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  Subjects -> ANTHROPOLOGY (Total: 398 journals)
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Totem : The University of Western Ontario Journal of Anthropology
Number of Followers: 1  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1203-8830 - ISSN (Online) 1925-8542
Published by Western University Homepage  [18 journals]
  • A Feeling in their Bones: Issues of Deciphering Animal Ritual in the
           Archaeological Record among the Naskapi Innu and Eastern Cree

    • Authors: Arwen M. Johns
      Abstract: Whether religion and ritual are elements of past cultures that can be studied effectively by archaeologists has divided experts for some time within the discipline. This paper examines specific animal rituals from two mobile hunter gatherer groups from Canada’s North, the Naskapi Innu and Eastern Cree, in relation to Colin Renfrew’s 1985 book The Archaeology of Cult. In this paper I seek to demonstrate that the archaeological concepts and methods put forth in Renfrew’s (1985) work, related to analyzing religious and ritual contexts in large scale sedentary societies, cannot be neatly applied to Northern mobile hunter gatherer groups because of the nature of their movements across the landscape and their unique ritual relationships with animals. By going into detail describing, and subsequently analyzing the practical implications of the animal rituals and beliefs held by the Naskapi Innu and Eastern Cree, it is my goal to call more attention to the archaeological study of small scale mobile societies and their ritual practices that defy conventional methodologies for discerning and analyzing ritual in the archaeological record.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:51:16 PDT
  • Indigenous Knowledge Within Academia: Exploring the Tensions That Exist
           Between Indigenous, Decolonizing, and Nêhiyawak Methodologies

    • Authors: Paulina R. Johnson Ms
      Abstract: Over the last few decades the rewriting of Indigenous knowledge and history has been discussed, debated, and rewritten through the fields of Anthropology, History, and First Nation Studies, to name a few. One of the main tensions that exists in this reclamation process is the differences between Indigenous and Western methodological approaches. However, it has yet to be put forward as to what are the tensions that exist within Indigenous methodologies and their practice. This paper will bring forward three methodological approaches utilized within research for and by Indigenous peoples, as we examine how Indigenous, Decolonizing, and Nêhiyawak methodologies challenge and support one another, and how in order to conduct research, specific views must be taken into account to give a better understanding of the philosophical and spiritual foundations in which the research is situated. Specifically, the article will assess what are Indigenous, Decolonizing, and Nêhiyawak methodologies and why there is a need to incorporate specific methodological approaches dependent on the research in question. Yet, in order to understand the importance and relevance of these differing approaches to find knowledge, we must first discuss how early research and ethics impacted what we know about Indigenous peoples and their way of life. I focus on Nêhiyawak methodologies in particular as a member of the Nêhiyaw Nation in the territory of Maskwacîs.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:51:12 PDT
  • Aboriginal Performance Cultures and Language Revitalization: Foundations,
           Discontinuities, and Possibilities

    • Authors: Remi Alie
      Abstract: This paper address the question of how indigenous art and performance culture(s) can contribute to institutionalized language revitalization efforts in Canada, through their use of threatened indigenous languages. Drawing from a wide range of sources published between 1988 and 2014 by scholars, the Assembly of First Nations, departments and agencies of the Canadian government, and artistic practitioners, I illustrate the absence of performance from the available literature on language revitalization. By analyzing these documents thematically, I argue that a substantial shift occurred in the public discourse surrounding language revitalization between the 1980s and 1990s, and the mid- to late-2000s. Whereas scholarship and policy proposals published during the 1980s and 1990s were strongly influenced by Joshua Fishman’s research on language revitalization, public discourse a decade later framed language revitalization in the language of land claims. Following Glen Coulthard, I suggest that this shift should be understood as part of the broader emergence of a “politics of recognition” in Canadian discourse. At the level of Canadian and Aboriginal government policy, this discursive shift has left even less room for performance and theatre within the wider project of language revitalization. Insofar as the arts are a rich source of pedagogical material, my aim is to undermine the discursive impediments to their use by language educators and policy makers in the field of language revitalization.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:51:08 PDT
  • Bioarchaeological Sampling Strategies: Reflection on First Sampling
           Experience at the Templo Mayor Museum in Mexico City

    • Authors: Diana Karina Moreiras Reynaga
      Abstract: Given that sampling strategies and protocols in bioarchaeology are rarely discussed in the literature, this paper is an attempt at reflecting upon the skeletal sampling process (e.g., preparation period, development of strategies and protocols, decision-making process, collaboration with those involved) as well as provide some considerations that may be useful to other junior researchers carrying out their sampling within the realm of bioarchaeology (also may be applicable to other research fields that engage in sampling specimens from museum collections). I provide the considerations about human bone and teeth as it pertains to stable isotope analysis from the literature and then move to discuss my sampling process experience: the preparation period, the sampling process, and the sampling map I developed as an initial guide in the field. Finally, I discuss the main considerations I found helpful in the field which overall involve: 1) Familiarity with the skeletal collections; 2) Constant communication and participant collaboration with those involved in the process; 3) Establishing a feasible sampling protocol well-founded on research questions and biochemical analysis planned as a guide in the field but flexible and open to changes; 4) Handling administrative and logistical aspects of the process well in advance of the sampling visit, and 5) Continual awareness that while as researchers we value skeletal collections in a scientific manner, these also may have other kind of value to others so we must treat these collections with outmost respect at all times (i.e., when discussing, sampling, analyzing, interpreting, and disseminating our research).
      PubDate: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:51:04 PDT
  • Out of Sight, In Mind: Cell-phones and the Reconnection of the Iraqi
           Diaspora with a (Home)land

    • Authors: Abdulla Majeed
      Abstract: It was only after the invasion of 2003 and the gradual collapse of the Iraqi state that cellphones began to surface on Iraq's public market, for they have been previously banned by the regime of Saddam Hussein. This fairly recent breakage of the digital barrier rendered Iraq at the time as one of the most promising ICTs markets in the Middle East, with critical consequences on the larger Iraqi society, particularly since it also saw the introduction of the previously banned Internet. Using personal experience, as well as interviews with Iraqis from Baghdad, this paper argues that Iraqis creatively employed, and continue to employ, ICTs and Cellphones not merely as a tool of reconnection between the Iraqi diaspora and the homeland (and vice versa), continuously reconstructing their national identities, but also as tool of survival and risk assessment for Iraqis on the inside. This is of particular importance since the devastating consequences of the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq are still evident on the Iraqi social, urban, and political space until this day.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:50:59 PDT
  • Back Matter

    • Authors: Abrams Malleau
      PubDate: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:00:41 PDT
  • The Nêhiyawak Nation through Âcimowina: Experiencing Plains Cree
           Knowledge through Oral Narratives

    • Authors: Paulina Johnson
      Abstract: Nêhiyawîhcikêwin, Plains Cree Culture, is an oral culture that shares their wisdom, insights, teachings, and warnings through the voices of the elders to the generations that will one day fill their place. Oral narratives have been used by the Nehiyawak nation for hundreds and if not thousands of years, and for particular interest we will focus on âcimowina, oral narratives of a time after Wîsahêcâhk, Elder Brother, but also touch on aspects of âtayôhkêwina, sacred stories that account how the world was shaped, when animals and humans could talk, and when Wîsahêcâhk transformed the world. This paper begins with the importance of oral narratives to various Indigenous peoples around the world as it presents the cultural value and ontological foundations of this intellectual tradition and Indigenous methodology. From there I will discuss Nêhiyawak âcimowina that gives insight into a living past and not a written history, as I present primary sources found in Winona Wheeler’s ‘Cree Intellectual Traditions in History,’ and Neal McLeod’s Cree Narrative Memory: From Treaties to Contemporary Times. As a Plains Cree woman myself, I aim to explore how in depth the cultural protocols of Cree âcimowina are and how oral narratives offer lessons and teachings from a Plains Cree perspective, and I thank Winona Wheeler and Neal McLeod for taking the time to learn and share there insights, and the numerous elders and ancestors that guided, talked, and walked with them as they put forward these pieces. Though I am unable to present every facet of acîmowina, this paper aims to reveal a world outside our conceived realities through Western education and dominant discourse, as we witness the Plains Cree world through Plains Cree voices.
      PubDate: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:00:39 PDT
  • Emergence and Progression of Acadian Ethnic and Political Identities:
           Alliance and Land-Based Inter-Peoples Relations in Early Acadia to Today

    • Authors: Katie K. MacLeod
      Abstract: This article provides an ethnohistorical overview of the emergence and progression of Acadian ethnic and political identities over time. Strongly based in their relations with the Mi’kmaq during the colonization of Nova Scotia, the Acadians became a unique political entity who identified themselves as neutral. Through the advances made in the colony, British authorities soon realized that the alliance formed between the Acadians and Mi’kmaq could present a threat. This article provides background for the reemerging Acadian-Mi’kmaq relations occurring today around environmental and land-based concerns and seeks to provide the reader with an overview of the shifting Acadian socio-political ideologies throughout their history.
      PubDate: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:00:36 PDT
  • Bodies of Information: Human-Animal Entanglement at Çatalhöyük and
           Cis-Baikal as Seen Through Zooarchaeology

    • Authors: John Vandergugten
      Abstract: Zooarchaeology—the study of the human past through animal remains—has often been said to demonstrate that animals have had a variety of tangible roles in relation to human individuals and cultures throughout time: from sources of food to implements of labour. In contrast, intangible aspects of the human-animal relationship have been generally unrecognized and only recently appreciated within (zoo)archaeological discourse. Through exploratory case studies of research at the sites of Çatalhöyük and Cis-Baikal, it is suggested here that new modes of reflecting upon human-animal bonds are necessary in order to better understand the multifarious meanings and uses of faunal remains from archaeological contexts. Syntheses of human behaviour and belief in relation to non-human animals should incorporate emic cultural understandings, which may be discovered through the devices of ethnographic survey and ethnoarchaeology. Animals are thusly appraised as more than mere sources of subsistence, or tools of transport. A social zooarchaeology, focusing on the intimate affinities between humans and animals, can provide alternative insights into the lived experiences of human cultures.--In other words, the purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which the practice of zooarchaeology has developed and changed over time, correlating these transformations with progress in theory in the wider field of archaeology. It is an effort to tackle zooarchaeology specifically and bioarchaeology more generally from a theoretical standpoint. The paper incorporates theoretical concepts related to materiality, entanglement, and agency, which appear to be gaining ground in archaeological discourse. These ideas are explored through the context of the aforementioned archaeological sites and the interpretations related to the data from these sites that have been proposed through time. Overall, this paper attempts to clarify and bring to light some of the issues related to current conceptualizations of theory in zooarchaeological practice.
      PubDate: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:00:35 PDT
  • Research Reflections: Queering the Ethnographer, Queering Male Sex Work

    • Authors: Nathan Dawthorne
      Abstract: This paper is a reflection on an ethnographic moment that occurred as I sought the narratives of male sex workers specific to London, Ontario, a mid-sized Canadian city. Here an informant effectively queered my inadvertent erasure of men-who-sell-sex-to-women during the initial phases of fieldwork. In order to understand what happened, I explore the important role of reflexivity to negotiate productive misunderstandings that occurred and to illuminate the assumptions I made. To provide a contextualized account of the phenomenon of male sex work ultimately requires that I move beyond homonormative (or any normative) pre/conceptualizations avoiding and acknowledging the re/production of essentialized categories.
      PubDate: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:00:33 PDT
  • Keeping CRM Archaeology Relevant: Presenting an Archaeology of Children
           and Childhood in the Past

    • Authors: Katelyn E. Mather
      Abstract: The industry of cultural resource management (CRM) has been criticized for its failure to communicate research results publicly, and to make contributions on a local and global scale. In this paper, I suggest that school-based archaeology programs – either through mock archaeological digs, participation in actual excavations, or the use of specific material culture types to tell stories about the past – provide a means to make CRM archaeology relevant to a wider audience. I also propose that an effective teaching tool about local archaeology would be to create a program on the archaeology of children and childhood. This would be an engaging method for teaching history, making history accessible and relatable, and helping students to understand past populations and change over time. CRM archaeologists would be well suited to present this unique and engaging program. Furthermore, this would present students with an opportunity to learn about the pre-European-contact period of North America, an area of history that many consider to be excluded from formal curriculum.
      PubDate: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:00:29 PDT
  • Powers of the Dead: Struggles over Paper Money Burning in Urban China

    • Authors: Mingyuan Zhang
      Abstract: This paper explores how the Chinese customary ritual of burning paper money to commemorate the dead ancestors challenges the nature-culture dichotomy. The paper argues that the practice of burning paper money reflects a Chinese cosmology that is not based on a dichotomy between the living and the dead, instead, the dead is often mobilized to exert influential power over the living. The paper money that people use in such rituals are active actors that participates in people’s social, cultural and economic life. The paper also investigates how the conflict between government policy and traditional practice demonstrates that the modernists’ efforts to mobilize modern dichotomies have failed to triumph over the entanglement among networks of the living and the dead, the human and the spirit, the object and the subject, nature, culture, and super-nature.
      PubDate: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:00:27 PDT
  • “A Man Without a Country”: Experiences of Francophone Migration during
           the Quiet Revolution

    • Authors: Jessie K. Tougas
      Abstract: There are numerous studies on shifting Francophone-Anglophone relations during the Quiet Revolution, and migration studies tend to focus on Anglophones who sought opportunity outside Québec (Pettinicchio 2012). However, less attention has been paid to the experiences of Francophones who migrated to English Canada during this period. Undeniably, these people had their own unique political, economic and social motivations for leaving Québec at this time. Their adopted communities brought experiences of cultural assimilation and language loss, which have been previously explored in relation to First Peoples in Canada and the indigenous groups of other countries (e.g. Hallett et al. 2007; Wanhalla 2007).Using the oral history of a Francophone whose family migrated from Québec to British Columbia during the 1960s, I reveal the roles of motivation, alienation, assimilation and language in his migration experience. I argue that (1) the motivations of these Francophone migrants were complex, involving not only politico-economic reasons but also social and personal ones, (2) their subsequent experiences of alienation and assimilation were intimately connected to language and were sometimes self-enforced to prevent low-level persecution, (3) this partial assimilation resulted in a lack of belonging in both their original and adopted communities. My informant’s narrative cannot speak for all interprovincial Francophone migrants, but it does provide insight into the intimate nuances and complexities of the situation that are often overlooked in generalized statistical approaches.
      PubDate: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 07:55:09 PDT
  • Back Matter

    • PubDate: Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:55:19 PDT
  • Behind the Map: Crises and Crisis Collectives in High-Tech Actions

    • Authors: Fiona Gedeon Achi
      Abstract: Abstract: Over the five last years, crisis mapping has gained wide popularity in the humanitarian world with collaboration between crisis mappers and the UN on several emergency projects. Crisis mapping relies on interactive maps to monitor both incidents and resources in settings undergoing a “crisis” (political, environmental, etc). Focusing on one case study (the monitoring of violence during the 2011 elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo) and building on several interviews conducted with leading crisis mappers and project coordinators, this paper shows that the deep significance of crisis mapping cannot be grasped through an understanding of the goals and success or failure of its projects. It is rather to be found in the space of collaboration brought forth by the coordination of the deployments which generates a new manner of “being in crisis”—understood both as being in a crisis and the state of crisis.
      PubDate: Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:00:19 PDT
  • Frontier Wars: Violence and Space in Belfast, Northern Ireland

    • Authors: Jack Boulton
      Abstract: Belfast seems well known as a violent city; it has experienced a long history of turmoil related to the British invasion and subsequent division based on ethnicity as seen through religion. Although the profile of the city has improved, meaning rising tourism and income, the Belfast Agreement of 1998, as well as divisions between ethnicities continues to haunt the city despite an apparent end to violence, fighting and paramilitary activity. This paper explores the relationship between violence and space as exemplified in Belfast through the ‘peacelines’ which stand in interface zones between Catholic and Protestant residential areas. As well as being physical barriers, the peacelines are also symbolic of segregation as it manifests itself in other ways; through the ways in which people move through space and the ways in which bodies and identity are reflections of the city. The process of gentrification is also explored in the context of Belfast, with recent literature suggesting that class conflict exists alongside ethnic conflict.
      PubDate: Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:00:17 PDT
  • "How Far Is It'" Of Geocaching and Emplacement in Athens,

    • Authors: Julien Cossette
      Abstract: Geotechnologies are increasingly prominent, accessible, and interactive. Hand-held devices can localize one’s current geographic position with an unsettling precision. With the emergence of such mapping apparatuses, GPS-informed practices have proliferated. They redefine our engagement with space/place in ways that anthropologists need to attend to. Geocaching, a popular activity happening across the world, provides an ethnographic example of interest whose resonance extends beyond its practice.This paper focuses on the ways in which spaces have the potential to become meaningful in specific ways for those engaging in this practice. I adopt an autobiographical approach, which I carefully unpack, following my movement in the context of geocaching in Athens to gain an embodied understanding of the place-making possibilities afforded by the activity. It is argued that emplacement –that is, a situated body-mind-environment relationship– can result from a particular form of sensory and affective engagement with and negotiation of a device-environmental dialectic.To this end, I sketch a critique of geographic apparatuses such as maps, coordinates, and GPS devices, informed by the ironic double-bind geocachers must navigate. While they require geotechnologies to situate the approximate location of a geocache, they also risk being deceived by incongruence between reductive and life-annihilating “map spatialities” and “the realities on the ground” (in all their sensuous and affective possibilities). My work also demonstrates, in part, that geographic apparatuses may be thought of as cultural technologies, as are the processes and practices by which we use, evaluate, and ultimately translate them. It is through this experience of movement and sensory negotiation between technology and environment, I contend, that places can meaningful for geocachers in new and specific ways.
      PubDate: Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:00:16 PDT
  • An Anthropological Analysis of Canadian Music Festivals: Tournaments of
           Value, Modes of Festival Consumption, Tension, Conflict, and Struggle in
           the Context of Vancouver Island Music Festival

    • Authors: Gillian G. Moranz Ms.
      Abstract: During the summers of 2011/2012 I conducted research for my Undergraduate Thesis concerning folk, roots, and music festivals from British Columbia to Newfoundland. This study has focused on cultural elements of community, intention, performance, value, capital, and exchange, and was conducted within seventeen different festivals sites from western Canada to the Maritimes. The following paper represents one chapter of my final Thesis and showcases ethnographic and observational data collected at Vancouver Island Music Festival in Comox, British Columbia in July 2011.
      PubDate: Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:00:14 PDT
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