Download Anxious Pleasures: The Sexual Lives of an Amazonian People by Thomas Gregor PDF

By Thomas Gregor

"Good fish get boring yet intercourse is usually fun." So say the Mehinaku humans of Brazil. yet Thomas Gregor exhibits that intercourse brings a best ambiguity to the villagers' lives. of their complex rituals—especially these practiced by means of the boys of their mystery societies—the Mehinaku provide expression to a process of symbols corresponding to psychosexual neuroses pointed out by way of Freud: castration nervousness, Oedipal clash, fantasies of lack of power via intercourse, and a number of others. "If we glance carefully," writes Gregor, "we will see reflections of our personal sexual nature within the existence methods of an Amazonian people." The publication is illustrated with Mehinaku drawings of formality texts and myths, in addition to with pictures of the villagers enjoying either daily and ceremonial activities.

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The master of the myth (aunaki wekehe), as the accomplished raconteur is called, creates an atmosphere of enchantment that holds his audience spellbound. In our textual versions of the myths, I will only be able to do partial justice to this art form, since we will miss the rhetorical devices and sense of timing by which the narrator gives meaning to the story. We lose onomatopoeic vocabulary: the puhpuh-puh slap of the canoe paddle against the water, the tek-tek-tek of feet along a path, or the tssyu of a knife cutting a cord.

He likes to take her and his children on long fishing trips so that they can be alone together. Far away from inlaws, village gossips, and the tension of sexual intrigues, they spend the days fishing, collecting wild fruits, and paddling together in their canoe to explore distant streams and lakes. On my most recent visit to the Mehinaku, Ketepe asked that I buy him a large tarpaulin as a roof for his family when they pitched their hammocks together under the trees. Even couples who are less affectionate than Ketepe and his wife spend a fair amount of time together.

Bisecting the community are broad paths that the men clear in order to see visitors well in advance of their arrival in the village. Also visible are two houses under construction and several manioc drying racks, which are built during the rainless months of the dry season. 24 Chapter Two areas are scolded by their parents and ordered away. Only women properly belong in these regions. When they leave, it is for specific tasks, such as getting water, visiting their gardens, and participating in public rituals.

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