Converting difference: Metaculture, missionaries, and the politics of locality

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In recent years, Catholic missionaries have initiated a set of pastoral reforms in Aymaraspcaking communities of Bolivia, predicated upon an evangelical equivalence between Aymara identity and Christian identity. Working with Aymara catechists, missionaries endeavor to codify a set of pan-Aymara traits held to reflect Christian values. In this doubly metacultural discourse, authentic Aymarancss is often displaced to a Christianized indigenous past. This article addresses this construction of ethnic inclusion and its limits, focusing on the complex assimilation of this politicized discourse of Aymarancss by the catechists across a range of social contexts. (Aymara, missionaries, locality, ethnic identity)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-185
Number of pages21
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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