Tristes Tropiques was an immensely popular bestseller when it was first published in France in 1955. Claude Levi-Strauss's groundbreaking study of the societies of a number of Amazonian peoples is a cornerstone of structural anthropology and an exploration by the author of his own intellectual roots as a professor of philosophy in Brazil before the Second World War, as a Jewish exile from Nazi-occupied Europe, and later as a world-renowned academic (he taught at New York's New School for Social Research and was French cultural attache to the United States). Levi-Strauss's central journey leads from the Amazon basin through the dense upland jungles of Brazil. There, among the Amerindian tribes - the Caduveo, Bororo, Nambikwara, and Tupi-Kawahib - he found "a human society reduced to its most basic expression." Levi-Strauss's discussion of his fieldwork in Tristes Tropiques endures as a milestone of anthropology, but the book is also, in its brilliant diversions on other, more familiar cultures, a great work of literature, a vivid travelogue, and an engaging memoir - a demonstration of the marvelous mental agility of one of the century's most important thinkers. Presented here is the translation by John and Doreen Weightman of the complete text of the revised French edition of 1968, together with the original photographs and illustrations.
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TRANSLATORS NOTE II
PART ONE AN END TO JOURNEYING
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Abaitara already America animals anthropologist appear arrived arrows Augustus bamboo become boat Bororo Brazil Brazilian Buddhism bush Caduveo Caingang called camp canoe carried century Chibcha chief Cinna civilization clan colour consisted Cuiaba culture dead existence expedition fact feathers feeling fire forest France French Georges Dumas girls ground Guaycuru hand houses human hundred hunting huts Indians individual inhabitants Islam journey kilometres kind land landscape later living look lorry maize Manaus manioc Martinique Mato Grosso means metres milreis moiety Moslem Nambikwara natives nature never night objects once painted palm pattern perhaps Pimenta Bueno plateau possible pre-Columbian reached relationships remained river Rondon Sao Paulo seemed side social society sometimes straw Taperahi Taxila thousand town travelling trees tribes tropical Tupi Tupi-Kawahib vegetation village weeks women wooden young