Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Council for Museum Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Indigeneity
Secondary Theme: Materiality
Indigenous materialities have long been influenced by processes of intercultural encounter and exchange. Focusing on the ‘deep local’ (those enduring cultural and social processes and practices of indigenous communities), papers in this panel complicate as well as untangle relationships between people, place, and the material. Rather than conceptualize local indigenous materialities as outside of, or in opposition to, global articulations and flows, however, this session focuses on the ways in which a sustained and deep focus on the local reveals complex connections to—and engagement with—global articulations and flows.
Such sustained engagement with indigenous materialities, their movement through space, their shifting meanings, and their simultaneous roles as the sites and mediums of knowledge production, reveals processes and material expressions of resistance, resilience, and adaptation to the global in the local. These entanglements also point to the various ways in which indigenous peoples have contributed to their own histories and narratives regarding material culture and accommodation/resistance from the spaces and practices of the deep local.
For example, panelists examine how the deep local is intertwined with materials, objects, and social practices that articulate with and produce knowledge about cultural and regional identities within global/transnational flows. They will also consider the resilience of the deep local in the long history of globalization, colonization, and cross-cultural/translocal contact, reflexively examining how these processes have affected knowledge about the local within particular cultural contexts. Individual papers will focus on the following topics and themes: the roles of seriality and mimesis in the making and marketing of reproductions of William Randolph Hearst’s textile collection; the production and circulation of indigenous knowledge in Navajo dye charts; the role of the overlapping material practices of witchcraft and ‘popular’ Catholicism to senses of community in Mexico; research methods and modes of ethnography in relation to the analysis of textile traditions; and Australian aboriginal materialities and curatorial practices within the context of academic museums in the United States.