Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Anthropology of Marriage in Lowland South AmericaBending and Breaking the Rules$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

Beyond the Norms

Beyond the Norms

Marriage and Incest among the Ye’kwana

(p.85) 5 Beyond the Norms
The Anthropology of Marriage in Lowland South America

Nalúa Rosa Silva Monterrey

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on the norms that lead to qualifying marriage as permitted versus “incestuous” (incorrect or prohibited) in the Ye’kwana marriage system. The Ye’kwana live in lowland South America/Amazonia, have a Dravidian kinship system, and a very high proportion of incestuous marriages. This chapter works with a rich data base; 200 marriages drawn from 2,366 people of whom 820 marriages were registered. The material collected by Silva Monterrey, together with that collected by de Barandiarán in the 1950s, shows that over a quarter of marriages were incestuous and that this pattern is old. Moreover, variations in the frequency of incestuous marriages cannot be explained as a consequence of demographic changes. One could not hope for a firmer demonstration of the importance of looking beyond the formal rules of marriage and exploring actual behaviour. Silva Monterrey throws down the challenge and asks, why do the Ye’kwana apparently commit marital incest with such astounding frequency?

Keywords:   Ye’kwana, Dravidian kinship system, incest

Florida Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .