The Play of Mirrors: The Representation of Self Mirrored in the Other

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Focusing on the Bororo people of west-central Brazil, this book addresses the construction of self-identity through interethnic interaction. By presenting the images the Bororo have of themselves as well as the images of others who have interacted with them, Brazilian anthropologist Sylvia Caiuby Novaes argues convincingly that Bororo self-images are constructed with the aid of a peculiar looking-glass-it is in the images of others that they see themselves. Incorporating contributions from psychology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, and semiotics, Play of Mirrors focuses on symbols, images, discourse, and meanings rather than solely on the problem of acculturation. It thus reflects the thinking of a new generation of Brazilian anthropologists who have shifted their focus from native communities as isolated entities to an examination of their embeddedness within broader national and international arenas.