Under the Rainbow: Nature and Supernature among the Panare Indians

Under the Rainbow: Nature and Supernature among the Panare Indians

by Jean-Paul Dumont

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This ethnographic study of the Panare Indians of Venezuela is the first extensive look at a tribe of this region of the Amazonia. It is an important book not only because it delves into the myth-filled Panare culture, but also because the author has used a modified version of the structural analysis of Claude Lévi-Strauss in examining the Panare. Lévi-Strauss applied his method of structural analysis to the mythology of many societies in Amazonia, but never to any single society. Jean-Paul Dumont has filled that gap and has shown how the approach works in practice when applied to the intensive study of a single, small-scale culture. His book significantly expands the discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the method. The work deals specifically with the implicit mythology of the Panare and is concerned with the symbolic activities manifested in the daily behavior of this group. The analysis of the symbolism, explains Dumont, allows for the discovery of the conceptual system through which the Panare conceive of themselves. The study is organized into two parts: a presentation of the data and an analysis. The presentation includes a geographical and historical account of the Panare and a general ethnological profile. The analysis is organized into the conceptual categories of inhabited space, time, astrosexuality, hearing, and taste. A concluding chapter summarizes the analysis. Under the Rainbow will be of interest and of value not only to anthropologists but also to linguists, philosophers, psychologists, and others interested in the general intellectual movement represented by French structuralism. The fieldwork for Under the Rainbow was conducted in Venezuelan Guiana from September 1967 to July 1969.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292772175
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 07/03/2014
Series: Texas Pan American Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Jean-Paul Dumont is Clarence J. Robinson Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at George Mason University.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The Geographical Frame
  • 3. The Historical Frame
  • 4. An Ethnographic Presentation
  • 5. Inhabited Space
  • 6. Time and Astrosexuality
  • 7. Hearing and Taste
  • 8. Conclusions
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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