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Us, RelativesScaling and Plural Life in a Forager World$
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Nurit Bird-David

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293403

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293403.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Nonhuman Kin

Nonhuman Kin

Unispecies Societies and Plural Communities

Chapter:
(p.153) 5. Nonhuman Kin
Source:
Us, Relatives
Author(s):

Nurit Bird-David

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520293403.003.0010

Theories of indigenous ontologies have depicted forager-cultivator worlds populated by human and nonhuman persons or even by societies of humans and nonhumans, ignoring the tiny-scale context of indigenous life. The idea of multiple unispecies societies is especially incongruent with tropical forest ecosystems (especially the Amazonian), where, rather than sameness, diversity of beings is striking at any particular locale. Through ethnography of spirit possession (during the “big animistic visit”) combined with glimpses into myths, interspecies kinship, and ad hoc approach to classification, this chapter depicts the foragers’ heterogeneous (human and nonhuman) community of being and the being-with instead of being like that is its ontological basis.

Keywords:   Animism, nonhuman kin, spirit possession, interspecies kinship, animistic person, (uni)species societies, multispecies community, indigenous ontologies [scalar biases, hunter-gatherers, South Asian foragers, plural life]

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