About This Journal

Tipití, the only refereed journal entirely dedicated to lowland South America, is a young journal (the first issue appeared in June 2003). Yet, thanks to the dedicated work of the first editorial team and the keen response of the ‘salsera’ community, Tipití is increasingly recognized as an established and cutting-edge journal for lowland South American anthropology scholarship. As the new incoming editorial board, we will follow in the steps of our predecessors, and continue to encourage well-established authors as well as younger researchers to contribute to the journal, and through it, to the development of a thriving international community of lowland South Americanists.

Although lowland South American anthropology is far from being a unified, homogeneous field of research, it is renewing anthropological thinking on a number of issues through its debates and its diversity. And although various schools of Amazonian anthropology, rooted in different national traditions, co-exist today, they all share the same commitment to ethnography, as well as the view that it is through advancing cross-cultural comparative research that lowland South American specialists will contribute to anthropological theory. Tipití is committed to providing a space for such a diverse intellectual meeting-ground.

It is some times said that given the scope and speed of globalization, cutting-edge anthropological research can no longer be limited to the narrow boundaries of regionally-based ethnographic specialism. We disagree with such a hyperbolic vision of our contemporary predicament. There can be no anthropological theory that is not based on regional anthropology. Empirical data and ethnographic facts constitute the materia prima of comparative analysis, and the design of cross-cultural comparative models remains a central task of anthropology. We will encourage the publication of detailed ethnographic articles that discuss anthropological concepts such as descent, affinity, marriage, hierarchy, sociality, power, value, gender, body, soul or spirit as well as indigenous peoples' participation in larger processes such as colonialism, state formation, environmentalism or capitalism, in the light of native thought categories and social meanings.

From its beginnings, lowland South American anthropology has been characterised by a strong intellectual drive to provide a synthesis of the archaeological, historical and ethnological record. The wealth of theoretical discussion on the region’s social and political evolution or its ‘carrying capacity,’ for instance, is a good illustration of this search for holistic and synthetic explanation. In addition to being a spark for new social theories, Amazonia has also been a place where these theories have been tested. Good comparative ethnography is not separable from a will to integrate social anthropology, ethnobiology, archaeology and linguistics, and we will continue to welcome contributions that define anthropology broadly and holistically.

Finally, we would like the journal to be opened to all those concerned with the human experience as lived in the lowland areas of South America. In addition to refereed research articles, we will seek to publish a whole range of writings, focused ‘special issues,’ research reports, review essays, commentaries, interviews, and photo essays.