1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences




I am a sociocultural anthropologist interested in the politics of Indigenous/settler relations in Lowland South America, with a focus on Indigenous ideas of personhood, relatedness, and morality. Based on nineteen months of ethnographic fieldwork with the Mastanawa people of the Upper Purus River (Brazilian-Peruvian border), my work examines the Mastanawa experience of the encompassing society through analysis of their quotidian interactions with their neighbors and narratives of their contact process. My research shows how Mastanawa understandings of identity, belonging, and difference challenge deeply held beliefs present in Western thought regarding issues such as ethnic identity, racial categories, and national identity. Rather than seeing these categories as fixed, given, and exclusive, the Mastanawa understand them to be mutable, constructed, and inclusive. These different understandings of identity and belonging are a frequent source of misunderstandings, tensions, and conflicts between the Mastanawa and their non-indigenous neighbors and government authorities.

List of Chair and Committee Members: George Mentore (chair), Ira Bashkow, Jeff Hantman, Roy Wagner, Brian Owensby

First Name: 
Giancarlo C. Rolando
Computing ID: 
2018.  Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Virginia
2013.  M.A., Anthropology, University of Virginia
2010   Licenciatura, Anthropology, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Outstanding thesis
2010.  B.A., Anthropology, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Sub Discipline/s: