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TO BE (OR NOT TO BE) MATSS BELONGING, TRIALS OF ASSIMILATION AND CHANGING MORALITY IN THE PERUVIAN AMAZON BY LORNA HADLOCK A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the re quirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Latin American Studies Under the spons orship of Professor Maria D. Vesperi and Professor Anthony P. Andrews Sarasota, Florida May, 2013
ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Above all, thank you to my parents, my sister and Renato. I couldn't have done it without you. You endured my ornery thesising moods and supported me from the beginning. You inspired my studies and taught me to be open minded. I will forever be indebted to the Matss for agreeing to host me in their community, especially to Abel, Juana, and Dora, who welcomed me into their family. I would also like to thank Angel, Santos, Estrella, Daniel, and Mercid. A special thanks to David and Dina for hosting me, and to Angie and Jessie for th e i r friendship. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to my sponsors Maria Vesperi and Anthony Andrews. You have both been so patient with me throughout my years at New College; I have learned so much from you. Also thanks to my committee members Jose Portugal and Erin Dean, as well as my other professors at NCF. I am so grateful to the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, the New College Foundation, the New College Council of Academic Affairs, and the New College Social Sciences Department for funding my r esearch. Additionally, I would like to thank NCF in general for providing a supportive atmosphere where I could grow and explore.
iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements ..i i Table of Contents ..iii List of Figures ...vi Abstract vii List of Main Participants in My Study .. ix Introduction: The Matss and I 1 The Ethnographer's Path Part One ..3 Arrival and Acceptance .... ...3 Methodology 8 Intercultural Encounters: Organization and Goals of this Project.10 Indigenous Peruvian Amazonia .11 The M atss: A Brief Overview of Matss Culture ... 15 Housing 15 Development 16 Food ... 17 Belief Systems, Medicine, Magic and Change ..18 Hunting .. 21 Family and Marriage .21 Identity ...22 The Ethnographer's Path Part Two: Emotions and Oscillation 23 My Thoughts .28 Maps 31 Chapter One: Historical Conflict and Contact .36 A Matss History of Peace and Violence ..36 Avoidance and Contact During the Rubber Boom 39 Raiding and Stolen Women ...40 SIL: Pacified Con tact 44 Spirituality and Ritual Consequences 47 A Quick Note on Romanoff's Experience .49 Christianity: The Other Side of Contact 50 Contact Reenacted .52 Contact Remem bered 54 Post Contact Stories ...58 Conclusion .59
iv Chapter Two: Three Foreigners .61 A Peruvian Anthropology Student .61 Estefania's Feelings ...65 A Quick Note on Estefania and Me ...66 Estefania 's Scandal 67 Analysis ..68 A British (Mis) Adventure ..69 Frederick Arrives ... 70 Frederick Storms 73 Whaaat???!: Frederick 's Soliloquoy ..76 Frederick Leaves 78 Frederick 's Wake ...80 Whyyy???!: Frederick 's Perspective .83 Analysis: (Not) Becoming Matss.86 A Good Person ...88 Chapter Three: Intermarriages ... 90 Introduction ....90 An American Matss ..93 The View from Puerto A legre 93 Meeting Fleck 94 Fleck Concerns ...95 Against Fleck .96 In Response to the Accusations .97 Values and Anxieties.97 Mats s/Mestizo (a) Couples ..101 Daniel and Mercid (and Marina) ..101 Vicente and Vanessa 108 Elena and Jarvin ...109 Eliseo and Esli ..111 A Note on Other Cou ples .112 Puerto Alegre Intermarriages and Connections ...114 Rafael ...114 Ramon and Mai/Graciela .115 The Marubo Connection / A Portrait of a Stolen Woman 116 Analysis 117 Mestizos Good or Bad? .117 Increased Experience = Increased Openness ...119 Assimilation or Not ..120 Chapter Four: A Tale of Two Annexes 121 Heritage and Names .121 Economics 123 Profiteer Cowboys, NGOs, and Politics ..126 Foreigners in Estirn129
v Conclusion ...130 Analysis 132 The Emotional Roller Coaster of Cross Cultural Contact ...133 The Third: Inter subjective Space 139 Construction of Matsshood 142 Ethnicity Commodified 143 Assimilation and In/Out Grou ps ..146 Conclusion ...149 Conclusion...152 Notes on an Ethnography of Ethnography ...152 Change, the Future for the Matss, and Trends in Amazonia ..153 More Ou tsiders?...154 Appendix A : Photos and Drawings ..158 Appendix B: Glossary of Frequently Used Matss Terms ..169 References 170
vi LIST OF FIGURES AN D ILLUSTRATIONS Maps ..31 Figure 1 : Ethnolinguistic Map of Peru 31 Figure 2: Map of Matss Territory on the Peru Brazil Border 33 Figure 3: Map of CONAMA and Proposed Amplification 34 Fig ure 4: Map of Matss Annexes 35 Photographs158 Photograph 1: Leaving Angamos 158 Photograph 2: The beach in Puerto Alegre 158 Photographs 3 and 4: Aniversario del Contacto 159 Photograph 5: Children outside house 160 Photograph 6: Child caring for child 161 Photograph 7: Washing secte 161 Photograph 8: Author eating 162 Photograph 9: Plantains from ceiling 162 Photograph 10: Cooking communal food 162 Photograph 11: Playing with monkey 163 Drawings.164 Drawing 1: Nap in Hammock 164 Drawing 2: Sleeping in hammock over fire 164 Drawing 3: Grooming in doorway 165 Drawing 4: Studying English 166 Drawing 5: A young girl caring for a baby 166 Drawing 6: Gutting fish 167 Drawing 7: Portraits of young women 167 Drawing 8, 9 and 10: Portraits of baby and young girls 168
vii To Be (or Not to Be) Matss BELONGING, TRIALS OF ASSIMILATION, AND CHANGING MORALITY IN THE PERUVIAN AMAZON Lorna Hadlock New College of Florida 2013 ABSTRACT This thesis i s based on seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in two annexes of the Communidad Nativa Matss (CONAMA) in the Peruvian Amazon. Focusing on narratives and observations of encounters between Matss and non Matss, I dissect belonging, processes of assimil ation, and changing morality. I begin with historical information about rubber boom era altercations, stolen women, and ambiguous relations with non Matss prior to "pacified contact" in 1969. Then, I examine glorified stories of the moment of "contact" a nd relations with Christian missionaries who initiated "contact." Continuing into the present day, I present observations and interviews to document modern interactions and intermarriages between Matss and non Matss. I hypothesize that cultural conf rontations, chan ges, and transplantations alter perceptions of morality because the emotional process of cultural contact disrupts boundaries of self and community and thus boundaries of morality may become
viii disrupted. I found that Matss conceptions of mor ality are intimately tied to their decisions about and interacti ons with outsiders; v isitors themselves experienced moral confusion and adaptation as they struggled to cultiva te a sense of belonging. In addition r elationships with outsiders are closely in terrelated with the cultural divergence of two annexes of the CONAMA Maria D. Vesperi Anthony P. Andrews Division of Social Sciences Division of Social Sciences
ix LIST OF MAIN PARTICIPANTS IN MY STUDY Some names have been changed and surnames have been excluded in this thesis to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. I have only used surnames when necessary in order to differentiate people with the same first name and in the case of the Jimnez fa mily due to the importance I attribute to the name and associated family connections. Angel He served as Chief of the CONAMA for many years and has been involved with the junta directiva, or Matss governing council for more. Although his term recentl y ended, he is still an important political figure among the Matss. Many refer to him as Angel dapa, (Big Angel) indicating his continued importance as a big man and a chuiquid dapa (a leader, a chief, literally the big talker/advisor). He was raised for much of his childhood with his mother's tribe, the Marubo. He is around 30 years old. Abel Angel's older brother. He is about 40 years old. Abel was one of the first chief s of the Matss when the junta directiva was first created. He considers himself one of the four principal founders of Puerto Alegre. He is my adoptive Matss father, and one of the kindest and most open Matss I met. He spent several years living with the Marubo tribe and remembers them fondly. He also is one of the most vocally nosta lgic Matss, he is often the Matss at the meetings who calls for a return to past values. He says he would love to live in a traditional maloca. Aron Frederick 's host. He is very active in the church and close to Angel. He is in his l ate 20s. Daniel J imn e z the principal political figure and chief of Estirn. He is warm and welcoming to outsiders. He may be described as the first middle class Matss and he uses his influence and income to engage in patron like relationships with his family members a nd the other Matss of Estirn. He is 43 years old. David Fleck The Amer ican linguist and biologist who resides permanently with the Matss, in Estirn. He is the same age as Daniel and is married to Daniel's daughter. David Nilsson an Australian "carbon cowboy" who initiated a political conflict among the Matss when he sought to establish a carbon offset deal with the Matss. Dina David Fleck's wife, in her early 20s. Dora Abel's wi fe and thus my adoptive mother. She is in her early 40s. Estrella Santos's wife, a ver y garrulous and assertive woman, probably in her late 20s or early 30s.
x Hector the sub jefe of Puerto Alegre. Quiet and very active in the church, he was also known to be an opponent of foreigners coming to Puerto Al egre. In his mid to late 20s. Juana my best friend among the Matss, one of the only young women in Puerto Alegre who speaks some Spanish, she is also the most friendly to outsiders. Abel's daughter, and thus my adoptive sister. She is 18 years old. Lorenzo one of the pastors of Puerto Alegre, a seemingly friendly man who always smiled at me yet was also slightly opposed or closed to foreigners. He defended me in one meeting, but when I interviewed him he did not invite me inside his house ins tead I interviewed him on his porch. He is probably in his late 50s. Lucio another important political figure in Puerto Alegre. He was at the forefront of a revocatorio, or impeachment of the mayor of Angamos, a mestizo at the time. He is around 25 years old. Manuel Jim nez the progenitor of Estirn. Both of his biological parents were mestizo, as his mother was stolen while pregnant with him. In his 80s, he is one of the oldest living Matss. Mercid Daniel Jimenez's mestiza w ife. She is vie wed favorably by many, and is very generous to her in laws. She acts as a sort of charismatic mother of Estirn, where she teaches. She is around 35 years old. Neal an American who has worked with Daniel Jimenez for many years on a variety of projec ts. Many Matss dislike him and view him as an opportunist who is disdainful of Matss culture. He is in his 50s. Salomo n Angel's father, one of the elders of Puerto Alegre. He and his three brothers were present at the moment of contact and recounted the story to me vividly. He is probably in his 60s. Santos the chief of Puerto Alegre. I lived in his home, although he was only in Puerto Alegre for one week during my stay. He is very welcoming of outsiders and has close ties to the NGO CEDIA. H e is in his early 30s.
! INTRODUCTION: THE MATSS AND I In the monte or the uncultivated jungle, animal and human sounds meld together and magic seems possible. Whenever I find myself alone on the path, I f eel as though someone benign were following me, disappearing into the quiet when I turn to look. At sunset even the cockroach infested houses become enchanting, as the light shines in sharp strips through the cracks in the floor boards, mixing with the fuzzier lines of light cast through the walls. The omnipr esent smoke ha ngs on the plantains suspended from the ceiling Unfortunately, other than the magical possibility of the forest, constant physical discomfort is one of the most salient features of the jungle. Actually, the discomfort might beat the magic. The Amazon i s incomparable to other harsh environments in its extreme hostility; biting, stinging, burning, and itching are quotidian perils. I have never been stung so many times by so many varieties of wasps! Gnats, no see u ms, and fleas di g into my clothes. In th e vi llage, the itchy ones ge t to me, in the jungle if I stop for long enough the stinging ones get to me, if I am in the water, the big horse flies buzz around my head. In the kitchen I breathe smoke in exchange for som e relief and in the tent I am isolate d and very sticky, hot and sweaty. Although these may seem trivial, the day to day lack of relief can be demoralizing and detract and distract from loftier concerns. Moving through a jungle path can bring some relief. Today, after a stroll to see medici nal plants, we arrived at a clearing where many of the women of Puerto Alegre were cooking for the many men who were cutting timber to build new latrines. Much of the village was out there for the day performing their community volunteer work. We shared s ongs, I helped to peel the hundreds of plantains that were boiled to make mani sicait, I learned to weave a fan for the fire, as well as make mani sicait, pushing the mush round and round with my hands. -Notes from my 2011 field journal during m y first trip to the Matss. Throughout my first semester of field research in the Peruvian Amazon, I was struck by both a sense of magical possibility and the oppression of daily physical
! # discomforts and danger. Throughout my second semester, I was overwhelmed by the lolling, tranquil pace of life juxtaposed with a frenetic internal roller coaster of emotions. As the sun sunk on one of my last days in the field, I swayed in a hammock woven from chambira, a palm fiber, contemplating my journey and watching scene s from outside the house unfurl like a flipbook animation th rough the cracks in the walls. Around me sunset noises: crackling fires, bubbling pots of yucca, the sticky slap slap rhythm of mashed plantains on the secte (Matss colander), children whisperi ng and chickens clucking under the floorboards, the soft thunk of the soccer ball and men shouting in the distance, even further away crack of firewood being chopped. I wondered: how have I changed? How have the Matss I have met changed from my being here ? Between August 2011 and August 2012 I spent seven months conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the indigenous Matss community in t he Peruvian Amazon. The Comunidad Nativa Matss (CONAMA) is located on the border with Brazil, near Angamos in the departmen t of Loreto; many Matss also reside in Brazil. The Matss are a relatively small indigenous group, renowned for the ferocious women stealing and raiding practices in the early 1900s and considered by many Peruvians to be one of the most remote and "unchan ged" indigenous communities in the country. Matss continues to be their primary language Prior to traveling there I had hoped to study eco cosmologies. The CONAMA is spread out along the Yaquerana and Galvez rivers as well as on Choba Creek, an affluen t of the Galvez. It consists of 13 annexes. I spent most of my time in two. Puerto Alegre is among the most remote o f the 13 and it is home to more than 300 people. Estirn is only eight hours away from Angamos by motorized canoe,
! $ and around 100 people li v e there. I found t he differ ence between the two annexes drastic, especially in how they perceived and interacted with outsiders. Before I arrived in Matss land I spoke with another anthropology student who had recently studied in Estirn. She warned me t hat the Matss could be quite demanding when requesting gifts and donations. I arrived already prejudging in that way, and found her statement to be true. The Matss were eager to receive gifts but I did not feel they were otherwise welcoming. Although I q uickly grew accustom ed to the physical demands of the jungle, the emotional demands never abated. My emotional experience as well as my observations of the difficulties other visitors faced motivated me to write about the experie nce of outsiders in the C ONAMA, addressing both the perspective of the outsiders and that of the Matss. Every day was a rollercoaster. One day I would be overjoyed by a slight sign of increased acceptance, the next I would be crushed in defeat as the same reserve hampered my pro gress. Hope and despair played see saw in my mind. I do not think I came to understand the M atses. I do think I gained several insights through exposure to interesting counter juxtapositions such as the experiences of people on both sides of an encounter an d the differences between the Matss of two different communities. Also, by comparing the history of the Matss with what I have seen, I have noticed certain trends. The Ethnographer's Path Part One Arrival and Acceptance I originally connected with the Matss through SERNANP, a Peruvian government agency that manages national reserves and protected natural areas. The
! % woman in charge of the neighboring reserve, the Reserva Nacional Matss, gave me the phone number for the Matss chief (the Matss territo rial lands brush up against the Matss Reserve but the Matss themselves have no control over it). Over an unstable phone connection peppered with static, I told him I was interested in visiting his community. A few days later the phone rang the chiefs o f the various annexes had accepted my request My husband Renato, and I arrived in Angamos, a military post on the Brazilian border, by plane less than two weeks later. Angel, t he elected chief of the Matss community, and Santos, the chief of the annex of Puerto Alegre, met us there and we attended a meeting of Matss leaders who agreed to my research. The next day, we were i n a canoe rigged with a peke peke an onomatopoeic name for an outboard motor commonly used in the Amazon, on our way to the furth est annex of the community. Normally it should take only a couple days in the dry season to get there from Angamos, but pit a patting upstream with an overweight boat and a fitful motor earned us five days of fishing for stinging catfish, maneuvering with our flashlights through protruding logs in the cold black caiman filled evenings, and waking up to move our tents before the biting fleas took over the beaches at sunrise. We stopped to hunt, to eat aguajes ( Mauritia flexuosa ) in Matss communities on the other side of the Brazilian border and once to dig taricaya ( Podocnemus unifilus ) turtle eggs out of their nest. I eventually arrived in Puerto Alegre with Renato and five of the most respected men of the community including one elder (the official, ele cted chiefs are all in th eir 20s or 30s ). A community meeting was held for me to present my project. When I walked into the meeting I thought I would be i ntroducing myself to people who were already
! & happy to accept me. T he only woman in the line up at the head of the maloca 1 I cheerfully but nervously articulat ed my plans to the 60 80 gender segregated adults present at the meeting. Of all the Matss present, only two wore traditional headbands ; one held a spear. Renato and I stammered some Matss we had j ust learned into the microphone. I was not expecting the first man who stood up to speak after us to be the man with the spear, but most of all I didn't expect him to use it to pound the earth and point at us aggressively, yelling, standing then squatting emphatically. He talked for what seemed like an eternity; we had no idea what he was saying. I thought I was misinterpreting his excited stance as angry. Renato was terrified and thought we should get out of there soon because it might turn vi olent. A he ated debate among many community members ensued, and only later did we learn that the man was vehemently against us stay ing and that the subsequent four hour argument was mostly between this man and some vocal younger men who wanted me to stay because I ha d offered to teach English classes in return for Matss classes. At the end of the meeting, although we had been told b efore that they would accept us and the elders had previously agreed, we were told that the Matss no longer wanted us to stay. The main concern was that I would profit from them and not reciprocate as, in their eyes, other foreigners and anthropologists had done in the past. They objected to my explanation of my project, stating that they would have preferred if I would have began with a n offer to help with something such as selling artesan a traditional crafts, instead of focusing on my own goals. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A maloca is a large traditional indigenous Amazonian longhouse in Loreto parlance Only a couple still exist in Matss territory. The one in Puerto Alegre is not a home, but is used for meetings and special events.
! A few days later the other man who had worn a headband in the meeting, gentler and more soft spoken, came to Santos's house where we were sta ying and told us that after contemplating and talking with his son, he had decided that as far as he was concerned we could stay that is if we submitted to a mandatory Matss traditional haircut for an upcoming contact anniversary celebration. Bangs fo r me and a bowl cut for Renato! However, the elder only smiled at us twice during this speech, and his attitude remained detached and somber. Overall, the issue remained controversial but we were allowed to stay after a follow up four hour meeting. We le ft the CONAMA two months later, unsure of whether we would return, having made friends but only with the chiefs Santos and Angel. When I returned to Puerto Alegre solo for the second semester of fieldwork, I didn't know what level of acceptance would await me. As the canoe docked I looked up and didn't see any smiles. The first week was torturous. Below I have included some of my journal notes from that first week. Only my first day here and I am suffocating in boredom and frustration. Sylvia and Anna won' t talk to me. I have no idea what to do. I try to think of what someone more social than me would do. Try harder to talk? Maybe. Wander out into the village to see who would talk to me. How on earth am I going to learn the language. I feel that my creativi ty is stoppered up. My ability to think curtailed by my brain's lazy preoccupation with avoiding any further discomfort. Why am I here? Should I be here? Will any good come of me being here? Should I stick it out? Or give up? Am I just hanging on to illu sory hopes and my sinking ship of a plan? Or is this a test? Is this something all anthropologists studying under such conditions go through and only the strong prevail? Or is it the strong willed? Even arrogant? All of the physical discomforts can slip away in the presence of human warmth. Rejection is more defeating than pain, and heat can be endured for even the slightest hint of affection. Yesterday, I slumped under the
! ( weight of dejection, I was struggling with myself, wavering in uncertainty and a few small words blew me over. Hector, the sub jefe, came by to talk about the meeting; he said that people were talking, telling him I should pay the Matss to be here, telling him they weren't sure I should be there. I started crying, overwhelmed by my isolation and the absence of recognition fr om the Matss in Puerto Alegre Tears bubbled out uncontrollably. Hector looked like he felt bad and uncomfortable. He said he is an hermano (implying he is a Christian) and that for him it is ok. He came back la ter to ask if I was worried and to ask for a soccer ball. At that point I was sobbing in my room. Then on Sunday, I resolved to leave. However, in the evening, Abel came to the house. He taught me a few words in Matss and told me I will do my project he re, don't worry, that he will defend me in the meeting. His visit really changed how I felt. He sat next to me, calmly leaning forward with his soft eyes. Although the welcome was lukewarm at first, inspiring my doubts, the meeting to decide my fate was different than before. No one disputed my presence As I mention above, Abel, the soft spoken elder who originally changed his mind and influenced the decision to allow us to stay, came to see me to announce that he would support me in the meeting. A week after the meeting he offered me a necklace as a gift and claimed me as his daughter. He became my adoptive father and his family became the only people in Puerto Alegre who truly accepted me into their lives. During the meeting, Salomo n, o ne of the elder s and Angel's father hugged me awkwardly. Public displays of physical affection are n ot common among the Matss; he announced that he was hugging me as a friend not as a wife. He emphasized that he looked forward to selling his artisan work to me, and t hat he was the oldest man present. Abel supported me as he said he would; Dora, his wife, declared she thought she could trust me. Another man said he thought he could trust me because I am not Peruvian. The elders asked me to agree to stay permanently. I explained that I could not. Salom o n said,
! ) e ssentially, that they wanted me to replace the women from ILV, the Instituto Ling istico del Verano otherwise known as SIL, the Summer In stitute of Linguistics. S he had lived in the community on and off for years They requested that I have my own house built there, learn the language, and leave periodically to bring goods and cash back to them. I believe that while they were asking me to stay permanently, what the y were seeking was a commitment Also, many of the elders complained that the ILV women had lived there fo r many years, been their friend and then had left without holding a meeting and without giving them gifts. I would have to call a meeting to tell them when I would leave and when I would come back. T he resistance to foreigners in Puerto Alegre has largely been about concerns over foreigners' commitment to the Matss. Also, I was caught in the middle of conflicting personal agendas: the current chiefs wanted me there, some in opposition to the chiefs r esisted for political reasons, all wanted to ensure immediate and long term material advantage from foreigners. The hugger wanted me to buy his artesan a When they did decide to accept me, they wanted me to agree to commit completely to them for the re st of my life. This was one way for them to assimilate me, or ameliorate my anomalous status as an outsider. They wanted to make me a comunero or community member, in order to categorize me. Abel also attempted to fit me into the kinship system for the sa me purpose. Methodology Over th e course of two separate trips I spent a total of se ven months in Matss territory. I spent fiv e of those in Puerto Alegre, one in Estirn and one in transit
! passing through Angamos, traveling between annexes, or stoppin g at hunting camps. Looking back, I had little understanding of what was going on during m y first trip. Only during my last two months in the community did something click. After many months of working on the language, I attained a sufficient level to ha ve conversations in Matss. In total I conducted around 25 formal interviews during my second trip 10 in Puerto Alegre, eight in Estirn, and seven in Angamos and Iquitos. In Puerto Alegre, many informants did not wish to be recorded. Additionally, due to a lack of proficient Spanish speakers in Puerto Alegre, I faced interpretation issues. Angel, the former chief of the Matss, served as my interpreter. However, he was only in Puerto Alegre for a bout two weeks throughout my entire time there. In Estirn there are many Spanish speakers far more proficient than Angel. In my first week in Puerto Alegre I attempted an interview with a young man translating. However, the information I gleaned was minimal, the interpretation clearly lacking as my interpreter summed up five minutes of speech in one sentence. Compounded with the distrust of foreigners in Puerto Alegre, the language impediment delayed my research there. I spent many days confused and unsure of how to proceed. I tried getting individuals of differ ent ages to draw maps of the community; only young people agreed and they drew maps so meticulous they never finished. I attempted drawing people; only the kids would let me. So, I spent most of my days helping with cooking tasks, taking copious participa nt observation notes, and studying Matss. The lesson book by the SIL was indispensable in this regard and I doubt I would have learned the language beyond basic sentences without it.
! "+ Intercultural Encounters: Organization and Goals of this Project During my stay with the Matss I was surprised by the community's indecision and hesitation about accepting outsiders; I was even more surprised by their request that I stay forever. Later in my fieldwork I observed the experiences of other foreigners in Puerto Alegre and in Estirn. I concluded that c ross cultural contact threatens the boundaries of community and individual identity both emotionally and literally. In this thesis I examine how foreigners visiting the Matss reacted to the emotional strain and ho w the Matss responded. Assimilation or incorporation requires the weakening of identity borders for both the host and the outsider. However, m aintain ing th e integrity of the community and existing value structure requires strengthening of boundaries The tug between weakening and strengthening boundaries results in attempts to categorize relationships within existing kinship structures (for the Matss) or within existing understandings of social relationships (for the visitor). C ertain aspects of the Mat ss encounters reflect commonly observed qualities of i nter cultural confrontation, some reveal trends specific to indigenous Amazonia, and some of these experiences are particular to the Matss. Furthermore, di fferent experiences in the annexes unveil how concepts of morality in the annexes have changed through interaction with and incorporation or rejection of outsiders. An individual Matss has multiple layers of identity, as any human in any society would. These levels enclose the individual, the immedi ate family, the extended family, the annex (usually arranged around a particular longhouse descent group), the Communidad Nativa Matss and Peru (or Brazil). Matss relationships with outsiders
! "" have been key to determining the strength and permeability of these ascending identity boundaries. The Matss have three categories for outsiders mayu, chotac and matss ushu The first is used to refer to another indigenous person from one of the adjacent tribes. The second refers to mestizos and the third means "whi te person" and refers to whites mostly from outside of Peru. I have divided my thesi s into an introduction, four chapters, analysis and a conclusion. T his introduction presents me the Matss, and my fieldw ork to the reader; what remains is a general description of the Matss to orient the reader, followed by more details on my experience. The following chapters focus on narratives of encounter between insiders and outsiders, including a more in depth look at the history of Matss encounters and the d ivergence of two an nexes. I examine specific encounters with several visitors, a resident American, and mestizo men and women who have married into the Matses. The analysis focuses on the theoret ical implications of this study and draws on the works of oth er scholars. In conclusion, I discuss Matss identity and assimilation concerns as they relate to the incorporation of outsiders. Indigenous Peruvian Amazonia According to INDEPA, a Peruvian government agency dedicated to development in the Amazon and oth er areas, there are 16 ethnolinguistic families represented in Peru, with 68 different languages and 77 ethnicities. In the Peruvian Amazon, Pano speaking peoples are the third most populous ethnolinguistic group, estimated to include about 30,000 people. Pano is the most diverse ethnolinguistic grouping in Peru, including both
! "# "contacted" and "unco ntacted" peoples in about 12 to 17 different ethnicity groupings. The majority of Pano people in Peru are Shipibo Conibos The Peruvian Matss are estimated by INDEPA to include 1,724 individuals. There are "contacted" and settled Matss communities in both Peru and Brazil, and some sources indicate the existence of an uncontacted Matss population inside the Brazilian Jav ari Valley Indigenous Reserve. Other p opulations of uncontacted Pano tribes are believed to be located in Peruvian territorial reserves, primarily Madre de Dios. The Matss believe that "uncontacted" groups might include parts of the Matss National Reserve in their territory 2 The uncontacte d tribes of Peru are mostly nomadic groups tha t have not had sustained peaceful interaction with outsiders. However, they have had and likely still do experience contact in the form of violent skirmishes and infringement on their unregulated reserves by t imber, oil and natural gas companies. Some face extinction when diseases are introduced to which they have not yet built resistance They also may suffer indirectly from outside influences that reach their lands, such as environmental pollution. Most are likely survivors of tribes that had hostile relations with mestizos during the rubber boom of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many of the "contacted" tribes were originally "contacted," or peacefully connected to the outside world, by missionaries, as is the case with the Matss. The majority of contacted indigenous peo ple in the Peruvian Amazon are Protestant due to the zealous success of the Summer Institute of Linguistics and other missionary groups. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! # INDEPA' s data can be found on the website www.indepa.gob.pe
! "$ T oday, many contacted indigenous groups struggle wi th a general distrust of outsiders mixed with a strong desire to extract wealth from them. Some Matss believe that outsiders come to take advantage of them. Before arriving in Puerto Alegre, I spent some time in Iquitos where I briefly visited another indigenous community. The experience opened my eyes to some of the trends in modern indigenous Peruvian Amazonia, confirmed by other brief experiences in Tarapoto, Yurimaguas, and Pucallpa. Like many tourists in Iquitos, we wanted to see the Amazon River. At the port, several young men shouted for our attention and shoved photos of smiling tourists with huge boas around their necks, feathers in their hair and Indians at their side. After explaining we wanted to see the Amazon, we rented a small boat with t wo tour guides. After only a few minutes on the boat, we docked, and the tour guides urged us to follow them onto shore, assuring us the stop would only last three minutes. Suddenly, several topless women ran up to us They ushered us into a maloca, an Am azonian longhouse, and put f eather headdresses on our heads and necklaces on our necks before we realized what was happening. One man began to orate about their traditional clothing and dances. He told us they were Bora. They painted our faces. "That's 20 soles each to see the dances, would you like to see our dances?" "No, thank you." "Well, then you must pay 15 soles for entering the hut." Orlando and Renato, the two men in our party, were angry and also scared. All this had happened in less than five minutes. We ended up paying the 15 soles each and leaving without any pictures or purchases I wiped the paint off my face. Renato and Orlando complained to the guides, irritat ed that they had been forced into something
! "% without their permission. I felt e mbarrassed for all parties involved. As we left, the man who had spoke n offered us free pictures with the topless. This experience, one that many tourists to Iquitos undergo left a significant imprint on me I ha ve yet to come to terms with this brand o f ethnic identity consumption and the tension created by the economic inequality among foreigners, Peruvian mestizo s, and indigenous tribes. I wondered whether I myself was complicit in the production of this commercial indigenous identity, which relies on romanticized images of indigenous people intertwined with a history of racism. Americans not so different from me come looking for those romanticized images involving naked breasts but somehow no naked male genitalia. The Matss, like the Bora and ma ny other indigenous groups in Amazon, are caught in complicated economic dynamics with foreigners compounded by cultural stereotypes and misunderstandings. Beyond ethnotourism and its complications, another hot topic in Peruvian indigenous Amazonia is the recent rise of several indigenous movements to combat oil companies and extraction policies The Aguarunas in 2009 and other tribes since then have protested Peru's free trade agreement with the USA (initiated under President Alejandro Toledo) and encroach ing oil companies by blocking oil and natural gas lines as well as roads. The Peruvian government has long been celebrating its ethnic diversity as a tourism magnet and political tool while encroaching on indigenous land or failing to respond to indigenous demands. At the same time, Matss leaders are often able to travel to Iquitos and even to Lima with the support of Peruvian non profits and indigenous alliances aiming to strengthen indigenous consensus and power in the country.
! "& T he Matss: A Brief Overv iew of Matss Culture The word Matss means person in the Matss language. A misnomer often used for the Matss is Mayoruna. However, mayu means outsider or other indigenous person in Matss, and runa means people in Quechua. Mayoruna, then, to the Matss means s omething close to outsider; it is no wonder the Matss do not use it. When asked to draw a picture of what it means to be Matss, the middle school aged children of Puerto Alegre all drew images of hunting. Some drew naked Matss men with facial ta ttoos hunting with bow s and arrows; some drew men in W estern clothes with guns. All portrayed hunters surrounded by plants and animals. What follows is a basic introduction to some important aspects of Matss life, from hunting to personhood. Housing Th e Matss currently live in what they call mestizo houses elevated thatch roof abodes acquired from the missionaries as do most indigenous peoples of the Amazon today. Bananas hang from the ceiling to mature and the continuous fire from the stove keeps the mosquitos out and blackens the leaves in the roof, hardening them so they last longer. I was told a house lasts an average of five years before needing repairs. Throughout the day sunlight enters through the slats of wood in the walls and the floor. Unwanted food is dropped through the same slats for the chickens below. In the evening the in habitants sometimes urinate through the bigger holes. Most Matss sleep in hammocks, on the floor, or on wooden platforms with a mosquito net above them, but s ome of the chiefs or more successful men have access to manufactured camping tents
! "' that they set u p inside the home. I n my host family's house, their tent was set up on top of a w ooden platform indoors All of the Matss homes I entered were unique and di d not seem to have a standard design, nor was there a standard community layout. Each of the Matss annexes has a differ ent layout and unique aspects to the houses. In Puerto Alegre, some of the houses are painted on the outside with art, statements, the d ate the house was built, or the name of the owner. One young man's house said "Welcome to Puerto Alegre" adjacent to an image of a man and a heart. Another young man's house had pictures of ninjas and Chinese dragons with the statement "Puerto Malo" (bad p ort), a riff on Puerto Alegre, which means Joyful Port. Prior to and immediately preceding "pacified contact" in 1969, the Matss resided in malocas, or longhouses which housed up to 100 people Mestizo style housing tightens the nuclear family but loosen s extended family ties. Development In recent years, infrequent and sporadic electricity has arrived in many of the annexes. In Pu erto Alegre, a gas powered generator may be used to fuel a light bulb on a special night or TVs that blast Christian songs about apocalypse and miracles. Solar panels supply a satellite phone, a radio and a loudspeaker with energy. The annexes display varying efforts by the m unicipal government. Puerto Alegre had new latrines and "wells," actually a central holding tank for w ater that connects to various spigots throughout the annex. Estirn featured, improbably, sidewalks and a metal playground. While the "wells" and latrines were great improvements, unfortunately
! "( they are likely to degrade in the near futur e. Within a few mo nths of being installed the "wells" had begun to erode. The leader of Estirn told me that m any government and non government agencies prefer infrastructure projects that use cement so that they can receive voter gratitude but use diluted cement They poc ket the extra cash and the project disintegrates soon after completion. Food The staples of the Matss diet are plantains and sweet yucca, supplemented with papaya, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pineapple, fish, game animals, taricaya turtle eggs, rice and other products brought from Angamos, and occasionally forest fungi. The game ani mals include various monkeys, caimans, frogs, turtles, birds and local mammals such as peccaries and sloths. Every meal is accompanied by a large bowl of mani sicait A wa rm, sweet banana mash, the women make it every day by boiling sweet ripe plantains, mashing them, and massaging them by hand through intricately woven basket like filters. No fermentation is involved. Plantains are otherwise eaten in all stages of ripenes s, and in any form boiled, roasted over embers, fried, tacacho style. Yucca is boiled or eaten on long trips as dried farinha coarse yucca flour. In Puerto Alegre, women pull yucca from the ground every few days, carrying machetes into the tied ( fields, chacra in Spanish ) to chop off the skinny trees and pull the red brown roots from the ground. On the way they collect plantains and firewood.
! ") Belief Systems, Medicine, Magic and Change T he Matss do not retain most pre contact rituals and beliefs, at le ast not officially. However, the Matss are well known for the continued use of a frog poison emetic, acate. The Matss scrape the substance from the frog's skin, boil the toxins into a resin, and then apply to burned dots of skin. It is not a ceremony in a shared public sense, but rather a personal practice. I participated twice. An elder burned me four times on my upper arm and scraped the burnt skin off to reveal the fresh, pink, new skin. Spitting upon a wooden stick where the dried secretions from a p oisonous frog's skin are stored, he accumulated small balls of goop, which he then applied to my wounds. Within five minutes I was outside vomiting, my face swollen, my head spinning. Acate is traditionally only applied to men, in order to improve their strength and marksmanship. Today women use it as well. Someone with more perceived intrinsic power than the recipient, usually an elder man, applies the acate He is said to pass his energy to the recipient. Often, when people are lazy or children misbeha ve elders threaten them with acate. After taking acate, one should be hardworking and full of energy. It is thought to enable hunters to hunt for hours, even days, without sleeping. However, men are cautioned against drinking water or having sex for days a fter using acate. Doing so would make the acate impotent. Matss are very well acquainted with the plants that surround them in the monte Plants are used in a variety of dex terous ways. The Matss are cre ative jungle materialists, fashioning items quickly out of their surroundings only to be discarded later and replenished with new bio items. They fashion packs with head straps out of leaves
! "* and vines, cutting down thin trees to get a fibrous material to make the straps to carry onerous weights of game ani mals, firewood, and forest products. On our trip to Puerto Alegre, sticks and palms were used to make a temporary canoe roof and forks were made out of a lightweight wood and discarded after use. Tree fibers are used to make bracelets and palms to make wov en fire fans and colanders for mani sicait The Matss have aphrodisiacs, and identify some medicines through a "Doctrine of Signatures" 3 type system, in which the plant's physic al shape and attributes determine its use. For example, a plant used to count eract sickness caused by "tigers" (jaguars) has striking dark spots that resemble those of a "tiger." Nine old men in all of the CONAMA three in Puerto Alegre, are considered to retain esoteric knowledg e of medicinal plants. On a one hour trip into the medicinal plant "gardens" ( land specifically planted with medicinal flora along a path leading to and mixing with the monte rather than a traditional enclosed or defined space) a medicine man showed me 38 different plants, until I drew weary as they all m elded into one green blob before my eyes. I surmise that the medicine men of the community must be aware of hundreds of surrounding plants with medicinal properties. Many medicinal plants help with toothaches and infections as well as with tiredness in t he legs. However, the most common illness that came up in the plants I was s hown is cutipacin ." Cutiparse is a vague Spanishization of an Amazonian verb describing the phenomenon by which children get sick when their parents offend different animals. Ann a Kovasna (2009) describes it as "bewitch" or a process by which qualities of an external thing are transferred onto an unborn baby. In one case outside the Matss, the fear is that a boat !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $ The Doctrine of Signatures was a European idea in the 15 th and 16 th centuries that held that plants resemble the parts of the body they can be used to treat.
! #+ engine will cutipar the baby and the baby "will be born like the en gine, all blackened and with stoma ch pain and diarrhea" (Espinosa 2011:13). The most common way to offend the animal is by ignoring a food prohibition and eating that animal when one's child is small and vulnerable, although seeing the animals during such a time can also cause illness. The Matses have various food taboos, especially restricting parents of young children from consuming certain foods at the risk of incurring wrath from animal spirits who would impose sickness on the child. Animals and the j ungle play important roles in dreamscapes and beliefs. Animal and bird calls presage if it will rain or a person is coming to visit. Animals in dreams can be the bearers of both symbolic and literal information. A literal dream was described for me in a story o f a man who kept hearing an acate frog ( hualo in Spanish) chirping at night. He said, "I will go hunt that hualo ." However, his wife dreamed of a shushupe a dangerous poisonous jungle snake, protecting the hualo She said to her husband, "Don't go get that hualo ." But he did, and when he reached into a tree trunk to grab it, he was bit by a s hushupe that was inside the tree as well. He didn't die, but this story sho es the importance of dreams in a literal sense Both the use of acate and the im bibing of plant concoctions to increase strength and hunting capabilities, show the stress on strength in Matss culture. Many Matss proclaimed they were stronger prior to contact. Individuality also appears important, as each person has a separate style of speech and presentation rather than a highly formulaic sty le. Also, each person does acate ac cording to his or her own volition, without ceremony or ritualized actions. Matss culture today is highly material, not highly
! #" ritualized, strongly based on survival over cultural restrictions. For example, I was told people often eat meat even if the y are not supposed to, ignoring food prohibitions. Hunting Guns have largely replaced bows and arrows for hunting. Wade Davis (1996) mentions that one of his i nformants proclaimed the visceral satisfaction of the pop of the gun to be the r eason for its preference This is a compelling hypothesis because the predominance of guns in indigenous Amazonia is otherwise hard to understand or explain. The Matss have co nflicting feelings about them; San tos felt they were scaring ever decreasing game away. They are not more accurate than bows and arrows. In an area of few monetary resources why pay for a gun when one can use a handmade bow and arrow? It is a constant st r uggle to buy enough cartridges, and guns are shared among men most of the time. At one home visit in a different annex (not Puerto Alegre), t he young men saw a game animal just a few meters outside their house. They grabbed a gun and then asked us if we ha d any cartridges. We didn't. They didn't. I t disappeared into the jungle as they lamented the lack of cartridges. A lthough it had caused quite a commotion at first in the end they just shrugged in disappointment. The game was direly needed protein, so it was not for lack of moti vation. Overall, the Matss report experiencing game shortages in recent years. Family and Marriage Nuclear family is currently very important among the Matss, unlike in the past when longhouse groups resided together and extende d family was more important K ids
! ## are strong focal points of the family, and are often lavished with affection e ven though parents can leave kid s for weeks to go to the towns. Estrella, my host mother left with me to visit Angamos, only telling her kids at the very last minute as the canoe pushed off. The Matss follow prescriptive cross cousin marriage practices as well as polygamy even today. In the past decade, a new phenomenon related to cross cousin marriage has arisen the sister swap. I believe the practice can be associated with the demographic issues of a post stolen women society. While in the past, stolen women and polygamy were used to swell the ranks of the Matss population, the modern Matss have no such resource. Since it is harder for young Matss men to find a wife, parents and sons use their daughter or sister as leverage. Thus, parents are reluctant to marry their daughter to a sister less young man. They prefer arranging sister swaps. Men and women are segregated in Matss society. Outside of the home, the fields, and the monte such as in a public meeting, fathers rarely associate with their wives or grown daughters. Additionally, outside of those three private places, women rarely assert their opinions. Identity Pepe Pasabi, the mayor of Angamos declared jokingly, Mira Angel sentado all en la silla, Matss con barba, ya no es Matss! Matss leyendo noticias, ya no es Matss, Matss con zapatos, ya no es Matss Look at Angel, sitting there in a chair, Matss with a beard, he is no longer Matss! Matss reading the news, not Matss anymore, Matss with shoes, no longer Matss.
! #$ In ot her words, the Matss have chang ed through national influence and the concept of Matsshood is up for grabs The Matss live on both sides of th e border between Peru and Brazil, and on both sides they have begun to learn the national language and participate in national politics, culture, and identity formation. These processes make it more difficult to understand what is Matss and what i t means to be Matss. O thers have noted how the Cocama and other indigenous peoples have been involved in processes of constant appropriation of the ever changing "other" for five hundred years. Peter Gow discusses the Cocama use of mestizo names and shows how "t rue Cocama" names were probably taken from another tribe originally (s ee Gow in Fausto and Heckenberger 2007). T he appropriation and absorption of outside influences is by no means a new process in the Amazon. The Matss seem to view their cultural ident ity as a commercial commodity one that is particularly vulnerable to usurpation. T hey are very suspicious of publications about them. I was told several times o f someone who is not Matss who has a maloca in Iquitos where the tourists go to get Matss t obacco and acate The Matss dislike photograph y unless they are paid. Along with the belief that their culture is a commodity comes a strong sentiment that outsiders often take advantage of their commercial property, taking pictures of the nakeds and s elling those pictures for their own profit. The Ethnographer's Path Part Two: Emotions and Oscillation They are so aloof and want me to pay for all information and to be there, but on the other hand they want me to stay forever!
! #% The above entry from m y journal exemplifies the emotional ambiguity I felt in the field. At the beginning of my first trip, I was preoccupied with trying to escape bugs. The second trip was entirely different psychologically, but equally draining. I quickly grew out of my obses sion with the discomfort of the jungle, and became more focused on the psychological torture. D uring my first trip, I felt overshadowed by Renato's presence and unable to connect with the Matss men or women. At times, I found myself overwhelmed by the m acho strength of the Ma tss, feeling not strong enough, although I am very fit and strong by my own society's standards. I felt left out, while Renato was more accepted, being a man, dark skinned, much more socially graceful, and a Peruvian. I found mysel f depending on him to initiate conversations, even ask my questions. In a society that favored strength and, as it seemed, masculinity, how could I, a pampered developed world girl, be taken seriously? Further evidence of the competitive environment is t hat volleyball was played with small bets, and when I played they discovered I was not the best volleyball player, they essentially kicked me out. Helping to cook and playing i n the women's soccer tournament brought me closer to the women of Puerto Alegre, giving me some hope that I would be able to talk with them soon. Other than those moments, however, women rarely if ever talked with me on the first trip. I bemoaned the difficulty of fitting in with the women despite the fact that I was clearly delineat ed into the women's category (my experience, probably partially due to coming with my husband was unlike that of many women anthropologists in that I was not accepted into the man's group as a non gendered oddity, but rather soundly identified to be female ).
! #& Near the end of my first stay, some teenage boys (my students) brought their bow and arrows to our home to teach us how to use them. They also brought a mouse they had caught and tied it up for target practice. I found the bow and arrow hard to manipul ate and the mouse tragically pathetic. It eventually died of fright from the arrow narrowly missing it many times before they stabbed it multiple times. Not only was the experience humiliating for me as I was far less skilled at shooting the arrow than any body, I also felt sick about the necessary, but still gruesome, callousness of the kill. During my second stay, I oscillated between feeling accepted and feeling rejected. One day I would say to myself, "if this continues I will leave and write my thesis on something else," but the next day something encouraging would happen. This oscillation continued until the semester was nearly over. For instance, one day I was overjoyed that Angel had returned and agreed to interpret interviews for me. That night, h e told me a plethora of interesting Marubo stories. However, he didn't call for me to begin interviews the next day, or the next. In a few days I learned he was leaving again, without having helped me with one interview. Every step forward was matched by a step backward. I com pleted good interviews that the interviewee wouldn't let me record. An old woman called me granddaughter but did not want to do an interview with me. I asked someone to translate the meeting for me and he said no; I asked again be cau se I though maybe there was a misu nderstanding and he confirmed his refusal People told me they would come to my house to take me to their fields or out fi shing or hunting, and then they wouldn't come on the designated day. Dora, Abel's wife, said she wou ld take me on an extended fishing trip but then left without me. When she returned she blamed a small foot infection of mine, saying she
! #' didn't want my foot to get worse. I participated in the harshly demanding communal work, but then was teased for leavin g early or helping with cooking instead of chopping. My host family often did not feed me. They might enter and leave and cook yucca without offering me any, until I went to Abel's house to eat. I never knew if it was ou t of ill will or due to shame at no t having meat or fish, or out of the mistaken belief that I had my own stash. On a positive note, I was overjoyed when Abel began plans for building a new house and told me he was saving a room for me. Also, while I was in the field two babies in Puerto A legre were named Lorna Angel's daughter, and Santos's sister's daughter. On the other hand, t he 14 year old girl t hat lived in my house stole clothes and jewelry from me Juana and Dora were scandalized. Although I had planned to gift the items anyway, it caused me to distrust. Hector, the sub jefe, or vice chief, 4 was the source of much of my anguish. I had brought a soccer ball for the men and one for the women. However, when the men broke theirs, we began to share, alternating between men and women. Then one day, Hector s aid women could not play soccer indefinitely. I t houg ht it was about the soccer ball or a personal affront to me, but when I saw Hector he ignored me, and when I tried to talk with him he just nodded yes, yes. I was confused. Late r, when Santos returned women began to play again, but by that time the other ball was busted too. I learned the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 One of the four community members I know to be opposed to foreigne rs coming to the community. Hector did not often talk in the community meetings and never confronted me or the other foreigners. Rather, other community members told me that he complained outside of the meetings. Additionally, he was resistant to helping m e and another researcher with our fieldwo rk, as I discuss in Chapter Two Among other things, I heard that Hector had been talking about closing the communal comedor where I held my English classes in order to stop me from offering them !!
! #( restriction was ostensibly because women did not participate sufficiently in the communal work, although I still doubt it. In another gender related soccer incident, Juana told me not to give the boys the ball when they came to ask to use it (I still kept the ball at my house, but the women were still not playing) Earlier, when the women were playing soccer, some of the women said "don't give it to the men." This is interesting because the women did not object when Hector unilaterally restricted their sports. However, they did show some resistance to obedience, but only through me. With Angel I had a few interesting incidents. One night he as ked me if I had a phone card. I said yes. Without saying anything else he turned to Hector and resumed his conversation in Matss. The next morning at 5 am, Hector showed up at my house saying Angel had sent him for the card. Although I handed it over, and other phone cards later as well, I was miffed that Angel hadn't even asked me. Another time, I told Angel I wished to interview the pastor Lorenzo. He told me Lorenzo probably wouldn't agree. I asked Angel to ask anyway. At the time for our interview, A ngel tol d me Lorenzo refused I said, "R eally? I really wanted to interview him. I will go and ask him myself again." Angel urged me not to ask Lorenzo. I accused Angel of not really asking Lorenzo and he didn't deny it. When I went to ask Lorenzo, he agre ed to the interview. This incident was an example of the underlying "lying" dynamics that I never fully understood. In another interesting lie, Angel brought two deer home. When I asked Angel if he had hunted them, he told me that Moises, his brother in l aw had hunted for him as a favor. When I discussed the matter with Juana, she was surprised. She had seen Angel
! #) and Moises arriving by boat together with the deer. When she asked who got them, Moises said Angel did. My Thoughts In this section I will ou tline some of my thoughts in the field and how they influenced my experience. Here is one of my journal entries: Culture is not a text to be read, though it is perhaps made of stories to be heard, rather it is a web, a synergesic communication between ind ividuals and their wider social networks. Culture is a dialogue between individuals and symbols, between story tellers, re tellers, and listeners. Listening to stories, focusing on the interface between individuals and their contexts seems to me most truth ful. Cultural anthropology as a science seems unattainable, as does anything that tries to reduce human behavior to varia bles and constants. A human can not be known the way a chemical can. I cannot describe the personality properties of a close friend wit hout simplifying, essentializing, and contradicting myself. Writing a book on chemical interactions will not change the chemical, but writing a book about human interaction inevitably impacts the humans. While I was in the field I was reading Do Glacier's Listen by Julie Cruikshank (2005) and A'aisa's Gifts by Michele Stephen (1995) I was thinking about heresay, narratives, and multiple representations, as well as individualism and the boundaries of individuals. I mused about good and bad, wondering how s omeone that does a bad thing can be good. Furthermore, a bad or destructive person can be admired, an ideal I noted in my journal: Good: 1. ) Productive, positive, moral 2. ) Valued, ideal, normative Bad: 1.) de structive, negative, immoral or 2.) not val ued, outside ideal, non normative H ow does one determine what kind of person one wants to be. What does one value in oneself? What does one strive for/admire? How, when
! #* looking at this difference between valued and moral? How does one change in objectives and in acted reality when one "changes" culture? It doesn't feel good to be singled out as a minority or to be constantly confronted wi th the fact that the people who surround you only want things ." The emotional oscillations eroded my self confidence a nd I wondered whether I should be there, and questioned my o wn ethics and morality. I dreamed of an elaborate birthday party that my grandparents had thrown for me. In the dream, I behaved rude ly because the party didn't fulfill my expectations, and I even tually fled without saying goodbye. This dream clearly reflects my constant underlying anxieties about fulfilling social responsibilities and being adequately grateful. One incident gave me insight into Matss closedness. After bathing one day I was hangin g up my wet clothes when a young woman came by and started taking photos of me there with just my bra on, my white belly in the air. I yelled P adi !" No (used as a command) but she didn't stop, and then she said Lorna are you afraid of the photo ?" and I said yes. When she asked why, I said "because my belly is big!" Later I saw the incident as a role reversal. Sometimes, when the Matss refused photographs, such as in one case where a man didn 't want his leg photographed, it seems exaggeratedly paranoid. But when the girl took photos of me I imagined my white belly circulating around in some indigenous development Powerpoint, or how to deal with anthropology students exhibit A, or on the web on some futuristic CANIABO 5 or Puerto Alegre website. Vincent C rapanzano says that "most anthropologists with whom I have spoken describe their departures with regret, sorro w, and guilt" (2010: 62). His statement resonates with my fieldwork experience, as both in arrival and departure I felt ambivalent !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! & The Matss you th organization.
! $+ about my relati ons with the Matss. I was regretful that I couldn't have done more, guilty that I would leave, unsure that I would return, but with the weight of a lifetime obligation upon me. Unlike Clifford Geertz's magical pre and post acceptance dichotomy in "Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese cockfight" (1973) my acceptance in the field, and I would argue acceptance for any foreigner in the Matss, is a slow and treacherous road that never ends.
! $" MAPS Figure 1: Ethnolinguistic Map of Peru See the next page for information on the different numbers. Number 37 represents the Matss. I obtained both the map and supplementary information on INDEPA's website (www.indepa.gob.pe). 290 Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica. 2010; 27(2): 288-91. INDEPA 32. 1 44.1 6 39 55 57 51. 1 47.3 47.4 47.2 47.1 55.1 51.2 51.3 46. 1 50.1 50.2 50.3 43 46. 2 16 18 17 19 20 21 22 59 44 45.1 40 16.1 41 44.1 36 1 48.3 48 48.1 48.4 40 6 35 38 38.1 44 43 34 47 47.2 47.1 51.1 51.2 51. 3 54 48.2 50 50 49 49 29 62 63 39 33 33. 1 42 37 64 63 46 56. 1 52 57 67 55 30 32 58 28 52 52.2 31 66 67 68 52. 3 52.1 52 60 61 27 24 23 25 24 26 27 56 51 46 65 Arawaw Aru Cahuapana Castellano Harakmbut Huitoto Jbaro Pano PebaY agua Quechua Sin Clasicacin Tacana Tucano Tupi-Guaran Uro-Chipaya Zaparo Figura 1. Mapa etnolingstico del Per. Los nmeros que se encuentran dentro de los crculos corresponden a las etnias, cuyos nombres se encuentran en la pgina adjunta. Para mayor detalle puede visualizar este mapa en www.indepa.gob.pe Aquellas reas con rayas demarcan zonas con indgenas en aislamiento voluntario y contacto inicial. ECUADOR COLOMBIA BRASIL BOLIVIA
! $# 291 I. Familia etnolingstica ARAWAW (Penon Alto) 1. Ashninka (nuestro pariente) 2. Ashninka (hermano) 3. Atiri (paisano) 4. Caquinte (gente) 5. Chamicuro (gente) 6. Madija (gente) 7. Matsiguenga (persona) 7.1. Noshaninkajeg 8. Resgaro (gente) 9. Y anesha (nosotros la gente) 10. Y ine (gente) 10.1. Kapexuchi-Nawa II. Familia etnolingstica ARU (hablar) 11. Aymara (voz antigua) 12. Jakaru (hablar de la gente) III. Familia etnolingstica CAHUAPANA 13. Campo-Piyapi (nosotros la gente) 14. Shiwlu (gente) IV. Familia etnolingstica ROMANCE 15. Castellano V. Familia etnolingstica HARAKMBUT (hermano) 16. Amarakaeri (gente) 17. Arasaire (hombre) 18. Huachipaeri (hombre que vive bajo el puente) 19. Kisamberi (hombre) 20. Pukirieri (hombre) 21. Sapiteri (empleado) 22. Toyoeri (hombre) VI. Familia etnolingstica HUITOTO (planta) 23. Dyo' xaiya o Ivo'tsa (persona) 24. Meneca (persona) 25. Miamuna (gente) 26. Muinane (gente) 27. Murui (grupo de gente) VII. Familia etnolingstica JBARO (bravo) 28. Achuar (gente) 29. Awajun (tejedor) 30. Candoshi-Shappra (ms gente) 31. Jbaro (bravo) 32. Shuar-Wampis (gente) VIII. Familia etnolingstica PANO (hermanos) 33. Iscobaquebu (gente) 34. Joni (gente) 35. Junikuin (gente de verdad) 36. Masrronahua (gente del agua) 37. Matss (gente) 38. Morunahua (gente) 38.1. Morunahu 39. Nuquencaibo (nuestra gente) 40. Onicoin (gente verdadera) 41. Parquenahua (gente) 42. Pisabo (toda la gente) 43. Uni (gente) 43.1. Cashibo Cacataibo 44. Y aminahua (gente de hierro) 45. Y ora (gente) IX. Familia etnolingstica PEBA-YAGUA 46. Y ihamwo (gente) X. Familia etnolingstica QUECHUA (clima templado ) 47. AncashY aru 47.1 Vicos (cosa entuertada) 47.2 Y aruvilcas 48. Ayacucho Cusco 48.1 Chancas (piernas) 48.2 Chopccas (pueblo escogido) 48.3 Quero (vaso de madera coloreado) 48.4 Wari (Alpaca) 49. Caaris Cajamarca 49.1 Cajamarca (pueblo o lugar de espinas) 49.2 Caaris (culebra y guacamaya) 50. Chachapoyas Lamas 50.1 Llacuash (mango de azada) 51. Jauja Huanca 51.1. Huancas (pen) 51.2. Tarumas 51.3. Xauxas (valle) 52. Napo Pastaza Tigre 52.1. Alamas 52.2. Ingas (inca, emperador) 52.3 Quichua (clima templado) 53. Santarrosino 53.1 Kichwaruna (cosechador) 54. Supralecto Y auyos 54.1. Y auyos (gente belicosa) XI. Sin clasicacin 55. Aguano (caoba) 56. Duxgu (gente) 57. Kach Edze (gente) 58. Walingos (hombre de manglar) XII. Familia etnolingstica TACANA 59. Ese'ejja (hijos del agua) XIII. Familia etnolingstica TUCANO (encabellados) 60. Aido pa (gente del bosque) 61. Maijuna (paisanos) 62. Monichis XIV. Familia etnolingstica TUPI-GUARAN 63. Cocama-Cocamilla (gente) 64. Omagua (amazona baja) XV. Familia etnolingstica URO-CHIPAYA 65. Uro (hijos del amanecer) XVI. Familia etnolingstica ZAPARO (gente de donde sale el sol ) 66.sempdesigner Iquito (dolor) 67. Ite'chi (gente) 68. Tapueyocuaca (hermano, familia) Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica. 2010; 27(2): 288-91. Mapa etnoling stico del Per
! $$ Figure 2: Map of Matss Territory on the Peru Brazil Border From An na Kovasna (2009), this map shows the general area and Matss annexes in relationship to Iquitos. However, the triangles representing Matss villages are not accurate. 117 !""#$%&' () *+" Map showing the location of a ll Matses villages inhabited in 2002 (14 in Loreto, Peru; 3 in Amazonas, Brazil), and nearby non-tribal towns and cities. This map also shows the areas where uncontacted Matses are believed to exist. There is today as far as I know one more community on Choba creek, where Estiron, the village where most of the material presented in this thesis was collected, also is situated.
! $% Figure 3: Map of CONAMA and Proposed Amplification This maps is more precise than t he preceding one. It shows the demarcation of the CONAMA, revealing that Puerto Alegre is actually outside of the official territory, instead forming part of a proposal for enlargement of the territory (see http://www.territorioindigenaygobernanza.com/per_ 14.html).
! $& Figure 4: Map of Matss Annexes This map is the most accurate for the names and locations of the annexes. It was drawn for me by one of my informants.
! $' CHAPTER I HISTORICAL CONFLICT AND CONTACT A Matss History of Peace and Violence Over the course of 15 months from 1974 1976, Steven Romanoff conducted the only compre hensive anthropological study of the Matss to date. 1 I will rely on his information, collected through interviews with both Matss and Peruvian nationals, to describe th e historical background of the Matss. Romanoff's dissertation refutes the hypothesis set forth by Donald Lathrap, which identifies the Matss as the remnants of a pre conquest interfluvial group, weaker than riverine groups due to environmental determinan ts (1968:23) Instead, Romanoff argues that "the social environment of the Matss the non Matss actions that influence the Matss has presented more critical and life threatening dangers than has the natural environment, and it has called forth the mo re energetic and extreme behavior" (1984:3). Thus a significant portion of his dissertation explains how the Matss managed to survive and adapt to non Matss interventions, especially when "extermination was a demographic possibility" and the Matss popu lation reached its nadir during the rubber boom era. The Matss traditionally resided in "long closed longhouses" that housed around 100 people. They relied on hunting and slash and burn agriculture, much as they do today, and engaged in cross cousin marr iage, which also continues today. However, the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His work was presented as his doctoral dissertaion; he was awarded the Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University in 1984. I obtained his 1984 dissertation, entitled Matss Adaptations in the Peruvian Amazon, from University Microfi lms International.
! $( two line moiety kinship terminology that was used during Romanoff's fieldwork is no longer in widespread use. When Romanoff arrived, he noted that the Matss were in an interesting period of change following pacified contact" with missionaries in 1969. The resulting increase in material goo ds led to a surprising mishmash replete with bows and shotguns, earthen and metal pots, semi nudity and clothing, facial tattoos and sunglasses, monolingualism and schoolboo ks. Many of these medleys still characterize Matss life, although earthen pots have fallen into disuse. The two main historical events that divide Matss history are the rubber boom, 1880 1920, and "pacified contact" in 1969. The rubber boom expelled the Matss from their territory, reduced their population, and sparked the Matss desire for steel tools (1984:4). Overall, the depopulation, disorganization, and "loss of culture" during the rubber boom shaped the region, reverberating into modern day (1984 :4). "Pacified c ontact" rocked the Matss world through the creation of hybrid settlement s of Amerindians and bureaucratic institutions affecting settlement and hunting patterns and catalyzing unprecedented acquisition of manufactured objects. The format ion of social relations with non Matss also affected Matss culture in numerous ways, as I discuss later in my thesis. Overall, the demographic problems faced by the Matss as well as the general progression of problems during and following the rubber bo om are common for all of the indigenous groups of the region belonging to the Panoan linguistic family, especially the Panoans around the Peru Brazil border. This group includes the Matss as well as the Amahuaca, Marubo, Capanahua, Cashinahua, Iscobakebu, Sharanahua, Cha cobo, and Yaminahua. The pattern included sparsely populated areas, migration to avoid outsiders,
! $) some involvement in the extractive economy and the patron system, more avoidance of outsiders, raids to get steel tools, hostilities with othe r Panoans, collapse of previously distinct groups into a new population, establishment of non violent relations with outsiders including Protestant and Catholic missionaries, and permanent settlement, usually on a river. The Matss population in 1976 was 823, compared to an estimated 1,724 Matss in Peru today. 2 Romanoff says that the population difference between the border Panoans and the large riverine Panoan groups, such as the Shipibo, who had a population of around 16,000 in 1976, is due not to pre c onquest conditions (as some South American theorists including Donald Lathrap argued), but rubber boom interactions. The Matss belong to what Romanoff calls a "rubber core area," where the most rubber was tapped during the boom (1984:8). Groups with more than 10,000 people in Peru were usually outside the rubber core area. The Shipibo, on the border of the core area, became tappers and slave traders, raiding interfluvial groups, gaining greater access to weapons, and cooperating in the rubber/slave trade. Therefore, the Shipibo flourished while the rubber boom jostled the Matss away from the Yavar /Yaquerana river, making them even more interfluvial than prior to the boom era. Today, the Matss have reclaimed the Yavar /Yaquerana, where fishing is better t han in the streams. According to Romanoff, the "scattered settlement phase of such [interfluvial] groups (post rubber boom but pre mission or peripheral missions) has been taken as aboriginal pre Columbian culture" (19 84:18). However, the Matss had likel y changed significantly even before "contact." Romanoff theorizes that the Matss are simply a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! # According to a 2010 census by INDEPA, the Instituto Nacional de Desarollos de Pueblos Andinos, Amazonicos y Afroperuanos, or the Nati onal Institute for the Develop ment of Andean, Amazonian, and Afroperuvian Peoples.
! $* coalescence of various similar groups reduced through disease and violence, judging that changes from the pre rubber boom era include the cessation of endocannib alism, a switch from the blowgun to the bow, and the end of hallucinogen use. Romanoff divides Matss history into four periods: avoidance during the early rubber boom (1800s to early 1900s), intermittent contacts during the late rubber boom (to 1920), ra iding (economic recession) until 1969, and then non violent contact with outsiders. Avoidance and Contact During the Rubber Boom Even anecdotes from the period of avoidance highlight how the tension and confusing relationships with outsiders drove Matss actions and could have had lasting impacts on Matss perceptions of outsiders. During the period of avoidance, t he Matss lost use of the Yavar Romanoff narrates one of his elder Matss informants' stories, in which Matss accompanied a group of nationa ls to their camp. After the nationals left to hunt, the Matss ate some of the meat at the c amp. As Romanoff's recounts: "W hen the hunters returned they asked who ate the meat, but the Matss said that they did not know. Then a national hit a Matss man i n the mouth with a machete. The Matss left and then returned to kill the three nationals" (1984: 34). They didn't use the Yavari after that incident. During the intermittent contact phase, the Matss became familiar with some of the nationals' tools. Some joked that they "thought matches were lip ornaments, that scissors were two knives stuck together, shotguns were blowguns, and a rubber pot was something to drink" (1984:34).
! %+ Romanoff also collected narratives of encounter from that period. To paraphrase his condensed accounts: the informants speak of a father who gathered rubber to take in exchange for machetes and other tools; some Matss went to the outsider's place, other s were afraid. Sometimes they stopped rubber tapping in order to have time to pla nt crops, and they eventually stopped altogether. In all accounts, the "contact was broken due to fear of hunger, fear for a son who had been taken by the nationals to visit downstream, an attempt by the nationals to take women, overhearing an outsider sa y that he was going to kill Matss, or an attack by outsiders which killed seven Matss" (1984:36). Thus, Matss during that time period established brief employment and patron system participation only to reject it in favor of their own autonomy and cultu ral continuity. The stories also mention an "outsider [who] spoke well and he resembled my people. He had lipholes and looked like us. He said you are my people H e ate cooked turtle eggs with blood" (1984:36). Matss marked other groups by peculiar diets Thus, this mention of an outsider/insider is interesting to show the identity confusion of the time. Another story from this time period portrays an outsider who took a Matss daughter by force. When the Matss killed him, the girl cried, and her father replies that "the outsiders are all bad" (1984:36). During the rubber boom, Peruvian nationals raided the indigenous groups, abducting women. Raiding and Stolen Women Although both the period s of avoidance and intermittent contact included violence, the violence was marginal. The fear that characterized those periods continued beyond the rubber boom, but shifted from a strategy of avoidance to one of confrontation.
! %" The Matss turned to raiding, and thus became known and feared for years as one of the most militant tribes in the Peruvian Amazon. The raiding phase turned out to be crucial in the survival of the Matss, enabling the restoration of the diminished population. Matss justifications for raiding included the "belief that another group had attacke d the Matss with magic, the desire to capture women, and a response to incursions into Matss territory and generalized animosity to nationals" (1984:40). However, it is also likely that the Matss had raided other indigenous groups previously, and that t he raiding period just represented an extension to the, perhaps less desirable, nationals. Just as raiding ensured the continuation of the population, the pattern of splitting up into groups ensured some would survive if ill befell one group. During raid ing, many Matss died of disease because of increased contact, as well as in attacks on Matss. In one famous confrontation, a military expedition of more than 30 headed out from Requena in 1964, apparently with the intent to engage with the Matss. Howev er, they failed and ended up besieged in a Matss long house, with six wounded and one dead, further aggrandizing the mythical proportions of the Matss warrior in the mind s of jungle nationals. The Matss raided the nationals on at least 15 (documented) o ccasions between 1924 and 1969. In addition to stabilizing the population, the raids opened terri tory. One captive woman said, "R ight where my father's field was, [the man who led the raid] cuts his field, right where my father's palm trees are" (1984:44). Nationals claimed to steer clear of the Galvez and the Choba for fear of the Matss. One of Romanoff's mestizo informants claimed that "they [the Matss] cut trees across the paths to say, do not come.' I left and went downstream. One of the others
! %# said let's work it quickly and get out.' Fifteen days later, they attackedThey shot him." Another said, "no one entered Choba stream. They always respected thatno patron has been able to enter there because the Indians fought" (1984:45). Many nationals and other indigenous groups moved their settlements to avoid Matss attacks and the area around Requena became considered dangerous to the point that inhabitants didn't dare wander from the city center. Raiding had other consequences within the Matss commun ity. Around the year 1950, the number of longhouse groups at any time varied between three and seven due to fission and disagreements over decisions to raid. For example, one of Romanoff's informants said his father left during that time because he didn't want to raid (1984:46). During the raiding period, fear of attack heightened. Instead of switching to small, inconspicuous houses, the Matss would move from longhouse to longhouse. The incessant fear and fleeing presented problems for steady field produc tion and crop cultivation, putting the Matss at risk of famine if they did not steal sufficient food to supplement their hunting. Social cohesion became a challenge as well (1984:48). In order to incorporate captives, women immediately became wives, usual ly to older men. Captive men were less common; they became something that Romanoff calls a "pet," and likens to an adopted son. Captive men were more likely to be killed in a small dispute if they did not marry a Matss woman (which was relatively harder f or the captive man to achieve), as they had no kin group to support them. Marriage created kinship bonds for captive women. Face tattoos 3 helped cultural cohesion. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $ The Matss faci al tattoo consists of a line running from ear to mouth around both the top and the bottom of the mouth and running from the opposite corner of the mouth to the opposite ear.
! %$ The low number of captive women who returned to their home society following pacification i ndicates the success of assimilation. In 1976 only two of the captive Spanish speakers had left, and one lived near the Matss. The vast majority of stolen women chose to remain with the Matss, with their Matss children. From my fieldwork experience, I have seen how captive women have come to consider themselves Matss. The elder men and women with whom I talked believed a woman could become Matss in a matter of only a year or two. Captives rarely made objects from pre capture culture, although they mi ght teach a few words or stories. If the Matss adopted an artisan technique, they did it as a group. The apparent homogeneity of the culture despite such a high percentage of non native born constituents is especially interesting in comparison to the mode rn mestiza women and mestizo men who have married into the Matss and not completely assimilated, often not even learning the Matss language. In contrast, in the past captive women spoke Matss and rarely even taught their children Spanish. Romanoff repor ted that the daughter of one captive woman had learned Spanish (1984: viii). Young captives often forgot their first language. Of the 1976 population, 21 percent of females were captives, six percent of males were captives, and 45 percent of the population had one or both parents who were captives (1984: 44). Furthermore, of those above 30 years old, 60 percent were captives, and only three people over 25 years of age were considered full Matss (1984:70). Every Matss I met in the field had descended from a captive, and after collecting the genealogy tress for three of the annexes, I believe that almost 99 percent of the Matss today must be descended from captives, the only exception being a few elderly people who are considered true Matss.
! %% SIL: Pacifie d Contact The raids ended in 1969, when two American women from the Summer Institute of Linguistics learned Mats s from a Spanish speaking captive women who had fled. They began to fly over the longhouses, broadcasting messages and dropping commodities, ev entually setting up camp on the Yavar. The timing was right. Many of the fierce old men had died of illness and attacks, so the peaceful old men and Spanish speakers presumably swayed the tide toward peace. In the next section I will discuss more of the s ignificance of the moment of "pacified contact" from the Matss perspective. For now, I will explain its impact on settlement patterns and how it set in motion a new cycle of Matss culture. Within five years of contact with SIL, another longhouse group m ade contact with Peruvians in the garrison town of Angamos, and Catholic missionaries, timber cutters, oil exploration crews, and FUNAI had all established contact. After contact, the Matss established themselves around the airstrip that they built for th e SIL, creating one super settlement. They enjoyed access to medicine and trade goods, as well as protection from attacks by nationals. Although the first years of contact brought a high mortality rate due to increased exposure to outside diseases it leve led out in t he 1970s. SIL continued to trade goods for handicrafts and ocelot skins. They provided paramedical services and education (through a contract with the Ministry of Education), literacy training (only for men), and a fishpond. T hey also acted as intermediary to other bureaucratic institutions, such as a U.S. oil company that initiated oil exploration. In 1975, three different mestizo men attempted to lure the Matss into a patron system. In one case, a single, "sickly and weak" man incited fear in an entire longhouse
! %& group frightening them into relocating after he gave orders which they did not follow and then threatened to kill them all (1984:52). This event shows how high the fear of attack still was for the Matss. According to Romanoff, "int erethnic contacts" in the 1970s involved three elements: 1.) a bureaucracy centered in Iquitos, Lima, Washington or elsewhere, either a church, government, NGO, or company 2.) an intermediary to contact the Matss, and 3.) an unanticipated (by the bureaucr acy) social relationship that results from the interethnic contact. In my opinion, this breakdown is still useful in terms of understanding some of the modern "interethnic contacts." Intermediaries included a forest worker from Angamos who established firs t contact with one of the groups, who "exploits [outsiders'] belief s that he is Matss or speaks Matss (neither true) to get goods which he uses in his attempt to establish a patron role" (1984:54). This sco undrelly behavior echoes modern day guides and m iddle men who take tourists from Iquitos to visit Matss communities and collect large sums from the tourists, only to compensate the Matss minimally. The creation of a super settlement and the "pacification" of the Matss yielded a host of new problems and interesting outcomes. Autonomy and cohesion are still problems as "outsiders all have ideas about how the Matss ought to live and for whom they ought to work," competing for influence in the changing society (1984:56). The Matss became Christian; si nging religious songs became common in the 1970s although Romanoff notes that few Matss could explain the meaning of the songs. The missionaries wanted the Matss to give up their origin myths, and they believed that
! %' their spirit beliefs represented demon s, a belief that eventually began to dominate among the Matss themselves. At the time of Romanoff's dissertation, a number of patterns were apparent that now have shifted or come to fruition. In 1976, the pattern showed Matss moving nearer to outsiders b ut staying within their territory, as outsiders, hoping for a cheap source of labor, requested that lo nghouses move closer. However, the SIL remained the center. As Romanoff stated, "SIL is currently at the center of Matss society spatially and socially. The SIL houses are at the center of settlement on Choba Creek, the porches of the SIL houses are the sites of daily congregations for social, medical, trade, and religious meetings"(1984: 57). Romanoff also noted, "both hierarchical relations and tendenci es towards fission seem to be developing" (1984: 57). He observed that the settlement divided into extended family houses, but large house populations did not reform Also, young men began to make small individual shelters near the longhouses, which they w ould use for work and sometimes sleep. Some made individual fields. Romanoff forecasted, "if this pattern is accentuated it would be the beginning of nuclear family dwellings" (1984: 58). He also saw young men taking jobs with nationals with out consulting with elderly men, as was customary. The large sedentary S IL settlement resulted in a shortage of meat and eventually farmland, firewood, fishing, and general resource scarcity, catalyzing changes in settlement patterns. At first the Matss would create o utlier areas where they would go "to eat meat" to hunt for a few days and indulge themselves. Contact and settlement also threatened Matss territorial rights, as they did not utilize the farther reaches of land
! %( as fully. However, partly bec ause Romanoff lobbied and submitted an official report to the Peruvian government delineating the traditional Matss territory, the territory has been ma intained. Today, the trend is to move away from outsiders, or at least to ward more favorable hunting grounds. In the past couple of decades, the Matss community has broken off slowly from the main settlement, roughly along the lines of old longhouse groups. Puerto Alegre, where I spent most of my fieldwork, was the last annex to form, breaking off in 2001. This suggest s that of those who left they are in some ways still the closest to the missionaries. Also, it is interesting to note that they decided to establish their community as the furthest from Angamos, prioritizing hunting over access to goods and medical care. Spirituality and Ritual Consequences Christianization has had obvious spiritual consequences. One notable event was the cessation of the cuidenquido ceremony, or the ceremony of the singers. In the traditional ceremony, spirits took the men to underground longhouses while the spirits visited the wo men. The spirits always wore long gown s made of tree bark. The women and children were warned that a woman could never see a singer spirit without his gown or she would die The spirits sang and the women served them cooked drinks and s loth heads. When the gowned spirit s left they brought back sloth and other animals that can be captured and bound without a weapon. The ritual could be seen as a male initiation rite. Romanoff interprets it as a functional regulatio n of hunting, a switch to non preferred foods i n times of shortage (1984: 245 46). He notes that the sloth is often taboo for Amaz onian tribes. However, he tempers his own observation by noting that the ceremony
! %) was not limited to hunting sloths and that i t was not only performed in times of meat shortages. Today, sloth is a preferred food of the Matss, although most other tribes avoid it. The ceremony was held for the last time during Romanoff's stay, a few years after contact. Romanoff says that one wom an's death was attributed to seeing the singers and another woman, who also violated the prohibition, started a crisis. He doesn't go into details unfortunately. While Santos and others informed me that the ceremony no longer existed because the spirits w ere devils and Christianity kept them at bay, Angel told me an elaborate story explaining what hap pened to the singers. He said a mischievous woman saw the spirits and made them angry, ruining the ceremony for the rest of the Matss. As a result, the cuide nquido said they would never return because if they did they would kill everyone. Also, when she saw them she gained powers, enabling her to engage in all sorts of trickery, including forcing a spouse swap. Angel's story is not completely confirmed by Rom anoff, but it closely parallels what Romanoff refers to as a sociocentric spirit drama catalyzed by a shortage of women following the cessation of raiding. A group of women, with a central woman leader, said they had spoken with spirits who said the sky wo uld fall if everyone was not married to their cross cousins. Since many were not, their marriages would have to be annulled and there would be new marriages Various messages from the spirits to the central woman included the dictates that men could not be at their wives, breaking up into small houses was bad, and that the group needed to come together again in one large longhouse. Although some influenced by the SIL missionaries, believed it was God that was giving
! %* the messages the SIL condemned the act iv ities. Nevertheless, 17 women changed spouses. In the end, the plot failed and the wives went back to their prior husbands due to a number of factors. Romanoff explains that the husbands were not willing to give up the children. Also, a group of opponents rallied around the SIL and called the women satanic. Finall y, an old man who was not afraid of the spirit threats convinced his wives to come back to him, encouraging others to do the same (1984: 257 59). I cannot confirm that the central woman in the sp ouse swap drama is the same woman that caused the crisis over the singing ceremony. However, these dramas are interesting examples of how contact disrupted spiritual and other practices. The singing ceremony died away, and a spirit drama caused a scandal. Angel and Romanoff differ in their explanations of why this all happened. Romanoff sees the functionality, citing the shortage of women; Angel blames a woman. Both the influence of the SIL missionaries and the influence of key elder men are clear. Both the end of the ceremony and the spouse swap scandal reflected individual interests and tensions. Those influenced by the SIL had begun to see the cuidenquido as evil. In the spouse swap, many women were voicing their concerns over marital treatment. A Quick Note on Romanoff's Experience Romanoff himself describes his relations with the Matss as positive. He was given a fictive kinship title and, thus, incorporation into the kinship system. He said that "people rarely showed anger, teased, or lied to [him]" (1984:ix). I bring this up because the issue of lying was forefront in the encounters I witnessed. The word "lie" itself was used often in Puerto Alegre. I suggest that contentions over lying, stinginess, and stealing
! &+ are new issues for the Matss. Conflic ting incoming value systems from Christianity and Peruvian mestizo culture cause changes in such activities and how they are viewed. Increased lying to outsiders correlates with increased suspicion of outsiders, while simultaneous imposition of Christian v alues ensures that lying will be seen negatively. Suspicion of outsiders entails suspecting the foreigner of inscrutability and lies. It also encourages the Matss to shy away from transparency in order to maintain the upper hand. Furthermore, Matss obser ve mestizos lying, and then hear Christian gospel that condemns it. Matss do not admit to lying. Lying, stealing, and stinginess occurred in the past, but the rules regulating them were more clearly defined Romanoff said the older men "advised [him] to w rite that the Matss are good people and wish to live at peace with their neighbors" (1984: ix). This concern with how the outside world views them is still a concern today, also reflected in my fieldwork. Christianity: The Other Side of C ontact "ubi n ashunta icbo, caputiapimbo yanaye icsambuen nabanaidquio, ubi nmeta icbo ubi cuidenda icbo, mimbi chiaid niaccondambique mimbi cun dada bedta, ubi dapanta icbo ubi mdintanquin, ubi nidtome icbo" 4 "ayudame Se or, ya no puedo caminar la carga es pesada, ayudame Se or perdoname se or he pecado contra ti toma tu mi vida, limpiame Se or toma tu mis manos, levntame Se or" My working English translation (from the Matss): !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! % Note that I copied this rendering of the song in Matss from an informant's note book; it does not follow standard Matss spelling rules and I did not correct it to reflect the SIL's or David Fleck's standardized rules. The Spanish version was also copied from the same informant.
! &" Help me lord, as I cannot walk The going is bad(?), make me (allow me to?) stop lord Don't punish me lord (literally don't make me sick or don't take revenge upon me), I left (as in wandered from) your word/ your teachings (grammatical construct indicating before, not recent past, likely more than 3 months ago) Take (grab) my life, wash my body lord, taking my hands make me stand up lord My rough English translation (from the Spanish): Help me L ord, I can no longer walk The load is heavy, help me lord Pardon me L ord, I have sinned against you, Take my life, clean me L ord, Take my hand s, lift me up L ord. This was the first song I heard in Matss. The soft and sometimes shrill whines of children and women singing the mixed lingual version Ayudame Se or, caputiapimbo filled the early morning and often I heard children humming it as they played below the floorboards. Every Matss that I have met identifies as Christian and every night is cause for well attended prayer, preaching or songs in the community church labeled Esus con Icbo or "Jesus my Lord." In fact, songs seem ed to be the most popular aspect of church activities. Cudntanu is what people most often said as they left for church. It literally means: "I am going to sing" (with grammatical construct indicating "I intend to go and come back"). Evening services often consisted only of songs, and in the later months of my fieldwork the pastors acquired a keyboard and used the communal microphone to set up an impromptu open mic/karaoke night. Anyone could come up and ch oose to lead the group in his or her favorite hymn. Attending one of these sing outs can be overwhelming in its discordance and sheer volume. The Matss celebrations for most national holidays
! include reciting these same songs, while "pre contact" songs, which often involved rhythmic chanting and sexual jokes directed at the opposite sex, have disappeared from everyday life. Chants have been replaced with keyboards, auto tuned Jehovah's Witness music videos, or dramatic testimonial videos in the style of soap operas. This trend has become common througho ut the Amazon. The Shipibos even have their own evangelist video The cover shows vari ous Shipibos dressed in pseudo t raditional clothing, their headbands embroidered with crosses and the epithet Shipibos para Cristo. To this day, the SIL missionaries th at carried out the 1969 "contact" mission that "pacified" the Matss, especially Harriet Fields and Harriet Kneeland, work with the Matss. Currently they are working on a new and improved Matss translation of the New Testament and Harriet Kneeland resid ed in the Matss community as late as 2005. I relied on Kneeland's invaluable 1974 "Lecciones para el aprendizaje del Mayoruna" to learn the language. The relationship with the SIL has colored all later contacts with foreigners, and impacted every aspect of Matss life. Contact Reenacted Christianity is highly visible in the CONAMA. In addition to national holidays, upon which bible verse recitations, "divinations" (homemade "what am I?" riddles), skits, and sports accompany the aforementioned Christian songs, the Matss celebrate their "annivers ary of contact." In fact the "a niversario del contacto" was the only holiday or festival with local origins that I observed throughout seven months of fieldwork.
! &$ The Matss celebrated their 42nd anniversary of co ntact on August 30 th 2011. I had just arrived a few days before in Puerto Alegre. The morning of the festivities started with traditional haircuts for all those who would submit, including Renato and I, who were pressured into it Preparation for the ev ent had started weeks, perhaps even months before, and in the center of the dusty red plaza they had created a small palm frond lined, skinny tree filled plaza with traditional headbands hanging from the trees. The village was again divided by gender, an d everyone was required to wear something resembling traditional attire. For example, I wore shorts, a bra, and a huayruro necklace criss crossing my chest; I was barefoot. Some women were topless, some wore bras; today some women still wear only skirts in everyday life. Everyone was painted with achiote (annatto) The day long event provided a platform to reenact the traditional way of life and teach the younger kids about their heritage. School kids and elders performed songs and skits alluding to the "moment of contact." The performance reminded me of school skits that might be performed by Peruvian mestizos Some of the scenes depicted lascivious sex with cheating couples, the kidnapping of women, the acquisition of pots and other material goods fr om the missionaries, lice infestations, a woman with a lame leg, and w hat appeared to be a game dance, k ind of like a dance party train, that I believe was in fact a farcical reproduction of "pre contact" singing ceremonies. To commemorate the occasion, no t only did the y hold a series of performances, in the evening men and women attempted to run 42 laps around the soccer field. The next day the community held a soccer tournament with multiple men and women teams. The women were organized into such teams as "the students" and "the mothers."
! &% Today, the Matss remember their "pre contact" selves in a number of ways, including "uncivilized." They say they are ashamed of their violence, their nakedness. Whenever I asked how the Matss changed following contact, they always mentioned clothes first and education second. Contact itself is remembered and reenacted through mediums adopted from outside groups, such as skits. The depiction of "how we lived before" is stylized, not an attempt to be like before, but rat her to provide a veneer, an aesthetic, and a commentary on "pre contact" customs. The very holiday and the constant emphasis on the importance of "contact" with the missionaries superimposes a binary, a sharp division in Matss memory between the Matss before contact and the Matss after contact. I will explore this more through contact stories and pre and post contact stories. The Matss themselves reiterate and reproduce the pre and post dichotomy in everyday discourse, which is why I use this distin ction and consider it useful. Contact Remembered I collected "the contact story" from four different elderly men t hat participated in the event. Three of the four are brothers and provided extremely similar accounts 5 I consider the brothers the core familial power lineage in Puerto Alegre. What struck me most about the brothers' tales was their assertion of their own agency in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! & I would like to stress that I did not request that the se inform ants tell me "the contact story." I n two cases I wanted to know about the gringas in another case the informant launched into that story without any prompting. In follow up interviews I had difficulties eliciting further stories from the same men who had elaborated such detailed contact tales.
! && initiating the contact. All three of the brothers started the story by mentioning the tragic passing of a dear uncle that had raised them. As one brother said : 6 After his death we didn't want to live. We said, what will we do now? How will we live? There was nobody to lead. Or should we just attack the mestizos and steal? I said, so, I will do that, I will steal. But I don't w ant to because I am human, I don't want to kill other humans; I am going to try to make contact. I am not going to be like Matss. I was thinking like that when the plane flew over. One informant, another brother who was also present at the meeti ng but d id not provide a full ac count, said they would have killed the missionaries if they had been men. Another said that if the Harriets had not been overweight and unattractive, the Matss would have killed the accompanying men and taken the gringas as wives. All three of the brothers who told the contact story stressed their decision to approach t he foreigners in the plane, not because of the material gifts but because of the internal and very personal crisis they were facing after the death of an important leader. One of the brothers said he decided he would go to the plane to let the enemy kill him. He recalled, "We screamed Come down!'" We didn't know what it was, we thought it was a kind of person, that when it went down into the trees where we couldn't see it, it was walking in the forest. I said, let it come and kill me." Even the contact story itself provides hints at a less than clear "before" and "after." One detail of the tale describes coming across a group of mestizos with whom the Matss traded peccary leathers for clothing. One of th e young Matss men, who spoke a little bit of Spanish he had learned from his captive mother, asked the mestizos where to go to find the plane. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 Please note that two of my four contact stories (the ones from the brothers) are translated into English from Spanish. For these two stories, the informants did not allow me to record, so the quotes I have included are taken from notes taken in Spanish on my translator's Spanish translation before I had much understanding of the Matss language.
! &' The contact story from each informant incorporates fear, comedic rever sal, and curiosity. The Matss w ho speaks some Spanish, Manuel is portrayed as afraid throughout the tales. He whimpers No me mates pues" and the gringa responds in Matss Dacudenda" (Don't be afraid). The missionaries speak to the Matss in their own language, saying Min onquete onqueta" speak in your language. Manuel is afraid when the pilot tries to give him a hug; he resists, believing the big man will throw him. He refuses to go up in the airplane out of fear and tells the others the pilot wil l throw them out. Although he doesn't ride in the airplane he goes back to the other Matss and tells them he did, elaborating an imaginative system that runs the airplane and involves tugging and the pilot moving his arms and legs. One storyteller explain s that Manuel 's mother, a mestiza herself, had told Manuel that the mestizos were liars. I later collected a brief versio n of the contact story from Manuel himself, and a more extensive version of his contact story has been recorded by another researcher. His version does not acknowledge his fear or any lies. Interestingly, Manuel and his extended family ended up becoming the most open and accepting of outsiders. Manuel is the father of the Estirn lineage. Th e unfavorable portrayal of Manuel in the story may be tied to tensions between Puerto Alegre and Estirn. According to the brothers' stories, Manuel believes that the missionaries have many people with them, waiting to attack. His beliefs are confirmed when he hears the radio. The radio itself was a c uriosity. The day before the actual contact, one party of the Matss came across the mis sionary's camp and wrecked havoc stealing clothes and machetes, emptying food containers for the containers while not recognizing the food as
! &( such. However, when they tried t o investigate the radio it made a noise and they became frightened and left it, only to see the missionaries talking into it the next day. A retroactive guilt enters into the stories as the prot ago nists encounter the mayu guide. They see he is seve rely scarred and wonder: I think we did that." The gringas show a picture of a man, a man the missionaries had sent before to make contact. One of the brothers' told me, "She began to ask about him and I said, They killed him.' I didn't say who had done it, just that he no longer lives. Some people didn't want to kill him, but grab him to see who it is. But someone else killed him from behind." Despite the fact that there were several mestiza captives with the Matss at the time of the contact, they do n ot enter the story as links or ambassadors. The mother of the brothers was a mestiza and she only enters the story in the beginning and even then as afraid and impotent. The plane, we didn't know it was a plane, we called it lancha, we called everything f rom the chota c (mestizos) lancha machetes, pots, everything the lancha it came by many days, one day it dropped a machete, another a file. The plane it talked, and we didn't understand. So we said mam come tell us what they say. Mam was afraid. But I said, and if we die where will you live? We said come listen. And she heard but "I don't understand," she said, "I think they are American, I don't understand because they are American. My mother couldn't do anything she didn't understand. Like the story of the singing ceremony, the contact stories attribute agency to the Matss, not outsiders. In the case of the singing ceremony the woman and the spirits themselves make the decision, which does not include the influence of Christianity. The contact itself is portrayed as a decision by the leaders of the time. It seems that the contact story was the last "good" story, the end of the myths, or formulaic restructuring of stories in the Matss style While many pre contact stories are
! &) elaborate and follow a Ma tss story telling structure, stories of events following contact are not told in the same way. Overall, it is clear that "pacified contact" marks many changes in Matss thought process and the Matss themselves use contact to structure their history alon g binary lines. Just as the Matss shifted from valuing violence to valuing peace, other ideals for being a good person began to change. Post Contact S tories One young woman, Estrella, told me, laughing, that when she was little she would always go to see the gringa Henriquetta, who would ask them to bring her things like coriander. In exchange, the missionary would give the children crackers. Estrella laughed, "We would say can't she give us something other than crackers?" Santos's story: When I w as a child, I went fishing with my dad and when we were coming back he told me to carry his oar. It was heavy! I didn't want to carry it, and so my dad started complaining. He said I was lazy "You will not have a wife or a field. You will be a bad hunte r because you are lazy." My mom told me, "Don't listen to him." We came to a bridge and when my dad was crossing I aimed my bow and arrow at him. My parents yelled, "What are you doing? Will you kill your father? What will they say if you shoot your dad? What will Henriquetta say?" 7 I find this story interesting because it shows a shift in values mediated by the missionaries. Santos displays anger and a desire for vengeance. Such fierceness was valued by the Matss, but not against one's own kin. Howev er, here the missionaries are specifically mentioned as a coercive or motivating factor in teaching Matss children and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( Individuals refer to the two Harriets that initiated peaceful contact with the Matss in different ways, but most commonly I have heard them call Harriet Kneeland Henriquett a and Harriet Fields Luisa
! &* making behavioral decisions. This story from childhood shows the creation of new moral and ethical codes in an individual and how wider cultural changes influenced Santos in his personal decisions about what kind of person to be. While Henriquetta lived in Puer to Alegre unti l 2005, I could not collect one detailed description of her relationship with the Matss. I was told that she lived alone, stayed in her house, cooked for herself, did not share food, did not eat Matss food, and that she was overweight and only left the house to go to the bathroom. The SIL ladies were not incorporated into the normal kinship system, as Romanoff was. E veryone called them grandmother, regardless of age. The conflicts and contacts the Matss had with outsiders from the rubber boom to the missionaries to Romanoff have set the stage for how they cope with outsiders today. In addition, the conflicts within the Matss such as those dealing with the sociocentric spirit drama and the disagreement over the contact stories from the Estirn and Puerto Alegre patriarchs demonstrate how relationships with outsiders catalyzed changes among the Matss. Pacified contac t has led to more than structural and practical changes in settlement patterns and religious practices; it has also led to cultural reorientation. The changes set in motion by contact, aggregated settlement and then dispersal of longhouse groups lies at the heart of the distinct perceptions and actions of the different Matss annexes. Conclusion The various stages of conflict and contact set the stage for present interactions. Raiding enabled the Matss population to continue; it also caused specific de mographic
! '+ challenges. While women were plentiful due to raiding, the young men had difficulty finding a woman after contact, causing an imbalance that resulted in a scandal. Stolen women provided a precedent for incorporating outside women into the society but not entirely incorporating outside men. The Mats s portray "c ontact" in terms of their own agency, stressing their personal decisions to make contact. Splitting their history into pre and post contact and siding with Christianity, they often judge the pre contact deceased as immoral and uncivilized. They express horror with their own prior lack of clothes and lack of knowledge of the outside world. For example, they laugh at how they incorrectly called everything lancha or how they didn't know wha t packaged foods were. One positive effect of the adoption of Christianity is the reduction of physical wife abuse. Some Matss retain a little nostalgia especially some young men who have spent time in training with NGOs, claiming things were better befo re contact. The important point of contact is that the Matss saw it as a means to attain goods. They were tired of violence and sought peace, yet they also were motivated by their need for technology. Thus, goods, technology, trading, and teaching are ex pected perks of outsiders. The missionaries did not assimilate into Matss society, but they did provide a precedent, a template the Matss expect other foreigners to follow.
! '" CHAPTER II THREE FOREIGNERS When I asked a young man in Puerto Alegre to tell me what he knew about the time the Matss kicked David Fleck 1 out, he told me, la gente mi dijo, no cuentan bien (people told me [but] they don't tell the story well). This chapter recounts stories of a cautious, unce rtain community's dealing wi th three foreigners, primarily the two other than myself. They are tales of badly told tales, replete with he said s and she said s heresay, opinions, confusion, suspicion, lies, obfuscation, and power plays. The people of Puerto Alegre want ed foreigners b ut distrust them. The distrust led to muted antagonism. F or the foreigners, it led to complex que stioning of values and morality. The stories do not end happily; they do not have beautiful manufactured take home point s of self betterment, as in so many stu dy abroad testimonials. Instead, they are full of mess and shame. A Peruvian Anthropology Student According to Angel Puerto Alegre had decided, with much indecision and occasional revocations, to let three foreigners into their community. My husband an d I happened to be the first (we counted as one), although we didn't realize it at the time. The other two arrived while I was in Puerto Alegre. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 An American linguist and biologist who resides in the CONAMA, he is thoroughly described in Chapter Three
! '# After a month of calm, the community exploded with sound and activity. Most of the men of Puerto Alegre arri ved within a few days. They brought with them the newly fixed loudspeaker, gasoline to power a couple lights and TVs at night, new clothes and chotac (mestizo) food, such as rice, crackers, and bread. The teachers arrived, as did the chief of Puerto Alegre and the former chief of the Matss. Santos, the chief of Puerto Alegre, brought precious cargo foreigner number two. I watched her from above, with the rest of the women looking down at the beach. A small doll on the beach below, she appeared mature, clean and colorful. She wore a headscarf and an emerald poly fabric moisture wicking long sleeve sports shirt. I gawked, then begged Juana to come with me, and then descended alone to the port, leaving the whispering women behind. Estefania an underg raduate cultural anthropology student from a private university in Lima, brought rice, noodles, refresco, and seasoning powder. She was very prepared, having spoken with David Fleck, Luis Calix to, and CEDIA 2 members for months before arriving. She hoped to study Ma tss identity on the border. Santos had told her I was a biologist. In the community meeting to determine Estefania 's fate she presented her project very briefly and little discussion followed. Presenting a letter from her university, she assure d the Matss of Puerto Alegre that her final document would re sbaldar or support, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 Luis Calixto is a Peruvian anthropologist who w orked with the Matss for a long time, although he never published in a peer reviewed journal. All of his publications are in the form of reports for government agencies and NGOs. He is one of the founders of CEDIA. CEDIA is the NGO that has the most invol vement with the Matss, more on CEDIA in Chapter Four: Puerto Alegre vs. Estirn.
! '$ their future claims. 3 She emphasized that she knew the young men from their community whom she had met in Iquitos. She asked to sit in on classes at the school and they req uested that she provide school supplies in return. Abel asked her to help pay for his son's studies. 4 Estefania ended up living in Santos's house with me. Santos had suggested she stay with Hector, the vice chief, presumably to give Hector an opportunity to benefit from the presence of foreigners. However, Hector said his house was too small. So, Estefania and I spent the next three weeks together, and she agreed to let me follow her as she conducted her fieldwork. Hector's passive resistance exemplified Estefania 's experience She was frustrated as she set up interviews with the young men of the community who spoke some Spanish, only to have them ignore their appointment date s or if she caught them, sit fidgeting and answer with monosyllabic one word res ponses. In the end, she concluded that most of her information could not come from interviews. No me sirven the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 This is interesting, because each of the three foreigner's strategies were different. My tactic was that I would provide English classes in return for Matss classes, and after the first meeting, that I would buy their artisan work, as well as give school supplies. I did not rely on connections, but explained my project and my motivations and explained the sort of relationships I hoped for. 4 After Estefania presented, Sal omon, the old man that had hugged me, wanted to talk about me. He said that "I hugged you before so you would stay here." So, now I would need his authorization to leave. He said I should go to the monte to hunt, I should fish, I should collect isan (Oenoc arpus bataua), learn to make artisan crafts and he asked me to speak in Matss to the assembly and tell them what Matss activities I had participated in. I did so, embarrassed, as the old men nodded in approval. He said I must speak to the old men because the young and the women don't know things. Then, Santos called a five minute break, a new and welcome development no doubt that he picked up at a taller, workshop, in the big city. In less than two hrs we were excused and they continued discussion. I was excited about Salomon's speech, because it indicated people might be accepting me more. Later that evening, I heard from Santos that after I left they had argued that no, I couldn't learn artisanship, because maybe I would then make crafts to sell for mys elf. So even after a month, suspicion still reined. Santos also claimed they said they didn't want anyone else to come and that they didn't want Estefania coming back in August (she had proposed possibly returning.)
! '% interviews aren't useful," she said. "They are more to cumplir fulfill the requirement. Everyone says the same things and sometimes I have to force answers." For example, after setting up various appointments with Hector, he was nowhere to be found each time. When she finally interviewed him, we learned he had a copy of David Fleck's Matss Castellano Dictionary that hadn't been published yet, a precious commodity. He refused to let us borrow it, or ev en copy a few words down Another young man didn't want her to take a picture of his self inflicted dolphin tattoo, even though it would only include his leg. He had the remnants of a Matss faci al tattoo. But when she mentioned it he denied it, even though it was clearly visible. She prodded, "What? Yes you do," and he looked at me guiltily. So I said in Matss, "You don't like the tattoo." He admitted that yes, he had the tattoo but he got it wh en he was five; they did it to him as a punishment. He said he uses creams to get it off. Throughout the interview, he fiddled with a pamphlet and didn't answer some of her questions. His eyes evaded hers, darting around like a child being punished in a cl assroom. A couple men refused interviews altogether. Around the community, people seemed flustered by Estefania I had arrived at the point where everyone would stop and chat a little with me as I walked around, but as had happened to me in the beginning, the women ignored Estefania Except for Juana that is, who surprisingly wouldn't talk in C astellano (Spanish) but talked in Matss and told me to translate such phrases as, "Don't go! You are my big sister." This was on the first day Estefania was there.
! '& Estefania 's Feelings When I interviewed Estefania in Puerto Alegre, she said she felt lonely and that she didn't know what she would have done without me there. "There is a muro, a barrera (a wall, a barrier). Like with Hector, ni con bromas puedes atrav esar (you can't get through, not even with jokes). She thought they would receive her better and didn't think she would be the cause of a conflict, or have to be so dependent on Santos. Estefania described her experience in some ways as a desencuentro ( a failed meeting)." She explained how she had naturalized affection despite her studies in Anthropology, only to find it missing among the Matss: I feel that it does matter to me, how people are very cold here. I am a very warm person. I miss the warmth. No me abrazan N ecesito calor humano (They don t hug me, I need human warmth.) If they eat and they don't invite me to eat to, I feel bad, as if they don't care that I might be hungry. El machismo tambi n jode (the male sexism also bothers [me]). I f my br other did that called me to serve him, as Julian did to Sylvia, I would hit him! In addition to feeling cultureshock, she confessed she was slightly afraid to leave the house. In one incident, a kid threw a stick at her, hitting her hard on the head. Fee ling it was intentional, she interpreted the lack of friendliness as possibly dangerous. On a positive note, she said her independence and self confidence grew as well as her competency as a fieldworker, as she learned to rely on observation without good interviews. She learned to be flexible: "Before I said I wouldn't eat monkey, but now I do." Estefania recounted a story from one of the annexes she visited before coming to Puerto Alegre, an annex where she felt more welcome and yet still experienced tens ion.
! '' This woman in Remoyacu, she is the most photographed Matss woman. She gave me three papayas and two sugar canes, and she said, "You can take pictures of me in my house, I will wear the whiskers for you (the traditional female adornment, thin, long re eds inserts in the cheeks, resembling cat whiskers)." But once we got there, what she really wanted was to sell her an assortment of highly priced goods. She is very intelligent. Estefania has not continued the project with the Matss in August as origina lly planned, nor continued her anthropology studies thus far. The fear and apprehension contributed to her early departure from Puerto Alegre after less than three weeks. A Quick Note on Estefania and Me One night, Estefania and I both dreamed of "others" arriving she dreamed of Frederick and David 5 at the door, and I of many tourists at picnic tables dressed in bright colors as if they were at Disney World. I think we were both anxious about sharing our fieldwork and our space with others. We agreed to work together, but I also felt a jealous sense of competition at times. Below are a few excerpts from my notebook: Today as I studied Matss, I felt a great weight from her twin presence, a competition, a frustration as the time I have spent here seems to whither away intoa deconstructive ball of refuse and our contacts, perspectives, plans, informants merge. My Parrot anthropologist, a surreal shadow in North Face gear, the same head lamp, her notebooks, her insistent questions, and logical analysis, rela ting their responses into her neat notebook and into her neat thought world, good little anthropologists in sister hammocks. We sit side by side scribbling our thoughts, theorizing about the materially and exterior social worlds of the Matss, clumsily pe eling yuccas, following Estrella to the river to wash food and blood off of our plates, swatting and squatting in the mud. Her presence has brought out my insecurities. I am worried her own practices will reveal the paucity of mine. My dearth of concrete verifiable info, my lack of relationships, my lack of initiative. My academic and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 Frederick, a British man who came to visit the Matss is the topic of the next section David is a Peruvian who works with the NGO CEDIA.
! '( quotidian sloth. Despite all this, I think this is good for me. It forces me to think about the problems of traditional ethnography and deal with my own erroneous resistan ce to collaboration or anxious, secretive defensiveness that prevents many egos from welcoming another to look over their shoulder at their "notebook" Not only will this allow me to undertake an ethnography of ethnography, it also forces me to critically examine my own and others' practices. Although being the only one is more comfortable this might force me to be a better scholar. Unfortunately and to my shame, just as Hector didn't want to help us, I was also reluctance to hand Estefania my vocab that I had worked so hard on. Spending time with Estefania I was worried the Matss would like her more, that she would be accepted faster. In the end, we became very close, and realizing my own insecurities about having someone watch me helped me to begin to overcome them. Additionally, by the end I think we validified each other's experiences. Neither of us felt accepted and we realized it wasn't due to our own insufficiencies. Both of us did or felt things we weren't proud of, as did Frederick later. I bel ieve the emotional strain of being in Puerto Alegre, combined with the confusing moral compass that is a product of cross cultural experience, led us to feel this way. Estefania s Scandal Only a few days after she left Puerto Alegre, I began to hear rumo rs. Estefania had a black eye. Santos hit her and his wife, Estrella. Estefania fled to Iquitos with an army major, her lover. Estefania was in Angamos drunk at a "discotheque." The reports were ambiguous; I didn't know what really happened, what people re ally thought about it. Santos's sisters even came to tell me.
! ') Indeed, it turns out the rumors were true. Estefania had been drinking with Santos and others in Angamos. Santos had hit her, although Estefania and Santos both profess to not remember what ha ppened exactly. In the course of the night, Estefania l ost all of her stuff, her camera, her recorder, and much of her fieldwork data. She left Iquitos the next day, earlier than planned, with the assistance of a friend, a Major in the army who helped her secure a seat on the plane. She left without taking all of her things. Later, she told me she was very shook up by the experience and afraid, thus prompting her departure. However, later she calmed down and called Santos and forgave him. I talked with Es trella, Santos's wife about it later, and she told me that she was fine, that Santos is not violent regularly. She assured me he does not hit her. However, an elder woman in the community told me that Santos is bad, he is always hitting his wife, and he al ways hit his sisters. In any case, Santos felt very ashamed about the incident. Additionally, he lost his lucrative job as motorista and Matss representative for the NGO CEDIA, partially because of the incident. In fact, the situation was complicated be cause Estefania had been romantically involved with the mestizo who worked for CEDIA, one of Santos's best friends. Analysis After the scandal, the Matss in Puerto Alegre seemed confused about where to place the blame. Even Santos's sisters seemed embar rassed by Santos's actions, but also spoke unfavorably of Estefania emphasizing her drunkenness and her promiscuity, claiming she had an affair with the Major. Matss women fear and detest drinking,
! '* although the men drink when they visit Iquitos. The inci dent, like many others, proved to the Matss of Puerto Alegre that foreigners bring trouble. The trouble in this case hit uncomfortably close to home, threatening Matss ability to control outsiders' impressions. Few criticized Santos. Estefania 's story g ives an example of what can happen to people when they are thrust into a new environment, specifically when outsiders are thrust into the stressful environment of Puerto Alegre. Such scandals did not happen in Estirn, where Jessie, a University of Florida student conducting research for her Masters, enjoyed her one month stay without a hitch. Additionally, in Estirn, I felt no jealousy of competition with the other foreigners, perhaps because a feeling of acceptance was more easily acquired. However, in Puerto Alegre, each of us three foreigners went through an emotionally harrowing experience. While the experience degraded my self confidence, it prompted Estefania to seek release and act unprofessionally. It caused Frederick to go berserk, as I will narr ate in the next section. All of us despised what we perceived as trickery and attempts to continually extract goods and money from us. Although we all knew the history of exploitation of indigenous peoples and we realized our greater access to wealth, we s till resisted giving indiscriminately and patronizingly resented the constant material obsession of the Matss. A British (Mis)adventure "These people (the Matss) have no idea how to be decent human beings, they don't get that being selfless is better from a selfish perspective being open gets you further than being closed." --Frederick on the Matss of Puerto Alegre.
! (+ Frederick Arrives "There is a turista coming, Angel is bringing a turista ." Puerto Alegre hummed with speculations. Even thou gh I spent copious amounts of time each day with Angel, the busy and inscrutable chief extraordinaire 6 had not mentioned a newcomer. When I inquired, he replied mysteriously, "He's not a tourist, but a visitante ; he's a friend who's coming for a few days to divertirse, have fun, here with the Matss." "Does he know I'm here?" "No." Even after I was told his name and his country of origin, the purpose of his visit remained blurry. Frederick a tall, angular, Cambridge educated accountant, arrived a few day s later by boat He wore glasses and a red beard he often scratched pensively. Conspicuously barefooted, he was fond of heralding the Queen's English and dabbling in quaint expletives. He was full of questions and opinions, and his e b ook reader was loaded with texts such as Wizard of the Upper Amazon, Spirit of the Rainforest, and Spears of Twilight He told me he had read some ethnographies and he thought he could do it anthropology. At the meeting to discuss his arrival, he presented the community wi th multiple boxes of notebooks, pencils and medicine, which he said represented 2,000 soles or around $800, worth of gifts (as per Angel's request) During the meeting he explained the purpose of his visit. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See the List of Main Participants in My Study for a refresher on Angel.
! (" "I want you to know that I am independent of an y institutions, NGOs, or organizations. It's just me. I want to learn to live this life, experience it for two months. I want to live with you, in Aron's house, work in the fields with him, hunt with him, do acate (frog poison emetic) when he does it, eat the same things as him, see the same things as him." Frederick wanted to shadow a Matss man his age. Aron, Angel's friend and brother in law, was Angel's suggestion. The silent acceptance at Estefania 's meeting bubbled up into explosive tensions at this meeting. The meeting began late, inauspiciously, since Hector was dragging his feet to start; he delayed lending the motor and gas for light under the pretense that he had not been appropriately advised of the meeting. Several speakers accused Santos, th e chief, of receiving money from Frederick Estefania and me. Santos beseeched Frederick and me to defend him in front of the entire community. Lorenzo, the pastor, spoke against foreigners. Heated debates ensued, but at the end no definitive statement a bout Frederick was made. Instead, the meeting faded into a passive acceptance and begrudging receipt of the goods. Overall, the answer to the question about foreigners remained ambiguous and dependent on the various political stances of the community's pol itical powerhouses. On Frederick 's first day, he awoke, disappointed, to find that Aron, his host, had left to go hunting without him. Optimistic, he reasoned that he hadn't gotten up early enough. In the following couple of weeks he worked in the fields and helped collect firewood. Matss invariably told me two things about him. First, they were impressed and surprised with his hard work in the fields and how his hands had become stained with the red dirt and covered in blisters from wielding a machete. From the moment he arrived he
! (# was hardworking, assertive, and remarkably quick with picking up the language. Second, they found it puzzling how he walked around the village barefoot Usually Matss women, children and old men go barefoot, but young men do not. He also asked people the bewildering question, Tsuda cumde ("What's your name?"). He was frustrated to find that many women and children would not respond to this question. He interpreted it as standoffish. While I certainly believe the reluctanc e of many women to give their name when asked is a result of timidity, protection, and perhaps distrust, I also believe there is an element of confusion involved. In the past, this question was unthinkable. Everyone knows everyone else's name. People often went by nicknames or familial relational names in the past. Knowing someone's name is empowering and thus weakens the person whose name is known. Even today, the question "what is your name?" is strange, out of place and marks the boundary of a new and fr ightening experience for women who know and speak to the same people every day of their life. This phenomenon is not present in Estirn. 7 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7 A quick note on Frederick and I, we did not spend very much time together. In our first few short meetings I got th e impression that he viewed me with disdain I felt he believed I was not sufficiently knowledgea ble about nor sufficiently involved in Matss hunting and agricultural practices and thus I was not doing my research p roperly. At one point he even told me "Well I thought, what kind of ethnography is that, I can do better than that." However, after his crises started he came to visit me a few times and we had a couple fascinating conversations; at that point it seemed to me he had begun to respect me somewhat because of the difficulties he then faced.
! ($ Frederick Storms Frederick had been in the anne x about two weeks when one of the comuneros 8 scandalized, came t o see me. F ederico n Matss chushcaosh 9 (" F ederico is speaking badly of, (or telling off) the Matss"). F ederico nidnu quiosh ." (" F ederico said he is leaving.") Earlier that day, Frederick feeling dissatisfied with his experience at Aron's house, tol d another young man whom he considered a friend about his feelings and desire to change his place of residence. This exploded, as the friend translated his statement in a communal meeting, leading to a snowball of misunderstandings. In Frederick 's words: I want to learn about Matses specific culture not just life in the jungle. Aron is just kind of a regular jungle guy. He doesn't have pride for Matss culture. He doesn't do acate. If I ask him about things he just kind of laughs it off and says that was before, but for some people that's how it is now. I want to learn about contemporary things but I also want to learn stuff like I used the example of the acate but just as an example but they misunderstood and Ricardo apparently said in the meeting that I wanted to go get frogs to make acate and they said no I can't. Yeah and so, I feel like if people are not going to be open, I should just take my medicines or they need to pay me and I can go to another community that is more open because I am not going to waste 2,000 soles for nothing, because I had arranged this with Angel, and now they are not holding up on their end of the deal. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8 A Spanish term used by the Matss to refer to community members, especially when speaking of political dispositions or rights, or to refer to opinions without attributin g them to a specific person but rather to the community in general. For example, "the comuneros are saying" would be used to evade attributing the opinion to someone in particular, to imply that it was a widely held opinion, and often to mask personal feel ings or opinions of the speakers without saying "I feel" I use it simply for the convenience of referring to a member of the Matss community without confusing the reader with adding additional characters to the narrative. 9 David Fleck translates chushc a as ladrar to bark/shout, resondrar, to tell off, or re ir to fight/squabble. The Spanish translation I heard Matss use was hablar mal de" or "to speak badly of." I generally prefer this definition, or "trash talking," due to my observations of its u sage. In this context, I think a combination of "telling off" and "talking badly of" provides the most insight into the statement. See further discussion of the alternative chushque in Footnote 1 in the Intermarriages section.
! (% In a small gathering to resolve the misunderstanding, Frederick explained this in Spanish, reiterating that he would like to learn things "specific to the Matss" rather than generally jungle related. "It seems to me there are two types of Matss people who are proud and want to share, and those that are closed," he said, explaining that he wanted to have the opportunity to spend time with people who were open. Notably, Angel was absent, having left for Iquitos shortly after Frederick arrived. Angel probably would have been able to effectively mediate the conflict and calm all parties, due to his higher proficiency in Sp anish and his ability to deal with outsiders. Instead, more misunderstandings developed. The Matss did not completely grasp Frederick 's desire, and Frederick told me later that he felt the misunderstanding had not been cleared up. The general response fro m the Matss present was, "The old men know about that." Frederick laughed and said, "Yes but I also want to learn about now, not just before, you know like all sorts of things, I don't even know, because I mean culture is living, isn't it?" In response, t he Matss assured him an elder could teach him how to hunt. Then, silence. The hammocks continued creaking in the dark as Frederick and the Matss contemplated the confusion. Some of the Matss began to ask me, whispering in their language what Frederick had said, still wondering if he wished to leave. At the beginning of the small meeting, Frederick had asked one of the young men, Lucio, to translate. Lucio said, "No, he (presumably referring to another young man present, Frederick 's friend Ricardo) unde rstands." Frederick rejoined, "But I don't think all of us understand, like Salomon." He looked around and the old man was gone vanished unnoticed from the dark room lit only
! (& by a fire and a single torch The unresolved mumbled acquiescence and stifled b eginning exemplified the sense of muddled confusion. Most likely, the young men present did not feel competent enough to translate, and barely understood Spanish themselves. The women and elder men who were present did not understand what was said. At the end, Frederick asked, "So where can I live?" The response, "Here is fine," frustrated him since his major goal was to live in a different house with his friend, Ricardo, or Salomon, the old man. Frederick asked if he could present again in the communal mee ting and the young men said "No, it's fine." The next day, the oldest man in the community went to see Frederick the only time I saw this man leave his residence. Frederick was perplexed but reassured of the goodwill of his hosts. A week later, the comm unity loud speakers drifted a message in Matss to the outlaying house where I was eating my breakfast: "Lorna, the white man is running around naked, you need to tell him that the Matss don't want him to do that, that it is not ok, it is bad." Some nei ghbors pushed me into the doorway to convince him to put clothes on as he walked past. He was sashaying triumphantly past the house, bare pink cheeks, a machete in one hand, a water bottle in the other. Frederick !" I yelled. "Oh!" he spun around, and at first startled and embarrassed at my anomalous presence, covered his genitals, only to then throw his hands in the air as if to say who cares. "The Matss want me to tell you they don't want you walking around naked!" "Tell them to have their chief tell me that!"
! (' Having given my report, I was pulled back into the safety of the house before Anna, my host mother, locked the door with a bolt. The day was full of penis jokes and exclamations of fear. As will become clear in the discussion of the reverberatio ns of the scandal, the Matss found Frederick 's decision to walk around nude as more than inappropriate and terrifying. Whaaat???!: Frederick s Soliloquy Ok, so maybe I went off a bit internally. Last evening I went to Sal's house to say goodbye. I had told you I was planning to leave. On the speakers I heard shctenam. 10 Sal said he thought he thought they would hunt them at night, but Carlos said he would wake me to go in the morning. But he didn't wake me. Also yesterday, I asked Aron So you went fis hing with the whole family? Why didn't you take me?' and Aron lied, evading the question. He said he only went with his dad. I had been leaving my dirty clothes out for Angela to wash but she didn't wash them. So I went to wash my clothes and all my clothe s were dirty. And all my clothes were wet, so I said: they don't care what I think, I don't care what they think. At this point he decided to fling off all cares in exchange for the purity and ease of nudity. In the process he "borrowed" soap fr om some M atss girls whom he essentially scared off with his nakedness and then proceeded to spit at them as they giggled at him from afar. I was sitting in a little boat washing my clothes, and Aron came and said, I'm going fishing I'm going to take the boat.' S o I said, Great, can I come?' His response was I'll be gone till night.' What the fuck kind of answer is that? He said, I want to take the little boat too.' I said, No! take me with you or leave this boat, so Aron left me and the boat. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10 White lipped peccary, Tayas su pecari, similar to a wild boar, huangana in local loretano parlance.
! (( He was angry al so because his host family hadn't fed him in the past couple of days, 11 and "pissed" because he wanted to leave but Hector was hesitating, claiming he needed to talk first with Angel, who wasn't answering his phone. Frederick told me he wanted to leave. He said, "Someone better fucking take me! I felt like I don't want to be trapped here. I'd rather be a dickhead and get kicked out, so I was naked, yelling in English why are you people such dickheads?" While he was yelling this he had also made the unfor tunate decision to grab a kid's bow and arrow from his host's house. Hence, he was seen by all, naked, walking around in the soccer field, practicing shooting it in the direction of the, albeit distant, crowd. Later, he entered another home, looking for fo od, and said, "I'm hungry ." To which they responded, "T here is no food." He saw a banana hanging and a bit of fish on the fire and so, still naked, helped himself. At one point during his rampage, he found himself, machete in hand, naked in the jungle. H e recalled saying to himself, "W ell, you wanted to go remote, here you are!" 12 When Frederick had cooled down, he told me, "I'm fed up with these fucking idiots. Sometimes I'm angry, and like, I want to fuck with these fuckers, like when they called me chot a c I wanted to yell back indigena but I didn't, that's a bad idea. I'm usually a calm person." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 11 He had eaten twice at my friend's house, though, so he had been fed. This was also a confusing issue that I dealt with. I was sporadically fed by my host family as well, and never u nderstood the reason. While sometimes I believed it was due to ill will, other times I attributed it to embarrassment over lack of meat or the belief that I had my own stash of food. See the Introduction, subsection Ethnographer's Path for more details. "# This is entire section is paraphrased and rearranged from direct quotes, it is not an exact quote.
! () Frederick Leaves By the afternoon, Frederick was momentarily cooled down and clothed and focused on leaving. He had arranged a motor, but no motorista. The n ext day was a soccer tournament for the young men, so nobody wanted to take him. Soon, the motor plans too collapsed into chaos when Frederick realized that the motor owner hoped to charge him 100 soles to borrow it. As the sun set and groups of young men finished playing soccer, Frederick red faced, began to shout down the motor owner. His belongings sat in a heap outside of Aron's house. He wanted to leave immediately. As shouting at the motor owner was getting him nowhere, he soon pranced off angrily an d returned with one of the boxes of medicine that he had brought, having just walked into the botiquin 13 and taken it. Soon, all of the men mobilized into action, frowning. Frederick had also threatened to call the police. Suddenly, Aron docked and heaved a tub full of fish up the shore. He had missed the entire day's drama. In a perhaps ironic gleeful shout, he announced, "Lots of fish!" and looked at me quizzically, raising his eyebrows and grimacing as if we shared an inside joke. Frederick had threate ned to call the British police to send a helicopter and create an international scandal if he didn't get to Angamos within the next two days. It was a bluff, he assured me, but "they can call my bluff." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 13 Where the community keeps a healthy stash of medications and health pamphlets and trained community members administer emergency first aid care (everythi ng from pain relief shots to stitches for a foot split open with a machete) and malaria testing.
! (* Ricardo, the "friend" of Frederick was hysterical a nd pulled me aside and invited me to an emergency meeting. "He can't bring police to "pueblo," when the "pueblo" didn't do anything! We have received the foreigners well," he urged. In the emergency meeting, tensions flared and simmered. The entire congre gation roared, "He is the problem not us, he's the one going around naked." Of course, then Frederick got a bit angry and announced that Aron had only given him one meal in two days and they had not washed his clothes for five days. Aron then defended him self, exclaiming that Frederick was lying, it has not been five days (for food, he misunderstood the statement). Shaking with fury, Aron bristled, "Don't talk bad of me, no menciones I don't know the stuff he wants to learn only the old guys do." The mee ting droned on as Frederick haggled, "I'm not going to take the meds just the snake bite stuff." The people roared, "No! He took the meds away! He can't just take the meds like that!" Frederick admitted, "I lost it a bit, I'll give them back." Eventually I was pulled into the question. Lucio said I should go too 14 The women whispered to me, "H e's saying you are going to leave, is that true will you go? Surprisingly, Lo renzo, the pastor, defended me although he had seemed to be one of the least open to me. When I interviewed him he did not invite me to enter his house. Instead we condu cted the interview on the porch In the meeting however, he argued that I was not the problem, and several other people said, N idmenda don't make [ her ] go." The meeting ended with a worried but confused discussion over the concern that Frederick would say they kicked him out and talk badly of them. Several people told him, You are leaving of your own accord, because you want to, tranquilamente not because !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 14 I believe Lucio is "against" foreigners for a political reason his opposition to Santos and Angel's leadership.
! )+ we are kicking you out." The discussion faded into grumbles. Hector said, S eeing as the agreement was for two months, and not one, I can't lend you my motor as chief. Did you want to borrow or rent a motor?" Frederick tried to strike a deal; he wanted to return the med s and borrow a motor for free. He confused the congregation even more by asking if the meds could be the payment for "renting" the motor. No decision was reached. Hector asked, W ho can go as motorista ?" A long period of waiting and silence, mumbling and g rumbling ensued. Hector left saying T hat's that as far as I'm concerned ." P eople started leaving and the light was cut or ran out of fuel and everyone else left. I headed back home wondering what the result would be, but not wanting to hang out and see what Frederick would do for fear of being considered in cahoots with him. He left in the middle of the night, and in the morning everyone told me how Frederick took all the meds. They said he lied in the meeting abou t Aron not giving him food for five day s. People said they were afraid Frederick would kill them. Frederick s Wake After Frederick left the elder comuneros jested that if he was female they would have grabbed him, stolen him and given him to one of the older men as a wife. However, they reas oned, H e is a guy so it is fine that he leaves." Every person I saw made jokes about me, saying if I go naked all the men from kids to old men would have sex with me. Other s laughed, "W e'll hit/kill you if you do that," or "I'll give you to my son." Desp ite the comments and the fact that clearly no one believed m e when I said I wouldn't pull a Frederick on them I felt I benefited somewhat from the Frederick
! )" scandal. During the meeting, Aron asked me if he could give me a chicken for my reading light. He whispered to me guiltily seeking my sympathy, Frederick 's mad at me." Several people who rarely spoke to me complained to me about Frederick The jokes after Frederick left were a mixture of the following: "Are all white men's penises that large? That' s scary!" "So many bees came to eat his penis! And then the cachinas, chickens, came because they like to eat bees!" "Monica poshto, wooly monkey, is F ederico 's wife, her vagina the bees also eat!" Everyone told me he had taken back the gifts he had alr eady given, including gun cartridges, boots, and that he had stolen one of Aron's things. My friends told me, Utsi nebi cata (Say you a re another, different! Tell [everyone] you are not related to Frederick !)" Even Rafael, a relatively well educated teac her, thought Frederick was my family member until I showed him the distance between England and America on the map. Lucio, engaged in a legal battle over the impeachment of the mestizo mayor and ever politically minded, told me he has naked pictures of Fre derick to show in case of trouble. He insisted that a friend in Angamos told him that Frederick was gossiping, claiming that Puerto Alegre kicked him out and that the comuneros are growing drugs. He compared Frederick to David Fleck, saying they both went crazy. Lucio said, "I want outsiders to come to support us, in the city there are things I don't understand. But after what happened with F ederico the comuneros don't know. They are afraid. They don't want anymore people like F ederico ." 15 Also, he said the comuneros ," the "people" were speaking against Estefania too, saying she smoke s a lot of cigarettes, and they don't like !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 15 I consider this a perfect example of th e use of the word comuneros to indicate a cover for the speaker's personal belief. He is talking about a widespread community belief but I believe he simply does not want to tell me that he is the one who isn't sure about foreigners. Lucio was the epitome of a community member who wanted help from foreigners in his political affairs, but did not trust outsiders and was critical of Santos's and Angel's regime and thus distrustful of any foreigners whom Santos or Angel brought.
! )# that. "But I want to speak well with Estefania you, Santos, and Angel," Lucio said, "I want to receive all outsiders." Aron was eage r to defend himself; he reassured me that he hadn't invited Aron to fish because Frederick had been sick. Salo mon, the old man that Frederick had looked up to so was shaken. When Frederick had roamed the land naked, he headed to Salomon's house to talk on his way to the monte. As he was holding only a machete and a water bottle, Salomon's family members thought he aimed to kill Salomon. Salomon wasn't convinced Frederick was violent, but he considered the act a betrayal. He was very concerned that Frederic k had walked around naked without tying his penis, as the Matss always tied their penises. Salomo n told me that when he met Frederick he said to himself: What will he be like this man, good or bad? I don't know what he wi ll want to do? I know outsiders I have seen the white people that gifted things. Before Steven Romanoff lived with the Matss, he lived in a house. A woman prepared his food. He called her chuchu, older sister. There was a man they considered his father. He gave them machetes and rifle s. And I thought maybe F ederico will be like that. But then I was sitting in my hammock and I heard that he had taken the medicine; I felt he made a fool of me. I felt tricked. I had the idea to tell him things, I told myself that he should learn first our language and then I will tell him. But he ran away in the night. Now I don't know about F ederico He escaped in the night, without saying anything. Maybe you, also, will be rabiosa, angry. We joked. Now he l eft. I thought he was a good person. I was going to show him how the Matss went around naked, tying the penis, I was going to show him how the elders were one way and the young people another way. I was going to make his spears to give to him to sell and barter. But he was going around naked with a mac hete, and my sons said I think he came to kill you. Steven gave axes, he said I will live in your house, but he didn't come back. Salomon told me that now he thought I would be bad too. Salomon was the most open of the elders because he is Angel's fathe r, and so Angel has influenced him a lot. Nevertheless, this experience taught Salomon to be even more distrustful of foreigners.
! )$ Angel himself seemed shocked by what happened. H e wa s not present though and he seemed reluctant to blame Frederick or believe what happened completely. After Angel returned, I asked him if he had heard about Frederick He said no. I said, "You're lying! You didn't hear anything?" He responded, "I heard only a little, they didn't tell me everything." Such an exchange was common for me in Puerto Alegre, a key to the "lying" that Frederick felt so acutely. I felt certain that Angel had heard everything, but that he was hesitant to tell me what he heard, preferring to hear my version first. I don't know the origin of these tactics but I believe that many of the comuneros in Puerto Alegre act this way out of distrust of foreigners and due to a desire to control knowledge and information, since knowledge is power. Whyyy???!: Frederick s Perspective I've always rate d myself as be ing able to make friends with anybody. But thi s was a problem. It's been like a test. Do you think you've passed or failed the test? I felt like I was failing but now I think I passed with a pass mark. Sometimes I think what the hell am I going to say to my mates (on my blog). I had built up been planning, saving up to this for so long going to the most remote place, and now everyone lies to my face. I interviewed Frederick the night before the "naked man on the loose" episode occurred. At that point h e believed he had passed the "test." He had decided to leave Puerto Alegre. He told me the official reason to leave early was the language without A ngel there to facilitate communication and without proficiency in the language, he thought his time could be better spent traveling around to different annexes. He told me, "Without the language, I can't really get into their world." He was attempting to see the
! )% change as positive an opportunity to visit other communities rather than negative i.e. I've g ot to leave, things are not going how I wanted. Yet, he admitted he was mostly just angry angry about how Aron ignored him and, later, because he felt trapped. He was accustom ed to leaving places quickly the same day he chose. In Puerto Alegre an immin ent departure could easily stall for a week. The lies, the unreliable meals, the unwashed clothes and a sense of entitlement did the rest. As mentioned earlier, Frederick was an accountant back home in London, where he had graduated from one of the most p restigious universities in the world. However, maths had not satisfied him, and now he is dedicated to working in accounting just long enough to fund international safaris. The year before he had gone to Africa, where he stayed with hunter gatherers who he claimed had never seen a white man before. I feel like I could have been born into any community I want to get an understanding of the br eadth of experience of humanity. I was with the hunter gatherers in Tanzania I got on with them. A lady named her baby after me. I hoped people would be open like that. I have no specific aim, but I would love to learn about all learn about inner worlds. I think here we are just pawns in this community 's political game. It's very complicated the situation we are c oming into. The majori ty of people seem indifferent. There's plenty of good will, but it's a very closed kind of a cultur e, just not naturally friendly. They don't know how to be host s. A ron just ignores me, sometimes I think he's a dickhead, but no, that' s that's just how he rolls. I think, should I invite myself more? But I invited myself going fishing Frederick told me that before he left for the CONAMA, "For a moment I decided not to come, Angel changed m y mind. It was when I m et with Savino 16 and he gave me a price list, and a little girl put three bracelets on my wrists. I was like thanks! And then she asked for 40 soles. I said hell no, then I don't want em. I gave them back but in the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 16 The current chief of the Mat ss, who succeeded Angel.
! )& end I gave her ten soles for one." Figuring Remoyacu, another annex, might be "already too touristy" or "have more of a touristy frame of mind," he decided on Puerto Alegre. What he found in Puerto Alegre was not "touristy" but neither was it what he was looking for. He said he "internally lost it a bit; I learned l oads of things just not what I expected ." Like Estefania upon arriving he surmised that "nobody hugs or touches that shows they are cold, closed ." I wanted to participate to gain trust but people have serious trust issues I heard them talking about loggi ng in the meeting. Ricardo didn't want to tell me, he denied it! And then he backtracked, oh yes, we were talking abou t us doing our own, but I knew from the m eeting they were talking about three option s: loggers, no ne at all or doing it on their own. Ange l wanted ne to help advise him; I was thinking about REDD, 17 you know. But I do n't wan t to help if they won't tell me anything His statements about Aron are revealing. He complained that "Aron doesn't hunt. H e never does acate He l ive s like a normal mest izo jungl e life. When A ron had an ear infection, he didn't consider getting medicinal plants." Furthermore, he scorned Aron's wife's reaction to his question about mayan, spirits. He said both Aron and Angela just laughed when he asked questions and that t hey were embarrassed by heir heritage. Although he didn't realize it, he was stripping Aron and Angela of Matsshood, repeating long standing colonial identity impositions. The lies Frederick found so irritating were petty, but confusing. Old man Salomon refused to hunt at night; at first his excuse was no flashlight, but after he gave him a flashlight, he said it was really because of his arthritic hand. Frederick believed the real reason was fear of spirits, and resented that Salomon didn't tell him that Also, Salomon invited him to do acate, but then backed out and did it without Frederick Ricardo told !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "( !! REDD is Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries, the United Nations collaborative for carbon offset trades.
! )' him there was no time to show Frederick how to collect the frog poison, claiming they only do it in the rainy season. Yet Frederick believed, probably a ccurately, that they just didn't want to show him how to collect the frog poison. The Matss of Puerto Alegre are very protective about frog poison, but Frederick was able to collect it with Matss in Estirn anyway. Frederick worked hard for approval. One day, he went to the fields and chopped and hauled firewood by himself, without even adequate knowledge for which trees were appropriate firewood. He related how the Matss called him cun bo (my male relative) when he worked in the fields but called him ch ota c when his hands became so blistered he couldn't work. He did not ignore the Matss's attempts at good will. For example, when they sent "the ancients" to see him, he admitted, "it's not lack of goodwill, just the ly ing thing and misunderstanding." Fr ederick returned to London, but in 2013 he received a grant from the Royal Geographic Society to continue his explorations in the Amazon, and he told me by email that he will go back to Estirn. Analysis: (Not) Becoming Matss Made uisac (spear sharpen er) $255 Daucaid (acate, frog poison) $475 Shcta (tooth) $120 Nshaid (fishing net) $135 Tote (belt) $59 Secte (colander) $110 Pia (arrow) $175 Tsitsan (basket) $99 Uitsun (bracelet) $199
! )( Di qucaid (hammock) $129 Casdu qucaid (bead j ewelry) $20 Above is a list of proposed prices for artisan crafts, proposed in Puerto Alegre. I think it shows the unlimited, demanding, and sometimes frustrating expectations of foreigner's capital; the prices are unrealistic. Most indigenous crafts in Iquitos sell for $5 $50. The clash between expectations and reality on all sides helped to construct the uncomfortable situations that characterized Puerto Alegre's interactions with outsiders. Frederick had a specific understanding of culture, Matssho od, and what it means to be Matss that didn't line up with Matss understanding of themselves. They wanted to please him, but they had no way of understanding what he wanted or how to give it to him without compromising their own sense of security. Furthe rmore, Frederick carried with him a sense of entitlement derived in part from the 2,000 soles he felt he had exchanged for a service, an experience. He didn't want a "touristy" experience, but he wanted the control of a tourist who buys an experience. For example, h e was adamant about not paying a nything to leave, and felt it was h is right to take the anti venom, since the Matss did not fulfill his desire. For the foreigners the darkness of the jungle, the romanticization of the rainforest as a crucible upon which W estern men wish to test themselves, the possibility of magic and sensuality, danger and misery, all of the conceptions of the jungle in Western popular culture lure them into a false, imaginary world. All three of us were burdened by a concept of the indigenous peoples of the jungle carrying an advanced spiritual knowledge. The jarring incongruity between the portrayal of indigenous people and the
! )) experience might lead Westerners 18 to a new trope of the jungle in popular culture when the forei gner find s evil and b aseness within him or hersel f to mirror the baseness of nature and humans in the jungle. Neither of these tropes reflect reality. Instead, the intersection of the history of the jungle in W estern popular imagination meets the histor y of outsiders in the m inds of the Matss, creating a confused tangle of imaginaries. As this history constructs itself, these encounters have contributed to even more negative associations for the Matss of Puerto Alegre. A Good Person The concept of who is a good person was foremost in many of these clashes. Just as Frederick said the Matss were not good people, the Matss said Frederick was bad. I decided to ask both sides what it means to them to be a good person. After Frederick left, Juana cornered me. "Matss don't lie. Do you think Matss lie?" I wavered. "I don't know, maybe sometimes," I whispered. For Frederick the most important thing is "living out yourself. D on't ask what the world wants of you, look for what makes you come alive. Because [ that is] what the world needs." He said a good person is someone who thinks about things from other people's point of view. Friends, individuals and societies. They make an e ffort to put themselves i n other people's shoes and act on it." Other important q ualities he listed were: "Being honest, t hat things go well for o thers as well as for yourself, and c onsidering the consequences of your actions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ") I consider Estefania to be a "Westerner" because her education as a mi ddle upper class woman from Lima gives her many of the same perspectives as Frederick and myself.
! )* Anisia, an elder Matss woman, said a good Matss woman cooks and takes care of her husband and children. A good Matss man hunts and provides for his family. A good Matss "talks good," doesn't talk badly of people ( chushca), isn't c udas, or stingy, and doesn't steal. The main difference in definitions of goodness by Matss and Westerners is that the Westerne rs cite abstract thoughts, whereas the Matss refer to actions. The label good or bad is applied liberally to people from all spectrums. What's more, the labels reflect certain patterns of allegiance. I nterpersonal relations and political conflicts appea r to be at work in determin ing the cultural directions of the different Matss annexes. For instance, Frederick did well in Estirn after he left Puerto Alegre; many people there told me he was good, and that they didn't know if the naked man story was tru e. Santos and Angel, leaders of Puerto Alegre, told me Luis Calixto 19 was a good person, dearly loved by Matss. However, the Matss of Estirn as well as Estefania Fleck and David Rivera, find him very closed and unsocial. On the other hand, David Fleck i s resented by the people of Puerto Alegre, who believe he denounced Angel. However, Estefania and Camilla 20 as well as the Matss of Estirn view him favorably. In the next chapter I will explore some of the different interactions with outsiders in Estirn, including the story of David Fleck. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "* Peruvian anthropologist who worked with the Matss for many years. 20 Another anthropologist who studied in Estirn recently and is now writing her doctor ate thesis.
! *+ CHAPTER III INTERMARRIAGES Introduction Estirn feels entirely different from Puerto Alegre. Spread out along a sharp cliff above the Choba creek, it has many ports and no beaches. The water is clear, still and shaded, unlike the sun scorched chocolate milk of the Yaquerana. The houses can have windows, cut decoratively out of the walls in different shapes, because there are fewer biting insects. I could finally wear a short sleeve rather than long sleeve sh irt. Many houses have short, intentionally growth stunted coconut trees, with large orange coconuts hanging from them. Itia (in Matss, Aguajes in Spanish, Mauritia flexuosa is the scientific name) hung, ready to be harvested, from a tree in the middle of the annex. Isan ( Oenocarpus bataua otherwise known as ungurahui in Spanish) abounded. However, meat was scarce, unlike in Puerto Alegre. Hunting trips that lasted multiple days were common, as couples would travel a longer distance by canoe and stay for several days in an outlying hunting camp with other couples. They primarily use one specific hunting camp. Thus, the community is divided between the annex and the hunting camp where they go to eat meat. Arriving in Estirn, I felt reassured. The people w ho greeted me smiled and looked me in the eye. In Puerto Alegre a foreigner's arrival draws crowds that stare but do not usually make eye contact. In Estirn several people speak Spanish far above the level of the two best Spanish speakers in Puerto Alegre the chief Santos and Angel, the
! *" former chief of the Matss. Throughout the month I spent in Estirn, f inding an interpreter for interviews was not a challenge. In Estirn, the commun al meetings are held in a building with a cement floor and a metal roof instead of a maloca David Fleck mentioned that he could not conceive of the people of Estirn constructing a maloca for sentimental or nostalgic purposes, as had been done in Puerto Alegre. During my time in Estirn I attended several meetings which wer e distinct from those in Puert o Alegre. Rather than four hour l ong debating marathons, they were short and jovial. Everyone agreed and spent most of the meeting emphatically repeating what had already been said Also, there a re fewer than 100 people in Est irn, whil e Puerto Alegre is home to more than 300. T he meetings in Estirn were smaller and more intimate. While in Puerto Alegre elders and especially women scorn photographs in Estirn they allow them but expect gifts in return. Many foreigners inclu ding researchers and tourists have visited Estirn through its chief Daniel Jim nez. Additionally many of the teachers in Estirn speak Spanish. In Puerto Alegre they have refused admittance to chota c teachers, even though they have been offered by the st ate. Since teacher salaries are relatively high, this move ensures that the income will go only to members of the community and that the Matss teachers will be able to decide their own curriculum. However, the downside is that many of the Matss teachers are sadly unqualified. They often pass the required degrees by paying off the teacher. This is probably due to the poor secondary educatio n they receive in the community making it hard for them to succeed at the university level. Many of the Matss teache rs are listed as teaching Spanish and even English classes. I saw a report card for a student that listed a grade for English class.
! *# The teachers know no English, and speak little Spanish. Additionally, as in many places throughout the developing world, cl ass is more sporadic than regular. Teachers leave and return, show up late to class, or cancel class. Despite the numerous differences between the annexes, there are similarities. Although Estirn may appear more open to outsiders, inviting them to partic ipate in activities, allowing visitors to feel wanted or comfortable for the most part, the people who live there are also engaged in a controversy over bringing foreigners. Similar to the accusations against Santos, many people in Estirn complain about D aniel Jimnez behind his back, insisting that he profits personally from bringing foreigners. Also, as in Puerto Alegre, they are very concerned with adequate compensation. In fact, they are more aggressive tha n Puerto Alegre in this regard, requiring paym ent for interviews for example. Also, both annexes share a similar view of the distinction between matses ushu and chotac In this chapter I will show how the modern mestiza woman is a status symbol for Matss men. I will also show how financial considera tions play a major role in intermarriages between Matss and mestizas I have observed that both sides often take advantage of the other. In all but one of the intermarriages with mestizas in the entire CONAMA, the Matss is a teacher. Teachers' salaries e nable them to live above the means of other Matss, although they often spread the wealth. Mestiza women fail to be integrated completely, as they often do not learn the language or participate in strenuous activities such as farming. I found that c ommuni ties with intermarriages tend to be more open. Furthermore, the presence of the American David Fleck in Estirn has shaped Estirn's identity. H is
! *$ ambi gu ous identity, his ideas of Matss hood, and how he aims to influence the Matss all have a lasting effec t on his annex. An American Matss The View from Puerto Alegre One day in Puerto Alegre, Angel took me aside and said that the community had been talking. He told me that Abel, my adoptive father, had not said it to my face but he wanted to prohibit me from going to another annex. Angel said they didn't want me to go to Estirn because David Fleck, the American, "is a bad person." "Why?" I asked. "He was expulsado from the Matss." "Why?" "He was taking little animals, bats, and they didn't know why. So they kicked him out. But David was so mad. They were going to kick him out and he started chopping down houses with an ax. But he accidently chopped his own foot. So he stayed through the acceptance of his suegro, father in law. He denounced CEDIA. 1 I had heard other rumors. Juana, Ab el's daughter, told me that Dina Fleck's young Matss wife, wanted to take her son with her to Church since she always goes to church, but Fleck said Padi Padi 2 Don't take my son to Church, Dios no existe !" To her, this was one of the worst sins he could commit negating Christianity. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! An NGO that works with the Matss, see next Chapter for more info on the CEDIA conflict. 2 No, as a directive in Matss.
! *% Meeting Fleck Before meeting Fleck I had heard the opinions of Matss in Puerto Alegre and I had seen his 1000 page linguistic thesis online as well as numerous linguistic articles; I k new he was an accomplished academic. When I arrived in the evening at Fleck's house with D ina, he was sitting in a hammock stooped over his laptop. When she tried to get his attention, he said "what?" in Matss. When she motioned tow ard me, he didn't say anything. As I started putting my net up, he asked me if I needed anything. The next day I explored the premises. He had an impressive tied right adjacent to his house with growth stunted coconut trees. His house was notable with its two laptops and solar energy panel connected to a battery which powered the laptop and lights and movies in the evening. Every day he wore the same thing: flip flops, shorts, no shirt, and a key on a string around his neck. His two children aged two and six, speak only Matss words, although one day I heard him drilling English words such as chicken with his older son. Fleck is constantly using Matss tobacco powder, even though the Matss no longer use it. He puts it on his gums after meals. Fleck and D ina are both calm, quiet and athletic. They are not to o smiley or warm, but their house is usually calmer than most houses because Dina doesn't yell as other Matss women do. Dina spends most of her days fishing and playing sports. Fleck says he originally came to the Matss in the early 90s. He was working in Genaro Herrera collecting mammals for his biology studies. One day he got drunk and woke up all his friends to tell them he was going to Brazil. Although he didn't remember it later, everyone made fun of him for it, so he said he would go. He walked into San Juan, one of the Matss annexes on the Galvez River, without knowing there were
! *& "Indians" there. He knew nothing about the Matss. In 1992 and 1993 he went back to San Juan for a couple days, where he met Antonio Jimne z. Antonio has a history of taking in foreigners who wandered into San Juan. Fleck Concerns In the concerns about David Fleck from people outside Estirn it is interesting to not e the aspects that they emphasize Angel and Pepe, whose story I discuss be low, focuses on what Fleck is bringing in and what he is taking out, demonstrating a preoccupation with the policing of their hard to police borders. Political and personal/interpersonal motives play a role in det ermining favor of foreigners. Fleck could be said to co ntribute to Matss life. F or instance he recently completed an invaluable Matss Castellano dictionary, the first comprehensive dictionary of Matss, not to mention his innumerable recordings of stories from elders which w ill be important fo r posterity. H e works very hard at farming a nd hunting like most Matss men. But some Matss don't see how he has benefited them. Fleck continues to benefit fr om the Matss for his career and he does live in what could be considered an upp er class way in relation to other Matss, although not entirely of his own choosin g. He professes profound respect for the Matss, but he only demonstrates respect for what he perceives as worthwhile aspects of the culture. In conversations with me, he pu t a large empha sis on the ways of the elders, while rejecting the attitudes of the younger generation, the younger generation that wishes to be connected and have the same kinds of opportunities that he has had. I noted that h e has had a very large impact on the people i n Estirn, and participates in Matss politics.
! *' Against Fleck Pepe Fasabi explained to me what happened under his watch a s chief of the Matss the story of Fleck's expulsion, from his perspective as someone involved in the event. An old man from San Jua n came to tell me that Fleck shot an iyua 3 and there was a kid nearby! So in the a samblea 4 we came to an agreement that he would leave San Juan. We sent a letter. You should leave the community. Nine days later he came and yelled in my house with a comuner o from San Juan (Fernando). He began to threaten me. Te voy a matar soy Americano, soy hijo de comandante!' (I'm going to kill you, I am American, son of a commander.") "I said, It's not my decision, but the comuneros' decision.' "I n Iquitos, he went t o romper (break) my room, he said I am Matss, son of Matss, registered as a Matss father on the Day of the Father.' "I saw him in Ari's Burger in the plaza of Iquitos. Maybe they didn't serve him, he sat down and he began to hit glasses on the table. He broke the glass, put $50 on the table and he left. I guess it was his anger to see me there. He yelled in Matss. I didn't say anything. I felt scared and frustrated. When he returned he went to Estirn, and that's when they gave him the girl, she was 13 years old. 5 She began to cry, she didn't want to. Her mother came to me, but it is the father's decision." Last year he came up to me to ask me to forgive him. To know if I needed accesoria (advising or support in bureaucratic pursuits) Now, I see him walking around here. It is my opinion that in the 15 years he's been working here, there's hasn't been any results in favor of the Matss. Since he is a professional, he benefits with goods and traditional knowledge. No authorities investigate him. He ta kes suitcases of wood, sometimes 5, We don't know where it goes. First he took anteaters, skins of foxes, then bats, and artisan work and medici nal plants. There is no result. His relationship with the Matss is only with the Jimnez es. Even the Matss don 't go to him. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $ Domesticated animal, a pet, can also be an adopted child from the mestizos, blancos or another tribe. In this case it refers to a pig that the person had raised. 4 The general meeting for all the annexes. 5 She was actually 16 years old. He was around 36 years old
! *( Note, this is definitely exaggerated and tinged by political problems, possibly an enmity between Antonio Jimnez (from San Juan) and Pepe Fasabi. In Response to the Accusations Fleck s ays the reason they talk badly of him in Puerto Alegre is out of jealousy because he gave jobs to people in Estirn Regarding the issue with Pepe, he says, "I got mad and that did not pay off. It's never good to be a hot head here. In our culture, people can respect you for voicing your opinion, for standing up for yourself. Here it is not a good idea." Fleck is an atheist and the Matss know it, but he learned long ago not to debate them over it. Furthermore, he says there was a misunderst anding about killing the animal; he did not do it. Also, the animal bel onged to Antonio Jimnez, who is good friends with Fleck now He said, "I inherited Antonio and Daniel Jimnez 's enemies ; I c ould have easily have married someone from Puerto Alegre and be enemies with Daniel ." He told me people considered him Matss, not a foreigner. Also, he said he could go to Puerto Alegre if he desired, simply by involving Angel in a project and ensuring Angel would benefit monetarily, such as with paid translation work. Values and Anxieties While I was there, Fleck was using the pag es of Obama's Audacity of Hope for toilet paper. In Estirn he lectures the young Matss on his firm values. The o ld men visit him but the young men don't often and he doesn't visit others very often. He is working on a project to defend the violence in t he Matss's past and celebrate the old warriors because they saved the Matss from extinction The excerpts below from our interview
! *) portray his values and anxieties. When I asked him what kind of person he considers himself and how his relations with the Matss have changed over the years, his long response winded from topic to topic, including these excerpts: People ask, W on't people in the US think it is an ugly name for your son Dunu?' B ut I say N o M y people appreciate different cultures, and he is named after a great warrior.' B ut he killed mestizos that m eans your son will kill mestizos .' W ell I would be proud if he did if mestizos attacked his family because if he didn't he would be a coward .' Matss are very social I am anti social, I feel l ike socializing is a waste of time, I co uld be doing something better. I' m too much of a workaholic a good Matss. I don't think there is anything admi rable about being a workaholic. Chopping trees is nice; it is social The ax goes in trying to make tha t perfect cut I used to f antasiz e that uncontacted tribes would find me in the forest and make me live with them for ten years I wanted to live here without spending a lot of money so I wouldn't have to do another project. But you can't hoard stuff he re. There are tensions with Dina. We have to share. So, four months of supplies of soap is gone in one month, people ask to borrow the nail clippers and don't bring them back, then we don't have them when I want them. I f I give somebody a bar of soap they will come back the next day for another. I asked him what the experience is like raising his child among the Matss, and one of the things he said was: My parents sent a LEGO set, in one week the legos were all over the community. What do I tell my son be greedy with your stuff or you won't have stuff to play with? Or share? But with three LEGOs you can't build much. T he problem is that the sharing is not reciprocal. I l i ke to have two pil lows but you can't have two in Estirn. S omeone will say you h ave two, can I have one?' I'd like to have two sets of sheets. W e could have another set while one is being washed. It's rough on D ina On one hand, it's nice, but it also causes conflict I magine y our sister married a billionare and then he didn't want to share. H ow would you feel ?
! ** I asked, "How do you think the Matss have changed since you arrived?" He often discussed negative changes with me in daily conversation, similar to his responses below. The Matses are full of contradictions, it is a shari ng society assimilat ing into a non sharing society. It creates problems for the teachers, also, people get angry about stuff if I don't share As he began to talk about some of the modern problems the Matss have, H e drifted into a discussion of how men s pend their income in the cities. The Matses don't save. They are always in debt. The t ake every excuse to go to I quitos and see prostitutes. Lastly, when I asked him about his relationship with Dina, he told me his marri age was arranged through Daniel ( who had pushed for it since Dina was nine) but that he insis ted that Dina agree as well first. He also said: 6 Dina is spoiled. It was not much of a change for her to marry me because she was already like that. Dina had never read a book, I got her to read two abridged novels: Little Women and Maria, which is like the Pride and Prejudice of Colombia. She dropped the Three Musketeers. I wonder how life would have been different with another woman. When Dina didn't want to marry, I mean she was ambivalent, Ces ar offered Aurora. I didn't say anything; I thought Dina would come round. Aurora wouldn't expect special treatment. Or would she change? Only Dina and Mercid make special deals to get house help in exchange for goods. I am uncomfortable about it. At first I wanted to be at the same economic level as everybody else. I wasn't consulted about the house help. She makes the arrangement and I don't want to boss her around. They help and in exchange she gives them goods from Iquitos. Dina, if there is work to do she will do it, but if someone else will do it, she will let them. I would feel more guilty if I was the only one at a higher economic level. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had asked earlier in the day if he paid a girl who I noticed worked often around his house, and he lped take care of his kids. He had told me before that he did not pay here, but Dina had arranged to give the girl, Dina's cousin, goods in exchange. Here, he returns to the topic, reiterates what he told me earlier and expands upon how it makes him feel.
! "++ Fleck is focused on the past of the Matss and emphasizing how the warriors were noble He says, "S ometimes I th ink I would have fi t in better in a place like Puerto Alegre ." It seems to me that Fleck wants to be like the Matss of the past, but they want him to change them, bring connection s, and help them to be more like him. Fleck and other visitors to the Matss are caught in a catch 22 situations. If they want to respect and admire the Matss, they want to learn from them. However, the Matss want the foreigners to help them pull them up "civilize them ." The result for Fleck is that he is in some ways the assi milated person who grows to "follow the culture" more carefully than the people themselves. On the other hand, Fleck does impose his own Western values, however slightly, upon the people around him. He is involved in politics and spreading ideas. For examp le, the widespread belief that mestizos are bad and racist is propagated and intensified by his comments. Daniel is planning on moving to a different area. Fleck does not want to go. The family is caught in the middle. Fleck says that if Daniel leaves it w on't change his life very much. However, Daniel told me that "when I go to Cana, David will see that not everyone here is ok/good with him being here." In this and other ways, Fleck can be compared to Frederick Daniel also said, "poor Frederick he thinks all these people are his friends and when he goes they won't be his friends anymore." Both Fleck and Frederick have strict conceptions of Matsshood mixed with some sense of entitlement which combines to overflow in sometimes conflicting relationships wit h some Matss. I would note however, that Fleck is older than when he first traveled to the Matses and I think he has moved beyond some of his earlier confrontations. Frederick and Fleck share many of the same values among them hardwork and individualism Just
! "+" as Frederick found it humiliating to wash his own clothes since Matss men do not do it, Fleck also proudly emphasized the masculine elements of Matss culture. Matss/ Mestizo (a) Couples Daniel and Mercid (and Marina) Daniel, the chief of Estiron struck me as different from any other Matss I had met. His Spanish nearly impeccable, his words soft around the edges, he was affable and reassuring from the beginning. He had mastered the art of wooing the foreigner and so mehow managed to explain his s ome times contentious points of view without directly engaging in chushque, or "bad mouthing" 7 someone. bi chuscaicsa nebi." "I am not one that bad mouths'" No puedo hablar mal de mi hermano Matss." I cannot speak badly of my Matss brother." Daniel was the first Matss I felt to be truly straightforward although I later wondered if it was just because he was the smoothest politician of them all. Before I left Peru I visited his house in Iquitos. He served me chicken from a polleria and refused my money. A Matss refusing money is rare, if not unheard of. Daniel does not work his fields and neither does Mercid, his mestiza w ife. Mercid exclaimed un abashedly that she had never seen her field. Instead, family members take !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( David Fleck translates chushque as ladrar, to bark, or quejarse, to complain. However, I believe this does not reflect its overwhelmingly negative connotation and its general usage as I experienced. I observed use of this word very frequently, always r eferring to someone talking badly about someone else usually "behind the person's back," not publicly. The Spanish translation I heard Matss use was hablar mal de" or "to speak badly of."
! "+# care of their fields and b ring them yucca and plantains in exchange for city goods and monetary help when requested. According to the couple and others the relationship is happily symbiotic. Daniel and Mercid are teachers in the elementary school. A teacher's salary in the CONAMA pays 1,500 soles monthly, about 575 USD. In addition to being a teacher, Daniel has been paid the same amount monthly by David Fleck to assist him on various funded linguistic and oral history projects. 8 Thus, his household has earned at least $20,700 USD annually in addition to unknown income from various business projects and political friendships, the proverbial greasing of his palms. As David Fleck puts it, "Daniel is the first middle class Matss." Daniel is involved in a couple business ventures: o ne to provide genipap to a temporary tattoo company in L.A. and the other to provide an Argentine with acate, frog poison emetic. He also runs a trade store in his house. He acts as a middleman in th ese ventures between his people, who collect the genipap or frog poison, and the foreign buyer. He handles the money and undoubtedly profits handsomely when business is good, although both have sporadic demand. Daniel and Mercid have hosted all foreigners who have come to Estirn in their house. Daniel is eage r to chat about his "fri ends," the many foreigners who have visited him. H e welcomes them saying they are now his daughter o r "son." As Jessie an American who stayed with him while I was in Estirn, 9 said, "Daniel makes you feel at home, he says you ar e part of the family." Since I did not stay with Daniel, and probably !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ) The current project he is working on with Fleck is now comin g to an end and so is the funding, so this income will stop until Fleck obtains funding for another project For more details on Jessie see Chapter Four.
! "+$ also because of my already established links to Puerto Alegre, he did not claim me as his daughter. The o nly phone in Estirn is in Daniel and Mercid's house. I often went there to ma ke a phone call and then visit Mercid. The house is divided into two connected spaces. One is the kitchen and visiting space, the other is a multi room complex including their room, two guest rooms, and a front room where the phone and trade store are. The house overlooks the central square, directly facing the volleyball net Wide windows are cut into the walls to let in abundant natural light, allowing maximum visibility between those inside and those playing volleyball. The front and back kitchen space s a re, often as not, crawling with people. People shift in and out, bringing isan (Oenocarpus bataua), or meat. Women chat conspiratorially with Mercid as she frie s green plantains or cooks rice. O il and rice are del icacies for most Matss. S he serves the foo d on a matching plate set, also a rarity As the plantains sizzle, the Matss women whisper in Matss and Mercid rejoins in Spanish. She has lived with the Matss for 17 years. Mercid rarely speaks in Matss and claims she cannot, though she understands a lot. She describes the first time s he began to understand, "S he said ista and she pushed me, so I understood ista meant permiso, excuse me." Although Mercid is a supposed "bilingual" t eacher, she teaches in Spanish, just as the other teachers, also supp osedly bilingual, only teach in Matss Mercid ha s two children a fifteen year old son who stays mostly in Santa Rosa where he goes to school, and a five year old son. Both are bilingual. Daniel has four other children from a previous marriage. Those fo ur children as well as their mother, Marina, can often be found with Mercid in the kitchen. In fact, Marina and her mother
! "+% are the ones who primarily work Mercid's fields. Marina's children call Mercid mam and Dina, Marina's daughter, claimed to prefer Merc id over her own mother. Also, several other non related children asked me Donde est mam?" referring to Mercid. She does perform a role as mother of the community in some ways, as I was reminded when, short and rotund, infinitely gr acious and smili ng, she presided over the town meeting in Daniel's absence. David Fleck likened her to the town princess. W hen asked about Mercid's relationship with the community, everyone celebrated her generosity She herself claimed multiple times that she was neve r cudas (glossed as stingy) with the Matss and they were never cudas with her. No one had anything negative to say about her to me, although jealousy does undoubtedly stir beneath the surface, as some behind the scenes com plaints about Daniel illustrate The story of how Daniel and Mercid met and became the couple they are today epitomizes how personal dramas both illustrate and act upon conceptions Matss hold of outsiders. At the age of 20, Mercid was in the middle of her studies in accounting and com putation. She worked as a waitress to support her studies and her family because as she sighed, Teniamos n ada" W e had nothing. Mercid's father had worked in Angamos for many years, and kne w several Jimnezes, one of whom took Daniel to visit and ask the daughters out to a night of bingo. What started as the two young Matss men fighting over Mercid's flirtier sister, ended with Daniel asking Mercid to be his wife. He was impressed that she did not attempt to take advantage of him financially. For many y ears, Mercid did not agree to marry him, saying he might trick her. When she finally accepted she did so with the caveat that she had to finish her studies first. Only after many years
! "+& of being with him in Iquitos as enamorados lovers, and after meeting many of his family members in Iquitos, Mercid found out that he had indeed been tricking her he had a wife. However, by that time Daniel and Mercid had been together for years, and as she puts it Ya nos habiamos acostumbrado we had already grown accus tomed. Daniel lured Mercid to his community by giving her a job, but did not let her know that she would b y living with him and his Matses wife once there. He guarde d her with extreme jealousy, locking her up even. She told me she left him many times thr oughout their early years, but he always ca me to get her in Iquitos and she always came back. Marina left many years ago and Daniel is no longer so extremely jealous, Mercid reports, so they are happy together. Daniel's (abridged) version: When I was a c hild I listened to huayno and I said, I want to marry a woman from the sierra, and I saw the ILV women and I said or a white woman. I didn't want to marry a Matss woman or a L oretana. When I was a child the gringas wanted to take me to their land, bu t my parents didn't accept I achieved my dream of going to Angamos, and then to Iquitos, then Lima, now I want to go to the USA. 10 But I didn't achieve my dream for a woman; Mercid is Loretana! I wanted two chotac women, but M ercid didn't accept I was wi th my wife Marina, b ut I had pr oblems with her. I forgave her three times and then I told her, You look for your husband and I am going to find my wife, one day I'll find my wife." She said "no Matses woman will accept you." But we stayed together, until I found my wife. At first, my cousin and I fought over Mercid's sister. We both wanted to go out with her. But I said, "I'm not going to fight over a woman." So I went with her [Mercid] I said, "Let's go in motocarro." But she said "No, I'm not going to make you spend your money." But her sister said "Yes, let's go in motocarro! Daniel is inviting!" After, I invited Mercid to eat, but she said, "no, I don't want you to spend your money." So then I was thinking I want her to be my wife. She said "I do n't accept, I don't know you and my mother told me that men always !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "+ Santos said something almost exactly the same to me.
! "+' trick you and lie and leave you pregnant." "You have another woman don't you?" B ut I lied, I said I didn't have a wife After a year, she accepted, but saying, don't trick me, don't lie to me. Various time she almost met my wife but I told her no t hose women are just my cousins One day Marina was sick in the hospital and I guess you could see on my face that I was worried. Mercid said, You are worried, why are you worried, probably your w ife is sick, yes, I said, but it's my daughter that is sick, not my wife. "And her mother?" Mercid asked. "No she left," I said. Im going to go meet your daughter ," Mercid said. I didn't want to be such a liar anymore. I t ook her to the Matss and my first wife was still there. Mercid asked, Why is she still here? But no she is no longer my woman, why does it matter ?" They cooked together, then Marina left to another annex, and she said I'm taking my kids but I said, no they will stay with me ." Now my kids grew to call Mercid mom, she doesn't hit them. Now they cook together, Marina is with Lucho, she brings meat Mercid s version, also abridged: Cada vez ten an plata ellos, no les faltaba nada. N o s de donde lo han sacado Each time they (the Matses) had money, they didn t lack for anything, I don t know where they got it. L os do s se han peleado por mi hermana, como mi hermana es mas ella pues es mas sonriente se congenia con las personas N o les conozco eh como me voy a re r con ellos ? The two fought over my sister, since she smiles a lot, she gets along with people. I don't know them, eh? How am I going to smile with them? Y o le dije como me voy a casar contigo ? S i no te conozco yo no puedo D e rep ente me engaas, as le dije Mi mam siem pre me ha dicho que no tengo que hacer caso a cualquier persona I told him, how am I going to marry you if I don t know you, I can t, you might trick me, I told him that way, my mom always told me that I can t believe whoever. S que has venido de An gam os pero no se que parte es. Y el me dice no, yo te quiero me dijo
! "+( Pero como me vas a querer si reci n nos estamos conociendo Y o te quiero de verdad Yo me quiero casar.' I know you have come from Angamos but I don't know where that is. He said no, I love you.' But how are you going to say you love me if we just met? I love you truly, I want to marry you. Y o trataba de esquivarme pero el pue s me daba plata pero yo nunca notaba que el ten a otro compromiso Y nadie me dec a yo andaba con su famili a sus cunados y nadie me deca que ten a mujer I tried to avoid him, but he gave me money But I never thought he was already in a relationship, and nobody told me. I went around with his family and nobody told me he had a woman. pura familia (in gove rnment positions) Me haba ofrecido trabajo y acept venir por ac, trabajar en Angamos. Yo lo que quiero es trabajar, quiero ganar mi platita. He had family in government positions. He offered me a job and I accepted to come here to work in Angamos. Wh at I want is to work, I want to earn my money. Pero ests preocupado le dije que tienes? No me quera decir pero el estaba triste. Yo trataba de que el me diga. Al siguiente da s me dijo su sobrina est enferma, y al otro rato que era su ta, despus u na se ora, q uien puede ser? Despus me dice, no te vas a rabiar No me voy a rabiar. No me vas a dejar? Por qu? por qu te voy a dejar? Te voy a decir la verdad Que cosa? pero ya me ten a un poco sospechando Sabes quien est enferma, mi mujer. Si es tu mujer anda ve le, no vengas a buscarme Los dos est bamos llorando But you are worried, I said, what's the matter?' He didn't want to tell me, but he was sad. I tried to make him tell me. The next day he told me, yes my niece is sick, but the n he said my aunt, then a lady, who could it be? I said He said, you're not going to get mad?' I'm not going to get mad.' You won't leave me?'
! "+) Why? Why would I leave you?' I'm going to tell you the truth.' What? Now he had me a little bit suspecting. You know who is sick, it's my woman.' If she's your woman, go to see her, don't look for me.' We were both crying. Yo lo que pensaba que no ibamos a estar en la misma casa Yo pens que yo iba a estar aparte I thought that we were not going to be in t he same house, I thought I would be in my own home. [When he offered her a job] Vicente and Vanessa Vicente Jimnez is a teacher in San Roque. 11 The high income teachers receive makes them the most likely candidates for marrying mestiza s. 12 Vanessa was the first and youngest Shauano Diaz I met. Four Shauano Diaz siblings have been in relationships with Matss. Esli was the eldest and the first; she became involved with Eliseo when she was only 15, shortly after she gave birth to another man's child. The n Vicente Eliseo's cousin, got together with another sister, who passed away. Jarvin became involved with Elena, and lastly, Vicente ended up with Vanessa. I met Vicente while visiting San Roque for a celebration. Vicente's reputation as a womanizer pre ceded him. He was infamous for his scandalous multiple relationships. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "" Estirn and San Roque are right next to each other, less than one hour's walk away, or 15 minutes in a peke peke. "# From here on, I will use marry, wife, and husband to refer to relationships in which the couple co reside, relationships that are considered "marriage" to the Matss although th e couple is not legally married. Most Matss do not marry legally due to monetary restrictions, although it is the stated ideal. In Spanish they use the word mujer, or woman, to denote these relationships as in "she is his woman" or "I am his woman." The words used in Matss to denote these relationships are bn and chido, which David Fleck translates as esposo, and esposa or mujer respectively. Another word that is used frequently is the hybridization casaua; it is a mixture of the Spanish casar, or to m arry, and the Matses suffix, ua, to do
! "+* In San Roque I be gan to outline a genealogy with the help of several Jimnez es. Soon one would grow bored and hand off the task to another my informants flowed in and out. Finally, a young man who entered in the middle of the process ended up helping me f or the longest time we had actually not introduced ourselves We had been working on the chart together for around 20 minutes when I arrived to Vicente Jimnez on the genealogy. I'm Vicente," he said. He proceeded to name his children by four different women, clearly embarrassed, but committed to accuracy nonetheless. Vicente and Vanessa then became some of my most helpful informants. Besides being open to me about their personal stories, they became my translators for several interviews in Estirn. Elena and Jarvin Elena, from San Roque, and Jarvin live primarily in Iquitos. When I met Elena at Daniel's house in Iquitos where she resided, she was keen on beginning the intervie w right away, an d in Matss. Jarvin was present, playing with their daughter; it became evident he understood little Matss and she was taking the opportunity to gripe about him in her language. Elena told me s he was sad and lonely. Jarvin did not support her financially and she felt embarrassed to rely financially on her uncle, Daniel, or ask him for money. She told me that Jarvin hit her and Jarvin's family (Vanessa and Esli's family) treated her horribly. Ever since her mother in law kicked her out of th e house, she was afraid to visit. Furthermore, she believed he was turning her daughter against her; she
! ""+ explained, "He lies to my daughter. He tells her that I am not her mom. He makes her disrespect me." She continued: Eight years he hasn't changed. He d oesn't give me money to live, eat. I worked for a time as house help. H e works but spend s all the money. He buys alcohol and goes to parties. He doesn't give me to eat. He is bad. I left onc e before and he came to get me and told me it would be OK, he wou ld work and buy me things. B ut he is cambiauenquioquid (s omeone who doesn't change a Matss Spanish hybrid, cambiar is Spanish for change u enquio is the negative suffix compound of ua to do, and quid suggest s someone who d oes something or did something) We were in my father in law's house but now we are in my Uncle's house. It's good. Daniel gives me food, but I don't always want to ask. It's embarrassing so I don 't complain to an ybody. I magine if mi barriga hincha, peor! (Imagine if my tummy swells s he is referring to a baby worse!) According to both Elena and Jarvin Jarvin does not admit Elena's Matss heritage or language to any of his friends or acquaintances. His friends do not know she i s Matss, and no o ne values her Matss skills and char acteristics, but rather focus on forcing her to learn loretano practices. She said she has no friends in Iquitos. After the interview, Elena accompanied me out to grab a mototaxi. "I'm leaving tomorrow, Lorna," she whispered. Elena planned to leave the n ext day, with her daughter, for San Roque. She said she couldn't take anymore. She hoped her mother would pay for her to go home. However, I came back to Daniel's house the next day and she hadn't left yet. Despite her difficulties, Elena believes in the value of Matss mestizo relations She told me she sees how other Matss chota c relations are good and wishes hers could be like that. She cites Aleandro and Sally, who I describe later on, as an example of a happy couple Elena has a unique perspective and experience as she is one of the only Matss
! """ women who has married a chotac, and she is the only one who lives in Iquitos. In the few moments I spent with her, she struck me as one of the most friendly Matss women I have met. S he tried to refuse the money I offered her after our interview (as did Jarvin), even though she clearly needed it. The only other Matss to refuse a gift or donation was Daniel, as I mentioned above. I believe that she picked that up from mestizos ; her life in the city, albeit seclud ed, had changed her. Eliseo and Esli Jarvin accompanied me to the outskirts of Iquitos, a place I had never heard of called Masusa. My Iquitos friends said it was dangerous, but Jarvin was only available to take me to his mother's house at night. After stepping out of the motorcar, we descended down a dirt alley. Slipping into the darkness under elevated houses, we entered a labyrinth of makeshift plank bridges leading to the houses behind. The water under those houses was still high for the dry season swamp vegetation had colonized the area and thousands of frogs sang in the bog amidst discarded wrappers and the strong scent of fecal matter. We weaved our way around and through porches balancing on some of the most precarious plank bridge assortments I have witnessed. This was the second time we were heading out there so I could talk with Esli about her relationship with Eliseo. The night before, Esli and her mother were on thei r way to deliver a package baby diapers to send on the plane for Vanessa I offered to pay for the mototaxi, as I was headed in the same direction. A boy who looked about 15 stood on the corner and Esli told him to go get his mototaxi; apparently he was a friend. A rriving in the city, the friend demonstrated his rookie abil ity to navigate the streets, as we thoroughly and
! ""# comically lost ourselves to the point where I had to pull out my map to direct us. After we finally arrived, Esli kissed the boy while her mother went inside. Upon my second return, Esli told me that Eli seo had left her. After, I wondered if she felt closer to me after the day's previous rendezvous or if she felt obliged to talk with me beca use in the end I had done them the favor of sending the diapers myself in the morning since it was too late to send t hem t he previous evening. In any case, the timing was d ramatic. Only a few days ago, Eliseo had taken Esli's three children, including one who was not his own, to the Matss territory. Esli said Eliseo had beat en her. Despite her highly negative expe rience with Eliseo, Esli and her family maintained good relations with many Matss, and most significantly with Vicente. Furthermore, she said Matss men can be good partners, but not Matss women She disapproves of Elena. Significantly, when Esli first met Eliseo she knew he spoke Spanish poorly, but did not realize he was indigenous, and did not learn that he was Matss until Vicente told her. She told me, "H e said he was from Brasil, I didn't believe him." A Note on Other Couples Julio Jimnez has t wo mestiza wives. What's more, they are sist ers. Angela, the eldest is outgoing, domineering, and very confident with the Matss language. She is proud of her ability to speak it. His acquisition of two mestiza wives and Matss polygamy might have influenc ed mestizo practices in Angamos where two mestizo men also have multiple wives.
! ""$ "Kankun" is the name of a cheap brand of Peruvian rum, and also the unfortunate nickname of the one mestizo man currently succe ssfully residing in the CONAMA. Several old men in Estirn were fond of comparing David Fleck to Kankun. Kankun was not a hard worker, they said. Hand tattooed, very muscular, and with a deep bass voice, Kankun stood out at community meetings, where he participated in Spanish, contributing to Estirn's bilingual atmosphere. Kankun himself said he admires the Matss work ethic. Kankun's wife did not want to be interviewed. Aleandro Jimnez, Daniel's son, is with a 16 year old mestiza, Sally. In Estirn, when asked about Sally, people said she didn't like living with the Matss. She couldn't stand it. However, she claimed she loved it. Like Esli, Vanessa, and Jarvin before her, Sally confesses to believing the Matss are more virtuous than mestizos in many ways, because they are good Christians. She said t he Matss follow Christian principles more than mestizos. Fernando told me Sally was just with Aleandro because Aleandro received a generous salary from Fleck to help with translations. In regards to Sally, Fleck commented: Sally's mom is terrible, that's where all the 30,000 soles went, for her house in Iquitos, 50s per day for food. Aleandro, if he got a job, he would only make 10s per day. His mother in law not going to be so nice once he has no money. It seems there is an undercurrent like her daughter is too good for an Indian. In the Matss mentality it is an investment if you spend enough money maybe she will have a kid, and the girl will get used to it. Here they were fighting everyday, the money was running out so they couldn't have rice everyday Sally would only socialize with Mercid.
! ""% Puerto Alegre Intermarriages and Connections Rafael Rafael, Angel's brother, a teacher in Puerto Alegre, was one of the most congenial of the Puerto Alegre inhabitants. Not surprisingly, he also had more exper ience with outsiders than most Matss. In 1999 he "married" a non Matss woman. She died two years ago. Although he told me the story, briefly, of how she arrived in Matss territory, he couldn't tell me much about her life before the Matss. He thought sh e was Quechua, but he didn't know if she spoke Quechua. He referred to her as a chotac. In his story, she wanted to go to his community but he said, ya tengo mi mujer, te va a pegar (I already have a wife, she will hit you. ) She persisted, saying she wan ted to be with him, and his Matses wife called to castigate him when she found out. His Matss wife said tiene que estar en tu casa, no escondida ( she has to be in your house, not hidden)." Rafael clarified, no quer a que pague su pensi n (my wife didn' t want me to pay my mistress's board)." So, eventually he took his c hotac w oman to the Matss land. F earful he wondered if the Matss would beat or even kill her. When I asked him how she was different from Matss, he said she was tall. In describing her, he said she spoke perfect Matss, that she gave the old men, "her friends," gifts, and that she always shared with her co wife ( dauid is the word for co wife in Matss). These descriptions as well as the lack of detail about her life outside of the Matss confirm my suspicion that a chotac woman in Puerto Alegre would have a different experience than one in Estirn o r San Roque. Unlike the mestiza women there, she learned Matss, according to Rafael.
! ""& Ramon and Mai/Graciela Ramon another of Angel's brot hers, has two wives, who are sisters. H e says he is the only Matss man who is faithful to his wife Mai, the younger sister. Graciela the older one, has been sick for many years, and is often in Brazil seeking treatment. Mai and Graciela are Marubo. Mai giggles uncontro llably, unlike Matss women who ignore and evade when nervous, silently refusing to make eye contact. She lives in Angamos, and has lived in Matss territory since she was 11 years old, nine years ago. Yet she says she has no Matss or mestizo friends, and that she is still afraid of Matss, cuestsiash, they would kill her/hit her She said this to me a few minutes before a Matss woman came to visit her at home. She speaks some Matss and some Spanish, but claims she is unable to do ei ther Matss or Marubo artisanry. She said she likes mestizos better than Matss because she likes their music. When she was only a child, Mai's parents offered her to Ramon, who has supported her since she was young. At the time, she did not want to go to Matss territory and even today she clearly has reservations about Matss people and culture. Ramon's children receive financial support from the Brazilian government. He himself lived many years in Marubo territory in Brazil, and he is now considered Ma rubo by the Brazilian government, and Matss by the Peruvian government. Ramon and Mai do not have fixed identity categoriesAlthough he lives in Angamos, being Angel's brother, he is most closely aligned with Puerto Alegre. Ramon and Mai and their experien ce become even more interesting when viewed within the greater context of the "Marubo connection" in Puerto Alegre.
! ""' Marubo Connection/A Portrait of a Stolen Women Mai, unlike the stolen women of old, has not been irrevocably assimilated into Matss cultu re, suggesting that it is Matss culture that has allowed or disallowed assimilation, and not simply mestizo condescension and will. Rosa Angel's mother, is the stolen woman who initiated the modern Marubo Matss exchanges. Rosa is Angel's mother. H appy to talk with me she proudly showed me examples of Marubo jewelry Se told me she considers herself Matss bu t she appears ambivalent. She said she will die here with the Matss, but she seems to represent the Marubo more favorably. Nostalgic, she says the Marubo keep t heir traditions more, and also it is a source of pride for her that the Marubo wore clothes before when the Ma tss went naked He r allegiance seems mostly determined by her children. During our interview, she often said cun champi, cun mado ( my daughter, my son ) to explain her motivations in life. D ue t o cultural and linguistic barriers, it was hard to glean any deep comprehension of how she felt being forced into marriage with a Matss, or leavin g her Marubo children and husband. From her information, I can picture a scared girl, crying, afraid of the Matss's nakedness, and yearning for her family and her beloved husband. She t ried to e scape once, eventually becoming resigned and absorbing herself in love for Abel, her first Matss born child. She said t hat when she cried another stolen woman told her "H ere there is yucca to eat; you can stay until your family comes for you." Several years after contact, a relative of Rosa's came to the Matss looking for her and she decided to visit the Marubo. That vis it resulted in many important ties between the Marubo and Puerto Alegre, in contrast to Estirn's ties to mestizo s and white
! ""( people Ramon, Angel, Abel, and Dora lived for many years with the Marubo, learning their language. Abel told me, "I speak Marubo. I am Marubo ." Abel also said M arubo are caliente (warm). That is why the M arubo do n ot talk badly when people come. T hey tal k well, invite them to eat. B efore the Matss were like that but I don't know why now only the Marubo continue that way. B efore th e Matss were bravo (fierce), and the men traveled around killing people. M aybe that's why M arubos live in malocas still and the women still do crafts. H ere there are no malocas ." He continued, telling me he wants to live in a maloca His daughter Juana interjected, "I don't want to!" A nalysis Mestiz os (as) Good or Bad? In an interview with Fernando, another young man proficient in Spanish who was unsuccessful in his courtship of mestizas shared several revealing comments with me: Entonces me hab l con todos, su mam que voy a casar ya era mi pareja ella no, y despues de mucho tiempo estando con ella vine para B uenas L omas y depues regreso y ya esta con otro marido el chota chido entonces aprend I spoke with everyone, with her mother, that we were going to marry, she was already my couple. After a long time being with her, I came to Buenas Lomas (an annex) and when I returned she was with another husband, so the mestiza woman I learned. I asked: esta con un hombre chotac? (Is she with a mest izo husband?) Si entonces aprend que chota c chido no val a para nada no val a la pena de casar no? Yes so I learned that the mestiza woman isn't worth marrying, right?
! "") las mujeres chota c no le quieren a los nativos, quizs si alguien tiene su trabajo quizs puede querer The mestizas don't love the natives, maybe if somebody has a job maybe they can love them. Creo que para mi nica la mujer buena es Mercidporque Sally y otras Vane s sa no respeta a su hombre. no se Sally creo que es porque est trab ajando con David, por su dinerito. Ella su marido no mas quera pero m s que todo su familia quera, entonces no es buena, buena gente no, no tiene buena relacin sino esta por inter s y la Vane ssa pues no s por que un d a se estaba separada, o as dejada estaba con otro Matss I think that in my opinion the only good woman is Mercid. Because Sally and others, Vane s sa doesn't respect her man. I don't know, Sally I think it is because he is working with David, for his money. She just wanted a husband bu t her family wanted, so she's not good, not good people, She doesn't have a good relationship, it is just for interests and Vanes s a, well, I don't know because one day she was separated, or he left her and she was with another Matss man. I believe Fern ando's sentiments sum up the local criticism of mestiza w omen. In many of these relationships, the woman is taking advantage of the Matss man. However, in all of them the woman is a victim. Most are very poor mestiza women who are pressured by their paren ts to find a mate who can support them. Life has been harsh to them. In an interesting power reversal, some Matss men have far more income than is imaginable for a mestizo man of similar socio economic and educational status. Furthermore, Matss men are v iewed as favorable matches because they are relatively well behaved when compared to mestizo men of a similar socio economic standing. The economic situation even has allowed one Matss man to acquire two women. The men also take advantage of these women, and several are physically abusive. Fleck told me Manuel made a joke about Sally in front of Aleandro. According to Fleck, Manuel said, "What a nice young fat girl. If only I had some money I could have sex with her."
! ""* Vanessa told me Manuel often said to Esli, "When my baba (grandchild in Matss) leaves I will sleep with you." However, he would not say those things to me. Also, nobody would complain about Sally to my face, although everyone wanted to tell me that others were complaining. Despite the many accusations about mestizos, the Matss reconcile bad impressions with admiration, as is clear in the case of Kankun. Although he is seen by many as a good for nothing, Sally's family supposedly loved having a mestizo in the family, as many people in Estir n told me, but not Sally herself. Increased Experience = Increased Openness Just as Abel was friendlier than others in Puerto Alegre and he also happened to be one of the Matss who had significant inter cultural experiences, the Matss who have engaged in previous positive experiences with outsider were more likely to be open. I counted a total of 12 mestizo matses couples. Ten of those couples are currently nominally together, this includes Elena/Jarvin and Esli/Eliseo, one is completely separated and then Rafael's wife is deceased. Of those 12, eight live in Estirn or San Roque (two annexes which I treat as one social group because they are close physically, politically, and socially most of Daniel Jimnez's close relatives actually live in San Roqu e). The other four are all in different annexes. Thus, the differences between Puerto Alegre and Estirn begin to emerge. The Marubo connection in Puerto Alegre differs from the mestizo connections of Estirn.
! "#+ Assimilation or Not Mestizos today are not assimilated in the same way they were in the past. However, neither are the Matss assimilated to them. An interesting perpetual liminal stage is the result. In Estirn, the community is made up of various identities as indicated by the Matss and Spanish mixed language use in the communal meetings, whereas in Puerto Alegre, the foreigners are more likely to be subsumed. The presence of multiple foreigners throws a wrench in traditional familial moiety based allegiances. Are Vanessa, Fleck, and Kankun closer to the Matss th at reside in Estirn than the Matss of Puerto Alegre? I would say they are closer in the in/out spectrum of Estirn, whereas those mestizos are viewed as complete strangers by the Matss of Puerto Alegre.
! "#" CHAPTER IV A TALE OF TWO ANNEXES A s I have shown in the chapter on Intermarriages, Estirn has led the annexes in relationships with outsiders. Puerto Alegre, on the other hand, has gained a reputation among the Matss for being exceptionally closed to outsiders. In this chapter I will exp lore those differences from their origin to the result focusing on the differences in heritage, economics, and politics Overall, outsiders have been deeply implicated in the widening cultural, social, and political gap between the two annexes. Heritage and Names Estirn is connected to two other annexes, San Roque and Santa Rosa They are located less than one hour's walk away making them closer than the hunting camp and closer than many of the cultivated fields in Puerto Alegre, which were up to three hours away on foot. Each annex is home to a little less than 100 people, making the three annex block comparable to Puerto Alegre in population size. The three annexes share a common heritage especially San Roque and Estirn. This is evident by the comm on last name Jimnez The majority of people in the annexes are named Jimnez So are the people of another annex San Juan. San Juan, led by Antonio Jimnez also has a reputation for openness to foreigners and was the first community to accept David Fle ck. However, I only spent a short visit in San Juan, and it is not as important politically as Estirn and Puerto Alegre, so I will not focus on it.
! "## A ll of the Jimnez es are descended from the same family. Manuel Jimnez a man in his 80s living in Estirn is the "original" Jimnez and I believe he is one of the keys to the divergent history of Estirn and Puerto Alegre. Both of Manuel's parents were mestizos His mother was stolen when she was pregnant with him. Thus, he was brought up Matss, but with a mestiza mother. When the Matss began to take last names, probably some times in the late 1980s, he took his biological father's last name. In fact, after pacified contact, he re established contact with his biological father's family. Jimnez is not the only Spanish name floating around the Matss, but it is the most common. A couple other Spanish names have been arbitrarily adopted out of the desire to have a mestizo name. This obviously marks a willingness to participate in and assimilate to the mestizo world. Manuel's siblings, alt hough children of a Matss man, similarly chose to adopt the name Jimnez The descendants of Manuel and his siblings, a brother and a sister, thus all carry the name Jimnez Manuel also had four wives and 16 living children, and 15 of those have reproduced so his legacy is prodigious. Furthermore, the name Jimnez is passed down like a traditional mestizo last name. The Matss naming system today is far from uniform. Par ents decide what last names their children will have. I n Puerto Alegre, nearly everyone follows a naming system where the first name is a Spanish name, the second name is a Matss name, the first last name is the father's Matss name, and the second last name is the mother's Matss name. For example: Father: Abel Bina Shabac Maya (Before contact his only name was Bina) Mother: Dora Can Coya N sho (before contact he r only name was Can )
! "#$ Daughter: Juana Mash Bina Can This system evolved in order to transition into a last name society where no last names prev iously existed. It result s in high name turnover, so that the parents do not share their last name with children, and children's names reflect their parents' identity but not their grandparents' identity nor a direct lineage traced through last names. How ever, even this practice is changing with the newest babies, and in unpredictable ways. Juana Mash Bina Can named her child (with Emilio Chanu Nama B so) Lionel Matias Nama Can taking the father's father's name where it would normally go in a mestizo s ystem, but taking the mother's mother's name where the mother's father's name would normally go in a mestizo system. While there are various ways that new par ents are naming their children, most inhabitants of Puerto Alegre follow the system that passes do wn the parents' legal middle names. On the other hand, Estirn mostly follows the traditional mestizo naming system. I believe that eventually the mestizo traditional naming system will overtake the middle name naming system, which was itself artificially impos ed by bureaucratic institutions However, it is interesting to see how the community with more ties to mestizos took on the mestizo naming system before Puerto Alegre. Additionally, I believe that the heritage ties of the Jimnez es have made them more receptive to outside influence. Economics As I briefly mentioned in the i ntermarriages chapter, Estirn, and specifically Daniel Jimnez engages in several economic activities outside of selling chicken and
! "#% meat, marketing artisan work, or teaching (th e main modes of ingress in the CONAMA). The most notable of these are the genipap arrangement and the acate arrangement. Carine Fabius and Pascal Giacomini, a couple from Los Angeles, use genipap, or Genipa americana also known as jagua or huito to make a temporary black dye which they sell online with their eroticized an d exoticized account of the dye and the people. 1 They cam e into contact with Jimnez through Neal I will go into more depth on Neal in the next sub section but for now suffice to say h e is seen by many Matss as a complicated and dangerous opportunist who has been involved with the Matss for a long time. Carine Fabius (2009) refers to him in her book as Mr. X. When Fabius and Giacomini need genipap, Matss of Estirn collect it in the forest. They bring it to Daniel Jimnez 's house where they process it and are paid for how much they gather and process. Then Jimnez travels to Iquitos to send it to the U.S., as well as to receive the money to pay the people who gathered the genipap. T he acate business works in the same way as the genipap one, with Jimnez serving as a middleman and individuals collecting acate which will later be sold to a n Argentine who lives in Iquitos. Jimnez also operate s a st ore in Estirn. However, he bega n to have trouble with people paying for the goods, since they pref erred to take them on credit. Thus, he began to take the owed amount out of what he would pay them for the jagua or acate This relationship is problematic, resembling a patron, albeit benevolen t patron, system. Daniel believes he is acting in the interest of his people and his aim is to improve Estirn and San Roque. However, since Daniel has become completely in control of monetary funds !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See their website www.earthhenna.com
! "#& in the community, he is able to di stribute according to his will. Because he provides goods for services, the rest of the community does not see the cash inflow and outflow; Jimnez has room to manipulate prices and wages. Caleb Whitaker, an Iquitos based American journalist, referring to Jimnez 's political an d economic ambitions a nd relationship with Neal who I discuss in the next sub section, told me he thinks Jimnez is "a traitor taking advantage of his own people ." On a side note, Puerto Alegre has also recently begun its own store, but with communal fu nds. Unfortunately, in the past two years it has been open, the comunero s have incurred huge debts, taking the products on credit beyond their means. It is difficult to predict what will happen if this practice continues but some people were up to 270 sol es, or $100 in debt, an amount I doubt they will be able to repay The plentiful income that Jimnez receives enables him to engage the local Matss economy in ways that haven't existed before. For instance, Mercid and Daniel purchase goods from and trad e with their neighbors and family who do not have a similar income. Everyone is eager to bring Mercid meat, plantains, and yucca, in exchange for goods, sometimes money, or a meal that includes rice, bread, sugar, and other delicacies. Mercid is generous a nd will feed anyone who enters her home, so people are generous with her. Community members may ask for loans that are never returned. Mercid and Daniel never work their fields, family members do. This trade maintains goodwill between Mercid/Daniel and the rest of the community. However, some underlying unrest is also evident in the complaints when Daniel is gone. Daniel's status marks the rise of economic inequality and class difference among the Matss. While teachers in general have higher income than t he rest of the Matss,
! "#' Daniel is on another level, and is perhaps the only Matss that can be considered to belong to a different class. Profiteer Cowboys, NGOs, and Politics Daniel Jimnez and Angel are two of the most politically important Matss in th e CONAMA. Highly intelligent and ambitious, both have sought power through bureaucratic means and vis vis their relations with outsiders. While Angel has served as the most important political figure of the j unta directiva or governing council of the M atss, since its inception, Jimnez has pursued his plans outside the junta, creating political tension. Angel has aligned himself with the NGO CEDIA; Jimnez has created his own NGO, "MATSS." Jimnez work ed with the American Neal to create MATSS, and he sought to use the NGO to fundraise for school supplies as well as negotiate a grant with AIDESEP, a Peruvian government aid agency, for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The creation of the NGO and the fumbling of the AIDESEP grant have been the source of many bitter arguments between the two sides. Most recently Daniel Jimnez and Neal denounced an Australian businessman and implicat ed Angel, prompting the Austral ian to denounce Jimnez and Neal Exacerbating the tension, Jimnez has initiated the creati on of a new community outside of CONAMA territory, which will allow him to move outside of the jurisdiction of the junta. When I called Neal the infamous Mr. X, I was slightly afraid and didn't know what to expect. I had heard horror stories of a man who insisted that Mercid was trying to poison him, threw out his coffee and demanded that she make another. A man who insisted that Mercid take all of the bones out of his fish and then deemed it too dirty to
! "#( eat. I had read Carine Fabius's account of how he t ried to profit from any trades they made with the Matss (Fabius 2009:48) David Fleck had told me he was a compu ter mastermind who could hack into your account or make a website denouncing you the top google hi t for your name. I had seen his articles onli ne before I left for the Matss, in which he portrays himself as an expert on the Matss He didn't want to meet. Over the phone, he said his experience with the Matss was not a "pretty story, t hat he made the mistake of introducing outsiders to the Mats s, which led to disasters. The disaster he was referring to is a legal and media scandal that occurred, pitting Daniel Jimnez against Angel Uaqui, eac h with their respective foreigner Neal "with" Daniel and David Nilsson "with" Angel. The truth is obsc ure in this stor y, and there are pl enty of accusations to go around Neal Ph.D. in biology, had been involved with Daniel Jimnez for a while Jimnez is careful not to lambaste Neal instead saying, "he is not bad. He just yells a lot." Many Matss were not so cautious with their words, saying he was a bad person. Neal has written several article s on the Matss despite his lack of fieldwork experience in the CONAMA. Primarily, he has served as the middle man in connecting outsiders to Daniel Jimnez How ever, in recent years, Jimnez and Neal have butted he ads. David Fleck told me Neal had hacked Daniel's online accounts when Jimnez tried to remove him from the post of Vice President on the MATSS NGO. Fleck also said, and Fabius (2009) co mments on this too, that Neal seems to be looking to profit personally from his relationship with indigenous groups. However, Jimnez has perceived the relationship as beneficial overall, and while he denies con tinued projects with Neal Neal calle d Daniel while I was in Estirn, suggesting they still find the relationship mutually beneficial.
! "#) David Nilsson, Australian, is also a freelance businessman and a "self proclaimed carbon cowboy 2 Nilsson and Neal connected to try their hand at carbon offset rights in Matss t erri tory. Nilsson began the project; Neal served as an advisor and middleman. Nilsson almost arranged for the Matss to sign an agreement allowing him rights to the Matss land. The Matss would, according to the pitch, profit handsomely without labor or r esource depletion. Unfortunately, according to Daniel Jimnez David Fleck, 60 Minutes and local Iquitos reporter Caleb Whitaker, Nilsson planned to later use those ri ghts to log the area, and t he contract was designed to trick the Mats s into giving up ri ghts to their land. Once Nilsson had established contact with Angel, he no longer needed Neal as a middleman When he shut Neal out of the de al, Neal unearthed some questionable past business dealings Nilss on had engaged in. He i nvited 60 Minutes from Aust ralia to do a muckraking TV expose and encouraged Daniel Jimnez to file a judicial report against Nilsson. In a backlash, Nilsson filed a judicial report against Jimnez and Neal Throughout this, Angel may or may not have backed Nilsson, depending on who se story one goes with. Angel claimed he never supported the deal, but Fleck and Jimnez claim ed that Angel continued to support Nilsson after he found out that Nilsson was possibly disreputable Overall, the Matss agree in general assemblies that both Ne al and Nilsson were trying to take advantage of them. However, the important point is that the conflict created a deep rift between Angel's followers and Jimnez 's followers, and this rift is intricatel y tied to business dealings with two foreign "entrepre neurs." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! # For more information, see http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com/stories/8495029/the carbon cowboy
! "#* Foreigners in Estirn Only a week after the fiasco in Puerto Alegre, Frederick was hunting and looking for hualo with Matss from Estirn, who were reluctant to believe the rumors of his naked rampage. While the three foreigners that visited Puer to Alegre experienced alienation, Estirn provided a pleasant experience for foreigners to visit. It made me think of an anthropology summer camp. In Estirn, when I went on a quick and easy trip to cook for the communal tree felling, everyone called me da yacquio hardworking, even though a similar amount of effort in Puerto Elegre would earn me a resounding uspu or lazy. We didn't even walk; we went by boat to the fields! Jessie was a Public Health student who was conducting research for her Master's degr ee in Estirn while I was there. She contacted Daniel through her church's missionary branch. Studying malaria, she efficiently completed multiple interview a day with the help of Daniel Jimnez She even worked on her transcriptions in the field, although she didn' t participate much in everyday Matss activities. Even though Jessie seemed to have a much more enjoyable time than the visitors to Puerto Alegre, she also dealt with some confusing issues. She told me that she felt the community demanded a lot f inancially, beyond the generous amount of goods she had brought. When she say a Matss girl stabbing a chicken with a pen for no reason she was alarmed, and she told me she thought one would have to be a "bad person" to do such a thing. Another interestin g note about Jessie is that since she made arrangements solely with Daniel, she did not speak with S avino the chief of the CONAMA at the time. When she encountered him in Angamos, she said "he seemed miffed or frustrated with the situation, that
! "$+ Jimnez o rganized it without going to him first. B ut as far as I'm concerned, Jimnez can do whatever he wants it's his community. This clearly shows the power tension between Jimnez and the junta directiva and how foreigners play a large role in that tension. Conclusion When I was in Puerto Alegre, the comuneros were adamant that I should not visit Estirn. My best friend, Juana, told me that the young men in Estirn were dangerous. She told me the old men gave the young men pusanga, a traditional aphrodisiac to rub on women's hands. "You will get pregnant," she said, "All of the c hotac women that went there got pregnant." There was some truth in her statement; the men from Estirn were inexplicably more successful at snaring mestiza women, and more than a fe w had left pregnant. Furthermore, the Matss of Puerto Alegre resent those of Estirn for their influence and support from foreigners. Making the accusation a moral statement, she also told me that the Matss of Puerto Alegre no longer used the aphrodisiac since it was bad. To add to the list of differences and divides between Puerto Alegre and Estirn, Estirn has little remaining polygamy especially among the young, whereas sisters aged 19 and 23 share a husband in Puerto Alegre. Differences between t he two annexes can be attributed to several factors including the divergent heritages, economics, and politics. The differences are perpetuated and aggravated by the Angel versus Daniel divide. Outsiders are a part of the reason the divide exists and both use outsiders to widen the rift for personal reasons. Annex identity seems to be strengthened by relations with foreigners Angel's, and Abel's, mother is a
! "$" Marubo stolen woman. Angel lived with the Marubo tribe in Brazil for 10 years until he was 17, wher e he apprenticed to become a shaman and did not participate in formal education. Daniel's grandparents were mestizo, a clue to Estirn's more permeable boundaries that allow the entrance of the mestizo world Fernando, a protg of David Fleck's, told me It doesn't matter what you do for Matss, Matss always chushque (talks badly, complains). If you do bad for Matss, they chushque. If you do good, they chushque." The conflicts in the Matss today, the accusations and the chushque are directly related to the growing distance between annexes as they incorporate differently into the outside world.
! "$# ANALYSIS The old headman argued that neither course of action was totally satisfactory. To move downstream would invite further p redation, illness, and death, a high price for the goods they would get. But, he argued, the Cashinahua had become accustomed to some of the trader's goods, and when their axes and machetes wore out, they would want new ones and therefore would have to dea l with the traders. Furthermore, the foreigners are out there, and the Cashinahua know that and are affected by their presence, even if they are not dealing wit h them fact to face (Kensinger 1995:262). In the 1960s, the Cashinahua, a Panoan tribe related to the Matss, argued about the same issues the Matss are debating now. In 1968, Ken Kensinger observed a discussion about whether to move downstream and closer to the colonial mestizo settlement, or flee upstream to avoid further contact An elder headma n aptly noted that W hen a man is bathing in the river and a turd floats by, he doesn't have to see who shat in the river to know that somebody is there. He is contaminated nonetheless" (1995:263). For the Cashinahua, as well as the Matss, the norms of as similation and dealing with outsiders are in constant flux. Affected by outsiders whether they choose to participate in the wider world or not, many indigenous tribes of Amazonia face hard decisions about contact with the outside world. Matss today are ambivalent. They want the benefits of nationalization and globalization but hope to avoid the associated dangers. In the previous sections I have shown various encounters between Matss and foreigners. The outcomes of the encounters were determined by sev eral elements: the emotional roller coaster of cultural contact for all parties, the usual (common across various cultures) and cultural (particular to the Matss) steps to assimilation or acculturation, and the pre existing conditions of the relationship including Matss
! "$$ conceptions of outsiders, Matsshood and the outsider's cultural grounding. For example, the romanticization and primitivization of Amazonian tribes in Western culture contributes to the experienced encounter. In this chapter I will delve into some of these issues and how other scholars have tackled them. When cultures collide people change. Incorporating the "other," being the "other," or seeking incorporation can be a painful process. The process is painful because it requires the restruc turing of identity boundaries for individuals and cultural groups. Matss personhood has been influenced constantly by outside pressure to act as a unified cultural identity for political and economic purposes. The nation state, NGOs, ethno tourism, and p olitical fears, have all provided reasons to solidify. In this section I will also explore how conceptions of personhood and identity boundaries change due to cultural contact. The Emotional Roller Coaster of Cross Cultural Contact Cross cultural encount ers are emotionally charged. Cultural immersion can threaten one's ontological security, or "security of the self." The danger and ambivalence of such encounters drive the narratives of cross cultural contact between Matss and outsiders; the contact chang es both parties. Anthropologist Michael Jackson says that "it is at the threshold between the familiar and the foreign that ritual, taboos, mixed emotions, and intellectual concern are concentrated" (Jackson 2010: 50). I will focus on this threshold. In o rder to examine how the inter subjective spaces in these encounters are constructed and how the subjects evolve, I will first delve into the emotional processes
! "$% associated with fieldwork, cultural immersion, and the introduction of fo reigners into an insul ar community Jackson argues that "the viability of any human life depends on one's sense of being able, in some small measure, to comprehend and control one's immediate circumstances" (2010: 40). Cross cultural contact has the capacity to shatter the bu bble of stability that relies on comprehension and control. Jackson also asserts that the emotional experience of cultural immersion is akin to bereavement, or the emotional processes associated with loss. In an unfamiliar environment with diminished comm unication opportunities, lacking a common language or common cultural language, the individual must undergo a period similar to mourning in order to loosen his or her previous cultural ties and enter the new culture. The process of recovering from loss ent ails various responses. Jackson discusses several, including: "telling stories in which we recast ourselves as acting subjects, having others confirm our wild guesses as to what is happening and why, seeking out familiar objects, andimagining bonds of k inship or friendship" (2010:40). Seeking acceptance is also a commonly experienced phase. A balancing act ensues, between alienation and attempted reestablishment of connection with home on the one hand, and seeking acceptance and ima gining k inship or frie ndship ties on the other. The waffling is a result of a boundary crisis between self and other. According to Jackson, separation anxiety is fundamentally a boundary disruption "a sudden loss of the normal balance between inside and outside" (2010: 50). Insecurities beget anxieties about being open, but also simultaneous anxieties about protecting one's sense of self.
! "$& The question becomes: how can I maintain my sense of a bounded self while opening that boundary enough to accept this new culture and al low this new culture to accept me? James Davies also comments on the subject of emotional reactions to cultural immersion and fieldwork. He breaks the emotional stages of cultural immersion down to disorientation, dissonance, and strain, followed by vari ations of withdrawal, oscillation, complete immersion, mourning, and finally altered perceptions. Strategies of withdrawal include moments of early epiphanies, in which a fieldworker believes he has come to understand the culture, but has more likely succu mbed to a self induced delusion designed to comfort. Altered perceptions occur when the individual yields to the perspectives of the host community (Davies 2010: 93). The process of mourning, which he also likens to that of bereavement, leads to devaluati on of home, and in the case of the fieldworker, of academic pursuits. Depression, longing, and fantasies over the "lost" culture give way to ambivalence towards lost object or objects" (2010: 87). This step, as Jackson also hints, is crucial since "emergi ng criticism helps to free the individual to pursue new connections, affiliations, and identifications" (2010: 87). Davies notes that the separation anxiety Jackson mentions can occur with loss, but also with "overwhelming presence." He expands the discus sion to the host community, stating that "all culture contact (whether for the contacting or the contacted) evokes both a retrograde imagining the attempt to retrieve something lost and a projective imagining the sense that one must enter this new wo rld and acquire what is needed to survive within it" (2010: 88). In the case of both the "contacting" and the "contacted," the encounter results in a dissonance followed by oscillation between the old world and the
! "$' new. 1 The conflict between self and envi ronment denotes that "external and internal conditions and structures no longer accord" (2010: 89). Jackson discusses a film portraying Papua New Guinea highlanders' first contact with whites. 2 He says that the faces in the film reveal grief and loss stemm ing from the dissolution of their world as they know it and their ability to control and understand their surroundings. He states that "people feel they have lost control over their own destiny. But this sense of loss is born of an unbearable discovery: th e world is infinitely vaster and far more complex than one thought" (Jackson 1998: 118). Jackson also gives a concrete example from his field study with the Kuranko of Sierra Leone. He explains how the Kuranko connected a conjunctivitis epidemic with new s of the Apollo missions and the Americans landing on the moon. They did not understand how Americans could have landed on the moon, nor could they divine the motives, which they often surmised were sinister. Thus, when a conjunctivitis episode broke out, they linked it to the moon dust that had been unsettled. The Kuranko were dealing, psychologically, with "the dilemma of how to control traffic across the borders of their own local world, such that it would be perennially revitalized by imports from the outside world including magical medicines, women, and commodities like salt, cloth, kerosene, and seeds without its integrity being endangered or undermines by foreign influences that they were powerless to control" (2010: 51). This idea resonates stro ngly with my experience with the Matss, as I believe the integrity of self and community boundaries was constantly the point of struggle. The Matss of Puerto Alegre, like the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 I prefer the use of outsider and host community, since contacting and contacted denotes agency and thus a lack of agency on the part of the host community. 2 The documentary film First Contact was produced by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson in 1983.
! "$( Kuranko, wanted to loosen their community boundaries in order to promote ingres s of goods, yet they also wanted to maintain control and police those borders. The Kuranko's suspicion that the eye disease was caused by moon dust reflects a "pervasive suspicion that the might of a foreign power of which they knew very little could caus e things to happen in their own backyard without their consent, without their comprehension, and without their control" (2010: 51). Suddenly, the wariness and anxiety enveloping these encounters becomes clear. The Matss, like the Kuranko, are distrusting to a degree that may se em absurd and unrealistic to an outsider, as it did to Frederick when he came to Puerto Alegre. Yet their very history of contact with outsiders has been overshadowed by the inscrutable and awe inspiring power and technology of the outside world. Machetes, guns and airplanes awed the Matss in their first incidents of contact with chota c and Matss ushu. Furthermore, outsiders are indeed capable of wreaking havoc on indigenous landscapes through remote and technologically advanced me ans. The Matss are well aware of the various Amazonian tribes that have been affected by oil spills and oil extraction processes beyond their lands. Global warming and pollution can seem as magically inexplicable as mo on dust causing eye disease on E art h as all three involve a remote and foreign process causing local damage. Jackson reports that the Kuranko didn't allow Peace Corps volunteers to photograph them since they thought pictures of women with bare breasts would be used as racist propaganda (2010: 51). The Matss are similarly wary of pictures, primarily because they believe they will later be sold or published online without their consent or benefit.
! "$) Another striking similarity between the Kuranko and the Matss is the advent of a fear of tr affic in organ parts. Jackson says that from the perspective of the Kuranko, "just as Americans had once sought to steal people's vital essence by capturing their likenesses in photographs, so foreigners were now out to steal and traffic in human body part s and vital organs" (2010: 51). Mary Weismantel's book, Cholas and Pishtacos: Stories of Race and Sex in the Andes, outlines a similar fear in the Andes of Bolivia. She contends that the belief in a mythical vampire like creature, the pishtaco a white man who feeds on Indian fat and body parts, reflects indigenous anxieties about white people. The pishtaco is usually sexually alluring, representing the seduction of a consumer society and the white world, but also feeds on Indians, representing the danger, oppression, and exploitation of indigenous people by whites and outsiders. According to Weismantel, pishtacos serve to remind us of the "multiple unequal exchanges that feed the white body and drain the Indian one" (2001: 265). Some Matss believe in the p elacaras, the Amazonian version of the pishtaco. The idea of the pelacara was likely imported from Iquitos as evidenced by the Spanish name, "face peeler." The pelacaras, s imilarly, are white outsiders who travel to remote areas to come upon small groups i n the jungle in order to steal their skin. A couple years prior to my arrival in Puerto Alegre, a woman had died in a mysterious way and everyone believed it was due to either a pelacara or a chischcan. Chiscan are dolphins, a variety of mayan or spirit, n ow widely known as diablos or evil spirits, although they were not likely considered to be solely negative prior to Christianization. One girl in Puerto Alegre told me the story of her encounter with a chishcan who had been trying to seduce her. In her w ords, he was white, well dressed and attractive.
! "$* Therefore, these supposed myths are widespread throughout the Andes, the Amazon, and apparently the Kuranko as well. While the commonality enforces the idea that these notions are based in the psychology o f fear of the outsider and representative of ambivalent feelings about outsiders, I suggest that these so called constructions should not be dismissed as such. Yes, these fears reveal the emotions associated with wider power structures. Yet, they also may be based on actual practices. Both Weismantel and Jackson take for granted their fictionality. Overall, cultural contact begets complex emotional responses rooted in the disruption of self community boundaries and the attempt to resolve such a breach. Jac kson and Davies's discussions show how both the outsider and the host community may react emotionally to a sudden shift in the cultural and ontological ground beneath their feet. The Third: Inter subjective Space Vincent Crapanzano says: "fieldwork consi sts of encounters with others, who come to the encounter with their own prejudices and orientations, including the value they put on openness and closure. It is interpersonal, interlocutory a mini drama of plays of power, desire, and imagination" (2010: 58). His mention of openness and closure resonates with my fieldwork experience, in which the openness of personal and group boundaries played an important role in determining the outcome of relationships between outsiders and Matss. Additionally, the enc ounters I describe stressed the interpersonal dramas that Crapanzano mentions, in which power, desire and imagination are actors. The interpersonal encounters are overshadowed by the fact that, as Crapanzano says, "the
! "%+ fieldworker and his or her informants are confronted with each other's opacity with the inevitable fact that we can never know what is going on in the mind of our interlocutors, in what I have called shadow dialogues, those inner conversations that accompany the mentation we have as we conv erse" (2010: 63). Crapanzano posits that in the intersubjective space there is an overarching "Third" that hovers over the encounter. He says "emotions may hover as quasi objects in the between of an encounter" (2010: 59). Although it is impossible to comp letely understand the intentionality of the other, it is possible to investigate what might hover in between. Crapanzano acknowledges that "we have to recognize that fieldwork is at some level always a violation" (Crapanzano 2010: 57). Fieldwork with indi genous peoples is especially a violation because of the history of power relations between indigenous peoples and outsiders. Entering another's community is in itself an act of power. The Matss are unable to travel to my community, but I am able to travel to theirs. The history of violent transgressions against the Matss, silent and stealthy encroachments by modern companies, and maternalistic authoritarianism by the missionaries influence Matss reactions to foreigners. The Amazon has enjoyed a large an d ambiguous space in the Western imagination. Western popular culture, from movies to TV to literature, has romanticized and primitivized the Amazon and its peoples. Thus, Westerners oscillate between casting Amazonian tribes as inferior and in need of sav ing and portraying them as "noble savages," stewards of the jungle. The people are often represented as intertwined indistinguishably with their natural surroundings. The magical attributions of the Amazon and its people flood books and movies. One common theme is for outsiders, especially
! "%" men, to view the exotic Amazon as a personal mental and physical obstacle course, in order to prove their worthiness. This is portrayed in the following quote from Greg Grandin's Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry For d's Forgotten Jungle City: The Amazon is a temptress: its chroniclers can't seem to resist invoking the jungle not as an ecological system but as a metaphysical testing ground, a place that seduces man to impose his will only to expose that will as impoten t. Nineteenth and early twentieth century explorers and missionaries often portrayed the jungle either as evil inherent or as revealing the evil men carry inside. Traveling through the region in 1930, the Anglican lay leader Kenneth Grubb wrote that the f orest brings out the "worst instincts of man, brutalizes the affections, hardens the emotions, and draws out with malign and terrible intention every evil and sordid lust (2010:5). The words above, such as temptress, seduces, evil, lust, are the rule, ra ther than the exception when describing the jungle. Theodore Roosevelt's account of his expedition to the Amazon likewise painted the Amazon "as a malevolent place, where things sinister and evil' lurked in the dark stillness' of its groves. Ancient tree s didn't just fall and decompose but were murdered,' garroted by the ever tighter twists of vines (2010:6). When Werner Herzog filmed Fitzcarraldo, the jungle "lead [him] to ponder the ethical vacuity of the natural world: Kinski always says [nature] is full of erotic elements. I don't see it so much as erotic. I see it more as full of obscenity Nature here is violent, base. I wouldn't see anything erotical here. I would see fornication, and asphyxiation, and choking, and fighting for survival just r otting away"(2010:7). All of these travelers portrayed the jungle as a place of dangerous seduction where men are drawn in their efforts to civilize and conquer but ultimately repelled by the discovery of violence and evil within themselves and an inescapa ble pri mitiveness of nature and the other. However, other more recent travelers' accounts romanticize the Amazon and its Indians as a last bastion of traditional knowledge.
! "%# Seeing these two sides, it is easy to understand the lure the Amazon has for Freder ick and others, as well as the inescapable aspects of the Western imagination that color encounters. I believe there is a gendered aspect to th is too. All of the Western men I met in Iquitos and the surrounding areas who are in the Amazon long term had a harsh individualistic and idealistic cowboy aspect to them, as if they wished to reproduce the experience of 19 th and 20 th century explorers. I did not notice the same harshness and emphasis on personal testing in the women I encountered, although it may h ave been present to some extent. Overall, I found that the interpersonal space between the Matss and outsiders is dominated by questions of power, desire, and imagination. Construction of Matseshood The Matss have constructed multiple layers of iden tities with different boundaries that are constantly shifting, strengthening, or weakening. They participate in national imagined communities. 3 On the Peruvian side of the border, they learn Spanish, celebrate Peruvian national holidays, and collaborate wi th Peruvian bureaucratic institutions. The result is that they have a strong sense of national solidarity. The imposition of the Peruvian Brazilian border on Matss lands has divided the Matss population. They belong to separate institutional political bo dies and thus do not share common goals or leadership. Although the men of Puerto Alegre participated in soccer tournaments with Matss from the Brazilian side, some women professed fear of the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 For more information on the concept of imagined communities, see Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities (1983).
! "%$ Brazilian Matss. Additionally, river use disputes ensued betw een one of the Brazilian annexes due to interference from the Brazilian border police. In addition to the national boundary split between Peruvian and Brazilian Matss, boundaries within the CONAMA are also influential. Annexes clustered around common lo nghouse descent groups diverge on political and cultural points. The nuclear family has become more important than in the past, as single family homes have replaced the longhouses. Ethnicity Commodified Welcome to the Land and Life Ways of the Shipibo! E xperience the Shipibo Way of Life for yourself in the heart of the Amazon Basin with our Peru Eco Tourism adventure! Learn how to make Shipibo ceramic artwork, go spear fishing in the Amazon river and much, much more. Find ancient Shipibo remedies for va rious illness ranging from the common cold to cancer and receive visionary consultation from licensed Shipibo Shamans. Meet New Friends. Chat with a Shipibo in Peru via Em ail, Instant Message, or Phone. Shipibo Home Page (as quoted in Comaroff, 2 009: 30). Mateo Arevalo, 43, was born into a family of traditional healers, or curanderos, in the Shipibo community of San Francisco de Yarinacocha in Peru ... While Arevalo's forefathers put [their] knowledge to local use, generally treating their neighb ors on a pro bono basis, Arevalo is proud to apply it to a wider audience ... He now leads posh retreats in jungle lodges for foreigners, and hosts shamanism students in his home for three or six month courses. I am an innovator, adding to my ancestral k nowledge,' he explains. We, the Shipibos, are like any other human community we need to grow and change. We can't just stay the same so that the tourists can stare at the naked Indians in feathers and anthropologists can treat us like a living museum.' .. Ayahuasca ceremonies [ayahuasca is a powerful hallucinogen used in shamanic practices] can be purchased in most major tourist destinations in Peru, and numerous jungle lodges now offer ceremonies or retreats, the latter costing in the neigh borhood of $70 0 $1,500 a week.
! "%% Rachel Proctor, Cultural Survival 2001 (Comaroff, 2009:31) The example s above illustrate ethno consumption in the Peruvian Amazon. In Ethnicity, Inc., Jean and John Comaroff observe the rise of economic and consumption based e thnic identity. Ethno nations around the world have begun to market themselves, identify their symbolic and material assets, and become more like businesses; some tribes have begun to act like corporations. Comaroff and Comaroff state: "Culture, now, is al so intellectual property, displaced from the museum' and the anthropological' gaze, no longer naked' nor available to just anyone pro bono" (2009:20). The Matss too have absorbed some of this lesson from the Shipibo and surrounding tribes, although the y have not been able to capitalize on their ethnicity to the same degree. They view their culture as their "natural intellectual propert y." One effect of the "Inc ing" of ethnic identity is that ethnic groups are both constructing their identity based on c onsumer desires of outsiders as well as engaging in a re production of their own identities The result is sometimes empowerment, but also increased co nflict. As the Comaroffs say, "T he principles governing ownership of native' cultural products and practi ces become the object of contention, both uniting people(s) in relation to the world beyond and dividing them internally" (2009:4). Splits within tribes widen as pressure from outside encourages the solidification of ethnic boundaries. The voices of indig enous people are often only considered valid in the national or international arena when they are able to define the boundary of their group clearly and provide evidence of "indigenousness" and historical continuity both in cultural practices and land use. NGOs that plea for international support for indigenous people, as well as the indigenous people themselves, find it useful to portray the tribe as the W estern viewer
! "%& hopes to see them naked and painted. For example, a recent article on the Matss on S urvival International's webpage stresses the Matss's frog poison practices and includes pictures of tattooed and traditionally dressed Matss men. 4 Also, tourists crave "traditional" practices and crafts and tribes such as the Matss know it. Such pressu res often deny the value of change in a culture's "authentic" appeal, thus enforcing outsider ideals of retention of "primitive" practices, and denying technological advances or indigenous desires for development. Comaroff and Comaroff discuss the movemen t, through privatization, toward bounded unitary entities, a result of the need to define groups/people, the individual, or the corporations. The "fixation on belongings and boundaries," which originates in political and economic pressure from the outside, is eventually asserted through private property rights and the association of individual intellectual responsibility with production. The Comaroffs assert that within a neoliberal world, boundaries are constructed at the individual level, thereby connecti ng self hood with personal property, and in the process estranging individuals from larger cultural processes. At first glance this interpretation might seem to exclude "tribe as corporation." However, on the contrary, commoditization of culture favors cer tain "gatekeepers" of culture, as I have shown with Daniel Jimenez, exaggerating unequal distribution of wealth and power. The trend of ethno commodification in combination with indigenous political involvement affects the identity boundaries groups and i ndividuals draw for themselves. I believe the result for the Matss has been increased individualization and fissures within the group despite the pressure to act as a unified community. Comaroff !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! % See www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/matses. The page is linked to an activist movement to support the Matss against Pacific Rubial es, an oil company that appears to be planning extraction in Matss territory.
! "%' and Comaroff show how absorption into neoliberalism permits marginalized, impoverished groups to sometimes turn "their means of exclusion" into profit (2009:740). However, commoditization of culture also can entrench old and new lines of inequality and exclusion. Assimilation and In/Out Groups With the arrival o f each foreigner, the Matss first contemplated how to deal with the outsider. Arrival often accompanied debate and decisions about how to reconcile foreigners with existing cultural categories. Incorporation into the kinship system was an important aspect of acceptance. After determining a place for the newcomer, an attempt to create common ground followed, in which learning the language and the customs became important. Assimilation is not possible without this basic foundation. Arnold van Gennep laid the foundation for understanding the rite of passage process through which an outsider can become accepted into a community. He divided the process into three stages separation, transition, and incorporation describing elaborate rituals that mark each sta ge in cultures around the world. These three basic stages hold true in many assim ilation narratives. However, elaborate rites seemed to be missing among the Matss, non ritualized reciprocity and incorporation into the kinship system being the only clear markers of these stages. I believe that as a result of their history, the Matss did not develop elaborate rules set up to deal with outsiders throug h trade and intermarriage. Van G ennep discussed primaril y African and Asian peoples who have centuries of relationships with outsiders. Prior to pacified contact, the Matss were in a state of what Beth Conklin calls generalized
! "%( revenge (2008: 11). Everyone who was not an insider was an enemy. Afterward, they did have relationship with the missionaries who at tempted to establish a trading relationship; however, the missionaries did not participate extensively in Matss life. Raymond Verdier (1981) developed a three fold classification system for revenge that is useful to understanding identity boundaries amon g Amazonian tribes and how they relate to revenge. According to Verdier, blood revenge is typically prohibited at the "identity" level, which usually consists of the same fundamental social group. The "adversarial" level is characterized by "intermediary d istance between culprit and victim, such that each group expects the support of the other yet is capable of acting independently and forming alliances elsewhere;" this level usually calls for elaborate rules and balanced reciprocity of violence (2008: viii ). A the last level, "hostility," a great social distance separates the culprit and victim; it is characterized by "unrestrained aggression." Conklin's phrase, "generalized revenge" refers to the pre pacified contact practices of the Wari', Tupinamb, and Huaorani. She says they had "absolute boundaries" between their society and outsiders, and did not attribute internal distinctions to the enemy (2008: 17). Generalized revenge is violence carried out without regard to reciprocity for the exact toll of viol ence by outsiders. I believe the Matss's raiding prior to pacified contact could fall under this category. Though not all encounters with outsiders were violent, and some internal distinctions were attributed to outsiders, raiding indicated a clear us vs them delineation; it was carried out without regards to balancing raids inflicted upon the Matss. Verdier's system bears an obvious resemblance to Marshall Sahlin's (1972) reciprocity classifications, also split into three categories. His categories a re: generalized
! "%) reciprocity, balanced or symmetrical reciprocity, and negative reciprocity. The first includes giving without expecting an equal amount in return, the second is characterized by elaborate rules, and the third case includes hag gling and stea ling, in which individual s attempt to gain as much as they can with little concern for the other party's benefit. Sahlin's and Verdier's classification systems line up, splitting identity along three important lines according to systems of reciprocity. The first group, Verdier's "identity," is dominated by caring mor e than established rules. This is also the case for Sahlin's generalized recipro city. The middle level for both is marked by alliances, adversaries, and elaborate regulations of balanced behavi or. On the other hand, complete lack of concern for the other distinguishes "hostility" and negative reciprocity. Those categories of revenge indicate important identity groupings. Where those lines are drawn would differ from society to society. For exa mple, the "identity" category might include an entire cultural group, or just a nuclear family, depending on the culture. I would expect a culture with many established rules for dealing with outsiders to have many relations (for trade, intermarriage and war) in the middle category, "adversarial" (2008: viii). I have decided to focus on Verdier and the question of revenge and reciprocity because of the Matss's history. Killing is something that was considered acceptable against all outsiders prior to "con tact," whereas today it is completely unacceptable. Many Matss brought up the question of stealing and stinginess as new problems the y are facing, adopted from the mestizos However, stealing was an integral part of raiding; the change is that now Matss steal from Matss. Perhaps it was not stealing the Matss adopted, but an emphasis on the individual and the family over the group. Reciprocity has become a moral issue that Matss focus on. All Matss I spoke to about what it means to
! "%* be a good person lis ted generosity as a desired characteristic. It is hard to compare reciprocity today to reciprocity in the past, but it is possible that the amount of reciprocity has not changed, but the terms have. Negative and balanced reciprocity have taken the place o f generalized reciprocity due to shifting identity lines. Matss concerns with stealing and generosity might be rooted in the strengthening of identity lines encircling the individual and the nuclear family and the weakening of extended family and cultural group lines. Conclusion Throughout this chapter I have focused on several points governing Matss encounters. The most profound point for me is the connection between emotional experience and changing identity boundaries, and thus changing morality. Int er cultural contact is an acutely emotional experience fundamental to human existence. It lies at the heart of the study of anthropology, yet it remains an ever elusive concept. Individuals construct cultural worlds, social communities, and ethnic identiti es around them, and then they are required to continually redraw the lines for those categories when they come in to contact with individuals who exhibit distinct perspectives and do not fit neatly into existing lines. Culture is not fixed so neither is in ter cultural cont act. Both float just out of grasp as the boundaries delineating cultures shift. Yet, understanding the inter cultural experiences of individuals and communities is crucial to cultural anthropology, since it is the frame on which the discip line hangs. All ethnographies, whatever their topic may be, are first and foremost studies of inter cultural contacts.
! "&+ The narratives of Matss encounters I have compiled in this thesis serve as a case study for understanding processes of assimilation and acculturation. They provide concrete details on the experience of a Panoan tribe as they come into contact with outsiders as well as the experience of those outsiders. The result of all these encounters is confusion and disorientation. I found it difficul t to tie the information into absolute conclusions because the stories are not tightly concluded; they are open ended. I arrived in the field and left the field confused, my very conceptions of right and wrong shaken by my encounters. The Matss too are sh aken by encounters, not only with outsiders, but outsiders with significantly more social capital. They are marginal people in the scheme of world power. The Matss belong to a world minority from the "periphery," so the effects of contact with the incomp rehensibly large world of the "center" are shattering. Seeing the vastly technologically superior gadgets the outsider world brings in is world altering. Yet the lone visitor becomes the mino rity among the Matss, so the experience is world altering for th e visitor as well. The sometimes impermeable, sometime soft boundaries delimiting categories of identity shift with social upheaval. The change also means shifting morality, because morality is dependent on these boundaries. For instance, in the United Sta tes today it is considered morally acceptable (according to societal norms) for a soldier to kill an enemy combatant in the course of war, but not for the same individual to kill their spouse in a domestic dispute. Theft, violence, greediness are all consi dered moral ineptitudes depending on the recipient of the action. Thus, belonging is int erlaced with morality. Where individual situate themselves, whatever level of their identities they identify the most with, determines what is right and
! "&" wrong for tho se individual s Changing cultural groups or floating between cultural groups results in both identity crises and questions of morality, what is right and what is wrong topsy turvy. Therefore, I propose that a llegiances determine morality.
! " CONCLUSION Notes on an Ethnography of Ethnography Every fieldworker has his or her strengths an d weaknesses and should not be loath to admit those to the reader. In many ways my fieldwork revealed an "ethnography of ethnography." The personality a nd circumstances of each visitor greatly influenced his or her experience, so no two of us shared the same impressions or opinions of the Matss. Jessie was formal and thoroughl y ethical. S he systemically quantitatively collected her data and transcribed m any of her interviews in the field, but she did no t participate extensively in day to day life. I did not prepare fully enough for the trip. I did not participate in hunting, nor did I contribute my full share of work in the fields. I did not wake up early enough for the Matss's taste and I was shy to ask to participate in activities. N evertheless, my cautiousness, patience, and passivity were in some ways strength s in Puerto Alegre, since I was able to prevent any rash actions that could be interpreted ne gatively in the highly charged environment of the community. Although I wish I would have been more involved in monte activities, w hen I go back to the field I will have at least constructed the basis of trust which will allow me to be more proactive about visiting people's homes and participating in hunting trips. Frederick was energetic, hardworking, friendly, not shy, excited to participate and immerse himself completely, but his hot headedness caused unnecessary conflict. Estefania was very prepared, bu t she made a mistake by acting unprofessionally too close to the fieldsite My research on visitors has important implications for fieldwork.
! "&$ Change, the Future for the Matss, and Trends in Amazonia "In 20 years, Matss will all speak castellano (Span ish)," Angel said, "they already use problema and ayuda. Indeed, Spanish words are slowly creeping into the Matss language. Many hybrids exist, such as casaua (literally to do marriage) problemaua (to make problems) and other verbs that add the Matss suffix to do, ua, to Spanish nouns and verbs. Angel continued his lament, saying, "In Estirn, the apellidos, last names, are castellano. The Matss are changing, and Spanish ization is a part of that change. However, the Matss have been changing for a long time. Only one woman in Puerto Alegre is considered "pure" Matss. Juana, for instance, told me she was not pure Matss because her grandmother is Marubo. However, she couldn't te ll me the difference between bei ng "pure" and not. In fact, the history of the Matss shows the fluidity of Matss identity. Other researchers have noted distinctive Amazonian processes of transforming and appropriating other identities. Peter Gow documented the case of the "ex Cocama." The Cocama tribe is considered "accultu rated," or "re claimed." However, Gow shows how even names with latino origin can index Cocaman identity or a distinctly Cocama way of looking at the world. Among the Cocama, Cocama names are considered humble, while "high" surnames are usually related to foreigners Portuguese names are especially prestigious. Yet Cocama change their surnames to signify change, such as a willingness to cut links with traditional ways. This tradition of appropriation of the outsider is in itself a long term practice; Gow s uggests that their language was originally adopted as a trade langauage f rom Tupinamba foreigners; Cocama mythology credits them with bringing the "or iginal" Cocama names. Even Brazilian names have come to be considered humble
! "&% or Cocama because one Brazili an fathered so many Cocama children th at the name is now common. T he Cocama have taken possession of a new identity, as they consider themselves "just Peruvians." Gow states: "the phenomenon of the ex Cocama and this new identity as "just Peruvians" is a c ontinuous and uniform social process of transforming of the other into the self that is at least 500 years old in the Peruvian Amazon" (2007: 213). Gow suggests that this process can be viewed as "ongoing transformations" that "generate images of themselve s that follow a distinctive logic and confounds what powerful outsiders insist they should be" (2007: 213). Fernando Santos Granero comparing mythological history with historical and archaeological records in his study of the Yanesha, contributes a simil ar argument. Important trends among the Yanesha include the historical appropriation or mimesis of aspects of significant others (such as the Inca s the Spanish, and modern mestizos), but a traditional "forgetting" that those practices were appropriated. T heir cosmological perspective allows them to change and appropriate from others, even adopting Christianity while remaining within the same cosmological paradigm, as is common among many Amazon ian groups (2007: 48). More Outsiders? Antonio Jimnez told me several funny stories about the first time he and other Matss went to Iquitos. At the airport for the first time, he mounted the baggage "boa." In the hotel he didn't understand the elevator or know how to find his room. On the street he feared the moto t axis; he thought they stopped at lights in order to await his crossing then kill him. He thought the proper way to ride a mototaxi was on the roof. He thought
! "&& mestizo food looked like poop. The stories of confusion at introduction to the external world wi ll fade as younger Matss are more accustomed to outsiders In another joke, Rogelio, a young man a nd Juana's brother called his grandmother. As he was talking to her he used a Spanish word mixed in with the Matss, a word he considered obvious. His grand mother, said, yes grandchild but who is that? Rogelio also gave his father deodorant as a gift. His father didn't know what it was, but was too embarrassed to ask. Later, Juana asked me what it was laughing Although the old men of Puerto Alegre do not want foreigners to come, Rogelio and the other young men studying in Iquitos pride themselves on their foreign friends and knowledge and often expect elders to know things about the outside world that they consider obvious. When I left Angel told me Puer to Alegre would not let any more foreigners in, other than to pass through for a few days to work on a job such as vaccinations or well building While I was in Puerto Alegre, several chot ac men engineers came to the community to do the pozos (wells, or i n Matss acte ushu w hite water). When I asked Juana who they were, she said, they are icsambo malo (bad)" and that she did n't know them. There is a commonality of connecting wh at one doesn't know with badness. When they had finished the project they sn apped pictures with the chiefs by the well outside of my house. I watched with the women through the cracks in the wall, unbeknownst to the engineers. Since I left Puerto Alegre, a journalist/activist visited and took photos for Survival International for a campaign to help the Matss defend themselves against possible incursion by an oil company. The Matss of Puerto Alegre will probably be on the fence about outsiders for many years to come.
! "&' Young men are often away from the annexes, leaving the women t o take care of the children by themselves. On this note, while in the field I wondered if Matss women have become the vessels of Matss culture in situ Although the Matss have traditionally viewed males as the carriers of their culture, allowing women t o be integrated fully and a child to be considered Matss if his father is Matss, today the men flow from place to place and are rarely present in their home annexes. The men from different annexes associate and meet in Angamos. However, since the women a nd the elders stay, they effec tively create the atmosphere of day to day society. Many of the young to middle aged men make the official decisions, and many hold similar views across annexes despite political differences. However, it is possible the differ ent feels of Puerto Alegre and Estirn can be attributed to the differences between the women and elders of both annexes. When I asked most of my interviewees what they thought the future held for the Matss they had few responses. When I asked them if t he present is better or worse than the past I got mixed replies. Some see change as favorable, others see changes as incorrect. Most want some change and some retention of customs and traditional knowledge It is i mpossible to assess whether the Matss w ill remain a distinct cultural entity. I believe some Matss will assimilate into mestizo culture, lured by goods and globalization, and others will not, convinced by the benefits of maintaining Matss identity for political, cultural, and territorial purp oses. These processes are dependent both upon Matss cultural change and national policies in Peru. As mestizos also increasingly integrate into Matss society, the lines of identity may blur, or the Matss
! "&( may continue reinventing their identity, drawing on societal changes rather than becoming culturally enervated in the face of globalization.
! "&) APPENDIX A: PHOTOS AND DRAWINGS ( All ph otos and drawings by author ) Leaving Angamos in a canoe rigged with a peke peke. The beach in Puer to Alegre during the dry season.
! "&* Abel bestowed a traditional headband upon Renato after giving him a traditional Matses hair cut for the anniversary of contact ceremony. I received bangs for the ceremony.
! "'+ Children were happy to have their picture tak en.
! "'" Children caring for smaller children. Washing a s ecte, a traditional Mats s colander, in the river.
! "'# Me, eating fish soup in the field. (Left) Collecting ripe plantains that were hung by the ceiling to ripen over the fire. (Right) Cooking for the whole annex.
! "'$ Playing with a pet woolly monkey.
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! "'* APPENDIX B: GLOSSARY OF FREQUENTLY USED MATSS TERMS Acate frog poison emetic, hualo in Loretano Spanish B dambo good Chotac mestizo, Peruvian national Chushq ue / chushca to speak badly of, trash talk, complain about Cudas stingy Dayacquio hardworking, energetic napen choquid someone who has come from far away Farinha the common Loreto term referring to yucca flour which is not much like flour, but rather coarse, crunchy and chewy with a slightly acidic taste Icsambo bad Isan Oenocarpus bataua a small fruit with little oily, grayish brownish purple pulp surrounding a hard pit, known in Loreto as ungurahui It is most commonly mashed in water, then filtered to remove the crushed bits of outer shell and mixed with more water to create a drink that tastes slightly like watered down milk. It can be drunk with or without sugar or mixed with farinha. Although eating the fruits themselves can be mess y, tiresome, and less than fulfilling, they are actually one of the most nutritious elements of the Matss diet. Maloca shubu dapa (big house) in Matss, a traditional Amazonian longhouse common to many Amazonian tribes Mani plantains Mani sicait a drink made from boiled ripe plantains that are passed through a colander by hand Matss ushu white person Mayu non Matss indigenous Amazonian Mua to lie, a lie Nimduc uncultivated jungle, monte in Spanish Secte a traditional colander used to make mani sicait Tied fields, chacra in Peruvian Spanish Uspu lazy
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