COWS, PIGS, WAR AND WITCHES: The Riddles of Cultures [Marvin Harris] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches has ratings and reviews. Paquita Maria said: There are several reasons why I wasn’t going to review this book. On. Pig farming was a threat to the integrity of the basic cultural and natural But cows, pigs, wars, or witches, the answers to our riddles do not lie.

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I’ve made it moderately clear where I stand in relation to Harris’ views, and so will henceforth attempt to just be surgical, though opinions will most likely slip in to my summary because that’s wiyches they do.

I know next to nothing about traditional Indian culture, which was made clear to me by the details of “cow love” and the importance of cow dung in cooking, heating and, unbelievably to my casually ethnocentric Western mindcarpentry. Said outline will not encompass the entirety of the arguments set forth in this book, because this review is not the book, and I am not Marvin Harris. Hundreds of millions of Indian peasants who have only one cow know that animal as the only source of milk to make it through a dry season.

If Marvin Harris’s account of the religious landscape of first century Palestine is any indication, then his historical research was pretty shoddy.

Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches

Because of this, his answers, in most instances, seem to have some bit more explanatory force than those that have preceded him. How Galileo’s Telescope Changed the Truth. Join other followers. Return to Book Page. Roots, tubers, vegetables, nuts and seeds, meat when they can get it. That came to an end when I realized I wasn’t extroverted vulture. At other times, such as his explanation of the true character and history of Jesus Christ, left me scratching pivs head.

Smokescreens by resourceful magicians. All those religious traditions that seem utterly stupid, confounding, and sometimes surprising as well as the events in history such as ‘witchcraft’ whose root causes we generally don’t know, is the main topic of this book.

En cuanto a la ‘contracultura’, al ser tratado como witchse tema de actualidad a mi me parece que ha envejecido mal. Basically, a psychedelic herbal concoction similar to the one witchws by Carlos Castaneda was applied to a stick and vaginally inserted for maximum and more immediate effects. While the author is very much the product of the time in which the book was written the ‘s the methods that ma What an entertaining book.


Why do Jews and Muslims refuse to eat pork?

Tracing spiritual beliefs and practices back to rational, pressing earthly concerns like food, land, and the perpetuation pgis the species does not make you the Antichrist. To say that political and social responsibilities are transient, superfluous earthly matters, and that changing the way you thiiiink maaaaan insiiide yourself about yourseeeelf maaan is all it takes to exist in the world in a meaningful way, is beyond just missing the point.

The emergence of “big men”, chiefs, and finally the State is explained as a cascading distortion of the original principles of reciprocity into the rule of redistribution. Later on, when Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Pigd, its emphasis shifted once more to be compatible with evangelizing the largest military on Earth as it colonized the Mediterranean and killed insurgents.

Too much risk, too little reward. Harris believes that the non-violent Christ figure later embraced qnd Christianity was actually witcbes such a militaristic messiah, and that his modified image was rifdles attempt on the part of some Jewish peoples to separate themselves from the violent rebels in order to avoid direct conflict with the Romans.

Lectura obligada, a mi entender. Nov 08, Tyler rated it liked it Shelves: Apr 14, Kari rated it did not like it. While I don’t agree with all of Marvin Harris ‘ conclusions, I can cklture that the scientific way that he approaches problems typically viewed only in a just-so light was both informative and fascinating.

The missionaries converted most of the tribe, because who wouldn’t mouth the appropriate words for a taste of that sweet, sweet cargo? Unexpectedly turned out to be one of the most though-provoking and fascinating cultural studies I’ve ever read.

Library Resource Finder: Table of Contents for: Cows, pigs, wars & witches : the riddles

On the opposite end of things, the Maring of Papua New Guinea have the appropriate climate for pig farming, and will breed them to excess for about a decade at a time, up to a point where they risk losing too much forest, at which time they will slaughter almost every single one in order to conduct a giant feast in search of tribal allies.

Like the history geek that I am, I found myself wanting to read further about the history of some of the topics. Harris is an “Anthropologist” and uses judgmental words such as bizarre and maniacal in the same sentence.


And then, into pig lore. Harris is especially good at explaining how societies create elaborate rituals to avoid harming the natural ecosystems they depend on, which clarifies the Middle Eastern ban on pig products. Labeling demographic and production factors as infrastructure, American anthropologist Marvin Harris was born in Brooklyn, New York. Ben Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. You are commenting using your WordPress. Witchcraft fit the bill nicely.

The book closed with a breakdown of witches, their alleged hallucinogen use, somehow never mentioning the argot grown on bread, and likened to “modern” psychonaut counterculture, with a third connection drawn to early shamanism.

Jun 10, Alex rated it it was amazing Shelves: Immigration, Capitalism and the Historic Moment in Arizona 5. I took some anthropology courses in college, but contrary to the opinions of some of the undeservedly arrogant, Newsies-hatted forever-virgin dudes in my Philosophy I course, that doesn’t make me an expert or automatically mean anyone cares what I have to say loudly, and with so much “ergo”, so much “thusly” on the subject.

Review of “Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture” | The End of Capitalism

Better to ban them entirely and not risk further ecological damage. Why do Hindus love cows? You are commenting using your Facebook culfure. I finally checked it out. Email required Address never made public. Mar 03, Amanda Hood rated it it was ok. I highly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in cultural adaptation strategies or just cultures in general.

I highly rec This book is required reading for my Political Science class, and for once a professor has managed to select an interesting book. Notify me of new comments via email. I am all for anchoring behavioral phenomenon in practical roots, and that’s what Harris does really well in the first few chapters where he breaks down his explanation of each phenomenon.

October 5, at However, Hindus and he is mostly talking about Indian Hindus here abd acquired the need for an adaptive resilience in its agricultural order that we have long since shed our need for.