Indigenous movements tend to portray the Indian population as unchangeable and authentic in order to demand certain political and cultural rights. They do this by appealing to international treaties and national legislations, which likewise uphold a clear-cut definition of ‘indigenousness’.
However, is it actually possible to determine who is and who is not an Indian? And, on this basis, can it be determined what a multicultural democracy should look like?
Rasch’s research explored how different indigenous identities and cultures are defined and interpreted at a local level, and what actually goes on behind treaties, laws, fine speeches and glossy pamphlets. She demonstrates how local authorities and politicians judge indigenous characteristics - such as the use of certain clothing, the speaking of an indigenous language and partaking in Indian spiritual ceremonies - in different and sometimes conflicting ways. To some these elements of indigenous culture are almost sacred; to others they represent underdevelopment and backwardness.
Nevertheless they all feel indigenous and they all have ideas of what an indigenous multicultural democracy should look like. This causes tension between mayors, traditional Indian authorities (such as councils of elders) and community magistrates. In one of the villages, where Rasch carried out fieldwork, this even led to the abolition of one of the traditional authorities.
On 29 December 1996, after 36 years of civil war, a peace treaty was signed between the Guatemalan government and the armed opposition. Since these peace agreements, Guatemala has been transformed from a homogenous nation state into a society that calls itself ‘multicultural’. Two actors continue to play an important role in this process.
On the one hand there are an increasing number of indigenous mayors who choose whether or not to allow their Mayan identity to influence their governing practice. At the same time, the indigenous Maya Movement tries to contribute to the building of a multicultural democracy. The Maya Movement’s mission is the social and political integration of the indigenous population in Guatemalan society, based on Mayan identity. It focuses on active political participation being part of their universal and ethnic civil rights.
Sonja Knols | alfa
New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)
The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.
Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.
The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
19.06.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
19.06.2019 | Information Technology
19.06.2019 | Materials Sciences