Contracts with Satan: Relations with 'Spirit Owners' and Apprehensions of the Economy among the Coastal Miskitu of Nicaragua

Article


Jamieson, M. 2009. Contracts with Satan: Relations with 'Spirit Owners' and Apprehensions of the Economy among the Coastal Miskitu of Nicaragua. Durham Anthropology Journal. 16 (2), pp. 44-53.
AuthorsJamieson, M.
Abstract

This article examines the role of the 'spirit owners' or dawanka who among the Miskitu control supplies of fish and game, as well as access to other goods. Whereas the existing literature on relations between similar beings and other Amerindian peoples tends to demonstrate a balanced or generalised reciprocity emphasising social reproduction, those between dawanka and the Miskitu of Kakabila are often mutually explotative and destructive. The articl considers the region's socioeconomic history, changing conceptions of personhood, and materials gleaned from fieldwork, concluding that present-day perceptions of dawanka and other 'mythical' beings frequently represent a fear of the individualistic and selfishly motivated forms of exchange which many see as having come to replace those that are socially reproductive.

JournalDurham Anthropology Journal
Journal citation16 (2), pp. 44-53
ISSN1742-2930
Year2009
PublisherDepartment of Anthropology, University of Durham
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Web address (URL)http://www.dur.ac.uk/anthropology.journal/vol16/iss2/jamieson.pdf
Publication dates
Online2009
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Jun 2020
Copyright holder© 2009 Mark Jamieson
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