Christina Beard-Moose, PhD Anthropology and Women's Studies

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“The Shock of the Other”—Vol. 1, Millennium: Tribal wisdom for the Modern World

Anthropologist: David Maybury-Lewis

OTHERING: a natural human trait: to separate us/them; me/you Peruvian Rainforest [a.k.a. jungle] to seek out the Mashku Piro This group is little known. The first picture of a group of 3 women was taken in 1979.

CULTURAL SURVIVAL—an organization whose mission is to try to help indigenous peoples worldwide to hold their own in the modern world. Maybury-Lewis is the director of it.

*A Primary question: Do we HAVE to make other societies and people over in our own image? He is in Peru to try to help prevent a disaster from happening to the Mashku Piro similar to the one that happened to another tribe, the Yaminowa, upon 1st first contact in 1984. At that time, the Yaminowa were equally unknown to the Westernized world. When they were contacted by Westerners, many diseases, e.g. pneumonia and measles, were passed to the Yaminowa. The diseases killed as many as half of the population.

*What does he mean by the “rape of innocence?” Sitting in a saloon in the last village before the national park in Peru, Maybury-Lewis thinks about how people make other people, unfamiliar people, into monsters. That is, something divorced from nature, outside of nature and horrible. He also thinks about what the people he worked with over 30 years in Brazil, the Xavante, said of the ruining of the rainforests: it ruins the Web of Life, it is the destruction of the tribal world by the industrialized world.

ONCE THE CREW ARRIVED, there were many problems. One of the main ones was with IDACEP, Peruvian Indian Organization, who would not grant permission for the crew, or Maybury-Lewis, to go up the river they are generally visible on to take pictures. This was mainly due to the fact that no one else had ever asked permission of IDACEP before. Also, the agency didn’t want M-L and the crew to “chase a lost tribe up a river.” Maybury-Lewis’s primary motive for doing the film was to show how Anthropology could be accomplished differently than the perceived norm. He decided that they would go on but up another river, and to shoot photos only with a long-range lens. They would also make no 1st contact. The guides for the crew were Macheguenga, another larger tribal group in Peru. The Macheguenga think of the Mashku Piro like Westerners treat the Macheguenga—and, by extension, all other non-Westerners—as uncivilized, like children, like “savages,” like some exotic zoo animal.

*UNRAVEL THE MYSTERY—anthropologists go to the field and study to meet the other. However, Maybury-Lewis honored the agreement to stay away from the Mashku Piro. He chose to leave the mystery intact and leave the Mashku Piro until THEY are ready to meet.


Margaret Mead: Taking Note

Strangers Abroad: Evans-Pritchard

Coming of Age: Margaret Mead

The Day Pictures were Born



Baka: People of the Forest

Real Magick

Taboo: Sexuality

Taboo: Marriage

Taboo: Voodoo

Masai Women

Ongka's BIG Moka

Warrior Marks

Strange Relations

Touching the Timeless

Sunkissed: Navajo

Cannibal Tours

Tightrope of Power

Women Pharaohs

Moyers and Cone: Cross and Lynching Tree

From Danger to Dignity


Pratt’s experiment: kill the Indian, save the Man.

Bring Indians from “savage to civilized”  [Which anthropological theory does this remind you of?] 

“Schools for Savages” article appears in Harper’s Weekly magazine.

1870s–Victorian America Prisoners taken to Fort Marion then to St. Augustine, FLA

1876–Custer falls [Battle of Little Bighorn] Christian converts–amounted to an amalgamation of traditional Cheyenne spiritual life with Christianity added. 

“Survival of the Fittest” [Social Darwinism] 
Hampton Institute for Negroes in VA was the only educational facility they were allowed to attend.
“Friends of the Indians” a society who wanted to–kill the Indian and save the man.
Same goal for European/Asian/African immigrants as well as all freed southern blacks:–to make them all into “the perfect Americans” [e.g. WASPS] 
1879–Carlisle Indian School, PA–never intended for children to return to their homes and families.–169 children [‘wild Indians’]–Luther Standing Bear, who wrote about it as an adult, *I am no more an Indian, but just an imitation of a white man. 
Carlisle students used as exhibition over the next 50 years.    
1925–assimilation was national law separation was the key Becoming ‘good Indians’ meant to perform for the whites. 
spirituality–outwardly Christian, inwardly native 
*punishment of runaways/dissenters–military-like punishment
*native language literally beaten out of them Haskell Indian School–now an all Indian college
*constantly told, ‘you’re just an Indian, you’ll never amount to anything.’ 

Taking back the children, Ghost Dancers–started by Wovoka, a Paiute Indian [Great Basin Culture Area]