Boundaries of Anthropology: Empirics and Ontological Relativism in a Field Experience with Anomalous Luminous Entities in Argentina



    1. IANIGLA–Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Av. Adrián Ruiz Leal s/n, Parque General San Martin, (5500) Mendoza, Argentina
    Search for more papers by this author


Experiences that do not fit within the perspective of what is “real” for anthropologists are systematically excluded from ethnographic analysis, in spite of the teachings of relativism. Even so, I approach the following event as an ethnographic report. It happened on February 21, 1998, when I was on a research field trip with Huarpe native muleteers in Argentina. During that trip I experienced certain prolonged interactions with anomalous luminous entities. In this article we face the radical problem of ontological relativism and how it is concerned with the definition of ethnographic objectivity as well as the consequences for the boundaries of anthropology.