Resistance in an Amazonian Community: Huaorani Organizing against the Global Economy

By Lawrence Ziegler-Otero | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

The Huaorani cannot be discussed without an understanding of the multiple contexts of their environment. The origins of the Huaorani people and the roots of their culture are unrecorded. Much of the history that we do have is the story of contacts between the Huaorani people and non-Huaorani. Each of these contacts must be understood as collisions which have shaped the trajectory of Huaorani cultural development—a dialectical process of crisis, reaction, and resolution.

Beyond the natural environment—itself a key factor in the development of Huaorani social organization—the twentieth century evolution of Huaorani cultural practice has taken place within a context of increasing encroachment on Huaorani land and cultural practices by outsiders. The principal actors in this conflicted space are the rubber merchants and slave dealers of the early part of the century, and more recently the evangelical missionaries, oil companies, and expanding indigenous neighbors of the Huaorani. This chapter provides an introduction to the environmental and historical contexts of the Huaorani. Their culture has evolved in a very particular ecological niche, so a discussion of the geography and ecology of the region is needed. Further, the extent of the Huaorani isolation from the rest of the world will be described. The Huaorani have usually been por-

Notes for this section can be found on page 74.

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Resistance in an Amazonian Community: Huaorani Organizing against the Global Economy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - History and Background 25
  • Chapter 2 - Onhae 75
  • Chapter 3 - Practice and Praxis 105
  • Chapter 4 - Toward an Organizational Evaluation 142
  • Chapter 5 - Conclusion 157
  • Works Cited 166
  • Index 174
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