American Anthropologist 1915
Bennett Bean, Robert. The Growth of the Head and Face in American (White), German-American and Filipino Children. American Anthropologist 1915 17:525-528.
In The Growth of the Head and Face in American (White), German-American and Filipino Children is an attempt by Robert Bennett Bean to compare head sizes between these three distinct groups of people. His sample size includes 725 boy and girls from Manila, Philippine Islands, 633 German boys and girls, and 827 American boys and girls. The latter two groups are from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In this brief article, Bean first compares the growth of the diameter of the heads.
Diameter consists of the length, breadth, and height of the head. He notes that the heads of Filipinos grew more rapidly between six and eleven years of age, whereas, the heads of the German and Americans grew more rapidly between the ages of eleven and sixteen. Also, it should be noted that he states what is true between Filipinos and Germans and Americans is also directly proportional between boys and girls.
Next, the author compares the differences between the head circumferences which consists of the frontal region, forehead, parietal, and occipital regions of the head. Bean states that as the forehead of all groups increased, the parietal region of all the groups decreased. Bean then proceeds to compare the growth rate of the face. This region consists of the length, breadth, and facial angle of the faces. Finally, he compares the cephalo-facial indexes. This is a termed coined by this author to compare and contrast the differences of growth between the faces as it relates to the head.
Bean concludes by his comparison of all these groups and the mixing of the “races”. He feels that the Caucasians have mixed more with the Filipinos than the Filipinos mixing with the Caucasians. His conclusion appears to be somewhat too definitive with such a small sample size overall.
KAREN McCARTHY Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Bennett-Bean, Robert. The Growth of the Head and Face in American (White) German- American and Filipino Children. . American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17:525-.
As noted in the title, this article is composed of the findings from Bean-Bennett’s research on head size in various groups. This sort of “science” was popular during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Observing the difference in male female growth Bean-Bennett measures things like the “facial index”, which is the heads breadth and height. The article looks at relative cranial capacity and the corresponding intelligence level- a result of a kind of social Darwinism. Although the findings from this sort of research have been proven to be both useless and biased, this article would be of use to anyone concerned with issues of body image and race.
ARKEY ADAMS York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson)
Bean, Robert Bennett. Some Ears and Types of Men. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17: 529-533.
In this article, Robert Bennett Bean sets out to find a correlation between race and ear type differences. This type of scientific study was typical of the early twentieth century. Bean first establishes three main types of ears; Hyper-, Meso-, and Hypo-, through a variety of anatomical characteristics. These characteristics can be measured and observed so to prove that there exists a distinct “differentiation of the races by their ear form” (529). Bean then suggests that the three types can be further subdivided into ‘onto’ and ‘phylo’ forms with onto being the “more derived form” and phylo “the primordial form” (530). Not surprisingly, the onto forms were typical of Europeans or whites and the phylo those of “negroes, Indians, Eskimos, Filipinos and other primitive peoples” (530).
Bean presents his evidence as highly objective measurements of various parts of the ear. The scientific character of his paper is a significant aspect, making the clear differentiation of the races appear to be a fact of nature. Bean never explicitly suggests or mentions the superiority of one race over another, though the onto/phylo division hints at this. This article is a clear example of anthropologists of the early 20th century attempting to grapple with the question of race. Here Bean, like his contemporaries, portrays race as a construction of nature rather than that of social systems, which is the current trend.
JILLIAN HOUGHTON University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Bingham, Hiram. Types Of Machu Picchu Pottery. American Anthropologist, 1915 Vol.17:257-271.
Hiram Bingham’s article serves two main objectives, one to outline the types of pottery found at Machu Picchu; and secondly to exhibit the forms through illustrations and descriptions.
Bingham states that all the pottery found on the site was manufactured locally. By observing the modern day natives who live near the site, the author forms a hypothesis that the ancient inhabitants manufactured their pottery in much the same way as their predecessors.
Two distinct styles of pottery are found on the site, which Bingham concludes as evidence of two distinct periods of habitation. The two periods are defined as the Early Period represented by rare forms, and a Later Period represented by well-known types of the “Cuzco”, or pure Inca style.
Bingham’s article provides the reader with a description as well as illustrations of the pottery of Machu Picchu. He provides insight into its manufacture with a reference to the modern day inhabitants that make their pottery in much the same way as the ancients did. Because a lot of the Machu Picchu pottery forms bear a strong resemblance to ancient Greek pottery, some of the descriptive terms were adopted from classical archaeology to make the material more easily understood.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
MARSHA PATAKY Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Bingham, Hiram. Types of Machu Picchu Pottery. American Anthropologist. 1915. Vol. 17: 257-271.
Bingham begins by outlining how local potters at the base of Mt. Coropuna made their ceramics in 1911. He then indicates why he believes that mountain pottery, unlike Peruvian pottery found in museums, is found in less numbers. According to Bingham, pottery is not found in burials because of the natural environments where the burials occur. Simply, weathering is a greater issue when pottery is made out of clay. This problem is also apparent at Machu Picchu where pottery has been severely damaged by the elements.
It is suggested that the pottery was damaged due to falling parts of the caves they were stored in, perhaps also due to damage from falling entrance stones and animal interference. Bingham indicates that because there are limited numbers of preserved pottery from this site, it is important that 1) all varieties of pottery found be exhibited, and 2) a means of classifying pottery from the Cuzco region be provided.
Bingham justifies his adapting and using classical archaeological terms by indicating that there is a “striking resemblance” between Inca pottery and those from Greece, Mycenae, and Troy. He also says that using such known terms would also be advantageous to students. The author uses pictures and diagrams to demonstrate his points on the site of Machu Picchu and the different styles and types of pottery found. He uses a system of numbers and letters to classify each style type, and then continues will written descriptions of each style type. For example, on page 261, he describes Type 3 (pot-cover) as being style A, B, C, or D. Style B is noted as having ear-nubs not pierced and the shoulder nubbin not incised.
The author describes Arybállus (type 1), beaker-shaped ollas (type 2), pot covers (type 3), two-handled dishes (types 4 and 5), jugs (type 6), etc. For each description there is a diagram that gives the type number and style letter, along with approximate dimensions and noting whether the pottery was commonly found or not. Bingham concludes his article by making generalizations about each pottery type, including commonality, and range of sizes found. He has determined via this classification of Cuzco-style types that Machu Picchu “tends to point to two periods”, represented forms rarely found in Inca collections, and those that were well known (Cuzco Style/pure Inca).
HELENA KOSKITALO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Campbell, Stanley The Cheyenne Tipi American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17: 685-694
Stanley describes the tipi currently in use by the Cheyenne. He then describes changes it has undergone. He gives very detailed descriptions of pole lay out and canvas preparation. Three figures are included in the article. They include the pattern of the tipi canvas, an illustration of tying the three foundation poles, and a pole ground plan.
Stanley describes the tipi process step by step, starting with the preparation and positioning of poles and ending with the interior duck skin lining. He mentions the fact that wood poles are used, which is ironic because the Cheyenne do not have ample forest resources. The fact that the women are in charge of building the tipi is also mentioned.
The interior of the finished tipi is described as well. Ares for sleeping, cooking, and honoring are mapped out. Tipi interiors and exteriors often are decorated with beads.
However, painted tipis have become rare.
Noted differences between modern tipis and earlier models include: the use of canvas instead of buffalo hide, the use of pegs to hold the tipi down instead of stones along the base, and the use of a straight-edged doorway opposed to the traditional oval shape. The article is concluded with a statement in favor of the continued use of tipis. The author believes the tipi is more practical than the wall tent.
SARAH WALTON Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Campbell, Stanley. The Cheyenne Tipi. American Anthropologist September, 1915 Vol.17(3):685-694.
Campbell Stanley describes the Cheyenne tipi that is in use now, and also the differences between old tipi and modern tipi. According to Stanley, poles are the most essential part of the tipi, showing the strength and the beauty. Cedar and pine wood are often used to make poles. Trees are cut, trimmed, and evened. The best poles are straight and smooth as an arrow, pointed neatly and coated for long lasting. They are fifteen to thirty feet long and two to four inches thick. The smallest tent is built with about 12 poles and the big ones with more than thirty poles.
Stanley explains the method of using three poles to construct the foundation of the Cheyenne tipi: the front crotch, and tripod. The tripod is important for security. The ground plan indicates the north, south, east, and west points of the tipi. Ares for the bed, playhouse and kitchen are mapped out to indicate the interior of the completed tipi. Tipi interiors and exteriors are often decorated by beads.
Differences between modern tipi and old tipi include: 1) substitution of canvas instead of buffalo hides 2) the use of pegs to hold the tipi down by rounded edge stones rather than stones along the base and 3) the recent use of the straight-edged doorway, which is strengthened by toughness and thickness, instead of traditional oval shape.
The tipi is associated with various rituals, including the medicine arrow ritual, the sun dance, and the mescal cult. In the spring, a number of women participate in the tipi making in preparation for the summer celebrations and tribal gatherings. The tipi has changed less than any other elements of Plains Indians culture, but descriptions of it are rare. Many Indians have left their tipis and switched to wall tents for more convenient transportation. Campbell, however, hopes that the tipi tradition continues, and that it is not lost to American civilization since the tipi has many excellent qualities.
HYE-JIN KIM University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Cummings, Byron. Kivas of The San Juan Drainage. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17 272-282
In “Kivas of The San Juan Drainage” Cummings offers extensive descriptions of various archeological sites from Arizona. The focus of the article is the various forms of ceremonial chambers, their construction, and physical attributes. Cummings’ description indicates that most of the kivas were round, subterranean chambers constructed of clay, wood, and/or stone. Additionally, he reports finding aboveground, rectangular rooms that appeared to be ceremonial chambers. Some of the chambers contained paintings, or artifacts that Cummings speculated to be ceremonial in nature. He notes that medicine men of the Tachinie clan, the oldest clan of the Navajo, were able to give “ready and definite interpretation to much of the prehistoric symbolism” that the group came across in their excavations. However, the sites in question were those thought to belong to the Pueblo or Hopi. Therefore, Cummings postulates that there must be a close connection between the Tachinie clan and the “Cliff Dwellers” of the region.
Cummings offers a detailed mythological meaning of kivas, but offers neither supporting evidence nor a source for his information. He goes on to give in depth descriptions of structures, believed to be ceremonial in nature, and speculates on the usage of some of the features of the structure. While this article provides detailed information on the construction of various structures in the San Juan drainage area, it offers little else. There does not seem to be a discernable, supported argument to the selection. Furthermore, Cummings fails to provide a source for much of the cultural evidence presented.
HILARY H STITES Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Cummings, Byron. Kivas of the San Juan Drainage. American Anthropologist September, 1915 Vol.17(19):272-282.
The ancient housing structures of the Navajo and the Hopi Indians can tell us much about the ways they lived, how they survived, how they related to other tribes, and how they worshipped. In this dry southwestern region, the hardest resource to obtain was water and these ancient civilizations did everything they could to please these “gods” who gave them water. By the gift of water came the gift of life. Byron Cummings gives concrete examples from excavations to show the reader how these ancient peoples lived, survived, related, and worshipped.
The Navajo and the Hopi believed mankind came from the interior of the earth, “struggling upward with the help of the gods from one plane of existence to another until they are able to climb out upon the surface of the earth and endure the full light of the sun-father (Cummings 273).” Evidence of this is shown in underground chambers called kivas. These kivas represent the last stopping place before man emerged to the surface of the earth (273).
The Hopi spirits of men from the interior of the earth pass through the sipapu, which is an opening in the floor situated beyond the center of the kiva. The sun-father is represented by the fire-box in the center. The spirits, on their journey up to the earth, stop in the sipapu to warm and dry themselves. The spirit’s journey has now been accomplished and man now stands in the presence of the sun-father before beginning his career in the great out-of-doors of the world’s forces (274).
Kivas in primitive times, like homes in primitive times, were circular. In later times, these homes and kivas began to become rectangular in shape and the floors of the chambers no longer contained sipapus. The ceremonial chambers were found on the same level as the living rooms. Immigrants who were coming into the region with different religious customs influenced the change from circular to rectangular.
Evidence given regarding the spiritual life of these ancient peoples can be found in the artifacts dug up in excavations. Paintings on the walls of these homes tell us of the types of gods they worshipped. Paintings were only found in rectangular homes with rectangular sipapus, which suggests that painting was not a part of the earliest Hopi civilizations. Many artifacts, including half-gourd shells, wooden beads, and pendants, were decorations of priests in honor of the rain gods. Canopies put over ancient ceremonies were representations of the heavens up above with the homes of the rain gods of the east, west, north, and south. Baskets, weaving sticks, spindles, splints woven together, and many other artifacts can only indicate what kind of lifestyle these people led. The interpretation of these findings can never be assured for there can be so many different meanings ascribed to every little piece.
CULLEN HARDY University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
De Booy, Theodoor. Pottery from Certain Caves in Eastern Santo Domingo, West Indies. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17:69-97.
While writing Pottery From Certain Caves In Eastern Santo Domingo, West Indies, the author, Theodoor De Booy gives a first hand account of his discoveries of what is now the Dominican Republic. De Booy’s archaeological study dates from July to October of 1913 in which he focuses on the eastern half of the island and on an island known as Saona just off of the coast of Santo Domingo. His expedition was funded by the Heye Museum of New York City.
At the beginning of the article, De Booy gives a detailed description of the history of the islands of Santo Domingo and the tiny island of Saona. There seems to be some discrepancies of the naming of the island of Saona according to the authors’ research. The natives of Santo Domingo felt that the natives of the island, which is now uninhabited, named the island. De Booy’s research also uncovered the book Life of Columbus by Irving that states that Christopher Columbus had named the island in memory of his deceased father.
The indigenous peoples of the island were originally a peaceful group until they were invaded by the Spain. After a bloody massacre on the island between the aborigines and the Spainards, the island has not been inhabited since 1502. According to De Booy, this should not be considered unusual due to the lack of usable soil and no available drinking water on the island.
The author stayed on this island for sixteen days under these severe living conditions, which also included an “unbelievable” amount many of insects. This island did produce areas with many pieces of broken pottery, some broken stone tools, and conch shells which indicated there had been life there in ancient times. De Booy theorizes as to how these aboriginal people might have lived under such harsh conditions.
Next, De Booy continues his expedition on the mainland of Santo Domingo at Cape Macao. He once again goes into a brief history of the indigenous people of the island. Here he finds better specimens of pottery in caves that are believed to be untouched since the massacre of its indigenous people by the Spainards. He has found eight caves and has investigated all of them. All of the caves contained pottery. Some contained pieces of what appears to be objects used as stamps and/or rattles. The article contains numerous photos of the pottery that had been found most of which are various water containers of assorted shapes and sizes. The necks of these vessels have been noted by Dr. Fewkes, and associate of the author, as taking on the characteristics of phalliscism. De Booy adamantly denies any such references.
The article is easy to follow and interesting to read. De Booy has done adequate research as to the history of the area and appears to be knowledgeable in his descriptions of the pieces of pottery that he had found.
KAREN McCARTHY Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
De Booy, Theodoor. Pottery from Certain Caves in Eastern Santo Domingo, West Indies. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17(8): 69-97.
Theodoor de Booy presents an interesting article in his review of pottery from specific caves found in modern-day Dominican Republic, then called Santo Domingo. In his findings, De Booy discovers that pottery is a sign of civilization, because most of the shards he found were pieces of water jugs used by the natives. The shards tended to be compiled in large areas near caves, and, considering the lack of water and fertile soil in the area, particularly on Saona Island, were seen as signs of a civilization presumed to be at its height before Spanish colonization.
Of importance to de Booy is that, “practically no pottery, other than water vessels, was found in the caves of Salado” (94). This shows that water was crucial to the people of Salado, a small mainland settlement, and that water was a vital part of their lives. The author seems to lean towards the fact that pottery is a sign of native civilization, and uses this fact in his effort to recreate the location and structure of civilizations of the native population of eastern Hispanola.
At the time of the writing, 1915, there was still strong support for colonization of non-Western societies. In particular at this time were settlements by the British, French, and Portuguese in Africa. Whether rightly or wrongly, it can be argued that Rudyard Kipling’s 1901 poem “White Man’s Burden,” was still prevalent in the minds of the Western, white world. Men like De Booy hold what would be considered as a progressive attitude towards the native populations of eastern Hispaniola he attempted to trace together. Particular support for his view is his quote on page 74 which states that natives like the people of the Higuey region, the area of Hispanola he studied “had every right to defend their native soil.” Whether the acknowledgment of native rights was a non-mainstream position is up for debate, but certainly its presence in the American Anthropologist shows that certain anthropologists were not prone to supporting Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” ideals. Instead, anthropologists like de Booy viewed native populations with respect, and sought to present them in a positive light.
MATTHEW DI BIASE University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom).
Goldenweiser, A. A. The Knowledge of Primitive Man. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol. 17: 240-244.
This article addresses the topic of the mentality of “primitive man.” Goldenweiser refutes the theories of thinkers such as Tylor, Levy-Bruhl, Durkheim, and Spencer. These authors all believed that the “savage” has the same intellectual potential as we have, but his thinking is different from ours because of different circumstances. When examined along with his “premises” as Tylor called it, the “savage’s” thought processes are satisfactory.
These early authors, and most studies of the topic of “primitive mentality” saw this thinking as prelogical, not under the demands of logic and rationality, but based on surroundings and associations. Goldenweiser criticizes this view, arguing that too much attention is given to apparently irrational thinking, which appears different from our own. In the author’s opinion, “primitive man” holds a vast concrete knowledge of things, beings, actions, and properties based on observation and practice and used in everyday activites. This vast source of knowledge is neglected in most analyses. The processes of observation, invention, and improvement through time which led to this knowledge is ignored. Goldenweiser wishes to bring attention to these neglected qualities of “primitive” mentality. For example, the practice of “primitive” medicine involves many ideas of magic and witchcraft, but if examined further, it also contains wide knowledge of minerals, plants, and concrete medical procedures.
Goldenweiser sees the “savage” as having two sides to his mentality. One side is ruled by what the author calls “irrational cycles of participation” involving attempts to interpret nature. The other side deals with direct daily experience and the expanding knowledge empirically gathered from it. This knowledge is used for everyday purposes, and through time has brought about the acheivements in material culture that we see today. Goldenweiser believes that we need to be familiar with this kind of knowledge before we can understand the degree of consciousness of “primitive man”. The author suggests that we view intellectual progress not as evolutionary, but as accumulative.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
SARA DALTON Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Goldenweiser, A. A. The Knowledge Of Primitive Man. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17 Pg. 240-244
In this article by Goldenweiser, he discusses the attempts to explain and understand the primitive man’s thinking. He relies on past and recent theorist’s writings to get a clearer answer to this question. Such well-known individuals as Durkheim and Tylor are mentioned to indicate that the intellect of the savage is the same as ours, with the difference being with their thinking capability. Older authors concepts were that the savage’s thinking was lessened due to his surroundings. The more recent writers disagree with this belief and hold fast to the premise “…that something is radically wrong with the thinking itself of the savage” (Goldenweiser 240). The author discusses the law of participation that association between individuals, activities, and things bring forth a different mentality than our own. Even though the savage thinking is as logical as some of ours, we must always examine the categories of participation, and then we will see a proper perspective of the group. Most of the studies on native people that have taken place were based on the primitive thinking of the savage that appeared irrational to many of the theorists. The majority of intelligent aspects of native culture has been neglected and left out of the data of ethnography. Simply put, they were considered savages because their thinking was not like ours. The native peoples’ knowledge of material culture is so extensive that it requires knowledge of properties of the materials and mastery of processes of work. “From prolonged observation and practice… more accurate familiarity with the characters and habits of different animals.” (Goldenweiser 242). It is important to know that the savage’s creation of material and spiritual culture was a window into their mental processes but was overlooked. Also, in primitive communities knowledge of medicine, minerals, animal bodies, and curative properties of plants was immense. The latter is an unexplored field and indicates a neglected aspect of primitive mentality. The insufficient familiarity with the savage’s knowledge is the main responsibility for our ignorance.
CLARITY RANKING 3
TRACY WOOLRIDGE York University (Naomi Adelson)
Hagar, Stansbury. The Maya Day Sign Manik. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol 1. 17: 488-491.
In The Maya Day Sign Manik, Hagar discusses the relationship between some of the names of the day signs in the Mexican zodiac constellation and how they are aligned. The Maya day sign, the Manik, shows such a relationship. The Manik glyph shows the figure of a hand that is closed as though it is grasping. The “grasping hand” glyph is represented on the constellation of the Scorpion at the tail or sting of the Scorpion. In the Maya codices the tail of the Scorpion usually end in a grasping organ. It is concluded that the “grasping hand glyph” was named according to the arrangement of the stars on which it is represented.
Many different interpretations of the Manik are accommodated in the article. One interpretation is that the Manik symbolizes death; this meaning is in agreement with the chiefly death symbolism of the Maya Scorpio sign, which is associated with the death God. Another explanation is that the “grasping hand” that is displayed frequently on the walls of the Maya temples is grasped in prayer to the Death God for restored health or preservation of life.
This two-paged article carries over from some of the other works done by Hagar on the Mexican zodiac constellation. In a previous work Hagar addressed the Mexican zodiac sign and the relationship between the Mexican and Maya days signs and the month signs. In another work Hagar discussed the association of the zodiac signs with the rainy and dry seasons of the Mexican region and the maturing of the maize crop.
CLARITY RATING: 2
DENISE PUGH Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Hagar, Stanbury. The Maya Day Sign Manik American Anthropologist 1915 Vol. 17: 488-491.
This article looks to explain the meaning of the Mayan Day sign called Manik (which is associated with astrology). Hagar first outlines several papers’ findings about zodiacal constellations within a Mayan context. Manik (similar to an Egyptian hieroglyph) is a picture of a hand closed or in the act of grasping. This sign has been interpreted as a gesture to eat or simply a hand grasping at something. Manik is also associated with the Scorpion constellation because of its position in the sky. A lengthy detailed explanation of astrological positions and the origin of Manik is given by Hagar. He then concludes that Manik’s name was derived from the configuration of stars in the constellation.
Two possible meanings of Manik are then given, both coming from different sources, first, ‘that which was’ and second, ‘the breath has passed’. Hagar then explores the possibility that Manik symbolized the hand of death, and also resurrection. The sign can be found in a temple (Kabul the Working Hand) and in the Mayan festival Chich Caban. Both the temple and the festival are related very closely to death and resurrection. Lastly, Hagar speculates of a connection between Manik and human hand impressions found on the walls of Mayan temples. The meaning of the impressions is not mentioned.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
SANDRA FARFAN York University (Naomi Adelson).
Hatt, Gudmund. Artificial Molding of The Infants Head Among The Scandinavian Lapps. 1915 Vol.17:245-257
Hatt Gudmund, in “Artificial Moulding Of The Infants Head Among the Scandinavian Lapps”, focuses on the customs of the influencing the shape of child’s head by means of bandages, massage, and narrow caps among the Scandinavian Lapps. The reason for treating the child’s head in this manner is to make the head as round as possible. Long-headedness is a repulsive trait to the Lapps; so artificial moulding is required to shape the head into a rounder form. When a child is born, the midwife starts to mould the childs head, nose, ears, chins, neck, tongue, fingers and knees and ankles. Gudmund explains that in Pite Lapmark this treatment of the head is called the (doebsjot) means to press the head. It is when a woman places one hand on the forehead of the child and with the other hand she presses against the occiput and strokes the back part of the head moving the hand upward. The woman squeezes the nose of the child between two fingers to produce a beautiful turn-up nose. This type of nose is desirable for girls because it is considered to be a beautiful trait. The ears are squeezed and pulled in order to make the lower part of the ear stick out. The neck is rubbed to make it long because a long neck is desirable especially in boys. The tongue is pulled and punched to make the child speak well. The head, nose, chin, ears, tongue, and neck treatments are necessary for the first three days of life. The ankles and knee moulding last for the first two months of life. In Lapp society the appearance of one’s child is important in determining who they are going to be and what they will achieve in the future. Hatt’s points out this practice of molding different parts of the body for beauty is found in other parts of the world.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
RITA ELSWICK Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Hatt, Gudmund. Artificial Moulding of the Infant’s Head Among the Scandinavian Lapps. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol. 17:245-255
This article by Hatt explores the custom of influencing the form of a child’s head by way of massage, bandages, and head caps among the Scandinavian Lapps. The main objective is to make the heads of their children as perfectly round as possible and to mould the heads of those who show a tendency towards long-headedness.
As soon as the child is born, the moulding of not only the head, but the ears, nose, chin, neck, fingers, knees, and ankles is undergone by massaging all these parts with the fat of a reindeer’s intestines. “The woman places one hand on the forehead of the child, and with the other open hand she presses against the occiput and strokes the back part of the head, moving the hand upward.” The author goes on to describe the other ways in which the other body parts are shaped; for example, “the neck is rubbed in order to make it long, which is especially desirable if the child be a boy. The ears are also squeezed and pulled, in order to make the lower part of them outstanding”(246). It was a common belief that the importance formerly attached to a long chin was that the child born with the chances of a long chin, paired with a long lock of hair, would become a student or a “sorcerer.” The pressure put on the child’s head can be accomplished in other ways as well. The practice of wrapping a neckerchief around the child’s head and binding it in front of the forehead is also very common in order to achieve the roundedness of the head.
Many would wonder why the Lapps would do such a thing to the children and when asked, they would say it was done for esthetic purposes; for example, “a nice round head, not too large is an essential element in the Lapp ideal of beauty.”(249) Such practices were also noted by the author to appear in countries like Belgium, some parts of Germany.
CARLA DI GIANDOMENICO York University (Naomi Adelson).
Judd, Neil M. The Use of Glue Molds in Reproducing Aboriginal Monuments at Quirigua, Guatemala. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol. 17:128-138
Neil M. Judd was in charge, of the making of glue molds at ruins near Quirigua, Guatemala, during the expedition of 1914. The expedition was sponsored by the School of American Archaeology and focused on continuing the excavations at the site, and making plaster reproductions of as many stone stelae as possible. Mr. Judd gives a historical background of the site from the first accounts by John L. Stephens to observations by Mr. A. P. Maudslay during 1881-1883 and 1894. It was during these visits that first mention of the focus of article casting, or reproduction of stone stelae.
Mr. Maudslay used paper squeezes and plaster piece molds to make reproductions of the sculptured stones. These paper squeezes, according to Mr. Judd, made less than suitable or accurate casts for use of studies. The plaster piece molding technique were very time consuming and difficult. Mr. Judd found the answer to his problem by using glue to make casts of stone stelae at Quirigua. Mr. Judd’s use of glue in the tropics is unique for the time, as the popular belief was that glue was inappropriate for the environment. From here Mr. Judd relates his tale of the use of glue at Quirigua, some of the early attempts, to mastery of the technique. Mr. Judd also goes to great lengths to describe the actual physical process of making glue casts of stone stelae.
Mr. Judd’s article gives insight into a technique that in 1914 was unheard of in the tropics. Mr. Judd goes to great length to explain in great detail the technique of not only making the glue casts, but then taking those glue casts to make plaster reproductions for study. Pictures are used effectively and the writing is clear and workmanlike.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
GERALD VAN BOLT Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Judd, Neil M. The use of glue molds in reproducing aboriginal monuments at Quirigua, Gatemala. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17:128-138.
The focus of this article deals with some of the problems facing anthropologists in the field attempting to collect data and information. This article is about the introduction of glue as a critical medium for the reproduction of aboriginal monuments at Quirigua, Guatamala.
Anthropologists who studied that area found that while their pulp and paper casting method was effective in creating a rough reproduction of the original to be used in museums and for display their method was still not effective enough for more intense study. They discovered that as a result of extensive time unprotected in the elements the design and medium of material that they were using for making the molds were not able to get into all of the cracks and holes that had developed on the surface of the artifacts. Unfortunately none of the molds that were being set took in enough detail needed for closer study of things such as intricate patterns and designs. They solved this problem by using glue instead. They found out that because of the elasticity of glue after it dried it could be used to fill in even the smallest imperfections on the surface and when removed came away with very little resistance. After glue was implemented and perfected they found that they could cast an exact replica of what they were studying which in turn further aided them in their research into Ancient Mayan Heiroglyphics. This is a very easy article to read but lacks very much information or detail.
CLARITY RANKING 5
ZACH DAVIDSON York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kroeber, A.L. Eighteen Professions. American Anthropologist (No Month), 1915 Vol. 17:283-288
In this article, A.L. Kroeber explains the two fundamental differences of method and objective within anthropology. One dichotomy is represented by the biological and psychological; and the social and historical. Kroeber explains that there is a third field, which is concerned with the relation between biological and social factors. This third field, and the relationship between history and biology are explained through Kroeber’s “Eighteen Professions”:
1 “The aim of History is to know the relations of social facts to the whole civilisation”
2 “The material studied by history is not man, but his works”
3 “Civilisation, though carried by men and existing through them, is an entity in itself, and of another order from life”
4 “A certain mental constitution of man must be assumed by the historian, but may not be used by him as a resolution of social phenomena”
5 “True instincts lie at the bottom and origin of social phenomena but cannot be considered of dealt with by history”
6 “The personal or individual has no historical value save as illustration”
7 “Geography, or physical environment, is material made use of by civilisation, not a factor shaping or explaining civilisation”
8 “The absolute equality and identity of all human races and strains as carriers of civilisation must be assumed by the historian”
9 “Heredity cannot be allowed to have acted any part in history”
10 “Heredity by acquirement is equally a biological and historical monstrosity”
11 “Selection and other factors of organic evolution cannot be admitted as affecting civilisation”
12 “The so-called savage is no transition between the animal and the scientifically educated man”
13 “There are no social species or standard cultural types or stages ”
14 “There are no ethnic mind, but only civilisation”
15 “There are no laws in history similar to the laws of physicochemical science”
16 “History deals with condition sine qua non, not with causes”
17 “The causality of history is teleological”
18 “In fine, the determinations and methods of biological, psychological, or natural science do not exist for history, just as the results and the manner of operation of history are disregarded by consistent biological practise”
Kroeber explains that most biologists have strictly followed these principles, causing many social scientists (historians, anthropologists, sociologists and theorists) to imitate their practices.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ARTHUR HAGOPIAN York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kroeber, A.L. Eighteen Professions. American Anthropologist, 1915. Vol. 17: 283-288.
In this article, A.L. Kroeber wishes to distinguish between two major branches of anthropology. The first branch deals with biology and psychology, while the second branch’s domain includes history and sociology. In order to differentiate between these two fields, Kroeber lists eighteen points which seek to establish that the historical branch of anthropology is concerned with group or social forces while the biological branch is focused more on the individual. This distinction is captured by one of his points that states, “The material studied by history is not man, but his works.” Therefore, a historical anthropologist would study movement, transition, and the achievements of whole civilizations, while a biological anthropologist would be interested in topics such as heredity, natural selection, and an individual’s thought process.
Kroeber also mentions a third branch of anthropology that connects the biological and historical branches. However, he says this branch does not currently exist since the boundaries of this field have not been clearly understood or established. The lack of an inter-field connection between these two branches is evident in the eighteen points he sets forth. Clearly, according to these points, anything related to the individual is denied to the historical anthropologist and social reality is not a permissible study for the biological anthropologist. Such strict segregation of anthropological study is tragic. It is impossible, I believe, for man to be separated from the society in which he lives or for society to disregard its component individual parts. Therefore, my main criticism of Kroeber’s article is that, while he does a superb job of drawing the distinctions between these two fields, he gives little insight into how a third branch of anthropology may be created to study these points jointly.
COREY HARKINS University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Kroeber, A.L. Obituary: Frederic Ward Putnam (1839-1915) American Anthropologist 1915 Vol. 17 Pg.712-718
Frederic Ward Putnam was born in 1839 and was laid to rest in 1915 in the same state of his birth, Massachusetts. At an early age he was interested in the observation of nature and studied birds in his home county, which led to the Curator of Ornithology in his hometown. During his studies at Harvard, Mr. Putnam worked with Agassiz and he began to become influenced by his great knowledge and this experience was passed on to fellow students. Professor Putnam constantly searched for knowledge and carried himself with expertise, which undoubtedly led to his natural historian persona. While working with Agassiz, he became interested in ichthyology. Professor Putnam studied at Harvard where his works created beneficial results and his achievements were many at such an early age. He made many contributions to science of life and began to hold duties in many prestigious institutions in an honorary capacity. “In 1873 Professor Putnam was elected permanent secretary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science”(Kroeber 714). During this influential time of American scientific endeavor, Professor Putnam’s kindness and dedication led him to the presidency of the Association in 1898. Many colleagues and friends who he met throughout his work considered him one of the most popular men in science.
Professor Putnam was also the curator of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. Eventually he became very interested in the natural history of man from the history of animals. “The Peabody Museum was the first American institution specifically devoted to that science, or group of sciences, which subsequently came to be most generally known as anthropology” (Kroeber 714). From this point forward, anthropology became a steady development into university instruction at the Museum. Professor Putnam loved the Museum immensely and spent countless hours trying to labor for the completion of major parts to the building. Professor Putnam had such an effect on American Anthropology that many people entered the discipline and their careers were determined.
In 1903 Professor Putnam was the first professor of anthropology and his writings numbered more than four hundred. Some writings were of natural history, archaeology and scientific administration. His archaeological works were mainly based on his own explorations. Professor Putnam influenced men towards their scientific careers and most of the anthropologists of the country gained their knowledge from the influence of the Professor. “He placed anthropology in America upon its present foundation” (Kroeber 718). He left behind the spirit of not only a scientist but also a great man.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
TRACY WOOLRIDGE York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kroeber, A. L. Frederic Ward Putnam. American Anthropologist, 1915 Vol.17:712-718.
The article addresses the life, work and accomplishments of Professor Frederic Ward Putnam. The author describes in detail how Professor Putnam became the founder and greatest supporter of anthropological study as we know it today. The article praises Professor Putnam’s dedication to his work as well as his unconventional methods of study. The article basically details how Professor Putnam succeeded in his field because of his persistence and passion rather than because of the rigors and structure of formal education. The article also gives a general description of how anthropology was established as a formal field of study in the university system.
In addition to praising Professor Putnam and his accomplishments, the author seems to advocate a kind of independent, direct observation based mode of study instead of the traditional classroom literature based research of the university system. He repeatedly cites Professor Putnam’s unique methods of research that were not based on the previous work of colleagues. His research is based on observation, instead of reading and depending on the experiences and observations of others. He tells how Professor Putnam used previous research only as references for his own work, but not as actual research material itself, as was apparently common in the university system of the time. Putnam is lauded for his self-directed studies, academic prowess and creativity in research.
The article not only details Putnam’s life, but also gives the reader a rudimentary understanding of the university system at that time. While the author does not come out and say it, he appears to be asserting that the reason Putnam succeeded at the university was because the university was structured very differently at that time. It is apparent that students were allowed more freedom in independent study. The level, nature and method of study seem only to have been limited by the student’s personal motivation, ambition and interest. As evidenced by the life of Professor Putnam, success in the academic world was determined by proficiency and not by the approval of tenured academics. A student was able to move up when he showed ability through work and experience, not by writing a paper.
Biographical articles like this one are important to understand the foundations of different fields of study. To have a better understanding of a particular research area, one should know the underlying issues that formed that field of study and the environment that produced the researchers and fostered their interests. Everything we now study and know has not always existed as it is today. Documentation of the pioneers and foundational years pf academic disciplines are important in understanding the cultural climates that allowed these disciplines to arise. This is what ultimately tells us why academic disciplines are important to those outside the academic world.
TIFFANNE MAHOMES University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Lowie, Robert H. Exogamy and the Classificatory Systems of Relationship. American Anthropologist April/June, 1915 Vol.17(2):223-239
In Exogamy and the Classificatory Systems of Relationship, Robert H. Lowie compares various author’s such as, Tylor, Frazer, Rivers, and Morgan on their view of what exogamy is in relationship to other cultures. His main argument is the “basis of the classification” system and how there are various differences as to how groups of people classify their family structure.
Lowie feels that most writer’s do not grasp the complete concept of ‘classificatory system’, so they are drawing unfounded conclusions as to how the system works. The author is in favor of recognizing clan, generation, and other factors that participate in the naming of kin. Lowie feels the main problem is how exogamy correlates with the rest of the classification system. He cautions that numerous people have made the mistake, because of the classification system, of making assumptions about marriage that are false. Dr. Rivers in particular has made this mistake with an Eastern Native American term bahu, which is used in the naming of a son’s wife, and the mother. This would appear that a man and his son have the same wife, which is indeed false. He states that different clans and moieties are involved between the man and son so the son is not married to his father’s wife.
Lowie continues his article with references to various Native American tribes, Inuit, as well as the Hawaiian systems of nomenclature. Lowie is simply pointing out that more work needs to be done before we can comfortably comment on how various classificatory systems work. He makes it a point to state that we need to educate ourselves, and then we need to clarify any discrepancies we still may have.
This article is strictly from Lowie point of view. The author does appear to have done extensive research of various authors and their views of kinship nomenclature. His main purpose of this article appears as though he wants everyone to come to some consistency.
KAREN McCARTHY Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Lowie, Robert. Exogamy and the Classificatory Systems of Relationship. American Anthropologist April-June, 1915 Vol.17(2):223-239).
For example the article discusses how Iroquois classificatory systems differ from those in the west. Historically anthropologists have created terms that suit a North American understanding but when dealing with other systems can the same terms apply? One of the main points in this article is the basis of the classifications made. Western society separates itself from the other by defining their civilized system with that of the criminative ‘other’.
The article discusses Tylor-Rivers theory pertaining to North American tribes, and clan organization. The article draws a comparison between how exogamous groups are co-coordinated and some other principles of classification. Classificatory systems have branched off into two forms where lineal and collective relationships are brought together.
Kinship terminologies of the Southwestern systems; the Tewa in particular are discussed in detail. Northern systems are brought in showing dramatic differences through comparison of the characteristics of classificatory systems. Basically this article outlines data comparing exogamous tribes and non-exogamous tribes. A broad holistic approach is taken in the first half then the author marrows the scope. Linguistic affiliation is the main focus of the intensive comparisons made in this article. Also explored is the sense of family, how different societies classify their kinship nomenclature and the ways in which academics term the systems.
LARA ZENTINS York University (Naomi Adelson).
MacCurdy, George Grant. Race in the Pacific Area, With Special Reference to the Origin of the American Indians: Antiquity of Occupation. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17:708-711.
MacCurdy discusses the origin of man, with emphasis on the role of the Pacific area. The Pacific Ocean is important to origin theory because it is accessible from all the great land masses. The author questions whether man occupied the American or Asiatic side of the Pacific Ocean first. He believes that the answer to this dilemma is important in realizing the original birthplace of man. MacCurdy does come to the conclusion that man occupied Northeastern Asia before the Americas.
MacCurdy believes that Europe, being what he calls the “keystone of the Old World arch,” is the most likely origin of humans. Despite this, he acknowledges that Asia and Africa have not been as throughly explored as Europe, and that Darwin believed Africa to be the origin of man because of the presence of the gorilla and chimpanzee. Also, the fossil ape Propliopithecus, the seeming ancestor of Hominidae, was found in Egypt. MacCurdy notes that if Africa is the origin of man, arrival in the western hemisphere was relatively late. The author dismisses theories of Australia as the origin of man because of a lack of mammalian evolution there at that time, and because the perceived similarities between Neandertal and modern Australians is superficial. MacCurdy mentions Klaatsch’s theory that early man evolved from both orangutan and gorillas, met in Europe, and produced a new type, but he admits that this theory is unlikely.
The author then discusses the possibility of the Pacific area as the origin of man, being the home of Pithecanthropus erectus. Three theories are presented on this specimen. Some anthropologists, like Dubois, believe that Pithecanthropus is a transition between higher apes and man, and is therefore a precursor of man. Some, like Professor Keith, believe the specimen is a part of the human line of descent, and should be named Homo javanesis. Others believe that Homo and Pithecanthropus are branches of the same parent trunk, and Pithecanthropus has no living descendents.
MacCurdy thinks that man probably arrived in the Americas across the Bering Strait after the last ice age. He cites a 1912 discovery of remnants of an ancient population in northeastern Asia, which could have given rise to Amerindians. MacCurdy stresses the importance of further archaeological exploration of China.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
SARA DALTON Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
MacCurdy, George Grant. Race in the Pacific area, with special reference to the origin of the American Indians: Antiquity of occupation. American Anthropologist, 1915. 708-711.
This article is concerned with locating the origin of human evolution. The author, MacCurdy, believes the area of the first occupation of humans is a land mass on the Pacific, either Asia or America. His basic argument is that existing evidence points to the early presence of humans in Asia, and therefore it is the most likely place for the origin of mankind. He references theories from Darwin, Schotensack, Klaatsch and Professor Keith. Then, using physiological evidence of hominid and erectus fossils, he compares them with existing primates to contradict above theories. Darwin’s theory looked to Africa as the site of human origins. MacCurdy refutes Darwin’s evidence of an early fossil found in Africa, claiming it was too far inland. MacCurdy believes that the site of the first hominid should be on the Pacific coast. Schotensack claims a relation between modern Australians to Homo neandertalensis, or Neandertals, which would place human origin in Australia. MacCurdy employs knowledge of discrepancies between cranial bone structures to discount this theory. Klaatsch’s hypothesis is that ancestors in Africa and in Asia, including orangutans, migrated to Europe and produced a hybrid that was the progenitor to humans. MacCurdy references Professor Keith, an expert on orangutans, to dispute Klaatsch. MacCurdy also talks about Pithecanthropus erectus, which was found in Java. He discusses three distinct views on the status of this fossil, but concludes that it is not an ancestor of humans today. Finally, the author points to the relative newness of occupation in Americas from Asia, determining that the Americas are not the origin of humans.
This article provides insight to the discussion of the origins of humans in the early 1900’s and how little information was available. Presently, it is widely accepted that humans originated in Africa, though this argument is not supported in this article. MacCurdy does a good job of indicating an openness to new information regarding anthropological endeavors in Asia. The origin of humankind is steeped in controversy as it has been used to claim racial superiority. There had been hesitation to admit the origin of humans in Africa as Africans had long been considered inferior. MacCurdy’s disregard of Africa as site of first humans could be reflective of this prevalent attitude.
KAYLENE LANDON University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Maccurdy, George Grant. Interglacial Man from Ehringsdorf Near Weimar. American Anthropologist (No month), 1915 Vol. 17:139-142
This article, written by George Maccurdy, describes in detail prehistoric or Neanderthal type remains found near the region of Weimar, Germany. These remains, were recovered at Taubach and Ehringsdorf, both located in the Ilm Valley. Recognized since 1871, the sector of Taubach was meticulously explored between the years 1876 and 1880. Maccurdy explains the ecological terrain and deposits at both Taubach and Ehringsdorf are very similar. Their foundation remains a layer of sand and gravel dating from the third or “Riss” glacial epoch.
The human remains found in this region predominantly consist of a nearly complete human lower jaw. These findings represent the crux of a paper published by Professor G. Schwalbe from Strassburg. The lower jaw was discovered on May 8, 1914 at 11.9 metres of depth. Although the discovery was achieved through blasting, it was extremely fortunate for the researchers that the lower jaw suffered no fractures. Both fragments (halves) were found practically complete. Maccurdy outlines some extraordinary features found within the Weimar lower jaw. First, the absence of a chin is accentuated because of the salient “alveolar prognathism”. This is very striking due to the fact that this represents a condition not apparent in the lower jaws of Krapina and La Chapelle-aux-Saints. Secondly, the teeth attached to the lower jaw seem quite worn. Because the premolars are less worn than the canines, it is concluded that the points of the canines stood above the level of the premolars. Also, the relative smallness of the third molars proves that the tendency of third molars to disappear is much more ancient in origin (compared with other Neanderthal type known jaws).
The jaw remains the property of the Museum at Weimar, and due to its association with the city, it is sometimes referred to as the Weimar lower jaw.
CLARITY RANKING: 1.5
ARTHUR HAGOPIAN York University (Naomi Adelson)
MacCurdy, George. Interglacial Man From Ehringsdorf Near Weimar. American Anthropologist, 1915. Vol.17: 139-142
In the article, Interglacial Man From Ehringsdorf Near Weimar, George MacCurdy discusses the significance of a piece of jaw bone found in the region of Weimar, Germany. MacCurdy compares the “Weimar lower jaw,” to other lower jaw bones of the Neanderthal type. Unlike the lower jaws of Krapina and La Chapelle-aux-Saints, the Weimar lower jaw lacks a chin. MacCurdy goes into great detail in discussing the precise makeup of the Weimar lower jaw, including the teeth, bone structure, and muscles. MacCurdy’s goal is to place the Weimar lower jaw into an ‘age’ such as the Chellean, Acheulian, or early Mousterian, by comparing the features of the Weimar lower jaw to other relevant prehistoric jaw bones, and chimpanzees. MacCurdy agrees that the Weimar lower jaw belongs to the Riss-Wurm interglacial epoch, but in the end does not agree as to which age the Weimar lower jaw belongs to.
STEPHEN GARCIA University of Notre Dame (Caroline Nordstrom)
Morice, A.G. Chasta Costa and the Dene Languages of the North. American Anthropologist 1915. Vol.17:559-572.
The author of this article stresses the importance of understanding that language growth occurs with alternations of the material construction of the language; changes of the language morphology; change in the common parts of the language; and changes in the meanings of the parts, but remaining unchanged in the structure. The author further proceeds to give examples the above-mentioned points using primarily examples from the Dene and Carrier language vocabularies that were collected by Dr. Sapir. The author uses roots, prefixes, verbal stems, instances of verbal borrowing, actualizing forms, plural stems, and passive, active and totalizing forms to compare and contrast Dene with Carrier. In addition, Morice uses those examples to refute or support Dr. Sapir’s claims and beliefs in some cases. In support of his statements, Morice provides some word lists and phrase lists (and the English translations) of the pluralizing forms vs. common verbs, active vs. passive forms, and totality verbs vs. common verbs.
It is the author’s belief that the Dene languages are much more complex than the languages of Chasta Costa. He supports this by citing that the Chasta Costa languages decompose the verbs in the same way that modern languages decomposed Latin, and therefore there is no more internal growth. The author also believes that this will result in the disintegration for the languages, stating that it is natural for languages to naturally disintegrate, with time.
DANA L BURKE Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P.Williams)
Morice, A. G. Chasta Costa and the Dene Languages of the North. American Anthropologist, 1915:559-572.
At the beginning of his essay, Morice remarks that as a language evolves, certain components take on new meaning while the structure remains unchanged. This discussion of language evolution develops into an analysis of American aboriginal philology as presented in Dr. Sapir’s “Notes on Chasta Costa Philology and Morphology.” Morice proposes that the meanings of words become subject to change through either “linguistic borrowing or changed cultural environment.” Using an example of cattle to illustrate his point, Morice shows that the natives came to call the domestic cattle brought to their region by outsiders moestus, adopted from the word mustus. Mustus was the term used by the “Cree-speaking half-breeds” to describe the buffalo of the Western plains to the natives. In this instance, a word was imported into the language and then given an alternate meaning.
Throughout the essay, Morice cites numerous instances within Sapir’s work that show change in word meanings due to time, interaction with outsiders, or environmental displacement. However, Morice remarks that some of these changes in meaning may have been the result of misunderstandings between Sapir and his informants rather than true changes in the language. Morice claims that Sapir unintentionally gave a distinctly different meaning to some verb forms when they were actually the plural form of a known stem. Additionally, as verb forms decompose over time to form new languages, confusion surrounding word meaning can occur. After a lengthy discussion of the differing verb forms in the northern and southern regions of Chasta Costa, Morice likens these alternations to the changes that the Romance languages have made to the parent Latin forms. Using Sapir’s notes as a reference, Morice shows the intricacies of language formation and evolution including the difficulties in properly documenting a language.
ANDREA JOHNSON University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Parsons, Elsie Clews. Links Between Religion and Mortality in Early Culture. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17: 41-57.
In this article Parsons analyses the relation between religion and morality in early culture. Parsons defines religion as being supernaturalism and morals as social conduct discouraging individualism and encouraging collectiveness. Parsons strongly opposes ethnological theories showing the relation between religion and morality as a later cultural occurrence. She contends that the linking of religion and morality was common in very early culture. Parsons maintains that the intertwining of religion and morals begins, much as they do today, in the nursery. Then and now, children from very young ages are taught that “Santa Claus” leaves gifts only for those children who behave and that the “bogey man” goes off with the naughty ones.
The article narrates many moral stories for the young in early culture. In many of these stories morals are based on obedience to parents and the elderly. One Pulu moral tells of disobedient boys and girls who disregarded their parents and played a game of twirling around. They played every night on the beach; one night a huge rock fell from the sky and killed everyone on the island except for one couple. Other stories encourage adherence to food and sex taboos, and the preservation of secrecy. In Nias, intercourse during pregnancy is punishable by illness. Urabunna boys in initiation are warned not to tell their secrets to women, otherwise supernatural evils could befall them.
In conclusion, Parsons sees religion and morality as effective means of keeping people in society in their place. She reasons that the rituals practiced by early culture, is discredited by ethnology as religion. She adds that overlooking the link between religion and morality in early culture may be due to weighing the practices of early culture against Western culture. Since the practices of some early cultures may not be judged as moral by Western standard, then ethnology questions whether early culture was moral. Parson sees this ethnocentric stand taken as a final attempt to “pull the wool over the eyes of ethnology.”
The article is well written, easily read and the concepts are clear. The author makes a very good argument and gives examples to prove her point.
CLARITY RATING: 5
DENISE PUGH Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Parsons, Elsie Clews. Links between Religion and Morality in Early Culture. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol. 17:41-
Parsons, in the article “Links between Religion and Morality in Early Culture”, is progressing an argument for the historical particular. In looking at “early culture” in comparison to “civilization,” Parsons is making the claim that the morality so often attributed to civilization can also be found in “savage” cultures. This article is particularly significant because Parsons is arguing that the moral assessments of these early cultures are inherently based on a model that is constructed of primarily European notions. In order to illustrate this point Parsons uses several morality tales from several different indigenous groups (or early cultures) to examine the punitive and cause/effect relationship in these societies. Often times these morality tales are informed and or motivated by parental concerns about the curiosities of childhood. Other times the morality tales are employed as societal means by which to govern, maintain and sometimes reinforce cultural beliefs and tradition in membership. Interestingly, Parsons thinks it problematic that anthropology was looking at cultures comparatively or with western ideals as measuring stick The article is very useful anyone interested in themes of cultural relativism.
ARKEY ADAMS York University. Toronto (Naomi Adelson)
Peabody, Charles. Certain Further Experiments in Synaesthesia. American Anthropologist 1915. Vol. 17:143-155.
In this article, Peabody discusses a questionnaire that was sent out and summarizes the results obtained from it. The questions dealt with spatial relationships and the understanding of abstract ideas. For example, how the numbers form 1-50 appear, or the days of the week, month and year appear on a sheet of paper. The author catalogues the responds with terminology of, straight or broken lines(further divided depending on the direction), and that of circles (again, divided depending on the direction). The author categorizes the responses and uses tables to help in explaining the results. These tables are then further expanded to include raw totals, percentages and ones showing the importance of unusual figures vs. the rest of the answers.
As shown in the tables, and as stated by the author, the influence of feelings for direction are definitely seen. The number of straight lines going east and south far outweigh the other responses, when concerning the placement of the numbers 1-50 on paper. The author believes, in addition to providing evidence for, that this is the influence of a culture that reads left to right and from top to bottom. When regarding the yearly cycle on a sheet of paper, the straight lines diminish and circles become more prevalent. Again, the author provides reasoning for this phenomena as well. Also included in this article are the actual figures that were drawn by some, which further support the author’s claim to culture influencing the visualization process. At the end of the article, the author provides an appendix that describe the figure and state their importance.
DANA L BURKE Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Peabody, Charles. Certain Further Experiments in Synaesthesia. American Anthropologist 1915. Vol. 17: 143-155.
In this article, Charles Peabody summarizes the results of a questionnaire sent out regarding certain aspects of a child study. This questionnaire instructed the child to illustrate how he or she envisioned the numbers one through fifty, hours of the day, days of the week, months of the year, and letters of the alphabet. The results were categorized as a straight line or a broken line and its direction, circle, varia (unique), or no figure. Most of the children visualized the alphabet, months, days, and numbers in a straight line to the east, while hours were visualized as a circle. More striking visualizations were also recorded. One response consisted of thinking of the numbers as historical scenes. Personality and color ideas were also not uncommon.
These results showed the influence of feelings for direction. Our society reads from left to right and top to bottom, which is reflected in the large proportion of the “east” and “south” for the alphabet and numbers. The “south” direction may also be influenced by the concept of gravity. The hours constructed in a circle resembled a typical clock-face the majority of the time. For the weeks visualized as a straight line, most began with Monday, then Sunday, followed by Saturday. This demonstrates the common misconception that the week begins on Monday, rather than Sunday. For the months, the majority began with January, following the same pattern as our calendar year. The months also had more circular responses, corresponding with the well-known phrase “year round”. In each of these instances the child’s response shows how culture influences these visualizations. Using these different forms of visualization can also be used to aid in calculating, memorizing, and recitation. The appendix to the article shows interesting and unique responses, as well as their significance.
JULIE GULYAS University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Peabody, Charles. Notes on Prehistoric Palestine and Syria. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17:695-707.
In this article the author elaborates on two different areas he explored in Palestine and Syria, searching for prehistoric remains. The first area is a series of open- air sites throughout Palestine and Syria. These areas reveal an abundance of perforators, knives, and flints that date from the Neolithic period. A total of seven open-air sites were visited, each having significance. The author makes mention of how difficult it can be to determine actual relics from non-relics. Often times weathering or fractures can be mistaken for man-made markings.
Secondly the author explored “more significant” sites in caves, and the specimens found there were deemed Paleolithic. In these caves, deposits and relics were excavated then chemically analyzed. The analyses looked for the presence of charcoal, ash, or other elements that would suggest human occupation, and possible use of fire. Hundreds of flakes were unearthed, and small notches on each side would indicate they were used as arrow points.
The article concludes with a diagram and a description of flints that were excavated from Antilyas and Djaita. This article should interest those studying prehistoric remains from Palestine and Syria.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
MICHAEL MEYERS Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Peabody, Charles. Notes on Prehistoric Palestine and Syria. American Anthropologist, 1915 Vol.17: 695-707.
Charles Peabody in “Notes on Prehistoric Palestine and Syria” takes the reader through various Neolithic and Paleolithic regions of Palestine and Syria in search for artifacts about the former inhabitants. Through his discoveries, Peabody attempts to unearth different understandings about the cultures that once populated this region. The “Notes” are set up in a sectional format that contain a summary about each area visited and the discoveries made at that site.
Peabody began his search in open-air sites. Flint proved the main discovery in his search, but the different shapes of the flint suggested various usages of this single resource. In Mount Skopus, Peabody claimed that circumcision occurred after identifying a unique shape of flint. If true, it means that these inhabitants performed circumcision thousands of years before previously believed. The discovery of these “circumcision knives” grants Peabody with the insight about the ways in which social identities were formed. The residents revered certain types of rites of passage such as circumcision in order to mark a person’s progress from one identity to another. The act of circumcision occurred thousands of years ago and, yet today societies still practice circumcision today, which displays the strength of the ritual.
Peabody also took his entourage to cave sites. Here, flint was found again but was also deposited on the ceilings. Through testing, the deposit indicated an influence of fire, since charcoal was present. The finding of fire showed Peabody that the society had a progression of technology. Along with their flint weapons and utensils, the people also had fire in to increase their standard of living, and to scare off predators, therefore increasing their chances of survival. Circumcision took place as a rite of passage, and fire demonstrated that the community gathered around fires for safety. Both create adhesion and enhanced survival of the human Neolithic and Paleolithic race.
Essentially, Peabody outlines his excursion to Palestine and Syria to educate the reader. He wants to enlighten the reader about a society that once lived in very austere conditions, and very unlike our own. However, much of modern society and the Neolithic and Paleolithic societies draw many parallels, through rites of passage, inventions, and identities. From describing a simplistic society, Peabody addresses some of the same issues that a complex society deals with today.
ANDREA KINNIK University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Porsild, Morten P. The Principle of the Screw in the Technique of the Eskimo. American Anthropologist. January-March, 1915 Vol.17:1-16.
The author of this article elaborates on the concept, type, and origin of the screw, as used by the Eskimo peoples of Greenland. Screws are spiral carvings made from antler, whalebone, or other shapeable material. Screws are used for arrow points, or plugs to close wounds on the animals that the Eskimo hunted. It is first mentioned how screws are formed, and how some screws take on more elaborate forms than others. The majority of examples are said to be “left handed” because of their shape and manner in which they were carved (by a right handed person). Most screws in the article were made from reindeer antler, and are somewhat curved because of exposure to the weather.
Geographical findings are listed, and further research states that screws were also common throughout Alaska. The use of screws as plugs is mentioned, and how it aides in transporting food. The plugs are inserted into the body of a seal (i.e.) to prevent blood loss, and so the animal may be inflated and towed via canoe. The article concludes by trying to determine the origin of the screw, ultimately deciding it is an original Eskimo concept, rather than European influenced. Linguistically there isn’t an exact word for screw, but several words (possible Danish influence) are quite similar. This article gives a detailed account of the Eskimo screw, and would interest those studying Eskimo culture.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MICHAEL MEYERS Cleveland State University ( Jeffrey P. Williams)
Porsild, Morten. The Principle of the Screw in the Technique of the Eskimos. American Anthropologist, 1915. 17:1-16.
The article addresses the use of screw technology by Eskimos residing in Greenland. The author first distinguishes three types of screws, ranging from simple to most elaborate, with screw-pointed objects generally being fashioned out of antler or bone. The author then describes in detail various screw-pointed arrowheads, gun cleaning-rods, and plugs. Each description is accompanied by a picture or drawing of the artifact being described. The author notes the artifact’s length, material, number and position of barbs, tenon, cutting edge, and screw type.
Next, the geographical distribution of the screw is briefly discussed. Porsild claims that screw-pointed objects are utilized and found in West, East, and Central Greenland, as well as Alaska. He notes that arrowheads without screws have also been discovered in Greenland. In addition to arrowheads, plugs containing screws are mentioned in the article, showing how they were used to prevent loss of blood from the wounds of harpooned or lanced seals, and to make it possible to inflate the body of the seal for easy transportation by water. Additionally, the article remarks on the linguistics of the screw technology, noting that the Eskimo has no defined word for “screw.” Finally, the author argues that the screw is an aboriginal invention of the Eskimos, and was introduced to them by Europeans. In support of his claim, the author offers “the occurrence (of screws) in far-off regions that have in no wise been influenced by the white man” as the most decisive evidence for the aboriginal character of the Eskimo screw.
TIMOTHY COMTE University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Poynter, C. W. M. A Study of Nebraska Crania. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol. 17:509-524
Spawned by the work of Mr. R. F. Gilder and Mr. Fred H. Sterns in collecting skulls from arched gravesites on bluffs overlooking the Missouri River near Omaha. One definitive group was identified from the over one hundred skulls, that one Nebraska Loess Man. This sparked Mr. Poynter to work on classifying the remaining skulls based on their location of discovery.
Mr. Poynter used many categories to organize the information of these skulls. First is the location of the find, which forms up four groups; the Wallace Mound Group, the Plattsmouth Group, the Fort Lisa Group, and the Long’s Hill Group. Then such factors such as how deep were the skeletons buried, what type of soil were they found in, and what type of burial pattern was followed by the individual groups. Then observations are made about morphological features of each group of skulls, from cranial sutures to supraorbital ridges. Measurements are also taken of the skulls and tables assembled concerning length, breadth, height, cranial index, height-length index, and height breadth index. Mr. Poynter then takes this information and attempts to create a hierarchy based on the craniometric data he assembled. There in lies the problem.
Mr. Poynter places the modern Caucasian at the top of the ladder, with these skeletal remains grossly inferior to that modern Caucasian ideal. Many of the morphological features Mr. Poynter uses are at best fallacious, and many pictures show morphological similarities, despite Mr. Poynter’s statements to the contrary. Although filled with data, Mr. Poynter’s article would be best served as a tool to illustrate social Darwinism, not good hard science.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
GERALD VAN BOLT Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Poynter, C. W. M. A Study of Nebraska Crania American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17: 509 – 524
In cooperation with the University of Nebraska, Poynter studied the remains of over one hundred skulls taken from graves on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River near Omaha. Poynter’s interests lie in studying the entire group of a “lower ordered” ancient type of man. Specifically, Poynter calls this group the Nebraska Loess Man. Careful analysis of the skulls allows Poynter to draw conclusions about these ancient human beings. However, blatant disregard for the cultural and social significance of the descendants of these borrowed bones is not an issue. Poynter’s justification in the name of science leads him to summarize the following.
The first group is the Wallace Mound Group; Poynter notes the artificial deformation in the form of occipital flattening. This deformation is similar in most of the skulls in the study. Of the twenty-six skulls studied, all of them had accentuated “brachycephaly” relating to the length of the head. Under careful examination, Poynter points out that the face is regular and compares favorably with Europeans. In comparison with Carr, Poynter uses a group of skulls that does not exhibit an over abundance of artificial deformation. Therefore, his skull comparisons show great similarity.
The second group used in the comparison is the Plattsmouth group. Surprisingly, Poynter says, no ornaments or flints were discovered in the neighborhood of the bones. Forty-two members of the group were measured and compared. Poynter notes that the ‘sutures’ are complex, but not as intricate as in whites. Further analysis of this group shows they have an inter-nasal articulation that is arched as in the Roman-type nose, summarizing that this group of crania is distinctly Indian in character.
The third group is the Fort Lisa group. The most characteristic feature of the group is their long narrow shape, indicating that this group might have had premature synotosis (the formation of the skull bones). Poynter also notes that this group resembles the Australian aborigines.
The last group was unearthed from the floor of a dwelling by Poynter. The Long’s Hill group was found within a matrix of charcoal and broken pottery. This group was badly preserved and was difficult to remove. Poynter notes that this group of skulls exhibited crania that was characterized by an inferior frontal development and, therefore, “may be considered as belonging to a low order racially”(518).
All the groups studied showed similar features. Therefore, Poynter suggests, there is no need to consider these as separate races or to assign them to any great civilization of the past. He does suggest, however, that the entire cranium collects are from different tribes. Using ‘craniometric’ standards Poynter draws the conclusion that these groups have a close relationship with other peoples of America. Interestingly, Poynter also argues that these groups all sprang from the same family, yet do not satisfy the ideal of primitive man; therefore, he must wait until undisputed geological evidence establishes the type.
ROBERT WASYLYK York University (Naomi Adelson)
Rivers, W.H.R. Sun-Cult and Megaliths in Oceania. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17: 431-445.
W.H.R. Rivers, in the article Sun-Cult and Megaliths in Oceania, discusses the possibility of the existence of sun worshipping cults in Polynesia. The author begins his discussion by stating that there is no decisive evidence that the sun is a part of any public religious cult in any part of Polynesia. Apparently The Areois people of eastern Polynesia performed a ritual, which may have been closely associated with the sun. Later he focuses the discussion on the evidence pointing towards the existence of secret societies and rites of passages.
Rivers mentions a slew of islands and their inhabitants, such as the Marquesas, Tahiti, the Society Islands, the Gambier Islands, Fiji, and so on. The author suggests that these islanders practice sun god worshipping in various secret cults. Furthermore, Rivers, states that these rituals are not of independent origin.
The Later half of the article addresses archeological findings on these islands, which support the notion of sun worshiping cults. Specifically the archaeological findings are stone structures referred to as megalithic structures. These megalithic structures are found throughout Polynesia. The megaliths bear resemblance to the great stone statues of Easter Island. The author then purports the notion that there may be a correspondence between the distribution of these structures and the secret societies of Oceania (presumably Polynesia), and furthermore that these secret cults were the architects of the stone structures.
The article is nearly fifteen pages in length and meanders in no particular direction at points. It is a bit unorganized, yet it does address a considerable amount of information. Rivers does provide adequate explanations in the conclusion of his article.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
BRETT BUTERA Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Rivers, W. H. R. Sun-cult and Megaliths in Oceania. American Anthropologist, 1915. Vol. 17: 431-441
W. H. R. Rivers’ article examines the possibility of a Sun-Cult in Oceania, focusing on different societies such as the Areoi, Dukduk, Matambala, and Tamate. There is no decisive evidence pointing to a Cult of the Sun, but some features in these group’s rituals point to them being closely associated with the sun.
All the aforementioned societies have seasonal celebrations that seem to correspond with each other. The Areois located in Marquesas were inactive during the season when the sun was north of the equator and celebrated when the sun returned to the south. The Dukduk annual celebrations of birth, life, and death corresponded with the retirement of the Areois. The Matambala and the Tamate also had seasonal celebrations.
Rivers goes on to present an interesting hypothesis: if the central idea underlying the ritual of the societies is relating to birth, life, and death through the sun’s movements, we are driven to believe that the idea of these sun-cults must have been introduced into the areas by a people where the movements would have a meaning. The only area where this happens is in the northern hemisphere.
The conclusion reached is that the secret rituals that have the sun as the object of attention belong to an immigrant culture that has come from a different part of the world.
Rivers then tries to connect megalithic structures, such as local pyramids and giant heads (such as those on Easter Island) to the sun-cult of Oceania.
CLARITY RATING: 2
SEVAAN FRANKS York University (Naomi Adelson)
Speck, Frank. The Family Hunting Band as the Basis of Algonkian Social Organization. American Anthropologist. 1915. Vol. 17: 289-305
Frank Speck attempts to prove that fundamental social units such as the family groups comprising hunting tribes of the woodlands of the north and east (of the Great Lakes) have been neglected as a viable institution with rights to certain delineated land claims. The author explains that previous assumptions, made by colonial institutions, that native people who hunt will range far and wide, without thought to territory, to find game to support their family or tribe. Further more the author tries to show that tribes of Northern and Eastern America (Canada & U.S.) had considerable tracts of land with definite boundaries, and that these were associated with not only individual families but with neighboring groups, all forming social clan groupings among various tribes. Speck presents further data from a Geological Survey of Canada, that tribes among the north and northeast coast of Canada and U.S. trace their claims of family hunting grounds to a social institution stemming from the Algonkian tribal grouping.
Speck defines the family hunting as a kinship group united by blood and marriage that developed into clans with well defined rules of totemic emblems and taboos. The author claims that such regulations helped develop a firm and undisputable collective knowledge of the whole subdivided territory with accompanying local names. The article adds that these named tracts had been past down from generation to generation from time immemorial. Speck mentions that from this it is possible to show on maps the exact territories claimed by each family in the collective clan grouping. The author concludes that all the Atlantic coastal tribes maintain the same institution, bringing their claim well within the regions concerned in the treaty negotiations of the colonial government. He further states that thru misunderstanding between natives and colonial authorities, those large tracts were sold by individuals with no claim or right to dispose of the land.
Frank Speck supports his research with earlier historical writings from several authors, referring to such institutions with territorial claims. He explains that thru such documentation, vested rights among the Algonkian kindred go as far south as southern New England. Speck concludes that his research proves the existence of a complex clan organization among the Algonkian and other cultural tribal groups with a connected clan system.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
BRION TRIVERS Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Sapir, E. The Na-Dene Languages, A Preliminary Report. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17:534-558
“The Na-dene Languages, A Preliminary Report”, is an abstract of a larger work, “The Na-dene Languages.” It discusses the leading points of a genetic relationship between Athabaskan, Haida, and Tlingit. Sapir offers comparative lexical, phonological, and morphological evidence that the three languages are divergent representatives of a common prototype language, which he terms “Na-dene.” He considers the possibility that the Na-dene languages originated in the southern coastal area of Alaska, the home of the Tlingit, and that Athabaskan is a specialized interior offshoot, while Haida is a specialized island offshoot.
First, the author gives extensive morphological evidence of a link between Athabaskan, Tlingit, and Haida. He explores word stems and formation, verb/noun relationships, verb structure, noun structure, pronouns, and postpositions. Then, Sapir offers a selection of lexical evidence bearing on the genetic relationship between the three languages. He notes that the nearly one hundred item lexical list is less than one third of the lexical material he has collected. Following the lexical evidence is the phonological evidence. Sapir begins this section by noting that “the phonetic systems of Athabaskan, Haida, and Tlingit, despite a good many differences of detail, present important points of similarity.” He notes the similarity of stops, continuants, and affricatives, and provides a brief discussion of consonant clusters and vowels. The author concludes the abstract by noting that each of the languages is a distinctive and highly differentiated form of the Na-dene prototype, and that each has developed over a long period of time while isolated from the others.
HILARY H STITES Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Sapir, E. The Na-Dene Languages, A Preliminary Report. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol. 17: 534-558.
In this article, Sapir shows the similarities between the three languages of Athabaskan, Haida and Tlingit. He states, however, that this piece is only an introduction to a more extensive paper still under preparation at the time of this publication.
The body of the article contains many linguistic rules and a breakdown of morphological elements. In addition, nouns and verbs, noun structure, pronouns, comparative vocabulary and phonology are all analyzed and the similarities are mentioned. In fact, the article goes into such detail about grammar and the usage of certain letters together, that the average reader would be very confused.
Sapir uses many examples from all three languages to prove his argument, however, the article starts off without ever mentioning where the languages are from or their history, making it very difficult to follow or understand. He concludes that these three languages must be genetically connected; yet each is unique, and that the similarities found between each of them are considered to be of Na-dene model.
DANIELLE HULICK University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Sapir, Edward. Southern Paiute and Nahuatl—A Study in Uto-Aztekan. Part II. American Anthropologist, 1915 Vol. 17:306-317
This is the second part of Sapir’s study of the Southern Paiute and Nahuatl. The first part appears in the Journal de la Societe des Americanistes de Paris. This article was supposed to be published in the same journal, but because of World War I, it is not known if his manuscript ever reached Paris. So, as not to delay the publication, he decided to publish it in American Anthropologist.
Sapir concentrates on comparing the consonants of the Paiute and Nahuatl linguistic stocks. He also discusses the Uto-Aztekan o as a supplementary commentary from his previous article. Sapir mentions the Papagos in his supplementary commentary as well. This information he received from Juan Dolores’s “Papago Verb Stems.”
This article reads mostly as a list and would be hard for a person not knowing anything about linguistics to understand.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
MAUREEN YOUNG Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Sapir, Edward Southern Paiute and Nahuatl—A Study in Uto-Aztekan. Part II (Concluded). American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17: 306-328.
Linguistic patterns are evident among the sound assimilations of two different Uto-Aztekan languages, the Southern Paiute language, which is a Shoshonean dialect, and the Nahuatl language. The article reviews the sounds kw, s, m, n, h, l, w, y, h, and ‘ (gottle stop) in the context of the written languages of Southern Paiute and Nahuatl, reviewing the prevalence of the particular sounds in the given language, the alternative pronunciations and meanings of the sounds within words, the placement of the sounds within words, as well as sounds that are often a result of the presence of one of the particular sounds reviewed in this article.
This particular article is Part II and the concluding section of a pair of articles concerning the study of the Uto-Aztekan languages of Southern Paiute and Nahuatl. Thus, the origin of the information that is covered in this particular article is not presented here. As the second part in a two part series, the article immediately begins with Sapir’s reflection of the Uto-Aztekan sound kw, thus failing to give the reader an introduction, making Sapir’s underlying intention unclear. This article focuses entirely on the sounds kw, s, m, n, h, l, w, y, h, and ‘ (gottle stop) and the patterns that are found within the Southern Paiute and Nahuatl languages.
Sapir uses an abundance of detailed examples to support his theories concerning the usage of the sounds kw, s, m, n, h, l, w, y, h, and ‘ (gottle stop) within the context of the Uto-Aztekan languages. He uses common words (within the Southern Paiute and Nahuatl languages), to support his analysis of the two Uto-Aztekan languages.
KARINA HARTY The University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Sapir, Edward. Southern Paiute and Nahuatl – A Study in Utoaztekan. Part II. American Anthropologist, 1915. Vol. 17:98-120
The Nahuatl, Southern Paiute, and Utoaztekan languages are extremely similar in their ways of writing. They are extremely similar because the Nahuatl and Southern Paiute are dialects of the Utoaztekan language. Even though certain dialects are not as extensive, such as the Nahuatl, they still have distinct consonants and vowels.
All Utoaztekan languages focus mainly on the pronunciation of their words. They focus on suffixes and prefixes that can change the rest of the sentence just by adding a letter to the beginning of a word. Each letter, in each language, although similar, can bring a complete different meaning to the word, and the way it is pronounced can change it even more. Suffixes also have forms that direct them to a particular ‘level’ of speech. This level of speech shows the social/economic class that which the person is in. Then based on the person’s class and how one speaks, then sentence may be nasalized.
The nasal quality is an extreme focus, especially in the Southern Paiute dialect. The nasalization is placed into a word as a suffix in order to lead the sentence where it needs to go. They can also work as “stops” in the consonants, vowels, and in words. These “stops” can also change a sentence completely around because in certain dialects they mean different things.
Grammar is the most important thing in all of these languages. The grammar in the beginning, end, and middle of words and sentences can change everything about how a person is perceived. Grammar is based on an “oral chamber,” which determines whether the sentence will contain a stop or will have a closure at the end. Depending on the grammar, the oral chamber can insert a new series of letters that will again change the sentence.
These languages have such similarities that they could all be a dialect of another language. The languages are very complex even though they have few letters. Simply the way a letter is written can change the meaning of an entire sentence. The way words are pronounced is even more important and adds to the complexity because pronunciation changes what the sentence means. Edward Sapir is simply trying to give framework to these languages in order for people to understand these ways of speaking more clearly.
CAROL DIXON University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Speck, Frank G. The Eastern Algonkian Wabanki Confederacy. American Anthropologist, 1915. Vol.17:492-508.
Speck’s goal is to present information about the confederacies of tribes in the eastern United States and Canada. He wants to give the reader an insight into a culture that is probably unknown to them. He starts by introducing to the older, larger tribal confederacies. Speck’s illustrates where the customs of the eastern Wabanaki confederacy arose and gives an account of the important presence of the wampum tradition. With tension between the Mohawk and the Wabanaki, the Ottawa were the mediators and leaders of the original confederacy. Speck found that each tribe sent a delegate to the mandatory tribal council, held every three years in the Mohawk village of Caughnawaga, in order to renew the bonds of the confederacy. The international council began to break up in 1862 and was completely dissolved 10 years later.
The Wabanaki confederacy, meaning “People of the sunrise country,” is comprised of four northeastern Algonkian tribes and is the main focus of this article. In order of importance, these four tribes are the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy, the Malecite, and the Micmac. Receiving most of his information from a Penobscot source, Newell Lyon, it was easy for Speck to study the Wabanaki group. The Penobscot village of Oldtown became the new location for tribal council and the new confederacy was run along the same principles as the older one. At the end of the article Speck comments on the aloofness of the Micmacs from the rest of the confederacy, and their stronger bond with the Mohawk and the larger confederacy. Widely scattered, the author notes that the Micmacs became closer to the Mohawks after the two had reached a permanent peace agreement.
Speck notes that the wampum belts were once again the most important parts of the meetings, symbolizing unity and displaying specific symbolism. The certain shapes and symbols woven into the belts were understood by all tribes, conveying messages through their designs. As in the international council, speeches accompanied the belts, delivering information to the council and also from the council to the people. Speck discovered that the belts acted as symbols to the Wabanaki in contrast to the documentary qualities they had had in the original international confederacy. The Wabanaki invented war and peace belts, and mourning belts for the death of chiefs to symbolize political events. The wampum tradition was found everywhere; contained in marriage proposals, women’s ornaments, sacred ceremonies and represented wealth for chiefs. Centered upon this unique symbol, the confederacy of the Wabanaki was able to function smoothly with the intentions of each belt understood by all.
JULIETTE HOBBS University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Speck, Frank G. The family hunting band as the basis of algonkian social organization. American Anthropologist N.S.17. 1915. 289-305
Frank G. Speck, in his early ethnology of the hunting tribes of the northern woodlands and their relationship to Algonkian tribal social organization, refutes the common understanding that American Indians had little interest in the ownership of land and the term of “property,” as claimed by white settlers in the late 1800’s. Instead the American Indians, actually, had a deep social and economic structure surrounding rights to land. Little known is the fact that certain tracts of land were inherited within family and neighboring groups. Speck also mentions that social structure of (clans within a tribe) impacted the distribution of land.
This article is a brief summarization of his analysis of the tribes that previously inhabited the Northern and Northeastern United States and Canada, identified as Algonkian people. These tribes were very mobile hunting groups, which gained the right to hunt, fish and trap within particular boundaries by marriage or family right. These boundaries were made familiar by certain landmarks, ridges, rivers, and lakes etc., where a certain clan’s symbol may have been placed on a large recognizable tree, or marked on a line of bark to mark territory. Trespassing and hunting on another clan’s territory was, in some cases, punishable by death, because the game in a particular territory was all that the clan of ownership had to sustain itself. Incoming people were obligated first, to seek the approval of the clan leaders.
By interviewing chiefs and other tribal members Speck was able to compile accurate maps of the territories once owned by their native ancestors. He describes some of the maps as owned by “the Penobscot territory in Maine, the Montagnais and Mistassini of Quebec, the Timiskaming and Nipissing in Ontario, the Micmac of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and the Lake Dumoine, Timagami, and Mattawa bands of Algonkian and Ojibwa in Ontario and Quebec,” making for a broad range of discussion of the land ownership concepts among the studied tribes.
Speck makes an interesting analogy between Algonkian tribes and white traditional farmers because of their conservational method of hunting. He says that their actions of conserving game, while hunting from season to season, were much like that of farmers in their methods of breeding animals and using land to produce food. However, Speck makes it a point to emphasize that the American Indians used every part of their kill unlike the early white settlers and were to be “avoided,” because of their wasteful nature.
This highly developed method of hunting along with land ownership and management suggests that land claims were very much a part of American Indian life. There is a logical explanation for the miscommunication between the settlers and Indians during their property deals, according to Speck. The territory was so vastly owned by clan members, tribes, and families that settlers most likely had difficulty understanding the tribes’ concepts of land ownership and were sometimes led to believe that they had acquired more land than was actually deserved.
Speck concludes that his work, and hopefully the work of others after him, can prove to be of some value to “the field of Indian administration should it ever be possible to reconstruct the boundaries of the Indian family claims in Ontario and Quebec.” He also theorizes that the topic of ethnology, although still young as a field of research, “may enable us to trace the trend of migration in certain groups of American culture…”
Though Speck’s article lacks much detail about his further research, it provides an interesting glimpse of what early ethnology was capable of as a field of research. His article is very informative and presented in a clear manner that gives deeper meaning to a commonly neglected topic in our society.
BRENDAN HART University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Spinden, Herbert J. Notes on the Archeology of Salvador. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol.17:446-487.
In this article the author presents an in depth account of Salvador, and its Archeology, by breaking it down into three distinct periods. These periods are the Archaic, the Maya, and the Aztec, the last being the most evolved. The author first comments on the geography of Salvador, which includes the most densely populated portion of Central America. The most important and widespread language was Pipil, belonging to the Aztec/Mexican group. Archeological sites, ethnology, dress, and art are mentioned in great detail.
The Archaic period is said to be the earliest of the periods, and its art is the focus. Numerous examples of pottery and sculpture are mentioned and shown through illustration. The following Maya period is more evolved than the archaic period, and reference to religion can be seen through hieroglyphic inscription. Finally, the author writes on the Aztec period, stating that it is the most sophisticated and evolved of the bunch. One of the most stunning works of the period is a trade piece, which contains a great deal of color and cultural meaning.
Throughout the article it is explained how one period transcended to the next. Tremendous information is provided about the art of the periods and how it was shaped by culture. The reading is flanked with illustration and should interest those studying the development of art.
MICHAEL MEYERS Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Spinden, Herbert J. Notes on the Archeology of Salvador. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol.17:446-487.
Herbert J. Spinden attempts to classify Salvadorian artifacts by placing them into four distinct time periods. Although, according to Spinden, there is nothing known of the actual stratigraphy of archeological remains in Salvador, the ceramic remains can be categorized and correlated with historic periods that already exist. After a brief geographic description of Salvador as well as a basic ethnography, Spinden begins to describe artifacts from the four established periods.
The first period, know as the Archaic Period, is represented by small crude figurines and globular shaped bowls. Figurines from this period are recognized by a specific eye type where as vessels are identified by their resemblance to human beings. One thing to note in this period, according to Spinden, is the absence of figures representing divinities.
Following the Archaic Period, Spinden talks of the Mayan Period which is represented by vast amounts of cylindrical vases painted with hieroglyphs and large quantities of figurines. The hieroglyphs, which Spinden believes are no more than meaningless decorations, depict religious activities as well as animal motifs. The figurines from this period seem to be more sharply defined than those found in the Archaic Period as they have more precise modeling of faces and superior decoration.
Spinden then describes the Post-Mayan Period, which is represented by magnificent stone sculpture and figurines. Most art of this period depicted human sacrifice as well as the integration of combined human and animal etchings. A popular style of sculpture, known as “Chacmool,” is found in abundance during this time period.
Finally, Spinden describes artifacts found in the Aztec Period. All art found in this period is greatly influenced by Aztec religion and tradition, displayed in amazing trade pieces. Popular artifacts found during the period include incense burners in the shape of serpent heads and hollow models of frogs.
The article gives a justified attempt at beginning to organize the vast amounts of Salvadorian artifacts. Filled with specific details of construction of the artifacts, and numerous pictures as well as drawings, the article attracts those interested in South American art.
JOEL HEIN University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Sterns H., Fred. A Stratification of Cultures in Eastern Nebraska. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17:121-127
This paper discusses a stratified site in the Missouri Valley called the Walker Gilmore site that is named after this boy who discovered it. Sterns undertook an excavation of the gully deposits of old stream that indicated traces of human occupancy at various levels, and many fragments of pottery and flint implements were found. Sterns establishes the debate regarding the source of the materials being either from the original site or having been washed down from the surrounding hills. Sterns then presents evidence that indicates that the pottery and other artifacts were not washed down from the hilltop, primarily in the form of recent plowing on the hillsides. The focus of this article is to determine the ages of these deposits. Sterns concludes that the time depth of the site is approximately 1000 years, with all of the occupation pre-dating European contact since there are no items of European origin in the assemblages.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
RITA ELSWICK Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Sterns, Fred H.. A Stratification of Cultures in Eastern Nebraska. American Anthropologist, 1915. Vol.17:121-127.
In his article, archeologist Fred H. Sterns introduces the Walker Gilmore site, a project in the Missouri valley of Cass county, Nebraska. The basic argument of the article is twofold. In the introduction, he briefly alludes to the importance of stratified archeological sites like Walker Gilmore to support a missing link between European and American archeology. He then explains some of his discoveries at the site and draws initial conclusions based on his work thus far. He realizes that the project is very much a work in progress, as he emphasizes at the end of the article that a detailed study is being prepared to be published at a later date.
Sterns claims that this site is very important to the archeological study of past cultures because it is stratified. He notes the difference between European and American methods in studying archeology. European archeologists focus on cultural sequences and time relations while Americans highlight cultural areas and space relations. In other words, Europeans see cultures as being replaced by physically and culturally different groups, whereas Americans see all cultures as evolving simultaneously and fluidly (except for the distinction between historic and prehistoric). Sterns points to the importance of stratigraphic evidence, like that at the Walker Gilmore site, because it is one of the only ways Europeans and Americans can combine both temporal and special understandings within the study of archeology.
After justifying the importance of the stratified site, Sterns continues by giving a brief history of it. Several other sites had been found in the area, including semi-subterranean rectangular earth-lodge sites, within which potsherds and flint and bone implements abounded. Where a stream had been forced to change course, more traces of human occupancy had been found. Sterns describes the pottery from that particular area and claims it matches the typical pottery found in the rectangular earth lodges.
Thereafter, Sterns aims to prove that the lodges stood where the pottery was found and disprove that the pottery had been washed down from the hills. His evidence includes two main points. First, although the conditions for excavation and discovery were excellent on the hills, no pottery was uncovered. Second, the rainfall from the hills routinely washed into a particular gully, so if the sites were originally on the hills, the pottery would have been found in this gully but was not.
Sterns notes that four feet below the gully surface traces of charcoal have been found, but that this is an unsafe basis to draw conclusions about human life in the area. Continuing his digs, at ten and twelve feet below the surface, he discovered two ash-bed layers which were probably accumulated around the same time, for the pottery, flint and bone found there show no difference in type. The pottery, animal bones and food traces found at these two depths do however vary significantly from those excavated at the surface. Sterns describes these differences in some detail.
After listing the layers and depths at the site, the final topic addressed in the article is distinguishing the age of the deposits. Sterns concludes that the material on the surface is entirely pre-historic, because “traces of contact with white people are altogether absent.” (I suppose pre-historic at this point meant before white people had arrived.) He further guesses that there is approximately one thousand years between the lowest and highest beds discovered. Sterns concludes the article by predicting future study of the cultures of the sites.
ANNIE EFFINGER University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Stevenson, Beatrice L. The Gusle Singer and His Songs. American Anthropologist 1915 Vol.17:58-68.
In this article, Stevenson discusses the gusle art of the South Slavic people. She focuses on the gusle instrument and music, songs and accompanying dances, and the texts of these songs. Stevenson feels that gusle music is of interest to folklorists, ethnologists and musicians. She is grateful for the efforts of those like Vouk Stehanovich-Karajich, who early in the nineteenth century collected and preserved many of these ballads unique to the Slavic region.
The gusle instrument itself is depicted in several diagrams throughout this article. We are told that the origins of this violin-like instrument are not known although traces of the Orient and influences of Sanskrit culture are suspected.
Stevenson illustrates the long history of gusle music, believing that this art form sprung from ancient Greece. The music is traced through time and place, showing the influences of the Byzantine and Eastern rule of the Slavic region. The themes and topics of these ballads through time are highlighted and recurring imagery is noted. These songs are stories of piety and love, heroes and heroines and of death and horror. Stevenson notes that the women’s songs provide insight into the lives of the women and cover topics such as love, honour and passion.
LESLIE WARREN York University (Naomi Adelson)
Stevenson, Beatrice L. The Gusle Singer and His Songs. The American Anthropologist 1915 Vol. 17: 58-68.
The article entitled, The Gusle Singer and His Songs, is about the gusle art of the South Slavic people. A gusle is a small instrument made of white maple wood, with a rounded back, and a single sting of horsehair. The singers who continue to sing these songs are from Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and all of the provinces of the Adriatic. This musical tradition started before the era of the Troubadours in France.
The music made between the singer and the gusle are meant to portray the ideal life. Stevenson gives many reasons why gusle music is important to the culture of the Slavic nations and why it should be preserved.
The songs were passed down orally from generation to generation. Without the work of a few very dedicated collectors, a good portion of this legacy of the Slavic people would have been lost. There is no contribution more important to American than the “Heroic Ballads of Serbia” that were translated into English. This recently published volume gives the English-speaking world insight into the content of Serbian song.
The concept of a “veelah” is found in the poetry of the South Slavs. The veelah is found in songs, ballads, heroic legends, and most histories. Veelahs were joyous supernatural creatures that lived in streams, high mountains, and clouds. If not treated correctly, their interference can play havoc with human happiness, as is told in the tale of the “The Serpent Bridegroom.” In addition, veelahs summon death when heroes’ lives are coming to an end.
Women’s songs give insight into the lives of the feminine sphere. These songs range from faithful peasant love to the aristocratic honor and passion. The most popular theme of feminine discontent is “the grievous ill of heartache.”
The Balkan songs are distinctly feudal in nature and revive a sense of the middle ages. A guslar’s life was very different during the days of knighthood. The singers were much more accustomed to luxury and refinement. They rode their masters’ horses, were fed well, and lived predominately an easy life. These singers made it a habit to vary their repertoires and invent new versions of old songs.
The Gusle singer’s audience is made up of peasants, manual laborers, merchants, Christians, teachers, priests, and officials. Among the crowd are young boys who are learning to become gusle singers. All songs are learned orally and boys begin the learning process between the ages of ten and fifteen. The boys are often taught at home since being a singer is passed down the lineage, much like the Slavic tradition of gusle singing.
Stevenson wraps up her article by reflecting: “We ask ourselves as we peer in the past, Do we yet today in our dreams of self, so ride and kiss and laugh in tents composed of the stuff of our moods?”
NICOLE DEFAU University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Swanton, John R. Linguistic Position of the Tribes of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17: 17-40.
John R. Swanton, in the article Linguistic Position of the Tribes of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico, Compares the language stocks of the tribes of southern Texas and northern Mexico.
The Caddo people who ranged from northwestern Louisiana to southwestern Arkansas. The Tonkawa people, who are referred to as descendants of a low culture of cannibals. The Tonkawa’s are also called Atakapa. According to the author both names mean “man eaters”. Swanton further emphasizes that these people lacked the ability to adapt to civilization.
In this vicinity of southern Texas only a few of the tribes remained at the time of this article, Atakapa, Tonkawa, and Tamauilipas. Several other language stocks are discussed, while they are not introduced in the article. A table is presented which composes the majority of the article. The table contains words, which seem to bear relation to each other. A text break in the table explains that groups of people located near each other or more likely to show a mutual language resemblance than those farther away. John Swanton concludes by stating that with further research one may find that these tribes share more linguistic stock than was initially considered.
The article would be useful for a linguist researching relation ships of language stocks of the tribes of Texas. However, it seems it would be an invalid source of cultural anthropology and historical records. No field methods or relevant works were cited as the aspects of cultures were discussed in the article, therefore such speculation could be discredited.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
BRET BUTERA Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Swanton, John R. Linguistic Position of the Tribes of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17: 17-40.
In his article, Swanton considers two tribes from the Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexican regions and examines similarities in their linguistic systems.
Swanton’s primary concern is with the Tonkawa or Atakapa tribe of Southwestern Louisiana and Mexico, which he describes as being “of extremely low culture.” The historical record of the tribe, as well as its infamous nature through the traditions of other tribes of a similar area, suggests a cannibalistic society. The economics and culture of this tribe were also “primitive.” According to Swanton, the Tonkawa are the least able to adapt themselves to the invading western civilization.
Swanton states that the tribes of this region appear to have similar cultures, but in comparison the languages appear to be very different. He suggest that this may be due to possible differences in translations and possible corruptions that may have occurred He eventually comes to a seemingly radical conclusion that the languages of the various tribes of the region are actually quite similar under the surface. He cites their vocalic nature, their tendency to have clusters of two consonants, with words and syllables often ending in consonants. Swanton suggests that the apparent differences, which may be due to corruptions in translations, cancel out one another, and that therefore, the languages are most definitely related to one another.
The article demonstrates that groups of people living near to one another reflect this proximity within their respective languages. Some of these results are unexpected in that similarities are found between the languages of groups that live farther apart, but overall, language similarities reflect proximity in locale.
Swanton reflects a concern with structure of something as specific as language, in order to demonstrate larger aspects of a particular culture or relationships between several. The connections may reveal something expected, or may demonstrate a new quality not previously discovered through other methods of investigation.
REBECCA CURTIN University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Wallis, Wilson. Individual Initiative and Social Compulsion. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol 17:647-665
The author’s intent in this article is to refute the claims of Durkheim and his followers that the individual in society is a product of social forces, with little or no personal initiative. Wallis determines to examine data from the social spheres of martial relations, aesthetic activities, leadership, and religion to support his belief that the individual within society does exhibit initiative.
The evidence that Wallis provides is sketchy at best. He merely asserts that individuals do not strictly follow prescriptive marriage rules in many small-scale societies. Wallis’ detailed examples are most heavily weighted towards those involving religion and the development of new religious movements. He concludes, however, that there are clear examples from all realms that he delimits to indicate that individual initiative is present in many small-scale societies. Wallis spends considerable time in a philosophical treatise regarding the role of society in constraining the individual. His final conclusions are that society provides a dimension from which individual personality and initiative find expression. His conclusions foreshadow the thoughts of some theories of culture that are developed during the 1960s in American anthropology.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
RITA ELSWICK Cleveland State University (Jeffrey P. Williams)
Wallis, W. Individual Initiative and Social Compulsion. American Anthropologist. 1915 Vol. 17:647-665.
The objective of this author is to examine the sphere, respectively, and material relations, esthetic activities, leadership, and religious life. The main focus though is on the religious aspect. Religion has many connections with political ideas. China has shown close relation between new religion and political development by requiring all the incarnate gods in the Chinese Empire to register in the Colonial Office at Peking. The Chinese Government forbids the gods on the register to be reborn anywhere in Tibet. In the Instanccs of messianic religions we see individual initiative, which leads to social development. An individual will act as he does but only as far as society wills it.
The motives, which lead the sociologist to resolve the individual into mere social and historical antecedent, will logically compel him to dissolve the social group into similar historical antecedents. To do so is to give up the problem of society versus the individual. The positioning of such a problem involves a treatment of society and individual as distinct and complete, through reciprocal units. The Social seems merely a division or a dimension in which personality finds meaning and by which it is conditioned in its expression. How could it ever come within the grasp of individual; minds unless individual mind were a self-sufficient reality.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
DORY CARSON York University (Naomi Adelson).