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Tedium and creativity : the valorization of manioc cultivation and Piaroa women.

Heckler, S. L. (2004) 'Tedium and creativity : the valorization of manioc cultivation and Piaroa women.', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute., 10 (2). pp. 241-259.


Through an exploration of Amazonian ethnographic material, this article challenges the idea that tasks normally associated with women are invariably considered to be less valuable than men's activities. I argue against the claims made by Riviere that manioc cultivation is devoid of creativity or differentiation. I find the process of manioc cultivation to be profoundly social; indeed it provides a critical means by which prestige is attained, maintained and expressed by Piaroa women. By gardening, Piaroa women create their own spaces and infuse the landscape with meaning. By processing manioc and thus providing the safest and most basic of staple foods, they create and re-create sociality and the conditions for humanity. Finally, I explore the ways in which the region's rapid and far-reaching economic and cultural transformations may affect the role of manioc and of women in Piaroa society.

Item Type:Article
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Record Created:01 Aug 2008
Last Modified:12 Aug 2010 16:20

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