Australian Aboriginal Myths Of The Origins Of Fire

Evening talk

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Chris Knight

Australian Aboriginal Myths Of The Origins Of Fire

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 18:45

Across Australia, Aboriginal myths say that during the Dreamtime, women secreted fire in their vulvas, hiding their firesticks whenever a man approached. The myths go on to say that one day, a male hero stole fire from a woman and handed it over to men. In this workshop, a number of different versions of the myth will be analyzed using the techniques developed by the founder of structural anthropology, Claude Levi-Strauss. We will explore whether such myths help us to reconstruct changes in gender relations across Australia in the distant past.

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Evening talk information

Our evening talks include discussion, are free and open to all.

Next evening class

Rebekah Pluekhahn

Music, Morality And The Creation Of Value In Mongolia
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 18:45
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square. map

Among the Altai Urianghai people in a rural district of western Mongolia’s Hovd province, musical knowledge, practice and performance are means through which people engage with overlapping historical influences, create and maintain different cultural traditions and attempt to ensure good future outcomes. This talk will explore how musical knowledge is an important, highly valued resource, leading to performers being highly venerated. Musical performance becomes an ethical practice, one that is collectively shared although key custodians hold individual responsibilities. In this talk, I will ask how understandings of value can move beyond economics to encompass shared cultural resources of other kinds, along with their esoteric potential. I will also explore how the moral musical practice of Altai Urianghai performers engages with national discussions and delineations of contemporary Mongolian culture.