[Ameridians & Covid] – Works of a scientific nature

[Ameridians & Covid] – Works of a scientific nature

This first section reports on works of a scientific nature, written by social sciences researchers, often in collaboration with indigenous witnesses of the sanitary situation in their communities of origin.


  • Mundo Amazónico, two issues of the journal, titled « Reflexiones y perspectivas en torno a la pandemia de COVID-19 », have recently been devoted to COVID-19 in the Amazon,


  • Revista Vukapanavo, Volume 3, Issue 3, October/November 2020, Special issue Pandemia da Covid-19 na Vida dos Povos Indigenas, edited by Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (APIB), in collaboration with Revista Terena Vukapanavo and the support of Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. https://www.vukapanavo.com/


  • COVIDAM, Mai 26, 2020, « Le double choc de la Covid-19 sur une petite communauté d’Amazonie brésilienne », by François-Michel Le Tourneau. The article focuses on the Amerindians of the state of Amapá (Brazil) and the care they received from local health services. The author recounts the testimonies of acquaintances from São Francisco do Iratapuru, a sustainable development reserve of 806,000 hectares, whose inhabitants live mainly from the collection of Brazil nuts. In this place, social distancing seems difficult to maintain, as everyone lives side by side and most of the day-to-day business is managed collectively. Hospitals in the area, meanwhile, are sorely lacking in equipment. https://covidam.institutdesameriques.fr/le-double-choc-de-la-covid-19-sur-une-petite-communaute-damazonie-bresilienne/



  • COVIDAM, December 16, 2020, « Amazonie, une histoire sans geste barrière », by Stephen Rostain. The article reviews, from a historical perspective, the management of epidemics in the Amerindian Amazon. The author retraces the Amerindian healing techniques, which are based on an excellent knowledge of the tropical pharmacopoeia. He emphasizes that these skills have been amply mobilized in the context of the recent pandemic, and that care protocols, based on a thorough use of medicinal plants, have been attempted in many points of the lowlands. https://covidam.institutdesameriques.fr/amazonie-une-histoire-sans-geste-barriere/


  • CNRS, Le Journal, September 11, 2020, « Les peuples autochtones à l’épreuve du Covid-19 », by Irène Bellier. Interview of Bellier (CNRS), who synthesised a large amount of data concerning the impact of COVID-19 among indigenous peoples around the world (North America, South America and the Caribbean, Africa, Arctic, Asia, Oceania and the Russian Federation). Bellier reports that mortality rates are particularly high in indigenous groups, due to the often-difficult socio-economic conditions in which they live, which increase their vulnerability to this new infectious agent. The anthropologist also underlines how, in these societies, there is often a close link between the integrity of the territory and the health of individuals. https://lejournal.cnrs.fr/articles/les-peuples-autochtones-a-lepreuve-du-covid-19



  • Aparecida Vilaça, Morte na Floresta, Um ensaio seminal sobre o contágio dos povos indígenas no Brasil, éd. Todavia (Coleção Ensaios sobre a pandemia), 2020. Anthropologist Aparecida Vilaça reflects here on the fact that for the first time in centuries, invaders and Amerindians are suffering from the same symptoms when faced with a virus, COVID-19. The book emphasizes that sharing a common vulnerability is an opportunity to rethink the relationship with Amerindian societies. https://todavialivros.com.br/livros/morte-na-floresta







  • Revista Intercambio, March 21, 2021. Article by Oscar Espinosa de Rivero, professor at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) and specialist of the Peruvian Amazon. The author lists the challenges faced by the Amerindian communities of the Peruvian Amazon, confronted with the COVID 19 pandemic, but also with extremely violent pressures on their territories. https://intercambio.pe/comunidades-amazonia-2021/




  • Luis Joel Morales Escobedo, “El confinamiento y el trabajo de campo en tiempos del coronavirus, Vol. II”, September 8, 2020. In this second episode of a podcast dedicated to fieldwork during the Covid-19 pandemic, anthropologist Luis Joel Morales describes his working conditions with indigenous cooperatives in the highlands of Chiapas. He explains that he had to deal with the scepticism of many of his Tseltal and Tsotsil interlocutors about the disease and the health guidelines, and to adapt accordingly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL-rbUaFmZo


  • Jan Rus, “Covid-19 en Chiapas indígena: cuestionando una pandemia oculta”. November 2020. Based on his telephone conversations with former interlocutors, colleagues and students from Tseltal, Tsotsil, Ch’ol and Mam, Mayanist anthropologist Jan Rus criticizes the invisibility, in the Spanish-language press, of the deaths caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in indigenous communities in Chiapas. https://www.openanthroresearch.org/doi/pdf/10.1002/oarr.10000351.1



Updated 09/29/2021:

  • Barbosa Gonçalves Chryslen Mayra & Chambi Mayta Roger Adan, 2021, “Ñankha usu, khapaj niño, mallku usu. Crisis politica y crisis sanitaria en la Bolivia andina : respuestas indigenas”, Maloca. Revista de Estudos Indigenas, v.4, pp.1-29. The authors document the arrival of the coronavirus on Bolivian territory (Andean), against the backdrop of the political crisis it was facing. https://econtents.bc.unicamp.br/inpec/index.php/maloca/article/view/14325/10355




  • Pachaguaya Yurja Pedro & Terrazas Sosa Claudia, 2020, Una cuarentena individual para una sociedad colectiva : La llegada y despacho del Khapaj Niño Coronavirus a Bolivia, Asociación Departamental de Antropólogos, ADA-La Paz e Instituto de Investigación y Acción para el Desarrollo Integral – IIADI, La Paz. In this book, several authors, document the arrival of Covid 19, based on accounts and testimonies gathered among residents of the La Paz, Oruro and Chuquisaca regions. These accounts show how the coronavirus is incorporated into the local cosmovision. The virus is perceived as a “visitor” to whom is assigned names and characteristics already found among the lexical fields that pertain to pathogenic non-human entities (AIDS, measles, smallpox). This work also looks at Bovilia’s health system organization and the initiatives that were taken by the inhabitants to mitigate its malfunctions. https://www.academia.edu/48860257/%C3%91ANKHA_USU_KHAPAJ_NI%C3%91O_MALLKU_USU_Crisis_pol%C3%ADtica_y_crisis_sanitaria_en_la_Bolivia_andina_respuestas_ind%C3%ADgenas


  • PANDEMICENE PODCAST, Octobre 10th 2020, episode 1. “On Indigenous-led Techno-scientific Innovation”. Isa Ansari invited Kim Tallbear and Jessica Kolopenuk from the University of Alberta, in Canada, to discuss their works about Indigenous peoples and pandemics. Web link:






  • URBAN INDIAN HEALTH INSTITUTE, May 4th 2021. “Protecting the Sacred: Addressing sexual violence and gender-based violence against Natives in the COVID-19 pandemic” is a report from the Urban Indian Health Institute concerning sexual violence against Native American peoples during the pandemic. Web link: https://www.uihi.org/projects/protecting-the-sacred/


  • Marcelo Moura Silva et Carlos Estellita-Lins, “A xawara e os mortos: os Yanomami, luto e luta na pandemia da Covid-19”, Horizontes Antropológicos, n°59, pp.267-285, 2021. This article focuses on the difficulties experienced by the Yanomami to carry out their funeral practices in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Web link: https://journals.openedition.org/horizontes/5185


  • Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore (MUSEF), 2021, Contextos pandémicos. Pueblos y naciones indígenas en Bolivia ante las pandemias y el COVID-19, La Paz, (Anales de la Reunión Anual de Etnología, XXXIV), 144 p. The articles in this book, published by the Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore de La Paz, describe the experiences of Bolivia’s ‘indigenous, native and peasant’ groups in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The contributors draw on ethnohistory, political science and anthropology to provide a rigorous overview of the situation of the country’s Amerindians (whether in the Andes, in the lowlands or in urban areas). http://www.musef.org.bo/rebelion-de-los-objetos-2020.

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