Presentation on theme: "1 Introduction to Social Anthropology B Lecture 4."— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to Social Anthropology B Lecture 4
2 Environment and sustainability Human population and environment impacts. What can anthropology tell us about the complex relationships between society and environment? Models from systems analysis and from ecology. –ecological niche, –homeostatis, –sustainability, –carrying capacity. These are functionalist explanations of the interaction of social, environmental and technological factors.
3 Tropical environment Tropical rain forest natural climax cycles, high rain fall, limited seasonality, soils, trees, canopy, light competition, leaf litter, nutrient poor, subject of erosion, iron pan media.co.uk/Year8/8- 3Ecosystems/8-3Rainforest/8- 3Rainforest.htm
4 Tropical environment Horticulture, gardening slash and burn, adaptation. Colonial and other degenerations A5B2464CB91C%7D
5 Forest modified by ‘slash and burn’ horticulture
6 Tropical environment
7 Highland New Guinea. Dense population of horticulture based on cultivation of sweet potato and raising pigs. “Discovery of highland peoples in the 1930s found large community groups, partilineal clans, and competitive ceremonies exchanging food and pigs.” (Brown 1979:238) “Stone and woods tools were used for agriculture and construction of houses and fences. Soil fertility was improved with complete clearing, burning of cut vegetation, deep tillage, drainage ditches, and mounds for planting sweet potato vines, gradual harvesting, preparation of ditches and mounds for replanting, cultivated casuarina trees, fallow periods, integration of pig keeping with forest fallow, cultivation and settlement areas. Chimbu agriculture is intensive and well adapted to the steep terrain and crop requirements.” (Brown 1979:239)
9 Papua New Guinea
10 Social characteristics of Highland New Guinea societies Tribal society big man leadership. pig farmers Warriors Traders Feasting and exchange Competitive leadership through expectation of reciprocity force extra production from others.
11 Contemporary example of a feast with the sharing of a roast pig.
14 Maring Warfare as described by Harris (1975) p Through intermediaries, an unforested area located in the borderland between the combatants is agreed upon as an appropriate fight ground, the ground is cleared and a start date agreed. After war magic rituals the warriors single file on to the battle field, plant man-sized wooden shields in the ground and shout and taunt the enemy. Occasional salvos of arrows with few casualties. Some seek revenge and sortie with axes. When someone is killed there is a truce for funeral and praise of the ancestors. But if no winner they return to the battlefield. Over time allies start to go home and weaknesses start to show. The stronger force looks to rush the weaker and chase them from the field. The defeated clan takes its moveable possessions and flees to its allies’ villages The victor destroys property and crops, abducts pigs and kills stragglers but does not immediately occupy the defeated clans lands but may well encroach later.
15 Maring warriors in ritual finary rspas.anu.edu.au
16 Importance of allies and ceremonies Maintaining the support of allies is difficult because they are less enthusiastic about defending other people’s land. Rappaport recounts two instances in which local group lost conflict and their land because their allies failed to lend support. Feasts and ceremonies enable allies to tell the strength and vigour of the clan and gifts of pork keep them sweet and marriages strengthen alliances.
17 Issues from New Guinea ethnography Why do people work so hard to produce pigs? What keeps environmental degradation in check? What keeps warfare in check?
18 Rappaport account of the Maring. Roy A. Rappaport (1968) Pigs for the Ancestors New Haven: Yale University Press. Roy A. Rappaport (1971), Ritual, Sanctity, and Cybernetics American Anthropologist New Series, Vol. 73, No. 1 pp Roy A. RappaportRitual, Sanctity, and Cyberneticsmerican AnthropologistNew Series, Vol. 73, No. 1 James G. Peoples (1982), Individual or Group Advantage? A Reinterpretation of the Maring Ritual Cycle Current Anthropology, 23(3): Individual or Group Advantage? A Reinterpretation of the Maring Ritual Cycle Harris, Marvin. (1977) Cows, pigs, wars and witches : the riddles of culture. London: Fontana,Harris, Marvin.
19 Maring ritual cycle Up root Rumbim Kaiko feasting Raise pigs Truce Plant Rumbim Slaughter pigs Victory or rout War
20 Rappaport’s classic account of homeostatic cycles Rapport argues that the ritual cycle acts as a regulating device whereby obligations to repay ancestors times the pattern of growth of pig herds and their slaughter before they cause environmental damage. Further, that warfare redistributes land from declining to growing populations helping maintain a population environment equilibrium. Harris emphasises war as keeping population expansion down by selective preference for male warriors.
21 Critiques of functional and materialist traditions Systems are not bounded and social change is under examined Historical introduction of sweet potatoes 300 years previously opening new ecological niche Advent of colonialism with cash crops and courts. Environmental determinism under plays both culture and human agency as explanations.
22 Paula Brown 1979 “Change and the Boundaries of the System in Highland New Guinea: The Chimbu” pp in P.C.Burnham and R.F.Ellen Social and Ecological Systems. London Academic Press.
23 Paula Brown 1979 “Change and the Boundaries of the System in Highland New Guinea: The Chimbu” pp in P.C.Burnham and R.F.Ellen Social and Ecological Systems. London Academic Press.
24 Paula Brown 1979 “Change and the Boundaries of the System in Highland New Guinea: The Chimbu” pp in P.C.Burnham and R.F.Ellen Social and Ecological Systems. London Academic Press.
25 Paula Brown 1979 “Change and the Boundaries of the System in Highland New Guinea: The Chimbu” pp in P.C.Burnham and R.F.Ellen Social and Ecological Systems. London Academic Press.