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Antropología simétrica dentro del ritual de la Capoeira Angola en Brasil.

Author(s): Sergio González Varela

Journal: AIBR : Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana
ISSN 1695-9752

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Symmetrical anthropology | alterity | capoeira | animal transformation | reality

Throughout the development of social anthropology there are many problems related to the type of knowledge that stems from the interaction between anthropologist and the Other. In some occasions the outcome is an imposition of perspectives, a distortion or incredulity of other cultural realities. This article explores the possibility of a symmetrical anthropology, which proposes to place the perspectives of the Other and the anthropologist in the same epistemological and ontological levels, as part of a dialogue among equals. The theoretical discussion is based on ethnographic material from the Afro-Brazilian ritual of capoeira, where there is a continuous process of human transformation into, and identification with animals. Such process is conceived as real and as a collateral effect of the ritual practice of capoeira. In this sense, animal transformation is not a collective representation or a metaphor explained by hidden social causes. On the contrary, it is a becoming, an intensity between different worlds that merge a symbol and a content into one single modality. Therefore, it is only by taking the world displayed by alterity seriously that anthropology can claim truly to understand cultural diversity in its own terms.
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