• Vladimir A. Kulchitsky added an answer:
    Is it time we shift emphasis from technological solutions to climate change & focus on the 'Human Dimension'?

    Isn't the obvious solution and the elephant-in-the-room 'BETTER HUMAN BEINGS'? Shouldn't the focus be on better human beings rather than better technology? Why is it that everyone wants to develop better technology rather than focus on better humanity? Because no one has the answers and no one wants to change themselves? In environmental degradation, is it not obvious that nature can heal itself, if only left alone, and it is we humans who need regulation? Many natural parks managers do just that; seal off the area from human interference to let nature heal and recover. It is classified as 'Strict Nature Reserve"by IUCN. Complacency and inaction are not advocated here, as many have misunderstood, but the shifting of focus from technology to the human being. As technology is no match for human greed, isn't introspection & restraining ourselves more relevant than developing more technology, which caused the mess in the first place, by making it easy for a few to consume more? Since technology is only a short term quick fix which fails after a short time, isn't the real problem our addiction to material consumption & our lack of understanding about human nature? Isn't developing more technology sustaining the addiction instead of correcting it, leading to more complex problems later on, needing more complex technological quick fixes like higher drug dosages, more ground troops & equipment, (along with their debilitating side effects) in the future? Isn't this the vicious addiction circle we are trapped in? As researchers, do we merely buy more time with technology OR go to the very root of the problem, the human being?

    A lot of hue and cry is made about climate change and the environment in general. Public and private money is poured into research to study its effects on the environment, sustainability etc. Should we study nature or ourselves?

    " Our studies must begin with our selves and not with the heavens. "-Ouspensky

    Human activities have been found to have a direct correlation to climate change and its impact on the environment(I=P x A x T, the Ehrlich and Holdren equation), in spite of what some complacent sections say to protect their own self interests.

    We hardly know about Human nature. We can scarcely predict human behavior. We need to find out why we think like we do and why we do what we do and why, in spite of all knowledge and wisdom, consume more than what we need, in the form of addictions to consumption and imbalance not only ourselves but also the family, society and environment around us..
    Humanity is directly responsible for all the unnatural imbalances occurring on the planet. Yet we refuse to take responsibility and instead focus on climate change, or fool the public exchequer with a 'breakthrough in renewable energy just around the corner'. We scarcely know what drives human beings. If we had known, all the imbalances around us would have had solutions by now, given the amount of money plowed into finding such solutions. Are we blindly groping in the dark of climate change because we don't know the answers to our own nature?
    Is it not high time we focus on what makes us human, correct our consumptive behavior and leave nature to take care of climate change? Why focus effort on 'externals' when the problem is 'internal'- 'me'?
    Aren't we addicts denying our addiction and blaming everything else but ourselves?

    " We are what we Think.

    All that we are arises with our thoughts.

    With our thoughts, we make the world." - Buddha 

    IMHO, We don't need to save the World. It is enough if we save ourselves from ourselves. The need of the hour is not vain glorious interventions, but self-restraint and self-correction!

    The Mind is the Final frontier.

    + 2 more attachments

    Vladimir A. Kulchitsky

    Dear Raveendra! Dear all! Please, attention! Can Specialist to objectively evaluate the work he has done? I believe that - not. There will always be an element of subjectivity. What mother says that her child bad compared with others. Mother always find the positive traits in your own child. And it is right. From this perspective, all the international jury, which evaluated the creativity of citizens of different countries, always bring an element of subjectivity in the vote, and often policy. And we see how it actually manifests itself in critical assessments. Thank the Creator, that for example, in sports, in competition, e.g., in the sprint there are conditions that help to win really Quickly. And we see objectively violated subjective conclusions about the traditions of victories only certain representatives of the nations.
    Thus, when the focus on the human dimension it is advisable to think about an Objective Judgment. And this Judgment takes place, but in Another Dimension.

  • Christian Gates St-Pierre added an answer:
    Can someone indicate examples of past or present societies with a subsistence economy that is based on the combination of horticulture and fishing?

    I am looking for comparative cases of societies that live primarily on the products of horticulture AND fishing, from any region and any time period, anthropological, archaeological or historical. I know that such a subsistence pattern is somewhat rare, but I would like to know more about those rare cases.


    Christian Gates St-Pierre

    Thank you Karl!

  • Catalin Lazar added an answer:
    Does anybody know rectangular pot-stands from Neolithic or other prehistoric periods?

    Does anybody know support-pots with a rectangular shape such as those from the attached picture dated in Neolithic or other prehistoric periods?
    In Romania, they are specific to Boian culture, final phases (ca. 5000-4500 BC).

    Thanks in advance.

    Catalin Lazar

    Dear Martin,

    Thanks for the info. 

    Best wishes,


  • Ravi Ananth added an answer:
    Is there any research on the evolution of species (including homo-sapiens) based on their survival need of shelter?

    (recent edit: separating the original notes into separated distinct questions to put process of thoughts in a list)

    There is an evolution of species from genetics, bone structure, environmental influences on biological needs (i.e. Darwin's finches) but what about the instinct or choice to build or nest shelters?

    What would cause a built instinct to build in a specific matter for offspring?

    What would the evidence be of humans?

    Apes don't dig shelters but nest, did humans nest?

    What environmental change cause nomadic and moving colonies of apes to solitary nomadic humans who could not survive without some instinct. Caves were used but what inspired them?

    Why not some other evolutionary instinct?

    If we went to caves, then what inspired our neolithic ancestors to build domes?, straight walls? geometric and mathematical sciences?

    Why do we have the same standards but the evidence does not go far enough back to discuss our ancient architecture?

    You can also consider the work and survival rate needed to build. Maternal or Paternal instinct to make a shelter?

    Is there any research similar that I could receive?

    Ravi Ananth

    I like the topic and the guilt free questions. The participants are swell as well. So I will indulge. But first you all need to contribute to the issue below as well. It is obtusely related :-)

    I have a lot of reading and reviewing to do before commenting. I'd like to avoid the veritable "foot in the mouth" syndrome if possible. LOL :-)

    + 1 more attachment

  • Lilliana Ramos-Collado added an answer:
    Le Corbusier: "There is no such thing as primitive man. There are primitive resources. The idea is constant, strong from the start." Any comments?

    The idea of the "primitive" and of a "primitive man" has held sway through the centuries. Could we fairly say, based on recent archaeological findings, anthropological research, and cultural studies at large, that the concept of "primitive" is still useful? Is Le Corbusier's idea that it is the "resources" that are primitive, not "man", more helpful that talking about "primitive man"? What could Le Corbusier have meant by "primitive resources"?

    I quote from Le Corbusier's, Vers une architecture, Paris: Les éditions G. Crès (1923). There is an English translation: Towards a New Architecture. New York: Dover (1985).

    Lilliana Ramos-Collado

    Thank you, dear James. You are very kind to alert us! 

  • Michael Bletzer added an answer:
    Where can I find images of the rock art/pintura rupestre of Cueva de los Monos, Durango, Mexico?

    Can someone point me to images showing, supposedly, Tepehuanes and Spanish jinetes in a battle scene painted on the walls of the Cueva de los Monos, located in the state of Durango, Mexico? Much obliged for any leads!

    Michael Bletzer

    Chloe, these days  I don't think the cave is even accessible to the public, and there seem to have been issues with vandals a few years back. Who knows what remains of the images today. Without any further information, it would be an expensive and awfully doubtful outing....

  • Stefan Wenzel added an answer:
    Can someone suggest articles, theses, books on the Nyemba people, also known as Ngangela, of Angola and northern Namibia?
    Origins, settlement, culture, traditional rule (political organisation), expansion and dispersal, ethnic variety.
    Stefan Wenzel

    Dear Gerhard,

    some narrations of the Nyemba should be in:

    Seifert, Marc (ed.), Narrations of the Kavango : folktales and documentary texts from Northern Namibia and Southern Angola. Wortkunst und Dokumentartexte in afrikanischen Sprachen. Bd. 23. Köln : Köppe, 2006.

    The book contains 59 folktales of peoples living on the Kavango (Kwangali, Mbunza, Manyo, Mbukushu, Nyemba), which were recorded in 2005 and 2006. There are also introductory chapters.

    From the same publisher is:

    Axel Fleisch: Language History in SE Angola – The Ngangela-Nyemba Dialect Cluster. In: Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig / Frank Seidel / Marc Seifert (eds.):
    Language Contact, Language Change and History Based on Language Sources in Africa. SUGIA Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika, Band 20. Köln : Köppe 2009, pp. 97-111.

    Best wishes,


  • Julio Mancipe added an answer:
    Can anyone inform me about work done in Brazil about suicide in indigenous populations?

    I appreciate if you inform me about work done in Brazil about suicide in indigenous population (particularly in the Amazon region). 
    Thanks to anthropology and psychiatry studies I know progress in the recognition of this "problem", but want to know if it has been recently developed a methodology integrating (Anthropology / psychology) or there are specific work on the issue.

    Thank you.

    Julio Mancipe

     Professor Rodrigo, thank you very much. I will read and review documents cited.

  • José Manuel Rodríguez Arce added an answer:
    Does anyone know about ethnographic or historic references to the use of inebriants among any of the African societies mentioned below?

    I am conducting a cross-cultural analysis, using the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample (Murdock & White 2006), in order to determine how common is the use of inebriating plants, mushrooms, and/or beverages in human societies. I have not been able to find information on the use of mind-altering substances (hallucinogens, stimulants, narcotics) among the next African peoples: Lozi, Suku, Tiv, Fon, Tallensi, Luguru, Nkundo Mongo, Banen, Ibo, Ashanti, Wolof, Songhai, Shilluk, Mao, Bogo, Teda. Does anyone know if the traditional use (for religious, medical or secular purposes) of any kind of psychoactive material was ever present in any of these cultures?  And if it is, can you direct me to the corresponding references?

    José Manuel Rodríguez Arce

    Dear John,

    I hope you are doing fine! Sorry I took so long to write back, but I was on vacations. I would really appreciate it if you could send me those papers by Dr. W. LaBarre you mentioned; I think they will be really helpful. Also, I would be really glad if you could also send the list of references to mushroom use in Africa as well as those references you mention; they sound like they could be really useful. This is my e-mail address:

    Thank you very much!

    Best regards,

    José Ml. ROdríguez Arce

  • Shian-Loong Bernard Lew added an answer:
    How do cultural differences affect the research and academic communication and discourses?

    The culture of any place or people is said to have profound impacts on human behaviour. Does it also affect the research aptitude, effort, and outcome? And, does culture influence the research and academic communication and discourses amongst the researchers? For example, does the cultural differences between India and the US or between the African and European nations make any difference in research work, communication, and discourses across the cultures?   

    Shian-Loong Bernard Lew

    Dear Ljubomir Jacić

    Sorry for the loose-ends...that phrase about 3 cases was part of a work-in-progress when I constructed and edited towards my finalized answer. Since I attached 4 articles in the finalized answer I chose to refer to them as "examples"- as "cases" seem to conjure the idea of archetypes.

    Thanks for the interest in the discussion thread...

  • Kees Bastmeijer added an answer:
    Do you know any examples of indigenous language having a concept for "wilderness?"
    Many of the thousands of indigenous languages in the world do not have a word for "wild" or any of its relatives -- wildness, wilderness, wilding, etc. -- in their vocabulary. Do you know any examples of indigenous languages that do?
    Kees Bastmeijer

    A very interesting question! I am very interested in the Inuit culture and I asked some time ago an Inuit expert whether there is a word for wilderness in Inuktitut (the language of Inuit). She answered that in Inuktitut there is no word for it. In our conversation the idea was that for certain concepts "names"  are only invented after these concepts are becoming increasingly scarce or threatened.  The experts also explained that this appears to apply to the concept of  "identity" for which the Inuit had no specific word either. This general idea appears to be confirmed by wilderness legislation developments: in law the term wilderness has particularly been introduced in a time period where wilderness has become more scarce, positively valued and/or under specific threats (e.g., the concept of wilderness was introduced in Icelandic environmental law in 1998, a time period characterised by public debate on the large energy projects). However, also in law not all terms 'wilderness' exactly mean the same. For instance, I learned from Finnish colleagues that in Finland the concept of wilderness is much more related to a 'wild area' that is well-fitted for subsistence ways of life (to find water and food), etc and the Act on Wilderness Reserves in this country is primarily related to finding the right balance between nature conservation and the cultural rights of Sami people. So, although most concept of wilderness in modern law relates quite well to the  Western concept of wilderness as defined by the World Conservation Union/IUCN (category 1b), there are cultural influences that may explain differences in the meaning of wilderness in law as well.

    However, I am a lawyer, specifically interested in the role of law in protecting wilderness, and the rich answers above by Martina, Kevin and others clearly show that this legal perspective is only one perspective relating to recent times. If I am correct, written law is a typical Western phenomenon (which may explain the strong overlap between the IUCN definition and wilderness in law), while I learn from the answers that in indigenous languages the concept has various meanings or may be absent (for instance, I find the explanation of Martina on the concept of 'wild'  in Inuit culture very interesting indeed! So, thanks for uploading this question and the interesting answers. Are you planning to publish outcomes of your research in this issue?

  • Marc Verhaegen added an answer:
    There are quite a few hypotheses to explain early human evolution: Are there ANY that explain the evolution of H. neand. and H. sapience?
    Negative answers will also be appreciated. See Anton and Snodgrass 2012, Wrangham 1999, Ungar 2006, Bunn 2007, Stanford 2001
    Marc Verhaegen

    Is Homo's brain growth +-continuous? It's seen in the fossil record since about 1.8 Ma, when H.erectus-like people dispersed intercontinentally (e.g. the Mojokerto child (possibly 1.8 Ma) is estimated to have had more than 800 cc as an adult). OTOH, late-Pleistocene H.sapiens had a somewhat smaller brain that earlier neandertals.

    In other animals, dramatic brain expansions are typically seen in (semi)aquatics, e.g. porpoises, seals, otters etc have 2 or 3 times larger brains than equally large terrestrial relatives. There's no reason to think that humans were an exception among other animals: we developed larger brains when our early-Pleistocene ancestors followed the African & Eurasian coasts & rivers, dipersing intercontinentally. This might be due to the abundant brain-specific nutrients in aquatic & especially littoral foods: poly-unsaturated fatty acids (e.g. docohexaenoic acid DHA), taurine, iodine & other minerals etc. (work of D.Horrobin, M.Crawford, S.Cunnane etc.).

    But then: humans (not-aquatic (any more?)) don't always have access to littoral foods, but we nevertheless have very large brains: how to explain that? I'd think that's one of the reasons why sapiens probably has a longer youth than earlier Homo species, why coastal people are often healthier & larger-brained than mountain people (esp.before the introduction of iodine in salt), why sapiens has a slightly smaller brain than neandertals, why many humans like to have their vacation at the coast (iodine), and why we (still?) like eating fish, seafood & coconuts?

  • Ira Fogel added an answer:
    Does anyone know of any formal definitions of "village" elsewhere in the Pacific than Vanuatu?
    In Vanuatu a village is usually defined as a group of dwellings who usually do things together, have one village head such as a villa.
    Ira Fogel

    Graham: Your observation about current villages is quite true. Since the mid-20th century, cities have expanded to engulf towns and villages, leading to the phenomenon of suburbs. Poor outlying settlements have been engulfed, and affluent urbanites can afford more distant "living" sites [more living room, quiet, pleasant access to amenities, often at walking distance], the so-called bedroom communities. This has occurred throughout the world--largely due to better roads and cars. It also involves government policies that promote exodus from city cores, but also from the transformation of the countryside to industrialized agriculture that leaves masses of poor rural inhabitants no place to go but seek work in industrial cities. As mentioned by Mohammad, the primary activity, farming, is at the heart of the definition of village. Thanks for the opportunity to engage in shop talk.       

  • Ahmet Gümüscü added an answer:
    Family and household, are these two concepts superimposible?

    I am analysing the impact of migration on Namibian families, however I realise that in the academia there is not much clarity (or at least it is not clear to me) between the concepts of family and households which in many cases are considered as one. I am under thte idea that particularly in an African context the difference still exist. Any suggestion is welcome 

    Ahmet Gümüscü

    In one of my articles we have discussed how social worker define  and conceptualize family. Household was one of terms they have used. Some social workers defined family according to household while others defined the family according to law or the need of support and help...

  • Vadim Mikhailin added an answer:
    How do anthropologists describe xenocentrism and its relevance as a counter proposition to ethnocentrism and cultural relativism?

    Xenocentrism is not a well read cultural counter proposition to ethnocentrism in anthropology. If I am not wrong many believe it is cultural relativism which is a more suitable reply to  ethnocentrism. But why does every individual want to follow the west, its lifestyle or culture of consumption, broadly the whole system..........................

    Vadim Mikhailin

    Any thing connected to "ethno-" and "xeno-" is first of all to be suspect of the ways and means of its being constructed. It seems to me that local xenocentrisms aimed at imaginary "West" are to be approached primarilly through the analyses of peculiarities of the processes by which the  local elites have been constructing local "natural" identitiesa - like ethnic or etatist ones.

  • Sepp Rothwangl added an answer:
    How do we explain the origin of private property in land?

    Demsetz bases his theory of private property formation on the anthropology of Canadian indigenes near Quebec during the fur trade.  He claims that soaring prices for furs stimulated the local indigenous peoples to form territories so they could more effectively husband their fur resources (mostly beaver populations).  My question is twofold:  (1) Did contact with the French devastate the indigenous populations as was the case further south, in both North and South American; and (2) did the privatization of the resource (in landed property) lead to local animal extinctions due to intense market pressure for furs?

    Sepp Rothwangl

    One such still vivid and practiced example of given land to humans is the white buffalo calf woman:
    or even the promised land given to Moses.

  • Michael G. Flaherty added an answer:
    What were the "typical" roles of Alaskan Native men, prior to contact?

    This question is actually on behalf of a friend from a different academic background.  She figured that since I was an anthropologist I might have a better knowledge of sources on the topic.

    More broadly, does anyone have any good sources for pre-contact gender roles from an anthropological perspective?

    Michael G. Flaherty

    Nanook of the North, by Robert Flaherty, is perhaps the first documentary film ever made. It concerns the lives of Inuit men, and you may find it helpful.

  • Bhakti Niskama Shanta added an answer:
    What makes up the core of human identity?
    We work holistically and explore a topic of identity and need your thinking.
    Please write in order of importance, in your opinion, different components of identity (1 ..., 2 ..., 3 ... etc):

    Cultural identity
    National identity
    Identity identification with the profession (eg designer, cleaning, scientist, etc.)
    Gender, sex, sexual identity (female, male, LGBT, etc.)
    Religious identity
    Ethnic identity (territory, language, genetics)
    Identification with the conviction of identity (eg, a pacifist, warrior, etc.)
    ... something else?
    Bhakti Niskama Shanta

    Recently one of our paper entitled "Life and Consciousness - The Vedāntic View" has been published in the Journal Communicative & Integrative Biology. An interesting discussion on this paper can be found at:!topic/online_sadhu_sanga/Mcv2O-yhqLE

    From paper:
    "The scientific confirmation of the existence of consciousness in unicellular organisms and plants certainly establishes that the brain is not the source of consciousness. Several decades back, research in medical science has also proven that the brain is not the source of consciousness. In 1970, Robert White and his team successfully transferred the head of a rhesus monkey to the headless body of another monkey. The monkey survived for 8 days.68 Researchers are also attempting to perform the same scenario with human beings.69 It is reported that if a human head has been detached under controlled conditions, it must be reconnected to the circulatory flow of other person's body (which is conscious or living) within one hour.70 Therefore, brain-based analysis for understanding consciousness (neuronal analysis) does not have very bright prospects."

    Paper: Life and Consciousness - The Vedāntic View
    Journal: Communicative & Integrative Biology
    Publication date - 09 Oct 2015
    Author: Bhakti Niskama Shanta -

  • Thomas Headland added an answer:
    Who would like to cooperate with us in a large-scale cross-populational research project?

    Dear Colleague,
    We would like to invite you to our new, large-scale cross-cultural research project.
    Our previous research projects, conducted in 53 study sites, turned out to be a great success. One of our manuscripts (from a first project) was published in Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, other from the new project is currently under review in the same journal, one will soon be submitted to the Journal of Marriage and Family, and three more papers are in the final stages of preparations. Thanks to our efficient team work we now collaborate with, e.g., David Buss.

    It is more or less psychological study, bu we would like to invite to coopaeration scientists from all fields of social or biological sciences.

    This time, we plan to conduct six studies.
    a) Sexual Morality Project
    b) Comparison of daily life touch between countries
    c) Creativity study
    d) Love study
    e) Mate study
    f) Facebook study

    Now, we have collaborators from +- 60 countries (see list below). New collaborators from                                   - O T H E R - countries are WELCOME!

    Algieria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Czech Rep Denmark Estonia Etiopia France Georgia Germany Ghana Greece Hong Kong Hugary India Iran Ireland Italy Japan Kenya Korea Latvia Lebanon Lithuania Macedonia Malaysia Malta Mauritius Mexico Nepal Netherlands New Zealand Nigeria Norway Pakistan Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Romania Russia Salvador Slovakia Slovenia
    South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Uganda UK Ukraine Uruguay

    Thomas Headland

    I would be willing to cooperate with you in your cross-population research project. My wife, Janet Headland, and I have been compiling a detailed demographic database of a tribal population in the Philippines, while we lived with these people, the Casiguran Agta, for most of the past half-century. You can look at the database by searching on the Internet for "Agta Demographic Database." Or you can look at my book, authored with demographer John Early, titled *Population Dynamics of a Philippine Rain Forest People* (Univ Press of Florida, 1998). My email address is

    Thomas N. Headland, Ph.D.; Senior Anthropology Consultant, SIL International; WebPage:

  • Alice Spinnler added an answer:
    Does anybody know ethnographical / anthropological / historical literature on the WALSER ethnic group (in Switzerland, Italy...)?

    Of course I already have some literature, for example

    Zwischen Isolation und Sprachkontakt: Der romanische Wortschatz der Vorarlberger Walser:
    Alessio Boattini, Clio Griso & Davide Pettener. Are ethnic minorities synonymous for genetic isolates? Journal of Anthropological Sciences. Vol. 89 (2011), pp. 161-173. 
    Mathieu Petite. A new perspective on the Walser community.

    But I can not find an article with the results of the research.

    Alice Spinnler

    Dear Petr, have a look in the swiss metacatalog swissbib

    Best search is: type walser then limit to subject walser

    You can get the publications by interlibrary loan.

  • Jeanette Arnold added an answer:
    Any authors studying factors influencing university student’s vulnerability to exploitation, sexual harassment and abuse?

    1. What forms of abuse do students experience at Universities ?

    2. Examine the factors contributing to student vulnerabilities and abuse

    2. What is the sociological or anthropological justification given to the study?

    3. What is the practical justification concerning exploitation, sexual harassment and abuse?

    4. Explore the steps to recourse taken by students

    Jeanette Arnold

    Without even identifying verbal or physical abuse, what about the inherent violence of participating in academic programmes and workloads and lifestyles? The following is a reflection I crafted after a student colleague (Sonia) and I shared how difficult work-study-life balance can be. This is about the violence we tolerate chaffingly when we undertake academic study. I suppose that if I (or we as students) tolerate violence of this sort I have written about, then is it any wonder other sorts of violence and participation in it, is rife at universities, polytechnics, schools, kindergartens, families, societies?

  • Kebede Kassa added an answer:
    Is there a distinct African anthropological theory?

    The discipline of anthropology has taken much of its credit to the field data from Africa. That's, the row material for anthropological theories, and by extension, its evolutionary development, has been derived, in large measure, from African realities.

    The question, however, is "Has there been any noticeable African anthropological theory or tradition as apat the continent being the data mine of the discipline, at least in its formative years?"

    This question should in no anyway suggest that Africa/is was the only place where anthropological fieldwork was done given the fact Australia, Latin America and Asia have also been similar field schools.

    Kebede Kassa

    Kebede Kassa

    That's true and that is one aspect of looking at Africa. The other is more of social or historical. What about its contribution to world civilization? where does the so-called Western Civilization originate? There are issues such as this and the fact that we are far short of theories from an African perspective is both by design and by default. We can talk more on this next. Still come again.


  • José Manuel Rodríguez Arce added an answer:
    Does anyone know what methodology was employed by the anthropologist Donald E. Brown to derive the human universals he discusses in his famous book?

    Donald E. Brown's book, "Human Universals", explores and describes physical and behavioral characteristics that can be considered universal among all cultures, all people. I have not been able to get my hands on a copy of that work. Can someone who has read the book tell me if Brown employed a systematic cross-cultural analysis? Or did he employed a different methodology? If so, what was the procedure he used to determine which traits are ubiquitous in human societies? Are his findings robust and reliable? Or are they based on a somewhat haphazard survey of regionally isolated studies?

    José Manuel Rodríguez Arce

    Dear Peter,

    I hope you are doing fine! I want to thank you for taking the time to comment on my question. I did not know about Darwin's early contribution to this interesting debate. Certainly, I have heard many times among some of my colleagues (who are only anthropologists, and not also biologists, like me) the argument that Darwin was the "typical Victorian racist", as you mention it. Sadly, this misrepresentation biases them against any possible insight that might be gained from learning and applying an evolutionary perspective to their own work. In doing so, they neglect what is possibly the best metatheory for a truly scientific anthropology.

    Anyway, it is really interesting to learn that Darwin was also anticipating, in some manner, the role played by cultural transmission and niche construction on the advance of civilization. It seems clear that his vision of human evolution was much more sophisticated than it is usually portrayed.

    Best regards,

    José Ml. Rodríguez Arce

  • Rahimi Ali added an answer:
    How different do languages need to be before they are considered separate? What is the "taxonomy" of languages?
    I have zero experience in the field of linguistics, but a paper I am writing now calls for a brief paragraph about using languages as one defining characteristic of a different cultural group. Can someone please suggest some good papers that discuss how different languages need to be before they are a different dialect, a different language altogether, and any other distinctions that I may be unaware of. I assume that this is an ongoing discussion, and that like defining a species, sub-species, etc., there is no set answer but that it depends which school of thought you want to prescribe to. I donʻt need an answer (and I donʻt think there is an "answer") to the question, but some sources that explore the theoretical aspects of the question would be very helpful.
    Rahimi Ali

    Hi , you can utilize either a family trees approach or ,Greenberg's  linguistic typology and the genetic classification of languages,  ( typological linguistics )

  • Michael Bletzer added an answer:
    Does anyone know about rock art of horses in Chichimeca territory, 16th/17th century ?

    Hello, is there anyone on here who knows of rock art images of horsemen in the old Chichimeca territory of the 1500s and 1600s? According to Spanish sources, Chichimeca groups like the Guachichiles were using horses and keeping horse herds as early as the 1560s. Thanks for any suggestions on this subject.

    (Image of petroglyph below is from New Mexico).

    Michael Bletzer

    Thanks, James, I'll check out the link.

    I've seen quite a few horse/rider images across the U.S. Southwest - such as the one I posted with the question which is from south-central New Mexico and located near a couple of early colonial-period pueblos.

    At this point I'd like to keep the inquiry as close to the Gran Chichimeca as possible, mainly because I'm interested specifically in the Chichimecas' adaptations to Spanish pressures and because the Chichimecas (presumably the Guamares and/or some of the southern Guachichil groups) were the first to acquire horses from, and use them against, the Spaniards, ca. 1560s.

  • Michael Bletzer added an answer:
    Can anyone help me with sixteenth-century occurrences of the name "Querechos"?
    I'm interested in the name "Querechos" and any occurrences in 16th-century documents from New Spain (i.e. Mexico). The name was used by members of the Coronado expedition to describe some Plains Indian groups (probably "proto-Apaches"), but I'd like to know if there were any tribal groups in New Spain that had been tagged as "Querechos" before 1540. I am familiar with all later occurrences of the name in and around New Mexico, and would like to track down its origin. .
    Michael Bletzer

    Thank you, David for your time and input,

    the Obregon reference to Ibarra's trip to the Paquime area is fascinating as Obregon was well read up on the early "travel literature", as it were, of the northern frontier (Alvar Nunez and Coronado). Coronado's people were the first to use Querechos as far as is known. Obregon read the available accounts and may even have met some of Coronado's men. He definitely did talk to the members of the Rodriguez-Chamuscado and Espejo-Beltran expeditions, who had just been to Nuevo Mexico. From them he would also have heard about the Querechos and by the time he wrote his Historia in 1585 he applied the name to the hunter-gatherers he had seen while he was with Ibarra in the northwest in the mid-1560s.

    All that suggests to me some sort of reverse migration of a Pueblo (probably Keres) word which the Spaniards first heard in 1541, and which they used for about 60 years to refer to some Apache groups (similar to the word "Vaqueros" for the buffalo plains Apaches) or groups that to them looked like Apache groups - a sort of lifestyle description, if you will, not unlike the word "Chichimecas" (which in some contexts the Spanish explorers of New Mexico actually used interchangeably with Querechos/Vaqueros).

    Thanks again, Michael

  • Marc Verhaegen added an answer:
    What is the evolutionary basis of human bipedalism system of locomotion?
    I need to have a detailed information on the aforementioned anthropology topic.
    Marc Verhaegen


  • Barry Bainton added an answer:
    Other than in research area and super specialisation can we tie sociology and anthropology in the same cart to give basic ideas, knowledge and explanations.
    When all we can relate sociology and anthropology
    Barry Bainton

    Sociology is the study of society and social relations. Sociology focuses on humans in groups and the structure of the groups in terms of such social facts as status (a position within a social network with rights and responsibilities aside to the position) and individual roles (the behaviors that individuals and social groups carry out as a function of their status in the network).

    Anthropology is the study of MAN in its original 4 field approach developed in America under Boas. It included the historical and biological nature of human evolution, the study of contemporary human societies, especially non-western, and the languages. The dominant sub-field is cultural  anthropology which focuses on the role of culture and cultural differences in human society.

    The British have developed a more sociological approach to the subject and anthropology is most often described as social anthropology. Physical/biological anthropology is some times treated as a separate discipline.

    As the social and behavioral sciences have evolved the differences between disciplines become more and more fragile.

  • Closed account added an answer:
    Could you suggest me fundamental literature which focuses on the concept of "community"?

    I am particularly interested in works stemming from the field of anthropology/sociology. Thanks.


    I would recommend the book written by Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.


  • Eliana Barrios added an answer:
    Does anthropology use transdisciplinarity as an usual and common way for research?
    As anthropologist I think we do, transdiciplinarity is it necessary in sciences or disciplines like education and psychology, commonly with defined boundaries.
    Eliana Barrios

    Thanks Francesco, if it was an anthropologist it makes a lot of sense to me. And to Gwen and Charles, I do not think Sociology has much to do with Anthropology, the last one do not need and it is not associated neither to Sociology nor to Archaelogy, why should it be? It has its own research methods different from both, but maybe tja analisys is closer to the archaelogist work but not to Sociology. Sociology has borrowed some techniques and methos from Anthropology but that´s all.

About Anthropology

Any and everything anthropological.

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