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Gender, Genre and Identity in Women's Travel Writing (review)

Gender, Genre and Identity in Women's Travel Writing (review) 04-Reviews 8/23/05 9:19 AM Page 444 444 Biography 28.3 (Summer 2005) “I Foresee My Life” is a valuable contribution to South American ethnol- ogy, and builds nicely on classic works by Charles Wagley, Robert Murphy, Hélène Clastres, Pierre Clastres, Waud Kracke, Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, and other major “Tupinologists.” The author’s focus on shamanic and other ritual performances as autobiographical narra- tion has the advantages of demonstrating how individual experiences are placed into social circulation, and of capturing the historical specificity of rit- ual events. The method’s main limitation, however, is that of reducing com- plex musical and other non-linguistic dimensions of ritual performance to a process of verbal narration. This privileging of linguistic encoding over musi- cality leads Oakdale to conclude that “The narratives embedded in political oratory, Maraka cures, and Jawosi songs are all travel accounts of one sort or another” (154). While it is perhaps accurate to characterize leaders’ political speeches as “travel accounts,” shamanic healing songs are not merely accounts about travel, but collective movements to and from mythic times and spaces via their musical dynamics: “Men spontaneously report feeling as though they were seeing exactly what the shaman was seeing http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Gender, Genre and Identity in Women's Travel Writing (review)

Biography , Volume 28 (3) – Oct 4, 2005

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

04-Reviews 8/23/05 9:19 AM Page 444 444 Biography 28.3 (Summer 2005) “I Foresee My Life” is a valuable contribution to South American ethnol- ogy, and builds nicely on classic works by Charles Wagley, Robert Murphy, Hélène Clastres, Pierre Clastres, Waud Kracke, Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, and other major “Tupinologists.” The author’s focus on shamanic and other ritual performances as autobiographical narra- tion has the advantages of demonstrating how individual experiences are placed into social circulation, and of capturing the historical specificity of rit- ual events. The method’s main limitation, however, is that of reducing com- plex musical and other non-linguistic dimensions of ritual performance to a process of verbal narration. This privileging of linguistic encoding over musi- cality leads Oakdale to conclude that “The narratives embedded in political oratory, Maraka cures, and Jawosi songs are all travel accounts of one sort or another” (154). While it is perhaps accurate to characterize leaders’ political speeches as “travel accounts,” shamanic healing songs are not merely accounts about travel, but collective movements to and from mythic times and spaces via their musical dynamics: “Men spontaneously report feeling as though they were seeing exactly what the shaman was seeing

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 4, 2005

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