Opposing worldviews : Cuicatec values of cultural and natural resources in a western paradigm Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6m311r50t

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  • Both conflicts and new identities result when indigenous' traditional values of landscape and resource management are superimposed with federal governments' management of archaeological and forest resources in federally designated protected areas. This thesis examines the relationship and discourse between two Cuicatec towns in Oaxaca, Mexico and three Mexican government agencies within the context of a federally protected and managed biosphere reserve. The Cuicatec people maintain both strong syncretic beliefs of the land that reflect their Prehispanic heritage as well as contemporary and evolving Western perceptions that view a landscape as a set of commodified resources. Through ethnographic interviews, Cuicatec participants shared how federal government resource management affected their traditions, their lives, their subsistence, and their very existence. The power and extent of government discourse from the government agencies varied in both communities thereby affecting both their knowledge and acceptance of the government resource management policies. Cuicatec participants emphasized the need for greater direct government communication coupled with financial support to meet their socioeconomic challenges that are further exacerbated by federal restrictions on both traditional and commercial resource use. New identities are being forged as government discourse begins to promote ecotourism in the communities as way of alleviating the socioeconomic challenges. Continuing research in the region will be useful to trace the development of new community subjectivities as well as the socioeconomic effects of future tourism development in the communities.
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