The Ethnographic Lens: Images from the Realm of a Rain Queen.
Between 1936 and 1938 social anthropologists Eileen and Jack Krige undertook intensive fieldwork in the north-eastern regions of South Africa among the Lobedu people whose chief Modjadji was widely acclaimed as a rainmaker.'
'In 1943 their book 'The Realm of a Rain Queen' was published and has remained in print ever since. Some of the photographs taken by the Kriges were used as illustrations in the book but many remained unpublished and little known ...' Via
of archaeological and anthropological resources from the
South African Museum.
Princess Makobo Modjadji of the Bolobedu
has just been crowned as the new
Rain Queen, Modjadji VI.
greeted the inauguration, which may be
a good sign.
The Rain Queen was the inspiration for H. Rider Haggard's 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'.
More on the world of the Rain Queen - including biographical details on the last Rain Queen, and her relationships with politicians such as Nelson Mandela in a changine South Africa -
posted by plep
on Apr 12, 2003 -
The Dictators Contest
"Back by popular demand is the Original Dictators Contest
. 16 of the last century's most fearsome autocrats have been selected and pitted randomly against one another to compete for the title Dictator of Dictators
". If you don't see your favorite Dictator, try The Second Dictators Contest.
Agree with their results? Did they forget anyone?
posted by Mack Twain
on Apr 11, 2003 -
Religion in Hellenistic Athens, A Medieval Mirror, Losing Face: Status Politics in Japan, Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979-1982 , Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture , Freud and His Critics
and Memory for Forgetfulness: August, Beirut, 1982
--all are entire online books from the public section
of the University of California Press.
I am, like, going so nutso--Jackpot!
posted by y2karl
on Apr 3, 2003 -
Follow the pollen trail...
The recent volatility
on the stock market has nothing on the Tulip Mania
that swept Holland in 1637. They went so gaga over over the colorful
heralds of spring that one blossom obsessed fella, for example, sold a brewery to buy a single bulb. It's become an example
of what happens
when we become economically overconfident. Myself, I'd rather deal in flowers than money, anyway.
posted by moonbird
on Apr 3, 2003 -
World War 1 Memoirs and Diaries
, by soldiers, nurses and chaplains. 'With the advent of the world wide web, an opportunity arose for the descendants of many survivors to publish fragments of diary entries for the education and interest of others. '
The diary of Edwin Jones
, who fought in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Via the firstworldwar.com
which also features
poetry and prose
(including an overview of British World War 1
how it reflected the class system at the time);
on everything from
disputed sexuality of T.E. Lawrence.
Related :- an interview
with one of
the last British WW1 survivors, aged 107 ('I survived the trenches - and would
never go back'), and the BBC's
80th anniversary site
, which includes five poignant, sometimes tragic, letters from soldiers to family and friends.
posted by plep
on Mar 31, 2003 -
In a refreshingly simple and visually appealing presentation, "Places" explores the synergy between artists and the locations that inspire them. From a virtual landscape created from the surface of an agate, to a 1787 map of Mecca included in the Dala'il al-Khayrat ("Guides to Good Things"), to an 1885 photograph of a single moment captured in the reflection of a gazing ball, these eight fascinating examples seem to suggest that places are nothing so much as what our own observation reveals of them at any given time.
posted by taz
on Mar 22, 2003 -
Just Nuisance, Able Seaman.
The only canine enlisted in the Royal Navy, Just Nuisance served from 1939 to 1944 in Simon's Town, South Africa (on his papers his occupation was listed as 'Bone Crusher
' and his religion 'Canine Divinity League [Anti-Vivisection]
'). Providing a great source of morale to sailors stationed there he would escort them on train trips and make sure they made it back to base after a night on the town. Of course being a sailor himself he was privy to a few brushes with the law as well by traveling on the railways without a pass (punishment: Confined to the banks of Froggy Pond, Lily Pool, with all lamp posts removed) or sleeping on an Officer's bed (punishment: Deprived of bones for seven days.). Married, and survived by five children, on his death he was afforded a funeral with full military colours. You can read his biography
(which spawned a television series), or merely pay respects at his statue
next time you're in Simon's Town.
posted by PenDevil
on Mar 19, 2003 -
Wow. Spartacus Educational
is a masterwork of hyperlinked history with a rather eclectic list of focus topics that can suck you in and never let go. Start anywhere, and then just click, and click, and click...
In light of recent events, you might begin, if you wish, with a brush-up on the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
in Sarajevo, and from there go on to find out more about the Black Hand
secret society responsible for the killing. You may attempt to sidestep politics by going to cartoonists
, or U.S. novelists and poets
, but you will find that the site is organized against a backdrop of world politics (viewed chiefly from a British perspective), a point of view that weaves its own endlessly looping and mesmerizing mesh.
posted by taz
on Mar 14, 2003 -
Fifty years ago this month, then-19-year-old George Mansour was arrested for having sex
with a sailor at a private party -- his name was published in the paper and his acceptance to Boston University was revoked. This fascinating slice of recent history (don't miss the hilarious interview) coincides interestingly with current privacy-related news at home
. [via uffish
posted by RJ Reynolds
on Mar 10, 2003 -
From a theft at the U.S. Mint to a scam artist in Philly, from a playboy Egyptian king to a Secret Service sting at the Waldorf-Astoria, ending up at a record-breaking $7.59 million auction: the fascinating history of a coin
. (via BoingBoing)
posted by Vidiot
on Mar 8, 2003 -
Modeling the Roman Army.
The author of this site uses CAD software to examine the mechanics and problems of manuevering large masses of men in ancient warfare. Good stuff for people interested in the subject.
posted by moonbiter
on Feb 24, 2003 -
There's One In Every Family:
You know that uncle whose name can't be mentioned at table, without loud swallowing, dark looks and deathly silence ensuing? The shady New Orleans grandmother whose photographs have been hastily removed from the family album, though the red stain from one of her garters remains? Call them black sheep or family skeletons, the Internet keeps making it easier
to dig them up and out. Outing your forebears
and close family members has become an up and coming thing. In other words: I'll show you my black sheep if you show me yours.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Feb 23, 2003 -
Jihad in textbooks:
posted by troybob
on Feb 20, 2003 -
The Great Hedge of India
was over 1500 miles long in the mid-1800s, manned by 12,000 guards (for tax purposes), and totally forgotten until an Englishman spent three years tracking its history. A fascinating travel / history / detective story.
posted by LeLiLo
on Feb 18, 2003 -
Victorian Secrets of Washington, D.C.:
and thoughtful essays
documenting one man's fight to draw attention to D.C.'s neglected architectural heritage: "This site won't be much of a beauty pagent because we 'll concentrate on buildings that are vacant, abandoned, deteriorated, distressed, or just plain at risk because they are standing in the path of development . . . if even one Victorian finds an angel because of our page, we'll consider it a thousand percent return on investment."
posted by ryanshepard
on Feb 14, 2003 -
Hey you, XYZ!
Look at your zipper -- was it made by Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha, or YKK
? Probably. With seven million
zippers produced every day
at YKK America's National Manufacturing Center in Macon, Georgia, alone, it's no wonder that the zipper on whatever you're wearing right now is a YKK...or is it?
[a bit more inside]
posted by DakotaPaul
on Feb 7, 2003 -
Voices from the Trading Post. You know, you can get a job anywhere, but this is not just a place to make a living. This is a way of life.
Life on the Navajo reservation in the 19th and 20th century, in the words
of the traders themselves (text and sound).
posted by gottabefunky
on Feb 3, 2003 -