The word yrmo has been transcribed differently by other ethnographers
(Cordeu writes it érmo and Susnik ïrmiĉ), but I follow the style increas-
ingly adopted by the Yshiro themselves. The meaning of the word is expan-
sive; it can refer to anything from the bush to all that exists.
“Significative differences” refers to differences in the context of a field of
power, and not to the putative content of differences. These are the kind
of differences that, as Donna Haraway pointed out, are not “playful” but
“poles of world historical systems of domination” (1991: 160–61).
Actually, I should say “visible consequences,” since only from a perspec-
tive that denies relationality can one seriously assume that not responding
to others might have no consequences. I owe this point of clarification to
Justin Kenrick.
Introduction Worlds and Knowledges Otherwise
That there are other forms of conceiving dualism, with different effects, is
evident if one thinks of the Chinese yin and yang or the Yshiro notions of
om and sherwo as poles in a continuum. The practice of thinking through a
pattern of poles in a continuum is one I use throughout this volume.
The “colonial difference” is the way in which the modern imaginary classi-
fies the planet by transforming differences into values and, thus, into hier-
archies (Mignolo 2000:13).
See Plumwood for a thorough analysis of Cartesian dualism as a logic of
colonization and subordination (1993:41–68).
For general discussions of the role of expert knowledge in governmen-
tal practices, see contributors to Burchell, Gordon, and Miller 1991; and
Barry, Osborne, and Rose 1996. For examples of expert knowledge in the
context of development, see contributors to Marglin and Marglin 1990,
1996; Cooper and Packard 1997; Arturo Escobar 1995; Ferguson 1990; and
Sachs 1992.
For a recent overview of the effects of the “self-reflexive turn” and its rami-
fications beyond anthropology, see Marcus 2007, 2008.
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