Behold the Black Caiman by anthropologist Lucas Bessire is a haunting ethnography based on a decade of fieldwork among a group of Ayoreo-speaking tribes in the Gran Chaco, the largest forested area in South America after the Amazon. Bessire shows that, far from being untouched noble savages, a most of the Ayoreo tribes are struggling to survive on the margins of industrialized society as cattle ranches encroach on the dense wilderness that they once called home. As one of the poorest and most marginalized indigenous groups in the region, the Ayoreo endure unfathomable levels of violence and discrimination. Faced with such brutality, the Ayoreo believe that survival within modernity requires a radical transformation, including the abandonment of nearly all of the practices that count as authorized native culturea in Latin America. Bessire argues that their attitude is not evidence of contamination or loss--as many anthropologists, NGOs, and state representatives would have it--but is rather a profound moral response to their desperate situation. The book thus aims to revise the anthropology and history of Ayoreo-speaking people, and indigenous people in general, who have long been seen as the ultimate primitives outsidea the State, market, and history. Written in the tradition of classic texts such as Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians and Tristes Tropiques, the book tells a tragic story of catastrophic violence that is urgently relevant to identity politics both within Latin America and beyond.The book thus aims to revise the anthropology and history of Ayoreo-speaking people, and indigenous people in general, who have long been seen as the ultimate primitives outsidea the State, market, and history.
|Title||:||Behold the Black Caiman|
|Publisher||:||University of Chicago Press - 2014-10-24|