For the Kuna, a nonindustrial people of the South American tropical forest, the world is perceived, conceived, organized, and controlled by oral speech and language. Thus, by exploring their ways of speaking, Joel Sherzer provides valuable insights into the nature of Kuna social and political organization, world view, religion, economics, medicine, and aesthetics. This unique work encompasses the full range of speech, from the dominant areas of ritual life -- magic and curing, puberty rites, and politics -- to everyday conversation, gossip, narration, and greeting and leave-taking.
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