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.

  • Unearthed

    Three people sit in an excavation pit, working to uncover ancient Nubia, and look back at the camera while three others stand on the sand and approach the platform.

    Reinterpreting Life and Death in Ancient Nubia

    In the Nile River Valley, powerful yet misunderstood civilizations flourished thousands of years ago. Now bioarchaeologists are rethinking funerary rituals and life in ancient Nubia, and empowering local Sudanese scholars.

  • Poetry

    Anti-aircraft missiles leave white contrails in a blue sky above Kyiv, Ukraine.

    Hard Water

    A poet-anthropologist honors World Poetry Day with a piece that imagines alchemizing the suffering and devastation of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

  • Podcast

    A swirl of dots converging on the phrase "Our Past is the future" also in a circle.

    More Than a Mountain

    In this podcast episode, listeners learn about Dzil Nchaa Si’an, a sacred mountain in Arizona that Apache tribal members depend on and deeply value. The mountain has also become a site of resistance.

  • Participant Observation

  • Crossroads

    An elderly woman with short brown hair and glasses wearing a blue, black, and white shirt stands in front of a portrait of a seated woman wearing a blue dress in front of pink curtains in Cyprus.

    A Lens on Cyprus Reunification

    An anthropologist walks around the circumference of this Mediterranean island, photographing people separated by political conflict and reflecting on the ties that bind divided communities.