Clara Fortes Brandao

clara fortes brandao web

DPhil Student

Wolfson College

Thesis: Body ties, soul wanderings: kinship, dreams & personhood among a South American indigenous people

Research: This research sets out to investigate the relationship between dreams and kinship in the constitution of the person among a South American indigenous people. For this group, dream experience involves the nocturnal wandering of the soul, which, leaving the body, interacts with the spirits of non-human beings. Connections between kin, on the other hand, have been described primarily as human ties established through bodies. My ethnographic study will examine the impact that the former set of relations have on the latter – in other words, how oneiric encounters between the soul and non-human entities influence the making and unmaking of bodily kinship among human beings. Through this analysis of the interactions between the connections formed by the body and the wandering of the soul, I intend to study the composition of the person.

Key words: dreams; kinship; personhood; Indigenous South America