Vital Diplomacy: The Ritual Everyday on a Dammed River in Amazonia | BERGHAHN BOOKS
Join our Email List Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Vital Diplomacy: The Ritual Everyday on a Dammed River in Amazonia

View Table of Contents

Volume 5

Ethnography, Theory, Experiment

See Related
Anthropology Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Vital Diplomacy

The Ritual Everyday on a Dammed River in Amazonia

Chloe Nahum-Claudel

302 pages, 24 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-406-1 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (November 2017)

ISBN  978-1-80539-125-8 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (October 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80539-384-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Chloe Nahum-Claudel’s monograph is an excellent addition to anthropology’s repertoire. It weaves together elaborate description with a creative analytical approach that applies to local and regional politics. It also serves as an impressive introduction to Nahum-Claudel’s skills as a rigorous and attentive scholar…All Amazonian scholars and many other anthropologists interested in indigenous politics would benefit from reading Nahum-Claudel’s book, whose elaboration of the concept of diplomacy and use of it in analysing ritual practices represent an important and innovative contribution to the discipline.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“Chloe Nahum-Claudel’s excellent book is the first full-length ethnography in English of the Enawenê- nawê, an Arawakan-speaking group of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso... [It] shows how the concept of diplomacy can be used to frame indigenous struggles over rights and resources in a way which respects indigenous cosmological perspectives.” • Anthropos

“…interesting, thoughtful and well-written… a fine contribution to the ethnography of native lowland South America.” • Harry Walker, London School of Economics and Political Science


In Brazil, where forest meets savanna, new towns, agribusiness and hydroelectric plants form a patchwork with the indigenous territories. Here, agricultural work, fishing, songs, feasts and exchanges occupy the Enawenê-nawê for eight months of each year during a season called Yankwa. Vital Diplomacy focuses on this major ceremonial cycle to shed new light on classic Amazonian themes such as kinship, gender, manioc cultivation and cuisine, relations with non-humans and foreigners, and the interplay of myth and practice, exploring how ritual contains and diverts the threat of violence by reconciling antagonistic spirits, coordinating social and gender divides, and channelling foreign relations and resources.

Chloe Nahum-Claudel is a lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. She previously held research fellowships at the London School of Economics, the University of Cambridge, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.

Subject: Anthropology (General)Cultural Studies (General)
Area: Latin America and the Caribbean


Download ToC (PDF)

Back to Top

Library Recommendation Form

Dear Librarian,

I would like to recommend Vital Diplomacy The Ritual Everyday on a Dammed River in Amazonia for the library. Please include it in your next purchasing review with my strong recommendation. The RRP is: $135.00

I recommend this title for the following reasons:

BENEFIT FOR THE LIBRARY: This book will be a valuable addition to the library's collection.

REFERENCE: I will refer to this book for my research/teaching work.

STUDENT REFERRAL: I will regularly refer my students to the book to assist their studies.

OWN AFFILIATION: I am an editor/contributor to this book or another book in the Series (where applicable) and/or on the Editorial Board of the Series, of which this volume is part.