Nils Haukeland Vedal





PhD project title: "Singing People into Being: perspectivism from the point of view of women horticulturalists"

The aim of this project is to provide new insights to the anthropological literature concerning Amerindian perspectivism (a native relational ontology). I will achieve this by filling a currently existing gap regarding the role of the female gender within this body of knowledge. The central question I pose is the following: To what extent do women horticulturists play part in that which has been conceptualized as the “perspectivist idiom” in native Amazonia? With this, I situate the project within the current discussions concerning the “lived experiences, or everyday experiences of Amerindian cosmologies”; a theme which is at the forefront of much of the anthropological debate stemming from the Americas. Following the ethnographic field work I conducted for my master’s degree, I aim to continue working within the arena of the daily activities of women horticulturalists in northern Peru’s high jungle. Anthropology within the field of cosmology and ritual studies has neglected looking at the manifestations of the perspectival logic outside the primarily male dominated activities such as hunting, warfare and shamanism. Thus, horticultural activities, a sphere of life that comprises just as much of Amazonian people’s daily activities such as hunting, have fallen outside of the discussions so often immediately identified as the core of Amazonian cosmology and ritual studies. I aim to fill this gap by exploring these everyday horticultural activities of the women in Centro Tunduza; their garden rituals and mythological narratives, the articulation of kinship relations and the social world they exhibit. Aside from their academic relevance, these themes are central for furthering our understanding of the preservative aspects of native ecology.