Oftentimes when people encounter cultures that are different than their own, their initial reaction is one of fear, dread or disgust. When Anthropologists study foreign cultures, they often try to find connections between those foreign cultures and their own. This helps anthropologists to better understand different cultures. As you read about each foreign culture, annotate the paragraph for any aspects of culture that remind you of American culture.
Image 1: A common ritual amongst the Mursi, Chai and Tirma tribes (all of whom live in eastern Africa in parts of Sudan and Ethiopia). It is common for the women of these tribes to wear large wooden or pottery plates in their lips (referred to as dhebi a tugoin). When a girl turns 15 or 16 her lip is cut and a wooden plate is inserted until the wound heals. Each girl decides on her own how large she wants the plate to be. Anthropologists agree that the lip plates signify that a female is ready to marry and begin her adult life.
Image #2: The Padaung Tribe of Burma (now Myanmar) consider a long neck to be a sign of beauty. Girls receive their first neck ring when they are as young as 5 years old. As the girl ages, more rings are added (pushing the shoulders down). The longer a women’s neck appears to be, the more beautiful she is considered to be.
In what ways in the culture of the Padung tribe similar to American culture? ________________
Image 3: The Nuer Tribe live in southern Sudan and western Ethiopia. Members of the tribe receive facial scarring (or tattooing) that they call gaar. These markings signify the passage from childhood into adulthood (usually around the age of 12). The patterns vary within different subcultures of the tribe. Both males and females participate in this ritual.
In what ways in the culture of the Nuer tribe similar to American culture? __________________