ANTHROPOLOGIE
International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
 
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2021 (Vols. 1-59)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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Full text of article
'Haaland R, 2021: POTTERY, FEMALE IDENTITY, AND BEER IN THE NEOLITHIC OF NORTHERN AFRICA: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEER AS BOILED FOOD FOR INFANTS. Anthropologie (Brno) 59, 3: 315-331'.
 
Abstract
I argue in this article for the importance of beer as boiled food in the early period after being weaned, this would influence the survival rate of infants since the period after weaning is the most critical. Furthermore it is suggested that cross-cultural similarities in metaphoric associations connecting female identity and beer is grounded in pan-human experiences. Our first experience as a child is the body of the woman. Experiences connected with change from breast feeding to pot-boiled food we think constitute a main factor underlying the common idea of ceramic pot being like mother. The fundamental aspect of woman as a nurturer is emphasized – she produces milk and food, with her own body and activities. The metaphorical associations are grounded in experiential structures of meaning where the role of women as "the nurturer" is pronounced. Through food, social relations between people can be expressed. Not only is eating food a bodily experience loaded with meaning that may be further elaborated into standardized symbolism but the pots in which the food is cooked and served may have similar potential. A critical element occurred when beer was substituted for mother's milk in the weaning process. Beer is sweet like mother's milk and is easy to digest. It is reasonable that the nutritional advantages of introducing beer at in early stage had far-reaching consequences stimulating increased engagement in cultivating activities leading to domestication of cereals.
 
Keywords
Early Pottery – Women – Beer – Neolithic – Ethnography
 
DOI
https://doi.org/10.26720/anthro.21.09.20.1
 
 
 
 

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