“Shamans, Urban Folklore, and Alphabet Wars: Doing Fieldwork in Amazonian Ecuador”
By Prof. Michael Wroblewski, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, GVSU
People often ask anthropologists working in Amazonia how they ended up there. I will trace my way from undergraduate research with shamans in a remote community of indigenous Shuar, famed headshrinkers of the Ecuadorian Amazon, to doctoral fieldwork among the Amazonian Kichwa, who are currently undergoing a controversial project of language and culture revitalization. My experiences in Amazonian Ecuador have led to a career of investigating what it means to be indigenous Amazonian in the contemporary Latin American era of multiculturalism and political activism.