The Ecology of Power: Culture, Place and Personhood in the by Michael J. Heckenberger

By Michael J. Heckenberger

In 1884 a group of Brazilians was once "discovered" through the Western global. The Ecology of strength examines those indigenous humans from the higher Xingu sector, a gaggle who even this day are one of many most powerful examples of long term cultural continuity. Drawing upon written and oral heritage, ethnography, and archaeology, Heckenberger addresses the tough concerns dealing with anthropologists at the present time as they "uncover" the muted voices of indigenous peoples and gives a desirable portrait of a different group of people that have in a fashion develop into dwelling cultural artifacts.

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Extra resources for The Ecology of Power: Culture, Place and Personhood in the Southern Amazon, AD 1000-2000 (Critical Perspectives in Identity, Memory & the Built Environment)

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Most political anthropologists would likely agree that “political succession in chiefdoms and early states is almost invariably hereditary” (Lewellen 1992: 85) and involves some form of social hierarchy. , Appadurai 1988; Crumley 1987). Nonetheless, 26 • The Ecology of Power many, if not most, ancient complex societies did base their political power in dominant idioms of social hierarchy. Thus, as Dumont (1970) notes, equality and hierarchy exist in all social formations, but in some hierarchical social ranking becomes the dominant, or encompassing, dimension in the structural distribution of power and authority, not because hierarchy depends on reliable reproduction of chiefly persons, families, and classes, but because it is a pervasive metaphor underlying all.

6 Ridges that extend from the highlands to the east and west literally “pinch-off ” the basin at about this spot and the multiple headwater tributaries are forced into a bottleneck, which below Morená is the upper Xingu River proper. 8 The ecology of the Upper Xingu is neither várzea nor terra firme, in the classic sense, but is something of a “halfway house” between the two (Carneiro 1995). In fact, the regional ecology is somewhat unique in Amazonia, with regard to the numerous large lakes, for instance.

Hierarchy is about how people define the status and role (identity) of other people within social formations, but it refers to two related but separate things: (1) an ordered segmentation of society, that may be purely symbolic; and (2) a structure of power. Hierarchy, such as described below for the Upper Xingu, refers specifically to an ideology that divides society into lower and upper social strata, in terms of rights and access to certain material and symbolic things, based in large part on genealogical “substance” (see Chapters 8 and 9).

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