People do not live their lives in order to comment upon some academic theory. Rather, they strive for a decent existence, according to their specific ideas of proper relationships among themselves and with the powers around them. This ethnography fixes its gaze firmly on the intricacies of the quotidian ways to achieve these aims. Written in highly accessible prose, Living Kinship, Fearing Spirits stands out for its fresh and intimate look on some of anthropology's central topics. It also appeals to anyone interested in life in the Asian uplands, especially the Southeast Asian mainland.

The Khmu are the largest minority in Laos and comparatively well studied—“comparatively” referring to a plethora of minorities in a heavily understudied country. Based on sixteen months of fieldwork in an upland village, mostly in 2014 and 2015, this study focuses on kinship, not because anthropological tradition dictates it, but because it is of such importance...

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