Culture incarnate: native anthropology from Russia by Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer

By Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer

This selection of stories makes use of the procedures of research and self-analysis to check the social, political and non secular forces at paintings within the post-Soviet international. The textual content contains discussions of ethnohistory, political anthropology and ethnic clash, and symbolic anthropology.

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Extra resources for Culture incarnate: native anthropology from Russia

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Indigenous anthropologists, as representatives of their own cultures, are often the incarnation of traditions that they themselves choose to describe and interpret. With anthropological training, they are both of their culturesculture incarnateand in positions to critique those cultures in times of turmoil. While this is an Page 4 international phenomenon, it is nowhere more blatant than on the territory of the former Soviet Union, including inside the Russian Federation. The thesis of this book is that non-Russian anthropologists of Russia have much to contribute and have not yet been heard well enough.

Thus he highlights women's appeasement of mice (after stealing from their burrows), men's hunting etiquette, and the use of urine to discourage the return of the dead as spirits. Some of the customs mentioned have correlations among other northern Siberian peoples, but no effort is made to fit Eskimo practices into others' linguistic or ethnogenetic frameworks. Tense changes in the original manu- Page 15 script have been preserved in the translation provided here, for they show a wavering between discussion of outmoded concepts and current ones.

She integrated her folk knowledge with a reverence that included making small food offerings in four directions when collecting plants. In the introduction to her catalogue, she anticipated objections that, since European foods are well known and used in Chukotka, Native dishes should be superseded. She argued for a full range of knowledge of multiple, enriching ways of food and medicinal preparation. She thus created an apt metaphor, using food, for the coexistence of cultures in general, and the Russian, Chukchi, and Eskimo cultures in specific.

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