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» » The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo
eBook The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo ePub

eBook The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo ePub

by Clea Koff

  • ISBN: 1400060648
  • Category: Humanities
  • Subcategory: Other
  • Author: Clea Koff
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (April 27, 2004)
  • Pages: 288
  • ePub book: 1298 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1795 kb
  • Other: lrf mbr txt docx
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 270

Description

The author talks about her work on mass graves in Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo as part of UN International Criminal Tribunal investigations.

The author talks about her work on mass graves in Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo as part of UN International Criminal Tribunal investigations. It is hard to describe this book - I feel like I have undertaken a very long and exhausting journey. Ms Koff described her surroundings so well I feel as if I actually visited hot, leafy forests in Rwanda and cold, grey landscapes in the Balkans. There were times when I had to put this book down and simply process the information that I was reading.

Koff first visits the mass graves in Rwanda in 1994, and again in 1996.

Yet even as she recounts the hellish nature of her work and the heartbreak of the survivors, she imbues her story with purpose, humanity, and a sense of justice. A tale of science in service of human rights, "The Bone Woman is, even more profoundly, a story of hope and enduring moral principles. Koff first visits the mass graves in Rwanda in 1994, and again in 1996.

Originally published: New York : Random House, 2004. Includes reader's guide (p. -276). In 1994, Rwanda was the scene of the first acts since World War II to be legally defined as genocide. Two years later, Clea Koff, a d forensic anthropologist, left the safe confines of a lab in Berkeley, California, to serve as one of sixteen scientists chosen by the United Nations to unearth the physical evidence of the Rwandan genocide.

This is a book only Clea Koff could have written, charting her journey from.

Forensic anthropologists unlock the stories of people's lives, as well as of their last moments. This is a book only Clea Koff could have written, charting her journey from wide-eyed innocent to soul-weary veteran across geography synonymous with some of the worst crimes of the twentieth century.

In 1994, Rwanda was the scene of the first acts since World War II to be legally defined as genocide

In 1994, Rwanda was the scene of the first acts since World War II to be legally defined as genocide. Over the next four years, Koff’s grueling investigations took her across geography synonymous with some of the worst crimes of the twentieth century

Two years later, Clea Koff, a d forensic anthropologist analyzing prehistoric skeletons in the .

Two years later, Clea Koff, a d forensic anthropologist analyzing prehistoric skeletons in the safe confines of Berkeley, California, was one of sixteen scientists chosen by the UN International Criminal Tribunal to go to Rwanda to unearth the physical evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity

In Rwanda was the scene of the first acts since World War II to be legally defined as genocide.

In Rwanda was the scene of the first acts since World War II to be legally defined as genocide. Two years later, Clea Koff, a d. Interesting read about how forensic anthropology comes into play in cases of mass genocide. Saved from ebookmall. The Bone Woman - eBookMall. In the spring of 1994, Rwanda was the scene of the first acts since World War II to be legally defined as genocide.

This is a book only Clea Koff could have written, charting her journey from wide-eyed innocent to soul-weary veteran across geography synonymous with some of the worst crimes of the twentieth century. CLEA KOFF was born in 1972, and is the daughter of a Tanzanian mother and an American father, both documentary filmmakers focused on human rights issues. Koff spent her childhood in England, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and the United States.

Reflections Of A ManReflections Of A Man is a book designed for both men and women to enhance the q. .

In the spring of 1994, Rwanda was the scene of the first acts since World War II to be legally defined as genocide. Two years later, Clea Koff, a twenty-three-year-old forensic anthropologist analyzing prehistoric skeletons in the safe confines of Berkeley, California, was one of sixteen scientists chosen by the UN International Criminal Tribunal to go to Rwanda to unearth the physical evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity. The Bone Woman is Koff’s riveting, deeply personal account of that mission and the six subsequent missions she undertook—to Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo—on behalf of the UN.In order to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity, the UN needs to know the answer to one question: Are the bodies those of noncombatants? To answer this, one must learn who the victims were, and how they were killed. Only one group of specialists in the world can make both those determinations: forensic anthropologists, trained to identify otherwise unidentifiable human remains by analyzing their skeletons. Forensic anthropologists unlock the stories of people’s lives, as well as of their last moments.Koff’s unflinching account of her years with the UN—what she saw, how it affected her, who was prosecuted based on evidence she found, what she learned about the world—is alternately gripping, frightening, and miraculously hopeful. Readers join Koff as she comes face-to-face with the realities of genocide: nearly five hundred bodies exhumed from a single grave in Kibuye, Rwanda; the wire-bound wrists of Srebrenica massacre victims uncovered in Bosnia; the disinterment of the body of a young man in southwestern Kosovo as his grandfather looks on in silence.Yet even as she recounts the hellish working conditions, the tangled bureaucracy of the UN, and the heartbreak of survivors, Koff imbues her story with purpose, humanity, and an unfailing sense of justice. This is a book only Clea Koff could have written, charting her journey from wide-eyed innocent to soul-weary veteran across geography synonymous with some of the worst crimes of the twentieth century. A tale of science in the service of human rights, The Bone Woman is, even more profoundly, a story of hope and enduring moral principles.

Comments

Andromajurus Andromajurus
Though this was published in 2004, this memoir looks back at Koff's work as a budding forensic anthropologist going out on her first major assignments in the mid to late 90s (the last bit of the book ends around 2000) and how these first jobs affected and molded her not only professionally, but as a person. I personally found this memoir fascinating. Not only is the work she does grim but interesting, but Koff herself comes from a unique background -- born in England, Koff comes from an American father with Polish-Russian heritage and an English-raised Tansanian mother (with 1/2 her family being from Uganda). As Koff puts it, "instead of national identity, we had strong family identity." This background influences Koff some emotionally when she takes her first job working for the UN to investigate mass graves of victims of the genocide in Rwanda. She quickly learns that many of the victims came from multiple backgrounds within one family tree and were often killed for it during the months of the genocide.

Koff first visits the mass graves in Rwanda in 1994, and again in 1996. Through her investigations and information that became available in the months and years after the genocide, it's learned that in less than four months, 800,000 people were murdered, most by blunt force trauma. In Kibuye (just one county in Rwanda) alone, 250,000 were killed in just three months, and over 100,000 children were left orphaned. IN MONTHS. One thing that Koff says she quickly picks up on and something she is really moved by is the clearly indomitable spirit of the people of Rwanda. Despite these horrors these families had to survive, she still found a community full of warm and friendly people who (maybe not always, but oftentimes) welcomed her into their homes and their lives. This maybe plays a part in her experiencing what she describes as occupational "double vision" -- where her professional distance with a skeleton was temporarily lost and she would get a strong vision of what the person might have been like / looked like as a living, breathing human being. As you might imagine, this can make your work extraordinarily difficult when processing mass graves every day if this happens multiple times a day, trying to document that many remains!

The memoir goes on to also share her experiences working in mass graves (victims of war crimes) in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. The book is divided into sections by country and the beginning of each section includes a paragraph & map of the area briefly explaining the political situation at the time that led to the mass graves she ends up excavating. I thought this was a helpful touch for those who either don't remember all the historical facts of the time or have yet to learn them.

It's here that she illustrates cracks in the UN's systems of protection for their workers out in the field: she shares a story of how a security team was sent out in an armoured Land Rover that could withstand bullets but didn't come with doors that lock!

The accounts of her work in Bosnia I found especially saddening. Koff discusses how she is struck by the tragedy that bodies were being identified by family members recognizing their stitching patterns on the clothes (As Koff explains, during the war many citizens were left too poor to buy new clothes so old clothes were stitched together multiple times -- mothers, wives, daughters, etc were coming to grave sites and recognizing stitches on clothes. That's how they ended up identifying many). The grave sites ran so large sometimes that they actually had to be divided up into quadrants! But the story that struck me the most was regarding the body of a boy Koff discovers who still had marbles in his pocket. That's how young the victim was. That story just crushed me when I read that.

I think I can safely say, this book won't be for everyone. I for one though found her story fascinating and moving. Tragic, yes, but important work. Her job enables her to give surviving family members a sense of closure they maybe could not get otherwise. And like she said, her work also forces the killers to be held accountable. This memoir also makes the reader contemplate just how badly people can treat each other and how that has to change. But it won't change unless we face what's happened in the past. That's why I find this book an important read for those brave enough to delve into it.
Hbr Hbr
I can't imagine so such a young person, in this case, Clea Koff could professionnally embrace and thrive on a "unglamorous" forensic anthopologist career. Her descriptions, "saw-off", brushing...of the human bones through decomposed bodies to obtain evidence, to convey to authorities the alleged perpetrators showed me how much love she has for the human kind in general and for the families'survivors in particular. Clea, though encountered a handful of all kinds of "difficulties" with her work sites, her colleagues and certainly with herself, came out on top achieving her goals. Sacrificing herself by getting out of her comfort zone, the USA, at 23 years of age to seek justice for the defenseless and to bring hope to all of us that even the dead deserve a commanding voice. "Truth does not bring back the death. Truth allows their voices to be heard."
Error parents Error parents
This book is amazing. I'm studying to become a forensic anthropologist and Clea Koff's writing makes it feel like I'm able to understand what she was experiencing, which helps me understand what I will be experiencing later on. She's engaging and pulls you into her story.
ME ME
I was surprised to read such negative reviews for a book that I dearly love and have bought twice (after one copy was loaned and not returned). Maybe it's just an anthropology thing. As an anthro grad student who wants to work in the same types of situation that Ms. Koff describes, her book gives insight into her experiences.

This is not a technical book, in fact it reads more like a memoir. So don't expect detailed excavation information, that's not what this book is. And Ms. Koff is young when she goes on these digs (she is just out of her bachelors when she travels to Rwanda). For those who may not know anything about anthropology, this is a big deal. People without a masters degree or with little field experience aren't usually part of these recovery efforts. Ms. Koff was lucky and competent enough to have worked with good professors who had connections and helped her to get on the UN mission. This is not to say she isn't a good scientist, she is, but as many in the field (and in life) know, half the battle is knowing the right person.

Some people seemed to want to see some strong emotional responses by Ms. Koff, and I can understand for most people excavating a mass grave in Rwanda would be horribly traumatic. But this is why some people do this work and others don't. You wouldn't expect a doctor or a firegfighter or a soldier to be so wrapped up in the emotion of the moment that they can't focus and get the job done. She is affected, she discusses what she is seeing, imagines what would she do if something as awful as genocide happened to her, how would she save her mother who suffers from some physical limitations making a quick escape impossible. These are the reactions of a forensic anthropologist who has worked on two long and difficult mass recovery missions.

There is a place for intense sorrow and grief. The book by the head of the UN security mission (his name escapes me) who worked tirelessly and with little resources to save people during the killing in Rwanda is a good example.

Ms. Koff's efforts begin several years after the killings ended. She is an anthropologist who knew what she was getting into and wanted to take on this difficult task to give something of the lost back to their loved ones. This is what a forensic anthropologist does. Becoming overwhelmed by her experiences does a disservice to the same people she is trying to help. She is affected, she feels the responsibility of the mission and her actions and the loss of lives keenly, but she sucks it up and gets the job done. If the Rwandans and Kosovars can bear their losses and continue on, the least she can do is what is expected of her and help them recover their relatives. And this is what she does.

She's competent,confident, but young and you can see the issues that occur when a small group of people are doing dangerous and emotionally wrenching work. This book is a must for anthropology students, especially those wanting to work in mass disaster and human rights situations.
net rider net rider
This was the first book my anthropology advisor had me read the first semester of my freshman year of college and it solidified my desire to become a physical anthropologist. A student has since failed to return her copy, so I bought this one to give her as a "thank you" present before my graduation. Anyone considering anthropology should pick it up, it is wonderful! High quality used book. 10/10 would buy again.
Whitegrove Whitegrove
I chose five stars because she has helped so many families find their relatives body. To me she could beat Supergirl, with how much she cares!