Readers’ fieldwork pictures

I’ve put up posts before from Dorsa Amir, a graduate student in biological anthropology at Yale. Here’s her latest contribution: a set of photos from her fieldwork (more photos here). Dorsa’s notes are indented:

As an anthropologist, one of my goals is to explore human behavioral variation across diverse contexts. In conjunction with the larger Shuar Health & Life History project, I have had the amazing opportunity to work with the Shuar, a population indigenous to the Ecuadorian Amazon. The Shuar are forager-horticulturalists who still hunt, fish, and cultivate crops for most of their subsistence, and largely function as small-scale societies. Working with communities of people still living in many ways like their ancestors has been an eye-opening experience when pondering human evolution and culture change. One of the most salient differences between their way of life and ours, in my experience, has been the resilience and independence of Shuar children, who furnish many of their own calories, care for their siblings, and live a much more independent life than their Western counterparts. (I’ve written a bit more about this in a piece for Nautilus). Below are some photos from several summer fieldwork trips.

Note the tamarin:

In the spirit of wildlife photos, here’s Shuar woman with her pet kinkajou [Potos flavus]:

Dorsa had an orange and white cat named Emerson, but wants us to know she’s expanded the felid family to include Hamilton (“Hammy”), named after the late evolutionary biologist W. D. Hamilton. Here’s the happy couple:



  1. Mark Reaume
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    This sounds like an amazing job. Certainly beats cube life.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Outstanding. What is that little guy on his back?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      AH, I think it’s a marmoset.

      • GBJames
        Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        It is a tamarin monkey.

        • dorsaamir
          Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          Yep, I think it’s a young black-mantled tamarin.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Wow –

  4. Debbie Coplan
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    What a great post!
    I have never seen such a young boy with a sharp knife where I wasn’t concerned he would hurt himself. This boy looks very capable of using a sharp knife.

    • Posted January 15, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Here in Ecuador it is not uncommon to see three- or four-year olds with machetes almost as long as them. The degree of over-protective parental care in the US nowadays seems positively insane to me now.

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Splendid pictures today! This was wonderful.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Looks like what New Yorkers imagine is west of the Hudson.

  6. Glenda Palmer
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing the photos. What a truly interesting life you live.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Amazing photos, thanks for sharing. I bet living in the jungle would offer many types of different pets.

    • dorsaamir
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Indeed! Though the most common is still the hunting dog.

  8. Claudia Baker
    Posted January 15, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful pictures. Wonderful job you have!

  9. Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Great work!

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