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Department of Anthropology

From the Field: Featuring Graduate Student Photos

People hunt jaguars in order to protect their livestock. Northwest Amazon.

Hiking a ridgeline of Tahuata with a harvest of mountain gardenias, or tiare. Marquesas Islands.

Change in road materials is the only thing indicating the Canada/US border along St. Regis Road.

Village health center sign in Battambang, Cambodia.

Making rice paper in Battambang, Cambodia.

An old sign in Jerusalem, written in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

Sign in Akwesasne notifying residents of border wait times.

After mass, a young girl watches her father butcher a goat in Hanavave, Fatu Hiva. Marquesas Islands.

The civic number on a house in the Port of Jaffa.  Israel.

Battambang City family making rice paper. Cambodia.

A jaguar's fur. Northwest Amazon.

Members of the Children's Movement for Civic Awareness learn how to make government work for them at the launch of the Civic Club Program in Bangalore in August 2012.

A stone tiki, or image representing the ancestors, in Vaitahu valley, Tahuata. Marquesas Islands.

Rooftops in Battambang, Cambodia.

A view of the Old City, Jerusalem.

A small crop of Three Sisters: corn, beans, and squash, Six Nations of the Grand River, August, 2011.

Lok Yay Mao, a grandmother ancestor spirit of Cambodia, has a statue that was completed in 2012 on Phnom Bokor, near Sihanoukville. Yay Mao protects women and travelers, especially those who travel by sea.

Learning. Northwest Amazon.

These bean-like seeds are used for making jewelry and other decorations throughout the Marquesas Islands. Vaitahu, Tahuata.

CRM archaeology in Southern Ontario, with MA student Frances Koziar.

Flags and feathers at a cross-border demonstration in Akwesasne. New York State.

NPA Deminers-in-training on a de-mining operation in Ratanakiri, Cambodia.

Harvesting manioc under a dog's supervision in Vaitahu, Tahuata.  Marquesas Islands.

A fisherman. Northwest Amazon.

At a Tamil Hindu funeral in Singapore, family members accompany the hearse for a few blocks before it heads off to the crematorium.

The Kamuihei tohua, or ceremonial site, in the valley of Hatiheu, Nuku Hiva. The Marquesas Islands.

Vineet Rathee at Dan Kund (Dharamshal, HP) near the Indian Army's surveillance center in Himachal Pradesh.

Kalli at Dhauladhar Range, Himachal Pradesh, India.

An explosive remnant of war in Ratanakiri, Cambodia.

Traditional style outriggers on the village dock in Vaitahu, Tahuata.  Marquesas Islands.

The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem.

Cartridges for hunting. Northwest Amazon.

Graffiti in Bangkok.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) looks on from vantage point atop St. Hubert.

Women polish watch casings in a factory in a village in Tamil Nadu as a part of a local corporate social responsibility initiative.

A sign indicating the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City, Jerusalem.

Looking up into the massive canopy of a sacred banyan tree in the valley of Haoipu, Tahuata.  Marquesas Islands.

Playing the water drum while maple sap boils, Six Nations of the Grand River, March, 2011.

Sampov Loun, Battambang, Cambodia.

Villagers in Tamil Nadu attend an eye camp at a public school jointly sponsored by the Government of India, private corporations, and NGOs.


Anthropology provides students with a unique opportunity to understand human cultural diversity -- to compare our own culture with those which are remote in time, in geographic distance, or simply in terms of cultural difference. As tropical rainforests and other ecosystems are degraded at ever-increasing rates, as globalization affects the most remote corners of the earth, and as our own society becomes increasingly multi-cultural, it is imperative for educated citizens to understand the nature of cultural diversity, the connections between our own fate and the fate of other peoples, and the short- and long-term processes of socio-cultural change which have made our world what it is.

Anthropology is distinct from all other disciplines in that our primary data are either ethnographic (based on long-term cultural immersion and observation in a local setting) or archaeological (based on the physical remains of prehistoric cultures). No other discipline has the same capacity to look at the world "from the ground up" -- from the point of view of ordinary people living in developing countries, or of ethnic minorities living in our own society. This makes anthropology a central link among the social and historical disciplines.