Online Journal of Anthropology

Volume 16, Number 1, 2020

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Behaviors of a mixed gender and culture group during a 4-month confinement (SIRIUS-19)


With a view to prepare human groups for long international and interplanetary missions, Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station (SIRIUS) program develops confinement campaigns whose SIRIUS-19 was 4-month duration. The goal was to simulate four phases of a mission including traveling to the Moon, orbiting the Moon, landing on the Moon, and returning to Earth. The Russian-American crew (n=6) consisted in 3 females and 3 males subjects. The ethological method for non-verbal and verbal behaviors analysis was based on observation, description and quantification of spontaneous actions, interactions, expressions and positions at meal time twice a month, and during group discussion, once a month. Results show expressive and communicative behaviors in female subjects, and less active but more interactive behaviors in male subjects, with specific adaptive strategies built by each ones. Crew cohesion follows a temporal dynamics. Discussion is on personal value and diversity value that contribute to the heterogeneous quality of a mixed gender and culture group in a positive way for space exploration success.

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La gastronomia della nutria: specie aliene, trasformazioni ambientali, ibridazioni culturali e sperimentazioni culinarie

The article addresses the case of the emerging nutria gastronomy by interrogating the relationship it creates in the human-environment relationship by analyzing how it informs how our society copes with the globalization of the bioscape between reaction and adaptation to change.

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Lo straordinario e recente ritrovamento delle mummie di Roccapelago

This article analyzes the discovery of a series of naturally mummified bodies inside the crypt of the church of Roccapelago, in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. The bodies, now preserved in the local museum of the mummies, date back to the late sixteenth century and the mid-eighteenth century and represent a mine of discoveries on the way of life of a village community of the time, thanks to the exceptional state of conservation of the bodies, fabrics, etc.
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Mάγος καὶ Mαγεία. La magia nella tradizione letteraria greca

The study of the historical context, the religion and the literary sources is a fundamental approach to define and interpret the figure of the magician in the Greek world. In the aftermath of the wars between Greece and Persia, Greek culture was strongly influenced by Persian culture, but a strong feeling of national identity against the Eastern world developed among the Greeks. Persian culture was considered devoted to the softness of being and pleasure and became the symbol for excellence of moral degradation outside the Hellenic world. The Greek authors’ testimonies and opinions on the Persian civilization and on the role of the Magi are to be inserted in this context. The study, through reading of Greek literary sources, will attempt to give a definition of the magician and magic in the Greek world and will deepen the theme of human fragility in the face of uncertainty and inability to face the difficulties of life.
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Estetica ed etica del corpo femminile nella contemporanea spettacolarizzazione mediatica

In the last fifty years we have witnessed a significant increase in the exposure of the female body and its nudity, first in advertising and cinema and currently in social networks. The pervasiveness of this practice has now become widespread, but it does not stop questioning, especially in relation to the meaning that underlies the representations and the ideal of female beauty they’re contributing to spread. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to analyze the thought of Julia Kristeva on pleasure of seeing, beauty and body, in order to question the contemporary public show of the female body to understand if it contains an invitation to admire with pleasure, the pleasure of re-veiling precisely, or rather, as the Bulgarian thinker would say, coincides with a reductive grimace of femininity itself. There seems to be some suspicion that behind this practice there are forms of violence against women, with important ethical and social implications. .

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Turismo etnico nel Mursiland: incontri ravvicinati di un certo tipo

This article aims to analyze first the relationship between tourists and natives in a liminal area such as the villages built on the road that takes tourists to Mursiland, and the dialogical construction that derives from it, which is in all respects a representation, and secondly in which way tourism has changed external and internal relations in the Mursi society. The dialogue between these two groups, tourists and Mursi, gives rise to an image that is the product of both the expectations of the visitors, and the idea Mursi women, the main subject of the photos, have about these expectations. The outcome is a representation of the savage who often conflicts, given its aggressiveness, venality and unreliability with that of the kind, well-mannered Rousseau-an primitive. In this liminal area, with the mimesis of the wild Savage, the Mursi on the one hand enter the market economy and globalization, but maintaining some control in the process. On the other hand, they adapt their society by creating new figures of cultural brokers, as well as allow the weaker sector of society, girls and women, to acquire ‘agency’ and access to a new type of wealth, money, and not only cattle on which the Mursi’s patriarchal society is based.

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Women’s Empowerment and Agency: Bottom – up and Top – down

This article aims to explore the relationship between the concepts of women’s empowerment and agency. Through a literature review, I will try to clarify the complexities of both and whether they are different or similar, whether women’s empowerment may be conceived as an “expanded agency”, or whether they may conflate into one notion. In the conclusion, by linking women’s empowerment with agency, I attempt to produce a model able to take into account the specificities of particular women in a particular context rather than seeing women’s empowerment as an abstract concept universally applicable.

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Empowerment of women through Self Help Group (SHG): An anthropological study.

The empowerment of women is one of the central issues in the process of development of countries in all over the world. India has a glorious tradition of recognizing the importance of empowering women over several centuries now. In recent decades, empowerment of women emerged as one of the significant strategies in the development process. The Government of India has made Empowerment of Women as one of the prime objectives of the 9th Five Year Plan (1997-2002) and also declared 2001 as the year of ‘Women’s empowerment’. Empowerment is a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted and multi-layered concept. It is a process to enable women to realize their identity and powers in all spheres of life. Further, empowerment provides better access to knowledge and resources, more independence in decision making, better ability to plan their lives, which influence their lives and freedom from belief, practice and custom. In this present study we have tried to analyze the empowerment of women through Self Help Groups (SHG) in a village of Junglemahal of Paschim Medinipur District of West Bengal and also to assess the socio-economic conditions of the beneficiaries of groups. The study also identifies the common problems faced by the members in this group.

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Literacy Trends and Differences of Scheduled Tribes in West Bengal:A Community Level Analysis

The present paper is based entirely on secondary sources of information, mainly drawn from the 2001 and 2011 Censuses of India and West Bengal. In this paper, an attempt has been made to analyse the present literacy trends of the ethnic communities of West Bengal, and comparing the data over a decade (2001 – 2011). The difference between male and female has also been focused. The fact remains that a large number of tribal women might have missed educational opportunities at different stages and in order to empower them varieties of skill training programmes have to be designed and organised. Implementation of systematic processes like Information Education Communication (IEC) should be done to educate communities.

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Nutritional status and body composition of ovarian cancer patients

Ovarian cancer has emerged as one of the most common malignancies affecting women in India. It was also observed that malnutrition is a common and under-recognized problem among cancer patients. The present study was undertaken to evaluate and compare the nutritional status and body composition of ovarian cancer patients. A total of 145 newly diagnosed adult ovarian cancer patients and 290 apparently healthy adult women with a mean age of 43.69 (SD 8.95) years were studied. In conclusion, the results of the present study demonstrated an altered body composition in terms of body fat and higher prevalence of chronic energy deficiency (CED) in cancer patients as compared with healthy women.

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Reproductive Health and Health Care Practices of the Oraon Tribal Women of Nadia, West Bengal

The present study was undertaken to envisage the reproductive health and health-care practices and also find its association with the socio-demographic characteristics among the Oraon tribal women of Nadia district of West Bengal, India. A total of 100 Oraon women were included in this study who were presently in wedlock and aged between 15 to 49 years. Thus, it is evident from the present study that the reproductive health and health care facilities of the Oraon women needs augmentation by enhancing their socio-economic status through improved education and employment opportunities. The present study reinforces to understand the pragmatic depiction of the nutritional status of the Oraon tribal women, since it has an direct impact on their reproductive health.

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Factors associated with the utilization of maternal health care services among Lodha women in West Bengal, India

The objective of the present study was to find out the trends in utilization of maternal health care services by the Lodha women. Furthermore, attempt has also been made to identify the factors contributing to the utilization of maternal health services. The study has been conducted among the Lodha women residing in the district of Jhargram, West Bengal, India. Participants were married, aged between 15 and 44 years, have experienced at least one pregnancy during the last five year period, prior to the date of study. Pretested structured questionnaires were used to obtain the socio-demographic characteristics and utilization of maternal health care services. Three components of utilization of maternal healthcare services were measured: antenatal care (ANC), skilled birth attendants and post-natal care (PNC). Result shows that 88.7% of the participants received ANC service, 62.7% used SBA and 32.0% received PNC service. Bivariate analyses found significant association between utilization of maternal health care services and socio-demographic factors. Multivariate analysis revealed that apart from individual level factors (such as, age, education, parity, total number of pregnancy and women autonomy), supply-side/ contextual level factors [such as availability of health care providers (ASHA worker), availability of transport facility and distance to sub centre] have a significant bearing on the utilization of maternal health care services.

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Effects of social stigma on children living with hiv/aids in Pune district, India

Studies have shown that stigma and discrimination fuel HIV transmission and hinder access to programmes and services. The greatest impact of HIV is on children and young people. An attempt to arrive at a clear picture of the effects of social stigma due to HIV/AIDS on Children Affected with HIV/AIDS (CLHA) is made in the present study. The research mainly focusses on identifying stigmatizing attitudes due to HIV/AIDS in the context of CLHA. The study was conducted in Lohiya Nagar and other pockets in the Pune city and the blocks of Indapur, Maval and BhoreTaluka of the district of Pune. With convenient sampling procedure a sample of study participants was obtained. Interview schedules, in depth interviews and case studies were done in the course of the research to gather relevant qualitative data. Results show that the problem of stigma and discrimination against PLWHAs is far from being reduced. It calls for special focus by the policy makers on the plight of children living with HIV/AIDS.

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Secular Trend in Some Anthropometric Measurements of Monpa Boys in Arunachal Pradesh, India: A Comparison of over 3 Decades-Gap Findings

Data on height, sitting height, and body weight of Monpa boys were obtained from two cross-sectional studies whose findings were based on data collected during 1977 and 2014 by Duarah and the present author respectively. The study shows that though the present Monpa population have undergone different transitional stages over the last 3 decades, they show lesser values of height and weight in comparison to that of the general Indian children or other Himalayan populations. Since this report is a first attempt on secular trend of the Monpas, there is a scope for future research in this area and to delve into understanding of the secular trend in growth among the Monpas as well as other Northeastern Indian populations.

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Risk factors of hypertension and physical activity level among the adult Wanchos of Arunachal Pradesh

The objective of this paper is to determine different risk factors of hypertension, and especially the effect of physical activity level on blood pressure among the adult Wanchos. Physical activity is found to be positively associated with blood pressure among the adult Wanchos at a very lesser level (r = 0.003), but significantly associated with BMI and the cardio-metabolic risk factors. Even though physical activity is not very strongly related with hypertension, surely it has some bearings in developing hypertension as all the other risk factors of hypertension are significantly associated with both blood pressure and the physical activity level.

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The risk of T2DM with Alcohol consumption, Smoking, Hypertension and Family History of Hypertension: A Study on Bengalee Hindu Caste Population

The risk of T2DM has been proliferated with help of modifiable (smoking, alcohol consumption) and non-modifiable (hypertension, family history of hypertension) risk factors. The magnitude of risk varied in different populations. The present study was conducted to understand the association between T2DM with smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension and family history of hypertension among the Bengalee Hindu caste population. The present study consisted of 104 clinically diagnosed Type 2 diabetes mellitus male patients (age range-23-80 years) and 176 apparently healthy males (age range 18-79 years) denoted as the control group from an endogamous linguistic group (Bengalee Hindu caste population). Purposive sampling method was used to collect the data. Data on alcohol consumption, smoking habit, hypertension and family history of hypertension have been collected by pretested prepared schedule. Statistical analysis was performed in appropriate places using (IBM SPSS-25) software. No significant differences were observed in alcohol consumption and smoking habits between T2DM patients and the control group. However, significant differences (p=0.01) were observed in hypertension and family history of hypertension between T2DM patients and the control group. Hypertensive individuals ran a 2.583 times greater risk [OR=2.583 (1.570-4.250) associated with T2DM than normotensive individuals. Similarly, individuals with a family history of hypertension ran a 2.495 times greater risk [OR=2.495 (1.439-4.325) p=0.01], associated with T2DM than individuals without a family history of hypertension. These non-modifiable factors might enhance an additional risk for T2DM and create a health burden in that population.

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Prevalence of Anaemia and its association with socio-demographic factors among the Pnar women of Jowai Town, West Jaintia Hills District, Meghalaya, India

Anaemia is the most common and widespread nutritional deficiency disorder in the world, especially among women in developing countries. In the present study an attempt has been made to assess the prevalence of anaemia among the Pnar women of Jowai town and the socio-demographic factors associated with it. The data were collected from 719 married women of the reproductive age group (15-49 years) from Jowai town by following internationally accepted standards. Anaemia was present in 46.59% women, of which 36.86%, 8.90% and 0.83% were mild, moderate and severe, respectively. The findings of the present study further reveal that the prevalence of anaemia was higher among younger women, women with a higher number of live births, pregnant women, a lower number of ANC visits, a low educational level and those belonging to a low income group. Logistic regression analyses shows that socio-demographic factors like number of live births, pregnancy status, number of ANC visits, self reported morbidity, education of both mother and father, and household income, are significantly (p<0.05) associated with the prevalence of anaemia in the present population.

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Prevalence of anemia in adolescence girls of Arunachal Pradesh, India

A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out among the adolescent girls of Dera Natung Government College Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on 21st September 2019 to understand the prevalence of anaemia among adolescent college students. The study showed that only 19.29% students were normal and 80.70% were affected with various grade of anaemia condition. 24.56% subjects being mildly anaemic and 54.38% moderately anaemic while 1.75% suffered from severe anaemia. The prevalence of underweight among 57 students was 6 (10.53%), while 44 (77.19%) had normal BMI, 2 (3.51%) had severely underweight and 5 (8.77%) were overweight. The prevalence of anaemia among underweight student was 8.77% and in student with normal BMI was 57.89% and overweight has prevalence of 8.77% and severely underweight has prevalence of 3.50%.

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Health Perceptions and Ethnomedicinal Practices among the Tai Khamti in Namsai District of Arunachal Pradesh, India

With the current pace of globalisation and increased anthropogenic activities, forest resources are rapidly deteriorating. Consequently, the primary challenge to the forest fringe communities is the reduction of biodiversity and the gradual change in climatic conditions. Such societies are naturally dependent on the forest resources for their livelihoods and the use of medicinal plants remains crucial to their traditional healthcare practices. Keeping this in perspective, it has become essential to explore and identify the traditional ethnomedicinal knowledge and document the enriched, localised herbal remedies for the preservation of such information for the greater interest of human society. The present study reports the health consciousness of the Tai Khamti of Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh and highlights their ethnomedicinal system. Data was collected through extensive fieldwork among herbal practitioners assisted by concrete case studies of patients and the author’s first-hand observation. The study stresses that perceptions of health and illness were closely associated with deities and evil spirits and hence involved magico-religious beliefs and spiritual practices. It was also found that the traditional knowledge of ethnomedicine has strengthened their hygiene practices and also promoted the health consciousness among the tribe.

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The Pisai: A study on the Village Administration among the Tiwa

The study of village administration as a part of traditional institutions has attracted the attention of policymakers, researchers and social scientists. It may be difficult to define and categorize traditional institutions into social, cultural, political and economic institutions since tradition in any given society is a composite whole. As a passive process, traditions stand for time-honoured customs and respected beliefs. It is seen as an ideal type construct and a stultifying force that engendered and enforced cultural homogeneity. This paper discussed the traditional Tiwa village administration and looks into the continuity of age-old custom and manners. It gives a brief descriptive account of the village administration and the role played by the pisai or the council of village elders in the management of the affairs of the village. This paper is primarily based on colonial and contemporary writings and field studies carried out during 2017-2018.

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An Ethnographic Profile of the Monsang Tribe

This paper presents an ethnographic profile of the Monsang tribe, one of the lesser known Naga tribes in the Chandel district of Manipur, a northeastern state of India. The objective of the paper is to make a systematic ethnographic compilation of Monsang history, society, culture and tradition and religious beliefs which are not much available yet. The rich oral traditions in the form of folksongs and folklores serve as a rich source for understanding their history, culture and tradition. The data were collected using an ethnographic technique, viz., observation, informal interviews and in-depth interviews with select elders of one Monsang village (Monsang Pantha) as key informants for the study. The study will certainly benefit younger generations to get a better knowledge of their history, culture and traditional practices in a written form and also serve as an account for those interested to know about the Monsang community in the region..

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Forest Management Policies and Tribals of Jharkhand: Retrospect and Prospect

>Bir bano? disum ale horoko kale sukua, said the Mundas to Hoffman when he was writing his Encyclopaedia Mundarica in the last quarter of the 19th century. ‘We the Mundas do not like to live in a country where there are no forests’, is not just a casual statement of some nature lovers. The statement had a deep social and spiritual connotation. Hoffman noted that when somebody dies the Mundas avoid saying that so and so has died, but they would say so and so has been lost in the forest (birjanae instead of goejane). Forests are the dwelling place of the deceased ones. When the village is settled by clearing forests, a patch of the virgin forest is kept untouched with the belief that it is the abode of the mother earth (jaer era) or ‘lady of the sacred grove’ and other spirits. This ‘sacred grove’ or sarna or Jaer (Jaher of the Santals) is the only place of propitiation of the benevolent spirits of all the indigenous peoples of Jharkhand. The forest has a great relevance in life of the Mundas, who think it is associated with their souls and ancestor-hood. In this paper I had tried to explore the relation of forest with its Management in the life of this tribal peopl.

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Himalayan Pastoralism: A Study On The Livelihood And Mobility Of The Bakarwal Tribe

The paper aims to look at the relation of livelihood and mobility, and the health hazards faced by the pastoral Bakarwal tribe based in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Livelihood pattern of Bakarwals constitutes mostly of herding animals, and seasonal migration plays an all-important role in attaining the same. With the exhaustion of winter pastures in plains, they move to the highland pastures in Greater Himalayas in early spring along with their herds and household items by crossing various passes in the Pir Panjal and Siwalik ranges. Melting snow, gusty winds, dangerous ravines and valleys along with threats of the wild pose high risks to the health and lives of this people and their livestock. Moreover, various factors have led to the loss of this age-old tradition and the Bakarwals are quickly adopting a settled way of life. Data about the study has been collected through various ethnographic techniques among the community in the intervening pastures of the Kashmir valley.

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Modernisation and Change: A Case Study of Lawm and Sawm among the Kukis

All the tribes in India follow a specific type of village-based youth organisation, called dormitories, and known by different names among the different tribes. This is also true in case of the tribes inhabiting the North Eastern part of the Indian sub-continent. It is well known that the socio-cultural life of the youth centre around these dormitories. Besides, it was a place of traditional learning. However, such fine and glorious institutions do not exist in the present time. The modernisation of the people brought about by British colonial rule, the coming of Christianity and the spread of the western model of education are important factors that brought about changes and transformation. This paper is an attempt to highlight the importance of such institutions with special reference to the Kukis. Besides, the various reasons that could have probably led to the downfall or decay of these institutions will be taken into consideration. The paper will try to understand the transitional process from the pre-modern institutional form to the modern youth organisation.

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Socio-Economic and Political Perspectives of Disaster: A Case Study of Flash Floods in Goa

Natural disasters are the nature’s way to maintain the balance as some people believe, while others consider it a punishment by the almighty for the sins committed by the humans. Within this framework, the factor that remains throughout is the will power and mental health of humans. Dealing with, and overcoming a disaster can be effective only if the people affected show a high spirit of cooperation. The aim of the study is to assess the socio economic and political aspects of a natural disaster and its management in the state of Goa. This study was done using the random sampling technique. The victims and survivors of flash floods were interviewed. The study analyses the causes of flood, Effects of the flood, socio economic participation, role of social media and political aspects. Co-operation is the key to deal with any situation and this can be built only if there is a good bond between the government and its people. Goa being a small state has successfully preserved that bond and the speed at which the state recovered from the flood is the proof.

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Tattoo: A Cultural Heritage

Tattooing is considered a “visual language,” which inscribes cultural traits on the skin of the owner. This paper tries to explore the importance of tattoos in tribal life as a cultural heritage, by means of a case study in two Santhal villages to find whether there is any age and sex wise perceptual difference regarding tattooing. A focused group interview was conducted in Balipara and Phuldanga villages of the Birbhum District, West Bengal, India to understand the status and significance of tattooing among the Santhals living there. Descriptive analytical research method has been adopted to portray different styles and patterns, materials used to ink the body, and myths and beliefs woven around this art form. Tattooing, as a tribal art, is losing its significance: to keep this tradition alive, the market segment and its appropriate strategies have to be identified in order to favor traditional tribal tattoo designs to prevent their extinction.

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