Uywasiña in Aymara cosmopraxis: Ontogenesis and attentionality

Koen de Munter


This article revolves around the theoretical and ethnographic experiences of an ongoing anthropological study with contemporary Aymara families about how “education by attention” is produced throughout their cosmopraxis. At the same time, it explores how an anthropology of life and in particular Tim Ingold’s fight for a recalibration of anthropology in a biosocially integrated sense are of intrinsically political-ethical interest, considering the messy and misaligned times we humans have worked ourselves into. Beyond romantic interpretations and essentialist representations, a committed inquiry into indigenous practices that habilitate people for ecological-cultural “correspondence” and affective reciprocity—uywasiña—enables the exploration of important educational attitudes and habits that can lead to necessary realignments of human relations with the world/earth. I discuss these enskilling practices through a conversation with theorizations of attentionality, agencement (the “doing-undergoing” of habit, in Ingold’s terms), and affectionality.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/719382