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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, 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

“Poor Me, I Have No Cousin”

“Poor Me, I Have No Cousin”

The Pragmatics of Marital Choice in the Northwest Amazon

(p.157) 8 “Poor Me, I Have No Cousin”
The Anthropology of Marriage in Lowland South America

Janet Chernela

University Press of Florida

Chernela’s analysis describes the consequences of globalization on Kotiria (also known as Wanano) kinship and marriage. Drawing on the insights of Robert Murphy (1971), she examines a number of the major themes that reoccur throughout this book, such as the dialectic between rules and practice, the relationship between structural intransigence and agency fuelled by needs and desires, and the emergence of innovation and practical considerations. If one looks at the formal model of Kotiria kinship and marriage, one might predict that they are constrained by a narrow range of alternatives when they choose a spouse. However, drawing on recent history, Chernela selects case studies that illustrate the range of possibilities actually open to the Kotiria. She presents cases in which marriage rules were disregarded or changed, as well as a case in which a descent group simply passed out of existence because of its members’ unwillingness to violate their own marriage rules.

Keywords:   Kotiria, Wanano, marriage rules, globalization

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