Tishkov, Dr. Valery A., Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia - To aid research on 'Anthropology of Complaint: Changing Life Perceptions, Identities and Outside World Images in Transforming Russia'
DR. VALERY TISHKOV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, was awarded a grant in January 2001, to aid research on 'Anthropology of Complaint:Changing Life Perceptions, Identities and Outside World Images in Transforming Russia.' This research is a basic revision of the crisis paradigm in Russia based on a study of complaints, fears, and concerns demonstrated through surveys and participant observations by different strata, regional and cultural groups of the country. Research disclosed disparities between 'real life' improvements for the majority of Russian people and its negative perceptions dominant in public and academic discourses. The reasons for disparities and miscalculations lie in inadequate expert analysis of a rapidly changing society, in political instrumentalism, in mental inertia of producers alld consumers of elitist prescriptions. Several basic conclusions are meaningful for anthropological analysis of social change. The society overloaded with changes can perceive in negative terms even changes to the good. The growing complexity and uncertainties represent a challenge that is difficult to meet for post-Soviet populace accustomed to one-dimtnsional thinking, state protection, and a strictly controlled social life. At the same time, highly educated populace in Russia demonstrated innovative strategies and reached unprecedented level of consumption, often through extra-legal entrepreneurial activities. Complaint became a part of collective and individual strategjes to get more sympathy and material rewards. But the structureof complaints shows that Russia is a normal country where people are more concerned with basic needs in socia! conditions and individual success then in collective aspirations, such as a country status or ethnic group sovereignty. People in Russia are muddling through transformations as people do in other societies. This research helps to overcome a real crisis of understanding on how societies change and how people perceive and use these changes.
Davila, Dr. Arlene, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'El Mall: Debating Class, Shopping Malls and Consumption among Bogota's New Middle Classes'
DR. ARLENE DAVILA, New York University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2014 to aid research on 'El Mall: Debating Class, Shopping Malls and Consumption among Bogota's New Middle Classes.' In the past decade there has been a revolution in the construction of shopping malls throughout Latin America accompanied by much boosterism about the area's growing middle class. El Mall explores these developments in order to expose key linkages between neoliberal urban development and consumption. The project asks, 'What are the local, regional, and global forces behind these developments? What accounts for all these new malls? And Who are these new consumers who are seemingly stirring their growth?' In particular, it considers urban planning and the political economy of the shopping mall industry as generative spaces in which to explore neoliberalization processes and their multiple material effects. El Mall makes these visible by looking at the spatial transformations shopping malls are spearheading throughout Latin America, but also, and most significantly, by examining how they are affecting people's livelihoods and everyday social imaginaries of identity and class. This research draws from archival research at the Internatioanl Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), interviews with regional representatives of the Latin American chapter of the ICSC and ethnographic research in Bogota Colombia.
Sahnouni, Dr. Mohamed, Stone Age Institute, Gosport, IN - To aid research on 'Investigations into the Pliocene Archaeology of Ain Boucherit, Northeastern Algeria'
DR. MOHAMED SAHNOUNI, Stone Age Institute, Gosport, Indiana, received a grant in April 2008 to aid research on 'Investigations into the Pliocene Archaeology of Ain Boucherit, Northeastern Algeria.' Archaeological investigations were carried out to examine the possibility of whether early hominins inhabited North Africa prior to 2.0 million years ago. The investigations consisted of surveying the research area, studying the stratigraphy and sampling for dating, excavating the late Pliocene fossil/stone artifact bearing stratum, and analyzing the excavated archaeological materials. The excavations yielded relatively rich stone tool and faunal assemblages. The stone tools are Oldowan and include core-forms, whole flakes, and fragments. The presence of an Equus bone bearing a series of cut-marks indicates the causal link between the stone tools and the faunal remains. Paleomagnetic and cosmogenic nuclides studies are underway but faunal taxa of biochronological interest indicate a late Pliocene age that can be estimated between 1.95 and 2.32 Ma. Thus, Ain Boucherit documents the evidence of the earliest human occupation in North Africa, and can help our understanding of the larger picture of early hominin dispersal out of Africa.
Becker, Dr. Heike A., U. of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa - To aid research on 'Violence and Memory in Northern Namibia'
DR. HEIKE BECKER, of the University of the Western Cape in Bellville, South Africa, was awarded a grant in June 2002 to aid research on violence and memory in northern Namibia. Becker studied the ways in which different forms of memories were related to the construction of multiple postcolonial identities and subjectivities. During field research in Owambo, the main site of the Namibian liberation war (1966-89), she investigated personal narratives, discourses of public memory, and local and national forms of spatial and ritual-political memorialization. Her findings showed that the memories of Owambo residents who had lived through the war in the former war zone were largely absent from the memorialization and social memory being promoted by the postcolonial Namibian state. The citizens contested this discursive absence, expressing dismay that their agency in the fight for independence was neither acknowledged in official historical narratives nor rewarded in material terms by the postcolonial state. Becker discovered that different memories of agency during the war found expression in a range of spatial and embodied practices by rural residents, who felt that they continued to be marginalized and who suffered from social ills such as poverty, alcohol abuse, and HIV/AIDS. It was in those practices, rather than in discourse, that forms of popular remembrance had emerged that contested the obliteration of local agency in the official historical narrative.
Norton, Dr. Heather Lynne, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Human Pigmentation Candidate Gene Variation and Signatures of Localized Adaptation'
DR. HEATHER L. NORTON, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a grant in October 2006 to aid research on 'Human Pigmentation Candidate Gene Variation and Signatures of Localized Adaptation.' Human skin pigmentation diversity is often explained as the result of natural selection favoring darker pigmentation in regions of high ultra-violet radiation (UVR) and lighter pigmentation in regions of lower UVR. While this relationship between pigmentation and UVR is often taken for granted, rarely have studies been undertaken to test these hypotheses of natural selection within an evolutionary genetics framework. The goal of this study was to sequence eleven pigmentation candidate genes in 90 individuals representing six geographically and phenotypically diverse populations in an effort to identify patterns of genetic variation consistent with natural selection. Variation in and around the genes was compared between populations to identify patterns consistent with natural selection. To control for confounding demographic processes that can often mimic selection, variation in these regions was also compared to that from 90 neutral loci sequenced in the same individuals. Preliminary analyses support a role for recent positive selection acting on the genes MATP and SLC24A5 in European populations, and suggest that positive selection may also have shaped variation in the gene LYST in East Asian populations. There is also evidence that variation at pigmentation loci in populations living in high UVR environments has been constrained by purifying selection.
Lindstrom, Dr. Lamont, U. o f Tulsa, Tulsa, OK - To aid research on 'Resilient Lives: Postcolonial Personhood in Vanuatu'
DR. LAMONT LINDSTROM, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Resilient Lives: Postcolonial Personhood in Vanuatu.' Significant rural-urban migration has characterized the postcolonial Melanesian states including Vanuatu. Over the past 30 years, most people who once lived in Samaria village (Tanna island) have moved to squatter settlements that ring Port Vila, Vanuatu's capital town. Life history interviews (in SE Tanna Nife/Kwamera language) with thirteen migrants now living in Port Vila's Blacksands and Ohlen neighborhoods, and also with seven villagers remaining back on Tanna, were digitally recorded during July-September 2010. These life histories of island friends first encountered in 1978, now being analyzed, inform developing anthropological theory of Melanesian personhood -- notably that the traditional person was 'dividual' and 'partible'-- especially as local notions of persons have transformed in response to postcolonial life experience. They also document peoples' participation in urban migration, wage-labor, mobile telephony and other new media, religious organization, urban leadership and dispute settlement, and other aspects of urban life and how this participation shapes developing Melanesian sociability and culture.
Hatfield, Dr. Donald John Willard, Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA - To aid research on 'Far Ocean Fishing and Ironies of Indigenous Placemaking in Coastal Taiwan'
Preliminary abstract: In the late 1970s and early 1980s groups of Taiwanese indigenous men enlisted in the island country's far ocean fishing fleet. The work, although dangerous, was lucrative; and the three to five year stints brought the men, mostly of the coastal 'Amis group, to ports of call in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. Accidental cosmopolitans whose ventures financed competitive house building in their home villages, these men form a cultural cohort whose experiences contrast with and at times unsettle dominant narratives of indigeneity. For far ocean fishermen, houses brought together personal desires to achieve greater control in relation to their wives' families, notions of development and modernity promoted by the government, consumption of new cultural products, and commitments to their home places. How did these different motivations cohere? And how did the cosmopolitan orientation of these men and their families connect with the emergence, during the same period, of an indigenous rights movement? By looking at houses, music, and other materials in which far ocean fishermen and their communities have commemorated the trade, this project examines relationships between contrasting ways of being indigenous, adding to our understanding of place and personhood.
VanValkenburgh, Dr. Nathaniel Parker, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Reducción and Policía: Spanish Colonial Forced Resettlement and Daily Praxis at Carrizales (Zaña Valley, Peru)'
DR. NATHANIEL VanVALKENBURGH, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Reducción and Policía: Spanish Colonial Forced Resettlement and Daily Praxis at Carrizales (Zaña Valley, Peru)'. During this course of research, the grantee and collaborators examined the impacts of the Spanish colonial reducción movement on the daily lives of indigenous populations in Peru's lower Zaña valley. 'Reducción' was a wholesale attempt to refashion indigenous subjects by forcibly resettling them into gridded - planned towns and reassembling extended native households into nuclear family units. Through excavations at the sites of Carrizales (a reducción abandoned a few years after its foundation in 1572 CE) and Conjunto 125 (an adjacent late prehispanic site), the team household spatial organization and foodways, with the goal of understanding how reduccion's grand aims were articulated and contested within quotidian spaces. Following an excavation field season in 2012, laboratory research in 2013 concentrated on the analysis of zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical remains. Architectural comparisons revealed broad similarities in the organization of domestic space before and after reducción, even as settlement took on a radically different shape. Analysis of malacological and vertebrate assemblages demonstrated a drastic drop in marine species diversity between late prehispanic and early colonial times and a reorientation towards less time - intensive fishing and mollusk - gathering strategies. Across the same time period, terrestrial species presence and diversity increased markedly, and the residents of Carrizales intensified their production of products that tribute records indicate they owed their encomendero. Based on these results, the grantee and collaborators have secured additional funding and will continue to expand their results in future field sessions.
Diel, Dr. Lori Boornazian, Texas Christian U., Fort Worth, TX - To aid research on 'Manuscrito del Aperreamiento / Manuscript of a Dogging: Negotiating Power in Early Colonial Cholula'
DR. LORI B. DIEL, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Manuscrito del Aperreamiento/Manuscript of a Dogging: Negotiating Power in Early Colonial Cholula.' The Manuscrito del Aperreamiento (Manuscript of a Dogging), from mid-sixteenth century Mexico, shows an indigenous priest of Cholula being killed by a dog controlled by a Spaniard. Research was undertaken at the Archivo General de Indias, Seville, and the Bibliothèque National de France, Paris, to establish this painting's context of creation and use. Research focused on Cristobal de Tapia's claim that the Cholula encomienda was unfairly taken from his father. Witness testimony against Cristobal correlated with the Manuscrito. Witnesses stated that Hernán Cortés took Cholula away from Andrés de Tapia because of his poor treatment of his indigenous charges, specifically he ordered the dog attack of some indigenous nobles of Cholula and the hangings of others. The Manuscrito was not submitted as evidence in this court case and was likely maintained by Cholula because of its documentary and commemorative value. An examination of the original painting revealed its high value and suggests that it was copied from an earlier original. Though the Manuscrito's meaning appears simple on the surface, it was much more complex, acting as both memorial and legal record of the killing of these religious and political leaders of Cholula and evidence against the Spaniards responsible.
Diel, Lori. Boomazian 2011. Manuscrito del Aperramiento (Manuscript of the Dogging): A 'Dogging' and Its Implications for Early Colonial Cholula. Ethnohistory 58(4):585-611.
Semaw, Dr. Sileshi, Stone Age Institute, Gosport, IN - To aid the 'Gona Palaeoanthropological Research Project'
DR. SILESHI SEMAW, Stone Age Institute, Gosport, Indiana, was awarded funding in November 2009, to aid the 'Gona Palaeoanthropological Research Project.' The Gona Palaeoanthropological Research Project, Afar, Ethiopia, is known for yielding a large number of stone artifacts and associated fragmentary fossil bones dated to 2.6 Ma, which are the oldest well documented archaeological materials in the world. In part funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Gona archaeology team continued fieldwork in 2010 and discovered stone artifacts with extraordinary information from newly opened excavations at the site of OGS-7 (in the Ounda Gona South area). The newly excavated stone artifacts include the first hammerstone to ever be found with the earliest archaeological materials dated to 2.6 Ma, more than a dozen cores (some radially-worked), a pick-like core, a large number of débitage (including whole flakes and angular fragments) and associated fragmentary fossil bones. The stone artifacts were recovered within fine-grained sediments and their condition was very fresh. Further, the Gona archaeology team conducted extended systematic surveys in the older deposits dated between 2.6-3.0 Ma to document the presence of any stones/bones modified as a result of hominid activities. The team collected several fossil fauna, but no modified stones/bones were encountered in these deposits. Based on the abundance of archaeological sites documented at 2.6 Ma at Gona and the superior knapping skills shown on the techniques of the manufacture of these artifacts, it is possible that the beginnings of the use of flaked stones may go back further in time, probably as early as 2.9 Ma. The last fossil evidence for Australopithecus afarensis is dated to 2.9 Ma, and it is likely that a new hominid species that evolved after the demise of A. afarensis could have begun manipulating stones, eventually discovering sharp cutting tools from stones probably used for activities related to animal butchery. Recently the Dikika Project (located south of the Gona study area) announced 3.4 Ma fossil bones that the team claims to have been intentionally modified by A. afarensis. However, this claim cannot be scientifically substantiated because it was based on two surface collected bones with no geological context, and with no evidence of a single stone artifact to back it up. In addition, the cutmark evidence from Dikika was challenged, and a number of experts in taphonomy believe that the modifications exhibited on the bones represent evidence that is typical of trampling. Therefore, currently Gona is the only site that has yielded scientifically proven stone artifacts and fossil bones that are the oldest documented in the world.
Simpson, S.W., L. Kleinsasser, J. Guade, N.E. Levin, W.C. McIntosh, N. Dunbar, S. Semaw, M.J. Rogers. 2015. Late Miocene Hominin Teetch from the Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project Area,
Afar, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 81:68-82