Past classes

Living Cosmology - Disarming The Sacred.

Class finishes
20:30
Speaker(s)
Description

BaYaka religion is direct, participatory and without priests. This talk will describe a religion based on song and dance in which participants commune directly with the forest spirits and ritually re-enact key moments in their cultural history.

How Hunter-Gatherers Ensure Sharing - A Woman’s Biggest Husband is the Moon.

Class finishes
20:30
Speaker(s)
Description

Proper sharing and success in life are linked through a complex of beliefs called ekila. This talk will explore the overlapping ways that proper sharing is reinforced in the context of the gendered division of labour.  

The Anthropology of David Graeber

Class finishes
20:30
Description

David Graeber's unexpected death on September 2nd this year shocked us all. This evening we will pay tribute to David's astonishingly rich contributions to anthropology and invite discussion of his academic and activist work.

An Ancient African Egalitarian Civilization

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Description

Jerome will present research tracing the long duration and resilience of a Central African hunter-gatherer 'civilisation'. This civilisation cannot be traced through archaeological evidence, but rather by combining genetic, ethnographic and ethnomusicological studies. These suggest a structural form or style that endures across different 'Pygmy' societies today despite genetic and other differences, such as speaking different languages.

A Special World of Time: Lived Myths of the Bayaka Pygmies of Central Africa

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Description

This will be an evening of hilarious and entrancing story-telling. Having spent many years living with the Bayaka Pygmies of Central Africa, Jerome Lewis describes the experienced narrators of his magical tales as larger-than-life characters actively participating inside their own myths.

Woman's Biggest Husband is the Moon

Speaker(s)
Description

Jerome has many years experience in the field, working with the Bayaka hunter-gatherers in the Congo Basin in Central Africa. This is a ground-breaking study of the central importance to women of the link between their bodies and the Moon. Bayaka men are made aware that even though, as husbands, they may have some sexual expectations, the Moon's own demands come first! Women's solidarity is fundamental to the unusually egalitarian dynamics of Bayaka society.

From Music to Language: A Bayaka Perspective

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Description

An exploration of the many connections between music and language. Jerome is a leading figure in the field of language evolution, and one of the very few to base his thinking on his experiences living with a contemporary hunter-gatherer population. Drawing on many years of fieldwork with the Bayaka people of the Congo Basin, he shows how women's polyphonic singing, designed to keep dangerous predators at bay, forms one part of the explanation for human vocal skills, while another is the Bayaka hunter's skill in imitating animal cries.

‘Woman's Biggest Husband is the Moon’

Speaker(s)
Description

Jerome has many years experience in the field, working with the Bayaka hunter-gatherers in the Congo Basin in Central Africa. This is a ground-breaking study of the central importance to women of the link between their bodies and the Moon. Bayaka men are made aware that even though, as husbands, they may have some sexual expectations, the Moon's own demands come first! Women's solidarity is fundamental to the unusually egalitarian dynamics of Bayaka society.

How Language Evolved from Music.

Speaker(s)
Description

An exploration of the many connections between music and language. Jerome is a leading figure in the field of language evolution, and one of the very few to base his thinking on his experiences living with a contemporary hunter-gatherer population. Drawing on many years of fieldwork with the Bayaka/Mbendjele people of the Congo Basin, he shows how women's polyphonic singing, designed to keep dangerous predators at bay, forms one part of the explanation for human vocal skills, while another is the hunter's skill in imitating animal cries.

‘Woman's Biggest Husband is the Moon'. an Example of Women's Solidarity and Power in a Hunter-Gatherer Society.

Speaker(s)
Description

Jerome Lewis has many years experience in the field, working with the Mbendjele hunter-gatherers in the Congo Basin in Central Africa. In this talk, he will discuss the symbolic significance of the Moon to women in this society. A Mbendjele husband is made aware that even though he may expect attention from his wife, the Moon's monthly demands on a woman come first. Women's singing, dancing and ritual solidarity is fundamental to the unusually egalitarian dynamics of Mbendjele society.