Report from Walter Añacata Avendaño, Master Programme in Indigenous Studies, University of Tromsø
Financial support for the Fieldwork of the Master Thesis:
“The Cultural Construction of the Indigenous Peoples”
My thesis is approaching the problem of the definition of the Indigenous Peoples by the perspective of how ‘Indigenous Peoples’ should be understood as a cultural construction. By the question of who are Indigenous peoples today, I’m looking how two societies can define it by different cultural parameters, and, what they have in common. My research is explorative, and I’m discussing that issue trough two contemporaneous cases: the Northern Norwegian, and the Southern Peruvian – in the period of spring-summer 2005.
The Development of the Project
I have made fieldwork in both places (Peru – June, July until mid-August and Northern Norway – August, September) – in the daily life, and in formal events, in the ‘traditional’ places and in the ‘nontraditional’ ones. But indigenous peoples today is also an international phenomena, so, in order to look how important it is, or how this arena or can it influence those cultural definitions, I made fieldwork as well in the Forum of Indigenous Peoples in UN, in New York. The information is very relevant in order to give an appreciation of the team, through empirical data and the analytical one, which I’m started to process.
Besides to the 10 000 kroner which I received from Sami Center, I have received also support from SEMUT to develop this project. Actually now I have started to process the material and I’m planning to be finish next spring. The support which I have got, was important to do that, because the places which I have made fieldwork are far away with important cultural and social differences in between. As I have this opportunity, I hope it should contribute in the discussion of the Indigenousness and comparative studies.