Society for Applied Anthropology  
73rd Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado March 19th – 23rd 2013
Conference theme: Natural Resource Distribution and Development in the 21st Century

Session Organizer:
Patricia Jean Hammer
Center for Social Well Being www.socialwellbeing.org
Title:
The Inseparability of Natural and Social Resources in the Andes: From Field Experience to Cognitive Epiphany

Session abstract:
Andean Quechua culture provides ways of conceptualizing global change through consideration of the inextricable interdependent relationships of social, natural and spiritual phenomena. Importantly, recent major interdisciplinary investigations necessarily include queries directed to explore how “native, indigenous or first nation peoples” respond to contemporary events and processes. A key example is the serious analysis of thousands of years of Quechua communities´ development of effective strategies to reduce risk in contexts of dramatic ecological transitions that may serve the world in unforeseen ways. This session gives voice to specific cognitive acquisition gained through experiential learning in a combined graduate and undergraduate field training seminar with the Center for Social Well Being in Ancash, Peru.    Key words: Andes, field school, indigenous knowledge
Organizer: Patricia J. Hammer (Center for Social Well Being)
Discussant: Isabella Chan (University of South Florida, Tampa)

Student Papers:

  1. CRESPIN, KIMBERLY (SUNY Plattsburgh)

Take a Complement: Social Relations Defined By the Negotiation of Natural and Communal Resources in the Andes
While market days in the Callejón de Huaylas create an atmosphere for social/natural resources to intersect, such interconnectivity flourishes just as well outside of the market. Reflected by the symbiotic relationships among genders, nature, time, and space, reciprocity is central to how resources are perceived. While local culture is constantly adapting, outside influence threatens authentic reciprocal/cyclical values. The relevance of the contemporary market model falls short in translation to a reality little defined by measurement/competition. In light of this, I aim to explore the variety/adaptability of negotiations, and the means of such negotiations to ensure social/natural resources.

  1. DESSECKER, MAEGHAN (Georgia SU) and SARAH GRAY (California SU San Marcos)

Social and Environmental Roles of Medicinal Plants in the Andes
In the Callejón de Huaylas of north central Peru, agrobiodiversity provides lifelines for its people as well as its environment. Despite high altitude, the Andean environment is teeming with plants that are not only a staple in the local diet but also a key source of medicine. Plants found in the back yard of highland farmers are often used to cure a variety of ailments. Through the active use of herbal knowledge, Andean peoples can essentially learn to be their own doctors (to some degree).  During a field study in Ancash, we observed and interviewed medicinal plant practitioners to find that natural remedies are as essential to its people as they are to the Andean environment.
 

  1. HUEY, ZACHARY (College of Charleston S Carolina)

Exploiting Minerals, Exploiting Lives
Peru is rich in ecological and cultural variety, but the variety is threatened by Mining. The negative environmental impacts of mining are heinous, but the impact on the human segment of the ecosystem is equally devastating. The mining companies displace communities, destroy agriculturally viable land, and replace sustainable life patterns with ones that center on work in, or with, the mine. The worst mining disaster is when segments of society that are not competitive in the capitalist system are exploited by the mining structure. This presentation shows that mining companies in Peru, do more than exploit minerals, they exploit lives.

  1. JOHNSTON, JILLIAN (High Point U N Carolina)

Digging Deeper: The Effects of Mining on the Quechua Culture
Over centuries, exploitation of countries rich in natural resources by countries rich by power has been a common thread, particularly in Peru. Negative effects of mining are not only felt environmentally, but culturally as well. The Quechua culture is suffering and continually eroding due to mining and impacts of Western culture. Effects such as, prostitution, sex trafficking, and drugs have increased because of the mining population. Mining companies have moved in on this culturally and mineral-rich land without the thought or consideration of its impacts on those people who have inhabited the space for thousands of years. While mining is digging deep into the mountains of the Andes, it is cutting deeper in the mountains of the Quechua culture.

  1. SISSOM, SARAH (U Colorado Boulder)

Harmonized Movements of the Andes
The combination of music and dance continues to play an important role in developing community social skills and participation throughout the world. The effect of global change and technological advancements has begun to harshly impact centuries long social traditions in the Andes. In Andean cultures, “Danzas” are taught to represent the agricultural work and traditional gender roles for which males and females are responsible. My aim therefore is to explore how these global changes are impacting the traditional teachings of music and dance, and how these will impact work in the agricultural field.

  1. FELIU, ANNELISE (Florida International University)

Music as means to Harmonize Relationships among Humans, Nature and Spirits in the Andes
Music, as most of us know, can be maximum expression of what is culturally relevant to a society. Music among the Andean cultures is used to express moral and religious lessons, but most significantly, it is the harmonizing factor between Humans and Nature. Quechua cosmology stresses the interconnection of all things, and music is the conduit through which humanity harmonizes with these forces daily. When a musician plays his or her instrument, a conversation occurs among instrument, air (which is also alive) and human. My Andean research demonstrates how such communication leads to healing in the form of harmonization. 
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SfAA 2013 73rd Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado
Session title: Teaching the Anthropology of Climate Change in the 21st Century
Co-organizers: L. Jen Shaffer (U Maryland) and Patricia Hammer (Center for Social Well Being)
Paper:
HAMMER, PATRICIA JEAN (Center for Social Well Being)

Title Participatory Action Research Teaching Methods to Enhance Cognitive Acquisition for Interdisciplinary Field Training Seminars on Climate and Culture Change

Abstract Since 2000 the Center for Social Well Being continually experiments with the design, development and application of Action Research models and methods for teaching anthropology field work in environmental and social change among Quechua speaking communities of the Peruvian Andes. Experiential learning exercises followed by reflection, analysis, synthesis and presentation, provide a cyclic process to motivate and thoroughly engage cognition in context. Located in the highest tropical mountain range on the planet, teaching resources inevitably include ancestral notions of “Patsa Puquy” – the maturing of the earth that guides mitigation and adaptation strategies that influence transitions in agropastoral practices in the changing ecology of the Cordillera Blanca.

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Teaching Participatory Action Research in Lima, Peru. Training workshop to support research initiatives of our ally association Forum Solidaridad Perú. Multidisciplinary team forum to develop abilities in Community Participatory Action Research in themes of: Participatory Social Development, Integrated Solidarity, Comunications, Institutional Transparency, Democracy and Ecology.

October 2012.
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First International Seminar on Language, Culture and Society of Ancash, Peru. Ecosindemias: Cambio climático desde la perspectiva andina.” Auspiciadores: Min. Cultura, Dir. Regional de Cultura, Dir. Reg. Educación, Gob. Prov.Huaraz, UNASAM. Centro Cultural de Huaraz, July 19th 2012.

First Seminar on Education: Perspectives and Investigation. “The Development and Application of Participatory Qualitative Methodologies for Social and Education Research.” Instituto Superior de Educación Público de Huaraz. Escuela Pedagógica de Huaraz. July 3rd 2012.   

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