Anthropology Magazine
Do Mountains Have Souls?

An anthropologist explores the resurgence of “new Animism”—interest in spiritual practices that recognize the interrelationships among animals, places, plants, and…

What Cargo Cult Rituals Reveal About Human Nature

In Melanesia, Indigenous communities developed elaborate rituals to bring themselves material wealth starting in the late 19th century. These practices…

Wisdom From the Winding Path

An anthropologist dreams of his work with Songhay sorcerers in Niger and of French poet Edmond Jabès, fictionalizing conversations and…

Looking Into the World of Frog Gigging

Hunting rituals have long been a focus of anthropological analysis. An ethnographer explores how hunting frogs for meat using gigs, or multipronged spears, is a beloved family tradition in some parts of the U.S. (Content warning: The images and text include graphic descriptions of hunting and butchering animals.)

The Cosmic Serpent

With traditional Carnival celebrations throughout Brazil suspended for a second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a poet-anthropologist remembers the sweaty pulse of this exuberant street celebration—and zooms out for a broader view of our karmic journey through life.

The Spring a Time for Calving and Cleaving

A poet-anthropologist joins Sámi reindeer herders in Norway who are preparing for the spring migration. As an outsider, he feels a longing to connect, even as he remains “outside the fences.”

Five New Year’s Rituals of Renewal

An anthropologist explores a range of cultural celebrations around the world to mark the new year. Spoiler alert: They don’t all fall on January 1.

I Carry My Grief With Me, but I Also Carry My Joy

The domino effect of anguish and loss unmoors, but a Black poet-anthropologist carries their joy as ritual—in the palms of their hands, soft, delicate.

Mourning Kin After the End of Cannibalism

A Brazilian anthropologist reflects on the death of her adopted father, an Indigenous Wari’ man from Amazonia, and what he taught her about mortuary cannibalism and other rituals of grieving.

Peru’s Incan Rope Bridges Are Hanging by a Thread

A remarkable ancient technology and tradition of creating suspension bridges to unite communities in the Andes is sadly fading into history.