Performing Dreams: Discourses of Immortality Among the Xavante of Central Brazil, 2nd edition
Laura R. Graham
Paperback, 6x9 in, 304 pages, illustrated, bibliography, index
Fenestra Books, February 2003
". . . Graham's book achieves a beautiful balance between the global and the local. . . . This is an engaged anthropology that takes into account the politics of indigenous people's relations to the state and the political implications of fieldwork in such a context. At the same time, Graham grapples with the ways that a rich and complex indigenous cosmology informs political interactions in often disarming ways. This stunning book represents ethnography at its best."
--Victor Turner Prize Committee
"Graham's finely crafted ethnography situates the expressive performance of dreams in Xavante soundscape, discursive practices, negotiations, rituals, and narrations. . . . Her field and translation work is presented as a collaborative process that illustrates the creative power of named individuals who engage one another and the ethnographer in a range of expressive practices that constitute the discourses of immortality. Graham respects and appreciates these discourses in both oral and mediated traditions and argues persuasively for the importance of cultural identity to survival."
--Chicago Folklore Prize Committee
"Graham's welcome study underscores the powerful and often-neglected potential of myths and myth-telling for the creation of cultural identity and social memory among tribal peoples. . . . Graham skillfully demonstrates ways in which expressive performances enable the Xavante people of Central Brazil to exert a remarkable degree of control over disruptive historical processes that have decimated other Latin American tribal groups. . . . This work will be of great interest to students of South American folklore, ethnology, and linguistics as well as to religious studies scholars and psychologists. Recommended."
Chicago Folklore Prize, American Folklore Society and International Folklore Association
Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing, Society for Humanistic Anthropology, Honorabe Mention
Hans Rosenhaupt Memorial Book Award, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Honorable Mention