Anthropology / Everything Human

The Right to Own Living Memorials


  • Curiosities

    The Right to Own Living Memorials

    Hundreds of memorial statues stolen from Kenya and Tanzania have ended up in U.S. museums. Should the principle of informed consent be applied to (apparently) inanimate objects?

  • Icons

    The ladder acts as a central axis holding the universe together. According to anthropologist Elsie Clews Parsons, for the Acoma, “the Earth Mother is held in position by the Galaxy arching overhead, and a stick-image of the Mother is called [a] center pole; it holds the four stratified skies and the four stratified earths together, so to speak, a pole of gravity.”

    Ladders to Other Worlds

    For many Pueblo Indians, the ladder is at once a practical tool and a powerful metaphor. The ladder is used to descend and ascend—and to cross multiple worlds.