[lit-ideas] The Tangible Qualities of Brazilian Natives

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 19:29:55 EDT

My last post today

In a message dated  8/2/2010 3:03:38 P.M., john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx writes:
To an anthropologist  entranced for more than four decades by Levi-Strauss’ 
call to consider the  “logic in tangible qualities” and a student of 
Victor Turner, who envisions  dominant symbols as bipolar–one pole a cluster of 
concepts the other, the  sensory pole, a cluster of tangible qualities that 
evoke powerful emotions,  Haidt’s thinking is highly appealing. What say 
others here?  

Geary may know more about this than me, but it seems that anthropologists  
(like Levi-Strauss) who went to Brazil to study the natives are bound to 
think  of 'logic' in terms of 'tangible qualities'.
Levi-Strauss reminisced of his happy days in the jungle.
From the wiki:
"In 1935, Levi-Strauss took up a last-minute offer to be part of a French  
cultural mission to Brazil in which he would serve as a visiting professor 
of  sociology at the University of São Paulo while his wife, Dina, served as 
a  visiting professor of ethnology. The couple lived and did their 
anthropological  work in Brazil from 1935 to 1939."
"During this time, while he was a visiting professor of  sociology, 
Levi-Strauss undertook his only ethnographic fieldwork."
"He accompanied Dina, a trained ethnographer in her own right who was a  
visiting professor at the University of São Paulo also, where they conducted  
research forays into the Mato Grosso and the Amazon Rainforest."
"They first studied the Guaycuru and Bororo Indian tribes, staying among  
them for a couple of days."
----- nine days, Dina recalled.
"In 1938 they returned for a second, more than half-year-long expedition to 
 study the Nambikwara and Tupi-Kawahib societies."
"At this time Dina suffered an injury that prevented her from  completing 
the study, which he concluded."
--- he used feminine forms out of respect.
"This experience cemented Lévi-Strauss's professional identity as an  
anthropologist. Edmund Leach suggests, from Lévi-Strauss's own accounts in  
Tristes Tropiques, that he could not have spent more than a few weeks in any 
place and was never able to converse easily with any of his native 
informants in  their native language, which is uncharacteristic of 
anthropological re
search  methods of participatory interaction with subjects to gain a full 
understanding  of a culture. He returned to France in 1939."
Where he could converse in French alright, we expect.
J. L. Speranza
The Swimming-Pool Library
Villa Speranza, Bordighera
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