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- DescriptionIn contrast to western tions of the soul as the essence or most native part of a human being, the Tzeltal-speaking Indians of Chiapas, Mexico, regard the soul first and foremost as an Other. Made up of beings that personify the antithesis of their native selves-animals such as hummingbirds or jaguars, atmospheric phemena like lightning bolts or rainbows, or spirits of European appearance such as Catholic priests or evangelical musicians-Tzeltal souls represent the maximum expression of that which is alien. And because their souls enfold that which is outside and Other, the Tzeltal contain within themselves the history of their relationship with Europeans from the beginning of the Spanish conquest to the present time. Thus, to understand the Indian self opens a window into the Tzeltal conception of culture and community, their tions of identity and alterity, and their interpretation of interethnic relations and types of historical memory. In this pathfinding ethgraphy, which was originally published in Spanish in 1996 as Ch'ulel: una etgrafia de las almas tzeltales and is w extensively rewritten and amplified in English, Pedro Pitarch offers a new understanding of indigeus concepts of the soul, personhood, and historical memory in highland Chiapas. Exploring numerous aspects of indigeus culture and history-medicine and shamanism, geography and cosmology, and politics and kinship among them-he engages in a radical rethinking of classic issues in Mesoamerican anthropology, such as ethnicity and alterity, community and tradition, and change and permanence.
- Author BiographyPEDRO PITARCH is Professor of Anthropology at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and Invited Researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Indigenas in Chiapas. He has edited or coedited several books, among them Human Rights in the Maya Region: Global Politics, Moral Engagements, and Cultural Contentions.
- Author(s)Pedro Pitarch
- PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
- Date of Publication15/11/2011
- SubjectSocial Sciences: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Series TitleThe Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies
- Place of PublicationAustin, TX
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Texas Press
- Content Note18 b&w photos
- Weight426 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine17 mm
- Foreword byRoy Wagner
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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