random notes: 11/02/12

some eskimo groups engaged in blood feuds. ruh-roh. from Eskimos and Explorers about the mackenzie eskimos (mackenzie inuit) [pg. 195]:

“Murders committed in anger were relatively common, and blood revenge led to further retalitory murders and family feuds. In one instance a woman’s rejected suitor killed her as she slept. In another a man who refused to sell his belt was stabbed in the back and killed by a person who hoped to buy the belt.

“A feud that erupted about 1860, soon after intensive historic contact, was recorded by Nuligak, a Mackenzie Eskimo. One man hoped to marry the daughter of another, but the father of the girl refused to permit the match. The rejected suitor took a valuable steel-bladed knife from one of the father’s younger sons, and the father was furious. At the first opportunity he killed not only the thief but one of his companions. As the feud spread, a cousin of the original murderer allied himself with the thief’s relatives, and more people were killed. Finally the father of the girl and the betraying cousin killed each other, but the feud continued on. As Nuligak wrote, ‘In the olden days the Inuit slew those who killed their kinsmen. One vengeance followed another like links in a chain.’

“Terrible feuds have been reported among most Eskimos, and they often spanned a number of generations….”

dunno about the mackenzie inuit, but the yupik eskimos (are mackenzie eskimos yupik eskimos? i didn’t figure that out…) have one of the highest incidence rates of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) — and carriers of CAH alleles can show “symptoms of androgen excess” — like being more aggressive, perhaps? dunno. melykin pointed out that there are high rates of violent crime in areas of canada populated by eskimos.
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from ed west in the telegraph u.k.:

“The EU was dreamed up in French and German. That’s why the British have never fitted in”

“The European project developed in the region between Paris, Brussels and the Rhineland, the heartland of the old Frankish Empire….”

isn’t THAT curious?! the modern european feudal project (for what else is the e.u. apart from feudal with a bunch of local [i.e. national] politicians playing vassals to the eurocrats?) had its origins pretty much right where medieval feudalism got going — austrasia. what is it about those people in that region?
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more on extended family human traffickers (can’t we just call them slavers?) from the balkans:

“Police bust Balkan child trafficking ring in Nancy”

“French police have arrested seven people for running an international child trafficking ring in Nancy, north east France.

“The ring is thought to have bought children from Macedonia or Kosovo for €1000 to €1500 and then sold them on to Belgium and Germany for €10,000.

Seven members of a family originally from the Balkans were arrested on Tuesday after a month of police investigation.

“According to local paper Est Républicain, several other members of the family had also been arrested in Germany in relation to the ring.

“Police took in two girls, both about 12-years-old, for questioning. They say they do not believe the girls were subjected to sexual abuse or used as slaves, but traded in line with ‘local customs’ in the traffickers’ home countries.”

in line with WHAT “local customs”?!
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corruption in china — it’s a family affair. from the nyt:

“Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader”

“[N]ow 90, the prime minister’s mother, Yang Zhiyun, not only left poverty behind, she became outright rich, at least on paper, according to corporate and regulatory records. Just one investment in her name, in a large Chinese financial services company, had a value of $120 million five years ago, the records show.

“The details of how Ms. Yang, a widow, accumulated such wealth are not known, or even if she was aware of the holdings in her name. But it happened after her son was elevated to China’s ruling elite, first in 1998 as vice prime minister and then five years later as prime minister.

“Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership, an investigation by The New York Times shows. A review of corporate and regulatory records indicates that the prime minister’s relatives — some of whom, including his wife, have a knack for aggressive deal making — have controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion….

“Unlike most new businesses in China, the family’s ventures sometimes received financial backing from state-owned companies, including China Mobile, one of the country’s biggest phone operators, the documents show. At other times, the ventures won support from some of Asia’s richest tycoons. The Times found that Mr. Wen’s relatives accumulated shares in banks, jewelers, tourist resorts, telecommunications companies and infrastructure projects, sometimes by using offshore entities.

“The holdings include a villa development project in Beijing; a tire factory in northern China; a company that helped build some of Beijing’s Olympic stadiums, including the well-known ‘Bird’s Nest’; and Ping An Insurance, one of the world’s biggest financial services companies.

“As prime minister in an economy that remains heavily state-driven, Mr. Wen, who is best known for his simple ways and common touch, more importantly has broad authority over the major industries where his relatives have made their fortunes. Chinese companies cannot list their shares on a stock exchange without approval from agencies overseen by Mr. Wen, for example. He also has the power to influence investments in strategic sectors like energy and telecommunications.

“Because the Chinese government rarely makes its deliberations public, it is not known what role — if any — Mr. Wen, who is 70, has played in most policy or regulatory decisions. But in some cases, his relatives have sought to profit from opportunities made possible by those decisions.

“The prime minister’s younger brother, for example, has a company that was awarded more than $30 million in government contracts and subsidies to handle wastewater treatment and medical waste disposal for some of China’s biggest cities, according to estimates based on government records. The contracts were announced after Mr. Wen ordered tougher regulations on medical waste disposal in 2003 after the SARS outbreak.

“In 2004, after the State Council, a government body Mr. Wen presides over, exempted Ping An Insurance and other companies from rules that limited their scope, Ping An went on to raise $1.8 billion in an initial public offering of stock. Partnerships controlled by Mr. Wen’s relatives — along with their friends and colleagues — made a fortune by investing in the company before the public offering….”

tptb in china NOT amused by nyt story.

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11 Comments

  1. The Yupik and Inuit are distinct. Son #3, one of my adoptees from Romania, is dating a girl from Nome who is Yupik/Hispanic. Yupik is more southern, Inuit related all along the Arctic Circle to Greenland. However, they are both from the last migration to the New World – distinct from the earliest groups from which most Amerind tribes come, and the second, Na-Dene migration that is mostly Canadian but includes Hopi and Navajo.

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  2. BTW, random violence for clan-based or tribal reasons is the norm worldwide, and this merely another example. The fallenness of humanity, Original Sin, is one of the Christian doctrines which most ticks people off. But it is the best-attested by hixstory, innit?

    It is the few exceptions to this behavior in the long lamentable state of human interactions that we should pay attention to, not the occurrence.

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  3. @avi – “Yupik is more southern, Inuit related all along the Arctic Circle to Greenland.”

    gotcha! thanks. (^_^) been trying to sort out my inuit from my eskimos (and yupik peoples) over the last few days and i’m … still confused. (~_^)

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  4. @avi – “It is the few exceptions to this behavior in the long lamentable state of human interactions that we should pay attention to, not the occurrence.”

    well, i’m just trying to compile the evidence for 1) cousin-/close-marriage, and 2) clannish/tribal behaviors (like blood feuds) to see if there are any correlations.

    some eskimos/inuits avoided close marriages, others encouraged it. not sure which way the mackenzie inuit went (i’m gonna guess close marriages) — but i’m determined to find out!

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  5. @hbd chick “Terrible feuds have been reported among most Eskimos, and they often spanned a number of generations” Aha. The exception that tests the rule. If I read Robin Fox correctly, the Eskimo (Maybe he said Inuit) are the only traditional society in which anybody can marry anybody, all parties agreeing. Evidently they are clannish and bad things happen and families are involved. (I always get the jitters when there are no controls. Maybe they have more violence or maybe they have so little that they talk about the same cases forever.) Any way, it sounds on the face of it that having a biologically viable mating strategy is separable from violence. Pity we got it the wrong way around up there, but if you can have the one without the other maybe you can have the other without the one.

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  6. @linton – “Aha. The exception that tests the rule. If I read Robin Fox correctly, the Eskimo (Maybe he said Inuit) are the only traditional society in which anybody can marry anybody, all parties agreeing.”

    well, no, that’s not entirely correct apparently. there seems to be a lot of variation in the mating patterns amongst the eskimos/inuits/yupik peoples/whoever. i’ve only nailed down a few examples so far, but here’s what i’ve got (expect a post on eskimos sometime soon!):

    – the caribou eskimos: encouraged cousin marriage.
    netsilik inuit: arranged marriage with a cousin or more distant relative.
    aleut and the nunivak eskimos: cross-cousin marriage.
    – west greenlanders: first cousin marriage rare.
    – igluligmuit: those that are roman catholic have a general papal dispensation for first cousin marriage, so presumably they marry (or married) their cousins a lot.

    the question is, do/did the mackenzie eskimos from the post marry closely? i haven’t found that out … yet. (^_^)

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    1. @hbd chick “there seems to be a lot of variation in the mating patterns amongst the eskimos/inuits/yupik peoples/whoever” As usual relatity is more compelx than theory.

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  7. It’s hard to keep your eskimos straight because the terminology varies and is changing. Inuit are called Inupiat in Alaska. Canadians consider ‘Eskimo” to be insulting, their American cousins think it merely old-fashioned (the older folks still use “Eskimo” comfortably.) There aren’t any Yupik in Canada, so there is no need for a general term there, and the Canadian Inuit dislike the association with others.

    Young indigenous people in Alaska mostly just say “native.”

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  8. @avi – “It’s hard to keep your eskimos straight because the terminology varies and is changing.”

    for me i think it’s just ’cause there’s too many of them for my dizzy little brain to remember all at one time, but from now on i’m just gonna blame it on the changing terminology. (~_^)

    Reply

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