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Author Name:    HELMS, Mary W

Title:   Asang : Adaptations to Culture Contact in a Miskito Community. First Edition in dustjacket

Publisher:    University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 1971, ISBN:0813002982 

Seller ID:   102266

HELMS, Mary W. Asang : Adaptations to Culture Contact in a Miskito Community. Gainesville : University of Florida Press, 1971. First Edition. Pp (4),v-viii,1-268,(4). Illustrated. Map. Index. 8vo, black lettering to spine. "Stretching some 1,000 miles from Guatemala to Panama, Central America encompasses diverse topopograpnies and supports a wide variety of cultures. However, few extensive studies exist which treat the numerous indigenous peoplesof the area. In Asang: Adaptations to Culture Contact in a Miskito Communi ty, Dr. Mary W. Helms describes and interprets the cultural pattern of a heretofore little studied Central American society - the Miskito Indians - residents along the coasts and rivers of Nicaragua and Honduras. Basing her choiee of the Miskito on the most significant feature of their society, thatMiskito culture did not exist as such prior to European contact, Dr. Helms emphasizes Western influence on the social, political, economic, and relig ious aspects of Miskito life. She delineates a new sociocultural. category,the "purchase society, in which she places the Miskito adjustment to cultu re contact. Against an ethnohistorical background provided by extensive travelers', traders', and missionaries' reports spanning three centuries, Dr, Helms interprets field data which she collected during her nine-months' residence (November 1964 to July 1965) in the village of Asang, located on theRio Coco in northeast Nicaragua. She gathered all her information in the M iskito language, without the aid of an interpreter, and participated as fully as customs allowed in the activities of the village. The author devotes extensive coverage to the past and present efforts of the Moravian church, the most influential missionary church in the area, whose archives present extremely complete ethnographical data about Miskito traditions." (fgrom the dj). Contents : Introduction, 1. The Setting : In Space / In Time. 2. Introduction to Asang : The World of the Rio Coco / The Lay of the Village / Definitions of Asang. 3. The Social Framework : Village Founders / Statuses:Age and Cosanguneal Kin / Groups / Statuses: Affines and Ritual Kin / Summ ary. 4. Economic Orientations : The Nature of the Economic System / Hunting, Fishing, Gathering, and Crafts / The Agricultural Cycle / Animal Husbandry / Wage Labor, Commissaries, and the Cash Economy. 5. Political Integration : Introduction / Tradition / The Church / The State / Peasants or Purchasers. 6. The Role of the Missions : Traditional Ideology / The Moravian Core/ The Church of God / Health and Ideology / Miskito-Moravian Compatibility . 7. Views of the Outside World : The World Defined / Positive Approaches to Culture Contact / Defensive Reactions toward the Outside World. 8. Summary and Conclusions : In Retrospect / Theoretical Significance. Appendix A: Household Composition (1964-65). Appendix B: A Brief Survey of the Moravian Church. Name expunged with white-out from front endpaper, else very good inspine-browned, price-clipped dustjacket (short tear to front flap fold). 4 5.00


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