TU students danced, excavated and hunted with Kendall-Whittier Elementary School children last Wednesday, all in the name of anthropology. The American Anthropological Association again hosted World Anthropology Day this year to encourage anthropologists to engage the community in their discipline. Thus, on Feb. 15, TU’s Anthropology Club, otherwise known as Lambda Alpha, organized a series of activities to do just that with Kendall-Whittier students.
Kim Ivey, Lambda Alpha treasurer, said World Anthropology Day is important because it gives anthropologists the chance to share their work with a broader audience. She said anthropologists can take on many roles to study pressing problems such as “globalization, climate change, the spread of infectious diseases and the relation of socioeconomic status to health.” According to Ivey, Lambda Alpha’s goal in hosting the event at the neighborhood elementary school was “to inspire them to think about attending college and to get them excited about the possibilities within anthropology.”
Eight Lambda Alpha members worked the different stations at the event with the support of faculty sponsor Dr. Macdonald. Graduate students Dolores Davalos Navarro and Molly Noah led the children in dance moves to represent ethnochoreology, the study of how dance relates to culture.
At another station, children worked with graduate students Katie Williams and Kim Ivey to investigate two replicas of skeletons with magnifying glasses and also played a game of “pin the bone on the skeleton.”
One table featured a mock excavation (which, according to Ivey, came “complete with dirt, artifacts and even a fake rattlesnake to keep things realistic”) with graduate students Colleen Bell and Melissa Miller. There was also an area for students to throw rubber-tipped spears at a target and learn from graduate student Marco Martinez Galicia and undergraduate Greyson Chance about the different types of weapons humans used in the past. Around 140 children attended.