I was having second thoughts, but pressed on safe in the knowledge that I was performing an act that would raise my esteem in the eyes of those present and help to rapidly acculturate me. Biting down on the now-charred-still-white pieces, to be sure, the flesh was not as bad as I expected. Neither good nor bad, it was remarkably neutral in taste - flavoured only with a little bit of salt and eaten with lavash bread. My guide smiled as I ate. “They say it’s good for your virility”, he chuckled, “but not even us locals really eat it that much”.
Anthropology has long ago dispensed with the notion that there is any ‘one’ truth. But I think most ethnographers still hope that in describing a group, the people within that group still see at least a reflection of themselves; still understand it as describing something that is legible to them.
“The body of the people is in that landscape so when it's mined and crushed and dug up, you’re not just doing it with rock, you’re also doing it with people, with the remains of people, and we know that happened on Banaba.” Katerina Teaiwa, Associate Professor at the School of Culture, History and Language … Continue reading Ep. #26 Mining Banaba: Katerina Teaiwa talks mining phosphate & decolonising modern anthropology
In preparing for fieldwork, I took a class on language training with Piers Kelly. While Piers was talking more specifically about learning in a context where a language hadn’t been written down before or had very limited resources, I think there was a nice takeaway for any learner of a second (or third, or more…) … Continue reading Talking like a child: Language learning for anthropology fieldwork