To Hunt in the Morning (Galaxy Books) [Paperback] Review

To Hunt in the Morning [Paperback]I read this ethnography more than 20 years ago, but it has always stayed with me.At that time I lived and worked in Australia, where study of Amazon peoples never loomed large, so I don't know if Siskind's work wasmore popular in North America.I have never met anyone else who read thisbook, but that is the world's loss.What impressed me about TO HUNT IN THEMORNING was the author's sensitivity and realism toward the Sharanahua, asmall group of "pacified" Indians living in the Amazon forest ofeastern Peru.She went there to study certain problems in the area ofmedical anthropology, but her book brings the whole experience alive. Siskind covers such standard topics as kinship, household, village, and thesocial change that took place after their "submission" to theoutside world.This well-written, clear volume also covers shamans,healing, ritual, and interesting aspects of interpersonal relations.Thereare a number of photographs.I especially liked the author's depiction ofthe unequal relations between the Sharanahua and the Peruvians of the smallriver towns; she did not hide from this troublesome theme by describingonly jungle life.But most of all, I remember her most poignant words,"The romance of anthropology is to find somewhere else a culture lesstrammeled than our own.The reality of anthropology is to take part inlearning to break its confines."At some time during anthropologicalfield work, if you do it wholeheartedly, you come face to face withyourself and ask the fateful questions, "Who am I ?What kind ofperson am I ?"Should you try to impose your views on others ?Orshould you help them to achieve what they want even if you doubt its worth? If you want to read a solid ethnography or just an interesting bookabout a faraway culture, a book that looked at women's issues when that wasnot so much a la mode, written by a person who asked the tough questions,read TO HUNT IN THE MORNING.

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