American Anthropologist 1908
Beyer, Herman The Symbolic Meaning of The Dog in Ancient Mexico American Anthropologist July-September, 1908 Vol.10 (3): 419-422
The author’s objective is to describe in detail the role dogs played in ancient Mexican civilization. The itzcuintli, “dog” was the last of the thirteen constellations of the old Mexican zodiac, it was regarded as the image of a dog’s head. According to Beyer, the dog was a symbolic animal of the dead. The Mayan hieroglyphic of the dog consists mainly of the thorax of a skeleton. When the inhabitants of ancient Anahuac burned a corpse they killed a red dog and laid it beside the dead body. In Beyer’s opinion they believed that four years after death this dog had to carry the soul over Chicunauhapan, the “nine-fold stream” that flows around the innermost hell, the final abode of dead. The Mexican had a certain species of dogs call xolo-itzcuintli; the Zapotecs named them Peco-xolo.
Beyer believes all this shows that Xolotl, who carries the sun, has been conceived as a parallel to the guide and carrier of the human soul, the dog. He also states that Chantico, the Fire Goddess of Xochimilco, whom signifies the “sun in the underworld,” was transformed into a dog. In conclusion the author explains that the dog primarily represented a constellation.
The author accomplishes his goal and objectively states his theory. The short article was easy to read and extremely informative, however it is my personal feeling that the article should be read slowly to understand the connections between Mayan beliefs.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JOSHUA JONES Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Bushnell, David L. An Early Account of Dighton Rock. American Anthropologist April- June, 1908 Vol.10(2):251-254.
Bushnell’s article on the Dighton Rock is not his account of the rock but instead is a description of the rock by Sir Issac Greenwood. Sir Issac wrote a letter to the Royal Society in the 1730’s. Sir Issac writes of the inscriptions found on the Dighton Rock in Massachusetts.
In the letters Sir Issac tries to hypothesize where the inscription or “indentures” on the Dighton Rock originated. There are two reasons that are discussed. One being that the inscriptions are artless impressions of the Natives. The other reason Sir Issac discussed is “that they are a Memorial in proper Sculpture for some remarkable Transaction or accident.”(252).
Sir Issac states that the belief that the Natives are not the sole designers of the inscriptions. The evidence for this being that the Natives lacked the skills or knowledge to design these inscriptions. Sir Issac’s second argument is that Natives didn’t have the proper tools to form such accurate inscriptions in the rock. Third, Sir Issac believes that the Natives would have designed birds, beasts, and fishes, instead of the unique designs found on the rock. Lastly, Sir Issac believes that the Natives were not creative or imaginative enough to design such inscriptions.
Sir Issac states that some believe that these sculptures were the work of Indians sharpening the heads of their arrows or that they were first formed by this way. Sir Issac disagrees with this idea by stating that there are no more indented rocks around. If this were the custom, there would be many more rocks indentured like this one. As for Sir Isaac’s second hypothesis of the origin of the inscriptions, he states that it is a memorial of some sort, made by several individuals and possibly of Oriental character. Sir Issac states that the extraordinary skills are both of ancient and modern Oriental design. Either way the letters do not state the exact origin of the inscriptions on the Dighton Rock but instead only beliefs or opinions.
This article was different from other articles because it was letters and not the author’s observations. I did not find it difficult to read; however, there were parts that I had to read over again to fully understand. The letters are written in older English so that some words were difficult to interpret at first. For example the word risq was in the article and after I figured out that it meant risk it was easier to follow.
AMANDA DEKARSKE Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse).
Bushnell, David L., Jr. The Account of Lamhatty. American Anthropologist October-December 1908 Vol.10(4): 568-574.
The Account of Lamhatty is a manuscript that relates to the Creek Indians of Virginia. It is the account of an Indian named Lamhatty who was held captive by a group of Tusckaroras, a tribe who destroyed several nations of Towasa, Lamhatty’s tribe.
The manuscript recounts the history of Creek Indians during 1706 and 1707. It was either written by or dictated to historian Robert Beverly, author of the History of Virginia. The manuscript is written on one page, with a map drawn on the back of the piece of paper.
The account is written using language style of the early 1700s. It begins with Lamhatty’s arrival on the north side of Mattapany in 1707. The author of the article, David Bushnell, identified and defined the names of the towns mentioned in the manuscript and drawn on the map.
The manuscript summarizes the relations between the Tusckarora Indians and the Towasas Indians (the tribe to which Lamhatty belonged). The Tusckaroras made two attacks on the ten nations of the Towasas; the first of which destroyed three nations. The second attack destroyed four nations. Lamhatty was captured in this “second comeing.”
Lamhatty, at the age of 26, was captured and carried north through Virginia. He worked three to four months in the Tellapousa (term applied to Upper Creeks, although it may also have been the name of a town). He eventually was taken to the Souanoukas (Shawnee Indians) and sold to them. He was taken with them on a hunting trip through the valleys and the Blue Ridge Mountains and Alleghenies in Virginia. Soon afterward he escaped and ran to Mattapany, where he surrendered himself at a home there.
Lamhatty evidently was ill upon arrival and “became very melancholly after fasting and crying several days together.” He left when the warm weather arrived and was never heard from again.
The second part of the document discusses the Towasa’s arrival in Mobile, Alabama. According to Bushnell, they wanted to be closer to the French.
Bushnell goes on to quote a manuscript written by a member of General Oglethorpe’s expedition to the Creek towns Lamhatty from which hailed. The manuscript is from 1740, a few decades after Lamhatty’s capture. The narrator in the manuscript talks of being greeted by the Indians in a friendly manner. They drank a special black tea with them, dined, and later watched the Indians dance.
The member of the expedition describes the homes and costume of the men and women of the tribe. He tells of the way they use a mortar made from a tree to grind corn for flour.
The author of this article uses brief, clear descriptions to introduce the manuscripts he used in the article. He could have omitted the manuscript by a member of Oglethorpe’s expedition, as it did not directly pertain to Lamhatty, the main focus of the article.
KRISTA CHAMBERS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Bushnell, David I. Jr. Research in Virginia from Tidewater to the Alleghanies. American Anthropologist October-December 1908. Vol.10(4): 531-549
Bushnell’s first concern is to correlate the time that the mountains in the southern part of Virginia were discovered, as well as the first mention of Native Americans in the French and Indian war. The article starts off with the date of August 29,1716 when Alexander Spotswood set off to discover a passage over the great mountains in Virginia. Spotswood was clearly unaware that this particular area had already been discovered and lived upon by Native Americans. It is not recorded or noted, but evidence proves the author’s predictions. After Spotswood opened up the area beyond the Blue Ridge, European settlers began to come over. In 1734, Orange County was formed, and shortly after in 1738, the county of Augusta was established. The year Augusta County was formed, trouble with the Indians along the western frontier began, and the author states, “this is probably the earliest reference to the Alleghany Indians” (533). In 1742, the Native Americans had their first battle with the European settlers, and this is of importance because it was historically recorded. In the year 1753, emissaries came from beyond the tribes of the Alleghany and persuaded the Indians to join them in Ohio. In 1754, the Native Americans of the valleys in the Blue Ridge area left and they soon became allies with the French in the war against the English colonies.
The author makes a point that many tribes frequented the valleys of the Blue Ridge before the European settlers, but he has no reference as to the time of discovery. He found sites of various camps, settlements, and numerous mounds throughout the valleys. At each of the mounds he discovered objects which were lost or buried at different times. These objects consisted of materials such as arrowheads, drills, a fragment of a steatite vessel, which is not found in the mountains of Virginia, but in the Piedmont. He also found quartzite, a copper needle, and an object made of a dark greenish diorite. In excavations for a cellar, someone unidentified discovered several human skeletons that were confirmed to be the remains of Indians.
The author accomplishes his objective in this article by pointing out that Native Americans had frequented the area of the Blue Ridge valley long before the European settlers. This article is easy to read because it includes pictures of the objects he found and a map of the mountains in Virginia where the settlements were located. The article is also interesting giving the average person a history lesson on Native Americans.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
JENINE CLEMENTS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Dixon, Roland B. Notes on Achomawi and Atsugewi Indians of Northern California. American Anthropologist April, 1908 Vol. 10(2):208-220.
In this article, Dixon attempts to educate the reader about the similarities and differences between two groups of neighboring Native peoples. He mainly discusses the Achomawi and Atsugewi people. Dixon begins by describing where each group was located, and what the environment was like in each area. The, he describes the main features of daily life and certain ceremonies of each group.
Dixon goes into detail about the shelter styles of these two groups of people. He also describes the food, clothing, crafts (in lesser detail), and hunting practices of these people. Dixon tells about musical instruments employed by these two groups, governing individuals (chiefs), canoes and how they are made, marriage practices, ceremonial food restrictions for childbirth funeral customs, and shaman healing practices, among many other things of interest.
This article was well-written. It imparted knowledge without being boring. The information is intriguing. Dixon’s writing is clear and understandable. The details given about the different foods and how they are prepared, the clothing styles for men and women, the use of animals, hunting tools, and ceremonies are very interesting. However, he should have given a better description of “Berdashes” than just “men-women”, because the reader does not quite get the feel of the role of someone who is a berdash. (p.217) Anyone interested in the lifestyles of either of these two Native groups would find this article useful.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JESSICA BISHOP Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Emmons, George T. Petroglyphs in Southern Alaska. American Anthropologist. April, 1908 Vol. 10(2): 211-230.
Emmons expresses the need of the primitive man of all regions to portray a history of the past and in essence to record the story of his life. This is done by cliff drawings called petroglyphs. The subjects of the study used were the Tlingit of southeastern Alaska. The purposes behind these drawings were to glorify the family or tribe bringing together a sense of art, ceremony, practices of shamanism, religion, and worship. The thoughts of these men, with abundant leisure time, were expressed in paintings, weavings, and especially etchings, or permanent petroglyphs.
These murals, which have endured the elements, are present at or near sites of old villages. They are on boulders, beach rocks and embedded in sand near the shore at sea level. The individual art is made by a pecking on the stone, and almost always represents a story. The older carvings display less realism, but have more detail. Often lines and other designs that have no meaning are displayed, connecting the story or picture link the characters. Animal designs are dominant representations of family divisions.
Emmons also articulates that the selection of surfaces is determined by the image employed, so that it might cover the most area. The article concluded with a series of examples of these petroglyphs and detailed explanations as to their relevance and interpretation.
The author is very informative, while at the same time enjoyable to read. He includes personal observations and tells stories of his discoveries that are pertinent to the paper. Also, the images presented give a broad but clear view of the petroglyphs that were studied.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANNE BREKKEN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Fewkes, J. Walter. Ventilators in Ceremonial Rooms of Prehistoric Cliff-Dwellings. American Anthropologist 1908 Vol.10: 387-398.
Fewkes’ archaeologically-oriented article focuses on a characteristic of ceremonial rooms in the Native American Southwest. The pueblo-building peoples of this area constructed ceremonial centers which Fewkes introduces by the Spanish name of estufa (meaning “stove”). Fewkes discards this term in favor of the more ethnically informed Hopi word kiva. Kivas are most often semi-subterranean, rounded, roofed structures with inner access gained through a hole in the ceiling. Usually kivas have a smaller hole through the bottom of one wall that led up to the surface outside of the kiva. Fewkes states that the purpose of the air holes is to provide better air ventilation within the kiva.
The author begins his essay with an exposition. Taking nothing for granted, he describes kivas, their construction and supposed function, to the reader. He explains that this knowledge is gleaned from excavation and from speculation based on ethnographic work among contemporary native groups in the region who still use kivas (Fewkes notes their construction and appearance has changed markedly by his time). This expository section is long and detailed, comprising the first half of the article. Fewkes is sure to note every facet of kiva anatomy, also mentioning exceptions when some kivas diverge from the plans he details. To support his position, Fewkes quotes from two fellow investigators of prehistoric Pueblo sites: Gustaf Nordenskiöld of Sweden and Cosmos Mindeleff of Russia. Nordenskiöld did his research at Mesa Verde, Colorado while Mindeleff worked in Cañon de Chelly, Arizona.
Following his description of kivas, Fewkes mentions four contemporary hypotheses on the function of the small lateral openings. The first is that the holes serve a ceremonial purpose. He discards this proposition as too vague to adequately prove or disprove. The second theory is the openings are chimneys. This hypothesis is quickly dismissed due to the fact that none of the small openings in any kiva studied show any signs of exposure to smoke or ash. The third idea is the holes are passageways into and out of the kiva. The author argues this is not likely given that the majority of these openings are not large enough to accommodate a child much less an adult. The final hypothesis, the only remaining logical choice, is that the holes serve as ventilators for the kiva which lack windows and have only one small entrance overhead. In countering critics, Fewkes states that Pueblo architecture is developed enough that creating a ventilator was not impossible for these people. Fewkes concludes with the position that these openings must be ventilators because any group of people within a fire-burning kiva would need a means of fresh air to prevent the smoke from driving them out.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
WILLIAM H. RUDOLPH Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
Gerard, William R. The Term Tomahawk American Anthropologist 1908 Vol.10:277-280
In this article, Gerard traces the origin and meanings of the term tomahawk. The term comes form a combination of many sources. The Renape of Virginia have several similar words to tomahawk. Tamahak is another version of tamahakan, which means something used for cutting or a cutting utensil. Tamahaken means he uses for cutting. Tamaham means he cuts. The English settled in the Renape territory in 1607. These Indians used tomahawk as in “a stone ax or hatchet employed as a weapon of offense and an implement for cutting or, more accurately, chopping wood.” (277). Many Englishmen had different definitions of the term. Captain John Smith mentioned it first as tomahack, meaning, and a long stone sharpened at both ends.” (277). Strachey defines it as a stone with a handle of wood used to cut down trees or other large things. Stratchey also lists cunsenagwus and taccahackan as synonymous words. Consenagwus means long stone cut in half. Taccahackan means pickaxe. Many Virginia-based names, like raccoon, opossum, and tomahawk, traveled to Massachusetts. Wood, unfamiliar with Virginian terms, used tomahawk as a war club or head breaker. England supplied the Virginia Indians with small iron hatchets. The Indians transferred the term tomahawk to these small instruments. Tomahawks were worn in the girdle, behind the back when not used in combat. The Indians had precise aim from far distances, which made the tomahawk revolve in its motion. Their accuracy had a “terrible effect” (280). The tomahawk was an emblem of war. When it was buried, there was peace. When it was dug up, there was to be deadly warfare. From this act came terms like burying the tomahawk or digging it up. Tomahawk became a verb, meaning to cut or kill with a tomahawk. Other terms evolved from this instrument.
The author should have described the tomahawk first, explained the words used with its base word, and then delved into its origin. There were too many examples for a simple point. Overall, it is very to the point, though in a slightly illogical order.
CLARITY RATING: 4
SALENA K. KOUNTZ: Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Gilder, Robert F. Recent Excavations at Long’s Hill, Nebraska. American Anthropologist January, 1908 Vol 10(1):60-73.
In October 1906, Robert F. Gilder discovered what appeared to be ancient human remains at the site of a burial mound in Douglas County, Nebraska called Long’s hill. The skeletal remains were labeled “Nebraska Man.” Extensive excavation of the site turned up many more remains, most of which, in the opinion of Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, were from a later period, “closely resembling the bones of the modern Indians” (62).
One year later, Gilder went back to Long’s hill for further excavation. He carefully details the remains and artifacts that he found and how they were situated in the mound. What he describes sounds like ritual burial, with personal effects being found with some of the bones. Another characteristic of the site was an area of baked clay and charcoal and calcined bones suggesting that the bodies had been burned. Gilder goes on in the article to describe other archaeological finds in the same area but at locations other than Long’s hill.
This article is quite descriptive and easy to follow. The language that Gilder uses is not too technical to be understood by someone with a casual interest in archaeology. The purpose of this article is not to prove anything but rather to describe what Gilder found and he accomplishes this quite effectively.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
SHERRY BRUMGARD Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Harrington, M.R. Catawba Potters and Their Work. American Anthropologist July-September, 1908 Vol.10(3):399-407
This article serves two purposes. The first objective is to describe the people of a modern Native American tribe, the Catawba. These people have taught the art of pottery to generations as a trade and a pastime. Although they have recorded a written and spoken language, the people of the Catawba tribe speak mostly English and practice the Morman religion. Catawba pottery is used by both the tribe and the general public. Pottery pieces created for public use include cooking pots, bowls and jars, vases, pitchers, and pipes. The Catawba people surrived in such a modern world by integrating the pottery of their culutre to the market of the modern world. The second objective is to provide an explicit description of the processes involved in creating the work of the people, pottery.
The process of manufacturing pottery is detailed and requires all the members of the households. Potters make use of tools that are both historic and modern. The tools used for pounding, coiling, and slipping the clay include a pestle, mussel shells, modelers, and piercing implements. The author also provides the Catawba translation for these tools as well as various terms related to Catawba lifestyle. Clay harvesting is also described here by the author and he points out that tools used for this process are of modern design.
This article serves to provide a basic background on the Catawba people and their trade. Examples of Catawba language usage and clearly defined pottery techniques make the author’s objectives apparent. This article also provides many photographs that capture the Catawba people practicing their trade. The arrangement of how-to techniques with the accompaniment of pictures provides a clear understanding of the Catawba potters and their work.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
ALLISON GOFF Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Harrington, M. R Vestiges of Material Culture among the Canadian Delaware American Anthropologist July-September, 1908 Vol.10(3):408-418
The author’s objective is to describe the old material culture of the three bands of Delaware Indians he researched, giving insight into their customs. The Indian bands referred to themselves as Lenape. They held organizational ceremonial observances at the Grand River until recently. The only survivals of the ceremonies are a few wooden spoons, bowls, mortars, and bows and arrows.
Harrington uses these items to explain the three bands of Indian cultures in detail. He found in Moraviantown the preparation of cornfoods in Indian style, with woven baskets used in the process, providing some explanation of their agriculture system.
The Indians had a creative resourceful culture with their baskets woven certain ways for different ceremonies. According to Harrington there was a considerable number of old specimens saved by the Indians as mementos. These mementos gave Harrington more information about their culture and customs.
Harrington describes each bowl, saying they occurred in two forms, the hemispherical and the oval forms. The tribes were very aware of their environment and knew how to use it. They had wooden mortars for corn crushing. The basket was woven so the held a load of goods but worked well with being carried on the flesh. They carried on their chest, forehead, and backs.
There were ornaments made of silver for example, hair bands, finger rings, and culture that they have left crosses. The difference in these pieces distinguished the Iroquois from the Delaware. The Indians sculpted their artifacts carefully so they would bring their tradition from the past into the future.
The article was not hard to read and during his description of the artifacts the readers could picture for themselves the object. He uses an example of a child’s shoes. The Indians cut two holes in the bottom of the child’s shoes to keep their souls from being snatched. In another example an Indian woman gave him a wooden doll formerly used to represent one of their gods. But since many converted to Christianity their religious artifacts are useless.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
TANEE ELSTON Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Harrington, M. R. Some Seneca Corn-Foods and Their Preparation. American Anthropologist January 1908 Vol.10(1):575-591.
The object of this article is to set forth principles native methods of corn preparation still in use among the Seneca Indians. The author visited the Seneca reservations in New York to find out what kinds or corn they use and how they prepare it. He found that there were several different varieties of corns (maize) used and nine different kinds of beans, all claimed by the Indians to be of native origin. The author tells in detail the different baskets used to carry the food, how they are made, how the foods are prepared with the different tools and in what different ways.
Their great staple was “white corn” or what they sometimes call “Tuscarora”. “The ear is often of good size; the grains white, smooth, or dull luster, and rather soft; the taste delicious when eaten green on the cob, cooked as hulled corn, or prepared in numerous ways known to Seneca cooking.” (575-576) The author describes three other types of corn, in this same fashion, used by the Seneca; red corn, black corn, and flint corn. In this article he also comments on the nine or more varieties of beans that “vary in size from that of a small pea to a large lima bean; in shape some are globular, some flat, some long and cylindrical, some ordinary bean shaped; while in color some are solid blue, others brown or yellow; some are blotched, others are speckled with reddish or bluish tints.” (576) Harrington tells how they make the baskets used to prepare the foods and separate the foods. “A hulling bag of archaic form still survives (…) it is made of three sets of basswood bark strips, woven together so as to produce hexagonal openings like those in the seat of a cane bottom chair, but too small for corn to pass through.” (578)
This article was a very easy read; the author makes it easy to understand and very clear.
NAHALA BUYCKS: Michigan State University: (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Herzog, Maximilian The Brain-Weight of the Filipino American Anthropologist January-March, 1908 Vol.10(1):41-47
This short article, by Maximilian Herzog, was written to address the physical representation, in brain-weight, of what was believed to be the inherent inferiority of the Filipino people. The subjects of this article were male Filipino prisoners of the Bilibid prison of Manila. Herzog clearly states that although the men were prisoners, they were in fact legitimate (not degenerate) subjects. The subjects were all full-blooded Filipino men (as far as records could show). Many were political prisoners, while others, though they may have been murderers or thieves, could not be seen as degenerate because they came from distant islands and represented communities that found no crime in murder or theft. Herzog is clear to state that this is not a result of the Filipino people being immoral, but that “they are more childlike, and their power of inhibition is not strongly developed…therefore more frequently do they come in conflict with the law” (42).
Herzog continues in his article to delineate his process of post-mortem removal and weighing of the brains from the subjects. While he was unable to compute directly the relationship between brain weight and body size due to limitations in his resources, he was able to make estimations based on average body weights of 1,000 Filipino people. He determined a relative brain-weight ratio of 1:40, by listing the brain weights of all of his subjects, and comparing it to the list of average body weights. He pared the numbers down to account for the pureblood nature of his subjects as compared to the general population, which includes mixed Spanish and Chinese-Filipino Mestizos, who tend to be larger in size.
Herzog clearly subscribes to a racist ideology of cultural evolution and hierarchy, with the “childlike” Filipino people near the bottom. However, based on his notion that the brain-weight representation was indicative of higher brain functioning, he determined that the results of his study were “certainly not discouraging to those among the Filipinos as well as among the American people who claim that the Filipinos as a people may be educated to the same degree of civilization as the Western nations. The average brain-weight determined is high and it…compares quite favorably with the brain-weights of the western nations” (47).
Even with this recognition of the “potential” of the Filipino people, or perhaps even because of it, this article remains offensive and racist. However, in recognition of the beliefs of the time period, it may be possible to overlook such beliefs as ignorant, and the recognition of similarities between European and Filipino brain-weights as a step in the right direction. Regardless this was a clear and concise article that utilized charts and explanations to determine its validity.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JULIE SCHWARTZ Michigan State University (Susan Applegate-Krouse)
Hewett, Edgar L. The Groundwork of American Archeology. American Anthropologist January-March, 1908 Vol.13:591-595.
The article addresses American archeology and its contribution to understanding pre-historic Native American cultures. The author believes archeology helps the understanding of the “cultural evolution” (591) of Native Americans before the influence of European cultures. He sets out methods and modes of understanding the past by studying the remains left behind. The author gives four ways to study American archeology. The first of these is studying the material remains, followed by the study of “survivals of their intellectual achievements” (591), then looking at “recorded observations” (591) of Native Americans made by people living at the time, and the last is by studying the current rituals, traditions, and ceremonies to better understand those of the past. Evidence of social order, esthetic sense, and spirituality are seen through material evidence of buildings, art and symbolism respectively.
The author also divides Native American history into two epochs. The first he defines as being before outside influence, before the time of the European infiltration, a time of “racial isolation” (592). The second epoch he defines as starting after the coming of the Spanish. This time is marked by the realization by the Native Americans of their cultural limitations. In the second epoch the author also states that the Native Americans began to incorporate some of the European culture into their own. Their “arts, industries, and social conditions” (592) were changed by the influence of Europeans. Because of the blending of the culture, the author explains that the study of American Indians at this time period is much more difficult than in periods previous. He states that Native American culture must be “subjected to critical analysis” (593) during this time as a result of the social forces of the mixing civilizations.
The prehistoric history of Native Americans is easier to understand, according to the author. The reason is that people adapt to their environment in definite ways and have no outside influences to contend with. This makes the processes shaping the culture easier to understand. The author also aims to understand the relationship between and within Native American tribes before European influence. To do this ” requires long and laborious study of fixed remains in the field as well as of the movable antiquities to be found in the museums of the world” (594). He also points out the importance of studying archives in American archeology, much of which he believes still await discovery. He believes these documents must be examined by experts, as the events in them may be exaggerated by those observers of the time.
Finally, he closes with a definition of the duty of archeologists. He states, “the first task of the archeologist is to rescue the material and intellectual remains of the people whose history he is seeking to restore” (595). However, he adds more to their duty list, including uncovering the “genesis” of cultural events.
It was very hard to understand the point the author was trying to get at throughout the article. It appears to have no definite organization, and he often repeats his same ideas. However, his explanation of the duty of an archeologist was thorough.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
ALLISON BOISVENU Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Holmes, William H. The Tomahawk American Anthropologist April-June, 1908 Vol.10(2):264-276.
As Holmes begins to prepare for a brief article to be published on the tomahawk, he finds himself in search of the term’s origin and what implement it was actually used to describe. To begin, he first turns to the brief Indian vocabulary written by Captain John Smith in 1607. He finds several versions of the word, as used by Indians, to describe various forms of English tools and weapons. Holmes found no reference made, in turn, to the tomahawk as a word used to describe an Indian tool or weapon. Strachey, the secretary of Jamestown Colony, came to similar findings as well in 1610-1612. However, he does introduce the Indian word cunsenagwus as the name given by Indians to their implement similar to an English hatchet.
Not until a hundred years later would the term tomahawk appear in literature written by Beverley who mentions, “quite through the Bark with their Stone Hatchets, or Tomahawks” (266). Unfortunately this is in direct opposition to a passage found earlier in his work describing Indian tomahawks as resembling the “Faulchion us’d by the Prize-fighters in England” (267). Because of this, Holmes is quick to dismiss Beverley’s work as contradictory, finding himself left with only the works of Smith and Strachey.
On top of this, the works lack any true ethnological value, because as Holmes later points out, they have all in some way plagiarized the drawings of John White or their reproductions produced by Hariot. The only non-plagiaristic drawing is actually found in Beverley’s work, labeled plate 10, which represents the implement actually observed by Beverley. His drawing depicts three globe-shaped clubs catalogued as tomahawks by him; needless to say, they look nothing like either one of his descriptions provided earlier.
As Holmes continues to pick away through miscellaneous works, he finds one reference made by a colonist named Van der Donck of the New Netherlands around 1650 clearly referring to the small axes used by Indians as tomahawks. A later reference found by Josselyn, a year later clearly refers to the tomahawk as a globe shaped club used as a weapon, not unlike the drawing found in Beverley’s work.
As Holmes moves onto mid-eighteenth century authors, he encounters the works of Rogers, Dwight, and McCulloh to name a few, who all in some way see the term tomahawk as transferred from war-clubs carved into various shapes, to war-clubs modified into small battle axes or hatchets. Morgan adds a twist to this in 1904 by stating, “before the tomahawk came into use among the Iroquois, their principal weapons were the bow, the stone tomahawk, and the war-club” (274).
In the end, Holmes is unable to satisfactorily conclude if the term tomahawk was used by colonists to describe various Indian weapons or tools, or if it was an Indian term used to describe various weapons or tools or just one weapon or tool. Not to mention that, if it does in fact refer to only one weapon or tool, what does that weapon or tool looked like? What is it composed of? Has it evolved? The frustration expressed by Holmes about this is clearly felt by the reader, who in turn has a tendency to become lost in the numerous examples provided.
SARA A. FELLOWS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Hough, Walter Otis Tufton Mason American Anthropologist October-December, 1908. Vol.10(4):660-667.
This is an obituary of Otis Tufton Mason who was born in Eastport, Maine, on April 10, 1838 and passed away on November 5, 1908 in Washington, DC. Mason went to school at George Washington University, in 1856, where he studied “culture-history of the peoples of eastern Mediterranean”(661) or “Oriental studies.” After graduating Mason became the principal of a preparatory school were he would work until 1884.
Mason also shifted his field of study to the people of America. In 1872 Mason became involved with the Smithsonian Institute and collaborated in ethnology, assembling, arranging and cataloging items. Mason used these skills to edit a book of Gustav Klemm, Kulturgeschichte, which was a guidebook for ethnologists that focused on the study of human handiwork.
Mason collected thousands of tribal names and where they appear in different texts. The collection contributed to the founding of the Bureau of Ethnology in 1879 and the publication Handbook of American Indians. Also in 1879, Mason signed a call for the formation of an Anthropological Society in Washington DC. Mason wrote the constitution of the group and regularly contributed to American Anthropologist.
In 1884, Mason left the preparatory school where he worked since 1872 and became the curator of the department of ethnology in the National Museum. The physical building housing the museum was only three years old when Mason arrived. Mason played a large role in organizing and classifying the collections.
While working to arrange the museum, Mason developed an arrangement to study inventions like throwing spears and basketwork. This classification system of inventions took into account variation between tribal modifications and environmental causes. Mason hoped this system could provide insight into where or in what context these inventions occurred. It was soon realized that not everything in the National Museum could be arranged this way. To remedy this Mason arranged some things into ethnic units, which looked specifically at the social and material culture of a people.
Mason seems to have been well liked by his colleagues who admired his hard work and optimism.
The biography is straightforward and easy to read. The events of his life are only partially listed in chronological order in the article, which is confusing. The passage regarding “the idea which Professor Mason had in mind” (662) is extremely vague concerning his contribution to classifying items.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
SHAUN GODWIN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Joyce, T.A. The Southern Limit of Inlaid and Incrusted Work in Ancient America American Anthropologist January-March, 1908 Vol.10(1):16-23
In this article the author describes two pieces of inlaid and incrusted work from Peru, and his objective is to determine the southern limit of this kind of work. The northern limit was in Arizona or New Mexico. Both pieces are held in the British Museum. The first piece is a bone dagger inlaid with turquoise and pyrites, and the second is a wooden object incrusted with shell and turquoise.
The dagger is carved out of a long mammalian bone and is shaped like a closed left human fist. A long blade is formed on the area that would be the upper arm. The engraving and inlay are found on the handle. There are ten panels of design on the arm, and, “along the under surface of the arm and thumb are disposed irregularly a number of anthropomorphic figures” (17). The first panel on the left of the hand has a design of a trophy of arms with a shield, two spears, and a stone-headed club. The panel to the right has designs of birds, jaguars, and a grotesque serpent. The lowest panel has a running curvilinear design and the one above it is a small human figure between two jaguars with cactus plants. The anthropomorphic figures wear helmets with the Chimic crest or bird masks. Another panel represents what could be a sacrifice. All the turquoise on the dagger is cut into a circular shape except for a piece on the second finger. The turquoise is used for the eyes and the earpieces of the figures, and the pieces were set with some kind of resinous material. The dagger was acquired in 1893 from a grave in Santa Valley, on the border between the provinces of La Libertad and Ancachs.
The wooden object was acquired in 1906 from graves in the Pacasmayo Valley. It is a 45mm flat wooden knob, “with seven rectangular projections cut from the solid and disposed at equal distances around the edge” (21). The bottom has a 10mm deep, 30mm diameter cavity with the mosaic of a double bird made out of pearl shells and turquoise.
Where the turquoise was obtained for these items is unknown. Turquoise has not been discovered in Peru. It possibly filtered down from New Mexico, but this scenario is unlikely because of the lack of contact between Peruvian and Mexican cultures. The turquoise probably came from Peruvian reserves that have not been rediscovered. The author concludes without answering where the southern limit of inlaid work is, and says he would be grateful for evidence that answers the question or provides the location of the turquoise deposits.
This article is easy to read, but the descriptions are somewhat wordy. Additional pictures would have been helpful.
JUSTIN ZAMBO Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Kelsey, Francis W. Some Archeological Forgeries from Michigan. American Anthropologist, 1908. Vol. 10 (1):48-59.
Francis W. Kelsey, author of “Some Archeological Forgeries from Michigan” is attempting to expose fraudulent Native American artifacts and their creator. Kelsey is concerned that these spurious artifacts are doing harm to the integrity of the art market as their sale continues. His article is a public statement denouncing the validity of the items and their seller so as to keep the integrity of real archeological finds intact. Kelsey is making his objections public because in 1908 archeological forgery was not a crime, and so Kelsey is suggesting in his paper that the government should work toward the prevention of the sale of fraudulent artifacts in the art market.
The items were ‘found’ in Montcalm County, Michigan in 1890. An area that was covered by trees had been stripped and afterward the ground looked hilly, similar to the way that genuinely created earthen mounds looked. The first person to have ‘found’ an artifact in that area was undoubtedly the forger, but since that area of Michigan was so sparsely populated, the authenticity of the man’s find could not be challenged. So, a rumor spread that Native American artifacts were being uncovered, and soon the initial ‘discoverer’ was selling the objects to art collectors who couldn’t see that they were fake. The forger even went so far as to draw up documents of authenticity signed by ‘witnesses’ of the find.
It was surprising that so many art collectors could not tell the difference because the items in question were so crudely designed and produced; according to Kelsey, they were easily identifiable as fakes to any archeologist upon first glance. Their flawed characteristics include ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, cuneiform characters and Christian biblical motifs. Also, the material composition of the items included lightly colored, unbaked clay combined with drift sand, making them fragile. Kelsey said that the items would have immediately disintegrated if introduced to water; e.g., they could only have been in the ground for a short time before they were dug out. However, many collectors and followers of the story refused to believe that the items were fake, because of the exciting implications of finding Old World designs on New World artifacts.
Eventually these enthusiasts conceded that they were phony, but even eighteen years later similar pieces were still being sold out of Detroit. Apparently it was the work of the same forger who had improved on his technique, but was still using the same Old World designs and writing. Kelsey reveals the identity of the forger as “James O. Scotford, a sign painter, who formerly lived in Montcalm County…now living in Detroit.” Kelsey says that since the FDA had recently been instituted to control the purity of food and drugs, then hope remains that one day the government will form another organization to prevent the sale and manufacture of unauthentic artifacts. However, until that day arrived, Kelsey and his colleagues would be the only authorities on the authenticity of archaic Native American art.
KRISTINA GIOVANNI Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
Kroeber, A. L. Notes on the Ute Language. American Anthropologist January-March, 1908 Vol.10(1): 74-87.
The author’s objective is to explain and give examples of the Ute language, which usually consist of sounds that are not full and clear to other languages. Vowels in the Ute language are barely articulated, the letter “l” is lacking, and “v” and “s” resemble each other. The list of things lacking in the Ute language extends about a page in the article before the author begins to give several examples of Ute pronunciation and sound variance. These include vowels that are nasal sounding, especially a” and o”, and final vowels that are barely articulated (p.74). Kroeber continues to give examples of the use of noun-suffixes, which are -p, -v, -tc, possessive pronouns, verbs, and a continuous array of examples. The author makes note that the third person is rare in the Ute language, and found in only in a few cases, usually with objective meaning (p.76). Kroeber also translates many Ute words to their closest English meaning and provides several pages of Ute words with translations. Several examples of this are puni-ke, which means look, see, or pa-intce, which means away from the water. The author concludes that the Ute language is a phonetic system that contains obscure sounds, usually sounds unpronounceable or difficult to make in other languages
“Notes on the Ute Language” is a difficult read for anyone who has not already studied the language or read other books pertaining to it. The author is not very clear in his descriptions of the language and his examples are difficult to follow. It is not an article I would recommend for anyone beginning research into the Ute. I would recommend re-reading the article several times, once may not be enough to grasp a clear understanding of the author’s intent.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
SHANNA CRUMMEL Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Kroeber, Henriette Rothschild Pima Tales American Anthropologist April-June, 1908 Vol.10(2):231-235
This article is an account of two Pima stories: The Creation of the World, and The Man Changed To An Eagle. The first tale explains the beginnings of life; it starts out with Djivut Maka, Earth Medicine-man, who takes on the form of a butterfly, and is all alone. He decides to create the world, so he will not be so alone. Djivut Maka travels under the sea and grabs some mud, then he throws it up into the air, and the mud stays up upon the sea, creating land. Soon after he makes land he creates birds, flowers, trees, animals, and insects. Then he creates man by forming mud into the shape of a man, and saying: ” In four days you shall be alive.” (231). Four days later the Pimas and the Apaches are the first men in the world. The tale goes on explaining that Pimas and Apapches are enemies because in the beginning they tried to talk to each other, but could not understand one another. Later in time there is a flood. Djivut Maka makes a boat because he knows about the flood; only Djivut Maka, his son, a coyote, and a woodpecker survive the flood. So Djivut Maka has to make man again. These new men learn everything from Maka, and become almost as smart as he. Soon Makas’ son Sioho becomes jealous and brings a sickness over the new men, killing many. So the people kill Sioho, and four years later Sioho comes back to life and tells them this: “that some day there would be another flood.” (233).
The next story is a shorter story and tells the tale of a man who does not have a home, yet desired to marry a girl. This girl though did not want to marry the man, so her father told her to make a drink out of eagle feathers and give it to the man when she saw him next. She did just that and the man turned into an eagle and began to kill the people in the villages. Djivut Maka’s son was sent to try to kill the eagle; he went to the nest to hide as a fly until the eagle fell asleep. Then while the eagle was sleeping he cut the its head off. Then the dead men that the eagle killed were bathed in boiled water, and came back to life. Some who were killed earlier forgot where their homes were, and went to the east to live, and from then on that is where the white people settled, off in the east.
These two short stories read quickly, are easy to follow, and are intriguing. The tales gives the reader an insight on how the Pimas view the world, and explain the past. The stories are full of symbolism and parallelism and can be quite useful to compare with other tales from different cultures.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
HEATHER MCISAAC Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
MacCurdy, George Grant. Some Recent Paleolithic Discoveries. American Anthropologist October-December, 1908 Vol. 10(4):634-643.
In 1903, archaeologists discovered a station, believed to be of the Mousterian age, in the Alps in Switzerland. Human remains and artifacts were found. This station is at the site of a pilgrimage chapel, Wildkirchli, founded by a priest in 1621. It is at an altitude of 1477 to 1500 meters; and altitude which archaeologists believe was encased in a glacier during Mousterian times. How could human beings have survived in that location?
The author uses anthropological knowledge of prehistoric tool-making as evidence that the find, indeed, of the Mousterian age. Citing altitudes of European glacial epochs, the author shows how the occupation of this site must have been during an interglacial epoch when climatic conditions were similar to those of the present. Dating of the find suggests that its occupation was during the time of the Wurm glaciation. However, the snow line was at 1200 meters during that time¾300 meters lower than Wildkirchli. The next glacial epoch was the Buhl epoch when the snow line was at 1500 meters. During this epoch, however, different types of flora and fauna are known to have existed than those found at Wildkirchli. The conclusion that archaeologists have drawn is that the occupation had to have been prior to the Wurm glacial period or during the Riss-Wurm interglacial period.
This article is sufficiently detailed to answer the question of human survival at Wildkirchli during the Mousterian age. Though it is on the technical side, it is easy to read and quite engaging.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
SHERRY BRUMGARD Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Mason, Otis T. Mind and Matter in Culture American Anthropologist April-June, 1908 Vol.10(2):187-196
The object of this article is to describe the evolution of culture as a function of inventions made by man, over time. The author discusses six classes of human activities: language, industries, esthetic arts, social activities, knowledge, and creeds and cults, in their relatedness to each other, the nature of man, and how they develop over time. According to Mason, culture is “all the artificialities of human life…the history of man recorded in the work of his hands” (187). Each of the activities discussed exists for and with the others, and these associations become more complex as the culture in which they exist advances.
Mason argues that culture is created first and foremost through invention. Advancement of invention leads to advancement of culture, and advancement of culture leads to advancement of invention. “The mind’s victories (are) written by invention” (196). These advancements are seen in a positive light. Changes produced from earliest times to the present (1908), “move from: naturism to artificialism, simplicity to complexity, clumsiness to delicacy and beauty, waste to economy, (and) discomfort to comfort” (192-193). The bias is clearly one of progress and the natural order of man to better his own situation.
The author uses a survey of the six classes of activities and shows how they progress as the culture becomes more complex. He also discusses how forces of nature have been utilized and then replaced by the forces or power of mans invention, and the progress of that invention. The order he cites goes from: “man power (to), fire power, beast power, wind power, water power, steam power, chemical power, (and on to) electric power” (191).
This somewhat lengthy article clearly indicates a belief in the progressive nature of the evolution of invention and its relationship to the progressive culture of man.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JULIE SCHWARTZ Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Mathews, R. H. Marriage and Descent in the Arranda Tribe, Central Australia American Anthropologist January-March, 1908 Vol.10(1):88-102
R. H. Mathews argues that there is a difference in opinions between ethnologists regarding the line of descent in the Arranda tribe, in Central Australia. The author of this article has reviewed several articles on the subject at hand, by various other authors, and contests that the method of reasoning and the theories proposed are incorrect and thus unacceptable. Over twelve years of study, R. H. Mathews has put forward his correct [my emphasis] methodology and observations of the Arranda Tribe in Central Australia to prove that the line of descent is counted as matrilineal. R. H. Mathews publishes his article to present his findings and views to American ethnologists.
Reverend Louis Schulze was a man who studied the laws of marriage and descent in the Arranda tribe in about 1877 at a mission station. The results of his endeavors were published and presented the descent of lineage to be of paternal origin. R. H. Mathews disputes Rev. L. Schulze’s work stating that, “he does not give a reason why it is an evidence of ‘paternal descent’” (95).
Men that have resided in the Arranda tribe for years were the source of Mathews information, which he collected by having these men respond to various forms of inquiry during various times over a span of twelve years. R. H. Mathews combines his observations and findings with those of Reverend Louis Schulze in the form of various tables of intermarrying sections. These different tables are representative of different and smaller tribes within the Arranda tribe. R. H. Mathews points out that there are, at first, four intermarrying divisions and when combined with a different local, the number rises to eight intermarrying divisions in the society of the Arranda tribe. Intricate comparisons between different sections of intermarrying divisions are used to strengthen R. H. Mathew’s idea of matrilineal descent throughout the tribes. It becomes more difficult when Mathews introduces the ideas of “tabular” and “alternative” marriages. It is discussed that the offspring of a married couple can take either the father’s father’s name or the mother’s mother’s name, but ultimately the decent is of matrilineal origin. Mathews comments, referring to a “tabular” marriage, “In fact, in every tribe I know possessing female descent, all over Australia, the child takes the name of the father’s father” (96). Mathews also comments near the conclusion of his article that, “From what has been said in the foregoing pages there is no doubt in my mind that descent is counted through the mother” (98).
Although this article was very informative, it was confusing. Understandably so, much detail needs to be presented in trying to prove a point, especially when trying to figure out who came from where in family lineages. It was frustrating to try to keep up with who was who and where they fit into a specific table, and then having to flip back and fourth to find them in the correct table of reference. At times it seemed that Mathews was rambling on about who was so-and-so’s mother or father and made it difficult to realize that it was an important point and not an insignificant one.
SARAH M. LITTLE Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Mathews, R. H. Sociology of the Chingalee Tribe, Northern Australia. American Anthropologist, April- June 1908 Vol. 10(2):281-285
Mathews begins by referencing his previous work in Southern Australia, addressing intermarriage among the Chingalee tribe. He reveals that among his various informants, there were inconsistencies or differences in the names that were provided between members of the tribes being investigated. Mathews therefore seeks to examine the origin of names given to tribe members during different stages/initiation processes of life, namely before and after puberty, marriage and the preceding polygamous marriages that followed. Mathews also sets out to ascertain marriage patterns within tribal members (“endogamy”) and outside of tribal members (“exogamy”). Attempts to solve this problem are done through the collection and analysis of various accounts that were taken for him by unnamed residents living within the tribal regions.
A table of names is then presented exhibiting masculine and feminine name changes before and after puberty. Mathews also goes on to refer to tables written in his previous articles stating the familial theories within the males in a tribe. He then determines that the collected information is still inconsistent thereby concluding that the names contain an uncertain origin or pattern. Finally with the help of ethnographers Spencer and Gillen, the bulk of the article reveals Mathews’s understanding of the names given to children in different moieties (sub-tribal affiliations).
Mathews concentrates his efforts on determining the familial patterns between the Willitji and Liartji moieties. According to Mathews, the names of the children are primarily indicative of which polygamous marriage (“wife number”) the mother was involved in. He establishes that if the mother were the first or the second wife, the child would receive a name through paternal linage. Consequently if the mother were the third or fourth wife, the child would receive a name through maternal linage. As a final point, Mathews affirms that his studies only allow a glimpse of understanding in tribal affiliations between men and women and that exogamy between tribes does not exist.
GOLDA E. LIGUTAM Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
McGuire, Joseph D. Ethnological and Archeological Notes on Moosehead Lake, Maine American Anthropologist October-December, 1908 Vol.10(4)549-561
The author’s objective is to describe the extent to which the Abnaki tribe inhabited the area round Moosehead Lake, Maine, and to detail the implements that they left behind. The ancestry of the Abnaki is briefly summarized including the areas that many inhabitants had once occupied. Much more detail is given on the origin and apparent uses of stone artifacts that have been left behind by the Abnaki. Extensive study was done to determine where these stone pieces originated from in hopes of better understanding the life and boundaries of the diverse people who once inhabited this region.
McGuire details the composition and apparent uses of over 400 stone pieces collected along the beaches around the area. Though “of four hundred specimens picked up, all but four are of rhyolite,” (552) the implements seem to serve a wide variety of uses. Most of the specimens exhibit some sort of man made alteration causing the functionality of these implements to include awls, hammer stones, anvils, knives, projectile points, scrapers, and even “personal fetishes of their owners” (560) such as protection from harm or “bringing good fortune in the hunt or in war.” (560) Many pictures are also included for easy reference and comparison throughout the article. The author to draw limited conclusions on the lifestyle of the Abnaki uses these artifacts.
The author accomplishes his objectives in this relatively short and clearly understandable article.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
PATRICK HICKEY Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Merriam, C. Hart. Totemism in California. American Anthropologist October-December 1908 Vol.10(4):558-562
Merriam’s objective is to discuss totemism among California Indians, since this subject has not been previously observed. The author points out that, “totemism not only exists in California, but it is rather widely prevalent; it is present in many tribes” (558). Merriam lists three degrees and phases of totemism. They are (1) non-hereditary individual totem, (2) hereditary patriarchal totem, and (3) hereditary matriarchal clan totem. The author notes that, “in California, the totem is always an object in nature-usually an animal, but sometimes a tree or rock” (558).
Among different tribes, totemism is a form of religion because it is an important factor in the conduct of the people. Every tribe views totemism in its own way. For example among, “the Southern Mewuk, it governs marriage and choice of partners in games, and also determines the placing and treatment of visitors…” (559). The Northern Mewuk do not have any social restrictions.
Totemism among the Middle and the Southern Mewuk is hereditary, passed down from father to child. A mother’s totem is not carried down. For example, “if the father is a Deer, all the children are Deer” (559). The Northern Mewuk are individuals, not hereditary. For example, “the father may be a Bear, the son a Gray Tree squirrel” (559).
The author describes how one finds his or her totem. When a young person reaches puberty, he or she must go off in the forest alone without food. While in the forest the child wanders for a long period, sometimes weeks. After some time has passed, he falls asleep and, “he sees the animal he came from; it or its spirit comes to him and brings him food”. (559). The child goes home, and waits for the animal to appear again.
The object of nature differs for each tribe. The Northern Mewuk’s totem may be a tree, rock, or an animal, or one tree, the Black Oak. The Middle and Southern Mewuk’s totems may be an animal or a tree, not a rock. The tree category consists of only the Black Oak and the Sugar Pine. Also the people group of each tribe may differ. The author classifies two types of people groups, one is the waterside and the other is the landside. These two groups are classified by “the names of characteristic land and water animals” (560). For example, a deer is classified as a land animal, while a frog is classified as a water animal.
The third degree of totemism, the hereditary matriarchal clan totem, depicts a lineage where the mother instead of the father carries the totem. The author noted early in the article that, “some ethnologists would restrict the use of the term totemism to the class of cases ordinarily known as clan totemism” (558). The Kosh-shó-o tribe of the Southern Sierra foothills followed this degree of totemism.
This article was very interesting and informative. All of the author’s objectives were covered in detail and straight to the point. It mentioned three types of totemism and gave information on all three. It also gave some history of totemism and how it originated.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JENINE CLEMENTS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Montgomery, Henry Prehistoric Man in Manitoba And Saskatchewan American Anthropologist January-March, 1908 Vol.10(1):33-40
This article interprets a sample of the cultural mounds found in the Manitoba and Saskatchewan areas of Canada during July, August, and September of 1907. Montgomery compares conditions of skeletal remains and artifacts of mounds represented here, hoping to attribute distinctive finds to a known indigenous group.
Although differences may be found within separate mounds, some similarities are evident. Twelve mounds were excavated during this study. Human remains were prevalent, along with shell spoons, shell beads, earthenware pots, stone pipes and discs, and bone needles. Certain mounds contained up to three burial pits.
Montgomery examines aspects of each mound. A mound found in Manitoba yielded three artifact-rich burial pits, which reveal much about indigenous life. Archaeologists found a human skeleton and urn-shaped earthenware vessels with spiral grooving on the outside and lip. The second burial pit closely resembled the first, although it contained both an adult and child skeleton. The third held incomplete remains and a different type of pottery than found in previous pits. These urns had vertical incisions on the body and lip instead of the previous spiral grooves. Other nearby mounds included added burial finds and examples of catlinite pipes, butchered deer antlers, shell, wooden poles, and spiral-grooved pottery similar to the previous mound.
Adjacent mounds suggest an earlier period of occupancy. Mounds found in this group have no evidence of pipes or pottery, and except for the fourth mound, contain no man-made specimens. Most skeletons found have been in mass graves, with dramatically fractured long bones, indicating an attempt to fit as many skeletons as possible in the smallest area. Buffalo skulls and bones were located a few feet above the surface of the mound. Montgomery suggests the freshness of the bones, in comparison to the first mound, denotes a later occupation.
Two other mound groups found were described as having similar finds. A Campbell beach mound mirrored the second mound group. Skeletal remains were badly broken and interred in large numbers without man-made paraphernalia. A mound near Mud River supported information found in the first set of mounds.
One remaining mound found in Saskatchewan produced a skeleton, pipes, and artifacts that were similar to those in earlier mounds. Besides traces of copper alloy and changes in soil composition, remains of a design of boulders radiating from the mound were found.
Montgomery suggests an average height of about six feet in the adult male population. By studying the skeletal and cultural remains, the author hopes to associate the mounds to the Sioux, Cree, or Chippewa, but found it impossible to prove. However, there was enough substantiation to connect the finds to a section of the Mississippi mound builders.
Well organized in spite of the abundance of information presented, this article is easy to understand and quickly read.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
STEPHANIE SMITH Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Montgomery, Charles J. Survivors From The Cargo of the Negro Slave Yacht Wanderer. American Anthropologist October – December 1908 Vol.10(4):611-623.
The author’s objective is to describe a background to the slave yacht Wanderer, and then to describe the origin, language, and customs of the survivors of the voyage. The author dates the yacht to 1858, which was approximately fifty years after the prohibition of importing slaves to the United States was established. When “representatives of the United States Government” seized the yacht after it had landed on the coast of Georgia, all of the “cargo” of the ship had already been bought or else dispersed, therefore sealing their fate as slaves. Punishment for importing slaves at the time was punishable by confiscating the ship, while the owner and the crew were treated with impunity.
The author does document some of the remaining survivors from the Wanderer forty-seven years later, and attempts to piece together their exact origins in Africa. By comparing skin color, language, and face-to-face interviews, the author deduced that they had not come from any one particular tribe, but rather from differing tribes from differing parts of Africa. When it was mentioned that the slaves were both black and a “gingerbread color”, the author referred to Dr. Livingstone’s encounter with a “coffee and milk” colored people in the interior of South Africa, and posited that some of the lighter colored slaves may have came from that same interior. Also, since the author noted that the passengers did not understand the languages of the others on the ship that they must have necessarily came from differing parts of Africa.
Also, the author generalizes similar traits of the slaves as a whole to piece together a raw idea of how life in Africa is set apart from life in America. By claiming that “it was difficult to make them wear clothing”, “Africans would not steal or pilfer”, polygamy was “universal”, and that they “had a distinct idea of a Supreme Being”, the author creates a commonality between all the slaves. The commonalties between slaves in this article, coupled with a brief description of the nuances of the individual tribes illustrate the author’s vision of African lifestyles and customs.
This article, although clearly dated and filled with personal bias, is a very smooth, enjoyable read, and provides the reader with a keen insight into the very beginnings of our understandings of the people of Africa.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
KEVIN BULGER Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Moorehead, Warren K. Ruins at Aztec and on the Rio La Plata, New Mexico American Anthropologist April-June, 1908 Vol.5(2):255-263
This article is a description of an expedition through the San Juan country in northern New Mexico in the spring of 1892. The author, along with a civil engineer and two assistants, surveyed the ruins at Aztec for about two weeks. There were two major buildings, with a small one between and several others near by. Moorehead described the smaller buildings as being constructed of bowlders, which are distinguished from construction of quarried stone. In the center of the pueblo lies a large kiva surrounded on all sides by a series of small rooms. The first two stories of the western ruin were intact, but the upper stories had all but collapsed. Moorehead determined that the original height was probably four stories.
The team discovered that the soft stone used in the walls was obtained from a distance of about two miles by way of a trail or road. Numerous broken axes, stone hammers, and other quarrying tools were found on the site.
The ancient occupants of these structures irrigated hundreds of acres of land. Traces of ditches showed that there was a main canal from which smaller ditches were dug to individual garden beds.
Among the most interesting art objects found were small, delicately formed arrowpoints chipped from obsidian, jasper, moss-agate, and flint. The team also discovered pottery, some containing animal bones and knives.
At one point on the mesa they discovered pieces of human bone and surmised that the area was an ancient burial ground. An excavation uncovered an adult skeleton buried in a sitting posture along with some pottery and a flint knife. They discovered many more graves directly across the river.
A peculiar discovery was that of a shaft fourteen inches square and about eight feet deep. The shaft turned at a right angle in the direction of the central ruin, but was filled with earth and stones. They did not discover what the purpose of the shaft was, but Moorehead states that it could not have been a chimney because there was no evidence of smoke.
This article is easy to read and very interesting, however there is a lack of detail due to the short time of the expedition and the limited amount of excavating allowed by the landowner.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JUSTIN LEBIECKI Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Morley, Sylvanus G. The Excavation of the Cannonball Ruins in Southwestern Colorado. American Anthropologist, October-December, 1908 Vol. 10(4): 596-610.
Morley analyzes the archaeological record of the Cannonball Ruins, a group of two pueblos on opposite sides of Cannonball Canyon in southwest Colorado, near the Anasazi site of Mesa Verde. These rim-rock dwellings are found at the edge of the mesa, which the author suggests creates a natural defense system against attack. A further look at the architecture of the site suggests an adaptability to the surrounding harsh environment.
Focusing primarily on the archaeology of the southern smaller pueblo, Morley outlines the details of the site, including evidence of irrigational systems, overall size, room configuration, possible correlation between population and site growth (a conclusion based on ethnographic data), ceremonial practices involving the use of kivas (circular ceremonial rooms) and sipapus (ceremonial entrances to the underworld), masonry materials and techniques, etc. Furthermore, Morley examines and analyzes the artifact assemblage associated with the pueblo. A collection which he feels is typical of a “primitive people”, such as stone axes, manos and matates (corn grinders), pottery, bone awls and needles, as well as various other types of worked stone. He also gives measurements and defining characteristics of eight complete and partial skeletons found at the site.
In his conclusion, Morley then reiterates the importance of the ceramics and architecture of the southwest people, two practices which he feels are their highest development. He also stresses the importance of bringing ethnographic data together with the archaeological record in order to fully understand the tradition and ancient lifeways of the ancient inhabitants of the southwest. However, while Morley organizes and presents his information clearly and concisely, it falls short in the fact that he never actually set out to prove a specific hypothesis, and thus does not take the information garnered from the archaeological record any farther than mere presentation of fact with a small amount of ethnographic interpretation.
ASHLEY DAILIDE Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
North, Arthur. The Native Tribes of Lower California. American Anthropologist April-June,1908 Vol.10(2):236-250
The author’s objective in this article is to inform the reader about who the first inhabitants of Lower California were. Many believe the Native American tribes were. In this article Arthur explains how in 1534 Hernan Cortes came and discovered this peninsula and encountered Native American Indians who did not want him or his people there. They strange and savage to Cortes who was European, and to his people. As a result, European missionaries came in to colonize the Native Americans. However, the Indians were hard to govern and the missionaries soon came to look at them as ungodly, quick-tempered creatures. In turn, the Europeans made an effort to exterminate the Indians by the spread of diseases such as small pox and malaria so that they could take over their land. By the nineteenth century there were only five thousand Indians left and in 1534 when Cortes came, there were twenty five thousand. The author called this the disappearance of the Baja Indians. Following this story he poses the thought that this land was occupied prior to the Native Americans. He gives evidence that there were people before the Indians who were bigger and less barbarous. He then explains that though the Native American Indians are more talked about and known throughout history, there is evidence of somewhat unknown inhabitants before them that he explains.
The author makes the point that the Native Americans of Lower California were colonized and treated wrongly. He explains the tribes’ distinctions according to location and how much land they occupied before the Europeans came. Some of these tribes include the Guiracus of the North, the cochimos of the Loreto region, and the Limonies, among many others. Remnants of their culture are still very much alive and displayed through artifacts, stories, pictures, and existing members of their tribes.
Because there are so many stories about these people, many have never thought about there being inhabitants before the Native Americans. There are no pictures and not as many artifacts or stories about people preceding them. And most of all there are no people living that came from the preceding time period to explain or tell their stories. But there are petroglyphs in Lower California, which have been found on high cliffs throughout the peninsula. The petroglyphs have jeroglificos which are characters and successive sets which represent the feelings, directions, and symbols of the inhabitants preceding. Some include guideposts of ancient people and crosses to dispel evil. These are huge figures, some more than four feet wide. This leads one to believe these people were of great stature and height. To carve in such huge and high cliffs they must have been bigger and much stronger than the Indians. Also there have been bones found from this time, which were inhabited by men of disproportionate size. Therefore the author concludes that there were inhabitants before the Native Americans who were less barbarous and larger which occupied this land.
The author accomplishes his objectives in this long and interesting article but it is at times hard to understand. You have to pay close attention to the article.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
KRISTEN WOLOSZYN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Simms, S.C. Bontoc Igorot Games. American Anthropologist. June, 1908 Vol.10:563-567
The author’s objective is to examine the games of the Bontoc Igorot children. He explains that in this particular society, the children play many different games. He begins by stating the two major games. The first game would be played by three naked girls, usually around twelve years old. During the game, the three would go back to back in a triangle and stand on their hands and heads. After many failed attempts, they accomplish their goal and one of the girls begins to sing. The other girls join in the singing. The song goes on for several verses until the girls are too tired to go on. Boys play a very different game. The author describes the boys game a “combat with missiles of mud and earth (page 565).” With amazing accuracy nearly thirty young men and boys throw balls or mud and clay. The men have a large mud fight on the flat field where their society harvested their rice. Many of the participants do not use any protection, but the young boys use shields made especially for the occasion. Often, one side would begin losing so participants switched teams. This occurred a couple of times before the game ended.
The author also explains many other minor games played by the children. Some of the young men played a kicking game. This entailed a fight using only the powerful force of the foot. Spinning tops was another popular game played by the young boys of this group. The tops were made of wood and had flat heads and an abnormal body with a sharp spinning end. The abnormal body was fat at top and went to a point at the bottom. The tops were spun quickly with a piece of string. Two boys would spin their tops and try to knock their opponents top over. “Simple games, such as blowing out a lighted candle, when blindfolded, was also played” (567). Overall, the Bontoc Igorot games are very small in number.
The author accomplished his objective in this short, but interesting piece. Many of the games that he speaks about are very interesting.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
ADAM COHEN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Sinclair, A.T. Tattooing – Oriental and Gypsy. American Anthropologist July-September 1908 Vol.10(3): 361-386.
“The most impressive point, perhaps, is that the art is spread over nearly the whole of the known world and is similar everywhere” (386). Sinclair’s problem with the subject of tattooing is that there are so many unanswered questions about a topic he feels has strong importance and interest within many cultures. The Gypsy culture above all were the primary artists in tattooing dating back to early times, and Sinclair’s overall concern is to help shed light on a portion of history he feels has been overlooked. He bases his research around unanswered inquiries such as “How long have Gypsies been tattooing? Did they bring any peculiar designs, processes or tattooing customs with them?” (361).
Sinclair’s evidence is laid out in a geographically ordered style. He presents first hand information and groups his data by regions of the world. The author not only writes accounts of tattooing across the world, but he also describes the practice, devices, and meanings of tattoos.
The author collects his data in various ways. Some of his approaches include surveying and statistics. One area of Sinclair’s research deals with sailors in western/civilized nations, who are tattooed. In this instance uses surveys to predict the percentage of tattooed sailors. Another approach Sinclair takes is to travel across the world and interview tattooed and non-tattooed individuals. With dialogues from both parties, Sinclair gains a more valid explanation of tattooing than if he had only talked with one variable group.
Because the author does not have an actual objective other than providing information to help gain an understanding of the history of tattooing, Sinclair fulfills his purpose. Sinclair’s essay presents an enormous amount of detailed information dealing with the relations of origins, devices, cultural values, and religious affiliations, of tattoos.
Because Sinclair writes this article at a time when there is barely any information on tattooing, it is understandable why he feels the need to present his extensive amount of information. The vocabulary and sentence structure makes this essay easy to follow. Unless the reader is fully interested in acquiring an extensive amount of information on this subject of tattooing, it may seem lengthy and repetitive, although easy to read at the same time.
SUSIE CAIN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Swanton R., John The Language of the Taensa American Anthropologist January-March, 1908 Vol.10(1):25-32
The language of the Taensa was originally stated by three early French travelers, to be the same as that spoken by the Natchez. Parisot later published materials opposing this original thought in 1880, 1881, and 1882. He published more material the following year from the same source as his first publication. These publications were received without question and added as true to American linguistics. Upon further review, Parisot’s publications were shown to lack proper credentials with one reason being original manuscripts could not be produced.
Two possible ways were constructed to obtain proper evidence that the Taensa and the Natchez spoke the same language. The first was to discover a person on Taensan descent who could remember some of the language. The one old woman found could not recall but a word or two and this was not sufficient evidence. The second possibility yielded proper results. This possibility was to find original letters from any of the three early French travelers. Two of the travelers, De Montigny and St Cosme, had recorded encounters with both the Taensa and the Natchez. De Montigny recalled a time while traveling with two Taensa and visiting the Natchez in which he would have abundant opportunity to hear them converse. St Cosme stated in a letter regarding the Taensa that “it is necessary to try to draw them to the Natchez, the languages being the same”. The conclusion of this evidence is clear that the Taensa and the Natchez spoke the same language.
The evidence collected by Swanton is laid out in a manner which is easy to follow and understand. He is straightforward in the history of how the evidence became public. This article was easy to read and the point easy to see.
KELLY MARCIKIC Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Willoughby, Charles C. Wooden Bowls of the Algonquian Indians American Anthropologist July-September, 1908 Vol.10(3):423-434
Quality craftsmanship is demonstrated in the few wooden bowls and utensils that have been found in old collections and preserved through Indian families. These relics compile a considerable proportion of the household utensils that are seen throughout the Algonquian area. The distribution of these wooden utensils throughout several different tribes is comparatively common in the northeastern United States. Although the author does not offer an argument, he strives to highlight the distribution, quality, variety, and uses of the wooden bowls and utensils crafted by the Algonquian Indians.
The author makes use of several different works of literature to focus on the distribution of the wooden bowls and utensils. Many of the utensils have been found among the Virginia Indians, New England Indians, Delawares and Iroquois Indians and also among the Illinois Indians. The occurrence of wooden utensils within these tribes primarily came about through the process of trading or by learning from the Algonquians the process of constructing the utensils. This would explain the similarities between the pieces of wooden utensils found throughout the region.
Willoughby comments on the classification of these wooden utensils falling into three classes- bowls, platters, spoons or ladles. Each of these classes has its own distinctive marks and uses, which are illustrated in the form of pictures and drawings. He vaguely touches upon the detail and uses of both spoons and platters and focuses most of the article on the Algonquian wooden bowls. He describes several different wooden bowls, which are presented in the form of pictures and drawings, and commences to explain the highlighted bowl in great detail. Descriptions include the type of wood, diameter, probable use, different cracks and holes the bowl has acquired over the years and how they are fastened, what type of tool fashioned the vessel, location the bowl is likely to have come from and in whose possession the bowl is at the present time. A number of the selected bowls happen to have different carvings of animal heads on the handles, while others have a plain circular shape with little or no ornamentation. A few bowls were completely fashioned into a replica of an animal. Although there is no conclusive evidence, the author states the probable use was for ceremonial purposes. Many of the pieces had inscriptions written or carved into the vessel. These inscriptions served as authenticity of the piece. Charles C. Willoughby comments that many of the pieces that have been placed in a museum do little justice to the authentic artistic quality of native work. “They [Non-Native bowls] have a clumsy appearance however, when compared with native work: their walls are proportionately thicker and they lack the pleasing outlines and variety of design shown by the better class of Indian bowls” (426).
It is clear that the author is making a point to highlight the quality craftsmanship that went into the construction of the wooden utensils of the Algonquian Indians. The article made it difficult to decipher if the author was basing this article on his own findings or summing-up the work of others. The author’s descriptions were detailed yet concise, making this article easy to read and understand.
SARAH M. LITTLE Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Wissler, Clark Ethnographical Problems of the Missouri Saskatchewan Area American Anthropologist April-June, 1908 Vol.10(2):197-207
This article focuses on the many problems that prevent anthropologists from learning more about the Missouri Saskatchewan area. The author focuses on all areas of culture from music to food. He also mentions topics like housing structures and the use of dogs and horses in the area. All of these factors can help anthropologists piece together the history and origins of this large area of land. That is where the problems come in. The first is that the land area that is being studied is extremely large covering areas from Arkansas, Mississippi, and all the way up to Canada. Also the Great Lakes area is mentioned in the article. Having such a large area can make studying difficult because there is such a large area to visit and collect artifacts as well as interview those who are residing there at the time. Wissler also discussed the numerous tribes of people that lived and or live in this area. There were so many different tribes that he was trying to study and each tribe has its own separate history and culture. These were the main two problems that the article focused on. Numerous other problems branch off from these.
Some of the tribes that are mentioned are Caddoan, Wichita, Arikara, Siouan, Crow, Algonkian, and Shoshonian. There is a lot of information about what area each of these tribes came from and occupied. Wissler mentions that some of the groups no longer reside in the area. He gives descriptions of the different terrains and the differences in the land in which these people live. Another problem that is mentioned often is the problem of language. Most of the tribes have different languages and some of the tribes are so small that Wissler is afraid that the languages will die out before they can be fully learned and studied. Modes of transportation are another problem. Depending on the area the way that people traveled could determine many different things about their history and it is difficult to obtain information about how they live. A small part of the article was dedicated to art, music, and pottery.
The article was trying to cover a lot of information about an extremely large and diverse area. The author is unable to go into too much detail about a few specific things but instead he tries to cover too much. This article was difficult to read because he kept switching from one tribe or area to the next and it was difficult to follow at times.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
AMY KROON Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)