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

L’interesse per la tematica museale ha da sempre accompagnato lo sviluppo delle discipline demoetnoantropologiche. Oggi, con i cambiamenti che tale istituzione sta affrontando, si aprono nuovi stimolanti campi d’indagine antropologica, etnografica e sociologica, in particolar modo per quanto riguarda i “musei etnografici” (anche denominati “di Arti e Tradizioni popolari” o “della Civiltà contadina”). Il lavoro condotto all’interno del Museo di Arti e Tradizioni popolari della città di Pinerolo (Torino) ha voluto quindi essere un esempio pratico di museologia applicata ai beni demoetnoantropologici.
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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. The principal aim of this article is to assert that in the one hand, the attribution of a local identity is the recognition of a link between the individual and an imagined idea of community that embraces and is influenced by the specific socio-economic aspect of the locale; in the other, the practices concerning the individual’s access socio-economic milieu influence his/her ascribability as a member of the community. Moreover whilst the very idea of imagined community (cf. Anderson 1991) identifies into a unique representation the socio-economic aspects with a depiction and some elements of the geography of the locale, the recognisability of such representation lays on few elements, which I describe as community-marks. In order to achieve such task, I am going to present the case of Valenza, a small Italian city that is one of world’s most prominent centres of jewellery production and that is situated about 100 km south-west from Milan.

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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)

Yoga is a widespread therapeutic option; it is the most popular among the oriental rooted medicines, what is more, is accepted and recommended by biomedical doctors like a complementary medicine. Currently, in a context of alternatives therapies offer, yoga appears like one of the disciplines which certain individual uses at least once in their ways of health search. The variety of options, cost and modality of the practice, the appropriation and acceptance on part of dissimilar groups, the proposal of a delicate physical exercise of the body, the compatibility that users find between their system of beliefs and the proposals of this discipline with the possibility of enjoying their benefits without adopting a new life-style, has positioned the practice of yoga as a popular choice and possible way of initiation in other searches associated to the context of the New Age. In this sense, from the point of view of the social actors, yoga is understood as a medicine that include very diverse practices, from a diet to the handling of the altered states of consciousness, from the mobilization of energies through the accomplishment of asanas to a very disclosed and well-known technique as gymnastics yoga. The process of appropriation of the Eastern practices, including yoga, has implied a phenomenon of re-meaning of the main concepts and Eastern structures of thought - aura, chakra, atman, purusha, karma, Brahma, dharma- in terms of values, categories and western experiences of the religions and philosophical currents, those that add essential dichotomies to these conceptions like good and evil, sin and punishment, spiritual and material, radically transforming the Eastern knowledge. In this opportunity, our interests focuses on investigate the slight knowledge of God, Good and Evil, that emerge from such appropriation processes that cross the yoga practices, conceiving it like a totality, in the context of the alternative practices and the phenomena of New Age. The present paper is based on field work’s material from extensive and open interviews to users and specialists of yoga in Buenos Aires, as well as from observation and participant observation in different yoga’s centers in period 2003-2009.

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An Ethnographic Note on Khondh, a Primitive Tribe and Valmiki, an Acculturizing Tribe from Andhra Pradesh, India
by Y. S. KUSUMA and B. V. BABU

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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