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Horizontes Antropológicos

Print version ISSN 0104-7183On-line version ISSN 1806-9983


GARNELO, Luiza  and  BUCHILLET, Dominique. Taxonomias das doenças entre os índios Baniwa (arawak) e desana (tukano oriental) do alto rio negro (Brasil). Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2006, vol.12, n.26, pp.231-260. ISSN 0104-7183.

The present paper studies the disease taxonomies on two indigenous peoples from the upper Negro River region, in the Amazonian northwest (Brazil), the Baniwa, from the Arawak, and the Desana, from the oriental Tukano linguistic families. Taking these ethnies' mythic production as an explicative basis, the authors make comparisons between their disease and cure systems and demonstrate that the circumstances linked to the outbreak of a particular disease, the representation of people and of the natural world, and the modalities of relations between human groups, nature and the cosmos, participate on the disease's interpretation. Both studied groups translate this emphasis on social causality and/or world order into the vernacular terminology and disease classification. The pathogenic process production is linked to an "alteration symbolic economy" (Viveiros de Castro, 2002). Promoting good health and preventing disease, requires cooperation, reciprocity, diligence, predatory actions and feeding and sexual appetite controlling.

Keywords : Amazonian Northwest; ethnology; indigenous health; South American indians.

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