Introduction: Comparative Perspectives on the Indigenous Rights Movement in Africa and the Americas



Using ethnographic case studies, these "In Focus" articles explore the indigenous rights movements in two regions, Africa and the Americas, where the histories, agendas, and dynamics of the movements are at once similar and different. They consider a range of relevant questions about the politics of representation, recognition, resources, and rights as these movements engage shifting political and economic landscapes; transnational discourses, alliances, and organizations; and the complicated cultural politics of inclusion and exclusion invoked by the term indigenous. As such, they offer a critical, comparative perspective on the issues of culture, power, representation, and difference inherent in the complicated alliances, articulations, and tensions that have produced and transformed the transnational indigenous rights movement. This introduction provides a brief history of the movement, highlights some major themes in previous anthropological work, reviews the insights of the section articles, and explores some of the ways in which anthropologists have engaged with the movement. [Keywords: indigenous peoples, social movements, cultural politics, ethnography]