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The Anthropology of precious minerals

Abstract : Why do people single out gold, sapphires, diamonds, and other minerals as particularly “precious”? What makes precious minerals “precious”? Drawing from ethnographic and cross-cultural research, this collection of anthropological essays and case studies answers these questions by exploring humans’ multifaceted relationships with the minerals they deem “precious.” The Anthropology of Precious Minerals addresses the entanglement of humans and minerals, with a particular focus on the practices of scrappers, miners, and hunters as they work to extract value. The editors draw from history, archaeology, and ethnography, and remind us that “preciousness” must always be understood in relation to complex cultural, political-economic, and semiotic systems of value.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 20, 2020 - 8:57:21 AM
Last modification on : Friday, December 11, 2020 - 3:44:23 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-02512871, version 1



Elizabeth Ferry, Annabel Vallard, Andrew Walsh. The Anthropology of precious minerals. University of Toronto Press, 2019, 978-1-4875-0317-8. ⟨halshs-02512871⟩



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