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Re-articulating Identity: The Shifting Landscape of Indigenous Politics and Power on the Ecuadorian Coast

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Abstract

The Levantamiento Indígena of 1990 was a defining moment in the advancement of indigenous politics in Ecuador. Following the uprising of 1990, scholars have paid close attention to the politics of identity and indigenous representation in Ecuador with the main focus being placed on the highland and Amazonian regions of the country. Based on fieldwork conducted in Ecuador's Manabí province, this article provides preliminary insight into the growth of an indigenous discourse on the Ecuadorian coast. I focus on the process of re-indigenisation in the coastal community of Macaboa. This research is significant because while a great deal of scholarly attention has been paid to indigenous movements in Ecuador's highland and Amazonian regions, indigenous politics on the coast have gone largely unnoticed. The case outlined in this article is emblematic of the shifting nature of identity and the way in which ethnic discourses are increasingly being adopted by marginalised groups in their attempts to negotiate with the state.

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