Sabina Brevaglieri

The origins of the Vatican Ethnological Museum. Francisco Romero, Propaganda Fide and the «Aruacos idols» (16th-18th centuries)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Northern South America, Kágaba/Kogi artefacts, Missionary reverse-travels, Rome, Propaganda Fide archive, competing patrimonialisations

Although Pius XI officially founded the Anima Mundi-Vatican Ethnological Museum after the Esposizione Universale Missionaria in 1925, tracing the histories of its earlier artefact sedimentations reveals more complex dynamics. This article maps the biography of the «Aruacos idols» brought to Propaganda Fide by the Augustinian Francisco Romero in 1692 and explores missionary collecting practices and indigenous artefact meanings reconfigurations from an entangled, non-dualistic, perspective. It argues for ambiguous missionary mediation between worlds, wherein asymmetric communication, incessant frictions, experimental transactions, and creative misunderstandings reconfigured the sharp tension between colonial oppression and indigenous resistance. The Propaganda Fide archive in Rome emerges as a space of tensions and multiple negotiations, where missionaries re-enacted their complex relationships with the indigenous worlds, and indigenous material agency recovered its active role within intermedial collectives in which asymmetric confrontations of different value regimes and competing, yet entangled, patrimonialisations took place.

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat

Article first page

Article first page