Lowrider car parked in garage. Water damage on the garage walls behind the car. Black and white poster showin Jim Morrison on garage wall, hung sideways. Some spraypainted black tag on the wall. Finger of photographer slightly covering camera lens.

Lowrider

Los Angeles, 2005. (The photo is not from the book referred to in the text to the right.)

Photo: Martin Høyem

 

Lowrider Space

We take a special interest in scientific works on outlaw aesthetics here at American Ethnography Quasimonthly. And we also love us some writing on car customization. Thus, when we heard about Ben Chappell’s Lowrider Space, a new publication from the University of Texas Press, we perked up: any academic hep cat who takes a look at lowriders is cool, calm, and a solid wig as far as we’re concerned.

Lowrider Space draws on Chappell’s participant observation fieldwork among car clubs in Austin, Texas. He describes how the lowrider culture creates a social space for its participants, and he points to the value of this space for a group of people who – because of their social status in the society they live in – are often denied access to other spaces.

It’s a cool piece of research, and we’re stoked to share with you an excerpt from the book. Here’s “Regulating Lowrider Space.”

Espectacular de lucha libre

We got our hands on a copy of photographer Lourdes Grobet’s book Espectacular de Lucha Libre. You can read our review here.

Southern California Lowriders

In 2005, while he was doing fieldwork among lowriders in the southwestern states of USA, American Ethnography’s owner and editor Martin Hoyem photographed the people he met and their cars. We made this gallery of his photographic documentation: Southern California Lowriders: Los Angeles 2005.

The Perfect Whatever Drug

Anthropologist Michael Agar tries to describe what he calls, in an email to American Ethnography, “that first seductive dance with the drug, the song of the opiate siren, the early high times before biology takes over biography.” We have an excerpt from his book Dope Double Agent: The Naked Emperor on Drugs.

Evans Schultes on Peyote

As a Harvard undergraduate student, Richard Evans Schultes – who later has been described as “the father of modern ethnobotany” – did fieldwork in Oklahoma, where he took peyote himself and studied how the cactus was eaten in the rituals of native Kiowa and Comanche Indians.

Read his observations in one of his earliest works: The appeal of peyote (Lophophora Williamsii) as a medicine.

 

Street Food

Anthropologist Johan Pottier once wrote that food is “the most powerful instrument for expressing and shaping interactions between humans. Recently we came across the work of Penny De Los Santos, who says she explores and celebrates culture, history and community through the lens of food. Here’s a gallery of De Los Santos’ work.

What else?

Have you got some good stuff you think American Eth­no­gra­phy Quasi­monthly should cover? Please send us an email and tell us about it!

Proposal to perfume within your region

“It is my wish to book with you for a group of 10 students coming from Germany, as they are preparing for their contracted proposal to perfume within your region.”

More on our feedback page.

 

Codex Nuttall is such an amazing piece of art. And an amazing piece of literature. And a super-awesome piece of cultural history. One guy’s name is 12 Earthquake Bloody Tiger for God’s sake – that’s the coolest name ever!

So we went looking – deep down into dusty archives – to see what we could find on this jewel. In a 1902 issue of American Anthropologist we found a review of Peabody Museum’s reproduction of the Codex Nuttall: Facsimile of an Ancient Mexican Codex Belonging to Lord Zouche of Harynworth, England.

What’s all this, then?
Black and white pen drawing of car interior with chain steering wheel.

American Ethnography is a stranger in a 1972 Riviera, sunburst yellow banged up and dirty, raving coffee madness cruising Main Street of the quiet desert town at 15 miles an hour …”

 
Record sleeve art: Elvis Presley An Afternoon In The Garden

Today we’re digging An Afternoon In The Garden by Elvis Presley.

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