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They would perform rituals at dark moon, and men would go on hunting in the optimal time of waxing moon after the first quarter with maximal aid of nocturnal light to long-distance hunting, and return around full-moon, coincident with ovulation.

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Method : The female exploitation of male foraging efforts was a mode of counter-domination. One notes the Marxist tendency in this theory of Knight, Power, and Watts. Insofar as the beginning of ritual of culture resulted from the reversal of a natural signal, culture, then, is essentially the reversal of nature: culture results from inverting nature. And deception, especially collective deception, is the mark of culture.

Knight sees the two peculiarly human phenomena as intimately associated with the natural evolution toward human ritualized culture: first, as hinted at, the human female reproductive physiology, and second, the human language. With her large breasts, a female who is really fertile in effect signals as if she were breast-feeding and therefore unlikely to conceive ….

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As noted earlier ft. He not only considers bipedality as evolving from adaptation to an aquatic condition e. Namely, females under selection pressures learned to synchronize their ovarian cycles by drawing on tidal cues of lakes : hence the aforementioned alignment of the menstrual cycle with lunar periods p.

They bring previously excluded males into the system, where they become of value in assisting with child-care and provisioning. This implies a political process in which the status of dominant polygamous males is subverted in favor of previously lower-ranking males more likely to meet changing female requirements. Thus, for Knight, fossil evidences for the decrease of sexual dimorphism could be evaluated as suggesting female synchrony and solidarity. Groups of foraging, largely self-sufficient females would have had to space themselves out in the search for food… The possibilities for widespread female gender solidarity would therefore have been weak or non-existent, and in most situations this may have allowed males to monopolize individuals or small groups….

It is tempting to speculate that in the more barren or more marginal environments occupied by Homo erectus or archaic Homo sapiens, patterns of this kind became established. It is their backward sociality which then resulted in their complete replacement by the anatomically modern humans. Such view concerning the primitiveness of pre-modern Homo, current within the Anglophonic circles, is, of course, as hinted at, increasingly questioned by the European researchers, who have come to regard the archaic Homo sapiens and even the earlier hominids as possibly possessing a ritualized life and hence a certain degree of social complexity; c.

To understand this, it is important to keep in mind the important difference between the human cognitive world and that of the animals We have said that culture is a negation of nature, so that the mindset, or cognitive map, of a socially active human is structured in inverse of that of an unsocial, free-roaming animal: whereas self-interest and the drive for satisfaction of desires govern that of the latter for most species and during most of the time, at least , social duties implying self-sacrifice, altruism, and repression of desires structure the former.

And while concrete, tangible reality fills the latter, invisible, intangible and non-existent entities organize the former.

The representations central to the communal map are intangibles, without perceptual counterparts. The former, the repression of the self, is certainly the consequence of social life, the effect of the formation of the supraorganism on its constituents. The belief in the intangibles God, Totem, The Ancestral Ghost as expressed in rituals holds the key to the origin of language, according to Chris Knight.

He regards speech and ritual as two interdependent aspects of a single symbolic domain, whose essential purpose is collective deception or illusion non-perceptible but capable of being referred to by a common code. Rituals implant and replicate the non-perceptible illusion God, Totem, etc. Thus speech evolved in the collective of co-operating female? Presumably as the function of females telling stories about how their animality and ambivalent sexual identity came about through imaginary and supernatural beings and processes.

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According to Knight's view, that is. Two comments are in order here. Firstly, Animals need no gods, for these supranaturals are illusions from collective self-deception, and living in a competitive natural world our primate relatives experience strong pressure to distinguish between fantasy and reality and to focus on the latter only.

Primates, it is true, are capable of individual deception: "They can, after all, deceive - as in the case of the sub-adult male baboon found harassing a youngster and then pursued by the victim's adult protectors.

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Unexpectedly, the culprit stood on its hindlegs, staring as if watching a distant predator; although this did not exist, it distracted the pursuers' attention long enough for the deceiver to escape But this differs from the collective deception we call symbolism e. It was not, because having checked it out, the victims of the deceit lost all interest in the unreal phenomenon Without the whole of the community immersing themselves in a common deception, there was no need for language.

Private lies, private fantasized experiences, are simply not the kinds of things to which agreed, collective labels can be attached" ibid. Secondly, as regards the branching-off of spiritual history. While we agree with the sociological function of rituals as is presented here the initiation of the sexual division of labor , the contents of rituals are not exhausted thereby.

When language came into being, the fundamental truth of nature can be intuited, i. Our theory is that a naive, functional understanding of Conservation leads to the concept of the immortality of the soul which then gives rise to the belief in gods or the Ancestral Ghost. Then the same naive understanding of entropy leads to the belief in the necessity of cosmos- and society-restorative rituals.

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Only then is the story of primitive religiosity complete, much of which is constituted additionally by men's response to the exigencies of meat women have placed on them. By this time the symbolic culture has become predominated by men instead.

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From the period of late archaic Homo sapiens, — kyr BP, we have limited amount of red ochre use in the archaeological record, suggesting an infrequent, context-dependent proto-ritual of sham menstruation in south Africa, which was also associated with less planning-depth and the consequent greater reliance on bio-degradable material that left no vestiges behind. In Europe of this time, among the Neanderthals, there was the same irregularity, and black manganese predominated in place of red.

Around the turn to anatomically modern human amh , or Homo sapiens sapiens, kyr BP, the use of red ochre increased exponentially in southern Africa, suggesting regular and false menstruation rituals and the onset of the targeted regular male provisioning or sexual division of labor as an institution. White and yellow also occurred, indicating ritual complexity; but never black.

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Incidentally, the timing of kyr BP matches that of the origin of human language calculated through backward projection of language divergence rate based on language diversity of New Guinea, supposing polygenesis of all human languages in a belt of populations which, of course, probably diverged from a single archaic Homo sapiens population; the calculation could give kyr BP, supposing monogenesis in a single local population of late archaics or amh in Africa.

Power and Watts use this "model" to "specify closely the underlying syntax of ritual signaling Whenever surviving myth and ritual have anything to say about the moon, menstruation, hunting, sexual abstinence, cooking and so forth, then the symbolic connections should accord with the specified 'time resistant' syntax. The model predicts that periodic female inviolability should be discernible as a focus of ritual traditions. Menstrual taboos satisfy this condition, being sufficiently widespread and invariant to indicate extreme antiquity.

Predictably, where hunting is practised, the taboos are closely linked with beliefs concerning hunting luck. This "syntax" they attempt to verify among the Khoisan. First, ochre: "ochre and haematite were widely used in Khoisan menarcheal observance Second, hunting. Kung of Dobi and!

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  5. It consisted of night-stand hunts over game trails leading to water-holes or river-pools. Third, among the Khoisan, "a normative belief linking success in the hunt to lunar periodicity", often "the waxing phase [being] associated with hunting success" p. Fourth, "a normative belief associating menstrual with lunar periodicity", specifically, "dark, not full, moon".

    And finally, "big game hunting and marital sex are regarded as incompatible. As a consequence, the menstruating woman is in a paradoxical position: if by becoming the prey animal [wrong species] she initiates the hunt ['No'-saying], she is in some sense not only the quarry but the hunter as well. Kung have for a menarcheal girl.

    Kung say 'she has shot her first eland.


    Other examples of this type show a magical practice based on the metaphorical not metonymic identity among the game, the hunter, and the menstrual girl who ends up enactingly coordinating the hunt from seclusion. The syntax may be schematized from the description of the Hadza "the dry season marks the phase of social aggregation when their most sacred rituals are held -- the epeme dances held on each night of the dark moon for the duration of the aggregation.

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