Anthropology

The Primate Diaries

Category archives for Anthropology

Sexy Beasts at Seed Magazine

Author’s Note: The following is an excerpt from my review of Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. For additional information see my posts Reexamining Ardipithecus ramidus in Light of Human Origins, Those Cheating Testicles, or Who’s Your Baby? as well as Helen’s Lament and the Origins of Forbidden Love. Christopher Ryan also…

Chimpanzees have culture (or not) depending on your definition.Image: Irish Wildcat / Creative Commons Author’s Note: The following is an expansion on my reply to anthropologist Dan Sperber on the PLoS ONE article “Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees.” Culture is like art or pornography, it’s hard for people to define but everyone knows it…

                 Coca-Cola sucks India dry.      Image: Carlos Latuff / Wikimedia CommonsThe marketing executive who came up with Coca-Cola’s popular slogan in 1908 most likely never expected it would be taken so literally. However, a hundred years ago there probably weren’t many who imagined a term like “water wars” could exist in a region that experiences annual monsoons.…

Repost: An Anthropologist in District 9

In light of the Oscars this Sunday I thought those of you who missed it would enjoy my review of District 9 (which is up for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay). Inexplicably, a UFO appears over one of Earth’s remote cities. Hovering a few hundred meters above the terrified citizens,…

Nuuchaanulth Ceremonial Curtainfrom the Family of Naasḳuu-isaḳs of the Hupacasath Nation Human beings around the world honor their dead and the memories of their relatives. We have enacted special rituals related to the handling of human remains from the sacred funeral pyres of India to the professionalized aseptic embalming practices of the United States. Even…

Four Stone Hearth #83 – The Avatar Edition

Welcome to the newest installment of the four field anthropology blog carnival Four Stone Hearth. As the carnival enters into a new decade there were many wonderful voices clamoring for attention. ———————————————————————————————— Cultural Savage Minds offers a few thoughts on the Na’vi from the James Cameron blockbuster Avatar. USC Anthropologist Nancy Lutkehaus discusses her impressions…

Four Stone Hearth is Up

The blogosphere’s best (and only) anthropology blog carnival has just been posted at Anthropology in Practice. Krystal has collected together some fascinating posts that are sure to titillate the intellect and get those cultural juices flowing.

How the Inuit Are Solving the Climate Crisis

Maana (Now), Directed by Félix Pharand D. As part of the United Nations COP15 Climate Change Conference is the Indigenous Voices on Climate Change Film Festival. Included in the festival is this humorous story of one Inuk teenager who is disturbed by how the climate crisis is affecting his community and sets out to do…

See thro’ this air, this ocean, and this earth All matter quick, and bursting into birth: Above, how high progressive life may go! Around, how wide! how deep extend below! Vast chain of being! which from God began; Natures ethereal, human, angel, man, Beast, bird, fish, insect, who no eye can see, No glass can…

Reciprocity is an intrinsic feature of human beings as well as most species of ape. Chimpanzees and bonobos regularly engage in granting gifts of food and expect a return on their generosity (those who don’t reciprocate are less likely to receive such gifts in the future) (de Waal and Brosnan 2006). This “tit-for-tat” basis of…