Abstracts of the ESS Moscow Annual Meeting 1998
Abstracts of Papers Presented at the Annual Meeting of the European
Sociobiological Society (ESS), Russian State University of the Humanities,
Moscow, May 31-June 3, 1998
GROUP IDENTITY AND NATION IDENTITY
The roots of group feeling and group identity have to be looked for at very basic levels in
evolved human psychology and perhaps even further back in patterns of group behaviour in
animals. The nation state has shown astonishing power to survive universalist ideologies and
also to resist the strong forces working towards globalization of the world economy and of
world culture. In the same way as once it was said that 'prebyter is old priest writ large' one
might say that 'nation is group writ large'. There are common elements between a society and
Society but the forces promoting or constituting the unity of the national group may differ
significantly from those supporting the unity, the identity, of the smaller group. What seems
to be most noticeable in the national group, in the present revival of nationalism, is the
importance of language as the foundation of nation identity. If language, and languages, are
essentially biological and not simply cultural phenomena, then it may be possible to
understand more fully how the national idea retains its force, and indeed to start to think of
the nation in its turn as an evolutionary grouping. The work of Cavalli-Sforza and his
associates at Stanford on the correlations between world linguistic and genetic distributions
(Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Moscow, Russia)
RITUAL AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF THE 'EXTREME GROUPS'
Under the notion of 'extreme groups' I mean the groups which were shaped as social structure
naturally but under the pressure of the outside overwhelming conditions. The examples of
such phenomenon are soldiery or prisoner societies with their inner i.e. non official
This relationship is the mainstream of social structuralization in all kind of extreme groups
and appear in archaic form of one, especially a rituals, signs and symbols forming as means
to fix up dominant connections (social ties). Their behaviour and signification correspond
with early human's and even animal's forms. Several points of one are re-actualized on such
level of social relation: the demonstrative aggression; physiological acts (sexual and
homosexual function, deification, etc.).
Social structure presents harsh three-level hierarchy that is represented by symbols and
behavioural style. Symbols are spread through all side of life, but may be clean districted
between three spheres: food, clothes and living space. Each sphere is marked by complex of
special signs in corresponding with a personal quality of the members.
Extreme groups are quite mobile. The transition of the members from one level to other is
marked by special rites, which are based on initiation idea. This idea is principal for all
primitive society and embodied in those rites of extreme groups with ancient feature of the
acts and symbols under original mind of one.
To conclude I propose that compressing many individuals who were educated and socialized
at the different ethnic, national and social environment produce 'vacuum of culture' as the
only mental condition of such groups. This situation become the point of departure for further
structuralization of the social forms of this groups as well as common awareness. If there is
the necessity to be together, but there are no any common tradition, normative and value
system, a new social forms will be shape on the archaic unconscious and pre-human
(Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, The Norwegian College of Veterinary
Medicine, Oslo, Norway)
RITUALS COULD INFLUENCE A HYPOTHALAMIC 'MAIN SWITCH' FOR SOCIAL
Humans and most other animals possess a predatory instinct which enables the individual to
'switch off pity' (Eibl-Eibesfeldt) or concern for the target animal during hunting/feeding. The
brain center for this predatory aggression is located medially in the hypothalamus, apart from
the other forms of aggression, which are usually labelled affective aggression. Predatory
aggression is characterized by a curious lack of emotion, and might rather be called predatory
non-emotionality, (Borresen, 1996, 1996).
In an evolutionary perspective, predatory non-emotionality has developed for inter-species
encounters - i.e. between 'us' and 'the others' - while affective aggression, together with the
various positive social emotions, were reserved for intra-species encounters - i.e. among
'ourselves'. Thus the hypothalamic seal for predatory non-emotionality can be seen as a 'main
switch' turning social emotions ON or OFF.
The taming of pets and domestic animals exploits the ability - in humans as well as in the
animal concerned - to transcend the species barrier and include members of other species
among 'us'. Thus social emotions can be ON towards individuals of a potential prey species.
Conversely, humans, chimpanzees and other social animals sometimes direct predatory
aggression against their own kids and may kill members of their own species in an emotion
Thus, rituals may have developed to act as instinct releasers (Tinbergen) helping to move the
main switch into a social emotions ON mode in potentially dangerous encounters.
(Department of Archeobiology and Anthropology, Natural History Museum, Vienna,
META-MEME RITUALS TELEONOMICALLY CHANGE MEME-RITUALS AND A
GENE-RITUAL: SYNTACTIC SYMBOL CONDITIONED 5-HT/NA SOCIO-NEURO-
MODULATION IN CULTURE-CULT CO-EVOLUTION: DOUBLE NICHE
TRANSITION-THEORY OF HOMO, XL
Definition of Paleo-(lithic-) socialization as Meta-meme-culture characterizes in a
sociobiology of 'New age' the French revolution's liberté, egalité,
fraternité, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism as paleo-socialization turns within a
a) In psycho-therapy a Meta-meme culture loss biologically resulted in Meme-cults
of male elite dominance since Neo-(lithic-) patho-socialization, defined as traumatic
psycho-social regression to eliminative problem solving by non-human primate agonic ranking
(Bujatti-Narbeshuber, M. J. Paleopathology, 7,2,1995). Culture defined by the
Meta-meme-ritual (initiation-rite, etc.) permits teleonomic change of the (neuronal memory
based) Meme-ritual of non human primate cult (from non-self organized programs into
self-organized, integrated programs). Reproductive success from selective paleo-advantage of
Meta-ritual is reflected in neotenous morphology, brain expansion, Homo-specific
hagio-sophic ranking and ritualized hagio-sophic rank smile (Bujatti-Narbeshuber, IEC, 1997).
b) In neuro-chemistry the Meta-ritual is characterized by a threefold increase of
serotonin (5-HT) metabolism (Bujatti, M., Riederer,P., J. Neural Transm., 1976, 39,
257) if lost compensated by social use of alcohol and addicting drugs.
c) In neuro-ethology it is characterized by pegnio-kolymbetic (pk-) ethology
(Bujatti-Narbeshuber, 13th ISHE-Conference-Abstracts, 1996, 36). In Greek paignyon
comes from pais, child and means toy, while kolymbao means to give i.e. with
a toy in playful behaviour. In pk-ethology our critical evolutionary advantage of creativity as
mammalian play-plasticity is stabilized beyond puberty (testosterone effects) even in
emergency (stress-cortisol effects) by non-aquatic vertebrate diving response release (relaxing
serotonin effect on total metabolism).
d) In neuro-linguistics the Meta-ritual is characterized by non-aquatic diving
response release via Pawlovian IRM conditioning by the
diving-cycle-respiration-control-phonemes (ha-g-n-i). It provides, as first logic syntactic
idiolog-symbol, the Meta-meme for proto-language, (Bujatti-Narbeshuber, DGS, 1987;
two-letter syllables, Kekoni, 1997; glottalic, Gamkrelidze, Ivanow, 1984). T4 Meta-meme is
defined as logic-syntactic meme-Tools for inborn pk-behaviour Teleonomy with
self-organized metabolic Transition as experienced Transcendence. Iteration of pk-ethology
structures the memes of hominine (material of language) cults into Meta-memes of
Homo-culture. Boolean-logic of negation comes from respiratory halt in Meta-meme
production in diving response derived syntactics of religious rites (Transcendence) with body
derived semantics of language (hagni for inner sun, fire) and teleonomic syntactic creative
intelligence in the pragmatics of tool production (Bujatti-Narbeshuber, Int. Journal of
Neuroscience, 1987, 32, 520; 315) according to Double Niche Transition Theory
(Institute of Cultural Anthropology, Russian State University for Humanities, Moscow,
GENDER IDENTITY AS A BASIS FOR THE FUNDAMENTAL SOCIAL
Based on the behaviour of Russian and Kalmyk junior school children, the paper focuses on
the formation of gender identity and the emergence of two rival groups, males and females,
which behave as two independent fractions within a single social structure. Identification with
one of these fractions results in the acquisition of sex-specific behavioural style, preference of
toys, clothing, haircut, and gait. When asked to draw men and women, children tend to
accentuate attributes of their own and opposite sex. Women are seen as having large breasts
and hips and long hair, are elegantly dressed and wear heels. Males have cropped hair and
moustache and wear suits and ties. According to children's views, men and women differ as
to occupation: while males are seen as businessmen, bankers, servicemen, pilots, racers,
astronauts, and presidents, females are viewed as teachers, doctors, nurses, singers, painters,
Children's ideas regarding sex differences and gender roles are by far more conservative than
is the actual situation in either of the regions, central Russia or Kalmykia. Outward attributes
of gender are evidently markers on which gender solidarity, resp. opposition, is based.
Children's behaviour is highly gender-specific, enabling the child to better assume behavioural
stereotypes and develop mechanisms of cooperation with representatives of its own sex. The
formation of stereotypes concerning the opposite sex has much in common with the
development of the enemy's image in between-group conflicts, the most important feature
being genderocentrism: both boys and girls consider themselves to be superior. While girls
describe boys as pugnacious, rowdy, fidgety and untidy, boys see girls as sneaks, cry-babies,
liars, and bores. In groups studied by us, boys and girls formed sharply opposed fractions
which occasionally clashed with one another. Gender antagonism may take on the form of
play: rival parties become engaged in mock warfare, 'enemies' being chased, captured,
'subdued', etc. Similar games imitating warfare between the sexes have been described by
others (James 1990; Smith 1992). Playful opposition may eventually result in actual fighting.
In one of the clashes, several girls tried to subdue a boy by pressing him to the ground,
tickling and pinching him. Boys tried to liberate him but failed. Contrasting images of one's
own and opposite sex, and play hostility with respect to the latter may be part of an evolved
strategy aimed at enhancing gender solidarity and cooperation. They apparently reflect the
fundamental sociobiological paradigm concerning male vs. female opposition (Brereton
Supported by RFHR, grant # 96-01-00032, and RFBR, grant #
(Institute of Medical Primatology RAMS, Sochi)
BEHAVIOUR OF FREE-RANGING HAMADRYAS BABOONS ON MEETING
Study of free-ranging hamadryas baboons behaviour on meeting was carried out in Gumista
Primate Reserve during 1980-1993. Analysis of activity and behavioural patterns of animals
belonging to different structural levels of one or different troops during the interactions was
performed. The concept of 'meeting' used with respect to free-ranging hamadryas baboons was
considered as spontaneous visual and acoustic contact of monkeys. The observations showed
that on the lawn where feeding of monkeys was taking place the reaction of baboons to the
animals of the approaching group depends first of all on the genetic relatedness of the animals
in these groups and on the conditions in which they perform acoustic and visual identification
on meeting. The first signs of reaction to approaching of another band of monkeys were seen
immediately after their entering into the zone of audibility and were expressed by alert
listening and gazing towards the approaching animals. In the case where the approaching
animals belonged to another clan of the same band, the animals which were on the glade
immediately lost their interest in them after acoustic and visual identification, while the
newcomers quietly appeared on the glade. If the approaching animals belonged to another
band of the same troop, the animals which were on the glade did not loose their interest in
them, expressed by alert attention; the interest was maintained, or was becoming stronger.
Evident attention and listening to the voice of newcomers was replaced by aggressiveness,
mostly shown by young males. The behaviour of approaching animals was usually
characterized by the lack of aggressive elements. On the contrary, the elements of friendly
behaviour, more often of friendly contacts, were noted, which promoted quick reduction of
tension and friendly proximity of 2 bands on the glade. On seeing the monkeys of the other
troop approaching the glade, the animals of the resident troop showed stronger aggressive
distant patterns involving all adult animals of the troop. The subsequent actions of both sides
in that case were characterized by general distant aggression for several minutes followed by
the escape of animals of the second smaller troop. During the whole observation period the
cases of aggressive contacts or friendly behaviour in the animals of different troops, were not
seen. There were no cases of animal transfer between two neighbouring troops of hamadryas
Supported by RFBR, grant # 96-06-80405.
Johan M.G. van der DENNEN
(Center for Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Groningen, the Netherlands)
RITUALIZED 'PRIMITIVE' WARFARE AND RITUALS IN WAR: PHENOCOPY,
The paper examines rituals and ritualized behaviours in both animals and man, and
investigates the differences and commonalities between the two sets of phenomena. It
discusses the (mainly anthropological) theories of human rituals and the (mainly ethological)
theories of animal ritualized behaviours such as threat displays, conventional agonistic
contests, and triumph ceremonies. The evolution of such ritualized behaviours is also
Human (collective) rituals in and surrounding war (circumbelligerency rituals) such as
pre-battle preparatory rituals and post-battle disculpation rituals), as well as instances of ritual
warfare (warfare as callisthenics or 'game-like' wars) in preindustrial societies, are extensively
discussed. It is noted that there are many misunderstandings about 'primitive' war. On the one
hand, scholars like Dyer and Montagu consider 'primitive' war to be a relatively harmless
pastime because ritualized to a great extent. Researchers such as Keeley, on the other hand,
consider 'primitive' war to be guerre à l'outrance (war to the knife) because
not ritualized at all. The paper tries to reconcile these rather one-sided and extreme positions
by positing an assessment-and-escalation model.
Finally, the paper critically examines Eibl-Eibesfeldt's claim that in the ritualization of human
'primitive' war culture phenocopies nature. It is concluded, a.o., that ritual in humans seems to
have a primarily apotropaic function: it reduces fear and anxiety and reinforces the social
cohesion and solidarity of the group. As most human rituals involve some procession-like
program (or 'format'), or concerted and synchronized rhythmic activity (e.g., collective
dances), it seems appropriate to refer to their succession of steps, their sequence of behaviours
(or behavioural syntax) as 'choreography', though no conscious dramaturge or conductor
(other than 'tradition') may be involved.
(Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia)
SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR AND COMMUNICATION OF NEOTROPICAL MONKEYS
The social behaviour and communication in 12 species (Cacajao calvus, Lagothrix
lagothricha, Cebus albifrons, C. capucinus, C. apella, Saimiri boliviensis, S. sciureus, Aotus
vociferans, Callimico goeldii, Saguinus fuscicollis, S. mystax, Callithrix jachus) was
observed. The investigation was conducted in Projecto Peruviano Primates, Iquitos (Peru) and
St-Petersburg's Zoo. Affiliative and aggressive patterns of social behaviour were observed;
different forms of communication in groups - visual (mimics, gestures, postures), tactile
contacts, olfactory and marking behaviour, some acoustical signals were differentiated.
Locomotory activity and territory utilization of each group member were observed. The
elements and complexes of behaviour were registered by special matrix. It was found that
locomotory activity, territory utilization, patterns of social behaviour and communication
reflected the level of species phylogenetic development.
Comparison by method of numeric taxonomy allowed us to determine the two levels in
development of social behaviour and communication among Platyrrhini: 1. High level -
representatives of genus Cacajao, Lagothrix, Cebus; 2. Low level - representatives of
genus Aotus, Saimiri, Callimico, Saguinus, Callithrix. The behavioural patterns were
interconnected with the types of social structure (multi-male system in the first group; family
and pair system in the second group).
The behavioural characteristics allowed us to differentiate some tendencies in the evolution of
behaviour of Neotropical monkeys.
Harald A. EULER, Sabine HOIER & Elizabeth POLITZ
(Kassel University, Germany)
KIN INVESTMENT OF AUNTS AND UNCLES: WHY IS THE MATRILATERAL BIAS
STRONGER IN WOMEN?
398 participants rated on a 7-point scale how much their aunts and uncles had been concerned
about their welfare and whether the matri- or patrilateral aunt and uncle was the more
concerned. The matrilateral aunt was more often chosen as the more concerned one than the
patrilateral aunt, and the same for the uncles. The ANCOVA of the kin investment ratings,
adjusted for the difference in age and residential distance of aunts and uncles, showed a
sizeable sex effect (aunt more concerned than uncles), a small but significant laterality effect
(matrilateral aunts/uncles more concerned) and a significant interaction (matrilateral bias
stronger in aunts than in uncles). These German results are comparable to those of Gaulin et
al. (1997) from the USA. The participants were also asked by which name they addressed
their grandparents and aunts/uncles. Independent observers rated the emotional proximity of
the various address forms. Whereas the discriminative solicitude of the four grandparents is
reflected both in number and address forms given as well as in rated emotional proximity of
address forms (most for maternal grandmother, less for paternal grandfather), the same did not
apply to aunts and uncles. Various studies have consistently found the matrilateral investment
bias to be stronger in female than in male relatives. Possible explanations for this sex
difference are discussed.
(Biological Department, Moscow State University, Russia)
RITUALIZED DEMONSTRATION EFFECTIVENESS AS SUPPORTING MECHANISM
FOR INTEGRATING SOME DIFFERENT INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL LIFE STRATEGIES IN
STEADY SOCIAL STRUCTURE FRAMEWORK: AN EXPERIMENTAL GREAT
SPOTTED WOODPECKER STUDY
D. major' territorial defence was researched. Two hypotheses of supporting mechanism of
forming of the unique strategy of bird's territorial defence and integrated their in steady social
structure were tested.
1. Strategy of social behaviour is characteristic of a bird even before its inclusion in the
2. The individual strategy of social behaviour is being formed as a result of accumulation of
its consecutive victories/defeats and social effects of signals 1-8, which determines actual
victories/defeats and future bird's signalling tactics in next combats.
This mechanism was revealed by studying the influence of exposition regime of opponents'
signals 1-8 with different Q (signal effectiveness/expression time, sec) on the qualitative and
quantitative character of the victory/defeat. If the victory as caused by exposition of any
among the signals with Q quality then in the next conflict the minimum value of Q falls
down, which realization at the holding of this signal is necessary for the victory. At the same
time the average value of Q, gained at holding of the signal, is raising. If signal exposition
with certain Q caused a defeat then a similar type of influence on the success of the bird's
social communication in the next conflict is found, however, it has opposite direction. We
showed that effectiveness of bird's behaviour in the next conflict is determined by the success
of the previous communication with the help of signals 1-8 and its social effect - victory or a
defeat of different quality (equal to Q of the caused signals). We found out that this effect is
a reason for facilitation of the victory in the next conflict of the winner even if it uses
lenuous deepening of divergence of unique strategies of birds' territorial behaviour on the
effectiveness of territorial protection, repertoire composition, tactics of communication, signals
in conflicts and strategies in the choice of the opponent according to the perspective of
maximization Q victory and minimization of bird's time costs for the exposition of signals.
Results of our investigation allow us to make a choice towards the second hypothesis -
formation of bird's unique strategy of social behaviour happens as a result of the competition
among neighbours - opponents for possibility, winning the opponent, to influence at a greater
extent with the help of its signal behaviour on its signal tactics and social strategy, at stronger
determination of its own behaviour by invariant mechanisms of communication based on 8
territorial signals. The more successive its strategy is the more obviously maximization Q and
minimization of time costs and costs of direct aggression for the signal exposition with given
Q are expressed.
A.A. GLISKOV & M.G. SADOVSKY
(Krasnoyarsk State University, Krasnoyarsk State A&M University, Krasnoyarsk State
ON THE EXISTENCE DURATION OF SOCIAL NORMS
Social norms depend strongly on the relations represented by them. Hence, one can
distinguish several types of norms, in dependence on their existence duration. The most
long-living norms are those representing biological features of human species, and the
fundamental issues of social organisation.
Another group of norms constitute those that represent the relations concerning the geographic
environment of a society. These norms are peculiar for rather long time period of their
existence, and quite often still persist in spite of the environment had changed entirely.
Another group of social norms is constituted by those representing a level of development of
economic and/or political relations. The Roman legal norms are a good exempla of social
norms adequate to the free exchange economy. Obviously, Roman jurists managed to
understand and arrange into the legal form the most optimal ways of social organisation of
the corresponding economic relations.
Finally, the least stable (from the point of view of the existence duration) social norms are
those of purely psychological nature. Fashion makes an ultimate example of that type of
Special group of norms is constituted from those representing various cyclical processes in
society. One should distinguish cyclical processes in social normativity vs. periodical changes
where new normative entities occur from time to time, making no cycle. We believe, the
periodicity in norm system allows to discuss the duration of the existence of the normative
The dynamics of social norms is influenced strongly by the inheritance of them, that is why
the study of existence duration will bring key knowledge in this issue.
(Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Moscow, Russia)
THE ROLE OF HUMAN APPEARANCE AND THE CONCEPT OF THE
The investigation of the aesthetic preference of human appearance by the use of methods of
physical anthropology was carried out in 15 different ethnic groups among the students of the
Universities of the age of 18-25 years. The probationers were asked to choose the most
attractive face features according to the standard anthropological scales: eye colour, hair
colour, nose and lip forms, face outline, epicanthus. On the same individuals their real
morphotype (RT) was described, which was compared with the 'ideal' or preferred one (PT).
The anthropological autoidentification index, as the relation between RT and PT was
introduced to characterise the mechanism of formation of the populational ideal of beauty as a
special system of values. This index reflects the supposed tendency towards the integration or
disintegration of the group. Sex differences in the process of formation of the preferred types
as well as some ethnic specificity, were stated. The results of the present study show a great
degree of closeness between the PT and RT with respect to the male preferred ideal in all the
investigated groups. The female ideal type tends to deviate from the real one. The
autoidentification index displays rather wide range of intergroup variation. The aesthetic
preference of the individuals does not depend much on their own appearance. The ideal type
(PT) can be considered as a populational characteristic along with the real one.
(Kassel University, Germany)
ACCELERATED MENARCHE OF WOMEN FROM NON-REGULAR FAMILY
ENVIRONMENTS: HOW TO FIND AN EXPLANATION
The evolutionary socialization theory of Belsky et al. (1991) explains the accelerated
menarche of women from non-regular family environments as one aspect of a quantitative
reproductive (QR) strategy. Behaviour in intimate relationships is seen as structured along a
qualitative/quantitative dimension, comparable to the r- vs K- strategic dimension in ethology.
The acceleration of menarche, however, can also be ultimately explained with a conditional
inbreeding avoidance (IA) strategy or with a male shortage (MS) tactic.
The IA hypothesis postulates a correlation between menarche delay and duration/intensity of
contact to adult related males. The MS hypothesis views acceleration of menarche as an
adaptation to increased intrasexual female competition due to male scarcity. The predictions
of the three explanations differ in the following areas: A strong QR version predicts increased
acceleration and associated behaviours with frequent partner changes of the mother during the
daughter's childhood. A weaker version does not require such a clear correlation but still
predicts an increase latitude of acceptance of potential partners, as decreased inclination for
enduring partner bonds and a reduced willingness for maternal investment. The last prediction
is not deduced from the MS hypothesis, but increased acceptance of potential partner is.
Additionally, this hypothesis predicts the effects to be the stronger the less partner the mother
had during the daughter's childhood. If no differences are reliably shown between women
from regular and non-regular families, apart from acceleration of menarche, the most
parsimonious explanation is IA.
The aim of the research project is the search for the best data fit. Results from the pilot study
Belsky, J., Steinberg, L. & Draper, P. (1991). Childhood experience, interpersonal
development, and reproductive strategy: An evolutionary theory of socialization. Child
Development, 62, 647-670.
Alexander A. KAZANKOV
FACTORS OF THE INTER-COMMUNITY CONFLICTS AMONG THE
HUNTER-GATHERERS OF THE ARID ZONES
The present paper is aimed at studying of the inter-band conflicts among the hunter-gatherers
that live under different ecological conditions. Among the Kalahari Bushmen, for example, all
sorts of open conflict are kept at minimal level. Data of L. Marshall, R.B. Lee, J. Bjerre and
others are of good agreement that Ju|hoansi of the Namibia and Botswana were in the 50s and
60s consciously avoiding conflicts and placed no social value on fighting abilities. In
North-Eastern and North-Central Arnhemland, on the contrary, these abilities were valued
high and even some prestige could have been gained from spearing a person in the back or
while sleeping. Here too, the data are quite consistent (Berndts, L. Warner, W. Blainey). What
are the causes of such a difference in social norms and behaviour? These, as we guess, may
be grouped into three categories.
1. Ecological factors. The effect of this group can be seen easily. Rainfall in any desert is
erratic and the hunter-gathering populations must be thinly and optimally spread over vast
foraging territory. Thus deme, or nexus of bands can survive in the long run only if the social
relations within it are predominantly of peaceful character. In terms of figures there is 5 to 7
times higher rates of homicide in Arnhemland in comparison with Kalahari. Similarly to
Bushmen, there is low intensity of conflict in other semidesert areas such as Great Basin of
USA or Western Desert of Australia.
2. Ethnohistorical factors. Second group is the most powerful one. If a group of simple
hunter-gatherers were in the past intimidated by members of the more complex societies, this
experience invariably strengthens their original peacefulness, if such existed. Ju|hoansi of the
North-Western Kalahari were not an encapsulated group similar to Hadza, Bambuti or Senoi.
Their contacts with white elephant-hunters and black pastoralists started only in 1870s. Yet
these contacts could have modified some aspects of the social behaviour of the !Kung of the
Nyae Nyae region. As to The White Knife Shoshoni of Nevada, the description of their social
life by J. Steward and J. Harris appears to be correct and corroborated by the archaeological
3. Biological factors, the most complicated group. I suggest that both Bushmen and Central
Mongoloids males have lower testosterone level in comparison with, for example, Europeoids.
It is experimentally proven that the testosterone level in blood plasma affects some forms of
the provoked aggression in humans (D. Olweus). Lower levels of testosterone in the
above-mentioned populations may have evolved independently during the last Pleniglacial
episode (25-16 ka.) as a result of a non-specific sociobiological adaptation to the desert
(Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
LAW AS ANTI-RITUAL
Whereas ritual can be conceived of as the result of a ceremonial, emotive, and nonanalytic
process of cognition, law is a deliberate attempt to delete ceremonial, intuitive, and emotive
elements from the resolution of conflicts. The PROCEDURE of resolving conflicts and the
legal model of cognition are analytic, deductive, and empirical and, thus, antithetical to the
idea of ritual. However, stripped of ritual components, law in certain situations cannot readily
claim the support and legitimacy of particular outcomes (for example, in certain cases).
Consequently, the INSTITUTION of law (as distinguished from the PROCEDURES of law)
ends up relying on certain myths, often demonstrably false, in order to be able to claim
legitimacy to output from the legal processes. The reliance on myths, thus, restores to the
INSTITUTION of law a ceremonial, emotive, and nonanalytic element originally deleted by
the banishment of ritual from the PROCEDURES of law.
(Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Saint-Petersburg, Russia)
ON THE ADAPTIVE VALUE OF LAUGHTER: TICKLING AND THE ORIGINS OF
Laughter has often been said to result from 'tickling of the heart' (St. Augustin) or 'tickling of
the mind' (Darwin). While many believe that laughter from being tickled is a reflex action
unrelated to humour, others feel that it may provide an insight into the psychology of
humorous laughter. According to Kant, Hartley, and Hecker, both forms of laughter are
caused by oscillation between contrasting bodily resp. mental states (tension alternating with
relief, or pain with pleasure). However, because one cannot tickle oneself, and even the
anticipation of being tickled by another person makes one laugh (Leuba), social context is
more important than physiological effect. Indeed, as noted by Robinson and Sully, and
contrary to what Alexander and Weisfeld suggest, tickling is not 'pleasant stimulation' but
playful aggression. It has nothing to do with grooming. Respectively, laughter is not an
expression of pleasure or gratitude. As demonstrated by van Hooff, the precursor of laughter
was the ritualized bite used by nonhuman primates to signal nonhostile intentions during
rough-and-tumble play. The fake bite as a reaction to being tickled is practised by some
children at the age of 2-4 (Robinson), and at 3-5, children, like nonhuman primates, use
laughter as a signal of peacefulness during rough-and tumble play (Blurton-Jones). Humour
results from the extension of the original semantics of laughter to a much broader class of
contexts without the loss of original meaning: 'whatever we do or say now is wrong but
should not be taken seriously'. Individually, laughter is adaptive because it is a means of
turning wrongdoing into play and avoiding punishment (to regard ridicule as social
punishment is evidently futile). Socially, laughter is adaptive because, being presymbolic, it
secures social cohesion on a deeper level than language can do.
Supported by RFBR, grant # 96-06-80405.
(Institute of Medical Primatology RAMS, Sochi, Russia)
INTERGROUP DIFFERENCES OF PARENTAL BEHAVIOUR IN MACAQUES
A conception of 'maternal style' was for the first time mentioned by C.B. Berman. In a
number of publications on mother-infant relationships in rhesus monkeys (Berman, 1984,
1988, 1990) individual characteristics of these relationships, identified as 'maternal style' were
shown. We suggest that the conception of maternal style can be used for intergroup
differences in this behaviour. These differences were found during the study of interactions of
females with infants and other animals in three groups of cynomolgus macaques. The
observations were long-term, each group was under the observation for 6-10 years. The
results showed that the character of mother-infant relationships is closely related with social
'microclimate' in each group and first of all with the level of aggression towards
mother-females. The frequency of aggression directed to mother-females was linked with the
age of their infants; it was minimal for females with infants in the age of 0-8 weeks, attained
its maximum for those with 9-16 week old infants with following decrease to the medium
level. Reliable intergroup differences in the average level of aggression towards the
mother-females were found, which persisted during the whole period of mother care, as well
as in the frequency of aggressive display in mother-females. Besides, it was established that
the highest level of maternal care was displayed in the group, in which the average aggression
towards the mother-females was the highest. Mother-females in this group were less
confident, they spent much time with infants and more often displayed the behaviour
characterized by following the infants and keeping them by side. In another group the mothers
showed more stabile and confident style of maternal behaviour. The level of maternal
behaviour display in this group was lower than in previously considered ones, as well as the
frequency of aggression towards the mother-females. And finally, in the third group the
medium level of mother care against the comparatively not high level of aggression towards
the mother-females was shown.
Supported by RFBR, grant # 96-06-80405.
(Augsburg University, Germany)
PECULIARITIES OF HUMAN RITUALS: A BORDERLINE FOR HOMOLOGIES?
Rituals play an important role in human, as well as in animal communication. Recent studies
have unveiled numerous homologies in human and animal communication, for instance in
facial and gestural displays, as well as in the role of certain neurotransmitters, underlying
these behaviours. Despite these homologies, it is suggested that peculiar features of human
rituals by far exceed the impact of similarities.
Unlike animals displays, 'most human rituals had more than just an immediate signal value'
(Wilson 1975:561). It is therefore suggested that, due to some general characteristics of
human language, human individuals when trying to decode the meaning of any given
message, have to cope with a multitude of potential meanings. Uncertainty about the meaning
of communications poses a major problem for human behaviour, however, because any type
of social interaction requires some sort of harmony on the meaning of messages.
Due to their predominantly individualistic views, sociobiologists often tend to emphasize
deceit and cheating as rational strategies for maximizing individual benefits. While the role of
these strategies must not be denied, it seems that rituals have been designed by evolution so
as to further concurring views. The main thesis to be presented is that, unlike some
predictions from kin selection theory, most people seem to be very susceptible to the
standardizing impact of rituals. Typically, rituals evoke similar emotions in participants which
in turn may further harmony among them. Therefore, human emotionality may be understood
as a major proximate mechanism, underlying the impact of rituals. It seems that participants
may, by focusing their attention onto the ongoing ritual, enjoy a sort of harmonizing effect on
their emotional states, as well as of their behavioural orientations.
Due to the peculiar role of emotions and cognitions in human behaviour, there is a borderline
for the use of homologies in animal and human behaviour. While animal rituals undoubtedly
are also causally related to the emotional states of individual participants, there seems to be a
closer causal link between certain signals, emotional states and actual behaviours as compared
to human behaviour.
(University of Connecticut, USA)
THE MIGRATION OF RITUALS AND SEXUAL SYMBOLS IN FOLK RELIGION
Ritual meditative practices, collective and private, are among the earliest hallmarks of the
religions of civilization. The appurtenances of the tantra constitute one of the earliest
examples of codified behaviour in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism. Though originally
associated with their high philosophies, in time the meanings, ritual procedures, and material
equipment used by tantricists degenerated into folk cults wherein sexual symbolism took on
various shades of meaning, at first in India and later on in several other parts of
Hindu-Buddhist Asia. In the course of their overland and overseas migrations, sexual symbols
in turn reverted to the original idea of bhuta tathata - 'the suchness of things', 'the
essence of existence' of ritualists bent on finding 'enlightenment'. The idealism reached its
zenith in the eccentricities of Ch'an and Zen (Chinese and Japanese corruption
of the Sanskrit word jnana, meditation).
The utterly haphazard changes, chronologies, and rapid transformations of the symbolic
content of the tantra cannot in a way be explained on the basis of the sociobiological
theory of the co-evolution of genes and culture, in natural selection of groups, and
'ecclesiastic selection'; for the course of the changes themselves is verifiable from historic,
theological, and ethnic viewpoints. And this fact, the critical, not wholly committed
sociobiologist would be wise not to ignore.
A.V. OLESKIN, I.V. BOTVINKO, T.A. KIROVSKAYA & E.R. KARTASHOVA
(Sector for Biosocial Studies, Cell Physiology and Immunology Department, Biology Faculty,
Moscow State University, Russia)
PRIMITIVE HUMAN SOCIAL STRUCTURES AND MODERN SOCIETY: AN
This presentation concentrates on the evolutionary dimension of human social structures. It is
emphasized that, throughout the animal kingdom, the (bio)social systems (colonies, families,
societies, associations, etc.) depend on the following main social coordination factors also
relevant to human social organizational patterns:
(1) leadership (dominance), with most individuals in the system carrying out the leader's
command; this mechanism of behavioural coordination, although widespread in the animal
kingdom and even beyond it (e.g., it occurs in the slime mold Dictyostellium
discoideum), does not represent the only option available for social systems;
(2) local symmetric behavioural interactions among individuals, resulting in reciprocal
imitation/facilitation of behaviours (in human society, this type of behavioural coordination is
called 'keeping up with the Joneses');
(3) diffuse chemical communication agents or physical fields activating particular behavioural
patterns and responsible for relay transfer of messages throughout the system, characteristic of
diverse animal (and even microbial) social systems and apparently even of human small
face-to-face groups, in which the olfactory and presumably also the electromagnetic
communication channel operates. While coordination factor (1) results in formation of
dominance-submission structures, the other factors promote non-hierarchical social interaction
patterns. Based on the recent data of primatological studies, the higher primates, especially
'The Great Apes' are characterized, in many cases, by prevalent non-hierarchical social
systems. For example, the chimpanzees and bonobos demonstrate a whole gammut of
egalitarian social interactions (food sharing, grooming, games), despite the possible existence
of agonistic or hedonistic dominance structures. Human primitive hunter-gatherer bands, in
light of the recent findings concerning the still surviving primitive societies, also appear to be
dominated by egalitarian relationships, allowing for temporary, partial, or 'task-limited'
leadership. On this basis, we argue that modern human social groups can in many cases be
restructured on the analogy of primitive hunting bands (decentralized leadership + broad
specialization + enhanced informal relationships), and a project in the field of group
management is suggested by us. We argue that a task force, a small-size enterprise, or a
research team dealing with interdisciplinary studies, can efficiently operate on the above
principles. A concrete project irrelevant to politics but, as we believe, helpful on the
micro-level of society, is described (the 'hirama project'), and both its advantages and
limitations are discussed, bearing in mind the results of our practical experience concerning
an attempt to put into practice the principles corresponding to ethological and anthropological
data and concepts. A self-contained part of this presentation is concerned with the chemical
volatile agents facilitating social interactions (with particular emphasis on the mediators
produced by microoorganisms inhabiting the skin glands and intestine of animals and
humans). Recent experimental data including our own findings indicate that microorganisms
also supply the host organism with neurortransmitters (serotonin, -aminobutyric acid, NO)
which influence social behaviours, e. g. the dominance-submission relationships.
Zhanna REZNIKOVA, Tatyana NOVGORODOVA, & Elena DOROSHEVA
(Institute of Animal Ecology, Novosibirsk; Novosibirsk State University, Russia)
HOW ANTS IDENTIFY THEIR SYMBIONTS AND COMPETITORS: SPECIAL WAYS
FOR SPECIAL MATES
Ants' capacity for recognizing other individuals has been studied mainly in a field of
interactions within an ant's guild, we mean intercolony and inter-species communications.
Surprisingly, very little has been reported on how ants deal with other invertebrates on an
individual level and how development of such behaviour is affected by early experience. In
laboratory experiments we examined inter-relations between Formica polyctena ants
and symbiotic aphids they tended. Behavioural patterns of normal and naive lab reared ants
were compared. It turned out that ants-aphids interactions and a technique of aphid 'milking'
is based on innate recognition and following tuning but division of labour within honeydew
collectors is determined by social experience. In natural ant colonies we revealed constant
teams of aphid milkers which include different groups: 'aphid ants' collect honeydew droplets,
'transporting ants' carry honeydew to the nest, 'discovering ants' search for new aphid colonies
and sometimes they may take the place of other members. Lab reared ants manage with
aphids quite satisfactorily but they lack effective system of task switching. Ants' interaction
with competitors were examined using simple mazes where ant individuals had to meet
predatory or herbivorous carabids. It turned out that ants disregard herbivorous beetles but
when meeting with predatory ones, both partners use different strategies to avoid a conflict.
Ants do not catch carabids, they try to scare them. It is amazing that an antennal contact of
an ant and a beetle precedes conflicts. Antennal contacts were considered before as a feature
of social insects' interactions with each other only. With some other behavioural patterns, this
enables us to suppose that ants and predatory invertebrates recognize each other like dogs and
cats. We hypothesize that ants use some special ways to interact with different sorts of
competitors and symbionts and that includes some elements of ritual identity.
Supported by Russian Fund for Fundamental Investigations (#
Zhanna REZNIKOVA & Boris RYABKO
(Institute of Animal Ecology, Novosibirsk; Siberian Academy of Telecommunication and
Computer Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia)
USING IDEAS OF INFORMATION THEORY TO REVEAL ANALOGIES OF ANT AND
Our long term experiments have shown that group retrieving ant species with a high level of
social organization have a symbolic language which is more complex that the Honeybee
Dance Language, unequalled in animals before (Reznikova Zh. & Ryabko B.,
Memorabilia Zoologica, 1994, 48, 219-236; B. Ryabko & Zh. Reznikova,
Complexity, 1996, vol.2, N 2, 37-42). This fact appears to indicate not that other
social animals lack natural symbolic language, but that adequate methods are lacking.
It is natural to use information theory in the investigation of communication systems because
this theory presents general principles and methods for developing effective and reliable
communication systems. The main point of our approach is that our experiments provide a
situation in which animals have to transmit information quantitatively known to the
experimentalist in order to obtain food. The results obtained enable us to arrange some
common properties in human and ant languages. Since that discovery we have at least two
points in a field of natural communications, so we may analyse and generalize and speak
The characteristics revealed have to be inherent to all developed communication systems: 1.
The presence of potentially unlimited numbers of messages; 2. The proportionality of the
duration of information transmission and the quantity of information; 3. The ability of
language carriers to quickly grasp the regularities and to change their communication system
flexibly in order to conform to new conditions. For example, both ants and humans are able
to use regularities for coding and 'compression' of information. However, it is noteworthy that
mean values of the rate of the information transmission in three ant species are, by about an
order, smaller than those of human communication.
We believe that the experimental schemes described in the report can be used to study the
communication systems of other animals.
Supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (##96-04-50155,
M.G. SADOVSKY & A.A. GLISKOV
(Institute of Biophysics SD of RAS; Krasnoyarsk State Technical University; Krasnoyarsk
State University, Russia)
TOWARDS THE BIOLOGY OF LAW
A number of animal species exhibit an advanced pattern in social organization; rather often
these latter substitute a real human society in common mind, being a model of society. A
question arises what entities related to social, human nature of society comes from the
biological 'basement'. A problem of biological foundation of law is rather acute in studies,
since it is relevant to the increasing impact of the concept of natural law (mostly, in West
European countries). Content of the norms of natural law should be considered as a problem
of the biology of law. Unfortunately, currently the problem of the biology of law is reduced
to the zoology of law, that is a seeking for relevant patterns in social behaviour of animals
and people, as well as a promotion of rather doubtful ideas on the states and legislation
existence in communities of animals. One is to figure out the break-points where biological
origin of man is reflected in legislative system developed and realized by man. First, the
process of origin and development of law itself considered as a continuation of biosocial
evolution. Second, the law could fix some behavioural patterns of biological origin, among
them are the dietary regulation, matrimonial, territory behaviour, etc. Third, the biological
features of an individual can be juridical facts; these are sex, age, health status (including
psychological one), etc. Finally, fourth, the biological features of man may impact on his
legal consciousness, thus influencing the behaviour. One hardly could meet the positive legal
consciousness among the biologically unhealthy individual. Probably, this idea holds true both
for an individual, and for a society. We put a problem that is necessary to resolve for
development of the biology of law. We believe, more discussion is needed to promote the
(Institute of Human Behavioural Science, Faculty of Business Administration, Yokohama
National University, Japan)
THE RECEPTION OF SOCIOBIOLOGY IN JAPAN, WITH A PRELIMINARY
COMPARISON TO GERMANY AND KOREA
In this paper, I focus on the reception of Darwinism and sociobiology in Japan. Darwinian
evolutionary theory was firstly introduced into Japan during the late 19th century, but was
accepted as a theory for social evolution, not for biological, as it was in several other
countries. We Japanese failed to create biological Darwinian study program even after WW
II. There was no Darwinism in Japan until 1970s. Then arrived Wilsonian-Dawkinsian
sociobiology which broke the Japanese 'seclusion' of evolutionary biology during early 1980s.
We can observe the following two features in the process of introduction of sociobiology: (1)
ecologists in 'branch' streams and younger scientists took initiative, and (2) the lack of
controversy. The latter shows impressive contrast against the situation in the English speaking
countries. As the reasons for these features, I can point out (a) the absence of Darwinism
itself; (b) the lack of opposition from the left, and (c) the absence of a popular science
German speaking countries also experienced a long delay in the adoption of sociobiological
thought. However, they experienced rather serious controversies of their own. Korea shows
another pattern. Classical ethology, sociobiology and even evolutionary psychology
simultaneously in early 1990s. But they started unique popularization of these ideas, which
has not yet occurred in Japan.
Stephen K. SANDERSON
(Department of Sociology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA)
EXTENDING SOCIOBIOLOGY'S EXPLANATORY POWER: SYNTHETIC
MATERIALISM - AN INTEGRATED THEORY OF HUMAN SOCIETY
In the nearly quarter-century since its beginnings, sociobiology has made enormous
intellectual accomplishments and has become a major paradigm within the social sciences,
psychology and anthropology in particular. However, despite these accomplishments,
sociobiology is still a very incomplete approach. It works best in the areas of human
sexuality, gender, and family and kinship, for obvious reasons, and has considerable relevance
for such areas of human behaviour as stratification, politics and war, ethnicity, and religion.
But even with regard to the areas where its explanatory power is greatest, it is by no means a
sufficient theoretical approach. Much more is going on in human social life than the
maximization of inclusive fitness. However, sociobiology is an excellent foundation on which
to build, and it can be selectively combined with other theoretical approaches in sociology
and anthropology in order to extend its explanatory power. This paper creates a new
theoretical approach, grounded in sociobiology, which is referred to as synthetic materialism.
To sociobiology's theoretical base, synthetic materialism adds various elements of cultural
materialism, a well-known approach in anthropology, along with Marxian and Weberian
conflict theory and rational choice theory, well-known sociological approaches. The final part
of the paper illustrates the explanatory power of synthetic materialism in regard to social
Vladimir N. SHINKARYOV
(Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Moscow, Russia)
THE KHASI PROCREATION IDEAS: ARISTOTLE OR GALEN?
The author examines the concepts regarding human reproduction and procreation ideas
espoused by the Khasi, a matrilineal Austroasiatic-speaking people (Meghalaya, North-Eastern
As among many other ethnic groups, the Khasi understanding of the nature of the human
person rests squarely on their appreciation of the nature of procreation (R. Huntington. 1988.
This paper uses the results and interpretations from previous research, data made available in
different publications. The author makes the attempt to examine the opinions of earlier
scholars and the new interpretations of recent years. In the present author's opinion, an
attempt undertaken by K. Arhem (1988) to explain the Khasi concept of the person through
the analysis of their funerary rites was not successful because K. Arhem interpreted
ethnographic material on the Khasi without paying much regard to the traditional notions
about female and male procreative roles.
Based on the material presented, it is argued that the Khasi idea of human reproduction
essentially differs from the widely reported pattern of beliefs about the female source of a
child's flesh and the essentially male association of its bones (R. Huntington. 1988 P.28). ('We
can recognize, though, that the potential for such a piece of ideology is there' (A. Strathern.
1981): the spermatogenous nature of the umbilical cord).
The Khasi believe that a child gets its life and blood from the mother and its stature and form
from the father. This conception of social procreation is common, typical for the most
The paper gives a short survey of procreation ideas held by the Garo and the Lalung peoples
of North-Eastern India stressing the similarities and differences between these matrilineal
Tibeto-Burman speakers and the Khasi.
The author shows that folk theories of human reproduction and the nature of substance
transmission between parents and children prevalent among the Garo, the Lalung and the
Khasi minimize the role of paternity and emphasize the maternal substance.
It is concluded that although in the Khasi idioms of relatedness reference is made to a
matrilineally inherited, shared and received substance, the most common idiom used to
express maternal and matrilineal relations is one (the same) womb, or if to put it into other
words, the accent is made on the common source (origin).
The article represents an attempt at typological comparison between the Khasi material and
pre-modern Western theories of procreation, advanced and developed by Aristotle and
Marina VANCHATOVA, Leonid FIRSOV & Nina SAVINA
(Primate Research group VUFB a.s., Konarovice, Czech Republic; Primate Research Center,
St. Petersburg, Russia; Leningrad Zoo, St. Petersburg, Russia)
INTRODUCTION OF THE GROUP OF HAMADRYAS BABOONS FROM THE
LENINGRAD ZOO TO THE ISLAND: INDIVIDUAL CHANGES OF BEHAVIOUR
The group of 6 hamadryas baboons from the Leningrad Zoo was introduced to the island in
the Central Cultural Park (St. Petersburg) during the summer 1995 for the ethological
observation and making the movies. This introduction was the second one. At first time the
same group of hamadryas baboons was introduced to the island during summer 1994 and after
the end of expedition this group came back to the Zoo. The main goals of this presentation
1. The analysis of behavioural change of each animal from this group after introduction to the
2. Comparison of these changes with the behaviour of this group directly before the
We registered the seven types of behaviour: locomotory, feeding, social, play, parental,
agonistic and sexual.
Supported by Grant Agency of Czech Republic - grant projects
#206/93/1029 and #206/96/0166.
(University of Helsinki, Finland)
ROOTS OF GROUP IN ETHNIC NEPOTISM?
It will be argued in this paper that ingroup/outgroup behaviour and human tendency to form
various groups that compete with each other may represent hypertrophic modifications of our
evolved disposition to align with kin people in cooperative hunting and interest conflicts. This
universal human disposition is called nepotism. When the size of human communities grew,
this behavioural disposition became transformed into ethnic nepotism. People retained their
disposition to align with kin people, or with imagined kin people, in interest conflicts.
Therefore ethnic conflicts are so common in all ethnically divided societies. The persistence
of ethnic conflicts throughout the world is an evidence of the survival and strength of the
ancient human disposition to align with kin people. It can be further argued that when people
started to establish other types of social and interest groups, they resorted to our ancient
disposition to align with kin people. It was important to give the impression that group
members were kin people. Therefore it is so common to speak of 'brothers and sisters' within
all types of social, political, national and class organizations. This argumentation leads to the
conclusion that we cannot, for example, explain ethnocentrism by a cultural tendency to form
all kinds of groups and to make a difference between ingroup and outgroup members because
ethnocentrism is the form of nepotism and ethnic nepotism has preceded all later types of
social groups, which are hypertrophic modifications of our original disposition to cooperate
with our relatives. Further, this argumentation leads to the proposition that we can expect the
canalization of interest conflicts along ethnic lines in all ethnically divided societies and the
more so the more deeply the population is divided into separate ethnic groups. It is also
plausible to expect that, in conflict situations, ethnic group loyalties will prove to be stronger
than other types of group loyalties. In the end of the paper, the writer refers to the results of
his empirical study on the universality of ethnic conflicts in all ethnically divided
Oleg V. YEGORUNIN
ETHNONYMS OF TAI-SPEAKING PEOPLES AND PROBLEM OF THEIR
Tai peoples made a significant contribution to development of civilisation in continental
South-East Asia and play an important role in its modern history. At present their total
number is over 90 mln. pers. Study of ethnonyms is of a great importance for better
understanding relations among Tai-speaking ethnoses and between these ethnoses and their
neighbours, evolution of their ethnic consciousness and problems of their ethnogenesis.
Processes of ethnic identification and self-identification also distinctly reveal through
ethnonyms. One can see important changes in ethnonyms of Tai-speaking peoples for the past
centuries, but especially in the recent time. The latter reflects processes of formation of
national states and heterogeneous ethnic processes.
Considerable part of ethnonyms of Tai peoples as well as of the majority of peoples of
continental South-East Asia originates from the notion 'people', 'human'. Ethnonym Thai, or
Tai, Dai itself adopted by almost all Tai-speaking peoples as their original name has this
meaning. Many Tai ethnonyms also include terms 'phu', 'khon' that mean the same. But local
consciousness still dominates in many regions with Tai-speaking population. This situation
results in conservation of numerous local names, which in many cases supplemented with
common term 'thai/tai', meaning 'people', 'population'. Now this term also more often applies
to non-Tai peoples as a designation of community of people.
But some Tai-speaking peoples adopted original ethnonyms that differ from ethnonym Thai.
Most numerous among them is Lao. At the same time the author assumes that origin of
ethnonym Lao can also be connected with notion 'people', 'human'.
There is some other specific ethnonyms among Tai peoples, such as Lu', Yuan (khon mu'ang)
etc. At the same time original name of Yuan - khon mu'ang - etymologically is very close to
the meaning 'people of definite community', in that case 'people of mu'ang', the latter is
socio-political unit of Tai peoples, evolving into state, often translated as 'country',
Existence of ethnonyms derivative from notion 'people', 'ourself', 'genuine people' etc., as a
rule, according to the 'law of series', implies presence of dichotomy 'we/they', 'genuine
people-ungenuine people'. This conformity is most evident in dichotomy 'Thai(Lao)-Kha',
arose in medieval Lao states. It is remarkable that such a dichotomy was not recorded in Tai
state of Siam. At the same time Siamese (Khontai) for a long time set off themselves (as the
Thai) against Lao, applying quite often ethnonym of the latter to other non-Siamese
Tai-speaking peoples, for example, Yuan. It seems that such an attitude reveals dichotomy
'Thai-Lao', or 'Thai-Lavo' (the latter is one of indigenous peoples belongs to pre-Tai
population). It may also reveals contraposition between Siamese and other Tai-speaking
peoples, whom the former regarded with arrogance and also frequently captured their
representatives for the purpose of turning them into vassal population.
At present, when two independent Tai states, Thailand and Laos, exist, one can trace a
tendency towards dissemination original names of their main ethnoses, Thai and Lao, on other
ethnoses of these states. But while in Thailand its government practising consideration only
Tai-speaking population as the Thai, the leaders of Laos pursuing the policy of regarding all
indigenous peoples of the country as the Lao in accordance with the theory of three
ethnozonal groups of Lao nation.
(Institute of Philosophy, Peking, China)
BIOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES OF HUMAN GROUP IDENTITY: A
CASE OF CHINESE CULTURE
Just like human economic behaviour has its evolutionary roots (I analysed it in my book:
Marxism and Human Sociobiology, Albany, 1994), human rituals and group identity
might be explored either from the perspective of biological theory. However, this exploration
would probably meet its limit in the sense of philosophical anthropology. After all, we are
social beings at the cultural and historical levels and the meeting of philosophical ontology.
Confucian culture in China might be a good example for this. It is well-known of
Confucianism's speaking of 'ren' (benevolence) and 'li' (rituals). Such doctrines, however,
would be intelligible or understandable only against the background of Chinese agricultural
civilization in a long time. In some cases it even gave service to the dominance as a state
ideology and a tool of Chinese pre-industrial social integration. This is, therefore, a
historical-sociological topic rather than an evolutionary topic.
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