American Anthropologist 1911
Arthur, Parker C. Additional Notes on Iroquois Silversmithing. American Anthropologist. 1911 Vol. 13: 283-293
This article by Arthur Parker is in addition to an earlier article he wrote, The Origin of Iroquois Silversmith. This article is primarily about brooches made by the Iroquois. Parker traces the European brooch from the burial mounds of East Yorkshire to Scotland and reviews the different styles of brooches made and the significance of the designs. Parker also believes that the Iroquois wore some of the brooches as national badges, (these are illustrated in the article). Parker goes into detail comparing the brooches the Iroquois made and the brooches the Scottish made and finds many similarities between them. The things Parker looks at carefully are the shape (for example squares, triangles and hearts) and engravings on the brooches to make comparisons. In conclusion Parker believes that purely native patterns are extremely rare and the occasional example is seldom found to be.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
COLIN COOPER York University (Naomi Adelson)
Blake, Frank R. Philippine Literature American Anthropologist July-September 1911 Vol.13(3):449-457
This article discusses the types of literature that have been written in various native Philippine languages. Blake describes the Philippines as being broken down into three different tribes of people, pagan tribes, the Mohammedan Moros, and the Christian tribes. Each tribe has its own language; some that are written, but most are only spoken. Blake gives examples of literature from each of the tribes and some brief background information on each.
Blake begins with the pagan tribes and explains how most of their languages are not written. Many of the works of literature of these people are written in Roman type and most of the authors are missionaries that have tried to convert them. Therefore most of the literature of this area focuses on religion as the main subject.
Next, Blake discusses the Moro people who have two main languages that are used in their area, Sulu and Magindanaw. These languages have both Malay and Arabic origins. The first Moro writings are in manuscript form and cover such subjects as, Historical annals, legal codes, religion, and fictional stories. Most all of the Moro books are written by Moros, unlike the pagan tribes whose books are written by missionaries.
The final people are the Christian tribes of the Philippines. They had different native languages before the Spanish conquest of the 16th century but these were not written and are mostly forgotten. There are some works that were published in native languages however, such as Tagalog and Bisayan. The works that are written in these languages are composed in both prose and verse. Blake goes into detail about how these verses were linguistically arranged. The subject that many of these forms of literature focus on is religion. The most popular writings after religion are mythical stories that tell of fights between these tribes and the Moros of the south where the Christian tribes always conquer their enemy in the end. This is a popular theme because of the long history that the Christian tribes have of living in fear of the Moro pirates that would invade their villages. Blake also mentions various other forms of writing that these tribes have such as, newspapers and poetry. This tribe has the most extensive amount of written documents and they branch out to subjects other than religion and history.
I did not find this article to be difficult to follow. It was laid out well and the order was easy to follow. I would recommend this article to a reader looking for information on the various forms of Philippine literature without having to go into too much detail.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
AMY KROON Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Blake, R. Frank. Philippine Literature. American Anthropologist
July-Sept, 1911 Vol. 13 (3):449-457.
This article gives some idea of the extent and character of works in the various Philippine languages. Frank Blake begins by stating the three groups that the native population of the Philippine Islands falls into: the mountain pagan tribes, the Mohammedan Moros, the Christian tribes. Every tribe in each of the different groups has its own language, which is distinct from those of its neighbors. “These languages have produced little or nothing which can claim to be literature in the sense of elegant and artistic writing.” (449) The author states that literature of the Philippine languages is literature only in the broader sense of written speech, and it is in this sense that he uses the term “Philippine Literature.”
Blake goes on to discuss the languages of each group, beginning with the pagan tribes. Few of the languages of this group exist at all in written form. The Tagban was Palawan, an island that stretches from Borneo towards Luzon. The northern neighbors of this island are the Mangyans of Mindoro. The island and its neighbors possess native alphabets, which according to the author are probably not used except for short inscriptions. All other works in the languages of the group are printed in Roman type. They are all practically of a religious character written by missionaries for conversion and religious edification of different pagan tribes. The author concludes discussing the languages of this group by stating that only five languages possess any written monuments and none of them have more than one or two specimens.
The two languages of the Mohammedan tribes are Sulu and Magindanaw. Sulu is mostly spoken in the domains of the Sultan of Sulu, while Magindanaw is the speech of the most powerful tribe on the large island of Mindanao. The Mohammedan tribes are not familiar with printing and therefore their literary monuments all begin in manuscript form. They are written in a slightly modified variety of the Arabic alphabet. Blake classifies their writing into four headings: Historical annals, Legal codes, Religious texts, and Writing of varied character.
The Christian tribes constitute the most important element of the native population . According to Blake this is true because of their numbers and the high degree of civilization to which the group has attained. In the sixteenth century, during the time of the Spanish discovery and conquest, the now christianized Filipinos knew the native alphabets. Because none of these were preserved they were forgotten like the ancient alphabets. Blake lists the number of works published in the various languages of the Christian tribes. Bisayan and Tagalog being at the top, while Batan and Kalamian being at the bottom of the list.
Blake goes on to discussing the Tagalog verse by giving examples. He than discusses and gives examples of romantic and dramatic poems. The article concludes with the authors’ statement that if the Filipinos were destined to ever have a national language in which national literature could be written, that language would by Tagalog.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
DAGMARA ROMANSKA York University (Naomi Adelson)
Bushnell, David I., Jr. New England Names American Anthropologist April-June, 1911 Vol.13(2):235-238
Bushnell is concerned with deciphering a document which was originally found at the British Museum, in London, England, and proving its validity/authenticity. The document is a list of Native American names for the rivers and streams around what was considered the New England area at the time. It also gives the names of different chiefs who resided along the banks of these waterways. The issue at hand is the deciphering of the document, and making a correlation between present day rivers and the ones that are listed within this document. This is due to the names being given in a dialect of Native American language, by an unidentified author, writing at an unspecified time period. Bushnell does however make an educated guess to the time period. He places it at the early to mid 17th century, based on associated documents signed by King Charles I, dated 1639, 1640, and 1644 (235).
Bushnell’s main goal (not necessarily an argument) is to determine which tributaries listed on the document correspond to present day rivers/streams. He is at least half successful in his endeavor. Some of the given names remain unidentifiable with current knowledge and resources, but others he is able to determine. He does this by way of comparing some later explorers’ maps, as well as other maps of the region which bear some (but not all) of the names given in his document. He goes on to conclude that since some of the names are the same, and the locations are in the same place on the maps, that his document must in fact be authentic.
This article was fairly clear in its intent. The writing is of a very old style, so it is a bit confusing at points; however, the general meaning can still be determined. The author’s goal is straightforward, and he goes about achieving it in a timely fashion. It is my opinion that the length of the article is key in getting his point across. By keeping it short and sweet, the reader has less chance of becoming disinterested in the topic.
AGUSTIN PINA Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Bushnell Jr., David I. New England Names. American Anthropologist 1911 Vol. 13: 235-238
This article presents the first concrete evidence of the origins of the names of rivers along New England’s coast, as well as the names of the chiefs whose tribes occupied those coasts. The author of the article speculates that the evidence for the names, that are in the form of a letter, were written in the first half of the seventeenth century, because it was signed by Charles I and includes the dates 1639, 1640, and 1644.
Although, after trying to verify all of the names mentioned in the letter by analyzing maps from that time period, not all were found. Even still, the author believes that enough names of streams, rivers and chiefs were identified to prove the legitimacy of the letter.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
RON SOREANU York University (Naomi Adelson)
Chamberlain, Alexander F. On the Puelchean and Tsonekan (Tehuelchean), the Atacamenan (Atacaman), and Chonoan, and the Charruan Linguistic Stocks of South America American Anthropologist July-September, 1911 Vol.13(3):458-471
In this article, the author is trying to trace the linguistic roots of five Indian languages: the Puelchean, the Tsonekan, the Atacamenan, the Chonoan, and the Charruan. There is major debate and speculation on the origins and kinship of these languages. Puelchean and Tsonekan have been looked at as the same family of speech and often attached to the Araucanian language. Chamberlain sees Puelchean and Tsonekan as independent languages.
Puelchean stock lies in eastern and central Argentina. The affinity of the Indian group, the Puelchets, has been widely disagreed upon. They have been thought to be descendents of the Querandies, the wild Charruas, the Aucanian, and the Tsonekan. One author regarded them as a cross between the Patagonians , the Aruacans, and the Guaycuru. Some saw them as independent. Many more have, incorrectly, classified them as Pampas. Chamberlain lists many books of interest on the subject. He then gives examples of different people who have studied the Puelchean language and their theories of word use and origin, which he does for the following tribes, as well. The name Puelchean, was given to the tribe by neighboring Araucanian, meaning eastern people.
The Tsonekan territory spans the whole of Patagonia from the Rio Negro to the Straits of Magellan. The tribe, once quite large, now has less than 2,000 members. The name, Tehuelche, means southerners in Araucanian.
The Atacamenan and Chonoan languages are probably extinct, though descendents may speak it in small, isolated groups. The Atacamenan lived in the region around Atacama, excluding the southwestern portion. Chamberlain briefly talks of the importance of the Atacaman and the process of the extinction of the language. The Atacamenan name means belonging to, or native of Atacama. The source of the land name, Atacama, is unknown. The Chonoans inhibited the Archipelago of Chonos and the adjacent regions of the Chilean coast. Chamberlain speaks of different missionaries, colonization, and other influences on the language. Chonoan is derived from Chonos as in the Archipelago de Los Chonos. Chono is the name given by the Indians to themselves.
The Charruan’s territory is present-day Uruguay and somewhat beyond. Like the other languages, but to a higher degree, there was debate about the linguistic sources. The meaning of Charruan is disputed. Some possible meanings are my men, hurtful to me, i.e. my enemies, or what mutilated people, a reference to cicatrices and other mutilations.
The author give too many examples of other authors’ theories. In the beginning, it seems his goal is to trace the origins of these languages, but there is no evidence, nor a concrete conclusion. He is making a list and offering possible questions rather than answers.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
SALENA K. KOUNTZ Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Chamberlain, Alexander F. On the Puelchean and Tsonekan (Tehuelchean), the Atacamenan (Atacaman) and Chonoan, and the Charruan Linguistic Stocks of South America. American Anthropologist 1911. Vol. 13: 458-471.
Alexander F. Chamberlain is trying to prove within his work that each linguistic group listed, Puelchean and Tsonekan, Atacamenan and Chonoan, and Charruan are all distinct languages. In addition to that, also trying to be proven is that Puelchean and Tsonekan are two distinct languages of central and eastern Argentina. These hypotheses are supported by numerous bibliographical sources. The work, which is a data article, is divided into three parts. First the Puelchean and Tsonekan languages are discussed, second the Atacamenan and Chonoan language, and last the Charruan language.
Each linguistic group is first described by their location, geographically. The content of each section describing each group is basically an account of the works by many different authors, which are all listed in the bibliography. Each linguistic groups has its own bibliography listed within the specific section. The sources that are most powerful in supporting Chamberlain’s ideas are word lists that have been collected by other researchers. However, there were rarely any full grammatical descriptions given for any of the listed groups.
The main sources that Chamberlain listed to strengthen his research are mostly books, descriptions of findings from other researches expeditions, and small excerpts from other published works. A great deal of the sources are in Spanish, or a language similar to Spanish. All of the works that are listed were used to verify Chamberlain’s point about each of the languages.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
KATIE ZOOK, KYLE FOSKETT, BRIDGET BRENNAN, AARIS JACKSON Northern Illinois University (Giovanni Bennardo)
Chamberlain, Alexander F. The Present State of Our Knowledge Concerning the Three Linguistic Stocks Of the Region Of Terra Del Fuego, South America. American Anthropologist January-March, 1911 Vol.13(1):89-98
The over all argument Chamberlain has put forth here is there is a difference between three culture groups and their languages. Although the language has no written form to support it can truly stand as a language.
The three different languages from Tierra del Fuel are Alikulufan, Onan and Yahganan, all from the same island but with different meanings. There are three different types of linguistic stocks thaat have developed in Terra del Fuego.
The writer is saying he knows these three cultures exist in the same place but it is possible for them to speak different language from each other. It is very common for people who live in the same area to have the same mother language. Language defines a culture and with these cultures having different languages they cannot be classified as the same culture. The Alikukufan, Onan And Yahganan never established a relationship with each other therefore why should their language share the characteristics? The author supports this argument by explaining the Alikulufan are in the northwestern section of the archipelago of Terra del Fuego. The author continues to support his explanation stating the Onan was in the northeen eastern portions of the large island of Terra del Fuego. Finally the Ona occupied the northern and eastern portions of the large state.
The evidence to support this article is substantial enough to provide an idea about the subject. The overall reading takes time to understand and must be picked apart. Although I am still confused, I believe he was trying to explain that these people developed different languages, cultures and should not be grouped together.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
TANEE ELSTON Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Chamberlain, Alexander F. The Present State of our Knowledge Concerning the Three Linguistic Stocks of the Region of Tierra del Fuego, South America. American Anthropologist Month?, 1911 Vol.13 (?):89-98.
Chamberlain’s article discusses the distribution of human languages in the southern extremity of the American continent and the long fringe of the Arctic coast from Labrador to the Pacific. Through his research, Chamberlain discovered that there was only one language spoken by the Eskimo who inhabited parts of Greenland and the Arctic islands. Their language had no distinction, which may be present in other languages. On the South American continent, especially along the region of Tierra del Feugo, there were three distinct linguistic stocks, the Alikulufan, Onan and Yahganan. Further evidence suggest that there may be two other languages that existed in the same area.
In his paper, Chamberlain listed a collection of books written by individuals who were in contact with the people of Tierra del Feugo and documentation of their languages. The Alikulufan people, numbered in the hundreds, occupied the northwestern and western coast of Tierra del Feugo. The early writer Fitz-Roy listed their language as containing 208 words, but no grammatical data was recorded. As sources for his work, Fitz-Roy used four Fuegian’s who were taken to England in 1830 to be studied, but while there one died of small pox and the others were returned to their native land as Charles Darwin began his voyage around the world. The name Onan was known by different variations of the one mentioned. They occupied the northwestern and eastern parts of Tierra del Fuego and numbered around 300. There has been considerable doubt about the origin of their name; however the total vocabulary of each region had reached 112 words. The Yahganan occupied the southern region of Tierra del Fuego and in 1884 their population was listed at 949, since much of their population had died of epidemics. Reverend Thomas Bridges, an Anglican missionary, was said to have influenced their language and is credited with its existence. Early writers such as Haydes and Deniker had noted that 120 words of the Yahganan language were entirely wrong and the numbers 4-9 had never existed in the Yahgan language. Their contributions to the Yahgan language consisted of a French-Yahgan vocabulary, which was classified according to its relation with things from their culture.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
NEKEISHA MOHAMMED York University (Naomi Adelson)
Emmons, G.T. Native Account of the Meeting Between La Perouse and the Tlingit. American Anthropologist. April-June, 1911 Vol. 13(2): 294-298.
The article begins in a setting of an area in the Gulf of Alaska. A glacier created this location, which is now a harsh and turbulent harbor. The unusual conditions of the harbor have attracted great numbers of sea otters, making Lituya (“the lake with in the point”) as the natives refer to it, an ideal hunting ground. Similar to other early cultures, the Tlingit believe in nature having a spirit. The legend of Lituya tells a story of a cliff monster who lives near the entrance to the harbor. He is called Kah Lituya, “the Man of Lituya”. He dislikes all disruption to his habitat and will grab ships with great tidal waves and shake them, often resulting in death by drowning. This legend is portrayed in a carved wooden pipe that has been used during clan assemblies and ceremonies.
In 1786, La Perouse, a French navigator, described this harbor and its shore as a possible port. He also gave a description of the country and its people. As he approached this area his ships were carried in by force and closely missed a wreck. During his stay, two of his ships were lost along with twenty-one men during a reconnaissance mission.
While Emmons was in the area he was told the story that has been passed down by word of mouth, of the ancestors and their first meeting with the white man. In this story they told of two boats being “upset”. Many men drowned after a native man went aboard and did some trading with sailors whom the local people thought were crows sent by Yehlh, their bird creator. Exact dates can be authenticated by Native history because La Perouse was the only navigator to visit the area with large ships and such an occurrence.
The author has achieved his goal of establishing the meeting between La Perouse and the Tlingit. The article reads like a narrative story, while more information regarding could have been included for clarity and filling in gaps.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANNE BREKKEN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Emmons, G.T. Native Account of the Meeting between La Perouse and the Tlingit. American Anthropologist April-June, 1911 Vol.13 (2): 294-298.
Emmons in this article is simply detailing an ancient story about the encounter of La Perouse and the native people in Lituya Bay. He is not trying to prove a specific argument or, for that matter, trying to persuade the readers on a certain point.
His article is fairly short and does not provide any intellectual or resourceful information to readers.
He first describes the topography of Lituya Bay and gives details on the relation of spirit life and nature to the native Tlingit. Next he provides a short explanation of the legend of Lituya that accounts for the many drowning and canoe accidents near the mouth of the bay. Then he provides information on La Perouse and how he was successful in obtaining information about the natives and interacting with them in a positive and pleasant manner.
The importance of this story is acknowledged by the fact that it is continually told through generations orally and that it elaborates on the issue that natives are continually weary and unsure when encountering non-natives, especially “white men”. They endow such encounters as mystical and risky because the formation of any social relations can have positive and negative aspects. In this case, it was the trading of certain objects for new and better materials. However, in other cases it can lead to extinction and slavery of the native people.
Because this is an oral legend there exist no concrete facts or data; thus Emmons does not provide evidence of this story expect for the fact that it was told to him by a principal chief amongst the Tlingit.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
TRACY OLIVEIRA York University (Naomi Adelson).
Fewkes, J. Walter. Further Notes on the Archeology of Porto Rico. American Anthropologist October-December, 1911 Vol. 10(4):624-633.
Fewkes wrote this piece as a follow-up to his Aborigines of Porto Rico and Neighboring Islands, which appears in the Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, in part due to the influx of information he received following the work’s publication. In this article, Fewkes discusses various types of stone artifacts from Porto Rico; three-pointed zemis, a stone pestle, a mortar, a semicircular stone disk, an ovate stone with three knobs, an elbow stone, a clay cylinder, and a double bladed ax. Miss A. B. Gould donated many of the objects under discussion to the Smithsonian Institution a short time prior to Fewkes beginning his article, and the two pages of plates picture many of them.
He splits the three-pointed zemis into four different types; each category contains several sub-categories encompassing a range of variations. He believes the zemis may have been used for religious purpose as representations of supernatural beings to help spur the growth of the yuca, a plant used to make cassava, a primary source of food in the region, or as clan or family idols. A flat or slightly concave base and three points (the anterior, the posterior, and a large middle conoid point) characterize the appearance of the zemi. The variations include the representation of an anthropomorphic head of various types on one point, the depiction of appendages or lack thereof, the presence of indentations to represent joints, and a range of examples which contain both highly detailed and extremely simple designs.
In the last four pages of the article, Fewkes discusses the rest of the artifacts, providing written descriptions, brief postulations as to their use (often a couple sentences or less), and cross-references to similar items known to exist from the region. He frequently cites the help of other scholars, particularly those from the region, in contributing to his findings. The vast majority of examples discussed belong to the Smithsonian, other institutions, or the author’s collection.
Fewkes’ straightforward approach to the artifacts in question makes the article easy to read for an outsider to the discipline; however, the list-like nature of many of the discussions of individual items takes away from the piece, rendering the material dry. The essay functions more as an inventory of items newly introduced to the field at the time rather than as a source of extensive discussion of the various artifacts and their meanings. The reader will most likely find it most useful as a record of the information available on Puerto Rican artifacts at the time of the article’s publication or as a basic reference to a few types of artifacts found in the region.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ALYSSA L. BROWN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Goldenweiser, A. A. Exogamy and Totemism Defined: A Rejoinder. American Anthropologist October-December 1911 Vol.13(4):589-597.
The author’s objective is to discuss and explain totemism and the form of exogamy in varies tribes. He does this in response to a critique by Dr. Lowie on one of his earlier papers on the subject. In the first page of the paper, he gives two conceptions of exogamy, one suggested by Dr. Lowie, “the rule against members of a group marrying among themselves-in other words, the rule of the incest group”, and the other suggested by himself, “an exogamous relation is fully represented only when both the group within which marriage is prohibited, and the one into which it is permitted or prescribed are given”(589). Later he gives the actual dictionary definition of exogamy. The first few pages of Goldenweiser’s paper are spent giving examples between different groups, such as the Kamilaroi class and the Arabana clan and exogamy regulations. The two above groups are used to suggest that they may have been exogamous as parts as of phratries before they themselves became marriage-regulating units. Marriage regulations, he continues, can be positive or negative but not necessarily definite, nor does one necessarily determine the other. Goldenweiser continues to clarify this before he turns to totemism.
Totemism, he explains, is a process of specific socialization. Dr. Lowie, in his critique, poses two questions for Goldenweiser, who chooses to focus on only one, “In how far does it accurately represent the phenomena commonly designated as totemic?”(592). The author states that Dr. Lowie has misinterpreted his definition, misinterpreting Goldenweiser as having suggested that a clan name started with an individual and through descent became socialized. He continues on for the next two pages to answer Dr. Lowie’s first question, as well as to explicate what he was trying to define in his definition of totemism. As a final note, the author gives a few words to the concept of convergent evolution to totemic phenomena, that the functional factor in all totemic complexes are constant.
The author attempts to give a clearer view on concepts he has obviously discussed in a former paper and does a rather good job of it. However, the reader may have to review the essay several times before gathering a full comprehension of his examples and meanings for both exogamy and totemism.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
SHANNA CRUMMEL Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Goldenweiser, A. Exogamy and Totemism Defined: A rejoinder. American Anthropologist June 1911. Vol 13: 589-597
Goldenweiser’s article is proof that there is no absolute, complete research. Research is always a work in progress, It is only an addition to the final product. There will always be someone to disprove or dispute your work after completion.
Dr. Lowie analysis of Goldenweiser’s composition was to benefit the subject of totemism for further knowledge, and to expose the holes in her argument. He suggests that Goldenweiser did not accurately represent the phenomena of totemism in her article. He believes that she is making generalizations and assuming the meaning of totemism as they understand it, psychologically and socially.
Goldenweiser sets out to prove the correlation between exogamy and totemism and to display the cultural construct of the actual definition. She also wants to make evident any misunderstandings Dr. Lowie may have had concerning her article.
He disputes her understanding of the term totemism. He believes that it may have some psychological and social factor to choose exogamous relations; however, this may not always be the case. For example, the Haida intermarries to show respect for one another. Her argument is constructed diplomatically and she nobly takes responsibility of her part in the misunderstanding, that perhaps she was unclear in presenting her arguments. She remains firm with her standing of her point that exogamy by our judgement is considered to be a marriage to any group outside your own clan. To them it is more psychological than genetic. The social aspect is a product of convergent evolution.
Goldenweiser did not claim to know all the empirical facts her article was written as a work in progress, she was merely giving statements of first principles. The article was meant as a foundation of an ethnographic study in the field.
MELISSA MOKEDANZ York University (Naomi Adelson)
Hagar, Stansbury. The Four Seasons of the Mexican Ritual of Infancy. American Anthropologist April-June 1911 Vol.13(2):229-234.
Hagar, upon reading a paper by Dr. Seler about picture writings, was drawn to a series of drawings in manuscripts of Borgiano, Vaticanus 3773, and Fejervary-Mayer. Hagar agreed with Seler’s assertion that the drawings are symbolic of priestly functions in Mexican ritual.
The drawings differ slightly from one another, but all three manuscripts may be compared to the descriptions of the ritual of the Mexican twenty-day periods. These periods are described by Duran in Historia de las Indias de Nueva Espana.
The deities, or gods, in the first row are shown poking the eye out of a naked human figure. Hagar says that these victims are female and therefore, the intent of the drawing is to depict sacrifice. This is in conjunction with the thirteenth month, in which Duran describes the sacrifice of two young sisters representing famine and plenty. The sign Sagittarius (also the sign of sacrifice) governs the thirteenth month, so that is when the main sacrifice occurred.
The second row of gods refers to the ritual of infant stretching, according to Hagar. He says that during the eighteenth month, under the sign Pisces, parents stretched the limbs of their young children. They believed the children would not grow during the upcoming year unless this ritual took place. Nearly all the deities shown wear black masks on their faces to represent the winter season, which includes the signs Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.
The third row of deities show the gods about to cut the “naval-cord” of the infants with a tecpatl, or flint knife. At the end of the cords are flowers or jewels, something Hagar attributes to the way parents called their children “my jewel.” This ritual falls under the sign of Gemini. This sign, under the fourth Mexican month, is when the ritual of purifying mothers who have given birth and the circumcision of the infants occurs.
The fourth row shows five female deities offering breast milk to infants. An emerald is featured in the drawings, probably as a symbol of breast milk. Under the sign Virgo in the eighth month was the sacrifice of women physicians and midwives. Virgo is the woman’s sign, and the deities depicted probably represent that.
The rituals depicted each fall under different signs at equal time distances. They each represent one of the four seasons. Gemini is the month of birth, Virgo the month of motherhood, Sagittarus was the month of sacrifice, and Pisces the month to ask for protection for the child.
Hagar says that when a child was born in Mexico, what was going on in the sky was documented and made an important part of the child’s life. The rituals taking place during the four seasons of infancy prove the importance of astrologic and astronomic beliefs in the Mexican culture. It is important to understand these ideas in order to explore the culture’s religion and symbolism.
The author is vague is his attribution of sources for this article. His objectives are unclear in the beginning and do not relate to his conclusion at the end of the article.
KRISTA CHAMBERS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Stansbury Hagar. The Four Seasons of the Mexican Ritual of Infancy. American Anthropologist 1911 N. S., vol.13:229-234.
In this article the author is fundamentally inspired by the scholarly work of Doctor Seler who details the representations of ecclesiastical purpose of the codices within Mexican rituals. Hagar is concerned with the symbols and meaning in the rituals that are performed by Mexicans for Mexicans as detailed by Dr. Seler. He specifically discuss’ rituals concerning the rights of passage for infants within Mexican society via ceremonies involving four major deities associated with a ritual pertaining to childhood or infancy performed under specific astrological signs Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini, and Virgo symbolizing the four seasons.
The hypothesis proposes that Mexican ritual especially the four seasons of infancy, serves to accent how completely ceremony was wed to astronomic and astrologic relations within this society. The author persistently asserts that Mexican religious ceremony; rituals of passage, acceptance, and protection are manifested by way of the four season’s ritual that is indisputably associated with astronomic and astrological signs.
The argument is constructed almost entirely on secondary sources and is evidently brief. This article was written ninety years ago and provides an interesting look at ethnographic work done by anthropologists in the early part of the twentieth century. There are several illustrations of the ceremonies that provide a visual insight into the rituals being depicted.
The author provides an aforethought about the meaning of the four seasons ritual. He says, understanding the communion of religion and unconventional rituals associated with astrology and astronomic relations are important to better understand Mexican society. Considering the period of the article it is reasonable, as well as, providing a brief synopsis of the fieldwork cultivated by the original writer Doctor Seler.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
GIROLOMA D’ALESSANDRO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Howe, George P. The Ruins of Tuloom American Anthropologist October-December, 1911 Vol.13(4):539-550
Tuloom is a ruined city on the coast of the Yucatan, in the Mexican Province of Quintana Roo, just south of Cozumel Island. Howe believes Tuloom may be the center of a distinct archeological province that extends from the south of Cape Catoche to the Rio Hondo. Other ruined cities are in this region both on land on the islands of the coast and other ruins have been reported in the interior. These ruins were likely occupied for a long period up until the Spanish invasion.
Howe visited Tuloom using information and maps made by Stephens and Catherwood on a previous trip in 1840. Howe admits that his visit was short and superficial due to fears of an imminent Indian attack. Howe’s main point in publishing this description of Tuloom was to “call attention to the large and important area of Maya culture that is yet unstudied”(548) and to obtain support of the Mexican government through use of thirty soldiers as escorts.
Howe finds previous maps of the area by the Stephens expedition to be mostly accurate. The city is surrounded on three sides by walls and on the fourth by the sea. In the center of this is a small series of buildings, which surround a court. The court has a mound in the center “with no trace of a building on it, but with traces of steps on all four sides”(541). The entire area is covered in dense jungle, which made exploration difficult.
The buildings of the interior show two Maya styles, the typical Maya vault and others with flat roofs supported by columns. The buildings do not appear to have been residential. The walls are surrounding the city are made without mortar and are in good condition. The gates through the wall are only three feet wide and “reflects that these people had no beasts of burden”(543).
The site appears to have been religious in nature. Stone altars for burning copal are filled with ash and the walls of buildings show evidence of extensive painting. The walls were probably not built for defense, as there are only two watchtowers, which are not built near the gates. There are also no loopholes for arrows on the outer walls. Inside the walls is a large amount of unused space and there are reports of a large number of buildings outside the wall, which leads Howe to believe that this was a religious site.
This article is fairly clear and to the point. Most of the descriptions serve to give the reader a general idea of the ruins and to generate interest in discovering more about Tuloom. Howe supports his idea that this is a religious site by comparing some features to other Maya sites; however, his claims that Tuloom is the center of a distinct cultural area are not backed up at all in his report. As Howe admits, this piece was published to gain backing for further exploration at Tuloom.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
SHAUN GODWIN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Howe, George P. The Ruins of Tuloom. American Anthropologist 1911 Vol.13 (12): 539-550.
Howe believed that the ruined city of Tuloom, on the coast of Yucatan, was a city of a very early date. It was first mentioned in 1518 by Juan de Grijalva, and later in 1840 when it was visited by Stephens and Catherwood. Howe also believed that Tuloom is the center of a distinct archaeological province.
There are directions included in this article as to how one might reach the ruins, and a map of Tuloom describing what one may find once inside the walls. Although Howe gives many details of his journey, the map he is using was produced by Stephens. Howe compares most of his findings to those of Stephens, and uses Stephens’ work also to help himself locate other points of interest. Howe is also able to explain in detail, according to Stephens’ map that is provided in this article, where chambers, wall paintings and corridors were found. There is also exhaustive detail given about the construction of the buildings, from the style and materials used, to the number of steps and the width of the doorways. Howe does state however that the ruins constructed of the typical Maya vault are for the most part in an excellent state of preservation. Howe also makes note of several findings of a figure of a god in the position of a man diving.
Howe initially felt that the walls of Tuloom were built for defence. However, throughout his research he began to think differently, as there were only two watchtowers and a number of ruins on the exterior sides of the walls.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
PATRICIA A. FALCONI York University (Naomi Adelson).
Jenks, Albert Ernest. Bulu Knowledge of the Gorilla and Chimpanzee. American Anthropologist January-March, 1911 Vol.13(1):56-64.
At the time this article was written, it was almost impossible for the white man to have intimate knowledge of the gorilla. The purpose of this article is to present information on gorillas and chimpanzees in German West Africa. The author requests data on this subject from Francis Guthrie, recently from Kamerun province, German West Africa. The majority of the evidence written is not from Guthrie himself, who speaks the Bulu language, but from his contact with members of the Bulu tribe.
The article lays out a brief summary of both gorillas and chimpanzees, including some short statements on kinship, and sleeping and eating habits. Many of these features include specific examples from members of the Bulu tribe which are also commented on by Guthrie. The information is not only an account of pure observation, but it is also a comparative analysis. Both the gorilla and chimpanzee societal structure and habits are compared and contrasted with those of humans and shown to have certain similarities.
Aside from the factual data, there is also a folktale in addition to the summary of each animal. Altogether, these accounts of both fact and myth provide the reader with both a scientific reading as well as a fun, story-telling reading, which adds enjoyment.
Although the reading was short and provided basic, non-detailed accounts of the gorilla and chimpanzee, it was interesting and flowed nicely. Readers of this article will come out from this entry with both a basic understanding of these animals as well as the satisfaction of learning about a mythical aspect of the gorilla and chimpanzee.
SUSIE CAIN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Jenks, Albert Ernest. Bulu Knowledge of the Gorilla and Chimpanzee. American Anthropologist 1911 Vol. 13(N.S.): 56-64.
In this article, Jenks is presenting the Bulu’s knowledge of the gorilla and the chimpanzee according to the data of Francis B. Guthrie. The facts obtained by Guthrie were by his informant and other Bulu tribe members. The data is intimate knowledge of the gorilla and chimpanzee, which is only known by the Bulu.
The gorillas in Cameroon live in small companies never exceeding fifteen, usually with only one or two males. When a male becomes old, he usually goes off by himself either by choice, female refusal or by the younger males forcing him out. The female gorilla bears only one child per pregnancy and holds the child like a human mother does. The gorilla makes his bed on the ground with fragments from the forest. Gorillas never sleep in the same bed suggesting they are seasonal migrants. They only attack when the family is in danger or when a male is attacked. They are considered very strong and crafty. The Bulu give an example of when a band of gorillas was attacked. “The old gorilla first got his family to safety and returned to the encounter. He made a considerable detour to ambush the hunters.” The Bulu rate the gorilla as one of the most superior in the animal kingdom. The Gorilla and the Man and The Child and the Gorilla are folktales of the Bulu showing how close the Bulu consider the gorilla to themselves.
The chimpanzee carries many of the same characteristics as the gorilla but are considered by the Bulu to be the wisest of all the animals. The Bulu also consider the chimpanzee nearly half-human because of certain characteristics. Examples of human behaviour are, the Bulu believe, that chimpanzee take bright red or purple vines and wear them as bracelets, gather leaves to plug up his wounds as bandages and also make camp fires without ever lighting them. The most important characteristic the chimpanzees have is human-like emotion. An example of this is when the Bulu hunt them, the chimpanzee waves his arms as an appeal to not shoot him. The Bulu consider the chimpanzee as almost human. The Bulu have folktales of the chimpanzee and an example given is The Story of Creation.
This article demonstrates the closeness the Bulu have with the gorilla and the chimpanzee and how they regard these animals.
CLARITY RATING: 4
JOHN PARENTE York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kroeber, A.L. Incorporations as a Linguistic Process. American Anthropologist. October, 1911 Vol.13:577-584
The author’s objective is to ensure that noun incorporation has no essential association with pronominal incorporation. The author refers to a recent paper on this subject. Dr. Sapir notes that there is exclusion between these two methods. He states that if you have a pronominal incorporating language, there is no need for noun incorporation. The opposite is also true. Tradition has assumed that pronoun incorporation was a type of noun incorporation, and vise versa. This subject had been completely misinterpreted. “This leads to a new conception: incorporation is no longer an essentially objective process… but is non-syntactical in its nature” (578).
Noun incorporation is when two words merge into one word of the noun object and the verb begins to perform as the predicate in the sentence. Noun incorporation usually occurs mainly in general verbs or verbs that occur frequently. In a couple of languages, noun incorporation does not depend on enduring actions or qualities. In fact, this process is not grammatical however it is etymological. Noun incorporation helps in the development of words.
The author makes one last point. He states that there are four classes or types of languages that have to be recognized. The first are those that allow compound nouns, but do not accept compound verbs. An example of one of these languages would be Aryan. The next class is those that tolerate compound verbs but not the compound nouns. The Iroquois have this type of language. The third type is those that authorize both. The language of the Uto-Aztekan allows for both to occur. The last class is those that do not permit either. The Eskimo have a language that uses neither.
The author accomplished his goal of pointing out that noun incorporation has no essential association with pronominal incorporation, but at a mind-numbing cost. This is a very hard to understand article about linguistics. If you are not fond of linguistics, stay away from this article.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
ADAM COHEN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Kroeber, A. L. Incorporation as a Linguistic Process American Anthropologist 1911 v:13, p.577-584
This author focuses on Dr. Sapir’s analyses of language comparing nouns to the American language. There is much reference to Sapir’s paper “The problem of Noun Incorporation in American Languages”. Kroeber reiterates that noun incorporation has no necessary or inherent connection with pronominal incorporation. There was a big assumption that noun incorporation was merely a form or phase of pronoun incorporation (or vice versa) and that as long as this view prevailed there was no hope of a corrected analysis having such evidence accumulate. This was generally a big misunderstanding and this point of view will continue unless proven otherwise.
Kroeber talks about Sapir taking the writer’s definition of noun incorporation as ‘the combination of one word of the noun object and of the verb functioning as the predicate of a sentence’. The definition exacts not only a certain type of word formation, but also a logical relation between the elements, which is unreasonable. Kroeber argues that the basis of the definition was historical rather than logical.
The article then looks at the difference between what is inherent and what is accidental. This idea has frequently been found expressed in different languages, for example, agent nouns (ending in ‘er’) are used habitually if not exclusively to denote occupation or customary action. Here, Kroeber brings Dr. Lehmann’s discovery alongside Sapir’s work. They both see noun incorporation as etymological, not grammatical. English permits compound nouns but does not tolerate compound verbs. Four classifications of languages must be recognized according to these men.
1. Those that permit compound nouns but not compound verbs (i.e. English/European)
2. Those that allow compound verbs but not nouns (i.e. Iroquois)
3. Those that permit both (Uto-Aztecan)
4. Those that tolerate neither (Eskimo)
Sapir’s paper shows precisely what takes place in a number of languages under designated incorporation circumstances.
Kroeber concludes by summarizing pronominal incorporation and noun incorporation are different and aren’t connected, and that pronominal incorporation is a grammatical process. He also states that noun incorporation is sometimes a composition or etymological process which differs from the familiar process of noun composition and that all languages belong to one of the four classes mentioned above accordingly, as they form compound nouns, verbs, both or neither. Overall there is no evidence of any kind of incorporation that so far as its process or method is concerned is different from the processes occurring in European languages and it is more reasonable to assume that there can be no such difference rather than that there must be.
LIVY FELDGAJER York University (Prof. Naomi Adelson)
Kroeber, A.L. Phonetics of the Micronesian Language of the Marshall Islands American Anthropologist July-September, 1911 Vol.13(3):380-393
Kroeber’s concern in this article is determining if certain common features of American Indian languages can be determined to exist in other regions than the western part of North America. The specific common features under scrutiny are the stopped consonants. In many cases they are characterized by being only one at each point of articulation, and differentiated according to position in the word. Additionally, those that precede vowels are an “intermediate” between surd and sonant. The author’s records of some dialects in the Caroline Islands and certain Polynesian languages show a great inconsistency in the writing of surd and sonant stops as to evoke suspicion that there may be only one series of intermediate stops in these languages as well.
Kroeber investigated if this phenomenon of intermediates extended to other localities by examining a crew of Marshall Islanders. Mechanical experiments were set up in which an apparatus consisting of needles attached to rubber diaphragms at the end of tubes inscribed tracings on smoked paper. Kroeber found that Father B.A. Erdland’s dictionary and grammar of the Marshall dialect was satisfactory, yet his description of the sounds was somewhat incomplete.
Kroeber gives full descriptions of the sounds and tracings obtained for the vowels, stops, nasals, affricatives, laterals, and trills. He points out many mistakes in Erdland’s phonetic description by pointing to the tracings that are included at the end of the article.
Kroeber shows that the character of Marshall consonants is greatly affected by their position in the word. He states that with a few exceptions, all final consonants are entirely surd. He goes on to say that all medial sounds are sonant, and all initial consonants begin as surds and are invariably voiced as they approach the vowel. Kroeber writes, “in the case of stops this means that the occlusion is surd, at least the last part of the explosion sonant; in the case of continuants, that there is some flow of breath before the voicing sets in.” (388) He demonstrates that the nature of the consonants is determined by the following rather than the preceding vowels by the fact that finals are entirely surd, initials partly sonant, and medials entirely sonant. Kroeber concludes that these phonetic traits are duplicated in the Pima-Papago language of Arizona, and numerous other features appear in a number of American languages. With regards to the dialects of the Malayo-Polynesian stock, the Marshall dialect seems to be phonetically greatly specialized.
This article is very difficult to read and to comprehend. The use of linguistic terms is extensive and leads to confusion if your knowledge of these terms is limited. There are even a few points in the article where Kroeber quotes Erdland in German, assuming the reader can decipher what is written.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
JUSTIN LEBIECKI Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Kroeber, A.L. Phonetics of the Micronesian Language of the Marshall Islands. American Anthropologist July-September, 1911. Vol.13(3):380-393.
Kroeber surveyed a crew of Marshall Islanders in order to determine similarities and distinctions among American Indian languages in comparison to western European regions. This notion derived from a realization that some dialects in the Caroline Islands and particular Polynesian languages contained inconsistencies in writing of the surd (unvoiced) and sonant (voiced) stops, arising suspicion that there may be only one series of intermediate stops among these languages. In his examination of Father B.A. Erland’s dictionary and grammar of the Marshall Islands, Kroeber found certain aspects to be satisfactory, though lacking in other areas. Kroeber established this through a created apparatus consisting of needles attached to rubber diaphragms at the end of tubes which were reproduced on smoked paper. Although Kroeber focused predominately on surd and sonant stops, his results enabled full descriptions of vowels, stops, nasals, affricatives, laterals, and trills.
In Kroeber’s analysis of vowels, he reveals that the initial voiced consonants begin as unvoiced sounds, such as hemen which is pronounced as ‘emen. Stopped consonants are formed in three positions: initial, medial, and final in respect to p, t, and k. Thus, the placement of the consonant in a word greatly affects if the consonant will produce a voiced or unvoiced sound. Similar to Native Californian languages, in initial position, the word begins in sonancy and concludes in surd. In medial position, the sounds written as stops were usually voiced and fricatives: “flinty” for plenty; “pish” for fish; “thongue” for tongue; and “shome” or “djome” for some. In final position, stops are faint to the ear: “Gilbert” is either kilua or kiluat. Most nasals are heavily voiced, and when pronounced, the mouth is closed imperfectly. Medial, /m/ is a much heavier vibration than the English version of this phoneme. The difference shown in stops and nasals is determined by its position in the word. The affricatives are shorter in English and the Marshall /j/ is similar to the Malayo-Polynesian t or s. Marshall l and l are like the Polynesian l-r. There are also two r sounds (r and r), which are simpler to differentiate that the l and l. The initial r produces no trill vibrations in initial position. R produces the sound dj, and the line of explosion is followed by a gradual rise.
Ultimately, this article was very difficult to follow due to its overwhelming usage of outdated linguistic terminology. In addition to these linguistic terms, the author presumed the reader’s knowledge of German. Also, the article was so greatly detailed that it became difficult to distinguish which portion of each section was most significant.
CLARITY RANKING: 1.5
JULIE WEINBERGER, JACKIE UZANSKI, DANA HILDRETH, JULIA GILBURD Northern Illinois University (Giovanni Bennardo)
Lamere, Oliver and Paul Radin. Descriptions of a Winnebago Funeral. American Anthropologist July-September 1911 Vol. 13(3)437-444.
This article addresses the rituals of a Winnebago funeral. The Winnebago tribe is located in Nebraska. The article goes through step by step the rituals of an actual funeral of a member of the tribe.
In June 1911, a prominent member of the Winnebago tribe, Mr J. M. died. The first step according to the Winnebago customs is to contact Mr J. F., a member of the Wolf clan. The deceased is a member of the Bear clan and according to Winnebago customs every clan is paired up with another and each member has duties to perform. This is why Mr J. F. is called upon when Mr J. M. died. Throughout the funeral every member of the funeral ritual has a certain duty to perform which the article describes. Mr. F’s duty is to take charge of the ritual. He must dress the deceased, lay the body in the casket, bury him and conducts the funeral wake that lasting four days. Mr. F must invite all others who wish to participate in the feast. Mr. A. W., a member of the Bear clan goes through the Bear clan ceremony. One of the most important aspects of the ritual is to paint a red mark across his forehead, a black one with charcoal immediately below this one and daub his entire chin red. This is explained in the article, when Mr. A. W. states, “It is for the reason that I have made the marking upon the face of my son, in order to be recognized by his relatives in spirit-land.”(438). In this speech, Mr. A. W. addresses the beliefs of the Bear clan which is that death should not be looked upon as a mournful thing but instead a belief that the same happiness should come to them during life. The tribe believes that one should not cry but instead keep up good spirit.
The Winnebago tribe believes that the soul of the dead hovers around the tribe for four days and that is why the rituals last four days. Food is served in this four day period with the belief that the deceased is joining the feast.
After several speakers, the casket is loaded on a spring wagon and taken to the Winnebago cemetery and lowered into a grave. The members of the funeral party all step over the grave because the ground is believed to be holy.
The same rituals are done for the four nights. On the fourth all the guests are thanked for their donations and gifts. At midnight games are played and the donations are rewarded as gifts. The tribe usually plays the game that the deceased was fond of playing. The widow is told to go on with her life and not to mourn. She is told to choose her next husband and to enjoy the rest of her life.
This article was easy to read and follow. I enjoyed the contents of the article and found it enjoying and interesting to learn.
AMANDA DEKARSKE Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse).
Lamere, Oliver and Paul Radin. Description of a Winnebago Funeral. American Anthropologist April-June, 1911 Vol.13(2): 437-444.
As the title of this article suggests, both Lamere and Radin are reciting an account of a Winnebago funeral of a member of the Bear clan.
The actions and the certain activities carried out in funerals are based on the practices of ancient ancestors. It is customary for the funeral to be planned out and organized in a particular way in order for the soul of the deceased to travel to the spirit land without any difficulty or abstractions.
They do not attempt to prove or persuade a specific point or argument; rather, they simply describe what happens during a particular Winnebago funeral and explain the importance of some of the actions and objects used during the funeral.
Lamere and Radin first point out the specific social roles of participants in the funeral and then describe certain actions performed and their purpose, such as the dressing of the deceased and the painting of his face. At the end of the article, Lamere and Radin provide a brief description and explanation of how the widow is supposed to act after the death of her husband and some of the social implications dealt with in the activity of weeping and mourning.
Because the authors do not address any concerns or arguments within this article it might appear that it provides no useful information about any particular issue. However, this article implicitly provides interesting information on certain social roles carried out during the funeral and how society views the deceased and his wife during this period of mourning and weeping.
Although Lamere and Radin provide this information straightforward without acknowledging certain issues and problems, they disclose in a footnote at the end of the article that this funeral can be carried out differently in accordance to specific clan beliefs and practices.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
TRACY OLIVEIRA York University (Naomi Adelson)
Lowie, Robert A New Conception of Totemism American Anthropologist April-June, 1911 Vol.13(2):189-207
In this article Lowie summarizes and critiques “Totemism, An Analytical Study” by Dr. Goldenweiser. Lowie starts off his article by presenting the traditional veiw on totemism as being: “an integral phenomenon which is everywhere essentially alike.” (189). Lowie then goes into his summary of the first part of Dr. Goldenweiser’s paper. In this first section Dr. Goldenweiser questions the traditional view of totemism and suggests that there is a difference when dealing with different cultures. In the second part of Dr. Goldenweiser’s paper he focuses on totemism and exogamy; his main point is that they do not have to coincide. The next part of his paper focuses on different cultures and their marriage rules. He particularly goes into depth discussing who is acceptable to marry in a society; that is who they can and cannot marry, or exogamy and endogamy. Dr. Goldenweiser wraps up his paper by jumping back to the first argument discussing the significance of totemism; he also goes briefly into the role religion plays in totemism.
After presenting a summery of Goldenweiser’s paper, Lowie discusses his opinion of Goldenweiser’s findings and presents his own view on them. Lowie especially goes into detail about Dr. Goldenweiser’s interpretation of totemism. The author believes that his definition “limits the field of totemism too narrowly by an exaggerated emphasis of the element of descent.” (205). Lowie believes that there is a lot more involved in totemism and that Goldenweiser perhaps has oversimplified it, leaving out important aspects. He states that Goldenweiser gives the reader a good foundation of understanding totemism, but leaves a lot of open ends. Lowie also states that his paper is sometimes difficult to interpret, and one can find it hard to grasp Goldenweiser’s main points.
This article does an excellent job of summarizing and critiquing Dr. Goldenweiser’s paper. Lowie also does a good job evaluating his paper, and questioning Dr. Golenweiser’s findings. His summery is well organized, easy to follow, and understand. Lowie does a complete job presenting Dr.Goldenweiser’s arguments; and provides enough evidence for the reader to understand the general ideas in his paper.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
HEATHER MCISAAC Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Lowie, Robert H. A New Conception of Totemism. American Anthropologist April-June, 1911 Vol.13: 189-207
This article presents a critical view of the paper of Dr Goldenweiser concerning the topic of totemism. This paper challenged the traditional view of totemism, which claimed that this phenomenon is similar in every totemic society. Lowie argues that Dr Goldenweiser has proven that it is impossible to define the term “totemism” in any traditional, concrete conception or definition. However, instead of abandoning the term, he sets out to create a dynamic definition for it. His main argument is that the objects or symbols being worshiped now were originally of emotional value to individuals. With descent they became values for definite social groups. This fact would explain the differences Dr Goldenweiser encountered between totemic cultures of the American North-West coast and ones in Australia. Those groups were the main focus of the article. They were chosen to disprove the original theory because they are both totemic societies, yet the old definition failed to account for the relatively radical differences between the two.
Lowie praises Dr Goldenweiser for his innovative approach. He claims that it is a real breakthrough in the field of totemism studies. He also has a critique of the new theory. He argues that it allows for things previously not looked at to be classified as totemism, and things that were once though of as totemic to be excluded. Religious institutions are being one of the things excluded; Lewis disagrees with that idea. The fundamental objection to the new theory is the fact that “it is frequently impossible to determine whether it correctly represents the historical process of association” (Lowie 205). It is basically impossible to prove or disprove whether or not a totem name was once a designation of an individual, which led to socialization of that name over time. Lowie prefers to describe it as association of a name with social groups (e.g., the Iroquois.) Author acknowledges that he may not have completely grasped the ideas of Dr Goldenweiser, and that a lot more research needs to be done on this subject.
LUKASZ DZIEDZINSKI York University (Naomi Adelson).
MacCurdy, George Grant. Anthropology at the Providence Meeting with Proceedings of the American Anthropological Association for 1910. American Anthropologist January-March, 1911 Vol. 13:99-120.
This report by George G. MacCurdy on the AAA’s 1910 annual meeting covers business and administration matters and provides abstracts of presented papers. The abstracts are interesting glimpses into anthropological works at the time, though the most revealing aspects of MacCurdy’s report are actually the mundane workings of the meeting, those proceedings concerning people and money.
MacCurdy starts with a roll call, naming 35 new members. New member recruitment for the AAA is foremost on MacCurdy’s agenda, and he laments the slow growth rate. He asks each member to provide at least one name of a potential member over the following year, adding that applications have been sent by the AAA to 375 potential members. While these return slowly, the results are better than the recruitment efforts of existing members. MacCurdy goes on to say that the recruiting request is a simple one, and entreaties members to help “double the membership during the coming year”. Detailed receipts and expenditures over the year are given, with a profit of $316.21 for 1910, down from $499.13 for 1909.
With profits down, it is easy to understand MacCurdy’s concern with new membership recruitment. Expansion of the AAA is on the mind of the council, and they are looking to members to aid recruitment and the invigorated cash flow that comes with a larger constituency.
There were papers presented, and the abstracts provide a look at current research in anthropology at the time. Among these is A. F. Chamberlain’s report on the study of native South American languages. Chamberlain gives an overview of work being done in the field and discusses various interpretations.
Charles Peabody details archaeological excavations in New Jersey, discussing climactic conditions, site formation, and the “contemporaneity” of humans with post-glacial periods. A Bison femur was excavated from one of the pits, apparently pairing these animals with humans in the area for the first time.
While the presentations were the focal point of the attending members, the financial and influential expansion of the AAA seem to be the point MacCurdy wants to stress most. The report is an interesting look at the everyday, basic concerns of the AAA at an early point in its history.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
BRAD WILLIAMS Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Dr. Jonathan Hill)
Michelson, T., Secretary Proceedings of the Anthropological Society of Washington American Anthropologist 1911 Vol. 13: 313-319
Eight meetings of the Anthropological Society of Washington are summarized as follows:
The president of the Society, Dr. J. Walter Fewkes, opened the 448th meeting of the Society, on October 18, 1910. Speaker M. Capitan delivered a discourse on the prehistoric races of France and showed, using illustrations and descriptions, that religion and superstition were a large element of the earliest rock inscriptions.
At the 449th meeting of the society, chaired by the president, Mr. George Stetson and Dr. Ales Hrdlicka presented. Mr. Stetson presented a paper on New England Life in Old Almanacs and Dr. Hrdlicka gave an account of the exploration of An Ancient Sepulcher at San Juan Teotihuacan, with Anthropological Notes on the Teotihuacan People. This account featured points of interest of a grave discovery in San Juan, a sacred city thought to have been of the first civilized people in Mexico.
On December 20, 1910, President Fewkes opened the 450th meeting of the Society. Paul Radin presented The Winnebago Winter Feast and focused on the religious and social elements of this ceremony. Following, discussion arose which contrasted and compared feasts among native North Americans.
At the 451st meeting of the committee, chaired by President Fewkes on January 17th, 1911, The Totemic Complex was presented by Dr A.A. Goldenweiser. The speaker looked at the study of totemism over the previous half century and distinguished between the British and American conception and method, criticizing the evolutionary and comparative British point of view. Dr. Truman Michelson followed with his presentation of The Medicine Arrows of the Cheyenne.
Mr. George R. Stetson, vice president of the Society, chaired the 452nd meeting of the Society on February 21, 1911. Dr. Daniel Folkmar presented Some Questions Arising in the First Census of European Races in the United States, which discussed the terminology ‘race’ and ‘nationality’. Secondly, resolutions with regards to the wholesale destruction of antiquities in all parts of Peru and in other parts of South America were submitted and ordered published in the American Anthropologist.
The 453rd meeting of the society, held on March 28, 1911, was chaired by Mr. Stetson and featured Professor R.B. Dixon of Harvard University who read his paper on Polynesian Mythology.
President Fewkes chaired the annual meeting, the 454th meeting of the society, on April 18, 1911. Officers were elected for the following year and members voted to hold future meetings bi-weekly as opposed to once a month, as was they were previously.
On May 3, 1911, the Anthropological Society of Washington held a joint meeting with the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, where the president of the Medical Society, Dr. Barton, was chair. Dr. Hrdlicka, and Dr. Lamb each presented papers on diseases of pre-Columbian inhabitants of the western hemisphere.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
KARRIE SANDFORD York University (Adelson)
Michelson, Truman. Menominee Tales. American Anthropologist 1911 Vol. 13 (68): 68-88.
The article examines three tales that Truman Michelson, with the assistance of Menominee interpreters and informants collected during a brief stay with the Menominee. The “Menominee tales” were written in a context of salvage ethnography promoted by Franz Boas in the early twentieth century.
“The Story of the Culture-Hero” is the longest of the three tales and concerns the creation of a god-like man. God originally created two women, a mother and a daughter and placed them on an island. God decided to put a living being into the daughter and a short time later a boy was born. The boy’s grandmother called him Manapuso’sa. Then the daughter gave birth to the buffalo, the moose, the elk and all other animals. The mother died and a month later the boy grew into a man. Manapus made daily rounds of the island, instilling fear into evil beings and meeting with all the animals he called his little brothers. One day he decided that he was lonely and he changed a white wolf into a human being and made him his younger brother. One frozen night, Manapus told the white wolf that they were the only gods that existed on this earth. The gods underneath heard him and decided to take away Manapus’ brother. With the help of a white god who became the White Deer, they lured Manapus’ brother out onto a frozen lake and took him under. Manapus searched for him everywhere. After four days, his little brother returned but in a changed shape. Manapus exiled him to a place beyond where the Sun sets, thereby condemning all of their forefathers’ children to dwell there after death. The Creator saw that Manapus was sad and ordered the white gods and the gods from underneath to build a lodge and to make up with Manapus. The Otter acted as an intermediary and brought Manapus to the sweat lodge where he received medicine and knowledge.
The two remaining tales are relatively short. “The Girl Who Fasted Too Long” explains the origins of a local landscape feature. In the tale a girl is forced by her mother to fast for a long time in order to enhance her meditations and dreams. At the scheduled rendezvous time, the mother went out to meet her daughter by the river but she was not there. The water had risen up and taken the girl because she had fasted too long. Today there is a high, dismal hill on the bank of the Menomini River where the girl was fasting.
The last story is entitled “Why Human Beings Have Two Totems.” Manapus originally existed by himself but soon the animals were added. Manapus told the animals to decide what they wanted to eat. The wolf said he wanted to eat the deer. He chased the deer until he came to the ocean, where the deer had transformed into a herring. There the wolf asked to become a salmon and, as a salmon he caught the deer/herring and ate him. Then he changed back into a wolf. As a result, Manapus knew that the wolf truly desired deer as his food. So the deer and the wolf are linked, and so it comes that a human has two totems.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
CHMIEL KAROLINA Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
Michelson, Truman. Menominee Tales. American Anthropologist Jan.-March, 1911Vol.13(1):68-88.
Truman Michelson’s “Menominee Tales” records three narratives collected during a study of divergent types of Algonquian Languages. The work simply recounts the narratives which stand alone without analysis or commentary, save the occasional clarifying footnote. This would be of interest to those studying the Algonquian people, Native American myths and oral traditions. The tales include “The Story of the Cultural Hero”, “The Girl Who Fasted too Long”, and “Why Human Beings Have Two Totems”.
The bulk of the article is contained within “The Story of the Cultural Hero”, a complex tale of creation, the origin of medicine lodges and gift of herbal medicine. The two remaining tales comprising the balance of the article tell of the dangers of fasting too long, and the origins of Menominee dual totem system.
In “The Story of the Cultural Hero”, the storyteller accounts for the creation of the world by the great Creator, MatcihawatAk and his cohort of servants. God and his gathering decide to create the island “Earth” and to populate it with a mother and a daughter. In time, the Creator and his cohort determine that the daughter should conceive and her mother should act as nurse. The daughter first gives birth to ManapusosA, the first man. This birth is followed immediately by the births of ManapusosA’s “brothers” , a buffalo, moose, elk and all other animals. Shortly after these births, the daughter dies. After the death of his mother, ManapusosA determines that he is the protector of the island Earth, and that his loneliness could be appeased by living with his brothers, the animals. With that decided, ManapusosA leaves his grandmother and searches for a true brother of his kind “among all his younger brothers”. In time, ManapusosA selects a white wolf, resolving to change it from a wolf to a man.
One day, while bragging to his younger brother about their power, ManapusosA raises the ire of the “gods underneath” that inhabit the multi-tiered nether-regions below the earth. In response to ManapusosA’s boasting these gods underneath conspire to take the younger brother as a joke. This act upsets both Earth and Heaven. The Creator steps in judging that the “gods underneath” must make amends to ManapusosA. The negotiations that are entailed in the arbitration between ManapusosA and the gods clearly establish ManapusosA’s position in the cosmos above the “gods underneath”. As part of the settlement reach between them the gods create the medicine lodge and provide ManapusosA with the “medicines” of herbs and religion. These are to be given to his people “lest they may not get along well in this world” .
The work is clear and concise. Nevertheless it could be improved upon by linking it to related works that could offer further insight into the culture that it was drawn from.
CLARITY RATING: 5
CHESTER LUNSFORD Southern Illinois University at Carbondale ( Jonathan Hill)
Michelson, Truman. Proceedings of the Anthropological Society of Washington. American Anthropologist April-June, 1911 Vol. 13 (2):313-319.
Dr. Truman Michelson’s article describes eight meetings of the Anthropological Society of Washington held between October 18, 1910 and May 3, 1911.
At the 448th meeting (October 18, 1910), M. Capitan presented and described ancient races that inhabited France and rock inscriptions had possible religious and superstitious meanings.
On November 15, 1910 (449th meeting) George R. Stetson presented a paper entitled New England Life in Old Almanacs, describing everyday life in that region. Another paper presented by Dr. Hrdlicka discussed the civilization of Teotihuacan. He described the layout of the site and gavea detailed account was given of a grave that was discovered there. The bodies were examined for disease, malformation and evidence of sacrifice. The only abnormality found was that both skulls showed signs of brachycephaly (short wide head), which the author suggested was a common practice.
At the 450th meeting (December 20, 1910) Paul Radin presented The Winnebago Winter Feast which described a celebratory feast of Plains Indians. Discussions of Radin’s paper led to comparisons to Hopi, Pacific Coast and Iroquois tribal feasts.
On January 17, 1911 (451st meeting), Dr. A. A. Goldenweiser presented a paper on totemism. He stressed the importance of studying individual elements of the totem, and suggested that totems represented descent, taboos and social structure of the culture. Dr. Michelson presented a second paper at this meeting entitled The Medicine Arrows of the Cheyenne.
Dr. Daniel Folkmar presented Some Questions Arising in the First Census of European Races in the United States at the 452nd meeting on February 21, 1911. His paper dealt with classifying immigrants based on spoken language and country of origin. The terminology of “race” was debated based on anthropological and biological definitions. It was agreed that “race” could be used for both biological traits and linguistic classifications.
In subsequent meetings, The Society considered the destruction of South American antiquities (March 23, 1911), sponsored a paper on Polynesian myths and ancestral totemic deities by R. B. Dixon (March 28, 1911), elected officers and met with the Medical Society of the District of Columbia (May 3, 1911) to hear a paper on abnormalities found in skeletal remains at the Chicama site in Peru.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
KARA FIRESTONE Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Perkins, G.H. Aboriginal Remains In The Champlain River Valley American Anthropologist April-June, 1911. Vol.13(2):239-249
Generally speaking, this article serves as a descriptive follow-up to Perkins’ preliminary article on indigenous remains and artifacts found in the Champlain Valley area. The author calls to attention several groups of artifacts thought to have been utilized by inhabitants of this region, mainly the Iroquois and the Algonkin tribes. Among the artifacts described here, there are three groups of differentiation: grooved axes, problematical stones, and clay pipes that are broken down into more specific categories.
First, the usage and details of the grooved axes are explained. Perkins suggests that grooved axes in this area were fashioned from quartz and other hard stones, which makes sense in that they were used as hammers instead of for sharpness. Their thickness and smooth surfaces are better used for the weight of the material than for any cutting edge. Although grooved axes are scarce in this area, there are enough specimens to show that they differ from objects elsewhere and that there is one specimen totally unlike the others in collection. This suggests trade between the Champlain Valley inhabitants and other populations.
Secondly, problematical objects or stones were used as good luck charms or ceremonial ornaments by the indigenous peoples. They may also be subdivided, according to the author, as being: flat perforated stones, winged stones, pick-shaped stones, boat-shaped stones, bar amulets, pendants, plummets, and discoidal stones. Without going into too much detail, each of these artifact groups are described in matters of prevalence, material, style, size, and practicality. Further illustrations aid in the identification of each object by the author. One commonalty among all of these artifacts is that they are carefully created with hard material such as quartz or limestone. Due to the good condition of the artifacts, it is suggested that they were handled carefully and not used in a normal manner, but ceremoniously.
Third, a collection of tubular pipes and one platform pipe are examined as instances of trade. Most of the pipes are formed of steatite and other soft stone, which is not found in this area, nor is it found close enough to be easily transportable by the local group. Also, the platform pipe discussed in this article is one of the only examples of the inhabitants of the valley using artwork to illustrate a face on a pipe. Pipes found at this site mirror pipes found in distant regions, which implies a certain “rippling” of certain cultural aspects throughout the local and distant populations. Besides a trading of materials, this is an example of artistic expression being transferred or shared between different indigenous groups.
This article is highly detailed, yet also clear and concise. The author utilizes illustrations to clarify any typological differences in the artifacts. There is enough information to remain informative and also interesting.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
STEPHANIE SMITH Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Perkins, G. H. Aboriginal remains in the Champlain Valley. American Anthropologist April-June, 1911 Vol.13(2):239-249.
This article is the second one written by G.H. Perkins regarding artifacts, or remains, by aboriginals in the Champlain Valley. Here, the author discusses items not included in his previous article. He hopes to obtain as many artifacts as is possible and to discuss and describe them before these items are lost to tourists or other untrained individuals. He points out that large numbers of the artifacts are already gone.
The focus of this article is on grooved stone axes and problematic objects. Perkins describes how he defines each. Plates and figures are included in order to help in the description of individual items. Most of the article discusses the various types of problematic objects, or miscellaneous items, which do not fit easily into any category. Perkins hypothesizes the possible uses for both types of artifacts. He looks at different materials used in construction of the individual items. Similar items are compared by material used in manufacture and how this would relate to the possible function of the item.
This author’s main goal is to identify the different items found by Perkins over a period of time. He wishes to describe as many as is possible before the items are lost. He takes measurements of the problematic items and details the material composition of each item mentioned. He makes references to items he had mentioned in his previous paper. He then makes some references to other artifacts found in other localities. He discusses some similarities and looks at possible connections. Perkins closes with an extrapolation of where the artifacts originated.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
JUDY FREIBOTH Southern Illinois University (Dr. Jonathan Hill)
Radin, Paul Some Aspects Of Winnebago Archeology American Anthropologist October-December, 1911 Vol.13(4):517-538
This article was about the problems of Winnebago archeology. The author goes out of his way to explain why the data regarding the Winnebago of Wisconsin is incomplete, therefore bringing about archeological problems. The Winnebago are said to be the first inhabitants of the southern shore of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and most people never question that. There is information available on the mound explorations of the Winnebago, but there are no explanations of the mound explorations. Large numbers of mounds covering Wisconsin were noticed many years ago. Many simple explanations were given, but they did not satisfy the inquiries of the investigators. The author points out evidence that there were other tribes who occupied this land before the Winnebago. The nature and significance of the mounds create archeological problems of Wisconsin. These problems arose because of the limited information given about the Winnebago. In this article the author digs deep down into the issues that have not been addressed about the Winnebago or the information available on them.
The author presents his information by stating specific examples regarding the mounds and artifacts of the Wisconsin area, correlating them with the Winnebago and other tribes. He also points out inconsistencies with the accepted information about the Winnebago and the facts that could disprove that. For example, traditions speak only of Green Bay as the Winnebago’s original habitat. However, the author points out that though all Winnebago questioned claimed mounds had been erected by their ancestors, no unanimity could be obtained as to their use. In fact there is evidence that the Winnebago did not build the mounds which they were said to have inhabited. The distribution of the mounds in the Green Bay area indicates the distribution of tribes along them. These indications show that tribes other than the Winnebago inhabited that area.
The most common mounds are conical and oval. These are the kind of mounds that historically were near areas inhabited by Winnebago and the ones that appeared most in Green Bay. Tribes such as the Algonkin and Potowatomi were the main inhabitants of these areas. The absence of many effigy mounds in the Winnebago’s legendary place of origin, Green Bay, suggests they never lived near Green Bay. In addition, the few effigy mounds that are found in Green Bay are turtle mounds. The strange part about this is that turtles are not a clan of the Winnebago. The three kinds of clan animals that the Winnebago use as mound effigies are wolf, buffalo, and fish. Many problems in archeology arose because the Winnebago insisted they originated in Green Bay and would not claim differently. The type of mounds historically known to be associated with the Winnebago are found on Lake Michigan, but they claim no recollection of originating there.
This long detailed article was understandable and had many valid points that were clearly stated. At times it seemed to have gone off on tangents but for the most part it was well written. The article states the main point and has good supporting evidence.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
KRISTEN WOLOSZYN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Radin, Paul. Some Aspects Of Winnebago Archeology. American Anthropologist 1911 N.S., 13: 517-538
The author of this essay begins by expressing his appreciation in relation to the ever-increasing amount of data that has been collected by the Wisconsin Archaeological Society, related to the history of the state of Wisconsin. He also acknowledges that much still remains to be explored, due to all the questions that have arisen from the preliminary studies of this data. He suggests that a complete and thorough archaeological survey of the entire state of Wisconsin and adjacent states needs to take place, and that all findings must be interpreted in relation to the available ethnological data, in order to avoid any “misconceptions”.
The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate the importance and necessity for a preliminary study of the ethnology of any given area in relation to its past history before attempting to solve any problems or questions that may arise from archaeological findings. The author demonstrates the importance of the aforementioned by giving a detailed description of some problematic issues that arose when a large number of ‘effigy mounds’ covering the state of Wisconsin were discovered and their relation to the Winnebago people, who were first found inhabiting the southern shore of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
JADEN J. WINFREE York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson)
Radosavljevich, Paul R. Professor Boas’ New Theory of the Form of the Head–A Critical Contribution to School Anthropology. American Anthropologist July-September 1911 Vol.13(3):394-436.
In this article the author discusses Franz Boas’ findings about the form of the head. He compares Boas’ findings to other scientists who did the same experiments. The author disagrees with Boas’ new theory and explains all the mistakes he has found in his work. Boas measured many immigrants’ skulls to come up with his theory. These measurements include a study of: 1) stature; 2) weight; 3) general physiological development of the individual; 4) two head measurements; 5) width of face; 6) color of hair, eyes, and skin. Boas believed that the form of the head is not a permanent characteristic of race as anthropologists had assumed.
The author starts off by discussing the three earliest theories. First was the mechanical-functional theory, which states the shape of the head may be caused by the mechanical influences during postnatal life. Second was the hereditary theory, which has two forms. The first states that the shape of the head is uninfluenced by climate, age, food, locality, and exercise. The second form states that the shape of the head is inherited, but does not assume its final shape until after birth. Third, the geographical-local theory says the shape of the head is distributed more according to geographical localities than to nationalities. The author then explains Boas’ new theory, “The Environmental-Economic Theory”. Boas disagrees with the other theories and claims, and states his theory, that the descendants of the European immigrants change their type and that the panics of 1893 and 1907 caused a sudden decrease in the general physical development of immigrants and a sudden increase in the cephalic index. The author shows a lot of Boas’ work and then explains why he has difficulty accepting Boas’ findings. He notes that Boas did not make all those measurements himself and there could have been discrepancies, large conclusions are drawn from comparatively few measurements, and Boas’ statements in regard to the methods of his other records and measurements are not complete as they should be.
The author does a good job explaining his point. This is lengthy but it is interesting and easy to understand.
NAHALA BUYCKS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Paul R. Radosavljevich. Professor Boas’ New Theory of the Form of the Head – A Critical contribution to School Anthropology. American Anthropologist. 1911 vol.13: 394-433.
The author of this article Paul R. Radosavljevich is concerned with Franz Boas’ published government document for the Immigration Commission of the United States that assumes the position that shows the form of the head is not a permanent characteristic of race. The author proves that Boas’ own figures and results do not prove his conclusions.
The author’s basic argument is in opposition to Boas’ advanced theories with regards to the physical changes peculiar to the immigrants of the United States and their children. Radosavljevich says, Boas neglects the various influences, which, in different degrees, offer different subjects in the tests, and pours all data from whatever source into the statistical mill, which in consequence expresses an anthropological meanless result.
Radosavljevich makes his point by discussing previously recorded theories. Firstly, the mechanical theory, that states that the form of the head may change under the sway of diet. Secondly, the heredity theory, which states the shape of the head, is not changed and is the clearest of all permanent heredity differences. Thirdly, the geological local theory, which claims that the shape of the head is distributed more according to geographical localities than to nationalities. Fourthly, the most important theory in the context of this argument is that of Boas, based on his study of immigrants and their descendants. The environmental economic theory, as discussed by Boas claims that the descendant of the European immigrants change their head form according to the economy. The author disproves Boas’ argument, Radosavljevich argues that, the data was collected incorrectly by different researchers, at different times, and of different people, therefore the results are inaccurate.
Radosavljevich’s points out that the prime condition in reporting head measurement results is to give the modus operandi, Boas does not exactly state what is meant by specific head measurements. For example, terms like anteroposterior and transversal head diameter are not defined. Secondly, Boas did not make all these measurements himself. Thirdly, Radosavljevich points out another difficulty with Boas’ theory in that big conclusions are made from comparatively few measurements. Fourthly, Boas’ theory is incomplete, his statements with regards to the methods of his other records and measurements are not as complete as they should be. Moreover, attention must be paid to the citation of authors, Boas references only one author and mentions only a few Gould, Baxter, Crampton, and Fisberg.
Finally, Radosavljevich makes a general summary of his conclusions, he states that Boas’ theory of the head form does not agree with the actual results. Secondly, the normal differences in degree of these types are probably not due to the American soil or financial panics as Boas postulates but to the countless methodological, technical and mathematical difficulties which Radosavljevich thematically points out in this article. Furthermore, the method of collecting scientific data was uncritical; also, Boas’ theory was based rather on a cross section of the facts than on the genetic interpretation of them.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
GIROLOMA D’ALESSANDRO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Sapir, Edward Some Aspects of Nootka Language and Culture. American Anthropologist January-March, 1911 Vol.13(1):15-28.
This article is based on linguistic and ethnological material gathered from September to December of 1910 from two tribes of the Northern Nootka, the Ts!icyatH and the Hopatc!asatH. These two tribes live near Barkley Sound and Alberni Canal in Canada. The author compares the linguistics of Kwakiutl and Nootka, and describes the Nootka wolf ritual.
Kwakiutl and Nootka are both branches of the Wakashan linguistic stock, but there are many differences between the two. For example, they differ phonetically in that in Nootka, the “p” sound replaces both “p” and “b” in Kwakiutl, and there is no “l” in Nootka. Nootka does not have the syllabically final glottal stops or glottally affected consonants of Kwakiutl, and Nootka has a significantly larger number of derivative suffixes. Regarding pronominal development, “Kwakiutl has distinct forms of first person plural inclusive and exclusive, while Nootka has only one form for both” (19). Finally, the two languages differ greatly in vocabulary.
The Nootka wolf ritual, Lokwa’na, is held in the winter. It originates from a legend in which a young man obtains a magic war club from a den of wolves, and sees them performing the ceremony. When he returns home, he introduces it to the tribe. The ritual lasts four evenings and is always given with a potlatch. The father of an initiate usually leads. The ritual consists of a dramatic performance representing the novices being captured by the wolves, their recapture from the wolves, the exorcism of wolf spirits, and a performance of the dances the novices supposedly learn from the wolves.
On the first evening of feasting the lights are suddenly put out, and four tribe members dressed as wolves are seen scampering in the woods. Later the wolves come back and capture the novices. They are taken to a house in the woods for four days that is taboo to the uninitiated. On the third day some men go to reclaim the wolves but come back empty-handed. On the fourth night the men lasso the novices and bring them back to the village.
On the next day the “driving of the ghosts out of the house” is held. This is the most sacred part, and is followed by a blood purification ceremony, K!wixa’. Then a series of “pretending to be somebody” dances takes place. These oci’nak dances usually conclude the ritual. Lastly, a “to go out fishing or hunting” ceremony takes place.
The article serves its purpose of describing the languages and wolf ritual, but is overly descriptive and the language section is choppy. An entire page devoted to a list of similar suffixes is entirely unnecessary. A background in linguistics would help the reader understand terms like “glottal stops”, “spirants”, “velars”, and “iteratives”, just to name a few. This is not the greatest article in the world, but at least the description of the wolf ritual is interesting.
JUSTIN ZAMBO Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Sapir, Edward. Some Aspects of Nootka Language and Culture. American Anthropologists 1911. Vol. 13:15-28
This article is based on linguistic and ethnological material collected between two tribes of the Northern Nootka of Barkley Sound and Alberni Canal. The Wakashan linguistic is divided into two branches: the Kwakiutl and the Nootka. Contrasting intermediate stop series, phonetic processes, softening and hardening of consonants, and vowel changes, are all addressed in regards to their similarities and/or differences between the two branches. General morphology, suffixes and prefixes are also explained are given. Through examples of pronominal development, nouns and verbs, and vocabulary, the author shows relationships between Kwakiutl and Nootka languages.
Sapir identifies cultural aspects of the Kwakiutl and Nootka through the two important public rituals the Nootka have, a doctoring ceremony and a wolf ritual. Both rituals are discussed. The four-day process of the wolf ritual is explained in further detail with the use of linguistically terms. The connection between the wolf ritual of the Nootka and the winter ceremonial of the Kwakiutl seems quite obvious. The author notes the importance of refraining from crediting the Nootka to a primary Kwakiutl origin.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHRISTINA FIORE York University (Naomi Adelson)
Sapir, Edward The Problem of Noun Incorporation in American Languages. American Anthropologist January-March, 1911 Vol.12(1):250-282
The article is a review and critique of the work of Dr. Kroeber, on the subject of noun incorporation in Native American languages. Nouns in Native American languages may be added as prefixes or suffixes to other words. Among Sapir’s examples he points out that nouns change as the predicate changes, this means that the prefix for the word foot is different for the predicates walk and run. The noun itself tends to change the use of the predicate as well, meaning the predicate of walking is changed depending on the noun doing the walking. Within the article there is also a language section with a list of examples of this noun and predicate change. This all leads to one sentence becoming a single word, such as “quam’UyaainUmpUya’” which translates into (he) used to hunt jackrabbits.
This article was difficult to read because it requires a background in linguistics. I had a very hard time reading through the article, as the language used was very confusing.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
MICHAEL FOURNIER Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Sapir, Edward. The Problem of Noun Incorporation in American Languages. American Anthropologist, 1911. Vol.13 (1): 250-282.
In this article, Sapir responds to Kroeber’s assertion that, “‘Noun incorporation is the combination into one word of the noun object and the verb functioning as the predicate of the sentence’” (Sapir 254). He acknowledges that Kroeber is correct on a few points, but rejects his claim that noun incorporation is composed primarily of pronominal incorporation.
Sapir rejoins that noun incorporation is not both morphologic and syntactic in structure, but that it can only be one or the other. He defines noun incorporation as the combination of a noun stem with a verb, no matter the noun’s syntactic function. This definition, then, is of a purely morphologic nature. While not all American languages conform to this definition because of obvious variation, enough conform to make Sapir’s definition valid.
In more than one American language, syntax is sacrificed in favor of morphology. Sapir offers supporting evidence in the American languages of Nahuatl, Paiute, Shoshonean, Yana, Uto-Aztekan, Takelma, Iroquois, Oneida, Pawnee, Algonkin, and Tsimshian. In all of these languages, compound verbs, in which the first member of the compound is a noun, exist—at least to some extent.
Sapir concludes with the allegation that noun incorporation in American languages is not morphologically equivalent to pronominal affixation. Differences in detail are numerous, and noun incorporation does not, necessarily, lack syntactic value. The article ends with the declaration that noun incorporation in American languages is primarily morphological, not syntactical.
This article was fairly clear; we had some initial difficulty only because we were not included in Sapir’s intended audience of linguists. However, with some knowledge of linguistic terminology, the audience can read this article with relative ease.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
PRESTON CARTER, DAVID CHELLAPPA, SANDRA KAROLUS, KATHRYN RUDASILL Northern Illinois University (Giovanni Bennardo)
Scott, Hugh Lenox. Notes on the Kado, or Sun Dance of the Kiowa. American Anthropologist July-September 1911 Vol.13(3):345-379
Scott’s first concern addresses the wandering tribes in the Plains of the West, who spoke different languages, but possessed the same culture. He describes an important element of that culture, known as the Sun Dance. The article begins with the history of the Sun Dance. It mentions the dance must have originated in the north because the tribes in the Southern plains brought it with them from the north. Each tribe has its own features. For instance, “the Kiowa do not allow any cutting of the flesh or shedding of blood in their Sun Dance, unlike the Crows, from whom the Kiowa received the ceremony.” (345). The Kiowa consider the Sun Dance to be their most important ceremony. It is a religious ceremony that celebrates the Sun as a regenerator of the world, and the whole tribe participates. The actual performance recreates, reforms, and reanimates the earth. The Kiowa believes the ceremony helps to ward off sickness, promotes happiness, prosperity, and success in war.
The principal element of the Sun Dance is the Taimay. The Taimay is an image made to resemble a small person without legs. Its head is a small round stone covered with deerskin. It wears a shell gorget with an eagle feather on its head. The body is also made of deerskin and has short eagle feathers all over it. This image is of great secrecy, and its identity is never exposed except at the time of the Sun Dance, which is usually held in the spring. The Taimay is seen as a mediator between the people and the Sun’s power. Its purpose is to watch over the fortunes of the people.
Scott compares this ceremonial celebration in the spring with the European and Russian spring festivals. The Sun Dance season was a time of rejoicing for the tribe, as well as a reunion of families. The whole tribe participated with many other tribes as visitors. Other entertainment is featured for all ages. The author obtained the information about the ceremony rituals from spending nine years with the tribes of the present Oklahoma.
This article is easy to read because it shows a number of illustrations of how the actual ceremonial dance is set up, and what materials are used to set it up. The article is very interesting because it comments on how the culture of the Indians has evolved, but still holds the same customs from their forefathers.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
JENINE CLEMENTS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Scott, Hugh Lennox. Notes on the Kado, or Sun Dance of the Kiowa. American Anthropologist July-September, 1911 Vol.13(3): 345-379.
Hugh Scott imparts the historical elements of the Kado, or Sun Dance, present in the Plains Indian culture and chronicles the specific elements of the Kiowa Kado. The Kado is an annual religious celebration of life, happiness and health that unites the entire tribe in “the ceremonial worship of the Sun…as the creator and regenerator of the world” (347). Scott argues the Kado is a shared, diffused cultural element and illustrates the interrelatedness and differences between the tribes. He also deals with the concern of representing the religious and communal importance of the Kado to the Kiowa culture.
Scott begins by explaining the historical background of the tribes’ migration and dispersal, from North to South on the Plains. Scott emphasizes the role of diffusion and the importance of being aware of other tribes’ viewpoints, customs and influences on the Kado. Although the tribes share elements of the Kado, the most conspicuous difference amongst the Kiowa and other tribes’ (particularly the Crows’) Sun Dance practices is that the Kiowa “do not allow any cutting of flesh or shedding of blood” (345). The Kiowa believe any blood spilt represents an evil omen.
Scott continues with verbatim Kiowa accounts of the Kado obtained via participant-observation. Scott’s intermediary to the tribes’ elders recounts the exact procedures and function of each element of the Kado in great detail, devoid of Scott’s commentary. The primary elements of the Kado include the Taimay and the Sun whose antiquity was first noted in the records of the Spanish conquistadors. Readers learn how the Kiowa acquired the Taimay, the principal element of the Kado, via an Arapaho liaison. The Taimay serves as the mediator between the power of the Sun and the Kiowa and a messenger of prayers. Scott notes that cedar and sage were also important elements in the Kado. The custom of including these three main elements originated with Kiowa forefathers, yet their meaning was only revealed unconsciously when explained during a prayer to the Sun. Scott provides rich descriptions of the Taimay and vividly paints the layout of the Kado.
The article was straightforward and informative, providing illustrations and descriptions of the nature of Kiowa adaptations to the Kado. The article follows the tradition of historical particularism and emphasizes diffusion of cultural elements. Scott asserts that only through studying the Kado of each tribe will people can understand the habits and customs of the Plains Indians.
EMILY M. FREEMAN Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
Skinner, Alanson. A Comparative Sketch of the Menomini. American Anthropologist. October-December 1911. Vol.13(4): 551-65.
The author’s objective is to compare the lives of the Menomini Indians found in Green Bay, Wisconsin with the other neighboring tribes. The components of culture examined are the material culture, religion, folklore, and social life. Here, many similarities are drawn between the Menomini and the Central Algonkin peoples of the Saul, Fox Winnebago, Potawatomi, and Kickapoo cultures. Things such as similar garments, lodge types, manufacturers, tanning, pottery, textiles, and agriculture lump these cultures together. However, slight differences were acknowledged, such as the Menomini practice of having plain breechclouts where the other Central Algonkin people would have breechclouts decorated with beads.
The author introduces the general concepts of the Menomini religion, and describes their “scheme of the universe” into a “definite system.” The Lower and Upper Worlds each are represented by rulers, and are further divided into four subsections represented by an animal. The Upper World , ruled by Mate Hawatuk, represents the benevolent powers of the world, while the Lower World, ruled by a white bear, represents evil. Tied into the Menomini ideologies was their practice of folklore. Many similarities to the Fox Indians were drawn, where common motifs of the folklore and methods of narration were made. The main motifs of the folklore, such as the Culture Hero Cycle and stories of the Manabos, drew extensive parallels to the Fox people. Finally, the author described the social life of the Menomini through the organization, tribal divisions, mortuary customs, and war customs found within their society. Again, many comparisons are made such as the common “social divisions into which members of the tribe enter at birth.”
nThe author most certainly provides the reader with a comparative sketch of the Menomini. However, with so many Indian tribes being tossed around, it is difficult to get a clear picture of who the Menomini people are.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
KEVIN BULGER Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Skinner, Alanson. A Comparative Sketch of the Menomini. American Anthropologist 1911 13: 551-565.
This is a brief outline on the Menomini culture, which was found by Europeans in the vicinity of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Their tradition states they came from transformed animals to the Mouth of the Menomini River. The sketch describes their material culture in great depth, from the garments the men and women wore, to the way they did they hair. It further discusses, in smaller detail, their lodge type, which varied according to the seasons. Tanning practices they preferred and most used to the pottery type most known and characteristic of them, which was clay daubed over twine and allowed drying. They also practiced weaving, in forms of mats and sashes, and in more “modern” period’s belts, bags, and fobs from beads. It also discussed the agricultural practice of wild rice and other preparation of various food types. Travel and transportation are mentioned, as well as, religion with its general concepts of how they began based on significant animals, key to their beginning. Later discussed is the variation in social lives depending on who you were in the society, as well as, all the factors, which encompassed the social life. This would include war, burial customs, organization and tribal customs. The brief conclusion takes into consideration all the evidence found and then compares the Menomini to others who most resemble themselves.
CLARITY RATING: 5
SHERISSE SEQUEIRA York University (Naomi Adelson)
Skinner, Alanson. War Customs of the Menomini Indians. American Anthropologist 1911 Vol. 13: 299-312.
In the time of the Menomini Indians when most professions required skill, training, and some acquaintance with the supernatural, the norm for males was becoming a soldier. They were enrolled from the time of puberty.
Any man could become a soldier, but the leaders were the soldiers who were granted divine inspiration. This inspiration came from the Thunderers. Thunderers were the divine power respected by all warriors of the Menomini Indian tribe, as well as ordinary members of the tribe. The example used in the article was a boy who was given a vision in his dreams. He followed the instructions given to him and found the Thunderers. The leader of the Thunderers requires the commander of the warriors to fulfill very important battle rituals which are practiced not only in times of war but also other battles. The most important token of tradition is the war-bundle. It is used to protect whoever guards it. Only the leader guards it, as it is given to him by the Thunderers. (It is important to note that the Thunderers are a spiritual entity.) By satisfying the war-bundle you are in turn satisfying the Thunderers. This war-bundle acts as a divine inspiration on earth. It is the bridge that gaps the warriors with the spirits. The main component in pleasing the bundle is tobacco, (because tobacco pleases the Thunderers) as well as other traditional tokens.
There is careful instruction given to this new leading soldier to hang the war- bundle by itself when they are not in time of war. It is especially to be hung away from the women of the community, and more importantly, from those women who are menstruating.
Large-scale wars were only called in retaliation for tribal grievance. Small wars were arranged to settle disputes, or to excite new soldiers.
There were very exact regulations in going about attacking another tribe. Battles were to be carried out only at night, just before sunrise. Updated reports were to be retrieved about the tribe and their whereabouts upon arrival in their territory. Then a war song would break out among the attackers, which caused their enemies to go into a deeper sleep. At this point, just before the warriors would formally attack, the leader would hand out sacred traditional charms to each of his soldiers. These charms would give the warriors certain advantages based on which charm he was given. Skins of hawks, swallows, hummingbirds, buffalos, weasels, and pine snakes each gave the warrior a particular strength in battle. The birds provided power and travel. Buffalos gave strength and courage. The weasel’s skin endowed the soldier with the ability to gather his enemy as he pursued other prey. The pine snake offered two advantages to the warrior. The first was the ability to hide away and spy on the enemy, while the second was the ability to escape if necessary. The leader never took part in the battle and remained with the bundle for spiritual support.
The Menomini warriors do not torture their enemy in respect for the divine superiors of their opponent. Although, after killing them they traditionally remove their scalps, later used in ceremonial dancing and singing. These rituals also involve the women of the tribe. After the warrior finishes his singing and dancing, he gives the scalp to his closest female relative, and in exchange he receives a fine cloth or other symbol to recognize his achievement. It is important to note that the scalp is not used to make this symbol of achievement, but instead the woman ornaments it and keeps it as a trophy to commend her warrior. Also after battle, honorary soldiers are given a ceremony in which some are given the privilege to wear an eagle feather in their traditional headpiece to mark their own personal slaying of an enemy.
Today, these ceremonies and rituals are still kept, but in a more civilized fashion.
RON SOREANU York University, (Naomi Adelson)
Smith, Harlan I. Archeological Evidence As Determined By Method And Selection. American Anthropologist 1911. N.S. 13: 445-448
In his article Archeological Evidence As Determined By Method And Selection, Harlan I. Smith discusses how archeologists reconstruct prehistoric ethnology by the collection of artifacts.
Although archeological materials should be gathered in an unprejudiced and disinterested manner, Smith says the nature of broken and fragmented specimens may inform ambiguous and misleading reconstructions of the object. The depth of the excavation site will determine a variation of specimen samples. Surface finds are likely to produce objects that are less intact or disintegrated due to lack of protection from weather conditions and/or interference from animals or humans. The locations and types of sites used (even if they are in close proximity to each other) can often reveal a different impression of the same material culture.
When exhibiting artifacts and specimens in museums, there can be misinterpretations of the proportion and abundance of objects originally used by the culture. However, Smith contends that a unique object has a visual presentation far greater than its relative abundance warrants.
The points made by Smith in this article are to guide the archeologist in forming accurate conceptions of their discoveries when reconstructing prehistoric ethnology.
CLARITY RATING: 3
MARCIE GOLDMAN York University (Naomi Adelson)
Smith, Harlan. Archeological Evidence As Determined By Method And Selection. American Anthropologist 1911 September, Vol.13(3): 445-448.
Harlan I. Smith’s article examines the possible that a collection from a single or peculiar site may lead to an entirely erroneous conclusion if one is satisfied with the results obtained in this one kind of place. He argued that archeological evidence is often handled in such a way that it is very misleading as a basis for the reconstruction of prehistoric ethnology. For example, he explores the idea that the objects found in such a peculiar site may have been the property of a certain peculiar type of individual. Many men, women, fisherman and children had played in that part of the village. Moreover, children might have played with these objects.
The reason why these archeological objects are misleading to us is because a collection made only a few miles away might give one a widely different impression of the same material culture. Moreover, the objects are misleading us because archeologists usually excavate from the surface. It means these objects have been washed by the rains of a season. Also, these objects have been broken by burrowing animals, sun and frost. Additionally, they have been wholly disintegrated due to compaction from the traveling of man and beasts. Therefore, some objects are ruined.
The archeological record evidence sometimes reflected erroneous ideas rather than real evidence. This is because those objects were changed by climate, man, woman and children. The erroneous archaeological record influences the history. Therefore, archeologists should observe objects carefully and they should explore archaeological sites carefully to prove truth.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MASAYUKI MIYAZAWA Southern Illinois University (Jonathan Hill)
Speck, F.G. Huron Moose Hair Embroidery. American Anthropologist. January-March, 1911 Vol.13(1):1-14.
The author’s objective is to give detailed description of Huron moose hair embroidery, and show the similarities it shares with decorative art of other cultures. The first part of the article is thoroughly descriptive, based on visits to Huron Indians on Quebec in 1908 and 1909. He comments on the old origins of moose hair embroidery, and mentions the various articles of clothing embroidery were found on. These include headdresses, lower borders of shirts, flaps of leggings, and moccasins just to name a few. He mentions the most common colors used in embroidery, which consists of red, dork green, blue and natural white. He also explains the process of embroidery in full detail, and how the women of the tribe do it.
The author also lists four techniques, what he calls “devices” used for decoration. The first, “simple line”, is a straight stitch found “practically the same all over the range of the hair embroidery”. The second is what he calls the “zigzag” technique, which is self-explanatory. The third is the “overlapping” method used mostly in flower designs. The fourth is the “bristle” technique. The author also explains how most design inspirations for the embroidery came from nature. Examples of names of these patterns are “balsam fir”, “star”, and “cats paw”.
Throughout the article the author compares the Huron embroidery to similar decorative techniques of other cultures in North America and Asia. Among the groups compared are the Eskimo, the plain tribes, and the Montagnais and Naskapi. With the Montagnais and Naskapi the author compares the flower and triangular cutout patterns found on a Huron costume. He also points out how the Huron moose hair embroidery is similar to quill work, another northern technique of decorative art.
The article was clear and concise in the message being presented. The descriptions of technique and design were detailed and interesting. Overall it was very clear in content.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
ALLISON BOISVENU Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Speck, F. G. Huron Moose Hair embroidery. American Anthropologist. 1911 Vol. 13: 1-13.
Anthropologist F. G. Speck, in the article Huron Moose Hair Embroidery, discusses the art technique, traditionally used by Indian tribes, of hair embroidery and appliqué on clothing. At first, anthropologist Speck refers to anthropologist Boas’ work on Indian tribes and notes that the hair techniques being studied are consistent with various Indian tribes around the world. Since Speck made several visits to Indian Lorette, Canada, and studied the hair-embroidered items among the Huron Indians, the examples provided in the article mainly refer to the methods practiced by the Huron Indians.
Speck explains that Huron Indians used moose, caribou and reindeer hair to embroider their clothing (e.g., buckskin items). These materials replaced their porcupine quill work, painting, beadwork and basket weaving traditions. Speck continues to discuss the significance of several objective aspects of the art. For example, moose hair was traditionally used to decorate clothing such as moccasins and leggings; caribou hair was considered useless next to moose hair, and Huron Indians would use aniline dyes to add colour to their garments.
A step by step process of embroidering is described: for example, a woman, since embroidering is considered a woman’s activity, selects a bunch of bristles from her desired shade, then transfers them into her mouth. As well, different ways of applying moose hairs onto garments are described, specifically the zigzag, overlapping and simple line appliqués.
Next, the meaning and importance of the designs used on various garments are discussed. Most Huron Indians, as well as other Indian tribes, associated their decorative figures with familiar objects and classified these items using different names (e.g., representation of crossed branches, stumps, trunks and other areas of the plant kingdom). The main purpose of creating these designs was to produce an aesthetically pleasing effect on clothing.
Then, George G. Heye’s collection of Huron clothing is shown, including a coat, cap and leggings that exhibit the moose hair embroidery technique. In all likelihood, these garments belonged to a Huron Indian chief, due to the intricately adorned animal figures (e.g., beavers, the emblem of Huron Indians).
Speck closes by addressing the importance of hair embroidery in the Indian traditions, as well as the significance of designs on particular garments.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
DIMITRA LAZAROU York University: (Naomi Adelson)
Speck, F. G. Notes On The Material Culture Of The Huron. American Anthropologist April-June, 1911. Vol.13(2):208-228
The author’s objective was to describe the influences in dress and materials used by the Huron Indians of Lorette near Quebec. The author obtained his information from studying the group in 1908-1909 and again in 1911. Speck gives a lengthy and detailed description of the styles of dress for both the males and females, and includes descriptions of the material used to make these various clothing.
The Huron Indians of Lorette were greatly influenced by other Indian tribes, including the Iroquois and Algonquin tribes. The author states that “practically nothing distinctively Huron, as we know the older tribes of this group from Jesuit accounts, appears to have remained with these people; not even the language.” The author goes on to describe various garments the Huron Indians wore, and how the clothes were constructed. Speck discusses the ornamentation of the various items of clothing, including the designs of the beadwork and the embroidery patterns. He further elaborates on the techniques used in preparation and in tanning of the animal hides that are used in making the clothing.
After the lengthy discussion of clothing, the author describes various tools used by the Huron for transportation, and for making baskets and clothing. He elaborates on how the sleds and the snowshoes used by the Huron were constructed. The author also describes the eating utensils used and various toys.
The author’s purpose in describing the clothing and tools of the Huron Indians of Lorette is to give the reader an understanding of the various influences on this tribe, and the changes they have made from their customary dress. Speck gives a very detailed explanation of all the clothing and the tools used by the Huron. The article thus suffers from excessive explanations and becomes very tedious to read although the explanations are clear and easy to understand.
CLARITY RATING: 5
DEBORAH ROELS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Speck, F.G. Notes on the Material Culture of the Huron. American Anthropologist. 1911 13; 208-227
Within this article, Specks observes the materials of the Huron Indians of Lorette near Quebec. Speck first examines the clothing worn by the tribe’s people. The chiefs clothing within the Huron tribe was that which included a head dress that consisted of a large bunch of hawk feathers which was found to be attached to a skull cap that had a decorated headband and which has ribbons hanging in the back of it. Long sleeve coats are very significant within the tribe. Coats that are worn by the chiefs are nicely decorated with beautiful patterns and colors. The coats worn by the town’s men are made out of plain cloth and different colours and are seen to lack the details of the patterns and ornamentation seen on the coats made for the chiefs of the Huron tribe. Women within the Huron tribe have a coat as well that consisted more of beads and ribbons.
The material used to produce Huron boots are the skins of deer and moose. Within the tribe there are four types of boots that are produce among the people according to the seasons they are used for. With both the coats and the shoes that are worn and produced within the Huron tribe, Speck found them both to be very similar to the Algonkain tribe though not exactly the same.
Animal skin was used to produce most of there materials. The process in taking the skin off the animal is seen to be a very long and detailed task. The Huron people have to scrape the skin free of hair first and then once all the hair is removed they bathe the skin to ensure that it is clean and then hang it out to dry. After the skin is found to be dry, they are found to soak the skin in coloured mixtures in order to give the skin some colour.
The uses of snowshoes are very common among the Huron tribe, who are found to use them throughout the winter season. Deer and moose skins are the material used to produce the snowshoes. Moose skin is used more in the middle of the shoe due to its heaviness. Within the winter season, toboggans are used as well as means of transportation.
Within all the tribes, the Huron have the simplest tools such as the gauge that are used by women to produce baskets. The chest bow drill is commonly used among men to bore hole in wood. The people of the Huron tribe make their own utensils for eating made out of maple wood which vary in size. Among the activities that the Huron Tribe part take in, the bow and arrows as well as the game of lacrosse is seen to be favored.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
TAMAR PAPISMEDOV York University (Naomi Adelson)
Spinden, H.J. An Ancient Sepulcher at Placeres Del Oro. American Anthropologist January, 1911 Vol.13(1):29-55.
The purpose of this article was to illuminate the reader on the contents of the ruins of Placeres Del Oro. These ruins had been studied, but not in detail at that time. In this essay, the contents of the ruins were investigated by William Niven.
Spinden starts by describing the area of the ruins. There is a map on the second page, which he describes with adequate detail. He also describes the total contents of the burial sites. Later pages include description of the carved stone slabs that were placed over the corpse in the burial. Spinden goes into great detail describing and interpreting the symbols carved on the stone slabs. Each of the three in that particular burial were ornately carved. He discusses the nose and ear plugs, the profile heads, and the eye ornaments carved on the slabs.
Spinden also writes about other articles of interest that were found with the body. There were decorative masks, jewelry, amulets, “toilet articles”, and mortars. He paid much attention to the detail of various beads. These beads were made of different substances such as shells, andesite, olivella, dionite, and obsidian. He states that the serpent played a large role in art, being depicted in the majority of art of that area.
Spinden also discussed the foreign influences on the ancient art found at these ruins. He stated the “oddly-shaped heads” represented a “foreign tribe”. He also gives a brief history of the area, mentioning some influential, famous people such as Cortes and Hirepan, a ruler of the Cuyacan. Spinden cites other writers for their studies of the area, including Eduardo Ruiz, Carl Lumholtz, and Celso Munoz.
Spinden writes clearly and goes into much detail. He also includes many illustrations, maps, charts, and photos. Each of these is also interesting.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JESSICA BISHOP Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Spinden, H. J. An Ancient Sepulcher at Placeres Del Oro, State of Guerrero, Mexico. American Anthropologist 1911 Vol.13:29-55.
In June 1910, Mr. William Niven made a discovery of art around the area of Mexico City. He found that the state of Guerrero contains many ruins demonstrating a prehistoric culture. The evidence provided in this paper describes a more heightened culture than was observed in the past.
The discovery made by Niven was located in the Rio del Oro, near the town of Placeres del Oro, two miles southwest of Mexico City. On the plain that extends towards the Arroyo Viscaino, at a bank, Mr. Niven excavated an ancient burial containing two carved tablets. Between them objects were found, such as two shell arm-bands (one in pieces), two table urns, one jadeite pendant, many beads of stone and shell, large shells, an obsidian core, and pieces of human bones and teeth. Evidence suggests that partial cremation of the body took place at the time the burial was performed. Two carved tablets (tablets A and B) were present. Tablet slab B was put on the bottom of the grave and covered with hot ashes, and the remains were put on top. Next, offerings (artifacts) were placed in the grave, with tablet slab A at the top. It is evident that cremation took place because the clay walls in the tomb had hardened by fire, flaking away a part of tablet slab A. Both tablets slab A and B are similar in that numerous carved heads or faces were present.
According to H. J. Spinden, the central and northern Guerrero area was likely to have been influenced and taken over by older civilizations such as the Zapotecan-Miztecan people on the southeast, the Nahuan in the east and northeast, and the Tarascan in the northwest. Unfortunately, the known Tarascan art doesn’t appear to resemble the carved tablets found in the burial site. Although it was believed that Curiacaberi, the chief Tarascan god, was connected to the sculptured tablet slabs, it was never proven to be so.
Ancient art found in Mexico and Central America was based on religious animal deities; for instance, the worship of the serpent and the jaguar. The serpents drawn on the tablets, particularly around the eyes of the faces were thought to be decorative art rather than related to religion. There is a possibility that the faces depicted are those of monkeys because of their flaring nostrils, canine-like teeth, and the hair across the forehead, which was thought to be similar to Capuchin monkeys. Another possibility suggests that the faces represented Tlaloc, the Aztec rain-god. In both tablets A and B a figure eight appears as a decorative border, which is thought to be a Nahuan astronomical symbol.
In conclusion, the ancient people of Placeres del Oro were much closer to the Nahua than to Tarascan culture. Spinden ends on a note that emphasizes the importance of further research in the region.
JANI TRINDADE York University (Naomi Adelson)
Thompson, Edward. H. The Genesis Of The Maya Arch American Anthropologist October-December, 1911 Vol.13(4):501-516
The article starts off with how up until recently it was believed that the entire plan of the ancient stone structures of Yucatan was developed elsewhere. Thompson believes that the Maya arch is no more than the stone/lime representation of the classic Maya nB or the native palm-thatched hut of Yucatan. The nB stays cool in the hot months and warm in the cold, it keeps insects and other rodents out, all while at the same time repealing the wind and rain. The author selects a nB in PistP, a small pueblo outside of Chichen-Itza, built by pureblooded natives who have never traveled very far from the pueblo. The nB is built out of trees, and sealed with a red earth, chopped grass and water which makes a very strong paste. The floor is usually a foot off the ground outside of the nB. Thompson went into great detail explaining how the structure was constructed and various tools needed for each phase. He goes on to explain that in his opinion the same mortar is used in the nB and the large stone structures. “probably the same method of transportin gstones, by balancing them on their heads, rather than by employing hods or rope lifts. The walls were built up probably by placing the cut stones first and then making the mass solid by rubble and mortar mixture, a mortar grouting. Into this were then placed the wedge shaped stone chips, and in time the whole mass became almost homogeneous” (512). Lines, angles and measurements fixed and necessary to the nB, arbitrary and conventional to the chambers of the stone edifice. Thompson explains that the Maya arch is but the lines of the nB roof-structure expressed in stone and lime. He concludes with this statement, “conventionalsim held this race hard bound and conventionalism holds among the brow-skinned race today.”
I feel that though this is a very clear and well thought out paper it lacks some of the essential ethnographic skills foundational to anthropology. Thompson lead the reader from the very beginning with no entertainment of the idea that any other options were plausible for the Maya arch.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
JOSHUA JONES Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Thompson, Edward H. The Genesis of the Maya Arch. American Anthropologist 1911 Vol.13 (4):501-516.
Edward Thompson argues that contrary to popular belief that the ancient stone buildings of the Yucatan were influenced by the pyramids of other cultures, they are actually derived from the much smaller thatched building, the Na. Thompson notes that it is important that only places of worship are built in the pyramid style, as it is necessary to place one’s god higher than man. The Na was built by those who commanded free slave labour and created in such a manner that the temperature would be more temperate inside than outside in the tropical heat. The Na was built “on the edge of the grassy savannah it is confounded with thorny foliage caps and the low tree tops…cool in the hot weather and warm in the cool season…is really complex, being itself the slow and gradual development of unnumbered centuries…” (503). Thompson describes the measurements of the Na, both as a whole (in chambers) and in parts (a single chamber). The Na described by Thompson is located in Piste near the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza. This particular group was chosen as the Na was built by “pure blooded natives, who, having never journeyed far from the pueblo, could not have had their building ideas changed from the general usages of the region and their people” (503). The Na is started with 6-8 forked posts or Ocomes. The forked posts need to be aligned perfectly with each other, and firm. The ridge-pole, or Hol-Na determines the size of the building. There is no concept of doors or windows, as the outside of the building is created with a screen. After the ridge-pole come the balos, or the most important cross-piece that holds up the thatched roof. The next most important cross-piece is called the cap-aac. Vines from the anicarp or bejuco plants are used to strap the poles together. Thompson goes on to describe all pieces pertinent to the creation of a proper Na, including thatching, leaves, thongs of cow hide, mud and stone floor, and mortar.
Thompson notes that the area of wall “directly beneath the overhang of the thatch is the place where…certain valued articles or things…” (509) are kept, for example trophies and skins (509). Thompson calls this “the trophy zone of the Na.” Thompson emphasizes that there are no strict measurements for a Na, but that it is a learned creation that has been passed down through the generations. There is a similarity between the Na and the Maya arch, in that on the “…inclined walls, or where would ordinarily be the apex, is truncated and in its place is a flat stone slab” (513), in the case of the Maya arch, in the case of the Na, a “cap-like covering” made of plam-thatch. Thompson concludes by stating that “…evolution that had for a time held sway was later arrested, cut short by a period of conventionalism, evolution ceased, and the process of crystallization set in. The chamber was evolved from the Na…” (513). Thompson goes on to describe certain pieces of the Maya arch that are necessary to the structural integrity of the Na, but are superfluous in the Maya arch, yet are present. Even the “trophy zone” is present in the Maya arch chamber, as in the Na. This zone is covered with designs and ornaments. Even the measurements are comparable in terms of relations to each piece of the edifice. Thompson states that the Na and the Maya arch are examples of conventionalized architecture.
AMANDA JONES York University (Naomi Adelson)
Wilder, Harris Hawthorne. A Petroglyph from Eastern Massachusetts. American Anthropologist January-March, 1911 Vol. 13(1):65-67.
Like many articles of this period, Wilder’s focuses on the description of an object, a small boulder inscribed with petroglyphs found in Eastern Massachusetts sometime around 1850. Wilder begins his description with a summary of the stone’s known history before it came into his possession. Orignally found in West Wrentham in Norfolk county, a local carried it home and used it to prop up his back step for thirty years. Wilder laments the subsequent wear on one face of the oblong rock, but notes that the earth surrounding the other sides preserved their markings well. A plate of three views of the boulder, approximately ten inches in length, accompanies the article along with a tracing of the inscriptions. Some of Wilder’s discussion focuses on the method of rubbing used to obtain the composite tracing.
Wilder offers no speculations as to what the various lines and curves on the boulder could represent, but draws attention to the lack of anthropomorphic figures, a feature common to many known petroglyphs. Although not unknown, few examples of smaller carved rocks, such as this one, exist. Citing work by Mallory, Wilder draws parallels between the inscriptions on this example to those on one known as the Dighton rock. This observation becomes even more important given that a distance of thirty miles separates the original locations of the stones.
Although he can offer no concrete ideas as to the boulder’s use, Wilder proposes a few suggestions. The small size of the stone complicates the task. He postulates that it may have served a ritual purpose due to its transportable size. At the same time, he believes it would not have been used as either a tribal boundary or as a message marker because of its small size.
Although Wilder presents his description and arguments in an easy to understand way, the article lacks depth for the uninitiated student of petroglyphs. His references to other well known examples become meaningless if the reader is unfamiliar with the subject matter. The example of the Dighton Rock, to which Wilder refers several times, is particularly frustrating in this sense because the reader cannot know how deep or important the parallels are while lacking any knowledge of the Dighton outside of its name.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
ALYSSA L. BROWN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Wilder, Harris Hawthorne. A Petroglyph From Eastern Massachusetts. American Anthropologist 1911 Vol. 13:65-7.
Wilder’s article is concerned with the description of an inscription-covered rock. He gives a vivid account of the stone, which is accompanied by three photographs taken from different angles.
Wilder traces the recent history of the stone. Most recently, the rock has been used to mend a back door step, thus damaging one of the surfaces.
Another graphic is produced which tries to reproduce the exact order of the engraved glyphs, and he gives a lengthy description on how this was approached.
He concludes that the rock’s inscriptions, though disappointing because of the absence of human and animal figures, bears resemblance to other well known petroglyphs.
Wilder makes no attempt to decipher the meaning of the glyphs.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
ALEKSANDRA STANIMIROVIC York University (Naomi Adelson).
Will, George F. A New Feature in the Archaeology of the Missouri Valley in North Dakota. American Anthropologist 1911 Vol. 13(4): 585-588.
George F. Will’s article further investigates mounds of Apple Creek in the Missouri Valley of North Dakota, which had been previously mentioned in an American Anthropologist article for January-March 1910. More specifically, this article gives the rudimentary data collected from surveys taken from the mounds. The mounds have been roughly mapped to show their approximate geographic location and size; however, Will has noted that these measurements are nowhere near exact.
Although little excavation had taken place at the time of this article, Will believed that the mounds were much older than other village sites found in the region. Cultivation of crops and recent burials were still taking place during the time of the article. A series of verbal interviews with many of the local people show a small amount of pottery, flint, and arrowheads have been found near the mounds. In the samples of pottery that had been retrieved from the surface, the pottery showed no evidence of any decoration and was significantly thick and coarse. Soil samples demonstrated that there was little difference between the mound soil and surrounding soils in terms of human produced artifacts. Verbal interviews also revealed that a child’s skeleton had been found fifteen years prior to the writing of this article. Nonetheless, no further details other than the rough geographic location were given.
Many questions arise within Will’s article. Unfortunately, without excavation data or accurate geographic data, little can be concluded about the mounds of Apple Creek. Further excavation of the mounds could possibly reveal the answers to Will’s questions. However, with the continuous cultivation of the land, the mounds will quickly become eroded and much of the data will be lost.
RAQUEL A. OZANICH Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Willoughby, Charles. Certain Earthworks of Eastern Massachusetts. American Anthropologist October-December, 1911 Vol.13(4):566-576.
The focus of the author is to present information about earthworks found in Eastern Massachusetts before they are completely destroyed by cultivation and/or the mining of resources in areas where these sites exist.
Earthworks found in Eastern Massachusetts usually consist of embankments and trenches that surround village or house sites. The average height of the embankment from the bottom of the trench is about 2-4 ft. and each trench averages about 13 ft. in width. However, at the actual time of occupation it is speculated that the trenches were deeper, with the depth being comparable to breast height of the average man. These sites are also characterized by palisades made from the trunks of small trees, averaging about 10-12 ft. in height, surrounding the entire site.
Willoughby moves on from generalizations to the introduction of various earthwork sites that have been found overrun and destroyed by agriculture and the mining of natural resources. Marblehead is a perfect example of this, a once well preserved site, that was destroyed by rock quarries which cut away part of a hill, destroying a greater portion of the work. Another example of this is a site found in Andover, near Haggett’s Pond, where the embankment and trench on the eastern side are well preserved, with the other portions destroyed by cultivation. Willoughby’s disgust for the destruction of such sites is evident as he cites more and more examples.
However, he does focus a great deal of attention on the Millis Site, extensively surveyed by him in 1909. He goes on to say that this site is, “the most extensive and best preserved earthwork of this type” known to him (568). The site is located in the town of Millis, about 20 miles south of Boston, on the shore of South End Pond. It is well known to local archaeologists and detailed by Willoughby with maps and pictures collected through his own personal research of the area.
Willoughby wraps up his discussion on earthworks with images held by Pilgrims encountering them for the first time. Unfortunately, many of his examples are taken from sources focusing on Indian Wars that refer to the sites as ‘forts.’ The imagery created by the labeling of such sites as “forts” is easily perceived negatively, often leaving the impression of war-like peoples even though the people living within the earthworks have not been discussed. In fact, Willoughby fails to mention what people the earthworks are attributed to, only briefly comparing the dwellings to the Algonquians of Virginia said to live in similar structures. It is unclear why the dwellings found are surrounded by palisades, but it is presumed that they are to keep out enemies.
Willoughby provides a great deal of detail about the layout of earthworks and the dimensions of sites found, but his analysis ends there. It is also unclear in his analysis if Willoughby is in fact an archaeologist, or just an interested scholar looking to salvage what is left of the earthworks by describing them geographically on paper. He is clearly interested in the sites, but presents little actual data about them to his audience. The reader is left asking many questions about the construction of such sites, materials used, layout of the dwellings found within, etc. The lack of information and attention to such details is frustrating and confusing to the reader looking for more than a few dimensions.
SARA A. FELLOWS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)
Willoughby, Charles, C. Certain Earthworks of Eastern Massachusetts. American Anthropologist 1911 13: 566-576.
This article first deals with the locations, in which burial mounds would be best preserved. It also describes the commonly known features of the mounds, along with some differences in the number of trenches used. The location of the mounds tend to be within the area of settlements, The environment around these specific earthworks are also discussed in order to understand the area, which was once inhabited as a whole. The characteristics of the locale deals with lakes, rivers, agricultural land and hills for fortification. The fact that one of the earthworks, is one of the most extensive in New England is also raised and those anthropologists are still perplexed about it. The article further discusses the various locals, in which other fortifications were found and the first one was at Cape Cod that was seen by the pilgrims, when they first arrived here. The discussion of fortifications and their significance are further examined, as well as, who might have been their inhabitants. This is being based on the mounds and the amount of fortification that was apparent at each site.
CLARITY RATING: 5
SHERISSE SEQUEIRA York University (Naomi Adelson)