Amoeblog

South(ern) Africa's Indigenous People and their Culture Presented in Music and Film

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 19, 2010 12:16pm | Post a Comment

bushmen babies in botswana

Dusty Bushmen toddlers

I'm not a big spectator of sports (or player of them, for that matter) but it seems that events like The World Cup and The Olympics are often used to spotlight various aspects of the host country's culture. I did read one such article about South Africa in National Geographic but I haven't seen anything during the current cup about tSan Bushman womanhe indigenous population. OK, so maybe there aren't any bushmen on the pitch or in the stands but... well, I don't care... I started the blog entry a while ago and I'm just trying to make it relevant whilst South Africa's on our collective minds -- especially since Bafana Bafana appear to be on their way out of the cup (except as hosts) unless something miraculous happens.

 

A BIT ABOUT TERMINOLOGY

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Celebrating Kyrgyz Culture Amidst Violence

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 16, 2010 11:55am | Post a Comment
Kyrgzstan - kyrgyz boy and yurts

Although I’ve never been to Kyrgyzstan I’ve long wanted to go there. I initially became interested in the Central Asian region due primarily to its sheer obscurity relative to the rest of the continent. When you take an Asian Civ class, you're unlikely to find Tajikistan on the course syllabus.

Ten years ago, when Napster made it possible to expose oneself to music otherwise outside one’s reach, in addition to searching for digitized wax cylinders, I used to often type the names of Central Asian countries and see what treasures I could find. The music of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan proved very appealing to me but nothing from the region resonates with me more than Kyrgyz music. To my unschooled ears, there’s a musical echo of every people that passed along the silk trail and many of the nation's neighbors. I hear similarities with Turkmen, Kazakh, Mongolian, Russian and European Renaissance music… and even the shamanistic music of some Native Americans, whose ancestors inhabited Central and North Asia thousands of years ago.

California Fool's Gold -- Orange County Here We Come...

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 14, 2010 03:32pm | Post a Comment
 Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography oil paint map of Orange County
A hand drawn and hand painted map of Orange County from Pendersleigh & Sons

OK, since the Los Angeles neighborhoods (click here to vote) and Los Angeles County communities (click here to vote) polls have gone down a right storm, I'm making a poll for Orange County communities and neighborhoods (conflated). After all, Orange County was just another part of Los Angeles County until March 11, 1889 when it became a separate entity.

Please vote here for as many as you'd like to see become the subject of a future blog entry. Thanks! Oh, and if I've forgotten any, kindly get at me. If'n yins 'r' rude yis'll get treated like a you-know-what. 

Orange County


California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Silver Lake, Los Angeles's Gayborhood

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 8, 2010 09:33pm | Post a Comment
Silver Lake Los Angeles

Silver Lake
is a largely gay and hilly neighborhood (one of its nicknames is "The Swish Alps") in LA’s Mideast Side. To vote for more Los Angeles neighborhoods to be featured in a future post, click here. To vote for LA County communities, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

Silver Lake Sign 

INTRODUCTION TO SL

First things first… Silver Lake is two words! Don't believe me? Count 'em! There are fifteen Silver Lakes in the US, thirteen of which are two words (one of the offenders is in Texas, and therefore doesn't really count). It is supposedly the second gayest place in the Southland, after West Hollywood and in front of Broadway Corridor.

Obscure and Unrecognized South Asia & Indian Ocean

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 30, 2010 11:30am | Post a Comment
South Asia

South Asia
is the most populous and densely populated region in the planet's most populous continent. Not surprisingly, therefore, it's home to many culturally rich nationalities who still struggle in the post-Colonial world for recognition, equality and self-determination.

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(If interested, there are similar entries about Caucasia, Eastern Europe and North Asia.)

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Flag of Assamese Seperatists 
Assam

Assamese Dancers
Assamese dancers (photo by Ramesh Lalwani)

The earliest known settlers in Assam are believed to be the Khasi and Synteng people of southeast Asia. The were later marginalized by the arrival of the Tibeto-Burman language speaking Monpas, Sherdukpens, Bhutan, Mishings, Deuris and Bodo-Kachari. The last major wave of immigrants seems to have been the Hindus around 500 BCE, although small numbers of many other groups have arrived since. As such, Assam today is a highly hybridized place that nonetheless is struggling for autonomy.

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