By Pei-Lin Yu

ISBN-10: 082631807X

ISBN-13: 9780826318077

A tender scholar of anthropology gets a proposal she cannot refuse: the opportunity to dwell one of the Pum???, a South American hunting-and-gathering those who name the tropical Venezuelan savannah domestic. in the course of their time within the village of Doro An???, the writer and the significant researcher examine a vanishing lifestyle during which funds cash, the written observe, cars, and airplanes are infrequent and scary intrusions.Adopted right into a Pum??? kin, Yu's casual and private money owed of occasions in the course of her 12 months remain sparkle with descriptive thrives and turns of word as she describes the day-by-day cycles of start, development, romance, illness, therapeutic, and dying one of the villagers. Enlivened with the author's personal illustrations, Yu's magazine entries search to give via a tender American's eyes a comic strip of her Pum??? relatives, their heroic fight to outlive in a altering global, and the ability and secret of the Pum??? means of life."In Hungry Lightning we glimpse haunting fragments of existence one of the Pum??? Indians. we discover an intimate, deeply feminine???but ever-so-slightly jaded and unusually melancholic???voice savoring the tastes and scents of existence lived within the Venezuelan savanna. A complexly sensual portrait."--Barbara Tedlock

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Additional info for Hungry lightning: notes of a woman anthropologist in Venezuela

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Our trip was hot, jolting, and dusty, but enlivened by the beauty of the landscape; we drove under a brilliant turquoise sky through the grasslands, occasionally skirting shifting, ivory-colored sand dunes and crossing small, wooded creeks whose deep shade seemed like night after the glare of the sun. Caymans (South American crocodiles) and big turtles sunned themselves lazily in the mud on the side of the dirt road, keeping company with swirling, chattering flocks of birds. Glossy blueblack cormorants, snowy white egrets and storks, caracaras with white crests, cruel hooked beaks and crazy red eyes, and ibises with downward-curving beaks like crescent moons jostled each other in the trees and ponds.

4/30/92 I felt antsy today and decided to take a walk by myself. I wandered over to the empty wet season camp, about one-half mile to the south, near to the burned area where I went with the old women to gather roots a week ago. I sniffed around the big, solidly thatched houses, some of which can shelter several families from the torrential rains of winter. Page 30 I was impressed by how brittle the trash was in the household trash heaps, sun-baked and rain-soaked daily. There wouldn't be much left to find in a hundred years; no wonder there are so few archaeological sites found in this area.

Along the way a young man Page 27 named Juan Masano spotted an armadillo digging busily by the side of the trail. I watched, amazed, as he walked casually up to the armadillo's rear end, which was sticking out of the hole, and pulled it out by the tail. He stepped on its neck, then jerked sharply up on the tail to break the spine. I had expected wild animals to be a little harder to kill! Juan walked up to me and handed me the dead armadillo. Being a male, it had an erection (they have bizarre, three-pronged penises) and its pink tongue was protruding from its tiny snout.

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Hungry lightning: notes of a woman anthropologist in Venezuela by Pei-Lin Yu


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