Saudades Do Brasil: A Photographic Memoir

Overview

Claude Levi-Strauss, internationally known as a brilliant and sometimes controversial anthropologist, is also a skilled and sensitive photographer. Saudades do Brasil - "nostalgia for Brazil," from the title of a musical composition by Darius Milhaud - presents 180 of the more than 3,000 photographs Levi-Strauss took in Brazil between 1935 and 1939. While serving as professor of sociology at the University of Sao Paulo, the young ethnographer made expeditions among the natives of Mato Grosso and Southern Amazonia...
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Overview

Claude Levi-Strauss, internationally known as a brilliant and sometimes controversial anthropologist, is also a skilled and sensitive photographer. Saudades do Brasil - "nostalgia for Brazil," from the title of a musical composition by Darius Milhaud - presents 180 of the more than 3,000 photographs Levi-Strauss took in Brazil between 1935 and 1939. While serving as professor of sociology at the University of Sao Paulo, the young ethnographer made expeditions among the natives of Mato Grosso and Southern Amazonia that resulted in numerous publications, most notably Tristes Tropiques. Most of these photographs are published here for the first time. Levi-Strauss begins his photographic memoir in Sao Paulo, then a frontier city rapidly changing to an industrial metropolis, a city with "a singular beauty, due to breaks in rhythm, architectural paradoxes, contrasting shapes and colors." The rest of the photographs chronicle Levi-Strauss expeditions among the Caduveo, The Bororo, the Nambikwara, and other tribes - "the last escapees from the cataclysm that discovery and subsequent invasions had been for their ancestors." His pictures capture the Amazonian landscape, the people, and their activities, social lives, and ceremonies. Informative captions by Levi-Strauss enhance the ethnographic and human interest of his photographs. Saudades do Brasil will be of interest to anthropologists, photographers, and readers concerned with a part of the world that is geographically remote but globally significant.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Through 180 photographs, noted anthropologist Lvi-Strauss documents his ethnographic research among the peoples of Brazil from 1935 to 1939. The photographs, mostly of the people he studied and encountered, are beautifully reproduced and captioned. A 15-page prolog provides the context for the pictures and includes general comments on the changes that Lvi-Strauss has observed in Brazil over the last 50 years. Although subtitled a memoir, the book does not introduce readers to the author's life's work or his philosophy of anthropology. As it is, the collection of photographs represents a time that will never be re-created, and like other collections of ethnographic materials, it stands as a record of the physical makeup, cultural traditions, and environment of the people it includes. Readers interested in the details of Lvi-Strauss's research on Brazil should refer to his classic Tristes Tropiques (LJ 7/61). Recommended for general readers.-Joyce L. Ogburn, Yale Univ. Lib., New Haven, Ct.
Booknews
Originally published under the title Saudades do Brasil (1994, Plon, Paris). The translation from the French is by Sylvia Modelski. The title translates as "nostalgia for Brazil" (from the title of a musical composition). Here are presented 180 of the more than 3,000 photographs that anthropologist Levi-Strauss took in Brazil between 1935 and 1939. While serving as professor of sociology at the University of Sao Paulo, the young ethnographer made expeditions among the natives of Mato Grosso and Southern Amazonia that resulted in numerous publications; but most of these photographs (in b&w) are published here for the first time. 10x11.5" Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Ray Olson
In an attractively laid out and carefully printed 10-by-11-inch volume, the father of structural anthropology presents some 180 of the photographs he took during his 193539 encounters with small tribal peoples living in Brazil's forests. He displays the pictures as though they traced a single excursion beginning in Sao Paulo, proceeding through his sojourns with the tribes, and concluding with the long return from the jungle by canoe, riverboat, and amphibian airplane. Introducing them, Levi-Strauss discusses the physical and cultural differences 60 years have wrought in the lives of the peoples he studied and also, more intriguingly, reminds us of his contention that these "primitive" peoples are the regressed survivors of more complex societies. A fascinating record of one of the twentieth-century's most significant social scientific enterprises.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295974729
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Pages: 221
  • Product dimensions: 9.96 (w) x 11.33 (h) x 0.97 (d)

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