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Families of the Forest – The Matsigenka Indians of the Peruvian Amazon - California Scholarship Online
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Families of the Forest: The Matsigenka Indians of the Peruvian Amazon

Allen Johnson


The idea of a family level society, discussed and disputed by anthropologists for nearly half a century, assumes moving, breathing form in this book. According to this ethnography, the Matsigenka people of southeastern Peru cannot be understood or appreciated except as a family level society; the family level of sociocultural integration is for them a lived reality. Under ordinary circumstances, the largest social units are individual households or small extended-family hamlets. In the absence of such “tribal” features as villages, territorial defense and warfare, local or regional leaders, an ... More

Keywords: family level society, Matsigenka, southeastern Peru, sociocultural integration, social units, economic self-reliance, control of aggression, self-interest, Amazon rainforest, self-control

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780520232419
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520232419.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Allen Johnson, author