Anthropology / Everything Human



Are Colors Universal?

How do language, biology, and culture shape an individual’s experience of color? A journalist investigates the anthropological debate about whether color is a human universal.

In Mauritius, some devotees carry a heavy burden attached to them through hundreds of needles; others pull a chariot behind them through hooks pierced in their backs.

Culture Lab

How Rituals of Pain Help Heal


Sweating Through a Gym’s Gender Barriers

Training with macho bodybuilders, a female powerlifter and anthropologist muscled through grueling rites of passage—and forged unexpected bonds.

Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, high priestess of a convent of hijras, takes selfies with admirers at India’s 2019 Kumbh Mela religious festival.

Cultural Relativity

India’s Third Gender Rises Again