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The Ethnographic Lens In The New World: Staden, De Bry, And The Representation Of The Tupi In Brazil

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Chapter Summary

Hans Staden's Warhaftige Historia, or the True History, produces and reflects a spectacle of anthropophagy in both textual and graphic forms that was certainly significant for his immediate audience, in a way analogous to how the drama of ritual sacrifice for the Tupi was connected to its qualities as public spectacle. The anthropophagic spectacle the True History presents also sustains a contemporary significance which has led to various re-workings of Staden's graphic materials, thereby re-inscribing the True History, and the cannibalistic sacrificial performance it displays, into contemporary cultural consciousness. In both Europe and Brazil a spectacular anthropophagy, which is at once semiophagic and semio-vestiary, is therefore central to the production of ritual meaning.

Keywords: anthropophagy; Brazil; De Bry; Staden; Tupi



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