Eduardo Viveiros de Castro's text, “The Equal and the Different,” was written circa 1975 at the request of the Brazilian artist Carlos Vergara, who had recently completed a series of photographs devoted the Rio de Janeiro-based carnival group, Cacique de Ramos. Viveiros de Castro, then an anthropology student at the Museu Nacional, locates in Cacique de Ramos a unique model of individual-group dynamics, one based neither on social hierarchy nor conformity, but mimesis and ecstatic deindividualization: a “passion of the same,” as he writes, that emerges from deep within Western society.

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