My Cocaine Museum

Author(s): Michael T. Taussig


Michael Taussig uses a make-believe Cocaine Museum, which is a parody of the Gold Museum in Colombia's central bank, to illuminate the largely unacknowledged history of Indian and African Colombian miners, now being drawn into cocaine production in the rain forest of Colombia's Pacific coast.


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"What''s an anthropologist to do in a country where life is magic? This question shapes Columbia professor Michael Taussig''s "My Cocaine Museum". Taussig has spent much of the last three decades in Colombia, where he has been everywhere and, it seems, met everyone, from the descendants of African slaves who pan for gold on the coast to the ministers in Bogota, digging in their cabinets for missing files. "My Cocaine Museum" is a report from the field, but it is hardly traditional fieldwork. Taussig begins with a description of the Gold Museum in Bogota, a collection of golden artifacts plundered from the inhabitants of pre-Columbian Colombia. What follows is a kind of anti-museum, made of meditations on the uncollectible phenomena he has encountered on the country''s remote Pacific coast: rain, stone, lightning, boredom, moonshine. "My Cocaine Museum" tells the story that the Gold Museum hides, about the difficulty of life in the place gold (and now cocaine) comes from, a swamp where

Michael Taussig is professor of anthropology at Columbia University. He is the author of eight books, including Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

General Fields

  • : 9780226790091
  • : 24015
  • : University of Chicago Press
  • : June 2004
  • : 230mm X 163mm X 25mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 2nd
  • : 986.153
  • : 336
  • : Illustrations, maps
  • : Michael T. Taussig
  • : Paperback