Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:

Zurich Open Repository and Archive

Maintenance: Tuesday, 5.7.2016, 07:00-08:00

Maintenance work on ZORA and JDB on Tuesday, 5th July, 07h00-08h00. During this time there will be a brief unavailability for about 1 hour. Please be patient.

Pelican, Michaela (2009). Complexities of indigeneity and autochthony: an African example. American Ethnologist, 36(1):52-65.

Full text not available from this repository.

View at publisher


In this article, I deal with the complexities of "indigeneity" and "autochthony," two distinct yet closely interrelated concepts used by various actors in local, national, and international arenas in Africa and elsewhere. With the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2007, hopes were high among activists and organizations that the precarious situation of many minority groups might be gradually improved. However, sharing the concerns of other scholars, I argue that discourses of indigeneity and autochthony are highly politicized, are subject to local and national particularities, and produce ambivalent, sometimes paradoxical, outcomes. My elaborations are based on in-depth knowledge of the case of the Mbororo in Cameroon, a pastoralist group and national minority recognized by the United Nations as an "indigenous people" although locally perceived as "strangers" and "migrants." For comparative purposes, and drawing on related studies, I integrate the Bagyeli and Baka (also known as Pygmies) of southern and southeastern Cameroon into my analysis, as they share the designation of indigenous people with the Mbororo and face similar predicaments.


23 citations in Web of Science®
37 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™


Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:790 Sports, games & entertainment
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Deposited On:05 Mar 2010 10:40
Last Modified:08 May 2016 07:08
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1548-1425.2008.01109.x
Official URL:http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122214839/issue

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page