chapter  5
20 Pages

Making Community

WithCecilia McCallum

This chapter discusses the facets of the formation of larger-scale settlements or villages amongst the Cashinahua during the 1980s and 1990s. It also discusses the main leader is a central figure in the making of these modern communities and how he must juggle his dual role as internal leader and external representative. A ‘true leader’ gathers people together, using his ties to siblings and other kin, as do male leaders all over lowland South America. Pancho persuaded Chiquiana and her family easily, but others were convinced that returning to Brazil with us was a good idea. A man successfully imbued with male agency is ready to become a leader, a notion closely allied to that of ibu. The formation of male gender and agency also stimulates a capacity for anti-social behaviour, though it takes a different form. Men disrupt the community by absences that at times are prolonged over several months, especially on trips to the city.