Steel Axes for Stone Age Australians - Essay Example

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Futhemore, he analyzes the impact of the simple innovation on the group’s religion and social structure. The author highlights an example pertaining to the cultural disruption that may…
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Steel Axes for Stone Age Australians
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Task: Steel Axes for Stone Age Australians Lauriston examines the effect of the development of steel axe on the Yir Yoront culture. Futhemore, he analyzes the impact of the simple innovation on the group’s religion and social structure. The author highlights an example pertaining to the cultural disruption that may appear when a foreign group interferes with the life of another group (Sharp 15). The article describes the anthropological customary position of noninvolvement in a community’s life while accounting for the missionary’s tendency of influencing the people’s daily life and decisions. The article indicates that initially the Yir Yoront group lacked knowledge concerning metals. Consequently, the group’s culture observed a technology characterized by customary Stone Age tools. The group primarily survived through hunting, fishing, gathering fruits and vegetables from the bush (Sharp 34). Furthermore, the group lacked cultivated plants and kept a dog as their only tamed animal. In contrast to other groups of the time, Yir Yoront developed stone axes that contributed substantially to their economy because it defined their cultural practices. However, toward the end of the 19th century, the metal tools and other European materials started penetrating the Yir Yoront land. Adoption of steel axes led to various changes to the group’s way of life. This included erosion of cultural practices. Although Yir yoronts attempted to resist the influence coming from Europeans, their effort was unproductive since European’s culture eventually spread within the group (Sharp 23).
This article explains the dynamic nature of culture by highlighting the consequences of intercultural interactions. I support the author’s concepts that the introduction of steel axes among the Yir Yoronts led to the transformation of their social way of life. The Axe occupied a relevant position in the context of the Yir Yoront’s culture. Consequently, processes performed by the too had the potential of affecting the behavior of the group. Steel axes were more effective than stone axes. This meant that they offered an advanced approach of doing things. The modern development provided tactical approaches capable of making work easier. The traditional approaches could not match the developed technology. This forced the group to abandon its ineffective procedures. This indicates that a culture that presents appealing processes that lead to development can always affect the culture of another group. The Yir Yoront eventually had to borrow cultural concepts from the European’s culture despite their reluctance towards the culture of modernity. This scenario is essential in explaining the ideas of cultural interactions, civilization and modernization in the contemporary dynamic world.
Individuals usually embrace ideas that improve their lives. Furthermore, cultural practices that appear obsolete may not survive the pressure emanating from modernity regardless of the cultural significance. It is worthwhile noting that individuals who are ignorant on the ideas of modernity occupy a poor societal stature. This scenario also highlights that culture entails values, ideas and sentiments affected by technology and a group’s conduct. These attribute are complex to manage because they are latent and covert. Consequently, one needs to deduce them from ordinary activities or behaviors. The author provides an informative piece with insightful ideas about various subjects.
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Sharp, Lauriston. Steel Axes for Stone-Age Australians. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1952. Print. Read More
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