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Le maître à deux têtes : une ethnographie du rapport à soi yuracaré (Amazonie bolivienne)

Abstract : This thesis presents an ethnography of a linguistically isolated community living in the andean foothill of Central Bolivia. It investigates the dialectic between the mythological narrative through which the society defines itself as a 'we' provided with a specific sollective self, on the one hand, and the ritual practices of self-fulfillment it develops on the other hand. The mythological aspect of the dialectic is explored first of all through analysis of the Tiri creator deity narrative, an imperfect master of humanity who unwittingly abandoned those he iontended to make immortal. This narrative highlights how important is the experience of incompleteness and dereliction in the representation of the yuracare collective self. The principal ritual practices with Yuracaré people turn to in in order to reach self-fulfillment are then considered: the arrow duel, blood-letting and parctices leading to achievement of shaman status. The different aspects making up the Yuracaré ethnography demonstrate that their main characteristics cannot be fully accounted for by the "predation model" as commonly applied to explain the (de)construction of the self in other Amazonian contexts. Predation is, in the Yuracaré case, subordinated to control and protection relationships and is not articulated by the dualism of affinity and consanguinity as found more commonly in Amazonian dravidian kinship systems. For the Yuracaré, the opposite "other" is not a brother-in-law/enemy but crucialy an in-law of in-law who is both a substitute of oneself and a rival.
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Contributor : Vincent Hirtzel <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 7:26:36 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 9:57:02 AM


Hirtzel V. Le maître à deux ...
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Vincent Hirtzel. Le maître à deux têtes : une ethnographie du rapport à soi yuracaré (Amazonie bolivienne). Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), 2010. Français. ⟨tel-01984217⟩



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