Alvarsson, Jan-Åke. The Mataco of the Gran Chaco: an ethnographic account of change and continuity in Mataco socio-economic organization

Table of Contents

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Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1. The Mataco — The “different People”

1.2. Aim

1.3. Arrangement

1.4. Research Conditions

1.5. A Critical Review Of The Sources

1.5.1. Main Ethnographic Sources

1.5.2. Complementary Ethnographic Sources

1.5.3. Presentation Of Informants

Chapter 2 The Gran Chaco

2.1. Environment

2.2. Regional History

2.2.1. History Before The 16th Century

2.2.2. First Contacts With The Whites, 1520—1600

2.2.3. The Jesuit Era, 1600—1767

2.2.4. The Franciscan Era, 1768—1813

2.2.5. The War Of Independence, 1814—1836

2.2.6. The National Franciscan Era, 1836—1881

2.2.7. The Era Of Explorations And Migrations, 1882—1931

2.2.8. The Chaco War, 1932—1936

2.2.9. Colonization And Evangelical Missions, After 1937

2.3. The Present Situation Of The Indians In The Gran Chaco

2.3.1. The Situation In Northern Chaco Central

2.4. Local History

2.4.1. Villa Montes

2.4.2 The Mataco Settlement Of Villa Montes

2.4.3. Algarrobal

Chapter 3 Notes On Mataco Cosmology

3.1. Information On Mataco Religion And Shamanism

3.2. Mataco Cosmology And Cosmography

3.3. Notes On Mataco Values

3.4. The Mataco Calendar

Chapter 4 Social Organization

4.1. Problems In The Description Of Mataco Social Organization

4.2. Traditional Mataco Social Concepts

4.2.1. Wenhayek Wikyi’ And Other Ethnic Groups

4.2.2. The Wikyi’-group And The Wikyi’-category

4.2.3. Wikyiwet — The Village

A) The Village Is Situated Along A Road

B) The Huts Are Arranged In Clusters Around An Open Space

C) The Village May Be Divided Into Two, Separate Sections

4.2.4. ’o’i’yhaj Tâ Lhamén’hya — The Kindred

4.2.5. Nowetlheley — The Family Group Or Household

4.3. The Problem Of Descent

4.3.1. Relationship Terminology

4.3.2. Structure Of The Wikyi’

4.4. Marriage Rules

4.4.1. Eligible Partners

A) Kindred Exogamy

B) Marriage Rules For The Wikyi’

C) Village Exogamy

4.4.2. Strategic Alliances

4.4.3. Monogamy

4.5. Matrimony

4.5.1. The Marriage Process A) Preceding Discussions

B) Initiative To Sexual Liaisons

C) Trials And Bride Service

4.5.2. The Wedding

4.5.3. Postmarital Residence

4.5.4. Divorce

4.6. Present-day Conditions Among The Mataco

4.6.1. Algarrobal

4.6.2. Villa Montes

4.7. Social Change And Continuity

Chapter 5 Political And Legal Organization

5.1. Introduction To The Study Of Mataco Political And Legal Organization

5.2. Traditional Mataco Political Entities

5.2.1. The Wikyi’-group

5.2.2. Fusion, Fission And Interaction Of The Wikyi’-group

5.2.3. Wikyiwet — The Village

5.2.4. Nowetlhleley — The “family Council”

5.3. Executive Councils

5.3.1. Wikyihutwek — The Wikyi’-council

5.3.2. Wikyihutwek — The Village Assembly

5.4. Political Leaders

5.4.1. Niyat — The Traditional Spokesman

5.4.2. Capitán — The Appointed Agent

5.4.3. Hiyawu’ — The Shaman

5.4.4. Lhametwo’ — The Evangelical “encargado”

5.4.5. Nowet Lhámhiya — The Household Leader

5.5. Legal Organization

5.5.1. Conflicts Between Individuals

A) Theft

B) Adultery

C) Rape

D) Homicide

5.5.2. Conflicts Between Collectives

A) Escalated Conflicts

B) Territorial Conflicts

C) Hockey

D) Armed Conflicts

5.5.3. Conflicts With The Mestizos

5.6 Present Conditions Among The Mataco

5.6.1. Algarrobal

5.6.2. Villa Montes

5.7. Change And Continuity In Mataco Political Organization

Chapter 6 Economic Organization

6.1. Introduction To Mataco Economic Organization

6.1.1. Problems In The Description Of The Mataco Economy

6.2. Resources And Tools

6.2.1. Land And Property

6.2.2. Tools

6.3. Work Organization

6.3.1. Work Arrangement According To The Time Of Day

6.3.2. Work Organization According To Seasons [graphic Omitted] W = Winter/dry Season (mainly Yakyup) S = Summer/rainy Season (mainly Jwiyetilh) A = All Year Round/average Note: The Table Shows Estimated Allocation Of Active Working Hours In Average. Leisure Activities Are Not Included. The Figures Are Assessments, Based On Field—notes (combination Of Observation, Interviews And Knowledge Of Time Expenditure) Of 38 Man-days In February And May 1984.

6.3.3. Labour Arrangement And Social Organization

6.3.4. Division Of Labour According To Sex

6.3.5. Division Of Labour According To Age

6.3.6. Division Of Labour According To Specialty

6.4. Production

6.4.1 Kyowalhan - Gathering (and Use Of Gathered Foods)

6.4.2. Kyowalhan — Honey Gathering

6.4.3. Kyowalhan — Hunting

6.4.4. T’iwoqoy — Fishing

6.4.5. Kyumlhi’ — Horticulture

6.4.6. Kyumlhi’ — Animal Husbandry

6.4.7. Kyumlhi’ — Handicraft

6.4.8. Kyumlhi’ — Work Migrations And Employment

6.5. Distribution

6.5.1. Sharing

6.5.2 Consumption

6.5.3. Accumulation

6.5.4. Trade

6.6 Present-day Conditions

6.6.1. Algarrobal

6.6.2. Villa Montes

6.7. Economic Change And Continuity

Chapter 7 Concluding Remarks On Change And Continuity

7.1. The Problem Of Change And Continuity

7.1.1. A Review Of The Implications Of History

7.1.2. Notes On Change

7.1.3. Notes On Continuity

7.1.4. Change And Continuity In A Rural And An Urban Environment

7.2. Explanatory Variables

7.3. Implications

Resumen En Español (summary In Spanish)

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Publication Information


Title: The Mataco of the Gran Chaco: an ethnographic account of change and continuity in Mataco socio-economic organization

Published By: Uppsala, Sweden ; Stockholm, Sweden: Academiae Upsaliensis ; Distributed by Almqvist & Wiskell International, 1988. XVI, 314 p.: ill.

By line: by Jan-Åke Alvarsson

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1997. Computer File

Culture: Mataco (SI07)

Subjects: Fauna (136); Flora (137); Food quest (220); Division of labor by gender (462); Household (592); Community structure (621); Cosmology (772);

Abstract: This dissertation gives a detailed, diachronic description of the social, political, legal and economic organization of the Mataco - hunters and gatherers of the tropical dry forest of the Bolivian Gran Chaco. The account starts with a critical review of the main ethnographic sources on the Chaco peoples and, after sections on the enviornment and the local history, it presents an attempt to reconstruct the socio-economic organization of the Mataco before the colonization of the area, i.e. before the turn of the century. In addition, on the basis of Alvarsson's field notes from five years among the Mataco, new ethnographic data is included. The data demonstrate that, in spite of evident social change, and in contrast to other Indian peoples of the region, the Mataco have refused to be incorporated into the national society.

Document Number: 9

Document ID: si07-009

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Revision of the author's dissertation. Includes bibliographical references (p. 302-310) and index

Field Date: 1976-1985

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: John Beierle ; 1995

Coverage Date: ca.1900-1985

Coverage Place: Gran Chaco region, Bolivia, Argentina

LCSH: Mataco Indians


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