Hadza ogresses, mountains, trees and giants - Public Lecture in Anthropology by Dr. Camilla Power (UCL)

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The third Public Lecture in Anthropology at the University of Plymouth on Tuesday 7th December at 19.00 (GMT) is titled:
Hadza ogresses, mountains, trees and giants”, and will be delivered by Dr. Camilla Power (University College London)
and chaired by Dr. Ivan Tacey and Dr. Brian Campbell.


For the Hadza hunter-gatherers of the Tanzanian Rift Valley, some of the scariest, most powerful figures in story are cannibalistic ogresses – older women who are rapacious for meat. Taking various, gender ambiguous guises, these ‘monster mothers-in-law’ may try to eat their  would-be sons-in-law, and generally aim to thwart men having sex. They are implicated in the first fire, the first sex, and the first epeme feast of sacred meat, as well as control of night and day. In this fascinating talk Dr Camilla Power will explore these stories and their links to the Hadza landscape of ‘god’ mountains, baobab trees and the mythic formation of the Lake Eyasi Basin.


The talk is the fourth social anthropological contribution to The University of Plymouth’s Public Arts Programme. The central theme for this season is “Storytelling”.  We explore how humans have used the written or spoken word, music, sound, image and performance to tell stories. Most crucially, we examine stories as powerful instruments that enable us to understand, navigate and shape the very world around us. This season, the Arts Institute is also proud to host “Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters”. This award-winning exhibition takes visitors on an epic journey that traverses three states, three deserts and some 500,000 square kilometres, travelling from west to east: to places in the deserts of the Martu, the Ngaanyatjarra and the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) peoples. Using the power of contemporary art, performance, song, photography and multimedia, Songlines shares ancient stories from the world’s oldest continuing culture. Songlines is conceived and curated by a team of First Australians, led by Margo Neale, Senior Indigenous Curator at the National Museum of Australia and custodial elders from the Central and Western Deserts of Australia.

The lecture will be held through Zoom, and is free for everyone who wishes to attend. Please register here: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/autumn-2021-hadza-ogresses-mountains-trees-and-giants

If you have any questions, would like to know more about Anthropology at the University of Plymouth, or wish to participate in our Public Arts Programme, please email brian.campbell@plymouth.ac.uk.

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