Radical Anthropology Group
Next evening talk
In this talk, Camilla Power explores the relation of sex and gender among African hunter-gatherers. Egalitarian peoples like Khoesan Bushman, Congo Forest hunters and the Hadza of Tanzania have a straightforward sexual division of labour: men hunt; women gather. But gender does not reduce to a masculine/feminine binary. Instead, evidence from Bushman rock art, story and initiation ritual reveals a fluid and mutable gender transformative through time for men and women. Central religious concepts - the Moon, the Eland, Trickster - all show this gender transformation in relation to the lunar cycle. Rather than a hierarchical opposition of masculine over feminine, gender oscillates between a 'gender of power' which fuses features of the sexes, and a 'weak' gender which disambiguates the biological sexes. Evidence from Central and East African groups is compared.
|26 Feb||Emerging Patriarchy In The Mythology Of A Previously Egalitarian Society||Cathryn Townsend|
|5 Mar||Against Nature? Homosexuality And Evolution||Volker Sommer|
|12 Mar||Sorcery And Spirit Owners On The Mosquito Coast, Nicaragua||Mark Jamieson|
|19 Mar||Massage And Bushman Shamanism||Chris Low|
|26 Mar||A Plains Indian Myth: When Women Lost Their Power||Chris Knight|
|2 Apr||An Amazonian Myth: The Woman Who Was Torn In Two||Chris Knight|
|9 Apr||Myths Of The Origins Of Fire||Camilla Power|
|16 Apr||The Dragon: Making Sense Of A Worldwide Myth||Chris Knight|
Many of our past talks are available as video.