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Ideal for any cultural anthropology course, this brief collection of ethnographic case studies exposes students to 15 different cultures. The groups selected are peoples whose traditional cultures are uniquely their own. Each has distinctive patterns and practices; each has faced the challenge of an encroaching world, with differing results. Moreover, they often provide the prime illustrations of important concepts in introductory anthropology course including Azande witchcraft, Ju/'hoansi egalitarianism, Trobriand kula exchange, and Minangkabau matriliny. As such, this volume can stand alone as an introduction to central ethnographic concepts through these 15 societies, or serve as a valuable companion to anthropology texts. Many of the peoples presented are involved in the diaspora; some struggle to preserve old ways in new places. All sketches follow a logical, consistent organization that makes it easy for students to understand major themes such as history, subsistence, sociopolitical organization, belief systems, marriage, kinship, and contemporary issues.
The Trobriand Islanders (Chapter 14) This chapter includes three new sections. The first, "The Substance of Personhood: Kumila and Dala," addresses Trobriand social and political organization. The second is a section about Trobriand magic, highlighting the differing perspectives of Malinowski and Weiner, and linking magical spells to clan organization. The third, "AIDS in the Trobriands: Sovasova and the Sickness of Sameness," uses HIV/AIDS to demonstrate the ways in which illnesses are experienced and explained in their local settings, using local frameworks.