Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia: Reconstructing Past Identities from Archaeology, Linguistics, and Ethnohistory
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Hornborg and Hill argue that the tendency to link language, culture, and biology--essentialist notions of ethnic identities--is a Eurocentric bias that has characterized largely inaccurate explanations of the distribution of ethnic groups and languages in Amazonia. The evidence, however, suggests a much more fluid relationship among geography, language use, ethnic identity, and genetics. In Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia, leading linguists, ethnographers, ethnohistorians, and archaeologists interpret their research from a unique nonessentialist perspective to form a more accurate picture of the ethnolinguistic diversity in this area.
Revealing how ethnic identity construction is constantly in flux, contributors show how such processes can be traced through different ethnic markers such as pottery styles and languages. Scholars and students studying lowland South America will be especially interested, as will anthropologists intrigued by its cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approach.
language of Ecuador in pre-Inca times. This is clearly not the case. However, the data are compatible with a scenario in which Chinchay Q was basically brought to Ecuador in pre-Inca times as a trade language, and then in Inca times Cuzco Q varieties were introduced as a superstrate on top of the basic trade language variety. EcQ is part of the complex of NoQ varieties but shows at least some irregular features of southern (Cuzco) varieties as well. It has aspiration, like Cuzco, but the
are set up in ways that allow people to efficiently exploit the interfacing of rivers and forests, especially during the first weeks of the long wet season (late March through early May) when the rivers are rising most rapidly and begin to overflow their banks. At these times, people use weirs and traps to capture large quantities of migrating Leporinus fish as they move into newly flooded forests and return to the main river channels after spawning. Leporinus spawning grounds are highly
speakers in the Caribbean (Petersen 1996; Heckenberger 2005), but they were not previously known along the Amazon floodplain (Myers 1973). These villages were occupied over long periods of time, sometimes for centuries, and are archaeologically associated with the construction of small artificial mounds, deep anthropogenic terra preta soils, dense ceramic deposits, ample organic remains, and cemeteries with direct or urn burials. Based on this evidence, it is proposed that those ring villages
cooking and other aspects of food preparation and serving. Thus, pottery and cuisine are assigned a female linkage even though men, women, and children all ate and drank from ceramic vessels. In a few cases, however, other factors take precedence over manufacture. For example, men tended to be the carvers and thus made the wooden mortars, pestles, and other mealing implements. These implements, however, were used almost exclusively by women and are accordingly classified as female-linked. The
(1991) based his classification on lexical material, while Aikhenvald (1999a) based hers predominantly on phonology and morphology. It is common to use geographical closeness rather than linguistic evidence as the deciding factor in subdividing the languages, as in, for example, Ramirez (2001:3), who posits a great Western (forty-eight languages in eight geographical subareas) versus a small Eastern cluster (seven languages in two subgroups). In this section two subdivisions are discussed in