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Making Kin out of Others in Amazonia

Aparecida Vilaça
The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Jun., 2002), pp. 347-365
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3134479
Page Count: 19
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Making Kin out of Others in Amazonia
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Abstract

This article analyses the process of producing kinship among various Amazonian peoples, focusing primarily on the Wari', a Txapakura-speaking people living in Western Amazonia (Brazil). It argues that the production of kin cannot be related exclusively to the domestic or intra-tribal domain, since kinship emerges through a constant dialogue with non-human entities. By examining the significance of alimentary taboos associated with couvade practices in a number of groups, it shows that the new-born is made human by means of the production of its body as a human body in contraposition to animal bodies. / Cet article analyse le processus de production de la parenté chez plusieurs peuples amazoniens, en concentrant l'attention principalement sur les Wari', un peuple de langue Txapakuara qui vit en Amazonie occidentale (Brésil). Je soutiens que la production de la parenté ne peut être liée exclusivement au domaine domestique ou intra-tribal, car la parenté émerge à travers un dialogue constant avec des entités non-humaines. En examinant la signification des tabous alimentaires associés aux pratiques de couvade dans un certain nombre de groupes, l'article démontre que le nouveau-né est humanisé grâce à la production de son corps en tant que corps humain contrairement aux corps des animaux.

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