Online Journal of Anthropology

volume 7, number 2, 2011


A Comparative Study on the Dermatoglyphic of Homos and Normal Meiteis of Manipur

In the present study, an attempt has been made to find out, if there be any associations in between some feminine Meitei males of Manipur in India who are locally known as “Homo” with the normal Meiteis in respect of few dermatoglyphic parameters. The examination of pattern frequencies of the control and feminine males reveal that the rare type radial loop and arch have the inclination to be more frequent in the feminine males. Interestingly, the feminine males stand in between the males and females of the control in respect of frequency of occurrence of palmar main line formulae as well as in finger patterns.

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Ethanol re-precipitation removes PCR inhibitors from Ancient DNA extract

One of the major problems in ancient DNA work is the presence of inhibitory substances, which hampers Taq polymerase activity. Therefore analysis of ancient DNA sample is very challenging. Here we describe a simple and competent ethanol re-precipitation based protocol for the purification of DNA from ancient bones and tissues. The efficiency of this procedure has been demonstrated on 600 years old biological samples provided by Anthropological Survey of India (Himalaya region). This suggests that re-precipitation of ancient DNA extracts removes PCR inhibitors and increases the success rate of amplification.

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Prevalence of hypertension and associated risk factors among Nomad Tribe groups – Screening of Hypertension, Adiposities and ABO Blood Group among Select Nomad Tribes of Rajasthan, India

Background: Hypertension is strongly correlated with modifiable risk factors such as adiposities, age, stress, high salt intake, Overweight and obesity is conveniently determined from BMI and visceral adiposity is determined by waist circumference. On the other hand, genetic factor has been established as an important non–modifiable predisposing factor. And ABO blood group is one such factor which needs to be investigated. Objectives: To study the prevalence rate of hypertension and various associated risk factors among few select endogamous group of Tribal Population. Methods: Cross-sectional, Tribal population-based study, consisting of a total sample of twelve hundred and eighty-six discrete subjects of age ≥18 years was chosen. BMI, waist circumference, ABO blood group, systolic and diastolic blood pressure were determined and correlated with each other. Results: The results were analyzed by applying correlation analysis and chi-square test. This study revealed that the prevalence of hypertension was high among the entire select tribe groups but seen highest in frequency in Bhopa (31%). It further showed that the subjects with blood group B had high blood pressure in the entire tribal groups except Bhopa Tribe. Conclusion: This study provides population based study on hypertensive tendency among select few endogamous tribal populations.

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Perceiving Pain: Health, Culture and Ritual

For most of us, coming into contact with some form of pain is a daily occurrence: it is both a usual part of the human experience and lexicon. Not surprisingly, pain has many differing and contextually specific meanings, and although it is nearly universal across the realm of human experience, its definitions and perceptions remain subjective and highly personal. In this paper, the authors outline and explore perceptions and understandings of pain, with regard to functionality at both the basic physiological level and ritual level, and the need for further cross-study and complimentary research between both clinical professionals and social scientists.

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Gender Inequality as Cultural Diversity – Lessons From a Field School Program in Fiji

We describe an anthropological and interdisciplinary field school, primary involving female undergraduates. Our field program was conducted in 2009 and 2010 on a remote island in Fijian archipelago, in the context of a patriarchal society where gender avoidance is practiced. We had two broad objectives for this program: to conduct research on the understanding of cultural and marine biological resources; and to evaluate the effectiveness of the field experience in promoting anthropological and scientific learning principles. We summarize qualitative and quantitative outcomes of the educational evaluation of the student learning experience. We also discuss educational aims and the unique gender-associated challenges of conducting this program in a patriarchal cultural setting.

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The struggling Tharu youth – Study of awareness among the Tharu tribe of India

The Tharu tribe is a famous tribal community of India. Tharu youths play a very dominant role in their community but they are not connected with the main stream of development. It is just a few numbers of them that are trying to get higher education and advanced technology. They do not have awareness of their traditional culture. They must have to get advanced education, communication, and technology. But they must stick to their old culture in order to keep their identity. Tharu youths are very backward in matters of advanced education, technology and communication. They do not like to go to advanced cities for education. Poverty, illiteracy and lack of communication are the main problems of Tharu Youths. At present there are many other communities that exist in Tharu area, so the process of cultural exchange is still going on. But they are against others who are capturing their land and forests.

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To Be a Valenzano – When jewellery production is local identity

What is the basis of a local identity? Through different models and analytical approaches, the anthropological community has answered this interrogative by considering the possible sense of geographical belonging that a population may feel to the territory, and evidencing the relationship between individuals and a shared idea of community. In this article, however, I want to display an example where the public recognition of a local identity is not justified by any principle of geographical belonging or residentiality. Instead, it is strictly linked to the participation of the individual to the local production milieu.

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Former British Colony – Mauritians in the Face of Globalisation

Mauritius is a former French and British colony in the Indian Ocean. Now, this island country has become a multicultural and multiethnic society due to several waves of immigration from Europe, Africa and Asia, all through the past three centuries. Each wave of immigration brought in new peoples along with their cultures, religions and languages. However, all the migrants did not settle in Mauritius on their own accord. Some were slaves. Some came as free workers and others as colonizers. The differences in the arrival of modern Mauritians’ ancestors are still felt like balls and chains for some communities in Mauritius today. However, they are now faced with the challenge of building their Mauritian identity and be “as one people as one nation”3 with all their differences in the face of globalisation. The different communities live side by side in relative respect and harmony, but they hardly get mixed up through inter-community marriages. Hence, they could be compared to the colours of the rainbow. Nevertheless, the diversity in local cultures, religions and languages of Mauritius is today at stake in the face of globalisation. In my work, I will first show that globalisation is nothing new to Mauritius. Then, I will focus on the possibility of Mauritian society to build up its national identity thanks to globalisation; but at the same time Mauritius might, to some extent, lose its economic independence. Finally, I will work on the chance that Mauritius may lose its local richness and diversity on the altar of globalisation.

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The Ideas of God, Good and Evil in the Refigured Yoga Practices in Metropolitan area of Buenos Aires city (Argentina)

My thesis deals with an experiment of integration between traditional Mapuche medicine and biomedicine in a public hospital in Santiago de Chile. Furthermore, it deals with the Mapuche identity as it is claimed and its influence in the pursuit of intercultural health policies. My thesis suggests that the decision to consider mainly ethnic factors neglects the difficult social and economic situation of the recipients and consequently contributes to perpetuate structural violence. Furthermore, it appears that the two types of medicine are separated only on a formal level and that a constant negotiation takes place between them and leads to the creation of hybrid practices, symbols and lexical forms.

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An Ethnographic Note on Khondh, a Primitive Tribe and Valmiki, an Acculturizing Tribe from Andhra Pradesh, India

The present paper reports the ethnographic profile of a primitive tribe namely Khondh and an acculturizing tribe namely Valmiki living in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, a southern Indian state. Three mandals (administrative units of the district) were selected and a total of 17 villages from these mandals were selected for the study. The data were collected using a set of ethnographic techniques viz., observation, informal interviews with the villages and in-depth interviews with the key informants in the community. Both Khondh and Valmiki occupy lower status in the tribal social hierarchy. These tribes widely vary in several aspects. The characteristics and factors that have contributed towards the relative statuses of Khondh as primitive tribe and Valmiki as acculturizing tribe are presented.

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Il Linguaggio della Vagina – Antropornologia 1

La cultura delle masse è oggi una cultura prevalentemente visuale. Tra i segni visuali da tempo in crescita è quello, caratteristico, della depilazione pubica femminile. Originata all’interno della cultura porno come segno di passività, questa pratica si è incontrata con i simboli della pulizia, dell’igiene, del rispetto, trasformando così il proprio significato in quello di autonomia e libertà. Così le donne possono depilarsi per scopi erotici minimizzando però la valenza sessuale del gesto tramite la tendenza alla super-igiene.

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