The Construction of Similarity
This chapter focuses on the ngillatun fertility ritual. The mechanisms by which Mapuche people set about achieving productive relation with certain divinities and with people from other ritual congregations are remarkably similar to the mechanisms by which they set about achieving productive relations in the everyday context. The communal nature of the ngillatun addresses a problem particular to societies in which forms of social organization occur primarily at a personal level, namely, that of how ideas about the construction of sociality come to be shared. However, this is but one facet of the meaning the ritual has for the people who participate in it. Its primary meaning is that which its participants hold it to be: an act of giving thanks and a request for providence in the coming year, as well as a party.
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