This article analyses how material, industrially produced, goods are acquired through schools by E’ñepá Indians in Venezuelan Amazonia. Based on ethnographic fieldwork the author shows how Indians use school goods to build social position in a traditional way. Contrary to a popular hypothesis, school education does not contribute to acculturation – Indian teachers do not become agents of cultural change. They are however persons who are able to familiarize tattó (“White people”) and thereby they take control over the flow of goods from national societies. In this way school becomes a place which represents the abundance of material goods, and the teacher becomes their master and donor.



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