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|Title: ||Polarities of difference : how Wapichannao negotiate identities within a creole state|
|Authors: ||Hope, Stacy A. A.|
|Supervisors: ||Wardle, Huon|
|Issue Date: ||2011|
|Abstract: ||This thesis is an ethnographic account of how the Wapichannao, who are situated in the
Rupununi of Guyana perceive themselves within the nation-state. This is also an account
of how non-Amerindian Guyanese envisage Amerindians as ‘past’ peoples. Hence,
distinctions are made between Amerindian and non-Amerindian—us vs. them—where
both identities become placed as opposite poles within a continuum.
Emphasis is placed on the shifting relationships between these poles, but more
specifically, the cultural paradigm through which these relationships are made possible.
This paradigm, I suggest, may be understood in terms of polarities of difference, with
regard to which Amerindians are constantly ambiguating/negotiating, disjoining, and
resignifying notions of ‘who they are’.
This thesis evidences this paradigm through an ethnography of some of those aspects of
Wapichannao culture—village work, the shop, joking activity, culture shows—that are
considered to be traditional on the one hand, and modern on the other. In doing so, an
incongruous trend emerges, on which makes the classic imagery of Amerindian
ontological homogeneity much more complex. Therefore, this thesis moves from the
more traditional aspects of Wapichannao culture towards the nation-state, in order to
take into account aspects of Amerindian experience absent from classic ethnographic
|Appears in Collections:||Centre for Amerindian, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CAS) Theses|
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