Warfare and Shamanism in Amazonia

Warfare and Shamanism in Amazonia

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Warfare and Shamanism in Amazonia is an ethnographic study of the Parakana, a little-known indigenous people of Amazonia, who inhabit the interfluvial region in the state of Para, Brazil. This book analyzes the relationship between warfare and shamanism in Parakana society from the late nineteenth century until the end of the twentieth century. Based on the author's extensive fieldwork, the book presents first-hand ethnographic data collected among a generation still deeply involved in conflicts. The result is an innovative work with a broad thematic and comparative scope.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 250 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 24 b/w illus. 8 maps 20 tables
  • 1139335316
  • 9781139335317

Table of contents

1. The matter of time; 2. Images of abundance and scarcity; 3. Forms through history; 4. Why war?; 5. The master and the pet; 6. Death producing life; 7. Gods, axes, and jaguars.
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About Carlos Fausto

Carlos Fausto is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Fausto has been conducting fieldwork among Amazonian indigenous peoples since 1988. His articles have appeared in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Current Anthropology, American Ethnologist, Religion and Society, Science, Mana, L'Homme, Gradhiva and the Journal de la Societe des Americanistes. He co-edited Time and Memory in Indigenous Amazonia (2007) with Michael Heckenberger. He currently collaborates with indigenous people to produce video documentaries.
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Review quote

'Here is the highest form of anthropology: superb ethnography, seriously pondered. Thinking through a small Amazonian group, Carlos Fausto is able to synthesize oppositions of universal import - the likes of history vs. structure or autonomy vs. alterity - that have long troubled the human sciences. Then there is the sheer intellectual pleasure of following a narrative that turns cannibalism into kinship.' Marshall Sahlins, University of Chicago 'Carlos Fausto has become over the years one of the leading figures in the anthropology of Amazonian Indians, and thus, in view of the relevance of this cultural area in present anthropological debates, a forefront actor in the inquiry on what it is to be human. Warfare and Shamanism in Amazonia offers yet another example of his exceptional intellectual creativity.' Philippe Descola, College de France 'Paying equally close attention to historical events and cultural forms, Warfare and Shamanism in Amazonia presents an ethnographically rich and theoretically nuanced picture of Parakana agency. In so doing, it offers a compelling model for describing the processes of change and continuity in lowland societies as well as beyond. Of special interest to a wide variety of readers are Fausto's analyses of complicated shifts in agriculture and sociopolitical organization that avoid the explanatory logics of either cultural regression or evolution as well as his already influential discussion of the relationship between predation and the production of familiarity and kinship in indigenous lowland societies.' Suzanne Oakdale, author of I Foresee My Life: The Ritual Performance of Autobiography in an Amazonian Community '... [a] theoretically nuanced and deeply fascinating work ... The Parakana conceptual universe is complex, and not easy to articulate in Western terms, but sustained immersion within Fausto's 'new language' reminds us that to understand other cultures requires adjustments to ourselves.' Robert J. Wallis, Time and Mind 'Warfare and Shamanism in Amazonia is the English translation of Inimigos Fieis, Carlos Fausto's masterful ethnography of the Parakana Indians, published in Portuguese in 2001. ... Beyond its ethnographic value, the book brings an innovative combination of structuralist anthropology with a historical approach of potential value to archaeologists.' Eduardo Goes Neves, Antiquity
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