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|Title: ||The making of real people : an interpretation of a morality-centred theory of sociality, livelihood and selfhood among the Muinane (Colombian Amazon)|
|Authors: ||Londoño Sulkin, Carlos David|
|Supervisors: ||Overing, Joanna|
|Issue Date: ||2000|
|Abstract: ||In this monograph I interpret a wide-ranging native theory of sociality of
the Muinane, an indigenous group of the Colombian Amazon. This theory
simultaneously addresses their livelihood activities, some aspects of their
phenomenological experience, their bodily form, their group identity, and their
views on the achievement of a uniquely human, morally sociable way of life.
The Muinane understand their thoughts/emotions as well as their bodies to be
material in origin and character. Proper bodies and thoughts/emotions are
made out of ritual substances and foodstuffs, which have divine subjectivities
and agencies of their own, and which ‘sound’ through people, establishing
people's subjectivities and agencies. Such subjectivities and agencies lead to
the communal achievement of `coolness', the state of convivial sociability,
tranquility, abundance and generalised good health that constitutes ideal
community life. Because they share substances, kin are also understood to
share bodily features and thoughts/emotions. Their consubstantiality leads to
mutual love and to an intersubjectivity that enables them to live well together,
without unseemly contestations or differences in ultimate moral purposes.
However, the material character of bodies and thoughts/emotions is
also a source of danger. Animals and other evil beings can sabotage proper
community life by replacing people's moral substances with their own false
ones, causing people to experience mad, envious, angry and even sorcerous
thoughts/emotions, and to suffer from weakening or lethal bodily diseases.
It is the moral obligation and inclination of properly constituted human
beings to make new human beings, by intentionally forging their bodies, their
thoughts/emotions and their ‘baskets of knowledge.’ They must do this by
transforming evil substances into proper substances, through work and
through everyday or sporadic rituals.
The matters addressed in this monograph -native theories of sociality,
of self, of livelihood and so on- are of central pertinence to ongoing
discussions in Amazonianist anthropology.|
|Appears in Collections:||Centre for Amerindian, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CAS) Theses|
Social Anthropology Theses
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