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ANTH 150: Religion in Culture and Society

This guide was created in Fall 2022 for Dr. Jegathesan

Undergraduate Learning Librarian

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Kelci Baughman McDowell
she/her/hers
Contact:
Santa Clara University
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500 El Camino Real
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kbaughmanmcdowell@scu.edu
408-554-5438

Anthropological Primary Sources

My own fieldwork with Sri Lankan forest monks was different again (Carrithers 1983). I lived in Sri Lanka for nearly three years, but only occasionally among the monks: after all, they live in the woods to get away from people.

Carrithers, Michael. "fieldwork." In Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology, edited by Alan Barnard, and Jonathan Spencer. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2009.

Primary sources used in anthropological research span many shapes and forms. One prominent research output in this field is field notes. Below, some options for exploring primary sources in the anthropological study of religious culture are presented to ignite your own creative thinking.

Field Notes

Below are some repositories you can search within for field notes created by other anthropologists to use in your research.

Devotional Texts

The Diamond Sutra is the oldest dated, printed text. It was printed using woodcuts in 868. It features a sacred Buddhist prayer—one of the most influential Mahāyāna scriptures in fact. A wonderful illustration of the historical Buddha addressing his elderly disciple Subhūti, surrounded by an assembly gathered under a grove of trees accompanies the text, an illustration meant to prompt spiritual reflection in service to devotional rituals, thereby fleshing out the way in which we would imagine an 9th century Buddhist interacting with this religious text in form and action.

Musical Performance

Music is deeply a part of religious ceremony and ritual. There are many ways to search for and access music for your chosen topic. Of course YouTube can be a great option.

Below there is an embedded video of a Gamelan performance recorded in Peliatan Bali Indonesia in 1985. Gamelan is part of Balinese Hinduism ceremonies. You can find similarly helpful videos of performance to use as primary source material.

Tobacco / Plants

National Anthropological Archives

Five Crow women wearing blankets and walking in a line. Published as Tobacco Ceremony—Apsaroke

NAA.2010-28, Item 2796

Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs

Data Sources