Online Journal of Anthropology

Volume 10, Number 1, 2014

 Parlare per Gioco


Alla nostra coscienza il gioco si presenta, in senso immediato, come un riflesso impoverito della realtà. Questo sia a livello sociologico – è una cosa da bambini – sia, per così dire, ontologico: un videogioco sul tennis è solo una versione sintetica e ridotta di n vero incontro sportivo di tennis. Il videogioco, e il gioco in generale, si situa così rispetto ad un vero incontro, ad un evento reale che rappresenta, ad un livello più astratto e meno concreto. E’meno dotato di realtà, è meno reale: il bello dei giochi di guerra è che, differentemente dalla “vera” guerra, tutti tornano poi a casa. Se la realtà è, dunque, quella degli adulti e delle cose concrete, il gioco è un’attività inferiore, da bimbi e poco reale. Naturalmente un gioco, l’attività ludica, ha sempre un qualche collegamento con la realtà, altrimenti non sarebbe un gioco ma l’abisso della follia. Però si considera che questo collegamento sia limitato. Un wargame sulla battaglia di Waterloo in qualche modo deve rispecchiare quel fato storico. Perfino un gioco fantasy evocherà un universo fantastico dato, presente nella nostra tradizione culturale. Sono però riflessi assai impoveriti rispetto ai fatti reali che intendono rappresentare. La battaglia di Waterloo, quella storica, combattuta a cannonate - vere - da Napoleone, appare più “vera” di quella giocata u una mappa da Mario Rossi e anche un gioco fantasy è in definitiva un impoverimento rispetto a qualsiasi insieme di tradizioni fabulistiche o epiche. Inoltre il gioco è, si è già notato, impoverito socialmente. Ad esso si dedicano i fanciulli ed il suo scopo, preparare alla realtà vera, da adulti, comporta implicitamente che esso non è, ancora, la realtà vera. Se la funzione del gioco è preparare alla realtà, questo comporta che nella preparazione la vera realtà è ancora limitata, povera. Una conferma di tutto questo la abbiamo nella riprovazione che circonda gli adulti che “ancora” giocano o che passano troppo tempo a giocare.

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Modernization and Individualism in the Ayt Merghad Community

In an attempt to build a modern state, Morocco has embarked on a process of social, economic and political development since its independence in 1956. Numerous projects of development have been implemented both at the national and local levels. These projects have produced new patterns of life which are governed by new values and ideals. In the Ayt Merghad community, values of mutual help and sacrifice for the benefits of the community, which were once defining features of this tribe, have begun to erode. These values are gradually being lost and replaced by more individualistic features. New ideals of individual success and personal achievement have become dominant aspects of the present-day Ayt Merghad community. Therefore, this paper seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon. On the one hand, with a special reference to the Ayt Merghad community, it provides a portrayal of people’s attitudes towards collectivism and individualism. On the other hand, it attempts to shed light on the different attributes that reflect Ayt Merghad’s tendency towards individualism and the factors behind such orientation. It can be concluded that under the pressure of socio-economic development, the Ayt Merghad community is moving towards a more individualistic side of the collectivism-individualism continuum.

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The Walking Dead and Bottom Days

Undoubtedly, the industry of movies and other cultural entertainments bespeak of us as a society. Many anthropologists have focused on the analysis of cinema as a form of understanding the social fabric. In this vein, this paper not only explores the roots of the Walking Dead, a cablevision series that captivated a much broader audience, but also connects in the worldview of one of the best European philosophers, Soren Kierkegaard. Our thesis is that modernity seemingly jettisoned abject obedience and faith in revelation, though current US political campaigns apparently revert to premodern sensibilities. Modernity relied on human reason and scorned faith. But we have entered a postmodern world in which faith and obedience reappear under slightly different guises, a sort of return of the repressed in psychoanalytic terms. We have a postmodern world. We face it with fear and trembling because we cannot rely on faith. How then are we to understand what exactly we face and how should we respond?
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Awareness of Safe Motherhood Patterns. A Cross-Cultural Comparison between Muslim and Horizon Communities in Rajshahi Metropolitan City of Bangladesh

Safe motherhood is one of the very important elements of human, economic and social investment. The awareness of safe motherhood enhances human being to get proper mother and child healthcare facilities all over the world. In Bangladesh health is one of the main fundamental rights of every citizen, which is ensured by the constitution. The present study, the author tried to find out awareness of safe motherhood patterns between the two communities (Muslim and Horizon). The purpose of the study was to examine and compare how awareness of safe motherhood influences on mother and child healthcare outcomes between Muslim and Horizon communities. In this study, total number of 275 (150 for Muslim and 125 for Horizon) participants were interviewed by the author during April to July, 2013 in the Rajshahi Metropolitan City of Bangladesh. The simple random sampling technique was applied when sample size selected. Various statistical techniques were used during analyzed data with SPSS software in version 15. The present study showed that awareness of safe motherhood knowledge was greatly influence over the mother and child healthcare outcomes. The author found that Muslim community dominated the minor community (Horizon) in the various sphere of life. Most of the participants studied up to primary level which was 45.09%. 83.46% participants seemed that awareness of safe motherhood knowledge positively enhanced to get healthy mother and child life style. 49.10% participants seemed that communal destitution is existed to get educational attainment and take healthcare facilities. 87.28% participants argued that they were concern either permanent or temporary family planning methods. 79.35% participants showed their opinion that awareness of safe motherhood knowledge made conscious about pregnancy periodical diseases, how and where to take diagnosis and treatment of their suffering diseases. 83.23% participants expressed their fillings that awareness of safe motherhood and educational knowledge enhances to get better mother and child healthcare facilities and lead their better healthier life.
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The Tree of Life Design. From Central Asia to Navajoland and Back (with a Mexican Detour) Part 3

The Tree of Life design or Bird Pictorial in Navajo rugs first appeared around the turn of the 20th century. Usually this style portrays either a cornstalk or a tree growing from a basket. Birds are perched on them, and flowers, bees, and butterflies rabbits, squirrels or even farm animals may also be included. In my opinion, the Navajo Tree of Life design has a double origin, which merged in some examples to create the so-called Tree of Life/Bird Pictorial rugs. The first source of inspiration comes from the Chant Weaves, or Saindpainting rugs: the oldest wall hangings and rugs show a type of design that alternates yei and cornstalks, almost always with a bird on their tips or portrays Corn People as cornstalks with yei heads with birds perched on the leaves. The Cornstalk on top of a mound is the Pueblo version of the Tree of life. The second source comes from Asian and Middle Eastern carpets and rugs. When the Navajo weavers, inspired by Oriental models, wove a real tree, not a cornstalk, however, they were both reproducing the Central Asian shamanic tree with the soul-birds perched on its boughs, and recognized the fundamental identity of the cornstalk and the birch, spruce or larch tree of the Asian nomads as symbols of life and connection with the spiritual world..

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An Ethnographic Profile of the Tamil Settlers in a City of West Bengal, India

This article intends to explore the processes involved in the production and sustained expression of ethnic identity of the Tamil Brahman settlers at an urban locality of Howrah (a district of Indian state of West Bengal). Much of the works on ethnicity have been rooted in understanding issues like inequalities, inclusion/exclusion and negotiation within and between communities. The emergent focus on the external process defining identity as an imposition on a minority/less powerful group by the majority/ more powerful, cannot deny the consequence of internal agency of any ethnic group as a similar process. The ethnographic observations and interviews for nearly nine months of fieldwork with the author in the role of an observer as participant in the daily life of the group focus more on the internal processes than on the external ones. The production and maintenance of religiously symbolizing markers of identity are strongly internalized and negotiated for the sake of perpetuating a sense of supremacy associated with caste notions of purity and pollution among the Brahman Tamil settlers in the city. The author concludes that in addition to the religious sphere, there are other means of celebrating and reinforcing the identity to ensure a sense of belonging, cohesion and easy mutual understanding among the members of the group.

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Socio-Economic Life of Iruliga Tribe in Karnataka

The objective of this research paper is to find out the socio-economic condition of the Iruliga tribe in Karnataka. To suggest the ways and means, for their overall development. This study is mainly based on the primary and secondary data. Primary data is collected through the field study. This paper reveals that the tribal people are lagging behind the mainstream population with respect of their economic, social and cultural aspects. Even in this global world they are still continues their traditional way of life.

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Dans un monde romani. Approche en immersion de sociabilités roms roumaines en contexte migratoire

Selon l’opinion avancée par une multiplicité d’acteurs institutionnels ou d’ONG présents dans l’accompagnement des Roms en migration en Europe occidentale, ceux-ci ne seraient pas "intégrables" socialement1, souvent parce qu’ils ne sont pas déjà insérés par le logement, la santé ou l’activité professionnelle, et les enfants par la scolarité. Ce défaut d’insertion ou d’intégration constituerait l’un des arguments clefs aujourd’hui pour justifier le rejet ou, à l’inverse, la nécessité d’une prise en charge de ces populations de migrants dont les situations restent fortement hétérogènes.

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L’infanzia negata. Sessualizzazione della cultura e innocenza dell'infanzia

Nel mondo contemporaneo la diffusione sempre più massiccia di immagini che richiamano al mondo della sessualità colpisce anche le giovani generazioni. Modelli estetici vincolanti e codici comportamentali estremamente sessualizzati approdano anche tra i giovanissimi. L’articolo che segue opera un breve resoconto delle modalità in cui la società va in contro alla ‘pornificazione’ e di come i bambini e gli adolescenti siano tra i più esposti a questa tendenza.

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Post-Colonialism: The So-Called Malaise Creole in Mauritius

Mauritius is a former French and British colony in the Indian Ocean. Now, this island has become a multicultural and multi-ethnic society due to several waves of immigration from Europe, Africa and Asia, all through the past three centuries. Each wave of immigration brought in new people along with their cultures, religions and languages. Nevertheless, not all the migrants settled in Mauritius of their own accord. Some were slaves; some came as free workers and others as colonisers. Today, in Mauritius, the differences in the arrival of modern Mauritians’ ancestors are still felt like balls and chains for some communities, or else some sub-communities. Colonisers came to Mauritius bringing in slaves, hence starting imperialism, or in other words, colonialism, to qualify the domination of so-called strong people over so- called weaker people. That situation paved the way for the foundation of Mauritius. Without colonisation and colonialism, Mauritius might not have existed as it is today. However, the modern multi-ethnic Mauritius has not yet overcome the consequences linked to colonialism because an invisible ethnic group named Creole is now facing what is referred to as the malaise creole. This condition might be the fact that: The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves, as Frantz Fanon put it. Indeed, a lot of modern Creoles, but not all of them, have slaves' ancestors. However, this malaise, linked to one ethnic group, might as well be the malaise of an entire population.

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A Neglected Tribe of Orissa, India

. The name of ‘Bhunjia’ as a tribe is not found in anthropological writings except during numbering the Orissa’s tribal groups. No reasons are found behind the invisibility of writings/studies rather than un-enthusiasm of anthropologists may be due to lack of historical documents. It is fact that most of the anthropologists do not know its existence rather folklorists are more concerned about this tribe. Keeping these, this paper is about an anthropological account of this tribe showing how modernization and conventionally development oriented programs have not touched their traditional culture and ethos that has strengthen their identity of being ‘Bhunjia’.

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Cup-and-Ring Marked Stones in Ancient Mesoamerica

This paper presents an overview of all documented examples of cup-and-ring marked stones from Mesoamerican archaeological sites in order to evaluate previous interpretations of the meanings of these enigmatic symbols. Comparisons of their site-specific contexts demonstrate that while the aquatic symbolism of these marks is perhaps their most common attribute, their local contexts varied tremendously and some of these motifs may have had calendrical or astronomical connotations.

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An overview of Somatic Symptoms among the two Menopausal Groups

Present study aims to find out the prevalence of somatic symptoms and the factors influencing the onset of symptoms among the Bengali speaking Hindu menopausal women of Eastern India. A total number of 371 women (30-55 years) were selected as study participants and they were divided into two groups on the basis of their age of attainment of menopause. Results showed that barring the dizziness and faint, rest of the somatic symptoms has frequently reported by both the menopausal groups. Multivariate analysis showed that socio-demographic and reproductive variables seemed to be the significant factors of menopausal symptoms.

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Violenza e simulacro. Imprese minerarie transnazionali a Wirikuta: scenario di una tragedia nazionale

Questo articolo analizza la stretta relazione che esiste tra il popolo messicano degli Huichol, e una zona desertica che si trova nello stato di San Luis Potosí. Ogni anno, gli Huichol realizzano un pellegrinaggio al deserto alla ricerca del cactus peyote. Questo pellegrinaggio e le modalità in cui è svolto, sono il perno in torno a cui ruotano l’organizzazione e la riproduzione sociale degli Huichol. Negli ultimi anni, questo popolo si è visto impegnato in una intensa lotta per difendere il deserto e la propria libertà di culto, poiché il governo messicano ha concesso delle licenze di sfruttamento minerario a compagnie transnazionali canadesi. Una volta presentata l’importanza del deserto e del pellegrinaggio per gli Huichol, si discuteranno i problemi causati dalle licenze alle compagnie minerarie in termini di diritti indigeni, legislazione nazionale e internazionale e conservazione ambientale.

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I Desaparecidos della Dittatura argentina (1976-1983)

This paper explains in general terms what was the last dictatorship in Argentina that began in 1976 and ended in 1983 with the arrival of democracy. Where the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo begin a long career in pursuit of truth for the recovery of their family and kidnapped grandchildren. It was the first time the Forensic Sciences were used as tools in the service of identifying persons in cases of state terrorism resulting in the creation of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) currently still working in Argentina and also performs identification tasks in other parts of the world.
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