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Tempo Social

Print version ISSN 0103-2070On-line version ISSN 1809-4554


VERETA-NAHOUM, André. Conversions of debt among the Yawanawa: an analytical model of the cultural, social and political grounds of exchange. Tempo soc. [online]. 2017, vol.29, n.1, pp.45-68. ISSN 1809-4554.

This text proposes the notion of conversions of debt and aims to show its analytical usefulness on revealing the entanglements of money, commodities and market transactions with a web of political, cultural and social obligations. In order to do so, it deploys material collected during fieldwork to analyze two pairs of conversions of debt in which goods and money circulate among the Yawanawa, a native population from southwestern Amazon. In such conversions, debts generated by political relations, as well as ritual and cure services, generate prestations in the form of money, goods and services. Analyzing conversions of debt among the Yawanawa, the text demonstrates that money and goods are domesticated, serving political, cultural and social obligations, and do not corrode principles of sociability or cultural reproduction of the Yawanawa, despite the constant effort to keep these transactions subordinated to community goals.

Keywords : Exchange; Conversions of debt; Social obligations; Amazon; Yawanawa.

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