Merrill, William L.. Rarámuri souls: knowledge and social process in northern Mexico

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter 1 Rarámuri Knowledge

Exploring Rarámuri Knowledge

Variation, Representation, And The Reproduction Of Knowledge

Chapter 2 The Rarámuri

Rejogochi, 1987

Basíhuare In Rarámuri History

Sixteenth And Seventeenth Centuries

Eighteenth Century

Nineteenth Century

Twentieth Century

The Emergence Of Contemporary Rarámuri Culture

Chapter 3 Rarámuri Sermons And The Reproduction Of Knowledge

The Reproduction Of Knowledge

Kinds Of Knowledge And Reproductive Practices

The Reproduction Of Rarámuri Theoretical Knowledge

The Public Presentation Of Theoretical Knowledge

Examples Of Rarámuri Sermons

The Cosmology Of Rarámuri Sermons

Two Cosmologies Or One?

Chapter 4 The Concept Of Soul

Souls In The Rarámuri Universe

The Number And Classification Of Human Souls

Other Soul-possessing Entities

Inanimate Entities

The Responsibilities Of The Souls

Individual Variation In The Concept Of Soul

Sleeping And Dreaming




The Production Of Variation And Consensus

Chapter 5 Curing Practices

Rarámuri Curing Practices


Ailments Not Intentionally Caused By Other Beings.

Ailments Intentionally Caused By Other Beings.

The Process Of Diagnosis

The Prevention And Alleviation Of Illness

Preventing Illness.

Alleviating Illness.

The Basic Curing Rite

Curing Practices And The Concept Of Soul

Chapter 6 Death Practices

Ideas About Death And The Dead

The Origin Of Death

The Afterlife

Attitudes Toward Death

Death Rituals


Minor Death Rituals

“when We Write With Ashes”

Speeches To The Dead

Death Practices And The Concept Of Soul

Chapter 7 Conclusions


Chapter I. Rarámuri Knowledge

Chapter 2. The Rarámuri

Chapter 3. Rarámuri Sermons And The Reproduction Of Knowledge

Chapter 4. The Concept Of Soul

Chapter 5. Curing Practices

Chapter 6. Death Practices

Chapter 7. Conclusions

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Rarámuri souls: knowledge and social process in northern Mexico

Published By: Original publisher Washington, D.C. ; London: Smithsonian Institution Press. 1988. xi, 237 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication William L. Merrill

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 1997. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Tarahumara (NU33)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Theory of disease (753); Magical and mental therapy (755); Cult of the dead (769); Animism (774); Eschatology (775); Spirits and gods (776);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document William Merrill '…examines the ways in which a society lacking formal educational institutions produces and transmits its basic knowledge about the world and how the nature of this process affects the distribution of the knowledge within the society' (dust jacket). This book deals with Tarahumara history, philosophy, oratory, and ritual practices with a focus throughout on the concept of the soul. This soul concept is used by the Tarahumara to explain various dimensions of human experience and behavior and to justify much of their ritual action. Merrill analyzes this central component of Tarahumara thought in terms of its relationship to health and death practices and in various other dimensions of everyday life.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 14

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. nu33-014

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 211-228) and index

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1977-1987

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. John Beierle ; 1995

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1977-1987

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Chihuahua, Mexico

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Tarahumara Indians


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