Questions tagged [anthropology]

The science of studying man with regard to place in the animal kingdom as well as human origins, development, social habits, cultural development and related topics.

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Are high temperatures the cause of nudity being not unusual amongst the Daasanach?

From the second page of I Photographed Women In 60 Countries To Change The Way We See Beauty: Her tribe is called the Daasanach. With the high temperatures here, nudity is not unusual. Amongst ...
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Do any people in South Africa traditionally spend two days together praising wrong-doers to help them?

I have seen variations on the following meme posted by many of my friends on Facebook: https://me.me/i/ubuntu-in-certain-regions-of-south-africa-when-someone-does-4931579 In certain regions of ...
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Were the people in “Inis Beag” the most sexually repressed and the people in “Mangaia” the most sexually liberated in the world? [closed]

In the 1960s, a rather obscure anthropologist by the name of John Cowan Messenger discovered an isolated and very small community in a place called "Inis Beag" in Ireland. This was apparently a false ...
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Were hunter-gatherers peaceful egalitarians?

Peter Gray Ph.D. writes in How Hunter-Gatherers Maintained Their Egalitarian Ways: Is it true that hunter-gatherers were peaceful egalitarians? The answer is yes. During the twentieth ...
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Were early hunter-gatherers monogamous?

In an article, reporting on research by Mark Dyble, anthropologist, pre-agricultural human societies are described as predominantly monogamous: Only when more resources became available, did sexual ...
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Did native americans ever used the practice of a “Rain Dance” in order to encourage rains?

In popular culture there is a claim that Native American used a ritual dance in order to encourage rains. For example, in the How I Met Your Mother episode "Come On" Ted does a rain dance in order to ...
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Is the story of a divine miracle at Mt. Sinai, witnessed by a national audience, unique among cultures or religions?

There is a claim, made by Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen in his books (such as Permission to Receive) and lectures (such as this "The Veracity of Torah" lecture on TorahCafé), that the story of a divine ...
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Of all humans ever born, did most men not become fathers?

I quote in full a passage from the book Is There Anything Good About Men?: How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men by Roy Baumeister, pages 63 – 64: Counting Ancestors Let’s return now to ...
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Is the hominid skull discovered in Petralona 700,000 years old?

Aris Poulianos, a Greek anthropologist, claims that the hominid remains (a skull) discovered in the Petralona Cave are 700,000 years old and belong to a distinct species, which he named Archanthropus ...
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Is there scientific evidence to support a distinction between “Ask” and “Guess” cultures? [closed]

This MetaFilter post from 2007 includes the following: In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it's OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an ...
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1answer
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Does swearing give people the impression that you are from a lower social class?

Kinja.com published an article called Swearing and Its Socioeconomic Baggage: One of the most common complaint against swearing was the socio-economic baggage attached to it — simply put, that ...
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Are the books from Carlos Castaneda real or fiction?

I have read all the Carlos Castaneda's books, I practiced some of their exercises, some have been helpful but I've always been in doubt about whether Don Juan ever existed, or if the events in the ...
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Are there no matriarchal societies?

In a recent Art of Manliness podcast titled "Demonic Males with Dr. Richard Wrangham", Richard Wrangham makes the claim, starting about 28 minutes into the podcast that, If there was ever a clash ...
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1answer
569 views

Did Cargo Cults involving the imitation of western society exist?

Richard Feynman created the concept of cargo cult science, which are activities that look scientific but aren't. He based it metaphorically on cargo cults in the Pacific: In the South Seas there is ...
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Is a large percentage of human communication non-verbal?

The claim that 60, or 80, or 90 or 93 percent of all communication is non-verbal is endlessly repeated, not only in pop culture but in the professional worlds of education, business, and in some less ...
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Are human beings naturally predisposed to believe in God?

My girlfriend sent me this article from the Telegraph. This is an excerpt: Led by two academics at Oxford University, the £1.9 million study found that human thought processes were “rooted” to ...
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Were there Hungarian speaking Indians in South America?

The following story is a translation from Hungarian, with a lot of discussion in the blog's comments: http://www.cakravartin.com/archives/south-american-natives-speak-ancient-european-language The ...
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Did the Dogon tribes discover “Trans-Pluto”?

The performance artist Marina Abramović has said the following in a forum at the New York Public Library: In Africa you have Dogon tribes who worship Trans-Pluto, which is you know a small ...
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Was there a giant red-haired race in North America?

The other day, I saw a show on the History channel about "giant skeletons" being found in North America. It also said that, for some reason, these findings have been hidden from people, maybe due to ...
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How correct are some dramatized documentaries about proto-humans?

There are some documentaries, e.g. by David Attenborough, that dramatize the life of proto-humans (e.g. Neanderthals, etc..) Some of these documentaries show/dramatize the proto-humans communicating ...
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Was honey used preserve psychoactive mushrooms in the ancient past?

I have read personal reports of adding mushrooms to honey to effect preservation. To save the magic, all one needs to do is immerse those morsels in raw honey and stash them in a cool, shady place, ...
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Why don't polygamous societies have a bunch of angry single men? [closed]

I was reading this article on polygamy in the Maasai of Kenya (as well as among other traditional east African groups). The article appeared to suggest that polygamy is quite common amongst the ...
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Can people castrate reindeer by biting off the testicles?

This Youtube video depicts a Sami woman castrating a reindeer by biting off the testicles (although the moment suprême is not shown explicitly): Laplander Reindeer Castration (warning: video depicts ...
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What is the mainstream position of biologists and anthropologists on the issue of human race? [closed]

Race is perhaps one of the most controversial and sensitive issues in anthropology, biology, and other related fields. As a non-scientist, I've used google to probe the disparity between the positions ...
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Was there ever a universal human language or mother-tongue?

In "Is this how Eve spoke? Every human language evolved from 'single prehistoric African mother tongue'" from the UK Daily Mail: Every language in the world - from English to Mandarin - evolved ...
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Did some cultures believe that photography can steal your soul?

Some westerners think that people from pre-modern cultures considered photography "stealing somebody's soul". (Comment on Travel.SE, article by a photographer). Was this the case?
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Were giant human bones discovered in Castelnau?

French anthropologist Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854 - 1936) reported in 1890 the discovery of "the Giant of Castelnau" - giant bones in neolithic tombs, in southern France. According to Mr. de ...
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Is prostitution the oldest profession?

The Oxford Dictionary describes "Prostitution" as the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment It is often referred to as "the oldest profession", e.g. ...
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Could the Australian Aborigines have Descended from Three People?

My anthropology professor claimed that certain genetic simulations showed that the Australian Aborigines could have descended from a population of only one man and two women. Those three people and ...
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Is the “Tribe meets White Man for the First Time” video fake?

Is this video fake? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyHYbsXt05k Most of the links according this video have no information besides the video itself and are very recent. How should I proceed to get ...