Anthropology Lessons

I had the idea that I needed to accumulate things, have a place to put them, and worry about them... I was told that I needed to have in order to be.

Anthropology Lessons

For about three-four years I just found all my fucks given. I was drained, but still going. I was unhappy. I did not want to continue like that. So... as I usually do when I do not understand what is happening, I tried to. Thus, I enrolled in a Masters of Social Anthropology. Best decision ever, I was sure there were other worlds, other precepts, other lives. I read passionately books of other peoples, in other times, and little by little I found what resonated with me.

A little bit of Nuer, women can be husbands. With these people the ideas of gender roles are different, and a woman can be married to a dead man, and still be married, not a widow. Another example, if a woman is independent, both financially and in ideas, she can be a husband of other women. Which is such a nice idea, marriages do not always involve sexual intercourse, could be, or could not. I took this idea and decided that in my life, I would talk about those values that were essential for me, and decide with the people involved how we would pursue life. I was not going to do what I was supposed to. My only worry should be my happiness, and its pursuit.

A little bit of Ilongot, the headhunters. They stuck with their traditions and fought for them. These people from the Philippines were hunters, like many other men and women around the world, the thing is, they hunted men. I loved the fact that they actually hunted an anthropologist or two that did not respect their way of living. We are only our ideas. I decided to follow my passions and stand by them. I am not going to hunt heads, but I am not going to feel afraid of defending what I think is important. I will, figuratively, cut heads if someone disrespects me. This translates more into cutting the relationships that drained me and did not help me achieve my goals.

A little bit of Tzeltal, with their ch'ulel, their souls that vary from 1 to 7. I wanted to attain the souls that I was clearly missing. These people from the mountains of Chiapas knew something I had not remembered, as Plato suggested, I had forgotten my soul is connected with others. Living creatures and "inanimate objects" are connected and we are part of the same and different in our own. Religions worldwide have versed about the special connection between humans and God, or gods; Tzeltals think these connections are wider. We are part of our surroundings, which can shape us, and yet, we can shape them. Not only physically but in another way. Let me develop these ideas, for them, we have a soul we are born with, our first soul which might or might not be the most important. We can definitely lose that one, and then physical problems will come to our bodies. Some people stay with that first soul all their lives; others, if they study and search, will discover and get other souls. The souls are connected, for example, to a jaguar so that the person will honour and protect this animal. Some other souls might be connected to natural phenomena, such as thunder or waterfalls. The more we nurture our souls, the stronger they get. Shamans will get the seven of them. Only some people can find room for them in their bodies and existence.

There are more ideas I have learned and applied to my life from anthropology. And some shocks it gave me. Humans can be great, but more frequently than not: “L'enfer, c'est les autres”.

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