Anthropology •  Gender Studies and Latin America

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Otavalan Women, Ethnicity, and Globalization

Linda D'Amico

While doing fieldwork in Peguche, Ecuador, Linda D'Amico found herself working with and befriending Rosa Lema, a woman who had previously worked with anthropologist Elsie Clews Parsons. One of the founding mothers of anthropology, Parsons's 1940 fieldwork in Peguche laid foundations for the development of feminist anthropology and ethnic studies. Lema, while unknown to most Americans, is an indigenous woman whose efforts to bring changes to her village and her country--most notably as ambassador for Galo Plaza's government's Cultural Mission to promote economic integration--afford a unique view of the rise of interculturalism as an indigenous ideology.

Gender is at the center of D'Amico's analysis as she looks beyond the overlapping lives of these two women, both innovators and adept at crossing cultural boundaries, to explore the interrelationship between gender, ethnicity, and globalization.


Linda D'Amico is associate professor of anthropology at Winona State University.


"These accounts harness the potential to inform an audience through narrative, especially apt for university students in women’s studies, multicultural or indigenous studies classes of various forms. With Western culture and academia in mind, D’Amico’s collection of Otavalan stories is truly a collection of women’s voices given a place to be heard. D’Amico’s choice to build on Parson’s fieldwork and stories of Lema signifies a connection with Western feminism; such expansion provides an effective template for understanding how feminism can work in tandem with indigenous movements."


Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources

6 x 9 in. 248 pages 40 halftones, 3 maps