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Histories and Historicities in Amazonia

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Histories and Historicities in Amazonia.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Neil L. Whitehead(Author)

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Anthropologist Neil L. Whitehead presents a collection of recent fieldwork and the latest theoretical perspectives that illuminate how a range of Native communities in the Amazon River basin, and those they encounter, use the past to make sense of their world and themselves. In recent decades, scholars have become increasingly aware of the role the past plays in the construction of culture and identity. Not only can the past be represented and codified overtly in various ways and media as a history, it also operates more fundamentally and pervasively in cultures as a mode of consciousness or way of thinking about the world, a historicity.
 
In addition to examining the particular foundations and significance of history and historicity in such communities as the Guajá, Wapishana, Dekuana, and Patamuna, the contributors to this volume consider more broadly how different natural and cultural features can help shape historical consciousness: landscape and territory; rituals such as feasting; genealogy and kinship; and even the practice of archaeology. Also of interest are activist uses of historicity to promote and legitimize the cultural integrity and political agendas of Native communities, especially in contact situations past and present where multiple and often competing forms of history and historicity play important political roles in articulating relations between colonizers and the colonized.
 
As this volume makes clear, understanding the powerful cultural role of the past helps scholars better appreciate the inherent dynamic quality of all cultures and recognize a rich resource of agency that can be used both to comprehend and to transform the present

"A welcome addition to serious scholarship directed at the uniting of history, historicity, ethnohistory, ethnology and ethnography."--Norman E. Whitten Jr., "Ethnohistory""Whitehead and the other contributors are to be congratulated for forcing us to reexamine our ideas of what constitutes history and historical consciousness and to continue to insist that lack of literacy does not make a people without history.'"--S. Elizabeth Penry, "The American Historical Review" Neil L. Whitehead is a professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the editor of Ethnohistory. He is the author of Dark Shamans: Kanaimá and the Poetics of Violent Death and coeditor (with Laura Rival) of Beyond the Visible and the Material: Retrospect and Prospect in Amazonian Anthropology.

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Book details

  • PDF | 236 pages
  • Neil L. Whitehead(Author)
  • University of Nebraska Press (July 1, 2003)
  • English
  • 3
  • Politics & Social Sciences

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Review Text

  • By A customer on July 21, 2003

    Although the title says Amazonia, a lot of the content pertains to Orinoquia. Prospective buyers should be aware that a recent volume of Ethnohistory (also edited by Whitehead) contains much of the same material (by some of the same authors). The biggest problem that I had with the book is that very important recent work done among some of the native groups mentioned in the text is totally ommitted in the references. It seems like a collection of friends got together to write this book and dismiss the work of other good and emerging scholars. One of the important lessons taught to all graduate students is to cite the work of others, particularly when it is relevant. This work is careless in its review of the current literature and contains some factual errors that specialists will have no problem detecting. I found that it offered nothing new.

  • By A customer on July 21, 2003

    Although the title says Amazonia, a lot of the content pertains to Orinoquia. Prospective buyers should be aware that a recent volume of Ethnohistory (also edited by Whitehead) contains much of the same material (by some of the same authors). The biggest problem that I had with the book is that very important recent work done among some of the native groups mentioned in the text is totally ommitted in the references. It seems like a collection of friends got together to write this book and dismiss the work of other good and emerging scholars. One of the important lessons taught to all graduate students is to cite the work of others, particularly when it is relevant. This work is careless in its review of the current literature and contains some factual errors that specialists will have no problem detecting. I found that it offered nothing new.


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