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Knauft Final Notes.docx

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ANTH 1150
Hank Davis

The Gebusi- Chapter 1 - In the past, cannibalism had been common and we later discovered that a woman from our village had been eaten a year and half prior to our arrival - The killing of sorcery suspects had produced one of the highest rates of homicide in the cross cultural record - Cultural anthropology has often been driven by competing desires - Anthropologists often become more self aware of the ethical standards that they themselves hold and that they project or risk projecting onto the people they study - Experiences of Gebusi can‘t and don‘t reflect those of other peoples around the world. But they do illustrate how people develop and change their lives under different conditions Chapter 2 Friends in the Forest - Gebusi believed that gifts should be given to guests and visitors who were peaceful - Their most basic gift was the fruit of their regular work and primary source of nutrition - Gebusi relationships defined the things that I gave or didn‘t give to others - Gebusi had been repeatedly victimized by raids (from Bedamini). In some cases, whole villages had been wiped out - Gebusi followed cannibalism after killing of sorcery suspects - Australian patrol officers= Rough and Bossy but the benefits of their military intervention far outweighed the costs of their brief annual visits. Among Gebusi, the officer‘s main objectives were to update the local census and to lecture villagers about keeping the village clean and living in harmony with one another. Australians viewed the Gebusi as victims rather than aggressors and as ―quiet tractable people‖ - - Gebusi believed in a whole realm of forest spirits and unseen places that come alive through the songs of the spirit medium - There were no people called ―Bibo‖. They said In no uncertain terms that their own identity and also their own language was Gebusi - We wanted to learn their ―Kogaway‖, which is the single term to best describe the heart of the Gebusi culture, it refers to customs that make Gebusi different from others (dancing, singing, bodily decoration) - ―Kogaway‖ (dominated by men) was a catch all marker for the essence of their culture rather than a tool for dissecting it. (―Kog‖ conveys togetherness, friendship and similarity, ―wa‖=to talk and ―yay‖=cheer, yell, joke, cry out as loudly and happily as possible) - ―Kogaway‖ conveyed core Gebusi values of happy social unity of living in good company of one another - Male control was especially pronounced at spirit séances - Real Gebusi women could be beaten by husbands or brothers for being flirtatious. By contrast spirit women were literally emobodied by the men themselves - Women lived in the cultural shadow of men - Women tended to accept men‘s collective prerogative to rake violent action against sorcery suspects and also (not in all cases) the right of a man to beat his wife - Notions of femaleness and fantasies about women were central to the ceremonial life of men CHAPTER 3/4 Ethics Groups and Ethnicity • Ethnicity is cultural similarities and differences in a society or nation - the similarities are with members of the same ethnic group and the differences are between that group and others. • Ethnic Group = share certain beliefs, values, habits, customs, and norms due to a common background. • The degree of ones ethnicity is reflected upon by political changes and/or individual life-cycle changes. • Identities = Social Statuses • One identity is used in certain settings, other in different ones, this is called situations negotiation of social identity. Ex. people can be both black and Hispanic or both a mother and a senator • Minority groups = subordinate - often ethnic groups • Race and ethnicity • Race, like ethnicity in general, is a cultural category rather than a biological reality. Race is a social construct with biological basis • Social Construction of Race • In America: • In the census there was a question that was asked about your heritage, This was an attempt to learn about the ―multiracial‖ society • It was initially done because slaves were counted as three fifths of a person and Indians were not taxed. This happened in the mid 1900‘s • In the late 1900‘s (80‘s) there became the option of ―some other race‖. 6.8 million people chose this and this number more than doubled by 2000 • In Canada: • There was the option of visible minorities, that were broken down by region. ex. Chinese, South Asian, Native American etc. • In Japan: • They valued the majority group (Japanese) because they were ‗pure‘ • They had a stigmatism with their non-japanese ancestry when a child was born to a racially diverse family, Whether it is one or both parents. • The discrimination that the United States had against black was very similar to one of the minorities that were in Japan, the Burakumin • In Brazil: • Brazil had much less strict compared to the US and Japan. Much like the rest of Latin America there is less exclusion categories. This is due to demographic and economic reasons • Ethnic Groups, Nations, & Nationalities • The term Nation was once interchangeable with tribe and ethnic group who shared a single culture, language, religion, history, territory, ancestry, kinship • A Nation-state refers to an autonomous political entity like the United States. • Ethnic groups who wish to regain autonomous political status were called nationalities. • Language and print played a crucial role in the growth in the European national consciousness. • In creating multi-tribal and multiethnic states colonialism offered erected boundaries that corresponded poorly with preexisting cultural divisions, but colonial institutions also helped created new ―imagined communities‖ beyond the nations. • For example: the black identity, can be traced to the association and common experience in colonial times from Guinea, Mali, and the Ivory Coast. • Ethnic Tolerance and Accommodation • Ethnic Diversity may be associated with positive group interacting and co existence with conflict. For example living together in a country with reasonable harmony. • Assimilation - describes the process of change that a minority ethnic group may experience when it moves to a country where another culture dominated. • By doing this we adopt the cultures of the new society • It is not inevitable that assimilation occurs because of a plural society which is a society combining ethnic contrast, ecological specialization and economic independence. • Although ecological interdependence between ethnic groups may be based on different activities in the same region • The most stable way to avoid conflict is to have people with like ethnic boundaries to accommodate the same areas. • Multiculturalism - the view of a cultural diversity in a country as something good and desire • This view encourages the practice of cultural ethnic traditions. • It also seeks ways for people to understand and interact that don‘t depend on sameness bit rather on respect for differences. it also stresses interaction of various ethnic groups. • Roots of Ethnic Conflict • Ethnicity is based on perceived cultural similarities and differences in a society or nation, can be expressed in peaceful multiculturalism or in a discrimination or violent interethnic confrontation. • The roots however differentiate and therefore, could stem from political, economic, religious, linguistic, cultural, or racial. • The cause of conflict and violence is caused by the injustice with resource distribution, economic or political identity. • Prejudice - means devaluing a groups because of its assumed behaviour, values, capabilities, or attributes. People who are often prejudice hold on to the stereotypes. • Discrimination - refers to policies and practices that harm a group and its members. • Cultural Colonialism - internal domination by one group and culture or ideology. • 2 discriminations - • 1) de facto - practices but not legally sanctioned • 2) de jure - part of law • There was a significant amount of conflict between the cultures in 1992 when there were protests against people immigrating. • The fuel to this conflict were things such as genocide or forced assimilation, ethnocide and cultural colonialism. • The different cultures banded together and made many colonies which did not help the situation, they were just making the conflict grow and fueling the fire. Spirits, Sex and Celebration-Chapter 5 -Gebusi men joke about sexual topics -mostly during festive occasions and celebrations -those who joked amongst each other didn‘t have to be related -was seen as ―good company‖ if able to joke about sexuality -similar to what Knauft experienced in the boys locker room as a teenager -Gebusi horse play could be called ―homosocial‖, rather than ―homosexual‖ -this joking signals non sexual friendship -Knauft wasn't sure if all this joking and talk was actually playing on the fact that in their community there was male-male sexuality -he thought if anything it would occur during the seances and festive dances -any serious talk always turned to joking -Knauft observed males going off together, not the ones whom joked with each other but a teenage boy and a young initiated man -later verified- the teenager manipulates the phallus of his elder counterpart and then orally consumes the semen -cultural function-supplied the uninitiated bachelor with male life force for his masculine development -married males didn't engage in this practice even though they joked about it -at one seance, a women expressed her desire to be pleasured, this intrigued the Gebusi men, Knauft was asked to go off -wa kawala- word for Gebusi initiation- means ―child become big‖ -this ―bigness‖ was promoted by ingesting male semen -can not generalize this to all Gebusi, some practice it a lot some not as much -no one made public displays of male sexuality -some young Gebusi men who had not been initiated yet, and got married before or had encounters with women would sometimes forego initiation and still become a man -young men were discouraged/prohibited from having sexual release prior to initiation -some Gebusi men desired the illicit sex with women -cultures often fuel the same desires that they forbid -gisagum- folk tales that the men were told before initiation -in literal terms these stories meant that if a man before he gets initiated has sexual encounters risked their manhood -thought that literally losing one's hardness with a women, also represented losing hardness as a male -women wouldn't mind if their husbands join in sexual contact with other young men, but if the desire was shown towards other women, that wasn't okay -Eileen wrote ― Gebusi women regard sexuality as a positive force in the formation of marriage—as long as such relationships are based on reciprocal sexual longing‖ -did Gebusi women have sexual relations themselves? -Eileen asked the women and she got responses of ―no‖ and ―how is that even possible‖? -women's sexuality was directly towards men -spirt women would become angry if the men did not get aroused or joke with them the spirt women had to be kept happy in order for the seance to go on -at seances the spirt women is impersonated by the spirt medium himself -at dances, men also impersonate seductive spirt women -dances centres in one or more beautifully costumed men, who dance around -upper body, is like that of a bird, which are associated with the upper spirt world -lower body is like that of a fish or crocodile, which is associated with the lower spirt world - man covered in red paint-red bird of paradise -the dancer man impersonates a young spirt women -the men joke about having sex with the women, while the women sing songs of sexual desire -the men who are watching the male dancer, redirects their sexual desire for females to males as well -this dance and talk also heightens their desire towards females -men cry out -fafadamgim-da – i'm lonely, i have sexual desire, and i want to release this sexual desire onto another -this also makes the men feel angry -the rage of loneliness and loss that is caused by death from sickness in the community, is also described as -fafadamgim-da -these seances produce sexual desire as well as violence towards suspected sorcerers -shows how sexuality differs greatly among different cultures -cultures range in sexual tolerance Ultimate Splendor- Chapter 6 -initiation took 6 months to prepare for -brought the community together -october and november were spent gathering lots of fire wood for the mass amounts of food that they were going to produce -december, january and february families went deep into the forest to cut and process sago palms -this was turned into sago flour and brought back to the villages -late February and early march, the men went off into the forest to hunt then smoke game -there was a pig for each initiate that was caged and fatted -late march, the village was live again, food pile were very large -they had enough food to feed more than 400 Gebusi -costumes were very elaborate -those that constructed the outfits were related to the initiates in various ways -they created the arm bands, earrings, headbands etc. -each initiate received half a dozen carved wooden bows, with decorated arrows -gifts of new household items were also made -during the preparations the swamin held seances -positive words chanted and preparation hurdles were addressed -the spirits were planning to hold their initiation at the same time as the people did -even with all the set backs that they had, the Gebusi would always have time to joke and laugh -they would be invited by their -tor-the initiates sponsor they had a feast called siay sagra- ―straighten the siay‖ -siay is a thin forest vine -hundreds of these strips would later be wrapped around the initiates wrists -represented that the initiation was to come and show'd who the initiates would be -this sealed the deal in advance to the show -two weeks later the initiates went through the middle stage, the time between -they would be painted in large yellow lines from their heads to their feet -yellow- bebagum- means in the middle of or wedged in between -they also wore a white leaf which hung down, almost like a large penis -another way that they were poking fun at their sexuality -uga togra- trying the bark wigs -this was a large wig like head piece that weighed 80ish pounds, had to be held up with poles -the initiates stood while everyone whooped/joked with them -then their sponsor would begin to cut some
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