Kinship, gender, interspecies relations, seduction, Amazonia


Based on my ethnographic research with the Jarawara people, an indigenous society in the Southwest Amazonia, the article explores the idea of thinking kinship as persuasion. Among the Jarawara, children can have more than one father, which is well known in Americanist literature, but there would exist as well an original practice what we could call "multi-maternity". I also observe that the Jarawara can have diverse parental relations - some of their children are human, while others are plants. This occurs in a system of raising (nayana) in which children and plants are raised by a father and/or a mother who are not their "biological" parent - and sometimes do not even form a couple. This system takes place through a 'seductive' agency' that both humans and non-humans can mobilise. In this article I will examine how Jarawara kinship, like other aspects of the Amerindians worlds, evoke a multiplicity that destabilises our concept of sexual reproduction and associated parenthood, and query our man/ woman dichotomy.