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Soul Hunters: Hunting, Animism, and Personhood Among the Siberian Yukaghirs

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Soul Hunters: Hunting, Animism, and Personhood Among the Siberian Yukaghirs Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Soul Hunters combines intimate ethnographic knowledge of Yukaghir hunting practices with sophisticated phenomenological analysis and an impressive comparative range. The book critiques and revivifies familiar concepts and interpretive traditions, most notably 'animism' and 'shamanism.' It contains many original comparative arguments and analyses, and the ethnographic examples are always lucidly described. A remarkable book."—James Clifford, author The Predicament of Culture

Soul Hunters is a detailed and theoretically original ethnography which will make an important contribution to the anthropology of Siberia and hunter-gatherers more generally.”—Nikolai V. Ssorin-Chaikov, author of The Social Life of the State in Subarctic Siberia

Soul Hunters makes a highly original contribution to Yukaghir ethnography, as well as to theoretical discussions about the nature of spiritual knowledge. The work will provide the starting point for several future debates in contemporary anthropology.”—Peter Schweitzer, co-editor of Hunters and Gatherers in the Modern World: Conflict, Resistance, and Self-Determination

Synopsis:

This is an insightful, highly original ethnographic interpretation of the hunting life of the Yukaghirs, a little-known group of indigenous people in the Upper Kolyma region of northeastern Siberia. Basing his study on firsthand experience with Yukaghir hunters, Rane Willerslev focuses on the practical implications of living in a "hall-of-mirrors" world--one inhabited by humans, animals, and spirits, all of whom are understood to be endless mimetic doubles of one another. In this world human beings inhabit a betwixt-and-between state in which their souls are both substance and nonsubstance, both body and soul, both their own individual selves and reincarnated others. Hunters are thus both human and the animals they imitate, which forces them to steer a complicated course between the ability to transcend difference and the necessity of maintaining identity.

Synopsis:

This is an insightful, highly original ethnographic interpretation of the hunting life of the Yukaghirs, a little-known group of indigenous people in the Upper Kolyma region of northeastern Siberia. Basing his study on firsthand experience with Yukaghir hunters, Rane Willerslev focuses on the practical implications of living in a "hall-of-mirrors" world—one inhabited by humans, animals, and spirits, all of whom are understood to be endless mimetic doubles of one another. In this world human beings inhabit a betwixt-and-between state in which their souls are both substance and nonsubstance, both body and soul, both their own individual selves and reincarnated others. Hunters are thus both human and the animals they imitate, which forces them to steer a complicated course between the ability to transcend difference and the necessity of maintaining identity.

About the Author

Rane Willerslev is Associate Professor in the Institute for Anthropology, Archaeology, and Linguistics at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He is also the author of Hunting and Trapping in Siberia (2000).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Acknowledgments

1. Animism as Mimesis

2. To Kill or Not to Kill: Rebirth, Sharing, and Risk

3. Body-Soul Dialectics: Human Rebirth Beliefs

4. Ideas of Species and Personhood

5. Animals as Persons

6. Shamanism

7. The Spirit World

8. Leaning and Dreaming

9. Taking Animism Seriously

Notes

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520252172
Author:
Willerslev, Rane
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Ethnology
Subject:
Hunting
Subject:
Siberia (Russia) Social life and customs.
Subject:
Yukaghir - Hunting - Russia (Federation) -
Subject:
anthropology;cultural anthropology
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 map, 6 line drawings, 9 b/w photos
Pages:
235
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.63 in 12 oz

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Europe
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Cytology and Cell Biology

Soul Hunters: Hunting, Animism, and Personhood Among the Siberian Yukaghirs New Trade Paper
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Product details 235 pages University of California Press - English 9780520252172 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This is an insightful, highly original ethnographic interpretation of the hunting life of the Yukaghirs, a little-known group of indigenous people in the Upper Kolyma region of northeastern Siberia. Basing his study on firsthand experience with Yukaghir hunters, Rane Willerslev focuses on the practical implications of living in a "hall-of-mirrors" world--one inhabited by humans, animals, and spirits, all of whom are understood to be endless mimetic doubles of one another. In this world human beings inhabit a betwixt-and-between state in which their souls are both substance and nonsubstance, both body and soul, both their own individual selves and reincarnated others. Hunters are thus both human and the animals they imitate, which forces them to steer a complicated course between the ability to transcend difference and the necessity of maintaining identity.
"Synopsis" by ,
This is an insightful, highly original ethnographic interpretation of the hunting life of the Yukaghirs, a little-known group of indigenous people in the Upper Kolyma region of northeastern Siberia. Basing his study on firsthand experience with Yukaghir hunters, Rane Willerslev focuses on the practical implications of living in a "hall-of-mirrors" world—one inhabited by humans, animals, and spirits, all of whom are understood to be endless mimetic doubles of one another. In this world human beings inhabit a betwixt-and-between state in which their souls are both substance and nonsubstance, both body and soul, both their own individual selves and reincarnated others. Hunters are thus both human and the animals they imitate, which forces them to steer a complicated course between the ability to transcend difference and the necessity of maintaining identity.
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