Reinventing rituals and the role of music in the process of affirming identity among the Amazonian Kichwa-Quijos from Napo, Ecuador

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Yunga Tacuri, Marco
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Anthropology
In this thesis I study how the Kichwa-Quijos are reconstructing rituals in order to strengthen self-identity, and how music is an essential part of those practices. My research is based on fieldwork I conducted in the Napo Province in the Amazonian region of Ecuador. Older generations are concerned that traditions and culture are being lost by youth. I explore how rituals surrounding kinship are used in order to continue traditions and reaffirm identity. I study the reconstruction of traditional wedding rituals in two communities and explore how music is used to strengthen identity. In one community, traditional music is incorporated into the ritual, strengthening their “Kichwa” identity; in another community, more modern music is used in the same way to strengthen their ancestral “Quijos” identity. I study how such different styles of music are both understood as “traditional” by different groups of people, and how that understanding reinforces their identities.
Amazonia , Identity , Music , Ritual , Kinship , Culture , Ethnicity , Ecuador , Kichwa , Quijos , Dance , Tradition