According to many scholars, discourse has the capacity to create the nation rather than simply reflect it. By purporting to objectively describe reality, various texts turn into authoritative voices that determine the ways in which readers perceive that reality. In the case of the Chorotega of Costa Rica to be discussed here, three dominant indigenist discourses--historical,legal, and anthropological-- have formed a trinity of contradictory, yet definitive, authoritative voices regarding the description and definition of Costa Rican indigenous peoples. These three discourses simultaneously create an absence and an ambiguous presence of indigenous peoples in Costa Rica, generally, and of the Chorotega, in particular. History, legal discourse, and anthropology have constructed a vision of the nation which ostensibly intends to assimilate and define indigenous peoples but in practice results in excluding them from the nation as a whole.
Latin American and Iberian Institute
The Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico
ethnicity, indigenous, Costa Rica, anthropology, history
Stocker, Karen. "No somos nada: Ethnicity and Three Dominant and Contradictory Indigenist Discourses in Costa Rica." (2000). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/laii_research/7