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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.20
Earth Beings beyond spirituality. Ethnographic notes on a non human entity that is material, artificial and opaque in an extractivist context (Peruvian Andes)
Leaving open the possibility of a radical alterity and multiplicity of an environment with whom humans relate in terms that exceed modern worldings, I will try to describe Cañaris’ cosmopolitical practices and conceptions relating to the construction, uses, inhabiting and renovation of a building made with ancient techniques in one of its most important towns. The non-human entity that emerge from this ontogenic exploration is called Iglisya. It is a building of thatched roof and sun dried bricks that is simultaneously less “indigenous” and more “artificial” (and less spiritual and more material, and less mediatised and more invisible) than what has been usually the focus of Amerindian studies (i.e., in the case of the narratives around Andean earth beings such as Pachamama or Apus, and the associated discourses about the buen vivir). I argue that since its clandestine construction by “indios” of the eighteenth century, this temple represented the land and constituted it. In fact, this Iglisya is not distinguishable from the relationship between the Cañarenses and their land, and this relationship is conceived and made in analogy to that one between parents and children. In sum, the land is solidariously treated by Cañarenses as their child, in contrast to those entities usually invoked by publicised indigenous movements and protests, with parent-like figures. Finally, I consider the material aspect of a relationship with a more-than-human entity that constitutes the land and provides Cañarenses with a cosmopolitical device with which an they become able to contend an increasingly threatening ruination context.