Anthropology Magazine

Indigenous Mapmaking, or Bringing a Dead Map to Life


  • Excerpt

    A group of people, some of whom wear white necklaces and white feather headpieces, stand in front of buildings with metal roofs and hold a large, colorful map.

    Indigenous Mapmaking, or Bringing a Dead Map to Life

    In a new book, an anthropologist explores how oil palm plantations in West Papua are upending Indigenous Marind communities' ways of life. In this excerpt, Marind villagers call upon their plant and animal kin to confront a map used by the oil palm industry.

  • Op-Ed

    A person with blonde hair and a black-and-white shirt with a fist on it stands among a group of people who wear red robes and white triangular hoods. She holds up a silver blister package of pills and a white box with red writing that says, “Safe abortion with pills.”

    We Should Talk More About the Abortion Pill

    The abortion pill revolutionized activists' fight for reproductive rights in Ireland in the 2000s—but in the U.S., cultural narratives have been slow to catch up to how medication has transformed abortion access.

  • Excerpt

    A white temple wall with partially exposed brick is covered with holes. Two red, green, and yellow dragons perch on either side of stairs leading to a blue door.

    Haunted by a Secret War

    In a new book of ethnographic fiction on the lingering effects of the United States’ Secret War in Laos, the living must find ways to pacify the ghosts of those who suffered past violence.

  • Crisis

    A colorful illustration shows two hands toasting with beers, people spitting water at each other, a person floating on a yellow tube in the water in front of boats lined up together, and two people laughing.

    Unmasked: Illustrating COVID-19 in Okoboji

    An anthropologist and comic artist collaborated to bring to life the cultural squabbles and social complexities of the first pandemic year in Okoboji, a tourist town in northwest Iowa.

  • In Flux


    A group of people with white tunics and animal pelts on walk up a narrow street. One person holds a flare that gives off a red glow. A person wearing dark clothing photographs the event.

    What Do Anthropologists Do?

    Anthropologists study humans in all our extraordinary history and diversity. Check out this overview of professional anthropology.