Among Gun Rights Activists, Fears About Survival Reign
Sapiens
by Emily Sekine
4d ago
An anthropologist delves into what the rising ranks of local firearm-touting militias in Virginia reveal about intensifying political polarization in the U.S.—and what these shifts might mean for the 2024 presidential election. ✽ Last year, the U.S. witnessed more than 650 mass shootings. Racially motivated acts of vigilante justice and hate crimes are on the rise. Since October 2023, reports of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attacks have increased in major U.S. cities, in part provoked by the Israel-Hamas war. Armed protests and other acts of political violence are also escalating, as epitomized ..read more
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Replacing Plastic Prayers With Biodegradable Blessings in the Himalayas
Sapiens
by Bridget Alex
5d ago
As synthetic prayer flags and scarves pollute the Himalayan region, a team of scholars and activists work to spread sustainable materials drawn from Indigenous knowledge. ✽ In the summer of 2022, one of us, Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia, brought gifts to his relatives with babies in northeast India. In their Sikkimese Bhutia community, new mothers receive chicken, cash, and other items known as Bya-kay—literally, “bringing a chicken.” Among the Bya-kay well-wishers presented, he noticed offering scarves, or khatak. Ritual specialists also raised prayer flags, or lungta, outside the residences of new b ..read more
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08.03.2019
Sapiens
by Chip
6d ago
A poet-anthropologist from India recalls a checkpoint encounter in Sri Lanka, just months after the Easter Sunday bombings. “08.03.2019” is part of the collection Poems of Witness and Possibility: Inside Zones of Conflict. Read the introduction to the collection here. ✽ Check post breaks reverie of a lulling, serpentine journey entwined with tea hills. An armed guard’s voice asks for identification— I freeze. I do not have any. I have naïvely believed that all tension has been dissolved like kithul jaggery in milk. No ghosts swim in hot tea. Peace is lotuses set afloat on seafoam always at ri ..read more
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What’s Behind the Evolution of Neanderthal Portraits
Sapiens
by Bridget Alex
1w ago
Since the 1800s, Neanderthal depictions have evolved not only with changing science but also due to social views. An archaeologist explains why visualizations of our evolutionary cousins matter. NEANDERTHALS’ FIRST PORTRAITS In 1888, a few decades after the first scientifically named Homo neanderthalensis fossil surfaced, anthropologist and anatomist Hermann Schaaffhausen made a portrait of what that Neanderthal might have looked like in life. Found in Germany’s Neander Valley, the actual fossil was just the top of a skull—a teardrop-shaped dome fronted by big brows—without the facial bones be ..read more
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Finding Footprints Laid at the Dawn of Time
Sapiens
by Bridget Alex
1w ago
In the Brazilian Amazon, a university-trained archaeologist and Wajãpi Indigenous people understand traces from the past differently—but their partnership bears fruit for both. FOOTPRINTS FROM INFANT EARTH Sitting on a log, in the ever-present shadow of the Amazon forest, Roseno Wajãpi and I shared pieces of cassava bread and chunks of smoked fish. He told me about the beginning of time. Earth’s crust was recent, still in formation. Stones weren’t yet solid. Creator Hero Janejarã hiked between villages and sat down to rest at some spots. The rocks hardened, preserving both his footsteps and th ..read more
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Expert Witness Reviews Exhibits for Asylum Proceedings, Franco-González Class Member
Sapiens
by Christine Weeber
1w ago
A poet-anthropologist who has been an expert witness in asylum proceedings for Mexican nationals resists dehumanizing legal and political language to make space for the humanity of asylum-seekers. “Expert Witness Reviews Exhibits for Asylum Proceedings, Franco-González Class Member” is part of the collection Poems of Witness and Possibility: Inside Zones of Conflict. Read the introduction to the collection here. Expert Witness Reviews Exhibits for Asylum Proceedings, Franco-González Class Member – Listen The post Expert Witness Reviews Exhibits for Asylum Proceedings, Franco-González Class Me ..read more
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Reading the Future of an Amazonian Mine
Sapiens
by Emily Sekine
2w ago
In Ecuador, Shuar people, an Indigenous group in the region, face increasing threats to their ways of life from industrial mining. But some find strength and courage to resist through knowledge gained by using hallucinogenic plants. ✽ Organizing a labor union is risky business. Even more so if you try to do it in an industrial mine in the middle of the Amazon. Katán, however, has no fear. (All names have been changed to protect people’s privacy.) Instead, he’s got shamanic knowledge. He told me this one evening several years ago, shortly after he began collaborating in my field research. We we ..read more
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Between the Lines
Sapiens
by Christine Weeber
2w ago
A poet-anthropologist in Israel looks to his students and their surroundings, calling for “seekers of peace” to create lifelines across social and geopolitical divides. “Between the Lines” is part of the collection Poems of Witness and Possibility: Inside Zones of Conflict. Read the introduction to the collection here. Between the Lines – Listen Lines down ( Note: The author wrote this poem prior to the Israel-Palestine War that erupted in 2023.) the middle in the sand by the sea flowing streams of endless traffic keep your eyes on the way we fight over rows of trees on the hills vines in the ..read more
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Taking Cultural Preservation to a New Dimension
Sapiens
by Marlaina Martin
3w ago
A multidisciplinary team of researchers explains historical, cultural, and ethical issues they considered while developing a 3D scan of a South African site to be shared with the world online. This article was originally published at The Conversation and has been republished under Creative Commons. ✽ THESE DAYS, IF YOU want to visit remarkable archaeological sites, such as Great Zimbabwe or Petra in Jordan, you don’t even need to leave your house. 3D scanning technology has improved in leaps and bounds in the last two decades and has become much more affordable. This has ..read more
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A Mauseoleum of Our Everydays/Nai nsang negu herouki
Sapiens
by Christine Weeber
3w ago
A humanities and social science doctoral student from Manipur, India, takes readers on a journey through ordinary moments interwoven with violence. “A Mausoleum of Our Everydays” is part of the collection Poems of Witness and Possibility: Inside Zones of Conflict. Read the introduction to the collection here. ✽ A Mauseoleum of Our Everydays Asphyxiating thoughts Suffocating words The tie around the collar tightens Like the hands of a d r o w n ing person. Pale as raw flesh, clammy as a snail’s back Stranded as in an elevator Hurtling toward deafening darkness The endless lull of a rickety trai ..read more
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