Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Anthropology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 58 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Walter Little

Committee Members

James Collins


Clinic, Cosmology, Ecuador, Indigenous peoples, Clinics, Traditional medicine, Quechua Indians, Quechua cosmology

Subject Categories

Latin American Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences


In this paper I hope to explain the levels of power at play between the Ecuadorian State and the indigenous of the Amazon. The indigenous in Ecuador, not only in the Amazon, though that is where my work takes place, attempt to maintain their separate identities from the Ecuadorian State. The main way they do this that I will be focusing on in this paper is their utilization of witchcraft and healing practices. These practices help to maintain the relationship between the indigenous and their land. These mechanisms clash with the state agenda of remaking autonomous indigenous people into state subjects. By looking at the implementation of clinics using western medicinal practices, I will attempt to show this conflict and how indigenous strive for autonomy and the state strives to bring them into their modern system. The goal of the state in modernizing the indigenous is to reduce their attachment to the land allowing them access to the resources in the Amazon unfettered by complications with indigenous inhabitants.