Tag Archives: America

How many Wives did he have? Polygyny Polyandry Polygamy: Food for Thought

Why might POLYGAMY be as common as it is?

The general term “polygamy” is often used as is in the form of a man married to many women.  In truth, there are several forms of alternative marriage arrangements in the world.  Three most common ones are when one man is married to many women (Polygyny), one woman is married to many men (Polyandry), or when several men and women are married together to one person (Polygamy).  Most societies (Middle East countries, African Nations, Tibet, South American, and Asian cultures) outside of industrialized western societies, gain economic, better survival, and religious moral values and expressions in such family organized arrangements.  Most societies have reasons for their motivation and social acceptances, which provides benefits to the adults and children.  This ensures a higher survival rate and better living conditions to many groups world wide, than if more societies practices monogamous relationships. 

Besides many of the industrialized western societies, monogamous relationships end in separation, divorce, or unfaithfulness, seeming to lack suitability for durability within those societies.  This could bring up the idea and understanding of monogamous relationships into question since currently the divorce rate in general is raising and marriage decreasing or happens later in life.   

I think polygamy might go beyond cultural beliefs; there were many accounts of evidences that could have supported the idea of polygamy as a better way to ensure human survival and success outside of westernized societies.  Social structure of marriage does become a part of someone’s believes form birth.  If a form of polygamist family structure is all ones knows, it is practiced for a reason; cultural, economical, religious, survival, improved living conditions, land, politics, etc. that then becomes the social “norm” and is accepted for what it is: Family.

What do you think?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy 

Wikipedia has a good page about Polygamy if you want to further your general understanding of this form of marriage.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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Have Five Years of War Taught Americans NOTHING?: Food for Thought

http://cultureinscribed.wordpress.com/

From the Culture Inscribed blog, I read a write up they did on a Panel at California State University of Fresno where they had professionals and students engaging the issue of what has been learned about the five-year war in Iraq.  Go and read the blog and see if you think Americans have learned anything from the War on Terror.

I think that the topic of the Iraq war is often filled with raw emotion and not enough personal thought and research.  People want others to do the work for them in how they understand the war.  Developing thoughts and ways to “help solve and end the war” causing people to find themselves talking about other peoples opinions and other peoples facts and information.  They have not really done any real thinking about the Iraq war, war on terrorism, or America helping to rebuild Iraq.  People listen to what others say and I have found that there are many that have not talked to the soldiers or heard the people working on the different special projects in Iraq in the efforts to try to help them rebuild their great nation without the chaos of the past repeating itself.

 

People need to be better informed by their own efforts instead of relying on the mass media, politicians not personally involved, protestors or supporters that have nothing, but emotion drive fed by their favorite movie star.  Find the real stories from the people living it or do something about it over the past five years.  I believe that more of their voices need to be heard and considered valuable to see what people and Americans have really learned from this war.  Americans are in this war if they like it or not and too, many of them listen and learn from the masses sitting safely on the sidelines.

 

Mother Nature VS Mothering: food for Thought

These are other peoples understanding and arguments about this controverisal debate.  Read these Nature vs Nurture articles and see where you stand on the issues of biology and psychology influences.

http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i04/04b00701.htm

http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/psychology/nature_nurture.html

http://home.att.net/~xchar/tna/ledoux.htm

What is the Nature/Nurture dichotomy? Is it helpful to discuse and what do you think?

Nature is the biological and physical aspects of human development programmed into people and will not change through education, culture or outside means.  Nurture is the cultural and behavioral knowledge and experiences a person is bombarded with through watching and interacting with others around them.  The human act of learning from others and ones environment is strong enough to change a person’s outcome within the world.  These forms of human development have been placed against each other, as the “classic dichotomy” between chemical reactions of the body and chemical reactions of the care one receives.

It is like science vs. sociology when in fact they are not as different as they try to be.  They are both a part of being human and a living species.  Biologically and socially, humans are linked to the need for social interaction for survival of the species through learned improvements.  In truth, the human development would not be important enough without the dichotomy being such a close fight.  I would say that if you behavior that humans can learn and change, they “evolve”, differently enough to make what they have learned seem biological, even to the point where it could evolve to a biological change, promoting new learned behaviors, which continue the cycle. 

 

It is a circle of human development both nature and nurture working together to created each other.  It might be as useful to ask another classic dichotomy: what came first, the chicken or the egg?

 

I think people needed to understand the dichotomy and see both sides of the coin to be able to decide where they stand on the issue.  These types are both within biological and cultural anthropology in how it is applied.  These different angles of application of anthropology have value points that help make important decisions for which a choice should go. 

On the first day, God created EVOLUTION and it was good?:Food for Thought

Article titles-(Links to the articles) These are the articles that have brought to mind the questions and debates over sciences and religion.  Who is right and who is wrong, or is it a different question all together?  You read them and desided where you stand on this anthropologic issue between the Titains.

  • Teaching Theories: The Evolution-Creation Controversy by Robert Root-Bernstein and Donald L. McEachron
  • Re-reading Root-Bernstien and McEachron in Cobb County, georgia: The controversies Continue Between Anthropology and “Intelligent Design” by Benjamin Z. Freed (none found– this article is in the Book Applying Anthropology: An introductory Reader by Aaron Podolefsky and Peter J. Brown)

http://talk.livedaily.com/showthread.php?t=544178

 

Where do you stand on the debate of Evolution-Creation Controversy?

 

The two titans of human development seem to be in a constant state of battle.  What you point out is true about twins and their nurture and biological similarities.  I have heard this debate and I have found that it should not be “Nature vs. Nurture”, but Nature and Nurture.  There are biological truths and no amount of nurture is going to really be able to change the outcome.  Yet, nurture and culture can seem as strong or stronger then biological tendencies.  In truth, they both shape a person.

I would say that the debate has been going on far longer than when you where in 5th grade.  I would say ever since science broke away form the restrain of religious control.  When science was no longer trying to prove that the religious views were in fact correct and realized there other possibilities were plausible, such as things happening that are unrelated to “God’s will” as the article Teaching Theories: The Evolution-Creation Controversy.  The article seems to suggest that they should not even be compared to each other, like oranges and apples and they have there time and place.  Scientific theory and religious belief have there place within our understanding of the world, culture, and important value that does not require them to conflict.  They fill different arenas of an individual’s life.

I think that as a Christian, or Buddhists, Islam, Wiccan, ancestral spirits etc, a belief in creation is not wrong or invalid; it has a place and purpose.  It can be right.  On the other hand, evolution seems to be the most supported theory with scientific reasoning methods.  This does not discount the religious belief.  They can work together for some people religiously and scientifically or others can keep them separate wait to see what else is discovered or revealed through divine channels.

Personally, Evolution and my belief of creation, limited by my human ability to comprehend God, do not cause me to lose sleep over the debate.  My faith is not shaken and I have not disregard science as a man made evil for trying to make my belief impossible and illogical.  They work harmoniously to the point that I understand them and the rest I do not worry about the lack of cohesion.  I just figure God and science will work it out some day.   

What was the worst mistake in human history?:Food for Thought

 The Worst Mistake In The History Of The Human Race” by Jared Diamond (PDF/Adobe Acrobat) View as HTML

Easter’s End by Jared Diamond- example of a study about a vanished civilization

 Do you agree with Diamond? Was the Neolithic revolution our worst mistake? Can Technology save us from ourselves?

Diamonds perspective on human civilization is that it is a ticking time bomb unless something, if there is still time, can be done to stop the destructive people of human civilization.  He put forth several books that focus on this topic and the bomb of human.  I think that the historical evidences are striking in his favor of the end of the world being produced my people.  One of Diamonds best supporting historic evidences is the Easter Islands rise and fall and destruction of what he viewed a smaller interpretation of the world.

 I can see what he means and think that his conclusion holds great amounts of truth that people should not ignore.  Massive amounts of consumption and globalization of human beings networking together has and will cause the earth’s human population to grow astronomically out of control.  Over time, just like the Easter Island people, there will be nothing left of land and resource for the type of human growth we witnessing now.  The great empires of the past did not fall into ruin quickly, but slow slipped down to extinction.      

When you look at the evidences of human health, work and relaxation and efficiency, 3 out of 4 say that hunting and gathering was the better way for humans to live, not as an agrarian society.  There are six deadly sins of “civilized” living for humans: malnutrition, starvation, epidemic disease, social class division, warfare, and autocracy.  The Neolithic revolution happened most lily form the increase in human survival rates and basic human population growth growing beyond hunter and gather sustainability causing people to turn towards farming.  I thing that it could be the beginning of a long line of worst mistake humans have made such as nuclear war, resource exploitations, chemical warfare, genocides of selected “inferior” human groups, plant and animal extinction, pollution of the world resources, greed etc.  True that many of them came after the Neolithic revolution, but it could be said to be the beginning of the end.   

Technology is a double edge sword that will get us all killed or possibly save us, depending on how we use it.  Humans are such complex animals and unique drives of survival.  I think it could but not all of us.  I would say that technology would likely destroy the majority of human life and a few would have found away to survive with the use of different technology.  Humans in a civilized world tend to be more warfare and destructive people and it only takes a few to destroy many.  Countless wars and human atrocities in our history have shown the statement to be true.  I think some can be saves through technology, but more will be lost first before we all realize the consequences of our actions.– Adrienne Elder 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Which Sex is better?: Food for Thought

Is the equality between the sexes in the US? Will there ever be equality between the sexes in the US?

 

No.

It is possible that in the future, there could be equality between the sexes but there would have to be a lot more equality between other differences as well.  It might not be possible since America is continuously gain new immigrants and changing since it is labeled as the land of opportunity, it always for a new group to be at the bottom of the social food chain.  With such social discrimination, gender inequality would continue since it seems to be in our society’s nature and animalistic instinct to show dominance over outsiders before allowing them social acceptances to a point within the social hierarchy.  It would be a great thing to see happen, but I do not know if it could be possible in reality, it seems to have very little chance of it existing in the future, but anything is possible.

It is true that women in our society have come a long way, I would not consider what women have today equal to men.  Hillary Clinton is a woman in a man’s world and therefore acts like a man.  Her becoming elected would add to the list of job options for women in the future, but that does not mean that women are equal to men in such positions.  Other examples of inequality for women in the work world are women surgeons, they still have a hard time with being treated equal within the mostly male dominated field.  Women that mirror male behavior are in typically male dominated position, become labelled negatively for their aggressive tendencies and arrogances.  While a man is viewed as having confidences and authority. 

Then there is the concept of gender inequality over pay.  It is true these things could change, but I do not see such a monumental shift is American social hierarchy or structure in the near future with a female President turning American society upside-down.  Anything is possible, but probability is another issue.

Where is the Anthropology?: The Mississippians of the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois

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The Cahokia Mounds, located in Collinsville Illinois, were created around 700 AD by people the archaeologists have called Woodland Indians.  Later, another group named by archaeologists as the Mississippian Indians, continued to build the mounds in 800 AD until they mysteriously abandoned the site in 1400 AD.  They have left no written record that has been found so the true tribal names of these groups are unknown to the excavation and scholars.  This is the largest known civilization north of Mexico City.  This particular site of the Mississippians is the largest in the United States with 109 out of the 120 mounds recovered out of several other mound locations scattered along the Mississippi river and a few sites located further west, east of the Appalachian Mountain range.  Out of the 109 Historical Preservation Agency of Illinois preserved 68 mounds covering 2200 acres (890 hectares) of land (Cahokia Mounds Museum Society, 2001, 1-2).  “The remnants of the Mississippian’s central city [is] now known as Cahokia for the Indians who lived nearby in the late 1600s” (Cahokia Mounds Museum website, 2003 http://www.cahokiamounds.com/Introduction.html).   

These two groups of prehistoric Indian cultures, mainly the Mississippians, developed a complex and long lasting society.  They had an “advanced civilization: widespread commerce; stratified social, political, and religious organization; specialized and refined crafts; and monumental architecture”, and agriculture system for corn/Maze, squash and other native plants (Cahokia Mounds Museum website, 2003 http://www.cahokiamounds.com/Introduction.html).  The cities structure had a large opening field surrounded by smaller mounds with the largest mound at the Northern end of the open field being the temple mound or “Monks Mound”.  Other mounds further out continue to diminish in size and social importance of the occupancies during the time of the Mississippians.  This town included a large wall around the town center that archaeologists have reconstructed in place to divide the social rankings of the city (Cahokia Mounds Museum Society, 2001, 9-12).  

 Cahokia Mound

There is evidence of a large trading system between other native groups during the time of the Mississippian and Woodland due to the location of the Cahokia site.  The Cahokia site is geographically located at the convergence of three major rivers; Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois and four ecozones; Mississippian Valley, Ozarks, Prairies, Eastern Woodland. The rivers junction creates fertile land from the expansive flood plain called the “American Bottom”.  “It stretched 70 miles along the Mississippi from present day Alton, Illinois, to Chester, Illinois, and was up to 12 miles wide from the river east to its bluffs” (Cahokia Mounds Museum website, 2003 http://www.cahokiamounds.com/settingstage.html).  Spring rains swelled the American Bottom land’s streams replenishing the lands for cultivation by renewing the nutrients essential for the wide-scale agricultural (Cahokia Mounds Museum website, 2003 http://www.cahokiamounds.com/settingstage.html). 


The Mississippian people benefited from the American Bottom with the advantage in farming, economics, and society.  They interacted with nomadic Plains dwellers, Northeastern forest people, and other Mississippians in the Southeast providing resources and ideas to the Cahokian city.  From this central conjunction, Mississippians traveled by water and land “along trade routes already established by the Woodland and, to some extent, the Archaic peoples” (Cahokia Mounds Museum website, 2003 http://www.cahokiamounds.com/Mississippians.html).  In traded goods the Mississippians gained copper from The Great Lakes area, mica form the Appalachian and seashells from the Gulf of Mexico.  (Cahokia Mounds Museum website, 2003 http://www.cahokiamounds.com/Mississippians.html).
The Cahokia Mounds have been compared to the mounds and cities built by the ancestral people of the Maya, Inca and Aztec civilizations with many cultural and innovative advancements being of similar orientation.

“Despite striking similarities to features of cultures in Mexico and elsewhere, there is no scientific evidence that several Mississippian trademarks – flat-topped temple mounds, calendric systems, and ceramic styles – were the result of anything other than independent invention.  No Mexican artifacts have been found in the American Bottom or in any other part of this country outside the Southwest.

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But above all, the early Mississippians somehow acquired the knowledge of growing corn, or maize, a technology that had originated in Mexico 4000 years earlier and slowly spread to other parts of the Americas.  Coupled with improvements in the flint hoe, it was this adaptable and prolific plant, and the steady food supply it created, on which the powerful civilization at Cahokia was built.”

(Cahokia Mounds Museum website, 2003 http://www.cahokiamounds.com/Mississippians.html

These mounds are part of the mystery of human civilization in North America and are still being studied today.  The Cahokia Mounds Museum Society still conducts summer field studies of mounds and other sites on the premises.  The museum contains many of the artifacts and reconstruction based on materials found.  This site is continuing to provide archaeologists with more information about the ancient American civilizations that existed in the New world. 

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If you want to read and learn more about the Cahokia Mounds visit their website at: http://www.cahokiamounds.com/cahokia.html -Adrienne Elder 

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These are some articles that I have found on the Internet about the Cahokia from the Science Daily website. If you want to read the full articles go to Archaeology Spotlight Articles on the site.  There are the article summaries.

 Archaeologists Identify Oldest Existing Mound Complex In New WorldScienceDaily (Sep. 23, 1997) The earliest existing mound complex built by humans in the new world has been identified in Louisiana by a team of archaeologists and researchers from around the United States including Jim Feathers, a University of Washington research assistant professor of archaeology. Details of the discovery appear in the Sept. 19 issue of the journal Science.

Geological Origins Of Ancient Figures Yield Clues To Cahokian Society ScienceDaily (Mar. 15, 2000)— CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Nearly 1,000 years before St. Louis became known as the Gateway to the West, another expanding culture had created a major ceremonial mound complex that is now called Cahokia. By all accounts, Cahokia was huge, consisting of hundreds of platform mounds, supported by a population numbering in the thousands. At issue, however, has been whether Cahokia was part of a regional trade network that stretched from the Great Plains to the South Atlantic.    

Artifact Analyses Dispute Assumptions About A Prehistoric Society ScienceDaily (Aug. 3, 2001)— CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Fragments of red stone artifacts – bits of smoking pipes, decorative ear lobe spools and a figurine, all plucked out of rich prehistoric soil in the U.S. Midwest – used to tell one story about the complex culture and the ancient people who left them behind. Now they tell another. 

 Discovery Of Ax Heads Furthers Understanding Of Cahokian Society ScienceDaily (Aug. 6, 2001)CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A team of archaeologists, including students, working under a blazing summer sun on a high hill near O’Fallon, Ill., have made a rare find.  

New Technique Helps Solve Mystery Of Ancient Figurines ScienceDaily (Jul. 7, 2003)CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Thanks in part to new spectroscopic technology, researchers have solved a great mystery concerning some of North America’s oldest pieces of sculpture.  

 

Article Archaeology-New Technique Helps Solve Mystery Of Ancient Figurines

This is an article that highlights the Where is the Anthropology? for February 2008 on the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois.  This is the full text taking about new finds and discovers at the site and the new information that is being gathered through archaeology research and volunteers.

  

ScienceDaily (Jul. 7, 2003)CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Thanks in part to new spectroscopic technology, researchers have solved a great mystery concerning some of North America’s oldest pieces of sculpture. 

With the use of PIMA — a non-invasive Portable Infrared Mineral Analyzer — an interdisciplinary team of scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has identified the source and meaning of “spectacular late prehistoric” figurines found in several locales in the South and the Southeast — in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. According to lead researcher Thomas Emerson, an archaeologist and the director of ITARP (Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program), the figurines were made of Missouri flint clay from quarries near St. Louis. Artisans at Cahokia, the earliest and largest North American mound society, which was centered in southern Illinois, in all likelihood produced the iconic figurines in the 12th century during an “artistic explosion,” but the objects were moved at various times and to various places, where they eventually were found. There now is evidence that after they were moved, some of the flint clay icons were recarved and retrofitted as smoking pipes, indicating a radical change in their significance. “There is a vast difference between bowing to an ancestral being and smoking one,” Emerson said. The figures appear to have been disbursed only after Cahokia began to decline in the middle or late 13th century, suggesting that the transfers were associated with “the collapse of the old order.” Determining when Cahokia-made figures arrived at their new locations “is an important link in the interpretive chain,” the researchers wrote in the spring/summer issue of American Antiquity. In their research, Emerson and his team analyzed 13 museum specimens originally found in the South and Southeast to identify the mineral composition of the raw material. Figures included a resting and a conquering warrior, various squatting and kneeling men, frogs and frog pipes and a “chunky” game player. Cahokian-style figurines arecharacterized by a highly developed realistic portrayal of human or near-human figures; they are dressed in specific costumes and shown carrying out specific deeds. Occasionally, however, they seem to portray mythical acts or beings. The transported figures probably were used for long periods of time in their new locations. Their importance “doesn’t lie in economic power but rather in symbolic and ideological power.”  The association of these highly symbolic figures with Cahokia allowed the researchers to propose that many of the themes — for example, fertility and warfare — that later appear in Eastern Woodlands native cosmology, such as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex,” were first codified in Cahokia in the 12th century.” Other researchers were Randall Hughes, Illinois State Geological Survey; Mary R. Hynes, ITARP; and Sarah U. Wisseman, Program on Ancient Technologies and Archaeological Materials.

Adapted from materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign.

Article Archaeology-Discovery Of Ax Heads Furthers Understanding Of Cahokian Society

ScienceDaily (Aug. 6, 2001)CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A team of archaeologists, including students, working under a blazing summer sun on a high hill near O’Fallon, Ill., have made a rare find.  

In what was considered to be an “ordinary” ancient farming village, the team, from the University of Illinois, has discovered a large cache of prehistoric stone ax heads called celts. The 70 celts are about 900 years old and belonged to the pre-Columbian residents of the Mississippi Valley. This is the second-largest cache ever found in the orbitof Cahokia, a major mecca from A.D. 700 to 1400. The last cache was found in the 1940s, and only five or six caches have turned up during the past 100 years – all clustered around Cahokia, an integrated system that includes a series of suburbs and villages. The ax heads, which were found buried in a pit next to a still-intact house floor, “are quite an impressive batch,” said UI archaeologist Tim Pauketat, leader of the UI field school that worked this summer at the Grossmann site near O’Fallon. “Stone ax heads such as these have been found at large important centers,” Pauketat said, “and may be a marker of ‘wealth’ or social status.” That the axes were hoarded is not unusual, he said. Neolithic people in Europe and 20th century people in New Guinea and Australia did the same thing. What is particularly fascinating about the lucky find, made by UI anthropology student Nicholas Wisseman on Friday, July 13, is that the 70 ax heads are pristine. “They were brand new when they were buried, so they probably were placed in the pit in some kind of commemorative ritual,” Pauketat said. The outlying farmstead in which the team is working “shows other hints of status, like big houses, for example, and these ax heads seem to clinch that interpretation,” he said. Wisseman, 19, found the ax heads when scraping around a floor looking for wall trenches. He “accidentally cut across the pit just outside the house, hitting stone with his shovel,” Pauketat said. “Nick was ecstatic. All of us were ecstatic.” One of the ax heads appears to be the longest one ever found in the area – 45 centimeters, and like the others, probably never meant to be used – “just an oversized ax head with which to impress other people,” Pauketat said. The 70 ax heads are made of an igneous rock called St. François, basalt or diabase, which comes from Ironton, Mo., in the Ozarks. This means, Pauketat said, “that the people had to fund a trip to the raw material site, haul the rocks in a canoe up the Mississippi, then make them at Cahokia.” Debris previously found on the valley floor at Cahokia supports the idea that the ax heads were made there. According to UI archaeologist Thomas Emerson, both the cache and the site are “very important, and with Professor Pauketat’s previous work around Cahokia, will revolutionize our understanding of Cahokian social and political complexity.” The dig is both an NSF research project led by Pauketat and a field school run by the UI.

Adapted from materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign.