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Anthropology

Artesania's Role in Chijnaya

Daniela Cristina Carrillo ('10), Alex Blaney ('09), Johanna Glaser ('10), Blake Phillips ('08), Ralph Bolton

In 1960, Lake Titicaca flooded the villages surrounding Puno. Peace Corps volunteers, including Professor Ralph Bolton, helped relocate families from these villages to land located about two hours south from Puno. Over the course of several years, the prospective inhabitants along with the Peace Corps volunteers eventually created a sustainable village, Chijnaya. One of the key factors of the sustainability was the exportation of large embroideries, or bordados, to the United States. In six weeks, I explored the role of the bordado business in Chijnaya through organizing and digitizing the town’s archives, talking to residents of the community, and conversing with Professor Bolton. I then joined up with other volunteers to maximize the profits families can make through their bordados. We succeeded in creating a formal Artesania Committee, establishing a nest egg for the bordado business, and forming ten groups set to create quality bordados. Once the ten pieces are created, we plan to contact museums to get exhibitions of the women’s work and create market interest. Then we will help form business relationships to export quality bordados to the United States. We hope to revamp the current artesania business in Chijnaya and revive the village’s economy through this effort.
Funding provided by: SURP (DCC, AB); Economics (Aeir - BP)

Youth Culture and Sexuality in Tehran

Daniel Yousef Tehrani ('09), Lila Nazemian (Scripps '09), Semira Nikou (Scripps '09), Pardis Mahdavi

The Islamic Republic of Iran outlaws pre-marital sexual relations between males and females, as well as alcohol use. As an outside observer, it may seem that Iranian youth do, indeed, follow the “party line” and refrain from such activities. However, previous research in higher-income Tehran neighborhoods has shown that this is not the case. Sexual activity, heterosocialization with members of the opposite sex, and alcohol consumption and drug use is widespread. During this three month-long study, lower-income neighborhoods in Tehran were, in turn, investigated. Participant observation and recorded qualitative interviews were the primary methods. Our findings expose surprising parallels as well as striking contrasts. As in higher-income areas, participants were comfortable with the subject of dating and sex, and well- educated on STD and pregnancy prevention methods. This speaks to a large-scale liberalization with regards to sex. At the same time, the level of secrecy from family and community members was much more marked than in higher-income, uptown neighborhoods. Additionally, greater importance was placed on female virginity. Despite this, young females are indeed having sex, foreshadowing even greater changes in sexual values and discourse as a generation of sexually active females reaches the age of marriage.
Funding provided by: SURP (Richter)

Research at Pomona