Accepted paper:

Reproduction between species in Amerindian cosmologies

Author:

Montserrat Ventura Oller (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I will explain how non western cosmologies, especially Amerindian ones, conceptualize unions between essentially different beings and their reproduction results, and under which forms of relationships is /is not possible to cross these immaterial borders.

Paper long abstract:

Transnational movements are as old as humanity, but what is not enough considered when scholars analyse its consequences are the ways in that otherness experience -meeting, knowledge, conceptualization of new people and new cultural spaces - are integrated in social organization, in humanity's notions, in cosmologies and in world's representation of societies. This otherness experience is very well documented in Europe from Ancient Greece. Greeks travelled and drew sophisticated maps of those distinct others. Their cartographies were as far away as illustrating immaterial universes they encountered in their cosmologies. Their myths constitute a complex classification of essentially different others - gods, mid gods, heroes -, with which humans were not capable of maintaining relationships outside very specific ritual prescriptions. Even though those rules, borders between categories were easily broken by the strong power of passion and love. And from those prohibited moment s hybrids were easily engendered. We can not advance how the identity of those hybrids were conceptualized, besides their physical constitution, visible in iconography and in mythical narratives; but we could presume that when old western civilization linked beings of different assumed origins, the result used to be the conception of complete new ones. New beings for which humans created new specific places in the pantheon, separated in any case of humans even when humans were partially genitors. In sum, I will explain how non western cosmologies, especially Amerindian ones, conceptualize unions between essentially different beings and their reproduction results, and under which forms of relationships is /is not possible to cross these immaterial borders.

panel W063
Migrations: of borders, crossings and ambivalent identities