Turuti Books, 2023
In The Way of the Warriors, the second volume of the series “Amazon Indians Monographs,” we find a rich collection of narratives and life stories, the product of the memory and experience of 24 indigenous narrators, recorded over years of fieldwork, and carefully translated by Gustaaf Verswijver with the dedicated and qualified help of two indigenous research assistants. Part of this rich material was the basis of the meticulous work of historical reconstruction work undertaken by the author and now comes to light to foster new research and new studies that complement any gaps and give rise to new interpretations of Mebengokre history.
The set of more than 80 narratives, organized by Verswijver, allows access to a comprehensive view of Mebengokre history, as remembered, understood, and told by the Indians themselves. The Mebengokre history and mental universe appear here, not as analytical artifacts of the anthropologist, but concretely embodied in the testimony of the indigenous people. More than that, if the indigenous narratives speak a lot about the past, of periods of crisis, violence, and death, they also reflect the strength of the present and point to the longings for the future of a brave people, morally solid, but open to the new and endowed with remarkable intellectual flexibility.
For this reason, it is no exaggeration to say that this book is one of the most important attempts at systematic historical reconstruction in the field of anthropology of Amazonian indigenous peoples.
The book comes with a foreword by Cesar Gordon (Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro) and is available on the different Amazon websites.
About the Author
Gustaaf Verswijver is an Honorary Curator of the Ethnography Division of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren, Belgium), where he worked from 1991 to 2016. He is the author of several books and many articles on East African pastoral societies and, above all, on the Mebengokre (Kayapo) Indians of Central Brazil, where he did field research between 1974 and 2019, among others The Club-Fighters of the Amazon (2018) and The Kararaô of Central Brazil (2020).