Accueil du site> Membres du LESC > Membres permanents > CHAUMEIL Jean-Pierre (EREA)


Regional fields

Amazon, Peru, Colombia

Thematic fields

comparative shamanism, anthropology of borders, political anthropology, Amazonian ethnohistory, religious dynamics, American Indian evangelical churches and messianic cults, ethnomusicology, construction of Americanism


Amazon, shamanism, evangelical cults, American Indian messianism, American Indian politics, heritage preservation, memory, Amazonian Quipus, indigenous biographies, ritual wind instruments, tourism

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Israelita market in Alto Monte Israel,
Amazon River, Peru
(photo J.-P. Chaumeil)

Jean-Pierre Chaumeil has been working in the Peruvian Amazon (and more marginally in the Colombian Amazon) since 1971. He abandoned technology studies at the Institut universitaire de Ville d’Avray to specialise in anthropology at the EHESS (l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales / School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences). There he obtained a degree in 1975, and in 1983 completed a PhD thesis in social anthropology and ethnology on the shamanism of the Yagua people (Peruvian Amazon) under the supervision of Simone Dreyfus-Gamelon (published in 1983 by Éditions de l’EHESS).

Subsequent research broadened to include the comparative study of shamanism in South America and its contemporary development in the world (particularly recent attempts to standardise shamanic practices in the context of mystical tourism), as well as the spread of evangelical churches and American Indian messianic cults, and their effect on new forms of American Indian leadership. In collaboration with science historians, he has closely examined the production and circulation of knowledge and images (especially photography), as well as processes of heritage preservation, museumification and cultural commerce.

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Knot cords. Memory of the sequencing of Yagua ritual chants, Peruvian Amazon (photo J.-P. Chaumeil)

Recruited by the CNRS in 1984, he is a member of EREA (Enseignement et recherche en ethnologie amérindienne / Teaching and Research in American Indian Ethnology) where he was deputy director from 1995 to 2004 and director from 2005 to August 2008, the date when he was assigned to the IFEA (l’Institut français d’études andines / the French Institute of Andean Studies) in Lima (Peru) until August 2012. He has taught at the Ecole pratique des hautes études, the EHESS, The Complutense University of Madrid; in Peru at the National University of San Marcos and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in Lima. He has also co-directed several international research projects with Colombia, Spain, Brazil and Peru, and co-organised several international conferences. Within the IFEA (l’Institut Français d’Études Andines / the French Institute of Andean Studies), he is currently coordinating a GDRI research network, “Contemporary Political Anthropology in the Western Amazon” (2012-2015), on new forms of American-Indian political representativeness, in association with academic partners in France, Colombia and Peru.

Publications récentes

  • 2012 eds (with J. M. Delgado Estrada), Atlas geográfico del Perú (Lima, Institut français d’études andines/Ambassade de France au Pérou/Universidad nacional mayor de San Marcos/Facultad de Ciencias Sociales) [1st ed. 1865].
  • 2012, Estudios de chamanismo en la Amazonia, in C. I. Degregori, P. Sendon and P. Sendoval (eds), No hay Pais mas diverso: Compendio de Antropología peruana II (Lima, Instituto de Estudios Peruanos): 411–432.
  • 2011 eds (with O. Espinosa and M. Cornejo), Por donde hay soplo. Estudios amazonicos en los Paises andinos (Lima, IFEA-PUCP-CAAAP-EREA/LESC).
  • 2011 eds (with J. Hill), Burst of breath. Indigenous ritual wind instruments in Lowland South America (Lincoln & London, University of Nebraska Press).
  • 2010, Religions amérindiennes, in R. Azria and D. Hervieu-Léger (eds), Dictionnaire des faits religieux (Paris, PUF): 1068–1075.
  • 2010, Des sons et des esprits-maîtres en Amazonie amérindienne, Ateliers du LESC, 34 http///ateliers.revues.org/8546 [special issue: A. Monod Becquelin and V. Vapnarsky (eds), L’agentivité: ethnologie et linguistique à la poursuite du sens].
  • 2009, Le commerce de la culture. Le cas des peuples amazoniens, Bulletin de l’Institut français d’études andines, 38 (1): 61–74.


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Mis à jour le 17 September 2013

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


EREA website