A group of bushmen from Botswana who claim the government illegally evicted them from their ancestral lands have begun challenging the move in court. The Basarwa are recognised by many internationally as the indigenous people and claim a right to stay on their ancestral land. The BBC's correspondent in the region, Alastair Leithead, describes the case as a historic one for the rights of bushmen in southern Africa. >>continue
Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency
“Nomads constitute a cultural treasure, not a simple community, because the Iranian society can trace back its roots among them and still feeds on their agricultural products,” said Dr. Jalaludin Rafifar, nomad expert and head of the Anthropology Association of Tehran University. Economically speaking, nomads meet 20 percent of Iran’s needs to red meat, though they themselves are very content and incur little, if no, cost on the central government.
Fiona Moore, Anthropology Matters 1 (2004)
Transnational business people are seldom studied by anthropologists. Here, I examine the role that two ‘global cities’ — London and Frankfurt — play in the lives of a group of employees from a German transnational financial corporation. In researching transnational groups, anthropologists need to think less in terms of ‘global’ versus ‘local’, and more in terms of complex relationships between groups of varying degrees and kinds of globalisation.
Erin Brubacher, who, with Odile Nelson, is co-directing and acting in the play in Iqaluit this weekend, says this is a play that "fits with the community". "The issues involved are universal: interracial marriage, the concept of cultural appropriation, political correctness...," Taylor says. "Many Native issues are cross-cultural."
One of the themes in the play involves a group of kids on a reserve who are visited by a group of anthropologists researching traditional legends. None of the elders will talk to the anthropologists, so instead, the kids told them the legends their grandparents had told them, in some cases making them up for 50 cents a legend.
The play not only makes fun of the anthropologists, but also the kids who made up the stories, and "how a trick can come back and trick you," as Taylor puts it. >>continue
Kenai Peninsula Online (Alaska)
Generations of anthropologists have appeared in Alaska Native villages and attempted, with varying degrees of tact, naivete or insight, to explain the villagers' lives. Margaret B. Blackman who teaches anthropology at the State University of New York College at Brockport parts in "Upside Down: Seasons among the Nunamiut," from typical scholarly writing to create a book of essays that read more like personal memoir than academic treatise.
" ... I tired of academic writing," she says in her introduction. " ... I became increasingly irritated with the uncanny ability of so many anthropologists to render, in stilted prose, the most interesting cultures hopelessly pedantic and unappealing. I wanted to write differently about Anaktuvuk Pass." The result is a beautifully written exploration of an anthropologist's life as well as a portrait of the remote Nunamiut village in the Brooks Range. >>continue
Tom's Hardware Guide
Tech firms flood consumers which new products every month. In an interview with Tom's Hardware Guide, Intel's anthropologist Genevieve Bell explains why cultures will determine the development of new products. Dell initiated at Intel a new way to think about the connection between people and technology, their cultural practices and "daily habits," she says. Rather than innovating and then trying to make people use products, the idea is to start with people and their needs first and learn what individual cultures care about. >>continue (updated link)
Timothy Malefyt is now an in-house anthropologist for BBDO New York, the advertising firm. His mission is to study a group of college students at Columbia University and figure out how in the world they process all of the information that comes their way, whether it's from TV, movies, billboards, video games, cell phones, the Internet -- just about everything but the fortunes wrapped inside Chinese cookies.
If a college student receives a targeted ad on her instant messaging (IM) screen, or a text message on her cell phone, is she likely to resent it? Consider it a joke? Would certain types of advertisements be welcomed? The answers depend, from an anthropologist's perspective, on the communications rituals associated with each of these tools. >>continue / copy
The ceremony begins with a Roman Catholic prayer. Then three drummers begin to play syncopated rhythms. The attendees begin to dance around a tree in the center of the yard, moving faster and harder with the rising pulse of the beat. The priest draws sacred symbols in the dust with cornmeal, and rum is poured on the ground to honor the spirits. In Haiti these rituals are commonplace: Voodoo is the dominant religion.
It was easy to meld the two faiths, because there are many similarities between Roman Catholicism and voodoo. Participation in voodoo ritual reaffirms one's relationships with ancestors, personal history, community relationships—and the cosmos. >>continue