MOLINIE Antoinette

Regional fields

Andes, Spain

Thematic fields

Andes/Spain comparison, ritual, psychoanalytical anthropology, museography


rites, psychoanalytical anthropology, neo-Indians

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Dance for a mountain divinity, Qoyllur Rit’i pilgrimage (Peru), 1986 (photo A. Molinié)

Antoinette Molinié has spent several decades studying traditional societies in the Andes. She began with studies in Peru (in the Cusco region and the Chancay valley), then in Ambana, Bolivia, where she demonstrated the market economy integration methods of traditional Andean communities. Following several ethnographic studies, she conducted research on space representation and forms of ritual. She also examined the processes by which rituals become established in long-term memory and gain a specific historicity, as well as the connections between rituals and exegeses, systems of transformation of the myth/rite link in the highlands and lowlands. Her work took on a comparative dimension with studies in Spain, first in La Mancha and then in Andalucía, where she is currently working. This transatlantic comparative laboratory enabled her to show the mechanics of ethnogenesis of American Indian rites (that is to say their diachrony) by means of synchronized Spanish and Andean data, and to highlight the consistency of these two systems of thought through the exegeses of Corpus Christi.

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The Almonte brotherhood welcomes pilgrims in the square outside the sanctuary of the Virgin of El Rocío (Andalusia), 1997 (photo A. Molinié)

She then revisited these theoretical constructions using ontogenetic data and Freudian concepts. These were put to the test in the analysis of specific cultural facts, such as the priority Andean culture accords to mediation in rites, in the organisation of space, in aesthetics and in the representation of the body. In her work, the contradiction between ritual action and exegeses observed in a ceremony in La Mancha became meaningful in light of the Freudian concepts of denial and negation. Today, it is with this psychoanalytical equipment that she approaches Andalusian religious celebrations, whose ritual calendar sequence produces, according to her hypotheses, a manifestation of the Oedipal triangle.

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The Inca addresses a crowd during sun worship,
Plaza de Armas, Cusco, 2002 (photo A. Molinié)

Antoinette Molinié also conducted research into new forms of neo-Indian identity linked to the New Age movement, specifically in Cusco where a neo-Incaism is developing, suggesting that an ethnogenesis is in progress.

She was in charge of a research team examining the archiving of ethnographic material, bringing together eight complementary experiences (including those in France, Andalucía, Greece, Madagascar, Senegal and Mali). Concrete cases were used to show the conditions required for a systematisation of field data archiving.

Antoinette Molinié has lectured in the Department of Ethnology at the University of Paris West, at the École nationale des Beaux-Arts and at Casa de América in Madrid.
 She was a member of the National Committee of the CNRS (1995-2000) and President of the commission of specialists (20th section) at the University of Paris X (2000-2006).

Principal publications

  • 2013 (with J. Galinier), The Neo-Indians: A Religion for the Third Millenium (Boulder, University Press of Colorado) [1st ed. french, 2006].
  • 2013 (with J. Galinier), Los neo-indios: Una religión del tercer milenio (Quito, Abya Yala) [1st ed. french, 2006].
  • 2011 (with G. Bodenhausen), Kinship or k-index as an antidote against the toxic effects of h-indices, Chimia, 65 (6): 433–436.
  • 2009, Del Inca nacional a la internacional inca, in V. Robin and C. Salazar (eds), El regreso de lo indígena (Lima, Institut français d’études andines): 237–264.
  • 2005, La passion selon Œdipe. La semaine sainte à Séville, in P. Bidou, J. Galinier and B. Juillerat (eds), Anthropologie et psychanalyse. Regards croisés (Paris, Éditions de l’EHESS): 153–182 [Cahiers de L’Homme, 37].
  • 2004, La Vierge cruelle, in S. de Mijolla-Mellor (ed.), La cruauté au féminin (Paris, Presses universitaires de France): 151–188.
  • 2004, The resurrection of the Inca: The role of Indian representations in the invention of the Nation, History and Anthropology, 15 (3): 233–250.
  • 2004, The revealing muteness of rituals: A psychoanalytical approach to a Spanish ceremony, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 10 (1): 41–61.
  • 2003 ed., Ethnographies du Cuzco [special issue], Ateliers, 25.
  • 1999, Te faire la peau pour t’avoir dans la peau. Lambeaux d’ethnopsychanalyse andine, L’Homme, 149 (January-March): 113–134.
  • 1996 ed., Le corps de Dieu en fêtes (Paris, Le Cerf).


Publications available at the Éric-de-Dampierre library


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Mis à jour le 16 January 2014

Directeur de recherche émérite, CNRS
[Emeritus Research Professor CNRS]