lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on anthropology

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Acebes, Hector & Isolde Brielmaier and Ed Marquand
Hector Acebes: Portraits in Africa 1948-1953
Sunbird Publishing, Cape Town South Africa, 2004.
Quarto hardcover; beige cloth boards with black upper board and spine titling, illustrated endpapers; 23pp., and 73 monochrome plates at rear. Mild wear to dustwrapper edges with small chip on head of spine. Near fine and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Photographing with the box camera his father had given him, Hector Acebes noticed as a teenager in the 1930s that his pictures of friends and family were consistently sharper and more carefully composed than those taken by his schoolmates. This innate talent, combined with solid training in engineering and an attraction to adventure, eventually grew into a long and productive career as a documentary and industrial filmmaker. It is Acebes's still photographs from his travels in the late 1940s and early 1950s throughout Africa and South American, however, that may become his most important legacy. With the respect they command for the individuals who appeared before his lens., these recently rediscovered images attest to Acebes's photographic gift. They offer a valuable resource for scholars and students of local societies and cultures in Africa and South America, yet their importance reverberates far beyond the classroom. Today, Acebes's images are recognized as fine art - works of beauty and grace that showcase the photographer's technical ability and masterful compositional skills. Even more evident are the confidence and respect he established with his subjects - qualities that shine through to elevate his work beyond the documentary. Acebes's portraits offer our jaded imaginations a fresh look at people, cultures, and experiences that have changed dramatically over the past fifty years. We see individuals, families, and communities set among monumental architecture, busy markets, and broad landscapes, all viewed from the passionate perspective of a young man, curious and captivated by the vigorous energy and beauty of what he saw. This book presents the exquisite work of Hector Acebes for the first time in monograph form. Over ninety striking images are richly reproduced in duotone. Ed Marquand, director of the Hector Acebes Archive, introduces Acebes in a brief biography. Isolde Brielmaier, a noted art historian of African photography, places Acebes's African work in the context of other photographers shooting in Africa at the time. She also discusses the qualities of Acebes's work that distinguish his photographs today.
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Allen, M.R.
Male Cults and Secret Initiations in Melanesia
Melbourne University Press, Carlton Vic., 1967.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 140pp., with maps and diagrams. Mild wear; text block edges toned and top edge dusted; previous owner's ink inscription to the flyleaf; a mark from a removed retailer's sticker to the front pastedown. Dustwrapper is rubbed and lightly edgeworn; scraped along the upper flap-turn and hinges with a small tear at the spine panel foot; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Anawalt, Patricia Rieff
Shamanic Regalia in the Far North
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 2014.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles, blind-stamped upper board decoration, illustrated endpapers and a brown ribbon; 192pp., all edges gilt, with a full-colour frontispiece, many maps and many full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. The Northwest coast makes up one of the last regions on earth to be traversed by Western explorers. In this region an ensemble of related peoples created a large cultural universe derived from the cross-fertilization of ideas, oral traditions, and art. The shaman's cosmos was divided into three worlds, Lower, Middle and Upper, where the spirits ruled. With supernatural helpers, shamans sought to manipulate the environment, making use of regalia and objects that bequeath an acute sense of the animistic world that reflects the early interactions between man and nature. Structuring her account by the three geographical regions, Patricia Rieff Anawalt not only probes deeply into the significance and meaning of the shamanic practices, but also points up the intriguing differences in the ritual garb across the vast territories concerned as generation after generation sought to influence events through the aid of spirits.
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Broder, Patricia Janis
Hopi Painting The World of the Hopis
Brandywine Press Inc., New York NY, 1979.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and upper board decoration; 319pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; light spotting to the text block edges. Dustwrapper mildly rubbed. Very good to near fine. Vital, colourful and rooted in deep and abiding religious meaning, in ancient myths and symbols that achieve a synthesis of past and present, Hopi art continues to have special value and power. Through preservation and adaptation Hopis have, in modern times, continued to synthesize tradition and innovation to create cultural milestones in art and thought. This book shows how traditional designs and symbols have been adapted to present-day needs. Painting, pottery, craft designs are discussed and some biographical sketches of Hopi artists are included.
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Catlin, George (Introduction by Peter Matthiessen; C J Shepherd, ed.)
Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs and Condition of the North American Indians - Folio Society edition Written during Eight Years' Travel amongst the Wildest Tribes of Indians in North America
The Folio Society, London, 2009.
First printing: quarto; hardcover, full decorated cloth with endpaper maps; 470pp., with a colour frontispiece, maps and many illustrations likewise. Minor wear. Fine in a slightly rubbed slipcase. From 1831 to 1837, George Catlin travelled extensively among the native peoples of North America-from the Muskogee and Miccosukee Creeks of the Southeast to the Lakota, Mandan, and Pawnee of the West, and from the Winnebagos and Menominees of the North to the Comanches of eastern Texas. Studying their habits, customs, and modes of life, he made copious notes and numerous sketches of ceremonies, buffalo hunts, symbols, and totems. Catlin's unprecedented fieldwork culminated in more than five hundred oil paintings and his now-legendary journals, which, as Peter Matthiessen writes, 'taken together...constitute the first, last, and only 'complete' record of the Plains Indians ever made at the height of their splendid culture, so soon destroyed by traders' liquor and disease, rapine and bayonets.'
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Crawford, A.L.
Aida Life and Ceremony of the Gogodala
National Cultural Council of Papua New Guinea & Robert Brown, Bathurst NSW, Australia, 1981.
Large quarto; hardcover; 408pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; a few spots and marks on text block edges; slight scuffing to dustwrapper. Near fine and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. This book is the result of ten years work, five of which were spent in the field encouraging a cultural revival program sponsored by the National Cultural Council. The book depicts mighty racing canoes, longhouses and the spiritual creations that existed before the onset of colonization; these images often from archival collections. In addition the book contains a Catalogue of objects comprising over 700 items.
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Evans-Pritchard, E.E. (Foreword by C.G. Seligman)
Witchcraft Oracles and Magic Among the Azande
Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford UK, 1972.
Octavo; hardcover, full cloth with gilt spine titles and decoration; 558pp., with a monochrome frontispiece, maps, 33 monochrome plates and illustrations likewise. Moderate wear; shaken; spine extremities softened; text block edges lightly toned and top edge dusted with some pen scribbles; light offset to the endpapers; previous owners' names in ink to the front endpapers; some pencilled ticks to the contents pages. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed and edgeworn; some mild chipping to the spine panel extremities and flap-turns; spine panel sunned; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. At the London School of Economics, Evans-Pritchard came under the influence of Bronislaw Malinowski and especially Charles Gabriel Seligman, the founding ethnographer of the Sudan. His first fieldwork began in 1926 with the Azande, a people of the upper Nile, and resulted in both a doctorate (in 1927) and his classic Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande. Evans-Pritchard continued to lecture at the London School of Economics and conduct research in Azande and Bongo land until 1930, when he began a new research project among the Nuer. This work coincided with his appointment to the University of Cairo in 1932, where he gave a series of lectures on religion that bore Seligman's influence. After his return to Oxford, he continued his research on Nuer. It was during this period that he first met Meyer Fortes and A. R. Radcliffe-Brown. Evans-Pritchard began developing Radcliffe-Brown's program of structural-functionalism. As a result, his trilogy of works on the Nuer (The Nuer, Nuer Religion, and Kinship and Marriage Among the Nuer) and the volume he coedited entitled African Political Systems came to be seen as classics of British social anthropology. Evans-Pritchard's Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande is the first major anthropological contribution to the sociology of knowledge through its neutral - some would say 'relativist' - stance on the 'correctness' of Zande beliefs about causation. His work focused in on a known psychological effect known as psychological attribution. Evans-Pritchard recorded the tendencies of Azandes to blame or attribute witchcraft as the cause of various mis-happenings. The most notable of these issues involved the deaths of eight Azande people due to the collapse of a termite infested door frame. Evans-Pritchard's empirical work in this vein became well-known through philosophy of science and 'rationality' debates of the 1960s and 1970s involving Thomas Kuhn and especially Paul Feyerabend.
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Firth, Raymond (ed.)
Man and Culture: An Evaluation of the Work of Malinowski
Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1980.
Hardcover, octavo; dark red boards with gilt spine titling; 292pp., monochrome frontispiece and plates. Minor wear; faint spotting to text block edges; a few tiny scrapes/insect damage to spine panel edges. Very good to near fine with wrapper now professionally protected in archival film and white paper backing. This collection of essays is a reassessment of Malinowski's work by a group of his former pupils and colleagues. A frank evaluation, not a eulogy, it examines the real and lasting importance of Malinowski's brilliant contribution to a range of subjects. The essays discuss critically and appreciatively his views on language, cultural and social theory, kinship, law, religion and magic, applied anthropology and field research methods. There is also an examination of the philosophical bases of his thinking and some account of his personal and scientific career. A select bibliography of his writings is included.
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Gulbrandsen, Don
Edward S. Curtis: Visions of the First Americans
Chartwell, London, 2006.
Oblong folio, 256pp., sepia plates. Small scrape on lower spine extremity and lightly rubbed dustwrapper. Very good to near fine otherwise. Edward Curtis' goal was not just to photograph, but to document, as much American Indian traditional life as possible before that way of life disappeared. He wrote in the introduction to his first volume in 1907: 'The information that is to be gathered ... respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost.' Curtis made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Indian language and music. He took over 40,000 photographic images from over 80 tribes. He recorded tribal lore and history, and he described traditional foods, housing, garments, recreation, ceremonies, and funeral customs. He wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders, and his material, in most cases, is the only written recorded history although there is still a rich oral tradition that documents history. Curtis is regarded today as one of the foremost American photographers. His iconic work 'The North American Indian' took him thirty years to complete and cost him his marriage and his health. He had enthusiastic, rich and powerful patrons such as J Pierpoint Morgan and President Theodore Roosevelt- but died himself in relative poverty and obscurity leaving behind the most complete visual record of Native Americans from the Inuit of the far north to the Hopi of the southwest.
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Johnston, Franklin R.
The Lost Field Notes of Franklin R. Johnston's Life and Work Among the American Indians
First Glance Books, Cobb, 1997.
Quarto hardcover; illustrated boards and decorated endpapers; 192pp., monochrome illustrations. One or two tiny marks on text block edges. No dustwrapper. Near fine otherwise. Franklin R. Johnston's field notes - recently rediscovered after more than half a century - are a milestone in the history of anthropology. Johnston lived and worked among Native Americans from 1905 through 1939, carefully and meticulously documenting his experiences and discoveries. This book is lavishly illustrated with photographs from Johnston's own collection and other important sources, and with Johnston's original field drawings. Johnston knew Geronimo and was perhaps the last serious scholar to interview him before his death in 1909. Johnston went on to spend much of the next three decades amassing an important body of data before much of the primary source material was lost forever. He also created the largest private collection of Native American artifacts in the Western United States, and made the only film of the mysterious Hopi Snake Dance. A true adventurer, Johnston led expeditions to the Cocos Islands off Sumatra, and located Pirate Morgan's lost treasure in Costa Rica.
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Juillerat, Bernard (Nora Scott, trans.)
Children of the Blood - Explorations in Anthropology series Society, Reproduction amnd Cosmology in New Guinea
Berg/Oxford International Publishers Ltd., Oxford UK, 1996.
Octavo; hardcover, with upper board titles and illustration; 601pp., with maps, diagrams and many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; slightly shaken; covers lightly rubbed; text block top edge lightly dusted. No dustwrapper. Very good. This book explores the Yafar society, a forest people living by shifting cultivation, hunting and gathering. Based on fifteen years' research, it offers a detailed examination of all aspects of a society whose material and nutritional relations with their rainforest environment are mediated by a sociocultural system based on a carefully negotiated relationship with natural forces, and harmony between the sexes. The author shows how these basic ideas can be found in the ritualized and institutional aspects of the Yafar's social life, as well as their mythology.
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Lesser, Alexander
The Pawnee Ghost Dance Hand Game A Study of Cultural Change
Columbia University Press, New York NY, 1933.
First edition. Hardcover, octavo; brown boards with gilt spine titling and upper text block edges brown; 337pp., monochrome diagrams. Owner's name. Minor wear; a few small scratches on boards. No dustwrapper. Very good. The Ghost Dance religion that swept through the Plains Indian tribes in the early 1890s was embraced wholeheartedly by the Pawnees. It was a message of hope to a people devastated by the attacks of enemy tribes, the encroachment of white settlers, and the outbreak of epidemics. For the Pawnees, who were looking to the U.S. government and trying unsuccessfully to farm their land, the Ghost Dance movement promised salvation: a restoration of the Indian dead, the buffalo, and the old times. Alexander Lesser shows how the Ghost Dance brought about a partial revival of traditional Pawnee culture and its dances and songs. The ancient guessing hand game, remembered best by a tribe starved for the joy of play, became an important part of the Ghost Dance ritual. What had been a gambling game, a representation of warfare played by men, was transformed into a sacred game played by both sexes as an expression of faith or 'good fortune.' Lesser surveys the history of the Pawnee Indians and their relations with the federal government and describes in detail the Ghost Dance hand games that were the chief intellectual product of Pawnee culture from the onset of the messianic movement to the original publication of this book in 1933. Citing such authorities as James Mooney and Stewart Culin, Lesser produced an enduring classic.
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Lewis, Brenda Ralph
Ritual Sacrifice A Concise History
Sutton Publishing Ltd., Thrupp Stroud Gloucestershire UK, 2001.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 182pp., with many monochrome illustrations and 16pp. of full-colour plates. Minor wear. Dustwrapper with an old price sticker to the rear panel. Near fine. Brenda Lewis examines cultures from prehistoric times to the present day - from Ancient Greece and pre-Hispanic Mexico to Druids, voudun, Aztecs and shamanism. The methods and motives of sacrifice are illustrated throughout, be they human, animal, floral or inanimate.
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Lewis, Gilbert
Day of Shining Red An Essay on Understanding Ritual
Cambridge University Press, 1980.
Hardcover, octavo; dark red boards with gilt spine titling; 232pp. Minor wear only; very mild wear to lower spine panel extremity and rear panel edges of dustwrapper lightly toned; very faint offsetting to endpapers. Near fine in like dustwrapper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Gilbert Lewis uses this case study of boys' and girls' puberty rituals in West Sepik villages in New Guinea to challenge the methods of anthropologists in interpreting and understanding, not only the meaning and symbolism of ritual events, but also the impact of those events on the people performing and participating in the rituals. He stresses the need for anthropologists and sociologists to put aside their own received knowledge and cultural preconceptions and to work empathetically and sympathetically with ritual practitioners in order to discover the essence of meaning. To this end he suggests adopting formats of process outside of the anthropological mainstream, such as the philosophical toolboxes used in artistic and literary investigation, in order to avoid cultural bias in examination. This book is a powerful insight into anthropological fieldwork.
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MacGregor, Neil
Living with the Gods On Beliefs and Peoples
Alfred Knopf, New York, 2018.
Octavo hardcover; black boards with gilt spine titling and gray endpapers; 488pp., colour & b&w illustrations. Minor wear only. Near fine in like dustwrapper, now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. One of the central facts of human existence is that every society shares a set of beliefs and assumptions - a faith, an ideology, a religion - that goes far beyond the life of the individual. These beliefs are an essential part of a shared identity. They have a unique power to define - and to divide - us, and are a driving force in the politics of much of the world today. Throughout history they have most often been, in the widest sense, religious. Yet this book is not a history of religion, nor an argument in favour of faith. It is about the stories which give shape to our lives, and the different ways in which societies imagine their place in the world. Looking across history and around the globe, it interrogates objects, places and human activities to try to understand what shared beliefs can mean in the public life of a community or a nation, how they shape the relationship between the individual and the state, and how they help give us our sense of who we are. For in deciding how we live with our gods, we also decide how to live with each other.
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Malinowski, Bronislaw (preface Sir James George Frazer)
Argonauts of the Western Pacific An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea
Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1966.
Octavo hardcover; dark blue boards with blind-stamped edges and gilt spine titling; 527pp., 65 illustrations, 5 maps and 2 figures. Owner's name elided in 'white-out', and lightly toned text block edges with some light scattered spotting on top edge. Boards mildly rubbed with tiny scratches here and there. Very good. Lacks dustwrapper. "Malinowski was one of the most colourful and charismatic social scientists of the twentieth century. A founding father of British social anthropology between the two world wars, his quasi-mythical status has fascinated his disciplinary descendants who continue to measure themselves against his achievements. Marching under a self-styled theoretical banner of Functionalism, Malinowski revolutionized fieldwork methods, cultivated an innovative style of ethnographic writing, and mounted polemical assaults on a wide array of academic disputes and public issues. By the time of his death, aged 58, in the United States in 1942 he was a controversial international celebrity, a cosmopolitan humanist who dedicated his final years to the ideological battle against Nazi totalitarianism. It is for his corpus of ethnographic writings on the Trobriand Islanders, however, that Malinowski is revered and best remembered. Most of his books remain in print and continue to be taught, critiqued, and studied as exemplars of anthropological modernism. His best ethnographic writing is a stylistic confection of vivid description, reflexive anecdote, methodological prescription and theoretical aside. Malinowski broke with convention by abandoning the positivist pretence of aloof scientific objectivity by inserting a witnessing self into his narrative. The 'Ethnographer' of his books is a somewhat outlandish character who never allows his reader to forget that not only was he present at the scene as a participant observer, but that he is also the one, in a fully contextualized first person sense, who is doing the writing. Malinowski's ethnographic persona - curious, patient, empathetic yet ironic - was given a tentative outing in his first ethnographic report, The Natives of Mailu (1915) and reached full maturity in Baloma (1916), a monograph-length essay on Trobriand religion. The intrusion of Malinowski's authorial self blurred the distinction between Romantic travelogue and ethnographic monograph. In Ethnography, 'the writer is his own chronicler,' he reminds us, and scolds those whose works offer 'wholesale generalizations' without informing the reader 'by what actual experiences the writers have reached their conclusion'. Malinowski's first and most celebrated Trobriand monograph, Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922), is a richly-illustrated account of the ceremonial exchange of manufactured shell valuables through which the Trobriands are linked to other island groups of eastern New Guinea. A colourful scientific travelogue, Argonauts takes its readers on a canoe-borne voyage around the so-called Kula Ring of islands. The author's Introduction (which has been dubbed the Book of Genesis of the fieldworker's Bible) contains twenty-five of the most influential pages in the history of social anthropology. Malinowski's intention was to raise ethnographic fieldwork to a professional art. The essential rule, he emphasized, was to study the 'tribal culture in all its aspects', making no distinction 'between what is commonplace, drab or ordinary' and what may seem novel, astonishing or sensational. The ethnographer's main task is to observe and describe customs in their everyday social contexts and to elicit people's explanations for their own behaviour. The ultimate aim of social or cultural anthropology is to convert knowledge of other modes of life into wisdom." - Michael Young.
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Matras, Yaron
I Met Lucky People: The Story of the Romani Gypsies
Allen Lane, London, 2014.
First edition. Octavo hardcover; gray boards with gilt spine titling; 275pp. Slightly cocked; mildly toned text block pages. illustrated dustwrapper with mild wear to edges, now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Who are the Romani people? As one of the last remaining societies in the Western hemisphere with a strictly oral culture, they have no written record of their history that can be consulted. From the early 1990s, linguist Yaron Matras has been working with the 'Rom', as they call themselves, one of a handful of people to have done so. Travelling widely in central and eastern Europe, studying their language and learning their dialects, he has witnessed their campaign for recognition. In I Met Lucky People Matras gives us the first comprehensive account of their culture, language and history. It is a story of the echoes of a rich past left in language and customs, and of how the changing fortunes of Europe throughout the centuries have been imprinted on Romani culture.
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Nance, John (Foreword by Charles A. Lindbergh)
The Gentle Tasaday A Stone Age People in the Philippine Rain Forest
Victor Gollancz, London, 1975.
Hardcover, octavo, 465pp. Owner's name on front endpaper, spotted text block edges, a little smudging; else near fine in like dustwrapper (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Black and white plates. The then tribe of only twenty eight people who until 1962 appeared not to have had any contact with other human beings. The author documents his experiences living with them and the mixed effects of their exposure to the 20th Century.
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Paudrat, Jean-Louis (Michel Huet, illus.; Introduction by Jean Laude)
The Dance, Art and Ritual of Africa
William Collins Sons & Co Ltd., London, 1978.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 241pp., with maps and many full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper with minimal wear to edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. The core of this book is the conjunction between art, the dance, and the ritual. There are hundreds of photographs of dances and ceremonies here: war dances, funeral dances, ceremonies linked to harvesting and planting, initiation rites, and the everyday expressions of pleasure and joy. Huet shows us the traditional forms that have survived throughout the centuries with explanatory notes on the exact meaning of the dances, their costumes, and their cultural relationships.
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Paz, Octavio (J.S. & Maxine Bernstein, trans.)
Claude Levi-Strauss An Introduction
Cornell University Press, Ithaca NY, 1970.
First US edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 159pp. Mild wear; upper text block edge dusted; scattered spotting and marks to the other edges. Mildly rubbed dustwrapper with slight wear to edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The distinguished Mexican poet appraises the writings of the famous anthropologist and social philosopher, Claude Levi-Strauss. Octavio Paz provides a sound introduction to Levi-Strauss's major works, including "The Raw and the Cooked" and his ground-breaking studies of myth and of the incest taboo. In confronting Levi-Strauss's work, Paz develops the ideas he set forth earlier in "The Labyrinth of Solitude", a collection of essays on modern Mexican culture that emphasizes the importance of language and dialogue. Paz's experiences with Oriental societies enables him to offer an unusual perspective on Levi-Strauss's work in the Americas.
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Pukui, Mary K. & Korn, Alfons L. (trans. & eds.)
The Echo of Our Song Chants & Poems of the Hawaiians
University of Hawaii, Honolulu HI, 1979.
Paperback, octavo, 233pp. Minor wear, spine faded; else very good. From the earliest times, the chanting of poetry served the Hawaiians as a form of ritual celebration of the things they cherished - the beauty of their islands, the abundance of wild creatures that inhabited their sea and air, the majesty of their rulers, and the prowess of their gods. Commoners as well as highborn chiefs and poet-priests shared in the creation of the chants. These haku mele, or 'composers' the commoners especially, wove living threads from their own historic circumstances and everyday experiences into the ongoing oral tradition, as handed down from expert to pupil or from elder to descendant, generation after generation. This anthology embraces a wide variety of compositions: it ranges from song-poems of the Pele and Hi'iaka cycle and pre-Christian Shark Hula for Ka-lani-opu'u to post-missionary chants and gospel hymns. These later selections date from the reign of Ka-mehameha III to that of Queen Lili'u-o-ka-lani and comprise the major portion of the book.
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Ricciardi, Mirella
Vanishing Africa
William Collins, London, 1974.
Folio; hardcover, with decorated boards; 212pp., with many full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; previous owner's bookplate to the front pastedown; mild offset to the endpapers. Dustwrapper is a little rubbed and edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The Kenya-born artist Mirella Ricciardi has travelled for over forty years around Africa to record her home, country and its people. The result of her journey is reflected in the unique photographs which form the basis of Vanishing Africa. Vanishing Africa was the prototype for the so-called 'coffee-table book', which granted a new audience an unprecedented insight into the world of the East African people. It also became a model for Leni Riefenstahl and Peter Beard, the latter has a close friendship with Ricciardi. When Mirella Ricciardi began photography in 1967 she did not have any technical training. She was inspired by the surroundings of Lake Naivasha, where she grew up and a place with a number of native Africans and a wide variety of animals. This book features images from six tribal groups; the Samburu, the Maasai; the Rendille; the Turkana; the Bajun and the Gala Boran. A remarkable book. As the author writes, - 'I hoped to capture the strange beauty of the nomadic herdsmen driving their livestock across the plains in constant pursuit of rain - for rain means water and water means life - the hidden mystery in the black veils that float around the Muslim women, the pride and virility of the young warriors, the grace of the women, the resignation of the old.'
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Schuurkamp, Gerrit
The Min of the Papua New Guinea Star Mountains: signed copy A Look at their Traditional Culture and Heritage
OK Tedi Mining, Tabubil, 1995.
Quarto hardcover; grey/charcoal boards with gilt upper board and spine titling and decoration, map endpapers and inscribed to the owner by the author; 320pp., colour illustrations. Hand-written and signed in ink post production correction/comment on the Notes page (last page) by the author. Board edges and corners lightly worn and small mark on lower text block edges; some scattered random spotting on endpapers. Minor wear otherwise. Dustwrapper slightly worn along edges and corners and two small tears on lower spine extremity. Dustwrapper now protected in archival film with white paper backing. Very good to near fine. The Star Mountains, in the New Guinea Central range, until a few decades ago were the most remote and isolated of all regions on the island. This environmentally harsh and difficult terrain was described as geographic hell, by early patrol officers in their attempt to make contact with inhabitants along step slopes rising to over 4000 metres and subject to high rainfalls of 4-11 metres. The mountain range was home to the Mountain Ok, commonly known as the Min. Until the 1960s very little was known about them or their culture - a culture regulated by a secretive and very regimented men's cult for several hundred years. The Min are one of the only societies on the island to associate themselves with a female cultural heroine and ancestress. The purpose of this book was to capture something of the traditional lifestyle of the Min as a visual reference book for the 'transitional' generation of Min, in the wake of the OkTedi mining project, which was to significantly change the traditional lives of the people.
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Smidt, Dirk, et al.
Asmat Art Woodcarvings of Southwest New Guinea
Gearge Braziller, New York NY, 1993.
Quarto; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine and upper board titles; 160pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; some mild insect damage to the boards. Dustwrapper very lightly rubbed with small tear to base of spine panel with tape stain on obverse. Else very good. Wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Asmat Art features the world-renowned woodcarvings of the Asmat, former head-hunters who live in the western half of New Guinea. Working with stone adzes, bone, and bits of shell, early carvers fashioned the local wood into stunning masterpieces. Editor Dirk Smidt has gathered together distinguished experts on Asmat art and culture to describe their physical and spiritual world, the techniques and motifs used by master carvers, and to present an historical overview of European collections of Asmat art.
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Steiner, Franz (with an introduction by E.E. Evans-Prichard)
Cohen & West, London, 1956.
First edition. Octavo hardcover; blue cloth boards with gilt spine titling; 153pp. Owners' names. Well-rubbed board edges and corners; offsetting to endpapers and scattered spotting to early pages; browned and spotted text block and page edges. Blue card dustwrapper, lightly foxed and rubbed with tiny missing segments at corners and spine panel extremities; browning to spine panel and edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing. Very good. Based on a series of lectures, the volume was published posthumously. The lectures analyze one of the great problematic terms of modern ethnography, that of taboo, derived from the Polynesian word tapu, adopted by Western scholars to refer to a generic set of ritual inhibitions governing what was thought to be primitive society or the ‘savage mind’.
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Sydow, Eckart von
Kunst und Religion der Naturvolker
Stalling, 1926.
Hardcover, quarto, 237pp., 83 plates (3 tipped colour), 55 illustrations through the text. Spotted preliminaries; boards rubbed at edges, sunned; dustwrapper significantly frayed, with a few small chips. Despite signs of wear and age, the book is solid and in good/very good condition. Text in German. Professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film.
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Wilcken, Patrick
Claude Levi-Strauss The Poet in the Laboratory
Penguin, New York NY, 2010.
Octavo; hardcover; dustwrapper; 404pp., monochrome plates. Remainder. New. Levi-Strauss didn't spend much time in the field - about eight weeks in total, yet his career as an anthropologist lasted for more than half a century. He may have conducted most of his research in his Paris flat, communing with the native artefacts and listening to Wagner and Debussy operas (in the belief that they unconsciously tapped into ancient mythical structures), but Levi-Strauss's influence was profound. For all that he was touted as a proto-structuralist - a methodology Levi-Strauss fashioned to allow him to display hidden complexities that was for decades the most resonant word across the humanities, its imprecision a part of its power. Its premise is that nothing can be understood in itself but only in relation to other, similar things - and, further, that this relationship can only be understood in terms of the relationships these other things have with yet other, similar things. The questions that follow are: in each case, in what does this "similarity" lie, and from what perspective do these "similarities" appear? For Levi-Strauss, all apparent reality is a map to be deciphered, revealing the map of a reality below which in turn leads to the map of the surface below that, and so on. But at the lowest point - what? Tristes Tropiques may not have been the first book to describe the observer's own influence on his observations, but this was certainly not the done thing in anthropological circles. This is an excellent biography, given extra authority because its author had plenty of contact with its subject. He was never conventional: the poet in the laboratory indeed, a man who never felt comfortable with the description of anthropology as a science, even though he tried to make it one. He once remarked: "I forget what I have written practically as soon as it is finished. There is probably going to be some trouble about that."
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Williams, Denis
Icon and Image A study of sacred and secular forms of African classical art
Allen Lane, London, 1974.
Hardcover, large octavo, xv + 331pp., 219 monochrome plates, 2 maps, 6 tables. Owner's name on front pastedown. Light foxing to endpapers, upper text block edge spotted; boards worn, rubbed at edges, spine ends, some fraying; dustwrapper slightly frayed, esp. around spine panel, but bright and intact. Good in like dustwrapper (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Denis Williams' magisterial survey of African classical sculpture and metallurgy both establishes an aesthetic relevant to the judgement of his whole field and makes an important contribution to the study of form and technique. As the outlines of African history are pieced together, attention will increasingly be paid to the history of African art. But though written records, archaeology, material culture and oral tradition provide a wealth of source material, not many media of expression in African art submit to a traditional historical treatment. A historical picture emerges most satisfactorily in the study of iron and bronze. "Icon and Image" attempts to present such a picture, through an examination of the techniques and cults associated with particular forms. If the book seems weighted in this direction this is because very little in the study of African art can simply be assumed, even where the evidence refers to hallowed local or oral traditions. The title suggests a degree of interpretation of the material, though it has to be admitted that, like the word 'Art', these terms, and many others of art-scholarship, have no equivalents in the languages of the peoples responsible for the objects thus described, which are nonetheless among the finest creations of man's plastic impulse.
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Williams, Francis Edgar (Introduction by Erik Schwimmer, ed.)
"The Vailala Madness" and Other Essays
C. Hurst, London, 1976.
First edition. Hardcover, octavo, 432pp., monochrome diagrams. Slightly spotted dustwrapper with very minor edge wear; otherwise very good to near fine. Besides his four major monographs, Williams produced a vast number of shorter writings, of which this collections presents some of the more remarkable. F E Williams' ethnographic records of the people of the Purari Delta, the Gulf Coast, Lake Kutubu, the Orokaiva and several mountain tribes have become classics. Though working in the tradition of British functionalism, Williams expressed basic criticisms of this school towards the end of his career, and foreshadowed some of the methods of enquiry of the structuralist school that developed after his death.
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Youngblood, Wayne L.
Native Land Native People from the Edward S. Curtis Collection
Chartwell, New Jersey, 2008.
Oblong elephant folio hardcover; illustrated boards with black upper board and spine labels with yellow and white titling, brown endpapers; 256pp., sepia and monochrome illustrations. Slight wear to board corners. Fine otherwise in illustrated dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film.
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