Humors And Substances

Overview

This book considers in depth the emergent theme of concerns over bodily fluids in health and wellness through an examination of a rich set of ethnographic materials from the Pacific islands of New Guinea. The particular structure of the book draws together otherwise disparate observations made by ethnographers on ideas of the body. It helps to reveal how these are related to ideas of sickness and curing, of witchcraft, of cannibalism, of gender relations, and of ecology and ritual. It facilitates cross-cultural ...

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Overview

This book considers in depth the emergent theme of concerns over bodily fluids in health and wellness through an examination of a rich set of ethnographic materials from the Pacific islands of New Guinea. The particular structure of the book draws together otherwise disparate observations made by ethnographers on ideas of the body. It helps to reveal how these are related to ideas of sickness and curing, of witchcraft, of cannibalism, of gender relations, and of ecology and ritual. It facilitates cross-cultural comparisons with other parts of the world, as well as making clear the fundamental similarities between the societies of Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea.

It also discusses the idea of the cosmos and its centrality to ideological representations of the physical and social body. Society is seen to be part of the cosmos, and the human body directly linked to, and in cyclical flow with, the elements of the life-world in general, and society in particular.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
With contributing chapters by a couple of their colleagues, Stewart and Strathern (both anthropology, U. of Pittsburgh) apply humoral ideas, which are found worldwide in many cultures, to the people of New Guinea. They add to idea of embodiment to that of the cosmos, show how the notions of agency and sociality play out, examine how the concepts taken together help mediate distinctions between the mind and body, categorize humors and substances, and use the study of the body to discuss social change. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897897624
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio, LLC
  • Publication date: 11/30/2000
  • Pages: 178
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

PAMELA J. STEWART is Research Associate, Department of Anthropology at University of Pittsburgh.

ANDREW STRATHERN is A. W. Mellon Professor of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Gathering the Threads of the Flow of Life 1
2 The Scent of Sweat: Notions of Witchcraft and Morality in Inanwatan 23
3 The Manes Kaya Healing Rite: Blood, Sago, and Sacred Cloths for the Ancestors 51
4 A Comparative Discussion of Witchcraft and Healing Rituals 65
5 Substance Transfer: Conception, Growth, and Nurturance in Highlands Papua New Guinea 83
6 The Wop Cult: Water Power 99
7 Mind Substance 113
8 Conclusion: Mediating Opposites 139
Index 149
About the Authors and Contributors 155
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