By Andrew Canessa
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Extra resources for Intimate Indigeneities: Race, Sex, and History in the Small Spaces of Andean Life
In the words of Whittier and Simon, “There are many more reasons for desiring sex than there are ways of being sexual, the meaning of the desire being expressed cannot be fully understood by merely describing the behavior” (2001: 161). People’s physical desires and sexuality are therefore deeply embedded in racialized relations of power and difference—that is, in race. Sex and race in this context are consequently intimately linked to the point of being analytically inseparable. Some scholars, such as Verena Martínez Alier (1974), Donna Goldstein (2003), and Mary Weismantel (2001), have considered the way ideologies of sexuality and race are mutually reinforcing in Latin America, but it is perhaps surprising how few have attempted an integrated treatment of sex and race; fewer still have considered the role of desire in both configuring sexuality and racial identity.
This disturbs primordialist and essentialist assumptions about indigenous identities, since people can become jaqi or not in the course of their lifetimes. This is not to say, however, that identities in Wila Kjarka are infinitely flexible, that people have wide choices about which identities to adopt; rather, people understand that identities have to be produced through action. For people in Wila Kjarka, who they are is in a constant state of process; that is, their identities are iterative, in the sense used by Henrietta Moore (2007).
The fact that he is not, and is unambiguously recognized as indigenous, even quintessentially so, illustrates the ways that indigenous identity is neither simple nor given. Teodosio also made some choices: He changed his name to the more indigenous “Condori” after the condor, which is a messenger of the gods, in the way that many people seeking to ascend the racial hierarchy change their names from indian ones to more Spanish-sounding ones. 18 • Introduction The important point, however, is that Teodosio’s unambiguous indigenous identity is not based on ancestry or “blood” but, rather, in a way of life that in some measure he has chosen for himself.