: Anthropology and the Imagination
30 November 2011 16:00 in Anthropology Seminar Room, Ground Floor, Dawson Building
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Dr Paolo Fortis gives RAI Research Seminar on 'Artefacts and bodies among Kuna people from Panamá'
Wednesday 29 May at 5.30 pm
RAI Research Seminar Series at the Royal Anthropological Institute
Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT
Abstract: This paper draws on current debates on Amerindian theories of materiality and personhood to reflect on what Kuna people from Panamá think when they make particular artefacts. Looking at the meaningful connections between such different activities as wood-carving, sewing clothes, weaving and making babies it is argued that the prototype of making among the Kuna is the making and growing of the human body. Artefacts, as children, are considered the visible manifestation of their maker’s praxis. Similarly to the capacity of women and men to make babies, making objects is considered a form of fertility, which consists of the acquired capacity of giving shape to different materials. Furthermore, form (sopalet), as the product of making (sopet), is apprehended as emerging and growing subjectivity.
This event is free, but tickets must be booked.