Re: Free Willy! (and James Brown!)

Cal Eastman (shiva@FREENET.SCRI.FSU.EDU)
Tue, 21 Jun 1994 10:37:28 18000

>The term 'primitive culture' was originally used to
> designate cultures 'less evolved' than MWEs, or more likely 'less
> Christian'. In this modern enlightened age we recognize this is
> not meaningful. The meaning of the label has changed, must we
> change the label even though the same cultures may be designated.
> Any anthropologist who considers a primitive culture as
> unsophisticated or lacking intellect is obviously in the wrong
> field. Some critics feel that the artifacts of modern civilization
> are all natural since they have 'evolved', which of course
> suggests that ancient civilizations were less evolved, whence
> comes the term primitive. Of course the idea that there is 'a
> path' of cultural evolution is reasonably well discredited.
> An anthropologist may live under primitive sanitary
> conditions, eat food prepared with primitive processes, utilize
> primitive tools and transportation to study the indigenous people.
> But he cannot use the term primitive to describe the culture which
> develops in response to that environment.

exactly... cultures are not more or less evolved, they are evolved and
shaped by their environments and needs. The word primatiuve is clearly
not correct in this context, but neither is teh word "natural".
the kung! san's culture is no more natural than the average new york
city dwellers, both are natural, in asmuch as both developed over time
due to cultural, environmebtal and philosophical pressures.
As i stated in an earlier post, if a beehive is natural, so is

Boom shiva
mahalinga nataraj
(puffiness 4evah)