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ANSO 215: The Final Frontier: Peopling and Peoples of the Pacific

Term: Fall

Credits: 4

Degree Requirements: F9

The course will begin by examining why the Pacific Islands were the “final frontier” of the human occupation of the globe. The focus will then shift to the vast array of normal cultural strategies employed among Pacific Islanders regarding subsistence activities, social, political and economic organization, cosmological beliefs, and celebratory practices. Anthropologists also use the information they acquire to reflect upon theoretical arguments concerning cultural organization and human practices. Ethnographic studies in the Pacific have contributed to ongoing discussions concerning non-market based economies, “primitive” warfare, varieties of celebration and decoration (e.g., the hula and tattooing), and marketing the “exotic” to the West. This course will also examine the contribution of Pacific ethnography to such larger discussions in the field of anthropology. 

Prerequisites: none.