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People of the Sea : Identity and Descent among the Vezo of Madagascar - Rita Astuti

People of the Sea

Identity and Descent among the Vezo of Madagascar

Hardcover Published: 28th April 1995
ISBN: 9780521433501
Number Of Pages: 204

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The Vezo are fishing people of western Madagascar. The identity of the Vezo is not fixed by descent; rather, it is established by what they do. They are people of the sea, distinguished from the farmers around them by their economic specialism. Ethnicity is usually thought to be a consequence of inborn qualities acquired by descent, and Astuti explores the consequences of ascribing ethnic identity with reference to economic activity. Her analysis reveals that only in the cult of the dead does descent become critical, and her argument in this innovative analysis of Vezo kinship is that the people distinguish two models of the person: one determined by the past, and the other defined contextually, in the present.

Industry Reviews

"The book should be read by anyone interested in theories of ethnicity or identity. Enormously suggestive for Malagasy studies, the relevance of Astuti's arguments concerning kinship, descent, and death extend far beyond Madagascar" American Anthropologist "The book provides an unusual combination of cool analysis with warm description." Michael Lambek, American Anthropologist "This ethnography illuminates issues of identity which are otherwise lacking in the scholarly literature; the work, therefore, represents an important insight into the ways in which people perceive themselves. Organization is logical and discussion is thorough...Ease of reading and lucidity of discussion as well as the fascinating subject matter make this ethnography perfect for use in an undergraduate course." Religious Studies Review

Acting Vezo in the present
People without wisdom
Avoiding ties and bonds
Kinship in the present and in the future
Separating life from death
Working for the dead
List of references
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521433501
ISBN-10: 0521433509
Series: Cambridge Studies in Social & Cultural Anthropology
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 204
Published: 28th April 1995
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.98  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.42

Earn 534 Qantas Points
on this Book