Is There Fortune in Greater Amazonia?

in Social Analysis
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In this article, the authors explore the meanings of fortune among two peoples of Greater Amazonia. Luck, chance, and destiny play little role in the ethnographic record of this extensive region, and it is worth asking why this should be so. Two ethnographic cases are presented—the Kuna of Panama and the indigenous people of the Bajo Urubamba River in Peruvian Amazonia. The first describes what the ethnographer finds instead of elaborated discourses of luck and destiny in the Kuna conception of the person, while the second examines why the people of the Bajo Urubamba do not make use of such notions, which they are aware of from neighboring Andean people. The article concludes by looking at wider correlates of the Greater Amazonian concept of luck and the person in forms of social transmission and subsistence choices.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology