Cover

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pp. 1-1

Series Page, Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

...Getting started on this project was certainly a lot easier than finishing it, and it is consoling to think that an undertaking of this nature is never truly finished. There is always so much more to say; the subject matter will always resist finalization. That this book exists owes a great deal to the patience and goodwill of the inhabitants of the communities of the upper Chambira River, where I spent one...

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Prologue: Learning to Stand-Leaned-Together

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pp. 1-6

...Upon returning from fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon I was often asked, as many returning anthropologists must surely be, what I missed most from life in the field. After contemplating for a moment the peaceful beauty of the river just before dawn and the agreeable challenge of drinking abundant manioc beer in good company, I was often led to ponder a certain hard to define aspect of the quality of life that I suspected had something to do with the sense...

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1. Spaces of Refuge

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pp. 7-33

...This book is about the shared nature of human existence: how we live our lives in the close company of others, in whose very being we come to participate. We come into the world accompanied, and this remains our defining condition: who we are, how we come to experience ourselves as conscious subjects, with the capacity to act on the world, are fundamentally conditioned by our constitutively accompanied...

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2. Vital Shields

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pp. 34-58

...Urarina dwellings are small and simple affairs. An overarching roof of thatched palm leaves shelters a raised stilt palm floor, but the dwelling remains otherwise open to the elements, allowing little by way of privacy. Walking past Lorenzo’s house to the river one morning, my idle glance inside met with a familiar, homely sight. Lorenzo’s wife, Renona, was seated on the floor with a leg stretched out...

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3. Conceiving the Conjugal Body

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pp. 59-93

...Buuno’s first marriage lasted just three days. It began in high spirits when Anita, on a brief visit to the community, passed the night in his bed after a drinking party and remained there the next morning. Though already twice divorced, Anita had no children, and the young couple was clearly happy with the union, as was Buuno’s father, Sere, who immediately offered his daughter to Anita’s brother...

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4. Mutuality and Autonomy

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pp. 94-132

...From the earliest appearance in the womb through to a restful state of receptivity in the protective space of the hammock, the creation and early growth of a new person is at every moment wedded to a broader process of socialization and the formation or consolidation of companionships between spouses, ritual co-parents, and others in the infant’s innermost social circle. As discussed in the previous two chapters, this process often hinges on implicit ideas about the nature of subjectivity...

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5. Authority and Solidarity

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pp. 133-163

...Weary of the interminable feuding, Roberto and his extended family, comprising nearly half the community of Nueva Unión, finally dismantled their houses and cleared a site for a new, breakaway village just a few bends downriver. The dispute between Roberto and his brother Lorenzo was so long-standing that people had trouble remembering how it started. By the time I arrived on the...

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6. Mastering Subjection

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pp. 164-202

...That most animals, plants, and a host of other nonhumans are said to have some kind of master, owner, or mother is one of the most ubiquitous features of Amazonian cosmologies. In his classic formulation of Amerindian perspectivism, Viveiros de Castro (1998: 471) mentions these only in passing, suggesting that they appear to function as reified personifications, or “hypostatizations,” of the species with they are associated, allowing humans to relate to animals...

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Epilogue: An Accompanied Life

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pp. 203-216

...Old Gustodio lay motionless as the visitors started to arrive, the only sign of life the barely detectable rise and fall of his blankets. One of his sons, a quiet lad named Amiuri, gently fanned air over his tired body. I stared at the floor in front of me as one person after another slowly wandered over and climbed the steps to the house, easing themselves down onto the stilt palm floor. Nobody spoke...

Notes

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pp. 217-226

Bibliography

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pp. 227-234

Index

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pp. 235-239