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Everything you need to know about race (but were afraid to ask), previously published in 2015 as Black Brain, White Brain: Is Intelligence Skin Deep?.
In academic journals and on internet message boards, certain scientists and thinkers are laying siege to one of the great taboos. Could it be, they ask, that racism has a rational basis in science? These ideas are no longer limited to the fringe: race-based studies of intelligence have been discussed by thinkers such as Steven Pinker, Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson. If true, it would provide an intellectual foundation for so many of the attitudes that characterise the right wing, justifying inequality and discrimination. Gavin Evans tackles the nature vs nurture debate head-on, examining the latest studies on how intelligence develops and laying out new discoveries in genetics, palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology to unearth the truth about our shared past.
In doing so, Skin Deep demolishes the pernicious myth that our race is our destiny, and instead reveals what really makes us who we are.
Laura Thompson s grandmother Violet was one of the great landladies. Born in a London pub, she became the first woman to be given a publican s licence in her own name and, just as pubs defined her life, she seemed in many ways to embody their essence. Laura spent part of her childhood in Violet s Home Counties establishment, mesmerised by her gift for cultivating the mix of cosiness and glamour that defined the pub s atmosphere, making it a unique reflection of the national character. Her memories of this time are just as intoxicating: beer and ash on the carpets in the morning, the deepening rhythms of mirth at night, the magical brightness of glass behind the bar Through them Laura traces the story of the English pub, asking why it has occupied such a treasured position in our culture. But even Violet, as she grew older, recognised that places like hers were a dying breed, and Laura also considers the precarious future they face. Part memoir, part social history, part elegy, The Last Landlady pays tribute to an extraordinary woman and the world she epitomised.
'Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle.' In this charming book from 1906, Okakura explores Zen, Taoism, Tea Masters and the significance of the Japanese tea ceremony. One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.
Challenging many of the methods and preconceptions of conventional folk-architecture studies, Homeplace examines traditional houses in the mountains of Appalachia from the perspective offered by oral histories. Michael Ann Williams bases much of her study on interviews with some of the people most intimately familiar with her subject: more than fifty individuals born and raised in southwestern North Carolina in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their testimony links the perspective of former occupants and the experiential aspects of folk architecture with more traditional scholarly studies.
Most scholarship on vernacular architecture emphasizes form and structure and is based primarily on the examination of extant buildings. While Homeplace contains floor plans and historical photographs, it also illustrates how oral history is often a more reliable guide in the interpretation of folk buildings than artifactual or documentary evidence. By foregrounding inhabitants' reminiscences, Williams brings rural Appalachian architecture to life by emphasizing human experience within the dwelling.
An examination of universal concerns--continuity and change in the inhabitants' uses and conceptualizations of interior spaces, domestic life and cultural change in southern Appalachia, the shifting importance of formal and informal spaces--Homeplace offers new insights into the folk building tradition and its cultural context that will be most helpful to those seeking a broader understanding of Appalachian life.
This is the first book to provide a guide to understanding the use of herbal medicines in traditional Iroquois culture. The world view of the Iroquois League or Confederacy - the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations - is based on a strong cosmological belief system. This is evident, especially in their medical practices, which connect man to nature and the powerful forces in the supernatural realm. This book relates Iroquois cosmology to cultural themes by showing the inherent spiritual power of plants and how the Iroquois traditionally have used and continue to use plants as remedies.
Sweet Medicine is the most comprehensive record ever made of the ceremonies of the Northern Cheyennes. Volume One recounts tribal history against the background of the two great spiritual tragedies in Cheyenne life, the loss of the Sacred Arrows and the desecration of the Sacred Buffalo Hat. Volume Two records the contemporary Sacred Arrow and Sun Dance ceremonies in their entirety. Father Peter J. Powell, who has observed and participated in the rites many times, was given special permission by the Keepers of the Two Great Covenants, the Chiefs, the Headmen, and the Priests to record them in words and photographs.
African customary law, the personal law of the majority of South Africans, gained equal status with common law for the first time with the introduction of the 1993 Constitution. This book explores the many conflicts between the African legal tradition and human rights.
Christmas. The biggest party in the world. The most widely celebrated festival on Earth. But why do we celebrate it the way we do? Over the years great scholars and gifted academics have wrestled each other to a bloodied standstill over the question of Christmas, only to retire baffled and broken.
In The Book of Christmas, best-selling author and acclaimed historian, Christopher Winn, casts a revealing eye over the stories, myths and legends of the most celebrated festival of the year: Christmas. In this lovingly written collection of festive myths, legends and (quite often) bizarre traditions, discover the fascinating truth behind some of our most cherished Christmas rituals and customs. Along with a detailed Christmas timeline outlining significant moments and stories throughout history as well as the evolution behind many of the more mainstream customs, Christopher Winn unearths all sorts of unusual and symbolic traditions from around the world; from the Druidical origins of the parasitic plant mistletoe and why we now associate it with kissing, to Japan's predilection for a Kentucky Fried Chicken Christmas dinner, to why we send cards, hang decorations, sing carols, eat turkey and much, much more - discover the fascinating truth (and oddities) behind this very special holiday.
Beautifully produced and charmingly illustrated, The Book of Christmas is a treasure trove of all things Christmas to delight the whole family.
In Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, a man covered from head to toe in straw - the 'straw bear' - is paraded through the streets, accompanied by 250 dancers, musicians and performers, while in Ottery St Mary, Devon, a crowd gathers as townspeople hoist barrels of flaming tar on to their shoulders and carry them until they are too hot to handle. Award-winning photographer Sara Hannant has travelled the length and breadth of the country, capturing the seemingly bizarre regional rituals - costumed processions, symbolic dramatizations, traditional dances and fire ceremonies - that mark the changing seasons and celebrate nature's bounty. Many of these customs claim an ancient origin, and are kept alive today by local communities. Hannant's vibrant images reflect her keen eye for the unexpected, offering a captivating and surprising glimpse of contemporary 'Merrie England'.
Abrams are proud to publish a newly designed one-volume edition of this definitive work, containing more than half of the magnificent photographs that were in the original edition - plus several new ones. This carefully conceived work offers a complete introduction to the traditional rites and rituals of Africa, including baby namings, initiations, weddings, harvest blessings, coronations, healing exorcisms, and funerals, among others. Many of these rituals will never be performed again; few have been pictured and described with the intimacy, knowledge, and skill of Beckwith and Fisher. The book also includes an audio CD featuring tracks of intimate, secret and rarely heard ceremonies from many countries throughout Africa that were recorded over a period of six years by David Bradnum, a musician and award-winning composer.
The tea ceremony persists as one of the most evocative symbols of
Japan. Originally a pastime of elite warriors in premodern society,
it was later recast as an emblem of the modern Japanese state, only
to be transformed again into its current incarnation, largely the
hobby of middle-class housewives. How does the cultural practice of
a few come to represent a nation as a whole?
Recently identified as a killer, tobacco has been the focus of health warnings, lawsuits, and political controversy. Yet many Native Americans continue to view tobacco-when used properly-as a life-affirming and sacramental substance that plays a significant role in Native creation myths and religious ceremonies.
This definitive work presents the origins, history, and contemporary use (and misuse) of tobacco by Native Americans. It describes wild and domesticated tobacco species and how their cultivation and use may have led to the domestication of corn, potatoes, beans, and other food plants. It also analyzes many North American Indian practices and beliefs, including the concept that Tobacco is so powerful and sacred that the spirits themselves are addicted to it. The book presents medical data revealing the increasing rates of commercial tobacco use by Native youth and the rising rates of death among Native American elders from lung cancer, heart disease, and other tobacco-related illnesses. Finally, this volume argues for the preservation of traditional tobacco use in a limited, sacramental manner while criticizing the use of commercial tobacco.
Contributors are: Mary J. Adair, Karen R. Adams, Carol B. Brandt, Linda Scott Cummings, Glenna Dean, Patricia Diaz-Romo, Jannifer W. Gish, Julia E. Hammett, Robert F. Hill, Richard G. Holloway, Christina M. Pego, Samuel Salinas Alvarez, Lawrence A Shorty, Glenn W. Solomon, Mollie Toll, Suzanne E. Victoria, Alexander von Garnet, Jonathan M. Samet, and Gail E. Wagner.
Rock art images around the world are often difficult for us to decipher as modern viewers. Based on authentic records of the beliefs, rituals and daily life of the nineteenth-century San peoples, and of those who still inhabit the Kalahari Desert, this book adopts a new approach to hunter-gatherer rock art by placing the process of image-making within the social framework of production. Lewis-Williams shows how the San used this imagery not simply to record hunts and the animals that they saw, but rather to sustain the social network and status of those who made them. By drawing on such rich and complex records, the book reveals specific, repeated features of hunter-gatherer imagery and allows us insight into social relations as if through the eyes of the San themselves.
The Magpie and the Wardrobe - A Curiosity of Folklore, Magic and Spells, is a lovingly curated compendium of time-honoured traditions and curious customs that have bewitched us for generations. Discover simple magic, heirloom recipes and forgotten fairytales in this eclectic treasury. The twelve chapters, representative of the seasons, present the celebrations, superstitions and folklore that shape our year. From cherished traditions like Valentine's Day to the lost excitement of May Day, The Magpie and the Wardrobe reveals a calendar bursting with history, imagination and curious facts. Take a closer look at your favourite homespun rituals and the magic we conjure every day; make a candle wish, mix a moon oil elixir, and hang your romantic hopes on the predictions of an apple peel. Illustrated by a unique collection of ephemera and embellished with trinkets and charms, this sumptuous volume will appeal to the creative and curious. Digital version available in an enhanced eBook format.
Dali is a small region on a high plateau in Southeast Asia. Its main deity, Baijie, has assumed several gendered forms throughout the area's history: Buddhist goddess, the mother of Dali's founder, a widowed martyr, and a village divinity. What accounts for so many different incarnations of a local deity? Goddess on the Frontier argues that Dali's encounters with forces beyond region and nation have influenced the goddess's transformations. Dali sits at the cultural crossroads of Southeast Asia, India, and Tibet; it has been claimed by different countries but is currently part of Yunnan Province in Southwest China. Megan Bryson incorporates historical-textual studies, art history, and ethnography in her book to argue that Baijie provided a regional identity that enabled Dali to position itself geopolitically and historically. In doing so, Bryson provides a case study of how people craft local identities out of disparate cultural elements and how these local identities transform over time in relation to larger historical changes-including the increasing presence of the Chinese state.
Throughout Latin America, the idea of "justice" serves as the ultimate goal and rationale for a wide variety of actions and causes. In the Chilean Atacama Desert, residents have undertaken a prolonged struggle for their right to groundwater. Family members of bombing victims in Buenos Aires demand that the state provide justice for the attack. In Colombia, some victims of political violence have turned to the courts for resolution, while others reject the state's ability to fairly adjudicate their grievances and have constructed a non-state tribunal. In each of these examples, the protagonists seek one main thing: justice. A Sense of Justice ethnographically explores the complex dynamics of justice production across Latin America. The chapters examine (in)justice as it is lived and imagined today and what it means for those who claim and regulate its parameters, including the Brazilian police force, the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal in Colombia, and the Argentine Supreme Court. Inextricable as "justice" is from inequality, violence, crime, and corruption, it emerges through memory, in space, and where ideals meet practical limitations. Ultimately, the authors show how understanding the dynamic processes of constructing justice is essential to creating cooperative rather than oppressive forms of law.
Canada's recent sesquicentennial celebrations were the latest in a long, steady progression of Canadian cultural memory projects. Unbecoming Nationalism investigates the power of commemorative performances in the production of nationalist narratives. Using 'unbecoming' as a theoretical framework to unsettle or decolonize nationalist narratives, Helene Vosters examines an eclectic range of both state-sponsored social memory projects and counter-memorial projects to reveal and unravel the threads connecting reverential military commemoration, celebratory cultural nationalism, and white settler-colonial nationalism. Vosters brings readings of institutional, aesthetic, and activist performances of Canadian military commemoration, settler-colonial nationalism, and redress into conversation with literature that examines the relationship between memory, violence, and nationalism from the disciplinary arenas of performance studies, Canadian studies, critical race and Indigenous studies, memory studies, and queer and gender studies. In addition to using performance as a theoretical framework, Vosters uses performance to enact a philosophy of praxis and embodied theory.
Black Elk was one of the greatest religious thinkers produced by native North America, and the Sun Dance the central religious ritual of his Lakota tradition. Beginning with a review of the recent critical work on Black Elk by Paul B. Steinmetz, Julian Rice and Michael K. Steltenkamp, Holler reconstructs the history and development of the Lakota Sun Dance, essential background for understanding Black Elk's thought. His analysis is a comprehsnive study of the dance, which was banned by the government in 1883. Holler shows how Black Elk adapted the dance to the conditions and circumstances of reservation life, reinterpreting it in terms commensurate with Christianity. His firsthand account of the dance associated with Frank Fools Crow at Three Mile Camp near Kyle, South Dakota, shows how the contemporary Sun Dance reflects Black Elk's vision. Holler's book offers a philosophical engagement with native North American religion, carried out in close dialogue with anthropology. Readers who were captivated by John G. Neihardt's gripping portrait of Black Elk in ""Black Elk Speaks"" may be surprised to learn that he was a vital and creative leader until his death in 1950, not the broken, despairing old man made famous by Neihardt. Holler establishes that Black Elk was both a sincere traditionalist and a sincere Christian, seeing the two religious traditions as expressions of the sacred. Students of religion should be stimulated by Holler's interpretation of Black Elk as a creative thinker, rather than a passive informant on his people's past. Those interested in Native Americans, especially the Lakota, should appreciate his authoritative reconstruction of the Sun Dance, which proposes new understandings of this central Lakota religious ritual. The book also includes a glossary of terms.
Trefor M. Owen's seminal work educates, enlightens and entertains with a far-reaching yet accessible text, which paints a colourful and comprehensive portrait of a nation's rich folk culture. The Customs and Traditions of Wales is an illuminating and engrossing insight into a subject that continues to unfold and develop in contemporary life. Despite an increasingly globalised society that has transformed local communities, folk customs are still practised and enjoyed the world over as people combine modern-day and historical rituals and embrace opportunities to learn about their past, and Owen's influential study has maintained its relevance as customs change and evolve.
Rituals combining healing with spirit possession and court-like proceedings are found around the world and throughout history. A person suffers from an illness that cannot be cured, for example, and in order to be healed performs a ritual involving a prosecution and a defense, a judge and witnesses. Divine beings then speak through oracles, spirits possess the victim and are exorcized, and local gods intervene to provide healing and justice. Such practices seem to be the very antithesis of modernity, and many modern, secular states have systematically attempted to eliminate them. What is the relationship between healing, spirit possession, and the law, and why are they so often combined? Why are such rituals largely absent from modern societies, and what happens to them when the state attempts to expunge them from their health and justice systems, or even to criminalize them? Despite the prevalence of rituals involving some or all of these elements, this volume represents the first attempt to compare and analyze them systematically. The Law of Possession brings together historical and contemporary case studies from East Asia, South Asia, and Africa, and argues that despite consistent attempts by modern, secular states to discourage, eliminate, and criminalize them, these types of rituals persist and even thrive because they meet widespread human needs.
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