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Who Is Indian? Some Reflections on Indigeneity in the Study of Contemporary Religion.

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Is it appropriate to say Indian? Or should it be Native American? What about linguistic classifications? Or are tribal ethnonyms the only way to go? The notorious question of finding the politically correct label only scratches the surface of a host of complicated methodological problems in the study of culture
and religion in contemporary Native America. The indigenous revitalization movement that has grown strong all over North America since the 1960s not
only made way for a powerful political voice for a disenfranchised minority, it
also gave rise to a number of issues relating to cultural authenticity and the
fluidity of tradition. In his work on Hopi religion, Armin W. Geertz points out
the fact that many Native Americans are caught between a drive to live up to
classic Western stereotypes about culturally static noble savages and a need
to continually reinterpret and reinvent indigenous traditions so that they remain
relevant in the new political context (1992, 2004). A related question that
seems to haunt external observers, legislative officers, academics, and tribal
communities is: What happens to indigeneity when the old traditions are revitalized and reinterpreted?
TitelEvolution, Cognition, and the History of Religion : A New Synthesis. Festschrift in Honour of Armin W. Geertz
RedaktørerA.K. Petersen, I.S. Gilhus, L.H. Martin, J.S. Jensen, J. Sørensen
StatusUdgivet - 2018


  • Indigeneity, Ethnicity, Tradition, Culture, Revitalization

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