Online Journal of Anthropology

Volume 11, Number 2, 2015

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 Medea come dea del vino a Corinto


Medea is generally known as a murderous witch due to hostile Athenian propaganda, but myth, iconography and linguistics allow us to suggest a new Medea, not only an agricultural goddess, but also a goddess of fermentation and wine, connected with Dionysus as well as Greek traditions about the diffusion of viticulture. This Medea, however, is mostly centred in the Corinthian tradition and especially in the Heraion of Perachora.

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Funzionalità e habitus nell’uso e nel passaggio dall’atlatl all’arco nel Nord America precolombiano


The transition from the atlatl to the bow and arrow in North America has not been so “sudden” as once proposed by Utilitarian Determinism. The two weapons coexisted for a long time as carriers of different social needs or “habitus”, as in Bourdieu. These results are consistent with archaeological finds, a classification following different and more precise criteria of dart and arrow points, a greater interaction between archeology, ethnography and anthropology. Moreover, in some complex societies such as the Mesoamerican ones the atlatl as a weapon remained dominant until the Conquest.

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Il potere della rinuncia. Elementi della costruzione del sacro tra i Mandan


The term xo’pini indicates power in the Mandan culture, and it had strong social repercussions. Xo’pini power was increased by undertaking a number of actions that we may call “sacralised”, such as fasting, self-torture and honouring the sacred bundles. It decreased by performing secular activities, such as war, hunting, horse taming. During certain ceremonies husbands offered the elders the chance to have intercourse with their wives. In this case the xo’pini power went directly from the elders to the husbands and because of this weak elders could refuse to take advantage of the gift of the wives. This paper tries to reconstruct the logic underlying the exchange of xo’pini power.
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Aspetti antropologici e socioculturali dell’emigrazione schedata. Il caso dei trevigiani in Argentina durante il fascismo


The so-called recorded emigrants were a new figure of migrant appeared during the Fascist period. They represented the clearest example of the mixture between political ideals and primary economic needs. This case study is about the recorded migration from Treviso to Argentina during the interwar period. Our aim is not only to reject the Fascist biased version on the antifascists, but also analyse Treviso emigrants’ socio-cultural conditions and their ability to integrate into such a different country as contemporary Argentina.
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Un rituale sincretico e polisemico: la lila degli Gnawa marocchini


This paper analyzes a complex ritual called lila (“night”) performed by the Gnawa, descendants of West African slaves brought to Morocco through the Trans-Saharan trade. The lila is an example of religious and cultural syncretism between Sufi Islam and African rituals of possession trance. The all-night ceremony begins with an animal sacrifice (dbiha), followed by a procession (aada) and a dance performance (kouyou). Later the maalem (master musician) consecrates and “opens” the space (ftouh er-rahba) and he calls seven families of spirits (mlouk). The ceremony evokes the first sacrifice of God and the creation of the universe. Yet the ritual takes place mostly for therapeutic purposes. The lila is the expression of the dynamic interplay of different meanings and multiple dimensions such as religion, politics, medicine and aesthetics..

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Il matrimonio lucano e il suo universo culturale: lo specchio di una società che cambia (seconda parte)


This is the second part of the survey, commissioned by the province of Potenza (Basilicata) for the “Basilicata Factory” Project, analizes the exchange of knowledge between generations through the transfer of cultural heritage in the post WW2 war Lucan wedding. The fieldwork produced a documentary account about the various steps of it. The rituals’ analysis prompted a comparisons with the historical and social context of the past through a biographical investigation. People’s stories allowed a historical reconstruction of the wedding rite, its historical and social process, and the examination of the connected customs and beliefs. The cultural richness of the past was confronted with current socio-cultural ways. The development of people’s relations and the changes in the organization of the wedding, was achieved by submitting a semi-structured questionnaire to couples married between 1940 and 2013. The results produced a report on the change of the rite and the perception of the collective memory, helping to shape a strong identity in the wedding reconstruction and re-actualization.

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Grotta San Pellegrino (Laterza - Taranto). Nuove valutazioni topografiche e toponomastiche


The objective of this work is to rebuild the relationship cave/territory, to identify factors that have contributed to the continued exposure of the resort by man from prehistoric to modern times, through the consultation of written sources, audio recordings, archaeological documentation territorial, topographic reading and surveys. At the moment the archaeological research of the surface does not leave room to the hypothesis of a church-cave dedicated to San Pellegrino, in the absence of documentation including the destination Christian worship. An ancient road leads to the assumption, on the basis of comparisons also place names, you can also stay inside the cave for hermits.

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Extraneous Markings and the Modification of Potbelly Sculptures in Southeastern Mesoamerica


The presence and significance of extraneous markings on potbelly sculptures has rarely been addressed by archaeologists. However, recent studies of monument modification in the Olmec-style art of the Gulf Coast lowlands, the art of Teotihuacán, and Classic period Maya monuments indicate that the study of the various ways stone carvings were altered can open new vistas on ancient ritual behaviors. This paper is an attempt to systematically detail these enigmatic features within a comparative framework in order to offer some plausible explanations for their occurrence on the potbelly sculptures of southeastern Mesoamerica.

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