The Napo Runa of Amazonian Ecuador
Published by: University of Illinois Press
216 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 15.00 mm, 4 photographs; 8 line drawings
- ISBN: 9780252072550
- Published: July 2005
Michael Uzendoski's theoretically informed work analyzes value from the perspective of the Napo Runa people of the Amazonian Ecuador.
Based upon historical and archival research, as well as the author's years of fieldwork in indigenous communities, The Napo Runa of Amazonian Ecuadorpresents theoretical issues of value, poetics, and kinship as linked to the author's intersubjective experiences in Napo Runa culture. Drawing on insights from the theory of gift and value, Uzendoski argues that Napo Runa culture personifies value by transforming things into people through a process of subordinating them to human relationships. While many traditional exchange models treat the production of things as inconsequential, the Napo Runa understand production to involve a relationship with natural beings (plants, animals, and spirits of the forest) that they believe share spiritual substance, or samai. Value is the outcome of a complicated poetics of transformation by which things and persons are woven into kinship forms that define daily social and ritual life.
Contents Preface Acknowledgments 1. An Introduction to Value and Ethnographic Translation 2. Sinzhi Runa: The Birth Process and the Development of the Will 3. The Poetics of Social Form 4. Ritual Marriage and Making Kin 5. The Transformation of Affinity into Consanguinity 6. Meat, Manioc Brew, and Desire 7. The Return of Jumandy: Value and the Indigenous Uprising of 2001 Glossary of Quichua terms Notes References
"Uzendoski's book is an engaging and accessible introduction to contemporary Amazonian life-ways and would be quite suitable as an undergraduate text."--Eduardo Kohn, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute