The Equal and the Different

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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