Barta, Dr. Jodi Lynn, U. of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada - To aid research on 'The Relationship Between Skin Pigmentation and Vitamin D Insufficiency in Northern Latitudes'
DR. JODI LYNN BARTA, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'The Relationship between Skin Pigmentation and Vitamin D Insufficiency in Northern Latitudes.' This project examined the effects that changes in season have on vitamin D concentrations in individuals with varying levels of melanin in their skin in order to clarify the relationship between constitutive pigmentation and vitamin D status in otherwise healthy young adults of diverse ancestry living in northern latitudes. Preliminary data collected show that those with higher levels of melanin in their skin are at consistently higher risk of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency, thus supporting the UVR hypothesis and highlighting the evolutionary significance of skin pigmentation as it relates to geographic origins and the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Given the profound effects that vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency have on the human body, it was surprising that mean vitamin D concentrations in all ancestry groups were below adequate (75 nmol/L) regardless of season, despite the fact that mean vitamin D intakes in both late summer (296.72 IU) and winter (281.54 IU) were above current recommended adequate intake for adults (200 IU/day). Further research is necessary to precisely determine the vitamin D requirements of individuals of diverse ancestry living in northern latitudes and address the need for higher vitamin D intakes through supplementation and/or improved food fortification strategies to meet requirements and improve overall public health.
Paxson, Dr. Heather A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Economies of Sentiment, Ecologies of Production: Crafting Locality in American Artisanal Cheesemaking'
DR. HEATHER PAXSON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Economies of Sentiment, Ecologies of Production: Crafting Locality in American Artisanal Cheesemaking' This research, investigating the social, symbolic, and material life of cheese from pasture to palate, offers an anthropological account of a recent 'renaissance' in artisan and farmstead cheesemaking in the United States. Ethnographic study was approached from two angles: an economic anthropology analysis of the financial, cultural, and moral capital behind artisan enterprises (economies of sentiment), and a social study of science and technology analysis of how fermenting milk transubstantiates into a solid, microbially alive food that, for some, embodies the 'taste of place' (ecologies of production). Through site visits and interviews with cheesemakers in Massachusetts, Vermont, Wisconsin, and California, the researcher explored how neo-artisan entrepreneurs must negotiate principle and pragmatism as they develop alternatives to an industrialized food system and work to revitalize rural communities. Noting that artisan cheesemaking in the United States is better characterized as a tradition of invention than as the invention of tradition, the research found that constructions of artisan cheese as a 'local' food tend to speak to its contemporaneous value for communities, farm animals, consumer and environmental health. Artisan histories are often overshadowed by progress narratives of innovation.
Paxson, Heather. 2010. Locating Value in Artisan Cheese: Reverse Engineering Terroir for New-World Landscapes. American Anthropologist 112(3):444-457
Mageo, Dr. Jeannette Marie, Washington State U., Pullman, WA - To aid research on 'Imaginal Thinking and Cultural Transformation: Samoan Colonial Encounters'
Preliminary abstract: This project will collect and analyze historical photos and artifacts held in German, British, American, and New Zealand museums to assess the role of imaginal thinking in the Samoan colonial encounter. Analysis revolves around three ideas developed in an initial study and tested in the proposed project. First, recurrent images in historical photos and artifacts from Samoa in collections from these four colonizing cultures, when contextualized in the practices of colonizers and colonized at the time of photo and artifact collection, make visible foreign and Samoan cognitive schemas that defined these colonial relations. Second, the images of artifacts and photos also capture moments in 'conversations' about colonial and Samoan schemas that can be understood by finding these images within concurrently circulating narratives from each of these cultures. Third, through the Samoan example, the project will test the idea that there are identifiable phases of cultural identity imagery that reflect variant orientations to foreign schemas. In the early and to a lesser extent the middle phases of colonialism in Samoa (from approximately 1830 to 1900 and from 1900 to World War I respectively), I hypothesize that what I call 'incorporative mimicry' characterized many Samoan and foreign images. In incorporative mimicry, people copy image elements that represent foreign schemas, mixing these images with their own in attempts to think through the other's life ways. With the onset of post-World War I anti-colonial resistance, in contrast, colonial and Samoan imagery tended to signify cultural difference through purified images from the pre-colonial period. The project will also test two new methods for assessing interactions between colonizer and colonized cultural schemas through artifacts and photos: Image Salience Analysis and Narrative Analysis, explained in the proposal.
Herlihy, Dr. Laura H., U. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS - To aid research on 'Indigenous Feminism on the Nicaraguan Atlantic Coast: Merging Motherhood and Self Determination'
DR. LAURA H. HERLIHY, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'Indigenous Feminism on the Nicaraguan Atlantic Coast: Merging Motherhood and Self Determination.' The research question asks how and to what extent indigenous leadership has been engendered in eastern Nicaragua and southern Mexico. Comparative research focused in on the political participation of indigenous Miskitu and Afro-descendant women in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua; and indigenous Zapotec women in Ixtlán, Oaxaca, Mexico. The primary investigator lived and completed ethnographic fieldwork in both Puerto Cabezas and Ixtlán. Research combined participant observation and interviews with participatory research methods, where a team of local investigators in each research site developed and standardized questions and collected and transcribed 30 oral histories of indigenous and minority women leaders. Analyzing the leaders' oral narratives and the ethnographic data demonstrates that in Nicaragua, where women have high status in their matrifocal societies, women have entered most public positions of leadership. However, women are blocked out of the autonomous government's powerful Regional Council in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN). In Oaxaca's Sierra Norte, where Zapotec women live under more patriarchal gender codes, Mexican customary law (usos y costumbres) infringes upon the women's access to positions of leadership in the township government. Conclusions suggest that traditional gender practices in each region have helped to shape higher or lower levels of women's political participation.
Wirtz, Dr. Kristina, Western Michigan U., Kalamazoo, MI - To aid research on 'On Becoming Bilingual: Children's Linguistic Repertoires, Ideologies, and Identities in a Dual Language Elementary School'
DR. KRISTINA WIRTZ, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, was awarded funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'On Becoming Bilingual: Children's Linguistic Repertoires, Ideologies, and Identities in a Dual Language Elementary School.' Ethnographic and discourse data was collected at a Spanish-English dual language public elementary school during the 2013-14 school year, to examine the relationship between children's speech practices and their reflexive understandings of what it means to be, or become, bilingual. Hundreds of hours of notes and recordings capture normal school-day interactions among two classes each of kindergarten and third-grade students during about 100 school days throughout the year. The result is a closely textured, year-long perspective on how children in two grades use their language resources during instructional time and in social interactions. While transcription and data analysis continue, and a new longitudinal phase of data collection will begin with the next school year, preliminary findings contrast the 50/50 'balanced bilingualism' program model with students' overall preference for English, and the staff's emphasis on rigid code-separation without 'code-switching' or translation to the students' translanguaging practices and development as adept translators who accommodate English monolinguals. Students' expressive practices demonstrate how they incorporate bilingual language resources, from sounds to vocabulary to discourse markers, into their repertoires, even as they police Spanish during 'English time.' Other metalinguistic categories (e.g. 'tattling,' 'bad words') often seem more salient to students than these code boundaries.
Eckert, Dr. Suzanne Lorraine, Texas A&M U., College Station, TX - To aid research on 'Making Pots and Breaking Rocks: Understanding Craft Production Organization in Ancestral Polynesian Society'
DR. SUZANNE L. ECKERT, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, was awarded a grant in April 2008 to aid research on 'Making Pots and Breaking Rocks: Understanding Draft Production Organization in Ancestral Polynesian Society.' This project examined how prehistoric Samoans made and traded their tools during the Ceramic Period (2700 - 1700 BP). This topic is of interest to archaeologists because certain types of production are associated with chiefly power known to exist at European Contact. Artifacts were analyzed using physical measurements and chemical tests. Pottery was made by household members in numerous villages and used in cooking and serving food. Although pottery was moving between villages, the activities associated with this circulation are still unknown. Basalt tools were produced at the household level for household use with no evidence of trade. Volcanic glass (similar to obsidian) was used to make fine cutting tools but also produced by household members for household use. All volcanic glass came from the same source, which may have been controlled by an early chief; more research is needed to explore this possibility. Overall, there is no evidence of specialized crafts during the earliest period of Samoan occupation; pottery and stone tools were being produced by members of different households, mostly for use by these households. Although some items were moving around the islands, there is currently no evidence that chiefs or other high ranked officials were controlling such circulation.
Stanton, Dr. Travis W., Universidad de las Americas, Cholula, Mexico - To aid 'Ceramic Ethnoanalysis in Yucatan'
DR. TRAVIS W. STANTON, Universidad de las Americas, Cholula, Mexico, was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'Ceramic Ethnoanlaysis in Yucatan.' This project successfully completed the second stage of research into ancient Maya ceramic technologies of Yucatan. Two ceramic collections were used for analysis; Xocnaceh and Yaxuna. Radiocarbon dates from Xocnaceh indicate that certain techniques for pastes and slips are later than previously believed forcing researchers to reevaluate chronological sequences for the northern Maya lowlands. Analyses of the archaeological ceramics by the potters from Muna indicate that five primary temper types were used throughout the sequence. These include four calcite-based tempers (calcite sands, calcite rocks, calcite sediments, and calcite crystals), as well as fired soils with high clay content. Secondary temper types included hematite, manganese, and unidentified organic materials. Additionally, field research focused on collecting local materials. Many probable temper sources were identified, indicating that more geological work in the area is necessary. Finally, test tiles using control clay from northern Campeche were fabricated for experimentation on the physical properties of the primary temper types. Based on published petrographic data and the potters' suggestions, these test tiles used different percentages and sizes of the tempers collected in the field and were fired at a range of temperatures. The physical property tests will be forthcoming.
Blokland, Dr. Talja, U. of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - To aid research on 'Does the Urban Gentry Help? A Comparative Study of Daily Life in 'Mixed' Neighborhoods'
DR. TALJA BLOKLAND, of the University of Amsterdam in Amsterdam, Netherlands, received an award in December 2001 to aid ethnographic research on the effects of gentrification on daily life in 'mixed' neighborhoods in urban Amsterdam. Conducted between January 2002 and November 2004, the project was focused on the question, How do residents in a low-income housing project experience the gentrification of immediately adjacent parts of their neighborhood? Data collection consisted of recording life histories, which revealed the confluence of personal life, neighborhood characteristics, changes in the urban environment, and the construction of race and class through symbolic geographies of place. Blokland found that class and race were constructed through everyday life histories and in turn affected people's retrospective constructions of neighborhood histories. Ethnographic thick description showed how project residents and gentrifiers overcame barriers of race and class in their attempts to get things done for the neighborhood but also how, in the very practices in which people worked together, social distances of race and class were constructed, reinforced, and rarely challenged. Blokland also demonstrated how residents' development of strong social identifications was limited, both inside and outside the housing project. Inside the project, distrust and especially the ambivalence of mistrust characterized everyday interactions, whereas outside the projects, especially in interactions with representatives of institutions, both parties discursively constructed social distances.
Prentiss, Dr. William C., U. of Montana, Missoula, MT - To aid research on 'The Emergence of Status Inequality at the Keatley Creek Site, British Columbia'
Prentiss, William C., Michael Lenert, Thomas A. Foor, and Nathan B. Goodale. 2005. The Emergence of Complex Hunter-Gatherers on the Canadian Plateau: a response to Hayden. American Antiquity 70(1):175-180.