Guinea-pigs by Eduardo P. Archetti
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By Eduardo P. Archetti


Food, Symbol and Conflict of Knowledge in Ecuador

By (author) See other recent books by Eduardo P. Archetti
Translated by Valentina Napolitano See other recent books by Valentina Napolitano
Format: Paperback

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Guinea-pigs by Eduardo P. Archetti

Book Description

Guinea pigs have been reared and eaten by indigenous people in the Andes since ancient times, and it seemed rational to development planners to 'modernize' their production. When these development projects ran into trouble, a team of anthropologists was invited to study the reasons for this lack of success. This intriguing book is the product of that study.What the author shows is that guinea pigs have a meaning in the social and ritual life of Ecuadorian peasants which is far from mundane. Rejecting the attempts of some anthropologists to reduce the production of guinea pigs and the festive life of the Andean community to a quest for protein, he explores the full complex of social and cultural practices which centre on this animal, and uses his study of its role within Andean culture to provide telling insights into how that culture itself is constituted -- its values, beliefs and attitudes. By working in a variety of communities with different ecological and ethnographic characteristics, the author has made a major contribution to ethnographic accounts of Ecuador and to the more general study of ritual, consumption and indigenous knowledge. He points us, in particular, towards the importance of the knowledge of women, who are those principally responsible for the care of an animal which is prized for its role in healing and central to Andean sociality. The book not only presents us with a colourful description of the range of cultural practices surrounding the guinea pig, ranging from the way the animals are reared, through a rich and complex cuisine, to their role in ritual life, but also highlights the way the gender dimension is central to understanding resistances to 'modernization' and the power of 'experts'.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781859731192
ISBN-10: 1859731198
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 138mm x 13mm)
Pages: 168
Imprint: Berg Publishers
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 1-May-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Eduardo P. Archetti

Sport, Dance and Embodied Identities by Eduardo P. Archetti Sport, Dance and Embodied Identities, Paperback (July 2003)

Sport and dance command the devotion of countless athletes, dancers and fans worldwide. This volume argues that these two embodied cultural forms share a vital capacity to constitute and express identities through their practiced movements and scripted forms.

Masculinities by Eduardo P. Archetti Masculinities, Hardback (March 1999)

The relationship between nationalism and masculinity has been explored with one conclusion: male concepts of courage and virility are at the core of nationalism. This text questions and explores this through an empirical analysis of masculinity in the contexts of same-sex and cross-sex relations.

» View all books by Eduardo P. Archetti


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Author Biography - Eduardo P. Archetti

Eduardo P. Archetti Professor of Social Anthropology,University of Oslo Translated from the Spanish by Valentina Napolitano

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