Ethnomethodology as an emic guide to cultural systems: the case of the insects and the Kayapó Indians of Amazonia

Darrell A. Posey
1982 Revista Brasileira de Zoologia  
This paper is an attempt to briel/y summarize the taxonomic leatures 01 the fo/k entom%gica/ classilication system 01 the Kayapó lndians 01 Central Brazi/. The lolk system shows a correlation with scientilic taxonomies, especial/y at leveIs 01 Class, Order and Fami/y. Several morphological continua os "sequences" are evident and within these are lound additional sub-groupings called "complexes". 01 particular interest is the sequence labeled "fíy", which is analogous to the scientilic Orders 01
more » ... lsoptera and Hymenoptera. Patterns lor these groupings rellect important social and cultural values and are iftdicative 01 the signilicance 01 social insects (bees, ants, wasps and termites) in the Kayapó beliel system. It is suggested that taxonomic systems are guides to cultural/y signi/icant domains and point to underlying social and cultural patterns. These pattems are reilied by mythology and oral tradition, being encoded as recurring symbolic lorms with natural prototypes. Thus an ethnomethodology to determine lo/k classilication system:; o//ers an emic approach to the investigation of cu/tures and reveals the inter-re/ationships between cognitive systems, mythology, ceremony, and natural symbols.
doi:10.1590/s0101-81751982000300001 fatcat:ngtborrhxzaj3oj5wf23v2q4kq