Cover: Nature and Society in Central Brazil: The Suya Indians of Mato Grosso, from Harvard University PressCover: Nature and Society in Central Brazil in E-DITION

Harvard Studies in Cultural Anthropology 4

Nature and Society in Central Brazil

The Suya Indians of Mato Grosso

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Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674433038

Publication Date: 01/01/1981

278 pages

17 line illustrations, 1 map

Harvard Studies in Cultural Anthropology


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For the Suya, a Ge-speaking tribe of Central Brazil, nature and culture are perceived as fundamental opposites. Yet surprisingly few basic principles seem to underlie both Suya cosmology and society on their various levels—from the construction of villages and the classification of animals and humans to body ornamentation, dietary restrictions, myths, and curing chants.

In this integrated and far-reaching analysis, Anthony Seeger makes a significant contribution to the structural inquiry into lowland South American cosmologies begun by Lévi-Strauss. He delineates various strata of the Suya world—perceptions of time and space, kinship, politics and medicine, groupings of animals, plants, and humans—and evolves a simple set of beliefs about nature and transformation that seems to govern all of them. His is an extremely rich and lucid account of the field methods, experiences, and observations that comprised the exploration into a hitherto unfamiliar tribe.

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene