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Anthropology in Practice

Why did Pirates Fly the Jolly Roger?

Photo by eddiemcfish. Click on image for license and information.

The “pirate brand” has long been tied to the skull and crossbones—the Jolly Roger—as a symbol of terror on the high seas. A 2011 article in The New York Times hails the ominous design as a magnificent exercise in collective hybrid branding, noting that economics drove pirates to adopt a version of this particular symbol [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Talking With Our Hands: The Significance of Gestures

This post originally appeared on Anthropology in Practice on December 6th, 2010. New Yorkers are hand talkers. We often use gestures to add emphasis to our conversations; from pointing to direct tourists, or waving to demonstrate our exasperation with traffic, drivers, or pedestrians, or trying to interject—because New Yorkers don’t interrupt!—we gesticulate. We’re not the [...]

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