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Fair Exchange

Utilisation of Working Animals (and Women) in Ancient Mesopotamia and Modern Africa

Jill Goulder

Abstract

Modern sub-Saharan African studies on the recent adoption and impact of working-animal use provide valuable ethnographic insights for archaeologists into early exploitation of this new resource in antiquity. The systematic use of working cattle and (often forgotten in models) of donkeys constituted a key factor in the burgeoning of complex societies in fourth- and third-millennium BC Mesopotamia. Modern analogy indicates that models should include the economic importance of year-round utilisation of working animals and strategies for achieving this, including user training and animal hiring and lending. Another key finding is that the situation of women, commonly culturally constrained worldwide from handling cattle, is greatly ameliorated by the availability of donkeys, which can empower them in terms of income and status.

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Introduction

Human–Animal Relationships in the Middle East

Marjan Mashkour and Anahita Grisoni

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Le loup dans l’Iran ancien

Entre mythe, réalité et exégèse zoroastrienne

Samra Azarnouche

Abstract

How did ancient Iranian religion represent the wolf? Between the mythological data, the realities of the agro-pastoral world, and the symbolism of exegetical tradition, Late Antique Zoroastrianism considered the wolf as primarily a species to kill. In reality, much more than the Canis lupus hides behind the word ‘wolf’ (Middle Persian gurg), including most nocturnal predators but also devastating illnesses, a monster whom the Savior will destroy at the end of time, and finally heretics who renounce or deform the Good Religion. However, this negative image is nuanced by the recognition of the strong ties between the she-wolf and wolf cubs, both in texts where the protective qualities of this large predator are evoked, and in iconography, namely magic seals, where one finds the image of the nourishing she-wolf, perhaps connected to perinatal magic.

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Les mules, boucs émissaires du conflit Kurde

Gülcan Kolay

Abstract

The Turkish Army has been reported many times to use the burning of villages, forest and fields as a strategy in the war against the Kurdish insurgents. However, the army not only destroys the villages, the fields, the forests but also animals. Despite the vast research by academics on the destruction of the villages by the Turkish army, little is known about the damage caused by the army to animals. This article deals with the use of mules for the legal or illegal cross-border trade between Turkey-Iraq and Turkey-Iran, more precisely between Kurdish regions, and the destruction of the mules, who play a very important role in this kind of commerce, by the Turkish Army in the context of conflict against the Kurds.

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Note on the Question of Animal Suffering in Medieval Islam

Muslim Mu‘tazilite Theology Confronted by Manichean Iranian Thought

Didier Gazagnadou

Abstract

The suffering and cruelty inflicted on animals in the medieval Muslim world has been the subject of widespread theological-philosophical debate between Muslim thinkers and Iranian Manicheans. A Mu‘tazilite thinker ‘Abd al-Jabbâr al-Hamadânî al-Asadâbâdî takes Manichean objections into consideration.

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A Purging Presence

The Dog in Zoroastrian Tradition

Mahnaz Moazami

Abstract

As in many cultures Zoroastrians consider corpses as foci of pollution. Corpses are unclean and dangerous since they are afflicted by the demon of dead matter. As soon as the dying person loses consciousness, the demon of dead matter arrives from the north in the form of a fly and attacks the body. To counteract her influence, a corpse must be exposed to the gaze of a dog or a bird of prey before it is left exposed outside in the funerary tower. The dog’s presence forms an essential part of several Zoroastrian purification rituals. In this article we shall discuss two of these rituals: the sagdīd and the Baršnūm.

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Balancing the Here and There

Transnational Mobilities of Moroccan Middle-class Professionals in Istanbul

Christian Ritter

This article explores the ways Moroccan middle-class professionals residing in Istanbul have forged transnational connections since the 2006 free trade agreement between Turkey and Morocco. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, the article finds that research participants embrace three interdependent mobilities – imaginative, corporeal and virtual. First, Moroccan television viewers imaginatively internalise images of Turkish society through Turkish programmes broadcast in Morocco. Then, Moroccan nationals engage in physical travel to Turkey, initially as tourists, but later also as job seekers. Finally, Moroccan residents of Istanbul travel virtually to keep in touch with friends and family through media such as online platforms and instant messaging applications. In this article I argue that users of virtual environments have developed into new transnational brokers, facilitating the spatial extension of border-crossing networks.

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Being and Belonging in Kuwait

Expatriates, Stateless Peoples and the Politics of Citizenship

Nadia Eldemerdash

In this article I examine why Kuwait and other migrant-receiving countries in the Persian Gulf have failed to enfranchise migrant workers and their descendants through citizenship. I contend that the increasing exclusion of expatriate workers from these societies can be understood in comparison with the disenfranchisement of the stateless populations to which these governments are host. I argue that nationalist narratives that portray these groups as threatening to the host societies have been extremely significant in creating an atmosphere of increasing isolation and exclusion for both expatriates and stateless peoples. I conclude by examining what the Kuwaiti case tells us about how notions of membership and belonging develop and the significant role of historic and political circumstances in shaping these notions.

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Claiming Space

Documenting Second-generation Iranian Americans in Los Angeles

Amy Malek

In 2009–2010 I collaborated with four Iranian documentary photographers to document everyday lives of the second-generation Iranian-American community in Los Angeles (LA). This article offers an overview of that project and exhibition, along with a selection of images, and presents interview data that suggests several impacts of place and of representations of Iranians on second generation Iranian-American identity. Youth experiences of geopolitical, community and familial struggles have motivated many in this generation to re-mould the image of ‘LA Persians’ by claiming space in diaspora for themselves and their children, the growing third generation.

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Hope and Sorrow of Displacement

Diasporic Art and Finding Home in Exile

Mediya Rangi

Rushdi Anwar is a Kurdish artist in exile who references his personal experiences of genocide, situated within the modern history of his homeland, Kurdistan, to reflect on the region’s sociopolitical issues. His conceptual art demonstrates that exilic consciousness may be articulated and continuously developed through diasporic artistic expressions. Rushdi’s artwork installation ‘Irhal [Expel] – Hope and Sorrow of Displacement’ (2014–2015) aims to draw attention to the commonalities of human experience by narrating the journey from sorrow to hope. It invites audiences to understand displacement from a common perspective, the search for a safe home. Through a Deleuzian lens, this article explores Rushdi’s nomadic journey by looking at his diasporic artwork that connects the Australian context with the global crisis of conflict and displacement.