The first RILAS research seminar of the year will take place this Thursday February 9th.
Professor Peter Gow (Social Anthropology, University of St. Andrews)
“Carolina’s Story: A case study of the diffusion of a myth in Southwestern Amazonia”
Among a number of indigenous peoples of southwestern Amazonia over the course of the twentieth century there was a demonstrable process of homogenization in their mythologies about the origin of the moon. A single myth about the origin of this celestial body in an act of incest between a man and his sister has consistently replaced earlier versions across a very diverse collection of communities scattered over a very large area. Often speaking mutually incomprehensible languages, and often with no obvious interconnections, these communities are coordinating this one aspect of their cosmological systems, while retaining diversity with respect to other aspects of those systems. Even more remarkably, the community within which this currently most common version originated was effectively destroyed long before this process began.
The Seminar begins at 4:00 pm in the LAS Building (86 Bedford St. South) in Lecture Room Three. Wine Reception to follow. Everyone welcome!