New PDF release: Tsewa's Gift: Magic and Meaning in an Amazonian Society

By Dr. Michael Brown

ISBN-10: 081735364X

ISBN-13: 9780817353643

ISBN-10: 0874742943

ISBN-13: 9780874742947

ISBN-10: 156098306X

ISBN-13: 9781560983064

 "An striking and leading edge research on looking, gardening, and love magic one of the Aguaruna. . . . [It is] either hugely beneficial ethnographically and an enormous contribution to the certainty of ways a primitive tradition conceptualizes its transactions with nature. The publication touches on cosmology and faith in addition to the ethnoecology of looking and agriculture--with an interlude on sex."--American Ethnologist

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Additional info for Tsewa's Gift: Magic and Meaning in an Amazonian Society

Sample text

As the interface between the dark powers of the spaces below and the transcendent freedom of the spaces above, the surface of the earth has the most complex reality of all. Here the forces from above and below converge to aid or confound human activities. Souls At the heart of Aguaruna world view are beliefs about the nature and properties of souls. Human beings, animals, plants, and some inanimate objects have souls.

One day my friend went hunting, and he discovered Sullaquiro [a mestizo hamlet]. The Christians tried to grab us but we escaped. Later we lived closer to Sullaquiro, but the "lieutenants" [soldiers? ] began to bother us. A lot of lieutenants arrived to fight. They grabbed us one after another to cut our hair. They took my friend prisoner. They wouldn't let him alone, not even to urinate or defecate. The lieutenants took him out to defecate, but they held on to him all the while. " [Loosely translated, this means "Damn, damn!

Despite their tenacious adherence to certain traditional values, the Aguaruna emphatically refuse to become anachronisms. In an afterword to this book, I describe some of the changes taking place in the Alto Mayo and the Aguaruna response to them. My fieldwork from 1976 to 1978, and especially my brief follow-up visits, made me acutely aware of the difficulties raised by intracultural variation in belief and practice. Jivaroan societies are highly atomistic, lacking the sort of centralized political or religious institutions that can impose uniformity of belief.

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Tsewa's Gift: Magic and Meaning in an Amazonian Society by Dr. Michael Brown

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