Tag Archives: Anthropolgy

Cannibalism: just what the doctor ordered

Carole A. Travis Henikoff   It may come as a surprise to many that their ancestors practiced cannibalism, especially when some scholars deny cannibalism ever happened. Yet the truth is, we all have cannibals in our closet. Throughout history human beings have consumed human flesh for various reasons. As humans migrated around the globe, they […]

Why do Nigerians Die?

Joseph S. Hundeyin Lagos, Nigeria   Nigerian woman at a health education session via Wikimedia Commons A mere glance at the question “Why do Nigerians die?” would lead one to think it is one of the simplest questions ever asked. But on a closer look, one would discover that the question is indeed a deep […]

An emigrant doctor’s linguistic journey on crutches

Zeynel A. Karcioglu Charlottesville, Virginia, United States   Figure 1: A photograph of Kemal Atatürk unveiling the new Turkish alphabet in 1928.   I am a linguistic cripple like many other immigrants. When I came to the United States as a foreign medical graduate I was rather young, but the neurocognitive linguistic skills of my […]

Scarification: harmful cultural practice or vehicle to higher being?

Kenneth Michael Felsenstein Bethesda, Maryland, USA Scarification is the act of “covering, disguising and transforming the body”1 by creating wounds in one’s own flesh in order to cause indelible markings. It is perhaps one of the most misunderstood body modification procedures done today, largely perceived in Western society as a tabooed and harmful cultural practice.2 Superficially […]

Death by voodoo: truth or tale?

Judith N. Wagner Munich, Germany     Figure 1. A pointing bone used for voodoo spells. “Their medicine men have tremendous power over them: if they doom one of them to die, the unfortunate will accept his fate, isolate himself from his family and pass away within a short time.” I vividly remember the octogenarian, […]

To mount a camel

Larry Zaroff Stanford University, California   For the West, Afghanistan is a country difficult to understand. Though largely Muslim, it is a society made up of multiple ethnic groups and classes, beset by ideological disagreements, with disconnected provinces that are unstable, unconquerable, and often anarchic. All Afghans are culturally mixed, yet are highly independent, believe […]