File deleuze-guattari/deleuze-guattari.0608, message 30

Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 22:41:13 -0400
Subject: Re: [D-G] Carnival and Violence

soul seakers & copycat mimesis...
Haitian vodou religion is a noted syncretism of mainly 3 different
beliefs:  reterritorialized catholic saints, select aspects of taino
native religions, & a distorted memory of ewe practices of iwa. It is
helpful to look at vooduo as an Assembelges, a combination concept of
one and many at once... but also none vs many.  It can be traced
through the memory of it's rhyzomatic history to see how it connects
immediately with a violent schizophrenic identity born from the past.
The emergence of the voodoo neuro biology was certainly one of the
earliest to conceive of modern political revolution in 1791 (re:
french revolutions of 1790s leading to general riots and breakdown
through 1848 and onwards). Many of today's voodoo rituals act as a
memory of those specific rituals that announced the success of that
new mentality. Notions of property had been trans-valuated by the
spanish as far back as mid 1400s (via elimination of the christian by
attacking problems the visgoth "castillian identity vs the jews/muslim
religious identity".. via juan y juan y juan 2nd y juan of 1420 with
unending violence surrendering in 1492 to 1550s ... haiti before 1700)
, but the blending of racial politics into class consciousness was
realized in the sweaty slave campyards of haiti on that american
island in the atlantic.  (re: what of gaza camps of isreali
conflict?)... between these three aspects of the assemblage there are
several other paths to trace, and more, it depends on which thesis to
expose. going all the waaay back in the historical encyclopedia r...
s.... t... u... v... voodoo enters the vocabulary of surrealist
expression by midcentury and war-conscious oedipalization of the
sacred art-space is territorialized as commodity and it is like the
second type of re-territorialization (re: on music) where aieon is
subjected to a collage of chronos-pulse... like sampling... re-telling
to a different pulse, this time a surreal tone that flows faster.

- here is a link I found on google to a 45min film by
Maya Deren "Divine Horsemen - Living Gods of Haiti"
Is this what dylan is talking about? it shows extensive
footage of voodoo music and dance and tells some history.

(its 300 mb, you might want to set up the dwnld before you go to bed
so you can watch it first thing in the morning...)

- here is a link to www-site that follows gambling bets of
a semi-philosophical type where folks put money on their predictions.
there is a one prediction about the concept of time going from 3 to 2
instead (sounds familiar):

John B. Merryman predicts: "By 2025 the concept of time as a linear
dimension will be replaced by one of time as a polarity between
content and context." .-  (US$2,000)


On the origins of warfare

* 21 July 2006
* Steven Mithen

Book Details

* The Archaeology of Warfare: Prehistories of raiding and conquest
* by Elizabeth Arkush and Mark Allen
* University Press of Florida
* $65/=A348.95
* ISBN 0813029309

Another bomb in Baghdad, another soldier killed in Kabul. A
remembrance service for the dead of a battle long ago, a rogue state
testing missiles for a conflict yet to come. Warfare is all around us,
but for me it has only taken place in distant lands. I grew up during
the cold war and live in the aftermath of 9/11 and 7/7, but I have
never experienced war first-hand and pray that I never will. Not so
for millions of others throughout the world and throughout history.
"Are we an inherently violent species, prone to waging war?"

Why so much war and violence? Perhaps we are an inherently violent
species, prone not just to interpersonal violence but also to what the
anthropologist Brian Ferguson of Rutgers University, New Jersey, has
described as "organised, purposeful group action directed against
another group involving the actual or potential application of lethal
force" - that is, war. Reports of apparently planned, deliberate
killing by chimpanzees in one group of those in another, as described
in Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson's 1997 book Demonic Males, have
led some to fear that this is indeed the case - that a murderous
instinct is an indelible part of our evolutionary heritage. If
chimpanzees are taken to reflect our earliest ancestry, and warring
tribes such as the Yanomami of the Amazon region - made infamous by
Napoleon Chagnon's 1968 book subtitled "The fierce people" - are
representative of the pristine traditional society of modern humans,
then it may indeed appear that war has always been with us. If so, we
must conclude that it will remain for as long as our species survives
upon this planet.

Such a bleak conclusion is all too easy to reach when there is so much
war around us and in our history books. That does not mean it is
right. Like us, those killer chimpanzees are members of the modern
world, and they may have been responding to unnatural conditions
created by habitat restriction. The other species of chimpanzee, the
bonobo, appears to lack such aggressive instincts, and resolves
tension by sex rather than violence. The bonobo has just as many
credentials to be a model for the human past. Similarly, some argue
that Yanomami warfare is a product of European contact rather than a
"natural" state for that society. Even if it is not, there is no
reason to treat the Yanomami as typical of our prehistoric forebears.
The only way to know about the past is to look at the evidence from
the past itself.

The Archaeology of Warfare does just that, and does it extremely well.
It addresses not only the question of whether warfare has been
ubiquitous during the human past, but also its causes and the
consequences for social change, especially the development of chiefdom
and state societies. The book is an edited collection of 13 chapters,
10 of which are case studies of warfare in tribal and chiefdom
societies, providing an impressive global coverage. The remaining
three are review essays drawing on evidence from many periods and

Archaeological evidence for warfare is not easy to interpret.
Fortifications and weapons may be intended for symbolic display rather
than bloody conflict. Battles might be fought far from any settlements
and remain archaeologically invisible or undiscovered. To understand
why wars begin, archaeologists need evidence about the conflict itself
as well as the environmental, economic and social context before,
during and after the conflict. Trying to unravel cause and effect can
be challenging. If, for instance, a collection of skeletons showing
signs of slaughter also have signs of malnutrition, how can we know
whether it was a shortage of food that led to conflict, or warfare
that led to starvation?

It's no surprise that archaeologists don't agree about how their
evidence should be interpreted. In 1996 Lawrence Keeley published his
controversial work Warfare Before Civilization, which argued that
warfare has indeed been ubiquitous in the human past. It is frequently
cited in this new volume of essays, and while some authors concur with
its conclusions, others are adamantly opposed. Brian Ferguson is in
the latter camp, believing that Keeley too freely imposes an
ethnographic present onto the prehistoric past. He reviews the impact
that western contact had on traditional people, arguing that this
dramatically intensified what were relatively limited degrees of
conflict. He also reviews the earliest archaeological evidence,
beginning with the skeletal remains of the Neanderthals. The challenge
with such material is not only its scarcity but in distinguishing
between interpersonal violence and the planned group action that
amounts to war. My reading of the evidence he provides is that war is
mainly a product of sedentary, farming societies.

The review essay by Stephen LeBlanc, director of collections at the
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, is
much more sympathetic to Keeley's "war has always been with us"
proposition. His prime concern is with the role that warfare played in
the transition from tribal societies with limited, if any,
hierarchical social stratification, to chiefdoms. This transition, he
argues, often occurred when one tribe took over what had been a
"no-man's-land" between it and other tribes, thus increasing its land,
resources and eventually population density. This led to the emergence
of elites, and transformed the nature of warfare as chiefs could
mobilise labour to build fortifications and invest in military

While these review essays are useful, it is the detailed case studies
that are most valuable. They all provide fascinating reading. I was
particularly impressed by the study of tribal warfare on the North
American Great Plains prior to European contact, which showed a
correlation between climate change and conflict intensity, and also
with the analysis of warfare and state development in the Oaxaca
valley, Mexico. This focuses on the development of Monte Alb=E1n, a site
where the brutal slaughter of captives was dramatically recorded in
galleries of carved stone images. Such carvings remind us that an
ideology of conflict frequently becomes embedded within the culture of
a society: the young become socialised with the virtues of violence
and the elite become dependent on war to legitimise and sustain their

It is when ancient ideologies of conflict meet new technology that
levels of death and destruction often become extreme. Mark Allen of
California State Polytechnic University provides a superb account of
the changes in Maori warfare, finishing with how the ancient pattern
of fighting for revenge - sustainable for many centuries when this was
done with clubs - led to between 20,000 and 50,000 deaths in a couple
of decades after muskets were acquired from Europeans.

What these and the other studies in this volume show is that we cannot
rely on recent history to understand the nature of warfare and the
depth or otherwise of our violent nature. Archaeology provides an
essential long-term and global perspective for exploring the
interactions between social organisation, cultural values,
environmental change, economy and technology in the cause of war and
as the consequence of war. The archaeological record suggests that
there were long periods when warfare was either absent or sporadic in
human society. Unfortunately these appear to have been long, long ago,
and the (pre)history of humankind indicates that by the time the bombs
in Baghdad have ceased, they will have started up elsewhere.

>From issue 2561 of New Scientist magazine, 21 July 2006, page 54-55

paleopsych mailing list


Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti (1985) is a black and white
documentary film about dance and possession in Haitian vodou that was
shot by experimental filmmaker Maya Deren between 1947 and 1952 and
edited and completed after her death. Most of the film consists of
images of dancing and bodies in motion during rituals in Rada and
Petro services.

see Amazon

see Wikipedia
List address:


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005