The Gebusi: Lives transformed in a rainforest world,


Bruce Knauft’s ethnographic narrative of the Gebusi tells the story of a complex indigenous culture and community. His long-term study effectively models the anthropological perspectives and field note methods available when working to understand the many facets of any culture or community.

For our Field Notes this week ,We will continue to explore our own indigenous identity in preparation for our own Ethnographic Narrative.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Recall the way that the familiar is made strange in the article, “Body Ritual of the Nacerima.” “Body ritual among the Nacirema“. Horace Miner. American Anthropologist June 1956, Vol. 58, No. 3, pp. 503–5 07. and
  • From the following list, choose two elements of culture evident in your own indigenous identity: rituals, celebrations (e.g. birthdays, holidays, etc.), gender roles, social structure.
  • Examine these two cultural elements using the fieldwork methods of your choosing. Note: Please do not use an interview for this assignment. Week 4’s Field Notes are devoted exclusively to an interview.
  • Reflect on how the examination of these two elements helps you to discover aspects of your own indigenous identity.

The assignment:

  • Compose a 2- to 3-page paper in which you do the following:
  •   Using fieldwork methods that you find appropriate, examine your two chosen elements of culture.
  • §Be sure to provide a description or narrative of each cultural element in your examination from the viewpoint of an anthropologist.
  • Describe to what extent you discovered new components of your own indigenous identity when examining elements of your culture in this way.


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