Learning how to make the right pots: Apprenticeship strategies and material culture, a case study in handmade pottery from Cameroon

Citation
H. Wallaert-petre, Learning how to make the right pots: Apprenticeship strategies and material culture, a case study in handmade pottery from Cameroon, J ANTHR RES, 57(4), 2001, pp. 471-493
Citations number
59
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH
ISSN journal
0091-7710 → ACNP
Volume
57
Issue
4
Year of publication
2001
Pages
471 - 493
Database
ISI
SICI code
0091-7710(200124)57:4<471:LHTMTR>2.0.ZU;2-7
Abstract
For more than half a century, archaeologists have focused their research on understanding the mechanisms underlying the making of human cultures. Thus , many have analyzed various aspects of culture hoping to identify, not onl y how traditions are set and perpetuated, but also how innovations occur. A s a result, research on material culture and style embraces other disciplin es of study, and integrates every aspect of society. Style, for example, is no longer reduced to a surface attribute that primarily marks the boundari es of ethnic groups. Technological, social, psychological, and religious pa rameters surrounding material culture are understood to be a part of style and to influence the production of material culture. This article presents research among Cameroonian potters concerning the learning processes specif ic to ceramic production. This kind of study, helps to identify the social and technical factors that condition teaching and learning procedures. Ulti mately, it attempts to demonstrate the existence of differentiated processe s leading to various behaviors and discourses leading to the perpetuation o f ceramic traditions. This work presents ethnographic inquiry, but it is co mpleted by an experimental approach derived from cognitive psychology.