Photo overlooking the totem pole in the Pitt Rivers Museum


During the Final Honour School, students delve more deeply into the subject areas which have been introduced to them in the first year. They will also decide on which three options they would like to take from the following list of 30 subjects. One option is studied in the second year, two are studied in the third year.

Lowland South America

The course introduces students to one of the most exciting and recently studied ethnographic regions of the world, lowland South America. Defined broadly, this cultural area comprises the lowland tropical and subtropical regions east of the Andes, the coastal and foothill regions on either side of the Andes, and other lowland geographic regions, including urban and peri-urban frontier regions.

By the end of the course, students will have gained a general understanding of (1) Amerindian ways of life, and value and thought systems; (2) the ecological, historical and political conditions of contemporary Amazonian countries; and (3) the theoretical debates raised by ethnographic analysis.  Primary aims of the course are to show students a) how the ethnology of lowland South America, through its diversity and debates, is renewing anthropological thinking on a number of key issues; b) ways of integrating data from archaeology, ethnography, linguistics and ethnobiology; and, c) research ethics and questions of representation. The course involves detailed reading and discussion of ethnographic texts as well as visual media.

Last update on 09/12/16 by Robyn Mason.

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