Category Archives: ANTH 104

Cultural revitalization and the hula

I want to commend you all in ANTH 104-002 for an engaging and interesting discussion yesterday about cultural commodification and appropriation.  It was a shame we didn’t have more time to dig into these important concepts in more detail.  We didn’t have very much time to consider cultural revitalization, and my specific examples from Hawaii.  Here is a 6 minute video that I would have shown in class if time had permitted; it considers the cultural importance of hula, the link between language and hula, and the connection between the revitalization of both on the Hawaiian islands.

Human language families

We have talked about our family tree in terms of how we are related to chimpanzees and other great apes.  We can apply the same concept to thinking about the relationship between different language families.   This graphic from is a helpful representation of both diversity and relatedness!  One application of this concept is called “Glottochronology”, where the relatedness of languages is used to think about human migrations in the past; the maps in the center of this graphic show the complementarity of linguistic research and historical documentation and archaeology.


Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Let’s bring this food movement to Victoria, and challenge ourselves to waste less food by buying less than perfect produce.  OK, I’m not suggesting that you be a martyr and buy the mushy, moldering fruit (not that you can, it is pulled from store shelves long before it gets that that point, part of the issue!).  But think critically about what we have come to expect and demand as consumers, and how this contributes to the $31 billion dollars of food wasted in Canada last year.

Indigenous archaeology in action

A new exhibit opens this week in three location in Vancouver, telling the story of the Musquem peoples and c əsnaʔəm, an important village site also known as the Marpole midden (under the Fraser Arms hotel near the Arthur Laing bridge in south Vancouver).  the exhibit is a great example of collaboration between museums and indigenous community members and reflects indigenous archaeology in a powerful way.  This Globe and Mail article is an interesting overview of the exhibit, which is an outcome of what initially was a very confrontational incident between a developer and the Museum community who was opposed to development on this important village and cemetery site.

The construction of body image from a Hollywood perspective

OK, I have to admit a stereotype here: I have never thought of Hollywood actors as particularly articulate.  Ashley Judd has proven me wrong, assuming she herself wrote this opinion editorial for the Daily Beast in response to the media gossip about her appearence (and I have no reason to beleive she didn’t!).  This is an interesting follow up to our ANTH 110 discussion on the cultural construction of body image and ideals, and is also a very nice example of self-reprsentation from a woman who, like so many celebrities, finds herself under nearly constant media scrutiny that perpetuates many of these ideals.

repost: ANTH 104 morphemes practice

Some of you have asked for some help with morphemes ahead of the final exam.  There will be a question where you are given words and asked to cirle ALL of the morphemes that are present.  You can test yourself with the following, and come and talk to me if you have questions:

incomplete; unprecedented; relate; chased; unending; excitment; frustrating; limit; vehicle; trousers; rosy

I will not be throwing you tricky morphemes to figure out, I just need to make sure you understand the premise of morphemes as the smallest indivisible units of meaning in a language.

Follow up resources for our race discussion

Thank you for your participation in class yesterday, the issues that we started to consider are very important ones, and you likely left with more questions than answers (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!).  I have found a web resource that offers some balanced information that may help you continue to think about benefits and drawbacks of “status Indian” designation, reserves, etc…  UBC’s Indigenous Foundations website is comprehensive; of particular relevance to yesterday’s discussion are the sections on government policy and land and rights.  You may also be interested in the federal government’s information on their Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development website, although this is arguably only one side of this very complicated issue.  We will briefly revisit this conversation next class before launching in to linguistics.

ANTH 104 revised course schedule

For those of you who didn’t get a paper copy of the revised course schedule and accompanying readings, I am posting it here  for your convenience.  Please note that the 100 Mile Diet assignment due date STAYS THE SAME, so dont panic, you still have a few weeks to complete it!  If you have any questions please ask!