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The Commodification and Appropriation of Ethnomedicine: Examining Ecuador's Indigenous Medicinal Traditions through the lens of the Indigenous Revitalization Movement

by Hegg, Caitlin

Abstract

A historical examination of the indigenous revitalization movement occurring throughout Ecuador demonstrates how advocacy for indigenous activism has increased indigenous pride. This has led to the reclaiming of cultural practices and traditions once common in the mazeways of society but that have lost prevalence due to the effects of acculturation and westernization. Ethnomedicine, or the traditional medicinal practices, rituals, and remedies of indigenous cultures, is one such tradition that is being increasingly common due to the revitalization movement. The commodification and sale of ethnomedicine in western-style pharmacies and integration into intercultural healthcare clinics has allowed urban indigenous and mestizo populations to reclaim their cultural practices and medicines, and represents one way in which urban Ecuadorians are navigating maintaining their traditional culture while adapting to globalization and ongoing effects of colonialism. However, this commodification and increased popularity of ethnomedicine has simultaneously led to increased appropriation of ethnomedicine by whites and other non-indigenous peoples, which is problematic and an issue Ecuador will need to address moving forward.

Note

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Colorado College Tutt Library
PID
coccc:30051
Digital Origin
born digital
Extent
65 pages : illustrations, map(s)
Thesis
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Leza, Christina
Department/Program
Anthropology
Degree Name
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Type
bachelor
Degree Grantor
Colorado College Tutt Library
Date Issued
2018-05