eHREF (Electronic Human Relations Area Files)

HRAF is an acronym for Human Relations Area Files, a non-profit institution founded in 1949 at Yale University. HRAF is a consortium of educational, research, and cultural organizations, and government agencies; its mission is to encourage and facilitate the study of human culture, society, and behavior. This mission is accomplished mainly through the compilation, indexing, and distribution of a collection of ethnographic and other texts that are indexed by culture and subject. eHRAF brings these files to the online environment.

Look here for information on the cultural practices (marriage, fertility, death, birth, work, family, etc.) of different religious and ethnic groups. For instance, a search for “reproduction and judaism” leads to an article titled “Reproducing Jews: a cultural account of assisted conception in Israel”. A search for “marriage and iraq” leads to an article titled “The Kurdish woman’s life: field research in a Muslim society, Iraq”. A search for “masculinity and puerto rico” leads to an article titled “In search of masculinity: violence, respect and sexuality among Puerto Rican crack dealers in East Harlem”. Browsing the cultures lists, choosing “Maasai FL12” leads to 20 articles on the Maasai, one of which is “The Masai penal code”.

You get the idea. Do a little exploring if this sounds like something that would add to your research.

—Fred Rowland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.