Age-Based Genders among the Kayapo

William. H. Fisher

in Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780520228511
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935815 | DOI:
Age-Based Genders among the Kayapo

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This chapter argues that age and gender should not be separated, in the sense that they are part of the same complex of ideas. Amazonian and Melanesian accounts generally concur on the inconstancy of gender imagery associated with the individual human body, whether male or female, throughout the life course. Following this, the chapter explores parallel patterns of maturation and gender, and, in general, body imagery that is similar in the regions of Brazilian Kayapo and the Yangoru Boiken of New Guinea. Furthermore, it explores significant differences in the way in which Amazonians and Melanesians discriminate between self and society and between culture and nature as they are revealed by gender and age roles. The two studies stand together as reminders that cultures and cultural regions do not need to be essentialized or utterly compliant with a master code in order for the work of comparison to go forward.

Keywords: age roles; gender; maturation; Brazilian Kayapo; self and society; culture and nature

Chapter.  12603 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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