Pointing, Rainbows, and the Archaeology of Mind

@article{Blust2021PointingRA,
  title={Pointing, Rainbows, and the Archaeology of Mind},
  author={Robert Blust},
  journal={Anthropos},
  year={2021},
  volume={116},
  pages={145-162}
}
  • R. Blust
  • Published 16 May 2021
  • Philosophy
  • Anthropos
For over a century anthropologists and folklorists have sporadically recorded a belief that one should not point at a rainbow, lest the offending finger become permanently bent, rot, be supernaturally severed, fall off, etc. In each case the belief was reported for a particular geographical region without apparent awareness of its presence elsewhere, and in no case was an explanation for this curious idea proposed. This paper documents what is called the “Rainbow Taboo” as a global phenomenon… 

Fifteen ways of looking at a pointing gesture

The human pointing gesture may be viewed from many angles. On a neutral description, it is an intentional movement, often of the hand, by which one person tries to direct another’s attention toward