Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
In Western Amazonian contexts of "ayahuasca-tourism," visitors from post-industrial countries pay much interest to re-sounding Indigenous voices. Although Indigenous people in this area themselves tend to be indifferent to ecological change and crisis at the global level, most visitors are very concerned about these issues and tend to re-use Indigenous ritual singing for what I call "ecological reconciliation." At the same time, these visitors expose locals to dangerous, even fatal, social tensions and economic difference caused by massive tourism impact. This paper derives from dialogic and collaborative research conducted with Indigenous people in the Peruvian Ucayali Valley since 2001, including phases of shared life and family inclusion between 2001 and 2006. Since 2006, visits occur when feasible to exchange news and update research with Indigenous peoples on terms of mutual friendship and kinship. This paper presents the opinions of certain Indigenous ritual specialists on white people's re-use of songs, and contextualizes singing in environments shaped by tourism within Indigenous strategies of resilience. These strategies involve Indigenous activists integrating visitors’ ecological interest into their re-interpretation of indigeneity.