Consuming Grief Compassionate Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society

ISBN-10: 0292712367
ISBN-13: 9780292712362
Edition: 2001
Authors: Beth A. Conklin
List price: $26.95
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Description: Mourning the death of loved ones and recovering from their loss are universal human experiences, yet the grieving process is as different between cultures as it is among individuals. As late as the 1960s, the Wari' Indians of the western Amazonian  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 7/15/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 317
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.364
Language: English

Mourning the death of loved ones and recovering from their loss are universal human experiences, yet the grieving process is as different between cultures as it is among individuals. As late as the 1960s, the Wari' Indians of the western Amazonian rainforest ate the roasted flesh of their dead as an expression of compassion for the deceased and for his or her close relatives. By removing and transforming the corpse, which embodied ties between the living and the dead and was a focus of grief for the family of the deceased, Wari' death rites helped the bereaved kin accept their loss and go on with their lives.Drawing on the recollections of Wari' elders who participated in consuming the dead, this book presents one of the richest, most authoritative ethnographic accounts of funerary cannibalism ever recorded. Beth Conklin explores Wari' conceptions of person, body, and spirit, as well as indigenous understandings of memory and emotion, to explain why the Wari' felt that corpses must be destroyed and why they preferred cannibalism over cremation. Her findings challenge many commonly held beliefs about cannibalism and show why, in Wari' terms, it was considered the most honorable and compassionate way of treating the dead.

Beth A. Conklin is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University.

Acknowledgments
About the Artist and Illustrations
A Note on Orthography
Introduction
Contexts
Cannibal Epistemologies
Wari' Worlds
Cultural Collisions
Motifs and Motives
Funerals
Explanations of Eating
Bodily Connections
Social Anatomy
Embodied Identities
Burning Sorrow
Eat and be Eaten
Predator and Prey
Hunting the Ancestors
Transforming Grief
Afterword
The Story of Mortuary Cannibalism's Origin
The Story of Hujin and Orotapan
Notes
References
Index

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