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The Fish People

The Fish People
Linguistic Exogamy and Tukanoan Identity in Northwest Amazonia

£39.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • Date Published: December 1983
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521278225

£ 39.99
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  • The Bará, or Fish People, of the Northwest Amazon form part of an unusual network of intermarrying local communities scattered along the rivers of this region. Each community belongs to one of sixteen different groups that speak sixteen different languages, and marriages must take place between people not only from different communities but with different primary languages. In a network of this sort, which defies the usual label of 'tribe', social identity assumes a distinct and unusual configuration. In this book, Jean Jackson's incisive discussions of Bará marriage, kinship, spatial organization, and other features of the social and geographic landscape show how Tukanoans (as participants in the network are collectively known) conceptualize and tie together their universe of widely scattered communities, and how an individual's identity emerges in terms of relations with others. As theoretically challenging as it is unique, the Tukanoan system bears on a wide range of issues of current anthropological concern, such as how to analyze open-ended regional systems in small-scale societies, ideal versus actual patterns of behaviour, identity as both structure and action, and indigenous use of multiple, even conflicting, models of social structure. Professor Jackson's thoughtful discussions also extend to broader social scientific issues concerning the relation of language to culture, the presence or absence of individualism in pre-state societies, the nature of ethnic boundaries, the interplay between observation of behaviour and its interpretation (on the part of both native and anthropologist), and the achievement of flexibility and self-interested goals while applying seemingly rigid social structural principles.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 1983
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521278225
    • length: 308 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures, maps and tables
    Preface
    Acknowledgments
    Note on orthography
    1. Purpose and organization of the book
    2. Introduction to the central Northwest Amazon
    3. Longhouse
    4. Economic and political life
    5. Vaupés social structure
    6. Kinship
    7. Marriage
    8. Tukanoans and Makú
    9. The role of language and speech in Tukanoan identity
    10. Male and female identity
    11. Tukanoans' place in the cosmos
    12. Tukanoans and the outside world
    13. Conclusions: themes in Tukanoan social identity
    Notes
    Glossary
    References
    Index.

  • Author

    Jean E. Jackson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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