Raramuri Souls


Product Details

Smithsonian Books (DC)
Publish Date
6.03 X 9.0 X 0.6 inches | 0.77 pounds

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About the Author

William L. Merrill is a curator of North American ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.


A well-written book about the knowledge of Tarahumara Indians in Northwest Mexico. . . . It stands above many other worldview ethnographies in the depth and clarity of its thinking about thinking. (Latin American Anthropology Review)

Excellent. . . . Merrill explores the most basic tenets of Rarámuri thought and action by elucidating the concepts of the soul and the contexts in which this theoretical knowledge manifests its representation, reproduction, and variation. . . . Merrill leads his readers on a journey through Rarámuri philosophy, cosmology, and ritual, which, prior to this study, have largely been uncharted regions of Rarámuri worldview. (Man)

Rarámuri Souls provides a great deal of new information about Tarahumara (Rarámuri) life, develops a theory of cultural reproduction versus social reproduction, and synthesizes mentalist and practice-orientation anthropologies in a new understanding of sociocultural processes. . . . The author provides an excellent fifty-page orientation chapter. Thus, the book could be a welcome addition to introductory courses as well as to courses in Middle American ethnology, medical and social anthropology, and culture change. (American Anthropologist)

An excellent ethnography of a fascinating people. (Kiva)

As ethnography, Merrill's book is outstanding. He furthers our understanding of the Rarámuri and does so in an engaging fashion. His informants come alive. . . . For those interested in the Indians of Mexico, practice in anthropology and folklore, or native philosophy and knowledge, Rarámuri Souls is an excellent resource. (Folklore Forum)