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  • Thumbnail for The Commodification and Appropriation of Ethnomedicine: Examining Ecuador's Indigenous Medicinal Traditions through the lens of the Indigenous Revitalization Movement
    The Commodification and Appropriation of Ethnomedicine: Examining Ecuador's Indigenous Medicinal Traditions through the lens of the Indigenous Revitalization Movement by Hegg, Caitlin

    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.