Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Native Peoples of Central and South America
Barbara J. Dilly
The study of native peoples of Central and South America addresses many scientific and humanistic debates. It is a subject of considerable intrigue for archaeologists, linguists, and cultural anthropologists. Who are these people? Are they exotic others who engage in hallucinogenic drug use and shamanistic healing? Are they remnants of lost empires, victims of Western civilization's aggressive quest for gold, Christian souls, and subjects for the medieval crowns of Europe? Are they romantic rebels who fight to preserve simple lifestyles in the remote jungles of Latin America? Or are they the blessed poor of the earth, crying for justice? How do we discover their true identities, unmask the myths and mysteries that surround them, sort out the lies and the truths of their histories, and learn how their lives reveal the broader issues concerned with the future and fate of the Western hemisphere? At the time of the European invasion ...