Moving alike: movement and human–nonhuman relationships among the Runa (Ecuadorian Amazon)

Former Fyssen 2015

Moving alike: movement and human–nonhuman relationships among the Runa (Ecuadorian Amazon)

In this paper I suggest that an analysis of movement can offer a fresh perspective through which to look at human–nonhuman relationships in Amazonia and beyond. Focusing on some examples from my ethnographic work among the Runa of the Ecuadorian Amazon, I explore how movement constitutes an important means through which similarity with nonhumans is constituted in everyday practice. Movement, as a common quality that human and nonhumans share, enables the Runa to consider themselves as ‘alike’ nonhuman others. In particular, I will show how self‐movement, understood as the awareness of one’s own movement, is a central way in which Runa women align themselves to a spirit entity known as a the Grandmother of Clay.


Francesca Mezzenzana est une anthropologue sociale qui s’intéresse à l’Amérique latine, en particulier à l’Amazonie équatorienne, où elle travaille sur le terrain depuis 2011. Elle a obtenu son doctorat à la London School of Economics and Political Science et son BSc en anthropologie à l’University College London. Entre 2016 et 2018, elle était postdoctorante au Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale du Collège de France.

Ses recherches sont variées et couvrent des sujets tels que : l’anthropologie de l’Amazonie, l’anthropologie phénoménologique, les relations humaines/non-humaines, la perception et le développement de l’attention, la poterie et la culture matérielle, l’anthropologie de l’apprentissage et de l’enfance.

Publication récente
Difference Revised: Gender and Transformation among the Amazonian Runa