Return to the Village, Billie Jean Isbell, Francisco Ferreira Paperback

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Return to the Village, Billie Jean Isbell, Francisco Ferreira Paperback.
This edited volume brings together several authors, all producers in the 1970s and 1980s of outstanding ethnographies of Andean communities in the Peruvian highlands. These writers focused on historical continuities, particularly local ritual practices, and took the ?long-termist? approach to Andean cultures, as described by anthropologist Olivia Harris (in contrast to ?short-termist? studies, which focus predominantly on social change and development). These books transcended the boundaries normally established by case studies of highland communities and rural areas and became important reference works on aspects of Andean culture: for example, ritual uses of coca by Catherine J. Allen; agricultural rituals and internal social divisions by Peter Gose; social organization and kinship by Billie Jean Isbell; the use of khipus and concepts of literacy by Frank Salomon; and the symbolic and ritual dimensions of water and irrigation by Ricardo Valderrama and Carmen Escalante.

In the 1980s-90s, with the emergence of postmodern and revisionist trends, these works came to be considered limited and subjective, and became largely discredited and perceived as dated. In A Return to the Village, these authors revisit their original works in the light of contemporary anthropology. They explain how they chose the communities they worked in; the personal relations they established during fieldwork; the links they have maintained; and how these communities have changed over time. They also review their original methodological and theoretical approaches and findings, reassessing their validity and explaining how their views have changed since their original fieldwork.


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