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Photo Friday

The 2011 AAA Photo Contest is a showcase of anthropology at its best. Of the 93 photos submitted, AAA members selected their favorites in each of the four categories: Practice, People, Place and Process. You can view the top 20 photos in Anthropology News. Here on the AAA blog, we will feature several of the photos in a blog series, Photo Friday.

Title: Mortification
Photo Courtesy of Brian Brazeal
Contest Category: People
Caption: This man is an educated, successful and established gemstone trader. The last time I saw him he was singing, sweating and bleeding as a large gentleman pulled out his beard and mustache, grabbing large hanks of hair, yanking them free from his face and rubbing ash on the affected roots. Why? A religious reputation is crucial to success because the emerald business is conducted in cash. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are committed among traders without even a handshake. You can only get this kind of credit if you are recognized as devout. Self-mortification is vivid proof of piety. People are happy to entrust thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of gems and debts to this man’s care.

Look for details on the 2012 AAA Photo Contest in late April!

Missed last week’s photo? Click here.

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