Both present academic theories and local native peoples' beliefs and practices are the result of complex colonial histories, and sometimes even evolved in curious interactions. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that scientific and local native theories are usually on opposite sides of the colonial border. In this article I explore the colonial and decolonizing potential of the ‘animistic turn’ in archaeology, focusing on my own trajectory of research. Following Latin American post-colonial writers on ‘border thinking’ (thinking from the border instead of about it), my account here can be described, in short, as a move from research on animism to research from animism.
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