Elaborating on the question of how jackals may come to know humans, we appeal to the dogs’ and other domestic animals’ sound policies who act protecting themselves and humans from jackals. Narek told us that many dogs learn to scream in a jackal way so as to lure the jackals and engage them in a battle in order to reterritorialize the space of Tumanyan. In this sense, the sound of dogs really misleads the jackals in the acousmatic mode (just as in the case when we parodied the howl of jackals to which the latter also responded as to the call of their relative) and puts them in a trap situation from which they need to get out. This is really what may be called sound policies. Other informants told us stories about how their livestock, in particular, sheep, learned a special sound extracted from the banging of horns on the walls of a wooden shed, which signals to the owner that they feel danger from which they need to be protected.
Calling out for jackals pretending to be their relatives, dogs really become what may be called a shaman who traverse between worlds in a de Castro’s sense – via a special sound, a dog is able to penetrate the Other’s physical world, invade it, and recreate the space. Having taken a participant observation of a conversation of two of our informants, we heard their stories about how dogs hunt for hedgehogs – it was amusing to know that dogs use their voices to kill hedgehogs as well. ‘The dog sees the hedgehog, runs up to it, and starts running around it quickly, barking loudly until the hedgehog has a heart attack. After the hedgehog’s death, the dog makes a sound like it's whining. Then a person learns by whining that a dog has caught a hedgehog
’. Not only would dogs come to be pro-human hunters but they also become mediums connecting the humans’ world with the world of jackals: the same informants told us that, when hunting with humans, dogs are used to investigate the path the human is going to follow so that to ensure that there are no jackals that may encounter on the way. If learning the presence of jackals around, dogs start barking very loudly to scare jackals. That is, we deal with a matter of sound reterritorialization again that multiplies the object of a town in the process of co-marking the territory coming to exist in a regime of multilayer worlds dogs may travel between with the help of screaming, i. e., their voices.
Dogs, jackals, sheep, cows, horses, people, factories, and military helicopters are united not only by one sonic flux but also by a metaphysical continuity expressed with the way people apply their own human cultural categories to jackals (and, probably, by jackals – in relation to humans). Anahit and Veruish told us that jackals have souls which is why they cannot hunt for them and kill them, ‘They have a soul. I can make a trap as well and kill them but why should I do that?
’ From the map from Figure 4, we have observed that humans permanently reside inside
of the town borders while jackals – outside of it or around the borders and sometimes happen to raid Tumanyan. Almost all our informants would compare such raids to a military invasion and even mentally divide the jackal groups into army fronts. Jackals and humans are situated in the war frame as locals adjust traps for jackals so that to catch them or, at least, their tail as a trophy. Thus, jackals may perceive humans’ activities as military one as well – more than that, we were informed that some locals would even especially hunt for jackals so as to collect their fur and even meat eaten by some people. It turns out that not only jackals pose a threat to people and their livestock, thus reterritorializing the living space, but also people with their aggressive actions are able to transform geographical space which can become dangerous for jackals. From Narek's stories, when one of the jackals falls into a trap, the smell of jackals remains in this place and gets recognized by their relatives as a sign of danger. That is, we are dealing with sensory reference as a result of which a group of jackals develops a semiotic connection between a certain smell (as one of the informants even once told us, the energy
of a jackal) and death which can threaten the jackal.
The jackal enters into hostile, military, relations not only with man, but also with domestic animals kept by man. Sheep, cows, goats, and horses, according to our informants, are the main prey of jackals. Although jackals can also feed on human garbage, often overturning bins and garbage containers and bursting cesspools. Sometimes, even the insoles of leather shoes standing in the verandas of the houses are eaten. However, in especially noble moments, when the jackal wants to hunt at least a living creature, it often attacks barns and grazing herds. Then special shepherd dogs enter into a sound and, if necessary, a physical fight with a group of jackals: trained dogs run ahead of the herd in a pack and disperse the jackals after which goats or cows can go.
Finally, jackals are often described by people through the categories of impudence and cunning. There is also a certain semantic connection between the peculiarities of the word usage of the name of the jackal in Russian and Armenian languages and the characteristics of jackals as cunning, ‘Arrogant – that's why it is a jackal
’. Also, as we pointed out earlier from an interview with Veruish, the actions of jackals are placed in the category of risk and revenge: the jackal, according to our informants, acts, when entering human territory, for reasons of the degree of risk. Increased hunger also increases the degree of risk that the jackal can take on. The placement of a jackal in the category of revenge stands apart: when a person hunts a jackal with the help of loops or traps, a person's reasoning is built around the fear of revenge on the part of jackals. According to some of our other interlocutors, losses in the household and greenhouse can be associated with the revenge of jackals which they can take out on people, including for hunting in the forest, that is, for entering the territory of the jackals' habitat.review
Viveiros de Castro's optics turned out to be very productive and heuristically useful this time too. As a result of our incredible adventurous anthropological work, we were able to identify very interesting and at the same time important things in the context of the modern ontological turn in the humanities. Humans, animals, and even technologies can exist in the same metaphysical space, activating it with the same cultural and ontological categories (as in our case: war, cunning, arrogance, competition, etc.), and also articulate this space in a continuous sonic flux which allows different agents to articulate space using sound, speech, and music.
‘I shout at it and it no longer howls
’, this quote from one of our interviews with a human, who shouts at his dog which imitates the howl of a jackal, expresses a very powerful potential for the study of sound policies. Sound and voice studies have shown us the possibility of studying the interaction, territorialization, re- and deterritorialization of multiple spaces through the creation of acoustic territories that are outlined and supported by the sound of a voice, howling or the skill of issuing horns and barn walls of a certain sound signaling danger. Sheep, issuing an alarm signal with their horns, which can be compared to a factory building that is capable of making siren sounds when danger is detected is not the only surprising comparison that can be found further in similar studies of our area or any other localities with similar agent relationships.references Viveiros de Castro, E. (1998) Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivism // The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Vol. 4. No. 3. Saint Giles: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. P. 479. Geertz, C. (1973) The interpretations of cultures. NY.: Basic Books, Inc. P. 3–33. Gunko, M. (2023) Not Just Rusty Metal: What Fences in Armenia Reveal About the State // EVN Report (URL: https://evnreport.com/raw-unfiltered/not-just-rusty-metal-what-fences-in-armenia-reveal-about-the-state/). Accessed 08/05/2023. Dzenovska, D. (2020) Emptiness. Capitalism without people in the Latvian countryside // Journal of the American Ethnological Society. Vol. 47. No. 1. Abastan (URL: https://abastan.space/). Accessed 08/05/2023. Schaffer, R. Murray (1977) The soundscape: our sonic environment and the tuning of the world. NY.: Knopf. P. 43. Viveiros de Castro, E. (1992) From the enemy's point of view: humanity and divinity in an Amazonian society. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press. P. 215–252. Cox, Ch. (2018) Sonic flux: sound, art, and metaphysics. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press. Cox. Sonic flux. P. 25. Cox. Sonic Flux. P. 27. Cox. Sonic Flux. P. 115. Kohn, E. (2013) How forests think: toward an anthropology beyond the human. Berkeley: University of California Press. Agamben, G. (1991) Language and Death: the Place of Negativity // Theory and History of Literature. Vol. 78. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. P. 48. Tănăsescu, M. & Constantinescu, Ș. (2019) How Knowledge of the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) is Formed: Report from the Danube Delta // Environmental Values. Vol. 28. No. 6. Winwick: White Horse Press. P. 668. Mol, A. (2002) The body multiple: ontology in medical practice. Durham: Duke University Press. P. 29–52. Ingold, T. (2002) Bush Base, Forest Farm: Culture, Environment and Development. London: Routledge. P. 39–56. Tănăsescu. How Knowledge of the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) is Formed. P. 672. Helmreich, S. (1998) Silicon second nature: culturing artificial life in a digital world. Berkeley: University of California Press. Kohn. How Forests Think. P. 105–112. Chion, M. (1999) The voice in cinema. NY.: Columbia University Press. P. 17–30. Labelle, B. (2019) Acoustic territories. Sound culture and everyday life. NY.: Bloomsbury Academic, Inc. P. xviii. Tănăsescu. How Knowledge of the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) is Formed. P. 682. Шакалов в Сочи теперь считают по голосам (2016)// Vesti Sochi (URL: https://vesti-sochi.tv/obshhestvo/45236-shakalov-v-sochi-teper-schitajut-po-golosam). Accessed 11/05/2023.