Jews of the Amazon: Self-exile in Earthly Paradise

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Jewish Publication Society, 1999 - History - 341 pages
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Jews of the Amazon, a fascinating look at a unique community in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, contributes more thought to the ongoing debate of "who is a Jew?" The author, a Jewish historian and writer born in Venezuela, spent four months living in one of the most isolated cities in history, Iquitos, Peru. There he studied "Jewish mestizos," the descendants of native Amazonian women and Jewish fortune-seekers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Segal documents the community's beliefs, practices, and culture, and how the assimilation of Catholic missionary and local Amazonian culture has affected the very notion of Jewish identity for these people.
  

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Jews of the Amazon: self-exile in earthly paradise

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Segal, who grew up in Venezuela and earned his doctorate in Latin American history at the University of Miami (and now works as a lecturer and as a radio analyst in Israel) brings us an unusual tale ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Center or Periphery?
19
Jews in Lima and Iquitos
37
The Religion of the Jewish Mestizos
63
Jewishness in Lima and Iquitos
97
A Marranic Remnant
133
When Lima Met Iquitos
149
Inter and IntraViews
175
The Researcher as Protagonist
203
Retracing the Steps
225
Notes
249
Glossary
317
Bibliography
323
Index
331
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