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Fair Trade and Social JusticeGlobal Ethnographies$
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Sarah Lyon and Mark Moberg

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814796207

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814796207.001.0001

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Fair Trade Craft Production and Indigenous Economies

Fair Trade Craft Production and Indigenous Economies

Reflections on “Acceptable” Indigeneities

(p.176) 8 Fair Trade Craft Production and Indigenous Economies
Fair Trade and Social Justice

Patrick C. Wilson

NYU Press

This chapter examines European constructions of indigenous “Others” through catalogues of material practices and their implications for the design and implementation of indigenous artisan fair trade projects. More specifically, it explores the relationships between materiality and indigeneity in handicraft fair trade production by focusing on a set of alternative trade organization projects in Ecuador. It highlights the issue of ethnic identity in discussing Ecuadorian craft producers, who either gain or are denied access to a lucrative fair trade market according to their ability to deploy “acceptably indigenous” behaviors. It also considers what indexing indigenous peoples through a catalogue of material items might reveal about cultural assumptions driving artisan fair trade and its economic consequences. It argues that certification standards originating in the developed North impose an essentialized definition of tradition that excludes some indigenous communities from the benefits of alternative markets.

Keywords:   indigenous Others, fair trade, materiality, indigeneity, handicraft, Ecuador, ethnic identity, indigenous peoples, certification standards, alternative markets

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