The genome of the Anzick child, who died 12,600 years ago at the age of three and was buried with ceremony in the American Rockies, has been fully sequenced
. The results shed an incredible light on the history of the peopling of the Americas: his people seem to have been direct ancestors to most tribes of Central and South America, and close relatives of the Canadian tribes. The discoveries have had an emotional impact on Native Americans
, and the boy's remains will be reburied with great respect. Still, tribal belonging is about much more than genetics
, as anthropologist Kim Tallbear reminds us. You can see replicas of the heirloom artefacts left in the boy's grave here
, or visit the collection at the Montana Historical Society if you're in the area.
With 71 votes from the Chamber of Deputies, Uruguay became the third country in the Americas to legalize gay marriage.
From the article:
While some countries have carved out new territory for gay and lesbian couples without affecting heterosexual marrieds, Uruguay is creating a single set of rules for all people, gay or straight. Instead of the words "husband and wife" in marriage contracts, it refers to the gender-neutral "contracting parties."
Can non-Europeans think? So the question remains why not the dignity of "philosophy" and whence the anthropological curiosity of "ethnophilosophy"?
It’s 6pm on Friday,and I’m writing to a few thousand friends I have not met yet.
I am writing to ask them to change our plans and meet a little while later.
Here’s the thing.
I have a dog Janet, and she’s been ill for almost two years now, as a tumor has been idling in her chest, growing ever so slowly. She’s almost 14 years old now.I got her when she was 4 months old. Fiona Apple postpones her South American tour in order to stay with her companion dog during her final days. [more inside]
The website of the Society for Irish Latin American Studies
is full of information about Irish migration to Latin America. It's divided into four sections: The Homeland
, about the origins of the settlers
; The Journey
, about how the Irish settlers traveled to Latin America, including the infamous Dresden affair
; The Settlement
, about the lives of the Irish in Latin America;
Faces and Places
, which has biographies of a wide variety of people, Mateo Banks
, family murderer, Camila O'Gorman
, executed lover of a priest, William Lamport
, 17th Century revolutionary and Bernardo O'Higgins
, Chilean independence leader, who gets a whole subsection to himself. There is also a list of Irish placenames
and much else of interest to history nerds.
The London Geographical Journal, the preeminent publication in its field, observed in 1953 that “Fawcett marked the end of an age. One might almost call him the last of the individualist explorers. The day of the aeroplane, the radio, the organized and heavily financed modern expedition had not arrived. With him, it was the heroic story of a man against the forest.”
Fawcett was none other than Percival "Percy" Harrison Fawcett
, British soldier, trained as a surveyor of unknown lands, doubling as a British spy
. But his true love was exploration, and not simply to mark boundaries on a map
. His final goal was the same that had been the demise of many explorers: a mighty lost civilization in South America
. [more inside]
In 2008 a letter was excavated during an archaeological dig
of a Peruvian colonial town abandoned for unknown reasons around the turn of the 18th Century. On the back of that letter were recorded several numbers and their names in a dead tongue, lost in the upheaval following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Even though this may be the only remnant of an entire language, there is quite a bit that linguists can glean from these fragments. For a brief overview of the findings of research by a joint American-Peruvian research group, read here
. And here is the full journal article
, which places these numbers in their historical and linguistic context.
Los 33: Chilean miners face up to a strange new world
"The rescue of 33 miners from Chile's San José mine after 69 days trapped underground was a triumph shared with the whole world. But the transition back to normality is proving difficult for both the men and their families."
Copa América is streamed live
on YouTube. Copa América is the oldest international football competition, having been held first in 1916. This is a contest between the 10 South American nations and two invitational teams, this time Costa Rica and Mexico, who both sent young squads (Japan was slated to take part but withdrew due to the earthquake
). The tournament started yesterday with Bolivia unexpectedly managing to hold Argentina to a draw
. Colombia are currently beating a 10-man Costa Rica 1-0. Brazil start their campaign tomorrow, against Venezuela. One of the world's premier football writers, Jonathan Wilson, wrote previews of the three groups, A
. The Independent has more light-hearted team previews
Gocta Falls, Peru
In 2005 Stefan Ziemendorff came across a waterfall in Northern Peru that didn't appear on any map, despite a village of 200 people being at its base. He returned the following year to measure its height. At 2,350 feet tall, Gocta Falls are now known to be the 3rd highest in the world. [more inside]
In those years I imitated him, to the point of transcription, to the point of devoted and impassioned plagiarism. I felt: Macedonio is metaphysics, is literature. Whoever preceded him might shine in history, but they were all rough drafts of Macedonio, imperfect previous versions. To not imitate this canon would have represented incredible negligence.
From Jorge Luis Borges' eulogy for Macedonio Fernández. Borges' relationship with Macedonio was complicated, as recounted in The Man Who Invented Borges
, a fine essay by Marcelo Ballvé. Macedonio's most famous work, the posthumous-by-design work (he believed literature should be aged like good whiskey) The Museum of Eterna's Novel has finally been translated and published in English translation, here is an excerpt from the novel
(one of the ninety or so prologues). The introduction to the novel, written by its translator Margaret Schwartz, has been put online by the publisher (parts 1
). Schwartz also sat down for a short interview
. You can download an mp3 of a great hour-long panel discussion on Macedonio
and a master's thesis on Macedonio by Peter Loggie [pdf]
Su Majestad 'El Bolero' - Sonidos del Mundo
:: Special bolero, a musical genre with Iberian and African mergers that are installed in the Cuban archipelago in the late nineteenth century.
Classical introduction of Matt Ramirez (Radio Felicidad 88.9 - Peru) who is involved in a musical gatherings led by Mabel Martinez. The same applies to journalists Eloy Perez and Agustin Jauregui Aldave.
Since my senses perceived that needle to settle into the grooves of vinyl. After listening to the announcer's voice and even at that moment, unknown bolero invaded me as they say, the sweet joy of 'sad', called melancholy.
I remembered that magical scene of an afternoon in which, from a makeshift place, interrupted the dance of two lovers who blushed as teenagers after being discovered.
Well I wrote my Father on the album cover photo she shared with 'her pimp'. Love? There are lots... but like ours are very few people there.
Now imagine how lucky I am to have been a spectator of so simple and beautiful moment. (google translate)
How does a director follow up the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time*? (*adjusted for inflation)
He remakes a French classic - taking an international cast to a Caribbean nation ruled by a military dictatorship, where hurricanes, irascibility, other difficulties take him far over a budget already large enough to be shared by two studios. The result
is his personal favorite
among his films. But deceptive marketing and cute robots
contribute to its making back less than half of its costs. (previously)
A new Latin America is emerging on the global political stage.
A two part video from Al Jazeera analysing how the Obama administration may deal with Latin America and what the relations will mean on a global level.
Viva la Evolucion - - Part 1
& Part 2
Featuring an exclusive interview with Noam Chomsky
, and panel Dr Celia Szusterman
, Associate fellow, Chatham House; Prof Roberto Mangabeira Unger
, Harvard University and former Brazilian strategic affairs minister; and Dr Andres Mejia Acosta
If you've ever heard the song Aquarela do Brasil (often called simply "Brazil" -- here's my favourite cover
), then you'll probably enjoy this classic 1942 animation
which first made it famous. The clip is the finale from the feature Saludos Amigos
(hello friends), created during a US government-funded goodwill tour of South America aimed at strengthening Pan-American relations, which some argue
may have helped bring South America onto the side of the Allies in World War II. [more inside]
"Percy Harrison Fawcett ... convinced himself, based on a mix of archival research, deduction and clairvoyance, that a large undiscovered city lay hidden somewhere in the Amazon"
Greg Grandin of The Nation talks about the allure of the Amazon in history and the repeated attempts made to domesticate, colonize, control, or explore it. previous discussion of failed Amazon ventures here ( via )
― prose, poetry, illustrations, photography, video, and music from a wide assortment contemporary artists. [contains some nude art images] [more inside]
Voters in Ecuador appear to have approved a new constitution
rights to clean water, universal healthcare, pensions, and free state-run education through the university level. It also may allow President Rafael Correa to remain in power until 2017. Particularly of note is a world first bill of rights for nature
which grants inalienable rights to nature
. [more inside]
is the travel photography site of Beren Patterson. Includes simple and easy to use tutorials
and his collection of travel pictures
that are integrated as a digital postcard system.
Andre Gunther Photography
― The galleries
of photographs are certainly beautiful, but this site shines also for its technique tutorials
and camera reviews
"Skin painted bright red, heads partially shaved, arrows drawn back in the longbows and aimed square at the aircraft buzzing overhead. The gesture is unmistakable: Stay Away. The apparent aggression shown by these people is quite understandable, for they are members of one of Earth's last uncontacted tribes." [more inside]
The discovery in 2005 of fossils in Peru is challenging
previous views about the evolution of penguins
. They were tall, fast, and enjoyed being smacked by cavemen
* may not be true
While the first pioneering forays into atonality and free chromaticism
were starting to occur in Western European music, the talents of Latin and South America
were discovering the Romantic beauty of re-interpreting the past. [much, much more inside!]
The Thirteen Towers of Chankillo
in Peru may be the Western Hemisphere's oldest known full-service
solar observatory, showing evidence of early, sophisticated Sun cults
, according to archaeoastronomy
professor Clive Ruggles
. The 2,300-year-old complex featured 13 towers running north to south along a ridge and spread across 980 feet to form a toothed horizon that spans the solar arc
. Last year, another ancient observatory was discovered in Peru by Robert Benfer
. The Temple of the Fox
is 4,200 years old, making it 1,900 years older
than the Chankillo site, but wasn't a complete calendar.
Chiquita Secrets Revealed
- On May 3, 1998, the Cincinnati Enquirer
published a series of investigative articles on Chiquita's business practices in South America, all in its own pullout section. The stories claimed the company sprayed workers in the field with pesticides and destroyed a village to stop union activity, among other offenses. A few weeks later, the Enquirer ran a huge apology
on its front page for three days, and paid the company $10 million, because a reporter illegally accessed Chiquita voicemail in the course of his work. The renouncement became more of a story than the original articles
, but one question remains: are the stories true?
To this day, the Enquirer refuses to give a straight answer.
of the language
and gesture of South America's indigenous Aymara people
indicates they have a concept of time
opposite to all the world's studied cultures -- the past is ahead of them and the future behind
. The morphologically-rich language
, of which you can hear samples here
, may also prove useful
to computer scientists due to its unique ternary logic system.
"When they emerged after 50 yards, the landscape no longer looked anything like the southern edge of the Amazon forest.
It looked like Iowa.
In Mato Grosso, Brazil the rainforest is vanishing. And all because of soybeans and beef.
"If we were an aggressive tribe, we would have killed the land owners already," said Tupxi, one of the canoeists, who estimated his age at 77. "
good Washpost story...
When the Spaniards conquered South America, they at first ignored Indian claims that the leaf gave them strength and energy
and declared the practice of chewing it the work of the Devil
. But after discovering that these claims were true, they legalized and taxed the leaf, taking 10% of the value of each crop. These taxes were for a time the main source of support for the Catholic Church in the region.
Also the not so typical Thanksgiving recipe
The Colombia you don't know.
Sure, we all hear about the drug trade and the violence. Unfortunately this overshadows a lot of the good things about the country. There's a lot of Colombia outsiders don't see. Like the Caño Cristales
, the five-colored river
. [more inside]
"We can fix your teeth, you know. We can give you a great smile."
Apparently the best way to get your teeth fixed these days is to visit a South American dentist. It's a really honest piece about a subject most people probably wouldn't open up about - and it's interesting to see something positive about going out of the U.S. for skilled services in these days where everyone is complaining about outsourcing. (free registration required, same site as Bridezilla last year)
Photos by Martin
- a gem of a site for vicarious travelers, it features wonderful
, charming photos
and fascinating stories
from a guy who quit his job three years ago to travel the world. He credits global photojournalist Steve McCurry
as an influence. I am such a fan of these photo travel narratives, professional and amateur alike - has anyone else discivered some special favorites?
is a drink that is enormously popular in South America. Given to the world by the Guarani Indians
, its a bitter brew reminiscent of tea but with interesting
properties. A coworker returned from Argentina and brought me some. I'm addicted.
The History of the Shuar.
The Jivaro are one of the few native clans in South America who successfully revolted against the Spanish Conquest, but they're more famous for their shrunken heads- this site not only has the history, but also a pretty fascinating gallery. Of course, if you're just interested in the shrunken heads, Doc Bwana's Museum of Shrunken Heads
will most certainly meet your shrunken-head viewing needs. (Probably safe for work, but I wouldn't read it while eating lunch.)
A look into peacekeeping training
being conducting in Chile with the U.S. and most South American countries participating. A rare view of the interaction between national militaries to improve good relationships. The pics are great, too.
Enron Pipeline Leaves Scar on South America
More goodness perpetrated by our favorite guys (and girls) from houston.
"We were sending informal, subtle signals that we don't like this guy"
Is the American Government involved in overthrowing a South American democratically elected government?
It appears that the current administration is admitting(anonymously, of course) they might have accidentally encouraged the people behind the Venezuelan coup, giving them the impression the American government would support the coup(which it did)
Is this support as stupid as some analysts think
via Joshua Micah Marshall
A POLISH explorer who sets off next week in search of El Dorado
, the fabled city of gold in South America, says that he has located it using a 16th-century Jesuit manuscript from the Vatican archives.
The most popular board game in Argentina now
is called "Deuda Eterna", Eternal Debt. It's been flying off the shelves
. It has the players trying to operate South American countries which are rich in natural resources while trying to outfox the IMF. (The name is a play on "Deuda Externa", Foreign Debt, on which Argentina just stopped paying interest.)
"When the Department of State (or other public sector entities) needs personnel to reconstitute, establish and maintain rule of law in emerging democracies, they come to DynCorp. " Found thru Washington's secret forces in Latin America
Pyramids as old as the ones in Egypt found in Peru.
Actually, they're more like ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia but hell anyway they're just as old as their Middle Eastern counterparts. Here's a bit more on the Americas' oldest city