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Katherine Swancutt

Landmark anthropological works on fame have shown that gift-giving is often the vehicle for producing relations of 'positive value' and recognition. When viewing fame against the related notion of fortune, however, the focal point of study shifts to how people produce reputations that are 'beyond value' or 'priceless'. This article proposes that the Nuosu of Southwest China enter into an ongoing 'economy of ordeals' in order to accumulate priceless 'tokens of value' that increase their 'fate-fortune' and fame. It shows that ambitious Nuosu accept new ordeals to achieve fame, while comfortably viewing their accomplishments as akin to those of a predatory spider. Tellingly, though, these efforts are vulnerable to the counter-extractive maneuvers of other people and ghosts, which present the Nuosu with new ordeals that could deplete their resources.

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The Art of Capture

Hidden Jokes and the Reinvention of Animistic Ontologies in Southwest China

Katherine Swancutt

ecological jargon in the first place. Drawing on my fieldwork among the Nuosu of Southwest China, my aim in this article is to show how the ‘art of capture’ underpins the native reinvention of animistic ontologies that shadow our fieldwork efforts at

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Religion through the Looking Glass

Fieldwork, Biography, and Authorship in Southwest China and Beyond

Katherine Swancutt

County in Yunnan Province, China, which is predominantly populated by the Nuosu, a Tibeto-Burman group (known in Chinese as Liangshan Yizu 凉山彝族) with whom I have worked since 2007. Just two weeks after I returned from this trip to the UK in September 2015

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Anthropological Knowledge Making, the Reflexive Feedback Loop, and Conceptualizations of the Soul

Katherine Swancutt and Mireille Mazard

bodily in kind. The soul-spiders of Swancutt’s (2012a , 2012b , 2012d ) Nuosu ethnography are sometimes visible, sometimes invisible fragments of the self that, when lost, may be lured back by tasty morsels of meat and other comforts of the home, or

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The Algebra of Souls

Ontological Multiplicity and the Transformation of Animism in Southwest China

Mireille Mazard

contrast, among other native societies in Southwest China, such as the Nuosu ( Swancutt 2012: 67–69 ) and the Lòlop’ò ( Mueggler 2001: 250–284 ), ghosts can interact with the living for many years after death, whether as benevolent ancestors or malevolent

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Rane Willerslev

. Swancutt’s article on the Nuosu discusses a native anthropologist named Tuosat, who cannot by any academic standards (even by the strict criteria endorsed by Hastrup) be denied the legitimacy of being a professional anthropologist. The same goes for Olga