Amazonia and the progress of ethnology

232 views

Published on

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
232
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Amazonia and the progress of ethnology

  1. 1. Review: Amazonia and the Progress of EthnologyAuthor(s): Daniel R. GrossSource: Latin American Research Review, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1985), pp. 200-222Published by: The Latin American Studies AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2503531 .Accessed: 11/06/2011 12:48Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTORs Terms and Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTORs Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unlessyou have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and youmay use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at .http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=lamer. .Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.The Latin American Studies Association is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access toLatin American Research Review.http://www.jstor.org
  2. 2. AMAZONIA AND THE PROGRESSOF ETHNOLOGY*DanielR. GrossHunterCollegeand theGraduateSchoolofCUNYAMAZON ECONOMICS: THE SIMPLICITY OF SHIPIBO INDIAN WEALTH.ByROLAND W. BERGMAN. (Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse UniversityPress,1980. Pp. 249. $18.25.)THE PANARE: TRADITION AND CHANGE ON THE AMAZONIAN FRON-TIER. By PAUL HENLEY. (New Haven: Yale UniversityPress, 1982. Pp.263. $32.50.)FROM THE MILK RIVER: SPATIALAND TEMPORAL PROCESSES IN NORTH-WESTAMAZONIA. By CHRISTINE HUGH-JONES. (New York:CambridgeUniversityPress, 1980. Pp. 302. $29.95.)THE PALM AND THE PLEIADES: INITIATION AND COSMOLOGY INNORTHWEST AMAZONIA. By STEPHEN HUGH-JONES. (New York:Cam-bridgeUniversityPress, 1980. Pp. 332. $29.95.)DIALECTICAL SOCIETIES: THE GE AND BORORO OF CENTRAL BRAZIL.Edited by DAVID MAYBURY-LEWIS. (Cambridge: Harvard UniversityPress, 1979. Pp. 340. $25.00.)NATURE AND SOCIETY IN CENTRAL BRAZIL: THE SUYA INDIANS OFMATO GROSSO. By ANTHONY SEEGER. (Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress, 1981. Pp. 278. $27.50.)When PatriciaLyonpublished her anthologyNativeSouthAmeri-cans in 1974, she subtitled it EthnologyoftheLeast Known Continent.Al-thoughthebibliographyofSouth Americaat thattimewas large,whencompared with those on otherworld regions,it sufferedfromsizablegaps in the ethnographicrecord(the fieldstudies of ethnicand socialgroups). These lacunae were especiallycharacteristicof the ethnologyof "lowland" (non-Andean) nativesocieties.Some ofthemwere barelyknown, while othergroups had been described only in single mono-graphsbased on one-yearstintsoffieldresearch.Some ofthese studieswere of high quality and great interest,but many were theoreticallybarrenand methodologicallyweak. Ethnohistoricalstudies had barelybegun, and the prehistoryof "lowland" South Americawas even less*JthankSilede Gross, RobertoMotta,Gustavo S6rgioLins Ribeiro,and JoshuaRubinforusefulsuggestionson thefirstdraftofthisarticle.I am solelyresponsibleforitscontent.200
  3. 3. REVIEW ESSAYSknown. Also lackingin most ofthelowland South Americanliteraturewere major theoreticaldebates. Nonspecialiststhereforehad reason toconsider lowland South America as an ethnologicalbackwaterwhencomparedto such areas as Africa.Even as Lyonsbook appeared, new studies were underway inSouth America,particularlyin theAmazon Basin, studies thatwere totransformSouth Americanethnology.Now an anthologyof studies onthelowlands could hardlyreferto the"least knowncontinent"becausesince the early seventies, scores of new articles, monographs, andbooks have appeared in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.These studiesrepresentyearsofhighlyfocused,theoreticallyinformedfieldresearchcarriedout by well-trainedethnographers.In a few spe-cificregions,such as CentralBrazil(and theUpper XinguBasin in par-ticular),theUpper Vaupes Basin,theUpper Orinoco,and EasternPeru,a "criticalmass" ofethnographershave studiedand restudieddifferentaspects ofa numberofsocietiesinhabitingsimilarhabitatsand sharingmany featuresof culture. The stage thus has been set formore in-formeddebate on issues of broad concern to anthropology.Amongtheseissues are therelationshipbetweenenvironmentand warfare,thenatureoftheacculturativeprocess, thenatureofleadershipin egalitar-ian societies,thefunctionofdescentin kinshipand socialrelations,andthe question of "dualism" in South Americanculture.In a fewareas,notablyEasternPeru,thequantityand qualityofarcheologicalresearchhas improved,but thisarea ofstudies has lagged considerablybehindethnology.Several factorsaccount forthe expansion of knowledge of low-land South America. One is the increased numberof anthropologists.In NorthAmerica,the proliferationof graduateprogramsin the 1960sproduced graduatestudentsneeding thesistopics,some ofwhom hadpriorexperiencein South Americaas Peace Corps volunteers.In SouthAmerica,universitiesand otherinstitutionsprovidedincreasedsupportforprofessionalethnologicalresearchand training,especiallyin Brazil,Peru,and Venezuela. In additionto institutionaldevelopments,a num-ber oftheoreticaldevelopmentsinfluencedthecourse ofSouth Ameri-can studiesand stimulatednew fieldresearch.One major stimuluswas the ecological and evolutionarytheorydeveloped byLeslie Whiteand JulianStewardin theUnited Statesandby JulioTello and Darcy Ribeiroin South America. The thrustof thisbody of theory,which has become known as culturalmaterialism,isthatthe major outlinesofsocial formationsare determinedhistoricallythrougha process of adaptation to the natural,technological,demo-graphic,and social environments.Ecological theorywas introducedtolowland South Americanstudies largelythroughthe work of BettyJ.Meggers, whose seminal 1954 articleproposed an explanationforthe201
  4. 4. LatinAmericanResearchReviewlack ofcomplexsocietiesin theAmazon Basin. Her suggestion,whichwas based largelyon herarcheologicalstudiesat themouthoftheAma-zon, provokeda response fromRobertCarneiro(1961), who used fielddata on the Kuikuro of the Upper Xingu Basin. Subsequent studiessuggested thatdietaryprotein,ratherthangood agriculturalland, wasa major limitingfactoron the size and permanenceof settlementsandconsequentlyon social complexityin Amazonia (Lathrap 1968; Gross1975;butsee Beckerman1979and Roosevelt1980).A recentreviewcitesnearlyfiftytitlespublished since 1975thatpresentnew data and viewson thisissue (Hames n.d.).Aside fromculturalmaterialism,theworkofFrenchethnologistClaude Levi-Strauss had an extraordinaryagenda-settingeffectonSouth American studies. Althoughvirtuallyall his resultshave beenrevisedbylater,moresystematicresearch(forexample,Price1972),thetheoreticalperspectivehe introducedhas endured. Structuralismde-mands that the ethnologistgo beyond the surfacefeaturesof socialrelationsobserved in thefield.At thislevel, theinvestigatoris dealingnot with the particularobservationsmade in the fieldbut with a con-structbuiltup by theinvestigator"after"theempiricalreality.Accord-ing to this view, structureis enduringand contains a timelessset ofrelationships,while human thoughtand actionreveal onlypartialandephemeralaspects ofstructureas theyunfoldin time.A thirdline ofanalysis,one ofincreasingimportancethatis notyetendowed witha theoreticalframeworkcomparableto theschools ofstructuralismand culturalmaterialism,is thatlinerepresentedbystud-ies of acculturationand social change. Some of these studies pursuemainlyhistoricalgoals in attemptingto documentthetrajectoryofsoci-eties or particularfeaturesofsocietiesover time.Some ofthese studieswere motivatedby theBoas-inspiredconcernwithascertainingthehis-toryofa culturein orderto "clear up" the historyofparticulargroupsas a preludeto eventualcomparison.Otherstudieshave soughtto sup-port the struggleto ensure the survivalof indigenous minoritiesinSouth America. A numberof books published duringthe 1970s werewrittento expose themistreatment,exploitation,and "ethnocide" thathave characterizedIndian relationswiththenationalpopulationsoftherepublicsof South America(AboriginesProtectionSociety1973; Davis1977;Fuerst1972;Hanbury-Tenison1973;Junqueira1973;SurvivalInter-national1971). Several ofthese works,particularlyDaviss, are also in-dictmentsofthepatternofdevelopmentthatis a leading cause ofcur-rent maltreatment.Although there are major issues of concern toanthropologicaltheoryhere, no major theoreticalparadigm has yetemergedto guide these studies. RobertCardoso de Oliveirasmodel ofinterethnicfriction(1972), which is based on modern anthropological202
  5. 5. REVIEW ESSAYSviews ofethnicity,is a valuable beginning,but thetheoryhas notbeendeveloped, perhaps because itis stillnotwidelyknown.This briefoverview is offeredas an introductionto the studiesconsidered in the presentreview,all of which fitinto what I call the"new generation"of South Americanstudies. Theyare highlyfocusedstudies based on originaldata collected during long periods of resi-dence in the fieldby professionalethnographers,oftendoctoralcandi-dates. The greatestpromiseof the new generationis the possibilityofaddressingmajor theoreticalissues in ethnologywithSouth Americandata.All of the studies under considerationare ethnographicmono-graphs,with the exceptionof the Maybury-Lewiscollectionof essaysby differentauthors. In comparingthe organizationof these studieswiththose ofearliermonographs,one notes thatearlierstudies gener-allyattemptedto covera fixedsetoftopicsdeemed fundamentalbytheanthropologicalprofession.Typically,these studies began with a briefoverviewofthehistoryofthegroupand itsrelationshipwithoutsiders,thenproceeded to discuss the subsistencesystem,social relations,ide-ology,and occasionallypatternsofchange.Several ofthenewer studiesreviewedhere departfromthistra-dition.Some ofthese monographsare organizedaround conceptsthatare significantprimarilyto the group under study.This approach re-flectsthepeculiaritiesoftheparticularsocietyunder consideration.Forexample, AnthonySeeger devotes a chapterto "The ClassificationofAnimals and Plants by Odor," a topic not part of a universal culturepattern,but a distinctivefeaturein the Suya classificationof both thesocial and naturaldomains (thefollowingchapteris entitled"Sex, Age,and Odor"). Like Seeger, ChristineHugh-Jonesand Stephen Hugh-Jonesare concerned with presentingthe societies they studied in alltheirself-perceiveduniqueness, thus stressingthose aspects that thesocietiesthemselvesregardas importantin establishingtheiridentities.Organizinga studyaround native conceptsinvolves a trade-off,how-ever.Cross-culturalcomparisonsare moredifficultto carryout becausethe data language itselfmay have been relativizedto fitthe specificlocal situation.Whiletheresultinglanguage maybe truerto theethno-graphic reality,it may also tend to obscure similaritiesbetweensocieties.None of the otherstudies consideredhere was anticipatedwithas much interestas DialecticalSocieties,a collectionof eightessays onGe-speaking and Bororo societies in Central Brazil edited by DavidMaybury-Lewis.BeforeMaybury-Lewisbegan his work,the most sig-nificantresearchon these CentralBraziliansocietieshad been under-takenby the self-trainedGermanethnographerKurtNimuendaju dur-203
  6. 6. LatinAmericanResearchReviewing the 1920s and 1930s. Maybury-Lewiscarried out extended fieldresearchwiththe Xerenteand Xavantepeoples duringthe 1950s, andhe wrote the definitiveethnographyof the Xavante (Maybury-Lewis1967).1 In the early 1960s, he organized the Harvard Central Brazilproject involvingBrazilian and U.S. ethnographers.The project wasintendedtoprovidea controlledcomparisonofseveralsocietiesofCen-tral Brazil who share many features of culture and speak relatedlanguages.The aspect of CentralBrazilian culturethat fascinatesethnolo-gistsis its elaboratesocial organization,whichis based on circularvil-lage plans with matrilocalhouseholds around the circumference,amens house or meetingspace at the center,and a plethoraofceremo-nial corporations, cross-cuttingdual divisions (moieties), kinshipgroups, sportscompetitions,and elaborateceremonies.These villagesmay be considerablylarger(up to fifteenhundredpeople) thantypicalAmazonian villages,butparadoxically,CentralBrazilianleadershipis asegalitarianas in groups whose villages are smaller(Gross 1979). Earlystudentsof CentralBrazilianethnologyfoundit anomalous thatthesegroups depended heavilyon huntingand gathering(several spendingmore than half of each year trekkingthough the cerradosof CentralBrazil, living on wild plants and animals) because theirsocial com-plexityseemed characteristicofa moresedentarysociety.This anomalywas addressed by suggestingthattheyrepresentedeithera devolvedformofa complexsocietyora whimsicallyelaborateformofa primitivesociety.But neitherthese studies nor the earlierones by Nimuendajusupport an interpretationof these societies as decadent or archaic(Gross 1979).The remarkableelaborateness of Central Brazilian social struc-ture,the frequentappearance of dual divisions at both symbolicandorganizationallevels, and the differencesfromone societyto the nextseemed tailor-madeforstructuralanalysis. Basing his workmainlyonNimuendajus data, Claude Levi-Strausswrote several essays whosemethodconsistedofabstractinga numberofelementsfromthebehav-iorand ideologyofa society,juxtaposingthemso as to createa model,then demonstratingthe purely mathematicalor logical relationshipsamong these elements. For the Central Brazilians, the possibilityseemed to existofrevealinga "deep structure"thatcould be shown tounderlieall the surfacemanifestationsofsocial organizationin particu-lar societies. As Levi-Strauss suggested in an influentialessay, "thevarioustypesofgroupingsfoundin [CentralBrazilian]societies. . . donotrepresent. . . so manyfunctionalgroups. Theyare, rather,a seriesof expressions, each partial and incomplete of the same underlyingstructure,which theyreproduce in several copies withoutever com-pletelyexhaustingitsreality"(1967, 126).204
  7. 7. REVIEW ESSAYSThe underlyingrealitythatLevi-Straussclaimed to have uncov-ered-triadic structures,as opposed to dualism-was later shown byMaybury-Lewisto have been based on faultyand incomplete data(1958). From his earliest attemptsat constructivecomparison, then,Maybury-Lewisappears to have abandoned the search fora structuralRosettastoneforCentralBraziliansocieties.The effortsofthecontribu-tors to DialecticalSocietieswere directed instead at revising Levi-Strausss inspired, but uninformed,theoriesand Nimuendajus thor-ough, but misguided, field data. Readers expecting a systematiccomparisonof these remarkablesocieties will be disappointed in thisvolume. Its essays do not systematicallytreatthe same themes, andonlya fewofthemhave a comparativefocus.Each one is precededbyathumbnailhistoricalsketchby Maybury-Lewis,which leaves the con-tributorsfreeto leap intotheirselectedthemes.The lead essay by JeanLave offersimportantnew insightsintoaspects ofCentralBraziliansocietyfromtheperspectiveofthe Krikati,partoftheTimbiralanguage group. Itfocuseson thedeclineoftheagesetas an organizinginstitutionand theriseofpersonalname transmis-sion in its place. Among the Krikati,naming is a highlyformalizedinstitutionthataccentuatesthe distinctionbetween the domestic,kin-orientedsphere and the public, ceremonialsphere of Ge society.Thisdistinction,which RobertoDa Matta stresses in the essay followingLaves, seems to be importantin all Ge groups. The relationshipsandobligationsentailed by participationin the public, ceremonialspherehave importanteffectson everyaspect of lifeincludingsocialization,religion,subsistence,warfare,and exchange. Laves observationthat"the Krikatiare unusual in using namingrelationshipsratherthankinties as thebasis forestablishingsocial continuitythroughtime"(p. 30)has importantconsequences forthe studyofCentralBraziland fortri-bal societiesin general.Althoughanthropologistshave long subscribedto thebeliefthattribalsocietyis regulatedprimarilybykinshipinstitu-tions, the Krikati may be an importantexception to this allegeduniversal.ElsewhereI have suggestedthattheuse ofnamingas a basis forsocial interaction,as opposed to blood and marriageties, may be re-lated to requirementsfor integratingrelativelylarge, but unstable,groups ofpeople in an egalitariancontext(Gross 1979). CentralBrazil-ian social organizationmay reflectan adaptationto environmentalandpolitical conditions that favored the seasonal formationof relativelylarge population aggregates,too unstable to supporthierarchicallead-ershipbut too large to permitstablerelationshipsin an aggregatecon-sistingof numerous core domesticgroups. The mutual obligationses-tablishedbetween name-giversand name-receiversadded to the threesetsofceremonialmoietiestowhichname-setholdersare assigned con-205
  8. 8. LatinAmericanResearchReviewstitutepreciselythe kind of non-kin-basedsystemof social relationsthatwas suggestedbymymodel. In conjunctionwithothersocial insti-tutions,theyset up cross-cuttingloyaltiesby creatingloyaltiesamongindividuals(namesakes) who mightotherwisebe in occasional conflict,thus possiblyvitiatingthe unityof any conflictingalliances thatmightbe formed.AlthoughLaves model does notstressthepossible adaptivefunctionsof the Krikatinaming system, its clarityallows for suchinterpretations.Laves studyis also noteworthyforitsstresson change. Most ofthe othercontributorsto DialecticalSocietiesseem contentto referto apresumablychangeless period in the past when traditionruled su-preme. Theydescribepresent-dayinstitutionsin termsofhow much ofthe "traditional"systemremainsintact.Apartfromthedubiousness ofsome oftheirreconstructions,such a view downplays the creativeandadaptive aspects ofculture,leaving the readerto inferthatunless dis-turbedby Westerninfluence,nativecultureis immutable.Lave showshow malleable traditionsare and implies that researchersshould beconcernedwith the historicaltrajectoryof institutionsas well as withtheirstructuralproperties.2The essays by JulioCezar Melatti and RobertoDa Matta dealextensivelywiththerelationshipsystem(kinterms)oftwoothernorth-ernGe groups, theKraho and theApinaye respectively.Melattishowsthatthe Kraho systemis influencednot onlyby the genealogical rela-tionshipsbetween persons, but also by the social identitiesconferredwiththe transmissionofnames. This observationparallelsLaves find-ings with regard to the closely related Krikati. A similar point isstressed by Da Matta, who emphasizes the opposition between thepublic and domesticspheres. The Kraho kinshipsystemresemblestheCrow-typenomenclaturethatis almostalways associated with an ide-ologyofdescent throughfemales(matriliny).Curiously,the Kraho arebasicallya bilateralsocietywho lack defineddescentgroups or a matri-linealideology.Theyare, however,uxorilocal,meaningthathouseholdsare formedof groups of relatedfemales,in-marryingmales, and theirchildren.When households splitup, theyremainclose to one another,and these clustersofmatrilineallyrelatedhouseholds occupya definiteportionof the village circumference.Households are also exogamous,which means thatindividuals seek spouses who speak a differentlan-guage. Thus Kraho households functionas matrilineagesin all butname. Melattidoes not entertainthepossibilitythatmatrilinealsucces-sion may once have been an importantfeatureof Krikatisociety(seeW. Crocker 1979). Da Matta explicitlyrejects such an interpretation,statingthat"terminologicalequations whichoverridegenerationalcon-trastcan be produced by a systemwhich has nothingto do withuni-lineal descent groups. Such a systemcan be satisfactorilyeluci-206
  9. 9. REVIEW ESSAYSdated in termsof two fundamentalprinciples:the oppostion of thesexes and thepassage oftheone generationto another"(p. 123).Thus Lave, Melatti,and Da Matta reach similarconclusions intheirconsiderationofnorthernGe-socialidentityin essays ofgreatnov-eltyand technicalbrilliance.Nevertheless,I was disappointedthattheiressays did not ask what could have generatedsocial systemswith theparticularkinds of oppositions and equations expressed in these soci-eties. Of thethree,onlyLave providedany historicalperspective.In thefirstoftwoessays, TerenceTurnerdevelops his theorythatthe relationshipbetween a male household head and his daughtyrsconstitutesthe core of Ge and Bororosocieties. Male authorityis pre-sumablyunderminedby the female-orientedlines of cooperationandcoresidence established by uxorilocality.Balance is achieved throughtheorganizationoftheannual foragingtrek,whichtheoreticallyfollowsmale-orientedlines of organization.Turnerstheoryinvertsthe usualrelationshipof core to superstructureby subordinatinga subsistenceinstitutionto a featureof social organization(this approach is tanta-mount to suggesting that militaryregimes are common in LatinAmerica because troops and weapons are so importantto indepen-dence day parades). More recentworkestablishesthe economicbene-fitsoftrekking;specifically,Dennis Wernershows thattherateofmeatcaptureis significantlyhigherwhen theKayap6 are on trekthanwhentheyare in theirbase villages (Werner1978, 1983). TurnerscontentionthatKayapo societyis notenvironmentallyconstrainedis weakened byrecentevidence showingthatKayapo subsistenceactivitiesinvolvecon-siderableexertionas well as carefulschedulingof activitiesand move-mentin adjusting to the seasonal and spatial fluctuationof resources(see Flowersetal. 1982;Grossetal. 1979;Gross 1983;Werneretal. 1979;Werner1978,1983).JoanBambergersessay takes a differentdirectionin askingwhyKayapo villagesare so likelyto fissionintosmallersegments,a processthat has continued in recenttimes. She rejects the "Helen of Troy"explanation offeredby the Kayapo themselves that village splits arecaused byfightsoverwomen, and she also rejectstheecologicalexpla-nationthatsmallervillagesare betteradapted to the tropicalforesten-vironmentthanlargerones. She suggests,followingA. 0. Hirschman,thatpoliticalleadershipand progressivechangewereweaklydevelopedamong the Kayapo preciselybecause of the ready opportunityto ex-press disagreementby leaving. Now thatBraziliansettlements,roads,and reservationboundariesare encroachingon thevastareas wheretheKayapo once freelyroamed, thisgroup is developing an alternativeofprogressivepoliticalleadership, possibly in a formthatwill allow theKayapo to respond more vigorouslyto the threatsposed by encroach-ment fromoutside. In this regard, it is interestingto note that two207
  10. 10. LatinAmericanResearchReviewKayapo groups, the Gorotireand the Txukarramae,recentlypartici-pated in bloodyactionsinvolvinglands theyregardas theirown. Theseactions may reflectthe development of such leadership (Gross 1981).Bambergersessay unfortunatelydoes not clarifywhen or under whatcircumstancessuch leadershipmay be expectedto appear norhow theKayapo differfromothersocietiesin theirpoliticalorganization.In his principalcontribution,David Maybury-Lewispresentsamodel of CentralGe (Xerenteand Xavante)social structurethatoffersan explanationofsome ofthe contrastsbetween these two groups andthe northernGe (Kayapo and Timbira).Among the latter,dual divi-sions are complementaryand balanced, but notantagonistic.Factional-ismis restrictedto thedomesticsphere,thatis, to thevillageperiphery.Among the Central Ge are found exogamous, patrilineal descentgroupsthatare rivalrousand antagonistic.One such grouptends to bedominantin each village,whiletheotherorothersformtheopposition.Antagonismand rivalryare thus suppressed at the domesticlevel. Butis thisdifferenceattributableto formalfeaturesofCentralGe structureas opposed to NorthernGe structure?Or could the differencebe ex-plained in termsof historicalfactorssuch as acculturativeinfluences?Maybury-Lewisdoes not pose the question in a fashion that wouldallow fora testof these alternativehypotheses.Instead, he presentsaclassificationof Ge and Bororogroups based on regionallyshared fea-tures.Maybury-Lewisconcludes withthe suggestionthatit is errone-ous to attemptto constructformalmodels ofkinshipbased on thefun-damentalfeaturesofhuman matingsystemsand thatattentionshouldbe shiftedto social theoriesor sociologics,which is what kinshipsys-tems are. Maybury-Lewis,the leading Ge scholar of his time,has nosuggestionsto make about the distinctivenessof Ge cultureor aboutthedistributionofitsvariablefeatures.J. C. Crockerscontributionto DialecticalSocietiesexplores theprincipaldifferencesand similaritiesbetween the Bororoand the Ge-speakingsocietiesarrayedto theeast. He pointsout therelativelyweakdevelopmentof age sets and of cross-cuttingmoietylikeorganizationsamong the Bororo,who have what appears to be a classical systemofdirectexchange (of spouses) between matri-moietiesand a "harmonic"systemofmatrilocalpostmaritalresidence. CrockerreviewsBororoso-cial structurein detail,finallydeterminingthattheirsimilaritiesto theGe ultimatelyoutweigh the differences.His conclusions lead him topropose a revisionof "some ofthebasic assumptions of social anthro-pology. In the Bororo case, the traditionalundertstandingof lineal-ity. . . becomes an obstacle to the comprehensionof theirsocial dy-namics.... It is my thesis here that Bororo perception of [thedifferencesbetweennatal and conjugal households] providesone basicgenerativeforcein theirsocial dialectics"(p. 292). I was disappointed208
  11. 11. REVIEW ESSAYSthatthe author did not choose to complementhis structuralanalysiswitha causal analysis. For example, he does not considerthe sugges-tionthatmatrilocalitytogetherwithmatrilinyrepresentan adaptive re-sponse to conditions of chronicwarfarein an uncentralized society(Emberand Ember1971). Thus even thoughCrockermaydemonstrateat a structurallevel just how Ge and Bororosocial structuresmay besimilar,he stilldoes not show why theyshould be similar.Althoughmostofthecontributorsto DialecticalSocietiestouchonthe question of similaritiesand differencesamong Central Braziliangroups, they have restrictedthemselves to the level of underlyingstructure.Theydo not considerthe possibilitythatthe convergenceofthe Central Brazilians may be due to parallel adaptation to similarconditions. One could attributethe similaritiesamong the Ge andBororoprimarilyto historicalrelatedness,but this explanationwouldbeg the question of how the common featuresof theirsocial patterncame into being. It would also leave open the question of the resem-blance between the Ge and Bororoon the one hand and several non-Ge-speakingsocietiesin thesame regionon theother.Thereare severalgroups in CentralBrazilsuch as theMundurucu, theTapirape,and thevarious"tribelets"oftheUpper XinguBasinwho speak languages fromdifferentfamilies.These societies share circularvillage plans, menshouses in the center,multiplesocieties, uxorilocalresidence, institu-tionalizedsex antagonism,and intenseceremonialismwiththeGe andBororo.What are the factorsthatled to the convergenceof these soci-eties, both those speaking Ge and those not speaking Ge? Why arethese societiesgenerallyfound in the cerradoregionof CentralBraziland not in the evergreenforestsof the Amazon Basin? What are thedifferenthistoricalexperiencesof these groups and how have theyaf-fectedtheirconvergenceor divergence?These are questions thattakescholars out of the area of "structure"and into the realm of history;they also raise issues of adaptation. Such matters,except in Lavespiece, are relegatedto shortintroductorysectionswrittenbytheeditor.As a result,DialecticalSocietiesposes anothertroublingopposi-tion,theimplicitone raised by the contributorsbetween the structuralfeaturesthey stress in theirarticlesand "real world" featuresof re-sourceavailability,competitionwithothergroups,and internaland ex-ternalpolitics.There is a tacitassumptionthatGe and Bororocultureshad an unchanging "traditional"phase, one thatmay be reflectedintheirinnerstructures,despite acculturativechanges. The lack ofatten-tion to possible modificationover time of the structuraltemplatesofnative cultureimplies thatGe culturehad no originin real timeandmusthave been createdwhole clothby some ancientgenius.AnthonySeegersapproach inNativesandSocietyinCentralBrazil:The Suya IndiansofMato Grossoshares a great deal with that of the209
  12. 12. LatinAmericanResearchReviewcontributorsto DialecticalSocieties,but he succeeds in communicatingmuch more about the people who are his subject. The Suya are a Ge-speaking societycloselyrelatedto the Kayap6 and Timbira,who noware reducedtoa singlevillageof140people livingin theXinguNationalPark.Seegers centralcontentionis thatthe oppositionbetween natureand societyis fundamentalto understandingSuya culture. He goesbeyondtheusual "two-column"treatmentin applyinga structuralprin-ciple to many differentaspects of Suya culturethat demonstratetheramificationsof this principlein cognitionand classification.DespitetheformalismofSeegersaccount,one can stillobservetheworkingsofa societybadly buffetedby the contactexperience and strugglingtomaintainitselfunder drasticallyalteredconditions.Seeger sets a difficulttask forhimselfbecause the veryconceptthathe suggestsis centralto Suya society(the distinctionbetween na-ture and society) is derived not froman exegetical analysis of Suyasociety qua text,but fromthe pages of Levi-StrausssMythologiques.How thenis Seeger to convincethereaderthatthisoppositionis some-thinginherentin Suya cultureratherthanin themind oftheethnogra-pher? Seeger demonstratesthe relevanceof thiscontrastforthe Suyathemselvesbyreferringto theconcentricmodel ofSuya space, whichisorganized in nested levels of contrast. At the very center is the"lepitome"of society,the mens house, where initiatedmen conducttheiraffairs;at anotherlevel, uninitiatedboys and women are consid-ered "society"in contrastto people beyond thevillage (enemyIndiansand animals); and at another,stillhigher level, all Indians are con-trastedwithanimals. Temporalmetaphorsalso display thiscontrastinthe distinctionbetween the mythologicalpast, when people had nogardensand ate rottenwood, and the present,when gardens and gar-den goods representlevels ofsocialized nature.The two domains havea dynamic relationshipthat is at times antagonisticand at others,interpenetrated.Music, forexample,providesa means forweavingele-mentsofnatureintothe social fabricduringceremonialoccasions.Seegers analysisis persuasive in thatthese itemsdo seem to gotogetherin thefashionthathe argues,and thetransformationofnatureintosocietymaycertainlybe a leitmotifofSuya culture.ButunlikeLevi-Strauss,Seeger does not suggestthathe has uncovered universalpat-ternsof human thought.He seems contentto leave these intriguingparallels as he arrangesthem: fascinatingartifactsof a native culturethatpresentsinterestingcontraststo othercultures.I am struckwith the possibilitythatthis pervasive dichotomy,and similardichotomiesin otherCentralBraziliangroups,mayreflectacommonadaptive problemthattheyall have attemptedto resolve. Theproblemmaybe thatofintegratinga numberofdisparatesocial units,possiblybandlike foraginggroups thatare based on kinshipand live210
  13. 13. REVIEW ESSAYSapartformonthsoryearsat a time,intoa singlevillageaggregatecapa-ble ofcultivatinggardens,defendingitself,socializingitsyoung,engag-ingin trade,and performingceremonies(see Gross 1979). I should addthatwhile ceremonialismmay be an end in itselffromthenativepointofview,anthropologistsmightthinkofitprimarilyas a means forinte-gratingthe unusually large village aggregatesformedduringthe har-vest season. One could amass a series of anecdotes fromthe nativesthatare consistentwith thisview. Such an explanationwould help toexplain why ceremonialismis more elaborate in this region than innearbylowland areas.It seems to me thatSeeger is dealing withanotherversionofthedichotomy,one familiarto all studentsof CentralBrazil,thatbetweenthedomesticsphere(identifiedwithkinshiprelations,biologicalor cor-poreal ties,factionalstruggles,and subsistenceactivities)and thepub-lic domain (identifiedwithceremonialism,villagewideactivities,inter-villagesodalities,theeducationoftheyoung,and relatedmatters).Itisparticularlyinterestingthatthevarious "transformations"describedbySeeger are those involved in "socializing" nature, such as preparingyoungmen foradulthood (youngmen are morecloselyidentifiedwithnaturethaninitiatedmen). Similarly,in his analysisofmyths,societyisenhanced by obtainingfire,garden maize, and personal names. Allthesethingsare capturedfromsubhumanbeings or animals.The concern forpresentingnative culturein its own termsisfoundagain in a pairofbooks writtenbytwoethnographerswho spentover twenty-twomonthsamong theBarasana, a societylivingon a tri-butaryof the Apaporis Riverin the Columbian partof the Vaupes-RioNegro drainage area. Like CentralBrazil,thisregionhas attractedtheattentionofa numberofethnographersin recentyears. In her prefaceto FromtheMilkRiver:Spatialand TemporalProcessesin NorthwestAma-zonia,ChristineHugh-Jonesstates, "My aim is to presentPira-paranasocietyas an integratedsystem"(p. xv). Like otherstructuralists,shedivides all Barasana historyinto "the present"and "traditional"eras.Hugh-Jonesminimizesthe influenceof outsiderseven as she outlinestheunprecedentedviolenceand dislocationscaused bythepenetrationoftheregionbytherubbertradeand missionaries."I demonstratethatsocial structure,kinshipand marriage,the lifecycle,politics,eco-nomics and religionare ideologicallyintegratedjust as theyare alsoinextricablybound up in behavior" (p. 2). Squarely in the traditionofidealist anthropology,her studydisplays littleconcernwithbehavior.Indeed, reading it is difficultbecause it rarelyfocuses on individuals.The workis comprisedinstead ofpages and pages ofdescription,sur-mise, and analysis of how Barasana cultureideally is, or ideally oncewas, put together.These suppositionstake theformofa model thatis"pieced togetherfroma muddling mass of statementsthat Indians211
  14. 14. LatinAmericanResearchReviewmake.... Inevitably,myaccount ofVaupes societyand ideology hov-ersbetweentheobserved presentand Indians idealized versionofthepast withwhich theygive meaning to the present.Withoutconfiningmyselfto simpleethnographicdescription,I can see no way roundthis.The bestI can do is give some generalidea about theapplicabilityofmymodel, whichbelongs to thisimaginarypast-and-present,to the situa-tion on the ground duringmy fieldwork" (p. 13). Unfortunately,theauthorneversucceeds in comparingher model to behavior.The societiesoftheUpper Vaupes Basin are unusual in thattheyare multilingualand, in a sense, multiethnic(compare Sorensen 1967;Jackson1976).Language groupsare maximaldescentunits,and each ofthemis exogamous. The Barasana believe thateach exogamous groupabove the sib level is descended froman anaconda ancestorwho livedat themouthoftheMilkRiver(possiblya referencetotheturgidwatersof the Amazon). Ideally,the exogamous groups are collectionsof sibs(or subunitsofsibs) arrangedhierarchically(followingthebirthorderoftheirancestors)into chiefs,dancers, warriors,shamans, and servants.This model offiveinterdependentspecialized roles is contradictedbyacomparisonwith contemporarysociety,in which onlydancers, chant-ers, and shamans can be found. But ChristineHugh-Jonessanalysisproceeds just as ifthe fivespecialistroles existedin the ethnographicpresent.The difficultieswithsuch reconstructionsare legion, and theyare compounded in thiscase by junctureswhere itis unclearwhethercertainleaps have been made by informantsor the author. In someplaces, the authoradmitsto supplyingideas where it seems plausible,such as in regardto the theoryof conception."People say thatfemalechildrenare made of theirmothersblood and male childrenof theirfatherssemen . . . . No one actuallysaid thatthe mothersblood cre-ates thefleshofthechild,althoughaccordingto thelogicofthesystemset up bythe otherstatementsthiswould appear to make sense " (pp.115-16).In chaptersix, ChristineHugh-Jonesdevelops a complex argu-ment concerning production and consumption that incorporatesthemes fromall the otherchapters.Aftera fairlystraightforwardde-scriptionof manioc production,an analysis followsthatmakes use ofideal sex roles, partsofmyths,and logical surmiseto constructa kindof transformationalscheme: "I claim thatthe technologicallyessentialelementsrefermetaphoricallyto the-processesofreproductionofsocialgroups.. . . The evidence suggeststhatthemaniocprocess is seen as afemalecounterpartof the male Yuruparyrites" (p. 182). Her analysisfurthersuggests thatthereare tangibleanalogies among such diverseaspects of cultureas the productionofmanioc by women, the processofthepassage offoodthroughthealimentarycanal, elimination,sexual212
  15. 15. REVIEW ESSAYSprocreation,birth,nurturance,maturation,death, putrefaction,burial,and rebirth.Afterthis rhetoricaltour de forcein which virtuallyeverythingbecomes a metaphorforeverythingelse, ChristineHugh-Jonesadmits,"I am sureitseems thatI am havingitall ways,but I would argue thatIndian ideologyhas itall ways too, forI am simplyfollowingtheimpli-cationswhich it contains" (pp. 190-91). But these implicationsare pa-tentlybased on herown surmise,on "explicitcomparisonsmade bytheIndians," and on the "logicofthe system."Her interpretationdoes notappear to be derivablefroma singlecorpus ofmythicor othermaterial(none is presented),nor is thereevidence thatthis interpretationhasbeen compared with the understandingsof native informants.Hugh-Jonesmightargue thatno nativewould be capable ofconstructingtheentiresystem,but such an admission would seriouslyvitiateherclaimthather account is faithfulto the natives view of theirworld. Hugh-Jonessdesireto presentthesystemas "integrated"led herto substituteher own logical processes forthose ofher informants.I judge thisap-proach to be a highlydubious exercisein exegeticalconstruction,onethat renders Barasana culturein such an idiosyncraticmanner as tomake it virtuallyuseless forcomparison. The resultis also just plainhard to read.Stephen Hugh-Jonesconducted a field study simultaneouslywith ChristineHugh-Jones,but he presents a more grounded studythat can betterserve the requirementsof comparison. The principalfocus of ThePalmand thePleaides:Initiationand Cosmologyin NorthwestAmazoniais the secretYuruparymens cultthatrevolvesaround sacredmusical instrumentsand excludes women and children.Such cultsarewell known in South American societies like the Xinguanos and theMundurucu, and a studyfocusingon themin the NorthwestAmazonregionis thereforewelcome. The study makes use of informantsac-counts, directparticipantobservation,and materialfrommyths.Anappendix provides abridged versions of most of the mythstreatedinthetext.The mainbody ofthebook consistsofan intricate,contextual-ized symbolicanalysis of the principalelements of ritualand myth,includinga running"dialogue" with Levi-Straussas to the meaningand structuralsignificanceofthese aspects. While his methodis struc-turalist,Hugh-Jonesis carefulto statethathis intentionis to use mythto elucidate the organizationof ritualwithina single culturalcontext,not to perform cross-cultural analysis or to uncover universalstructures.The argumentdeveloped by Stephen Hugh-Jonesleads to theconclusion thatthe ritualof Yuruparyprovides the ideological under-pinningforthe correctroles of men and women. Founded in a myth213
  16. 16. LatinAmericanResearchReviewthatthe women once held politicalpower (throughcontrolof the Heinstruments)and that men once were the cultivatorsof manioc, theritualsymbolicallydeprives mothersof theirsons throughan act inwhich the adult men "give birth"to the initiates(p. 132). Hugh-Jonessummarizesthe Yuruparyviewpointin his conclusion: "Materialbirthis distinguishedfromspiritualbirth.Womengive birthto children,butonly men give birthto men. In thisperspective,women and childrenare spirituallyunborn,and onlyinitiated,rebornmen are trulyspiritualbeings. Men, throughritualand throughthe possession of culturalsymbolssuch as theHe instrumentsand thegourdofbeeswax, seek todominateand controlthe He world. At a social level, thisinvolvesthedominanceofmen overwomen; at a moregenerallevel,itinvolvesthedominanceand controloverthecosmos throughshamanicactivity"(p.251). The ascendancyofmen over women in ritual,myth,and politicsis commonlyobserved in South America,although at least some au-thorshave questioned whethermen actuallyruleoverwomen (Murphyand Murphy 1974). Is the phenomenon of sex antagonismsimplyanupwelling fromthe deep springsof the human psyche, or should re-searchersseek an explanation forits appearance at this time in thisform?Stephen Hugh-Joneswould like to set the Barasana case intoethnographicperspective,at least in theregionoftheNorthwestAma-zon. He suggests thatbecause "the basic details ofYuruparyritesandmythsare broadlysimilarforall thegroups oftheVaupes-Icana region,theyclearlyshould be treatedas variationsor transformationsof oneanother."But neitherhis book nor any otherbythe structuraliststakesmore than a baby step towardachievingsuch a comparativeperspec-tive. First of all, the appropriate cross-culturallyrelevantcategorieshave notbeen suggested. Second, no suggestionsare made about howto account forthe variationencountered.The question of sex antago-nism is a case in point. What is it that distinguishesSouth Americafromotherpartsoftheworldin thisrespect,and what accountsforthedifferenceswithinSouth America?The founderofanthropologicalstructuralismviewed itas a wayof gettingbehind the superficialfeaturesof social organizationandmythto thehidden structuresofhuman thought.The aims ofthe eth-nographersreviewed here are farless ambitious. They use the struc-turalapproach as a way ofanalyzingthespecificsocietiestheystudied,a way ofreducingthe welterof ethnographicdata to manageable pro-portions.This use of structuralismis probablya more defensibleone,but fromlowered expectationsinevitablycome more modest results.The studies reviewed here all contributeto our understandingof theculturesin question. They bringorderto theirparts,althoughitis notentirelycertainwhetherthatorderis the one the natives would pro-vide. But these worksdo not provide explanationsin the conventional214
  17. 17. REVIEW ESSAYSnaturalscience sense, and even the comparisonstheyallow have onlyan edifying,ratherthan a predictive,value. AnthonySeeger suggeststhatthevalue ofthe structuralanalysishe made is thatitenables us tosee ourselvesmoreclearly.I am perplexedaboutjusthow thatgoal is tobe achieved. The gap between structuralismand empiricismhas notbeen narrowedbythehigherethnographicstandardsemployedbyneo-structuralists.Although he was trainedat Cambridgejust afterStephen andChristineHugh-Jones,Paul Henley has writtena book thatdiffersmar-kedly fromtheirs,The Panare:Traditionand Changeon theAmnazonianFrontier.Henleys study is a general ethnographyof the Panare thatprimarilyfocuseson how theircultureis changingunder conditionsofincreasinginvolvementwithVenezuelan national society.He explainshis choice ofsubject:"The recenthistoryofAmazonia has made one soaccustomed to the idea thatthe indigenous societiesof the regionaredoomed to disintegrateat thefirstbrushwithindustrialcivilizationthattheresilienceofthePanare stands out as an exceptionworthyofexpla-nation" (xv). Henley then proceeds to offera sensitiveand highlyde-tailed refutationof thispromiseof doom. Afterfourchapterson ecol-ogy, economics, and social organization,Henley devotes threeentirechaptersto changes in the Panare environment,assessing the ways inwhich each featurehas influencedchange among the Panare. Whenviewed in thecontextoftheGe and Bororo,withtheirrichlyelaboratedsocial structures,the Panare appear to be paupers by comparison. Pa-nare social identityseems tied up almostentirelywiththe individualsconjugal family.Initiationand otherceremoniesrequirethe participa-tionofelementsoutsidethenuclearfamilyand thesettlementitself,butnot as members of constitutedgroups. Henley concludes that whileinternalsolidarityhas contributedto the persistenceofthe Panare cul-turalidentity,the factorsmostresponsibleforitspersistencetodayareexternalto Panare society.In large areas of the Peruvian,Colombian,and BrazilianAmazon, thenationalfrontierexpanded to the detrimentof Indians as rubbertraders,prospectors,and missionariesexploitedIndian labor,Indian land, and Indian women. Venezuelan frontierex-pansion in the Panare area was relativelybenignbecause onlyone ma-jor extractiveproductwas found there. Sarrapia,a forestfruitused intoiletriesand cigarettes,can be collectedin a fewweeks peryearduringthedryseason.But the uncentralizednature of the Panare economy,togetherwiththe conjugal familyas the primaryunitof productionand repro-duction, renders this almost leaderless society highly vulnerable tochanges on thehorizon. Hienleyalso stressestherelativelyunorganizedand opportunisticuse of resourcesas iftheywere unlimited.The Pa-nare have graduallymigratedfromtheirupland villagesto locationsin215
  18. 18. LatinAmericanResearchReviewa largevalleynear missionsorcriollosettlementsin orderto have accessto trade goods. This tendencyinevitablyproduces higherrates of ex-ploitationand a potentialscarcityof resources. Henley observes thatthe extensivepooling offoodbythePanare tendsto breakdown underconditionsof scarcity.The increased use of resources by Panare andtheirnon-Panareneighborsthus threatensto break down the commu-nal natureoftheirsociety.The planned developmentofa largebauxitemine in theirvicinityis a major threat,one thatwill severelytesttheeffectivenessof Venezuelan institutionsdesigned to conserve the au-tonomyand resources of native groups. Such institutionshave beeneffectivelyimplantedin fewareas ofSouth America,butHenley is opti-mistic nonetheless. Perhaps Venezuelas long tradition of liberaldemocracywill permitgreaterstate controlover those interests(min-ing, forestry,petroleum,ranching)that threatenthe lives and liveli-hoods ofmanyindigenous groups.Henleys account has a more functionalistthan structuralistfla-vor to it,and it seems well grounded empirically.He does not fallintothetrapofpresumingthefunctionalunityand integrationofall aspectsof Panare culture. One would hope that the integrationof a holisticethnographywith a thoroughgoingtreatmentof social change is thebeginningofa trendin ethnography.Nevertheless,littleemergesfromthis studythatcan be transferredto the studyof othersocieties,andconsequently,itcontributeslittleto the developmentofa theoryofso-cial change among statelesspeoples in themodernworld.Roland BergmansAmazonEconomics:TheSimplicityofShipiboIn-dian Wealthalso presentsa contrastto the structurallyorientedstudiesreviewed above. Althoughthisbook attemptsto presenta holisticac-countofShipibo culturein Peru,itis rootedin culturalecology.AmazonEconomicscontainsone of the most completeaccounts of the relation-ship betweena lowland South Americannativesocietyand itsenviron-ment yetto be published in monographicform.Bergmansapproach,and his concernwithmeasurement,derivesfroma naturalscience tra-ditionin anthropology.The structuralstudies under reviewpresentchartsdepictingthestructuralrelationshipsof elements in a timeless frame,while Berg-mans monographbristleswithtables based on his extensivequantita-tivefieldresearch.Forovera year,Bergmanmonitoredtimeallocation,garden huntingand fishingproduction,food intake, and othervari-ables. The resultofBergmansdiligenceis the quantificationof an im-pressivenumberofvariablesthathave been measured in veryfewsoci-etiesat anytechnologicallevel. Twosamples willbestconveytheextentofthe data:Thedietis excellent.... Agriculture,fishing,and huntingprovideanaverageof1,665kilocaloriesand 67gramsofproteinpercapitadaily.Agricul-216
  19. 19. REVIEW ESSAYSturesupplies84percentofthekilocaloriesandfishandgamesupply72percentoftheprotein.. . Menaverage3.4hoursofworkperday,47percentofwhichis forfood procurement.... Women average 4.4 hours per day, 7 percentofwhichis forfoodprocurement,with59percentoftheirworkspentinprocess-ingand preparation.The averagehourofworkin agricultureproduces7,711kilocaloriesand 109gramsofprotein.Thisincludesinefficientlyproducedmi-norcropsofmaizeandbeans.Bananas,theprincipalcarbohydratesource...yield13,785caloriesper hourofworkversus1,240kilocaloriesperhourformaizeand2,271forbeans"(p. 204).Bergmansmonographaddresses thequestion ofintensification,a mat-terofgreatconcernin ecological anthropology.The question itasks is,what are the conditions under which people begin to work harder,spending more time to exploit the subsistence base? For Amazonia,thereare the additional issues of whetheror not Amazonian habitatsare capable of supportingdense human populations, and ifso, underwhat technologicalconditions.Thereis also thequestion ofwhetherornot the availabilityof resourceshas an effecton the structureof soci-etiesin theregion.Itis curiousthatdespite havingcollectedsome ofthemostcom-pletedata on Amazonian subsistenceavailable,Bergmandid notutilizethe data to testsome oftheleading hypothesesconcerningintensifica-tion.Forexample,withregardto thenotionthatcontemporaryhunter-gatherersdo not plant because theycan earn theirlivingjust as easilyby foraging,Bergmanwarns against overstressing"economic motiva-tions" in explainingbehavior. His own data, however,appear to sup-port the interpretationthatthe Shipibo maximize the returnon laborfordietaryproteinand calories.TABLECostsandBenefitsofPrincipalShipiboSubsistenceActivitiesEnergy Protein Contri- Contri- TimePrefer- Yieldper Yieldper bution bution spentence person-hr person-hr todiet todiet percapitaActivity Rank kcal grams % kcal %protein hrlyear*Hunting 1 975 185 3 14 18.2Fishing 2 914 162 13 59 85.0Agricul-ture 3 7711 109 84 27 64.0Source: Based on data in Bergman,AmazonEconomics.*Itshould be noted thatfood-processingtimeis notincluded.The tableI have constructedfromBergmansdata indicatessomeof the costs (in time)and benefits(in nutrients)of the threeprincipalShipibo subsistenceactivities.The bulkofthecaloriesin thedietclearly217
  20. 20. LatinAmericanResearchReviewcomes fromswidden horticulture,especiallyfrombananas and maize.But crops contributeonlyabout a quarterofthe daily proteinrationof73 grams per adult. The remainderof the dietaryproteinis suppliedprincipallyby fishing,an activitiythatis primarilymale but requiresgreateroveralltimeexpenditurethanplanting.BergmanstatesthattheShipibo preferhuntingand fishingto agriculture(he is probablyrefer-ringto male preferencesbecause women do no huntingand littlefish-ing). While fishingis slightlyless efficientthanhuntingas a source ofproteinand energy,itis farmore reliable.One mightwonder why theShipibo botherto huntat all when the riskoffailureis higherand theoverall contributionto the diet is small. It may be, as Bergman sug-gests,thattheyenjoyhuntingand preferred meat,butitis also plausi-ble thathuntingprovides vital nutrientscontained in fatand muscletissue that are lacking in the other foods consumed by the Shipibo(compare Gross 1975). The totaltimespent huntingis relativelysmall,which reflectsits small contributionto the diet. It can be argued thatintensificationofhunting-as opposed to fishing-would resultin rap-idlydecliningproductivityper uniteffort(compareGross 1981).The Shipiboundoubtedlyrequiremanyotheritemsfortheirsub-sistenceand well-being,such as buildingmaterials,firewood,dyes,andotherdecorativematerials.Theirsubsistenceregimeand timeallocationis probablyadjusted to meetingthose needs as well. But the allocationoftimereportedin Bergmanscarefulaccountingis consistentwiththehypothesisthattheShipibo allocate timein such a way as to produce adietwithsufficientproteinand energyfornormalgrowthand mainte-nance witha minimumexpenditureofeffort.Unfortunately,Bergmandoes notreallytesthypothesesconcerningoptimizationwiththeexcel-lentdata thathe collected.The discoverythatbehaviorand ideologyare constrainedbyspe-cificfeaturesof the natural environmentin a particularpart of theworldis an importantone because itindicatesthelimitsbeyond whicheven the most creativeculturaltraditioncannot go. Bergmansstudyand otherslikeit(forexample, Gross et al. 1979;Johnsonand Behrens1982; Flowers et al. 1982; Beckermanet al. 1983; Hames and Vickers1983) help to show why complexcivilizations,like those thatarose inthe Andes, did not emergein the Amazon Basin. This discoveryin noway diminishesthe fantasticvarietyand richtextureof nativeAmazo-nian culture.The studies reviewed here attestto the enormous stridesmadeover the past decade in describingand analyzing native societies ofSouth America,especiallyin Amazonia. They promisea greatdeal forfuturescholarsbecause theydocumentpatternsthatare changingrap-idlyand theyoffernew avenues ofinterpretation.These workslay thegroundworkforbadlyneeded comparativestudies,buttheyalso reveal218
  21. 21. REVIEW ESSAYSthe inadequacy of the theoreticaland methodologicaltools utilized sofarin South Americanstudies. Althoughthe neostructuralistsbroughthigherempiricalstandards to South American studies, theirwork isunlikelyto have theoreticalimpact because it does not sustain thesweepinggeneralizationsabout thenatureofhuman thoughtthatchar-acterizestructuralism.Studies dealing with culturechange have greatsignificanceforboth theorydevelopmentin anthropologyand policydevelopment innational and internationalinstitutionsseeking to achieve humane,workablepolicies towardtribalminorities.But such studies are stillintheirinfancy,perhaps because theirtheoreticalbasis is stillso undevel-oped. It is to be hoped thatecological studies are about to entera newphase. The numberofhighlysophisticatedfieldstudies demonstratinga quantum increase in well-documentedecological measurementsisveryencouraging.3Butthiswealthofdata mustnow be utilizedto testpropositionscross-culturallyand to deal withareas ofbehaviornot di-rectly related to subsistence. Anthropoiogists working in SouthAmerica and elsewhere have discovered the importanceof obtainingaccurateknowledgeabout behavioralformationsfromthepast in orderto understandproperlythepresent.Butethnohistoricaland archeologi-cal studiesin South Americaare stillseriouslylacking.Perhapsmosttellingofall is thefactthatthereare severaldiffer-ent schools of analysis of South Americanculturewhose findingsdonot articulatewith one another.Major questions have been raised inthe contextoflowland South Americanethnology,questions thathaveimportantimplicationsforthe natureof societyitself,the relationsbe-tweenthe sexes, the role ofritualin social life,the varietiesofkinshipsystems,and the issue ofwhethermodernsocietyis capable ofallow-ing culturallydifferentminoritiesto survive in its midst. All of theschools of anthropologydiscussed in this review have somethingtocontribute;however,themajorobstaclesto greatercollaborationare thereluctanceof some ethnologiststo state theirhypotheses in testableformand theresistanceofothersto applyingtheirdata to sociallyandhistoricallysignificantissues. Nonetheless, the latest harvestof pub-lished studies provides grounds for cautious optimism that SouthAmerican studies will eventually make major contributionsto thegrowthofethnology.NOTES1. Maybury-Lewisspelled theirname "Shavante,"while I have adopted the orthogra-phy thatcame into general use afterhis study was completed,in which the "sh"sound in Englishis renderedas x, hence Xavante.2. One of the fewotherstudies of CentralBrazilianpeoples thatshows how changeoccurredwithinthestructureis Lux Vidals 1977workon the Kayap6-Xikrin.3. See Hames and Vickers1983.219
  22. 22. LatinAmericanResearchReviewBIBLIOGRAPHYABORIGINES PROTECTION SOCIETY OF LONDON1973 TribesoftheAmazonBasininBrazil,1972. London: n.p.BAMBERGER, JOAN1971 "The Adequacy of Kayap6 EcologicalAdjustment."VerhandlungendesXXXVIII InternationalenAmerikanistenkongresses,Stuttgartand Mu-nich,12-18August 1968,3:373-79. Munich: Klaus Renner.BECKERMAN, STEPHEN1979 "The Abundance ofProteinin Amazonia: A Replyto Gross." AmericanAnthropologist81:533-60.BECKERMAN, STEPHEN, RAYMOND HAMES, WILLIAM T. VICKERS, JAMES BOSTER,AND ANTHONY STOCKS1983 "Does theSwidden Ape theJungle?"HumanEcology11, no. 1:1-102.CARDOSO DE OLIVEIRA, ROBERTO1972 A Sociologiado BrasilIndigena.Sao Paulo: Edit6raTempo and Edit6raUniversidadede Sao Paulo.CARNEIRO, ROBERT1961 "Slash-and-BurnCultivationamong the Kuikuro and Its ImplicationsforCulturalDevelopmentin theAmazon Basin." Antropol6gicaSupple-ment no. 2: The Evolutionof HorticulturalSystemsin Native SouthAmerica,editedbyJohannesWilbert,47-67. Caracas.CROCKER, WILLIAM1979 "Canela Kinshipand the Question ofMatrilineality."In Brazil:Anthro-pologicalPerspectives,edited by M. Margolis and W. Carter,225-49.New York:Columbia UniversityPress.DAVIS, SHELTON H.1977 VictimsoftheMiracle.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress.EMBER, MELVIN, AND CAROL R. EMBER1971 "The Conditions Favoring Matrilocal versus Patrilocal Residence."AmericanAnthropologist73, no. 3:571-94.EITEN, GEORGE1972 "The Cerrado VegetationofBrazil." TheBotanicalReview38, no. 2:201-341.FLOWERS, NANCY M., DANIEL R. GROSS, MADELINE L. RITTER, AND DENNIS W.WERNER1982 "Variationin Swidden Practicesin Four CentralBrazilianIndian Soci-eties." HumanEcology10, no. 2:203-17.FUERST, RENE1972 BibliographyoftheIndigenousProblemand PolicyoftheBrazilianAmazonRegion (1957-1972). Geneva and Copenhagen: International WorkGroup on Indigenous Affairs.GROSS, DANIEL R.1975 "ProteinCapture and Cultural Development in the Amazon Basin."AmericanAnthropologist77, no. 3:526-49.1979 "A New Approach to CentralBrazilianSocial Organization."In Brasil:AnthropologicalPerspectives,edited by M. Margolisand W. Carter,321-42. New York:Columbia UniversityPress.1981 "In theXingu:A ShatteredPeace." Geo3, no. 4:26-34.1983 "VillageMovementin Relationto Resourcesin Amazonia." In AdaptiveResponsesofNativeAmazonians.SeeHAMES AND VICKERS, 429-49.GROSS, DANIEL R., GEORGE EITEN, NANCY M. FLOWERS, M. FRANCISCA LEOI, MAD-220
  23. 23. REVIEW ESSAYSELINE LATTMAN RITTER, AND DENNIS WERNER1979 "Ecology and Acculturationamong Native Peoples of CentralBrazil."Science206:1043-50.HAMES, RAYMONDn.d. "The WildProteinQuest in Amazonia." Manuscript.HAMES, RAYMOND, AND WILLIAM VICKERS, EDITORS1983 AdaptiveResponsesofNativeAmazonians.New York:Academic Press.HANBURY-TENISON, ROBIN1973 A QuestionofSurvivalfortheIndiansofBrazil.New York:Scribners.JACKSON, JEAN1976 "Vaupes Marriage:A NetworkSystemin an UndifferentiatedRegionofthe NorthwestAmazon." In RegionalAnalysis,Vol. 2: Social Systems,editedbyC. Smith,65-93. New York:Academic Press.JOHNSON, ALLEN, AND CLIFFORD A. BEHRENS1982 "NutritionalCriteriain Machiguenga Food ProductionDecisions: ALinear-ProgrammingAnalysis."HumanEcology10, no. 2:167-89.JUNQUEIRA, CARMEN1973 TheBrazilianIndigenousProblemandPolicy:TheExampleoftheXinguNa-tionalPark.Geneva and Copenhagen: InternationalWorkGroup on In-digenous Affairs.LATHRAP, DONALD1968 "The Hunting Economies of the Tropical Forest Zone of SouthAmerica: An Attemptat HistoricalPerspective."In Man theHunter,editedbyR. B. Lee and I. Devore, 23-29. Chicago: Aldine Press.LEVI-STRAUSS, CLAUDE1961 TristesTropiques,translatedbyJohnRussell. New York:Atheneum.1967 "Social Structuresof Centraland EasternBrazil." [1952] In StructuralAnthropology,translatedby C. Jacobsonand Brooke Schoepf, 116-27.New York:Doubleday.LYON, PATRICIA J.1974 NativeSouthAmericans:EthnologyoftheLeastKnownContinent.Boston:LittleBrown.MAYBURY-LEWIS, DAVID1958 "Kinshipand Social Organizationin CentralBrazil."ProceedingsoftheThirty-SecondInternationalCongress of Americanists,Copenhagen,123-36.1967 Akwe-ShavanteSociety.Oxford:Clarendon Press.MEGGERS, BETTY J.1954 "EnvironmentalLimitationson theDevelopmentofCulture."AmericanAnthropologist56, no. 5:801-24.MOREY, N., AND R. MOREY1975 "Relacionescomercialesen el pasado en los llanos de Colombia y Ven-ezuela." Montalban(Caracas) 4:533-64.MURPHY, YOLANDA, AND ROBERT MURPHY1974 WomenoftheForest.New York:Columbia UniversityPress.PRICE, PAUL DAVID1972 TheNambikwaraofCentralBrazil.Ph.D. diss., UniversityofChicago.ROOSEVELT, ANNA C.1980 Parmana:PrehistoricMaize and Manioc SubsistencealongtheAmazonandOrinoco.New York:Academic Press.SORENSEN, ARTHUR1967 "Multilingualismin the NorthwestAmazon." AmericanAnthropologist221
  24. 24. LatinAmericanResearchReview69:670-84.VIDAL, LUX B.1977 Mortee Vidade umaSociedadeIndigenaBrasileira:Os Kayap6XikrindoRioCatete.Sao Paulo: Edit6raHucitecand Edit6rada Universidadede SaoPaulo.WERNER, DENNIS W.1978 "Trekkingin theForest."NaturalHistory87, no. 9:42-54.1983 "Why Do the MekranotiTrek?"In AdaptiveResponsesofNativeAmazo-nians.SeeHAMES AND VICKERS, 225-38.WERNER, DENNIS W., NANCY M. FLOWERS, MADELINE L. RITTER, AND DANIEL R.GROSS1979 "Subsistence Productivityand Hunting Effortin Native SouthAmerica."HumanEcology7, no. 4:303-15.22

×