Re: ANTHRO-L Digest - 25 Oct 1995 to 26 Oct 1995

karl h schwerin (schwerin@UNM.EDU)
Wed, 1 Nov 1995 13:41:10 -0700

When I was doing fieldwork among the Karinya in Venezuela, it was considered
highly derogatory to call someone "bruto" (beast, brute, or bestial). On
the other hand they readily self-identified as "cristianos" which in that
context did not refer to religious belief, but rather equated to

On Fri, 27 Oct 1995, Ruby Rohrlich wrote:

> I have always used "beast" as a synonym for"animal," although it is true
> that when one human uses the wordto describ e another human, it
> usually has a derogatory connotation, but that's true for the word
> "animal" also, even though humans may acknowledge that we're animals but
> they don't acknowledge that we're beasts, unless under specific negative
> conditions. Ruby Rohrlich
> On Fri, 27 Oct 1995, Marie E. Seitz wrote:
> > In a message dated 95-10-27 00:12:50 EDT, Matthew Hill wrote:
> >
> > >The poor beast seems to have had a most unfortunate upbringing in the
> > >home of a psychotherapist, Maurice Temerlin, who has written a book,
> > >Lucy: Growing Up Human, about the experience. She was not returned
> > >to Africa, since she was born in captivity...Peterson was extremely
> > interested in Lucy >and writes, second hand, a bit about her experience. It
> > does not include the anecdote >mentioned but does document Lucy's discontent
> > with life in the bush and the heroic
> > >efforts of Janis Carter to get her to adapt (Carter has an article in
> > Smithsonian for June >88).
> >
> > Please, don't use the term "beast" to refer to chimps. They have much more in
> > common with humans than most of us think. It is unfortunate that Temerlin did
> > not think far enough in advance about what would become of Lucy after his
> > research was finished (the same thing happened with Washoe, who was lucky
> > enough to end up with Roger Fauts, also a psychologist). Returning her to the
> > wild was a bad idea, as she believes herself to be a human, not a chimp. It
> > is a problem when we are able to glean a little about how animals think and
> > yet are not concerned with what is learned.
> >
> > Marie Papachatzis
> > Dept. of Anthropology
> > SUNY at Buffalo
> >

Karl Schwerin SnailMail: Dept. of Anthropology
Univ. of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131

Much charitable endeavor is motivated by an unconscious
desire to peer into lives that one is glad to be unable
to share. . . . . Edward Sapir