An Amazonian Myth and Its History (Oxford Studies in Social by Peter Gow

By Peter Gow

Uniting the ethnographic info amassed by means of the fieldwork equipment invented through Malinowski with Levi-Strauss's analyses of the family members among fantasy and time, this publication analyzes a century of social transformation of the indigenous Piro humans of Peruvian Amazonia. it's a tremendous contribution to anthropological debates at the nature of historical past and social swap, in addition to on overlooked components resembling fable, visible artwork, and the methodological matters occupied with fieldwork and archival facts.

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

Example text

S' [SlISpcct tlli, was a Piro refi'actioll of the Cold "Var. 40 41 A Piro Mytlz in its Conlext /1 Piro ll'1yth in its Clmtext tilr away and afitera, 'outside', oUlside bOlh lhe known world of la selva, Amazonian Peru, and beyond cven lhe Andean anel coastal regions of the nation itselfY are a kind of 'white peoplc' (Piro, Ucayali Spanish, gente btanm, huirctcocha), but they are consielered to be very different from thc local white people, who are well known to the indigenous people of villages likc Santa Clara.

Clotilde Gorelón, like the rest of heI' kinspeople, had been a debt-slave of Francisco 'Pancho' de los 'the big boss of the Piros', until his eleath in 1940. I was tolel that Vargas had been the boss of all the Piro people, anel many other indigenous people on the Bajo Urubamba and Tambo rivers, fi'om the time when he had inheríteel them from his own boss, the catu:hero (rubber boss) Carlos Scharf, who was killed by Amahuaca people on the Manú river before Cio til ele was born. The historical archive tells us that Scharf hael inherited his Piro slaves in tum from 'The King of Rubber', Carlos Fermín Fitzcarrald, the subject of Herzog's fitm, but Clotilde hael heard little about Fitzcarrald, who died in 1897, beyond his name.

Similarly, Sebastiáll'S 'The Shallow River' probably underwent unlmown changes during its transformation into a chapter of a 8chool reader. 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.

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