Indigenous knowledge, skills and action: Indigenous women’s learning in the Peruvian Amazon

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Drawing on long term ethnographic research in the SE Peruvian Amazon this article asks what kinds and forms of learning do indigenous women value, how are the knowledge and skills they value changing over time and what is the nature of their agency in the face of the discrimination and prejudice that permeate their lives. Harakmbut women’s lives have been transformed over the past 40 years in the wake of neoliberal globalisation, rapacious exploitative economic practices and unregulated illegal gold mining. Within this context, three types of learning emerge as important: learning about indigenous cosmology and way of life; experiential learning through engagement with an expanding capitalist society; and learning through training and capacity building for participation, voice and rights-based advocacy. The article argues that all three types of learning give meaning to Harakmbut women’s lives, their relationship to their history and their views of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-212
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in the Education of Adults
Issue number2
Early online date23 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • agency
  • cosmology
  • gold-mining
  • indigenous women
  • Intergenerational
  • knowledge

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