The Headman and I illuminates the process by which the ethnographer falls through the looking glass into another culture. This close and insightful study of the Panare Indians of Venezuelan Guiana is a remarkable combination of hard ethnographic data and philosophical inquiry. Dumont is explicit in precisely the area where most ethnography is inarticulate — the concrete details of the field experience. The result is a major contribution to the methodology of anthropological fieldwork as he sought to answer one question: ”Who (or what) was I for the Panare?” Dumont’s engagingly personal account of the Panare view of the ethnographer and his culture centers around dialogue and interaction rather than one-sided displays of data and conclusions.
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