Memorable Singularity

Crafting Unique Individuals in an Amazonian Society

Anne-Christine Taylor

Memorable Singularity

Anne-Christine Taylor

Distributed for HAU

375 pages | 6 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780999157015 Will Publish January 2019
Individual sovereignty is a central value among Amazonian groups, in keeping with a cosmology premised on the production of people rather than material property. The Jivaroan Indians of Western Amazonia exemplify these ideals to an unusual degree. Jivaroean have long been notorious for a reputed addiction to warfare, their custom of shrinking enemies’ heads, and their fierce resistance to colonial and post-colonial attempts to convert them to Christianity and to deprive them of their land, identity, and lifeways. Becoming and remaining an accomplished Jivaroan person is a taxing and risk-fraught achievement: it requires living and imagining in the heroic mode and mastering the art of making one’s self memorable.
 
In Memorable Singularity, anthropologist Anne-Christine Taylor describes how Jivaroans strive for uniqueness of being and destiny, unconstrained by the claims of any institutionalized form authority beyond the individual. Taylor covers a wide range of subjects: feuding and intertribal warfare, Jivaroan notions of personhood, corporeality, reflexive consciousness, thought and affect, memory, and visual culture. An essential collection of one of the foremost Amazonian specialists, Memorable Singularity is at once a richly literary work and an illuminating meditation on the process of crafting and imagining the human self.
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