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The Anthropology of Marriage in Lowland South AmericaBending and Breaking the Rules$
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Paul Valentine, Stephen Beckerman, and Catherine Alès

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054315

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054315.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

To Be Seen or Not to Be Seen!

To Be Seen or Not to Be Seen!

Marriage Choices among Ese Eja of the Bolivian and Peruvian Amazon

Chapter:
(p.55) 3 To Be Seen or Not to Be Seen!
Source:
The Anthropology of Marriage in Lowland South America
Author(s):

Daniela Peluso

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813054315.003.0004

By comparing the different ways in which Ese Eja marriages commence, Peluso describes the power relations in which marriages are embedded. Two forms of marriage co-exist in the same community: one legitimized by the public involvement of kin and neighbors in the union, the other a secret in which couples are united without any public acknowledgment thereby challenging the underlying mechanisms of power in the community. Despite their generally poor outcomes, secret unions present a means for individuals to bask in a short-lived reprieve from social demands—although they also leave behind the support of their kin. Peluso provides a case study of a secret marriage in which the bride’s father intervened and forced the transformation of his daughter’s private marriage into a public one to ensure he had a voice in her future. This case reveals with striking clarity the relationship between power and “speech” in an Ese Eja village.

Keywords:   Ese Eja, secret marriage, mechanisms of power

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