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Anthro week 8 reading review - reindeer This shows how...

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Anthro 104 Week 8 Reading Review In Vitebsky’s ethnography titled “The Reindeer People” the close relationship between the Eveny people and nature is shown through their close connection with animals, especially reindeer. The Eveny people believe that mammals and other natural objects such as rivers and forests have their own souls and spirits. The Shamanic perspective even states that humans can turn into animals. I also found it interesting that the Eveny only sacrifice animals in which they need too. In other words animals that sacrifice themselves on behalf of the spirit Bayanay are allowed to be killed. One aspect in which I found a bit shocking deals with the idea that bears resemble humans when shaven, according to these natives. On top of that there were stories of women becoming emotionally attached to bears and eventually mating with them. In our culture the thought of this seems wild and extremely unorthodox. Furthermore, seeing as the Eveny are so involved with reindeer it seems strange when some people have never even seen a real
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Unformatted text preview: reindeer. This shows how cultures vary greatly on means of survival. Along with means of survival, the sheer fact that the Eveny have a shorter life expectancy then that of Russian citizens was quite interesting. Vitebsky touches on aspects related to depression, cancer, and a poisoned environment as aspects that led to shorter native life spans. The idea of animal symbolism and dreams foreshadowing one’s love and death seems a bit obscure to me as well. Specifically interesting was the story involving Lidia’s dreams and the collapsed reindeer. She makes the connection that the reindeer symbolized the terminal illness in which her father acquired. Personally I have never thought about dreams in this way nor have I ever thought about many of the ideas represented in this ethnography. That is why overall I believe reading Vitebsky’s work has enlightened me to naïve realism and the idea that every culture can vary dramatically and still survive....
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