Japanese Journal of Cultural Anthropology
Online ISSN : 2424-0516
Print ISSN : 1349-0648
ISSN-L : 1349-0648
Special Theme: Dynamics in the Indexical Process of Signification: Perspectives from Linguistic Anthropology
Deep Engagement with the Environment
The Use of Demonstratives and Gestures in the Wayfinding Practices of the Gǀui/Gǁana
Akira Takada
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2020 Volume 84 Issue 4 Pages 443-462


Studies in cognitive anthropology address the difficult problems of how to examine knowledge that is not expressed explicitly, how to identify those to whom folk knowledge is indigenous, and the question of whether we are really able to understand others. The anthropology of interaction approach offers a promising solution to these problems. However, it has not sufficiently examined how gesture and other semiotic resources distributed in the environment are used for organizing wider interactions. This paper examines the wayfinding practices of the Gǀui/Gǁana, two closely-related groups of the San. It is focused on indexicality in the uses of proximal and distal demonstratives, as well as those of deictic and depicting gestures, while the Gǀui/Gǁana move in the bush and hunt in dry valleys. This paper discusses the process by which the Gǀui/Gǁana deepen their engagement with the environment through involving various people in a number of culturally distinctive social situations.

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2020 Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology
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