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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 Algebra of Souls

Ontological Multiplicity and the Transformation of Animism in Southwest China

Mireille Mazard

California Press . 10.1525/9780520910713 Swancutt , Katherine . 2007 . “ The Ontological Spiral: Virtuosity and Transparency in Mongolian Games .” Inner Asia 9 : 237 – 259 . Swancutt , Katherine . 2012 . “ Fame, Fate-Fortune, and Tokens of Value among

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The Art of Capture

Hidden Jokes and the Reinvention of Animistic Ontologies in Southwest China

Katherine Swancutt

Tokens of Value among the Nuosu of Southwest China .” Social Analysis 56 , no. 2 : 56 – 72 . 10.3167/sa.2012.560205 Swancutt , Katherine . 2012c . “ Masked Predation, Hierarchy and the Scaling of Extractive Relations in Inner Asia and Beyond .” Pp

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Introduction

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

Katherine Swancutt and Mireille Mazard

Institute 18 , no. S1 : S103 – S116 . 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2012.01766.x Swancutt , Katherine . 2012b . “ Fame, Fate-Fortune, and Tokens of Value among the Nuosu of Southwest China .” Social Analysis 56 , no. 2 : 56 – 72 . 10.3167/sa.2012

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Religion through the Looking Glass

Fieldwork, Biography, and Authorship in Southwest China and Beyond

Katherine Swancutt

of Value among the Nuosu of Southwest China .” Social Analysis 56 ( 2 ): 56 – 72 . 10.3167/sa.2012.560205 Swancutt , Katherine . 2015 . “ Imaginations at War: The Ephemeral and the Fullness of Life in Southwest China .” Pp. 133 – 159 in