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Other titles in the Westview Case Studies in Anthropology series:
Magical Writing in Salasaca: Literacy and Power in Highlandby Peter Wogan
Synopses & Reviews
This engaging case study of Salasaca, a village in highland Ecuador, examines indigenous beliefs about writing, such as Day of the Dead name lists, comparisons with weaving, and a witch who kills people listed in his book of names. Magical Writing in Salasaca demonstrates that these beliefs reflect extensive contact with birth certificates, baptism records, and other church and state documents. Wogan's inquiry into the place of literacy in the Salasacas' worldview provides a nuanced look at the power relations between elites and nonelite villagers, at the same time that it imparts an empathetic understanding of alternative ways of viewing ostensibly familiar aspects of the world. Magical Writing in Salasaca will appeal to anyone interested in anthropology, literacy, power, or Latin America.
Book News Annotation:
Wogan (anthropology, Willamette U., Oregon) provides an ethnographic study of literacy beliefs and practices in Salasaca, where he has conducted field research since the middle 1990s. He draws on two established research traditions: political and historical studies of state documentation, and the anthropological study of literacy.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Explores the connections between beliefs about writing and power in an indigenous village in highland Ecuador.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 153-167) and index.
About the Author
Peter Wogan is assistant professor of anthropology at Willamette University .
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Education » Teaching » Reading and Writing