Identifying transcultural processes: the Wayana-Apalai and Tiriyó example

Author(s): Beatrix Hoffmann-Ihde

Year: 2015


The majority of ethnographic museum-collections were generally created to show a distinct indigenous culture based on examples from the material culture. These collections were created to give the impression that the features of a certain material culture, recognizable in form, design and material, are essential and genuine to a particular indigenous group.

My research in the field of Museum-Ethnology, investigating transcultural processes reflected in objects of material culture, refers to transformations caused by contact to other indigenous groups living in the same region and to representatives of western cultures. These contacts are reflected in the material culture: not only regarding the used materials, like metal, fabric, glass, or even plastic, but also ideas, introduced from the outside. The latter concerns for instance western concepts about the elements that the material culture of a certain indigenous group should contain. Using the example of the Wayana-Apalai and the Tiriyó, two Carib-speaking indigenous groups from the Guyanas, I would like to discuss this topic, based on ethnographic collections from German, Swiss and Brazilian Museums.

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Cite this Record

Identifying transcultural processes: the Wayana-Apalai and Tiriyó example. Beatrix Hoffmann-Ihde. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396355)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;