American Anthropologist 1896

Alden, C. H. The Identification of the Individual. American Anthropologist September, 1896 Vol.9 (14):295-310.

Dr. Alden argued that the Bertillion anthropometric system modified by the Surgeon General’s Office for the United States army, was a satisfactory system for the use of identifying individuals and, in particular, deserters and dishonorably discharged soldiers. He proposed that although the revised system used in the American army was not as exhaustive as M. Bertillion’s methods, it was sufficient enough to identify soldiers quickly and accurately. It was necessary to create this system since it was a serious embarrassment for the government that deserters, bounty jumpers and others were able to reenlist in the army during the civil war. Though efforts were made to identify the individual through marking soldiers of discharge with nitrate of silver, in order to secure their detection at later attempts to reenlist, it was abandoned, possibly, as suggested by Dr. Alden, due to the vast number of soldiers, frequent changes in the army and simply the confusion of war itself.

Bertillion’s system was brought over from France, where it had been used successfully since 1882, to the United States by Dr. Charles R. Greenleaf and Dr. Charles Smart of the United States army, who were then on duty in the Surgeon General’s Office. It was initially adopted by the Wardens’ Association of the United States and Canada in 1887. The object of the system was to ascertain the previous history of the arrested men and to identify old offenders.

The Bertillion system depended essentially on the accurate measurements of certain osseous structures, most which were assumed not to changed during adult life. Said measurements were then entered on a card which contained photographs, full face and right side of head and profile, with a notation of peculiarities of feature, such as the nose and color of eyes, etc., and finally a description of scars, birthmarks and other peculiar marks. These three (measurement of body, photographs and description of distinctive marks) formed the basis of the Bertillion system. The system was used by comparing the measurements of the head of the suspected recidivist with other cards on file, and then eliminating those with different measures, until the card, if there is one, where all measurements coincide, the final detection made with the photographs. Later, in 1895, the Bertillion system became even more exhaustive, when it came to include specialized tools for more accurate measurements.

The United States army system, as suggested by Bertillion’s system, initially began as simply vaccinating soldiers on the left leg, four inches below the head of the fibula, so that all soldiers could be identified thusly. Unfortunately this plan was abandoned since it temporally disables soldiers with the inflammation caused from the vaccination. The new system used there afterwards did not include photographs, or special measurements, but was thought sufficient by Dr. Alden. In accordance with the orders issued in April, 1889, every soldier who enlisted or reenlisted had an outline figure card (having an outline of the human form, with the front and back represented), where physical characteristics are noted, including the color of hair, color of eyes, etc. These cards were arranged by height, and then sub-divided by physical traits (such as tattoos), and were found, according to Dr. Alden, to work satisfactorily, especially when put into the context of 724 identifications made in the five and half years the system was in use, before this article’s publication.

While the Bertillion system has little actual use today, it does allow us a rare and interesting glimpse into the anthropological studies of Alden’s time. These Bertillion practices should be thought of as more than things of amusement, but actual insights of the United States’ idiosyncrasies after the Civil War.

Clarity RANKING: 4
ANDREW THOMPSON University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Alden, C. H. The Identification of the Individual American Anthropologist September, 1896 Vol.9(9):295-310.

This article discusses a method for identifying new army recruits, which was in use by the Surgeon General’s Office during the 1890′s. Alden introduces the topic with an outline of intent — to sketch the system of identification, indicate the necessity for it, and provide an account of cases and results. The article achieves its outline’s objectives, although not necessarily in the order given. The need for proper identification of military recruits arose with the reenlistment of deserters, bounty jumpers, and “undesirable characters,” which occurred in high frequency during the Civil War. For historical context, Alden remarks on the method of silver nitrate marking used during this time. This method was ultimately abandoned for more scientific techniques — namely, the Bertillon system of anthropometry.

The Bertillon system was developed in Paris and put to use in 1882, from where it quickly spread throughout Europe and the United States as an advancement over previous photograph- and description-dependent systems. It was originally used in penitentiaries and police departments to identify past offenders, primarily for separating them from the “new and less hardened” inmates. Alden provides a list of the eleven osseous structure measurements entailed in Bertillon’s system. The system in use by the Surgeon General’s Office included anthropometric measurements, photographs, descriptions, and identification of distinctive marks (scars, tattoos, etc.). Information for each recruit was kept on a single card, which included an outline male form upon which distinctive marks could be drawn in. A sample of this figure, showing both anterior and posterior views, accompanies Alden’s paper.

Alden details four cases of successfully identified deserters and presents summary results to illustrate the utility of the technique. Between July, 1890 and April, 1896, 537 recruits were identified as deserters or soldiers who had been discharged dishonorably or for “minor grade” frauds. Of these Alden denies any error in identification, with the exception of 15 possible false-negative cases. The paper is slightly disorganized, although its intent is clear and its description of the method is complete. Alden does well to conclude the paper with disclosure of possible sources of future error, implicitly suggesting areas for the system’s improvement.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
RYAN THEIS University of Florida (John Moore)

Brinton, G. Daniel. Left-Handedness in Aboriginal Art. American Anthropologist May, 1896, Vol. 9 (9):175-181.

The author examined the preference of right-handedness manifesting as a common trend in ancient and contemporary human life. He began by stating that among educated Americans and Europeans, two to four percent were positively left-handed, and the vast majority remained right handed or ambidextrous. Brinton sought to answer three questions regarding this trend. Firstly, had this proportion always existed? Secondly, he asked of the physical correlations of left-handedness, and lastly he dealt with an explanation of the superiority of the right hand.

Brinton attempted to prove, more specifically, that proportionally there were a larger number of Native Americans who were left-handed. To answer his first question, he described research done in Europe that involved the examination of projectile points. These previous studies, done by Sir David Wilson and M.G Mortillect, offered contradicting evidence of which hand was ultimately preferred. Daniel Brinton then turned to his own data, related to North American Aboriginals. He examined projectile points, and attempted to identify left-handedness or right-handedness through the “plane of cleavage” (p. 177) on the blade. If the plane of cleavage was asymmetrical, he inferred what hand the person preferred. What was unfortunate about his methods is the lack of an apparent plane of cleavage in the majority of projectile points, which Brinton himself mentioned. Although the evidence he presented was detailed, the sampling was very small, less than 200 blades, and from that he concluded and justified his argument. Moving on from lithic evidence, he mentioned for the first time left handed drawings of North American Aborigines. The title of this work is misleading, as Brinton simply stated that he would “not refer at any length to the left handed drawings of Aboriginal people” (p 179).

Towards the end of the article, Brinton offered a physiological explanation of the superiority of the right hand. He once again drew on the research done by Sir Daniel Wilson, who stated that few persons had a natural preference for either hand. Brinton touched on the idea that preference is educated, and went on to say that if it was not a matter of education, it may have had something to do with the evolution of erect posture in the human species. His concluding observation was that primates closest to man do not prefer either hand, and that an erect posture put new pressure on the heart to distribute blood against the force of gravity. It was easier for the body to supply blood to the left hemisphere of the brain, keeping it nourished, and because the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right, right-handedness is preferred because it is easiest for the human body.

It is difficult to grasp the concepts of Brinton’s article, as it is not well written and is lacking in overall clarity.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
JENNIFER SMITH University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Brinton, Daniel G., M.D. Left-Handedness in North American Aboriginal Art. American Anthropologist May, 1896 Vol.9(5):175-181

In 1896, of educated Americans and Europeans, approximately 4% are left handed, the remaining 96% right handed or ambidextrous. Brinton attempts to answer three questions about left-handedness. Has the present proportion of left handed people always been the same in the human species, and does it obtain today among savage tribes? What are the physical and psychical correlations of left-handedness? What is the explanation of the general superiority of the right hand?

Different archaeologists have arrived at opposite findings, as some groups have been found to be predominantly right handed, others left handed. The results of Brinton’s own studies of Native American tribes show that left handed persons are not infrequent. He discusses evidence of left or right-handedness in stone blades. In imperfect blades, those not dressed on both sides, the plane of cleavage lends evidence of left or right-handedness. After close examination of 200 blades from Ohio, Wisconsin, and New Jersey, Brinton discovered a near perfect ratio of 3 to 1, right handed blades to left handed.

Regarding North American aboriginal art, Brinton does not refer to primitive drawings at much length. He does state similar findings, that right-handedness was predominant among these artists, but a fair number of left handed artists can be elicited.

He concludes that aboriginal North Americans show a greater degree of left-handedness than people of modern Europe. Brinton then echoes Sir Daniel Wilson’s conclusion that right-handedness is a result of education, but offers his own explanation of the general preference for right-handedness among mankind throughout time. He attributes it to the erect posture of humans. In an upright position, gravity affects the flow of arterial blood, carrying it more quickly to the left hemisphere of the brain. Thus, the right side of the body responds more quickly to stimulus, due to its heightened innervation. The small percentage of left handed persons remains today due to heredity and/or anomalous arterial flow.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
STACEY GIROUX University of Florida (John Moore)

Fewkes, Walter J. A Contribution to Ethnobotany. American Anthropologist January, 1896 Vol. 9 (1):14-32.

In this article, Fewkes attempts to contribute to field of the ethnobotany, through a study of various Tusayan plants. The article presents the preliminary results of a more comprehensive study of the food and food resources of the Hopi Indigenous group.

Although the author does not pretend to offer a monographic account of the topic, he wants to call the attention to the interesting field of ethnobotany, and the ways in which the Hopi furnish the ethnologist with data. He also promises to offer a more systematic presentation on the issue in the near future.

Fewkes begins his analysis with the identification of specimens used by the Hopi for alimentary, medicinal, religious and other purposes. He also works on the etymological aspect of each specimen. The author focuses on plant food sources instead of animal food sources, because he believes that the Pueblos are more agriculturalists than hunters. Therefore, plants are the most important source of energy and nutrients for the Hopi people. In addition to the insider interest in plants as a source of nutrition, Fewkes is also interested in attracting the attention of the American population about these nutritional plants, because most of these plants are unknown to the American people. Moreover, the author is convinced that most of these food sources could easily become an important part of American plates and could even enrich America desserts. An example of this is the Yucca baccata (Samóa.) – Its edible fruit is called sahu; its soapy root is called samomobi. All the yucca plants are used for basketry and a multitude of purposes.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SANTIAGO RUIZ University of Florida (John Moore)

Fewkes, J. Walter. A Contribution to Ethnobotany. The American Anthropologist. 1896(9): 14-21.

J. Walter Fewkes article discusses the Hopi Indians’ use of plant vegetation. He lists 65 different plants, their Hopi names, where the words are derived from, and the Hopi use of these plants. The article serves as a sample of his incomplete article in which he plans to list all the Tusayan plants, which the Hopi Indians utilized. He hopes that understanding the ways in which the Hopi Indians used their food sources will have a bearing on how to utilize the food sources provided in the American Desert.

In providing this list the author argues that ethnobotany is important to the study of anthropology. The various uses of the plants are ceremonial, medicinal and subsistence providing. Understanding the ways a people use their resources can offer cultural insight. For example, many of the plants listed have spiritual significance in the culture, shown by the fact that they are prepared in very specific ways and only at particular times of the year. However, any anthropological conclusions that Fewkes may draw from the list are left out of this particular article. From this short article it would seem that the author is researching to gather information about the Hopi Indians rather that to try to fit them into a typology. Fewkes argues that anthropology should look more closely at information provided by different disciplines, which perhaps was not as commonly practiced in 1896 as it is today.

The basic purpose of the article is to emphasize the growing importance of ethnobotany and to justify the completion of Fewkes’ research, as well as spark academic and practical interest in his follow up article. The information in the article shows the complexity of the Hopi Indians food production and offers an interesting introduction to understanding how culture is influenced by the ways in which people use their resources.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
Kelly Read University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Fewkes, J. Walter. Two Ruins Recently Discovered in the Red Rock Country, Arizona. American Anthropologist August, 1896 Vol.9(13):263-283

This article focuses on the discoveries of two ruins of ancient villages in Arizona. From the first paragraph, Fewkes makes a clear distinction that his description will involve the architecture of the cliff-houses and pueblos, and not the culture of the inhabitants. However, the identity of these former inhabitants remains a mystery. Many of his archeological findings provide clues with which Fewkes is often suggestive. His exploration involves an area in the Verde Valley known as Red Rock country.

The first site described is Palatki, a village of cliff-houses. He claims to be one of the first white men to ever visit the site, and certainly the first archeologist to describe it in print. The article has a lengthy description of the physical appearance of Palatki, detailing materials used and the building blueprint. Most buildings are constructed against the cliffs, the highest point estimated at thirty feet, and have multiple rooms, some with their own granaries. Bow-shaped curves and horizontal arches provide structural strength, and the external walls are built of large stones covered with adobe. Artifacts found in the rooms include basketware, broken pottery, spear points, marine shells, pictographs and fragments of agave leaves. He estimates from the size and number of rooms that one hundred people could populate the cliff-house. Fewkes makes a plea for the government to legislate protection of such historical monuments. Archaeological findings like Palatki are often commercialized, resulting in buildings vandalized and excavation looted when precautions are not taken. He predicts that without a method of control by proper authorities, that in fifty years time, nothing will be left of prehistoric people of the Southwest except debris.

The next site visited is Honanki, four miles west of Palatki. The two are remarkably similar, except that Palatki was more of a compact village and Honanki is a large pueblo. Fewkes details Honanki’s size, location, height, connected chambers, and fire pits. Honanki is estimated to have been populated by as many as four hundred people. He mentions artifacts found that are still used by neighboring peoples. Fewkes is very careful not to make generalizations from artifacts about the culture of the inhabitants. Instead, he discusses aspects of the cultures of two neighboring peoples, the Pimas and the Tusayan, when explaining possible lineages that were responsible for these ancient villages. They share many similarities between language and religious beliefs, each having a separate but similar folklore about how the ruins are the work of their own ancestors.

Fewkes concludes that the former inhabitants could be the ancestors of any of the modern peoples of the Southwest. He believes that “differences in habitation are not indicative of culture stages, but are due to surroundings, to emergencies”. He reasons that people’s shelter is not due to cultural complexity, but instead due to necessity. The same people that once erected the cliff-houses may have been discouraged by climate changes to adapt to the brush houses common in 1896.

CLARITY RATING: 4
KERRY THAM University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Fewkes, J. Walter. Two Ruins Recently Discovered in the Red Rock Country, Arizona. American Anthropologist August, 1896 Vol.9(8): 263-283.

Fewkes describes two large cliff houses, previously unexplored in the area of the Verde valley of the Pueblo region. The Verde valley is full of ruins, as this area was vital to migration in this part of the country. What is unique about these ruins is that none of the others in the Verde valley have the same geologic environment, as cavern formation in the Red Rocks area is different from that of other regions in the Verde valley. This has had significant impact on aboriginal dwellings There.

Fewkes calls the two ruins Palatki, Red House, and Honanki, Bear House, using Tusayan nomenclature. Palatki is basically plastered to the side of the cliff, built on fallen debris. Fewkes believes the ruin was rarely, if ever, visited by white men, and especially not archaeologistS, given its relatively pristine state. Excavation yielded agave fiber and cotton items, broken pottery, obsidian flakes, kaolin, and marine shells, to name a few items. The two sections of Palatki might have housed about one phratry (or 100 people), with six to a room. The sections were originally three stories high, with rooms ranging four to twenty feet in dimensions.

Four miles west of Palatki is Honanki, the largest cliff house discovered by Fewkes in the Red Rocks region. It very closely resembles Palatki, although it is evident that Honanki was a large pueblo, while Palatki was home to related clans of smaller size. Excavations here were more thorough, yielding items of great interest such as sandals, a ceremonial fire kindling board, and netting. One item totally unique to cliff-houses was a stone implement cemented with pitch to a wooden handle. Much pottery was also found, which indicates an undeveloped artistic taste. Fragments of beams, flooring, or roofing were found to be completely free of markings of any metal implement. The population of Honanki is estimated to have been between three and four hundred. An inaccessible crypt for burial was also noted. Age of these cliff houses is uncertain; they may predate Columbus or be no older than the sixteenth century and the advent of the Apaches.

Fewkes goes on to compare these two ruins to one Casa Montezuma, also located in the Verde valley. The difference here is in the rock and cavern within which Casa Montezuma is built. As opposed to the Red Rocks ruins, Casa Montezuma is deeply sunken into a cave, while the former are attached to the face of a cliff. There is little doubt that the groups who built these dwellings are related, yet geology determined the construction of their homes. Adaptation to geologic elements occurs across the Verde valley (and beyond), yet no evidence of change in the character or stage of culture is ever present.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
STACEY GIROUX University of Florida (John Moore)

Fewkes, J. Walter. Pacific Coast Shells From Prehistoric Tusayan Pueblos. American Anthropologist November, 1896 Vol.9(11):359-367.

Fewkes provides an archeological summary of shell-derived artifacts found in graves within three Arizonian ruins — Homolobi, Chevlon, and Chaves Pass — excavated under his direction during the summer of 1896. The article begins by locating each of the three sites in relation to Winslow, a town in Arizona. Fewkes then makes the claim that “the esteem in which seashells were held by the ancient Tusayan people and their scarcity in northern settlements led to the manufacture of clay imitations.” However, clay imitations are not mentioned elsewhere in the article, and the inference regarding ancient beliefs is left unsupported. Other claims regarding ancient native intent are more tentative, including the suggestion that grave bracelets may have been votive offerings, or that animal-shaped shell fragments were “probably used as ornaments.”

The article is organized by species of shell excavated, with detailed descriptions of ornamental artifacts followed by a table enumerating the specimens found for each species. Plate images of seven noteworthy artifacts accompany the text account. Fewkes discusses nine shell species, with Pectunculus giganteus the most thoroughly accounted.

This shell species was worked into armlets, bracelets and finger rings by the prehistoric Tusayan people. Fewkes found one armlet that had been designed with a series of geometric lines — a basic “motive” he noted was also present on other Tusayan artifacts, including Katcinas and pottery. Aside from a brief digression into the “broken line” design, Fewkes maintains focus on the shell artifacts, providing for an otherwise well-organized summary. When appropriate, the author mentions analogous shell-working practices among contemporary pueblo inhabitants, such as the manufacture of ritual rattles using Conus shells, and the truncation of beads made from Oliva shells.

Fewkes also describes a turquoise mosaic specimen that was “broken when found” and the minor attempts made by other archaeologists to restore it with glue. The author admitted his unwillingness to continue this restoration attempt with the artifact’s remaining fragments, “for fear of human error.” The article concludes with a brief discussion of how the existing shell artifact distribution can be explained. Fewkes subscribes to the theory of barter, but warns that this does not prove “racial kinship of former owners.” Using Hopi traditionist claims and his archaeological findings as evidence, the author asserts that this shell culture most likely came to Tusayan from the south.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
RYAN THEIS University of Florida (John Moore)

Fewkes, J. Walter. Pacific Coast Shells From Prehistoric Tusayan Pueblos. The American Anthropologist, 1896 Vol.9(11):359-368.

In this article, Fewkes catalogs the shells found in three cemeteries in the Arizonian ruins: the Homolobi, the Cakwabaiyaki and the Teübkwitcalobi. The artifacts examined are from an expedition of the Smithsonian Institution lead by Fewkes. Fewkes treats the cultural aspect of these shells in a separate article, making this contribution seem incomplete. There are only a few stray references to cultural uses in this article. Despite the lack of cultural treatment, the descriptions of the shells by Fewkes are detailed.

The most prevalent shell found throughout the sites is Pectunculus giganteus, Reeve. This shell is found in numerous different forms including armlets, bracelets and finger rings. Fewkes gives a description of the method of manufacturing each of these adornments. Fewkes’ team of excavators found the shells while excavating various parts of the grave or on various bones of the body. When significant, Fewkes describes the location and meaning of a special find. Along with these shells, Fewkes describes many other shells such as the Conus fergusoni, Sow; Conus princeps, L.; and the Conus regularis, Sow. All three of these shells are worked into rattles. Each of the shell descriptions includes the possible method used to work the shells from its natural state to the finished product. Fewkes presents the ceremonial use of some of the shells, which are obtained from Hopi tribes. Some of the shells have images of frogs engraved upon them. Fewkes does not discuss the meaning of the frog image in any detail except to assert that the cultures have a frog fetish.

Fewkes does not set out to prove the relationship between the various people that lived at these sites. Fewkes argues the similarities between the shells found at the three cemeteries did not “originate independently” (367). He instead sees the similarities as a result of migration or diffusion. “That the culture came to Tusayan from the south appears to me probable” (367). With little evidence provided, the similarities help to strengthen his claim concerning migration from the south. Fewkes only addresses these arguments in passing; the bulk of this article is dedicated to the catalog of the shells.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
BRIAN GUTHRIE Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)

Fewkes, J. Walter. The Prehistoric Culture of Tusayan. American Anthropologist May1896 Vol.9(7):151-174.

J. Walter Fewkes’ article, The Prehistoric Culture of Tusayan, addressed the concern that an accurate description of Tusayan culture in prehistoric times did not exist at the time this article was written. The date separating prehistoric from historic times in this area is accepted to be the middle of the 16th century. This is when the Spanish arrived and started the documentation of Tusayan history. Fewkes discounts the accuracy of the written accounts of the Spanish. He believed the Spanish wanted to dominate the Tusayans and make the land their own. The Spanish were not really interested in the Tusayan as a people with a distinct culture of their own. They did not try to study their behaviors or customs in order to decipher their society’s culture. The Spanish never tried to interpret the Tusayan legends or folklore that was the unwritten history of the Tusayan preceding the Spanish invasion. Modern life may, at best, resemble ancient life but one is not able to measure the influences that other societies had over the creation of modern Tusayan culture. For example, one is unable to tell from modern culture if a certain practice truly originated with the Tusayans or if it came from another society’s influence.

Fewkes attempted to rectify the deficiency of knowledge of prehistoric Tusayan culture with the use of archeology. There had never been a thorough archeological excavation to seriously study this prehistoric culture. During Fewkes’ excavation, there were no signs of Spanish influence in the items found. This is proficient in proving that the items found belonged to prehistoric Tusayan culture, untouched by the cultural influences of other societies. Prehistoric Tusayan pottery removed from excavated cemeteries tells of the Tusayan belief in life after death. Among the articles found at these grave sites are objects used in the everyday life of the deceased. Objects they would need to function in their new life to come. The pottery has drawings on it that have a symbolic meaning. Once these drawings are interpreted, a better understanding of prehistoric Tusayan culture may be achieved.

Despite Fewkes’ belief that archeology is the best way to accurately describe the prehistoric culture of the Tusayan, he admitted that a lack of data still prevented one from understanding the culture of the Tusayans and the southwest pueblos. He stressed the importance of future explorations of the area.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
TRACY SEREDA University of Alberta (Heather Young-Leslie)

Fewkes, J. Walter. The Prehistoric Culture of Tusayan. American Anthropologist May, 1896 Vol.9(5): 151-173

Fewkes summarizes his excavations of the prehistoric Tusayan ruins of Sikyatki, in present-day Arizona. According to modern Pueblo Indian folklore, Sikyatki was destroyed by those inhabiting the adjacent pueblo of Wolpi over a dispute of ownership of the scarce water supply, although exact dates and details are not known. Evidence shows that this destruction occurred prior to Spanish arrival in the area, which marks the start of the historic period of this culture (c. 1583). Fewkes undertook these excavations with little knowledge of ancient Tusayan life available for his use. He chose the area in an effort to determine the nature of the prehistoric culture of the least modified area of the Pueblo region.

Findings indicated that indeed, Sikyatki did seem to be a prehistoric pueblo, as no glass, Spanish glazed pottery, no metal implements were found. The Sikyatki were a sedentary, agricultural people, with their pueblo situated on a rather vulnerable mesa. Pottery gives the best idea about prehistoric Tusayan artistic taste. Pottery remnants numbering over 800, most found in cemeteries, are of a much finer quality than pottery of the modern Hopi. This is in spite of the fact that these ancient people had no knowledge of a potter’s wheel, as is widely conceded.

The pieces from cemeteries provide information about mortuary customs. The Sikyatki obviously believed in a future life, as do modern Hopi. The thought that the dead were transformed into rain gods seems to have existed as well. Items buried with people indicate belief in immortality, as most objects used in one’s daily life were found in graves with the bodies.

As there are no written records of the Sikyatki, symbols found on pottery bear special significance. Modern Pueblo life resembles the ancient, but of course is not an exact copy. Some pictures of gods of today are not found on Sikyatki ware (such as the Corn-Maid), but symbols from ancient pottery are often found in some form in modern life (sun, rain, and sky gods). Ceremonial objects found in cemeteries, such as prayer sticks, give evidence of complex ritual similar to modern ceremonies. Even some hairstyles seem to have persisted through time. Fewkes discusses additional figures and items in lesser detail.

In concluding, Fewkes makes a few points. His picture of this ancient culture can be used as an aid in comparing other cultures of the area. Modern Pueblo life is “more highly differentiated” than the prehistoric. These findings emphasize the existing belief that ruins of pueblos in the plains, and cave- and cliff-dwellers of canyons, cannot be separated. That is, those Pueblo inhabiting ancient villages were also cliff-dwellers.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
STACEY GIROUX University of Florida (John Moore)

Captain D. D. Gaillard, U. S. A. A Gigantic Earthwork In New Mexico. American Anthropologist September, 1896 Vol.9 (15): 311-314.

There are two different topics in this article. The fist one is a discovery of a pre historical dam in New Mexico. The author is trying to determine whether the dam is artificial or non-artificial based on the description of landscape. The second one is a discovery in Egypt-and believe to be the tomb of Queen Noub-Hotep. The author is trying to determine the identity of Noub- Hotep- Takhrad based on the remains inside the tomb.

In the Animas valley New Mexico, about 11 miles east of where the state’s boundary line intersects with Arizona, there was an earthwork of gigantic proportion. It was a peculiar topographic feature, and Captain D.D Gaillard goes on in the article to debate whether it is artificial or a natural phenomenon. If the feature is in fact the former, then, he speculates, it is likely to be a prehistoric dam.

The Captain describes the region as falling between the San Luis and Guadalupe Mountains. He describes rainfall (12 to 14 inches), climate (warm, “delightful”), and the soil in different areas. The valley is covered with alluvial soil and has great fertility. The soil contains more gravel as the foothills of the Guadalupe Mountains approach. Then he turns to the dimensions and specifics of the supposed dam itself. The depth of the dam is 10 ft, 5.5 miles in length, and capable of forming a reservoir. Water remains for several days after rainfall. There is evidence to indicate this dam is artificial. However, the handling of the 9000000 cubic yards of material seems impossible if it was the work of humans. The author states that it would be more appropriate to address it as a natural dam, but modified by humans to serve their needs at that time. That would explain why there are signs of artificial and non-artificial site among the dam.

In the second part of the article the Tomb of Queen Noub-Hotep is discovered in Egypt. Discovered in the pyramid of Dahchour (a royal tomb) it is notable well preserved. He speculated that objects inside the tomb were placed by the priests of the twelfth dynasty or by the family of the dead. There are two coffers. One containing alabaster vase of perfume, engraved with hieratic characters; it was discovered later that it belongs to the family of the King Tesch- Senbet.f. The second one contained scepters, canes, a mirror and arrows. There is also a wooden coffin that covers with a gold leaf and belongs to the princess Noub- Hotep- Takhrad. Although, the mummy had suffered from humidity. Objects that found inside had been preserved well. The evidence makes the author debate about the rank of Noub- Hotep- Takhrad. Among the titles of the princess NoubHotep her being a queen had never been mentioned, however, her tomb, he writes is filled with the attributes of royalty.

CLARITY RANKING: 3.5
GABRIEL TOU University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Gaillard, D. D. A Gigantic Earthwork in New Mexico. American Anthropologist September, 1896 Vol.9(9):311-313.

This brief paper describes, with significant measurement, the form of a “peculiar topographic feature” discovered in Animas Valley, New Mexico during a survey of the international boundary line between the United States and Mexico. Galliard insists that the feature was not likely to have been formed by natural causes, based on its materials, the direction of its axis, the regularity of its slopes, the uniformity in elevation of its crest, and its general location. The earthwork is interpreted as a prehistoric dam, although no estimation is made regarding the date of its construction, aside from the observation that “it has the appearance of great age.”

Gaillard begins the article with a description of the region. Emphasis is placed on topographic and climatic details that are most pertinent for evaluating an irrigation dam construction — regional water flow, annual rainfall, and soil fertility. Gaillard provides regional figures for these variables as they were assessed during the time of the article’s publication, despite the possibility that topographic and weather patterns may have differed during the time of the dam’s construction. The second and final section describes the dam itself, noting basic measurements such as length (5.5 miles), width (1/4 mile), and maximum depth (20 feet). Although no evidence for irrigation ditches is observed, Gaillard concludes that, given the dam’s form and the location of its breach, it could have effectively been used to irrigate eastern portions of the valley.

While recognizing that the earthwork is almost certainly artificial, Gaillard expresses amazement at the amount of work its construction would have required — namely, the handling of from 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 cubic yards of material. A survey map of the area accompanies this paper, showing the dam’s position within Animas Valley, a close-up of the dam, an overall vertical section, and two cross-sections. While this paper functions well as a preliminary report, providing a crude basis for future investigations, its paucity of archaeological interpretation weakens its role as a comprehensive article.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
RYAN THEIS University of Florida (John Moore)

Hallock, Charles. The Eskimo and Their Written Language. American Anthropologist November, 1896. (9): 369-370.

This short article discusses the language of the Innuit (sic) of Western Alaska. Charles Hallock briefly described the Eskimo, as they were formally known, and how they came to get their name, which in Danish means “Eaters of Raw Meat”. Hallock continued by giving a brief introduction to Father Barnum whose work he describes in his article. Barnum, a linguist and missionary, had spent five years of his life developing a written language of the Innuit tongue at the time this article was written. As of November 1896, he had written in excess of 7,000 words and over 250 pages of the Innuits grammar using the Latin alphabet as his guide. There were some sounds that Barnum found were impossible to translate using either the Latin or English languages. He described the Innuit language as one having no resemblance to any other language in the world. The article discussed the regularities and patterns as well as the verbs, syllables, negatives and genders that existed in the Innuit language. Barnum found that their favorite letter was ‘k’, the most used syllable was ‘ok’ and to create a negative one had to insert the syllable ‘nra.’ Other than the previously described, there is not a lot of detail of the language due to the fact that Barnum expected this task of “reducing the language to a written tongue” to be his life long work. Hallock recognized Barnum’s belief that the ‘Eskimo’ were distinct and quite possibly one of the oldest settlements of people in history. Hallock concluded the article by recognizing Barnum’s respect for the Innuit, their language, folklore and traditions.

CLARITY: 3.5
JODY WERT University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Hallock, Charles. The Eskimo and Their Written Language. American Anthropologist November, 1896 Vol.9(11):369-370

The name Eskimo is applied to the Innuit people of this article, the origin of which lies with the Abnaki Indians of Lower Canada. “Eskimo” in their Indian language means “Eaters of Raw Meat.” This origin has been confirmed by one Father Barnum.

Charles Hallock reports here on the work of linguist and missionary Father Barnum among the Innuit of Western Alaska. Barnum is working on transcribing spoken Innuit to a written language. At this point, Barnum has amassed a vocabulary of over 7000 words and 250 pages of grammar. He states that the language of the Innuit resembles no other known language, noting some letter combinations that are nearly impossible to reproduce, as well as the apparent lack of irregular verb forms. Forming the negative in verbs is also an irregular process. He states there is no gender, all nouns are inflected, and relative pronouns are scarcely used, among other difficulties.

Father Barnum also believes these Innuit are a distinct race, and not necessarily from Japan, as was the common belief. He highly respects these people and has been working to better their conditions during the arduous linguistic task he has undertaken. The work has scarcely begun, as Barnum himself admits, and looks to be a life work.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
STACEY GIROUX University of Florida (John Moore)

Hodge, F. W. Pueblo Indian Clans. American Anthropologist October, 1896 Vol.9(19):345-352

In Hodge’s study of the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico and Arizona, the focus of his research is on the clanship system. By gathering population statistics, he intends to record the aboriginal and English names of the various clans that were obtained during his time spent in New Mexico in 1895. His intent is made complicated by three obstacles. First, he must find those members who retain their old clan name but form a new clan in their adopted village. Second, he must find those people who are given an entirely new clan name as a body. Last, there are those who are incorporated by a clan bearing the same name as that born by the new people or to whom the latter are supposed to be related.

Hodge’s population research is the body of the article—it is numeric and detailed, and it is his evidence for the existence of clans which otherwise, would be forgotten. He divided the Pueblo population by their four different types of linguistic stocks: Tanoan, Keresan, Zunian, and Shoshonean. These stocks get broken further into various numbers of dialectal divisions per stock. Of course there are some clans of which little or nothing is known. In some cases, a clan may have been small and therefore, obscure. It’s worth mentioning that there were those individuals (usually very old members of surviving tribes) who denied the existence of clans all together and this complicated the process of collecting evidence. Hodge states that, “the condition of their affairs is such that the oldest inhabitant claims to have forgotten that they ever had a clan system.” Here, the author is not especially clear as to how he determined which numbers were more valid than others.

Having the total number of Pueblos counted, as well as the populations for individual stocks and clans, allows for the understanding of how linguistic stock distribution may have influenced the clanship system. Hodge succeeds in illustrating the number of clans among the Pueblo Indians and also shows the current number of existing clans and extinct clans in their history. However, he found it impossible to learn the names of the clans correctly as he set out to do and notes that further investigation is necessary. Through his tedious process of managing evidence, he discounts the narrative of some of the elders who would have believe some tribes never existed.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
VICKI UNDERSCHULTZ University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Hodge, F. W. Pueblo Indian Clans. American Anthropologist October, 1896 Vol. 9(10): 345-348.

This article is a study of the clanship system of the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico and Arizona. It attempts to record the aboriginal and English names of the various clans located in that region.

The author collected the data during a reconnaissance of the pueblos of New Mexico in the summer and autumn of 1895. He also gathered valuable information from previous reports, such as Adolph F. Bandelier’s translation of the names of a number of Rio Grande pueblo clans, Dr. Fewkes’ and A. M. Stephen’s publication of the names of Hopi and Tewa clans of the First Mesa of Tusayan, and Mrs. M. C. Stevenson’s work naming a number of clans of the Sia pueblo.

The author focuses the study on the four different linguistic groups of New Mexico and Arizona. He analyzes the historical evolution of each of these tribes, their number and actual locations, and addresses the question of whether these groups are still existing as a tribe or they have intermixed with other groups.

Although he doesn’t say how these groups became extinct, he does offer a detailed analysis of the different linguistic groups and how they are subdivided into different dialects. The four original major linguistic groups were the Tanoan, Keresan, ZuZian, and Shoshonean. The Tanoan, for instance, has five dialectical divisions: Tano, Tewa, Tiwa, Jemez, and Piro. Some of these dialectical groups no longer exist as a tribe, such as the Tano, and some others have totally intermixed.

The author also gives population numbers for each tribe: the Tonoan have 3,561 people; the ZuZian, 1,621; and the Shoshonnean tribe has 1,839 people. The overall numbers of the entire indigenous population of New Mexico and Arizona at the time of the study were 10,287. Hodge also analyzes the numbers of clans in each of the four major linguistic groups mentioned above, and offers the average of both the existing and the extinct clans.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
SANTIAGO RUIZ University of Florida (John Moore)

Hodge, F. W. Pueblo Snake Ceremonials. American Anthropologist April, 1896 Vol. 9(7):133-136.

This article explores the origin of pueblo snake ceremonials. F.W. Hodge believed that although others suggested that different tribes had also been performing the ceremonies, the origination of these ceremonies began with the Hopi and was passed to other tribes by Hopi emigrants.

Hodge’s theory that the snake ceremonials were introduced by the Hopi was based upon important factors. The snake was of great importance and significance to the Hopi. The fact that Hopi emigrants had a snake clan reinforced this point. Hodge believed that it was a reasonable conclusion that snake rituals or ‘ceremonies’ be found only where there are snake clans. Another factor which suggested that the Hopi revered the snake was the degree to which the ceremonies were developed.

Acoma, Laguna and Sia were other pueblos which have performed the snake ceremonies but have been ruled out by the author as the ceremonie’s originator. Acoma was rejected by Hodge because Acoma’s influence did not compare to Hopi’s influence over other tribes. The pueblo of Laguna (Kawaik’) was thought to be modelled after the Hopi pueblo, Kawaika. Although the pueblo of Sia had a snake dance, Hodge believed it only started a little more than thirty years before he wrote his article. There is evidence of snake ceremonials existing much earlier than three decades ago.

The author lists the reasons why he believed that the Hopi tribe originated the pueblo snake ceremonials. The reasons listed by the author are based on common sense and likelihood rather than hard evidence. Hodge does not prove his theory in this article because his theory was based on assumptions, not evidence.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
TEENA SEREDA University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Hodge, F. W. Pueblo Snake Ceremonials. American Anthropologist April, 1896 Vol.9(4):133-136.

This article addresses a debate among Southwestern anthropologists regarding the origins and tribal exclusivity of snake ceremonials practiced by the natives of Arizona and New Mexico. Hodge begins by stating that Pueblo Indian snake ceremonials are generally believed to occur only among the Hopi or Moki tribes. However, drawing from accounts made by the author in 1895, snake ceremonials have been observed among other New Mexican pueblo peoples — in particular, the Laguna.

Hodge provides a traditional account of Laguna history and tribal genealogy, establishing that their ancestors included emigrants from Keres villages (Acoma, Sia, and San Felipe), the Zuni pueblo, Tanoan pueblos (Jemez and Sandia), and one Hopi village. The Hopi descendants formed the Rattlesnake clan of the Laguna pueblo and became affiliated with the Sia-derived Watersnake clan, representing two theories regarding the origins of Laguna’s snake ceremonials. The Acoma immigrants, who also had a snake-dance, represent a third possible origin. Hodge concludes that the Hopi (in concordance with the general theory) were more likely than the Sia or Acoma to have influenced Laguna snake rites, based on two pieces of evidence: 1) “the entire Hopi people of Kawaika… proved to have wielded sufficient influence to impress the name of their old village on the new Laguna”; 2) “the Snake clan of the Hopi is of such importance and the snake ceremonials of that people so highly developed.”

The author also expresses doubt that any pueblo could have a snake ceremony if it does not also have a snake clan. Of six pueblos or villages where snake clans are present (Laguna, Acoma, Sia, Cochiti, Zuni, Hopi), only the Zuni were not observed to conduct a snake ceremony. Aside from original observations made by Hodge, this paper relies much on unconfirmed and uncredited testimony (e.g., “At San Ildefonso, a Snake society is reputed to exist…”). Background information is inadequate, particularly regarding the form and content of the ceremonies discussed.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
RYAN THEIS University of Florida (John Moore)

Mason, O. T. George Brown Goode. American Anthropologist October, 1896 Vol.9:353-354.

Anthropology, in the nineteenth century, was in its infancy and rapidly growing. As a new field, its practitioners strove to demonstrate anthropology’s relevance and importance to the world. Mason, using Dr. George Brown Goode and his work as an example, suggested that anthropology was important because all studies were essentially anthropological since all were understood in relation to man.

Dr. George Brown Goode was a firm believer that all sciences were anthropological. He contributed to the idea’s dissemination to the general public through his work as Assistant Director and curator of the United States National Museum. The way he arranged and organized exhibits at the museum with this underlying theme is evidence of his belief. This belief stemmed from his view that the earth was the “abode of man” and, therefore, all sciences were the study of “man’s abode.” Geology was not just study of the minerals, rocks and forces that comprise the earth but also of man’s home. The museum’s geology materials were consequently arranged not only according to their mineral category but also according to their practical and economic importance to man. Exhibits on astronomy, meteorology, physics, engineering, chemistry, botany and zoology were all arranged with an emphasis on their relation to man and his development. These led to exhibits of man’s industries and the way he used the earth for his own gain as well as those regarding man’s cultures, arts and philosophies. All had man at their center.

Dr. Goode himself embodied this idea. He was not a professional anthropologist but was a trained and successful ichthyologist who had worked for the United States Fish Commission. As a man educated in biology and believing in man’s central role, he was the living embodiment of the anthropocentric nature of science. His work educating the public in this idea contributed to the growing field of anthropology.

Mason wrote this obituary of Dr. Goode because of his contribution and appreciation for anthropology. Dr. Goode, according to Mason, strove to assemble all of man’s knowledge from all of man’s history and all of man’s cultures into one “great anthropological scheme” thus contributing to the understanding of anthropology and granting Dr. Goode a place in the annals of anthropology’s history.

CLARITY RANKING : 4
KATHERINE VLADICKA University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Mason, O. T. Obituary of George Brown Goode. American Anthropologist October, 1896 Vol.9(10):353-354.

Dr. George Brown Goode was Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, in charge of the United States National Museum. He died at home on Sunday, September 6, 1896, at the age of 45.

Goode studied ichthyology as a student, yet was also very interested in anthropology. He asserted that all the sciences are essentially anthropological, as knowledge of any one was always to lead to a deeper understanding of the development of man, his abode (earth), and his health and happiness. It is proclaimed of this man that none had a “more exalted idea” of what anthropology should be. Goode attempted to collect, in one great anthropological study, all the knowledge of man. He was also constantly aware of the need to both increase knowledge as well as diffuse it to all men.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
STACEY GIROUX University of Florida (John Moore)

Mason, Otis T. Introduction of the Iron Age into America. American Anthropologist 1896 Vol. 9: 191-215.

Mason explores the influence of European traveler’s presence, possessions and slaves on aboriginal peoples. He specifically examines the effect of European wrought iron on Native American tool production, modes of dress, and behavior. Wrought iron was available, according to Mason, because of Europe’s exploration of North America. Nineteenth century Native American culture, he contends, was largely a product of wrought iron.

Mason’s constructs his argument through the analysis of museum artifacts and archival European literature of eastern-aboriginal exposure. The literature focuses on Native American practices, and ranges from late nineteenth century, to as far back as Columbus. Artifacts produced with iron, such as the tomahawk and “improved” arrowhead, are examined as well. Mason also details changes in masks and modes of dress, both before and after the introduction of iron. Finally, Mason provides a brief analysis of wrought iron in aboriginal cultures from Russia, Eastern Asia, New Zealand, and Madagascar.

Although Mason’s examination of the effect of wrought iron on Native American culture is extensive, at times his argument lacks cohesiveness. His evidence for the broad generalizations he makes, is often extraneous and insufficient. The contributions of the Native American peoples are ignored, as Mason never considers the ethnocentrisms of his literature and artifact collection. Consequently, Mason’s examination is difficult to understand and portrays a subjective perspective of late nineteenth century Native American culture.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CATERINA SNYDER University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Mason, Otis T. Introduction of the Iron Age into America. American Anthropologist Vol.9(6):191-215.

It is widely accepted as fact that native American tribes did not manufacture or use iron prior to European contact. Starting from this premise, Mason comprehensively details the history and character of “Iron Age” acculturation that took place among natives following contact. Early in the paper, he adopts an epistemological tone, suggesting that processes of reduction are equally as important in understanding culture as they are in answering questions within the physical sciences. To examine “American aboriginal culture” in its pre-contact form, then, the Iron Age must be removed from analysis in the same way a chemist might purify compounds. Ultimately, “to get at the aboriginal society you must eliminate all disturbances by Caucasian interference.” However, the remainder of the paper constitutes a discussion of just this type of interference.

Before engaging the reader with the ethnographic and historical dimensions of Iron Age diffusion, Mason details six “practical difficulties” that will confront investigators: 1) the existence of fraudulent artifacts, and the paucity of good artifact catalogs within collections; 2) the improper labeling and description of artifacts; 3) the impossibility of knowing how and when any single tribe experienced first contact; 4) the unscientific nature of travel reports, which constitute a major source of data; 5) the unaccountability of tribal migrations, forced or voluntary; 6) the fact that degree of acculturation cannot be measured by the amount of iron found in native tools.

Mason argues that “folk” European immigrants, rather than those in authority-wielding or industrial capacities, were largely responsible for introducing iron to native Americans. While “Aryan culture” is believed accountable for replacing, or improving the indigenous tool assemblage, “African culture” is given credit for affecting native American customs. Aside from reference to the African marimba being played by Indians and the role of the African in Central American expeditions, Mason leaves this assertion unspecified. Regarding the diffusion of iron tools from European culture, however, his analysis is supported with substantial historical documentation. He makes apparent the implicit need for his analysis by remarking that within museums “even an unsophisticated cabinet of unadulterated native ancient art is unknown.” Following this thread, the paper’s conclusions include a warning to archeologists regarding the authenticity of their finds, specifically as it relates to the presence of iron in discovered artifacts.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
RYAN THEIS University of Florida (John Moore)

Mathews, R. H. Australian Ground and Tree Drawings, American Anthropologist February, 1896 Vol.9(2):33-49.

The overall purpose of this article is to make the reader aware of the existence of aboriginal ground and tree drawings present in Australia, and to recognize the necessity for further study and classifications of these drawings.

The article is constructed in a very logical matter. The author begins with the ground drawings, and concludes with the tree drawings. Ground drawings and tree drawings are discussed separately but the evidence is presented in the same format. Firstly, the author describes the several different types of drawings under either the ground or tree headings. Secondly, the actual evidence of the observed drawings is presented. The author introduces the views of various authors who have also observed and studied ground and tree drawings. Their observations at Australian aboriginal sites are presented. The third type of evidence presented is the data obtained from the author’s personal observations. The data consists of a collection of drawings from investigations, careful sketches, and measurements made at the sites. The author has a collection of thirty-six drawings. There are nineteen ground drawings and seventeen tree drawings. Each drawing is described in great detail pertaining to the precise location, type, and the exact measurement. An example of precise location would be “two miles northerly from the town of Kunopia, parish of Boonanga, county of Benarba, New South Wales.” (38)

The descriptions of the drawings are very detailed in the observation of the physical drawing itself, but are lacking in the meaning of such drawings, the reason for the designs, and the symbolism. The author clearly states that more work needs to be done in this direction, (49) which may account for the basic descriptions of the drawings without any insight or connection to the aboriginal people and their beliefs or intentions for the drawings.

This article is laid out in a very clear and appropriate manner. The author’s observations in the investigation of these drawings were well detailed, recorded, and mapped out. Clearly though, one can see the need for more research into this area during this time period.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
MEREDITH ROBINSON University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Mathews, R. H. The Bunan Ceremony of New South Wales. American Anthropologist October, 1896 Vol.9 (18): 327-344

Rites of Passage are extremely important to all societies. Mathews chooses to elaborate on the tribes that occupy the Shoalhaven river in New South Wales. The author strives to show the significance of the boys maturing and becoming accepted within the tribes as men. More so, he tries to emphasize the importance of changes in status among tribes. The tale of the ceremony involves symbolism and reaffirms the values of the tribal societies. The recreation of the Bunan ceremony exemplified the magnitude of a boy’s transition from one set of socially identified circumstances to another. The ritual performed takes the individual from his former status, alienates him from certain members of the community, mainly females, and then readmits the individual back into society with his new status. The separation, liminality, and reintegration of the boys are the steps through their rite of passage.

The initiation of young boys into men takes place in an elaborate ceremony involving celebration, costumes, and many nights of entertainment. The restoration of the ceremony emphasizes the importance of the detail and precision undertaken for the ceremony. The particulars provided give an excellent sense of the tribal traditions, the environment and the crucial balance between the two. The change from a boy to a man is marked by a transitional period that lasts anywhere from a week to months. The transition process is useful for everyone as it provides time for adjustment to the new status. The women anxiously await the return of the newly appointed men. Once reintroduced back into the everyday tribal life, the newly initiated men are still under watch, until those responsible for the tribal laws and traditions allow them to begin to associate with the women.

Upon examination of the detail of the article, it is apparent that some explanation was overlooked. Mathews never touched on the reasoning of the tribal people. There was no documentation of why the people performed the ceremony the way they did, or what the reasoning or significance was behind most events. There was no insight into the minds of the native tribes. The recreation and the argument of the importance of rites of passage would have been solidified with some sense of their thoughts and reasoning behind the ceremony. The author’s desire to accurately portray the Bunan ceremony was accomplished but without the psychological insight into the rituals, the article is merely intriguing detail.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ALLISON TWISS University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Mathews, R. H. The Bunan Ceremony of New South Wales. American Anthropologist October, 1896 Vol.9(10): 327-344

Mathews describes in great detail the initiation ceremonies of the native tribes occupying the southeast coast of New South Wales. The ceremony is called the bunan by the tribes inhabiting the Wallace, Cowley, and Murray counties of this area. The tribes to the west call it the burbung. Mathews details the bunan of the tribes occupying Shoalhaven River and its adjacent districts.

The tribes go through a number of exercises in the bunan ceremonies of young boys. All the tribes gather in one central location, with men, women, and children all filling different roles in the initiation process. The process lasts for a number of days, with the boys going through seclusion and subsequent secret rites. The boys are not allowed to reveal the details of the rites, on pain of death. They are then reintroduced to the tribes as men. There is fire, singing, shouting, and dancing during all phases of initiation. Tribes then return home, and boys have one last rite to perform then, before they are unrestrained men.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
STACEY GIROUX University of Florida (John Moore)

Mathews, R. H. Australian Class Systems. American Anthropologist December, 1896 Vol.9(26):411-416.

In this article, the author explored the laws governing the intermarriage of classes of the Kamilaroi organization system. Class divisions had significant meaning in all the important ceremonies of Australian aborigines, and Mathews believed this information was of great importance for anyone studying the customs of these people, and hoped it would facilitate the research of other anthropologists.

Mathews traced patterns of intermarriage in an effort to identify the laws regulating marriage and lineage within the four classes and their corresponding totemic divisions. He began by describing the four classes of the Wiradjuri tribes and the groups of totems that corresponded to each class. A totem was an emblem that corresponded to a family or clan. For each member of each class, Matthews listed all the possibilities they had for a mate. His research demonstrated that the men from one class might marry a woman from only one other specified class. But, there were many irregularities.

Mathews did highlight the fact that descent was distinguished through the mother. The child is proclaimed to be part of the same tribe as the grandmother, but the father’s name is not taken into consideration.

Burbung, a ceremony of initiation, was also briefly mentioned. This ceremony occurred when the youths of the tribe were proclaimed to be men and were taught sacred traditions and their responsibilities as part of the tribe.

Because of the nature of this subject and the method of presentation, this article takes deliberate and concentrated reading. Cursory reading will not contribute to understanding what the author is attempting to communicate.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
Jennifer Andrews University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Matthews, Washington. A Vigil of the Gods – A Navaho Ceremony. American Anthropologist February, 1896 Vol.9(3):50-57.

In his article Washington Matthews brings to light one of the many traditional Navaho ceremonies. He uses a ritual, called the kiedji hathal or the “night chant,” to describe the ceremonial rites the Navaho have in a time of worship. The specific procedure he discusses occurs on the fourth night of this nine-day ceremony and has to do with the vigil of the gods. Dr. Matthews entire article revolves around this particular vigil. He demonstrates how this Navaho ceremony is connected to legend or myth just like most other ceremonies of both ancient and modern times.

Through the telling of how the ceremony is preformed, the author addresses many essential points to further his argument. He discusses the exact role each component from the people to the objects has in defining the meanings of actions in the ceremony. Matthews tells of the specific rites of the shaman, the lead singer, the patient, and the boy and girl who take part in this healing ceremony. He goes into great depth on how masks are used to represent the deities of the Navaho. The specific shapes, colours, and patterns on the masks are examined and how they are placed on the floor is included.

The author places a lot of emphasis on the roles the two children play in the vigil of the Gods. He provides us with both the actions they complete within the healing process and the myths about nature the Navaho’s believe they represent. For example, in the ceremony the boy completes his actions to the north while the girl completes hers to the south. This is due to the myth that the north belongs to the male because it is windy and has mountainous land while the south belongs to the female due to its gentle breezes and flat land. Thus by completing the ceremonies and believing in the myths, the Navaho think it is possible to do extraordinary things, like healing someone.

Overall Washington Matthews provides a very concise and to the point argument. He helps explain the ceremony of the vigil of the gods and how it pertains, to the role of myths in Navaho culture. In turn he alludes to the rites each of the specific members of the Navaho possess although he does not discuss them in detail.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
TAYLOR ROGERS University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Matthews, Washington. A Vigil of the Gods – A Navaho Ceremony. American Anthropologist February, 1896 Vol. 9(2):50-66.

This article attempts to contribute to the knowledge of those interested in the study of “folk religion” ceremonies. Washington describes some Navaho rituals as an example. The particular rites described by the author occur on the fourth night of a great nine day ceremony known by the Navaho community as kiedji hathal, or the night chant. The keidji hathal has essentially a healing purpose among the Navaho people. The relationship between gods and men, the ceremony and healing events, as well as the connection between different acts of the ceremony and mythic events, are illustrated. The rich and diverse symbolism of the Navaho world is also incorporated within the ceremony.

The author makes a detailed descriptive analysis of the rituals, the symbolism, and the structure of the ceremony. Among the elements described are the diverse role of both the spiritual beings and the human beings involved in the event. The water blessing, food sharing, the colors and their meanings, the chants as a medium of communication between the living and the spiritual beings, the concept of time, the gender role, and the significance of moments of silence are all important components of the ceremony.

The author chose not to study the ceremony as an outside observer, but rather, through participant observation. This methodological approach was highly strategic in that it allowed the author to include some comparative analysis in the description of the ceremony in order to clarify and make accessible some of the diverse and rich Navaho symbolisms and concepts.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SANTIAGO RUIZ University of Florida (John Moore)

McGee, W. J. Anthropology at Buffalo. American Anthropologist September 1896 Vol. 9(16): 315-326.

This article discussed the forty-fifth meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held in Buffalo regarding anthropological research. McGee as part of the sectional committee documented the different findings of each member who shared their own experiences and cultural discoveries and the importance of them through their fieldwork.

The focal point of the anthropological work discussed at the meeting can best be summarized by the work “Wa-ka-da”. This was the “mysterious power [that inanimate objects had] of permeating life”(McGee, p. 315) and the taking on of cultural significance in the indigenous people of the Americas. Alice Fletcher introduced this concept in her study of the symbolic use of the cedar pole in Siouan ceremonies. The pole encapsulated autonomy, the helpfulness and power of social unity, and the unity of authority among chiefs. The cedar pole is used as the tangible representation accepted manifestation of “Wa-ka-da”. Fletcher’s address was a “notable contribution to the knowledge of Indian mythology” (McGee, p. 316).

McGee presented his finding on “Seri Stone Art” explaining that the process of “stone-chipping” was a limited and acquired skill that resulted in the manufacture of a crude type of implement. This primitive type was distinguished as protolithic by McGee, which differed from both the Paleolithic and Neolithic type. The development of the implement was an “art” and a specific selective process.

Franz Boas presented a communication on “The beginning of zooculture” which outlined the three stages in the conquest and cultivation of animals. Alice Fletcher also discussed abstraction and the forming of abstract conceptions among the Indians. The “idea of personality”, permeated certain terms, as illustrated by the Omaha word for railway train which let really translates “it of its own accord runs”. D.G Brinton proclaimed universal psychic laws that accounted for the similarity of myth in various parts of the world.

McGee structured this article as the minutes of a meeting rather than an argument towards any particular theory or idea. Although this article was tiresome, the works discussed provided insight into the cultural significance of symbols and artifacts in the indigenous cultures. It was a discussion, which may have prompted future investigation.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
JULIE TRUONG University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie).

McGee, W. J. The Beginning of Marriage. American Anthropologist November, 1896 Vol. 9(23):371-383

Presenting several examples of mating rituals from American aboriginal clans and tribes, W.J. McGee opens his argument by providing his readers background information regarding his main focus. By providing examples of several different tribes, McGee evaluates how degree of culture affects ones marriage practices. Establishing that each culture falls into “a natural order defined by the culture-grade”, the stages later presented in the article symbolize the “growth of marriage” through its main parts. McGee infers the growth of marriage as a continuous series, progressing with the advancements of the cultures. Several practices that slightly differentiate between the groups are noted through McGee’s arrangement of facts and establish the intended series. More exclusively, McGee focuses on monogamy, exogamy and endogamy as evidence of change.

The article declares the record of marriage begins with a community who recognizes mating as a collective motive to which the benefit of the state is at hand, rather than individual function. Features such as monogamy, clan exogamy, tribal endogamy, and mother –decent all become characteristics of the foundation of marriage. For McGee the stages of marriage begin to advance, when the initial foundation of mating begins to disintegrate. Claiming that more advanced societies modify from the general to the personal, the article asserts that the laws of monogamy, clan exogamy and tribal endogamy become relaxed. In McGee’s opinion, individual motive overcomes the collective rationale of the tribe, while in turn the man takes over the woman’s position of suitor. Here, says McGee, is where we obtain our modern day assumption that kinship is placed largely on the male.

The article illustrates how McGee deems marriage as a process determined by the environment one lives in. McGee states, although the practices of the aboriginal peoples, to some extent, run parallel the Syrian patriarchs, they are far more superior. However, McGee fails to use other marital practices than those of the American aborigines to make closer comparisons, and claims that all the instances are chosen at random. As well, McGee, after long, specified descriptions of each culture fails to clearly advertise his points to the reader.

Over all, the article was hard to follow and points made by McGee were hard to understand.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
MEGAN WEST University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Mcgee, W. J. The Beginning of Marriage. American Anthropologist. November, 1896 Vol.9(11):371-387.

This article attempts to make a comparative analysis of the origin and development of the institution of marriage. The author argues that marriage, in its most primitive stage, was fundamentally a collective institution oriented to benefit the group rather than to satisfy the individual appetite and selfish inclination. Moreover, the legislative and administrative role of the feminine figure in the family and clan was predominant in this primitive stage. The author also suggests that as tribes became more culturally complex and higher developed, marriage regulations were less concerned with the unity and welfare of the tribal community.

The author makes a comparative approach to the marital regulations and customs among different tribal groups, beginning with the Syrian Patriarch tribes as they are described in the Book of Genesis and ending with the Seri tribe. The Seri were thought to be the most primitive aboriginal tribe in North America, but at the same time it was the tribe with the most collectively oriented marriage regulations. It appears then that the most developed and culturally complex the tribe becomes, the less group oriented their marriage regulation turns out to be. Among the tribes studied, he includes the Syrian Patriarch tribes and North American aboriginal tribes such as the Omaha, the Sioux, the Kwakiutl, the Salish, the Seneca, the ZuZi, and the Seri tribe. He focuses on characteristics such as the predominant descent line, polyandry (plurality of husbands), polygamy (plurality of wives), tribal endogamy (marriage within the same tribe), which interest prevail (whether the collective or the individual), the moral and material tests of the prospective groom, and the feminine role in the marriage legislations.

In conclusion, it seems to the author that marriage started with some emphasis on monogamy (one wife) accompanied by strict tribal endogamy, and soon followed by clan exogamy (marriage out side the clan), where the mother was at first the dominant member of the consanguineous family, shaping the destiny of the clan through the aid of clan brothers. Marriage was then regulated by collective motive rather than individual caprice. It is appear to the author that as the clan grew into tribes and confederacies, paternal organization was developed, and polygyny appeared and spread out, while tribal endogamy as well as clan exogamy gradually decreased. The collective motive gradually faded and gave place to individual caprice, with a growing tendency toward wife-purchase and concomitant degradation of women. Therefore, it appears that in the course of the evolution of the history of marriage the simple give rise to the complex, the collective to the individual, the general to the special, the provincial to the cosmopolitan, and the feminine predominance to woman degradation.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SANTIAGO RUIZ University of Florida (John Moore)

McGuire, Joseph D. Classification and Development of Primitive Implements. American Anthropologist. 1896 Vol.9: 227-236

In his article, Classifications and Development of Primitive Implements, Joseph D. McGuire addresses the controversy surrounding the Paleolithic versus the Neolithic eras. Popular opinion at the time was that the tools dating back to the Paleolithic period were “ruder” than those from the modern stone age and therefore, they required less ability in their production. McGuire contends that the people of the Paleolithic era were as advanced in, “mechanical skill or cultural development” (235) as the people of the later Neolithic or, “polished stone” period.

McGuire attempts to refute earlier research conducted on the tools or, “implements” produced in the Paleolithic period. He states that, “there are few persons who have attempted to work with primitive tools and there are probably even fewer who have tried to produce them by primitive methods” (227). McGuire cites his own extensive studies on the Paleolithic and Neolithic implements and claims that he has demonstrated that tremendous expertise and skill were required to create such tools. He believes that the neoliths were created with little time and little skill while paleoliths required little time but more effort was required in order to correctly, “chip the stone or select a proper stone for chipping” (228).

McGuire also examines the issue of the environment and surroundings of each time period. He attributes some of the differences between the implements of each era to the variety of materials available, rather than to the person who created them. For example, minerals such as quartzite and obsidian are likely to fracture much differently than one another. Another point that McGuire raises is that, “articles which in their natural state may be employed as tools do not appear to have been properly considered in regard to the influence they would have in governing the shape of primitive implements” (234). Examples provided of such articles are wildlife, seashells, water-worn stones and vegetation.

The article is very interesting and the author’s argument is quite clear however, the organization of the information and the lengthy sentences require it to be read slowly for a complete understanding.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ERIN STEWART University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

McGuire, Joseph D. Classification and Development of Primitive Implements. American Anthropologist July, 1896 Vol.9(7):227-237.

The article attempts to contribute to the field of archeology through a comparative study of human technological evolution. The author makes a critical analysis of the theory that proposes a chronological analysis of ancient remains. He questions, for instance, the sustainability of the whole theory of the distinction between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic periods, thereby denying the possibility of any mechanical difference among the human races worldwide.

The author’s arguments are based, primarily, in the lack of evidence to sustain any theory regarding the chronological distinction between Paleolithic and Neolithic tools. Secondly, almost no analyses have been made that would relate the instruments with the uses to which they have been put by primitive man and with the means by which they where made. Thirdly is the idea that the rudeness in some implements, the cache-tools for instance, is not in itself evidence of an inferior mechanical skill in those who made them, compared with people of later periods. Fourth, the author, in contrast, strongly believes that the differences of shape in these implements are due primarily to the structural differences in the fracture of material rather than to the mechanical ability of those who did the fracturing. Materials like flint, rhyolite, jasper, obsidian, and quartzite, for instance, vary in their fracture in the same ledge a few feet apart. Therefore, he concludes that “Paleolithic” does not represent a specific mechanical status; moreover, Paleolithic represents nothing.

McGuire also bases his arguments in an analysis of the evaluation of the division of human history into ages and periods. He looks at the impact of environmental surroundings such as climate changes, differences of food supply, etc., and although the author does not deny their important effects on human life, he does not think that environment causes any variation in human race. He also criticizes the fact that, in the classification of the primitive period, no consideration is given to the influence of articles employed in their natural state on the shape of primitive implements.

Finally, McGuire criticizes the incompetence of American archeologists to judge the accuracy of the Paleolithic theory due to their want of familiarity with European conditions. The mind of man is everywhere the same; the difference of its products are evidences of different growth and of different conditions of environment.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SANTIAGO RUIZ University of Florida (John Moore)

Mearns, Edgar A. Ornithological Vocabulary of the Moki Indians. American Anthropologist December, 1896 Vol.9(12):391-403.

Mearns establishes two purposes for this compilation of ornithological terms used among the Moki Indians: 1) to show the limitations of their ornithological knowledge, and 2) to make this vocabulary more useful and intelligible to those who may subsequently acquire a mastery of the language. For context, the article begins with a concise introduction to the Moki, both past and present. Their seven villages or pueblos occupy a region just west of the New Mexico-Arizona boundary. Mearns relies upon contemporary Moki claims as well as skeletal evidence to assert that their immediate ancestors were responsible for building the ancient cliff-dwellings also found in this area.

The terminology list that takes up the last half of this paper was compiled with the aid of the author’s key informant, Ongwischey. Mearns admits to having incomplete mastery of the Moki language, although he suggests that it resembles English “in the form of its descriptive names.” Some Moki names are also notably of Spanish origin, as their language had historically become “impure” from contact with Mexicans and “half-bloods.” A brief discussion of the sacred meaning of birds among the Moki (compared with their “ophiolatry,” or serpent worship) provides additional context. Sacred birds represent their clans or secret religious orders, and include the eagle, parrot, macaw, heron or sandhill crane, road-runner or chapparal cock, turkey, and dove. Use of feathers during religious ceremonies and their careful preservation in “peculiar wooden boxes” offer further testament to the veneration of particular bird species.

The vocabulary begins with a list of 43 general terms — peripheral terms useful for describing birds, many of which appear within formal bird names. Among these terms are words for colors, pertinent verbs (e.g., “to sing,” “to fly”), and geographical words (e.g., “river,” “mountain”). Following is a list of specific terms used by the Moki for 232 different species of birds found in the Southwest. Moki words in both lists are spelled phonetically, with stress marks shown and vowels marked for pronunciation. Occasionally, Mearns introduces a species of bird that does not inhabit the area, for which he offers his informant’s verbatim response. For the brown-capped leucosticte, for instance, Ongwischey presumably replied: “He no live Moki country.” Where applicable, Mearns references Moki practices as they relate to certain bird species. Examples are the contemporary domestication of fowl, historical domestication of the Mexican turkey (supported by evidence found in cliff-dwellings), and use of parrot feathers in religious ceremonies.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
RYAN THEIS University of Florida (John Moore)

Reed, Z. Verner. The Ute Bear Dance. American Anthropologist July, 1896 vol 6(12): 237-244

Verner Reed’s article attempts to examine and explain the Ute Bear Dance, a ceremony that was conducted by the Ute people and was believed to be their oldest custom. This article speaks to virtually anybody that is interested in cultural anthropology or the Ute people. Reed is very concise with his presentation of this ceremony. His writing is eloquent and fairly interesting. His attendance and participation took place in Colorado in March of 1893. The article goes into great length to describe the events that encompass the Ute Bear Dance.

The folklore of the bear is very important to the Ute people. They believed that they were direct descendants of the bear. This myth results in a prevalent theme for Reed’s description of the dance. Each part of the ceremony reflects an event in the end of a bear’s hibernation period as well as other bear mannerisms. An example of this is the length of the actual ceremony, which would last for four days and one night. This represents the length of time it takes for a bear, to fully wake up from hibernation. The first day of the ceremony is fairly subdued, just like the bears first day when it wakes up and is groggy. On the other end of the spectrum, the third day of the ceremony is very active, the dance lasts through the night. On the third day the bear is hungry and searches for food all of the night. This ceremony is closely related to courtship in the Ute society. At the beginning of the ceremony like the bear, the female chooses her partner. According to this evidence, it is hard to believe that he actually participated in this ceremony because of the importance of male/female interaction. Often this is where mates find each other. So he probably just observed the dance. On the last day some of the young couples will be married. A lot of trading is also done on the last day. This is important because wealth of the individual is judged on how much they give rather than receive.

Clarity Ranking: 4
ALAN SUKONNIK University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Shute, D. K. Racial Anatomical Peculiarities. American Anthropologist April, 1896 Vol.9:123-132

Dr. D.K. Shute’s article “Racial Anatomical Peculiarities” documents a discussion on the importance of the use of racial variations as a tool to compare and rank races. This forum took place on January 7, 1896 and Dr. Shute reports upon the findings of Dr. Frank Baker, Dr. Theodore Gill and Dr. G.R. Stetson, as well as adding his own commentary on the subject.

The significance of analyzing minute differences between races as well as what these differences suggest about races is the topic of debate. Dr. Shute begins by giving his position on the issue as well as outlining specific points of evidence on how certain traits vary from race to race. This forms a basis of knowledge for the reader so that with little further research the reader will be able to understand more clearly the issues which are presented later in the article.

Dr. Shute goes on to outline the arguments made by each presenter, detailing the new points each offers to the debate as well as discussing their reaction to the arguments of previous presenters. Dr. Shute makes no attempt to conclude the article with thoughts of his own, or his reactions to the contents of the discussion; rather, he chooses to let the reader conclude the information on their own.

Both Dr. Shute and the three presenters, whose points he outlines, use a variety of types of evidence. Dr. Shute introduces scientific and statistical evidence in the beginning of the article. These opening arguments lay a groundwork from which the reader can examine the statements that follow. The most detailed information is presented in these opening statements, including information on the exact traits that are being used to evaluate races as well as statistics as to the percentage of people within a population which express certain traits. In the remainder of the article the information presented in the opening statements is rarely refuted as invalid, rather, the presenters discuss its significance as a tool for ranking races.

As a persuasive essay this article fails because the author is unable to present a clear and decisive conclusion to the arguments presented, however, I would suggest the intent of this article is not to give a definitive conclusion to the debate, rather it is meant to report on the variety of perspectives which exist and, therefore, to perpetuate continued discussion of the topic. The paper is successful in this pursuit. Dr. Shute offers some context from which the reader can observe the discussion, but his conscious decision to offer no concluding statement is important. He chooses to report the discussion as seen through his eyes rather than refute or support all that was said.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
KRISTEN RUMOHR University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Shute, D. K. Racial Anatomic Peculiarities. American Anthropologist April, 1896 Vol. 9 (4):123-132.

The article offers a comparative analysis on the perspectives of some recognized authorities in the study of the structural anatomic peculiarities in different racial groups in the late nineteenth century. The discussion is about whether some anatomic peculiarities such as skin color, muscle distribution, osseous structures, cranial capacities, among others, can account for racial superiorities or inferiorities. The role of the variables such as environmental factors, the use and disuse theory, and intelligence are also examined as causal elements for anatomic variations. Two different basic tendencies appear to dominate the debate in the article. Some attribute anatomic variation to fortuitous conditions rather than to the basic human variation or to racial distinction. Others attribute anatomic peculiarities to racial distinctions, in other words, the existences of high and low races explains these anatomic differences. Let’s look at some examples of the way the arguments were presented:

Dr. D. K. Shute learned from Dr. Elliot Coues, a distinguished ornithologist and professor or anatomy at the Colombian Medical School, the importance of studying the variation or deviation from “normal” structures. However, Shute began to have interest in the study of structural peculiarities in racial groups only after he found in the human subjects a rare muscle known as the leviator. After doing some studies on variations in the human’s muscles and in the osseous, he came to the conclusion that Caucasians are in the top of the scale of development, while the Africans are in the bottom of the scale.

Dr. Frank Baker takes the other side of the discussion when he says that racial variation does not entitle us to establish distinctions in humans. He questions the validity of anthropometry in establishing racial distinctions. He also criticizes the abuse of the atavism on part of the biologists. He maintains that until we have more knowledge of ways in which the general formation and distribution of muscle are regulated, it will be impossible to give proper value to muscular variation. He incorporates the importance of variables like environmental conditions and food habits as being responsible for anatomic variations between the African and the Caucasian. Finally, after conducting an examination of many bodies of Africans found in the dissection room, he concludes that the ape-like character are no more common among the African than among Whites.

This article also includes the positions of G. R Stetson and Theodore Gill. Gill takes a more intermediate position in the debate.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SANTIAGO RUIZ University of Florida (John Moore)

Stetson, George R. “The Animistic Vampire In New England”. American Anthropologist January, 1896 Vol.9:1-.

In his rather unusual article, “The Animistic Vampire in New England”, George R. Stetson sets out to prove that even in the light of “modern civilized understanding” and “natural law”, that “barbaric superstitions” may still exist. The superstitions in this case are the reports of a vampire in the modern American state of New England.

In order to lend credence to the vampire mythos, George R Stetson recounts the infamous histories of the undead creatures in various countries throughout the world. Whether it is the far reaches of Africa, where the vampires are supremely demonic, or the more subtle and devious night- dwellers of the Slavic regions, to the mythologies of ancient Greece itself, vampires spawned stories of both horror and intrigue that were brilliantly summarized by Mr. Stetson.

When finally George R. Stetson recounts his investigations in the New England countryside, the reader is already well versed in vampire lore, and can easily make their own judgments upon these recollections. These tales involved a small community plagued by unusual circumstances that some within the village ascribed to vampirism. The recounts then take a surprising turn of “backward” thinking and action entailing the exhuming of graves and destruction of certain organs in order to keep the undead creatures at rest. Although Stetson does not openly admit the tale could include actual vampires, he does not deny the possibility; he merely questions how such things can take hold in modern societies where scientific evidence of how the human body works, is presumed to have done away with the dreaded influence of superstition.

This article reads as fluidly as many of the classic supernatural thrillers. Between the histories retold, and the startling evidence given, the reader is thrown into a realm of various possibilities that could easily make one afraid to stroll past a cemetery at night.

Clarity RANKING: 5
BODHI RADL University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Stickney, Gardner P. Indian Use of Wild Rice. American Anthropologist April, 1896 Vol.9(5):115-121.

The overall concern of this article is how wild rice contributes to the lifestyle of the North American Indian tribes, especially the Ojibwa tribe. The Ojibwa tribe make extensive use of the wild rice and Stickney argues that this is so due to the importance of the wild rice in more ways then just being a staple food for them.

The article is started with a detailed description of how and where rice grows best. Because wild rice can be grown and harvested without a lot of labor put into it, there is an opportunity to have a surplus without a lot of extra work. The Ojibwa use this surplus as a trade item. Therefore the wild rice plays an economic role in the Ojibwa tribe. The growing of wild rice also benefits the tribe when it comes to hunting birds. The wild rice acts as a lure for the birds that feed on it, and the tall stems act as a cover for the hunters. This facilitates the hunt so that the hunters are more efficient. Wild rice can be easily stored and prepared in a variety of dishes. It is also a convenient food source for hunters to take on trips.

Stickney ends his argument by stating that, due to the aforementioned facts, the Ojibwa tribes would actually try to locate themselves in an area that would have a high yield of wild rice, over an area that was plentiful with wild game.

This article is very clear and concise. The author has kept it well organized and well written.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
AMANDA ROSS University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Stickney, Gardner P. Indian Use of Wild Rice. American Anthropologist April, 1896 Vol.9(4):115-122.

Stickney provides a succinct description of the use of wild rice (Zizania aquatica) among the Ojibwa indigenous group of the Great Lake region in eastern North America. He starts the analysis by quoting from a report sent by Pierre d’Esprit, Sieur Radisson, in 1668 to Charles II, of England. In his report, d’Esprit offers a descriptive picture of the wild rice and its uses among the Ojibwa people in northern Wisconsin.

Additionally, Stickney complements the report with a more detailed analysis beginning with the appropriate atmosphere for the growth of the grain. Environments such as the muddy, rich, and slimy bottoms of gently flowing streams are, for instance, the best places for the optimum development of wild rice. The size of the plant, he says, frequently reaches nine to ten feet in height and the development process takes a whole year. Beginning with the seed dropped in the fall, the plant comes up through the water in early June, flowers in July, and reaches maturity in September. He includes an analysis of the form, color of the seed, and the importance of wild rice to the Ojibwa diet.

The relevance of wild rice in the life of the Ojibwa people doesn’t only occur at the level of diet, but affects the Ojibwa’s year as well as language structure. In terms of the impact on calendar, August (Monominikegisisss) is the rice-making moon, when the rice is still in the milk — a time to pay the first visit to the field. That is the month for fixing ropes to gather rice-stalks and fasten them together, so that the harvest becomes easier and more productive.

Rice harvest is more a woman’s activity, and two women would usually work together in a canoe. Once the canoe is loaded and pushed onto shore, the preparation for separating and drying starts. Three different ways of drying the rice are mentioned. When it is properly done and the storage is adequate enough, the rice can be kept for many years. Young buffalo skins sewed into sacks is one of the best storage systems.

For the table, wild rice can be boiled or prepared in a variety of dishes, including soup and stews. The Mississagua people, another indigenous group from northern Wisconsin, also parched the rice until it burst like popcorn. One favorite Ojibwa dish in later times was composed of boiled rice, corn, and fish boiled together. Rice is also served with maple syrup and cranberries.

Finally, the abundance of this crop in the region, the ease with which it is harvested and transported to their homes, and the fact that it required no labor in preparing the ground and no care while coming to maturity easily rendered it their most important vegetable food.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
SANTIAGO RUIZ University of Florida (John Moore)

Thomas, Cyrus. Stone Images from Mounds and Ancient Graves. American Anthropologist December, 1896 Vol. 9 (25): 404- 408

The author’s main goal in writing this article was to draw attention to the numerous findings of stone carvings in certain areas of the United States, and the similarities between them. Thomas situates most of the images described as found in the area of Tennessee and northern Georgia. He also describes several of them as having been unearthed in or around earth mounds. These facts lead to the idea that one group may have created the images and used them for similar purposes.

The main argument of the article is that the parallels between these carvings suggest that they were created in a caving style characteristic of a certain group. To prove the relationship between the carvings, Thomas draws upon certain common details. He points out the angle of the head that, in several statues, is depicted as angled upwards as though looking at the sun. The majority of the images also have markings, which look like either long hair or some sort of head covering. The carvings depict both males and females but most are in a sitting position either cross- legged or with their knees pull up towards their chests. He argues that the similarities of these details prove that the images are based upon a certain common carving style, and therefore come from a group with a common history.

Cyrus includes detailed descriptions and photographs of a number of stone carvings found throughout the mideastern states along with explanations of the exact locations in which they were found. He uses these descriptions to point out the important similarities that he is discussing. Based upon these commonalities he argues that they must represent a conventionalized form of carving from a local historical group.

Although most of the article consisted of descriptions of the carvings, Thomas’ basic argument was still clear. Unfortunately, not all of the important aspects of the carvings were clear from the pictures provided. The descriptions, however, were detailed enough to make the author’s points quite understandable.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
Katherine Andersen University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Thomas, Cyrus. Stone Images From Mounds and Ancient Graves. American Anthropologist December, 1896 Vol.9:404-408.
The article by Cyrus Thomas concerns the recovery of several small statues carved from stone near burial sites in Tennessee and other local states. Thomas proposes the likely possibility of a common origin of artistic practise which lead to the creation of the statues of a basically uniform design which were to be later found in the Southeastern corner of America.

He reaches this straightforward conclusion by way of a comparison of images and descriptions of such statues found in states such as Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. As all the figures portrayed are seated with legs crossed in front, facing egocentric North, and with hands similarly placed, as well as their common location at or near burial mounds, this is indeed a rational conception. Thomas’ examination of specific facial features and headdress also reveal a particularly standard way of presenting the inspiration behind forming the statues, whatever that may have been, without leaving much room for individual input which we would today highly value.

Thomas states very little, practically nothing at all, that does not present itself from the facts and descriptions. There is no inclinations or beliefs obvious to me which have come through in the article. There is no sense of originality in his writing, but nor is there room for dispute. Unless the actual measurements, descriptions and pictures are false, I would find nothing incorrect or misleading about the article. It leaves for the reader to take what is known for true of the subject, and from there subjectively progress; and although it is valuable to have the opinion of someone regarded as a professional, it is just as valuable to have the material unpolluted by personal arguments.
For a reader interested in anthropology, particularly of the cultures and items with which this article is concerned, it is time well spent. For the effort needed to obtain, read, and understand the article, the reward is definitely sufficient. As well for anyone not previously interested, this could be a great starting point for beginning study in anthropology .

CLARITY RANKING: 4
THEODORE YADLOWSKI University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Thomas, Cyrus. Stone Images from Mounds and Ancient Graves. American Anthropologist. December, 1896 Vol.9(12):404-408

The article compares a recently (October 1895) discovered stone image from a box-shaped stone grave at Castilion Springs, Sumner County, Tennessee with other figures from the same area in middle Tennessee and northern Georgia. Upon comparison, common characteristics of the images were noted, one characteristic in particular. The face turned upward is found in over half a dozen more figures discovered in Tennessee. This suggests that among the ancient people of the Gulf States and the stone grave belt a conventionalized form indicative of local origin was in use. The newly discovered stone image represents a slender male, with a sloping head, characteristic hair or head covering, and with a particular expression on the face.

Similar figures are then discussed. Another found in Castilian Springs is described as a female figure, with perpendicular marks on each cheek. The figure seems to be in an attitude of adoration. A stone head with similarly marked cheeks from Clarksville, Tennessee, as well as the upward turned face (in adoration) is mentioned.

This sloping or turned upward head is a characteristic also found among specimens from Georgia. This seems to be the one common and enduring feature of all the pieces discussed. Other attributes include gender, posture/position, representation of the legs, and hair or head covering, and these are all rather variable. Views of a number of specimens are provided in the article as visual aids.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
STACEY GIROUX University of Florida (John Moore)

Thomas, Cyrus. The Vigesimal System of Enumeration. American Anthropologist December, 1896 Vol. 26 (9):409-410.

This article examines a possible link between the ancient use of the vigesimal system in Mexico and Central America to the use of the vigesimal system in other parts of the world. The vigesimal system of enumeration is a counting system that is based on the number 20. The counting system that North Americans are familiar with is based on the number 10 – the decimal system. Thomas examines the transfer of the vigesimal system by referring to the work of others who have found evidence to support this idea. He does not introduce any of his own evidence or findings on the subject.

The first example that Thomas refers to is the work that Aymonier did in Cambodia. Thomas uses Aymonier’s discovery of inscriptions of numbers at Bakou and Loley (he does not specify what Bakou and Loley are, but one can assume they are two important locations of ancient script in Cambodia). The numbers had been inscribed clearly resembled the vigesimal of enumeration used in ancient Central America. Thomas sees this as evidence that this system of counting has moved from Southeastern Asia to Central America.

Thomas then goes on to note A. Featherman’s discovery, which maintains that some Polynesian words for the number twenty, and/or numbers that have multiples of twenty, are linguistically significant, despite the fact they use the decimal system. Other numbers are comprised of combinations of these numbers, along with the numbers one through ten. A. Featherman claims that the Hawaiian system of numeration is a primary vigesimal system because they, “progress by forties” (p. 410).

This article suggests the possibility that the vigesimal system of enumeration moved from ancient southeastern Asia to other areas in the world, but it does nothing more than, as Thomas puts it, “bring together data on the subject” (p. 409). Although Thomas provides the above examples in an attempt to show how this move occurred, he does not provide any clear and precise evidence that supports this idea.

Thomas gives little background information about what a vigesimal enumeration system is or why its use in ancient times is significant. He assumes the reader has previous knowledge about the subject he is writing about and this makes this article hard to follow if one is not familiar with the history and principals of the vigesimal system.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
CRYSTAL TRACY University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Thomas, Cyrus. The Vigesimal System of Enumeration. American Anthropologist December, 1896 Vol.9(12):409-410

The vigesimal system is of considerable importance in studying the civilization of ancient Mexico and Central America, especially regarding the native calendars of the area. Cyrus Thomas presents data as to what extent this enumeration system existed in other parts of the globe.

For the area of southeastern Asia, he brings evidence from Aymonier of the existence and use of the vigesimal system. It is stated that the decimal system was also used, but the vigesimal appears to be the older of the two, and it was mingled with the decimal system in its use. Thomas declares that Aymonier’s work, that is, his examination of inscriptions at Bakou and Loley in Cambodia, shows this beyond a doubt.

He then looks to Polynesia for indications of evidence that the vigesimal system was used in ancient Malaysia, since it is generally agreed that the language and people of Polynesia were derived from the region of Malaysia. Here again it appears that both the decimal and vigesimal systems were used and perhaps mixed. In addition, there are facts to indicate that the Maya method of enumeration was very similar to that of the Polynesian one found.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
STACEY GIROUX University of Florida (John Moore)