Saturday, December 27, 2008

audio from the National Museum of the American Indian

Recordings   |   Contact NMAI  |   Links to Native American radio and web productions

Lisa Telford and Keevin Lewis
Audio recordings are an essential means of communication and collaboration between the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Native and indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere and Hawai'i, and the general public. Recordings are supported at the NMAI by the Community and Constituent Services Department. The department's staff works with Native and indigenous organizations and professionals to produce audio programs, products, and services that are informative, educational, and entertaining. At the same time, NMAI recordings uphold a long tradition of preserving Native oral history. The NMAI offers live radio broadcasts, audio recordings, and a radio series.

Friday, December 19, 2008

new web-based documentary video source

Introducing FOCAL POINT
The new web-exclusive series of documentary shorts from WIDE ANGLE
In its first weeks, FOCAL POINT, the new online exclusive series of documentary shorts from Wide Angle, will bring viewers to polling stations in Pakistan, breadlines in Zimbabwe, and demonstrations in Greece, where the children of immigrants are fighting for the right to citizenship.
The first episode of FOCAL POINT, From Jihad to Rehab, takes us inside a rehabilitation center in Saudi Arabia, where art therapy and religious re-education are being used to reform militant jihadists.
Like Wide Angle, FOCAL POINT offers a deeper understanding of forces shaping the world today through online-exclusive documentary shorts, an increasingly popular medium. This exciting new series will showcase the work of emerging and established independent filmmakers from around the world.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

anthro education the Social Web 2.0 way

A concerted effort through the Anthropology Education Committee at the American Anthropological Association is underway to gathering teaching plans and materials at with discussions at and link-favorites at - Thanks to Colleen P. for making this happen!
And a bank of images and video clips is growing for classroom uses at as well.

blog, "Language Scraps"

Lots of insights from a person working between English and Thai,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

ancient Rome - before the archeologists started digging

320 A.D., soon after the Empire went Christian under Constantine:
A joint effort between Google, the Rome Reborn Project, and Past Perfect Productions, the new Ancient Rome 3D Layer in Google Earth allows users to view and explore over 6700 3D buildings as scholars determine they stood in 320 AD. If you ever dreamed of walking along the same streets as Constantine or gazing up at the Coliseum as it stood in ancient times, you'll be amazed at what you can experience behind your keyboard!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

hobbit-sized human ancestor in Indonesia concludes with the idea that a direct descendant of 'Lucy' (australopithicus) may have lived until as recently 12,000 years ago!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

indigenous visual depictions; self-awareness

about indigenous media research:

Postma, M. and P. I. Crawford (eds.)(2006), Reflecting Visual Ethnography, Leiden & Hoejbjerg: CNWS Publications & Intervention Press.

Philipsen, H.H. and B. Markussen (eds.), Advocacy and Indigenous Filmmaking, Hoejbjerg: Intervention Press

Aaron Glass' work about a traditional dance of one of the NW coastal indigenous groups in North America; also with W. Osman about her film in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan. PDF version of the Anthropology News (vol.47/no.9 =November 2008) at The interviewer/author is Dinah Winnick.

Worth & Adair's Through Navajo Eyes: An Exploration in Film Communication and Anthropology

Hoque, Abdul (2006) Radio and indigenous peoples. The role of radio in the sustainable livelihoods of indigenous peoples: A case study of the Rakhaing and the Garo people in Bangladesh. University of Tromso.

PamelaWilson and Michelle Stewart (eds) Global indigenous media: culture,politics and poetics

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Doing Anthropology (MIT video, 8 minutes)
Thoughts on Fieldwork From Three Research Sites
Cultural Anthropology is a social science that explores how people understand - and act in - the world. But what, exactly, is it that Cultural Anthropologists do? How do they approach their research? In this short film,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

language & culture - K.David Harrison's book

P 40.5 .L33 H37 2007 Harrison, K. David. When Languages Die.
The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge.
London: OUP.
13 The world's 6.34B people speak, at latest count, 6,912 languages. If speakers were divided evenly among languages, each tongue would have 917,000 speakers... The top 10 biggest languages have hundreds of millions of speakers each, accounting for just over 50% of humans. If we expand this set to include the top 83 languages, we have covered nearly 80% of the world's population.

35 mankind... classifying, grouping, and describing plant and animal life, behavior, and usefulness to humans. Scientists refer to this practice as taxonomy: naming individuals and groups, sorting things into groups, discovering relations among them.
57 [reindeer words] Dongur. It is a powerful word. It means 'male domesticated reindeer in its third year and first mating season, but not ready for mating', and it allows a tribe of nomadic reindeer herders in Siberia to identify and describe with a single word what would otherwise require a full sentence.
58 ...uncle may be a mother's brother, or a mother's sister's husband, or perhaps just his parents' adult male friend. While our mind readily grasps the various types of 'uncle', English provides no ready-made, unique labels to distinguish them. Conversely, in cultures like Tofa with more socially important kinship relations, there exists no general word for 'uncle'. Five different type of uncles would have five completely different labels. By simply learning these labels, the child implicitly learns that these are distinct kinship roles. [unique identifiers]
146 [Walter Ong] Language s so overwhelmingly oral that of all the many thousands of languages --possibly tens of thousands-- spoken in the course of human history only around 106 have ever been committed to writing to a degree sufficient to have produced literature, and most have never been written at all. Of the some 3,000 languages spoken that exist today only some 78 have a literature...
...what it means to be a purely oral, non-literature culture. No grocery lists, no letters or e-mails, no memos, no text messages on cell phones, no books, no report cards, [no junk mail, direct mail, bills, email], no instructions on how to assemble artificial Christmas trees, no owner's manuals, no dictionaries, no newspapers, no libraries. This is the *normal* state of affairs for most human languages. [and therefore societies]
210 Rotokas (spoken in New Guinea by 4,320 people) reportedly gets by with a mere six consonants: p, t, k, v, r, and g, while Ingush a language of the Caucasus (230,000 speakers) boasts a whopping 40 consonants. Besides many common sounds like 'p', 'b', and 'f', Ingush uses a special series of ejective consonants that are produced by closing and raising the vocal chores to compress air inside the pharynx, then releasing the pressure suddenly to create a popping sound to accompany the consonant. Ejectives are moderately rare, occurring in only about 20% of the world's languages. To employ *seven* distinct kinds of ejectives, as does Ingush, is exceedingly rare. But even Ingush is not the upper limit: Ubykh, which reportedly had 70 consonants, lost its last speaker in 1992.
     ...Ingush appears more complex, allowing multiple consonants to sit next to each other, for example, bw, hw, ljg, and rjg: bwarjg 'eye'   hwazaljg 'bird'
==NOTES to text
243 Russian and Polish and other languages have a term that means "a whole 24 day," while English lacks this word.
246 [seven day week/calendar] first came into use in ancient Babylon, but a 10-day week was adopted by the Mayan Empire, and some Bantu civilizations in Africa adopted a six-day week.
261 [inventory of sign languages] ...about 700 sign languages in the final count
== urls:
p237> Lenape words (Deleware; Delaware), Talking dico,
p246 Halkomelem elders; folkbiology, [NW coast]
p249 [Baltic: Karaim chanting prayers/religion ceremonies online]
p250 [video clip]
p256 >population estimates for many languages; e.g. India's many languages
p270 Myth: Signs are glorified gestures. Online at
p278 Hawaiian Dictionary. Online at
  Hillis, David M, Derrick Zwickl, and Robin Gutell 2003. Tree of Life. Online at Accessed January 2006. [As published in Science 300: 1692-1697]
  Kiesling, Scott F. 2004. Dude. American Speech 79(3): 281-305.
  Medin, Douglas L., and Scott Atran 1999. Folkbiology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  Nettle, Daniel, and Suzanne Romaine 2000. Vanishing Voices: The extinction of the world's languages. New York: OUP. [ch.3 "Lost Words - Lost Worlds"]
  Weisstein, Eric W. 2005. Base In MathWorld - A Wolfram Web Resource. Online at Accessed August 2006.
Ironbound Films, "The Last Speakers" (Siberia documentary).
National Geographic project on endangered languages.
Living Tongues Inst for Endangered Languages
podcast, The World of Words,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

high school as recap of human's social trajectory?

[excerpt & source,]

You could say our lives as social beings are ruled by the three R's: respect—the sense that proper deference has been paid to our status, reputation—the carefully maintained perception of our qualities, and reciprocity—the belief that our actions are responded to fairly. In other words, high school may be the most perfect recapitulation of the evolutionary pressures that shaped us as a species...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

theme issue, White Privilege and Schooling

Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Volume: 39, Number: 3 (9/2008)
online from AnthroSource at 
[subscription required for Web access]
Introduction to Theme Issue: White Privilege and Schooling, guest editor Douglas Foley

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

youth produced ethnographic film, 'Anglesea Road'

...the film 'Anglesea Road' on youtube... It was made as part of visual anthropology project between the Royal Anthropological Institute and a college in South East London, where a group of 16-19 year-olds made a mini-ethnographic film about their local area, and takes a look at a street which has a large Somali population, and what the area means to them.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

movies encompassing the planet

for a sense of the whole planetary scope of human activity (and its absence):
Matt Harding collected clips of his happy jigging all over the world.
This set this to music. A simple but powerful statement. It is hard not to smile.
For anyone interested in geography, energy - water - air/space, and the places around the world, this Flash movie is vivid and powerful. [that spelling error is part of the link]

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

links page (Am.Anthro.Assoc)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

video, Doing Anthropology (making it accessible; easy to visualize)

Mass. Inst. of Technology's Video Productions has created a new video called Doing Anthropology, to promote greater public understanding about cultural anthropology and the process of fieldwork. The video, which is housed on MIT TechTV (, is streamable and can be embedded into your personal blog or website.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

anthropology programming (TV broadcasts)
gives thumbnail, individual website and resources for about 14 programs as of 6/2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

oldest ironworks (USA) - video

25 Jun 2008 From: newsletter of
Video: Turning on Technology
A field trip to the nation's oldest ironworks is captured with the latest tech.

tackling trash
webpage gives links to interview segments, related books, transcripts, action items

Friday, May 30, 2008

first view, FW: Brazilian tribe
These men are trying to drive off the plane from which these photographs were taken. They are aiming their bows at the aircraft, which had returned to fly over the settlement for a second time, after making a first pass some hours earlier.


The men have large bows made from forest hardwood, which they use to hunt for animals including tapirs, monkeys, deer, wild pigs and other small mammals.


They have also painted themselves with the red dye, urucum, commonly used by tribes in the Amazon. It is made from the seeds of a fruit similar to the horse chestnut. The seeds are ground into a paste to form the dye.


The body paint is most likely a show of aggression, possibly in response to the plane's first flyover.

Monday, April 21, 2008

bio. anthro "e-skeleton" project gives 2D and 3D primate, including human skeletons

Friday, April 18, 2008

ethno-doc website; Indigenous Knowledge Bank

from blog Anthropologist About Town - Apr 17, 2008


Indigenous knowledge

Following the film I saw yesterday I want to find out more about the different indigenous peoples of the world, so I'm going to browse the internet to see what I can discover. Anthropologists are often involved in the study of indigenous societies, and many work for organisations that campaign to uphold their rights. For example, The Peoples of the World Foundation is a group that highlights the lives of indigenous people using photography and film, in doing so hope to 'educate and enlighten' its vewers. Also worth checking out is Survival International, a non-governmental organisation that is often in the press for its work, most recently perhaps regarding their campaign to stop people referring to indigenous people as 'primitive'...and there are also many interesting films on their website from around the world.

Rounding up the week is the happy news today that Ethnodoc - the visual anthropology website - have just announced that all the their film content is now viewable online for FREE! In case you haven't read about Ethnodoc on the blog before, it's an Italian organisation that aims to link people interested in visual anthropology across the globe, providing photographs, films and articles on visual material free of charge - once you've signed up for free membership. It's a useful place to look at if you're interested in the subject, and also to research links to other similar organisations and hear the latest news about conferences and events.

Friday, April 11, 2008

textbook - indigenous voices (authorship)

from Anthropologist About Town,
Diary for Thursday 10th April 2008


Tonight I'm going along to an event at the Blackwell's University bookshop in Oxford Brookes University. It's the launch of a new guide to social anthropology called 'An Introduction to Social Anthropology: Sharing our Worlds' which is one of variety of books out there that's useful for newcomers to the subject. Interestingly, sections of the text are written by indigenous people themselves, so we get a first-hand account of their concerns and beliefs. The author and anthropologist, Joy Hendry ( A Japan specialist) will also be on hand to talk about the book. If you want to find out more about her in advance you could listen to an episode of Radio 4's Excess Baggage that she appeared on last year, talking about the experience of conducting fieldwork. The book launch begins at 17.00 and the shop is located on Gipsy Lane in the Headington area of Oxford - to attend you will need to contact DOT uk

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Material culture as window on Consumer life

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the
underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff
exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social
issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

quotable (teens)

Quentin Crisp said, "The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another." Hopefully your children are not defying you, but as they get older, you can see how much more their friends influence them.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

teens & ethnographic filming (UK)

...short documentary made by A-Level students from S.E. London who took part in an ethnographic film workshop. Details,
An evening of documentary short film screenings by visual anthropologists, exploring the experiences of children in India, Ethiopia and Malawi, separated from their parents and finding imaginative ways to create homes for themselves.

_______Films to be shown:
<> Street Fiction
 Malawi 2002 (32 minutes) Filmmaker and anthropologist: Dominic Elliot.
Through combining their own dramatic reconstructions and real life observation, this film tells the story of the Malawian children who run away from their homes in search of a better life on the streets of Blantyre.  As the children act out a fiction based on their own experiences, we also follow the work of MacDonald, a social worker whose hope it is to return them to their homes.
<> Ravi and Bhajay
 India 2002 (26 minutes) Filmmaker and anthropologist: Rachel Webster.
An intimate and uplifting exploration of the lives of street children Ravi and Bhajay as they survive together on the streets of Mumbai.  To get away from it all they visit the holy city of Vijain with the film-maker.  Despite being offered jobs and schooling if they stay in Vijain the attraction of the streets is too great and Ravi and Bhajay choose to return to Mumbai to be among their friends.  The film shows how two street boys create a life for themselves on the streets of Mumbai based around friendship.
<> Room 11: Ethiopia Hotel
 Ethiopia 2006 (21 minutes)  Filmmaker and anthropologist: Itsushi Kawase.
This film aims to capture a sense of the life of children living on the street in Gondar by witnessing the interaction between two children and the film-maker.  Although it is about the children's life on the streets, the entire film was shot in the film-maker's room in the Ethiopia Hotel.  This limited space allows the film to focus on communication between subjects and film-maker and to reveal some of the ideas that enable them to endure and survive on the streets.
<> Pride of Place
 Dorothea Gazidis & Kim Longinotto 1976 (59 minutes)
A rarely since classic by Kim Longinotto takes a dark look at the boarding schools she ran away from as a teenager.  Preceded by short film: The Good Ol' Days by students from Greenwich Community College.
<> The New Boys
 David MacDougall 2003 (100 minutes)
Filmmaker David MacDougall follows a group of new boys during their first term at the "Eton of India," capturing their conflicts and friendships, jokes and loneliness.   Preceded by short film Talk of the Trade by students from Greenwich Community College.
<> SchoolScapes
 David MacDougall 2007 (77 minutes)
MacDougall continues his exploration of schools life at the progressive Rishi Valley School in India, founded by the philosopher Krishanmurti.  Preceded by short film Anglesea Road: Mini Somalia by students from Greenwich Community College.
RAI - Our Education Programme
The Royal Anthropological Institute's Education programme Discover Anthropology has been set up to develop actions and strategies to inform teachers and young people about anthropology as a university subject, and to bring the subject more generally into pre-university education. Anthropology, the study of what it means to be human across different societies, cultures and histories, is not currently taught in schools and colleges in the UK and compared to other social sciences anthropology undergraduate degrees attract fewer students from widening participation target groups. Yet the discipline of anthropology has a distinctive, and vital, contribution to make to understanding the world today. Anthropology offers a deep understanding of how different societies work, how people live, what are their beliefs, customs, ideas, prejudices and aspirations.  In an era when global understanding and recognition of diverse ways of seeing the world are of critical social, political and economic importance, anthropology has a central role to play in education.
  "Anthropology is concerned with the whole of life and is not just something you do until 6 o'clock. The study of anthropology encourages you to have a new kind of consciousness of life; it is a way of looking at the world and in that sense it is a way of living," Anthropologist David Pocock, Discovering Anthropology: a resource guide.  The electronic version of Discovering Anthropology is available free on-line here. 
  The Discover Anthropology education programme aims to 1) provide good quality accessible information for students considering studying anthropology at university 2) to create a series of regular events and activities for young people and teachers and 3) produce resources for teachers that draw upon the insights of anthropology. The programme will be represented by a dedicated website shortly. From 2005-2006 the programme was funded through the AimHigher National Activity programme.  From 2007-2010 the programme will be funded by the Economics and Social Research Council.
  Contact Nafisa Fera, Education Officer, for more details: +44 (0)20 7387 0455.

Monday, March 3, 2008

anthro of sport

[via 28 feb 2008]
anthropology and sport interest you as a subject you could look into the B.A. in Sport at Durham University, which includes anthropology modules[ ].
There are also a couple of good introductory texts [ ] on the subject, looking at how sport impacts upon culture, politics, economics and identity, to name but a few...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

review article, "Intro to Anthro"

Introducing Anthropology: A Review Article
by Raelene Wilding DOI: 10.1080/00664670701859016
Anthropological Forum, Volume 18, Issue 1 March 2008 , pages 71 - 78

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Languages of the World
Language plays a unique role in capturing the breadth of human diversity. We are constantly
amazed by the variety of human thought, culture, society, and literature expressed in many thousands of languages around the world. We can find out what people think only through their language. We can find out what they thought in the past only if we read their written records. We can tell future generations about ourselves only if we speak or write to them. If we want other civilizations in space to learn about us we send them messages in dozens of our planet's six thousand languages.
The main purpose of this website is to provide information about the language families of the world
and their most important and populous members, including their history, status, their linguistic
characteristics, and their writing in as simple and concise a way as possible. We base this website
on the belief that all languages have evolved from the need of human beings to express their thoughts, beliefs, and desires, that all languages meet the social, psychological, and survival needs of people who use them. In this sense, all languages, no matter how small and remote, are equal. All equally deserve study because all of them provide valuable insights into human nature.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

language - plain, please

US Gov't,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

using mini video cameras for projects

example of using or
[seen on EDTECH e-list today]... just blogged about using 5 of these in his classroom for
a video project,

Thursday, January 24, 2008

children's favorites (cross-culturally)

Fodder for lively classroom discussion? (links to the Japan page, but the homepage gives other subjects, too)

"...great survey data ...such as Japanese children's favorite subjects, relationships with friends, even "the effects of bullying."

Friday, January 11, 2008

watch online ethnographic films

[via 11-jan-08]
the 4DOCS website; or sort the film catalogue by theme, and choose 'ethnography' of films and books on all things visual and anthropological, as well as news of interesting screenings, festivals and publications. It is also linked to an organisation called Ethnodoc, which has just begun to put ethnographic films on its website for members to watch - subscription is FREE
See Also, page of visual anthro links,
or the Society for Visual Anthropology homepage,

Friday, January 4, 2008

bbc2 "Tribe" series 1-2-3

[opening snippet] "What is Tribe to me?"
Tribe has been my whole world for the last four years and is the most important thing in my life right now. It's a series about people and culture, our culture as well as others. We hope it's entertaining, because we want people to watch and enjoy, especially people who wouldn't normally tune into this type of programme, but we also hope we can communicate something important about the world." [continues,]

outside the UK the video stream will be blocked, but clips may be viewable via Discovery Channel website