New publication by Juan Javier Rivera Andia, EURIAS Fellow 2013-2014


«Amerindian Misfortunes: Ethnographies of South American Rituals and Cosmologies on Danger, Illness, and Evil. Introduction to the Dossier»

Juan javier Rivera Andia (Coord.), special issue, INDIANA, Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut PK, no. 32, 2015.




The articles compiled here are dedicated to exploring conceptions found in South American ethnographic contexts that are linked to the perception of danger and risk. In the contexts analysed here, which belong to the Andes and the Amazonia, the authors stress the symbolic and practical aspects of the relationships between humans and nonhumans. What do rituals and myths related to misfortune tell us about Amerindian forms of conception and interaction with the other-than-human beings that co-exist with indigenous peoples in their environments? Examining these interactions as they occur in diverse cases, this dossier calls attention to the sociocultural norms, spatiotemporal locations, and performative modes that characterize human and non-human relations. Finally, high-lighting those current dynamics of continuity and change lived by South American Amerindians, it contributes to the debate on the contemporary relevance of classical ethnographic symbolic structures, and provides elements to review the heuristic scope of regionalism for the understanding of societies in constant contact with other cultures.


This special issue includes the following articles
- Introduction to the Dossier. Juan Javier Rivera Andía, pp. 9-22.
- The Nina-Nina, the Devil and Oruro: The Origins of a Diabolical Figure. Dimitri Karadimas, pp. 23-45.
- On Place, Well-Being, and Illness in the Andes. Marieka Sax, pp. 47-64.
- Ritual Practices and Environmental Relations in Northern Andean Argentina. Daniela Salvucci, pp. 65-84.
- Fatal Substances: Apurinã’s Dangers, Movement and Kinship. Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, pp. 85-103
- Cuando los animales eran gente. La primera gran conversión de la historia shawi. Luisa González Saavedra, pp. 105-121.