El pensamiento kuna o la utopía realmente existente.

Translated title of the contribution: The Kuna thought or the really existing utopia.


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The Kunas living northeast of the Panamanian coast are heirs to the oldest warriors who resisted both the Spanish conquest since the early sixteenth century and the subsequent missionary and commercial siege of the modernizing state. Without claiming a detailed ethnography of the Kuna, this text proposes a systematic study of nodal aspects of their legal, economic, aesthetic and religious thought. Exploring the resources of ritual language, forms of writing and mythical thought, the text shows how the Kunas respond and become receptive to the other without ceasing to be what they are. The result is a multifaceted syncretism that demonstrates the effectiveness of the strategy of exchange without integration for the continuity of the Kuna territorial machine.

Since the globalization of the State form is a kind of practical utopia in the process of consolidation, the affirmation of an indigenous nation that maintains democratic forms inspired by a singular mythical tradition becomes a challenge and a historical alternative, valid in its anachronism, that resonates in ethnically differentiated communities all over the world. Without ignoring the fragility of the Kuna mode of existence, this persistence in the uniqueness of their thinking, and in their ethnic and territorial fixity, can be read as a paradigm of minority, counter-hegemonic, autoimmune politics. In that context, the text fulfills the initial methodical promise: to demonstrate that by following the avatars of a particular community it is possible to deconstruct the opposition myth/utopy in its abstract or illusory enunciation by exposing the utopian force of myth as the communal ethos of historical experience.
Translated title of the contributionThe Kuna thought or the really existing utopia.
Original languageSpanish
PublisherUniversidad del Rosario
ISBN (Print)9.789587385007E12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


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