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Author: Johann Begel

02/06/2022 – Ian Merkel : “Terms of exchange: Brazilian intellectuals and the French social sciences”

02/06/2022 – Ian Merkel : “Terms of exchange: Brazilian intellectuals and the French social sciences”

Cher(e) membre de la société des américanistes,

Nous avons le plaisir de vous convier à la conférence qui se tiendra le jeudi 2 juin 2022, de 18 à 20h dans la salle de cinéma du musée du Quai Branly.

Ian Merkel

(Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Department of History

Freie Universität Berlin, lauréat du prix d’aide à la publication 2021)

The terms of exchange: Brazilian intellectuals and the French social sciences

Les idées les plus iconiques des sciences sociales françaises auraient-elles pu se développer sans l’influence des intellectuels brésiliens ? Alors que toute historiographie des sciences sociales brésiliennes reconnaît l’influence des universitaires français, Ian Merkel soutient que l’inverse est également vrai : les sciences sociales « françaises » ont été profondément marquées par les penseurs brésiliens, notamment ceux de l’Université de São Paulo. En utilisant le concept de cluster, Merkel retrace les réseaux qui unissaient Claude Lévi-Strauss, Fernand Braudel, Roger Bastide et Pierre Monbeig à l’USP, ainsi que leurs échanges avec des chercheurs brésiliens tels que Mário de Andrade, Gilberto Freyre, Caio Prado. Jr. et Florestan Fernandes.

Dans cet essai de biographie intellectuelle des sciences sociales brésiliennes et françaises, l’auteur établit des connexions qui éclairent d’un jour nouveau l’émergence de l’école des Annales, du structuralisme et de la démocratie raciale, tout en interrogeant les conditions de la construction du savoir à travers le travail de terrain et le dialogue scientifique. À une époque de remise en question des canons disciplinaires, cette conférence propose un recadrage de l’histoire de la pensée scientifique sociale moderne.

Prière de vous présenter directement à l’entrée du musée (37 quai Branly), sans passer par les caisses. Sauf changements, le pass sanitaire vous sera demandé à l’entrée du Musée. Le plan Vigipirate impose aux agents de sécurité du musée à ne pas autoriser l’introduction de valises (même cabines), sacs de voyage, sacs à dos, sacs de sport…

02/03/2022 – Rodrigo Bulamah : “Les ruines circulaires : vie et histoire au nord d’Haïti”

02/03/2022 – Rodrigo Bulamah : “Les ruines circulaires : vie et histoire au nord d’Haïti”

Dear member of the Société des Américanistes,

First of all, we wish you all the best for the year 2022.

We are also pleased to announce that the next conference of the Société des Américanistes will take place on Thursday 3 February, at 6pm (Paris time) by videoconference.

We will have the pleasure of welcoming the winner of the Société des Américanistes’ Young Researcher Prize.

Rodrigo Bulamah


Circular ruins : life and history in the north of Haiti

Circular Ruins: Life and History in the north of Haiti is a historical work about the village of Milot, where different traces of past times overlap and intersect in the ritual and daily experiences of the inhabitants of the Haitian Mornes. By focusing on interactions with ruins, ancestors, animals and symbols, I propose an anthropology dedicated to the production of the past, present and future in this Caribbean context. Combining ethnography and archival work, I argue that history is a more-than-human process, actively produced by the work of various agents who generate contemporary forms of life in the ruins of colonial and revolutionary projects.

The login link will be sent to you a week before this session.

Laureate 2021

Laureate 2021

Young Researcher Prize:
  • Robrigo Charafeddine BULAMAH, Ruínas circulares: vida e história no norte do Haiti, Papeis Selvagens

Publication grants:
  • Ian William MERKEL, Terms of Exchange. Brazilian Intellectuals and the French Social Sciences, University of Chicago Press

  • Anath ARIEL DE VIDAS, Combine in order to coexist. Ethnography of a Nahua people of the Huasteca veracruzana in times of modernization, the University of Colorado Press, English translation of Combinar para Convivir. Etnografía de un pueblo nahua de la Huasteca veracruzana en tiempos de modernización.

  •  Joanna CABRAL DE OLIVEIRA, Marta AMOROSO, Ana Gabriela MORIM DE LIMA, Karen SHIRATORI, Stelio MARRAS, Laure EMPERAIRE (eds) Voix végétales. Diversité, résistances et histoires de la forêt, Éditions de lIRD, traduction of Vozes vegetais, Diversidade, Resistências e Histórias da Floresta, UBU Editora, Ed. de l’IRD, Sao Paulo, Marseille
15/12/2021 – General Assembly and film by M.A. Gonçalves and E. Altmann: “Under the clouds”

15/12/2021 – General Assembly and film by M.A. Gonçalves and E. Altmann: “Under the clouds”

Dear members, we are pleased to invite you to the General Assembly of the Société des Américanistes, which will take place on December 15, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. (Paris time).

The Assembly will be followed by the screening of the film “Under the Clouds”, directed by Marco Antonio Gonçalves and Eliska Altmann in 2015.


Portuguese with english subtitles, 74 minutes


In 1961, for the first time in Brazil’s history, a woman, Carolina Maria de Jesus, living in a slum in São Paulo, writes about her daily life and has her diary published. Fifty years later the directors of the film, inspired by this diary, go to look for characters that somehow dialogue with Carolina. In the slum Complexo da Maré, in Rio de Janeiro, five women reveal different experiences and visions of their life in the slum, thus creating continuities and discontinuities with the poetic and critical vision of life expressed by Carolina de Jesus. The voices and visions of these women, Geandra, Iraci, Edilma, Maria da Paz and Vanessa, provide a revigorating and poetically rich image of life in the slums that escapes from the current themes of violence and male dominance, revealing a slum literally lived through a feminine soul. Through the voice of Geandra, an actress, the words written by Carolina gain a new life, in dialogue with the contemporary voices of the other equally strong characters of the women from the Maré complex.

Publication prize and subsidies 2022

Publication prize and subsidies 2022

Musée du quai Branly, 222 rue de l’université, 75 343 Paris cedex 07

CALL 2022


  1. Young scholars Publication Prize of the Société des américanistes: an award for young scholars to help publish a volume resulting from their doctoral thesis
  2. Publication subsidy (open to all)


The Young scholars Publication Prize aims to assist young scholars with the publication of a book resulting from their doctoral research and already accepted by a publishing house in France or abroad. The Société will not accept thesis manuscripts that have not been reworked into a book.

The original dissertation should have been completed less than 5 years ago and the resulting book must make a contribution to the same disciplinary, thematic and areal fields as those covered by the Journal de la Société des américanistes. Manuscripts may be submitted in French, English, Spanish or Portuguese.

The award amount is capped at 3000€.

The Publication Grant is intended to help publish books contributing to the same disciplinary, thematic and areal fields as those covered by the Journal de la Société des américanistes. Single-authored monographs as well as edited volumes are eligible. The submitted volumes may be written in French, English, Spanish or Portuguese but must have been previously accepted by a publishing house, based in France or abroad. A manuscript can only be submitted once.

The allocated amount is capped at 2500€ (per project).

The deadline for submission shall be April 30, 2022. The candidatures will be evaluated by a panel of experts chosen by the Société’s executive board. Results will be announced in the fall of 2020.

The application package consists of:

  • Author(s) or Editor(s)’s CV, including a list of publications
  • Final Thesis Report or Examiner’s report for countries where applicable or letters of recommendation from at least two members of the PhD examination board (only for the young scholar’s Publication Prize)
  • Description of the manuscript (approx. 5 pages: table of contents, detailed summary, main arguments…)
  • Manuscript in pdf form
  • Pre-acceptance letter from the publishing house
  • Cost estimates from the publishing house (including other financial aids already obtained or solicited and the specific amount solicited from the Société)
  • Person to contact at the Publishing house (role, email and postal addresses)
  • Any other document deemed relevant

Any package either missing information or submitted after April 30, 2022, will not be accepted.

Recipients of the Publication Prize or Publication Grant must commit to mention the Société’s contribution in the book, as well as its logo, in accordance with agreements made with the publishing house, which is also expected to give a number of copies free of charge. Award winners who are not members of the Société must commit to apply for membership before receiving their grant or Prize.

The application package should be sent by e-mail only to: Please indicate in the subject line of the message the application category (Prize or Publication subsidy).


04/11/2021 – Carla Jaimes Betancourt : “Archaeology of the Llanos de Moxos: wealth is in diversity”

04/11/2021 – Carla Jaimes Betancourt : “Archaeology of the Llanos de Moxos: wealth is in diversity”

Dra. Carla Jaimes Betancourt

Department of Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany

Archeology of the Llanos de Moxos: wealth is in diversity

For a long time, the Amazon region occupied a marginal position in the pre-Columbian cultural history of the Americas. However, over the past decades, archaeological research carried out within the framework of numerous projects has revealed a surprising complexity and diversity of cultural processes in the region. Based on the case of the Llanos de Mojos in Bolivia, this presentation summarizes the current debates and the different positions on the domestication of plants, the origin of ceramics, landscape transformations, anthropic forests and complex cultural developments in the pre-Columbian era in the southwest of the Amazon.

The plains of Mojos, in what is now Beni in Bolivia, are characterized by an almost entirely anthropized landscape, the result of several millennia of intense human occupation. From 300 AD, hundreds of monumental sites developed there which, thanks to pre-Hispanic techniques adapted to the management of natural resources, left strong imprints on the landscape. Mojos is an excellent illustration of how diversity can be the best driver of cultural development over time. This conference presents an overview of archaeological research in Mojos and case studies in specific fields.

Amerindians in the face of Covid-19

Amerindians in the face of Covid-19

Current state of affairs and press review


We are pleased to announce here a list of online works of various kinds (scientific texts, newspaper articles, videos, photo collections) that bear witness to the living conditions of Amerindians during this worldwide health crisis. The list, still under construction and with items grouped into sections, can be accessed via the website of the Société des américanistes (, which is inaugurating a column devoted to this topic. Though because of their personal research interests the compilers have thus far concentrated on the Amazon basin, this reference list will eventually include writings and other materials that describe the situations of Amerindians throughout the Americas in the time of the pandemic.

* * *

As early as April–May 2020, a number of academics, journalists, Amerindian political leaders, and NGO activists set out to document the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the indigenous populations in the Amazon basin. Whether in journal articles, scientific blogs, or popular magazines, all have sounded the alarm, each in their own way, on the health, social, economic, environmental, political, and anthropological consequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the Amazon lowlands. We would like to applaud here their rapid response and the efforts they have already made not only to investigate but also to analyze and reflect on findings in such a short time, in order to expose the dramatic situations in which these populations often find themselves. The pandemic has only added to a context of precarious land tenure, failing health systems, and state policies that disfavor indigenous rights. The case of Brazil under Bolsonaro’s regime is certainly the most tragic.

For this non-exhaustive list, we have gathered texts that offer a fairly wide panorama of the diverse situations and difficulties that Amazonian peoples are facing in these times of Covid-19. Our goal is to allow readers to identify problems, to open research perspectives, and to continue to document, render visible, and support lowland indigenous peoples. Since we are restricted to virtual meetings to avoid acting as vectors of the virus, a large number of researchers who specialize in this region are limited to sporadic exchanges with their contacts and friends in the field, and to gleaning bits of information from social networks or specialized media. The list presented here is meant to facilitate investigations, which is why a survey of current scientific literature on Covid-19 in the Amazon basin appears alongside a press review, and also why the list includes links to raw documents such as health instructions translated into Amerindian languages. We start with scientific articles and special issues of journals, which are followed by journalistic pieces, all under thematic headings.

During this period of isolation due to the pandemic, the very methods of ethnographic research are being tested, especially among non-native researchers. And this is perhaps an important lesson to be learned from this yet-incomplete bibliography: the current health context seems to be accelerating collaborations in the analysis and even in the writing up itself between academics and representatives of indigenous groups. Even better, a substantial number of the articles listed are written by native researchers, especially those related to the Brazilian Amazon. In spite of lock-downs, communication channels have allowed for ongoing monitoring and collection of information (as exemplified by the Facebook page, administered by Emilie Stoll and moderated by Ricardo Fohlhes and Elise Capredon), and also for sharing ideas and collaborative reflection with indigenous contacts in the field, who are often political leaders.

In addition to providing descriptions—often in the form of numerical data—of the epidemic, the articles point to several lines of study. First, a central theme that appears in virtually all the texts is the relationship between indigenous groups, the state, and health systems. The articles highlight the inability of the governments to respond to the health needs of indigenous populations due not only to inequitable health policies, but also—which is probably even more serious—to ignorance of social realities, such as infrastructure, and of Amerindian health practices. The words used by native contacts to describe the situation are quite strong, ranging from the semantic field of abandonment in Andean countries to that of absence of government in Brazil, where indigenous people have no illusions about the Bolsonaro regime’s intentions towards them. Lacking adequate institutional resources to protect their bodies, Amerindians are choosing to protect their territories.

There is clear reaffirmation of claims to territorial sovereignty, which, paradoxically, is reinforced by recommendations in Andean states that indigenous groups close and control access to their lands. As noted by Irène Bellier in several items in the list, the health of people and the “health” of territories are closely connected, a connection that is primarily related to nourishment. It is regularly noted that food produced on indigenous land is one of the conditions for maintaining good health, as opposed to food originating in cities, where the coronavirus runs rampant. The will to protect one’s territory is particularly apparent in struggles to curb logging and gold-mining activities. Along these lines, and perhaps with a hint of irony, Gregorio Mirabal, the coordinator of Coordinadora de Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA), recently declared: “Tenemos que hacer un proceso de vacunaciones en todos los territorios de la cuenca amazónica con esa vacuna que se llama “gobernanza territorial indígena” y que es lo único que nos puede salvar” (“We must carry out vaccinations in all the territories of the Amazon basin with that vaccine called “indigenous territorial governance” and that is the only thing that can save us”).

Strikingly, some Amerindian claims to land and autonomy have gained legitimacy in the vacuum left by the state. At the same time, indigenous peoples appear to have been hit hard by a spectacular upsurge in extractive activities, including, among others, logging, oil drilling, and mining. In Peru, as early as May 2020, a series of laws exonerated certain economic sectors from restrictive environmental regulations, and weakened mechanisms for consulting the public before carrying out such activities. The pandemic could thus potentially augur a double movement: first, a decline in the power of the public, and, second, a restructuring of the private sector under many guises, whose activities are often informal, sometimes even criminal. The murders of Amerindian leaders and environmental activists, which have proliferated since the beginning of the pandemic in the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon regions, are a tragic reminder that indigenous lands are coveted more than ever.

Nevertheless, the acceptability of such activities in indigenous lands is debated even within indigenous groups, especially since the health crisis has at times cut off substantial revenue. We have seen the pandemic exacerbate old problems, among them the actions of Protestant evangelical missionaries. Several sources suggest that Protestant pastors take advantage of fear of the virus to consolidate their influence and to build new momentum in proselytizing.

Such missionary activity is all the more worrisome among indigenous groups in so-called “voluntary isolation,” where certain religious factions might be tempted to force contact in the wake of the profound reconfiguration of local political dynamics, the emerging face of which is still barely perceptible. Since at least the 16th century, Amerindians of the Amazon have used distancing and isolation strategies to protect themselves from immunological dangers (smallpox, measles, flu) connected to European colonization, but also perhaps from zoonoses potentially present in the tropical forest (see Stephen Rostain’s article[1]). In many cases, this voluntary isolation has redoubled over the years, as new forms of colonization have appeared and intensified (evangelical and Catholic proselytizing, industrial agriculture, oil exploitation, gold-mining, illegal logging, drug traffic, tourism), in the face of which local public institutions are powerless or perhaps even complacent. Since, given their long self-isolation, these Amerindian communities remain extremely vulnerable to viral and other infectious diseases, Covid-19 constitutes a serious danger that numerous observers are striving to document.

This theme also invites more serious reflection on the notion of “social isolation.” Recent events have brought about a reversal in the perception of the practice, heretofore considered as primitive and anachronistic, associated with Amerindians hostile to modernity. On the contrary, global measures taken to counter Covid-19 reveal, as in a mirror, how these Amerindian lifestyles emerged directly from the social and political—and viral—contexts that these populations have faced; their choice to protect themselves through social isolation is now shared by state governments. In this way, the literature shows the perpetuation, the renaissance, and even the legitimation of voluntary isolation strategies in this region of the world and beyond.

These texts do not just paint gloomy pictures of the current situation. They also bring to light the extraordinary organizational, political, and health resources that Amerindians are mobilizing to protect themselves and to cope with and stem the tide of the virus. Indigenous initiatives are flourishing that promote local medical knowledge and practices and that call for state health policies that are truly intercultural.

The epidemic thus appears to be a “total social fact” in a postcolonial context, a nexus where even divergent funeral practices and eschatological ideas rub against each other. For instance, Bruce Albert alerts us to the tragedy befalling the Yanomami, deprived of the bodies of their deceased kin, which are incinerated by health workers to prevent contagion. In this way, the reference list unveils an “epidemic situation”—to paraphrase Georges Balandier—that brings together more than ever all the local actors: Amerindian populations of diverse lifestyles, various colonizers, private companies, and public institutions, with a viral agent to boot.




  • Paul Codjia (McGill University – Fondation Fyssen)
  • Raphaël Colliaux (IFEA – PUCP – Fondation Fyssen)


Other contributors:

  • Claire Anchordoqui
  • Josemaría Becerril Aceves
  • Maddyson Borka
  • Romain Denimal
  • Mateo Knox
  • Maria Luisa Lucas
  • Valentina Vapnarsky
  • Aurore Monod-Becquelin
  • Idjahure Kadiweu
  • Élise Capredon
  • Vincent Hirtzel
  • Julia Vogel

17/06/2021 – Anthony Webster – The Understanding of a Simple Poem: Navajo Poetics, Ethnopoetics, and Humanities of Speaking

17/06/2021 – Anthony Webster – The Understanding of a Simple Poem: Navajo Poetics, Ethnopoetics, and Humanities of Speaking

We are pleased to announce that the next conference of the Society of Americanists will be held on Thursday, June 17, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. (Paris time).

Due to the health situation, this meeting will be held by videoconference. We will send you the connection link the day before the meeting.

Anthony K. Webster

(University of Texas, Austin)

The Understanding of a Simple Poem: Navajo Poetics, Ethnopoetics, and Humanities of Speaking

This talk takes its inspiration from several disparate traditions. The first tradition concerns an Americanist tradition that can be associated with Edward Sapir and provides the opening phrase of my title—which links it with both ethnography and what has sometimes been called linguistic relativity. This second tradition thus also informs both an ethnopoetic and a language-centered tradition—a tradition that attends to the words of those we work with as anthropologists. Such a perspective takes, as well, the interpretative frameworks and the situated interpretations of those we work with seriously. Finally, a third tradition arises out of the second, one of Navajo aesthetic interpretation.

This talk focuses in on a short poem written in Navajo by Rex Lee Jim and four translations of the poem. Three will be from Navajo consultants and one of those translations will be, from a certain perspective, rather surprising. Namely, why does one consultant translate this poem as if it is composed of ideophones? The fourth translation is mine. I follow this by working through the morphology of the poem in Navajo and saying something more about the translators and the process of translation. I then provide a transcript of a conversation I had with Navajo poet Blackhorse Mitchell about this poem. I use this to take up questions of phonological iconicity (punning) and the seductive quality of ideophony (sound symbolism). I suggest, in the end, the value of attending to the ways Navajos make sense of and interpret—in varying ways—the poetry of Rex Lee Jim. Following the terminology developed by my colleagues Pattie Epps, Anthony Woodbury and myself, I suggest that there is much intellectual value in humanities of speaking.

The conference will be given in English

[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.


  • 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.



  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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.







  • 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.




  • 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.


  • 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.



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.




  • 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.


  • 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:


  • 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:


  • 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).

[Ameridians & Covid] – Amerindian chronicles

[Ameridians & Covid] – Amerindian chronicles

This section contains testimonies from Amerindians describing their experience of the sanitary situation.








  • Yasnaya E. Aguilar, “Jëën pä’äm o la enfermedad del fuego”, March 22, 2020. In this essay, Mixe linguist Yasnaya Aguilar explores the parallels between the emergence of Covid-19 and the memory of past pandemics in the oral tradition of the Oaxaca Amerindians.


  • Pedro Uc, “Alternativas de resistencia maya en tiempo de pandemia”, August 19, 2020. Yucatec Mayan poet and environmentalist Pedro Uc situates the Covid-19 pandemic in a larger context of impacts on the Amerindian way of life, in particular due to the expansion of monocultures, mass tourism and massive infrastructure projects in the Yucatan peninsula.


Updated 09/29/2021:


  • THE NEW YORK TIMES, January 12th 2021. “Tribal Elders Are Dying From the Pandemic, Causing a Cultural Crisis for American Indians”. This article reports on the pandemic’s catastrophic impact on tribal elders from different Native American tribes in the United States, as well as on the cultural crisis caused by these losses. Web link:




  • THE RED NATION, 26 avril 2021. “COVID-19 in Indian Country w/ Chief Jerry Daniels, Destiny Morris, & Janene Yazzie” is an episode from the Red Nation podcast, hosted by Nick Estes, about the Native American reponse to Covid-19. This episode is a recording from a series of webinars, #FridayNightForums, organized by the Arab Resource & Organizing Center and the Center for Political Education. Web link: