Anthropology: the systematic and comparative study of humankind in all its cultural and biological diversity—past, present, and future. In short, anthropology is the study of all things human.
Enculturation: The process of learning ones culture from those around us.
Acculturation: learning from another culture (through the process of diffusion).
Animism: A religious system based on the belief that every living thing possesses a spirit, or soul, that animates it. In this context, “living” things include not only animals and plants, but also such entities as the wind, the waters, the earth, the sky, etc.
Animatism: A religious system from the South Pacific based on the belief in an impersonal force called mana, which all things possess, but in varying degrees. The most powerful people in society are those whom it’s population believe to have the most mana. Believers consider man to be something inherent, not something we can obtain on our own.
Acephalous: a society without a leader.
Achieved status: a social position that is achieved or acquired
Ascribed status: a social position that is assigned at birth
Consanguine: related by blood
Affine: related by marriage
Affluent: having abundance; rich.
Agriculture: Agriculture is the science of growing food crops and rearing animals for farming.
Altruism: the selfless concern for the welfare of others.
Amerind: refers collectively to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas who lived in the Western Hemisphere before European arrival to the continent.
Anthropomorphic: refer to any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed or believed by some to belong only to humans) to animals or non-living things, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts. Examples include animals and plants and forces of nature such as winds, rain or the sun depicted as creatures with human motivations, and/or the abilities to reason and converse.
Australopithecine: any species in the related genera Australopithecus or Paranthropus. These species occurred in the Plio-Pleistocene era, and were bipedal and dentally similar to humans, but with a brain size not much larger than modern apes, lacking the encephalization characteristics of the genus Homo.
Avunculate: a feature of some societies whereby men have a special role in relation to their sister’s children.
Bride service: the service rendered by the bridegroom to a bride's family as a bride price or part of one (see dowry).
Bride price: an amount of money or property or wealth paid by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom.
Franz Boas: a German-American anthropologist a pioneer of modern anthropology who has been called the "Father of American Anthropology"
Cattle complex: an East African socioeconomic system in which cattle represent social status as well as wealth.
Circumscription: The theory begins with some assumptions. Warfare usually disperses people rather than uniting them. Environmental circumscription occurs when an area of productive agricultural land is surrounded by a less productive area such as the mountains, desert, or sea. More extensive cultivation would bring severely diminishing returns.
Coprolite: fossilized animal dung
Cosmogony, or cosmogony: any theory concerning the coming into existence or origin of the universe, or about how reality came to be. In the specialized context of space science and astronomy, the term refers to theories of creation of (and study of) the Solar System.
Cosmology: the study of the Universe in its totality as it is now (or at least as it can be observed now), and by extension, humanity's place in it.
Parallel cousin: an anthropological term denoting consanguinial kin who are in the same descent group as the subject and are from the parent's same-sexed sibling. A parallel cousin is a first cousin who is the child of...