Free Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage Essay Sample

Indeed, Rosaldo has adopted a new style of narration as compared to other anthropologists. As an anthropologist, he is required to narrate in a third party person perspective just like the way, Geertz gave his narration. However, Rosaldo in his article titled Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage describes the aspect of grief among the Ilongot culture. As Rosaldo prefers to get the real meaning of grief among the Ilongot culture, Geertz, on the other hand, is adamant that the cultural analysis of the Balinese is fundamentally incomplete. Geertz explanations leave the reader with no other meaning than the one he has given, as it is all just about turtles and nothing more than that in trying to understand the complex parable.

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In his article Rosaldo explains how he lived among the Ilongot people together with his wife. As he continues to narrate of the Ilongot act of head hunting, as a way of expressing their grief, he exposes more of his doubt and ignorance of their cultural practice. As he takes the third party position in his description, he demonstrates a lot of emotional affiliations as he tries to seek the possible explanation as to why the Ilongot people acted in such a way that to him seemed inhuman. Rosaldo had therefore, moved away from the normal perspective of anthropologists to that of being positional. As a result of being positional, Rosaldo disintegrates the anthropology supremacy to culture and upsurges the influence of the culture members. This is because Rosaldo prefers to give a thick description and multimodality in order to give the meaning a deeper understanding of the reasons why the Ilongot behaved in such a manner. Rosaldo interviews an elderly Ilongot man Insan to get more revelations the Ilongot people’s way of expressing grief.

Rosaldo and Geertz have got different ways of expressing cultural views. As Geertz explains the cultural belief of the Balinese, he does so in a perspective that to him was similar to that of the   other anthropologist. According to Geertz, the parable was a narration of what he heard as an Indian story. Indeed, Geertz lacked interest in finding any other meaning other than the one given in the story. In his perspective, he believes that the turtle will rest on another turtle, and the other turtle on another turtle all the way down. Unlike Geertz, Rosaldo takes a third party perspective of Ilongot culture by living in the midst of the Ilongot people and interacting with them in order to get their own views. He encounters situations of grief among the Ilongot people, like the death of the six month-old baby that brought grief to a father who had lost his children in mysterious circumstances. Rosaldo relates his loss with of his brother, and he elaborates the pain that his parent had undergone as they grieved because of the sudden loss.

According to Rosaldo, anthropologists should place themselves among the people who uphold the different cultural views. This is because they will try to relate their culture with the drive that forces them to behave in a given manner. Even as Rosaldo interacted with the Ilongot people, he got a revelation of a lot of things that he did not know about them. As a result, of interaction with the people and positioning yourself like the way he reflects on the grief he underwent through after his wife’s death, he explains how ethnography becomes more realistic and complete. However, positioning displaces the attention from the culture of anthropology. As with anthropology the views are from a narration and not experience view. As a result, of positioning use, Rosaldo adopts a different style of anthropology where he places himself in the Ilongot people’s position. Today, the anthropologist style has changed in order to adopt third party perspective of culture.

From my own perspective, the use of Rosaldo’s approach enables access to information from the positioning of the observers and informants as they speak out critically, unlike the Geertz’s approach that does not give a convincing meaning to the cultural practices. The anthropologists should therefore, use this new style of taking a third party perspective as it gives more convincing explanations towards the different cultural perspective.


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