1. All rural interview respondents are identified with a pseudonym. Indigenous
spokespeople and elected female leaders speaking in public are identified by
name. Delia Caguana was a key facilitator and collaborator during the research
(during which she was the elected women’s representative in Chimborazo’s
federation, comich) and chose to be identified by name.
2. Given postcolonial racial hierarchies and state formation, official figures con-
cerning racial- ethnic diversity are subject to considerable dispute. Ec uador’s
2010 census questioned respondents on their self- identification: 71.9 percent
identified as “mestizo” (i.e. biologically and/or culturally “mixed” populations,
referring to Eu ropean and indigenous ancestry), 6.1 percent as white, 7 percent
as indigenous, 7.4 percent as montubio (coastal region peasant group, recog-
nized as a separate racial- ethnic category), 7.2 percent as Afro- Ecuadorian
(claiming varying ancestry to African descent), and 0.4 percent others. Ec ua-
dor’s indigenous movement disputes these figures, arguing that indigenous
nationalities account for around 15–20 percent.
3. “Development” here refers to systematic programs of intervention from di-
verse institutions that seek to improve living conditions.
4. To clarify, the term social heterogeneity is used here to refer to social distinctions
arising through myriad power relations and inequalities; Silvia Rivera Cusican-
qui’s term “motley,” or ch’ixi in Aymara (2012), expresses a similar meaning.
5. Foucault understood genealogy to refer to how ways of thinking and acting
cohere over time to underpin public discourses and institutional practices.
6. Other ethnographic explorations of racialized rural subaltern women’s de-
velopment experiences include on Afro- Colombian women, Asher 2009; on
Ethiopian Maasai women, Hodgson 2001.
7. Postcolonial work is most rewarding and theoretically generative when it en-
gages with how ordinary people experience and respond to the uneven nature
of the colonial present, in the friction between the local and the global. By con-
trast Vivek Chibber uses the concept of culture (defined against what he terms
“psychology”) without examining how these factors become contingent and
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