Fields | Terrains | Vol. 6

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cultural publications

Winter | Hiver 2016 | Vol. 6


FIELDS TERRAINS a c a d e m i c

j o u r n a l

Winter | Hiver 2016 | Vol. 6 McGill Undergraduate Journal of Anthropology Revue d’anthropologie des étudiantes et étudiants au baccalauréat de McGill

Win t e r | H i v e r 2 016



a ca demic

T E R RAI N S journa l

McGill Undergraduate Journal of Anthropology _ Revue d’anthropologie des étudiantes et étudiants au baccalauréat de McGill

Editor-in-chief - Éditeur en chef Matthew Shi Cover art - Couverture Sienna Zampino Layout Editor - Éditeur de mise en page Issabella Biron Ren Editorial board - Équipe éditoriale Emma Avery Issabella Biron Ren Kathleen Godfrey Kira Pavagadhi Sandrine Philie Dyana Saiful Kyle Shaw-Müller

Special thanks - Remerciements Arts Undergraduate Society, McGill Department of Anthropology, Anthropology Students’ Association

Note from the editor

The Fields editorial team welcomes you to the sixth volume of McGill’s undergraduate journal of anthropology. This diverse collection finds itself in both Hydro-powered Quebec and the Lower-Middle Pleistocene, contemplating archaeological techniques and navigating the terrains of ethnographic representation. With selections ranging from academic research papers to independent photographic projects, we hope to demonstrate some of our department’s many voices. On behalf on this year’s editorial team, we thank you for your ongoing support. Matthew Shi Editor-in-chief

Note de l'editeur

L’équipe d’édition de Terrains vous souhaites la bienvenue dans le sixième volume du journal d’anthropologie de l’Université McGill au baccalauréat. À travers notre répertoire de recherche diversifié, nous nous retrouvons tout autant au sein de sujet tel qu’un Québec Hydro-électrifié jusqu’au Pléistocène Moyen, à contempler diverses techniques archéologiques et à naviguer à travers différents terrains de représentation ethnographique. Notre sélection contient des travaux de recherche d’ordre académique, mais également des projets indépendants de photographie. C’est donc avec notre sélection diversifiée que nous espérons démontrer les voix variées de notre département. De la part de toute l’équipe d’édition, nous vous remercions de votre support constant. Matthew Shi Éditeur en chef Traduit de l’anglais par Sandrine Philie


0 1 Reco gnition, Re p r esentatio n, and Reso ur ces:

Ne gotiating James Bay Cr ee Hunting Tr ad itio n in Hydr o-Pow er ed Que b ec by Ty Car y

0 5 T he

Resur gence o f Sp anish Ci vil War Ar c haeolo g y: Go als, Agents, and Co ntr over sy by Madeleine Gomer y

1 0 I slam & Change: A Relig io p o lig ical Refo r matio n

by Faye Sc hac hter

1 5 T he Death o f Cecil the Lio n: No r th American Notions of An imal Per so nho o d

by Nicole Spadotto

2 0 Fir st Contacts: Issues o f Co lo nialism, Co llectio n

and Cur atio n ( A Critical Analysis o f the UBC M useum o f Anthr o p o lo g y’s Haid a To tem Po le Collection) by Jessica Hunter

2 6 T he Haitian HIV/AIDS Ep id emic: A Natur al Disaster Sha p ed by Pover ty and Gend er

by Cor ey Str aub

31 A

Perfor mance o f Perfo r mati vity: Dir ector s and the Ar t o f Car etaking


by Marina Miller

3 6 I nvestigiat ing the p r esence o f

cultur e in hominins d ating to the Lo wer and Mid d le P leistocene: Ar c haeo lo g ical e vid en ce of symbolism in Palaeo lithic ar t by Re becca R ainville

46 Photo Submissions 6 5 I dentity in Paritio n: Maintaining Ind ian Stateho o d thr ough Patriar c hal Po wer

by A pril Bar r ett

6 8 M ining for Go ld : T he R an kin Inlet A p p r o ac h to Self -Deter minatio n in the Meljad ine Go ld Life P r oject

by Mélanie Wittes


How to paint sp ring by Julien Renaud-Tr emblay

8 0 Sin, Acce p tance, and Mo d er n So ciety: An

I nvestig atio n o f Go d ’s Love in Christ Chur c h Cathedr al in Do wnto wn Mo ntr eal by Nicole Spadotto

8 4 T he Hosta ge Ancesto r s: An Analysis o f Wari Figurings in Asso ciatio ns with Water, Warf ar e, R itual and Gend er

by Catherine Br ooks

9 2 T he I nca Ceq ue System

by Sar ah Miller-Dor r ance

9 7 Cannibalist ic Carib s: Fir st Enco unter s an d Per specti ves o f th e Nati ves o f the Car rib ean

by Ella Myette


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Recognition, Representation, and Resources: Negotiating James Bay Cree Hunting Tradition in a Hydro-powered Quebec Ty Cary The endowed state force of Quebec is charged with a duty to its citizens in providing numerous essential utilities to sustain the infrastructure of its advancing provincial constituency. Not least among these utilities is the vital production of power that lights and heats the public and private places inhabited by over eight million Quebecers; made especially imperative during inhospitable winter months. Such an intense reality poses a significant difficulty to the state in finding a viably affordable (and in the age of the ecological crisis, sustainable) source of energy. Opportunely, the geography of Quebec is also endowed with a sparsely inhabited northern land of abundant waterways; prime for state utilization as an inexpensive and renewable source of hydroelectric power which, since 1971, has been exploited by the public utility firm, Hydro-Quebec. Yet these lands do not merely represent an empty and opportunistic space for the powering of a province. For the smaller but much older James Bay Cree Nation of Quebec, this spatial domain signifies the very means of access to a conventional way of life. As the northern region is valued by Hydro-Quebec for the essential utility of power, Cree inhabitants similarly cherish the land as a crucial space to practice hunting lifestyles that are imbued with rich utilitarian and cultural significance. This essay analyzes the conflict imbued in Cree access to hunting as a result of Hydro-Quebec’s presence, the representation of James Bay Cree hunting lifestyles as a response, and Quebec-Cree collaborations in ensuring continued native access to hunting traditions. Through this, an understanding may be drawn in answering the essential question of what Hydro-Quebec’s northern presence means for the status of

James Bay Cree hunting practice; both as a cultural identity and as a means to survival. In Quebec, the James Bay Cree represent an aboriginal ethnic group numbered at about18,000 in population, typically living in sparsely populated regions throughout the northern two-thirds of the province. The historical state force of Quebec in interacting with the indigenous nation has historically been one of great care out of the pragmatic necessity of maintaining industry. A 1763 set of instructions sent to King George III regarding the foreign administration of Quebec reads, “whereas our Province of Quebec is inhabited and possessed by several Nations and Tribes of Indians with whom it is both necessary and expedient to cultivate and maintain a strict friendship and good correspondence… you are upon no account to molest or disturb them.” (Richardson 1974:26). Yet an age of contemporary conflict began in 1971 with the formation of the James Bay Development Corporation in claiming traditional Cree lands to support the James Bay Hydroelectric Project in confluence with provincial power utility firm, Hydro Quebec. These original developments were made without any prior-informed consent from the Cree nations and were, in fact, unofficially opposed by the James Bay Cree. Yet in 1975, the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) was signed by the Grand Council of the Crees, recognizing that Hydro-Quebec could establish the James Bay Hydroelectric Project. The signage of the agreement granted the Cree definite access to some previously disputed lands within the region, but legally denied them access to other traditionally habited areas, primarily in Quebec’s vast interior lands (Scott 2001:156).



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Despite the compromise of the Government of Quebec being restricted in fully governing, and in effect colonizing the Cree territory, a myriad of new environmental restrictions were soon imposed upon the Cree and a presence of white settlers established. An understanding of this basic history provides a knowledge of the context in which the Cree struggle to maintain basic access to hunting. One implication of the Cree signing of the JBNQA allowed for the introduction of sport-hunting by outsiders on traditional Cree lands. On August 23, 1989, sporthunting of the region’s caribou was opened to outsiders, yet the state failed to ensure proper signage, near the town of Wemindji for example, which led to further intrusions of outsiders onto Cree lands. A local man notes, “I’m not allowed to hunt near the white man, around those [hydro] transmission lines; we expect the same kind of consideration from the white man, not to shoot close to our cabins.” (Scott 2001:164). Yet conflicts of where whites hunt only forms the basis for a much deeper clash in terms of the way in which they hunt. Cree hunters take great care in disposing of the remains of caribou and removing bloodstains from the snow, often by drinking it in recognition of their creation narrative in which animistically conceived animals are honored through blood feasts after a successful hunt (Gnarowski 2002:21). By contrast, white hunters often leave behind what was described as a “carnage” of animal carcass, bones, and blood; allowing for a potential contamination of water resources and displaying a deep spiritual lack of respect towards the nonhuman agents of James Bay. Thus, the imposition of white presence as a result of Hydro-Quebec serves to culturally dominate and subordinate the status of Cree hunting in the territory by delegitimizing the cultural semiotic meaning of its practice. Yet the Cree do not remain watchfully silent as they encounter conflict with Hydro-

Quebec elsewhere in relation to their hunting lifestyles. Seasonal land occupation rights are common knowledge in Cree custom. The Cree have no culture of permanently established ownership in relation to large plots of land, rather, lands are typically inhabited over the course of several winters and then abandoned in order to allow for the resources found within the land, such as geese populations, to replenish (Tanner 1979:195). From the Cree perspective, the disruption of the cycle of land ownership brought about by the installation of HydroQuebec developments, hunting lodges, and white outfitting stores communicates that the outsiders have disrupted a cyclical style of land ownership and thus stolen not only land, but the animal gifts that come with it. This cultural perception leads itself into what scholar Benedict Anderson termed as ‘imagined communities’, or the perception of a group of people as functioning in common agreement; despite never having come into contact with all its members (Brosius 1999: 37). Cree perception of the imagined settling community as disruptors translates to broad attacks against the unwelcome settlers in unorganized forms of ‘everyday resistance’: “break-ins at camps located along the highway have become commonplace as, indeed one boss reported being broken into every year for the past five years.” (Scott 2001:165). These micro-level responses to the encompassing force of alien land use reify the significance of the conflicts that act as a display of the impassioned Cree necessity to hunt -both as a means to survival and as a means to tradition. Though James Bay Cree actions and responses to Hydro-Quebec actions primarily manifest on a local scale, conflicts and engagements that occur here project onto broader representations of who the Cree are as they seek to legitimate their hunting claims. As representations carry


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such as the Natural Resources Defense Council appealed to Western environmental sentiments as they, “pointed out that conservation practices could save 30 percent of presently used electricity for taxpayers and ecosystems.” (LaDuke 1999:63). Conflations of the Cree and environmental interest persisted elsewhere as images of the Cree as conservationist “noble ecological savages” emerged in government representations of them, granting small forms of Cree selfgovernance and land rights on the basis that traditional hunting and indigeneity translated as automatic sustainability (Feit 2004:101). Thus, problematic Cree narratives seem to persist as the group becomes tied to notions of romantic primitivism. In recognition of a past of estrangement between the Cree and the outside force of Hydro-Quebec, what may be done to reconcile this trespass and ensure continued Cree access to hunting? Perhaps one of the most fundamental tasks that must be achieved is the formation of a working transnational relationship. From the 1930s to 1970s, the beaver reserve system allowed the Cree to serve as agents in determining where hunting grounds would be for a given year; ensuring generally fair hunting regulations that succeeded in coexisting with an outside force (Feit 2004:101). Such relationships of such power reciprocity are essential in establishing collective ideologies of respect for hunting on the basis of economy, ecology, and now identity, “The opening of mines within fifty miles of Mistassini village has not only limited the use of hunting territory in the area, it has changed systems of relationships and the character of the villagers as a whole.” (Tanner 1979:204). In understanding HydroQuebec and regional NGOs as potential ‘eco-imperialists’, one must recognize that their presence signifies both ecological and cultural power through larger population and greater force. To remove the Cree capability

great potential for manipulation in serving the agendas of non-native forces, it is first critical to understand the ways in which the Cree choose to represent themselves. Perhaps most fundamental in Cree self-determination is the status of a claim to indigeneity. The UN Forum on Indigenous Issues recognizes indigeneity as both a legal and a political definition, essentially legitimating selfidentifying groups of people with claims to being the original and pre-colonial people within a land. Anthropologist Hugh Brody explains how hunters fall into the indigenous category, “Hunters do not share peasant and urban consciousness. Their ideas, institutions, and forms of social control are radically unlike those found in settled societies.” (LaDuke 1999:52). As Aboriginal peoples carry a unique sociocultural status, this can legitimize rights to legal self-determination. With the Cree recognition of this fact, certain archetypes in the representation of hunters began to arise. Former National Chief of the First Nations, and a representative to the Cree of Mistassini, Matthew Coon Come speaks of his identity in the face of Hydro-Quebec, “The federal government wanted to take the Indian out of me. It did not succeed. I know that I know who I am. I am you, a human being, son of a great hunter, and member of the Cree Nation.” (Coon Come 2008:1). Thus, hunter becomes a status, a means in displaying a cultural identity instead in addition to an occupation that sustains one’s physical existence. While firsthand self-representations by Crees prove meaningful, outside constructions of who the Cree are far often prove more significant in establishing broad social perspectives regarding their hunting practices. With the Cree continually suffering from environmental degradations, such as the dam-release disaster of 1984 which drowned over 10,000 caribous, alliances with external NGOs become central. Organizations



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to hunt within the James Bay region is to remove access to both sustenance and cultural identity for these people. In fostering collaborations between Hydro-Quebec and the Cree Nation, it becomes essential to ensure equal access to information so that both parties may make informed and sensitive decisions in understanding the other, “Fights against the dams, and the simultaneous fight for Cree political rights that followed, helped to politicize the residents of the Cree communities and to make them aware of the economic and political forces that were the backdrop to their situation.” (Martin 2008:284). The power of knowledge is highly exclusionary, but with a recognition of that fact, changes can be directed by NGOs, Hydro-Quebec and the Cree themselves in working to engage in discourse regarding the problems in access to and expression of hunting in the face of a colonial force that is now irrevocably present. For the James Bay Cree, the sustainment of traditional means and access to hunting proves to be a challenge that will continue through the 21st century. In the face of climate change, and with the need to provide sustainable energy for the province, Hydro-Quebec will continue to inhabit the James Bay region as a colonial force. By understanding the conflicts this reality has incited, the resulting construction and representation of people groups as a reaction, and by conceiving of the means in which future Quebec-Cree relations may manifest, an essential understanding may be drawn regarding the significance and enactment of the essential hunting practice within Cree culture: for the James Bay Cree, traditional hunting practices may thus be understood as both practical and cultural; serving as a means of physically sustaining their communities while simultaneously legitimizing their presence as the original people of Northern Quebec.

References Cited Brosius, Peter. “Displacing





Rainforest.” In Green Dots Pink Hearts. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia, 1999. Coon Come, Matthew. “Introduction.” In I Choose to Forgive. Ottawa, Ontario: Ottawa Citizen, 2008. Feit, Harvey. “James Bay Cree Life Projects and Politics.” In The Way of Development: Indigenous Peoples, Life





Ontario: International Development Research Centre, 2004. Gnarowski, Tanner. “I Dream of Yesterday and Tomorrow: A Celebration of the James Bay Cree.” The Cree Project 1 (2002). Accessed 2015. LaDuke, Winona. “Native Struggles for Land and Life.” In All Our Relations. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press, 1999. Martin, Thibault. “Governance and Hydro Development.” In Power Struggles. Vol. 1. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2008. Richardson, Boyce. “Courtroom.” In Strangers Devour The Land. Vol. 1. White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1975. Scott, Colin. “Conflicts between Cree Hunting and Sport Hunting: Co-Management Decision Making at James Bay.” In Aboriginal Autonomy and Development in Northern Quebec-Labrador. Vol. 1. Vancouver, British Columbia: UBC Press, 2001. Tanner, Adrian. “Bringing Home Animals.” Social and Economic Studies 23, University of Newfoundland, no. 10 (1979). Accessed 2015.


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The Resurgence of Spanish Civil War Archaeology: Goals, Agents, and Controversy Madeleine Gomery effort to create a new national narrative to replace the state history imposed by over thirty years of autocratic rule, and in 1978, a government decree absolved Francoist agents of all crimes committed during his rule, in order to foster conciliation between progressives and conservatives. As such, critical archaeology has been somewhat belated. Ultimately, late twentieth-century international reconciliation efforts, aimed at helping newly-democratic countries overcome violent legacies of dictatorship, inspired a similar spirit in Spain, as in South Africa and Argentina (Cazorla Sanchez 2014:245). Within Spain, as well, there has been a desire to revisit the country’s history, and to provide it with alternate narratives, particularly as they relate to social history (González-Ruibal 2012:471). A key function of archaeology in this context is to help recover collective memory, thus promoting a more inclusive and balanced history (Gassiot Ballbâe 2008:432). The resurgence of exhumations has garnered a significant amount of public interest, which in turn, motivates a greater collective commitment to rewriting the past (González-Ruibal 2007:205). Civil War archaeology is a selfperpetuating public process, which speaks to a national desire to understand and potentially reframe the past. Finally, the families of Civil War victims have had a huge impact on the resurgence of mass grave archaeology: it is the personal need for reparations and closure that often motivates individual projects. Journalist Emilio Silva’s quest to find his grandfather’s body in 2000, aided by volunteer archaeologists, eventually

Introduction Although Spanish dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975, the effects of his regime and the civil war that brought him to power continue to have an impact on the politics and social history of Spain. Archaeology, in particular, has been profoundly impacted by the legacy of Spanish fascism. As such, the archaeology of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) is a complex, often contentious field. Since 2000, the exhumation of mass graves from the war and beyond has seen an explosion in popularity motivated by personal, political, and international aims. This paper examines the goals behind this movement, as well as its agents and character, before addressing the ethical, political, and judicial debates that have affected both the archaeology of the Spanish Civil War and its national impact. Doing so not only helps to evaluate the direction of Spanish archaeology, but also exemplifies many of the themes within a broader archaeological field. The Motivations for Mass Grave Exhumation The popular history of Spanish Civil War archaeology is still quite young, but already, it is fraught with complications and disagreements. Ultimately, a number of desires and circumstances are responsible for an increased interest in the last fifteen years. Following the end of the Franco dictatorship, Spain went through a period of democratic transition that ensured a certain political stability, but also denied closure to the families of those who had been executed during and after the Civil War (GonzálezRuibal 2007:203-205). There was no official



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resulted in the creation of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH), a nongovernmental group specializing in reuniting relatives with their own historical past (Congram 2014:44). Providing families with a sense of closure has been a perennial goal of the movement. As such, individual exhumations and DNA recovery are almost always motivated and financed by families (Gassiot Balbâe 2008: 433)(González-Ruibal 2015:117). This has had a positive effect on Civil War archaeology on the whole, although it can also limit individual projects. On the whole, the movement does not have a single unifying impulse, but many of its agents do share personal and political goals.

Complications also arise in fieldwork, which is dependent on seasonal conditions, the permission of local landowners, and access to corroborative archives (Cazorla Sanchez 2014:239). Ultimately, archaeological work can only take place if properly supported, which government institutions are reluctant to do, despite the best efforts of families and organizations. Not only do most local governments remain indifferent to requests for financial aid, but in some cases, they actually create bureaucratic roadblocks that make it difficult for archaeological institutions to carry out their work. In Catalonia, researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have attempted to carry out excavations in partnership with the Catalan government, but have encountered difficulties concerning intellectual authority and disagreements about the treatment of exhumed bodies (Gassiot Ballbâe 2008:438-439). Since 2011, Spain’s new right-wing government has also withdrawn already-limited funding from archaeology, as it considers the practice to be divisive (González-Ruibal 2015:124). Although some regions, such as Andalucía, support archaeological memory projects where possible, on the whole, institutional support is both insufficient and volatile (Ferrándiz 2013:41). For better and for worse, amateur archaeologists have often been responsible for studying the Civil War, particularly with regards to military structures. This has a historical precedent: Franco’s archaeological institutions, the General Commissariat for Archaeological Excavations (CGEA), and the National Service for Archaeological Excavations (SNEA), were run by government officials who perceived academic expertise as a threat, and as such, gave very limited opportunities for professional archaeologists to conduct fieldwork (Diaz-Andreu 2004:11720). The resulting de-professionalization

Character: The Good, the Bad, and the Divided As might be expected from a movement so often motivated by family stakeholders, Spanish Civil War archaeology tends to be very ground-up, and is often carried out through grassroots organizations that make use of specialists and amateurs in many different disciplines. The ARMH performed the earliest mass grave exhumations almost exclusively, and since 2004, a group called Foro por la Memoria has also been heavily involved in professionally excavating graves at families’ requests (Ferrándiz 2013:41). Relatives can also assist by providing oral testimony to help locate graves and better identify bodies that are sometimes too degraded for effective DNA recovery (Congram 2014:45). The grassroots nature of these projects also adds an unintended element of financial difficulty. Government support is extremely limited, even after laws were designed and passed to finance recovery efforts for victims’ families. As such, many cannot afford the steep price of DNA tests. Additionally, the ARMH can offer little by way of financial support, particularly following the global economic recession of 2009 (Congram 2014:58-59).


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of the discipline is something from which modern Spanish archaeology is still recovering (Cazorla Sanchez 2014:238-239). However, there is a rich cultural tradition of amateur archaeology in Spain, in part born out of an academic disregard for non-antiquarian research that existed long before Franco gained power (González-Ruibal 2007:209210). Amateur archaeologists can sometimes gain access to material that exists outside of official government jurisdiction, and many self-proclaimed “bunkerologists” have been working in the field for longer than their academic colleagues. While the two groups often collaborate in harmony, some undercurrents of resentment characterize their relationship. Academic archaeologists can find it frustrating to work alongside non-professionals who have a greater technical knowledge of the physical material, especially when it is understood that that knowledge has been gained through practices like looting (González-Ruibal 2015:120). On the other hand, amateur archaeologists occasionally resent the unpaid nature of their own work, accusing academics of accepting grants to do the same work that a non-professional would do for free (González-Ruibal 2015:122-123). While the grassroots nature of Civil War archaeology has allowed it to continue despite a number of financial setbacks, the curiously belated entry of professionals into the discipline has created a degree of conflict, especially in fieldwork. Finally, the Civil War archaeology movement has been and will continue to be characterized by its position at the intersection of science and memory. The practical consequence of this placement is a need for interdisciplinary work that involves cultural anthropologists and, in some cases, psychologists. For the families involved in these projects, exhumations require scientific treatment to support their validity, but can also be extremely emotional experiences

(Congram 2014: 61-62). Archaeologists thus have to handle very technical procedures with sensitivity for the participants involved, and some will employ other professionals to lend them ethnographic support if necessary (González-Ruibal 2015:119). Spanish mass grave archaeology is, at its core, motivated by a very humanitarian focus, which helps provide victims’ families with a sense of closure, but which also complicates the scientific practice of forensics. Memory and Conflict All archaeological projects are subject to the consequences of their socio-political environment. This is especially true of Spanish Civil War archaeology, which encounters challenges from institutions, from political movements, and from within its own movement. On a basic level, exhumation is an invasive process, and some archaeologists worry that regardless of intention, their work violates the wishes of the deceased (GonzálezRuibal 2015:122). Furthermore, discoveries often tacitly involve the acknowledgment that the Franco regime perpetrated crimes against humanity, which implicates a number of people still living and their relatives, who feel that such work is part of a smear campaign. In 2004, for example, a local judge in Andalucía denied El Foro permission to excavate a mass grave when she found out that her grandfather had been one of the Francoists responsible for killing the men within (Gassiot Ballbâe 2008:440). When an archaeological movement broaches a past that is so recent and so violent, it runs the risk of offending many of the people who might otherwise support it. Further complicating the situation is the fact that Civil War archaeology often aims to reconsider a history that is quite fragmented in Spain. There is a certain cultural silence surrounding the atrocities perpetrated by the Franco dictatorship, and for some, the



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desire to forget overwhelms the desire to uncover. Mass graves, in particular, hold an immense psychological impact heightened by memories of terror from the regime (Ferrándiz 2008:178). Part of the resurgence of Civil War archaeology can be attributed to grandchildren, who are farther removed from the era and its particular narratives. Some politicians, primarily socialists, assert that it is necessary for the country to be able to reconcile itself with its past in order to forget it (González-Ruibal 2007:203). While the silence of Spain’s democratic transition may have stabilized it in the short run, it engenders long-term divisions between the country’s right and left wings (Ferrándiz 2013:39). However, not all believe that the process of remembering is one of healing. Indeed, conservatives frequently oppose Civil War archaeology on the grounds that it promotes divisiveness. While groups like the ARMH do in theory excavate graves containing Nationalists and Republicans alike, most of the focus of the archaeological movement has been on the tens of thousands of Republicans who have not yet been accounted for (González-Ruibal 2015:118). Even some moderates find the laws concerning historical memory to be too partisan, and argue that they gloss over the crimes committed by Republicans in the earliest years of the Civil War (González-Ruibal 2007:206). In addition, Franco is not universally hated in Spain, and in recent years, revisionist biographies have sold extremely well in the country (Ferrándiz 2008:190). For some, then, Civil War archaeology inappropriately encourages both disrespect and political disunity. There is also a politico-legal element to the issue – the question of whether to attempt to bring about state-sanctioned reparations and criminal sanctions for those involved. In 2008, Spain’s highest-ranking judge, Baltasar Garzón, applied an international human

rights decision to a Spanish case in order to judicially indict Francoism. He was countered on the grounds that the crimes had occurred too long ago to seek restitution, and was later expelled from the judiciary (Ferrándiz 2013:45)(González-Ruibal 2015:117). So while excavations might help to bring about a process through which families can deal with loss, there is little to be done in terms of more concrete reparation, even with the evidence of criminality uncovered by archaeological means – a fact that is sometimes used to discourage Civil War archaeology in the first place. Lastly, beyond the conservative opposition, there is dissent within the movement regarding its political purpose. ARMH and Foro take two different approaches to the political use of the bodies they exhume; consequently, the tension between the two positions they represent can at times be detrimental to the movement. A 2010 project in Castilla y León was followed by an open confrontation between activists for the two groups, which was characterized quite negatively in the media (Ferrándiz 2013:48-49). Essentially, ARMH believes that the ultimate purpose of historical memory is to emphasize the familial, personal bond between the living and the dead; therefore, archaeologists must remain as neutral as possible, and acquiesce to the burial wishes of family members. Foro, on the other hand, openly allies itself with the Socialist party, and believes that bodies should be used for ideological purposes, in order to definitively create a leftist historical narrative for Spain (Renshaw 2011:53, 88). Even outside of this duality, some leftists believe that to remove bodies from the landscape is to make them disappear from the public eye, thus ignoring Franco’s crimes (Ferrándiz 2013:43). The mass media and public interest in Civil War archaeology would seem to indicate otherwise, but nevertheless, the field is set back by its own lack of unity,


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which is unlikely to change in such a highly politicized situation. On the whole, despite its popularity, this brand of archaeology still faces threats to its survival on political, ideological, and financial fronts.

Congram, Derek

Conclusion The Spanish Civil War provides ample opportunities for study within archaeology, and such archaeology has proved resilient despite the adversity of its circumstances. Regardless of a lack of funding and resources, internal division, and external opposition, the massive recent interest in the field speaks to a desire to understand and to collectively remember. Many of the themes of Civil War archaeology are reflections of universal trends: for example, the difficulty of addressing the subjectivity of memory and loss in a scientific way, intersection with other social sciences, and the impact of the political climate on research at any given time. However, agents of Civil War archaeology have also challenged some of the paradigms of the discipline: knowledge, in this case, is produced and safeguarded as often by non-professionals and their collaborators as is it by academic archaeologists. Memory, history, and reconciliation are all complicated topics in a post-Franco Spain still suffering from deep social and political divisions. Archaeology, in this context, can emphasize these divisions; but in turn, it may also help to heal them, as Spain witnesses and builds its memory together.


2014 Ignorance is Not Bliss: Evidence of Human Rights Violations from Civil War Spain. Annals of Anthropological Practice 38(1): 4364.

Diaz-Andreu, Margarita and Manuel Ramirez2004 Archaeological Resource Management Under Franco’s Spain. In Archaeology Under

Dictatorship, Michael L. Galaty and Charles Watkinson, eds. Pp. 109-130. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Ferrándiz, Francisco

2008 Cries and Whispers: Exhuming and

Narrating Defeat in Spain Today. Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 9(2): 177-192.

Ferrándiz, Francisco

2013 Exhuming the Defeated: Civil War Mass Graves in 21st-Century Spain. American Ethnologist 40(1): 38-54.

Gassiot Ballbâe, Ermengol and Dawnie Steadman 2008

The Political, Social and Scientific

Contexts of Archaeological Investigations of Mass Graves in Spain. Archaeologies 4(3): 429444.

González-Ruibal, Alfredo

2007 Making Things Public: Archaeologies of the Spanish Civil War. Public Archaeology 6(4): 203-226.

González-Ruibal, Alfredo 2012

From the Battlefield to the Labour Camp:

Archaeology of Civil War and Dictatorship in Spain. Antiquity 86(332): 456-473.

González-Ruibal, Alfredo et al.

2015 Archaeology, Anthropology and Civil

Conflict: the Case of Spain. In Ethics and the Archaeology of Violence, Alfredo González-

Ruibal and Gabriel Moshenska, eds. Pp. 113-

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Cazorla Sanchez, Antonio 2014 Memory, 250.


Renshaw, Layla Franco,

2011 Exhuming Loss: Memory, Materiality


and Mass Graves of the Spanish Civil War. California: Left Coast Press.



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Islam & Change: A Religiopolitical Reformation Faye Schachter As Charles Lindholm describes in The Islamic Middle East: Tradition and Change, Middle Eastern nations have continuously faced dynamic cycles of the rise and fall of both secular and religious authorities. Lindholm attributes this mainly to the nature of Arab values, the preconditions at the founding of Islam, and the expectations its success at the time of Muhammad consequently fostered among Muslims in the Middle East. However, by focusing on traditional Islamic precepts, he fails to adequately investigate the profound impact of modernization and globalization on internal disputes within religious parties. Contemporary Muslims, in numbers never witnessed before, have begun to advocate a movement away from strict traditional construction and the millennial hope of a return to the time of the Prophet. Instead they demand that the dictates of modern day reason be included, and call for a distancing of religion from politics in order to preserve the sanctity of each. According to Menahem Milson, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, contemporary Islamism and the nature of Middle Eastern politics today cannot be understood without examining early religious roots (Milson 2004). The Prophet Muhammad’s success in laying the foundations of Islam in the Middle East occurred within a specific historical setting: Patricia Crone claimed that “Islam originated in tribal society, and any attempt to explain its appearance must take this fact as its starting point” (Lindholm 2007). The nature of the nomads’ competitive and yet balanced segmentary system created a state of complementary opposition, which allowed for cohesion without supreme authority (Lindholm 2007: 59). Islam was born out of a reaction to external invasion, at

which point Muhammad united previously unorganized tribes into one community. By responding to the egalitarian individualism and competitive ethics of these tribes, Muhammad provided an “ordering voice that harmonized the warring self-interested coequal rivals into a higher unity […] giving moral cohesion to a threatening environment by drawing all his followers into a single moral community united through shared devotion [to him]” (Lindholm 2007: 149). Recasting tribal values into a religious message of collective brotherhood, Muhammad legitimized sacred authority by responding to the particular conditions of Middle Eastern civilization through his prophecy (Lindholm 2007: 77). Due to the nature of the Middle East’s competitive environment and its inhabitants’ emphasis on individual agency, Muslims have traditionally desacralized secular authorities. Instead, in the tradition of recalling their millennial past, “Muslim thought is saturated with a longing for a return of [Muhammad’s] idealized era” (Lindholm 2007: 80). The unity between politics and religion during Islam’s early years continues to serve as inspiration and as an admonition of secular politics (Lindholm 2007: 81). Among Muslims in the Middle East, governments have consistently lacked legitimacy due to rule by force and lack of intrinsic right to power— according to Geertz, the state is popularly understood as a “machine less for governing men… than for the amassment and consumption of the material rewards of power” (Lindholm 2007: 262). The secular state’s coercive and violent character is perceived as antireligious and immoral. It is for this reason that sacred resistance in the form of millennial rebellions has consistently rocked secular tyrannies in the Middle


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East (Lindholm 2007: 112). By reiterating Muhammad’s promise of a government of God on earth, the rise of a new authority claiming legitimacy through sacred mandates embodied the people’s hope to escape institutions that promoted inequality. However, religious dynasties, like their secular counterparts, “Soon come to rely on their ability to control military force, they too rapidly lost their moral identity, succumbed to luxury, turned to slaves and mercenaries for support, broke apart into rival factions, overtaxed the populace, and fell to new conquerors who would then follow the same cycle” (Lindholm 2007: 132). As with other ideologies, Islamist power has inevitably succumbed to corruption, failing to deliver the promised millennium. The dangers and fate of sacred rule is exemplified in the trajectory of the Fatimid Empire. After defeating the reigning Qarmati through their spiritual claim to legitimacy, they funneled wealth to the elite by establishing extensive partnerships with Europe (Lindholm 2007: 115). The recent events making up the Arab Spring have once again opened people’s eyes to the difficulties of political Islam. For example, after the fall of reigning dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt, Islam fundamentalists elected to power afterwards almost immediately drove their countries into political and economic decline, renewing the nepotism of the ousted dictators under a pious guise (MahjarBarducci 2013). Through their incompetency, abuses, and failures to deliver on promises and maintain civil liberties, Islamist authorities actually “unintentionally promoted the idea of a secular state in Arab countries” (MahjarBarducci 2013) according to Tunisian journalist Rachid Barnat. For example, in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood has suffered a significant decline in support, with statistics indicating a significant portion of Egyptians oppose Egypt becoming a religious state (Tawfik 2013) after their poor performance in

parliament. After the deposition of Gadhafi and the institution of an Islamist party, an antiIslamic trend has begun to gain popularity in Libya as well due to Egypt’s poor performance after the revolution (Hamid 2012). Furthermore, since Islam is based on the advent of a Prophet who was at the same time a political commander, any divine claim to authority faces this comparison. In light of that history, popular expectations for sacred leaders are incredibly high. Therefore, disappointment with the compromises of authorities “who claim a divine right to rule yet who must live in the real world of politics” (Lindholm 2007: 113) creates disenchantment with Islamist revolutionary movements that have adapted to institutionalization and the demands of power (Lindholm 2007: 179). Yet, many Muslims have never given up their millennial hopes, despite the evident disjuncture between the religious community and secular authorities within politics. Since “any claims to sacred authority are bound to be rendered questionable by the exigencies of secular power, and political failures must lead to an even greater disillusionment with government among the faithful” (Lindholm 2007: 271), it is no surprise that discord between secular and religious claims to authority has consistently plagued the region since the end of Muhammad’s regime. But the Middle East has become vastly different from its days when Muhammad was present. The fluid and unreliable setting that was structured around the ancient antagonism between unstable urban civilizations and armed peripheries no longer exists (Lindholm 2007: 258). In its place, massive growth of cities has created “diverse populations which live in polyglot neighborhoods instead of kin based quarters” (Lindholm 2007: 259). Furthermore, the influx of ideologies, such as capitalism and nationalism, has begun to disrupt idealized images of the past, “appealing to an expanding an evermore youthful



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populace torn from its roots in tribe and quarter” (Lindholm 2007: 260). This youthful populace, who often form the momentum behind recent revolutions in the Middle East, are for the most part better educated and, in a great part due to social media, much more connected to the world than their forefathers (Goth 2011). For instance, according to liberal Somali journalist Bashir Goth, Egyptians are worldly and modern, possessing both nationalist and internationalist perspectives; stealing the thunder from militant and extremist Islamism, like Al-Qaeda, which had dominated the past decade (Goth 2011). Today, more than ever, there are calls for separation between religion and politics. Mansour, the interim president of Egypt, considers it unacceptable that the sacred should stoop to dealing in politics: “Does Islam dictate which economic system to adopt? No. Islam teaches me not to oppress the citizenry and establish a society based on peace and justice” (Mansour 2012). Syrian journalist Faisal Al-Qassem argues: “Religion is a pure world whereas politics is a dirty one. How can something pure enter the world of filth and not sully itself?” (Al-Qassem 2013). In this respect, however, Arab regimes face an ideological contradiction. On one side, regimes battle jihadist organization, while on the other state funded schools continue to propagate the idea of jihad (Milson 2004). For example, Mansu al-Nuqeidan accuses the Saudi educational system of cultivating the very same terrorism that the regime is trying to fight against. “Paradoxically, the extremist brand and reformist trend both emerged in response to challenges presented by Western culture” (Milson 2004). Radical Islamist movements have been reborn under the guise of “response to the political and moral crisis in the Islamicate caused by modernization and social transformation” (Lindholm 2007: 206). However, the message of revolutionary

traditionalism no longer carries the same weight; this is partly due to the undermined influence of Islamic jihads, which stands in contrast to the success of multi-national forces, such as the situation in Libya, in several uprisings (Hamid 2012). The number of moderate reformists calling for the obligation to interpret Islam in a way that suits the modern world is rising in a manner never witnessed before in Middle Eastern history. In fact, according to numerous classical scholars, the study of the Quran must first and foremost begin with the doctrine of abrogation (Bukay 2007: 3-11). Analyzing the reasons and context behind Muhammad’s revelations is crucial to unraveling inconsistencies within the text. According to David Bukay, a lecturer at the University of Haifa, “Muhammad’s ability to add or delete verses according to questions or contemporary issues demonstrates the flexibility of the Quran” (Bukay 2007: 3-11). In face of contemporary challenges, while the extremist brand stresses rigid adherence in a textualist vision of the Quran and its traditional precepts, the reformist trend calls to utilize the best of both cultures and adhere to modern day reason to resolve the crisis of Islam in the modern world. Gamal al-Bana, the younger brother the Muslim Brotherhood founder and an ex-member, maintains that “a reliance on 1400 year old Muslim legal tradition is a hindrance to progress and could run counter to the original intention of the Quran” (Milson 2004). Calling for reason in Islamic discourse and jurisprudence, many Muslims are challenging the basic precepts of Islam. According to Sayyed Ahmad Al Qabbanji, the founder of the Liberal Islamic Movement in Iraq, “the essence of justice today remains the same as at the advent of Islam, but what has changed, in keeping with the tremendous development of human civilization, is people’s interpretation of justice” (Feldner 2013). For example, Muhammad was considered the


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epitome of justice during the 7th century, yet he did many things that many would consider reprehensible today, such as the slaughter of 600 prisoners of war in Bani Qurayza (Feldner 2013). The rationality in shar’ia was a vast improvement from that of the Byzantine and Farsi laws at the time of Islam’s advent, but many contemporary Muslims are calling for others to accept that the Quran’s rulings were appropriate for that particular era, and that many of the centuries old Islamic codes do not meet the standards of today’s values since “with the passing of time, the human conscience has become more sublime. Human reason has developed. Values have developed. Rights have developed. But our jurisprudents remained the same” (Feldner 2013). Along the same vein, Mansu al-Nugeida, previously a member of a violent Islamist group who underwent an ideological transformation during his time in prison, regards shari’a law as having been “legislated for their specific time and place and not as laws that cut through history” (Milson 2004) and therefore “it seems that martyrdom or accommodation is the likely end point of Muslim political charismatic movements” (Lindholm 2007: 209). The conflict between literal application of dogma outside of historical context is not unique to the Middle East. For example, in American constitution, the right to bear arms made sense in the context of the huntergatherer society that existed over two centuries ago. Rigid and literal adherence to its scripture today, however, has only substantiated a proliferation of arms, violence, and chaos in the country. Following a different path as the world evolved, traditional Mormons have adapted. Rules encouraging polygamy have evolved in the context of their existence in broader society and due to relatively modern fundamental rights between the sexes. Therefore, while Lindholm’s discussions about the cycles of secular and religious power in the Middle East remain relevant today,

further consideration of modernizing and globalizing conditions on Middle Eastern people is crucial for the ascertainment of current political trajectories. If trend lines continue the evolution seems to be moving towards a blend of secular and religious influence in government, however, even the Islamist influence will be more modern and take account of today’s values.



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References Cited

Middle East Media Research Institute. Milson, Menahem

Al-Qassem, Faisal 2013

2004 Reform vs. Islamism in the Arab World

Al-Jazeera Host: Arabs Should Separate





Today. The Middle East Media Research Institute.


Ideologies. The Middle East Media Research Institute. Bukay, David 2007 Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam. The Middle East Quarterly. 3-11. Feldner, Yotam 2013 Liberal Iraqi Shi’ite Scholar Sayyed Ahmad Al-Qabbanji Calls For Reason in Islamic Discourse and Jurisprudence. The Middle East Media Research Institute. Goth, Bashir. 2011 Liberal







Egyptian Revolutionary Youth with ‘Exclusionist, Sectarianism, Religious Ideology’ of Somali AlQaeda-Affiliated Al-Shabab. The Middle East Media Research Institute. Green, R. 2011 Putting a Spin on the Arab Spring: AlQaeda Struggles to Prove Its Relevance in the Era of Arab Revolutions. The Middle East Media Research Institute. Hamid, Tawfik 2012 Eight Reasons Secularism Will Triumph in Egypt Presidential Runoff. Middle East Voices. Hamid, Tawfik 2012 Six





Liberals Prevailed in Libya Vote. Middle East Voices. Lindholm, Charles 2002 The Islamic Middle East: Tradition and Change. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub. Mahjar-Barducci, A. 2013

North African Media Predicts Decline of

Political Islam. The Middle East Media Research Institute. Mansour, Adly 2012 Egyptian




Mansour: The E.U., U.S. Are Beginning to Understand What Happened in Egypt. The


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The Death of Cecil the Lion: North American Notions of Animal Personhood Nicole Spadotto lions are classified as belonging to the same Kingdom, Phylum, Super-class, Class, Order, and Felidae family (Wilson 1996:xviii). For exactly 13 levels of groupings, lions and domestic cats share the same classification, differing only in subfamily, genus, and species name (Sunquist et al. 2009:54). In other words, the taxa of domestic felines and lions share the same primary lexeme: that of cat (Berlin 1992:15). Additionally, lions and domestic felines both possess many of the same identifiers, such as skeletal structure and facial characteristics, which historically have been used to classify, identify, and thus evaluate species (Malinovich 1974:79). This mode of classification has serious implications in the context of Western media understandings of Cecil and his death. As lions and domestic cats are classified in the same groups and share similar physical forms, associating Cecil with a domestic feline is a natural mental connection. According to studies carried out at John Hopkins University, North Americans view their dogs and cats as non-human people, which is a belief that has gone so far as to permeate law (O’Callaghan 2014: par. 6-12). The ways that North Americans treat pets fuels notions of animal personhood within these species, and since domestic cats and lions belong to the same family of classification, transposing these ideas of personhood onto Cecil is subconsciously but powerfully done. Personhood can be ascribed onto animals based on their recognition of semiotics – making meaning through signs – within the environment (Kohn 2007:5). Semiotics can be defined as icons (a sign that resembles what it represents), as indices (a sign that indicates a thing or what that thing represents), and as

In the summer of 2015, controversy gripped Western media sensibilities after a lion named Cecil was lured away from his home in a Zimbabwean conservation area and killed by an American dentist. Many issues arose from both the nature of the killing and the aftermath of the event. Theories of wilderness and ownership of the world lead to questions of why exactly Cecil’s death resonated so strongly with Westerners. These questions can be addressed by exploring taxonomy, notions of animal personhood, and practices of reciprocity between the environment and people. The crux of the issue is that Cecil can be understood to possess ‘watered-down’ personhood, ‘watered-down’ animism, and ‘watered-down- notions of reciprocity in Western sensibilities. ‘Watered-down’, in this conception, is defined as partial projection of these characteristics onto Cecil, and is a useful framework with which to analyze Cecil’s death. Classifying plants and animals into distinct groups is a practice that has crossed both biological and anthropological disciplines (Berlin 1992:3). Ethnobiological theory assumes that environmental classification can be influenced by culture (Berlin 1992:8), but the base of classification is biological – established on a “larger pattern” of evolutionary trends and morphological characteristics that are “immune from the variable cultural determinants found in other areas of human experience” (Berlin 1992:9). When considering the case of Cecil the Lion, taxonomy plays a vital role. Based upon a taxonomic system developed by experts at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History, domestic felines and



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symbols (represent a thing through cultural convention). Through the lens of Runa culture, wherein individuals attempt to gain perspectives of spirits and animals through dreams (Kohn 2007:12), non-human beings are regarded as “selves” as they interpret signs and indices to make deductions about their environment – though they are unable to interpret symbols, as these are culturally constructed (Kohn 2007:6). Kohn explains that beings see their own selves as “selves” with unique perspectives to create a world of “perspectival multi-naturalism” (2007:7). Of course, the concept of “perspectival multinaturalism” is an idea that is temporally and spatially specific to the Runa and how they view animals. In this paper, the concept allows for a thought experiment that contextualizes Cecil the Lion as a ‘watered-down person’ in a different way than expected. Cecil’s ability to respond to signs and indices was integral to luring him away from the protected conservation area in which he lived so that he could be killed. Dragging an animal carcass outside the borders of the conservancy, the hunters played on the idea that Cecil would see the blood as an index of food, and thus track the scent directly to the hunters (Valiente 2015: par. 6-9). Once Cecil exited the conservancy, he was shot and killed (Valiente 2005: par. 14-15). As such, Cecil’s ability to respond to signs – the core of what could make him a “self ” – was used to kill him. Western sensibilities do not ascribe full personhood to Cecil perhaps because, unlike humans, lions and other animals are unable to interpret symbols as humans do. Thus, Cecil can be understood to possess ‘watered-down’ personhood. Cecil is enough of a person that killing him was problematic. The result was uproar in Britain and North America over Cecil’s apparent personhood being leveraged to kill him. This uproar was compounded by the symbolization of the lion in Western culture (Kohn 2007:5).

Western sensibilities employ watered-down animism, wherein human characteristics are imposed upon animals, as lions are viewed as symbolizing strength and courage (Arhem 1996:185). The hunting process of Cecil – a creature perceived as the quintessential symbol of “lion” – was often recounted as a cowardly act. This sharply contrasts Cecil as a courageous symbol and is worth noting – it showcases the power of human symbolization and the watered-down animism that Western sensibilities enforce upon nature. Furthering notions of watered-down personhood is the concept of a watereddown reciprocity between Cecil and Western institutions. The treatment of Cecil after his death was seen as problematic due to the partial personhood ascribed to Cecil. Part of the disdain that Cecil was killed solely for glory (a practice known as “trophyhunting”) is linked to ideas of reciprocal relationships within hunter-animal relations. Cecil was already, in a sense, engaged in a partial reciprocal relationship with Western culture – he was part of an study from Oxford University. Oxford, in turn, was helping preserve conservation areas’ including Cecil’s (Sevenzo 2015: par. 13). Though this relationship cannot be constituted as reciprocal in the same way the Cree or Yup’ik Eskimos believe their person-animal relationships are reciprocal – likely neither entity in the Oxford-Cecil relationship viewed it as reciprocal – each entity relies on the other to some extent; thus, we can define the relationship as ‘watered-down reciprocity’. Viewing the hunter-hunted relationship partially through the lens of Yup’ik Eskimos of Alaska is a valuable endeavor, as these notions of respect and reciprocity can explain why some felt so strongly about Cecil’s death. The Yup’ik Eskimos believe that the “self ” of the animal matters, and so too does the mindset, thought process, and intentions of the hunter (Fienup-Riordan 2001:544).


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The treatment of Cecil’s body post-hunt, by both Western standards and specific cultural standards, was disrespectful. The lion was beheaded and skinned, his Oxford collar removed, the rest of his body left discarded in the open plains (Valiente 2015: par. 17-18). Treating slain animals well is fundamental to cultures that hunt for livelihood – reciprocity is paramount, and rituals to respect the hunted are vital. As such, Cree hunters waste very little of a hunted animal (Richardson 1974). Yup’ik Eskimos believe that the animal can see how their remains are treated and communicate with others of their species to punish people (Fienup-Riordan 2001:545). As Cecil’s body was treated with disrespect by the hunter – like a trophy – many cultures would assert how humans and the hunter was treated post-hunt has correlation with how Cecil was treated. Recently, an illegal hunter was killed by another male lion in what Zimbabweans called “poetic justice for the death of Cecil” (Virtue 2015, par. 1-4). Cecil’s hunter was condemned worldwide for hunting – receiving the media brunt, hate mail, and death threats (Mansaray 2015: par. 1-12). The hate directed towards him led him to temporarily close his practice – an action that lost him patients (Virtue 2015:8-12). Authorities never charged the hunter, though Zimbabwean hunting guides are on trial for allowing the hunt to happen (Holley 2015: par. 1-5). Perhaps one reason why Western media was outraged is because, as watereddown personhood is placed upon Cecil, there is expectation of watered-down reciprocity – for Western media, there was an expectation for respect. A further idealization of nature tied up with Cecil’s death is the notion of conservation areas and unpeopled wilderness that permeated rhetoric surrounding the hunt. The idea of unpeopled wilderness originated from United States culture – where people could enjoy “untouched” nature away from densely

populated urban sprawl (Cronon 1995: 69). Conservation parks, with Yellowstone as the quintessential model (Cronon 1995: 73), began to emerge fairly recently once people began to see wilderness as sacredly romantic rather than disorderly. Of course, these parks seen as wilderness untouched are a social construction that ignores the peopled history of the areas (Cronon 1995: 72). This notion of wilderness feeds back into the idea that humans are outside of this romantic area – thus, that we see the world as something to be owned, rather than lived in (Ingold 2008: 467). This analysis bares the question as to why Zimbabweans responded so differently to Cecil’s death than Western rhetoric. I hypothesize that Western perceptions of nature are in alignment with Ingold’s and Cronon’s analyses more so than Zimbabwean perceptions. Due to histories of British colonialism and wealthy elitist individuals attempting to own and control their land (Sevenzo 2015: par. 1-12), Zimbabweans perhaps see the land differently – as something that does not necessarily belong to them, but an entity that they are now lucky to have, post-colonialism. Zimbabweans are more inclined to live with and off the land, with practices of transhumanism (Garlake 1978:479). Conceivably, Zimbabwean inclination to live off the land allows them to see all land as the same – not in terms of conservation areas and “livable” areas, as all land is treated as a place to respectfully live within (instead of making a distinction between land to be exploited versus “sacred” conservation areas). The difference in Western and African views are possibly compounded by increasing Western space exploration and technology situated in North America, thus allowing the culture to see the world as a globe to interfere within rather than a sphere to be apart of (Ingold 2008:463). Media rhetoric asserts that this is why Walter Palmer, Cecil’s killer, wanted to hunt



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Cecil – to own his pelt and put his head on a mantle like a trophy. So too, however, does the idea of owning the world carry implications for why Americans felt so strongly about Cecil’s death; a popular tourist attraction for Westerners visiting Africa, the ability to own a picture of (or with) Cecil – to have travelled to a romantic and exotic unpeopled conservation area – was a valuable commodity to travelers (Bittel 2015: par. 1-7). Thus, while North Americans were appalled that Cecil was lured out of Hwange National Park, his “sacred” protected wilderness, to be hunted, residents of Zimbabwe were contrastingly indifferent. In fact, many prolific Zimbabwean journalists, politicians, and activists stated that they were surprised Cecil’s death overshadowed the very real human rights issues occurring in their country; perhaps this explanation supports that Zimbabweans do not view animals as watered-down versions of people the way North Americans do (Nyathi 2015: par. 1119). Further analyses of the works of Cronon and Ingold could be invaluable in evaluating why Western media was so affected by the luring of Cecil off the “untouched nature” of his conservation area to be killed. Continued examination could open up additional questions that should be answered. What is apparent is that Western sensibilities were severely affected due to the ascribing of watered-down personhood upon Cecil and animistic notions of reciprocity between the human and non-human world.


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References Cited

Kohn, Eduardo 2007 “How Dogs Dream: Amazonian Natures

Arhem, Kaj

and the Politics of Transspecies Engagement.”

1996 “The Cosmic Food Web: Human-nature

In American Ethnologist 34.1, 3-24.

Relatedness in the Northwest Amazon,” in Nature and



Malinovich, Stanley



(1996), edited by P. Descola and G. Palsson,

“Knowledge and Evaluation” in Canadian

Journal of Philosophy IV.1,79. Jstor. 25 Oct.

185-204. Longon: Routledge.


Berlin, B.

Mansaray, Issa.

1992 “On the Making of a Comparative


Ethnobiology (chapter 1)” in Ethnobiological

Lawyer Regrets.” MSR

Classification: Principles of Categorization of

News. Spokesman Online, 2 Oct. 2015. Web.

Plants and Animals in Traditional Societies,

Nyathi, Kitsepile

Princeton University Press, 3-51.


Bittel, Jason

by World Reaction to Killing of Lion Cecil. Daily

With People.” National Geographic. National

Nation, 7 Aug. Web.

Geographic Society, 30 July 2015. Web.

O’Callaghan, Jonathan

Richardson, Boyce and Tony Ianzelo, dirs.

2014 “Has Man’s Best Friend Become a

Cree Hunters of Mistassini. National Film

PERSON? The Way We Treat Cats and Dogs

Board of Canada.

Is Blurring the Line between People and Pets -

Cronon, W. 1995

“Zimbabwe Bemused by World Reaction

to Killing of Cecil the Lion.” Zimbabwe Bemused

2015 “Why Cecil the Lion Was So Popular


“Lion Killer Surfaces for Interview His

and It Could Affect Laws, Claims Expert.” Mail “The Trouble with Wilderness, or Getting

Online. Associated Newspapers, 10 Apr. Web.

Back to the Wrong Nature” in Uncommon

Sevenzo, Farai

Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature, edited by


W. Cronon, 69-90. New York: Norton and Co.

- BBC News.” BBC News. BBC, 30 July 2015.

Fienup-Riordan, Ann

“What Cecil the Lion Means to Zimbabwe


2001 “A Guest at the Table: Ecology from

Sunquist, M. E., F. C. Sunquist, and D. E. Wilson

the Yup’ik Eskimo Point of View.” In Indigenous



Barcelona: Lynx.






Cosmology and Community, edited by John

Handbook of the Mammals of the World.

Valiente, Alexa

A. Grim, 541-58. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard


University press.

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Garlake, P. S. 1978

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ABC News Network, 13 Aug. 2015. Web.

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by Killing Man Looking to Shoot Him.” Express.

Holley, Peter

“Lion Turns the Tables on Illegal Hunters

co. Sunday Express, 30 Oct. 2015. Web

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Wilson, Don E., and DeeAnn M. Reeder

Lion Hunting Guide.” Washington Post. The

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Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2015. Web.

World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference

Ingold, Tim

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Anthropology: A Historical Reader, 462-69.



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First Contacts: Issues of Colonialism, Collection and Curation A Critical Analysis of the UBC Museum of Anthropology’s Haida Totem Pole Collection Jessica Hunter The University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is one of the world’s premiere museums of its kind, home to an enormous collection of ethnographic materials from around the world (Fuglerud 2012: 170-184). Almost as renowned as the museum itself is its iconic building designed by Arthur Erikson in 1976. Clifford (1997) muses that the objects on display at the Museum of Anthropology almost seem to take second place to Erikson’s building and its magnificent cliff top setting. The building’s design is meant to invoke the monumental aspects of Northwest Coast carving and spatial design as it is structurally reminiscent of a long house set into the cliff side. The Museum of Anthropology’s Great Hall is its architectural crown jewel; a room bathed in sunlight with one towering wall of glass. This room plays host to a treasure trove of Northwest Coast artefacts, the most visually dominating items being enormous totem poles rising upwards towards the room’s cavernous ceiling, as well as several examples of modern Northwest Coast sculpture. When I first visited the Museum of Anthropology in August 2015, I too was engrossed by the building’s sweeping architecture and the objects housed therein. As such, it is here in the Great Hall that I will begin, by focusing on a collection of Haida house poles located in this space. Using this collection as an example, I argue that the MOA’s display choice creates problematic silences in the object’s history. I will draw on Clifford’s notion of the museum as “contact zone” (1997), Smith’s “meta-narrative” approach (2007), and Pratt’s autoethnography (1991) in order to try to find a solution to the display issues I am about to discuss. The many artifacts in the Great Hall

gallery, including the Haida house poles in question, are stationed as if either gazing through the large glass wall to the mountains and sea beyond, or looking back inquisitively at the museum visitors. The hall’s relative emptiness and lack of barriers allows visitors to take in the pieces from a range of angles unencumbered by glass panels and barricades. As Clifford (1997) points out, the lack of glass separating guests from the artifacts allows for the kind of close interaction that reproduces a quality of intimate monumentality true to the original context. One gets a sense of the “intimate monumentality” of their original context when watching the documentary Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii (McMahon et al. 2004). This film features Haida totems embedded in their original context on the island of Haida Gwaii; an island off the coast of northern British Columbia that is evergreen and shrouded in mist. When watching the film footage, one can imagine Haida people walking in the shadows of these immense structures incorporated seamlessly into the landscape. Indeed, the totems are almost as much a part of nature as the cedar trees from which they are made. The documentary provides an intimate view into the lives these objects’ had before their relocation to the Museum of Anthropology’s Great Hall. Knowing that they cannot possibly reproduce the original context of the totem poles (nor of any of the rest of their ethnographic material), the Museum of Anthropology has opted for an aesthetically focused, “art-culture” exhibitory style. Fuglerud (2012) explains: “an emphasis on aesthetics has become a prominent strategy for ethnographic museums that try to sever their connections to a history of colonialism and to overcome the dilemmas and difficulties


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the objects’ colonial and cultural histories. However, I contend that a solution to this effacement can be found in consulting Clifford’s (1997) notion of the museum as “contact zone.” Clifford suggests that the museum presents a space for historically and geographically separated groups to establish ongoing relations (usually in a colonial context). Like Clifford, I use this concept to rethink the museum’s role in relation to the cultures it represents and explore the implications for museum curation. Furthermore, I will also incorporate Smith’s (2007) meta-narrative approach, and the use of autoethnography (Pratt 1991: 33-40), in rethinking a more informed exhibit design. In addressing the totem’s silenced past, Smith (2007) writes that he “believe[s] it is incumbent for curators at public institutions to share information about their [collection] and how it was assembled” (380). As such I beg the question of how the MOA’s collection came to be. There are a total of thirteen Haida house pole fragments stationed in the Great Hall which together form seven distinct poles (see table 1). The house poles were built into long houses belonging to Haida chiefs and often served as status markers with different glyphs depicted on the pole representing some combination of Haida myth and tribal lineage. These poles share a common history in that they were recovered on an expedition to retrieve cultural remnants, such as totem and house poles, from abandoned Haida villages in the 1950’s sponsored by the British Columbia Totem Pole Preservation Committee. This committee was established to survey existing poles in the province, and to acquire and preserve those not in use, which were then transferred to the Museum of Anthropology. But why were these villages abandoned? Like most North American indigenous peoples upon first contact with western, colonial forces, the Haida were exposed to disease and exploitation leading to the mass genocide of

involved in representing societies and cultures that are different from their own” (170). The assumption is that the aesthetic focus bypasses issues of representation inherent to more structured and contextualized ethnographic displays. In line with this aesthetic orientation is a general lack of information provided for the objects exhibited. Clifford (1997) notes that the accompanying display panels for the objects in the Great Hall are rather terse, including only several small details such as the name of the cultural group, place, date, object, a brief description, and a small drawing of each work in its original context (see Image 1). This anti-textual intervention is part and parcel to the art-culture exhibit style as it serves to centre the object (Ouzman 2006: 275). But I would argue that inherent to this minimalist approach is the opportunity for misinterpretation; as once mounted in the Great Hall, these poles lose all connection to their indigenous past. In line with my argument, Ouzman (2006) argues that this violates the key tenet of archaeology – the importance of context (274). Metropolitan museums, such as the Museum of Anthropology, disembody objects so much from their original context that it becomes easier for the visitor to envisage the objects as having no past. This is to say that in displaying objects as pieces of fine art instead of drawing attention to their problematic colonial past, there is a silence created where the object’s history should be. Trouillot writes in Silencing the Past (1995), the fact that history is predominantly written by its “winners” means that the voices of the dominated become silenced which then creates effacements to parts of the narrative where other perspectives belong. Similar to Trouillot, I argue that in curating this exhibit within an aesthetically oriented, art-culture design, the exhibit is not only foregrounding “quality, meaning, and importance” (Clifford 1997: 121), but is simultaneously silencing



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the use of what Smith (2007) calls “metanarratives.” The meta-narrative approach was used in the redesign of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C. Smith and the crew at the NMAI struggled for years over the redesign of the museum as it seemed like every new innovative idea brought with it a minefield of issues. The NMAI crew saw that their failure lied in attempting to generalize the experiences of the entire country’s indigenous population into one united, but nonexistent, Indian narrative (Smith 2007: 383). Similarly, Clifford (1997) writes that host communities may not have unified goals - a common outrage may be shared, but when it comes to practical problems of interpretation and emphasis, issues of repatriation and compensation, the unanimity can dissolve (208). In negotiating this difficult issue of representation, Smith (2007) concludes that their central mistake was failing to sufficiently interrogate the idea of history itself (388). In order to do this in the museum the NMAI team decided to make the gallery about how history is written, constructed, and narrated. The NMAI sought “to foreground the exhibit with the message that histories have agendas, histories change, histories lie, histories can lie but be true to their tellers or to even specifically point out that this very gallery has an agenda, [so that] the visitor will be able to look at the tribal histories in more complex ways” (Smith 2007: 389). I would argue that by applying this metanarrative format to the great hall’s exhibit structure the Museum of Anthropology would be able to call attention to the silences in their current display. In order to execute this vision, the Museum of Anthropology must also incorporate another defining aspect of Clifford’s contact zone - collaboration. The contact zone suggests that groups are constituted in and by their relations with each other; it stresses co-presence, interaction, and interlocking

much of their population. One Haida village elder in the Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii documentary speaks of at least ten thousand Haida people who lived on the Island prior to colonial contact, to a drastically reduced number of under 600 Haida remaining in 1862 (McMahon et al. 2004). In spite of their near dissemination, those Haida survived and managed to continue on. But as is true for all indigenous North Americans, they were forced to adapt to the new, westernized world order. Today, the Haida find themselves caught adrift between their own native, minority culture, and the prevailing, majority culture. It is precisely in negotiating the intersection of such vastly different cultures that Clifford’s notion of the museum as contact zone comes to bear. The contact zone was an idea first put forward in literary studies by Mary Louise Pratt (1991) who used the term to refer to “social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today” (34). It only seems natural that Clifford (1997) saw this concept as applying to museums, where ethnographic materials of many cultures are displayed and represented often without, or against, the consent or desires of the culture in question. Clifford argues that when museums are seen as contact zones, their organizing structure of collection becomes an ongoing historical, political, and moral relationship with those whom they represent. The contact zone in approach necessitates that the physical objects on display be decentred (or share emphasis) alongside the narrative, history, and politics of the indigenous community represented. I would argue that an ideal way to decenter objects, and incorporate a narrative that calls attentions to the silences in the exhibit, is through


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understandings and practices (Clifford 1997: 192). Clifford (1997) writes, “[u] ntil museums do more than consult (often after the curatorial vision is firmly in place), until they bring a wider range of historical experiences and political agendas into the actual planning of exhibits and the control of museum collections, they will be perceived as merely paternalistic by people whose contact history with museums has been one of exclusion ad condescension.” (208). Thus, it is absolutely necessary that the contact zone be a place of collaboration and consultation. How can this be achieved? As Scott (2012) notes, there has been an increasing trend towards indigenous curation of display in museums. Fuglerud (2012) elaborates that already many ethnographic museums make use of partnerships and collaborative programs with source communities represented in their displays and exhibitions. In this way the museum acts as a venue where the museum staff and curators facilitate the source community in designing and organizing their project. Of course, allowing indigenous groups to manage and curate their own cultural artefacts certainly decentres and disrupts traditional museological practices where the power has often been placed in the hands of educated, Western curatorial staff (Scott 2012). In this way Clifford admits that it is inevitable that the notion of the museum as contact zone can often mean museum as conflict zone (Clifford 1997: 207), as curators resist handing over their power to the indigenous community. Despite the potential for conflict, there have been many instances of successful collaboration between source communities and museums. Indeed, Scott (2012) writes that “[w]hen this collaboration happens between Euro-American curators and indigenous artists, consultants, and curators on exhibitions involving the latter’s own art and cultural heritage, traditional exhibition

practices are challenged and new ways of interpreting cultural “difference” emerge” (1). This is the essential quality of what Scott calls the “post-museum” which denotes not the museum as building, but the museum as a process of disrupting historical traditions of museology (2012). There are many examples of this post-museum concept in action, and they are often characterized by multivocality (Scott 2012: 1-9) and autoethnography (Pratt 1991: 33-40). Multivocality involves the importance of presenting multiple perspectives and reflections on the same cultural subject. Critics may challenge the idea by saying that it presents too many voices claiming authority over history, but as Boast (2011) reminds us, “[k]nowledge is fundamentally relative [and] the nature of reality is dependent on the perspective from which it is observed” (58). Thus each voice added to the discourse is making a new and equally valid claim to the history it experienced. This relates to the work of Trouillot (1995), in that despite the fact that adding more voices may not necessarily eliminate silences, it does provide a more nuanced and richer account of history. Additionally, another tool that can be employed to enhance the exhibit design is autoethnography. Autoethnography is another idea first introduced by Mary Louise Pratt (1991), described as works in which people describe themselves in ways that engage with representations others have made of them. Autoethnography involves the appropriation and adoption of colonial representations of the “other,” but “[t] hese are merged or infiltrated to varying degrees with indigenous idioms to create self-representations intended to intervene in metropolitan modes of understanding” (Pratt 1991: 35). Autoethnographic works are often intended for both majority culture audiences and the speakers own community. Autoethnography is a concept that works well within pre-established



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Western ethnographic museums such as the Museum of Anthropology. In this setting, the autoethnographic material is allowed to intervene directly with the institutional forces that have shaped it. Museum displays incorporating autoethnography may rely on film, photography, audio, and other forms of sensory knowledge that may be of greater import to the source community (Classen and Howes 2006: 269-301). I should point out that the very notion of autoethnography may raise the hackles of many anthropologists as it dethrones them from their privileged position as the only “qualified professionals” able to perform ethnographic work. I would argue that this should not pose a threat to the discipline but rather presents an opportunity for a much needed “shake-up.” Anthropologists may still act as facilitators in aiding and collaborating with minority cultures as they express themselves through autoethnography, and then curate and disseminate this information to the majority culture post-hoc. The MOA has been a forerunner in innovating new collaborative and multivocal models of research and display with community partners. They have even applied the contact zone concept in their 2005 Renewal Project, “A Partnership of Peoples,” which included a number of new spaces and new approaches to museum storage and presentation (Boast 2011: 56-70). This work is incredibly important and has been formative and inspiring for other museums of its kind, but it is vital that this contact work is extended to the museum’s permanent displays as well, like the Great Hall. If the Museum of Anthropology were to consult the Haida peoples as to the fate of the house poles in question, they might find that they have a vastly different vision for their display (dissimilar to the current aesthetic model). No matter what, it is always essential for the museum to remember that they are merely

stewards of the objects which they display, and not their proprietors. The dialogue between a journalist and a Haida nation representative illustrates this point nicely when the Haida man pointedly remarks, “You’ve got your own history. Our history is stored in your museums now” (McMahon et al. 2004). In sum, The Museum of Anthropology can make use of the contact zone, metanarrative approach, and autoethnography in order to expose the silences in the current display. Critical to capturing the intensely complicated and entangled history of the objects in the Great Hall (as well as their other permanent exhibits), is the use of the metanarrative approach. As Smith (2007) argues, capturing metahistory properly is like telling the “biggest story never told… a story featuring Indians as actors on the world stage and not merely as victims. It is a story of changing worlds and how people managed that change in dreadful, surprising, ingenious ways” (392). By parodying the NMAI’s exhibit design in the permanent collection, the Museum of Anthropology could present a more focused version of this meta-history specific to British Columbia’s indigenous history: a story of colonialism and takeover, of genocide and resilience, and of moving forward while also holding on. And in the vein of Pratt’s concept of autoethnography, who better to write and tell these stories to be read by the larger, metropolitan culture than the people whose lives and cultures are at stake? Essentially, this is what the contact zone is all about – bringing together two geographically and historically separated cultures and making them knowable to one another. Although it will never be the case that a museum exhibit can ever reconcile the crimes committed against North America’s indigenous peoples, it is a necessary step in the reconciliation process. It is imperative that indigenous people get to take back ownership of the history that was once denied


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to them, and the museum can help do this by uncovering the silenced past through the use of the collaborative, explorative, and selfempowering processes described in this essay, then sharing these stories with the world.

References Cited Museums and Archaeologies of Archive. In

Boast, R. 2011 Neocolonial collaboration: Museum as

Gosden, C., Edwards, E., & Phillips, R. B. (Eds.),

contact zone revisited. Museum Anthropology

Sensible objects: Colonialism, museums and

34 (1): 56-70

material culture. Oxford: Berg: 269-301

Clifford, J. 1997

Pratt, M. L. Routes: Travel and translation in the late


twentieth century. Cambridge, Massachusetts:

Arts of the Contact Zone. Profession: 33-


Harvard University Press.

Scott, M. K.

Classen, C. & Howes, D.

2012 Engaging with pasts in the present:

2006 The Museum as sensescape: Western

Curators, communities, and exhibition practice.

sensibilities and indigenous artifacts. In Gosden,

Museum Anthropology 35 (1): 1-9

C., Edwards, E., & Phillips, R. B. (Eds.), Sensible

Smith, P. C.

objects: Colonialism, museums and material


culture. Oxford: Berg: 269-301

Making History at the National Museum of the

Fuglerud, Ă˜.

The Terrible Nearness of Distant Places:

American Indian. In de la Cadena, M., and Stran,

2012 Art and ambiguity: An extended review

O. (Eds.), Indigenous Experience Today. Oxford

of Border Zones at the Museum of Anthropology,


British Columbia. Museum Anthropology 35 (2):

Trouillot, M-R.


1995 Silencing

McMahon, K., McLaughlin, K., McMahon, M., Asals,





Beacon Press.

K., Collison, N., and Mills, I.

Trouillot, M-R.

2004 Stolen spirits of Haida Gwaii.60 min.

1995 Silencing the past: power and the

Primitive Entertainment Inc. Mississauga, Ont.

production of history. (118). Boston, Mass:

Ouzman, S.

Beacon Press.

2006 The beauty of Letting Go: Fregmentary



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The Haitian HIV/AIDS Epidemic: A Natural Disaster shaped by Poverty and Gender Corey Straub The Republic of Haiti is home to the largest HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean, accounting for 76% of all recorded HIV cases in the Caribbean region (Gupta et al. 2009:85). Haiti also accounts for 84% of all HIV-related deaths in the Caribbean region, with about 16 thousand HIV-related deaths (Gupta et al. 2009:85). The prevalence rate among adults is between 1.8% and 2.1%, which represents approximately 140 thousand individuals (UNAIDS). The first reported case of HIV/AIDS in Haiti occurred in 1982, in the city of Port au Prince, wherefrom it spread to the rest of the country. The primary mode of HIV/AIDS transmission is via heterosexual contact, followed by motherto-child transmission (Gupta et al. 2009:85). This paper will attempt to address the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in Haiti, arguing that although HIV/AIDS is a naturally occurring disease, human influence has played a vital role in its dispersal, following clear social fault lines as it disproportionately affects women with poor economic backgrounds. I will begin by providing a summary of the economic conditions and obstacles faced by the majority of the Haitian population, and then discuss how two important factors – economic conditions and gender – relate. Finally, I will explore how both of these factors are key contributors to the Haitian HIV/AIDS epidemic. Haiti is among the poorest countries in the world, and the poorest in the Western hemisphere (World Bank). On average, the annual income per person is US$500, and an estimated 80% of the population lives in abject poverty (Ferguson 2003:11). While several millionaire families live in the capital’s mountainside suburbs, the vast majority of the population live in shanty towns or

poverty-stricken rural communities (Ferguson 2003:11). The 5 percent of the population that is white or mullato, along with a few black families, holds a near monopoly on the economic power of the country, and have strong links with former colonial authorities (Ferguson 2003:11). Haiti also has a history of displaced people, with 1.5 million internally displaced in the 2010 earthquake, and many displaced as ‘water refugees’ after Haiti’s Peligre Reservoir flooded. Before 1956, the villagers of Do Kay lived as farmers in a fertile valley through which the Artibonite River ran (Farmer 1996:264). At that time, an agreement between the Haitian government and the Export-Import Bank resulted in efforts to develop the valley of the Artibonite through the Peligre Reservoir project (Farmer 1992:22). The villagers were told that they would need to relocate, although many did not move until the overflowing waters of the dam “chased [them] off [their] lands” (Farmer 1992:23). After the valley was flooded, the villagers were forced up into the stony hills around the reservoir, were they became exceedingly poor due to deficient soil quality for farming (Farmer 1996:264). As such, the villagers of Do Kay were effectively turned into “water refugees”, individuals forced to abandon their lands to escape flooding. Very little was done to reimburse the villagers who lost their land, and only those who had formal deeds to the land were compensated. This was complicated by the fact that familial land tenure was generally vested in one person – the family elder – so benefits were often not shared among the whole family (Farmer 1992:25). Further, the government offered exceedingly small sums to the villagers, which in no way compensated for their living costs. One villager reported


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receiving US$40 for over thirty-eight acres of land, which by her own account was not a fortune (Farmer 1992:24). In addition to this, the lands near the high watermarks were appropriated by the government in order to plant teak trees, further marginalizing the villagers’ access to arable land (Farmer 1992:27). As we can see, the people of Bo Kay – once sustainable farmers – were transformed into “water refugees” living in poverty due to the externalities of the Peligre Reservoir project. The overwhelming poverty rates in Haiti, coupled with displacement, have forced some individuals to become migrant workers, looking for economic opportunities either in urban areas or abroad. While the Haitian elite might migrate to France or Canada, the vast majority of the population migration takes place across the Dominican border where there are better social and economic opportunities (Ferguson 2003:11). Three distinct Haitian groups exists in the Dominican: the documented and legal migrants (the smallest contingent), the long-term residents born in Haiti (a larger community), and the seasonal migrants who go to the Dominican during the sugarcane harvesting season. In the Dominican, Haitians are stigmatized and viewed as a “dirty” economic burden on the Dominican Republic (Gupta et al. 2009:92). In fact, Dominican identity has a large focus on being non-Haitian, and sees itself as racially superior to the Haitians (Ferguson 2003:21). The Haitians live in sugarcane plantation communities, commonly called “bateyes”, which lack basic infrastructure such as drinking water, sanitation facilities, or access to medical services or schools (Gupta et al. 2009:92). While the Dominican government has sought to diversify its economy in recent years, Haitians still make up a significant portion of the labor force as they are universally paid poor wages, often below national standards (Ferguson 2003:18). As

such, Haitians in the Dominican live in poor conditions, are paid miserable wages, and are largely transient migrants who return to Haiti at the end of the harvest season, making them important to the coming AIDS narrative. Besides transnational migration, there exists internal migration in Haiti, with individuals heading to urban areas in search of economic opportunities. To this regard is the story of Acephie, a girl from Bo Kay, documented by Paul Farmer (1996:263267). After attending school, she went to a nearby town to attend what she called “cooking school”. This place prepared poor girls for employment as servants in the city – domestic service being one of the few growing industries in Haiti at the time. At the age of 22, she went to the capital of Port-au-Prince, were she was employed as a housekeeper, earning US$30 a month, part of which she tried to save for her parents and siblings. She worked for three years, until she was discovered to be pregnant and forced to return to Bo Kay. Unfortunately, after the birth of her child she experienced repeated infections and was eventually diagnosed with AIDS. This rural–urban migration, with the goal of employment only to end up back in the village when plans fall through is, as Farmer notes, not unique to Acephie. The migrants travelling between rural and urban areas, like Acephie, become important in the narrative of AIDS in Haiti. The economic situation of the majority of Haitians is clearly poor, and this poverty provides the base from which the HIV/ AIDS epidemic can take root and spread, particularly amongst women. It has been seen that the lack of economic resources women often face reduces decisionmaking power and is therefore linked to increases in HIV risk (Gupta et al. 2009:87). This is because in many parts of Haiti, women are compelled to engage in “plasaj” relationships. These relationships are sexual



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in nature, and occur among single Haitian women who have few economic resources and often have children to support. Their economic conditions therefore compel them to rely on a male partner for support in order to provide for herself and her children (Gupta et al. 2009:90). This places women in unequal power relationships with men, giving them less power to take HIV preventative measures like the use of condoms. In fact, it has been reported that women who enter these relationships are six times more likely to become infected with HIV (Gupta et al. 2009:91). In parts of rural Haiti, like the village of Bo Kay, soldiers become key players in these “plasaj” relationships, being the region’s only salaried men (Farmer 1996:265). The entrenched poverty of the region means that soldiers are attractive partners. However, women in Haiti are unable to control their partner’s fidelity, which often leads to men having multiple partners (Gupta et al. 2009:87). Therefore, the women in rural communities like Bo Kay who engage in sexual relations with soldiers are often not the sole sexual partner, which has implications for HIV transmission. One soldier near Bo Kay, known as Honorat, had a wife and five children, as well as at least two other regular sexual partners, one of whom was HIV positive. After Honorat contracted AIDS and passed away, his wife was desperate, with no way of feeding her five children, and therefore engaged in a “plasaj” relationship with a soldier (Farmer 1996:267). As such, the women who are compelled to seek men in order to support themselves and their children, unable to control the use of condoms and fidelity, become more likely to be infected with HIV. The link between economic conditions and HIV infection is apparent, whereby high HIV prevalence in Haiti is shaped by the poor economic conditions of the country. Haiti also has exceptionally high rates of violence against women, which contributes to

the spread of HIV among those with lower socioeconomic status (Gupta et al. 2009:89). A woman who has ‘forced sex’ experiences, is shown to be less likely to obtain condoms, be able to pay for healthcare, get access to medical care, or receive treatment for STIs including HIV/AIDS (Gupta et al. 2009:90). This has been associated with the endorsement of traditional patriarchal ideology, whereby the greater the length of time that a couple has been together, the more likely it is that men feel sexual entitlement over their female partners, resulting in incidents of ‘forced sex’ (Gupta et al. 2009:89). The women in these types of relationships are the same women that, as mentioned above, enter into relationships due to poor economic standing; these women are less likely to notify partners of their HIV status for fear of beatings or the loss of the economic support provided by their partner that sharing their status might lead to (Gupta et al. 2009:90). As such, the unequal power dynamic between men and women contributes to the spread of HIV/ AIDS as risky male behaviors like nonuse of condoms, coupled with non-notification on the part of the female, increase the risk of HIV transmission. These unequal and forced sex relationships translate to the international scale as well. In the Dominican, women are not allowed to cut cane, yet for some it is the only employment available. As such, these women are forced to rely on their male coworkers to process the cut cane for payment, which can result in sexual violence (Ferguson 2003:17). Also, in the Dominican sugar cane communities, single women are not always tolerated, nor always eligible to receive housing, therefore they are forced to engage in sex in order to receive money or housing (Ferguson 2003:17). Furthermore, for women who enter the country illegally and whose status relies on an intimate partner, vulnerability to sexual violence increases. Her partner is


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able to use her migration status as a tool to control her sexually, thereby subjecting her to a greater risk for HIV infection (Gupta et al. 2009:93). The discrimination and lack of sanitation and health services found in these communities confers greater vulnerability to Haitian migrants with regards to contracting HIV. As part of the seasonal migrant workers, Haitian women return to their communities at the end of the harvesting season, where the possibility of spreading the potentially contracted HIV infection to their community is very real. Humanitarian workers and UN peacekeepers pose a further threat to Haitians with regards to HIV infection as they often face greater exposure to HIV in the healthcare setting, as well as increased exposure to sexual violence (Spiegel 2004:330). These workers are placed in positions of power, relative to the poor communities they assist, and there have been recorded cases of sexual abuse instigated by the workers themselves (Spiegel 2004:330). UN peacekeepers and armed personnel in general, are also in positions of power as they have access to civilians, money, and often have multiple partners among women with poor economic conditions (Spiegel 2004:330). As previously seen, sexual violence and unequal power relations contribute to the higher rates of HIV/AIDS infections, therefore the humanitarian workers and armed personal in these power positions become players in the HIV/AIDS narrative. Although AIDS is a naturally occurring epidemic, it has been shaped along social fault lines. It has affected the women of poor economic conditions, because they are the most vulnerable. As with the Bo Kay villagers who lost access to their fertile lands due to a government dam project, the subsequent abject poverty forced women to become sexual partners with soldiers, who were the only individuals in the area with salaried jobs who could support them. Since these soldiers

were by no means monogamous, and, due to unequal power relations, could not be forced to use condoms, these women were more likely to be infected. Alternatively, those living in poverty could seek employment abroad, often in the sugarcane plantations of the Dominican. These communities however, with poor sanitary conditions and lack of access to healthcare, exacerbate the spread of HIV/AIDS by exposing single women to sexual violence in exchange for housing and money. Upon returning to their villages at the end of the work season, these individuals introduce or help to spread HIV/AIDS into their communities. This is in part because they will not notify their partners of their status as they depend on them for economic support and fear punishment. As men are socially sanctioned to have multiple partners, and often do not use condoms, the risk of HIV infection increases for the soldier and all of his partners. Over the course of the AIDS epidemic, Haiti has also experienced natural disasters, causing humanitarian workers to come and help those most severely affected, which are often the lower socioeconomic classes. The women from these resource-poor backgrounds therefore become susceptible to sexual assault by the humanitarian workers, who are in positions of power. HIV/AIDS in Haiti, therefore, is tied to the cycle of poverty and displacement. The spread of HIV/AIDS follows the fault lines of poverty through women who are compelled to rely on men for economic support, and the men who take advantage of their lower economic status. HIV/AIDS in Haiti is an epidemic which has ravaged the country for decades. In order to support themselves, citizens have been forced to adopt the identity of migrant worker, seasonally heading to the Dominican Republic where they live in terrible conditions and work for low wages. To support themselves and their families, some women



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References Cited

have had to resort to imbalanced “plasaj” relationships with employed men, soldiers, armed personnel, and humanitarian workers. The unequal power intrinsic in “plasaj” relationships means that women are forced to rely on their partners, cannot take measures to prevent HIV transmission (i.e. condom use or monogamy), nor can they disclose their status to their partner without the risk of losing the support they desperately need. Even the women who become migrant workers must rely on men for payment or housing, if they work in the sugarcane industry, resulting in sexual violence which increases their risk of HIV infection. In Haiti it is clear that HIV/ AIDS prevalence is strongly influenced by the social fault lines of gender and poverty. The compounding effect and interplay of these factors makes an already difficult reality that much more complex.

Farmer, Paul. 1992 Aids and accusation: Haiti and the geography of blame. Berkeley: University of California Press. Farmer, Paul 1996

On Suffering and Structural Violence:

A View from Below. Daedalus, Vol. 125, 261283. Ferguson, James 2003 Migration in the Caribbean: Haiti, the Dominican Republic and beyond. Retrieved from migrationinthecaribbean.pdf. Gupta,







Kershaw 2009 Gender and HIV/AIDS in Haiti: Women’s Lack of Power as an Overarching Vulnerability. In Boesten, Jelke & Poku, Nana (Eds.), Gender and





the developing world (85-100). Burlington: Ashgate. Spiegel, Paul B. 2004

HIV/AIDS among Conflict-affected and

Displaced Populations: Dispelling Myths and Taking Action. Disasters, Vol. 28 (no. 3). 322339. World Bank 2013 Haiti



from overview. UNAIDS 2013 Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.unaids. org/en/regionscountries/countries/haiti.


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A Performance of Performativity: Female Directors and the Art of Caretaking Marina Miller “I couldn’t direct all the time, I think.” SG laughs as she shoulder checks and merges back onto route 89 south. The last time we were on this highway together we were heading back north after Christmas break—I was six weeks from opening my first directing project for an audience and she was seven out of her own. I remember, at the time, feeling overwhelmed and unsure I’d be able to make ends meet by the end of the month. SG reassured me that things would fall into place. It seems impossible now that it had happened and had finished, and as we cross the American border for Boston once again I feel palpably torn away from it. Directing a play consists of months of physical, time-consuming, and frequently laborious dedication, as we both know from years of extracurricular experience in student and semi-professional theatre. What shocked me about approaching directing subjectively was how emotionally demanding the process would become; how frustrating three-hour rehearsals seem when one’s meticulously planned exercises cease to translate, and how cathartic it feels to cry when the rest of the audience laughs on opening night. SG had begun directing at age 18 and had consequently grown familiar with this intense arc of emotional dedication. She assures me, however, that no matter how many projects one approaches from the chair, one’s role never ceases to adapt depending on who is involved in what circumstances. “There are many type relationships that happen [with actors],” she explains. “One is that super-collaborative-onthe-same-page I-trust-you-and-you-trust-me relationship...but it’s not always parallel like that. There are some [actors] who really need you to just guide a director you need to be adaptable. You need to be different

things for different people.” I remember watching SG’s face as she applauded her own cast for the first time in November, positing what it would possibly be like to feel such pride and relief. It was quite like I expected, in many ways—two hours of holding one’s breath and watching for every possible fluke, and yet, simultaneously, seeing the whole night fly by in a whirlwind of overwhelming, seamless grace. I look up to SG, in many ways. She discusses her method and theorizes her presence with eloquence and self-awareness, unafraid to share anecdotes with me that ramble on for minutes at a time. Meanwhile, the mountains roll past and I find myself nodding in agreement to the bulk of her discourse. “It’s honesty. Honesty and openness of communication is so important in this kind of [actor-director] relationship,” she explains. “These people...their struggles really shape me. They tell me a lot. [Many of my actors] still come to me for advice because they really trust me...they have no idea how important it is to me to feel that trust and respect and know it’s going both ways.” Like myself, SG prefers devoting one-on-one time to each actor early in the process. We discuss how this personal encounter is important, as each actor responds better to different directorial approaches, but also how these individual rehearsals can create a more intimate environment that in turn catalyzes a deeper level of communication. SG discusses her most recent work with me--with a young man our age--in an incredibly emotionally difficult role, “Jimmy.” For this actor and this part, it was essential that she worked intimately to help him sculpt a portrayal that was genuine but also emotionally safe. By the end of it, she explained, she had very much fallen in



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love with the character—not necessarily with the actor, but with the role the two of them had sculpted overtime. “It’s because a lot of being in a loving relationship with anybody— platonic or otherwise—is you share the burden of each other’s pain...we carried each other, and that meant a lot. We carried each other, and we carried Jimmy, because Jimmy is a character that needs to be loved, and we loved Jimmy.” This resonated with me. I, too, had recently worked with an actor on a role wrought with heartbreak, mental illness, depression and an indescribable yearning. Both roles in my production were, in fact, incredibly emotionally textured, but this actor I felt in particular grew quickly and overwhelmingly from his relative lack of experience with dramatic acting at the start of the process. I told SG that this kind of vulnerability we shared was probably what made me feel so fulfilled by his performance and proud of him—both of us approached the production with a very precarious notion of our individual success, and when we shared that with each other, we realized how much faith we had in the process as a whole. “That’s what I love about theatre,” SG explained, “so many artistic hands touch it...the lines of the fingerprints all start to overlap...and once you take away the hierarchical managerial part of [directing], you’re just humans together that want to take care of each other.” The prospect of creating such mutual love over something so contrived seems bizarre from an outside lens. But SG assured me that to her, theatre is very much a living thing because we put our own life forces into it. “We all take pieces of our hearts,” she explained, “the director and the actor. They take pieces of their own hearts, of hearts they’ve seen and known, and they sew them together in this subtle, differentiated patchwork quilt...and that’s why I fell in love with Jimmy, because Jimmy had my heart.” What about directing feels so powerful

on a subjective level? We concur it is the performative quality of making a person into something that is partially inspired by themselves and partially entirely foreign. The intimate nature of having someone access parts of their psyche is taxing and difficult but rewarding and often very productive—I imagine this is why many professional caregivers use role-playing as a form of conflict resolution. In her film First Person Plural, Deann Borshay Liem explores the implications of growing up as an adopted Korean child in San Francisco under a false identity. Upon arriving as a young child, Liem recounts how she promptly forgot most of her past experience in Korea, including her knowledge of the language. After living more than two decades in the states, however, she uncovered a bulk of past information that informed her of an entirely different identity than the one she had originally been taught. The film works in an expository manner: we follow her seemingly linear narrative of moving to San Francisco as a young orphan and growing up in decisively white, American surroundings. As we are introduced to the individuals in her American family, now adults, we uncover her other repressed and lingering Korean past. We are made, as viewers, to consider Liem’s identity threefold as we are walked through the implications of discovery with her parents and newly-reunited Korean siblings. Judith Butler explores this Althusserian notion of interpellation in her essay “Politics of Performance.” According to her, language and performative utterances have the power to both formulate and deconstruct subjectivities: to make people and to destroy them. Liem is very much interpellated on several levels in order to fit into various frameworks that best benefit her caretakers: to the orphanage, she is a non-orphan who has been left temporarily due to economic circumstances, yet to her American family she arrived as Cha Jung


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He—a named orphan with no preexisting home to return to. After adoption, the small Korean child was named Deann to fit into the precepts of her home and family life in suburban America, and this is the identity that continues to define her upbringing. Each name has wildly different implications and each acts performatively in defining Liem’s existence. Applying the concept of interpellation, particularly through performative utterances, to directing is complex: the actor is very much interpellated by the role he or she is given, but in many ways the director is called upon to remain static and stable in their organizational, managerial role. I consider my work with actors that demand from me what I have trouble giving naturally— this kind of performativity is in many ways an act of interpellation in that I am called upon to become a different social being in a specific context. SG’s eclectic experience touches on this in a few ways as well: the experience of working as a woman of colour on a misogynistic white man’s play from the 1940s calls for a degree of interpellation if not fabrication of identity on an obvious level. Yet, this kind of hailing and naming comes into practice in individual rehearsal as well. The interpellative act of actor-becomingcharacter is the most essential act catalyzed by a director: the most meticulous question or exercise can pull a character out of a person as much as the wrong critical comment can stifle it, and this kind of uncertainty highlights the amount of attention to detail necessary for succeeding in this position. As Butler explains, the process of “how the subject, constituted through the address of the Other, becomes then a subject capable of addressing others” implies a subject who is neither entirely sovereign nor entirely complicit to the commanding voice of the other (1997: 26). The act of moulding a character while letting him or her be moulded

by another does break down the individual autonomy of both director and actor, but this leveling constructs the basis of equality necessary for mounting a production. SG tells me of her experience working with an actor who did not react to her experimental and metaphoric exploration of text—and how frustrating this became. “It’s hard. He is the kind of person who needed me to engage on an only intellectual level... and that was hard for me because [it’s not] my natural approach.” But the job of the director is to be accommodating—“I had to speak his language...I had to intellectualize the feelings that I was trying to find.” In an ideal situation, rehearsal masquerades as a model of utopian communication posited on total equality: yet this model is only reached through the necessary sacrificing of agency of all involved. SG explains that directing is not like painting—it is a sort of sculpting and coaxing of various bodily, psychological elements that in the end necessarily stray from what crystallizes in the brain. This initial vision is very much a part of the director’s identity. SG equates it to a sort of creative fetus—one that starts off entirely a part of the mother and throughout the process becomes more decisively autonomous as it is fed at the hands of those that touch it. The pregnant woman and the director-to-be both become mother, but in the process the director also becomes coach, teacher, psychiatrist, sometimes match-maker and friend—all in the name of actor becoming character. For this reason, too, SG and I agree that our female identities largely inform the roles we are boxed into as directors. In this way, the process of formulating a production is toooften cornered into a heterosexual, patriarchal familial framework: the male director frequently has more leeway to approach his projects with a firm hand and hierarchical role, whereas the female director is too often not taken seriously, lest she work from this exact



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platform of empathy and motherliness. Both of us found we naturally approach directing this way—I considered it more a testament to the nature of the play than my subservience to any gendered stereotype, however SG challenges this kind of naturalization as perhaps a deeper issue than we immediately realize. Does a male director consider himself a caretaker, or a boss? John Borneman addresses this discrepancy between gender and kinship in his article, “Caring and Being Cared For,” positing how as anthropologists we can contribute invaluable insight into non-normative social structures. His analysis wishes to move away from didactic explorations of heterosexual marriage as the signifying force of intimacy and social formation, instead examining gender, sexuality and kinship as individual factors that may or may not feed into a politics of care described as, “noncoercive, voluntary affiliation” (2001: 31). These counter-hegemonic constructions of kinship that Borneman outlines already clearly align with much of SG’s metaphor of the cast of a play as a family. The actors, under a single director, form a familial bond that necessarily queers and complicates the notion of a nuclear western family: directors-particularly student directors--work with and therefore parent those who are older and who may or may not have more experience in the field. If, in an ideal process, the director exists to create, translate and formulate his or her vision until it is presentable for an audience, the breaking down of the hierarchy undermines his or her given role. If it is the role of the female director to approach the process from her emotional, subjective and vulnerable place—and if this can only be done by breaking down the hierarchy to create a space of empathy, she is necessarily posited as less managerial and less in control than her male counterpart who retains power, albeit through a lack of emotional contact. One

could argue which process ultimately benefits more, and I am curious to find directors that, either purposefully or not, transgress these boundaries of gendered caretaking. SG agrees that this exact interpellation of female directors into a gendered formula of kinship is important to deconstruct because our subjectivities as directors are so influenced by our physical involvement in the process. If, in professional situations, directors are called upon to enact this stereotypical “male” position, the theatre continues to posit the female perspective as second-rate, excessive and unproductive. Putting this part of my identity on paper is staggeringly more difficult than talking to SG in the car. The collective memory of who we were once and who we will likely be again lingers in every anecdote. We reminisce about the people we’ve created as though they will never again change: we taxidermize them, and we move on to embody other characters and foster new growth. My actress jokes about restaging our project again when we are forty, to see how the incidences of life change how we once played love and grief at age twenty. Perhaps in the theatre, it is the formulation of language that comes with life experience that changes one’s notion of selfhood. It is impossible to imagine any caretaker position outside the realm of politics or gender, and I do not wish to do so--yet, what makes directing as caretaking such a poignant example is the inherency of performance to the role. Other people cannot be other people under our guidance if we, too, cannot be other selves. Perhaps I will restage my project in twenty years: I hope that what grows with time is our collective vulnerability and the courage to abandon how we already tend to others. Then, we will have not only well-rounded characters, but well-rounded caretakers as well.


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References Cited Borneman, John 2001 Caring and Being Cared for: Displacing Marriage, Kinship, Gender and Sexuality. In The ethics of Kinship: Ethnographic Inquiries. J. Faubion ed. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield. 29-46. Butler, Judith 1997 Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge. Liem, Deann Borshay 2000 First Person Plural. 60 minutes. Mu Films. Berkeley. Right? International Journal of Cultural Property 12:78-94.



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Investigating the presence of culture in hominins dating to the Lower and Middle Pleistocene: Archaeological evidence of symbolism in Paleolithic art Rebecca Rainville Abstract This paper offers an analysis of the emergence of culture in hominins dating to the Lower and Middle Pleistocene. My research is based on the following two notions: firstly, that symbolism is evidence of culture and secondly, that Paleolithic art is evidence of symbolic behavior. I will use examples of Paleolithic art such as beads, systematic pigment use, and engravings as evidence of symbolism and hence cultural behavior. An analysis of primary and secondary literature will provide a comparison of the evidence that currently exists on the emergence of culture in humans. The purpose of this research paper is to prove the existence of symbolic behavior before the emergence of anatomically modern humans. I propose that the development of culture was not necessarily the result of increased encephalization specific to anatomically modern humans, but could also be explained by variables or a combination of variables such as environmental pressures, subsistence strategies, and local cultural adaptations. Key words: Hominin, culture, Lower/Middle Pleistocene, archaeological evidence, symbolism, Paleolithic art

way of observation and reproduction of existing behaviors. The second model, usually referred to as the gradualist model, proposes that various species of humans had culture, and hence that culture emerged gradually at different points in time. Culture, through symbolic behavior, arose in hominins of the Lower and Middle Pleistocene before the emergence of anatomically modern humans, therefore deconstructing the assumption that only modern humans have the cognitive abilities for culture and cultural expression. Symbolic behavior cannot simply be attributed to superior cognitive capabilities, but must also consider variables such as environmental pressures, local culture adaptations, and subsistence strategies as a possibility for its emergence. I will demonstrate this conjecture in three steps: firstly, that culture emerged before the expansion of anatomically modern humans into Europe 40,000 years ago, secondly, that it arrived before the origin of our species in Africa; and lastly, that this was not necessarily the result of cognitive abilities

Introduction Culture is an aspect of the human condition that has been used to reinforce the distinction between humans and non-humans. In order to investigate the possibility of culture in non-human species, we must distance ourselves from this divide and consider that culture comes in many forms. This research paper focuses on the idea that symbolism is a component of culture and that symbolic behavior, such as art, is evidence of cultural expression. Previous literature has confined the search for evidence of early symbolic behavior to cave paintings and stone tools. In order to expand this definition my research will include beads, systematic pigment use, and engravings as evidence for symbolism. There are two main models concerning the evolution of human culture among hominins. The first model, usually referred to as the discontinuist model, is based on the idea that human culture originated from anatomically modern humans in Africa and spread to other human species, as they expanded, by


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the result of factors other than increased encephalization, a connection between culture and symbolism must be established. Ideology is a system of beliefs (Swidler 1986: 278) that is part of a larger cultural system. Symbolism is the communication of ideologies through material things by endowing them with meaning (Sterelny 2014:1). The meanings assigned to objects are determined by the culture from which they derive, therefore using symbols to communicate cultural systems (Bednarik 2005: 546). These symbolically marked objects mediate social interactions by signaling individual or group identity, social roles and status, as well as participation in a social system of relations between people and things (Sterelny 2014:2). I will be using the term behavior to describe the use of symbolic markers as opposed to practice because I wish to demonstrate the role of natural processes in triggering the emergence of culture. Behavior describes action as the result of natural design or influence whereas practice emphasises individual role (Pauketat 2000: 115). I do acknowledge the latter as a factor in the emergence of culture, however, my focus is on the shared biological aspects that could have brought about this change rather than individual choice. In doing so, I seek to dissociate the responsibility of specific human groups from the appearance of culture and establish an image of its arrival as a subject of natural forces, comparable in time and space. Using the term practice would have the opposite effect of crediting (or associating) a specific human group with the capabilities of creating culture by establishing it as historically contingent, and incomparable in time and place (Pauketat 2000: 115). Also, describing culture as a behavior rather than a practice allows me to deconstruct the division between humans and non-humans.

unique to modern humans, but could also be explained by variables or a combination of variables such as environmental pressures, subsistence strategies, and local cultural adaptations. Terminology This research must be understood and interpreted through the definitions I have used for key terms such as culture and symbolism. For the concept of culture, I draw on the definitions provided by Swidler (1986) and Sterelny (2014), which consider culture as consisting of norms made up of a set of beliefs and practices shared by members of a particular group at a specific point in time. Through these norms meanings are experienced and expressed (Swidler 1986: 273) thus defining identity and shaping worldview (Sterelny 2014:1). Norms create structure in social relations through the constant patterns of exchange and interaction they create between group members, thus allowing predictability and coordination of behavior (Sterelny 2014:1). In order to strengthen one’s membership in a particular group, individuals might participate in non-utilitarian activities, meaning of no functional value, which communicate cultural norms and identities (Sterelny 2014: 1). Culture does not provide guidelines for appropriate behavior and ideologies, but rather, indirectly influences behavior by shaping the knowledge based on which it is organised (Swidler 1986: 284). Symbolism consists of the physical manifestation of the ideologies of an individual or group through objects that are assigned meaning and communicate information associated with these symbols (Sterelny 2014:1). In this research, symbolism is considered an intrinsic component of culture. In order to support my thesis that the development of culture is not unique to anatomically modern humans and may be



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Discontinuists also emphasise the importance of the context of the artifact relative to the assemblage, and state that gradualists do not consider the possibility of post-depositional disturbances that may cause objects to be attributed to older layers and misdated. While there is more archaeological evidence to support the discontinuist approach, this may simply be due to taphonomic processes which fragment the record. A main critique of the discontinuists is their use of the same measure of symbolism regardless of the time frame which puts limitations on research and possibly neglects earlier symbolic forms. They are also accused of providing a skewed coverage of the evidence since they do not analyse regions equally (d’Errico 2000:124). The gradualists, in contrast, are criticised for mistakenly labelling objects as symbolic that have a functional value or are not the result of human modification but rather natural transformations (d’Errico 2000:123). In this paper I assume a gradualist approach in an attempt to illustrate that culture did not emerge in modern humans as a result of their biology but that it emerged in several species of hominin due to natural forces (d’Errico 2007: 131). I also want to criticize this model’s underlying problematic assumption of the split between humans/non-humans. Both models deal with the split between anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals thus creating a paradigm for how we think about who and what is considered human, including ideas about cultural exclusivity. There are many dates suggested for the divergence between Neanderthals and modern humans ranging from 400-600,000 years ago (Scally 2012: 746-47). This large degree of variation shows how little is known about our evolution and that the level of uncertainty of an exact split should blur the distinction between human and non-humans. Creating this definite contrast has several implications, including creating limitations

Theoretical Models In this section I will discuss existing theories regarding the notion of culture and the human/non-human split as well as critically evaluate these theories based on available archaeological evidence in the following section. There is currently no consensus as to when, why, and how culture emerged in modern humans, however, two main models are distinguishable: the discontinuist and the gradualist. The discontinuist model assumes that culture developed in anatomically modern humans due to their superior cognitive abilities (d’Errico 2007: 123). There is variability however, in the timing of cultures arrival, and it is suggested that culture developed either abruptly in response to the expansion of modern humans into Europe around 40,000 years ago or slowly, in successive waves with the emergence of our species in Africa between 200-20,000 years ago (d’Errico 2007: 122). This model assumes that modern human behaviour emerged as a result of the biological origin of our species in Africa and that species in Eurasia only produced these from imitation of cultural behaviors, meaning first observation, then reproduction, due to restrictions in capabilities (d’Errico 2007: 123). The gradualist model suggests that culture is not unique to our biological species but rather emerged progressively in various species of humans at different points in time during the Lower and Middle Pleistocene (d’Errico 2007: 124). The criteria that qualifies an object as symbolic seems to differ between approaches, leading to disagreements for symbolically ambiguous artifacts (d’Errico 2000:124). Advocates of the discontinuist model have specific criteria for an object to be considered symbolic, and stress that there must be “spatial and temporal continuity in the production and use of symbols (d’Errico 2000:123)” whereas gradualists standards tend to be vaguer.


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intricacy of meaning (Moro Abadia and Gonzalez Morales: 236-37). Previously, it was believed that only cave paintings and engravings had symbolic meaning, and required craftsmanship and specialised tools while other art forms, like ornaments or portable art, were understood to be simply decorative (Moro Abadia and Gonzalez Morales: 237). Although the criteria that qualify an object as art have not changed, such as sophistication of manufacture and complexity of meaning, their definition and that of Paleolithic art has expanded to recognize the importance of other artifact categories as evidence of symbolic behavior (Moro Abadia and Gonzalez Morales: 238).

to our interpretations of the past, however, for the purpose of this paper I will focus on the limitations of categorisation species and the creation of hierarchies (see Bickerton 2000). Acknowledging the split, categorizes Neanderthals and modern humans as separate species, thereby emphasising differences and ignoring discrepancies between Neanderthals and modern humans that indicate similarity. Also, employing strict and bounded as well as static definitions to describe a species ignores variation. This problem will be scrutinized in my paper, as I attempt to shed light on evidence that was disregarded since it did not conform to the standards that differentiate humans from non-humans (Moro Abadia and Gonzalez Morales 2010: 231-32). The distinction of humans and non-humans uses humans as the standard unit of measure from which everything else is differentiated and defined, which creates a hierarchy where humans are at the top of the evolutionary chain. This view promotes the idea of humans as special and superior to other species (Bickerton 2000: 862). I do acknowledge the differences between humans and nonhumans, however, I wish to avoid creating strict categories based on these distinctions and the associated valuations, and instead establish a level playing field; in other words, I seek to remove hierarchy allowing to reduce bias in my interpretation of the evidence. The discontinuist and gradualist models use art as evidence for symbolic behavior, but there is discrepancy in their identification of Paleolithic art. I must address this lack of consensus before demonstrating the existence of culture in other species of hominin of the Lower and Middle Pleistocene. While Paleolithic art is generally defined as cave paintings, it is important to expand this definition by examining other artifact categories that have been overlooked in terms of technical complexity, degree of skill, and

Critical Evaluation The purpose of my paper is to extend the research conducted on the emergence of culture to other archaeological materials that may indicate symbolic behavior before the human and non-human split. I conduct my research using primary and secondary literature, however, I exclude cave paintings and stone tools from my data collection since these have been thoroughly covered in previous studies and are not sufficient to attain a holistic analysis of the emergence of culture in humans. The artifact categories I examine are ornaments, systematic pigment use, and engravings, which I consider in chronological order. I attempt to establish a link between these artifacts and existing explanatory models that scholars have provided, such as environmental pressure, subsistence strategies, local cultural adaptation, and encephalization. Beads Ornaments, such as beads and pendants, have been located throughout Africa and Eurasia across the Pleistocene epoch. I have analysed a few examples of ornaments that would contradict the theory that culture



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making an object that has no functional value means ornaments must have had another role to justify their costs (Bednarik 2005: 546). Putting so much effort into an object that is easily breakable and non-utilitarian, warrant ornaments as symbolic artifacts, and hence their production as evidence of symbolic behavior. Explaining the emergence of symbolic behavior via ornaments can be related to the material from which they are made. For instance, the beads made of ostrich shells could be the result of subsistence strategies since their shells were often used as containers to transport food. Given that ostriches in the Pleistocene could also be found in Asia, this means that the innovation was not restricted to Africa as previously thought (Bednarik 2005: 538). Similarly, the wolf incisor could have been the result of an emblematic token after processing game, but this is purely speculative. Furthermore, ornaments can be associated with increased brain complexity. Wearing beads no matter the symbolic meaning requires a sense of self-awareness because it distinguishes the individual and provides an understanding of one’s own existence relative to others (Bednarik 2005: 546). This cognitive ability is an example of using encephalization as an explanatory model for symbolic behavior (Bickerton 2000:863). Hominin species have yet to be associated with any of these artifacts. However, since they are dated to sites in Eurasia prior to the expansion of modern humans, it is tempting to rule hominins out. I speculate that if the globular porifera beads are attributed to Homo erectus, which had developed seafaring ability by that time (Bednarik 2005: 547), then the symbolic innovation could be the result of a local cultural adaptation. The behavior could have been induced by interactions with marine organisms involved in migration via sea or ocean (d’Errico 2007: 125). This would mean that symbolic innovations occurred

emerged during the expansion of modern humans into Europe 40,000 years ago under the notion that these are markers of cultural behavior. For instance, disc beads found in Libya were demonstrated to be manufactured by humans from ostrich eggshells and were dated to 200,000 years ago. Pendants from the Austrian Alps, a perforated wolf incisor (Figure 1) and a flaked bone point, were dated to 300, 000 years ago. Also, beads made of sponge, or globular porifera specimens, are found at many sites in England and France in association with the Acheulian stone tool industry (Bednarik 2005: 540). There are distinct markings and typical wear patterns on objects that qualify and distinguish them as beads (Bednarik 2005: 538). The process of manufacturing beads is quite complex requiring the ability to create a hole in a fragile object without breaking it and then attaching the ornament to another object or a string. Also, the systematic collection of a raw material that is the right size and can be worked into a desired shape without too much wastage requires an understanding of one’s natural surroundings and physical properties of the material. The small size and fragility of ornaments qualifies them as nonutilitarian objects (Bednarik 2005: 538). The production of beads demands a lot patience and time with no functional reward (Bednarik 2005: 545). Take the sponge beads, for example, which are very symmetrical. Indeed, based on experimental replication, it could be demonstrated that their manufacture required a high level of patience and work (Bednarik 2005: 546). The extra effort put in to modify the beads to a particular shape and size shows an additional level of skills (Bednarik 2005: 546) and ability to imagine “a perfect geometric form” (Bednarik 2005: 545) the sphere (Figure 2). This would imply that the hominins had the cognitive ability to plan and imagine a final product (Bednarik 2005: 545). Investing the time and energy into


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systematic pigment use at Twin Rivers had a symbolic role to justify the intentional decision to invest more time and energy in using particular minerals that do not bring any functional advantage. I suggest that perhaps these specific minerals were chosen because of their visual properties after processing, some sparkle and others come in a range of colors (Barham 2002: 188). It is tempting to assume that the colors were assigned symbolic meaning because there is no explanation for the need of such an assortment if the pigment use was purely functional, but presently, their significance is undetermined. The choice to use a mineral because it is visually appealing does not constitute symbolic behavior, but rather it is systematic use that qualifies it as symbolic since this implies that there were a set of norms for interacting with minerals (Barham 2002: 186). The volume of pigments also suggests that knowledge of minerals was a regular pattern of behavior, hence a norm. Processing minerals demands detailed knowledge of their physical properties and an awareness of the environment to locate the raw materials (Barham 2002: 188). The complexity involved in processing minerals and evidence of a non-utilitarian purpose suggest that systematic pigment use is evidence of symbolic behavior in the context of this deposit. The environment was drastically changing on a global scale during the Pleistocene with alternating glacial and interglacial cycles, therefore the selection pressures were constantly shifting requiring hominins to adapt quickly (McCourt 2015). This environmental change coincides with a transition in tool technology to the Lupemban industry which was found in the same assemblage as the mineral deposits at Twin Rivers. This is particularly significant because it means that, in this context, we can correlate the beginning of systematic

when Homo erectus moved out of Africa (Bednarik 2005: 547-48), therefore pushing the origin of modernity back before the emergence of anatomically modern humans and deconstructing notions of cognitive capability differences between humans/nonhumans. Pigments Deposits of iron and manganese minerals found at Twin Rivers in Zambia, Africa, including at sites dating between 140-400,000 years ago, provide evidence for systematic pigment use in the Middle Pleistocene (Barham 2002: 181). In a study conducted by Barham (2002) extensive analysis of the physical properties of the minerals, and of their volume and size relative to each other as well as macroscopic examination of processing, was used to understand why these minerals were present and how they were possibly used (Barham 2002:183-36). He demonstrated that the minerals in the deposit were intentionally collected rather than a natural occurrence, and processed to make pigments in a range of colors (Barham 2002: 181). The author suggests the site is associated with Homo Heidelbergensis, though I see no evidence to support this claim (Barham 2002: 182). Iron minerals have functional properties since they can be used in medicine or to preserve animal skin. However, certain factors of this sample also prove to be nonutilitarian (Barham 2002: 187-88). Firstly, the variation in minerals is not necessary if only used for functional purposes (Barham 2002: 187). Secondly, minerals that are easy to process and work with were substituted for other sources of iron that are less efficient like specularite. Their choice of minerals that require more processing steps rather than local sources requiring minimal processing shows intentional selection for that type of mineral (Barham 2002: 188). I suggest that



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pigment use with changes that were occurring in the environment of Pleistocene hominins (Barham 2002: 188). I entertain the idea that pigment use could have generated cooperation as part of a cultural system that developed in response to increased environmental pressures.

visibly noticeable at the time of manufacture as the shell would have retained its brown outer surface layer with contrasting white lines. Finally, the grooves penetrated deep into the layers of the shell which requires significant force and precise maneuvering capabilities to reproduce the stable pattern (Joordens et al. 2015: 229). The process of engraving on a freshwater mussel shell is complex and requires considerable effort for an object that has no functional value. This shows that the time and energy spent in its production had a different purpose. The meaning of the lines is not understood, however, it is likely that the grooves were given some sort of meaning, thus making the fossil specimen a symbolic artifact. I speculate that the choice to engrave one shell specifically, despite the complications, could be due to its role in the subsistence strategy of Homo erectus. Although, the act of engraving might have had benefits to outweigh the costs, and since there was no functional value the other alternative explanation is deliberate action to express meaning. The shell is art because of the non-utilitarian engravings, and therefore symbolic because it is endowed with meaning other than processing food or tool-use. I propose that interacting with these marine organisms for consumption and tool-use on a regular basis built a repertoire of knowledge that allowed for symbolism and formed the grounds upon which they became part of the culture of Homo erectus.

Shells A fossil of a freshwater mussel shell was recovered from Trinil on Java, Indonesia with an engraved geometric pattern of zigzag lines. Using sediments trapped within the shell, it was dated to between 540,000430,000 years ago, and through deduction, was associated with Homo erectus (Joordens et al. 2015: 230). Experimental archaeological methods demonstrated that the fossil was deliberately modified by one individual rather than the result of natural transformations or food processing (Joordens et al. 2015: 22831). Morphological analysis of lines also showed that they were not caused by food processing. This means that the engraving had no functional value. The specimen was part of an assemblage of freshwater mollusc species that were collected for consumption and tool-use. This was shown according to the placement of markings and holes on certain specimens, and a population distribution pattern and size range that favors large adults. However, the makings on the engraved specimen do not resemble the lines on shells that were processed for consumption. (Joordens et al. 2015: 228-29). Joordens and his coworkers (2015) conducted a study of the morphology of the lines with respect to the surrounding area on the fossil. They determined several key factors about the object that label it as symbolic: Firstly, the markings were deliberate and were done before the shell was buried. Secondly, the grooves were made using a sharp solid tool like a shark tooth. Furthermore, the engraving would have been

Discussion and Conclusion My research has shown three things: first, that the date range of the artifact categories I have discussed demonstrate that variants of symbolic behavior pre-date the expansion of anatomically modern humans into Europe 40,000 years ago. Secondly, the fossil mussel shell in particular, illustrates that there are traces of symbolism before the origin of


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Terrains Appendix

modern humans in Africa. Lastly, I have shown that several variables contributed to the development of culture in hominins by relating the artifact categories to explanatory models such as environmental pressure, local cultural adaptations, subsistence strategies, and encephalization. My opinion is that all these factors interacted and lead to the development of culture. In establishing that non-humans have the capabilities for culture, the notion that culture is only possible in humans is undermined and a distinguishing factor is removed from the human/nonhuman split. Without distinctive differences, the categories that divide humans from other organisms are deconstructed and similarities become eminent. This has implications not only on how we interpret the past, but on issues of the present such as race in which hierarchies of value are created. My research has shown that studying culture through the distinction between humans and nonhumans is limiting and neglects certain lines of evidence that may lead to a different truth. My analysis of Paleolithic art suggests that culture emerged gradually in several species of human between the Lower and Middle Pleistocene as a result of natural processes rather than superior cognitive capabilities. This questions the split created between humans and non-humans by illustrating that symbolic behavior is not unique to our species and equally possible in non-humans. In showing that anatomically modern humans are not differentiated from their cousins with respect to cultural ability, the hierarchies created by the human/non-human split are put into question. If this distinction becomes obscure, than what is to be made of cultural concepts like race and ethnicity that create divide within the human population itself?

Figure 1: Perforated wolf incisor (Bednarik 2005: 539)

Figure 2: Beads made of sponge specimens with variations in wear-and-tear (Bednarik 2005: 540)

Figure 3: The fossil mussel shell with engraving (Joordens et al. 2015: 230)



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References Cited

Sterelny, K., and Hiscock, P. 2014

Barham, Lawrence S. 2002

Symbols, signals and the archaeological

record. Biological Theory 9 (1): 1-3

Systematic pigment use in the Middle

Swidler, A.

Pleistocene of south-central Africa. Current


Anthropology 43 (1): 181-190

American sociological review 273-286

Bednarik, R.G. 2005 Middle




symbolism. Anthropos-Freiburg 100 (2): 537-552 Bickerton, D. 2000 Resolving discontinuity: a minimalist distinction between human and non-human minds. American Zoologist 40 (6): 862-873 d’Errico, F. 2007 The origin of humanity and modern cultures: Archaeology’s view. Diogenes 54 (2): 122-133 D’Errico, F. and Nowell A. 2000

A new look at the Berekhat ram figurine:

implications for the origins of symbolism. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 10 (1): 123167 McCourt, George 2015

Geomorphic Processes and biodiversity:

the Amazon, unpublished lecture, March 24 2015, Department of Environmental sciences, McGill University. Joordens, J.C., d’Errico, F., Wesselingh, F. P., Munro S., de Vos, J., Wallinga, J., Ankjærgaard, C., et al. 2015 Homo Erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving Nature 518 (7538): 228-231 Moro Abadia, O., and Gonzalez Morales, M. R. 2010

Redefining Neanderthals and art: an

alternative interpretation of the multiple species model for the origin of behavioural modernity. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 29 (3): 229-243 Pauketat, T. 2000

The tragedy of the commoners. In M. A.

Dobres & JE Robb (Eds.), Agency in Archaeology: 113-129 Scally, A., and Durbin, R. 2012 Revising the human mutation rate: implications for understanding human evolution. Nature Reviews Genetics 13 (11): 745-753


Culture in action: symbols and strategies.

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Prague Graffiti

I do not know the artist to whom this work is credited. Staring from the windows of an impressive facade looking out over Prague’s Vitava River, these humanoid beings grimace at passersby. Albeit garish, obscene and tortured, I can’t help but see myself in each of their forms. I invite you to return their gaze. What do you see? Kelsey Davis



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Within the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin Just south of the famous Brandenberg Gate in the heart of Berlin stands the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The imposing grid-like field of 2711 concrete pillars covers an undulating ground. Walking through the concrete maze I couldn’t help but be struck by the incomprehensible horror of the Holocaust. I do wonder, however, as to the effectiveness of abstraction in capturing this embodied pain. Kelsey Davis


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A local fruit vendor braves the busy streets to sell pineapples from a movable stall in Hanoi, Vietnam. Ariane MĂŠnard



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A Javanese artisan in Yogyakarta makes leather shadow puppets for a Wayang Kulit performance. UNESCO designated this form of shadow-puppet theater a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. In return for receiving this designation, the Javanese are required to maintain this part of their heritage. Ariane MĂŠnard


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Balinese dancers in Ubud perform a Kelinci dance created by a graduate of the Academy of Performing Arts. Balinese dance and gamelan performances are usually a combination of entertainment and worship, with many tales coming from the Indian Ramayana epics Balinese dance is performed to entertain the gods. With increasing tourism and a new wave of Balinese artists, dances like this one emphasize the entertainment and the art of the dance over the religious aspects. Ariane MĂŠnard



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Liam Ragan


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I found that the variety of emotions I saw in the kids I met when I was trekking in Rwanda perfectly reflected the diverse nature of the people I met when I lived in the region. Western media has a tendency to show images of Africa in which the subjects embody the suffering, continent-in-need-of-aid trope we’ve grown accustomed to, and in reaction to this, alternative news outlets have attempted to show us the opposite, in which the subjects show only



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joy. In my experience, both of these portrayals are equally misleading. People in Africa don’t just reside on the extreme ends of the emotional spectrum, but instead occupy the entire range of emotions, and are just as diverse and varying as people in any other part of the world. This is a fact which should not only be kept in mind, but taken for granted at all times, and for all people. Liam Ragan


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My collection of photographs is an attempt at displaying the socio-cultural variation across nations, embodied in day-to-day activities. It brings to light the nature of representation, viewing, and performativity. Sienna Zampino



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Sienna Zampino



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Sienna Zampino



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Taoism represents a faith commonly practiced in local contexts throughout Taiwan. Practitioners can frequently be seen at city temples leaving written messages in seeking good fortune and lighting incense as offerings to local deities.Taiwan is an increasingly industrialized island nation.


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Night markets play an essential role in Taiwan’s consumer culture, providing inexpensive foods and consumer products for locals and tourists alike to purchase through the night.As a result of Taiwan’s advancing industry and growing population, more people are beginning to experience



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the challenges of gentrification. These brightly colored images can be found in the city of Taichung, at a site known as the “Rainbow Village.� This space has been occupied by a 93-yearold man for the past 37 years, who has refused to leave the city even as he has seen many of his neighbors forced to more marginal areas. In response to this experience, he decided to revitalize the place in which he lived by continually painting it. The village stands as a fascinating example of local resistance to the imposition of mainland Chinese industry and bureaucracy in Taiwan. Ty Cary


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The Maude Abbott Medical Museum, located on the 2rd floor of the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building, had its origins in the early 1820s as a collection of specimens from the McGill Medical School. It grew through donations from physicians associated with McGill teaching hospitals, including William Osler and Maude Abbott (its curator appointed in 1899). By 1904, museum demonstrations were mandatory for medical students and by 1915 the Pathology Museum had accessioned over 15,000 specimens and the Anatomy Museum over 3000. Although the Museum declined as a teaching tool in the latter part of the 20th century, the specimens left behind are illustrations of the links between science and the cultural construction of anatomy and pathology. An example of this is the collection of A.C Geddes. He is remembered today primarily for his role in the Civil Defence Commission of Britain in WWI and as British Ambassador to the United States in 1920. He was also appointed Chair of Anatomy at McGill from 1913-14, and left behind his teaching collection. Geddes believed that a good understanding of anatomy was required for the proper practice of clinical



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medicine, and his carefully modeled specimens reflect this. In the spirit of historical archaeology, we undertook an investigation to identify the specimens Geddes donated to the Musuem, as well as those which remain in the Museum today. Sixty-three were identified from Museum logbooks between 1913 and 1916, and 11 were physically recovered. Two of these—specimens 530 and 531—are sagittal sections of human skulls. 530 has been ground to show the diploic veins. These sit below the arteries in channels in the cranial bones, and derive their names from the bones with which they are associated. They communicate with the meningeal veins, veins of the pericranium and the sinuses of the dura mater. 531 shows the transverse sinus painted in blue and the maxillary sinus filled with pink plaster. The middle meningeal artery has two branches in red and supplies the facial nerves and the lacrimal area. It runs between the bones of the cranium but above the dura mater, and thus does not supply the brain. Elizabeth Church


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Identity in Partition: Maintaining Indian Statehood through Patriarchal Power April Barrett In the midst of the devastating 1947 Partition of India, there was an anxiety on the part of the new government to validate India as a functioning, progressive nation, equal to those of the West. This anxiety had an enormous impact on how both India and Pakistan treated the aftermath of Partition. Veena Das’s article The Figure of the Abducted Woman (2007) examines the treatment of Partition in this way, coming specifically from an angle too easily left out of the conversation; the role of masculinity in establishing sovereignty. While Das focuses on the role of the gendered state during Partition, Thomas Blom Hansen’s article Riots, Policing, and Truth Telling in Bombay (2001) looks at the trauma of Partition through recent violence between Hindus and Muslims. Hansen’s detailing of the 1992/1993 anti-Muslim riots in Bombay does not explicitly discuss gender when examining the role of the state, but his account nonetheless brings up a few interesting instances in which gender and state sanctioned violence noticeably intersect. I would argue that through the equation of masculinity with violence, the association of Muslim men with deviant sexuality, and the depiction of the state as not only a mythic but a masculine presence, Hansen’s account of the Bombay riots can serve as a case study for the necessity of patriarchy, as Das’s framework suggests, in establishing and legitimizing the power of a nation. Das argues that the state needed patriarchy in order to establish its claim over citizens. She explains that the figure of the abducted women during Partition and the desire for her retrieval came to signify, “men charged with keeping male violence in abeyance” (Das 2007:33). This statement implies the necessity of violence in defining manhood. Das suggests that in the aftermath of Partition the number

one priority of the patriarchal state, which she argues is modeled after the patriarchal household, was to effectively protect “our” women from “their men.” If we are to examine Hansen’s account of the Bombay riots we can observe multiple instances in which men are called to take up arms against rivals, at the stake of protecting their women and proving their masculinity. Hansen quotes Hindu right-wing leader Bal Thackeray’s views on the Hindu response to Muslim violence: “If our people should not retaliate they should really wear bangles,” (Hansen 2001:122). Hindu women were seen actually giving out bangles to men who did not participate in the riots (Hansen 2001:123). The implication in this statement is that the men who did not react vengefully and violently to Muslim attacks against Hindus, would be stripped of their manhood and shamed by association with femininity. Hansen discusses the motivations of men who did participate: “There was talk of marauding gangs of Muslims roaming the streets at night to avenge their dead and rape Hindu women. Driven by guilt and fear, middle-class Hindu men armed themselves and patrolled their neighbourhoods at night” (Hansen 2001:123). Das discusses the necessity of the pressure on men to act as fathers, protectors, and owners of the women of their community, as well as the alleviation of this pressure when the state steps in and takes on the role (Das 2007:34). What these instances exemplify is the opportunity that inter-community violence provides to prove masculinity, at the level of the people and at the level of the state. Not only was violence made necessary to legitimize a masculine state, but the construction of the figure of an oppositional male villain. Das explains that long before Partition: “References to the lustful Muslim and appeals to innocence of Hindu women who



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could be easily deceived by Muslim men were plentiful,” (Das 2007:33). The purpose of this association can be found in Das’s explanation of the figure of the abducted women having “associated imagery of social disorder as sexual disorder,” (Das 2007:21). The anxiety of sexual disorder caused by a villainous, “Other,” or deviant, is explored further in Hansen’s discussion of the media depiction of Muslim rioters. Hansen recounts the history of Muslim representation in newspapers in the 20th century: “Concerns were expressed about the alarming degree of instigation by goondas,” or “thugs” (2001:148). Furthermore, he discusses how these representations have had real consequences today in the form of intensified policing in Muslim areas and profiling of these areas as “dens of crime and Mafia activity,” (Hansen 2001:149). Returning to Hansen’s earlier quote about the rumours that circulated concerning “marauding gangs of Muslims roaming the streets at night to avenge their dead and rape Hindu women,” (2001:123) allows us to understand the purpose of constructing an “Other” in such instances. These gangsters or thugs are essential in a narrative in which the protection of women, directly related to their value as sexual beings, is the number one objective of a masculine, and therefore legitimate, group. The tension on the community level can be studied as a microcosm of the tension between the states of India and Pakistan post-Partition. Das solidifies this distinction of a deviant “Other” causing sexual disorder, when she explains how protests by abducted women at being returned to their original communities were completely overlooked by the state and described by social workers as a sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Das says:

contract as heads of household, in which women were in their “proper place” (Das 2001:29-30).

In this way we can see how representations of a Muslim man as a sexual deviant or “Other,” were used again as a platform for validating Hindu masculinity therefore restoring the masculinity of the Indian state. Both Das and Hansen make claims about the construction of the state itself. Das calls the state masculinized, Hansen calls the state mythic (2001:126); these suggestions are very compatible when examining Hansen’s discussion of the how the mythical nation state is constructed. Hansen outlines Kantorowicz’s theory of the transition from Kingship to democracy in the Western nation, explaining how the political leader represents both the human King and the sublime King, the latter of which is now permanently embodied by the state (Hansen 2001:129). This paternal figure must now gain the trust of its citizens and unify an incredibly diverse nation. “From war heroes to politicians and film stars to sports teams […]” Hansen (2001:131) lists a number of national symbols used to tie the Indian population together all of which represent traditionally male forms of gallantry. A further example of this beloved masculine depiction is the bureaucrat, which, according to Hansen, was: “the hero of modern India, and until the 1970s was depicted in Hindi films as a man of character and insight” (Hansen 2001:131). Additionally, Hansen recounts the mythical figures that Hindu politicians have compared themselves to: a fierce Maratha warrior, or even Shivaji, God of war and creation (2001: 131). In many instances Das discusses the matter of national honour, at one point she describes the state’s desire to reinstate the nation as, “a ‘pure’ and masculine space” (Das 2007:19). Hansen’s examples demonstrate the ways in which the state brought its citizens together by combining images of wisdom, authority,

“The appropriate sentiment in all such cases was coercively established as a desire for the original home that allowed men on both sides of the border to be instituting the social


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and fortitude to create a sublime masculine, a patriarch under which no wrongs could occur. This mythic, masculine construction of the state further reveals the necessity of patriarchy to legitimize a nation. Both Das and Hansen aim to deconstruct the way we conceptualize the state, specifically the Indian state in its relation to the Hindu/ Muslim tensions exacerbated by colonial rule. In the wake of Partition, India attempted to prove itself by working within the Western construct of a democratic state to build a unified nation on premises of honour, purity, and rationality. When reading Hansen’s text as a contemporary post-Partition report on Hindu/Muslim relations, gendered violence, and the Indian state’s role in these issues, we can use Das’s framework of the masculinized state to uncover the ways in which the same ideologies about the intersection of gender and inter-community relations are still relevant. Through the use of violence to legitimize Hindu males as masculine and therefore powerful, the depiction of Muslim males as a sexual threat to the reproductive property (women) of the Hindu majority, and the equivalence of the unshakeable authority of the state with perfect maleness, I have argued that Hansen’s article provides great insight into the ways in which the reinforcement of patriarchy is still necessary to the Indian state in order to maintain power over its people.

References Cited Das, Veena 2007

The Figure of the Abducted Woman: The

Citizen as Sexed, in Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary. Berkeley: University of California Press. Hansen, Thomas Blom 2001 Riots, Policing, and Truth-Telling, in Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay. Princeton Press.



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Mining for Gold: The Rankin Inlet Approach to Self-Determination in the Meliadine Gold Life Project (Also published in Field Notes, journal of the McGill Undergraduate Geography Society)

Mélanie Wittes Mining megaprojects in the northern territories of Canada are becoming increasingly common. Because Indigenous communities tend to be located close to mining areas, they are closely connected to the global mining industry. This is especially the case in Nunavut, where mining is becoming a central aspect of this young territory’s history and future. Some argue, in fact, that resource extraction companies were principal catalysts for the Inuit struggle for self-determination (McPherson 2003: 1). Self-determination enacted by Inuit communities is essential in their negotiations with mining companies because it ensures their agency to undertake a given “life project.” Self-determination can take the form of self-government, which Gibson and Klinck argue is a key factor in establishing the resilience of Indigenous communities in mining negotiations (134), as it permits them to negotiate through and according to their own governing institutions, in order to capitalize on the benefits of mining and to mitigate its consequences. This essay will explore the forthcoming Meliadine Gold “life project” of the Rankin Inlet hamlet in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. In order to fully understand the context in which this mining project will occur, I will first examine the role that the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement has taken in the development of Nunavut’s self-government. I will then analyze at length the objectives of various stakeholders in the Meliadine project, such as the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, examining certain key documents published by these bodies. Then, I will look specifically at Rankin Inlet, focusing first on its mining history, then

on the numerous perspectives of Rankinmiut1 about the Meliadine project, and finally on the potential benefits and costs of the project. To preface, I would like to note that many Indigenous people oppose resourceextractive development projects altogether and view them as another form of colonization. However, as a non-Indigenous (and, in particular, non-Inuit) settler, it is not my position to posit an opinion on this debate. Rather, this essay explores how a resourceextractive development project might act as a “life project” to those who do not oppose such development projects altogether, and who view them as being potentially beneficial to their struggles for self-determination. The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA),2 signed in 1993 and implemented in 1999, gave Inuit the rights to a large area, comprising 20% of Canadian land; this area is what constitutes Nunavut. Of the total area of Nunavut land, the Inuit have title to 19% of the surface land and 2% of the subsurface land;3 the Crown holds title to the remaining 81% and 98%, respectively. Alongside the Canadian federal government, the Inuit also play a role in the management of natural resources, receive a portion of resource royalties, and receive many of the benefits of development projects on Inuit Owned Lands through Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreements (IIBAs) (NTI “Explore the Potential” 2). Much of the surface and 1 Rankinmiut means “the people of Rankin Inlet” in Inuktitut. The suffix “miut” refers to a group of people (Cater 2013: 6).

2 Please refer to page 76 for a list of acronyms used in this essay.

3 The lands to which Inuit have title are referred to as “Inuit Owned Lands.”


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subsurface Inuit Owned Lands (IOL) is in the Kivalliq region. Because the Inuit have title to this land, they have the power to control what happens on their land (Nunavut Planning Commission 56); this is a major source of Inuit self-determination in Nunavut. Throughout negotiations for the NLCA, the Inuit pushed heavily for land development injunctions; this pressure was based on an orientation toward resource development in what would soon be Nunavut. Robert McPherson contends that, though the Inuit were concerned with issues relating to the sustainability of their land and, by extension, their culture, this developmentoriented pressure was a tool used in the Inuit struggle for self-determination. The Inuit recognized that, while their identity was perhaps associated with the land, they could not continue to gain their livelihood purely from the land; they therefore had to ensure that their children would learn new skills that would allow them to work in the wage-labour force. As McPherson explains, “A thriving economy based on largely non-renewable resources would be essential for a viable new territory—the Nunavut of their dreams” (xvii). The Inuit thus approached NLCA negotiations with the understanding that it was necessary to adapt to their changing socioeconomic and environmental landscapes. Governing bodies that emanated from the NLCA have continued this legacy of pushing for a development-oriented agenda, such as the Government of Nunavut (GN). In 2003, for instance, the GN and other organizations in Nunavut and Canada published the “Nunavut Economic Development Strategy,” which stated that economic growth was necessary in order to improve the quality of life for Nunavummiut.4 One of the primary sources of economic growth identified was mining (Department of Economic Development and Transportation 3). Subsequently, the GN initiated the “Nunavut

Mineral Exploration and Mining Strategy.” The goals of this strategy are to support sustainable mining exploration and development in Nunavut for economic gain that will benefit all the communities in Nunavut; this document also states that the GN supports the concept of “Sustainable Development.” This “Sustainable Development” approach is founded on mitigating the environmental impacts of mining, benefiting Nunavut and its communities, respecting and supporting traditional cultures, supporting the selfreliance and self-determination of Nunavut and its communities, and growing the economy (Department of Economic Development and Transportation 3-4). Further, the mission statement of the GN concerning mining is: “To encourage the creation of a sustainable mining industry that protects the environment and benefits and contributes to all Nunavummiut” (Department of Economic Development and Transportation 6). Thus, while the GN is focused on developing the economy of Nunavut through mining activities and extractive development, they are also concerned about respecting and protecting Nunavut lands; both of these concerns are foundational for selfdetermination. In the “Nunavut Mineral Exploration and Mining Strategy,” there is a list of six strategic “themes” that describe the initiatives that the GN will undertake to advance mining practices. These themes are the following: “Government of Nunavut Capacity Development,” “Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability,” “Community Participation and Capacity Development,” “Infrastructure Development,” “Business Development,” and “Development of an Effective Approval Process” (Department of Economic Development and Transportation). There are a few noteworthy aspects of this document. The first is the use of language. All of the themes listed name principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (which translates loosely to “the Inuit way of doing

4 Nunavummiut means “the people of Nunavut” in Inuktitut (Cater 2013: 2).



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square kilometres (Department of Economic Development and Transportation 5).7 NTI is a fierce supporter of mining activities and projects, while simultaneously (at least on paper) defending Inuit self-interests. In 1998, they developed a Mining Policy in which the NTI committed itself to supporting and promoting mining. The primary objectives of this Policy are the following: “minimize the negative impacts,” “maximize the benefits of mining to Inuit,” “attract mining investment,” “resolve land use conflicts,” and “improve consultation and clarify decision-making” (NTI “Mining Policy” 2). According to the Mining Policy, it would therefore seem as though NTI is fairly committed to mitigating the harmful consequences of mining and to engaging with non-NTI Nunavut stakeholders. Yet, the reality of NTI activity is perhaps not as positive. First, I would argue that NTI is not nearly as conscientious about reducing the environmental impact of mining as is the GN. For instance, James Eetoolook, First VicePresident of NTI, presented at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in 2000 where he said, “There should be no doubt that we support mining and that we want it. However, as we are people who live close to the land, we require that, in exchange for that support, mining activities do as little harm as possible to the land and the environment. We realize, of course, that you can’t make a mine without digging a hole” (Eetoolook 2000: 3). Although Eetoolook does make mention of the Inuit relationship to the land and of reducing environmental effects of mining, he does so in a very passive, dismissive way. His sentence about protecting the land is bookended by sentences about supporting mining and about recognizing that mining is necessarily harmful to the land. Similarly, at this same symposium, Eetoolook stated that, before any more land is protected as a

things”) (Test and Irniq 2008: 49) to which the themes respond, such as Aajiiqatigiingniq/ Pitiakadigiiklotik5 and Avatimik Kamattiarniq/ Amiginik Avatimik6 (Department of Economic Development and Transportation 14, 12). Yet, the document also uses neoliberal discursive phrases, such as the “competitive” mineral royalty structure and the “entrepreneurial culture” that the GN hopes to encourage (Department of Economic Development and Transportation 18). Thus, it would seem that the GN is attempting to reconcile the seemingly contradictory values of extractive capitalistic development and the “traditional” Inuit way of life and livelihood practices that is in large part based on sustainable uses of the land. The second noteworthy feature is the GN’s approach to self-determination. A core aspect that reappears frequently in this document is that the GN is searching for ways to ensure that the benefits of mining projects remain in Nunavut, rather than accruing to non-Nunavut people or organizations. This is represented in such strategies as their training programs for Nunavummiut, their development of Nunavut-based businesses, and in their intention of devolving mineral management from the federal government to the GN through the Nunavut Mines Act. Thus, similar to the NLCA, the “Nunavut Mineral Exploration and Mining Strategy” is a document that serves to further the selfdetermination of Nunavummiut. Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) is a not-for-profit Inuit organization that was created to implement the NLCA in order to advance the rights and benefits of Nunavummiut (Eetoolook 2000: 1). Subsurface title to Inuit Owned Lands is vested in NTI, which amounts to a total of 38,000 5 Aajiiqatigiingniq/Pitiakadigiiklotik means “Have regard

for the Inuit way of decision-making; employ discussion and build consensus” in Inuktitut.

7 While it is NTI that holds title to all subsurface IOL,

corporations are permitted to gain access to IOL through Regional Inuit Associations, such as the Kivalliq Inuit Association (NTI “Explore the Potential” 5).

6 Avatimik Kamattiarniq/Amiginik Avatimik means “In all things have respect for the environment and ensure it is protected” in Inuktitut.


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conservation area, NTI will ensure that this land does not include high-mineral-potential areas: “We recognize that mineral resources are rare and valuable and we do not wish to see them wasted because they are included inside a new park” (Eetoolook 2000: 5). These passages therefore highlight that NTI is much more concerned about advancing extractive development projects than it is about being stewards of the land to which they have mineral title. Similarly, NTI does not publish its bylaws or IIBAs in their entirety, and has publicly expressed that it is not required to consult with community members when engaging in the negotiation and drafting process of IIBAs (Bowman 2011: 21). Moreover, NTI intends on further centralizing power in the hands of NTI and the federal government, which would further marginalize individuals and their voices (Bowman 2011: 27). Thus, while NTI perhaps sells itself as a corporation that wishes to support environmental protection and to fairly represent all Inuit equally, I argue that in reality, NTI acts as a corporation that is not committed to environmental stewardship, transparency, or participation by non-NTI Nunavut community members. The aims and objectives of the GN and of NTI are in some ways incongruent with the aims and objectives of the residents of Rankin Inlet. As explains Tara Cater, mining on Indigenous lands can be contentious because, while it is certainly an economic and environmental issue, it is also an issue of how different stakeholders envision “the good life” (as per Mario Blaser) (Cater 2013: 27). Governing bodies that emerged from the NLCA, particularly NTI, have been shaped according to “self-determination via mainstream economic development,” which has resulted in the “creation of a new elite of Aboriginal capitalists whose unquenchable thirst for profit has come to outweigh their ancestral obligations to the land and to others” (Coulthard 2008: 197). This vision of “the

good life” is oriented toward universalist development in that it is founded on linear conceptions of “progress” that is divided into the dichotomous categories of “developed” and “modern,” and “undeveloped” and “traditional,” without taking into account the specificity of the place where the development project is occurring (Blaser 2004: 27, 30). Rankinmiut, by contrast, have a different vision of “the good life”; this vision is founded on their own particular “life project”: Life projects are embedded in local histories; they encompass visions of the world and the future that are distinct from those embodied by projects promoted by state and markets. Life projects diverge from development in their attention to the uniqueness of people’s experiences of place and self and their rejection of visions that claim to be universal. Thus, life projects are premissed on densely and uniquely woven ‘threads’ of landscapes, memories, expectations and desires. (Blaser 2004: 26) Though Rankin Inlet is pursuing a development project with the upcoming Meliadine Gold Project, they are doing so according to their own life project (rather than according to a universalist approach to development), which originates in part from their collective memories of Rankin Inlet as a mining hamlet. The history of Rankin Inlet revolves around mining; indeed, the town itself originates from mining. In the 1950s, nickel was very profitable on the international market (Cater 2013: 6, 18). Thus, from 1957 to 1962, Inuit families from other areas of Nunavut were brought to Rankin Inlet to enter the wage-based economy of nickel extraction, comprising about 70% of the North Rankin Nickel Mine (NRNM) workforce (Keeling 2012-13: 6). Rankin Inlet therefore became the first mining town established in Canada’s Arctic. The ways of life of the Inuit of Rankin Inlet changed very rapidly; according to Peter Irniq, former Commissioner of Nunavut and resident of



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Rankin Inlet, the residents of Rankin Inlet made the move “from igloos to mineshafts” in one generation (Cater 2013: 7). During the NRNM period, the Inuit grew accustomed to working in the wage-labour force, rather than relying solely on land-based livelihood practices for their survival. Their interactions with the land therefore changed: whereas the land was once a source of their subsistence living, it became viewed as a source of production of an economic commodity (namely, minerals). After the closure of NRNM, due to the declining price of nickel and the depletion of nickel reserves in this area, Rankin Inlet experienced a quick economic decline (Cater 2013: 69). In the 1960s and 70s, in order to help the community transition away from mineral extraction, the government of Canada implemented “make-work” projects, such as the introduction of the soapstone sculpture industry, which turned Rankin Inlet into the central hub for transportation and government services in the Kivalliq region. Interestingly, though the NRNM had a very short operational life, mining has become fundamental to the Rankinmiut identity (Keeling 2012-13: 7), highlighting the ripple effects that such projects can create in communities over time. The impending Meliadine Gold Project, in comparison, is being developed by Agnico Eagle (AE), a company based in Toronto. The mine property is located 25 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet, and covers more than 520 square kilometres, most of which are Inuit Owned Lands. It is estimated that it holds approximately 2.8 million ounces of gold reserves (Agnico Eagle). This project is AE’s second project in Nunavut, after the Meadowbank gold project, and is predicted to be AE’s largest operating gold mine (Agnico Eagle Mines Nunavut). The project is expected to run for approximately 13 years, from 2018 until 2030, and possibly longer. On February 26, 2015, the project certificate was finalized, comprising 127 terms and conditions, most of

which relate to monitoring the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of the mining project (Nunatsiaq News “Nunavut board”). The company must still finish negotiating an IIBA before the project begins, given that as of November 7, 2014, AE and the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) were still unable to come to an agreement (Nunatsiaq News “Agnico Eagle”). The residents of Rankin Inlet have approached the Meliadine Gold Project with memories of the NRNM. The NRNM has left a mark on the landscape of Rankin Inlet through its industrial ruins, which consist primarily of old equipment (Cater 2013: 75). Through Rankinmiut’s daily interactions with the industrial ruins, they produce and reproduce narratives associated with the NRNM. For instance, one Inuk Rankin Inlet resident, who was an informant to Tara Cater, stated: “I really like the mine site. It makes me feel like I’m home. This is something solid, this was something that was here before anything else. I mean the land was here, but it was one of the first things built in this town. In my eyes it’s like it could have been here forever” (Cater 2013: 73). The NRNM ruins therefore become an icon of home for Rankinmiut (Cater 2013: 67). This construction of “home” runs counter to general assumptions about Inuit conceptions of home, namely that the Inuit view “home” as being on the land.8 I therefore postulate that this is one of the reasons why the Meliadine Gold Project acts as a life project for the residents of Rankin Inlet: because it is a means for them to determine how their “home” is conceptualized and constructed according to their identity, which is founded on their memories of mining. The NRNM ruins and, by 8 I am not making the argument here that the Inuk

residents of Rankin Inlet do not conceive of “home” as being on the land. I am simply contending that, because Rankin Inlet originated as a mining town, Rankinmiut notions of “home” have become hybridized to include both the natural land and the human-made industrial edifices of mining.


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extension, the Rankin Inlet-specific conception of “home,” become a symbol of Rankin Inlet’s identity (Cater 2013: 73). The Rankin Inlet symbol, for instance, is of the old headframe of the NRNM, which no longer exists (Hamlet of Rankin Inlet 2015). At the foreground of the symbol is a mine pickaxe with a kakivak crossed at its centre, which is a traditional Inuit spear used for fishing. This symbol represents the multifaceted nature of the Rankinmiut identity: one that is based both on mining and on the traditional Inuit economy (Cater 2013: 81). The NRNM thus plays a central role in the creation of the Rankinmiut identity and in visions of Rankin Inlet’s future. Indeed, when asked about whether mining would be an important part of Rankin Inlet’s future, one long-term Inuk resident of Rankin Inlet states: “of course [it is] an important part of the future, because that’s where our future came from” (Cater 2013: 63-4). Rankin Inlet’s visions about its future are therefore formed and mediated by its past. Residents of Rankin Inlet look to their past in order to make decisions concerning the future Meliadine Gold Project. While the GN and NTI tend to encourage mining projects very enthusiastically in Nunavut, Rankinmiut recognize that extractive development can have serious repercussions on their land. Though the mined landscapes of Rankin Inlet hold much cultural meaning and memory, they also reflect the industrial remains that are hazardous to the health of the people and their land, in what Cater calls a “tangled legacy” (Cater 2013: 75). The NRNM has had detrimental effects on both the people and the land of Rankin Inlet. One government official, for instance, noted that it is officially unsafe to eat shellfish from areas close to the old NRNM (Cater 2013: 78). Rankinmiut draw on their experiences with the NRNM to make informed decisions about contemporary projects, in order to manage the costs and benefits of mining projects close to

their community. The experience that Rankin Inlet will have with the Meliadine project will differ from their experience with the NRNM project, however. During early mining operations, Inuit actors tended to be on the outskirts of land-use negotiations and therefore had to respond reactively to mining activities (Cater 2013: 2). In contemporary negotiations, by contrast, Inuit are treated as stakeholders who have a say in the development projects that take place on their land, in large part because of the self-determination power that they gained through the NLCA; they no longer have to respond reactively, but rather can act with foresight (Cater 2013: 87). Though I characterize the Meliadine Gold Project as a form of “life project” for the Inuit of Rankin Inlet, there is concern within the community about what the consequences of this “life project” may be. A primary concern is of the environmental impacts of mining on their land. Some residents do not think that mining is worth the long-term environmental effects that it can have. One Inuk resident of Rankin Inlet, for instance, states, “How could you put a number on clean water? [To me] it’s more precious than gold! [If the Meliadine project] requires sacrificing some clean water for gold, I don’t think it should be a question” (Cater 2013: 135). Indeed, for many Inuit, their land is their legacy. If they destroy their land through extractive development, what do they have left to show as their legacy? In fact, as explains Cater, tension exists between the intragenerational and intergenerational visions of Rankin Inlet’s future as to what concerns the Meliadine Project. On the intragenerational scale, this project can grow the economy of Rankin Inlet and Kivalliq and can provide wage-labour employment for the youth. Intergenerationally, however, the Project may remain a negative presence on the landscape of Rankin Inlet for many years after its closure, as was the case with the



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NRNM9, affecting the livelihoods of future generations (Cater 2013: 126). In order to mitigate these effects as much as possible, the KIA has put much pressure on AE to consider the principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) and the Traditional Ecological Knowledge of the Inuit. KIA, for instance, has stated in their comments submitted in July 2014 in response to Meliadine’s Final Environmental Impact Statement that their IQ on climate change should influence AE’s analysis on the impacts of mining on the environment. Similarly, the KIA stated that they have Traditional Ecological Knowledge pertaining to caribou habitat boundaries which AE had not considered. This is especially problematic as the Meliadine mine will be located close to herds of caribou and, given that caribou are an important food source for the Inuit of this region, disregarding IQ on caribou could greatly impact the livelihoods of the Inuit of Rankin Inlet (and other surrounding communities) (Nunatsiaq News “Meliadine gold”). The KIA and Rankinmiut therefore use their traditional ways of knowing as a negotiating tool, in order to benefit as much as they can from this Project, while also protecting their land as much as they can in ways that are particular to their location (or, in other words, that are place-based).10 For many Rankinmiut, deciding to move forward with the Meliadine Gold Project required them to weigh the benefits of

increasing employment with the costs of not only damaging the environment, but also of the potential economic backlash that the community might face once the mine closes in a mere 13 years. For instance, one Rankin Inlet Inuk elder explained, “These mining operations do provide income, but they shut down. I believe that hunting and sewing are the major source of income that can go on and on…the resource is always there if used wisely…” (from Ann McElroy 2008, qtd. in Cater 2013: 4). Yet, it is important to note that the modern Inuit economy is characterized by a hybrid system, in which the purpose of wagelabour is to facilitate the continued practice of the traditional economy (in other words, wildlife harvesting practices) (Bowman 2011: 19). However, even though there is concern about the short life span of the Meliadine Project, there is still hope that a great number of Rankinmiut will be employed by AE to work on this Project. One concern relating to employment is that AE is a southern company working in a northern community. Many Rankin Inlet residents are uncomfortable with a southern company being the main driver for economic development in their hamlet because they do not want the benefits of this Project to be accrued by southern company workers, leaving Rankin Inlet to deal with the environmental impact without the benefits of economic growth (Cater 2013: 128-9). As explain Gibson and Klinck, though contemporary development projects have made concerted efforts to hire local Indigenous workers, outsiders still tend to hold higher and better paid positions. When Indigenous people do not receive training, they hold entry-level positions by default, which give them the least amount of upward mobility. This maintains “geographic and racially defined hierarchies” between southerners and northerners, and between non-Indigenous people and Indigenous people (Gibson and Klinck 2005: 131). To try and avoid pigeonholing Inuit into

9 Here, I am not talking about negative cultural effects of

the NRNM because, as I have posited, the cultural effects have been rather positive. Rather, I am talking about the environmental legacies of the NRNM, which I have not had the space to discuss at length in this paper, but which were very significant.

10 Because of the length confines of this paper, I cannot

discuss in depth the importance of IQ in Inuit governance. It is worth mentioning, however, that Mary Ekho Wilman, Chair of the Nunavut Social Development Council, said, “The only way we can deal with this challenge is to understand the unique heritage that has made us the Inuit of today. This defines the importance of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit. It is the priceless asset and tool that we can use to adapt to the world around us On Our Own Terms” (Ekho Wilman 36).


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entry-level jobs, the KIA has implemented the Kivalliq Mine Training Society, which trains Kivalliq residents in mining skills to further their chances of gaining better employment in the mining sector (Cater 2013: 83). Further, the KIA and AE have not yet successfully negotiated an IIBA because the KIA has been pushing for the preferential hiring of Inuit contractors in the Project, to which AE has not yet agreed completely (Nunatsiaq News “Agnico Eagle”). The KIA and residents of Rankin Inlet have therefore approached IIBA negotiations strategically in order to ensure that they benefit as much as possible from the Meliadine Gold Project in such a way that complies with their expectations and desires for Rankin Inlet as their home and for themselves as Inuit.11 The Meliadine Gold Project constitutes a life project in that it is being negotiated by the Rankin Inlet community and the Kivalliq Inuit Association according to their own criteria of self-determination. Though this project does resemble a development project, as it is a project based on extractive development, it is distinct from a universalist development project. As discussed previously, a universalist development approach is typically characterized by applying projects that are developed according to a definition of “development” that is defined in relation to its dichotomous notion of “underdevelopment”; such projects are generally applied without accounting for local particularities. I would characterize certain governing bodies that emerged from the NLCA, particularly NTI, as advancing development projects, as this particular corporation does not appear to be terribly concerned about the land or about the effects that changing landscapes can have on Inuit communities. I would not characterize

the GN entirely in the same way, as it acts more as a vessel for different projects, be they universalist development or life projects, rather than as a body that executes projects; indeed, much of the self-determination enacted by Rankin Inlet derives from the GN. Further, the GN seems to be more concerned than NTI about enacting a hybrid form of government that is founded on both neoliberal principles and traditional Inuit knowledge and values. The Meliadine Gold Project, however, is a life project because the agendas of the residents of Rankin Inlet “are themselves emergent, rather than a reaction to other agencies. That is to say, their projects are sociocultural in the broadest sense rather than narrowly strategic. Their life projects are also place-based but not limited to the local” (Blaser 2004: 28). Although I have illustrated throughout this essay that there are conflicting opinions as to the value of the Meliadine Project by residents of Rankin Inlet, it is worth noting that there are no organized movements by Rankinmiut to fight against the Meliadine project, as is the case in other Nunavut communities that have been opposing extractive development projects, such as Baker Lake and Pond Inlet (Scobie and Rodgers 2013:). I suggest this is because, though there are dissenting opinions about how the Meliadine Project should be executed, at its core this Project acts as a life project for the Rankin Inlet community. As the community of Rankin Inlet evolves, their relations with the land and with each other will also evolve, changing perceptions of how to foster a sustainable relationship with the environment and with one another (Cater 2013: 5); this accounts for the heterogeneity within the Rankin Inlet community of the perceived value of the Meliadine Gold Project.

11 For the sake of simplicity, I have generally just been

speaking about the Inuit residents of Rankin Inlet and not about the non-Indigenous residents. There is, however, a large number of non-Indigenous residents living in Rankin Inlet.



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List of Acronyms

References Cited

AE – Agnico Eagle

Agnico Eagle

GN – Government of Nunavut


IIBA – Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement

Meliadine: Overview. Agnico Eagle. Web.

Agnico Eagle

IOL – Inuit Owned Lands

2015 Meliadine Project. Agnico Eagle Mines

IQ – Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit

Nunavut. 2013. Web.

KIA – Kivalliq Inuit Association

Blaser, Mario

NLCA – Nunavut Land Claims Agreement

2004 Life

NRNM – North Rankin Nickel Mine

Agency and Development. In the Way of




NTI – Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Development: Indigenous Peoples, Life Projects, and Globalization. Eds. Mario Blaser, Havey A. Feit, and Glenn McRae. London, Eng.; New York, N.Y.: Zed Books in association with International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, ON. 2644. Bowman, Laura 2011 Sealing the Deal: Environmental and Indigenous Justice and Mining in Nunavut. Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 20(1): 19-28. Cater, Tara 2013 When Mining Comes (Back) to Town: Exploring Historical and Contemporary Mining Encounters in the Kivalliq Region, Nunavut. MA Thesis. Memorial University. Coulthard, Glen 2008 Beyond Recognition: Indigenous SelfDetermination as Prefigurative Practice.” Lighting the Eighth Fire: The Liberation, Resurgence, and Protection of Indigenous Nations. Ed. Leanne Simpson. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing. 187-203. Eetoolook, James 2000 Mining and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. Nunavut Mining Symposium. 13 Nov. Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated Publications. Ekho Wilman, Mary 2002 Governance Qaujimajatuqangit:

through Changing


Inuit paradigm

for the future of Inuit society. The Power of Traditions: Identities Politics and Social Sciences – Keynotes presented at the Fourth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences, Quebec City. Ed. Murelle Nagy. Quebec City: International


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Arctic Social Sciences Association. Keynote

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Address. Print.

1997 Mining Policy. NTI Board Meeting.

Gibson, Ginger and Jason Klinck

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated Publications.

2005 Canada’s Resilient North: The Impact of Mining on




Scobie, Willow and Kathleen Rodgers

Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Aboriginal Studies and

2013 Contestations of Resource Extraction

Indigenous Community Health 3(1): 115-140.

Projects via Digital Media in Two Nunavut

Government of Nunavut. Department of Economic


Development and Transportation

development and mining impacts 37(2): 83-101.

2005 Consultation Guide Towards a Nunavut Mineral



Tester, Frank James and Peter Irniq 2008 Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Social History,

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated Publications.

Politics and the Practice of Resistance. Arctic


61(5): 48-61. Online. of










Commission 2000 Keewatin Regional Land Use Plan. Iqaluit: Nunavut Planning Commission. Web. Hamlet of Rankin Inlet 2015 The Hamlet Symbol. Rankin Inlet: The Gateway to the North. Web. Keeling, Arn 2012-13 and

Adaptation, industrial development





Research Compendium. Online. McPherson, Robert 2003

New Owners in Their Own Land: Minerals

and Inuit Land Claims. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. Print. Nunatsiaq News 2014 Agnico Eagle, KIA return to discussions over





Nunavut). Online. Nunatsiaq News 2014 Meliadine gold mine’s environmental impact statement short on traditional knowledge: KIA. Nunatsiaq Online (Iqaluit, Nunavut). Online. Nunatsiaq News 2015

Nunavut board issues project certificate

for Meliadine gold project.” Nunatsiaq Online (Iqaluit, Nunavut). Online. Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated 2000 Explore the Potential of Inuit Owned Lands.




Publications. Online.



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How to paint spring? Julien Renaud-Tremblay So, you want to paint spring? Well, let me tell you, it isn’t that easy. I know, this looks like a bummer but no worries, I’m here for you. What follows is a guide to paint spring so real, it will defy the laws of ontology. See, to paint spring, it is not about drawing properly or using the right colors and technique, or any of that fancy stuff. To paint spring, you must understand what spring is, what it’s made of. The thing about spring is that it isn’t made of anything. It is not a physical object. I can’t just grab it and give it to you to paint. Spring is abstract; it is an idea. So, how do you paint the abstract? Well, you can’t. As any abstract concept, it has no physical shape. Whatever you end up painting, it would not be spring. It would be your interpretation of what it is, and not what it objectively is. So, whichever way you paint, spring will surely be your interpretation of it, but it will not be spring in its essence and most pure form. I know what you’re telling yourself: but what about blooming flowers and all those things associated with spring? Wouldn’t painting them be as painting spring? Well, no. Painting all those things would be painting all those things. So, it seems we’ve hit a wall. Or did we? If by painting a physical object or environment we cannot really be painting spring, then how can we? Well, it is a bit complicated. I’m about to drop a bomb. Ready? Spring does not really exist; it is a social construct. Let me explain. Spring is set as being a period of time starting at one date and ending on another. This means that it has been set by a group of people to start and end at fixed points in their calendar. However, calendars are social constructs as any separation of time has been determined by a given society and could be different for someone from another socio-cultural context. The objective and

physical world does not make any separation or distinction in the events that occur. They simply occur. So, separating these invents into subcategories such as, let’s say, summer, winter, autumn, and spring is a form of labeling which has been, as mentioned earlier, constructed by a social group. So, since the calendar is a social construct and since spring is based upon it, then spring too must be a social construct. Sure, it is also based on events occurring in the physical world but it is humans who give spring its name and association with these events. Events associated with spring vary from one community to the other, and so does its definition. This makes spring something impossible to define without social context, and thus rendering it a social construct. Ok. Now we’ve established that spring is a social construct. What does it have to do with painting it? As a matter of fact, everything. You see, since it is a social construct, each community has its own definition of what constitutes spring. So, if we take any definition of it individually then it would be incomplete and could not represent what spring fully is. But, if we take every community’s version of what defines spring, then adding all those versions together would answer our question of what spring is. That answer is: spring is nothing and everything. Confused? Don’t worry, I’ll explain. It is everything in the sense that by adding up all communities’ idea of spring, it becomes this giant bank of possibility. A bank so large that everything and any idea or form spring could have is in this bank of ideas. So, spring is everything. However, being so large, this bank would make spring impossible to describe properly as being so many different ideas at the same time; spring would be so vague as a concept that it would end up being nothing, really. So, spring is everything and


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nothing. How does all this madness help us paint spring? Glad you asked. You see, being everything and nothing makes spring ridiculously easy and hard to paint. To paint spring, you could simply paint anything that comes into your mind. Being everything, spring would be it. However, being nothing, it would not. We’re stuck in a paradox, and there’s no way of getting out. So, when it finally comes to paint spring, just take it easy and relax. Whatever you do, sure you’ll be wrong, but you’re also going to be just right.



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Sin, Acceptance, and Modern Society: An Investigation of God’s Love in Christ Church Cathedral in Downtown Montreal Nicole Spadotto The first time I entered Anglican Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Montreal, I was greeted with a smile and a census sheet from a member of the congregation standing at the head of pews. “Please fill this out so we can get a better idea of the demographic of our church so we can tailor our services,” he told me (Feb. 9). I glanced at the sheet – questions asking age, religious affiliation, disabilities, and sexual orientation. A gay pride flag hung proudly on the wall, and pamphlets about acceptance for religious minorities, the LGBTQ community, refugees, and women were strewn across the table. The accepting nature of the church became more apparent each of the four times I visited; I participated twice in Eucharist and twice in contemplative prayer. Each time, I was struck by the diversity of the crowd. The first Eucharist I attended was presided over by a female reverend; the second, by a male priest whom I later discovered was homosexual. One contemplative prayer consisted of three elderly men reciting Biblical passages (Feb. 13); another had a variety of twenty-something’s quietly meditating (Mar. 3). A pamphlet I received stated that the contemplative prayer service incorporates “Buddhist teachings;” the website states that the church “fully [includes] people of all cultural backgrounds, ages and sexual orientations, and [rejoices] in the ministry of women” (“About Us”). Many of the minority groups Christ Church Cathedral accepts are rejected from other churches for leading sinful lives. Sin does play an important role within all Christian traditions, including the one at Christ Church Cathedral, but this church is able to reconcile historical ideas of sin with our evolving modern society in nonrestrictive ways, all through the idea that a sinless life is merely demonstrating the love of God.

Sin is defined as a willing and intentional disobedience of God’s explicit will (Livingstone 2014). Lily, a member of the congregation, explained that the Old Testament contained 613 laws in the covenant between God and the people of Israel. Violating any of them required asking God for forgiveness through animal sacrifices and prayers. The nature of sin, however, shifts from the Old Testament of the Bible to the New Testament. The death and resurrection of Jesus formed a new covenant, in which sin is to deny faith in Jesus’s death and resurrection. As Lily explained, two commandments exist in the New Testament – to love your God and to love your neighbour as yourself. “A sin,” Lily told me confidently, looking me straight in the eyes to convey her sincerity, “is anything that separates you from having a personal relationship with God” (Feb. 18). Christ Church Cathedral Reverend, Stacy Fleming, clarified, “sin is like if you were to shoot an arrow, and miss the target” (Mar. 6). It is indisputable that every faith has a different definition of what “separates you from God” or what the “target” is. In Christianity, the definition of sin has previously been adapted: Jesus and his apostles “changed the rules” of sin to match the changing society between the Old and New Testaments (Feb. 9). By visiting Christ Church Cathedral, I discerned that the definition of sin has again been adapted within the church to match the shift from New Testament society to twenty-first century society. The shift can be understood through a liminal phase (Lemons 2014) between modern desire for freedom and traditional desire to live a life free from sin; an example is Muslim women who express freedom through a religious role that is arguably oppressive and “[socially] and [economically unequal]” to men’s roles. Those


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aspiring to lead religious lives submit to God’s will to avoid sin (Scott 2013:36), but a conflict exists between secular freedom and repression validated by religion. As the distinction between physiology, sexuality, and desire becomes blurrier, the ways in which religion adapts dogma in regards to sin are imperative. Christ Church Cathedral is adapting dogma to account for modern diversity – to include groups that historically have been repressed by Christianity. As Hugh Connelly (2010) describes, sin as a rigid law no longer does the institution justice in modern society. Instead of being restrictive, sin should be viewed as a form of grace – a command to grow into a pure human being (Connelly 2010:71). Reverend Fleming clarified that a “human layer” exists to sin, especially since much of the Bible is open to interpretation. The question to ask in regards to sin, she explained, is whether any given action interferes with one’s ability to love God and thy neighbor. This can be applied to all actions. Christ Cathedral Church has a liberal view: homosexuality, contraception, and sex before marriage are not considered sins because they do not interfere with one’s ability to love God or one’s neighbour (Mar. 6). The capacity for acceptance within the church does not mean that sin is not central to the doctrine – quite the contrary, actually. The theme of the second Eucharist I participated in was about how sinning is based on principle and not only action: the processional hymns chorus proclaimed, “happy are they who walk in the law of the Lord” (Feb. 16). Of course, since the basis of the Anglican denomination recognizes that the Bible is open to interpretation, individuals within the congregation will have differing views regarding sin; however, there are also values that are non-negotiable – namely the imperativeness of acting with love. The nonnegotiable values are what unite members of the congregation and what allow the accepting environment to thrive. Striving to live life free

from sin allows for the accepting environment: this idea can be best understood through Weber’s (1958) argument of the Protestant ethic, which claims that financial successes are a mark of salvation. As a direct result of the Protestant ethic, capitalism flourished – not because people wanted to be rich, but because of moral principles and the mark of being saved (Weber 1958:60). The point is that the desire to live life free from sin and attain salvation dictates people’s actions, because the fear of damnation influences the inherent views, beliefs, and personalities of people. Thus, the accepting environment of the church does not exist despite of sin, but rather because of sin: acceptance, in this doctrine, is key to salvation. As Lily said, “God accepts all of his children. Therefore, all of his children should accept one another as well” (Feb. 18). One of the readings from the second Eucharist reinforced this idea that every person is a child of God; therefore, dissent between people is futile (Feb. 16). There is no paradox between loving God and loving thy neighbour within Christ Church Cathedral. An argument exists that Christians should not love their neighbours if their neighbours reject God, for in the rejection of God, these neighbours are sinning. Religious wars start for this very reason – for the love of God and to force others to love God (Liu 2007:687). Christ Church Cathedral offers a different alternative: demonstrating love for thy neighbour is a form of demonstrating love for God. “Every person is a child of God,” Reverend Fleming asserts. “And if you treat every person as a child of God and not as an object, you are demonstrating love of God.” Rejecting people for any reason, even for sins they have committed previously, is a structured sin and the highest form of evil (Mar. 6). There is no paradox within Christian love if one places loving thy neighbour as the main priority. In the first Eucharist I attended, this was demonstrated through the theme of the sermon – how all Christians have a moral



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responsibility to eliminate unjust structures because God is not judgment, but rather, love and acceptance (Feb. 9). The symbolic sharing of peace through a hug or handshake at the end of the Eucharist acted as a representation of the acceptance of thy neighbour, the love for thy neighbour, and the desire that thy neighbour will choose to live a life through God’s love – and thus avoid a life of sin. Christ Church Cathedral does recognize that fully avoiding sin in life is impossible. Morality is both universal and historical; therefore, transgressing morality – in other words, sin – is universal and historical as well. Reverend Fleming used gossip as an example: we know that it is wrong, yet we do it anyways (Mar. 6). The key is accountability. Christians have a moral obligation to hold their neighbours accountable for their sins, but also to take accountability for their own sins. Only through accountability can one feel repentance, and only through feeling repentance can one attain salvation. One of the roles of the community within the church is to help members reconcile themselves with and take accountability for their actions. Humans will always become “separated from God” or “miss the mark,” but recognizing and taking accountability for those actions is essential, even if that accountability involves reconciling oneself with one’s sin internally. According to Queen Elizabeth I of England, an individual who facilitated the development of the Anglican religion, what is in people’s hearts is their own business (Mar. 6). This recognition is facilitated by Christ Cathedral Church through both the prayer service and Eucharist. The contemplative prayer gives individuals an outlet to both quietly reflect on their actions, as I witnessed in the second prayer service I attended, and discuss their actions with other members of the congregation if so desired. During the Eucharist, a quiet time of contemplation is given after receiving communion to think

about one’s sins. This is a structured context in which members can really consider their actions and feel repentance. God forgives one’s sin immediately after the transgression (Mar. 6), but Eucharist acts as a period of closure. Reflecting on one’s sins forces one to feel true repentance, and hearing from the reverend that one’s sins have been forgiven allows one to freshly attempt to live a life according to God’s love. If God represents love, then reconciling punishment for sin with God becomes difficult. Reverend Fleming agrees. “Sin is its own punishment,” she asserts. “We feel guilt, sorrow, fear, loneliness when we sin” (Mar. 6). Lily agrees too, saying that the guilt for sin is enough to prevent one from consciously sinning (Feb. 18). Historically, the idea of punishment for sin, specifically indulgences, is what splintered the Catholic Church into different Protestant sects. God punishing those who have sinned has deep historical roots, but not deep theological roots, according to Reverend Fleming. Nowhere in the Bible is Purgatory mentioned, and even Hell is up for debate within the Anglican doctrine. Again, Bible interpretation is pivotal: oblique references to Hell are made, but clout cannot be placed upon these references. Instead, punishment, as stated by Christ Church Cathedral belief, means that when one sins, one is contributing to something bigger than just oneself – one is contributing to societal constitution, as opposed to personal. “We make our own hells on earth,” Reverend Fleming explains. There is no punishment beyond that, because reconciling God’s love with a Purgatory or Hell afterlife is impossible. Even if one does not repent for one’s sin, God still forgives. “These people are still punished,” Reverend Fleming said, “because their lives become narrowed. Almost like karma – they are incapable of living a happy life because they push everything good away” (Mar. 6). The nature of sin within Christ Church


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Cathedral stems from the love of God: living a sinless life is living a life wherein one loves, accepts, and forgives their neighbour, regardless of his or her personal choices or past sins. This mandate reflects the shift from historical repressive views of sin as a rigid law to a more modern view of sin built on mutual acceptance and love. Christ Church Cathedral offers a context in which members can practice that love, find a community in which they can be completely embraced for their differences, and be given closure for their sins both individually and as members of the community. Institutions that exist within the church, as well as the church community, facilitate members’ recognition and accountability of sins, an imperative aspect of Anglican doctrine. The church is an accepting institution, but of note is that in order to accept members, these members must be united in the two main underlying principles of the religion – the love for God and the love for thy neighbour. Not only must each member believe in these principles, he or she must strive to have every one of his or her actions accord to these principles. Neglecting to do so equates sin. The accepting nature of the church, as validated through the love of God, reflects a more accepting modern society. Christ Church Cathedral is an open institution not in spite of the establishment of sin, but rather because of it – because the very basis of sin, according to Anglican dogma, is lack of acceptance and forgiveness.

References Cited “About Us” Christ Church Cathedral Montreal, http://www. Connolly, Hugh. 2010 Sin. London: Continuum International Publishing.“About Us.” Christ Church Cathedral Montreal,, accessed March 8, 2014. Lemons, Katherine. 2014





Lecture presented in ANTH 209: Anthropology of Religion, Macdonald-Harrington Building, McGill University, Montreal, March 16. Liu, Qingping. 2007 On A Paradox Of Christian Love. Journal of Religious Ethics 35(4):681-694. Livingstone, E.A., ed. Sin. In the Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Scott, Joan Wallach. 2013 Secularism and Gender Equality. In Religion, The Secular,and the Politics of Sexual Difference, Linell E. Cady and Tracy Fessenden, eds.New York: Columbia University Press. Weber, Max. 1958 The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Charles Schribner’s Sons.



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The Hostage Ancestors: An Analysis of Wari Figurines in Association with Water, Warfare, Ritual and Gender Catherine Brooks One of the Andes’ first, most clearly expansive states, the Wari, arose in the south and central highlands of modernday Peru. Preceding the later Inca by nearly a millennium, this polity largely grew and prospered through the Middle Horizon: a period that extends from roughly A.D. 550 to 1000, and saw the rise of other comparable states, such as Tiwanaku. The Wari originated in the Ayacucho valley, soon coming to dominate a vast territory. Though at first researchers thought that this occurred as part of a highly militaristic program of expansion, it has since been proposed that the Wari in fact consolidated their power through the use of ideology and shared Andean beliefs about ancestors. Certain anthropomorphic figurines have been interpreted as representing a distinct connection between Wari warfare and the supernatural world, which were potentially used as a means of consolidating state power through such pan-Andean beliefs. This paper will discuss two particular archaeological finds which consist of these figurines: the first is a pair of related turquoise-coloured sets of forty figurines; and the second is the so-called Eastern Gate offering pit. Both were located at the Wari provincial center of Pikillacta. Interpretations of the figurines, both old and new, will be addressed, as well as the ways in which the figurines are involved with the concepts of water, warfare, ancestors and gender.

over the hilly landscape, working against the natural features of the land instead of with them. Pikillacta is the only Wari site where figurines were found in caches; others were found throughout the Empire in mortuary contexts and on site surfaces, but none in offering contexts (Bergh 2012b: 233). The most famous Wari figurines are two sets of forty turquoise-coloured stone figurines, found surrounded by Spondylus shell (a thorny, bright red oyster with much ritual significance and history in Andean societies) and encircling a copper rod. The two sets, today called the Cuzco and the Madrid collections, are thought to be related to each other; no two figurines are exactly the same, but some do have doubles in either collection, and there is even an instance of triplets. These sets of similar figurines share the same garb and facial features, but they differ slightly in size (Bergh 2012b: 233). The accoutrements of the figurines have been discussed at length by Cook (1992). She identified in the figurines 28 different types of headgear and 36 tunic models for the Cuzco collection (1992: 346, 347), as well as 31 types of headgear and 30 tunic models for the Madrid collection (1992: 348, 349), with a few types of hats and tunics occurring more than once. Some of the figurines were also adorned with ear spools, nose plugs and necklaces. While useful to distinguish elites from non-elites (the former being the only ones to wear bodily ornaments, ornate tunics and fancy hats), no studies have yet been done specifically comparing the figurines’ garb to that of different ethnic groups and social classes at the time of the Wari. The tunic patterns of the figurines are not representative of any known Wari tunic types: nonetheless, circles on a few figures could correspond to characteristically Wari tie-dye techniques,

Pikillacta and the turquoise figurine offerings The site of Pikillacta is the Wari State’s largest provincial center in the southern highlands, located near Cuzco. The architectural organization of the city follows a rigid grid plan with high walls that drape


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while vertical stripes on some others are similar to a form of tapestry-woven cloth also popular in the empire (Bergh 2012b: 233). As for their facial features, the figurines’ are disproportionately large, and all share the same slanted eyes and thin mouths. In spite of this, the shapes of the faces and the differing configurations of facial features, paired with the multiple dress combinations possible within the assemblages, lend them a certain uniqueness and individuality (Bergh 2012b: 233). One cannot yet conclude who exactly the figurines represent, although theories abound. Cook (1992) proposes that they represent the legendary forty founding ancestors of the Wari, drawing a parallel between the number 40 in the two collections and its later significance under the Inca, when the highest administrative positions were given to 40 lords (1992: 358). A serious challenge to this interpretation is that one of the figurines in the Madrid collection does not represent an elite figure at all, but a kneeling, nude, bound prisoner (Bergh 2012b: 233). Furthermore, to assign all the figurines the role of specifically Wari ancestors does not account for the diversity of their dress; indeed, the clothes’ designs cannot yet be securely attributed to the polity. While who they represent is still a question of debate, there is no doubt that the figurines were of ritual importance. The original context of both figurine collections is unknown since they were not systematically excavated. However, with the help of some descriptions by the locals who discovered the figurines (Bergh 2012b: 233), it is possible to posit that the figurines were interred in niched halls, buildings with a considerable amount of ritual significance in Wari architectural tradition.

types characteristic of the Wari architectural style. Their presence in the two largest provincial centers of the Empire, Pikillacta and Viracochapampa, point towards their importance (McEwan 1998: 83). Some attributes that these roofed rooms share are a rectangular shape, internally rounded corners, and wall niches whose size and placement are not standardized. Niched halls are also choice locations for offering deposits: these are either found in the rounded corners of the walls, or right in front of those rounded corners, buried in the floor (McEwan 1998: 80). Although a few offerings have been found in niched halls, there is an unsurprising lack of other artifacts recovered from these rooms at Pikillacta, due to their floors being lined with gypsum plaster (McEwan 1998: 78). This would have kept them relatively clean and would have prevented the accumulation of any ritual remains, if that was indeed their function. The presence of offerings in niched halls is not the only factor indicative of their possible ritual purpose: although architecture is rarely seen in Wari iconographic form, a design similar to that of niched halls was identified on Middle Horizon ceremonial urns recovered from an offering deposit at the site of Pacheco in the Nazca valley (McEwan 1998: 82). If those illustrations are indeed niched halls, their presence on vessels with a ritual function and offered in a ritual context further points towards the niched halls’ own religious association. It is of note that the rounded corners and wall niches of this type of room were also characteristic of buildings with a ceremonial function dating as early as the Late Preceramic period (McEwan 1998: 84). One interpretation for the use of these rooms at Pikillacta is that they were lineage halls for ancestors, although possibly not for Wari lineage groups, but for their fictive kin: local elites that would have been adopted into Wari lineages as part of their conquest strategy. Consequently, the

Niched halls and the ritual significance of the figurine offerings Niched halls are one of the building



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architectural expansion of the site of Pikillacta was likely associated with the expansion of the Wari Empire. If so, as McEwan stipulates: “the abandoned niched halls may have been built in anticipation of the imperial expansion incorporating additional lineages in the system” (1998: 85). This additional information then offers a new dimension to the meaning of the two turquoise-coloured figurine caches found in what were most likely niched halls. The possible interpretation of the figurines as the ancestors of the various populations conquered by the Wari, instead of the ancestors of the Wari themselves, will be discussed in greater depth later in this paper.

then be in line with notions of the ancestors’ role in the circulation of water and life in the form of their ability to influence the world of the living depending on how they are treated and remembered by their descendants (Bastien 1991:361). The blue-green colour of the figurines also carries notions of fertility (Bergh 2012b: 235), while the colour turquoise (and related shades of green) is associated with ancestors (Cook 1992: 356). Of further significance to the link between Wari figurines and Spondylus shells are the few figurines mounted on shells that were recovered at various sites as well as the figurines carved out of shell which were part of the third Pikillacta offering cache. Some of these figurines carved out of shell represent warriors with shields and short-handled axes, while the others are simply standing with their arms at their sides (Arriola and Tesar 2011: 21, 23). The link between those figurines, the positions in which they are depicted, the material they are made of and the purpose of the offering is unclear, unlike the figures-on-ashell. These are made of composite materials including many types of semi-precious stones of different colours, used to illustrate woven tunics. The patterns they weave, however, do not correspond to any known textiles from the Wari polity: this is the case for both the Cuzco and Madrid collections’ figurines. Yet the depicted fabrics do have alternating vertical patterned bands, which are characteristic of the tapestry-woven tunics worn by Wari elites (Bergh 2012a: 222). Along with headdresses, metal collars and oversized ear spools, the tunics indicate that these figures were probably elite males, according to Bergh (2012a: 223). This association of elites with Spondylus shell may then have grounded their divine right to rule in a perceived power over the elements: in this case, over water. That is, as Bergh puts it, Spondylus was used symbollically “to blunt [the] destructive caprices [of intermittent downpours] and assure the renewing, seasonal

Wari figurines and the relevance of Spondylus shell Other objects with special ritual and historical significance are Spondylus shells, which were found associated with all three caches of figurines at Pikillacta. This particular species of oyster is native to the warm coastal waters of Ecuador, a fair distance from the Andes. The exotic nature of this elite good, along with its ritual associations and properties, led Andean peoples to conceive its value as more precious than that of gold (Glowacki and Malpass 2003: 442). Kings would reportedly walk on paths of crushed Spondylus shell to assert their divine power and authority; they were so powerful that they could afford to destroy hundreds if not thousands of these priceless shells. Up until the Spanish conquest and after, Spondylus shells were still vested with tremendous ritual significance and power: at the time of European colonization, the reputed ability of the shell to attract water was a major attribute (Bergh 2012b: 235). Thus, the association of Spondylus shells with the Cuzco and Madrid collections could mean that the offerings were made for fertility and prosperity by invoking camay, the power of flowing water (Bergh 2012b: 235). The implication of the figurines as ancestors would


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arrival of rain upon which the future hinged”; this “claim was given [economic] reality by the water and agricultural infrastructures that the Wari introduced in several regions” (2012a: 225). This specific, rather salient association of the Wari state with water and fertility will be further explored in the following section.

Glowacki and Malpass draw on comparisons with the Inca. There is a strong case made for the Wari as the ancestors of the Inca, in that they developed near each other: the important provincial site of Pikillacta was located a mere 25km from Cuzco, the Inca capital. Because studies indicate that religious beliefs are the cultural component least likely to change over time (2003: 434), it is safe to conclude that the Inca association of ancestors with the control of water is a concept that goes back at least to the Wari. As such, Glowacki and Malpass suggest that the ideology of the Wari state centered on ancestor worship was used as a means to control huacas and stimulate territorial expansion (2003: 434). By gaining control of the pacarinas belonging to the people they conquered, the power that those places held in regards to ancestral lands and sacred water sources could be tapped into and harnessed by the Wari (2003: 437). This kind of political manipulation of ancestors, lineages and kinship relations – fictive or not – as a tool the state could use to control their Empire is suggested by Gordon McEwan to have been a Wari innovation. Pikillacta and Viracochapampa, the two largest Wari provincial centers, would then have served the purpose of integrating the conquered populations into Wari society (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 27).

Water, huacas, ancestors and the Wari The Wari polity ascended to power at the same time that a drought affected much of the Andes, spanning a period of several decades during the 6th century A.D. This may have triggered the development of their expansionism: because the Ayacucho valley no longer produced enough resources to feed its population, the Wari moved out of their heartland in a quest to obtain access to arable land and fertile pastures elsewhere (Glowacki and Malpass 2003: 434). It is a notable fact that many of the Wari sites built during their expansion are located near lakes. Not only were these valuable sources of water that could be diverted to sustain large-scale agriculture and that provided lacustrine resources to diversify the diet of the people, but they may have also had major symbollic significance. It is possible that many of those lakes were pacarinas, a certain type of huaca (Glowacki and Malpass 2003: 437). Huaca is a Quechua word designating any person, place or object imbued with a supernatural or sacred essence. Examples of huacas include the resting-places or dwellings of ancestors: it is this association with ancestors that makes these specific places sacred. Pacarinas, then, are natural features like mountains, peculiar rock formations or large bodies of water that are believed to be places where the origin myths of different peoples were enacted, and are thus associated with their founding ancestors (Glowacki and Malpass 2003: 436). This association between water, ancestors and the Wari is a vital aspect of the Empire’s conquest strategy. To explain this link,

The 3rd Pikillacta offering The third figurine offering recovered at Pikillacta is known as the “Eastern Gate offering pit”. It is composed of more than simply figurines, and is actually separated into three different features. Closest to the surface is the first feature, an assemblage of randomly deposited broken ceramic vessel sherds. The second feature is composed of two rectangular metal sheets with perforations as well as the burned remains of Spondylus shells and camelid bones. The third feature is further separated into three layers. Layer A



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comprises a long rectangular perforated metal sheet, intentionally bent and twisted, along with three pairs of cast copper-alloy figurines: two supernatural beings, two warriors and two felines. Layer B shows a pile of randomly oriented figurines in many different stances and made up of a variety of materials. The last layer, C, only contains a bronze rod, very similar to those found accompanying the two collections of turquoise-coloured figurines (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 7-18). The Feature 3 Layer A supernatural beings figurines are notable because three-dimensional representations of these figures are rare in Wari art (Bergh 2012b: 241 – note 36). One of the figurines has hands and feet reminiscent of a camelid’s and lacks a tail, but otherwise has a feline head and body. It is holding a trophyhead by its hair in its left hand while the right holds a twisted object. The other supernatural figure has a more dragon-like appearance and rather holds a club in its right hand, with a sacrificial victim lying at its feet (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 13-14). The figurines were found in Feature 3 layer B number 50. Their random positions suggest that they were originally contained in a cloth bundle, which did not withstand the passage of time. The figurines are made of four different materials: 1) two-piece mold cast metal, 2) joined front and back repoussé sheet metal, 3) carved and polished stone and 4) carved Spondylus shell. They are separated into five groups according to what they represent. Twenty-one figurines standing with their arms at their sides make up Group 1. Group 2 comprises the bound prisoners, and numbers five figurines. Group 3 has seven warriors with shields and short hand axes. Eight warriors with long-handled axes or lances in their right hand and small round shields in their left belong to Group 4. The final group contains the remaining figurines which do not correspond to any other category (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 21). Groups 1, 2, and 3 all

contained figurines of different media while groups 4 and 5 are comprised exclusively of two-piece front and back repoussé sheet metal (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 23, 27). The discovery of this pit dates back to 2004 and as such is relatively recent. Therefore, research on its contents is still in its infancy. As of yet, no elaborate interpretations have been formulated to link the different groups of figurines to the materials out of which they are fashioned. This is not helped by how eclectic the Eastern Gate offering pit figurines are both in form and composition. A few figurines in this assemblage are more peculiar than the others. The first one of these is item 13 from Group 1, the only figurine wearing a feline hide cape (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 21). Felines in Andean and South American traditions are typically shamans’ avatars of choice – Amazonian shamans would wear jaguar skins as a means of transforming themselves into their animal counterpart and connecting with the supernatural world. As such, item 13 may represent a shaman (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 30). The second is Group 4’s item 48, holding against its face a feline-shaped mask. It is the only figurine of the assemblage wearing a mask (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 27). The last peculiar item is actually a trio of figurines: items 02, 19 and 46. These arguably represent a time sequence during which a bound prisoner is brought before the Wari conqueror and is sentenced to have his head shaved (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 30). As its name indicates, the third Pikillacta figurine cache was buried at the Eastern Gate of the city, which happens to be its main entrance. As such, anyone leaving or entering the site would’ve had to walk over or around it (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 33). This is an important clue as to the intentions behind the making of this offering and the people the figurines are meant to represent. All of the figurines in Feature 3 Layer B seem to be


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linked either to warfare or its aftermath. The mode of their burial – they were not arranged in an orderly fashion, but rather seemed to have been contained in a bundle – as well as their location indicate that the figurines are more likely to represent the people conquered by the Wari instead of the Wari themselves. The attention devoted to the facial features and the different body types of the figurines suggests that individual people may have been depicted. Their detailed hairstyles are also notable, suggesting this was an important indicator of a person’s rank or social status (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 30). These figurines might have been crafted at the end of conflicts with native populations as a means to capture their “spiritual essence” in order to symbolically bind them to the Wari, willingly or through coercion (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 33). In light of the contents of the Eastern Gate offering, the interpretation of the turquoisecoloured figurine sets need to be reassessed. As stated earlier, the presence of bound prisoners argues against the interpretation of these figurines as founding ancestors. They could very well have been war captives used as leverage to assert Wari control over their huacas and pacarinas in order to assure the allegiance of the descendants of conquered communities. The Cuzco and Madrid collections would then be the spiritual essence captured in stone of the multiple noble lineages conquered by the Wari (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 29).

to manipulate to suit their own purposes (Schreiber 2005: 143). One of the ways in which the Wari disseminated their ideas to conquered populations was through the use of the Staff Deity iconographic symbol of power, which was extensively depicted on oversized jars recovered at the Wari site of Conchopata and can also be found on Wari tapestries (Isbell and Knobloch 2005: 191-192, 167). This particular supernatural figure is a recurring one throughout the history of the Andes, and its origins can be traced back to the Pucara society, which subscribed to the Yaya-Mama artistic tradition of the Bolivian altiplano—it spanned the centuries between 800 B.C.E and 400-500 A.D. (Isbell and Knobloch 2005: 168, 171). The stylistic tradition to which the Staffed deity belongs was recently dubbed the “Southern Andean Iconographic Series” or “SAIS”, a name proposed by Isbell and Knobloch (2005: 165) to replace the previous designation of the “Tiahuanaco” tradition, named after the site and polity of Tiwanaku. This city, located in the Bolivian altiplano, was contemporaneous with the Wari, and was likely its rival. Since it was the first site where depictions of the three primary icons of the SAIS were observed (the Staffed deity, the rayed head and the profile attendant), the stylistic tradition was named after Tiahuanaco (an alternate spelling of Tiwanaku). In light of new discoveries, however, that designation was no longer appropriate and warranted a name change (Isbell and Knobloch 2005: 165). The antiquity of the Staff deity conferred it legitimacy and prestige, and as such its use by the Wari would have been an unmistakable symbol of social and political authority (Schreiber 2005: 135). The bronze rods found in all three Pikillacta figurine offerings may thus be representative of the Staff deity (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 31). Combined with the interpretation of the figurines as symbolic hostages, the presence of the bronze rod as a representation of the Staff deity makes

Wari conquest, ideology and the figure of the Staff Deity The Wari conquest strategy’s apparent focus on ideology rather than more militaristic or strategic purposes includes a useful component: instead of trying to eradicate local beliefs and replacing them with their own, which can be a costly strategy for an expanding state, they chose to adopt ancestral lineages into their own cosmological order, thus making them available



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for a very clear power dynamic in favour of the Wari.

of a more androgynous appearance (Cook 2004: 160). No gender associations have yet been made for the Pikillacta offering figurines: Arriola Tuni and Tesar do not even broach the subject on their account of the artifacts discovered in the Eastern Gate offering pit. It is simply assumed that all the figurines are male. Not that identification of different genders on these very small figurines (they range from 18-52 mm) (Arriola Tuni and Tesar 2011: 21) would be an easy task: as a general rule, there is very little gender differentiation in Wari material culture (Cook 1992: 354), and the study of women is only starting to gain more of a following (Cook 2004: 163). None but the clay figurines seem to be clearly gendered; they are some of the very few female representations in Wari art: rarely are women depicted on oversized ceremonial vessels (Cook 2004: 164) and two-dimensional figures are more often than not fully-clothed. Nothing short of an indepth study of dress could shed light on the gendered affiliations of the clothing worn by these figures (Cook 2004: 160). Wari figurines are made of many different materials and possibly represent a wide variety of meanings. Spondylus shells’ association with figurines links back to the importance the Wari attach to the element of water, which in turn relates to cosmological concepts of the powers of ancestors. With the discovery of the third Pikillacta figurine cache, the relationship between Wari forms of ideological warfare, ancestors and the ritual figurine offerings have become more tangible, and have put into question previous interpretations of the figurines’ meaning. One aspect among many of the figurines that have yet to be researched in depth is the representation, or lack thereof, of women, and the possible relation between different materials and gender. This is a topic that will necessitate much research not only on the figurines themselves, but on Wari social constructs of sex and gender as well.

Other figurines and representations of gender The Pikillacta figurine offerings were composed of many different materials: stone, shell and cast or molded metal. There is, however, an even greater variety of figurine media than those found solely in offering contexts. Figurines-on-a-shell have been mentioned earlier, but there are also ceramic figurines as well as others made of composite materials such as wood, semi-precious stones and resin. At the site of Conchopata in the Ayacucho valley, the heartland of the Wari Empire, some mold-made ceramic figurines have been found (Cook 2004: 160). The largest of these is a nude female who may have been wearing clothes made out of textiles that have not withstood the passage of time. Her breasts, belly button and genitals are molded and painted, and her hair is typical of female representations in Wari art: it is parted in the middle and falls down to either side of her face. Her posture is also that which is most commonly used to depict women – she is standing with her arms bent, one hand at her belly and the other lying against her rib cage (Cook 2004: 161). The other female figurines of Conchopata are of great interest, since they are depicted as “human” first and “women” second. That is, none of them are depicted as mothers either holding or breastfeeding infants, nor are they presented in a submissive role towards men or partaking in erotic scenes. This places them on par with male figurines and thus, the social value assigned to male and female artistic representations at Conchopata might have been the same (Cook 2004: 161). The representation of gender in the stone figurines is ambiguous, for various possible reasons. It may be that stone was thought of as a sacred medium where the distinction between male and female was blurred in favour


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References Cited Arriola Tuni, Carlos A. and Louis D. Tesar. 2011 The





Offering, Nawpa Pacha: Journal of Andean Archaeology 31(1):1-44 Bastien, Joseph. 1991 The



Expressed in a Kataan Funeral. In Tombs for the Living: Andean Mortuary Practices (Tom Dillehay, ed). Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. 335378 Bergh, Susan. 2012a Inlaid and Metal Ornaments. In Wari: Lords of the Ancient Andes (S. E. Bergh, ed). Thames & Hudson, London. 217-232 2012b Figurines. In Wari: Lords of the Ancient Andes (S. E. Bergh, ed). Thames & Hudson, London. 233-241 Cook, Anita G. 1992

The Stone Ancestors: Idioms of Imperial

Attire and Rank among Huari Figurines, Latin American Antiquity 2(4):341-364 2004 Wari art and society. In Andean Archaeology (H. Silverman, ed). Blackwell Publishers, Malden, MA. 146-166 Glowacki, Mary and Michael Malpass. 2003 Water, Huacas, and Ancestor Worship: Traces of a Sacred Wari Landscape, Latin American Antiquity (4):431-448 Isbell, William H. and Patricia J. Knobloch. 2005 SAIS – The Origin, Development and Dating




Tiwanaku: Papers from the 2005 Mayer Center Symposium at the Denver Art Museum. 165-210 McEwan, Gordon F. 1998 The Function of Niched Halls in Wari Architecture, Latin American Antiquity 9(1):68-86 Schreiber, Katharina. 2005 Sacred




Ideologies: The Wari Empire in Sondondo, Peru, Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, 14. 131–150



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The Inca Ceque System Sarah Miller-Dorrance

Finally, again through the interpretation of huacas, the political dimensions of the ceque system will also be described.

Introduction The Inca empire, both mighty and shortlived, lasted approximately between 1400-1532 C.E. During this time, the Incas succeeded in producing a lasting legacy within the Andean world. In examining this legacy, this essay will explore a specific aspect of their culture: the ceque system. The ceque system is an organizational concept, which structured the Inca Empire ritually and politically, through abstract yet physical lines and the huacas, which are ritual shrines found on these lines. The ceque system will be described through the presentation of the city of Cuzco and its importance based on its spatial organization, then the organization of the ceque system itself will be elucidated, followed by a description of the various reasons the system is viewed as important. Subsequently, the focus will shift to the concept of huacas, which will be used to demonstrate the ritual aspect of the ceques: first through the innate religiosity of the huacas themselves, then through the display of offerings and prayers made to the huacas.

Cuzco’s importance and organization Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire, plays a crucial role in understanding the general spatial organization of the land. The empire was and remains known as Tahuantinsuyu in Quechua or the “Land of the Four Quarters” (Bauer 1998:1, based on the division of four separate sectors, known as suyus, within the Cuzco Valley. According to Alan Kolata, the meaning of such a name is founded in the Inca conviction of their dominance of the Andean world (1992:215). Cuzco lies at the meeting point of all four regions (Chinchasuyu, Antisuyu, Collasuyu, and Cuntisuyu) and encloses within its core the Coricancha/ Golden Enclosure/Temple of the Sun in which the most important ritual activities were carried out (Bauer 1998:3, 1992:184). Cuzco was home to the most noble and royal individuals within the Inca empire: both Inca


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rulers and the royal court were located in the capital. The imperial city also housed the most significant religious shrines of the region (e.g. the Coricancha), demonstrating the juncture of both sacred and secular (Kolata 1992:241). It therefore can be understood as the geographical, political, and spiritual heart of “Andean cosmological order” (Bauer 1998:6, 1992:184). Starting at Cuzco, the quarters of the empire are then divided into halves: upper (Hanan) and lower (Hurin) Cuzco which each comprise two of the suyus. Within each half, two royal Inca roads existed which belonged to each suyu. These roads, known as qhapaq nan, branched out from the capital and functioned as communication channels, trade routes, and means of travel for both official Incas and military personnel (Kolata 1992: 238, Christie 2008:55). The partition of Cuzco and its surroundings extends even further, which will be explained below, through the description of the ceque system.

had a varying number of shrines per line and varied spacing between them (Bauer 1998:6, 1992:184, Rowe 1979:4). The ceques within each suyu were classified into a three-tiered hierarchy: collana, payan, and cayao (Bauer 1992:184). In some views, collana describes the upper Inca ceques, payan the middle Inca and non-Inca, and cayao the lower and nonInca (van de Guchte 1999:159); however this will be further explained in the section which describes kin groups. Most scholars argue that the Inca recorded these ceque lines and shrines by using a tool named quipu (Bauer 1998:8, Rowe 1979: 4). This tool consisted of a type of counting device, which made use of knotted strings to record information (Bauer 1998:8). According to Maarten van de Guchte, the knots on the strings of the quipu are said to resemble the huacas on the lines of the ceque system (1999:161). Those who were in charge of the quipus were known as quipucamayocs and were able to create this form of map as well as read or understand it (van de Guchte 1999:158,161, Kolata 1992:232). This kind of practice has been transformed presently into a system of numbering and naming in order to identify the location of both the ceques and huacas. Examples of numbering systems include that of Cobo’s, John Rowe’s (who translated Cobo’s work from Spanish to English) and Tom Zuidema (Bauer 1998:11). This spatial organization provides a physical layout for the symbolic importance of the ceque system.

Organization of the Ceque System To begin, the Inca ceque system constitutes a method of further dividing the Inca Empire in a geographical manner by organizing ritual shrines of the Inca along systematic lines which radiate from the core of the Cuzco Valley, the imperial city itself. Most research conducted on this system relies most heavily on Bernabe Cobo’s Relacion de las Huacas (Bauer 1998:1, 1992: 183, Christie 2008:52), a primary source, which provides the most thorough and descriptive list of ceques and shrines. According to Cobo’s descriptions, present-day researchers have concluded that this system extended forty-two lines (or forty-one in some cases) on which were located three hundred and twenty-eight shrines or huacas (Bauer 1998:6, 1992:183-184, Christie 2008:52, Kolata 1992: 245, van de Guchte 1999:159). Of the lines, nine ceques are located within Chinchasuyu, Antisuyu and Collasuyu, while Cuntisuyu possesses fourteen, all of which

Importance of the Ceque System The ceque system is more than a physical map of lines on which ritual shrines are located— it consists of a cognitive map representing certain meaningful features, which unify the sacred Inca landscape. According to Kolata, the sacred landscape originates in the heart of the empire, at Cuzco’s Coricancha, and



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spreads throughout the empire through this complex system of lines (1992:244, Christie 2008:52). This landscape represents a vital aspect of Incan identity in that it characterizes certain ethnic groups’ right to dominate others (Kolata 1992:244). Some archaeologists such as Tom Zuidema, Anthony Aveni and Alan Kolata posit that this system can be explained as a ritual calendar which organizes agricultural seasons, harvesting, herding, and religious ceremonies such as the Citua and Capacocha (Kolata 1992:245, Christie 2006:199). Others, for instance, Maarten van de Guchte argue it has foundations in “mythico-historical events” (1999:159), or even suggest that the lines could have been pilgrimage roads (e.g. Copacabana as a resting place on one of these routes) (Christie 2006:179). In all evidence, the ceque system is an extremely intricate ritual structure, which allows us to gaze into the Inca past, and helps us understand the organizational principles of such a sacred landscape (Bauer 1998:1). In order to fully understand the various hypotheses presented on the purpose of the ceque lines the concept of huaca must be examined in relation to the sacred landscape of the Inca.

(Bauer, 1998:23, 24, Bray 2009:360). They are said to have the capacity to communicate with the supernatural world as mediators, which can protect from death, control the weather, and determine the outcome of war (Bauer 1998:23). These huacas fall into two categories: unworked objects found in nature and man-made (Bray 2009:359). Unworked huacas can include rocks, hills, mountains, fields, trees, rivers, springs, and ravines, while man-made huacas can include carved rocks, figurines, temples, tombs, palaces, and houses (Bray 2009:359, Bauer 1998:23, 1992:188 Christie 2008:41). Those that are natural features of the landscape can be identified by their outstanding qualities: for either being strikingly beautiful or shockingly horrendous (van de Guchte 1999: 154,163). Those that are modified by man consist of a constructed type of landscape, which then becomes part of the conceptualized landscape of the sacred through the animating life force of the huacas (Christie 2008:42,60). For example, the two most important worked shrines in the Inca Empire are the Coricancha in Cuzco and the Temple of Pachacamac on the Peruvian coast (Bauer 1998:5). According to van de Guchte, huacas are primarily chosen based on their “otherness”; however, selection can occur through other means such as location (e.g. a view of a mountain peak a view from the Coricancha) and their relation to myths (e.g. the origin myth) (1999: 163). The ritual essence of the huacas derives from their intrinsic sacredness, though offerings also play a vital role in their ritual quality.

Huacas The concept of huaca is essential in understanding the ritual and political/social dimensions of the ceque system. First, the ritual dimension is primarily reflected in the idea that a huaca is a religious shrine or sacred thing (Bauer 1998:4, Rowe 1979:3). These huacas are supposedly imbued with a vital force (camaquen), which is linked to the Quechua term camay: a thing that is animate, possesses power, is of “energizing matter” (Bray 2009:357). The animate quality huacas posses may relate to the mythicohistorical events mentioned above by van de Guchte, which implies the spiritual presence of ancestral beings at these shrines or perhaps the conquering of an important Andean peak

Offerings Huacas demonstrate the ritual essence of the ceque system through the presentation of offerings made to these shrines. The offerings and prayers, whether they are made to natural features or man-made shrines, represent a form of worship carried out by both noble and common people, which attest to their


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significance within the Inca Empire (Bauer 1998:1). Gift-giving to the huacas reinforces the idea that they are imbued with animate forces: they can recognize the homage they are being paid and will reciprocate in some fashion (Bray 2009:362). It is argued that by presenting the shrines with offerings and prayers the gods will be pleased and will act in kind, within their capacities as mentioned above, such as allowing for good weather, good health, victory in war, safe travels, etc. (Bauer 1998:23). Offerings came in many forms within the Cuzco valley, including sacrifices of the offspring of animals, of children, precious metals, spondyllus shells, textiles, figurines, coca, and maize, which were either burned or buried at the shrine (Bauer 1998:26, 27). The offerings were also contingent on the importance of the given shrine, with the most significant offering being human sacrifice (Bauer 1998:27). These offerings can be seen as forming a system of economic relations among the Inca because they require various forms of labour in terms of herding and agricultural production (van de Guchte 1999:163). The huacas, recognized through the ceque system, imply a ritual dimension, as well as a somewhat economic dimension, and can also be shown to suggest a political aspect, which will be explored below.

paying homage to different ceque lines and therefore huacas at prescribed times (Kolata 1992:245, Bauer 1998:35, Christie 2008:53). As mentioned above these kin groups comprise both noble and common folk, which were recognized as panaqas (royal, direct descendants of Inca kings, in Cuzco) and non-royal ayllus (common, lower level citizens, throughout the valley) (Bauer 1998:38, 1998:9). This kin group system provided individuals with a sense of identity within their communities, and overall within the larger Cuzco Valley (Bauer 1998:35).As the ceque lines are classified by collana, payan, and cayao so are those who tend to them (van der Guchte 1999:159, Bauer 1992:184), which creates a hierarchy among ayllus. Collana is considered the most prestigious; payan remains prestigious but less so, while cayao is of the least prestige (Bauer 1998:37). These terms are meant to classify three separate sub-lineages within a specific ayllu, whether it is royal or common (Bauer 1998:37). Although the political implications here rely on a certain organizing structure within communities, Christie proposes a more obvious political element to the huacas: she argues that the Inca rulers “manipulated” the kin groups to worship the huacas as part of political tactics (2008:61). Overall, this form of manipulation was utilized to re-enforce the political dominion the Incas had over their expansive land and their various social groups who inhabited this land.

Ayllus Offerings and prays also demonstrate the political element of the huacas and therefore the ceque system. Various distinct kin groups within the Inca population carry out the worshipping of the huacas. The kin groups can be recognized as ayllus: assembled clusters of individuals who shared relationships through the land they owned and their common ancestral ties, which politically organized communities and ethnic groups and the separation of their land (Kolata 1992:224). Through this social/political structure different ayllus were assigned the responsibility of

Conclusion The Inca ceque system is one which perhaps, taken at face value, does not appear to be vital to the understanding of the Inca, but in its careful examination proves to be extremely representative of the “Inca way.” By understanding the ceque system we are granted with knowledge of the importance of ritual in everyday Inca life. This ritual importance is grounded in the presence of some three hundred and twenty-eight huacas spread



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throughout the Cuzco Valley and the ritual activities carried out at these shrines in order to satisfy or please the supernatural beings associated with them. Similarly, the assigned responsibility of those who enacted these activities/offerings, which took place at the shrines, demonstrates a certain form of political organization put forth by those in power: the Inca rulers. Through the understanding of the huacas’ sacred and political facets, it becomes clear that the ceque system makes use of these principles to organize the Inca Empire both physically and spiritually.

References Cited Bauer, Brian S. 1992 Ritual Pathways of the Inca: An Analysis of the Collasuyu Ceques in Cuzco. Latin American Archaeology 3(3):183-205. Bauer, Brian S. 1998

The Sacred Landscape of the Inca: The

Cusco Ceque System. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX. Bray, Tamara L. 2009

An Archaeological Perspective on

the Andean Concept of Camaquen: Thinking Through Late Pre-Columbian Ofrendas and Huacas.




19(3): 357-366. Christie, Jessica Joyce. 2006 Inca Copacabana. A Reconstruction from the Perspective of the Carved Rocks. Anthropos 101(1):179–201. Christie, Jessica Joyce. 2008

Inka Roads, Lines, and Rock Shrines:

A Discussion of the Contexts of Trail Markers. Journal of Anthropological Research 64(1):4166. Kolata, Alan 1992

In the Realm of the Four Quarters. In

America in 1492: The World of the Indian Peoples Before the Arrival of Columbus edited by Alvin M. Josephy, pp. 215-247. Knopf, New York. Rowe, John H. 1979

An Account of the Shrines of Ancient

Cuzco. Nawpa Pacha. 17(1): 1-80. Van de Guchte, Maarten. 1999

The Inca Cognition of Landscape:

Archaeology, Ethnohistory, and the Aesthetic of Alterity. In Archaeologies of Landscape, edited by Wendy Ashmore and A. Bernard Knapp, pp. 149-68. Blackwell Publishers, Malden, M.A.


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Cannibalistic Caribs: First Encounters and Perspectives of the Natives of the Caribbean Ella Myette longer periods of war. According to historian Philip Boucher, these periods of entente were needed so that the two parties could take a break to trade for necessary goods (1992:18). The Spanish remained until 1898, when they were forcefully displaced by the United States, bent on expanding its own empire.

Introduction In his essay “Myth and Meaning,” anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss asked the question: “When we try to do scientific history, do we really do something scientific, or do we too remain astride our own mythology in what we are trying to make as pure history?” (1933:41). As hard as we try, history is affected by our own cultural backgrounds, and this can change how history itself is recorded, one example being the first encounters between Carib Indians and Spanish explorers. Since their ‘discovery’ of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, Spanish colonizers have labeled them as cannibals. This identity was beneficial to the Spanish because it allowed them to justify their rapacious colonialism in the area. Although there is little proof to show that these people were actually cannibals, the association of the words “Carib” and “cannibal” has changed how these indigenous peoples are seen throughout history.

Spanish accounts of cannibalism Throughout their time in the Caribbean, the Spanish recorded their experiences in journals, and in letters written to the King and Queen of Spain. These accounts were the only basis of knowledge that people in Spain had about the Caribbean, so Spanish colonizers wrote down everything that they found— or that they wanted Europeans to believe that they found— including tales of encounters with cannibals. In The Letter of Columbus, published widely beginning in 1493, Christopher Columbus wrote: “I have found no monsters, nor report of any, except of an island which is Carib… which is inhabited by a people who are regarded in all the islands as very ferocious, [and] who eat human flesh” (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:14-15). Dr. Diego Alvarez Chanca, who accompanied Columbus, displayed clear contempt for the Caribs. In his own account of the second journey of Columbus in 1494, he concluded, “the way of life of these Caribe people is bestial” (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:33). Chanca also revealed that European perceptions of the Carib were probably, from the start, prejudiced by accounts from the Arawaks, who were enemies of the Carib. “After they [Arawaks] understood that we hated those people for their evil custom of eating the flesh of men, they rejoiced greatly,” Chanca reported, “and if after that they brought any woman or man of the caribes, they

Historical context In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail in search of a westward route from Europe to Asia, and bumped into the New World. Columbus was seeking to expand the Spanish empire, and he had also hoped to find gold. However, when Columbus arrived in the Caribbean, all he found was a group of indigenous people, known today as the “Amerindians.” He divided them into two groups, the Arawaks (or Taínos) and the Caribs, because in his eyes they were two distinct types of people: the Arawaks were generally cooperative with the Spanish; the Caribs were “an enduring source of resistance to colonial control,” explains historian Neil Whitehead (2011:7). During their years in the Caribbean, the Spanish had brief periods of peace with the Amerindian people, followed by



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said secretly that they were caribes, for even here where all were in our power they went in fear of them, like subjugated people” (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:33) Due to the Arawaks and Caribs being enemies, the Arawaks likely understood that if they provided the Spanish with Caribs, the colonizers would reduce the threat that the Caribs posed to the Arawaks. “The Captivity of Luisa de Navarrete” (1580), perpetuated negative European perceptions of the Carib people, with a witness’s account of a brutal Carib pirate raid on a Spanish ship near Dominica: “[In] the Dominica passage a ship appeared that was passing by, making its voyage, and they [Carib] attacked and overcame and burnt and robbed it of whatever was within, carried off and killed three or four of the principal Spaniards who were travelling in the ship, and captured six principal women and ten or twelve men.” The account goes on to describe how some captives were then fattened, before being slain and eaten (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:40). While this certainly appears vicious, few European readers understood that Amerindians raided ships in retaliation for the Spanish slave raids on Amerindian peoples (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:17). That kind of nuance would have complicated the project of colonization. Spanish tales of encounter made Europeans believe that the Caribs were cannibals, but, as historian Peter Hulme makes clear, “the Spaniards were predisposed to be convinced” (1986:69).

“initial discriminations and definitions,” and showed the “changes in native society induced by the consequences of Spanish colonial policy” (1995:91). In the eyes of the Spanish, then, they encountered cannibalistic savages, and it was their duty to transform them into civilized people. Questions have also been raised regarding the very division of the ‘Arawaks’ and ‘Caribs’. Some scholars have argued that ‘Arawaks’ were socially transformed into ‘Caribs’ over time, erasing Columbus’s initial grouping. While this idea is often disregarded by current scholarship, Whitehead explains that “evidence of this kind of social continuity underlying an ethnic interchange is present even in early Spanish documentation and, most significantly, in regard of that behaviour considered definitional of ‘caribness’— anthropophagy,” (Whitehead 1995:95-96), meaning that there is documentation of ethnic fluidity even in early Spanish accounts of native life (Whitehead 1995:95-96). In his 1530 work “De Orbe Novo decadas,” historian Peter Martyr d’Anghiera wrote that “they [Arawaks] pay the caribes in the same coin, they dismember a cannibal before the eyes of the others, they roast him, tear him apart rabidly and eat him” (Whitehead 1995:96). ‘Arawaks’ would eat ‘Caribs’ as a way to show their disapproval of their cannibalistic practices, which made them ‘Caribs’ in the eyes of the Spanish, who simply defined a Carib as someone who ate human flesh. In any case, it is virtually impossible to partition these people into definitive ethnic groups, especially given the fact that Spanish explorers were liberal with their usage of the word “Carib” while paying little attention to the linguistic or cultural characteristics that accompanied the term.

The fluidity of the word ‘Carib’ Although Columbus saw a very clear division between Arawaks and Caribs, it is possible that his assumption was what actually created the schism. Neil Whitehead argues that the Spanish explorers’ first ethnographic assessments were “self-fulfilling,” justifying colonial policy and, therefore, affecting native society. Ethnographic material from the midseventeenth century reconfirmed the explorers’

The convenience of calling them cannibals In 1503, Queen Isabella passed the first


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royal decree allowing for the enslavement of cannibals, in order to encourage new selffinancing explorations. However, after a native uprising in 1510 led by the cacique—chief — Agueybana, the Spanish Crown issued a new decree ordering general war on the Caribs and allowing for their unrestricted enslavement. Rodrigo de Figueroa, who wrote The Deposition of Rodrigo Figueroa on the Islands of the Barbarous Caribes in 1520, indicated that the process of determining the Caribs’ nature was “highly political, in that populations were assigned to the Caribe category in a way that served the interests of the mine owners, planters, and slavers of Hispaniola and other Spanish enclaves in the region.” (Whitehead 2011:20). The Spanish Crown insisted that there be “legal foundations” for the enslavement of Caribs, so, as Whitehead explains, “the governor of Hispaniola was being instructed to supply the Crown with the cultural information to justify the crude political distinctions promulgated from Spain” (Whitehead 2011:13). The governor was incentivized by the Crown to make the Caribs cannibals. The gold that the Spanish found in the Greater Antilles made it an epicenter of trade and an economic core, which led to slavery in the area. Amerindian slavery began with Columbus himself, who sold slaves as a way to finance his own voyages and the cost of creating the colony of Hispaniola. Due to the royal decree that allowed Columbus to make any Caribs into slaves as well as to an extensive labour shortage, the slave trade boomed in the area. Columbus and his men captured more than two thousand slaves during their time in the Caribbean, while Diego Columbus was responsible for the enslavement of over fifteen thousand Amerindians (Whitehead 2011:9). Bartolomé de Las Casas, a historian and friar who continually questioned the treatment of indigenous peoples by Spanish colonizers during his travels with Columbus, wrote that

“caribes…was the term that the Spanish used to make free people into slaves” (Whitehead 1995:15). By identifying them as ‘Caribs,’ which was synonymous with “cannibals,” the Spanish could justify to themselves, and others, the enslavement of a people. Cannibalistic Caribs, the thinking went, not only deserved enslavement, they would benefit from it. Religious imperative became another convenient, and important, excuse for the colonization, abuse, and enslavement of the Amerindians. “The ‘discovery’ that the inhabitants of the New World practiced such inhumane degeneracy like cannibalism meant that such intervention was not merely legal, but a religious obligation,” explains historian Merrall Llewelyn Price. Spanish dominion was seen as a way to ‘save’ the humanity of cannibals, or, if it was not, it at least acted as a good pretence for colonization (Price 2003:88, 89). The power of othering When one group of people cultivates the idea that a different group of people are others, it creates a power relation. Others can be described as strange to the point that they possibly even appear to be non-human, which enforces the describers’ sense of humanity. By culturally degrading others, describers are also able to justify their abuse of these groups of people. In the early colonial encounters between Spanish colonizers and indigenous peoples, the Spanish acted as the describers and the indigenous population as the others. In their writings, the Spanish tried to distance their own culture as much as possible from Amerindian culture, and the notion of cannibalism helped drastically on this front. Cannibalism carries a symbolic meaning that reaches beyond simply eating flesh. Not only does it define a people’s eating habits, but some also see it as a way to define a culture. “Cannibalism is never just about eating,” writes anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday,



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“but is primarily a medium for nongustatory messages— messages having to do with the maintenance, regeneration, and, in some cases, the foundation of the cultural order” (1986:3). Cannibalism is also potent because of how people see their bodies and because of the climate of body politic. Literary theorist Peter Hulme explains that “cannibalism arguably gains a substantial part of its ideological power through its negotiation of the sacredness of the body as symbol” (1986:86). When one group of people sees the body as sacred and the other does not, there is a conflict in their ideals. European colonizers had such a strong aversion to cannibalism because they considered their bodies a sacred symbol, and therefore cannibalism as unholy and unnatural (1986:86). Further, some take comfort in calling others cannibals; when people see others performing a sub-human act, it reinforces their own sense of humanity. As anthropologist Laurence Goldman writes, “cannibalism was at once a prism that refracts predications of otherness as well as a practice through which the self is situated vis-à-vis humanity at large” (1999:12). Cannibalism was not only considered unholy and unnatural back then, but it was also inhuman. Europeans viewed Amerindians through the prejudices of their own cultural lens and, not surprisingly, found them lacking. This was recognized already in the sixteenth century, by historian Michel de Montaigne, who wrote in his essay “Des Cannibales” (“Of Cannibalism”) about how peoples’ cultural backgrounds affect the way that they perceive others’ cultures: “Each man calls barbarous anything he is not accustomed to; it is indeed the case that we have no other criterion of truth or right-reason than the example and form of the opinions and customs of our own country. There we always find the perfect religion, the perfect polity, the most developed and perfect way of doing anything!” (1933:231). In Montaignes’ eyes,

the Spanish would never see the Amerindians as anything but barbarous, as they did not follow the same social norms or have the same cultural values as the Spanish. Cannibalism and pop culture The engravings Insulae canibalium (The Islands of the Cannibals) [Appendix I] and A cannibal feast [Appendix II] were published in Venice in 1621. They were originally published in the book Nova typis transacta navigatio novi orbis Indiae Occidentalis, published by Benedictine monk Caspar Plautius under the pseudonym Honorius Philoponus. It tells the history of evangelism in the New World through Columbus’ travels in the West Indies. Illustrating books with visual images was extremely popular during the seventeenth century— probably a logical outgrowth of the practice of manuscript illumination that was common during the medieval period (Knapp 2003:23). Images were particularly important for popularizing ideas during this time because of high illiteracy rates throughout Europe and the rest of the world. The images themselves were often reproduced independently from the original texts. Thus, many people who never read about cannibals nevertheless learned about them from popular engravings, and such images were key in the association of cannibalism with the Caribbean in the minds of Europeans during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and beyond (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:31). As a result of the mass volume of these types of images in Europe during this period, cannibalism became a part of pop culture. As literary theorist James Knapp says, “the acts of seeing and reading… are themselves caught in history” (2003:6). Were the Caribs even cannibals? When Columbus arrived in the Caribbean, looking for gold, he depended on the knowledge of the local people to survive. Much of the information that he wrote down in his Letter and in his Journal was supposedly


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relayed from the indigenous peoples of the area, such as the Arawak description of ‘Caribs’. “Identification of caribes always involved information claimed to have been supplied by Amerindians,” states Whitehead (1995:14). However, when Columbus arrived in the West Indies, he did not know the language of the locals and instead relied on an interpreter. Additionally, the interpreter only had a background in Arabic, so his translation of the Arawaks’ description of the ‘Caribs’ was most likely not accurate. To combat this problem, Price explains, Columbus was “forced to rely on the translation skills of captured natives, via whom communication was not merely difficult, but often frustratingly impossible, ” as Columbus’s Journal make clear: “Tuesday, 27 November… I do not know the language; the people do not understand me, nor I them, nor any of my company” (Knapp 2003:85). Prior to his travels, Columbus was trained in the sensationalist travel texts of Mandeville and Marco Polo. As a result, he expected cannibals when he came ashore. It is also possible that, in his frustration due to the lack of gold, Columbus fabricated information in order to prevent going back to Spain having found nothing. Cannibals would, at least, cause a sensation. In 1979, anthropologist William Arens caused a stir when he published The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy, which questioned the very basis for cannibalism. Arens argues that there is not enough evidence to prove that cannibalism ever actually existed as a cultural practice. “I have been unable to uncover adequate documentation of cannibalism as a custom in any form for any society,” Arens writes. “Rumours, suspicions, fears and accusations abound, but no satisfactory first-hand accounts… the sustaining ethnography is lacking” (1979:21). Most scholars disagree that there has been no cannibalism at all, but some do understand the basis for Arens’ argument. “It is impossible

to disprove the existence of any [cannibalistic] practice by direct evidence; but [Arens] does cast serious doubt on what is usually taken as proof of anthropophagous practices,” observes Peter Hulme (1986:80). He goes on to say that Arens “demonstrates how many ‘reports’ of anthropophagy are in fact repetitions of earlier ‘reports’ so that the actual sources are relatively scarce,” giving Arens’ claim a semblance of credence (Hulme 1986:80). Other scholars, like Laurence Goldman, have found more nuance in Arens’ argument. Arens is “the very antithesis of a dogmatist,” insists Goldman, even if his arguments are sometimes “untenable” (Goldman 1999:28, 38). Whatever else might be said, Goldman concludes, “so pervasive… and influential is Arens’ critique that most authors subconsciously engage in some debate with his arguments when writing about the topic” (1999:13). Whether or not Arens is right to believe that cannibalism never existed, his willingness to push historical boundaries raises an important question: the significant inquiry surrounding the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean may not be “were they cannibals or not?” but rather, “to what degree were they cannibals?” Is there a difference between people who eat human flesh for pleasure versus those who eat it for a purpose? Many mortuary rituals entailed stripping the flesh off of the bones of the deceased and stewing it (Hulme 1986:99). During their travels, Columbus and Dr. Chanca happened upon a funerary ritual where they saw the decapitated heads of a few different people and sets of cleaned bones. Price argues that “the human remains may just have easily been prepared and preserved as funerary artefacts,” but Dr. Chanca was eager to identify them as “firm evidence of the cannibal propensities of the caribes.” Price goes further to say that it is very unlikely that a ship-doctor, like Dr. Chanca, would have even been able to identify the bones as human or animal (2003:17).



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Cannibalism, rather than being a gastronomic act, also functioned as an act of warfare. Frequent fighting between different peoples and the belief that it was possible to retain the energy of the individual killed by eating a part of their body led to a distinction between ‘endophagy’ or ‘endocannibalism,’ and ‘exophagy’ or ‘exocannibalism’— “eating only friends and eating only enemies” (Tannahill 1975:9). This difference removes the brutality from cannibalism and turns it into a ritual. Ethnographers and explorers, many of them missionaries, had a very different attitude toward Amerindians when they arrived in the West Indies in the seventeenth century compared to Columbus and others. Unlike the early Spanish explorers, who continually degraded and dehumanized indigenous peoples in their writings, later travellers showed more empathy and acceptance of the Amerindian people. “As to their nature,” Raymond Breton wrote during his voyage in 1635, “[the Amerindians] are not cruel, unless it is against their enemies. They are dangerous while they are in their cups and fight each other, but beyond that, it is easy to enjoy their company” (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:109110). Charles César de Rochefort continued this idea by explaining the power of kinship ties: “a brother revenges his brother and sister, a husband his wife, a father his children, so that when any one is kill’d, they think it justly done, because it is done upon the account of revenge and retaliation” (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:126). Jean Baptiste du Tertre added a new interpretation of the Amerindian people in his writings from 1640: So, at the very word Savage, most people imagine in their mind’s eye the kind of men who are barbarous, cruel, inhuman, without reason, deformed, as big as giants, as hairy as bears: in a word, monsters rather than reasonable men; although in truth our Savages

are Savages in name only, just like the plants and fruits which nature produces without cultivation in the forests and wildernesses, which, although we call them wild, still possess the true virtues in their properties of strength and complete vigour, which we so often corrupt by our artifice, and change so much when we plant in our gardens. (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:129).

Not only does du Tertre disagree with the previous conception of a ‘Savage’, he goes as far as to insinuate that it was actually the presence of Spanish colonialists that corrupted indigenous society. Again, what appeared to be cannibalism might have more accurately been described as an act of war. Breton described an instance of cannibalism that he had heard about: “when Father Raymond was on Dominica the first time in 1642 the savages surprised some of them— a man, a woman, and a girl. They killed and ate the man and made slaves of the woman and girl” (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:109). While this may seem barbaric, Jean Baptiste du Tertre explained in his history, in 1640, that “those who do [the ‘Caraïbes’] most harm are the English, against whom they make war, because they [the English] have occupied some of their islands to which they [the ‘Caraïbes’] want to return” (Hulme and Whitehead 1992:131). Warfare has, throughout history, resulted in acts that can easily be classified as “savage.” However, they such acts of war should not be confused with common cultural practices. Amerindian identity Much of the reason that the identity of Amerindians has been tied to the concept of cannibalism is due to the link that the Spanish language created between the words Carib and cannibal. Amerindians were unknown to the Spanish prior to their arrival in the West Indies, so Spanish colonizers were the


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first people to document information about this indigenous people— constructing their identity in the process. Because there was no existing word in the Spanish language for this group of people, it was up to the colonizers to create one. They drew the word ‘Carib’ from their Arawak informants and then associated it with the group of cannibals who were against Spanish dominion in the area. “The tenacity of this ethnological dualism partly stems from the historical reason that it was directly adopted into Spanish colonial law, which defined Caribes as any and all natives who opposed Spanish occupation in the Caribbean,” says Whitehead (1995:19). Hulme further states: “even if initially, in the Journal, ‘canibal’ was potentially an ethnographic term, its dominant meaning, by the time the word became established in the Spanish language, was ‘those who are hostile and eat human flesh’” (Hulme 1986:72). Indeed, there was not an official distinction between Carib and cannibal until it was entered into the Oxford English Dictionary in 1796 (Hulme 1986:15). This meant that for approximately three hundred years, the identities of Caribs and cannibals were synonymous terms, therefore solidifying the idea that all Amerindians ate human flesh. As a result of the association between the words “Carib” and “cannibal,” all indigenous peoples of the Caribbean have had to fight to correct the prejudice that grew against aboriginal peoples, including the Taíno, who were considered part of the Arawak people. Four hundred years ago, the Taíno people were considered nonexistent and wiped out. However, “in recent years,” says historian Déborah Berman Santana, “the Taíno (indigenous Caribbean) movement has begun to challenge the official doctrine of their extinction.” The Taíno revival was first recognized in 1992, on the five hundred year anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean, although groups dedicated to advancing the circulation of Taíno culture

existed as much as thirty years earlier. “Taíno activists believe that indigenous heritage can be established through
genetic studies, genealogical research, and a close review of regional history,” Santana explains. The National Science Foundation of Puerto Rico has provided grants for genealogical research to try to prove that a population of Taíno people still exists (Santana 2005:211-213). According to Whitehead, the Taíno identity has become “an aesthetic commodity” and a “source of political assertion” due to the mass consumption of recreated images of Taíno culture and the creation of the Taíno nation. The Taíno Nation states: “Our main work has been to bring the People together; reconnecting individuals and families into a People and Nation… As a result of our work the myth of extinction has been shattered; Identity established and the culture and ancestral language revitalized” (Whitehead 1995:45). Today, the Taíno nation is trying to resurrect the Taíno language. It holds meetings where participants learn about Taíno “food, religion, crafts, legends, music, and dance” (Santana 2005:214). Colonialism as a form of cannibalism It is ironic to think that these supposed cannibals were not the only ones who were consuming people. Spanish colonizers, who were so opposed to the idea of eating people, managed to become cannibals themselves in the way that they ravaged the West Indies. Price states that “cannibalism could function not just as a metonym for the lack of civilization that led to conquest, but also as a metaphor for the rapacious colonialism to come” (2003:110). Throughout this paper, I have tried to show how the Spanish explorers manipulated the identities of the Amerindians in order to justify their ruination of the Caribbean. Much of this they accomplished by exploiting Europeans’ fear and fascination of cannibals; “the chivalric Spanish rescuing



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of a feminized America from the clutches of cannibal savages was a powerful image in its own day,” says Whitehead (1995:4). Over the course of their conquest, “Europeans began to remake the newly discovered lands and peoples in their own image,” explains Price (2003:83); they painted the Amerindian people as cannibals while they devoured the West Indies.

the mistakes born of the cultural prejudices of the past, and seek to do no harm.

Conclusion Over the course of this paper, I have discussed the unfair, distorting labels that have been superimposed on indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and how these labels have led to consistent misconceptions about their lifestyles and cultures. I would like to briefly return to Lévi-Strauss’s “Myth and Meaning”; in it, he writes that “history as we write it is practically entirely based upon written documents” (1978: 39). Peter Hulme elaborates on this idea, saying that only relying on written documents to record historical events “operates a guillotine which severs the non-literate from history since history is here defined by the presence of written records.” Hulme continues, saying that “such a monologic encounter can only masquerade as a dialogue: it leaves no room for alternative voices” (1986:56, 59). This dilemma of how to record history without excluding the perspectives of all its actors has serious consequences. Although scholars continue to try and piece together what the Spanish really found when they arrived in the Caribbean, it is improbable that there will ever be any definitive conclusion to this story. That being the case, we might at least endeavor to avoid the mistakes born of the cultural prejudices of the past, and seek to do no harm. the perspectives of all its actors has serious consequences. Although scholars continue to try and piece together what the Spanish really found when they arrived in the Caribbean, it is improbable that there will ever be any definitive conclusion to this story. That being the case, we might at least endeavor to avoid


Appendix I: Insulae canibalium

Appendix II: A cannibal feast


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Divine hunger : cannibalism as a cultural Cambridge





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THank you for reading Fields ! ______ Merci d’avoir lu Terrains !


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