Online Journal of Anthropology

Volume 11, Number 1, 2015

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 The Allegory of History: Memory, Terror and Control


The problem of terrorism after the attacks in American soil in September 2011 has changed the philosophical grounds in ethics and human rights fields. The question of torture and human rights violation was placed on the tapestry of the discussion. Is good or not by torturing terrorists?, are terrorist simple demons who want to destroy America or fighters for freedom?. This essay review explores in detail the problem of evilness and how history covers what next generation must remind. In view of that our thesis is that terrorism is not an external threat, but an internal stage of mind, enrooted in western civilization. Ideologically, history serves to keep the boundaries about what is wrong and good. We often love some cultural aspects as labor, tourism, mobilities and hate others such as terrorism, violence and torture. Both are inextricably intertwined. Our desire stimulated by the marketing campaigns and advertising alludes to the formation of discourse (history) to discipline threats into tolerable and destre objects. Basically, what inside we call strike, beyond the boundaries receives the name of terrorist attack. Terrorism is the organization of labor by other means.

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Anthropological Reflections on the Interventions on Genitalia


The present paper reflects on the possibility to ban and/or reduce the interventions on both male (IMG) and female (IFG) genitalia in different contexts using a pandisciplinary approach. The common hypothesis on the origins, development and effects of IFG and IMG are first considered. Then the following aspects are out-lined: the problems connected to the dualisms that these interventions are facing; those related to hierarchies favoring them; the roles of beliefs and beliefs formation; the influence of rituals. IMGs were subdivided into therapeutic, prophylactic, ethnic and “for other reasons” circumcisions, and for each of them the possibility to be eradicated was evaluated; the same happened for both the reductive (i.e.: clitoridectomy, infibulation) and theexpansive forms of IFG such as the longinymphysm. Finally, some tips useful for subjects actively involved in IFG- and IMG-related causes are furnished, in the hope to permit them more fruitful outcomes.

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Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension and Nutritional Status among an Urban Population of Southern Rajasthan


The increasing prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus as well as hypertension among Indian population has already become a subject matter for the health planners as well as the researchers who are engaged in mitigating the same in years to come. But lots of work has to be done from the scientific point of view to correlate different biosocial parameters with diabetes as well as hypertension to understand its basic etiology of such diseases to its full extent. Anthropometric parameters are elementary factors which can have profound impact on such health outcome. In the present paper we have observed the relationship of Type 2 Diabetes mellitus and hypertension with the anthropometric outcome among an urban population of Udaipur city, Rajasthan. Strong correlation has been found between diabetes and systolic blood pressure. Most of the diabetic subjects are found to be underweight whereas most of the hypertensive subjects are found to be obese.
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Mauritius: Culture Crossings and its Consequences


Mauritius has been crossed by a wide variety of cultures from the inception of its population through the present. As a result of the waves of different peoples, and therefore, cultures, crossing the island, Mauritius now houses a multicultural “rainbow” population. However, the cultures in place are not given equal social statuses. The status of each culture depends on the way in which each group’s ancestors arrived on the island. Some groups came to Mauritius on their own accord, while others were brought to the Island by force as slaves. Currently, peoples sharing different ancestral cultures cohabit Mauritius. Nevertheless, the slaves’ descendants, mostly the Creoles, inherited the culture of their “masters” and at the same time embodied the Mauritian culture. Indeed, having been ripped from their African or Malagasy culture, they have adopted parts of the other groups’ cultures and have created a culture of their own. This paper proposes to study briefly the place of each culture in Mauritius and to explore the consequences of culture crossings.
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Cognition of Communication Examined through Mobile Phone


Human cognition expressed through symbols, wins over the physiological process of response. Conventional ways of communication are facing challenges from upcoming technological devices. The extent of human dependence on present day technology regarding communication is studied. The study is an attempt to establish a relationship between human thought and society in relation to mobile phone. The users give priority to the utilitarian factor regarding communication. Verbal communication was preferred over the non-verbal for the option of direct contact. Technical non-verbal ways of communication sometimes are less preferred as emotion acquires a space within cognitive sphere of communication. Communicating with the other world is so important that the users are ready to purchase a phone even from a low income. As verbal communication is preferred, users choose user-friendly handsets. They like to call a person rather to send SMS. Occupation and gender variation in all the parameters of study are also considered..

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Indigenous Knowledge on Medicinal Plants and their Socio-Economic Condition of the Hakkipikki Tribal Population of Western Ghats Areas, Karnataka, India


This article is on the Folk and indigenous knowledge system of the tribal community of Western Ghats of Karnataka particularly on medicinal plants and their socio-economic dependence on forest. There are numerous herbs available in their surrounding where the tribes are living and that herbs areused by the tribal communities as food and as medicine for curing their diseases. The traditional healers of Hakkipikki are having good knowledge on medicinal plants, we come across many species of medicinal plants used for common ailments. The traditional healers are on the decline because the younger members of the tribe have started moving towards the towns and cities and are not willing to practice this form of medicine. There is danger as the knowledge of these medicinal plants will also die with them therefore, it is necessary to document the plants and take efficient steps to conserve them.

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Effect of Gendered Norms on Women’s Labor Force Participation in Northern Rural Bangladesh


Labor force participation for women is considered as an imperative sign for achieving gender equity. Like men women’s participation in the labor force can play an important role in the economic growth of a developing country like Bangladesh. However, due to socio cultural factors and slow growth in the rates of overall women’s labor force participation, possibilities for women to get employed and promoted in the labor force remain uneven. Using qualitative research guideline, this paper is an attempt to explore the effect of gendered norms on women’s labor force participation in northern rural Bangladesh. Total thirty six participants including one key informant were interviewed separately. Findings revealed that husbands’ conservative attitude towards their wives, sex preference in education, women’s limited movement, violence perpetrated by husbands and employer, gender stereotyped roles of women hindered women’s active labor force participation. Intervention addressing men’s attitude towards women’s work and economic performances are required.

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Rang Taiba’s Stone: A Study of a Megalith in Maram Khullen, Manipur, India


Megaliths, large stone structures, are seen aplenty in some regions in Northeast India. This paper discusses the megaliths found in the Maram areas in Manipur, India, and its cultural significance. Interestingly, these megaliths continue to have a living tradition connected to them, and hence are considered history markers to the local populace. One of the most important megaliths among them is the ‘Rang Taiba stone’ (morphologically a capstone). This stone is regarded sacred and important by the Marams to this day. Taking one particular stone, this anthropological study showed the importance of cultural context in understanding the meaning and importance of megaliths.

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Potbelly Sculptures as False Mortuary Bundles


The present paper investigates the possibility that the potbelly sculptures of southeastern Mesoamerica may have served as false (or effigy) mortuary bundles in public rituals tying ancestor veneration to emerging forms of rulership among the Preclassic Maya. Correspondences between potbelly sculptures and the artistic and archaeological evidence for the use of mortuary bundles among the Classic period Maya suggest that the imagery of ancestors represented through effigy bundles may have been an integral part of the iconography of power deployed by early Maya rulers.

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Ciocche e trecce: la donna tra i suoi nodi


This work shows the role of women’s hair in society and in history. The work was presented at the ninth edition of the festival “The violence illustrated” of Bologna, within Open (h) Air, a Paola Luciani project. Hidden under the hair’s symbol there is the image of a woman free to dance in the wild, how the photos of Paola Luciani show. The hair represent a paradox anthropology: waste body and symbol of the individual; here we come to the “not violent violence.”

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. Il matrimonio lucano e il suo universo culturale: lo specchio di una società che cambia-3 and -4


This survey, commissioned by the province of Potenza (Basilicata) for the “Basilicata Factory” Project, analizes the exchange of knowledge between generations through the transfer of cultural heritage in the post WW2 war Lucan wedding. The fieldwork produced a documentary account about the various steps of it. The rituals’ analysis prompted a comparisons with the historical and social context of the past through a biographical investigation. People’s stories allowed a historical reconstruction of the wedding rite, its historical and social process, and the examination of the connected customs and beliefs. The cultural richness of the past was confronted with current socio-cultural ways. The development of people’s relations and the changes in the organization of the wedding, was achieved by submitting a semi-structured questionnaire to couples married between 1940 and 2013. The results produced a report on the change of the rite and the perception of the collective memory, helping to shape a strong identity in the wedding reconstruction and re-actualization.

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Compendio e riesame delle indagini di superficie di un nuovo insediamento nella Puglia centroccidentale: Murgia e Grotta San Pellegrino (Laterza - Taranto)


The article summarizes the results of published surveys about the archaeological material found on the surface outside San Pellegrino Cave, Taranto-Apulia, inhabited from the middle and upper Palaeolithic, through the Imperial Roman Age. A quite good lithic industry and large pottery sherds show that the documented materials date as far back as the Neolithic. Outside a gap along one of the canal slopes, a calcareous slab engraved and decorated with ochre was discovered and it is supposed to belong to a chthonian prehistoric place of worship. Careful surveys on about 1,80 km2, led to the documentation of the raw material used by prehistoric man, composed mainly of jasper matrix from the Apennines, in the form of pebbles from alluvial deposits scattered within a radius of 1 km, torn off from the Conglomerates of Irsina. The studied artefacts consist of partially and fully worked cores, chips and tools with polished surfaces, belonging to the lower, middle and upper Palaeolithic. The working areas have been identified thanks to the new-looking artefacts including Levallois cores, discoids, SSDA and blades. Remarkable are the choppers and double face tools (probably lower Palaeolithic). The cave doesn’t show any human presence before the Neanderthalians.

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Antropologia ed Evoluzione Umana nel Museo Sardo di Antropologia ed Etnografia Finalità didattico-educative


The Anthropological room located in the Sardinian Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of Cagliari University, exhibits a permanent collection of human skeletal remains and replicas of fossil hominids related to human evolution. The educational role of the museum is supported by several exhibitions and laboratory activities. The final purpose is to collect, preserve this collection and make it available for a wide audience.

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Recensione. Necat Çetin. 2015. Siediti e Ascolta. Racconti brevi della tradizione orale curda. Pentàgora Edizioni


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