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Author:Leif Grünewald (Universidade Federal do Paraná)
Paper short abstract:
In this paper I ponder the meanings implicit to an Ayoreo (a Zamucoan speaking group living in Paraguayan Chaco) notion of ‘comparison’ through the idiom of what they describe as -acãrájai and the sets of transformations it enacts.
Paper long abstract:
Social anthropologists have long appreciated the notion of comparison as an important conceptual tool in the discipline. In this paper I ponder the meanings implicit to an Ayoreo (a Zamucoan speaking group living in Paraguayan Chaco) notion of ‘comparison’ through the idiom of what they describe as -acãrájai and the sets of transformations it enacts. In proposing that Ayoreo ontology is inherently comparative, the aim of this article is not just to provide an ethnographic account of different contexts of Ayoreo lived world, be that as it may, but also to optimistically present a daunting task to an anthropological way of thinking about the notion of comparison. By addressing a question on how we can experience ethnographically how the differences compared by Ayoreo people are themselves differently comparing and redefining everything as their variants, I attempt to list similarities and dissimilarities between the concept of -acãrájai and the anthropological notion of comparison and they appeared to me through my own comparative/ethnographic apparatus and to raise awareness of misunderstandings between them, to redefine our own way of making identities and differences through the notion of comparison by defining it by its diferential relations to the notion of -acãrájai. For it, this paper examines how one intellectual object twists the other and how the background from which each one of them emerge are placed on the same footing, in a manner that -acãrájai and comparison are reciprocally constitutive of each other.
Symmetrical and experimental ethnographies: the dialectics of the observer and the observed.