Reflections on the Land of Melazonia

Thomas A. Gregor and Donald Tuzin

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:
Reflections on the Land of Melazonia

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This chapter elucidates the similarities between sociocultural features of Melanesia and Amazonia, collectively referred to as Melazonia, examining the interregional comparison chiefly through the lens of gender. Studies indicate that, in both regions, differences between males and females are commonly used as a model for the organization of other differences occurring in the areas of social action, cultural ideology, perceived nature, and the cosmos. Though the particular contours and contents of the inflection vary according to local circumstances, through it all can be seen the dangerous, procreative, erotic, sometimes disguised and always ambivalent play of gender distinctions. Furthermore, the chapter explores the question of whether the similarities stated are real or hypothetical and, finally, proposes a model to construct a comparative method that could encompass cultures separated by space and time.

Keywords: Melazonia; gender; social action; cultural ideology; cosmos; gender distinctions

Chapter.  2991 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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