(ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Discussions regarding actual culture and history of Earth.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Sights » Fri 10 Jul 2015, 04:26

Lambuzhao wrote:Any examples of Paleolithic braiding/weaving?
I can't provide an answer to the more specific questions you had, but this seems to answer that last one with yes [:)]

I have a question that boils down to this: does anyone know of a culture/religion that actually condones different ways of corpse disposal?

Most I've heard of or read about seem to practice one and forbid/look down upon the others (burial yay / cremation nay, the other way around, you get the point). I know that in several belief systems across the world, the manner of someone's death determined where they went in the afterlife (one destiny usually being preferred over all others). So I was wondering if there ever was a belief system that was
1. Less obviously hierarchical and
2. Concerned more with how a person's corpse is dealt with rather than with the manner of death.

Sort of like this:

If cremated, you go to x.
If buried, you go to y.
If this, you go to z.
Last edited by Sights on Sat 11 Jul 2015, 19:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by gestaltist » Fri 10 Jul 2015, 09:11

Lambuzhao wrote:Love this guy:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_sYY7Tq1wPuo/S ... lothes.jpg

Did fishnets come before more "stacked" or tightly braided kinds of weaving? Did fishnets come before, say, basketry,mat-making or loom-weaving?

Any examples of Paleolithic braiding/weaving?

Did Neanderthals leave any examples of weaving?
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/09/scien ... -life.html

I wouldn’t count on any preserved examples, though.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Sights » Fri 10 Jul 2015, 09:25

That's just the link I posted earlier, heh. [:)]
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Shemtov » Sun 06 Sep 2015, 09:14

Did the indigenous people of Northwest Canada/Southeast Alaska eat any grain?
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » Tue 08 Sep 2015, 15:10

The traditional Inuit diet was pretty much totally meat: fish, seal, whale, caribou, bear, etc., though the exact diet varied by geographic location. They lived within the 10-degree isotherm, so agriculture would be next to impossible. Even wood was a precious commodity for many Inuit groups, because there are no trees that far north, meaning they could only get it as driftwood, or if they regularly travelled to a wooded area for part of the year.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Adarain » Sat 10 Oct 2015, 17:03

Nowadays, it's pretty apparent that in wealthy countries, birth rates are low and child survival is high, and in poor countries, it's the other way around. What factors actually influence this pattern, and how significant is technology? Can the low birth rate/high survival strategy exist in a "primitive" culture, if, say, food is plenty?
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by alynnidalar » Sat 10 Oct 2015, 18:36

Access to quality medical care is probably the biggest factor, as well as access to steady and clean food and water supplies. Money and technology both are going to help with these things... depending on what you mean by "primitive", you probably aren't going to have doctors with medical degrees and access to MRIs and modern antibiotics and other drugs.

There's some cultural/social things which can help too, though. For example, washing your hands before eating or performing medical procedures isn't exactly related to wealth/technology, but it can still dramatically improve health if people do it consistently.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » Thu 15 Oct 2015, 23:38

What did early people's do when they met with another tribe/civilization? Mostly I ask in terms of how they communicate when neither of them knows the other's language.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 16 Oct 2015, 00:27

Ahzoh wrote:What did early people's do when they met with another tribe/civilization? Mostly I ask in terms of how they communicate when neither of them knows the other's language.
If they weren't expecting strangers, they felt themselves perfectly within their rights to kill them upon meeting them.
Clearly that's not what they always did; probably not even usually.
But, you know how, and why, bees don't want a lone hornet who has found their nest, to make it back to her own nest with the news? So they crush her and cook her?
Often that seemed like one of the reasonable options, even if they frequently eventually went with some other choice.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Fri 16 Oct 2015, 23:04

Generally "early peoples" did not meet new groups. Most people don't seem to have moved around all that much, when not expanding into empty territory. So you had plenty of time to get to know your neighbours.

When it did happen? Well, what do you think would happen? Either one side kills the other (all of them, or the leaders and then integrates the rest), or they start trading and whatnot.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Sun 18 Oct 2015, 03:22

Depending on exactly how you're defining "early", you could look into how extant hunter-gatherer societies handle interactions with newly encountered hunter-gatherer groups, although I suppose there's not been much in the way of a chance to observe this. As Sal says, hunter-gatherer societies, despite being nomadic (although not necessarily since sedentary hunter-gatherer societies have and do exist), don't tend to move around all that much, tending to stick with hunting grounds that they're familiar with, following seasonal and annual patterns that they're aware of, hunting and gathering animals and plants that they've always hunted and gathered.

Early interactions with new groups are probably about as diverse as they are with "later" societies, ranging from friendly to hostile and a host of things in between, leading to the destruction or assimilation of one group into the other or leading to both groups remaining largely intact, and either of those situations might be peaceful (through intermarriage, say) or violent (through raids leading to depletion of resources or outright warfare).

It might have a lot to do with the culture of each group in question, available resources, and what each group can offer each other. And the language barrier would have to be overcome as well in your scenario, I assume, but overall the answer isn't likely to be as simple as "one group would kill the other" or "trade would be established between the two groups". In one scenario, you might have a few scuffles here and there, but group leaders might get together to mediate them in order to stop things escalating. This forces them to learn to communicate in one language or the other, or a pidgin, which can then lead to trade or basically nothing but the knowledge that there are people on the other side of the valley that your elders think you probably should get into a fight with. Things might then get more complex as each group changes and moves around over time. Things might get more violent or the groups might start trading more, or both.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » Fri 13 Nov 2015, 22:42

Were the Irish people of the past enslaved in the same notion that Africans were enslaved (as opposed being indentured servants or whatever)? Were they treated worse than African slaves?
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir » Sat 14 Nov 2015, 10:02

Ahzoh wrote:Were the Irish people of the past enslaved in the same notion that Africans were enslaved (as opposed being indentured servants or whatever)? Were they treated worse than African slaves?
pretty sure the Irish weren't permitted on estates or plantations.

other than that and signs with no dogs or irishmen permitted, no idea; sorry.
Sights wrote:I have a question that boils down to this: does anyone know of a culture/religion that actually condones different ways of corpse disposal?
condones? pretty much all of them, i think -- in most, you're supposed to be buried as soon as possible; but if you're not, and there's a reason for the delay, God is forgiving. {Islam & Judaism, as explained to me my its practitioners}

but that doesn't seem to be what you mean below...
Most I've heard of or read about seem to practice one and forbid/look down upon the others (burial yay / cremation nay, the other way around, you get the point). I know that in several belief systems across the world, the manner of someone's death determined where they went in the afterlife (one destiny usually being preferred over all others). So I was wondering if there ever was a belief system that was
hm...can't think of any offhand. tough question.

I'm reading Heirs to forgotten kingdoms, which may have an answer - i'll let you know.
1. Less obviously hierarchical and
2. Concerned more with how a person's corpse is dealt with rather than with the manner of death.
that sounds like it would be (or could easily be) even more hierarchical than other methods ("can't afford to send great-grandpa to heaven? how about at least a decent spot in purgatory? geez, can't afford that level of funeral either?")...and i'd hope there's some sort of compensatory mechanism...(maybe those sent to heaven have to cycle through more reincarnations before getting to nirvana, than the people who get sent to purgatory or worse?)
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by alynnidalar » Sat 14 Nov 2015, 15:28

Ahzoh wrote:Were the Irish people of the past enslaved in the same notion that Africans were enslaved (as opposed being indentured servants or whatever)? Were they treated worse than African slaves?
That depends a lot on how you define those terms, IMO. Playing the "who had it worse" game is a dangerous one that often gets co-opted by racists, unfortunately, so I'd rather not play it... but here I go anyway.

By my definition of enslavement and "worse", the Irish had it pretty darn bad, but still nowhere near as bad as Africans. (which is not to minimize the suffering that many Irish people went through, this is looking at the two groups as a whole) And when people talk about Irish slavery, what they generally mean specifically is Irish people who were indentured servants in the Caribbean, who did in fact undergo very poor treatment.

The major differences between the two groups was basically this:
- Irish slaves were legally still indentured servants; they theoretically would be set free after period of servitude (if they survived that long), and their children were born free. They also technically had some rights and could complain to the authorities about poor treatment, although in the Caribbean these rights were often ignored. By contrast, African slaves in all parts of the Americas were slaves for life, with zero legal recourse. Even if it was just technically, Irish "slaves" were considered at some level free citizens who sold their labor (even if they were sometimes forced into it); African slaves were straight-up considered property.

- while there was some racial/ethnic distinctions made to treat the Irish differently, it's a whole lot easier to demonize people who look dramatically different from you, as Africans did (well, do) from the white people in charge. Therefore, while there was indeed racism and laws against Irish people, they were never as severe as laws against black slaves (and freemen). And it's a whole lot easier for an Irishman to pass for non-Irish than it is for an African man to pass for white. At any rate, slavery ended up being pretty solidly defined along racial lines by the 1800s at least.

- the scale and geographic scope was quite different. There was a relatively short period of time in which bringing Irish slaves/indentured servants to the Caribbean happened, compared to the much longer period of time in which the African slave trade occurred. There was also a much shorter period of time in which it was acceptable in general, and it basically ended on its own, compared with the enslavement of Africans, which really only ended in the US because of a war. And while Irish indentured servitude was basically restricted to the Caribbean aaaaand parts of the southern coast of the US, I think, African slavery was obviously quite a bit more widespread, in both North and South America.

But when it comes to actual treatment, both Irish and African slaves had it pretty darn bad, in places where both existed side-by-side. A lot of people died from disease, the climate, and very very poor treatment. So again, what do you mean by "worse"? Overall, I think you actually can say that objectively, African slaves had it worse, because of the much greater scope (both in time and geographically), the fact they were legally slaves/property rather than indentured servitude, etc. However that doesn't mean there couldn't have been individual instances of Irish indentured servants who had it worse than some individual African slaves. Both were terrible institutions, and I'm not sure how profitable it is to play the "but who had it worse" game.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Ahzoh » Sat 14 Nov 2015, 16:54

The only reason why I had asked this was because some guy literally said "the Irish were treated alot worse than black people and you don't see them complaining about it" and they did say the Irish were literally enslaved, not just indentured servant.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir » Sun 15 Nov 2015, 00:04

Ahzoh wrote:The only reason why I had asked this was because some guy literally said "the Irish were treated alot worse than black people and you don't see them complaining about it" and they did say the Irish were literally enslaved, not just indentured servant.
pft, the Irish had it easy. it was legal to kill my ancestors through much of the British Isles (and i think the law's still on the books)
{we were Welsh}
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Sun 15 Nov 2015, 23:31

Keenir wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:The only reason why I had asked this was because some guy literally said "the Irish were treated alot worse than black people and you don't see them complaining about it" and they did say the Irish were literally enslaved, not just indentured servant.
pft, the Irish had it easy. it was legal to kill my ancestors through much of the British Isles (and i think the law's still on the books)
{we were Welsh}
whereas my ancestors (Irish) only were killed, in practice, rather than having a theoretical law about it...

[Not that long ago in some places, either. Saw this recently, as it happens. [about 57 irish immigrants who died in pennsylvania in the early 19th century, mostly by being massacred by the americans]


But regarding the question, it's worth mentioning that Irish were enslaved for many hundreds of years - basically from the Romans through to 1000 or so. Coincidentally I was just talking about how the traditional Irish term for black people translates literally as 'blue people' - the folk etymology is that this is because the only contact they had with black people was with the African slave-traders who used to raid Ireland to ship the inhabitants back to the middle east, and that those traders (Berbers originally, later Arabs) made a lot of use of indigo. [I doubt this explanation, but that's beside the point]

Of course, in a larger sense, in the "who got it worse" game, the truth is that the atlantic slave trade was about the worst form of slavery in history, and that in the USA the treatment of slaves continued to be utterly inhumane, and probably without exception in historical terms (there have always been classes of slaves treated terribly - in mines or in armies - but only small classes, not all slaves as a whole as in the US). In general, at least, although it depends how you rate things. For instance, victims of the arab slave trade were much more likely to be sexually abused as children, or sexually mutilated (castration was very common) - but they were much, much less likely to be starved or beaten to death, or to die of neglect in transit.

Then again, time and place. Within specific contexts, like the UK, or the northern US states, it has probably been true at times that Irish have been treated worse than black people in that time and place.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Keenir » Sun 15 Nov 2015, 23:57

Ripley had the right idea: nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure.
Salmoneus wrote:Of course, in a larger sense, in the "who got it worse" game,
...everyone loses.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Sights » Thu 10 Mar 2016, 19:19

Anyone know an example of a strictly symmetrical diarchy, or have any idea how that would work?

Most examples I've seen are asymmetrical diarchies, i.e., each diarch is in charge of a particular domain, typically either religion or the military, and one of them usually holds more power overall. A symmetrical diarchy, as the name suggests, is one where the two hold the same degree of authority and rule over the same domains.

Seems like a somewhat impractical idea, which might explain why it's not very common. But it's good conworlding material.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Thu 10 Mar 2016, 21:08

What's wrong with "the mediterranean" as an example?
E.g. Sparta, Judaea, the Phonecian cities, Carthage, Rome, etc?
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