Magic and Meaning in an Amazonian Society (rev. edition)
Michael F. Brown
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: University of Alabama Press (January 31, 2006)
From the jacket copy. Magic has been a central concern of anthropologists since the emergence of the discipline. The apparently illogical character of magic confronts social science with a riddle: How can people with an eminently practical grasp of their surroundings—indeed, whose empirical knowledge is often astonishingly sophisticated—subscribe to beliefs and practices that seem to us self-evidently false?
“An outstanding and innovative study on hunting, gardening, and love magic among the Aguaruna. . . . [It is] both highly useful ethnographically and an important contribution to the understanding of a how a primitive culture conceptualizes its transactions with nature. The book touches on cosmology and religion as well as the ethnoecology of hunting and agriculture—with an interlude on sex.”—American Ethnologist
“A well-written and carefully crafted account of Aguaruna magic and its practical applications [that] diverges from more traditional approaches by focusing not only on the symbolic realm of magic but also on the instrumental intent.”—American Anthropologist
“An excellent ethnographic account. . . . This book is highly original, imaginative, and readable. It should be popular among specialists of Amazonia, as well as useful in a broad range of anthropology courses.”—Latin American Anthropology Review