Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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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. xiii-xiv

My field research among the Wari’ was funded by Finep, Faperj (Cientista do Nosso Estado 2012–2014), CNPq (Edital Universal 2011–2013; Produtividade em Pesquisa 2003–2015), the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (International Collaborative Grant—ICRG 40), and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-29

Two thousand years ago, a small sect, just one among the many seeking to redefine Judaism in opposition to the assimilation of Hellenic culture that had characterized the followers of the Law of Moses since the Roman Empire’s expansion into their lands, obtained a relative degree of success. Among other factors this was due to its missionary emphasis and...

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One. The New Tribes Mission

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pp. 30-47

The history of the NTM reads like a thriller, its happy ending a reward for surviving an unbelievable series of accidents and misfortunes, with the added peculiarity of the script being written by God. The ordeals sent by the Lord to test the faith and perseverance of the missionaries included the killing by arrows of the entire first group of missionaries in...

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Two. Versions versus Bodies: Translations in Contact

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pp. 48-74

In the previous chapter I examined the eschatological and ontological principles that inform Evangelical missionary work and concluded by presenting, very briefly, the conception of culture held by the missionaries. As we shall see, this conception is replicated in their notions of language and translation, which I contrast here with the equivalent notions...

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Three. The Encounter with the Missionaries

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pp. 75-96

In the previous chapter we examined the metaphysical questions surrounding the concepts of translation held by the missionaries and the Wari’, and saw that very distinct notions of culture, language, and communication were at play in this encounter. On one hand, we observed a search for an equivalence of words based on the existence of a single universe...

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Four. Eating God’s Words: Kinship and Conversion

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pp. 97-120

In the previous chapter we examined the first encounters between the Wari’ and the missionaries and the questions involved therein. We have seen that a specific historical context, which led to the isolation of part of the Wari’ population, prompted their initial interest in establishing peaceful relations with a group of enemies, with the idea, soon abandoned...

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Five. Praying and Preying

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pp. 121-143

In the previous chapter we saw that the establishment of kinship relations with the missionaries, combined with the activation of ties of consubstantiality internal to the group, were essential for the Wari’ to begin to understand what the missionaries were saying. Christianity was initially conceived by the Wari’ as an actualization of the native ideal of masking...

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Six. Strange Creator

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pp. 144-172

In the preceding chapters I have examined the reasons why the Wari’ approached the missionaries and the Christian message, and why that led them, after about a decade, to declare themselves Christians, telling the missionaries that they “believed” (howa, “to trust”) in God. As we have seen, the Wari’ saw that, from these powerful enemies—different from those with...

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Seven. Christian Ritual Life

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pp. 173-193

In chapter 4 we saw that the Wari’ comprehend love, which they translate as “to not dislike,” as the outcome of a process of supressing anger, and that God was initially associated with the position of an affine-enemy, identified with the mythic figure Pinom, but was later perceived as a strange and disembodied creator with whom they should become kin. Wishing to...

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Eight. Moral Changes

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pp. 194-218

In the previous chapter we examined the structure of the church services, the main and most frequent Christian ritual activity of the Wari’. There we observed the recurrence of themes examined over the course of the book, such as the importance of divine creation for the Wari’, the construction of generalized consanguinity out of affinity, and the establishment of...

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Nine. Personhood and Its Translations

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pp. 219-241

In the previous chapters we examined the Christian ritual life of the Wari’, including the continuities and ruptures with the traditional way of constituting ethical subjects. I suggested that these changes have been accompanied by transformations in the notion of personhood, indicating a process of individualization involving...

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Conclusion

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pp. 242-256

What has always surprised me about the Wari’ during my thirty years of knowing them closely is their enormous capacity to deal with changes, with the obvious exception of those that cause suffering and death. If young people want to hear Brazilian music on the radio instead of learning the tamara’ songs of the elders, or if they reveal that they don’t know the...

Notes

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pp. 257-278

References

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pp. 279-300

Index

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pp. 301-316