Week 3 anthro - and Middle Eastern women In Arabic the veil...

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Rebecca Hill Anthropology 104-002 February 6, 2008 Week 3: Reading Summary The first part of this weeks reading was about body art as a visual language. Body art can hold special symbols, political status or ethnic identity, and it doesn’t always translate across cultures. It can be permanent, like tattoos, or ephemeral, like makeup. A lot of body art goes along with the cultural ideals of beauty, like if someone is heavy or thin, old or young, etc. Body art has to have freedom and intentionality, so brands or numbers on people in concentration camps are body markings, not art. Some techniques are Body Painting, Makeup, Hair, Body Shaping, Scarification (Cicatrization), Tattooing, and Piercing. Significance could mean; a link to ancestors, deities or spirits, decoration, relationship with the supernatural world, transitions in status and identity, protection, to cross boundaries of gender, national identity and cultural stereotypes, and individuality or group identity. The second part of the textbook reading was the significance of the veil to Mediterranean
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Unformatted text preview: and Middle Eastern women. In Arabic the veil is a hijaba, or barrier, wearing it nowadays says treat me with respect. In the past, Muhammad’s followers used veiling to signal religious faith, they were raised to a position of honor and dignity. Now some women see it as a piece of cloth, but as a tradition. In Middle Eastern countries, seclusion of a woman (purdah) expresses men’s status, power, wealth and manliness, and men say it is to guard a woman’s honor. Veiling and seclusion have to do with social status, the status of a family is very important. The honor of a man revolves around bravery, hospitality and piety, and the honor of a woman is her sexual chastity. Some women were killed for giving this up, it disowned the family name. Various forms of veiling today communicate attitudes and beliefs about politics and religious morality as well as the roles of men and women in the middle east....
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