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.