The Palm and the Pleiades: Initiation and Cosmology in Northwest Amazonia

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Overview

When it was first published in 1979, this book, together with its companion volume, From the Milk River, by Christine Hugh-Jones, was hailed as setting 'a new standard for South American ethnographers, one to be emulated' (Third World Quarterly). Both are now available for the first time in paperback. The book is an extended study in English of Amazonian ritual. Through an analysis of a secret men's cult widespread throughout Northwest Amazonia, Hugh-Jones builds up a general picture of a South American Indian society, and of a religious and cosmological system that is common to a large area of Northwest Amazonia. The book is also an exercise in the anthropological interpretation of ritual, myth and religious symbolism from a structuralist point of view.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of tables and figures; List of maps and plates; Preface; Orthography; Part I. The Rites in Context: 1. Introduction; 2. The Barasana: land and people; Part II. The Rites Described: 3. Fruit House; 4. He House: the main initiation rite; Part III. Explanation and Analysis: 5. The participants; 6. The flutes and trumpets; 7. The gourd of beeswax; 8. Open and closed: the howler monkey and the sloth; 9. Death and rebirth; 10. The Sun and the Moon; Part IV. Conclusion: 11. Conclusion; Part V. The Myths; Appendixes; Bibliography; Index; Index of names.

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