Re: Mutilation and tattoos

John McCreery (jlm@TWICS.COM)
Fri, 5 Jul 1996 08:07:34 +0900

>In a message dated 96-07-03 19:17:18 EDT, agorman@METZ.UNE.EDU.AU (Alice
>Gorman) writes:
>> In the lists of differences between primates and
>> humans one never sees "Humans deliberately alter the physical appearance
>> their bodies", but I believe this is in fact a distinguishing feature.
>When I first started my research, I approached it from a nature culture
>opposition, and although I find it to be an aspect of the process, I think
>that it is much more about creating definitions of self and other (which
>could incorporate self as human, animal as other) - be they individual self,
>village, family, community, culture, state, nation, continent, world. This
>seems to be applicable in every culture I've looked at.
>- Adrienne

Easy, but too easy. Global generalizations don't explain the variation,
e.g., why some people would settle for a discrete butterfly above the ankle
while others go for total bodycoverage, or why some people make their mark
by wearing Gucci while others go for tattoos and sometimes they may be the
same people.

John McCreery
3-206 Mitsusawa HT, 25-2 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku
Yokohama 220, JAPAN

"And the Lord said unto Cyrus, 'Shall the clay say to him who moldest it,
what makest thou? Let the potsherd of the earth speak to the potsherd of
the earth." --An anthropologist's credo