Re: mutilation and ritual

John McCreery (jlm@TWICS.COM)
Fri, 5 Jul 1996 08:07:40 +0900

>Exactly! Exactly! The movement is called "Moden Primitives" and these guys
>are sundancing (Plains style) with none of the deeper structure of the
>ritual. As for tattooing, it was definately imported into the US, but
>interestingly enough, there has arisen an independent tattoo culture replete
>with rituals and deep culture in the prisons. Some work is being done, but I
>don't know if anyone is looking at it in conjunction with the larger picture
>of the social conditions within the prison and the circumstances which arose
>to provide the inmate with group membership into the prison culture (iow,
>what did the person do to get arrested and what led him to do the crime). Can
>you suggest any readings on deep/surface structure for me?
>- Adrienne

Careful! Careful! Dwight is a very smart guy, but this "deep structure" vs.
"surface structure" stuff doesn't work this way. Whether you go for Chomsky
or Jung, the "deep" stuff is pan-human and will be there just as much in
the modern primitives as it is in the real thing. What's lacking in the
modern primitives is the social and cultural context that informed the
rites in their original setting.

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