Accepted Paper:

Human body makes cultures  

Author:

Junzo Kawada (Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture, Kanagawa University, Japan)

Paper short abstract:

The human body, locally variable on the earth, is the base to create cultures. By bipedal locomotion, able to carry burdens to certain distance, this Homo portans could spread over the globe and create variable cultures.

Paper long abstract:

The human body, locally variable on the earth, is the base to create cultures making use of available materials. As the first primate, by upright bipedal locomotion, able to carry burdens of certain weight to certain distance, this Homo portans (Human the carrier) could spread all over the globe and create locally variable cultures. This paper, using the "triangulation of cultures", a comparison of three quite different cultures, which I propose long since for its heuristic value, as well as to lessen the observer's subjective distortion, deals traditional carrying techniques of the body in Japan, Europe and West Africa, always based on our own field research. I discuss the subject in a larger perspective of "technological cultures", including the world view of which the technique is materialization, as well as the socio-political systems to carry out the technique.

Panel P129
Evolution of human cultures: towards an integrated anthropology of modern humans (CLOSED)