This fascinating book, translated from the French, explores the Yafar society, a forest people living by shifting cultivation, hunting and gathering. Based on fifteen years of research, it offers a detailed examination of all aspects of a society whose material and nutritional relations with their rainforest environment are mediated by a sociocultural system based on a carefully negotiated relationship with natural forces, and harmony between the sexes. The author shows how these basic ideas can be found in the ritualized and institutional aspects of the Yafar's social life, as well as their mythology. Rich in detail and insight, this book fully documents the Yafar's complex ritual involving a symbolic exchange with the spirit world, a secret cult, and curing rites presided over by hereditary religious officials. The author's analysis of Yafar ideologies reveals that sexual reproduction is the key to their society and the model for continuity and regeneration prescribed by nature.
Bernard Juillerat Research Director,C.N.R.S., Paris Translated from the French by Nora Scott
General IntroductionThe Geographical and Cultural Setting, The Linguistic Setting: The Eri (Amanab), Transcription of Amanab Terms Part I: Social Groups: Structures, Dynamics and Representations 1 Society and Local Groups 2 Dual Organization 3 From Dualism to Patrilineal Units 4 Household and Family Part II: Social Relations and Symbolic Function in Yafar Social Economy 5 Territory and Land Horticulture-Arboriculture 7 Foraging and Husbandry 8 Exchange and Circulation of Goods Among the Eri, Part III: Sexuality, Symbolic Reproduction and Social Continuity 9 Sexuality, Procreation and Powers 10 Alliance Structures and Matrimonial Behaviours 11 Kinship and its Representations 12 Individual Identity and Social Ontogeny 13 Hidden Powers From Religious Office to Political Authority14 Bad Magic, Bow or Fighting Stick, Part IV: Fracture and Change 15 Contact: Colonization, Independence and Identity