By Peter Gow

Uniting the ethnographic facts amassed by way of the fieldwork equipment invented by way of Malinowski with Levi-Strauss's analyses of the kinfolk among delusion and time, this e-book analyzes a century of social transformation of the indigenous Piro humans of Peruvian Amazonia. it really is an incredible contribution to anthropological debates at the nature of heritage and social swap, in addition to on missed components corresponding to fable, visible artwork, and the methodological concerns all in favour of fieldwork and archival info.

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Extra resources for An Amazonian Myth and Its History (Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology)

Sample text

On the one hand, Piro people had a keen interest in the sorts of 'factory medicines' they obtained fí'om doctors and stores in Atalaya, or locally from the missionaries 01' medicaI posts in lhe villages. They were ais o willing to travellong distanees to obtain hospital treatment. 011 the other hand, however, they werc aIs o convinced that many illnesses were untreatable by sllch means, and scornful of those white people who placed all their faith in such medicines. In particular, ilInesses el11anating from sorcery could never be treated thus.

The case of Sebastián's 'The Sun' is somewhat different. This narra tive was published by Mattesol1 (1965), in a study devoted to the of the Piro language frol11 the perspectíve of structural linguistics which also contains a series 01' Piro texts (including mythic narratives) as examples of Piro discourse. 'The Sun' is c1early a transcription of an origínally oral narrative subjected to little editing, for JV1aueson has inclueled the narrator'8 verbal hesítadons anel spontaneous corrections. The context in which it was originally narrated is not recordecl, anel it is not even clear when ir was told, for Matteson only states that she workeel wíth Sebastián between 1949 and 1%1 (1965: However, Sebastián was Matteson's most important male infórmant, and an important leader in the bilingual 8chool movement.

The Dominican of Sepa, Padre Elías, stopped by to investigate this new community forming 011 the riverbank, and there met Artemio and his brother-in-law Antonio, whom he knew from Sepahua. They asked him to open a school for their children. In 1973, the ])ominicans opened the mission centre of Santa Clara and starteel a schoo! taught by a secular missionary teacher f1'om Lima. Initially, Antonio was recognized as headman, but he was soon replaced by Artemio. owly grew into the community where I turned up, unexpectedly, in December 1980, and in which I then began to live.

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