The Subject Matter of Anthropology II -Insights Obtained through -Enthographic Description -Comparison -Theory -?Second Take? ? The lessons here cover: -Social organization in small, face to face societies -Culture ? and people, in all their humanity -?The Batak and how I came to know them? -Palawan Island in the Philippines, are Forest dwelling hunter-gatherers. -Eight small interior settlements -Population size once 800-1000, but now 200-300 -Dramatic Incident: the death of Caridad (deceased wife). -Consanguineal Kin = Blood Relatives, Affinal Kin = In-Laws -Data includes photos, kinship diagram, observations of death and burial, and of seven day Kulong with in-laws and Luasan Tu? Balo (coming out of widow/er) returning Imbasan(the widower) to his own kin. -Batak can be thought of as natives of the Phllipines. -?Bayaw? is a Kin term for Brother-In-Law - The Batak believe that the gaze of a recently widowed man or woman is ?poisonous?, and should his gaze fall upon someone who his married, the spouse of that person would suffer death. As such, Imbasan was covered with a black blanket in order to stop the gaze. -Imbasan, for seven days, was forced to live with his In-Laws, to the point where he was forced to ask permission to leave the house to relieve himself. After the seven day period he was brought to the council of the elders where they asked questions of the marriage. The In-Laws were the asked if they were ready to return Imbasan to his Kin, as well as after a ritual payment of 12 pesos paid for by Imbasan?s family. -Brother-In-Law returned 2 pesos to Imbasan and asked him to remember to call him Bayaw, to not forget him, and another 2 pesos to remind him to let the In-Law family know should he decide to remarry (not to get angry, but to accept new members into the family) -How to make sense of these happenings? -Explanation centered approaches (I.e. what purpose might be served by such behaviors. -Emily Durkheim ? Culture mobilizes people to preserve social order and community -Explanation centered on meaning -Observers understanding may be different from people own understanding. -It is difficult however, to get at peoples understanding -Importance of Language fluency -Importance of rich objective description -Go around ?Edges? to find information, ask about where Imbasan?s wife went when dead, discover that to even mention the name of the dead is wrong, so much so that names are never repeated in their culture. -Lesson of Today -Simple living does not mean ?Simple Lives? -Kinship and Kinship ties are central to understanding what?s going on. -We need theory as well as facts to explain cultural behavior.
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