Anthropology 146

Anthropology 146 - Anthropology146 8/25/11 GETBOOKS!

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Anthropology 146 18:39 8/25/11 GET BOOKS! Man as Parrot: Borroro and Descarte Central brazil Hunter gatherers in bush Bird- human Live in villages Dual organizations Social order a question of kinship Clans Subclan Lineage Patry lineage Matry lineage- mother Borroro are matrylineal Get indentity from this Every borroro gets name from matrylineage Clans are exogamous Always must take mate from opposite lineage, outside your own clan Totums
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Each clan is associated with a particular totum Totums are very spiritual Immortal, immaterial, idividual So you, in a way, take name from totum Gives a social identity Call totums and seniors in clan by same name Dreams Spirit leaving body Death is spirit leaving body permenantly Spirit then joins together with other spirits forming a community of souls of the deceased Community of ancestor spirits created Spirit Ideal type of something If you meet a borroro may say something like…” I am red breasted parrot” Meaning all of my family share an identity (cosmological and social status) that is  reflected in the parrots true, pure, unique form Parrots are particularly associated with spiritual things eat vegatbles and fish but no other meat, spirits like veggies very bright colors, also whiteness, absecnce of color soul metamorphs into a parrot- type of reincarnation parrots live in marshes, where palm plant grows whose leaves are used in borroro  rituals parrots are the only truly domesticated pets, between animal and human
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parrots are inherited as property, often given proper names, would NEVER eat a parrot-  like cannibalism OWNERS of parrots ALWAYS women- IMPORTANT Why keep a parrot as a pet? The feathers are needed for rituals Spirits like the borroro to keep parrots as pets Parrots could be ancestor Keeping spirit around 3 catagories of bird white feathered regarded as particularly beautiful manifestations of spirit water birds good spirit  birds that eat meat- carnivorous bad spirit all imperfection, change, death, decay, ect; associated w bad spirit WOMEN also associated with bad spirit?? Why?  Women regarded as very dangerous, women rob men of vitality during sex, mentral  blood is poluting and represents decay, all troubles bw men are bc of women Women draw men away from his basic identity, when marrying outside of clan, children  belong to wifes clan But children marry back into fathers clan Man is caught between good and bad spirit, between pure and impure self Men are parrots owned by women all other birds don’t fit into the other 2 categories marriage is a compromise, bad owns good so, when borroro say “im a parrot” is it figurative? Or literal?
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course ANTH 146 taught by Professor Evens during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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Anthropology 146 - Anthropology146 8/25/11 GETBOOKS!

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