Book

Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia

Edited by Thomas Gregor and Donald Tuzin

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780520228511
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935815 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520228511.001.0001
Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia

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One of the great riddles of cultural history is the remarkable parallel that exists between the peoples of Amazonia and those of Melanesia. Although the two regions are separated by half a world in distance and at least 40,000 years of history, their cultures nonetheless reveal striking similarities in the areas of sex and gender. In both Amazonia and Melanesia, male–female differences infuse social organization and self-conception. They are the core of religion, symbolism, and cosmology, and they permeate ideas about body imagery, procreation, growth, men's cults, and rituals of initiation. The contributors to this book illuminate the various ways in which sex and gender are elaborated, obsessed over, and internalized, shaping subjective experiences common to entire cultural regions, and beyond. Through comparison of the life ways of Melanesia and Amazonia, they expand the study of gender, as well as the comparative method in anthropology, in new directions.

Keywords: cultural history; Amazonia; Melanesia; male–female differences; social organization; self-conception; religion; symbolism; cosmology; body imagery

Book.  402 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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Age-Based Genders among the Kayapo in Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia

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