Bundles, Stampers, and Flying Gringos: Native Perceptions of Capitalist Violence in Peruvian Amazonia

Fernando Santos-Granero, Frederica Barclay

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This article examines a set of stories told among the Awajun, Wampis, and Ashaninka of eastern Peru, which feature a diversity of white supernatural beings that wander about their communities to steal their vital force, or introduce harmful substances into their bodies. These stories constitute a response to the capitalist violence experienced at present by these peoples as a result of hard-line government policies promoting private investment, and the frenzied activities of extractive corporations eager to profit from the region's natural resources. Such stories are informed by indigenous notions about personhood and illness, but also by native eco-cosmologies that view life as a scarce resource-the object of intense interspecific competition. What distinguishes this from past junctures of predation by white people is that on this occasion native Amazonians feel that the government and its allies have set out to exterminate them once and for all. © 2011 by the American Anthropological Association.
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)143-167
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

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