Tuesday, December 29, 2009

language - Hopi Teens Worry About Loss Of Culture

For nearly 1,000 years, the Hopi people have lived on the same three mesas, land now considered part of northeastern Arizona. For all that time, they have been speaking the Hopi language, which is slowly dying. There are many hurdles standing in the way of preserving Hopi, including, for Hopi teens, the choice between preserving their culture and adopting a modern lifestyle.

[29 Dec 2009 National Public Radio broadcast; produced by Youth Radio: 5 minutes]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

precollege Anthro curriculum launches in Britain (A-level)


Congratulations colleagues around Britain for leading the way for others to follow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

iron age life in N. Europe

http://www.tollundman.dk/tollundmandens-tid.asp is about the "bog man" (Tollund, Denmark) with text, pictures, video about the time period of 500 BC to 800 AD - overlapping with the Okhotsk society along the north coast of Japan' north island of Hokkaido.
In S. Sweden (west of Malmo) there is a village recreation with people volunteering to live in the old ways as an experiement. Imagine this experiment with Okhotsk living, as well.
Also on the S. coast of Sweden there is also this large monument, http://ystaddailyphoto.blogspot.com/2007/02/megalithic-ship.html
Another village (near Stockholm) was included in the May 2000 documentary about viking society.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

maligning the Canis Lupis - language & culture

http://ystaddailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/05/wolf.html -all the English language expressions about wolves seem to be pejorative (against them)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

topics for teachers (soc sci web project)

issues such as migration, citizenship, youth crime and other topics

Anthropologist About Town 

Diary for 5th November to 11th November 2009

SUNDAY 8th November- Social Science for Schools

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), have just launched a new website called Social Science for schools. The aim of the website is to provide teachers with accessible information bringing together ESRC funded research on issues such as migration, citizenship, youth crime and other topics, so that they have reliable quantitative and qualitative data to use in their classrooms. This is an excellent resource for any social science teacher! 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

underwater archeology - medieval villages/Belgium

...underwater archaeology in Europe.  Today's entry on Belgium highlights past work including submerged medieval fishing villages,
shipwrecks, exhibitions, and an online maritime database: click on the "Maritime Archaeology in Belgium" link at http://www.uri.edu/mua

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

languages gone

The death of language?
With the number of languages steadily shrinking, what is lost when a language dies?
see also reading notes from K.David Harris' When Languages Die

Friday, October 2, 2009

lives of Margaret Mead; of Clifford Geertz

Anthropologist About Town 

Diary for 1st October to 7th October 2009

Anthropologists who made history...

In 1923 Margaret Mead set off to Samoa to conduct research on adolescence. Mead became the first anthropologist to explore the realm of anthropology of childhood, and throughout her career she helped to popularise the discipline with her writings. Her work is included as mandatory texts in undergraduate degrees in North America and Europe. In this podcast, Professor Adam Cooper and June Goodfield reflect on Mead's career, the controversies surrounding the personal and professional life, and her impact on the discipline as a whole. If you'd like to know more about Mead's life and her research, the Library of Congress has an excellent online exhibition and an extensive archive collection on Mead.

After gaining a his first degree in Philosophy from Antioch College, Clifford Geertz went on to do his PhD in Anthropology at Harvard. Geertz did extensive research in Indonesia and then later in Morocco. Geertz was fascinated with the ways in which culture is expressed through ' a system of meanings embodied in symbols'. He became a founder of interpretive or symbolic anthropology, and his work was extremely influential within the discipline and beyond in other social sciences. In this podcast Byron Good, Professor of medical anthropology at Harvard Medical School, explains the contribution of Geertz's work to the discipline. For a wonderful summary of his life and work take a look a this obituary written in the New York Times.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Native American dioramas cause offense at U-Michigan Museum

Michigan to Remove Indian Dioramas from Natural History Museum

Responding to objections from American Indian students and staff members, the University of Michigan will remove a set of dioramas depicting scenes of Native American life from its natural history museum, Indian Country Today reported. Some American Indian professors at Michigan said they found it insulting for them and their culture to be represented as miniaturized dolls amid the museum's dinosaur bones and fossils. "We are living, breathing, contemporary human beings," Margaret Noori, a professor of Ojibwe language and literature at Michigan, told Indian Country Today. A Michigan official confirmed that the dioramas would be removed by January.

Friday, September 4, 2009

material culture; bodies well & ill; London ethnography

from Sept. 3, 2009 digest of Anthropologist About Town

 The comfort of things

new ethnography by professor Daniel Miller called 'The comfort of things'. Daniel Miller is an anthropologist who specialises in teaching and researching material culture at UCL. The book is the result of research he conducted on a single street in London. Dr. Miller and his researchers asked residents of a particular street to discuss the stories, histories and significance of certain objects they hold dear to them in their houses. For anyone interested in material culture this is a fascinating read! If you are interested in learning more about material culture take a look at this website.

Exquisite Bodies

the Welcome Collection for a look at life size wax figures whose bodies have been cross sectioned in order to see internal organs , and in some cases lifelike representations of what happens to a body when it is attacked by diseases such as tuberculosis, alcohol and drug addiction. The models were used in the 19th century for medical teaching purposes. For more information about events, activities and videos accompanying the exhibit take a look here. The exhibit will run until the 18th of October 2009.

anthropological research in London?

FiLo presentations by anthropologists Daniel Miller and John Eade is a growing network of anthropologists who are undergoing fieldwork in London... The workshop will include keynote talks by anthropologists John Eade and Daniel Miller, as well as poster presentations by FiLo members, discussion of future Filo projects, and a guided walk of central London. For more information and registration email:filo.network@gmail.com or visit the Filo's website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

online exhibition, first nation

virtual exhibit (British Columbia, Canada), [Doig River First Nation]
Dane Wajich - Dane-zaa Stories and Song: Dreamers and the land,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

hunter-gatherer societies altering their environments

hunter-gatherer societies altering their environments - intentional or not
August 23, 2009
Archaeologists who study early hunter-gatherer societies are discovering that even the simplest cultures altered their environments, whether they meant to or not.
For example, aboriginal people in Australia burned huge areas to change the landscape so they could hunt animals more easily. Perhaps the most famous example is the way mastodons and giant sloth and other ice-age animals were killed off by roving bands of hungry humans...
[National Public Radio, npr.org]
article on coastal exploitation appears in the journal Science

Thursday, August 6, 2009

thinking about Ch. Darwin's "Origin of the Species"

[chapter by chapter modern re-reading of Darwin's The Origin of Species;
or see the original text at www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles]

physical anthro; archeology - Exhibition, "Written in Bone"

on display at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC) until February 2011,
Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake

and the webcomic presentation, http://anthropology.si.edu/writteninbone/comic


photo preview [13 views]

Indonesian tribe picks Korean alphabet as official writing system

via Korean Studies Discussion List <http://us.mc580.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=koreanstudies@koreaweb.ws>


[compare to] ...other instances in the past where other cultures attempted to adopt Han'gu(l / Choso(n'gu(l as their written language only to have it be rejected, no?
I don't recall as it has been a long time since I read Kim-Renaud, Y-K.
(ed) 1997. The Korean Alphabet: Its History and Structure.

Anyway, this is a very interesting language development that *gasp* for
once doesn't involve romanizations.

=-=-=-= follow up:
The case of using hangeul by one of Indonesian tribes as a practical systemof writing is funny. It is one more ?success? of local nationalists in theera of globalization, when the state sponsors such "experiments"! Koreanalphabet is excellent only for the Korean language, but is almost unsuitablefor the transmission of sounds, which are absent in the Korean language. Inthe Soviet Union in 1920-30?s attempts were made to create scripts fornationalities, which had no their own script on the basis of the Latinalphabet. This letter alphabet, as well as Cyrillic, is much more suitablethan Korean letter-syllabic alphabet, for transcription of all kinds ofsounds through a combination of letters or diacritics. But the grandioseexperiment failed. It is difficult to believe that the Korean experimentwill last for long.
---Lev Kontsevich [Moscow]

Monday, August 3, 2009

lesson plans - ancient Jordan, ancient Israel

Daily Life in Ancient Times: Archaeology of Israel and Jordan
July 1 - July 24, 2009
 -- directed by Rhonda Root and Gloria London --
sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities

old bones in Spain (1.2mya)

"In the field of human evolution which is what I'm in, Atapuerca is a world reference site," Quam says. "This is the richest fossil bearing deposits in the world. And every single site in Atapuerca that has been excavated has yielded human remains, which is something that is very unusual."
Last year, the team uncovered a 1.2 million-year-old jawbone fragment from a species known as homo antecessor. It's the oldest hominid fossil ever found in western Europe.
Near the railway trench, another site yielded human remains of 28 individuals, dating back at least half a million years. The Spanish paleontologist believes it's a mass grave.
"This was a collective act, something a group did with its dead," Arsuaga says.
full story; or mp3 download
--from NPR.org Morning Edition 3 Aug. 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

immigrant stories 2008 - USA

THE NEW AMERICANS - Sunday, July 19, 2009

...looks at the search for the "American dream" through the eyes of recent
immigrants and refugees during their first tumultuous years in America. From Nigeria,
India, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, each family
has come with different hopes: to achieve athletic glory or high-tech riches, to
escape poverty and persecution or to simply provide for their families.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Endangered Cultures - digital sources

Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC)
From: Reviews of Internet resources for Asian Studies

PARADISEC, c/o The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

"PARADISEC (Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures) offers a facility for digital
conservation and access for endangered materials from the Pacific region, defined broadly to include Oceania and East and
Southeast Asia. Our research group has developed models to ensure that the archive can provide access to interested
communities, and conforms with emerging international standards for digital archiving. Our research group is
composed of investigators from the four participating institutions

PARADISEC collaborates with other groups to promote good practice in field documentation and digital archiving of
endangered languages:
Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD)
the Open Language Archives Community (OLAC) [http://www.language-
the Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Network (DELAMAN)
[http://www.delaman.org/] and the
Electronic Metastructure for Endangered Languages Data project
(E-MELD) [http://www.emeld.org/index.cfm].

At September 2008 PARADISEC's collection contains 2051 hours of digital audio and video files on 3.65 TB of disk space. A
catalogue of this material is available at the link given in the right hand frame of this page. 614 languages from 60
countries are represented in PARADISEC's collection."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Talking with Non-Native English Speakers

This looks like a handy summary and skills list for anybody working in our mobile world of languages and societies today!

1) Be sensitive and respectful to individuals who have invested the time to learn English.  Learning a new language is a large undertaking.  They have sacrificed many years to learn English. To help you with this, try learning and using several phrases of another language. It's quite humbling.
2) Be aware of the factors that can enhance miscommunication. For example: Is the miscommunication a language misunderstanding? Is it based on differences in gender, age, national culture, or corporate culture? Is the miscommunication linked to technology malfunctions? Is it caused by more implicit variables, such as non-verbal components, context of message, or relationships based on hierarchy? By understanding the nature of the quandary, you can find more efficient solutions.
3) Pause. Native English speakers will often ask a question and not allow enough time for the listener to process the words, think about an answer, find the appropriate wording (based on their relationship to the speaker), and then execute a grammatically correct sentence. If it's information you are seeking, then pausing can work wonders!
4) When conducting meetings and conference calls, provide an outline or overview ahead of time. Give clear and simple statements of what is to be expected and define the length of discussion points.
5) Avoid slang, professional jargon, and acronyms at all costs. A statement like this can be confusing to non-native English speakers: "Please send the RFP by COB on hump day. Are we all on board?" Rephrasing can be advantageous: "Please send the Request for Proposal by 5 pm on Wednesday. Is that agreeable?"
6) Communicate with story. Often times bullet points and lists of information lack the ability to show the elusive. Example vignettes from your experiences or someone else's (including personal stories, folktales, and historical tales) can provide clarity, and at the same time, keep respect and honor for all members by not pointing out the flaws in others.
7) Have listeners rephrase what they think they heard you say. This is much better than asking, "Do you all understand?" and eventually receiving unsatisfactory outcomes.
8) Speak clearly and enunciate properly. Pausing before and after significant words can help improve communication, too.

If the points above seem superfluous or unessential, then spend some time trying to make sense of the following:
Hvis du har noen spørsmål om dette emnet eller andre relaterte emner, ta kontakt med Cultural Awareness International.
(Tip: You might want to use a Norwegian dictionary.)
In conclusion, the energy and time it takes to understand just one sentence may bring about feelings of frustration and confusion. However, by obtaining this point of view you will unearth the empathy needed to communicate effectively with all of your colleagues and clients worldwide. 

Other helpful tips that will also enhance communication:
• Trust begins with openness and authenticity. Presenting an image of yourself with flaws and weaknesses can often times be beneficial to you.

• View the world from someone else's eyes by shifting your paradigm. This can give you an advantageous viewpoint on a particular situation or problem.

• Don't see the world by what's right or wrong. See what's beneficial or ineffectual. Go from there.

• See the good that every individual or situation brings to your world. It is often in this place that we find satisfaction with ourselves, with others, and the communication between.

Written by Gene Edgerton, Edited by Rebecca Garza and Kayla Kluempke
June 2009,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the Open Anthropology Cooperative - constellation

sets of interest groups on the Ning platform (one sign-up allows multiple Ning memberships)

As of June 3, there are groups for Visual anthro, Anthro of Japan, Anthro of Brazil, Physical/forensic, and a Forum on general policy of this Cooperative intersection of groupings.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What is Anthropology for?

Anthropologist About Town

Diary for 28th May to 3rd June 2009

Anthropologists find work in a variety of different fields ranging from working in museums, to working as business consultants, or in development and tourist agencies. Often the word 'anthropologist' does not appear in their job title, but anthropologists use the skills they have learned from their degrees, such as undertaking ethnographic research, analysing cross cultural data, doing interviews and apply these skills to their current roles. Veronica Strang, professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland has written a new book called What do Anthropologists do? The book takes a close look at why anthropologists are in demand for certain roles, and the job opportunities that are open to people studying the degree. It's written in an accessible manner and is a very useful resource for people beginning their exploration of anthropology and those already studying it at university.

Friday, May 8, 2009

anthropology day (June 19-Wales; July -London)

www.londonanthropologyday.co.uk (see earlier YouTube synopsis linked there)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

culture of surnames- "Balls and Bottoms give way to Wangs in name game"

REUTERS.COM Thu Mar 26, 2009

LONDON (Reuters) - The number of people in Britain with surnames like Cockshott, Balls, Death and Shufflebottom -- likely the source of schoolroom laughter -- has declined by up to 75 percent in the last century.
A study found the number of people with the name Cock shrank to 785 last year from 3,211 in 1881, those called Balls fell to 1,299 from 2,904 and the number of Deaths were reduced to 605 from 1,133.
People named Smellie decreased by 70 percent, Dafts by 51 percent, Gotobeds by 42 percent, Shufflebottoms by 40 percent, and Cockshotts by 34 percent, said Richard Webber, visiting professor of geography at King's College, London.
...full text, http://www.reuters.com/article/email/idUSTRE52O5IN20090326?sp=true

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Physical connections - Neanderthal 1st draft of DNA sequence

  [opening text]
Morning Edition, February 13, 2009 · Scientists in Germany say they have drawn up a map of about 60 percent of the genetic "letters" in the genome of Neanderthals. The map is expected to shed light not only on what kind of creatures they were, but also what genetic differences allowed humans to leave Neanderthals in the evolutionary dust.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

your skin color

from National Public Radio, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100057939
[excerpt]... look at the patch of skin on the inside of your upper arm, the part of you that almost never sees the sun.
Whatever color you see there is what experts call your basic skin color, according to professor Nina Jablonski, head of the Penn State Department of Anthropology.
And that color, the one you have now, says Jablonski, is very probably not the color your ancient ancestors had — even if you think your family has been the same color for a long, long time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

links treasure trove for anthro

from the blog, Anthropologist About Town [London-based, weekly] 


Diary for 29th January to 5th February 2009

The other day on the internet, I came across this wonderful website: http:www.anthropologie.net . This website has an incredible amount of links for those interested in anthropology. There is a vast array of links from museums, research institutions, and university departments around the world, anthropology in the news sites, and a lot more!