Of Passionate Curves and Desirable Cadences


Of Passionate Curves and Desirable Cadences

Themes on Waiwai Social Being

George Mentore

392 pages
6 photographs, 6 figures, 2 maps, table, index


July 2009


$29.95 Add to Cart

June 2005


$29.95 Add to Cart
"[A] beautifully written ethnography."—Choice

About the Book

Compelling and evocative, Of Passionate Curves and Desirable Cadences reveals the vital cultural interconnections at the heart of a rain-forest Amerindian society. The Waiwai, who live in the remote interior of Guyana and in neighboring Brazil, follow a customary subsistence lifestyle built around swidden agriculture and hunting.
How do the Waiwai experience and think about themselves and their place in the so-called modern world around them? The anthropologist George Mentore draws on years of living with the Waiwai, a compelling theoretical perspective grounded in ethnographic subjectivity, and his own Guyanese heritage to depict the social and cultural world of the Waiwai. Mentore describes the relationship between the Waiwai cultural construction of the body, settlement, houses, fields, wildlife, power, knowledge, and gift giving in a variety of contexts and roles. This web of relationships, as well as the various spaces discovered and illuminated between Mentore's social being and theirs, point to a complex organization of culture that is distinctively Waiwai. When considering the Waiwai people’s “plaited” design of passion and intimacy in the way it relates to humans, plants, and animals, Mentore promises the reader that through his text you will encounter a community of truth that tames logic and desire, where well being, beauty, morality, and care encircle the transcendent self.

Author Bio

George Mentore has twenty-six years of research and experience living and working with the Amerindian peoples of southern Guyana and is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Virginia.


"[A] beautifully written ethnography."—Choice

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