Perdigon, Sylvain, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'The Interim Structures of Kinship: Kin Relatedness among Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
SYLVAIN PERDIGON, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'The Interim Structures of Kinship: Kin Relatedness among Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. Located in the Palestinian refugee community of Southern Lebanon, the study undertaken under this grant experiments with one of the most canonical, and disputed, methods of ethnographic research-the collection of genealogies-in order to examine the suffering and creativity involved in carrying on an ethics of family life in the ever provisional environment of refugee camps. This method, combined with a systematic examination of the household economy, and with participant observation of everyday life in a time of great instability, clearly demonstrates the centrality and stability of a specific model of family life-the extended family organized around the sibling tie-to strategies for coping with the uncertainty of the refugee environment. However, by identifying narratives, language games, and everyday or ritual practices through which relatedness is practiced, performed, or reflected upon, the research also evinces the great variety of ways in which relations and their making, maintaining, and unmaking are imagined in the refugee community. By specifically highlighting the overlap in the refugee environment of practices associated with kinship, and of procedures associated with the production, or contestation, of certainty regarding relatives and relationships, it also invites to reconsider one of the oldest arguments of the discipline of anthropology-that which posited a foundational link between kinship and epistemology, relatedness and the everyday conditions of knowing.
Duffy, Kimberly G., U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Dynamics of Social Relationships among Adult Male Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Joan B. Silk
KIMBERLY G. DUFFY, then a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, received funding in January 2001 to aid research on 'Dynamics of Social Relationships among Adult Male Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Joan B. Silk. Social relationships among male chimpanzees appear to be well differentiated, and it may be that competition within the group influences male reproductive success as much as competition between groups. The goal of this study was to investigate how the need for coalition formation during within-group and between-group competition shapes social bonds among male chimpanzees. This was addressed by testing predictions of grooming models originally proposed to study the connection between coalition formation during the two types of competition and female bonds in primates. This study examined the distribution of social bonds among the ten male chimpanzees of the Kanyawara community, Kibale Forest, Uganda. Data on grooming, proximity coalitions, aggression, and mating were collected between June 2001 and November 2003 by using both focal samples and ad-lib behavioral observations. These data allowed for the testing of predictions regarding the use of coalitions, diversity of grooming, effects of dominance rank on grooming and coalitionary support, extent of reciprocity in grooming, and the exchange of grooming for coalitionary support and mating tolerance. Males of the Kanyawara community were selective in their choice of grooming partners, formed social cliques, exchanged social currencies, and competed for access to high-ranking partners. The highest-ranking males were also the most social males, and they had the highest mating success. These results indicate that maintaining relationships with allies within the group was important to the reproductive success of these males. This is expected when competition within the community is strong relative to competition with other communities.
Trever, Lisa Senchyshyn, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'The Agency of Images: Mural Painting and Architectural Sculpture on the North Coast of Peru,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Bitting Foster Cummins
LISA S. TREVER, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in October 2009 to aid research on 'The Agency of Images: Muralo Painting and Architectural Sculpture on the North Coast of Peru,' supervised by Dr. Thomas Bitting Foster Cummins. Archaeological and art historical research was carried out at Panamarca, the southernmost Moche (c. 200-800 CE) urban and ceremonial center on the Peruvian north coast. This project was designed to investigate and document the architectural and archaeological contexts of mural paintings known at the site since the 1950s. This fieldwork was successful in re-identifying, excavating, documenting, and conserving all previously known paintings, although some had suffered severe deterioration over time. The project also uncovered several new mural paintings and associated contexts. The corpus of known Moche mural paintings has thus been dramatically expanded. This fieldwork provides the foundation for a dissertation that will advance ancient Andean studies further into spatial analysis of image and architecture, including the phenomenological analysis of how these figurative paintings may have been seen, approached, and experienced within their built environment and how physical evidence of damage, libations, interment, reopening, and later dedicatory acts may demonstrate the ancient reception and memory of these monumental images. The mural paintings of Panamarca were not passive reflections of Moche thought but rather effective participants in ritual performance and in the construction of social memory and political presence on the southern Moche frontier.
Joffe, Ben Philip, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'White Robes, Matted Hair: Tibetan Renouncers, Institutional Authority, and the Mediation of Charisma in Exile,' supervised by Dr. Carole Ann McGranahan
Preliminary abstract: What is the relationship between institutional authority and religious power in Tibetan exile? My research focuses on how the charisma and legacy of Ngagpa Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche, the former official weather controller of the Tibetan exile government - are being institutionalized and mediated in exile following his death. Ngagpa (m) and ngagma (f), are non-celibate, professional Buddhist renouncers who specialize in esoteric ritual traditions. Simultaneously existing in and straddling lay and monastic worlds, they reside in a shifting third space of accommodation and resistance to mainstream structures. With the invasion of Tibet by China in 1950, Tibetan refugees in India have struggled to make a sovereign nation legible and legitimate in exile, and to rebuild political and social institutions away from home. The once de-centralized religious traditions of virtuoso ngagpa/mas are now being preserved in durable institutions, fixed in texts, and taught increasingly to foreigners. Researching Yeshe Dorje's institution in India and its resident ngagpa/mas, I examine how the politics of ritual power are playing out in exile communities. Using ngagpa/mas' charisma as a lens through which to explore unfolding politics of reform in diaspora, I show how the forging of cultural coherence in exile involves both creativity and contradiction.
Nibbe, Ayesha Anne, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Locating Accountability within 'Fractionated Sovereignty': The Role of Humanitarian Food Aid in Northern Uganda,' supervised by Carol A. Smith
AYESHA ANNE NIBBE, then a student at University of California, Davis, California, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Locating Accountability within 'Fractionated Sovereignty': The Role of Humanitarian Food Aid in Northern Uganda,' supervised by Dr. Carol A. Smith. This project looks at the role of humanitarian aid organizations in the context of the 23-year conflict in northern Uganda. As part of a Ugandan military strategy, 1.6 million Acholi were rounded into 'protected camps' spawning a humanitarian crisis where it was estimated that up to a thousand people per week died due to poor conditions. Agamben would call northern Uganda a 'zone of exception' -- a place where rule of law, and accountability, does not exist. The project delves into whether accountability can exist where state sovereignty is weak. And if systems of accountability do exist, how are they formed, transformed, and how do they operate? In the case of northern Uganda, there is much activity and discussion focused on creating systems of 'accountability.' However, the study suggests that accountability is not attainable because humanitarian aid is not meaningfully locked into social and political structures that bring leaders, aid practitioners, and 'beneficiaries' into accountable relationships. Informants included aid workers, local residents, displaced persons in camps, policy makers, and government officials. This research was conducted over 24 months between 2006-2008, spanning a period of active conflict, peace talks, and the beginning of a transition from humanitarian aid into post-conflict development.
Cuellar, Andrea M., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'The Organizations of Agricultural Production in the Emergence of Chiefdoms in Valle de Los Quijos, Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan
ANDREA M. CUELLAR, while a student at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received an award in January 2002 to aid research on the organization of agricultural production in the emergence of chiefdoms in Valle de los Quijos, Ecuador, under the supervision of Dr. Robert D. Drennan. Cuellar was concerned with the emergence of chiefly societies in the eastern piedmont of Ecuador, particularly with two main issues: the history of occupation in the region and patterns of agricultural production, emphasizing how both were related to the emergence of chiefly authority. A full-coverage, systematic regional survey was conducted to reconstruct settlement patterns at different moments of the sequence, in order to account for changes in sociopolitical structure through time. In addition, a series of test pits was excavated to collect samples for analysis of pollen and macroremains at different sites belonging to the period of chiefdom emergence. Site selection criteria targeted contrasting environmental and social contexts that might account for any observed regional differences in the organization of agricultural production as seen through the analysis of botanical remains.
Stamos, Peter, Andrew, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Hominin Locomotion from a Developmental Perspective: A Comparative Analysis of the Dikika Child's Knee,' supervised by Dr. Timothy D. Weaver
Preliminary abstract: Walking upright is a hallmark of our lineage, and learning how and why this unique behavior evolved is of utmost importance for understanding human origins. In this study, we will look at the evolution of bipedal locomotion from a developmental and comparative perspective by studying how the knee joints of apes and humans grow in response to the stresses and strains of locomotion. With this understanding, we will then analyze the knee joints of the oldest juvenile skeleton of a human ancestor ever discovered, the 3.3 million-year-old Dikika Child. This will allow us to investigate when our ancestors came out of the trees and planted their feet firmly on the ground, and at what age ancient children learned to walk.
Hernann, Andrew, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Ethics on the Margins: Religious Transformation in a Labor Regime in Timbuktu, Mali,' supervised by Dr. Gary Wilder
Preliminary abstract: This research project examines to what extent local conceptions of Islam influence division of labor in northern Mali. Utilizing archival and various ethnographic methodologies, I interrogate how Islam's shifting roles in the region affect the ways in which residents understand and integrate themselves into Timbuktu's salt trade. Further, my research investigates how these changes in local notions of Islam may indicate the development of an Islamic morality as distinct from Islamic law (Shari'a). I ask: Which religious categories are implemented in labor regimes in northern Mali; to what extent; and how? Are the older religio-legal institutional guidelines of Shari'a competing with ethical and secular ones? And if so, what is the origin of this ethic? Such a secular transformation demands ethnographic scrutiny, especially considering this atypical emergence on the margins of the state. This project merges culture and religion, law and the state, and political economy, topics which usually remain separate in traditional anthropological--and social scientific--analysis. Additionally, it aims to examine the margins as creative and productive. Critically, its focus on unequal division of labor permits a direct investigation of religion and ethics, analyzing: (1) emergent secular Islamic ethics in a region on the margins, and (2) how orthodox Shari'a law integrates or competes with that emergent ethic.
Melin, Amanda Dawn, U. of Calgary,Calgary, Canada - To aid research on 'Evaluating the Importance of Colour Vision for Target Detection in Human Observers,' supervised by Dr. Linda Mary Fedigan
AMANDA DAWN MELIN, then a student at University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada, was awarded funding in October 2008, to aid research on 'Evaluating the Importance of Colour Vision for Target Detection in Human Observers,' supervised by Dr. Linda M. Fedigan. In a continued effort to understand the evolutionary significance of color vision polymorphism in primates, the grantee evaluates the effect of vision phenotype on real-world target detection tasks experienced by a polymorphic species of monkey. Digital images of a variety of naturally occurring fruits and insects consumed by capuchins in Costa Rica were presented to human observers on a touch-sensitive graphics tablet. Human observers with normal trichromacy searched for ripe fruits and insects in the images, which were color-filtered using custom software to appear as they would for the six monkey vision types -- three dichromatic and three trichromatic -- based on photopigment sensitivities. The study also included color-deficient human participants for comparison. Participants with both simulated and actual color deficiencies took longer to complete the search tasks and had more erroneous responses, especially for yellow food items and to a lesser extent with red food items. This demonstrates a clear advantage to trichromats for real-world search tasks. Interestingly, recent research shows that color deficient monkeys do not have lower feeding efficiencies than trichromats, thus the current research indicates that these monkeys must be compensating for their disadvantage by using non-visual mechanisms or that visual deficiencies can be minimized with foraging experience.
Cantarutti, Gabriel Eduardo, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Inca Mining Operations and Imperial Control in the Los Infieles Region, North-Central Chile,' supervised by Dr. Brian S. Bauer
GABRIEL E. CANTARUTTI, then a student at University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Inca Mining Operations and Imperial Control in the Los Infieles Region, North-Central Chile,' supervised by Dr. Brian S. Bauer. This project studied the organization and imperial control of the mining complex of Los Infieles in north-central Chile during the Inca Period (ca. AD 1450-1541). An archaeological survey was conducted in the Los Infieles area (50 km2) of a twelve-month period. This survey revealed the existence of a large mining complex focused mainly on the extraction of opaline silica and chrysocolla. The materials registered during the survey suggest that each of the five mining clusters recorded at Los Infieles included at least one large site, in which similar operational sequences of mining activities were conducted. The absence of lapidary workshop remains and the small size of the remaining sorted minerals at the sites also suggest that the final products obtained from the mining operations were high-quality granule and pebble-size minerals. The large number of mines and their associated facilities across the Los Infieles region support the idea that during the Inca Period, chrysocolla and opaline silica had much greater economic value than scholars tend to think, at least at an imperial provincial level. The evidence collected thus far also suggests that the Inca state was significantly involved in sponsoring and supporting these mining operations.