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Shajaó – histories of an invented savage

Peluso, Daniela M. (2014) Shajaó – histories of an invented savage. History and Anthropology, 25 (1). pp. 101-122. ISSN 0275-7206. (doi:10.1080/02757206.2013.822372) (KAR id:37176)

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Through multiple stories about Shajaó, an untold history of the Peruvian Amazon unfolds. This article, based on extensive archival research and fieldwork, brings together multivocal accounts about an Ese Eja man who allegedly killed a Catholic priest in 1932 and who, despite the large-scale expeditions sent out to capture him, was not apprehended until 1942. Through ongoing tales of Shajaó, the intersubjective ways in which memory is shaped and employed to influence and make sense of sociopoltical contexts is revealed in the exchanges between a notable “savage” and various economies in different historical settings—the rubber boom, extractivism upheld by debt-peonage, Catholic missionization and today's environmental service economy. This exploration questions the construction, reproduction and transformation of the multiple, though not always shared, experiential and interpretive frameworks that shape the historical consciousness of individual and collective memories over time. It also suggests that “disremembering”, in archival and oral accounts, reflects a critical political awareness of history's valid flexibility. Here, narratives are rewoven so that history continues to be told in ways that ensure that “Shajaó stories” never truly end.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/02757206.2013.822372
Uncontrolled keywords: Amazonia, Historical Consciousness, Colonialism, Missionization, Archives
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Daniela Peluso
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2013 15:46 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2022 14:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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