Queering Narratives of Modernity
Josi Tikuna And Manuela Lavinas Picq - Queering Amazonia: Homo-affective relations among Tikuna society
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JOSI TIKUNA AND MANUELA LAVINAS PICQ1
Queering Amazonia: Homo-affective relations among Tikuna society
In Tikuna culture, it is forbidden to marry within one’s clan. It bodes bad luck. Someone from the Jaguar clan may marry a member from the Macaw clan, but not within the Jaguar clan. This is called the ‘rule of nations.’2 Clans have long been the organizing principle among Tikunas, one of Amazonia’s largest Indigenous3 groups. It is clan belonging, not sex, that has regulated Tikuna unions. Yet foreign churches like the neo-Pentecostal have changed expectations. Rather than worrying about clans, new religions are concerned with regulating sexuality. These churches have framed homo-affective relationships as sinful. What were uneventful couples under clan lines progressively became abnormal ‘lesbian’ couples in religious eyes. Now, forbidden love is not within the clan but within one’s gender.
Amazonia is rarely approached through sexuality. It is more commonly invoked from ecological perspectives concerned with preserving its biodiversity or anthropological debates emphasizing Indigenous cultural otherness. A sexual approach reveals an Amazon much more embedded in global dynamics than implied by other disciplines. In particular, it reveals Amazon’s broad sexual spectrum. There are gay prides from Manaus all the ← 113 | 114 → way to Iquitos. Even small towns along the Javari River valley, the region with most Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, held its own gay Pride celebration under the anthem of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’. The old Peruvian rubber-boom town of Cavallococha holds annual...
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