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AnthroLab: Vortrag über eine ethnolinguistische Untersuchung zu Transformationsprozessen in Amazonien

Dreizehnter Vortrag des "Marburger AnthroLab"

Zeit: 10.06.2010 18:00 h
Ort: Fachgebiet Völkerkunde, Kugelhaus, Kugelgasse 10, 1. OG


Gastprofessorin Dr. Eithne Carlin

Weitere Informationen:

The problem of becoming human (again): an ethnolinguistic approach to Amazonian transformations

Many anthropologists working in Amazonia, especially those gleaning cultural information from the oral traditions, are faced with what Joanna Overing (1990: 602), describes as “chaos, obscurity, ambiguity, and confusion” because the protagonists in the narratives often appear in different guises, so a character being described may be a human, an animal or a spirit or all of the above at any given time. In addition, protagonists often die only to appear alive again later in the story. Taking as an example a myth of the Trio of Suriname, a group belonging to the Cariban language family, I will show how transformations are built into Trio culture, the basic cultural canon being that the anima or spirit of a living creature can manifest itself in different forms, that is, it can change its outer casing or clothes and then appear as something it is intrinsically not. It is because of learning of or reading of such transformations in a translated version into a non-Amerindian language that confusion arises for the westerner. The fluid reality or parallel world reality of the transformational Amazonian world  is recognized and charted in the Cariban languages. World realities are marked by means of several grammatical markers, one of which, the facsimile marker –me, indicates that the denotee of a noun is manifestly but not intrinsically so. Using the chosen Trio myth to exemplify I will show one process of transformation, the rules that the transformees have to adhere to and how moving back and forth between worlds is a precarious task that is, linguistically speaking, far from confusing.

Eithne B. Carlin, Leiden University



Zuletzt aktualisiert: 07.06.2010 · leutnerf

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