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Introduction


This book is in the field of cultural anthropology and transcultural psychology, and is intended for college courses in anthropology and psychology, and general readership. The book focuses on intriguing facts about primitive cultures around the world, and provides insights into living traditions and different world views. A principal theme of the book is that we can gain a better understanding of ourselves by a "detour" to other cultures. The book shows how modern ways of thinking are parallel to those of primitive cultures, and engages readers to become more aware of who they are. As shown throughout the book, there is not, after all, a very wide gulf between primitive and modern cultures. The book covers many topics including animism, shamanism, totemism, hunting and cultivation rituals, altered states of consciousness, envy and the evil eye, how people deal with conflicts, potlatches, cargo cults, how people satisfy the need for social approval, culture-bound syndromes, folk medicine, treatment of women, raising of children, nomadic peoples, treatment of the dead, and other topics.




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