Re: What now to call "primitives"?

Nils Zurawski (zurawsk@UNI-MUENSTER.DE)
Wed, 11 Jan 1995 21:47:29 +0100

Franz wrote:

> So, what to call these cultures and the persons living in them?
>In pop music, a certain musician has changed his name to a literally
>unprounceable sigel, some have taken to calling him "TAFKAP,"an acromym
>standing for "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince." Following in that
>parodic spirit, how about "TOFKAP" (Those Others Formerly Known As

That might be a way to refer to these cultures we are trying to name properly.
But then, it is a little ridiculous....

Whenever possible I do refer to the people by their name (their own or the
one they were given by someone somewhen in the past)
As these people are subject of research and discussion in many
circumstances, i.e. political, religious, social, economical, we (the
westerners-modern-civilized researchers) should choose a term referring to
these matters. E.g. agricultural, foraging, hunters and gatherers,
acephalous, centralized, christian, islamic, etc.

To refer to them in general, "primitive" has the same effect on me as on
you, "tribal societies", isn't that bad in german, and is what I use most.
The point here is that it contains the word societiy, which makes them more
than a "wild tribe".
Pre-modern or archaic might have some connotations about being simple, not
civilized. In short there is no pleasing term as far as I can see, unless
we make it a little paragraph as an indroductory like: their bname is,
theiy live at anywhere, on agriculture, politically segmentary organized

I can't come up with anything funnier than the Prince thing, sorry. Hope i
helps a little, if only for further thinking.