Ash??ninka amity: A study of social relations in an Amazonian society

  • Killick E
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Starting with Asheninka people's avowed preference for living apart, in nuclear family households, this article analyses Ashninka social practices within the context of ongoing academic debates over reciprocity, kinship, and the relative importance of similarity and difference in Amazonian thought. I argue that instead of attempting to pull others into fixed and narrowly prescribed relationships, particularly those based on kinship, the Ashninka prefer for all ties to be based on relations of friendship that remain voluntary, limited, and flexible. I show how these relationships are underpinned by a cultural imperative on unilateral giving that is manifested in masateadas, social gatherings centred on the consumption of manioc beer.

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  • Evan Killick

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