Published to accompany a 2012 exhibition of traditional and contemporary African art, this volume brings together 20 essays, by leading scholars and artists, which explore how creativity and artistic practice are linked to African concepts of the universe. They celebrate Africa’s often overlooked contributions to the history of science and explain how cosmological models and the careful observation of celestial bodies lie at the core of the continent’s creation myths, moral values and cultural heritage.
An Anthropology of Britain
What does it mean to live in Britain and to be ‘British’, and is an anthropology of Britain even a legitimate undertaking? Ranging across subjects as diverse as achieving collective identity on the Isle of Man, the London dance scene, leisure and change in a post-mining mining town, and Armenian and other diasporas, this volume of 15 essays establishes that an anthropology of Britain can set excellent standards of subtle ethnography and complex analysis.
Crime and Custom in Savage Society
Widely regarded as one of the most important anthropologists of the 20th century, Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) is renowned for his pioneering studies on the Trobriand Islands of New Guinea. Describing and examining the ways in which the islanders structured and maintained the social and economic order of their tribe, this book contributes significantly to the understanding of the articulate relationship between law and society. First published in 1926.
Rough and Tumble
Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution
Anthropologists have traditionally viewed a coupling of aggression and predation as the evolutionary milestone that brought about ambush hunting approximately two million years ago. But Rough and Tumble challenges this view, since aggressive attack was a hopeless tactic for humans who were smaller and slower-footed than their prey. The author uses fossils, archaeological evidence and studies of humans and other primates to argue that it was the advent of new hunting technologies that allowed humans to stalk and kill large game.
The World Until Yesterday
What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
A professor of geography at UCLA, Jared Diamond looks back to humans' former lifestyle through his own fieldwork in traditional societies that still exist or were recently in existence, such as the highland peoples of New Guinea, Andaman Islanders, African Hadza and North American Inuit. Diamond highlights the many crucial lessons to be gleaned from 'primitive' societies, pointing to life decisions that may help us live longer, healthier lives, enjoy old age, and raise self-confident children.
Sign Language among American Indian Nations
A sign language that cut across language barriers played a crucial role among the various Indian nations, and it survives today. This book contains a comprehensive description of the language, from phonology to discourse, and compares it with other sign languages.
'Surfaces evade easy definition', writes Amato, 'They raise classic questions of epistemology and aesthetics'. Bringing together history and art history, philosophy and natural science, archaeology and architecture, he argues that surfaces are far more than superficial facades, and that they define our relationship to the world. Structured around our increasing power to shape surfaces, the study progresses from the evolution of the human body's own surfaces and the earliest tools to the power of modern science to tailor nature.