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Celebrating Indigenous Peoples

August 9, 2022

The United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 each year to honor the estimated 370 million indigenous people around the world. The day was established to recognize the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations held in Geneva in 1982.

This year’s theme is “The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge,” commemorating the strength of indigenous women. For more information, please visit

In the spirit of this day, we are featuring a collection of titles on indigenous groups from around the world. Scroll down to read freely accessible introductions. For a wider selection, visit our Anthropology page.

Berghahn Journals is also offering free access to related articles and special issues. See below for details.

Enjoy 35% off all titles with discount code IIPD22 (valid until 31 August 2022 via our website).

Open Access!
Decolonialization and Movements for Environmental Justice
Edited by Jaskiran Dhillon

From the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s resistance against the Dakota Access pipeline to the Nepalese Newar community’s protest of the Fast Track Road Project, Indigenous peoples around the world are standing up and speaking out against global capitalism to protect the land, water, and air. By reminding us of the fundamental importance of placing Indigenous politics, histories, and ontologies at the center of our social movements, Indigenous Resurgence positions environmental justice within historical, social, political, and economic contexts, exploring the troubling relationship between colonial and environmental violence and reframing climate change and environmental degradation through an anticolonial lens.

» Full Text PDF.

Everyday Endurance and Social Intensity in an Australian Aboriginal Community
Cameo Dalley

Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork undertaken since 2006, the book addresses some of the most topical aspects of remote Aboriginal life in Australia. This includes the role of kinship and family, relationships to land and sea, and cross-cultural relations with non-Aboriginal residents. There is also extensive treatment of contemporary issues relating to alcohol consumption, violence, use of the internet and social media, and the impact of systemic ill health. This richly detailed portrayal provides a nuanced account of being and becoming on Mornington Island.

» View the Table of Contents.

Contemporary Warlpiri Ceremonial Life in Central Australia
Georgia Curran

As an ethnography of Central Australian singing traditions and ceremonial contexts, this book asks questions about the vitality of the cultural knowledge and practices highly valued by Warlpiri people and fundamental to their cultural heritage. Set against a discussion of the contemporary vitality of Aboriginal musical traditions in Australia and embedded in the historical background of this region, the book lays out the features of Warlpiri songs and ceremonies, and centers on a focal case study of the Warlpiri Kurdiji ceremony to illustrate the modes in which core cultural themes are being passed on through song to future generations.

» Read the introduction.

Reassessing Terminology, Anarchy and Worldview in Indigenous Societies of America, Australia and Highland Middle India
Georg Pfeffer

From a new perspective, this book re-examines, confirms, and criticizes Lewis Henry Morgan’s findings on the three domains of relationship terminologies, societal forms, and ideas of property.

» Read the introduction.

Warlpiri Matriarchs and the Refashioning of Tradition

Paul Burke

This innovative book is the first ethnographic account of the Warlpiri’s indigenous diaspora, whose traditional hunter-gatherer life has been transformed through their dispossession and involvement with ranchers, missionaries, and successive government projects of recognition.

» Read the introduction.

Ethnographies of Indigenous Cosmologies, Rituals and Songs
Edited by Juan Javier Rivera Andía
Volume 37, European Association of Social-Anthropologists (EASA) series

Drawing on fieldwork from diverse Amerindian societies whose lives and worlds are undergoing processes of transformation, adaptation, and deterioration, this volume offers new insights into the indigenous constitutions of humanity, personhood, and environment characteristic of the South American highlands and lowlands.

» Read the introduction.

Indigenous Revival and the Conservation of Sacred Natural Sites in the Americas

Edited by Fausto Sarmiento and Sarah Hitchner
Volume 22, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology series

This book presents current research in the political ecology of indigenous revival and its role in nature conservation in critical areas in the Americas. An important contribution to evolving studies on conservation of sacred natural sites (SNS), the book elucidates the complexity of development scenarios within cultural landscapes related to the appropriation of religion, environmental change in indigenous territories, and new conservation management approaches.

» Read the introduction.

Indigenous Perspectives on the Historical Archaeology of Colonialism

Edited by Tiina Äikäs and Anna-Kaisa Salm

Colonial encounters between indigenous peoples and European state powers are overarching themes in the historical archaeology of the modern era, and postcolonial historical archaeology has repeatedly emphasized the complex two-way nature of colonial encounters. This volume examines common trajectories in indigenous colonial histories and explores new ways to understand cultural contact, hybridization, and power relations between indigenous peoples and colonial powers from the indigenous point of view.

» Read Chapter 1.

Integral Ecology, Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability in Guyana

Thomas B. Henfrey
Volume 23, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology series

Based on an ethnographic account of subsistence use of Amazonian forests by Wapishana people in Guyana, Edges, Frontiers, Fringes examines the social, cultural and behavioral bases for sustainability and resilience in indigenous resource use.

» Read Chapter 1.

Confronting Electoral Communism and Precarious Livelihoods in Post-Reform Kerala

Luisa Steur
Volume 20, Dislocations series

This book offers a detailed ethnographic study of the dynamics between the Communist party and indigenist activists, defining the subtle ways in which global capitalist restructuring leads to a resonance of indigenist visions in the changing everyday working lives of subaltern groups in Kerala.

» Read the introduction.

Luck, Spirits and Ambivalence among the Siberian Orochen Reindeer Herders and Hunters

Donatas Brandišauskas
Volume 1, Studies in the Circumpolar North

Brandišauskas describes in rich details the skills, knowledge, ritual practices, storytelling, and movements that enable the Orochen to “catch luck” (or not, sometimes), to navigate times of change and upheaval.

» Read the introduction.

Indigenous Urbanization in the Nordic States and Russia

Edited by Mikkel Berg-Nordlie, Astri Dankertsen and Marte Winsvold
Volume 4, Studies in the Circumpolar North

Presenting the political and cultural processes that occur within the indigenous Sámi people of North Europe as they undergo urbanization, this book examines how they have retained their sense of history and culture in this new setting. The book presents data and analysis on subjects such as indigenous urbanization history, urban indigenous identity issues, urban indigenous youth, and the governance of urban “spaces” for indigenous culture and community. The book is written by a team of researchers, mostly Sámi, from all the countries covered in the book.

» Read the introduction.

Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring

Frederick H. Damon
Volume 21, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

Trees, Knots, and Outriggers is the culmination of twenty-five years of work by Frederick H. Damon and his attention to cultural adaptations to the environment in Melanesia. Damon details the intricacies of indigenous knowledge and practice in his sweeping synthesis of symbolic and structuralist anthropology with recent developments in historical ecology.

» Read the introduction.

Edited by Marcelo González Gálvez, Piergiorgio Di Giminiani and Giovanna Bacchiddu
Volume 13, Studies in Social Analysis

Whether invented, discovered, implicit, or directly addressed, relations remain the main focus of most anthropological inquiries. These relations, once conceptualized in ethnographic fieldwork as self-evident connections between discrete social units, have been increasingly explored through local ontological theories. This collected volume explores how ethnographies of indigenous South America have helped to inspire this analytic shift, demonstrating the continued importance of ethnographic diversity. Most importantly, this volume asserts that comparative ethnographic research can help illustrate complex questions surrounding relations vis-à-vis the homogenizing effects of modern coloniality.

» Read the introduction.

Leadership, Masculinity and Wealth in the Amazon

Marc Brightman

The Imbalance of Power demonstrates ethnographically that the Carib speaking indigenous societies of the Guiana region of Amazonia do not fit conventional characterizations of ‘simple’ political units with ‘egalitarian’ political ideologies and ‘harmonious’ relationships with nature. Marc Brightman builds a persuasive and original theory of Amerindian politics: far from balanced and egalitarian, Carib societies are rife with tension and difference; but this imbalance conditions social dynamism and a distinctive mode of cohesion.

» Read the introduction.

Embodiment and Experience among the Orang Rimba of Sumatra

Ramsey Elkholy

Anthropologist Ramsey Elkholy treats embodied action and perception as the basis of shared experience and shows how various forms of embodied experience constitute the very foundations of human culture. In a unique methodological contribution focusing on the Orang Rimba of Sumatra, Elkholy adopts a set of body-centered approaches that reflect and capture the day-to-day, moment-to-moment ways in which people engage with the world.

» Read the introduction.

Development Paradoxes, Belonging and Participation of the Baka in East Cameroon

Glory M. Lueong

This book examines how the Baka, who live in Eastern Cameroon, assert forms of belonging in order to participate in development interventions, and how community life is shaped and reshaped through these interventions.

» Read the introduction.

The Gwich’in Natives of Alaska

Steven C. Dinero

Using quantitative and qualitative data gathered since the turn of the millennium, this volume offers an interdisciplinary evaluation of the developments that have occurred in the community of the Gwich’in Natives over the past several decades.

» Read the introduction.

Berghahn Journals

Open Access Articles

Healing through Heritage?: The Repatriation of Human Remains from European Collections as Potential Sites of Reconciliation
Carsten Wergin (Vol. 30, Issue 1)

Indigenous Leadership, Anthropology and Intercultural Communication for COVID-19 Response in the Rio Negro Indigenous Territory, Brazilian Amazonia
Danilo Paiva Ramos, Alex Shankland, Domingos Barreto, and Renato Athias (Vol. 29, Issue 1)

The Structural Violence of Indigenous Suicide Prevention Policies in Canada
Bryce Anderson (Vol. 28, Issue 3)

Whose Reality Counts?: Emergent Dalitbahujan Anthropologists
Reddi Sekhara Yalamala (Vol. 27, Issue 1)

Democracies in the Ethnosphere: An Anthropologist’s Lived Experiences of Indigenous Democratic Cultures
Wade Davis and Jean-Paul Gagnon (Vol. 8, Issue 2)

Practicing Democracy from Childhood: Democratic Praxis in Te Ao Māori
Kylie Smith, Ksenija Napan, Raewyn Perkinson, and Roberta Hunter (Vol. 8, Issue 2)

Appropriate Targets: Global Patterns in Interaction and Conflict Surrounding Cetacean Conservation and Traditional Marine Hunting Communities
Florence Durney (Vol. 11)

CIDEM’s femicide archive and the process of gendered legal change in Bolivia
Xandra Miguel-Lorenzo (Vol. 4, Issue 1)

Decolonization and Restitution: Moving Towards a More Holistic and Relational Approach – Report on the Panel on Ethnographic Museums and Indigenous People, ICOM Kyoto, September 2019
Michèle Rivet (Vol. 8)

Hinemihi o te Ao Tawhito: How a Māori Meeting House in England cultivated relationships and understanding
Michael Upchurch (Vol. 8)

The Politics of Indigeneity and Heritage: Indonesian Mortuary Materials and Museums
Kathleen M. Adams (Vol. 8)

Indigenous paradiplomacy and the Orokawe hydroelectric dam on the Kunene River
Richard Meissner and Jeroen Warner (Vol. 11, Issue 1)

Scratches on our sovereignty?: Analyzing conservation politics in the Sundarbans
Jayashree Vivekanandan (Vol. 11, Issue 1)

Cheyenne River Sioux Traditions and Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline
Ryan Goeckner, Sean M. Daley, Jordyn Gunville, and Christine M. Daley (Vol. 11)

Arctic “Laboratory” of Food Resources in the Allaikhovskii District of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
Nikolai Goncharov (Vol. 21, Issue 2)

Special Issue: Checking in on Sakha Studies (Vol. 20, Issue 2)

The Evolution of Forming “Territories of Traditional Nature Use” in the Sakha Republic (Iakutiia)
Nicholas Parlato, Gail Fondahl, Viktoriya Filippova, and Antonina Savvinova (Vol. 20, Issue 1)

“Deception begins with trade … ”: Vladimir Arsen’ev’s Economic Expertise and Challenges of Rationalizing Imperial Diversity in the Taiga
Aleksandr Turbin (Vol. 19, Issue 3)

The Political Ecology of Vladimir Arsen’ev
Sergey Glebov (Vol. 19, Issue 3)

Vladimir Arsen’ev and Whales in Russia’s Revolutionary Far East
Ryan Tucker Jones (Vol. 19, Issue 3)

The Representation of the Evenkis and the Evenki Culture by a Local Community Museum
Svetlana Huusko (Vol. 19, Issue 2)

Roads versus Rivers: Two Systems of Spatial Structuring in Northern Russia and Their Effects on Local Inhabitants
Kirill V. Istomin (Vol. 19, Issue 2)

Sensory Perception of Rock Art in East Siberia and the Far East: Soviet Archeological “Discoveries” and Indigenous Evenkis
Donatas Brandišauskas (Vol. 19, Issue 2)

The Colony as the Mystical Body of Christ: Theopolitical Embodiment in Mexico
Jennifer Scheper Hughes (Vol. 64, Issue 4)

Civilization as the Undesired World: Radical Environmentalism and the Uses of Dystopia in Times of Climate Crisis
Stine Krøijer (Vol. 64, Issue 3)

Monumental Suspension: Art, Infrastructure, and Eduardo Chillida’s Unbuilt Monument to Tolerance
Isaac Marrero-Guillamón (Vol. 64, Issue 3)

Taxes for Independence: Rejecting a Fiscal Model of Reciprocity in Peri-urban Bolivia
Miranda Sheild Johansson (Vol. 64, Issue 2)

State of Uncertainty: Educating the First Railroaders in Central Sakha (Yakutiya)
Sigrid Irene Wentzel (Vol. 10, Issue 2-3)

Free Access to the Following Articles until August 23, 2022

From a “Double Task” to a “Double Contention” Perspective: On Academic and Activist Knowledge Production Processes
Júnia Marúsia Trigueiro de Lima (Vol. 10, Issue 1)

Special Issue: Indigenous Resurgence, Decolonization, and Movements for Environmental Justice (Vol. 9)

Witnessing Public Mourning in Haudenosaunee Youth Theatre
Margot Francis (Vol. 15, Issue 2)

The End of the Tunnel: Girls’ Marked Bodies in the Canadian Transcarceral Pipeline
Sandrina de Finney and Mandeep Kaur Mucina (Vol. 14, Issue 3)

Where are all the Girls and Indigenous People at IGSA@ND?
The Young Indigenous Women’s Utopia Group, Cindy Moccasin, Jessica McNab, Catherine Vanner, Sarah Flicker, Jennifer Altenberg, and Kari-Dawn Wuttunee (Vol. 14, Issue 2)

Kokums to the Iskwêsisisak: COVID-19 and Urban Métis Girls and Young Women
Carly Jones, Renée Monchalin, Cheryllee Bourgeois, and Janet Smylie (Vol. 13, Issue 3)

Reflections on Expanding Girls’ Political Capital at the United Nations
Emily Bent (Vol. 13, Issue 2)

Imagining Alternative Spaces: Re-searching Sexualized Violence with Indigenous Girls in Canada
Anna Chadwick (Vol. 12, Issue 3)

Love as Resistance: Exploring Conceptualizations of Decolonial Love in Settler States
Shantelle Moreno (Vol. 12, Issue 3)

Red Ribbon Skirts and Cultural Resurgence: Kimihko sîmpân iskwêwisâkaya êkwa sihcikêwin waniskâpicikêwin
Kari Dawn Wuttunee, Jennifer Altenberg, and Sarah Flicker (Vol. 12, Issue 3)

Rekinning Our Kinscapes: Renegade Indigenous Stewarding against Gender Genocide
Sandrina de Finney, Shezell-Rae Sam, Chantal Adams, Keenan Andrew, Kathryn McLeod, Amber Lewis, Gabby Lewis, Michaela Louis, and Pawa Haiyupis (Vol. 12, Issue 3)

“Like Alice, I was Brave”: The Girl in the Text in Olemaun’s Residential School Narratives
Roxanne Harde (Vol. 10, Issue 3)

Social Media and the Sexual Exploitation of Indigenous Girls
Dustin William Louie (Vol. 10, Issue 2)

Special Section: Indigenous Girls (Vol. 9, Issue 2)

Under the Shadow of Empire: Indigenous Girls’ Presencing as Decolonizing Force
Sandrina de Finney (Vol. 7, Issue 1)

Ka’ux: Mixe language and biodiversity loss in Oaxaca, Mexico
Alfonsina Arriaga-Jiménez, Citlali Pérez-Díaz and Sebastian Pillitteri (Vol. 8, Issue 3)

From proclamation to denial: Indigenous rights and political participation in Venezuela
Catherine Alès (Vol. 8, Issue 2)

Indigenous participation in primary care services in Brazil: Autonomy or bureaucratization?
Eliana Elisabeth Diehl and Esther Jean Langdon (Vol. 8, Issue 1)

Special Section:
Screening Indigenous Bodies (Vol. 4, Issue 1)

Special Issue:
Indigenous Peoples, Urbanization Processes and Interactions with Extraction Firms in Russia’s Arctic (Vol. 18, Issue 3)

A Complex Approach to Identity Construction among Children of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East of the Russian Federation
Alena Vasilievna Ivanova (Vol. 18, Issue 2)

Special Issue: Theorizing Relations in Indigenous South America (Volume 63, Issue 2)

Your “Eyesore,” My History?: People and “Dead” Cars in a Remote Aboriginal Community
Kate Senior, Richard Chenhall, and Daphne Daniels (Vol. 11, Issue 1)

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