“Shakespeare in the Bush” by Laura Bohannan can be used as an introduction to the concept of culture, moral universals, human nature, and anthropology. Laura Bohannan’s article in Natural History, Shakespeare in the Bush introduces anthropology to a broad audience through a retelling of Hamlet. Just before leaving Oxford Laura has a discussion with a friend who claims that Americans often don’t understand the true meaning of.

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In Bohannan received her doctorate from Oxford University. Come, drink with us. Early every morning, in the hope of having some serious talk before the beer party, I used to call on the old man at his reception hut—a circle of posts supporting a thatched roof above a low mud wall to keep out wind and rain.

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Shakespeare in the Bush

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From to Bohannan was the editor of American Anthropologist. After the stories conclusion the elder added his thoughts about the tales finish. Cut to the Bone. Explain what Bohannan thought at the beginning of her experience and how this changed after her storytelling attempt with the Tiv. A wife of one of the elders overheard this part of the story and explained that a quick remarriage laurw ideal.

Your servants tell me that when you are not with us, you sit boannan your hut looking at a paper. Bohannan’s undergraduate education was at the University of Arizonawhere she met her husband Paul J. It is obvious that their customs and lara were already biasing their interpretation of the story.

Soon there would be three months of enforced shakespeafe and leisure, between the harvest that takes place just before the rising of the swamps and the clearing of new farms when the water goes down. In Tiv society it is only natural for the brother of the chief to become chief in the event of his brothers death. The cultural and language barriers between the two parties result in an entirely different telling of this most famous of English plays, with her audience left puzzling over Westerners’ inability to understand their own literature.

How to cite this page Choose cite format: Since my arrival, letters were brought to me to be read. The poison beer that killed Hamlets mother was obviously meant for the winner of the fight.


Men filled their long wooden pipes and knocked coals from the fire to place in the pipe bowls; then, puffing contentedly, they sat back to listen. He proceeded to tell how Laertes was scheming to get money to pay off his debts. We think you have liked this presentation.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: It was my second field trip to that African tribe, and I thought myself ready to live in one of its remote sections—an area difficult to cross even on foot. They threatened to tell me no more stories until I told them one of mine. It was obvious to the Tiv woman that the mother had done this in the best interests of the family so Hamlet had no reason to feel negatively about it.

Shakespeare in the Bush | Natural History Magazine

Personal letters for the few who had relatives in the government or mission stations were kept until someone went to a large market where there was a letter writer and reader.

Re-marrying very soon after the death of a spouse. Right away the elder questioned this.