How do vision quests, river locations, and warriors relate to indigenous activism? For the Aguaruna, an ethnic group at the forefront of Peru’s Amazonian Movement, incorporating practices and values they define as customary allows them to shape their own experience as modern indigenous subjects. As 1998 IDRF fellow Shane Greene reveals, this customization centers on the complex articulation of meaningful social practices, cultural logics, and the political economy of specialized production and consumption.
Following decades of engagement with and resistance to state-mandated missionary education, land-titling, and international advocacy networks, the Aguaruna have faced numerous constraints in pursuit of their own political projects. Based on first-hand fieldwork, Customizing Indigeneity provides a new theoretical language for the politics of indigeneity. Documenting the dynamic between historical constraints and cultural creativity, this work provides a fresh perspective on indigenous people’s agency within evolving structures of inequality, while simultaneously challenging common assumptions about scholarly engagement with marginalized populations. Buy it on Amazon.