Volume 7, Number 1, 2011
I re tragici di Israele. La narrazione delle origini della monarchia in Israele come problema storico
by MENICOCCI MARCO
. Lo strumento per la liberazione di Israele dai babilonesi è la monarchia persiana e un altro modello di monarchia si aggiunge a quello noto di derivazione egiziana. Un modello decisivo: in fondo Israele nasce realmente proprio dopo l'intervento persiano e lo stesso Yhwh diviene dio unico proprio a seguito dell'incontro con i tratti culturali della monarchia persiana e la riforma in senso monoteista del mazdeismo. Senza seguire le linee di questo incontro, già ricostruito da altri (Sabbatucci 2001) notiamo che le premesse universalistiche implicite nel modello persiano (il Re dei re) si sviluppano completamente proprio in Israele, spianando la strada alla reintroduzione dell'elemento umano nella monarchia divina. Solo che, reinterpretando in modo innovativo l'osirizzazione egiziana che consentiva ad un dio-morto di lasciare la sua eredita regale al figlio vivente, sarà un Dio vivente celeste a lasciarla in dono ad un figlio Re-Salvatore. Non sarà più un uomo-dio a regnare, bensì un Dio che si fa Uomo; sarà un nuovo, decisivo, Re dei re: Cristo.
Micro-Etnografia notturna. Riflessioni di un antropologo in discoteca
by TESTA ALESSANDRO
Non sono un frequentatore abituale di discoteche o di clubs, come si preferisce chiamarle oggi. Questi appunti sono l’esito di osservazioni che hanno avuto luogo in alcune discoteche romane molto frequentate e da me precedentemente sconosciute, nell’arco temporale di alcuni fine-settimana di primavera. Essi pongono, credo, problemi metodologici di “scala” e di rappresentatività del documento etnografico che pure saranno affrontati brevemente nel testo, per la scrittura del quale ho scelto un taglio stilistico molto descrittivo, non informale ma nemmeno saggistico. Sebbene il caso etnografico a cui mi riferisco sia estremamente circoscritto e non possa dunque assurgere automaticamente a modello paradigmatico, ritengo che una parte – e non la minore – degli elementi in esso evidenziati siano facilmente riscontrabili altrove – cioè in situazioni analoghe –, e che di conseguenza le riflessioni qui presentate siano “applicabili” e mutuabili – mutatis mutandis e tenuto in debito conto il senso critico e la contingenti esigenze interpretative dell’etnografo – anche all’analisi di contesti simili. Questa è la ragione per la quale la mia scrittura glisserà a un certo punto dal livello della descrizione etnografica a quello del tentativo di abbozzo di un modello teorico.
Royal Anthropological Institute or Royal Academy? Post-Modern Anthropology as Contemporary Art
by DUTTON EDWARD
. It has been widely argued that postmodern and cultural relativism are replacement religions in Romantic, neo-tribal tradition (e.g. Scruton 2000, Kuznar 1997) This article attempts to better understand the nature of postmodern anthropology by looking at it through the prism of Art. Following Scruton (2000), it argues that, since the Enlightenment, Art has performed a similar function to Christianity in many people’s lives and is accordingly a form of replacement religion. The article demonstrates that while modern forms of anthropology might be deemed ‘religious,’ the cultural relativist anthropology of Margaret Mead appears to be art whereas this is less clear with postmodern anthropology. The article argues that the boundaries between postmodern (or ‘contemporary’) anthropology and visual ‘Contemporary Art’ are essentially weak and that postmodern anthropology is usefully understood as exemplifying contemporary art. Accordingly, it has no place in scholarly discourse. It is a replacement religion by virtue of its artistic nature.
[Read the article in PDF format (321 Kb)]
. “One Culture – Many Perspectives”. Understanding Cultural Diversity Through Rural Livelhioods. A Reflection from the Rural Craft Communities in Kandy, Sri Lanka
by CHANDIMA DILHANI DASKON
There is no universally accepted definition for the concept of culture. Culture should be understood as a specific and unique phenomenon that affirms community’s identity and diversity. Judging one culture by the values of another, over-simplifies the distinctiveness and the wealth of a particular culture. Recognising, understanding and respecting dynamics of cultural norms, and defending and expanding cultural freedom are crucial in assuring secure and sustainable well-being of any community. This paper investigates different perspectives of culture by referring to everyday livelihood activities of rural communities that engage in traditional craft industries in the Kandyan region, Sri Lanka. In a livelihood perspective, culture is defined as a structure, function, product and identity, through its influence on everyday lives of people, and accordingly people’s engagement with and uses of culture. Culture is multifaceted and extremely diverse entity that varies from place to place and person to person. The strengths of cultural diversity should be respected and accepted by mainstream society, if any initiative is to be truly about satisfying human desires.
[Read the article in PDF format (458 Kb)]
Does Indigenous Knowledge have anything to deal with Sustainable Development?
by ASHOK DAS GUPTA
In this paper, the author investigates that whether indigenous knowledge has anything to do with sustainable development. First of all this has been targeted to work out that how could knowledge be treated as a integral part of culture that has very broadly a material and a non-material part. This has been tried to see that what happens to knowledge of a folk life when culture develops in civilization. Next step is to see how knowledge of the local/folk/indigenous communities of human society systematically work and construct Traditional Knowledge System (TKS). Traditional knowledge is very much functional and still it is heavily value-loaded and dependent on non-adaptive socio-cultural features. Traditional knowledge traits are not always open but sometimes very much hidden in type- so these have to decode from cultural symbols exclusively in the religious laboratory of survival. In a global context this has been tried to understand the necessity of Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) constructed by summation of TKS worldwide scattered. The aim is to gain Global Public Services from IKS to meet the negative impacts of Globalization especially falling on nature. This looks like a passive support towards Globalization with virtue of Indigenous Rights for the Indigenous Peoples (not to be much discussed here). However, failure of unidirectional development in Global Market Economy has been tried to be mitigated by IKS that has nothing to deal with romanticism but sustainability even at an extra-scientific humanitarian ground. Out of so many services by IKS so to attain a sustainable development; biodiversity management at a community-specific level within a particular ecosystem is exclusive and probably the timeliest approach. .
The Rebellion in Heaven. The beginning
by KORSTANJE MAXIMILIANO E.
From Middle Age onwards, the philosophers and theologians devoted notable endeavors to explain the evilness in the Hebrew-tradition. Whether one figure out God is an entity characterized by love, compression and omnipresence, it remains to be seen why he creates exactly his most staunch enemy, or why one of his loved and wisest angels converts in a corrupted being decisively launched to tempt the humanity. Grammatically speaking, there is no status in the language for the death of a son (a person who loss its father is orphan, the wife, widow but what about the son?. This reveals of course, the taboo that represents the nominal state of a person one looses its off-spring. The founding myth of Lucifer exhibits two contrasting beliefs: For one hand, the interconnection between the humans and betrayal are symbolized under the figure of pride and arrogance marked the end of Lucifer at defying the god-will. But for the other hand, it demonstrates the strong attachment of a father by his son. The Seraphim Lucifer seems to be in fact the negation of death of children, a belief en-rooted in the idiosyncrasy of late-capitalism.
Secondary Burial of the Chakpa Lois of Phayeng Village, Manipur, India
by HOABIJAM VOKENDRO SINGH
The Chakpa Lois of Phayeng village despite of a lot of influence from major communities still embrace their traditional death ritual by burning the body and picking up the bones by misubis and kept into a luphu and buried with due ritualistic observation.
Appraisal Of Risk Factors For Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 In Central Indian Population: A Case Control Study
by RAMA LAKSHMI G., BANDYOPADHYAY S.S., BHASKAR L.V.K.S., SHARMA MADHUBALA and RAO RAGHAVENDRA V.
: Diabetes mellitus is characterized by high levels of blood glucose, late onset of disease and associated with serious complications. Genetic and environmental risk factors are known to exist and the importance of elucidating these risk factors in different populations will be of importance in view of the ultimate goal of personalized medicine. The objective was to assess the impact of risk factors such as Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist Circumference (WC), and Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR) on diabetic and control subjects using statistical tools in a specific geographical category of Indian population. Methods: 92 diabetic patients and 123 controls living in urban areas of Nagpur city, Maharashtra, India, were selected for a case control study. BMI, WC, WHR, fasting glucose, blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) and skinfold thickness at four points were assessed. For logical interpretation, the data have been subjected to statistical analysis such as risk ratio, odds ratio and chi square. Multivariate regression analysis was carried out to adjust for age and sex. Results: The plasma glucose, HDL cholesterol and Waist to hip ratio are significant in between control and diabetes subjects even after adjusting to age and sex. Conclusion: Comparison of diabetic and control showed that the central obesity (WHR) and HDL were most important risk factors for type 2 diabetes in the studied population.
Natural Selection Intensity in Settibalija, A Mendelian Human Population from South India
by DEVA S.R.S. PRAKASH and GODI SUDHAKAR
The selection intensity indices were computed based on the demographic information pertaining to fertility and mortality among Settibalija, an endogamous Mendelian population of Andhra Pradesh, South India. The total fertility and mortality indices are slightly lower than other Andhra populations studied earlier. In the present caste population, the selection is manifested primarily through differential fertility rather than mortality, which is a not deviation from general trend. The results are discussed in the light of earlier studies on some caste and tribal populations inhabiting Andhra Pradesh, South India.
Obesity, Diabetes and the Thrifty Gene. The Case of the Pima
by BUSATTA FLAVIA
The great tenacity and perseverance with which the Gila River Pima fight diabetes has uncovered much about the disease. Thank you to Gila River Pima a most significant discovery has made that is genetic discoveries made on samples from Caucasian are not useful for the cure of the disease among the Pima or other minorities. Several anthropologic studies50 have documented the interpretations of Native Americans affected by diabetes regarding the etiology of the disease, the experience of illness, and the efficacy of treatment. Many Native American communities perceive diabetes as a new disease that has come from the outside. Moreover many native and indigenous peoples are convinced or are persuaded to refuse the taking of samples of genetic material for purposes of study. The motivation is the possible exploitation by multinational drug companies. We assume that this exploitation exists and / or is possible, we are not naive to the point. But the most important question is: do those communities know that the genetic discoveries made on other segments of the human race cannot be effective for them? Do they know that refusing the genetic research they may also refuse treatment and continue to be victims of the disease? Is it theirs an informed choice? The Pima have not followed the sirens of politicized antiscientism and are trying to improve their health. This is the great lesson that the Pima are giving us.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms of PARKIN Gene in Ten Indian Populations
by JAYA SANYAL, LVKS BHASKAR, AVISHEK CHATTERJEE, BISWANATH SARKAR, BIDHAN CHANDRA RAY and VADLAMUDI RAGHAVENDRA RAO
. Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder after Alzheimer's disease. Due to the complex etiology of PD, there is possibility that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in PARKIN gene could be associated with the disease and lead to the pathogenesis by genoenvironmental interactions. Role of PARKIN polymorphisms as risk factors varies in different populations among various ethnic groups. Indian populations, known for their rich diversity, are not included in the genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the global survey for all the genes associated with PD. Further detailed study in this field will give a greater insight to analyze the haplotypic and Linakage Disequilibrium (LD) and decipher the pathogenesis of PD patterns in this region. A total of 1000 individuals belonging to ten ethnic populations of India were included in the present study. Five PARKIN gene polymorphisms (rs1801474, rs72480421, rs1801582, rs1801334 and rs35125035) were screened by PCR and sequencing. The present study shows that the rs72480421 (His200Gln) is monomorphic for all populations. Five major haplotypes accounted for almost all chromosomes (90-98%) in all populations studied. LD was more fragmented across PARKIN locus in all populations. The haplotype diversity and the fragmented LD across PARKIN gene in all populations of the present study suggest the existence of frequent recombination within the large introns of the PARKIN gene.
Sul rapporto tra Athena e Medusa
by BAGLIONI IGOR
Contrastive Study of “Time” in Iranian-Indian Mythology
by BIBIAGHDAS ASGHARI and ANNAPURNA M.
The main aim in the study is to compare and contrast the textual contents and the formal structures that are involved in the myth of ‘time’ in Indian and Iranian mythologies. Three questions will be replay: What are the divisions of time? What is the function of time in the mythical system in both myths of Iran and India? And what is the formal structure in this myth in the both mythologies? Data collection for this article has been done with a documentary approach. The Primary sources involved the Avesta and the RigVeda and secondary sources (include: 31 books, related article) were reviewed, after data gathered from those, the data analysis has been done in this study. Comparison of two myths is done with following mythical three indices: 1. Structure (trinity) 2.Binary Oppositions 3.Archetypal patterns time. In the Iranian myth, like the Hindu myth time is divided into three and then again four part horizontally. In Hindu myths, time is cyclical. Lord Brahma in Hindu mythology is referred to as the creator. The Zoroastrian concept of time is linear not cyclical. In the creation myth Unlimited/limited and Numeric /Divine time are cosmic oppositions; Golden Age / Iron Age indicate sociological opposition.