1. ANTHGS06: Ethnography of Forest Peoples 5 items
    1. Course Tutor 1 item
      1. Dr Lewis Daly

        Room 235, Anthropology Department

        Office hours: Mondays, 2-4pm

    2. Seminar Details 1 item
      1. Room 333, Rockefeller Building

        Term One - Tuesdays, 9-11am

    3. Course Objectives 1 item
      1. This postgraduate course explores the ethnography of forest-dwelling peoples from a variety of perspectives, with a comparative focus on regions including Amazonia, the Congo Basin, South Asia, Indonesia, and Melanesia. The course will explore a range of key conceptual issues and methodological debates in the anthropological study of forest-based societies.


        The 10-week module will address a number of pertinent topics in the ethnography of forest peoples, including the archaeology and historical ecology of tropical forests, concepts of nature and society, notions of the body and personhood, shamanism and ritual, agriculture and human-plant relations, hunting and human-animal relations, and the politics of conservation - the latter including an appraisal of community-based ecotourism ventures, PES incentives, and REDD+ schemes.


        Various theoretical perspectives in environmental anthropology will be explored throughout the course, including historical ecology, cultural ecology, ethnobiology, post-structuralism, interpretive anthropology, political ontology, and multispecies ethnography. Throughout the term, we will evaluate and debate the ethics and politics of conducting anthropological research with forest-dwelling peoples in the twenty-first century.


        The module also has a multimedia component, with at least one ethnographic or documentary film being listed per week in the reading list. The representation of indigenous and non-indigenous forest-dwelling peoples in visual media such as film constitutes an important resource for social anthropologists.

    4. Evaluation 1 item
      1. Assessment for this course consists of one 2,500-word essay to be handed in at the start of the Spring Term (by 12pm on Friday, 5th January 2018). Students must also complete a formative peer-marked book review during reading week (by 12pm on Friday, 10th November 2017), which is mandatory but does not contribute to the final grade.

    5. Course Schedule 1 item
      1. TERM 1


        1.    Introduction: What is a Forest?


        2.    Historical Ecology and The Pristine Myth


        3.    Nature and Society


        4.    Personhood and The Body


        5.    Shamanism, Ritual, and Cosmology


        6.    Reading Week


        7.    Forest Livelihoods: Hunting and Farming


        8.    The Politics of Conservation


        9.    Guest Seminar: The Language of the Forest (Dr Guilherme Heurich)


        10.  Violence and Anthropological Ethics in Amazonia


        11.  Reading Week

  2. 1. Introduction: What is a Forest? 17 items
    The first session serves as a general introduction to the course, in which we will outline the primary aims and objectives of the module. We will ask the question, what is a forest - biophysically, culturally, and conceptually? As preparation, it is recommended that you read the introductory articles and browse some of the monographs listed in the introductory reading list below.
 In particular, it is useful to look through the photographic volumes by Lévi-Strauss (1994), Århem (1998), and Davis (2004), as well as the popular monographs by Lévi-Strauss (1955) and Descola (1997). The listed ethnographic film - 'The Spirit Hunters' (1994) - serves as a good introduction to many of the themes covered in the course.
    1. Introductory Readings 3 items
      1. Amazonian Anthropology - Joanna Overing-Kaplan 1981

        Article Recommended

      2. Brazilian Indians - Survival International, Fiona Watson 2016

        Article Recommended

    2. Popular Monographs 5 items
      1. Consuming Grief: Compassionate cannibalism in an Amazonian society - Beth A. Conklin 2001

        Book Recommended

      2. The Spears of Twilight: Life and death in the Amazon jungle - Philippe Descola 1997

        Book Recommended

      3. The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami shaman - Davi Kopenawa, Bruce Albert 2013

        Book Recommended

      4. Tristes Tropiques - Claude Lévi-Strauss 1955

        Book Recommended

      5. The Forest People: A study of the Pygmies of the Congo - Colin M. Turnbull 1961

        Book Recommended

    3. Photographic Volumes 4 items
      1. Makuna: Portrait of an Amazonian people - Kaj Århem 1998

        Book Recommended

      2. Saudades do Brasil: A photographic memoir - Claude Lévi-Strauss 1995

        Book Recommended

      3. Unknown Amazon: Culture in nature in ancient Brazil - Colin McEwan, Cristiana Barreto, Eduardo Neves 2001

        Book Recommended

    4. Edited Volumes 4 items
      1. Advances in Historical Ecology - William Balée 1998

        Book Recommended

      2. Beyond the Visible and the Material: The Amerindianization of society in the work of Peter Rivière - Laura M. Rival, Neil L. Whitehead 2001

        Book Recommended

    5. Ethnographic Film 1 item
      1. The Spirit Hunters - Kim MacQuarrie, Glenn H. Shepard Jr. 1994

        Audio-visual document Recommended A documentary film about the Matsigenka people of Manu National Park, Peru. Featuring the American ethnobotanist Glenn Shepard Jr., the film explores Matsigenka culture from a number of angles, detailing their hunting practices, their system of plant medicine, their ritual traditions, and their mythology.

  3. 2. Historical Ecology & The Pristine Myth 16 items
    This week, we will focus on the historical relationships between people and forest-scapes through deep time. By focusing on the interdependency of human societies and their living environments, the paradigm of historical ecology has revealed that vast tracts of the tropical rainforest are in fact “anthropogenic” or cultural in their constitution. These ecologically diverse forest-scapes, previously considered to be “pristine” or “virgin”, have been shown to be consciously and unconsciously managed by their human and nonhuman inhabitants over many millennia. By examining the work of a number of key thinkers in the field - including William Balée, Darrell Posey, and Laura Rival - we will evaluate the scale and constitution of this biocultural landscape modification, and assess how human-forest interaction may actually serve to increase net biodiversity over time. We will see how recent advancements in archaeology have radically improved our understandings of the deep history of forested regions such as Amazonia.
    1. Required Readings 3 items
      1. Amazonian Archaeology - Michael Heckenberger, Eduardo Góes Neves 2009

        Article Essential

    2. Two Classic Case Studies 2 items
    3. Useful Monograph 1 item
    4. Further Readings 9 items
      1. Advances in Historical Ecology - William L. Balée 1998

        Book Recommended

      2. Introduction: Indigenous history and the history of the ‘Indians’ - Carlos Fausto, Michael Heckenberger 2007

        Chapter Recommended

      3. Amazonia in the Anthropocene: People, soils, plants, forests - Nicholas C. Kawa 2016

        Book Recommended

    5. Ethnographic Film 1 item
      1. Unnatural Histories: The Amazon - BBC4 2011

        Audio-visual document Recommended This documentary is highly recommended, as it touches upon many of the main themes of the week, and includes interviews with a number of key thinkers in the fields of Amazonian archaeology and historical ecology, including Betty Meggers, William Balée, Michael Heckenberger, and Eduardo Neves.

  4. 3. Nature and Society 18 items
    To many readers of the ethnography of forested regions, the biophysical environment appears as unfamiliar as the human cultures described therein. How are these two domains interrelated? Are categories like ‘nature’, ‘culture’, and ‘society’ appropriate for understanding indigenous lived worlds? 
Does the nature–culture distinction help us to understand how forest peoples relate to their environment? This week we will explore how these categories might differ - or be completely absent - in native conceptual systems in forested regions such as lowland South America, Melanesia, and elsewhere. This requires an evaluation of so-called "animistic" cosmologies, in which the status of personhood is not restricted to human beings. In such thought systems, the field of sociality expands to include an array of beings including animals, plants, and spirits. These "other-than-human persons" may be conceptualised as volitional agents with person-like attributes. 'Nature' and 'society' thus merge into one another in complex and uncertain ways.
    1. Required Readings 3 items
    2. Useful Monographs 2 items
      1. In the Society of Nature: A native ecology in Amazonia - Philippe Descola 1994

        Book Recommended

      2. How Forests Think: Toward an anthropology beyond the human - Eduardo Kohn 2013

        Book Recommended

    3. Further Readings 12 items
      1. The Polyglot Forest - Bruce Albert 2016

        Article Recommended

      2. Societies of Nature and the Nature of Society - Philippe Descola 1992

        Chapter Recommended

      3. Beyond Nature and Culture - Philippe Descola 2006

        Article Recommended

      4. The Language of the Forest: Landscape and phonological iconism in Umeda - Alfred Gell 1995

        Chapter Recommended

      5. Staying with the Trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucene - Donna Haraway 2016

        Book Recommended

      6. We Have Never Been Modern - Bruno Latour 1993

        Book Recommended

      7. Nature and Culture - Claude Lévi-Strauss 1969 [1949]

        Chapter Recommended

    4. Ethnographic Film 1 item
      1. A Clearing in the Jungle (Disappearing World) - Jean-Paul Dumont, Charlie Nairn 1970

        Audio-visual document Recommended An ethnographic film about the Panare people of Amazonian Venezuela, by the film-maker Charlie Nairn and featuring the French anthropologist Jean-Paul Dumont. The film focuses on the activities of daily life for the Panare, such as processing cassava, preparing blow-darts, and hunting for caiman. Although the commentary contains a number of contentious claims, the documentary usefully highlights the complex relationships that transpire between the Panare and the neighbouring Creole peasants, as well as between the film-makers and their Panare hosts.

  5. 4. Personhood and the Body 20 items
    This week, we will explore conceptions of the body and personhood in lowland South America and elsewhere. As the anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro has written, “Amerindian bodies are not thought of as given but rather as made” (1998). In Amazonian cosmologies, personhood and corporeality are typically thought of as being fabricated through the intimate, shared processes of "living together" with an array of human and nonhuman others. “Body”, in such thought systems, refers not to a stable or fixed unit in the Cartesian sense but rather to a “chronically unstable” set of affects, capacities, and dispositions. For this reason, in many native Amazonian cosmologies, we see a tendency toward bodily transformation. In order to understand such notions, we must ask questions about often taken-for-granted concepts such as body, soul, individual, and society.
    1. Required Readings 3 items
      1. The Social Skin - Terence Turner 1980

        Article Essential

    2. Key Monographs 2 items
      1. Consuming Grief: Compassionate cannibalism in an Amazonian society - Beth A. Conklin 2001

        Book Recommended

      2. The Gender of the Gift: Problems with women and problems with society in Melanesia - Marilyn Strathern 1988

        Book Recommended

    3. Amerindian Perspectivism 4 items
      1. Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivism - Eduardo Viveiros de Castro 1998

        Article Recommended

      2. The Politics of Perspectivism - Alcida Rita Ramos 2012

        Article Recommended

    4. Further Readings 10 items
      1. Introduction: Conviviality and the opening up of Amazonian Anthropology - Joanna Overing, Alan Passes 2000

        Chapter Recommended

      2. The Occult Life of Things: Native Amazonian theories of materiality and personhood - Fernando Santos-Granero 2009

        Book Recommended

    5. Ethnographic Film 1 item
      1. The Day the Moon Menstruated - Maricá Kuikuro, Takumã Kuikuro 2004

        Audio-visual document Recommended A 25-minute film made by the indigenous film-maker Takumã Kuikuro, as part of the 'Video in the Villages' project. The film follows the preparations for a lunar eclipse in a Kuikuro community in the Xingu Indigenous Park, Brazil. It features ceremonial body painting, dancing, and ritual prohibitions related to the eclipse.

  6. 5. Shamanism, Ritual, and Cosmology 16 items
    Shamanism, as a form of spiritual knowledge, power, and practice, is a central structuring feature of native Amazonian cosmologies. Shamans might variously be thought of as healers, priest, prophets, politicians and - under certain circumstances - killers. As “brokers of alterity” (Taylor 2014), shamans have the specialised capacity to mediate between the Self and Others - both within and outside of human society. Put simply, the shaman is an expert in the art of mediation. The acquisition of shamanic knowledge often involves the consumption of narcotic substances, as well as the mastery of various ritual techniques. This week we will explore the multiple roles that shamanism plays in native Amazonian societies. We will also assess the increasingly politicised status of the shaman in lowland South America, and on the global stage.
    1. Required Readings 3 items
    2. Key Monograph 1 item
      1. The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami shaman - Davi Kopenawa, Bruce Albert 2013

        Book Recommended

    3. Further Readings 11 items
      1. Itoto (Kanaima) as Death and Anti-Structure - Audrey Butt-Colson 2001


      2. Shamanism: Archaic techniques of ecstasy - Mircea Eliade 2004 [1951]

        Book Recommended

      3. Shamans, Prophets, Priests, and Pastors - Stephen Hugh-Jones 1994

        Chapter Recommended

      4. The Sorcerer and His Magic - Claude Lévi-Strauss 1963

        Chapter Recommended

      5. Shamanism and the Unconfined Soul - Peter Rivière 1999

        Chapter Recommended

      6. Kanaimà: Shamanism and ritual death in the Pakaraima Mountains, Guyana - Neil Whitehead 2001

        Chapter Recommended

    4. Ethnographic Film 1 item
      1. The Shaman and his Apprentice - Graham Townsley 1989

        Audio-visual document Recommended

  7. 6. Reading Week: Book Review 4 items
    During reading week, you are required to write a 1,500 word review of an ethnographic monograph of your choice. You may wish to choose one of the suggested volumes listed below. However, you can choose a monograph from any forested region of the world, and are encouraged to read beyond the prescribed or suggested works. After submission, you will mark each other’s work. This peer-reviewed exercise is mandatory - however, it does not contribute to the final grade.
    1. Book Review 1 item
      1. You may find the following list of ethnographic monographs helpful for choosing a book to review.


        Balée, William. 1994. Footprints of the forest-Ka'apor ethnobotany: The historical ecology of plant utilization by an Amazonian people. New York: Columbia University Press.

        Bessire, Lucas. 2014. Behold the Black Caiman: A chronicle of Ayoreo life. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

        Blaser, Mario. 2010. Storytelling Globalization from the Chaco and Beyond. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

        Chagnon, Napoleon. 1968. Yanomamö: The fierce people. Third edition, 1983. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

        Conklin, Beth. 2001. Consuming Grief: Compassionate cannibalism in an Amazonian society. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

        Coupaye, Ludovic. 2013. Growing Artefacts, Displaying Relationships: Yams, art, and technology amongst the Nyamikum Abelam of Papua New Guinea. Oxford: Berghahn.

        Crocker, Jon Christopher. 1985.Vital Souls: Bororo cosmology, natural symbolism, and shamanism. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

        Descola, Philippe. 1994. In the Society of Nature: A native ecology in Amazonia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

        Descola, Philippe. 1996. The Spears of Twilight: Life and death in the Amazon jungle. London: Harper Collins.

        Ewart, Elizabeth. 2013. Space and Society in Central Brazil: A Panará ethnography. London: Bloomsbury.

        Ford, Anabel and Ronald Nigh. 2015. The Maya Forest Garden: Eight millennia of sustainable cultivation of the tropical woodlands. London: Routledge. 

        Forth, Gregory. 2004. Nage Birds: Classification and symbolism among an eastern Indonesian people. London: Routledge.

        Fortis, Paolo. 2012. Kuna Art and Shamanism: An ethnographic approach. Austin, TX, University of Texas Press.

        Guss, David. 1987. To Weave and Sing: Art, symbol, and narrative in the South American rain forest. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

        Howell, Signe. 1989. Society and Cosmos: Chewong of Peninsular Malysia. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

        Hugh-Jones, Christine. 1979. From the Milk River: Spatial and temporal processes in Northwest Amazonia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

        Hugh-Jones, Stephen. 1979. The Palm and the Pleiades: Initiation and cosmology in Northwest Amazonia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

        Kirksey, Eben. 2012. Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the architecture of global power. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

        Kohn, Eduardo. 2013. How Forests Think: Toward an anthropology beyond the human. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 

        Kopenawa, Davi and Bruce Albert. 2013. The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami shaman. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

        Lansing, J. Stephen. 2006. Perfect Order: Recognizing complexity in Bali. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

        Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1961 [1955]. Tristes Tropiques. London: Hutchinson and Co.

        Lizot, Jacques. 1985 [1976]. Tales of the Yanomami: Daily life in the Venezuelan forest. Translated by E. Simon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

        Malinowski, Bronislaw. 1935. Coral Gardens and their Magic: A study of the methods of tilling the soil and of agricultural rites in the Trobriand Islands. Two volumes. London: Allen and Unwin.

        Mentore, George. 2005. Of Passionate Curves and Desirable Cadences: Themes on Waiwai social being. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

        Radcliffe-Brown, A. R. 1922. The Andaman Islanders. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

        Rival, Laura. 2002. Trekking through History: The Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador. New York: Columbia University Press.

        Rival, Laura. 2016. Huaorani Transformations in Twenty-First Century Ecuador: Treks into the future of time. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

        Rivière, Peter. 1984. Individual and Society in Guiana: A comparative study of Amerindian social organization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

        Seeger, Anthony. 1981. Nature and Society in Central Brazil: The Suya Indians of Mato Grosso. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

        Strathern, Marilyn. 1988. The Gender of the Gift: Problems with women and problems with society in Melanesia. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

        Taussig, Michael. 1986. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A study in terror and healing. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

        Turnbull, Colin M. 1961. The Forest People: A study of the Pygmies of the Congo. New York: Simon and Schuster.

        Turnbull, Colin M. 1965. Wayward Servants: The two worlds of the African Pygmies. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

        Viveiros de Castro, Eduardo. 1992. From the Enemy's Point of View: Humanity and divinity in an Amazonian society. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

        Walker, Harry. 2013. Under a Watchful Eye: Self, power, and intimacy in Amazonia. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

        West, Paige. 2006. Conservation is Our Government Now: The politics of ecology in Papua New Guinea. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

        Whitehead, Neil. 2002. Dark Shamans: Kanaimá and the poetics of violent death. London: Duke University Press.

    2. Book Review: Examples 3 items
  8. 7. Forest Livelihoods: Hunting and Farming 24 items
    This week, we will look at the various ways in which forest-dwelling societies make a living from their environments - in particular, focusing on systems of subsistence hunting and farming in the biodiverse world of the rainforest. Starting with classical theories of hunter-gatherer economies, we will assess how anthropological ideas about hunter-gatherer and horticulturalist societies have changed over time. In doing so, we will look at the specialised techniques and skills employed in hunting and cultivating in the forest. However, in many indigenous "eco-cosmologies", agriculture is not merely a productive exercise; it is also a highly social one. Here, the field of sociality does not just include humans, but also animal, plants, and spirits. We will move on to appraise so-called "multispecies" approaches to anthropology, which attempt to trace the complex socio-ecological relationships that obtain between humans and other living beings (animals, plants, fungi). As anthropologists, can we conduct ethnography of nonhuman living beings - and, if so, how?
    1. Required Readings 3 items
    2. Key Monographs 2 items
      1. In the Society of Nature: A native ecology in Amazonia - Philippe Descola 1994

        Book Recommended

      2. How Forests Think: Toward an anthropology beyond the human - Eduardo Kohn 2013

        Book Recommended

    3. Animals and Hunting 8 items
      1. Making Animals into Food among the Kanamari of Western Amazonia - Luiz Costa 2012

        Chapter Recommended

      2. From Trust to Domination - Tim Ingold 2000

        Chapter Recommended

      3. The Multispecies Salon - Eben Kirksey 2014

        Book Recommended

      4. Hunting in Amazonia - Glenn H. Shepard Jr. 2014

        Chapter Recommended

    4. Plants and Farming 9 items
      1. The World of Gardens - Philippe Descola 1994

        Chapter Recommended

      2. Domesticating the Landscape, Producing Crops, and Reproducing Society in Amazonia - Laura Rival 2007

        Chapter Recommended

      3. Manual of Yanomami Traditional Medicine - Morzaniel Yanomami, Ehuana Yanomami, Bruce Albert, William Milliken 2016

        Document Recommended

    5. Ethnographic Film 2 items
      1. The Agouti's Peanut (Kiarãsâ Yõ Sâty) - Komoi Panará, Paturi Panará 2005

        Audio-visual document Recommended A film made by indigenous film-makers of the Panará tribe of central Brazil. The film depicts aspects of Panará daily life - including the cultivation and harvesting of peanuts - and highlights important aspects of indigenous sociality such as the emphasis on communality, "living well", and "the good life"

      2. A Caterpillar Moon - Barry S. Hewlett 1995

        Audio-visual document Recommended In the Central African rain forest live the Aka pygmies, a group of hunter-gatherers owned by the neighbouring villagers of Bagandou. This film follows three generations of one Aka family through the caterpillar season, their favourite time of year when millions of edible caterpillars fall from the mahagony trees. Removed from the villagers to whom the Aka are virtual slaves, they express themselves in song, dance and a teeth-sharpening ritual.

  9. 8. The Politics of Conservation 24 items
    This week, we will look at the political ecology of conservation in forested regions. We will trace the tensions that arise between local communities and conservation practitioners by assessing various eco-political phenomena, including the examples of ecotourism, payment for environmental services (PES) incentives, and REDD+ schemes. These kinds of "sustainable development" projects link households with the global economy, and bring local people into conversation with various stakeholders including governments, corporations, non-profit organisations, and researchers. In assessing the socio-cultural dimensions of conservation, we will ask how far "indigeneity" and cultural performance are embroiled in ecotourism schemes. We will assess the economic, ecological, and political implications of conservation projects, with reference to a number of ethnographic examples.
    1. Required Readings 3 items
    2. Key Monograph 1 item
      1. Conservation is Our Government Now: The politics of ecology in Papua New Guinea - Paige West 2006

        Book Recommended

    3. Further Readings 8 items
      1. Indigenous People, Traditional People, and Conservation in the Amazon - Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, Mauro W. B. de Almeida 2000

        Article Recommended

      2. Whose Forest is it Anyway? Mbendjele Yaka Pygmies, the Ndoki forest, and the wider world - Jerome Lewis 2005

        Chapter Recommended

    4. REDD+ and PES 3 items
      1. Climate Change and Forest Conservation: A REDD flag for Central African forest people? - Phil Burnham 2012

        Chapter Recommended

    5. Ecotourism 5 items
      1. Bursting the Bubble: The socio-cultural context of ecotourism - James G. Carrier, Donald V. Macleod 2005

        Article Recommended

      2. Ecotourism and Authenticity: Getting away from it all? - Paige West, James G. Carrier 2004

        Article Recommended

    6. Short Films - REDD+ 2 items
    7. Ethnographic Films 2 items
      1. Where Did The Swallows Go? - Mari Corrêa 2016

        Audio-visual document Recommended A short documentary film about how climate change is affecting the indigenous peoples of the Xingu Indigenous Park in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The film features a number of testimonies from elders of the Kaiabi (Kawaiwété) tribe.

      2. The Kayapo (Disappearing World) - Terence Turner, Michael Beckham 1987

        Audio-visual document Recommended

  10. 9. Guest Session: Amerindian Poetics in the Forest (Dr Guilherme Heurich) 12 items
    This week's seminar will address the poetic tradition of the Araweté, a small Eastern Amazonian Amerindian society, through an in depth analysis of their "danced songs" (Oporahẽ Me'e). By looking at content, form and the performance of these songs we can see the relations that these songs make visible and we can also experiment on the effects that these relations might have on the translation of Amerindian vocal forms.
    1. Required Readings 3 items
      1. Alien Worlds - Eduardo Viveiros de Castro 1992

        Chapter Essential

    2. Further Readings 9 items
      1. Six Lectures on Sound and Meaning - Roman Jakobson 1978

        Book Recommended

      2. The Europe of Translation - Henri Meschonnic 2008

        Article Recommended

  11. 10. Violence and Anthropological Ethics in Amazonia 23 items
    In one of the best-selling ethnographies of all time, the American anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon characterised the Yanomami of Venezuela and Brazil as “the fierce people” (1968). The Yanomami, as depicted by Chagnon, subsequently became one of the most iconic tribes in the world, famous for their innately violent and warrior-like culture. Decades later, in the year 2000, the journalist Patrick Tierney published 'Darkness in El Dorado', an exposé of the injustices wrought by Chagnon and other Western scientists on the Yanomami during the 1960s and ‘70s. In this final week of term, we will assess the strained and complex relationship between the Yanomami people and anthropologists, focusing on research ethics, the violence of encounter, and the politics of representation in Amazonia.
    1. Required Readings 3 items
    2. Useful Overview 1 item
      1. Yanomami: The fierce controversy and what we can learn from it - Robert Borofsky, Bruce Albert 2005

        Book Recommended This is the most comprehensive overview of the whole controversy.

    3. Further Readings 11 items
      1. Yanomami Indians and Anthropological Ethics - Bruce Albert, Alcida Rita Ramos 1989

        Article Recommended

      2. Warfare over Yanomamö Indians - William Booth 1989

        Article Recommended

      3. Ya̧nomamö: The fierce people - Napoleon A. Chagnon 1983 [1968]

        Book Recommended

      4. Yanomamö Survival - Napoleon A. Chagnon 1989

        Article Recommended

      5. On Yanomamo Violence: Reply to Albert - Napoleon A. Chagnon 1990

        Article Recommended

      6. Yanomami Warfare: A political history - R. Brian Ferguson 1995

        Book Recommended

      7. On Warfare: An answer to N. A. Chagnon - Jacques Lizot 1994 [1989]

        Article Recommended

      8. Neo-Cannibalism: Anthropologists in the Amazon - Nancy Scheper-Hughes, John Gledhill 2001

        Article Recommended

    4. Indigeneity and the Politics of Representation 6 items
      1. Introduction: Partial Truths - James Clifford 1986

        Chapter Recommended

      2. Advocacy Rhymes with Anthropology - Alcida Rita Ramos 2003

        Article Recommended

      3. Justice for Whom? Contemporary images of Amazonia - Candace Slater 2000

        Chapter Recommended

      4. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples - Linda Tuhiwai Smith 1999

        Book Recommended

    5. Ethnographic Film 2 items
      1. A Man Called "Bee": Studying the Yanomamo - Napoleon Chagnon, Timothy Asch 1974

        Audio-visual document Recommended

      2. Secrets of the Tribe - José Padilha 2010

        Audio-visual document Recommended

  12. Appendix: List of Ethnographic Films 1 item
    1. You may find the following list of ethnographic films useful, for you own reference.




      A Man Called "Bee": Studying the Yanomamö – 1974

      The Agouti's Peanut – 2005

      The Ax Fight – 1975

      The Brazilian Trilogy (Under the Sun) – 1990

      A Clearing in the Jungle (Disappearing World) – 1970

      Dreams from the Forest (Under the Sun) – 1993

      Embrace of the Serpent – 2016

      From Honey to Ashes – 2006

      The Hyperwomen (As Hiper Mulheres) – 2012

      The Initiation of a Shaman: The path of souls – 1981

      The Kayapo (Disappearing World) – 1987

      Jungle Pharmacy (Fragile Earth) – 1989

      Last of the Cuiva (Disappearing World) – 1971

      The Mehinacu (Disappearing World) – 1974

      Secrets of the Tribe – 2010

      The Shaman and his Apprentice (Under the Sun) – 1989

      The Spirit Hunters – 1994

      The Storyteller (BBC Bookmark) – 1990

      Survivors of the Rainforest (True Stories) – 1994

      Terra Vermelha – 2008

      The Amazon (Unnatural Histories) – 2011

      Waorani: The last people – 1988

      War of the Gods (Disappearing World) – 1971




      Cannibal Tours – 1988

      Dead Birds – 1964

      First Contact – 1983

      Guardians of the Flutes: The secrets of male initiation – 1994

      The Kawelka: Ongka's big Moka – 1974

      The Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea (Disappearing World) – 1990




      Baka: People of the Rainforest – 1987

      A Caterpillar Moon – 1996

      In and Out of Africa – 1993

      Les Maîtres Fous (Mad Masters) – 1955

      Massana: Moments in Yaka Play and Ritual – 1997

      Witchcraft Among the Azande (Disappearing World) – 1981 

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