Yahoo Asia News / AP
Malaysia's indigenous tribes are hoping that a planned revision of a colonial-era law will grant them ownership of forests that their ancestors inhabited for more than 10,000 years, activists said.
They say the centuries-old culture and lifestyle of peninsular Malaysia's Orang Asli, or "Original People," have been threatened by developments such as airports, dams and highways that force tribes to move out of their homes _ located in forests owned by the state _ into semi-urban settings.
"Our main concern is land," said Juli Edo, an anthropology professor at Kuala Lumpur's University Malaya who belongs to an Orang Asli tribe. "We want a legal backup for the right to own land," he said Wednesday. >> continue
The producers of "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" are eagerly gearing up to film the sequels. But the project, due to be released on Jul. 7, 2006, is already proving to be a problem, as the descendants of the Caribs, historians and others are objecting to scenes depicting these indigenous people as involved in cannibalism.
Brinsley Samaroo, head of the history department of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), dismisses the claim of cannibalism as a "European myth". He told IPS that it was nothing but "manufactured history" by the Europeans who came across the Caniba, a tribe found in North and South America. "The Caniba tribe was very hostile and resisting the Europeans very stoutly and in order to warn other Europeans about this, the early explorers spread the myth that the Caniba tribe eat people," he said.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Historical and Archaeological Society has called on movie-goers to boycott the sequel unless the "grossly offensive" scenes depicting the Caribs as cannibals are removed from the script. >> continue
In the IPS-article, there's also an link to a Brief history of cannibal controversies
We do not eat people (Trinidad News)
The Statesman, Calcutta
Slowly, a little warily maybe, Muslims of the city are making efforts to break out of the stereotypes and move out of ghettos. For a community mired in financial quicksand and plagued by poverty and lack of education, among other things, this is a tough task. And, systematic propaganda painting Indian Muslims as the Other in the psyche of the majority community makes the task even more difficult, felt Dr Mohammed Khalil Abbas Siddiqui, noted scholar and anthropologist.
“A push is required. Muslims are exploited as vote banks and then left high and dry. Also, the majority community has not made a serious effort to find out about Muslims or what their religion is all about,” said Mr Shafi, management and training consultant. Anybody listening? If not, start now. For, every seventh man in the city is a Muslim. >> continue
Slowly But Surely, Calcutta’s Muslims Shine (IslamOnline, 2.3.05)
Laura Spinney, The Guardian
For the Aymara people living in the Andes, the past lies ahead and the future lies behind. The Aymara word for past is transcribed as nayra , which literally means eye, sight or front. The word for future is q"ipa , which translates as behind or the back. Over the years, rumours have surfaced of similar strangeness in other languages.
"This Aymara finding is big news," says Vyvyan Evans, a theoretical cognitive linguist at the University of Sussex. "It is the first really well-documented example of the future and past being structured in a totally different way from lots of other languages, including English." >> continue
Anthropologist Kerim Friedman writes "I can't understand the fuss being made over the Aymara people living in the Andes who supposedly have a unique spacial conception of time. My guess is that this is simply another example of reporters mangling academic research in order to make the story more exciting." >> continue
Anthropology Matters in one of the few anthropological online journals - and an excellent one! Finally, their issue 2 / 2004 (!) is put online. In this issue, they bring together eleven papers that were first presented and discussed at the Future Fields conference held in Oxford in December 2003.
From the Introduction by Tom Rice and Mette Louise Berg:
"As research interests of anthropologists have changed, so have the types of fieldworks that we undertake. Yet the ideal of long-term fieldwork in a rural location among non-Western peoples still exerts a powerful influence on the discipline. While traditional methods such as long-term site work and participant observation are still valid, they now must be complemented by innovative methods that respond to contemporary epistemological challenges. The very notion of 'the field' itself may need critical questioning."
Among the articles we find:
The making of the fieldworker: debating agency in elites research.
Mattia Fumanti (University of Manchester)
Cyberethnography as home-work.
Adi Kuntsman (Lancaster University).
Finding a middle ground between extremes: notes on researching transnational crime and violence.
Hannah E. Gill (Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford).
Devising a new approach to capitalism at home.
Kaori O'Connor (University College London).
Fieldnotes on some cockroaches at SOAS and in Stavanger, Norway.
Ingie Hovland (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London).
Under the shadow of guns. Negotiating the flaming fields of caste/class war in Bihar, India.
George Kunnath (School of Oriental and African Studies).
Studying-up those who fell down: elite transformation in Nepal.
Stefanie Lotter (University of Heidelberg).
Anthropologist Cicilie Fagerlid (University of Oslo) has recently published her thesis about young British Asians on the web. In her introduction, she writes:
"Society cannot remain a society if people feel excluded on basis of what characterises them as a category. The imagined category Britishness must not exclude the imagined category Asianness. How is the interface between recognition for difference, societal belonging and individual freedom played out?
This thesis is based on 11 months fieldwork among, roughly, 30 British Asians, aged 20 to 30, in London in 1999. With the anthropological focus on the micro level, on the experiences of socially and culturally embedded individuals, I hope to show how Britain, step by step, is moving in the direction of a cosmopolitan society.
By focusing on the individual negotiation, the diversity that appears indicates that their British Asianness can be contained by neither an old idea of Britishness nor essential traits of Asianness."
Anthropologist P. Kerim Friedman (Temple University) published his dissertation on the web before it will be published as a book! "No need to wait for the book", he writes. In an earlier post, Friedman encouraged anthropologists to use the Internet to share their knowledge and support the "Open Access" - philosophy.
About his dissertation he writes:
"This dissertation examines contemporary linguistic markets and language policy in Taiwan in terms of the historical processes of state formation, class alliances, and identity politics, drawing upon Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of linguistic markets and Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony as well as the literature on nationalism and linguistic ideology.
Emphasis is placed on the historical processes underlying the construction of Taiwan’s linguistic markets as Taiwan’s linguistic nationalism emerged throughout history, focusing on the continuities and changes across Qing, Japanese, KMT and DPP rule.
The Lantern, Ohio State University
In a presentation titled "The Politics of Representation," ethnographer Marie "Keta" Miranda addressed the general misrepresentation of gang members, but focused largely on women. She discussed the knowledge she gained through her ethnographic collaboration with Chicana youths in Oakland, Calif., published in the 2003 book "Homegirls in the Public Sphere".
It is important to recognize that women in gangs do have agency and they do make significant decisions. She said the gangs she studied in northern California were unique because they consisted entirely of young women. Miranda stressed the need for people in power to change their approach in order to provide more understanding of subculture groups. >> continue
Homegirls in the Public Sphere - Reviewed by Ramona Lee Pérez, New York University (Association of Feminist Anthropology)