An embarrassment of riches: the ontological aspect of meat and fat harvesting among subarctic hunters

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/114227
http://dx.doi.org/10.15496/publikation-55602
Dokumentart: Buch (einzelnes Kapitel)
Date: 2021-04-14
Language: English
Other Keywords: Hunter-gatherers
animism
ontology
subarctic
North America
fat
stone
color
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Inhaltszusammenfassung:

If we hypothesize that Pleistocene hunters un- derstood animals to be self-aware other-than-hu- man persons, as contemporary hunter-gatherers tend to do, what evidence of this kind of rela- tionship might appear the material record? While the “turn to ontology” within anthropology has mainly used, as evidence, a group’s consciously held ideas, part of a people’s assumptions about reality are unconscious, and revealed only in be- havior. The chapter examines the potential of the ethnographic analogy, using the example of some contemporary North American subarctic hunters. In particular, I look at how their ontological as- sumptions are reflected in their material culture, such as in their treatment of animal bones, their pictographs and other decorations, their venera- tion of particular rocks, and the significance they attach to certain colors.

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