Dead Birds Analysis

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The feathers that the Dani use are an essential part of completing their identities, however there are other important objects in the Dani’s culture that make up their identity. While the men are keeping watch, they do not remain idle. All of the Dani men practice weaving, and one of objects that they weave are long bands that have decorative shells attached to them. These bands are used for three important events in the Dani’s lives. The bands are given at birth, after a marriage, and at the time of their death. These are the three most important times in the lives of the Dani, and giving these bands serves an important social function. Émile Durkheim wrote that the beliefs of people serve a critical function of bringing people together and …show more content…
According to Sally Slocum, the traditional view towards women has been that they are the gatherers who remain close to home and care for their children (Slocum 2013, 309). This idea is represented among the Dani, however the representations of the Dani women in the film Dead Birds is lacking. Slocum also said, “The perspective of women is, in many ways, equally foreign to an anthropology that has been developed a pursued primarily by males” (Slocum 2013, 308). The method that Richard Gardner used to make this documentary is largely focused on the role of men among the Dani. This method makes the role of the Dani women seem unimportant as they are mostly ignored and there is relatively little commentary about their lives within the community. This may not have been the intention Richard Gardener, however it does reflect the ways in which anthropology was being practiced at this …show more content…
While women do not take part in the battles that happen, they may still be physically affected by them. When someone close to a woman is killed, several of her knuckles on her fingers will be cut off with a stone ax. As Victor Turner wrote, symbols can be objects, activities, relationships, events, gestures and spatial unites in a ritual situation (Turner 2013, 273). The action of cutting off part of their fingers is symbolic of the loss that a woman has experienced. It serves to communicate their loss to the rest of their community. This symbolic action is one of ways in which the lives of women is represented in this

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