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Alterity, Predation, and Questions of Representation: The Problem of the Kharisiri in the Andes

Part of the Approaches to Social Inequality and Difference book series (ATSIAD)

Abstract

Ødegaard raises important issues about anthropological approaches to difference and inequality, by re-interpreting the problem of kharisiris in the Andes. Considered to steal blood or fat from un-suspecting humans, the kharisiri has generally been analyzed as a symbol of power abuse and inequalities in the region. Such interpretations may obscure the ontological underpinnings of such attacks, however, reducing the kharisiri phenomena to a symbol of something else. Drawing on notions of predation from Amazonian ethnography, Ødegaard argues that kharisiris must be understood in light of Andean notions of earth beings as powerful non-human persons, hence entailing a different conceptualization of alterity and boundaries. In “Alterity, predation, and questions of representation” kharisiris are understood as part of ontological dynamics where humans are potential prey to different powerful beings, human and non-human, due to their common reliance on vital substances.

Keywords

  • Police Officer
  • Body Substance
  • Partial Connection
  • Ontological Difference
  • Radical Alterity

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Ødegaard, C.V. (2016). Alterity, Predation, and Questions of Representation: The Problem of the Kharisiri in the Andes. In: Bertelsen, B., Bendixsen, S. (eds) Critical Anthropological Engagements in Human Alterity and Difference. Approaches to Social Inequality and Difference. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40475-2_3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40475-2_3

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