Déjà Lu

Issue 3

February 2015

Andrello, Geraldo. 2013. "Origin Narratives, Transformation Routes: Heritage, Knowledge and (a)Symmetries on The Uaupés River.” Vibrant 10 (1): 495-528.

Keywords: intangible heritage, knowledge, mythic narratives, symmetrical anthropology

This article begins with a series of discussions on the identification of sacred sites in the locality of Iauaretê, situated on the shores of the middle Uaupés River, between 2004 and 2011, involving the participation of local indigenous leaders and representatives of the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN). The work of identifying these sites began with the institute’s visit to the region in 2004 and the partnership established with the Federation of Indigenous Organizations of the Rio Negro (FOIRN) and the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), a non-government organization that has provided advice and support to indigenous peoples of the region for two decades. Following an evaluation of the effects of the listing of the Iauaretê Falls as intangible heritage by IPHAN in 2005, as well as the preservation actions implemented subsequently, the article explores some aspects of the new collaborative dynamics between anthropologists and indigenous researchers/intellectuals which the experience brings to the fore, as well as the specific way in which this phenomenon is manifested in the context of the upper Rio Negro.

Carelli, Vincent. 2013. “Iauaretê: Cachoeira das Onças (film).” Vibrant 10 (1).

2006, 48 min Film directed by Vincent Carelli Produced by IPHAN – Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage and Video nas Aldeias. Anthropological consultants: Geraldo Andrello and Ana Gita de Oliveira. The film was produced in 2006 as part of the Registration Process of Iauaretê, Cachoeira das Onças [Jaguar Waterfalls], municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in the Upper Rio Negro. This sacred place was the first site to be inscribed in the “Book of Places” of Brazilian Immaterial Cultural Heritage. In addition to subsidizing the inclusion of these elements into the listing process, the film features the mythical account of the origin of humanity, which the Tariano Indians attribute to the stones of Iauaretê falls. It also shows some of the activities to safeguard the site, such as the reconstruction of a large hut and the successful attempt to retrieve ritual objects that had been stored for many years in a museum in Manaus. IPHAN and the Ministry of Culture more recently began to support a large bi-national Brazilian-Colombian project intended to retrace the trajectory of the tukanoan ancestral anaconda-canoe, mapping all the relevant places along the Rio Negro between Manaus and São Gabriel da Cachoeira, and from there to the Ipanoré Falls on the middle Uaupés from where humanity emerged according to the vision of tukanoan Indians. This project is now underway with a first part of the journey having been undertaken in February 2013, with the participation of Tukano, Desana, Pira-Tapuia, Tuyuka, Bará and Makuna indigenous specialists. Images and narratives are being produced with the aim of editing a new video documentary on the theme of the simultaneous appearance and differentiation of regional landscape and humanity.


Beek, Jan, and Mirco Göpfert. 2013. "State Violence Specialists in West Africa." Sociologus 63 (1-2), Bureaucrats in Uniform: 103-124.

When encountering uniformed personnel in West Africa, as an inexper- ienced observer, they all appear alike and their scope of duty is obscure: sol- diers, gendarmes, police officers, firemen, customs officers, immigration offi- cers, forest officers, and community police are all uniformed and often armed with AK-47s. The duties of these different actors are not clearly delineated and seem to be self-selected rather than delegated by legal authorities. Scho- lars ascribing to theories of Security Sector Reform consider this overlap to be inherently flawed. This article examines the ensemble of state violence specia- lists and how it emerges out of everyday practices and self-descriptions. Vio- lence specialists each tend to fulfil distinct tasks of everyday policing. Despite the conflicts arising out of overlapping claims, the emerging ensemble of vio- lence specialists is not chaotic or disorderly, but relatively stable whilst retain- ing flexibility.


Brisset-Foucault, Florence. 2013. "A Citizenship of Distinction in the Open Radio debates of Kampala." Africa 83 (2): 227-250.

This article investigates practices of speech and sociability in open radio debates in Kampala to decipher imaginaries of citizenship in contemporary Uganda. In these ebimeeza (‘round tables’ in Luganda, also called ‘people's parliaments’) orators are engaged in practices of social distinction when compared to those they call the ‘common men’. These spaces of discussion reflect the importance of education in local representations of legitimacy and morality, whether in Buganda ‘neotraditional’ mobilizations or Museveni's modernist vision of politics. The ebimeezaand the government ban imposed on them in 2009 reveal the entrenchment of the vision of a ‘bifurcated’ public sphere, the separation of a sphere of ‘development’ and a sphere of ‘politics’, the latter being only accessible to educated ‘enlightened’ individuals – despite the revolutionary discourse and the institutionalization of the Movementist ‘grassroots democracy’ model in 1986.

Costa Teixeira, Carla, and Cristina Dias da Silva. 2013. "Antropologia e saúde indígena: mapeando marcos de reflexão e interfaces de ação. " Anuário Antropológico 2012-I, 2013: 35-57.

Keywords: indigenous health, Brazilian anthropology, scientific production

The scientific production on indigenous health in Brazil has quadrupled in the past 10 years. If we consider the set of theses and dissertations in Social Sciences produced in the same period, this number remains low. However, what we would like to propose in this article is an analysis of these numbers - collected in the Capes (Brazilian acronym for Improving Coordination for University-Level Staff) database survey - to discuss the relevance and significance of this production, with a focus on anthropological contribution, as well as presenting the genealogy of the growing importance of the topic in anthropology Brazilian. To this end, we seek to enter the numbers measured in broader contexts that would enable us to understand them as part of a process that fits the dynamics of both scientific and political fields in Brazil. Finally, we draw some thematic convergences own anthropological production over recent decades and pointed out certain research developments that are becoming increasingly strong lines.

De Grenade, Rafael, and Gary Paul Nabhan. 2013. "AGROBIODIVERSITY IN AN OASIS ARCHIPELAGO." Journal of Ethnobiology 33(2): 203–236.

Oases on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula harbor farms and gardens which largely feature crops first introduced by Jesuit missionaries (1697–1768). These spring-fed agricultural landscapes are currently managed as diverse agroecosystems with original heritage food crop species as well as newer crop and livestock introductions. These isolated landscapes are relict sanctuaries for unique desert crop varieties and farming systems that may be important for in situ conservation of agrobiodiversity and crop resources. Historical records in 1774 describe 21 original perennial crop species introductions in cultivation on the peninsula just after the Jesuit expulsion. This research expands rapid-assessment surveys conducted in nine mission oasis sites on the peninsula in 2010 through in-depth surveys of Mission era and total perennial crop species richness and relative frequency in twelve Jesuit mission oases. In all, 241 large field-gardens were surveyed with eighty-nine total perennial crop species cultivated in the mission oases. Species-area and rank- abundance relationships were calculated to determine patterns of inter and intra-oasis agrobiodiversity. A high persistence of Mission era species indicates that these oases serve as agrobiodiversity refugia, or protected source areas for heritage perennial crop species. The cultural and agricultural islands of the oases should be considered as an archipelago of interconnected sites for the long-term resilience of the region’s farming and food systems.

Gandolfo, Daniella. 2013. "FORMLESS: A Day at Lima's Office of Formalization." CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY 28 (2): 278–298.

Keywords: informality, political economy, urban culture

In 2009–2010, a team of officials at Lima’s Office of Formalization worked to formalize (legalize) the hundreds of markets that operate informally in the downtown area of the city . To persuade businesses to apply for an oper ating license, the Office lowered the threshold of requirements and simplified the procedure. This strategy was akin to the legal reform program promoted by Hernando de Soto’s 1986 influential study of informality, El otro sendero: La revolucio ́n informal. But at what point does simplifying the law, in its aim to bring state regulation closer to the realities of informal vendors, produce, rather, the informalization of the legal and bureaucratic apparatus? Drawing on fieldwork at Lima’ s Office of Formalization and at the downtown markets of Mesa Redonda and El Hueco, this article is an ethnographic examination of informality not as the absence of legal or bureaucratic form but as a sequence of countless operations engaged in its deformation. Georges Bataille’s theories of general economy and l’informe (the formless) frame this study of the formlessness of bureaucratic form and of informal vendors’ unrelenting desire for autonomy from the state.

González-abrisketa, Olatz. 2013. "Cuerpos desplazados. Género, deporte, y protagonismo cultural en la plaza vasca (Displaced Bodies: Gender, Sport and Cultural Domination in the Basque Court)." AIBR, Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana 8 (1): 83-110.

Keywords: Anthropology, Gender, Sport, Imagined Community, Basque pelota

This paper intends to show the metonymical identification that exists between the male body and the Basque community and how this identification provokes a systematic ex- clusion of women from the spaces where cultural protagonism is displayed. To do so, it will examine how protagonism is performed in the sport of hand pelota, a sport in which the most popular modality is exclusively male and which has been central to shaping the Basque imaginary. The game of pelota has shaped many of the main squares in Basque villa- ges and towns, as well as the Basque bodies placed in them. The place where pelota is pla- yed, the fronton, is the space used by the Basque community to hold their most significant events. And Pelota is the prototypical game played in that space. By deciphering the chain of signifiers generates in the game, it is possible to understand the imaginary which prevent women from becoming protagonists in the context of Basque cultural representation. The paper tells the story of one of them, the Navarrese pelota player Maite Ruiz de Larramendi, forced to give up pelota when she was a child, and attempts to provide keys for the inter- pretation of other cases beyond its ethnographic boundaries, such as the well-known case of the South African athlete Caster Semenya.

Hansen, Paul. 2013. "Urban Japan's 'Fuzzy' New Families: Affect and Embodiment in Dog–Human Relationships." Asian Anthropology 12 (2): 83-103.

Keywords: Japan; families; canine – human relationships; dogs; pets

This paper argues that Japan and notions of Japaneseness are becoming “postfamilial” in breaking from earlier models and roles, and that one aspect of Japan's post-familial shift can be observed in the sharp rise in the number of “fuzzy” household members, specifically dogs, cats, and rabbits over the past three decades. In Japan, pets now outnumber children under the age of 15. The number one consumer of companion animals is also the fastest growing demographic in Japan: adults whose adult children have left home. Dogs are the focus of this paper. Dogs are more publicly prominent than cats or rabbits and they are an increasing presence in homes, parks, and cafés in urban Japan. Moreover, the representation of human–canine relations has become prominent in popular media; for example “the Softbank dog,” Kaikun, has become a television advertising celebrity. Furry familiar others are projected to be an ever-increasing presence in urban Japan. Thus, “fuzzy” also denotes the boundary blurring familial roles that some dogs encroach upon. This paper discusses how touch, affect, and embodiment entangle in dealing with urban Japan's exploding population of companion canines; a space where dogs are coming to be viewed as stand-in or surrogate fathers, friends, and even lovers.

Ingold, Tim. 2013. "Anthropology Beyond Humanity." Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society 38(3): 5-23.

Keywords: anthropology, baboons, Latour, Machiavellian intelligence, non- humans, reindeer, species-being

This article begins with a dispute between myself and anthropologist Robert Paine about Saami reindeer herding. Do reindeer transact with humans, as humans are alleged to do with one another? Or is a transactional approach no more appropriate for humans than it is for reindeer? Just at the point when transactionalism was on the wane in anthropology, it was on the rise in psychology and the study of animal behaviour. Studies of non-human primates, in particular, likened them to Machiavellian strategists. Picking up on this idea, philosophers Michel Serres and Bruno Latour have argued that human relations are stabilised, by comparison with the animals’, through the enrolment of ever more ‘non-humans’. By ‘non-humans’, however, they mean material-semiotic mediators rather than Machiavellian transactors. In the latter capacity, as smart performers, non-humans are supposed to interact only with other individuals of their species, not with humans. The idea that social relations should be confined to intraspecific relations, however, is shown to be a reflex of the assumption that humans are fundamentally different, in their mode of being, from all other living kinds. Rejecting this assumption, I argue for an anthropology beyond the human that would turn its back both on the species concept and on the project of ethnography, and join with non-humans understood neither as material mediators nor as smart performers, but as sentient beings engaged in the tasks of carrying on their own lives.

Iyigun, Murat. 2013. "Lessons from the Ottoman Harem on Culture, Religion, and Wars." Economic Development and Cultural Change (EDCC) 61 (4): 693-710.

The Ottoman Empire had a profound impact in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa at the apogee of its power, covering the era between 1453 and 1699. In this article, I exploit the empire’s unique culture and institutions to examine the roles of ethnicity and religion in conflict and war. Using comprehensive data on Ottoman wars and conflicts covering the reigns of 31 Ottoman sultans between 1400 and 1909, I document that the ethnic background of the Valide Sultan (queen mother) was an important and independent determinant of whether the empire engaged in military conquests in Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East. Depending on the empirical specification, the reign of a sultan with a European maternal genealogy was enough to offset more than 70% of the empire’s western orientation in imperial conquests. While these findings do not rule out a direct role of queen mothers and harem politics in Ottoman affairs, they are more in line with a longer-term channel of cultural transmission between the Valide Sultans and their sons.

Kawharu, Margaret. 2013. "Whakapapa and Metamorphosis." Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies 10 (1): 51-72.

Keywords: Treaty of Waitangi claim settlements; Maori identity; whakapapa;

In the context of running Treaty of Waitangi claims against the Crown,1 I argue that the claim process is much more about what it means to be Maori, on ever shifting ground in New Zealand society, than anything else. There are three stages in the claim process once a claim is lodged: presentation of evidence, negotiations around appropriate redress and an agreed settlement. At every stage in the process, claimants are required to identify themselves in terms of their whakapapa (genealogy). Yet the fact that these terms have been determined by the Crown is in itself a result of patterns of interaction shaped by a legal, adversarial settlement process and an iniquitous colonial past. This essay aims to clarify why the claim process is so protracted and what challenges the Maori claimants face, when the very process of being eligible to engage with the Crown forces them to redefine their identity as Maori several times over. In doing so the essay points to the tension for Maori between work- ing with indigenous concepts and values at the same time as engaging with the Crown to settle long-standing grievances. It also addresses some key an- thropological questions about identity processes, showing how being claimants reinforces, embraces and strengthens the notion of a Maori identity but at the same time undermines, systematises, and limits being Maori. In this sense, one understands how the Crown, or the state, is an institution ‘that is the ground of both our freedoms and our unfreedoms’ (Scott, 1998: 7).


Maier, Christian. 2013. "NO MAN IS AN ISLAND: Das Dorf Atimelang Auf Alor und Cora Du Bois." Paideuma 59:169-193.

In the village of atimelang, on the island of alor, i encountered a myth about the american anthropologist Cora du Bois. according to du Bois the villagers of atimelang believed that people who had mysteriously disappeared were to come back as ‘good beings’ (nala kang). Based on du Bois’ work the early development of infants in atimelang is examined. This shows that socialisation in atimelang aims to prepare individuals for experiences of separation and loss. moreover, the belief in the return of a person who had disappeared seems to be a consis­ tent result of this socialisation. The fact that Cora du Bois is being connected to or perceived as a ‘good being’ proves the persistent nature of traditional religious beliefs as well as their ability to integrate external influences. Ultimately, the myth of Cora du Bois shows how the personality of an anthropologist can affect the people where he or she is conducting research.



In this paper, we go through the history of the construction of tango as heritage. The period analyzed here begins in the late 90's and extends until 2010. We analyze the factors underlying the cultural policies that came to surface after the "turn" of tango as heritage in Buenos Aires, that is to say, after the activation and promotion of this popular genre on part of the political power (Morel 2009). Through a process analysis, we outline the official efforts behind this recognition. Simultaneously, we examine the impact of tourism as a decisive factor in the political-cultural approaches of the successive administrations. Our aim is especially focused on two main aspects: first, we highlight the heritage-driven policies that went along with the activation process of this genre, and, secondly, we note the consolidation of the cultural policies and actions which had to do, mainly, with the organization of tango events in relation to the promotion of tourism in the city. Under this framework, we explore the negotiations and disputes which, later on, led to the creation of the Buenos Aires Tango Festival and its institutionalization within the official cultural program.

Keywords: political heritage, festivals, tourism, tango


Musharbash, Yasmine. 2013. "Night, Sight, and Feeling Safe: An Exploration of Aspects of Warlpiri and Western Sleep." Taja: The Australian Journal of Anthropology 24 (1): 48–63.

Keywords: sleeping and nighttime customs, vision, epistemology, Aboriginal Australia, cross-cultural comparison

Sleeping leaves those asleep ‘blind’ and hence oblivious to potential or real danger. Such dangers are heightened further and more feared at night, the main time for sleep. In this article, I link ideas about sleep and nighttime social practices with questions about vision. My aim is to tease out some of the meanings implied in cross-culturally distinct solutions to the protection of sleepers at night. I proceed by contrasting ethnographic data from the remote Aboriginal settlement of Yuendumu, Northern Territory, with select elements of the cultural history of Euro-American sleep. Through ethnographic vignettes, I illuminate how people at Yuendumu commonly arrange themselves in yunta, or rows of sleepers, at night, and how some sleepers awake regularly during the night to ensure the others’ safety. I contrast this with Euro-American ways of providing a sense of safety to the sleeper through practices of domestic fortification. My comparison revolves around the notion of sight, which in the Euro-American West is clearly linked to ideas of knowledge, and at Yuendumu, as I demonstrate, imbued with a sense of care. I conclude by relating the gained insights to participant observation as anthropological method.

Pearson, Thomas W. 2013. "'Life Is Not for Sale!': Confronting Free Trade and Intellectual Property in Costa Rica." American Anthropologist 115(1): 58-71.

Keywords: intellectual property rights; free trade; Social Movements; Citizenship and Democracy; Biological Life

Expansion of intellectual property rights (IPR) regimes has been achieved in part through bilateral free-trade agreements. This process, however, has not gone uncontested. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Costa Rica, in this article I examine a conflict over IPR in the context of a social movement against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). I focus specifically on reforms that have set the stage for the private appropriation of biodiversity, plant varieties, and other biological materials. Environmentalists have struggled against these reforms since the mid-1990s, and during the confrontation over CAFTA they positioned “defense of life itself” as a key issue for the social movement. Activists challenged the legal constitution of seeds, biodiversity, and other biological materials as objects of IPR by ideologically situating life outside of commodity exchange and as part of the collective property of the nation.

Plateau Culture

Pincuo, Gerong, and Henrieëtte Daudey. 2013. "Too Much Loving-Kindness to Repay: Funeral Speeches of the Wenquan Pumi." Asian Highlands Perspectives 28:81-128.

Keywords: China, funeral, metaphor, parallellism, Pumi, Yunnan

Two Pumi funeral speech rituals of the Wenquan Pumi area in northwestern Y unnan Province illustrate the traditional genre of speeches through their use of metaphor and parallellism. The speeches express the central concept of giving and repaying that plays an important role in strengthening social cohesion among Pumi relatives.


Porath, Nathan. 2013. "Freud among the Orang Sakai: The Father Archetype, the Talking Cure, and the Transference in a Sumatran Shamanic Healing Complex." ANTHROPOS 108 (1): 1–17.

Keywords: Sumatra, Sakai, shamanic healing, talking therapy, transference, father archetype

This article provides a detail description of a Sakai shamanic healing ritual session. The aim is to show that cer- tain therapeutic techniques and themes associated with Freud are prevalent in indigenous form within the shamanic healing “tool kit.” These Freudian themes are a) recognition of the therapeutic force of the word, b) the healing qualities of the father archetype, c) recognition of transference type phenomena, and d) recogni- tion of the detrimental side of emotional investment in others (object cathexis). This article also makes the point that in our at- tempt to understand indigenous healing we should focus on the one-to-one relationship between the healing techniques and the indigenous theory of consciousness.


Quin, James. 2013. "'I need not anthrapologise…' – Anthropological Encounters with James Joyce." Irish Journal of Anthropology 16(2): 7-12.

Keywords: James Joyce; subjectivity; postcolonial theory; ethnography.

After a brief look at the use of small elements of anthropological theory in the setting of an interpretive cultural centre, in this case devoted to the works of author James Joyce, I look at the ways in which Joyce’s work resonates with recent concerns in anthropology, particularly in relation to subjectivity, identity, and representation. Joyce’s works have been analysed by scholars in terms of Irish and especially postcolonial identity and subjectivity, but they also offer opportunities for thinking about writing and the representation of subjectivities in the modern and postmodern world.

Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology

Ribeiro, Gustavo Lins. 2013. "Global Flows of Development Models." Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology 23 (2): 121-141.

Keywords: Globalisation; Development; Models; Flows; Dissemination

In spite of the fact that development is one of the most powerful and malleable contemporary discourses, its dissemination on a global level still needs a framework of analysis. Development entails a vast array of modelling devices of the natural and social worlds. Its dissemination is subject to the logics of dissemination of discourses and models and of their transformation into hegemonic visions of the world. The analysis of global flows of development models supposes the analysis of the dissemination of a discursive matrix, of its different components (of diverse levels of abstraction) and the different modes through which such dissemination occurs. I will explore the existence of the diffuse and concentrated modes of dissemination of development models, their characteristics and dynamics in order to provide a framework to think the different ways development is disseminated and naturalised in today’s globalised world.

Zeitschrift für Ethnologie

Schröder, Philipp. 2013. "Ainuras Amerikanische Karriere – Räumliche und Soziale Mobilitaät einer jungen Kirgisin." Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 138: 235–258.

Keywords: youth, Kyrgyzstan, education, social network, gender

This article follows the life-story of Ainura, a Kyrgyz female in her late 20s, in order to discuss the intertwinement of spatial and social mobility in contemporary Kyrgyzstan. It sets off by describing how Ainura’s decision to learn English as a teenage girl opened up relevant educational opportunities for her, all of which were sponsored by US civil-society engagement in Kyrgyzstan. Seizing these oppor- tunities led Ainura from her rural home to obtaining a Master’s degree from an American university. Along these waypoints and further into her time as an employee of different international organizations operating in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek, the article traces both Ainura’s professional development and the evolvement of her social relations. In particular, I depict how Ainura ‘manages’ her personal net- work’s two most significant segments: the ties to her rural kin group and those to her urban friends with whom she shares a similar ‘US-background’. These reveal that Ainura’s longing for individual freedom and her social leverage, which she especially uses to subdue traditional expectations of a speedy mar- riage, are strongly related to her success as a young professional, i. e. as a potent earner and potential creditor for her extended kin group.


Songin-Mokrzan, Marta. 2013. "Engaged Anthropology in Poland: Beyond the Postmodern Concept of Science." LUD t. 97, 2013, pp. 11-132

Keywords: engaged anthropology, practice, ethics, the political, postmodernity

The article presents a discussion on engaged anthropology, conducted since 2004 by ethnologists in Poland, which addresses the issue of the discipline’s identity. The purpose of this article is to look at how researchers redefine anthropology in the spirit of commitment and responsibility, and to place these considerations in a broader social and historical context. The author argues that the reception of postmodernism had the greatest influence on the development of reflection on the engagement in Polish ethnology. Postmodern anthropology is characterised by a critical reflection on fundamental anthropological issues such as: fieldwork research methods, knowledge and modes of its legitimation, the research subject, and methodological procedures. This critical approach contributed to the emergence of a new paradigm of knowledge. At the same time it caused a lot of tension and concerns related to the status of anthropology as a science, and triggered the reflection centred on the question: how should modern anthropology be characterised? One of the answers is that anthropology should be engaged. This proposal can be seen as an attempt to break the cognitive scepticism which is associated with postmodern reflection. It is also an attempt, taken up by Polish ethnologists, to deal with the dilemma of reconstructing the discipline’s identity in the face of contemporary challenges.

North American Dialogue

Tretjak, Kaja. 2013. "Opportunity and Danger: Why Studies of the Right Are Crucial for U.S. Anthropology and Beyond." North American Dialogue 16 (2): 60-68.

There is no abstract for this article.

International Journal of Modern Anthropology

Unasho, Abayneh. 2013. "Language as genes of culture and biodiversity conservation: The case of “Zaysite” language in southern region of Ethiopia." International Journal of Modern Anthropology 6 (1): 13-36.

Keywords: biodiversity, elders, endangerment, language preservation, teenagers, Zaysite, cultural genes

Ethiopia is a country of a remarkable’ mosaic’ people each with its own distinct languages, and cultural norms without which progress and development are impossible and development that does not pay attention to culture and environment cannot produce fruits. Zeyse ethnic group is one of the minority ethnic groups whose language and its role to conserve biodiversity is not studied well. The aim of this study was to assess the status of Zeyse ethnic group language and its role in biodiversity conservation. Subjects: During the study, the status of the language and its role to conserve biodiversity were assessed by, taking a sample of 230 individuals from the population that includes age groups ranged from 10 to 105 years, who were native “Zaysite” speakers... Results and conclusion: The result indicated positive attitude of the respondents towards their language, the link between linguistically encoded indigenous environmental knowledge and biodiversity conservation, existence of some obsolete words of Zaysite language, and progressive decrease of the mean ( ) numbers of correctly interpreted vocabularies from elders ( =63.85) to teenagers ( =37.23). These findings prove noticeable gradual decline in the use of Zaysite language. Losses of vocabularies, as social genes of culture and some words becoming obsolete have not only negative impacts on the proficiency and communicative functions of the language, but also on the biodiversity conservation because life in a particular human environment is dependent on people’s ability to express the environment using words (cultural genes) of the language. Therefore, language has a direct positive effect on the biodiversity conservation and hence, Zaysite and other languages need protection, preservation and documentation in order to conserve biodiversity.


Werneck, Alexandre. 2013. “Sociologia da moral como sociologia da agência.” RBSE – Revista Brasileira de Sociologia da Emoção 12 (36): 707-725.

Keywords: sociology of morals, agency, accounts, effectuation

The aim of this paper is to analyze the role of agency – pragmatically described as actancy – in the sociology of morals. Although interpretive theories about morality focus on the decision-making capacity of the actors towards their own actions as a basic anthropological feature another dimension of moral capacity proves especially relevant: the use of agent’s agency and structure’s agency rather as devices than as dispositions. And since it is devices, it can be deployed, as the situated grammars of social life prove it is necessary and convenient. In this framework, two classic devices of social accountability, justification and excuse, can be understood not only as linguistical devices but also as indexes of each of those agencies, conveniently operable, be the situation proper to universality (justification, focused on individual agency) or to circumstance (excuse, focused on the agency of an agent other than the individual). This shifts the classical dichotomy agent- structure into a pair of moral devices for effectuation based on the situated shift of the center of decision-making about the actions/situations.

Markus Verne (2013). The Limits of Contextualism. Malagasy Heavy Metal, "Satanic" Aesthetics, and the Anthropological Study of Popular Music. déjà lu Translations (2013)

This article was first published in 2012 in German in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 137 (2), pp. 187-206.  The original is not available on-line.  It was chosen by the German Association of Anthropologists as  the most appropriate article for republication in déjà lu. They requested its author to translate it into English, which he has done.  We are honoured to open the section "déjà lu Translations" with this publication.

Keywords: sociology of morals, agency, accounts, effectuation

During the last fifteen years or so, the study of popular music has increased in popularity within the field of anthropology. Theoretical approaches are however, only rarely concerned with aesthetics, with the ways in which music is experienced and with its relation to everyday life. Instead, explanations focus on the social, historical and political contexts in which popular music is performed, echoing the way in which popular music is dealt with in critical theory and cultural studies. Drawing on ethnographic research on heavy metal in the highlands of Madagascar, this article attempts to point out the shortcomings of these contextualist approaches by taking aesthetic experience as the point of departure for the study of popular music. Showing how during fieldwork in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo, Satan emerged as an allegory that served both metal fans and musicians as a means to express their aesthetic experiences and to further reflect upon the music’s unique character, the article argues that the anthropological study of popular music needs to refocus on its own traditional methodologies – long-term participant observation, above all – in order to no longer neglect music’s most central aspect: its ability to deeply move us. Keywords: anthropology of music, popular music, aesthetics, heavy metal, Madagascar

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