Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia: Reconstructing Past Identities from Archaeology, Linguistics, and Ethnohistory

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A transdisciplinary collaboration among ethnologists, linguists, and archaeologists, Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia traces the emergence, expansion, and decline of cultural identities in indigenous Amazonia.

Hornborg and Hill argue that the tendency to link language, culture, and biology—the notion of essentialist ethnic identities—is a Eurocentric bias that has characterized largely inaccurate explanations of the distribution of ethnic groups and languages in Amazonia. The evidence, however, suggests a much more fluid relationship among geography, language use, ethnic identity, and genetics. In Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia, leading linguists, ethnographers, ethnohistorians, and archaeologists interpret their research from a unique nonessentialist perspective to form a more accurate picture of the ethnolinguistic diversity in this area.

Revealing how ethnic identity construction is constantly in flux, contributors show how such processes can be traced through different ethnic markers such as pottery styles and languages. Scholars and students studying lowland South America will be especially interested, as will anthropologists intrigued by its cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approach.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A major contribution to Amazonian anthropology, and possibly a direction changer."
—J. Scott Raymond, University of Calgary

"An original, even brave, effort to demonstrate what various subdisciplines of anthropology can contribute to the examination of a complex problem. The cultural history and ethnogenesis of the Amazon—or any other part of the world—is not a question for archaeology or linguistics or ethnohistory alone."
—David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607320944
  • Publisher: University Press of Colorado
  • Publication date: 10/31/2011
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Alf Hornborg is a professor of human ecology at Lund University in Sweden.

Jonathan Hill is a professor and former chair of anthropology at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

List of Maps xiii

tList of Tables xv

Preface xvii

Chapter 1 Introduction: Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia AlfHornborg Jonathan D. Hill 1

Part1 Archeology x

Chapter 2 Archaeological Cultures and Past Identities in the Pre-colonial Central Amazon Eduardo Góes Neves 31

Chapter 3 Deep History, Cultural Identities, and Ethnogenesis in the Southern Amazon Michael Heckenberger 57

Chapter 4 Deep Time, Big Space: An Archaeologist Skirts the Topic at Hand Warren DeBoer 75

Chapter 5 Generic Pots and Generic Indians: The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis in the Middle Orinoco Kay Tarble de Scaramelli Franz Scaramelli 99

Chapter 6 An Attempt to Understand Panoan Ethnogenesis in Relation to Long Term Patterns and Transformations of Regional Interaction in Western Amazonia Alf Hornborg Love Eriksen 129

PartII Lingustics

Chapter 7 Amazonian Ritual Communication in Relation to Multilingual Social Networks Ellen B. Basso 155

Chapter 8 The Spread of the Arawakan Languages: A View from Structural Phylogenetics Swintha Danieben, Michael Dunn, Pieter Muysken 173

Chapter 9 Comparative Arawak Linguistics: Notes on Reconstruction, Diffusion, and Amazonian Prehistory Sidney da Silva Facundes Ana Paula B, Branddo 197

Chapter 10 Linguistic Diversity Zones and Cartographic Modeling: GIS as a Method for Understanding the Prehistory of Lowland South America Osten Dahl, J. Christopher Gillam, David G Anderson, JosiIriarte, SilviaM. Cope

chapter11 Nested Identities in the Southern Guyana-Surinam Corner EithneB. Carlin 225

Change, Contact, and Ethnogenesis in Northern Quechua: Structural Phylogenetic Approaches to Clause-Embedding Predicates Pieter Muysken 237

Part III Ethinohistory

Chapter 13 Sacred Landscapes as Environmental Histories in Lowland South America Jonathan D. Hill 259

Constancy in Continuity? Native Oral History, Iconography, and Earthworks on the Upper Purus River Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen 279

Chapter 15 Ethnogenesis at the Interface of the Andes and the Amazon: Re examining Ethnicity in the Piedmont Region of Apolobamba, Bolivia Meredith Dudley

Chapter 16 Ethnogenesis and Interculturality in the "Forest of Canelos" The Wild and the Tame Revisited Norman E. Whitten jr. 321

Chapter 17 Captive Identities, or the Genesis of Subordinate Quasi-Ethnic Collectivities in the American Tropics Fernando Santos-Granero 335

Chapter 18 fterword: Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia NeilL. Whitehead 349

List of Contributors 359

Index 369

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