Hale, Dr. Charles, U. of Texas, Austin, TX; and Velasquez Nimatuj, Dr. Irma, Independent scholar, Guatemala - To aid collaborative research on 'When Rights Ring Hollow:
Racism and Anti-racist Horizons in the Americas'
Preliminary abstract: This proposal supports two research teams (in Guatemala and Brazil) that form part of a six-country study of indigenous and afro-descendant peoples, as they confront challenges rooted in ongoing social inequality, racial discrimination and limits to participation in their respective national political systems. The research emerges from three year's work with organizations in all six countries, which belong to a hemispheric network of 'observatories on racism.' Periodic meetings of this network yielded a central empirical observation: throughout the region, previously opened spaces for the recognition and exercise of indigenous and afro-descendant rights appear to be closing. This relative closure could have major consequences for work against racism and for empowerment in which these organizations and many others are engaged. Our first analytical question scrutinizes the initial observation: is the closure indeed widespread? If so, how can it be explained, especially when the discourse of multiculturalism remains strong? Second, we examine the strategic implications of this closure, especially in regard to the political horizons of anti-racist mobilization. Third, we seek to explain how racism and structured racial inequality are reproduced in the contemporary era. This research takes a broad comparative approach, placing conclusions from all six countries in dialogue. A substantive training component incorporates younger 'research associates' into the process, broadening their knowledge of anthropological frameworks and methods. We expect results of the research to have a significant impact on anthropological theory, on hemispheric theoretical debates about race, and on political practice involving key issues of racial equality throughout the region.
Honeychurch, Dr. William, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and Amartuvshin, Chunag, Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - To aid collaborative research on early Iron age political transition, Middle Gobi, Mongolia, 2004
DR. WILLIAM HONEYCHURCH, of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and DR. CHUNAG AMARTUVSHIN, of the Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in May 2004 to aid collaborative research on the early Iron Age political transition in the middle Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The emergence on the Inner Asian steppe of regional confederacies of pastoral nomads figured prominently in the early historical records of China and other Old World states. Current hypotheses differ about whether such polities arose as the result of indigenous political processes or from the influence of sedentary neighbors. Models illustrating these hypotheses are often based on historical sources and are rarely designed for testing against archaeological evidence. The Baga Gazaryn Chuluu survey was designed to test ideas for early political development on the steppe using regional survey data and excavation. The project was set in a marginal frontier area with characteristics suitable for the study of both internal and external economic and political processes. The second season of research, July through August 2004, resulted in the survey of approximately 103 square kilometers. More than 500 archaeological sites were discovered, ranging from the Paleolithic to the early twentieth century and including settlements, tombs, and petroglyphs. Sites dating to the early first millennium b.c.e. and to the period of the emerging Xiongnu steppe polity (ca. 200 b.c.e.) provided evidence that competition between Early Iron Age centers, networks of exchange extending as far as Inner Mongolia, and patterns of differential political sustainability were important in the rise of the first regionally organized, complex polity on the northeastern Asian steppe.
Di Rienzo, Dr. Anna, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL; and Dr. Rem Sukernik, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia - To aid collaborative research on adaptive evolution of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA loci in circumpolar populations of Siberia
Leinaweaver, Jessica, U. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada and Anderson, Jeanine, Pontificia U. Catolica del Peru, Lima- To aid collaborative research on 'Children's Agency and the Household Organization of Care Under Conditions of Rural Transformation'
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2009. Raising the Roof in the Transnational Andes: Building Houses, Forging Kinship.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15(4):777-796.
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2008. Improving Oneself: Young People Getting Ahead in the Peruvian Andes. Latin American Perspectives 35(4):60-78
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2010. Outsourcing Care: How Peruvian Migrants Meet Transnational Family Obligations. Latin American Perspectives 37(5):67-87.
Craig, Dr. Sienna, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; and Ao, Dr. Tsochen, Arura Group, Qinghai Province, PR China - To aid collaborative research on 'Tibetan Medicine Between Local and Global Worlds: Standardization, Commodification, and Clinical Use'
Preliminary abstract: Today, Tibetan medicine illustrates multiple, and somewhat confounding, agendas. This 'science of healing' must retain a sense of cultural authenticity and a connection to Tibetan Buddhism, yet it must be proven efficacious and safe according to international biomedical standards. Its practice must reflect both integrity and innovation within the scientific tradition from which it emerges, and operate in the context of medical pluralism, commingling with biomedical drugs, diseases, and practices - and, in China, with mainstream Chinese medicine. Tibetan medicines must treat illnesses in specific individuals and communities throughout the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau, and are often given for free. They must also find a place within the multi-billion dollar global market for 'traditional' and 'complementary' medicines, and appeal to non-Tibetan consumers seeking alternate paths to wellness. Finally, Tibetan medicine must address the paradoxes of industry growth and environmental stewardship, given that this healing system depends on the materia medica of high Asia. In collaboration with colleagues in Germany and China, the proposed research will investigate how Tibetan medicines are being standardized and commodified through industry growth in China, how they circulate through diverse social settings as commodity goods and gifts; how they are prescribed and marketed as targeted therapies and as panacea for biophysical and psychosocial ills; and how they elucidate a larger biopolitics of traditional medicine, in both local and global arenas. Specifically, this multi-sited ethnography will: 1. explore the industrial production and marketing of Tibetan medicines and related clinical research agendas from within China's largest producer of these 'traditional' formulas: the Arura Group, Qinghai Province; and 2. examine how Tibetan medical practitioners living and working in the US procure, prescribe, and relate to their pharmacopia, now that they are practicing under radically different circumstances on new patients.
Prendergast, Dr. Mary E., St. Louis U. in Madrid, Madrid, Spain; and Mabulla, Dr. Audax, U .of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - To aid collaborative research on 'Archaeological Investigation of a 'Moving Frontier' of Early Herding in Northern Tanzania'
Preliminary Abstract: This project aims to understand the spread of herding and impacts on foragers in eastern Africa ca. 3000 years ago. Sites with so-called 'Pastoral Neolithic' ceramics, often associated with remains of livestock in Kenya, are found in an area stretching from the Serengeti to the Rift Valley in northern Tanzania. This poorly documented area is usually thought to mark the southern 'boundary' of early pastoralism. The existence and implications of this boundary have not been questioned, and it might be more appropriately thought of as a 'frontier' that may shift, dissolve or solidify depending on the nature of forager-food producer relationships. Thus sites in this area are ideal testing grounds for anthropological theories regarding such contact. We explore the 'moving frontier' of herding through systematic surveys and test excavations in the Manyara and Engaruka basins of the Rift Valley. We aim to: understand how land use varied according to subsistence strategy; refine the local chronology for early herding; examine claims for contact among Rift Valley populations; and elucidate the relationship, if any, between material culture and subsistence. The team includes specialists from Tanzania, Europe and the US who will train Tanzanian students in field methods and materials analyses.
Fordred-Green, Dr. Lesley J., U. of Capetown, Capetown, South Africa; and Neves, Dr. Eduardo G., U. Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo, Brazil - To aid collaborative research on historiography and archaeology in the Reserva Uaca, Amapa, Brazil
Paris, Dr. Elizabeth, St. Lawrence U., Canton, NY; & Lopez Bravo, Dr. Roberto, U. de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, Mexico - To aid collaborative research on 'Households And Communities In Small Polity Networks: Inter-Polity Interaction In Highland Chiapas'
Preliminary abstract: This project will investigate changing patterns of socioeconomic interaction and integration between two neighboring polity centers in the Jovel Valley of highland Chiapas from the Late Classic period (AD 700-900) to Early Postclassic period (AD 900-1250). Our research will explore the degree to which the residents of these sites exchanged goods and information across polity boundaries and the ways the polities may have been interdependent and integrated through socioeconomic networks. Relationships between these small polities could have included mutual hostility, symbolic imitation, competitive emulation, and economic integration; alternatively, these polities may have been highly isolated, with little interaction between them. We will use a 'bottom-up' approach to examine everyday choices made by households across the sociopolitical spectrum in their production and consumption of goods and materials, contextualizing the individual economic decisions within broader patterns of social action at the polity scale. This project also studies the limits of elite/state power by investigating networks that span polity boundaries to discover the degree to which political elites can focus the actions of social networks towards internal relationships and projects within polity boundaries.
Kendall, Dr. Laurel, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY; and Nguyen, Dr. Van Huy, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi, Vietnam - To aid collaborative research on the sacred life of material goods: museum objects revisited, 2004
DR. LAUREL KENDALL, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, and DR. VAN HUY NGUYEN, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi, Vietnam, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in June 2004 to aid collaboration on 'The Sacred Life of Material Goods: Museum Objects Revisited.' This project wed material culture studies to the anthropology of religion, the practical work of museums to the ethnography of popular religion and magic. It qualified the vague and problematic concept of a 'sacred object' with several ethnographically contingent understandings of how material things become and how they cease to be sacred in different communities of religious practice, demonstrating the utility of Alfred Gell's notion that relationships between people and things can be studied much as anthropologists study relationships between people. The original donors, members of their communities, ritual specialists, and artisans described how six objects in the collection of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (VME) -- votive statues and amulets (Kinh majority), diviners' bundles (Tai minority), a shaman's stringed instrument (Tay minority), and a ritual tree (Tai minority) -- and others like them were produced, what powers were imputed to them, and how human users properly interact with these things in their sacred, potentially sacred, and no longer sacred states. In the new market economy, the relationship between production technology and magical power has been modified and practitioners make ritual improvisations when they bring sacred material into new contexts such as secular performance and museum collections.
Henshilwood, Dr. Christopher, U. of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; and Dr. Francesco d'Errico, U. de Bordeaux 1, Talence, France - To aid collaborative research on use of Nassarius kraussianus shells as ornamentation in southern Africa Middle Stone Age
DR. CHRISTOPHER HENSHILWOOD, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, and DR. FRANCESCO D'ERRICO, Université de Bordeaux 1, Talence, France, received an International Collaborative Research Grant in October 2006, to aid collaborative research on the use of Nassarius kraussianus shells as ornamentation in southern Africa Middle Stone Age. The aim of this project was to investigate the human use of Nassarius kraussianus (Nk), as ornamentation during the Middle Stone Age and the Later Stone Age in southern Africa. In particular the collaborative research wanted to identify the factors (human choice vs. environmental conditions) playing a role in the size variability of Nk shell beads, and document and identify the causes (taphonomic vs. anthropogenic) of the modifications recorded on archaeological specimens (perforation, pigment staining, color change, use wear, heating). In order to achieve these goals, the researchers used optical and scanning electron microscopy, elemental analysis, and Raman spectroscopy to identify shell structure and composition, document changes under heating at different temperatures and in different environments, and differentiate them from changes produced by diagenetic processes. Optical and electron microscopy was also used to analyze use wear on archaeological and experimentally worn shells. Seven morphological (Perforation Type, Presence/absence of carnivore drills, Color, Location of use-wear, Age-class, State of completeness, Morphology of the Apex) and two morphometric variables (shell height and shell width) were systematically recorded on modern biocoenoses and thanatocoenosis of this species, as well as on two MSA, 37 LSA and seven burial sites (ca 5000 specimens).
Henshilwood, Christopher S., Francesco d’Errico, and Ian Watts. 2009 Engraved Ochres from the Middle Stone Age Levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 57(1):27-47.