Haas Scholars

Niku T’arhechu T’arhesi

The Interface of Epistemologies: Repatriation and Collaboration in Anthropological Inquiry

The vintage anthropological enterprise typically derived from the researchers gaze on a non-Western society, in turn, producing the simultaneous exoticism and denigration of the so-called primitive. An anthropological production of knowledge relied on the holistic gathering of dataa process many times resulting in the researcher’s, the museum’s, or the universitys claim to ownership of material and immaterial cultural heritage. Contemporary anthropologists seek to exorcise the vintage specter by engaging in collaborative repatriation projects with indigenous communities. One such collaborative repatriation project developed when the Warao indigenous inhabitants of Mariusa, Venezuela requested copies of shamanic chants, divine narratives, and histories from Professor Charles Briggs. Niku Tarhechu Tarhesi will conduct fieldwork in Mariusa in order to observe the collaboration process and uncover underlying power dynamics, methods of organization, and conflict resolution.

  • Major: Anthropology
  • Mentor: Professor William Hanks