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One of the great riddles of cultural history is the remarkable parallel that exists between the peoples of Amazonia and those of Melanesia. Although the two regions are separated by half a world in distance and at least 40,000 years of history, their cultures nonetheless reveal striking similarities in the areas of sex and gender.
In both Amazonia and Melanesia, male-female differences infuse social organization and self-conception. They are the core of religion, symbolism, and cosmology, and they permeate ideas about body imagery, procreation, growth, men's cults, and rituals of initiation.
The contributors to this innovative volume illuminate the various ways in which sex and gender are elaborated, obsessed over, and internalized, shaping subjective experiences common to entire cultural regions, and beyond. Through comparison of the life ways of Melanesia and Amazonia the authors expand the study of gender, as well as the comparative method in anthropology, in new and rewarding directions.
|1||Comparing Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia: A Theoretical Orientation||1|
|2||Two Forms of Masculine Ritualized Rebirth: The Melanesian Body and the Amazonian Cosmos||17|
|3||The Variety of Fertility Cultism in Amazonia: A Closer Look at Gender Symbolism in Northwestern Amazonia||45|
|4||Reproducing Inequality: The Gender Politics of Male Cults in the Papua New Guinea Highlands and Amazonia||69|
|5||The Genres of Gender: Local Models and Global Paradigms in the Comparison of Amazonia and Melanesia||91|
|6||Age-Based Genders among the Kayapo||115|
|7||Women's Blood, Warriors' Blood, and the Conquest of Vitality in Amazonia||141|
|8||Damming the Rivers of Milk? Fertility, Sexuality, and Modernity in Melanesia and Amazonia||175|
|9||Worlds Overturned: Gender-Inflected Religious Movements in Melanesia and the Amazon||207|
|10||Same-Sex and Cross-Sex Relations: Some Internal Comparisons||221|
|11||The Gender of Some Amazonian Gifts: An Experiment with an Experiment||245|
|12||"Strength" and Sexuality: Sexual Avoidance and Masculinity in New Guinea and Amazonia||279|
|13||The Anguish of Gender: Men's Cults and Moral Contradiction in Amazonia and Melanesia||309|
|14||Reflections on the Land of Melazonia||337|