Download The Wanano Indians of the Brazilian Amazon: A Sense of Space epub
by Janet M. Chernela
The Wanano Indians of the northwest Amazon have a social system that differs from those of most tropical forest tribes. Neither stratified by wealth nor strictly egalitarian, Wanano society is "ranked" according to rigidly bound descent groups. In this pioneering ethnographic study, Janet M. Chernela decodes the structure of Wanano society.In Wanano culture, children can be "grandparents," while elders can be "grandchildren." This apparent contradiction springs from the fact that descent from ranked ancestors, rather than age or accumulated wealth, determines one's standing in Wanano society. Indeed, status in Wanano society is related to access to natural resources, and those with greater access are expected to share with members of lesser-ranking clans. Thus, wealth is distributed relatively evenly throughout the society.As the deforestation of the Amazon continues, the Wanano and other indigenous peoples face growing threats of habitat destruction and eventual extinction. If these peoples are to be saved, they must first be known and valued. The Wanano Indians of the Brazilian Amazon is an important step in that direction. It will also be valuable for comparison with societies in Africa, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East.
Janet M. Chernela
Univ of Texas Pr; 1st edition (January 1, 1993)
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