anthropologic

anonymous asked:

Lord i would be so doomed at Elsewhere. I'm an anthropology major/music minor, my focus is on fairy lore, and i speak passable gaelic. Fairy bait. I am living fairy bait. The best plan for survival is probably "wear iron chain mail rolled in salt to every class with rowan wreathes on my head".

I mean that would work. It’s college, not many people would even look twice

dr-hegemony  asked:

Okay, so I just read your deconstruction of modern ideas of old Sci-fi. And I thought I might come to you cause you seem to have the resources I'm looking for. See I'm doing some work for my Anthropology honours dissertation around early sci-fi fandom and I can't really find any sort of interaction within the early sci-fi fandom expect in those early magazines and because I live in New Zealand, I was wondering if you have any useful links to archives of those magazines and fanzines? (1/2)

There are many zines that are available online which you can check out to see what the fan community around them was like. Pay attention in particular to the back and forth in lettercols. 

The most invaluable website for you would probably be www.fanac.org, which has complete fan histories going back to the early days (the 1930s), images from conventions, histories, even fan glossaries. The fan history section is especially valuable. 

The first stop for any zine reader online would have to be efanzines.com, which has hundreds of fanzines from the 1940s to today. If you want photographs of old science fiction conventions and events, I recommend midamericon.org or the image section of fanac.

If you want to read about comics fandom in the early 1960s, the two best fan created zines to go with are both available online: Batmania, which was made at a time, surprising to us today, when Batman was forgotten; and Alter Ego, which was created by Roy Thomas, who later on went on to become a comic creator himself at Marvel, where he created, among others, Ultron and the Vision. Comicbookplus.com hosts both, and they have even more fanzines for you to check out. 

When it comes to scifi fandom, Spacewarp is one of the most important fanzines, and is the center of nearly all fan activity from 1947-1950. Check it out, here. Check out how they talk about the two big issues dividing fandom at the time, kind of like the Gamergate of 1950: 1) L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics, which some fans supported and some fans didn’t (I think we all know where that ended), and 2) the Shaver Mystery, which is so insane I don’t think I can even explain it. 

You mentioned you were interested in the furry fandom in particular. Unfortunately, the two major beginnings of furry are not online, they were Vootie, which in 1976 was the first “funny animal” fandom fanzine, and Rowrbrazzle, which in 1983 actually coined the term “furry.”

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The Most Dangerous Island on Earth - North Sentinel Island

Throughout human history a typical theme has been the domination of more technologically advanced societies over “simpler” or “more primitive” ones. In fact in the past 500 years, European societies would come to dominate the world, spreading their culture, often through force of arms or outright genocide.  More often than not, the meeting of Old World peoples with New World natives tended to end very badly for the natives. Many cultures were wiped out, many more assimilated or adapted their cultures with European culture. Today there are few places where people living have not in some way been touched by the modern world. One notable exception is North Sentinel Island, located in the Bay of Bengal.

Officially North Sentinel Island is territory of India, part of the Andaman Islands. In reality the people of North Sentinel Island are their own people, free from any known government or modern organization.  Apparently, the Sentinelese are very much happy to keep it that way. Throughout their entire known history, the Sentinelese have been known to viciously fight against any trespass or incursion on their small island. Going back to ancient times the Indians called the island “Cannibal Island”, and told many tales of the dangerous and ruthless natives who inhabited it. Those tales were passed on to the ancient Greeks after the invasion of northern India by Alexander the Great, and thus the infamous legends of the island were mention by Ptolemy. Marco Polo recieved word of the island during his travels to China, writing about the islanders, “They are a most violent and cruel generation who seem to eat everybody they catch.” 

Since then, every expedition to island has been met with extreme hostility, and as a result the island has been left untouched to this day. Throughout the 16th-18th centuries many an explorer or shipwrecked sailor met their end on the island at the hands of the Sentinelese. In 1867 a British merchant ship shipwrecked on the island, and its surviivg 110 man crew spent several days fighting off the islanders with guns and swords. Many were killed and wounded in the battle before rescue. This prompted an expedition of reprisal by the Royal Navy who landed marines on the island a short time later. Most of the Sentinelese had disappeared into hiding, knowing that they couldn’t fight a battle against such overwhelming force. In the end the British left in frustration with two elderly Sentinelese and four children.

Today the idea of angry natives attacking shipwrecked sailors or explorers might be something you’d only see in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, however Sentinelese resistance to the outside world continued so that even in the 20th century people tended to steer clear of the island. In 1974 a film crew from National Geographic landed on the island in modern boats in an attempt to make contact with the islanders with peace offerings of a box of coconuts, a baby doll, and a live pig. The Sentinelese met the crew fully armed and ready for war. As a result, a the National Geographic director took an arrow to the knee, the pig was mutilated alive, and the crew was forced to bug out under a hail of arrows and spears. 

In 1981 the cargo ship Primrose shipwrecked on the island, and the Sentinelese immediately surrounded the ship, shooting at the crew with bows and several times attempting to board the ship. The crew not only radioed for help, but asked for an urgent airdrop of firearms so they could defend themselves. The drop was delayed by weather but the crew were able to fend off the attacks with a pistol, firefighting axes, and flare guns. They were rescued after a week long siege. The Sentinelese dismantled much of the ship and used the scrap iron for arrow and spearheads. It’s remaining hull can still be seen from google earth.

The only known man to peacefully visit the island was an anthropologist named Trilokinath Prandit in 1991, who several times landed on the island with gifts which he left upon the beach.  When he did meet the natives they shot arrows at him and waved their genitals at him. However at one point he was able to make peaceful contact with some of the natives. However as as he left the island, the natives had a change of heart and began shooting arrows at him once more, he hasn’t been back since.

Today North Sentinelese Island is protected by the Indian Government and it is illegal to land there. The reasons for this are to keep the Sentinelese culture intact, and prevent the spread of disease from the island. Note that in history native peoples often suffered deadly diseases after making contact with newcomers. Another reason for creating a 3 mile exclusionary zone around the island is because in 2006 two drunk fisherman landed on the island and were murdered. Thus the Indian Government set up the contact ban to protect outsiders from the Sentinelese as much as protecting the Sentinelese from the outside world. In 2004 an Indian Coast Guard helicopter flew over the island to see if the Setinelese were OK after the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, and to offer help if needed. The helicopter found that the Sentinelese were not only OK after the tsunami, but didn’t want anything any aid at all as they fired arrows at the helicopter.

 Today we still no nothing about the language, culture, and ethnicity of the Sentinelese Islanders. The only pictures we have of them are from the occasional illegal drone which buzzes over the island, and is typically met with a hail of arrows. It seems that despite seeing things such as ships, helicopters, and robotic drones, the Sentinelese don’t want fuck all to do with the modern world.

Watch on margotandherlimpet.tumblr.com

As an anthropologist, this makes my heart burst with happiness. Sharing and understanding cultures is a beautiful act of respect and a great honor. Accurate representation and research can lead to absolutely stunning and extremely gratifying results. 

Anthropology pro tip: whenever a source describes a luridly horrible practice protected by a culture of absolute secrecy, nine times out of ten what that means is that the researcher in question pulled the practice out of his ass, willfully misinterpreted the alleged practitioners’ utter bafflement at his strange questions as secretiveness, and eventually got kicked out for being a weirdo.

For those who are in or starting college:

Take “Cultural Anthropology” and “World Religion” courses for electives. It will shatter your little glass bubble and make you think before you comment on other cultures or groups.

Most of the intolerance and poor decisions made by a group toward another group is done out of ignorance. Understanding our neighbors in the world could help prevent so much tragedy and misunderstandings, and make the world a more peaceful place.

Knowing is half the battle; educate yourself with legitimate sources and open your mind.

anonymous asked:

I once discussed with some rightwinged people about ethnicity. And they said that blacks were a "subhuman" race because they are "obviously" less intelligent than other ethnic groups and that they never invented something or had a culture as Europeans or Persian cultures. But I honestly didn't have a good answer. Do you have some resources on why blacks haven't made such things in comparison to other ethnic groups?

I’m not going to pretend that I’m surprised or shocked to hear this because I, too, live in America, and have encountered this from Conservative Republicans aka Conservative Christians aka Evangelicals aka oblivious racists who claim they aren’t racist because they either have a black friend or have / “know” (talk to, from time to time) some black people in their lives (who have absolutely no idea how racist they are because the don’t actually “know” them, they simply hold basic, watered-down conversations with no substance that allows said white person to be chummy without actually divulging anything about themselves. That being said… 

Point any racist but “totally not racist” people to the ‘List of African-American inventors and scientists’ on Wikipedia; The Black inventor Online Museum because that’s a thing; and I also recommend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s beautiful and enlightening kid-friendly book ‘What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors’ (image below): 

Share with them the ‘History of science and technology in Africa’ on Wikipedia; and for those you encounter who know that there are such things as libraries and museums but can’t seem to you know, make an effort to actually visit them, there’s a resource for that provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services called, appropriately, ‘The Digital Public Library of America’ which permits you to look up local libraries nearest you via address or zip code.

Find Your Library (alternative sources here, here, and here)

Below are some recommended educational programs I highly recommend as well, for the “visual learner”….

FIRST PEOPLES (PBS)

See how the mixing of prehistoric human genes led the way for our species to survive and thrive around the globe. Archaeology, genetics and anthropology cast new light on 200,000 years of history, detailing how early humans became dominant. 

Review here.

BECOMING HUMAN (NOVA)

Nothing is more fascinating to us than, well, us. Where did we come from? What makes us human? An explosion of recent discoveries sheds light on these questions, and NOVA’s comprehensive, three-part special, “Becoming Human,” examines what the latest scientific research reveals about our hominid relatives—putting together the pieces of our human past and transforming our understanding of our earliest ancestors.

Featuring interviews with world-renowned scientists, each hour unfolds with a CSI-like forensic investigation into the life and death of a specific hominid ancestor. The programs were shot “in the trenches” where discoveries were unearthed throughout Africa and Europe. Dry bones spring back to life with stunning computer-generated animation and prosthetics. Fossils not only give us clues to what early hominids looked like, but, with the aid of ingenious new lab techniques, how they lived and how we became the creative, thinking humans of today.

Review here.

THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN JOURNEY (BBC)

A five-episode, 300 minute, science documentary film presented by Alice Roberts, based on her related book. The film was first broadcast on BBC television in May and June 2009 in the UK. It explains the evidence for the theory of early human migrations out of Africa and subsequently around the world, supporting the Out of Africa Theory. This theory claims that all modern humans are descended from anatomically modern African Homo sapiens rather than from the more archaic European and Middle Eastern Homo neanderthalensis or the indigenous Chinese Homo pekinensis, and that the modern African Homo sapiens did not interbreed with the other species of genus Homo. Each episode concerns a different continent, and the series features scenes filmed on location in each of the continents featured.

Related review of Alice Roberts’ book by the same name of which this program was adapted, here.

ORIGINS OF US (BBC)

Science series telling the story of human evolution through changes in human anatomy, examining how the human body has adapted through seven million years of evolution.

PREHISTORIC AUTOPSY (BBC)

A journey into our evolutionary past, piecing together the bodies of our prehistoric family, discussing the remains of early hominins such as Neanderthals, Homo erectus, and Australopithecus afarensis.

‘CHILDREN OF AFRICA (THE STORY OF US)’ (melodysheep)

With referenced material from BBC Incredible Human Journey, BBC Ascent of Man, BBC Life of Mammals, BBC Human Planet, BBC Walking With Cavemen, and excerpts from various lectures, ‘Children of Africa’ is a musical celebration of humanity, its origins, and achievements, contrasted with a somber look at our environmentally destructive tendencies and deep similarities with other primates. Featuring Jacob Bronowski, Alice Roberts, Carolyn Porco, Jane Goodall, Robert Sapolsky, Neil deGrasse Tyson and David Attenborough.


ORIGINS: THE JOURNEY OF HUMANKIND (NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)

Hosted by Jason Silva, Origins: The Journey of Humankind rewinds all the way back to the beginning and traces the innovations that made us modern.

Related interview/reviews here, here, here, and here.

‘ORIGINS’ ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER PRODUCED BY MELODYSHEEP


Of course, I could go on and on and on referencing various resources to provide people who have unintentionally “inherited” this perspective or who are stuck in a feedback loop within their echo chamber of ignorance, but let’s be honest, the only thing that can actually influence impactful change into a racist person’s mind is the will to self educate, and personal human experience obtained from intimate conversation with diverse ethnicities and cultures. I do hope this helps.

Ruth Shady (b. 1946) is an archaeologist and anthropologist from Peru. She is the founder and director of the archaeological project at Caral – the most ancient city in the Americas, and the site of the Norte Chico civilisation.

She has directed numerous archaeological projects around Peru, offering valuable information about the history of the Americas and the civilisations that once inhabited it. She also served as the director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of Peru, and professor at the National University of San Marcos.

The thing that gets me about the whole neo-primitivist movement is that they keep trying to position technological interconnectedness as something that no society would ever adopt willingly.

Like, dude, there are recorded cases of ostensibly uncontacted hunter-gatherer civilisations getting caught stealing wi-fi and using cell phone minutes as currency.

By and large, people of every cultural background love the idea of being in constant contact with their friends and neighbours, and adoption of any technology that enables it is both immediate and enthusiastic.

Y’all are weirdos.

Weird Taboos

by Saṃsāran

So you’re in your room and you decide to pleasure yourself. You are in the middle of it and your kid brother walks in. You are so embarrassed! 

But why?

Sex is the most natural thing in the world. Yet, it is something we do in private. My wife would even kick the dog out of the room before we made love. Now, here is the weird thing. Not every culture has this taboo. In some tribal cultures, everybody lives in one big space. Couples are having sex all the time and they have no privacy and nobody seems to mind. Northern European people once lived in communal longhouses just like this. 

In the Amazon, there are tribes where families all live together and sex goes on all the time. Women and men are very nearly naked all the time. Yet the sight of a woman eating, to a man, is considered taboo and a man would be scandalized if his wife ate in front of the men of the village. Menstruation is another one. In many cultures, women are sequestered in a special hut during their menses. The idea that a person could bleed for days just plain freaked the men out. I remember my politically incorrect Dad saying they should bring that custom back. Apparently, my 5′2″ mother scared the hell out of him during her time.

In Japan, women cover their mouths when they laugh. Yet men and women will bathe together with no concern over nudity. In ancient Rome there were long rows of toilet seats for public use with no partitions, no stalls and men and women used them at the same time.  I guess what I am saying here is a thing is taboo because we all agree that it is. It seems like most taboos center around some bodily function which we like to keep private. Eating, sex, going to the bathroom or, like in many Native American tribes, seeing your mother-in-law are all forbidden somewhere.

We humans are strange critters.

Ta Moko (tattooing) has always been an important part of Maori culture. Receiving tattoos is an important step to maturity and there are many rites and rituals associated with the event. Every member of a Maori indigenous group had a specific role and a specific place within the social order.

The Haka war dance, meant to intimidate the enemy, is one of the best-known cultural traditions of the Maori. These dances are accompanied by song and body percussion created by clapping hands, stomping feet and slapping thighs. The dance itself involves energetic postures representing warlike and aggressive poses.

Maori chanting follows very strict rules. To break a chant in midstream is to invite disaster or even death for a community. These chants often tell of family lines or the exploits of ancestors.

An individual’s place within society was often signified by their garments and tattoos. People of high social status were always tattooed, whereas indigenous men with no tattoos were considered worthless.