to discuss ‘travelling concepts’ in indigenous architecture, the latter’s characteristics will be introduced with an overview of indigenous building traditions in Central America, focusing on the eight remaining indigenous peoples of Costa Rica: Ngöbe, Bribri, Cabécar, Boruca, Térraba, Huetar, Maleku, and Chorotega. An in-depth comparative investigation into architectural cultures in Central America reveals various independent and unique building types and traditions, as well as similarities in basic principles and symbolism. The analyzed architectural traditions show the independent development of ground floor shapes, structures, materiality, ceremonies, and symbolism, articulated in different basic shapes, deriving from round, oval, and rectangular ground plots with various roof constructions and three-dimensional projections (see fig. 1). Fig. 1: Basic shapes with three-dimensional projections of different Costa Rican indigenous architectural traditions. [107]The selection of typology varies significantly from culture to culture. Despite their territorial proximity, the architecture traditions in Central America and Costa Rica differ greatly and show different architectural solutions (see fig. 2–6), notwithstanding proven relations between some of them. [108] Fig. 2: Round Bribri building in Talamanca, Costa Rica. [109]  Fig. 3: Ovoid house in Chirripó, Costa Rica. [110]Fig. 4: Building Ushavtév of the Boruca people, Costa Rica. [111]Fig. 5: Round granary in Mexico. [112]Fig. 6: Rectangular roof house in Mexico. [113]In addition to similarities in the buildings’ surroundings, nature, and materiality, which are typical for indigenous cultures, [114] various local, independent architectural expressions between and within the indigenous cultures were found. While, in some cultures, one type of building serves all functions, as it does, for instance, for the Maleku in Costa Rica (see fig. 15), other traditions use different types of buildings for particular activities, some with a very specific purpose, like a birthing or sepulture house. The sensitive translation of symbolism into built expressions differs greatly and can be seen, for example, in a comparison of different types of round buildings. The most important buildings of three ethnic groups in Costa Rica, the Ù sulë́ [115] of the Bribri (see fig. 2), the Jutsinín of the Cabécar, and the Ju Dogwabti of the Ngöbe, for instance, differ in important principles and are expressed through different three-dimensional figures and details. While all three buildings focus on the representation of the center, this symbolism is realized differently in each tradition: a conical space without a supporting structure in the center and a…