Does being Indigenous imply being religious? Anthropology, heritage and historiography in Mexico

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

For decades, indigenist anthropology has been considered indefensible in Mexico. Its conception of Indigeneity persists, however, as a resource for national heritage and identity construction. This article analyses works on Indigenous peoples by prominent Mexican scholars and traces their links to contemporary heritage narratives and practices. It discusses how a national anthropological historiography, embedded in a secularizing ideology and state project, has generated a popular, transhistorical view of Indigenous peoples as embedded in a world of religious belief. I contend that this gaze has a dematerializing discursive effect, dissociating Indigenous peoples, past and present, from material agendas and practices. This is a dispossessive narrative tradition that is being regenerated through the framework of intangible heritage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)185-204
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Indigenismo, Indigeneity, Mexico, Religion, Secularism, Heritage, Nahuas, Aztecs, Study of religions

ID: 322272022