Category archives for Ethnography

Meat Eating in Human Prehistory

All human hunter-gatherer groups that have been studied incorporate meat in their diets. Studies have shown that the total dietary contribution of meat varies a great deal, and seems to increase with latitude so that foragers in subarctic and arctic regions eat a lot of meat while those living near the equator eat less. It…

The Feast (A Thanksgiving Day Story)

Today is Thanksgiving in the US. Happy Thanksgiving. Let us being with a word of advice: TAKE THE TURKEY OUT OF THE FREEZER NAO!!! And now … a feast.

Speaking of people eating insects … as we were … I do have this fun story from the Ituri Forest.

I have written before of insects in the Ituri Forest. (Oh, and here too.) When it comes up that I’ve spent time there, certain questions often come up, and one of them is: “Did you eat bugs.”

that has wandered into their camp if they don’t know anything about it a priori is … according to what they told me when that happened once … is …

No place to sit down

I knew a couple who had spent a lot of time in the Congo in the 1950s. He was doing primatology, and she was the wife of a primatologist. And when she spoke of the Congo or Uganda, where they spent most of the time, she always said two things that always put me off…

Among Cannibals

I have lived among Cannibals, according to a lot of people who claim to know. The number of times that the “tribal” people of the Congo have been called cannibals is too great to be counted, most notably in great literature like The Heart of Darkness but most commonly, I suspect, from the pulpit or…

It’s all just a matter of calibration. Let me ‘splain.

Once you’ve killed the monkey, you need to carry it back to camp. Slit the tail, near the end, and poke the head through the slit, so the tail makes a handy strap. Here’s a detail:

Falsehoods: Human Universals

There are human universals. There, I said it. Now give me about a half hour to explain why this is both correct and a Falsehood. But first, some background and definition.