Long Live Atahualpa

Indigenous Politics, Justice, and Democracy in the Northern Andes

Long Live Atahualpa

Book Pages: 352 Illustrations: 3 photos, 2 tables, 3 maps Published: May 2012

Author: Emma Cervone

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Latin American Studies > Andes, Native and Indigenous Studies

Long Live Atahualpa is an innovative ethnographic study of indigenous political movements against discrimination in modern Ecuador. Exploring the politicizing of Indianness—the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination and political agency—Emma Cervone analyzes how the Quichuas mobilized in the country's central Andean province of Chimborazo and formed their own grassroots organization, Inca Atahualpa. She illuminates the complex process that led indigenous activists to forge new alliances with the Catholic Church, NGOs, and regional indigenous organizations as she traces the region's social history since the emergence of a rural unionist movement in the 1950s.

Cervone describes how the Inca Atahualpa contested racial subordination by intervening in matters of resource distribution, justice, and cultural politics. Considering local indigenous politics and indigenous mobilization at the national and international levels, she explains how, beginning in the 1960s, state-led modernization created political openings by generating new economic formations and social categories. Long Live Atahualpa sheds new light on indigenous peoples operating at the crossroads of global capitalism and neoliberal reforms as they redefine historically rooted relationships of subordination.


“[P]rovides a rare glimpse into the micropolitics of indigenous rights realization through a detailed analysis of the complex interplay between the personal and political, between identity and unity, and among local, national and global forces in the promotion of meaningful social change…. [G]raduate students and scholars in anthropology, sociology and law could benefit from the interesting engagement between theories of everyday resistance and empirical evidence from an engaging, dynamic and understudied site of contestation.” — LaDawn Haglund, Social Forces

“...Long Live Atahualpa is a solid book that will be of interest to scholars who focus on the complex issues of indigenous identity and politics...”  — Erin E. O’Connor, Hispanic American Historical Review

Long Live Atahualpa is a welcome addition to the literature on indigenous politics, most notably through its detailed ethnographic accounts of daily social and political interethnic relationships in Ecuador.” — Maria Teresa Armijos, Latin American Politics and Society

“Cervone's beautifully rendered regional historical analysis is interwoven with the testimonio of Tixán's elders to illuminate how the remembered past of Quichua labor exploitation…. Cervone's work is also notable for its expansive analysis of agrarian crisis and transformation that eventually spurred indigenous mobilizations around issues of class and ethnicity."  — Brooke Larson, Latin American Research Review

"A well-written and coherently organised book, Long Live Atahualpa will be of interest to scholars, graduate students in anthropology and advanced undergraduates in anthropology, Latin American studies, political science and sociology." — Shannan Mattiace, Journal of Latin American Studies

"Long Live Atahualpa combines an intimate knowledge of intricate local politics with a capacity to think broadly about how the politicization of indigenous identity... affects indigenous mobilization on the national scene.... this book will matter for those interested in indigenous movements and identity politics in Latin America."  — Genevieve Dorais, EIAL

"Long Live Atahualpa is a welcome addition to the literature on Latin American indigenous movements, which has been largely dominated by political scientists working on a macro scale. There has been a great need for ethnographies such as this one, an in-depth examination of local and regional indigenous organizing. In this sensitive, richly documented ethnography Emma Cervone deftly moves across political, economic, and cultural domains, not privileging one over the other but inquiring into their interconnections." — Joanne Rappaport, author of Intercultural Utopias

"This fascinating ethnography makes original contributions to the study of social movements, identity as lived within a social world of invidious stereotypes, and debates over whether multiculturalism as a national policy is empowering or disempowering for indigenous groups. Emma Cervone engages central issues in anthropology, political science, and ethnic studies. She offers a very effective analysis of the dynamics of political consciousness, the internalization of racism, and indigenous movement organizing at different levels. The result is a striking construction of ethnically inflected class issues in the central Andean region of Ecuador." — Kay B. Warren, author of Indigenous Movements and Their Critics: Pan-Maya Activism in Guatemala


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Emma Cervone is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Redefining Indigenous Politics 1

1. The Time of the Lords 39

2. Tixán Becomes Modern 73

3. Invisible Victories 103

4. When the Hills Turned Red 135

5. Words and Scars 163

6. Celebrating Diversity 199

7. Beyond Recognition 233

Conclusion 267

Appendix 279

Glossary 283

Acronyms 285

Notes 287

References 305

Index 323
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5189-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5175-7
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