Re: Modifying the Body

Dwight W. Read (dread@ANTHRO.UCLA.EDU)
Tue, 16 Jul 1996 23:53:43 -0700

>Snower comments (in part):
>> For example, a tattoo does not in fact
>>establish kinship. Nor did the totem communal feast in fact establish
>>kinship. The tattoo establishes a symbolic or imaginary kinship, as does
>>eating the totem animal.
>This brings up the question: What is kinship? If it is a cultural
construct (as I argue) then a tattoo may very well establish kinship, in the
same way that marriage establishes kinship. That is, if tattooing is part
and parcel of how such and such a group conceptualizes kinship, then
tattooing establishes kinship. To whom is kinship "imaginary"?
>D. Read