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The Gê-speaking tribes of Central Brazil have always been an anomaly in the annals of anthropology; their exceedingly simple technology contrasts sharply with their highly complex sociological and ideological traditions. Dialectical Societies, the outgrowth of extended anthropological research organized by David Maybury-Lewis, at long last demystifies Gê social structure while modifying and reinterpreting some of the traditional ideas held about kinship, affiliation, and descent.
Each of the seven contributors deals with a different lowland tribe, but all of them address an ideological focus on the dualistic tribal organization that is here defined as fundamental to the Gê. As a collection, their work comprises a substantial revision of the hitherto undeveloped and largely ignored ethnography of Central Brazil.