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Source: University of Regina

Noble savage or sophisticated existentialist?

October 10, 2006

October 10, 2006
Contact: Sabrina Cataldo, External Relations
Phone: (306) 585.5632
Mobile: (306) 536.4312
Fax: (306) 585.4997

Noble savage or sophisticated existentialist?
There is a common perception that indigenous people can only be experts on
nature – that they are noble savages or millenary guardians of the
rainforest. U of R anthropology professor Carlos Londoņo Sulkin challenges
this notion in his talk, "Do we have anything to learn from indigenous
peoples?" According to Londoņo, Amazonian people have sophisticated,
beautiful, existentially intriguing accounts of what it is to be a human
being. He examines such people's understanding of the relational nature of
human beings – that we are the product of our interactions with others.

The third installment of the Faculty of Arts’ popular Coffee House
Controversies series will take place Thurs., Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in
Chapters bookstore behind the Southland Mall (2625 Gordon Road).

Londoņo claims we can learn interpretively from indigenous peoples, but it
isn’t necessarily the product of finding the wise old man of the mountain
and being enlightened by him, but rather a matter of conversing and exposing
one’s own ideas to the possibility of being contested, abandoned, improved
upon or otherwise changed. Amazonian people portray humans as products of
social life, emphasizing how people elicit each other’s behaviours,
memories, values and understandings. Londoņo will explore the Amazonian view
that people fabricate other people and how this understanding may be of
value in our society.

Coffee House Controversies aims to bring the research interests of Faculty
of Arts members to the community. Speakers give an informal 20-minute talk
focusing on a controversial topic of interest to the general public. The
talks are intended to encourage the open exchange of ideas. Twenty minutes
of discussion follows each talk, during which members of the general public
can ask questions or raise issues with the speaker or other audience
members. The events are free and open to the public. Contact Jamie Browne at
585-4782 for more information.




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