Hornborg and Hill argue that the tendency to link language, culture, and biology--essentialist notions of ethnic identities--is a Eurocentric bias that has characterized largely inaccurate explanations of the distribution of ethnic groups and languages in Amazonia. The evidence, however, suggests a much more fluid relationship among geography, language use, ethnic identity, and genetics. In Ethnicity in Ancient Amazonia, leading linguists, ethnographers, ethnohistorians, and archaeologists interpret their research from a unique nonessentialist perspective to form a more accurate picture of the ethnolinguistic diversity in this area.
Revealing how ethnic identity construction is constantly in flux, contributors show how such processes can be traced through different ethnic markers such as pottery styles and languages. Scholars and students studying lowland South America will be especially interested, as will anthropologists intrigued by its cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approach.
A major contribution to Amazonian anthropology, and possibly a direction changer.'
—J. Scott Raymond, University of Calgary
An original, even brave, effort to demonstrate what various subdisciplines of anthropology can contribute to the examination of a complex problem. The cultural history and ethnogenesis of the Amazon--or any other part of the world--is not a question for archaeology or linguistics or ethnohistory alone.'
—David Eller, Anthropology Review Database
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