Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 July 2011
We present some methodological reflections based upon twelve years' experience working in South American ethnoastronomy. The aim is to propose a basis for a possible development plan for ethnoastronomy in this region. Taking as axiomatic that ethnoastronomy is a social science, we discuss issues such as the process of development of an academic discipline, the links between ethno- and archaeoastronomy, the idea of ‘otherness’, ethnographic methodology, the relevance of logics of practice, the relationship between orality and writing, and the dialectic relationship between change and continuity. In addition, we discuss possible ways to achieve the institutionalization of ethnoastronomy. We conclude by considering the importance of regional and international academic exchange.