The State and the Awajún

Frontier Expansion in the Upper Amazon, 1541-1990 (First Edition)
Bartholomew Dean
©2020, 108 pages

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The State and the Awajún

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    The State and the Awajún: Frontier Expansion in the Upper Amazon, 1541-1990 demonstrates how the indigenous people of Amazonia have been subjected to a series of regional, national, and international socioeconomic and political processes that have shaped their lives. The text explores how extractive economies in Amazonia have provided fleeting periods of elite prosperity, but ultimately at the expense of the regions biocultural diversity.

    Beginning in 1541 and progressing chronologically, the text details significant instances of conquest, resistance, development, and policy. Students learn about the Awajún people and the indigenous policies that have impacted their lives and land since early encounters with explorers and missionaries. The text addresses colonial social control, Juan de Salinas Loyola and the conquest of the upper Amazon, the emergence of the Peruvian nation-state, and the geo-politics of Amazonian frontier expansion. The effect of populism on indigenous policy, military colonization, and the dynamics of contemporary Awajún society are also addressed, among other critical topics.

    The State and the Awajún is an ideal text for courses in anthropology and South American history, especially those with focus on the social and political effects of frontier expansion.

    Bartholomew Dean holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Harvard University and a master’s degree in Latin American studies (politics and anthropology) from Oxford University. He is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kansas, as well as a research associate of KU’s Laboratory of Biological Anthropology. He is a research affiliate at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (Tarapoto, Peru), where he directs the anthropology section of the regional museum and an honorary professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Alto Amazonas (Yurimaguas, Peru).Bartholomew Dean is a contributing editor for Lowland South America, the U.S. Library of Congress’s handbook of Latin American studies, and is active in the field of human rights. He currently directs field-based research projects in the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon.
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