paper2- huaorani

paper2- huaorani - 1 Kane Rewrite Original Passage from...

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Kane Rewrite Original Passage from Kane’s Savages “The Huaorani were not hard to spot in Coca, once you knew what to look for. They hate to travel alone- it’s dangerous and boring- so they were usually in groups of two or three or more, often with their arms around one another. They are shy but keenly observant. They would stand for hours in front of the Kamikaze Disco or the Hotel Auca or a greasy spoon called Rosita’s, studying the action as intently as if they were scanning the forest canopy for monkeys. If they were Huaorani making one of their first trips to town, you might see them on a street corner, mesmerized by the spectacle of cars and electric lights, or, if someone had given them shoes, by their own feet. A barefoot Huao from the backcountry, a real tree climber, was particularly easy to spot: His big toes took off at right angles, like opposable thumbs. Sometimes you’d see a Huao walking through town innocently carrying a blowgun the length of a bazooka, while passersby froze in terror. Now and then a young Huao would come into some cash, by selling a blowgun or spear, or a harpy eagle, or a jaguar cub, or by earning slave wages as a boatman for a tour guide or a laborer for the Company, and he would bring an entourage of other Huaorani with him to Rosita’s and spend everything he had buying his friends fried chicken and soft drinks. This was not profligacy: The Huaorani ideal is to be independent and self- reliant, and every effort is made to give the appearance, at least, of being so clearly in tune with the abundance of the forest that one is without the fear of need. (By the time he is ten a Huao is expected to be able to survive on his own.) There is no higher manifestation of this ideal state than unqualified generosity, and no act more generous than to give away food.” (18-19) 1
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Critique of Kane’s Passage This passage of Kane’s book Savages appears at the very start of the book. In consists of a basic description of the Huaorani when in an urban environment. Kane presents this passage within his first descriptions of the Huaorani people. It clearly presents the idea that the Huaorani people do not know enough about the city environment. They are presented as outsiders who, as anyone can see, do not belong in the modern world. The passage presents an overly stereotypical view of the Huaorani people. The passage does not present the Huaorani in a positive light. Any anthropologist reading such a passage would surely be disgusted at the gross disrespect for the Huaorani people and their culture. The people are portrayed as if they are Fred Flintstone’s gang suddenly thrust into the modern world- incapable of understanding what is acceptable and how the modern world works.
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