The case of Peru evinces quite specific aspects missing in other states with numerous indigenous minorities. During the second half of the 20th century, indigenous communities in local sierra were officially renamed as agrarian communities (comunidades campesinas), which resulted in wiping their identity away in exchange for land reform and incorporation to state structures. The status of native people has slightly improved since the introduction of a new constitution in 1993 and the implementation of responsive laws later. However, up to the present the self-identification with the terms Quechua, Aymara, indigenous, native, mestizo or campesino often results in extensive consequences stemming from the persisting racism and hierarchic society. This article deals with the impacts related to ethnicity and auto-identification in contemporary Peru, focusing on variables determining the status of indigenous people within the 25 Peruvian regions. The national census held in autumn 2017 incorporated for the first time in history the possibility of ethnic auto-identification. The anticipated results might outline a new direction in terms of social status and identification within the native communities.
The article* is dedicated to the analysis of alcohol consumption practices within the Koryak ethno-cultural community. The aim of the article is to understand how the reasons for alcohol consumption are explained within the framework of the community. The analysis is based on the ideas of Durkheim’s social theory. The author of the article claims that the practice of consuming alcohol is essentially connected with the more archaic practice of mushroom consumption since both have a grounding in the Koryak perception of the world. The analysed models of behaviour stem from appropriate Koryak epistemology and ontology, which themselves are based on the notion of the ‘other world’ and communication with supernatural entities (spirits). The isomorphism of consuming alcohol and amanita intoxication reflects the inner core of this connection: the Koryak believe that an entity enters the human body and controls their actions. The transition from one type of intoxication to another is accompanied by drastic transformation of the materiality of the consumed product, which, in turn, leads towards social transformations. Such social changes are qualified as anomie by the author of the article. The visual materiality of the amanita mushroom dictated its symbolic anthropomorphism and creation of special rules for the treatment (amanita codex). The physical amorphousness of vodka does not imply the same intellectual work. The author claims that this factor was one of the reasons why the Koryak do not have social regulations about vodka consumption – which leads to mass alcoholism. It is possible that indigenous communities have difficulties in working out the required social regulations because of the complexities surrounding the non-utilitarian treatment of the unusual materiality of vodka.