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The last Shaman--change in an Amazonian community /
Andrew Gray.
Providence, R.I. : Berghahn Books, 1997.
xxiii, 294 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
157181874X (acid-free paper)
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series author
Providence, R.I. : Berghahn Books, 1997.
157181874X (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 278-285) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1997-11:
Ethnography has in recent years been undergoing agonizing reappraisal of its aims, methods, and--even more fundamental--the logic of its very existence. A book like this illustrates some of the reasons for such controversy but unfortunately does little to resolve any of the disagreements. Gray focuses on the Arakmbut, an indigenous population in the tropical rainforest of southeastern Peru. Their history includes trade with the Incas, the impact of traders and the rubber-boom in the late 1800s, and contact with both Catholic and Protestant missionaries, as well as the national educational system during the past 50 years. Local social organization has become more egalitarian, and innumerable other adjustments have been made largely on the basis of shamanic communications with the spirit world. Elaborate and complex analyses of specific cases, generally having to do with a single popular and influential shaman, nicely illustrate the interrelatedness of the visible and spiritual worlds, popular songs, historical myths. Gray also describes a remarkably flexible system of clans and other social groups, in which an individual's status is as much negotiated as assigned by accidents of birth. The author's linguistic competence, dogged persistence, and occasional insight are evident only to a reader who is familiar with the many difficulties inherent in the ethnographic enterprise. Graduate, faculty. D. B. Heath; Brown University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1997
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Bowker Data Service Summary
The Arakmbut are an indigenous people who live in the Peruvian rainforest. During the last fifteen years, their survival has been threatened by the arrival of hundreds of colonists. This series of books builds up a picture of the Arakmbut community.
Table of Contents
Series Prefacep. x
Prefacep. xvi
Introductionp. 1
The Death of the Shamanp. 20
Species and Spiritsp. 37
E'Manoka'E -- Curingp. 62
Dreams and the Source Of Knowledgep. 80
The Politics Of Shamanic Curingp. 99
The Social Path From Desire to Powerp. 116
Generosity and Givingp. 138
Encountersp. 159
Social Change Among the Arakmbutp. 182
The Colonial Context Of Social Changep. 200
Internal Factors In Socio-Political Changep. 220
The Invisible World and Its Changeless Qualitiesp. 240
Conclusionp. 257
Orthographyp. 269
Glossaryp. 271
Bibliogrpahyp. 278
Indexp. 286
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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