Second Writing AssignmentAnthropology 100Turnbull, Colin: The Forest PeopleAn ethnography or ethnographic report is the most important production of a culturalanthropologist who works in the field, studying other people. It is a factual account ofobservations, mixed with the anthropologists own interpretations of the meanings of the culturalevents that s/he observes.In anthropology, the word Culture is generally understood to mean all of the beliefs,behaviors, and practices that are learned by, shared among, and meaningful to the members of asociety. Everything from what clothing to wear, what foods are considered good to eat, tablemanners about how to eat those foods (e.g. with fingers, forks, or chopsticks), what kind ofmusic to make, how and when to dance and sing, where to sit, how close to stand to others, andall of the other little things that seem obvious to us because everybody (in our society) doesthem are all aspects of our culture.The ethnography The Forest People is one of the classic and most widely read books in culturalanthropology. Colin Turnbull spent several years living with the BaMbuti pygmies of thenation of Congo, and recording, describing, and explaining their daily experience of life. TheBaMbuti culture is about as different from American culture as it can be, and yet despite thedifferences, Turnbulls descriptions of the Mbuti people are easily understood, due to thesimilarities that all humans share.Read The Forest People, and reflect on the ways that their culture differs from our own. Whileyou read this ethnography, consider the similarities and differences between Mbuti life in theIturi forest and your own life here in the United States.We have an economy, we have ways of settling disputes between citizens, we have ways ofbuilding homes and communities, and we have ways of engaging in religious rituals. So do theMbuti people, although their ways are markedly different from our ways. Anthropologists do notask which way is right? Instead, we ask what makes their behavior appropriate for them,while our ways are appropriate for us?Your essay should address the following issues:1) In what ways are Mbuti cultural practices similar to our own?Despite our cultural differences, all human societies have some things in common (a need to getfood, water, shelter, and social stability, as well as the need to make friends, teach children,protect ourselves against dangers, etc.). Consider the cultural practices from the ethnography andask yourself in what ways are the Mbuti similar to us? Select a minimum of three similaritiesbetween Mbuti culture and your own experiences in life these may be general similarities,such as respect for elders, or sharing food among relatives, or they may be more specifictopics, such as they dont like to be teased by their neighbors, or anything else. Describe threeevents in the book that are similar to events in your own personal experiences.2) In what ways are Mbuti cultural practices different from our own?Each society adapts to its own natural and cultural environment. The Ituri forest is very different from the environment in which most of us live. Select a few aspects of Mbuti culture (learned, shared, meaningful behavior) and ask yourself what makes their culture appropriate for their environment? You can do this by contrasting their behaviors with our own. (For example, Americans and Mbuti both need food, but they get most of their food from hunting and gathering wild resources in the forest, while we get our food from the store.) Why do we do things in such different ways? What makes their way of life suitable and a good fit to theirEnvironment? What makes our way of life suitable for our environment? Why would their way of life not work well here? Why would our way of life not work well there? Are they trying to be just like us, but they cant quite manage to do so? Or is there a better explanation for why they are different from us?3) Why is there cultural diversity?We have grown up in a society with a specific set of cultural rules that tell us which behaviors are appropriate, and which are not. The Mbuti people have also grown up with a set of cultural rules for appropriate behavior. We often assume that our way is right, and the Mbuti are just as certain that their way is the correct way to be a human.What is the benefit to cultural diversity? What makes variation in cultures a valuable and desirable thing? In what ways (if any) might life be better if all humans shared just one culture, and in what ways would it be worse?Your paper should be a minimum of 7 pages, in 12 point font.
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