Kinship, desire, gender, production, personhood, transformation


This article is concerned with the relationships through which children have been born, raised, and made into Amahuaca people over the past 75 years, and within contemporary Native Communities on the Inuya River since their formation beginning in the 1980s. The process of making children into kin among Amahuaca people is similar to that described throughout much of lowland South America. The production, preparation, and sharing of proper food (manioc, plantains, fish, and game) as well as manioc beer are central aspects of sociality and the formation of specific kinds of bodies. While the processes of sharing substances, demonstrating care, and living together are central for making kin out of Others (such as foreigners or other Indigenous Peoples), this article focuses on children, and specifically children whose “biological fathers” are either not known or have little to no role in parenting. Moreover, this process of making children into kin, into Amahuaca people, is often put into the hands of elder Amahuaca women, which is a practice that has been ongoing for at least the past 80 years. The point I want to make is that the identity, ethnicity, or Otherness of a “biological relative” is not always relevant for the processes of making children into Amahuaca people.