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Anthropology Assignment

Okay, so I'm in Cultural Anthropology this semester, and we get projects every other week or so. They're generally interesting exercises, except I have to keep recruiting 3 'informants'... friends, family, people to answer a series of questions. It's like taking a survey, there's no right or wrong answers, I just have to evaluate the responses.



The Shaman's Apprentice

The assignment is to have you read the two stories below (from the Trio tribe in South America) and describe what you believe to be 'the moral of the story'. In addition, I need to get a description of a story from my informant's childhood/culture that also conveys a moral (ie, the "Boy Who Cried Wolf")

This is due tomorrow (Yeah. I slacked this week), so if three of you could help me out, I'd really appreciate it!



Story 1:

The first Trio had 3 pets (howler monkey, parrot and a vulture). When he was gone they turned into people and made cassava bread. The howler monkey, who had turned into a woman decided to marry the first Trio. One day the first Trio was walking in the forest and the eagle showed him her talons and said, "This is my curare." Then she showed him a plant and said, "This is your curare" (and she showed him how to make a poison from the plant and put it on his arrow). The first Trio then went into the woods and began to kill all the howler monkeys with arrows tipped with curare. When he came to the last one, she begged him not to kill her. He did anyway and when she fell to the ground dead he realized that the howler monkey was his wife.

What is the moral of this story? (All grammatical errors are taken directly from the assignment sheet, this is an oral tale, remember. ;) )



Story 2:

A great voice told the first Trio, "Do not speak to a tree, speak only to a rock." Then he heard a noise and thinking it was a rock, he spoke to it. When he rounded the corner he found the noise had come from a tree. Then a great voice said, "Now you will like the tree, death will come to you as well. If only you had listened."

What is the moral of this story?


Email me at cheekitty AT gmail.com, or reply here! All comments are screened. :)

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