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The Premise and Promise of Indigenous Archaeology

  • Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh (a1), T. J. Ferguson (a2), Dorothy Lippert (a3), Randall H. McGuire (a4), George P. Nicholas (a5), Joe E. Watkins (a6) and Larry J. Zimmerman (a7)...

Abstract

Researchers have increasingly promoted an emerging paradigm of Indigenous archaeology, which includes an array of practices conducted by, for, and with Indigenous communities to challenge the discipline's intellectual breadth and political economy. McGhee (2008) argues that Indigenous archaeology is not viable because it depends upon the essentialist concept of “Aboriginalism.” In this reply, we correct McGhee's description of Indigenous Archaeology and demonstrate why Indigenous rights are not founded on essentialist imaginings. Rather, the legacies of colonialism, sociopolitical context of scientific inquiry, and insights of traditional knowledge provide a strong foundation for collaborative and community-based archaeology projects that include Indigenous peoples.

Resumen

En respuesta tanto a la herencia intelectual de la disciplina arqueológica como a la economía política de su praxis, diversos investigadores han promovido de manera creciente la implementación de un paradigma de Arqueología Indígena que se caracteriza por un despliegue de practicas conducidas por, para, y con las comunidades indígenas. En contraste, McGhee (2008) sostiene que la Arqueología Indígena no resulta ser una propuesta viable pues depende del concepto esencialista de “Aboriginalidad.” En la presente replica, los autores se abocan a corregir la descripción presentada por McGhee sobre aquello que constituye una Arqueología Indígena, demostrando a la par el porqué los derechos indígenas que la caracterizan no están fundamentados en imaginarios esencialistas. Por al contrario, sostienen, los legados del colonialismo, el contexto socio-político de la investigación científica, así como el valor reflexivo del conocimiento tradicional, constituyen bases sólidas para el desarrollo de una arqueología colaborativa, arraigada en proyectos comunitarios que incluyan a las poblaciones indígenas.

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The Premise and Promise of Indigenous Archaeology

  • Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh (a1), T. J. Ferguson (a2), Dorothy Lippert (a3), Randall H. McGuire (a4), George P. Nicholas (a5), Joe E. Watkins (a6) and Larry J. Zimmerman (a7)...

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