Margaret mead

Was there ever a time of equality in human society?

Origin stories have always helped humans gain a moral compass. Locked in a tight embrace, the Maori deities Rangi and Papa are separated by their enveloped children, creating the distant father sky and nurturing Mother Earth, bringing light to the world. Mayan gods fashion man from maize after destroying earlier clay and wood versions, who are seen to have no soul. Adam and Eve eat from the Tree of Life but illicitly also from the Tree of Knowledge. One of the more touted modern human origin stories, ostensibly based on evolutionary science, speaks of a natural inequality between violent and promiscuous men and caring and faithful women. Having evolved to

A frictionless history of fieldwork: In Search of Us reviewed

To be an anthropologist today is to understand, as few in the secular modern university can, what it is to be marked by a consciousness of original sin. Contemporary ethnographies are full of passionate mea culpas from scholars concerned that they have inherited the guilt of their discipline’s founding fathers, men who inhabited a world of red-cheeked missionaries and pith-helmeted viceroys. Lucy Moore is not the most natural candidate for a historian of the discipline. Her back-catalogue shows her to be a generalist and belletrist – a book on the Roaring Twenties, one on Indian princesses and another on Georgian rakes. Her prose is fluent and soothing, her narratives informative