Indigenous Peoples, Memory and Envisioning the Future. A Brief Multidimensional Study


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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/963

Keywords:

complexity, conservation, survival, nature, epistemic perception

Abstract

This paper offers a brief overview that seeks to make a series of approaches to an undeniably complex topic: the struggle of indigenous peoples in the context of colonialization processes at the worldwide, national and local scales. In this survey we will first characterize, systematize and relate the efforts made by some 350 million people around the world (including over 15 million indigenous people from Mexico), to safeguard their unique historical and cultural identity in the face of their respective mainstream society over the past sixty years. This will provide us with a basis to then look at the challenges that a country like Mexico faces to preserve not only the spatial or territorial matrix that guarantees the sustenance and survival of these peoples, but also their beliefs, traditions, ways of life and deep knowledge regarding the conservation and regeneration of natural resources for the benefit of all of human society. At this level of analysis we will seek to gain deeper insight into certain strategies for preserving and regenerating habitat used by an ancestral Zapotec community living in the Chinantla region, in the northern mountain ranges of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The paper concludes by highlighting the strengths of a historical memory that hews to epistemological categories that are utterly different from those prevailing in Western culture, in the day-to-day engagement of these cultures with their land and their natural surroundings.

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Author Biography

Humberto Ortega-Villaseñor, Universidad de Guadalajara

Humberto Ortega-Villaseñor is a Mexican senior full time professor and a research fellow at the University of Guadalajara since 1989. After receiving his Bachelor of Law degree in 1975 at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Villaseñor continued his Master's studies in Great Britain (London University) and finished his PhD at UNAM in Mexico (1982). He has published three books and many articles. His focus of interest covers various fields of social sciences and humanities related primarly to philosophy, communication, art and culture. As a member of the Department of Literary Studies since 2003, he hasconcetrated his efforts in investigating the links between plastic and literary creativity from a scientific perspective, deepening in the anticipatory impact those links may have to the world of science, technology and culture. As a visual artist, he has numerous individual exhibitions in Mexico, the United States and Europe since 1975. Currently, he inroads also in the study of links between words and moving images. He is a member of the National System of Researchers, CONACYT (Mexico), and the Academic Board of the PhD Program in Humanities.

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Published

2022-02-02

How to Cite

Ortega-Villaseñor, H. (2022). Indigenous Peoples, Memory and Envisioning the Future. A Brief Multidimensional Study. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 9(1), 39–55. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/963

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