American Anthropologist 1920
Boas, Franz. The Classification Of American Languages. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22:367-376.
In this article Boas recognizes the many specific differences in American Indian languages. He does so by providing examples of morphology, diffusionism, acculturation (by intertribal marriage) similarities and dissimilarities. His objective is to describe in detail the classification of languages based on comparison from the study of fairly closely related dialects, towards the study of more diverse forms.
The study of grammar of the languages has demonstrated the occurrence of a number of morphological similarities between neighbouring stocks, however this does not accompany similarities with respect to vocabulary.
Boas points out that if we were to consider the history of human languages we must take into consideration the history of human speech, he therefore states that; the problem of the study of languages is not one of classification but rather to trace the history of the development of human speech. The article continues to discuss in great detail the three fundamental aspects of human speech which he lists are; phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary. He continues to provide a geographical example of the study of phonetics. The study of phonetics indicates that certain features have a limited and well-defined distribution which, on the whole, is continuous. The extraordinary development of the series of k sounds and of laterals ( l sounds) is common to the most diverse languages of the North Pacific Coast, while in California and east of the Rocky Mountains this characteristic feature disappears.
In terms of the study of morphology of American Indian languages, Boas notes that there are, definite areas of characterization; it is, for instance, most striking that reduplication as a morphological process occurs extensively on the Great Plains and in the Eastern Woodlands, as well as in the part of the Pacific Coast south of the boundary between British Columbia and Alaska. Similarities with respect to phonetics, morphology and classification, must be due to borrowing. Boas also makes reference to language isolates and their distinctions. Boas feels that the study of language ought to be directed not only to an investigation of the similarities of languages, but equally intensively towards their dissimilarities. Only on this basis can we hope to solve the general historical problem.
To conclude, this article was very difficult to understand as it has been written in great detail. In the review summary I have narrowed the article down to geographical locations and provided two examples. Boas on the other hand accomplishes his objectives discussing in great detail by naming the specific tribal groups, their territories and their language influences upon one another. This type of information would go beyond the scope of this article summary.
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EDNA NYCE University of British Columbia (John Barker)
Boas, Franz. The Classification of American Languages. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol. 22: 367-376
This article examines the relationships between various languages throughout Native American cultures responding to other contemporary studies attempting to find a link between different Native American languages and determining whether they share a single common background. Boas proposes that the study of languages is not an issue of classification but rather a task of understanding the history and development of human speech.
Boas supports the idea that, originally, there were fewer languages spoken in North America; and the diversification of the languages was a rather recent historical phenomenon. To compare and contrast different languages he uses the fundamental aspects of human speech: phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary. Notwithstanding, Boas clearly states that even if all the languages have a common source, “they have become so much differentiated, that without historical knowledge of their growth, the attempts to prove their interrelation cannot succeed”(369). He focuses primarily on the phonetic and morphological (grammar) commonalities amongst various languages in North America to obtain evidence of a common original language. He indicates various processes by which languages evolve or change, such as reduplication, incorporation, the use of instrumentals, the use of true cases, and more importantly, the “differentiation between nominal and verbal concepts, and between neutral and active verbs”(370). He concludes that none of these patterns provide any geographical coherence; therefore, proving that geography or the proximity between communities had less to do with language development than social interaction between different native cultures. In this context, Boas questions the significance and influence of acculturation as a major factor in language development. In this context, acculturation is the catalyst of a process accomplished through intertribal marriages by either peaceful means or as a result of abduction and enslavement of women after violent conflicts between tribes. Moreover, this evidence would support the idea that contemporary native languages did not develop from one particular interaction (stock); but rather, they are the product of a many combinations of original languages (many stocks). Boas concludes that it is more important to understand what the “dissimilarities” between languages tell us about their histories, than what the “similarities” may link. To do this he provides a basic scheme for understanding language history. The first step is the study of the differentiation of dialects; second would be to make a detailed study of the distribution of phonetic, grammatical, and lexicographical phenomena; and last, the criteria for any investigation must focus not just on the similarities between languages, but most importantly their dissimilarities.
This article will be useful for individuals studying Linguistics and the history of Linguistics, as Boas provides an excellent outline for various criteria in the study of languages.
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ERNESTO WULFF York University (Naomi Adelson)
Boas, Franz. The Methods Of Ethnology American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22:311-321.
Taking a less ethnocentric view, Boas discusses the methods of inquiry into the historical development of civilization. He states that these methods, have undergone remarkable changes. Anthropologists such as Spencer, Morgan, Tyler, and Lubbock were under the spell of the idea of a general, uniform evolution of culture in which all parts of mankind participated. A newer development with respect to the remarkable changes goes back in part to the influence of Ratzel whose geographical training impressed him with the importance of diffusion and migration. So, during this time (second half of the last century) ethnological research is based on the concept of migration and dissemination rather than upon that of evolution.
Boas continues to discuss and compare the American ethnological methods to those of European methods, in which he argues… are similar in function but not in evolutionary origin. The whole problem of cultural history appears to us as a historical problem. In order to understand history it is necessary to know not only how things are, but how they have come to be. With respect to the domain of ethnology in most parts of the world, there are no historical facts available, with the exception of the archaeological record however, he states that all evidence of change can be inferred only by indirect methods. Individual activities which Boas says, are determined to a great extent by his social environment, but in turn his own activities influence the society in which he lives, and may bring about modifications in its form. Conclusions which may be drawn from this study: the history of human civilization does not appear to us as determined entirely by psychological necessity that leads to a uniform evolution the world over. We rather see that each cultural group has its own unique history, dependent partly upon the peculiar inner development of the social group, and partly upon the foreign influences to which it has been subjected.
Boas uses an example of a study on the Zuni culture where he states that the psychological explanation is entire misleading, notwithstanding its plausibility, and the historical study shows us an entirely different picture, in which the unique combination of ancient traits (which in themselves are undoubtedly complex) and of European influences, have brought about the present condition.
In concluding Boas discusses Freud s underlying psychoanalytic studies, criticizing that, these studies may be fruitfully applied to ethnological problems, it does not seem to me that the one-sided exploitation of this method will advance our understanding of the development of human society. He challenges this farther by stating that there are many other factors which are of greater importance, for example the phenomena of language show clearly that conditions quite different from those to which psychoanalysts direct their attention determine the mental behavior of man. The general concepts underlying language are entirely unknown to most people.
Boas has certainly rocked the foundation of nineteenth century anthropological thought.
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EDNA NYCE University of British Columbia (John Barker)
Boas, Franz. The Methods of Ethnology. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol.22(4):311-321.
The methods of ethnology have changed dramatically over the years.
During the second half of the last century, there was a sense of a linear, uniform evolution of culture in which it encompassed all human beings.
Ethnological research in England and Germany is based on migration and dissemination instead of the concept of evolutionary change. According to Tylor in “Primitive Culture,” all cultures proceed the same in terms of cultural development and livelihood. If we account for the variety of cultures present, one single course of development cannot be supported. The fact that there are inner causes that bring about similarities of development is ignored in European thought.
American anthropologists are more interested in how and why that culture changed in order to reconstruct the past. According to Boas, “in order to understand history it is necessary to know not only how things are, but how they have come to be.” He emphasizes the problem of dissemination in ethnology that has controlled the study since it is much easier to prove rather than the problems made by inner causes. It is most important that we observe and explain the changes in a society at that time before trying to find the overall cause of cultural development. Each culture has its own unique history; therefore, no culture remains absolutely the same for hundreds and hundreds of years. In the production of ethnology, all aspects of a culture should be considered in order to have a complete understanding of the past and the present.
JANI TRINDADE York University (Naomi Adelson).
Boas, Franz. The Social Organization of the Kwakiutl. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22:111-126.
Boas begins his discussion by describing what constitutes a tribe among the Kwakiutl. This information he submitted to the Annual Report of the United States National Museum in 1895. He makes note at the beginning, that these observations and inquiries were obtained with the aid of George Hunt (a Kwakiutl member), prior to 1895. Boas experienced a lot of difficulty in the definition of the tribal unit and of its subdivisions. There is no one single Kwakiutl tribe that is (at that time) an undivided unit. All tribes consisted of well-recognized subdivisions.
A single locality is claimed as the place of origin of each division of the tribe, these divisions are fundamental units. Some of the tribal names are, geographical terms while there are a number of cases in which the relations between certain divisions of a tribe are explained by tradition. By example, the Kwagiul are considered as the descendants of two brothers, one of the elder, the other of the younger one. In another case the divisions of the tribe are considered each as descended from one of four brothers.
Throughout the article Boas describes the divisions of the tribes in terms of structure, giving an illustration of an intricate mythological interrelations between the divisions that belong to a single tribe. In his past he has used the terms, gens and clan according to maternal or paternal descent. In this article he had decided to use the Kwakiutl term, numaym because of the peculiar characteristics. To clarify, the constitution of the numaym is made very difficult by the fact that the number of positions is at present greater than the number of members of the tribe, so that many individuals hold more than one position, in more than one numaym.
Each numaym defends its rights based on descent. The fundamental principal is that the primogeniture, regardless of sex, entitles the first-born child to the highest rank held by one of its parents. Rank is determined by the order of birth. When a child is born to both a mother and father of equal ranking, the first born child may be assigned to one numaym and the next child to another numaym. Among some of the noble families, there is a strong desire to retain rights and privileges and this is done by means of endogamous marriages. The numaym is based on descent with a preference for the paternal line.
Boas describes briefly the fundamental difference between the northern Kwakiutl whom are of matrilineal descent, there also seems to be a difference in the terminology of relationship in lineage. The mother s tribe is indicated by her tribal name and the privileges are individual property, and not property of the whole numaym as is the case with the Southern Kwakiutl.
The article was difficult to understand in terms of lineage, there seems to be no consistency with respect to maternal and paternal social structures in Southern Kwakiutl social structure. There needs more of a clear understanding of an individual holding more than one position in more than one numayn.
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EDNA NYCE University of British Columbia (John Barker)
Boas, Franz. The Social Organization of the Kwakiutl. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:111-126.
This 1920 article by Franz Boas, the father of American Anthropology, is a detailed and descriptive look at the social organization of the Kwakiutl of Vancouver Island. In this presentation, he submits his current findings based on his years of data collection. He begins his discussion by describing in the terms of the Kwakiutl, what a tribe is. According to Boas, a tribe in the “concept” of the Kwakiutl is made up of units or divisions, where by each unit or division claims a place of origin and the “localities not far apart” (p.112, 114).
Boas argues that the divisions, which are derived from one ancestor, include individuals that joined the ancestor at an earlier time and are of a different line of descent. Lines of descent are based on various justifications. Divisions are brothers with lines being older and younger or divisions may have no relation at all yet represent local groups.
In his argument, Boas prefers not to use the terms “gens,” “clan,”or “sib” as he feels they are misleading and do not fully represent the Kwakiutl concept of unit ranking. He therefore chooses the Kwakiutl term numaym to describe position, rank and order. Numaym is usually based on a paternal line of descent and birthing order. The eldest, whether male or female, will acquire the highest rank from the father’s line of descent. The ranking of the siblings is then based on birth order with the youngest child having the lowest rank. So in summary, the numaym follows the paternal line and the highest positions in the numaym are from the oldest lines with the first-born having the most rank and privilege within those lines.
The transferring of position and rank through the giving of names is a common argument in this article. Boas very thickly describes the way in which rank, privilege and position is transferred. Marriage is a common way position and names are transferred to incoming family members, usually the son-in-law. The taking of names and position is not formalized until the son-in-law gives a feast at which time he receives gifts from his father-in law and then distributes them to the members of his numaym in his tribe.
By the end of the article, Boas is comparing the Kwakiutl with other Northwest Coast groups such as the Bellacoola, the Nootka, and the Coastal Salish. He argues the transferring of names and privileges is a very old tradition. He then suggests that all the fore mentioned groups, except the Bellacoola, have closed village communities and this forms the “basis of modern social organization” (p.123). Boas has presented in its early form a descriptive view of the Kwakiutl social organization. If were not for Franz Boas and his insistence on the highly descriptive collection of data, diverse cultural information would have been lost.
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DONNA EDMONDSON University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Delabarre, Edmund and Harris Wilder. Indian Corn-Hills in Massachusetts. American Anthropologist. 1920 Vol.22: 203-225
The article details the facts surrounding the idea that mounds created by Indians in New England exist, but are not acknowledged. The mounds were used to plant crops for food. Given, are names of people who identify the mounds found. One such person, Mr. William M. Cotton is said to have located three localities in Massachusetts where “Indian corn-hills” exist today. The corn-hills were cultivated by the Indians some two hundred and fifty years ago. Further, one of the men cited as having studied the corn-hills says that before white settlers invaded North America, there were clear isolated hills that were cultivated on by the Indians. The article then proceeds to discuss the locations of where the corn-hills exist. Two areas are in the woods. This is identifiable because the area is shown to be marked, using pictures, with the decay of leaves and broken branches on the ground. Spacing between corn-hills is then elaborated on. The Huron’s apparently had two feet between each of their corn-hills. The article says that there is indeed much proof that corn-hills exist today. Many of the mounds are used as wasteland and not as historical cites. The article then describes in detail what the mounds actually look like. According to people who have studied them, the mounds are “usually low roundish individual mounds, less than two feet in diameter, rising above the intervals between them from eight to twelve inches in the best preserved examples” (325). However, the mounds are not always unattached, they sometimes join together to form a continuous mound. The arrangement of the mounds is then discussed. Sometimes they are located on a straight path, other times there is no clear identifiable path.
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LAURA DOBROVICKIY York University (Naomi Adelson)
Delabarre, Edmund B., and Harris H. Wilder. Indian Corn-Hills in Massachusetts. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:203-225.
Indian Corn-Hills in Massachusetts by Edmund Delabarre and Harris Wilder is a historical article that was written in 1920. The paper begins with what the authors call a “Historical Introduction” (p. 203). Here several actual sites of Indian corn hills are mentioned. The authors include these sites by means of inserting quotes by different people, who saw the actual cultivation of Indian corn. The accounts differ in locations through out New England and date from 1605 to 1855. The descriptions in each account vividly describe how observers viewed the Indian corn hills. Delabarre and Wilder compare the descriptions mentioned, to find connections. They then make generalizations about Indian corn-hill planting in the area. The second part of the article is an actual observation of an Indian corn-hill prepared by the authors. A valid argument is presented as to why the traces of ancient tillage could persist for so many centuries. This is provided by a brief history of the region, and proof that the techniques used by the Indians created a long-continued preservation of the hills. The authors survey the hills using maps, pictures, measurements and excavation of the site. Step-by-step they portray to the reader what they did, and “[a]ttempt to reconstruct in our mind’s eye the appearance of this little region” (p. 223). One by one comparisons of the findings are done with the accounts mentioned in the introduction. Lastly the authors state that major changes to the region are also taken in consideration, such as floods, building of a Dam and railroad embankment. In the conclusion the authors present good points for awareness and preservation of Indian corn hills.
The techniques used by the authors appear to be imprecise because the actual accounts of people describing their own observation of Indian corn hills varied in locations and dates from 1604 to 1855. Additionally, the observation of only one corn hill was done centuries later. Nevertheless, the article does have considerable valuable data, including information on Indian agricultural techniques, tools used, nutritional habits, village life, division of labor, storage, linguistics of Indians of 16th century and of 19th century, evidence of plagues, possible communications between Indians, and geographic and social changes during the 16th century in New England.
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ELDA GONZALEZ University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Frachtenberg, Leo J. Eschatology of the Quileute Indians. American Anthropologist. 1920. Vol. 22 :330-340
In the article, “Eschatology of the Quileute Indians,” Leo Frachtenberg recounts his study of Quileute Indians and linguistics. He describes eschatology as being, “the investigations conducted into the beliefs held by primitive races, concerning after- life and the composition of the human being, which reveal to us the deepest and minutest philosophical thoughts of primitive man” (331). The author makes a correlation between the Quileute Indians and Ancient Greece, alleging that both provide clear examples of intellectual and cultural accomplishments.
Frachtenberg’s describes his methods of collecting data for his research (e.g., by examining Quileute Indians viewed as specialists in their specific arenas). He compares the language of the Chimakum Indians to that of the Quileute Indians to illustrate his arguments regarding linguistics, but mainly focusses on the practices of the Quileute.
Frachtenberg describes the soul, maintaining that the Quileute believed that each human being, animal and inanimate object possesses a plurality of souls upon dying and that these souls are called “telip’d.” He provides a thorough analysis of how the soul leaves the body , as well as, the phases it goes through ( e.g., after leaving the body the outer soul goes straight to the underworld).
The Quileute regard souls as belonging to a country of their own, called the “Country of the Souls,” which is located underground. The author discusses the importance of souls and their restrictions ( e.g. souls of individuals who have recently died cannot cross over to the other side at once), as well as the role of the Shaman and their ability to connect to these souls.
Frachtenberg closes by explaining how the Quileute Indians believed departed children lived in a separate underworld from adults. The children’s underworld is imaged as being a peaceful, unadulterated, lovely place, where children receive endless nurturing and refuge from women called “la’tc!as.”
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DIMITRA LAZAROU York University: ( Naomi Adelson)
Frachtenberg, Leo J. Eschatology of the Quileute Indians. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:330-340.
In this article Frachtenberg puts forth the theory that the intellectual achievements of other people can be gauged by their ability to philosophize about life. He specifically believes the American Indians of the Northwest Coast have achieved a high status of intellectual life. Frachtenberg looks at the complexity of the Quileute Indians views about death and the afterlife as an example of this achievement.
To begin with, Fratchenberg compares the Quileute cultural achievements with what he terms as the “lewd mythology, the woeful attempts at philosophy, and the complete absence of any highly developed phases of material culture among the Indians of Oregon”. He also compares the Quileute with ancient Greece and other renaissance cultures. He ends this section with a brief history of the origins of the Quileute and their linguistic background.
His next section is a detailed description of their beliefs about the soul, the physical body, and the afterlife. He describes their accounts of the soul as an entity made of three parts: the inner soul, the outer soul, and the ghost. Each part corresponds to a phase of an illness and death cycle. The outer soul leaves the person as soon as they are sick, the inner soul leaves a day or two before death and the ghost leaves at the exact moment of death. Frachtenberg recounts that the Quileute care nothing for the physical self, as it means nothing.
His last section describes their visions of the afterlife that is known as the Country of the Souls. All souls come to this place and it is exactly the same as the living world. People carry on with their same trades and ways of subsistence. There is even the same amount of sickness as in the living world. The seasons also come and go in the same manner. The only difference in this afterlife is that children are separate and have their own country. There are caretakers in the children’s world but it is not clear how many of them there are or where they come from.
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KRISTEN PRAHL University of Texas at San Antonio (James McDonald)
Gamio, Manuel. Las excavaciones del Pedregal de San Angel y la cultura arcaica del Valle de México. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:127-143.
Manuel Gamio readdresses the issue of whether or not an archaic culture ever existed in the Valley of México; he focuses mainly on the findings discovered at Copilco Quarry located in a volcanic plain called the Pedregal de San Angel. Gamio begins his investigation by making reference to past anthropologist and archaeologists who had done work in the Valley of México and had been successful in finding evidence suggesting an archaic culture such as Professor Holmes, Zelia Nuttall, and Dr. Franz Boas. Their postulations were derived mostly from ceramic, human bones, and other artifacts that were found in quarries and other land formations throughout the Valley of México. Gamio uses their findings as the basis upon which to build his own argument—that archaic culture did in fact exist and it is the oldest culture exceeding that of the Teotithuacano and the Aztec cultures.
Gamio relies heavily on Dr. Franz Boas’ tipo de los cerros, the category consisting of the ceramic and art found at a site in San Miguel Amantla. Boas found ceramic artifacts and art that resembled the Aztec culture, but seemed to be archaic in nature. He goes on to identify three culture types present in the valley according to antiquity: 1). Aztec; 2). Teotithuacano; 3). Archaic. Gamio views tipo de los cerros as clear evidence to there being an archaic culture present once in the Valley of México and to it being the oldest. However, Gamio is careful to state that it cannot be generalized that it is the same ancient culture dispersed throughout the rest of the Valley of México. Gamio moves on to the 1917 excavation of the Pedregal de San Angel. He provides a history of the geographical region and places it in the context of that time, explaining that much of rock from the quarry in the Pedregal de San Angel was used to construct many of the buildings that are now found in the capital of the republic, as he refers to it.
At the excavation of the Pedregal de San Angel the following were unearthed: ceramics, human and animal bones, and cylindrical tombs. The place where many of these vital artifacts were found was in the Copilco Quarry located adjacent to the village of San Angel. Gamio explains that the quarry at once was a plain, but became concealed when a volcanic eruption took place, allowing many of the artifacts to become preserved within various sedimentary layers. He uses the geological history of the Copilco Quarry to reinforce the point that the ceramic, human remains, and other evidence of culture discovered there where representative of an archaic culture. In addition, he identifies three different sedimentary layers present at Pedregal: a) the layer of volcanic lava, b) the soft land structure where many of the archaeological vessels and human remains have been found, and c) the compact land structure where the cylindrical graves/tombs have been found and excavated.
Gamio continues on to describe in extreme detail the ceramic, the human skeletons, and the tombs, some of which is not needed to prove his point. To close, Gamio reasserts his assumption of there being an archaic culture singly present in the Valley of México and happily confirms it. He validates his claim based on the ceramic art found at the Pedregal de San Angel. From this ceramic, Gamio is able to characterize both the geographical region and the people who inhabited it. This population, culture, and ceramic type that was referred to as tipo de los cerros by Boas and called montaña by Gamio himself, can at long at last be identified as “archaic,” or as it is called today, Otomí.
Gamio’s lasting proposition/challenge is for American anthropologist to use the findings of Pedregal de San Angel for comparative study with other vessels that are discovered in the same region, but for them not to quickly establish with certainty that they are associated with those found at Pedregal.
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GABRIELA DELAROSA University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Gamio, Manuel. Las Excavaciones Del Pedregal De San Angel Y La Cultura Arcaica Del Valle De Mexico. American Anthropologist November, 1920: 127-143.
The article focuses on an archaeological discovery that aids in a redirection of opinions and speculations of the chronological order of Mexico’s past cultures. The quest may have started in 1907 the discovery of human remains and artifacts as ceramic were discovered in the valley of Mexico. Within these discoveries, a diversified representation of clay representing human form and other fragments of pottery were of the archaic type as well as others. Stratisgraphic evidence was missing links though studies done did agree of different types of stratifications (including archaic), but no chronological order was found. This could be because the area where the mixed artifacts were found historically had gone through a deluge. Dr. Frank Boas’ studied some of the fragments previously found and made cleared distinctions of varying colors, art, and components of it technique; finding a different form of clay-pottery varying with the Aztec’s and Teotihuacán’s . The antiquity of the artifacts couldn’t be further speculated because within the investigation, the water levels were found before the stratification of the end of the Aztec cultures’. This furthered the hunger to know of Gamio and others. Why were the diverse cultured artifacts mixed? Many excavations took place and discoveries of Aztec and Teotihuacana were found but none provided any of the archaic evidence. They did provide room to speculate the civilizations or cultures that blossomed from the valley of Mexico were only the archaic, the Aztecan, and the teotihuacana. The older being the archaic since it was found in the deepest layers, but Gamio says that generalizations can not be reasonably made just from this case.
Gamio leads us into the climax of his study at, “Del Pedregal De San Angel”, in the valley of Mexico. In that era, extraction of volcanic rock was done to use in the construction of buildings in the area. Many of the ditches accidentally uncovered the fragments of ceramic, and human and animal remains. The particular site in which Gamio does his research contained was picked because of the abundance of material and human remains found. In the chronological order of strata, first was the volcanic layer, then a softer dirt layer containing artifacts and human remains, succeeded with a more compact terrain containing cylindrical graves. The artifacts were that of the archaic: representing anthropomorphic multicolored sculptures, containers that were possibly ritualistic, mortars used for grinding cereals, and even obsidian arrows. Gamio ascertained or apportioned the measurements very accurately. I came to this conclusion that he was disciplined in his measurements because of the description given of the most complete skeleton. What sparked most interest in myself was how they said that the chewing muscles were strong and potent by grooves left by the muscles on the skull.
Gamio’s excavations in the valley of Mexico, permitted in more accurate assumptions of the archaic character, physical type, and historical classification as the historically oldest population of the region with the help of predecessors with the same quest as well as a more methodological research helped greatly in the reconstruction of a people’s archaeological past.
MARIEL ORENGO University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).
Goddard, P. E. The Cultural and Somatic Correlations of Uto-Aztecan. American Anthropology Month?, 1920 Vol.22:244-247.
Goddard’s paper states that one of the undisputed claims of anthropology is that culture being independent of biological inheritance is separate from race or a particular biological strain. He also states that the separateness of language and race was important to Europe and America. However, a noted physician, Dr. Wissler has given evidence, which shows that the conditions in America do produce a correlation among physical types, language, and other elements of culture. He illustrates that the Eskimo have skulls, which are uniquely different, a culture of their own and a common language, which is shared only by the Alieut. Wissler states that both language and culture are inherited from your parents and grandparents, along with your physical structure. He further states that if a valley occupied a single family, one hundred generations would produce a definite biological strain of uniformity, language and culture.
In southern Utah there are two cultures, one is known as the Cliffdweller’s and the second as the Basket-maker’s. The Cliffdweller’s constructed roomed stone houses and pottery, while the Basket-maker’s produced small amounts of pottery. Shared elements practiced by both groups are the raising of maize, grinding it on a metate, the raising of cotton and weaving it and other vegetable fibers on a loom, wearing sandals and using spear throwers. The art of building houses and making pottery is assumed to have arose in the southwest according to the author, since evidence shows that present day highly developed religions, dramas and processions were also founded in the southwest. Although a variety of groups inhabited these areas, in 1907 an anthropologist combined them under the name Uto-Aztekan that produced a vast linguistic group. Since the range was very large, linguistic uniformity was never generated and instead three linguistic subdivisions were developed.
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NEKEISHA MOHAMMED York University (Naomi Adelson).
Goddard, P.E. The Cultural and Somatic Correlations of Uto-Aztecan. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:244-248.
In reading this article one can experience first hand the magnitude of the role of the ever-evasive culture concept. Goddard begins his paper with an attempt to pinpoint a suitable definition of culture and what it entails regarding the correlation of language and the Uto-Aztecan. Culture, as we have seen, can be defined in drastically different ways to suit the needs and purposes of the definer. From a historical perspective, this article proves yet again that the idea of this evasive, indefinable culture concept has transcended generations and now falls into the lap of the contemporary anthropologist.
More Specifically, Goddard attempts to trace the movement of Native American peoples by linking it to the movement of culture. To find a correlation between a language and a culture which have no necessary relation Goddard sets up a hypothetical valley in which a family is left in isolation for one-hundred generations. He then substitutes the lowlands between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada/Mohave desert region as a series of similar valleys stretching from north to south and takes into account the differences that human contact and, hence, the transition of culture could create between them and
his imagined, isolated society.
Goddard goes on to provide examples. He focuses on two types of culture in southern Utah known as the “Cliff dwellers” and the “Basket Makers.” He traces biological difference (in the form of head shape) through cultures that have nothing but their biology in common.
It is here where the subject of Goddard’s article becomes a bit hazy. Is he trying to prove the continuity of culture, biology, and language as entities that exist together on a historical timeline, or is he disputing the bonds between them? In reading this article it is apparent that the Western academic community followed a template consisting of a strict separation between language and race when examining Native American cultures. Is he following this template or reacting against it?
What can best be learned from reading this article is the sustaining power of the confusion about the culture concept. While the absolute aim of this paper is unclear it can be seen that the concept of culture, what it is, how it moves through time, and how it is created, was present in the 1920s and will be present for the Anthropologists of future generations to contemplate.
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MARK V. IBARGUENGOITIA University of Texas at San Antonio (James McDonald)
Goldenweiser, A.A. A New Approach to History. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:26-47.
In this article, Goldenweiser discusses a prevalent theoretical debate among social scientists and historians of his day. The debate concerns scientific research methodology and analysis and how study results might be applied. He does so primarily through a critique of a work of F. J. Teggart who argues that social scientists should establish a set of constants through which their research is conducted and interpreted. Teggart presents his argument that mass migrations were caused by climatic change as one methodological constant. He asserts that these migrations were a major determinant of human behavior, belief systems, and the cause of political organization.
In general, Goldenweiser negatively criticizes Teggart’s proposal. He argues that if history were to be studied through a set of constants, much of what is significant would be lost. Goldenweiser states that mass migration has occurred in numerous culture groups with no association to climate changes. He cites examples of the Athapascans in Canada, Southwest Puebloans and the Easter Island groups. He also provides evidence that migrations were not the cause of early Iroquois, African, or Polynesian political organizations.
Though Goldenweiser agrees with Teggart’s assertion that the disciplines of social sciences and history need a more precise methodology, he does not agree that constants would prove explanatory, as they do in the study of exact sciences, because human history is so multifaceted. Goldenweiser holds no punches throughout his critique and he concludes that Teggart’s theory is simultaneously simple and grandiose.
This article is a theoretical discourse and reflects the enlightenment concept of the 19th century and the cultural evolutionary model. Goldenweiser does not initially specify his argument or that the content of the article is primarily a critique. His introduction to Teggart’s work is tucked away, at the end of the first paragraph. The article may be interesting to the student of the history of ideologies and the evolution of scientific methods in social sciences and history; otherwise, it is a tedious read.
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CATHERINE ELAINE DANIEL University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Goldenweiser, A.A. A New Approach To History American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22: 26-47.
In A New Approach To History, A.A. Goldenweiser delivers a well-thought response to Frederick J. Teggart’s “recent” publication The Processes of History. Teggart’s proposition is to demonstrate “’what sort of results might be obtained by a strict application of the method of science to the facts of history’”(27). Goldenweiser is quick to point out that what Teggart is essaying is the “determination of constants” (28). He then proceeds to reveal the weaknesses of such a concept by offering counter ideas to those of Teggart’s. He begins with the assertion that, while the disclosure of a set of constants would greatly enhance “our insight into historical processes… it is but reasonable to expect that these constants would not prove a rationale of history, but of certain more or less prominent aspects of it.”(30)
Teggart’s work then delves into the concept of a homogeneous history, which purports the idea that man everywhere has a history comprised of the “same fabric”(30). This he attempts to justify with the idea that the “varying experiences of human groups have been similarly conditioned by the varying aspects of the conformation of the globe” (30). Goldenweiser specifically focuses on Teggart’s claims of constants in the areas of: food deficiencies occurring in response to destructive climate changes, migration resulting from such deficiencies, “friction” (31) with the populations already residing at the “terminus of migration” (31), and lastly, the establishment of political organization. Goldenweiser then goes on to refute these ideas, pointing out the several faults that lie in these constants. One such fault being that migration is not always influenced by food deficiencies. Another concept that Goldenweiser is quick to counter, is Teggart’s idea that political organization is a “recent phenomenon” (33), one which is inherent upon migration. Goldenweiser then offers that “if… it is accepted that political organization is inherent in society, migration evidently has nothing to do with it.” (35) Teggart also proposes that there is a singular idea system. However, Goldenweiser is quick to respond
In conclusion, while Goldenweiser does applaud Teggart’s “careful attention to the psychological factors involved in historic reconstruction” (46), it is clear to see that Goldenweiser is in direct opposition with Teggart’s theories.
MELISSA CORSON University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington)
Grinnell, George Bird. Who Were The Padouca? American Anthropologist 1920 Vol.22: 248-260.
George Bird Grinnell’s objective in this article is to examine historical documents in hopes of determining the true identity of the Padouca. Grinnell identifies the Padouca as indigenous peoples who lived in the “central plains from the Black Hills region south to the Arkansas or beyond” (1920:248). For Grinnell, the primary question is whether or not the Padouca peoples are the same as the Comanche peoples recorded in these documents. He provides an extensive list of historical accounts from Spanish and French expeditions during the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, which mention the Padouca or indigenous groups living around the area outlined above. However these accounts do not correspond, primarily due to conflicting names and areas. For example Grinnell refers to old maps that contain the word Padouca located in slightly different locations, as well as records from the expeditions of Lewis and Clark in the early nineteenth century that record names that they only interpret as representing the Padouca. In addition, Grinnell concludes based upon the majority of the documents that the Padouca most likely have lived in sedentary villages, while the Comanche are not recorded to have had permanent dwellings or to have been agriculturalists. Yet the author insightfully acknowledges that much of this information is composed of statements reported second hand, and therefore “generally must not be taken too literally” (1920:253). After reviewing these various sources, Grinnell finds no reasonable basis to assume that the Padouca were in fact the Comanche, and surprisingly states therefore they must be regarded as Apache. I feel Grinnell falls short in this additional conclusion as there does not appear enough documentation provided in order to make such an assumption.
Grinnell provides numerable documents to support this conclusion, however it is somewhat difficult to keep track of all the various expeditions and exactly where the various indigenous groups were thought to have lived.
JAIME HOLTHUYSEN University of British Columbia, Vancouver, (John Barker)
Grinnell, George Bird. Who Were the Padouca? American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22: 248-260.
This article is mainly concerned with finding out which North American Native group is the most likely candidate for the Padouca, a name that has long since been obsolete. The only remnants of this name come from eighteenth-century maps of the central plains region and early accounts by explorers and inhabitants of the area and its surroundings. Some regard the Padouca as the Comanche, the Cataka, or the Apache, among others.
The Comanche, amongst them all, are thought most often to be the Padouca. Grinnell spends a great portion of his article trying to refute this claim. He reports that a Frenchman by the name of Bourgmont, who was passing the area that is said to be where the Padouca resided, noted that the group of people living in this area lived in houses for most of the year and also had some sort of agriculture. This is contrary to the Comanche, as told by the Pawnees, who did not live in permanent or semi-permanent houses or engage in agriculture.
The great American explorers Lewis and Clark believed that the Padouca were actually the Cataka. Grinnell simply invalidates this claim by stating that Lewis and Clark received most of their information of the plains Indians second-hand by other Indians and men who had been around the area. Since they did not see themselves, then there can be no factual basis for their claim.
In the mind of the author, the most likely candidate for the Padouca are the Apache. He states that the Apache, like the Padouca, had the same kind of living arrangements; semi-permanent to permanent housing with agricultural means of survival. At the very end of the article, Grinnell states that there is no definite evidence of the actual identity of the Padouca, but he is convinced that the Apache, not the Comanche, are the winners.
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ZANETA L. MARTINEZ University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Handy, Edward S. Some Conclusions and Suggestions Regarding the Polynesian Problem. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol.22:226-236
In this article Handy attempts to determine which of the Polynesian Islands were inhabited first, based upon regarding various Polynesian Islands as forming a hierarchy of sophistication. He sees the island peoples of the east as being the most sophisticated. Handy is taking a cultural evolutionism perspective in the analysis of these various Polynesian Island peoples. This notion is based on literary research primarily focusing on religion and its manifestation in ceremonial architecture. From these various forms of architecture Handy associates them to levels of religious and cultural sophistication. He creates three groups: ‘the Slab Users,’ ‘the Stone Builders’ and those who used a combination of these two methods in ceremonial architecture. The ‘Slab Users’ are Polynesian islands, which use stone slab seats as exemplified in New Zealand. The ‘Stone Builders’ are those who use large stones in the construction of monuments as exemplified by Hawaii. The central region between these islands showed evidence of a combination of these two methods. Handy links these two distinct styles of ceremonial architecture with various religious traits such as ‘Slab Users’ being associated with cannibalism or ‘Stone Builders’ associated with embalming or use of tombs. Handy sees the question of colonization as whether it was the ‘Slab Using’ culture or the ‘Stone Building’ culture who first colonized Polynesia. Handy concludes by suggesting that the ‘Slab Users’ appear to be the more primitive group, and thus colonization began with this culture in the west. Handy presents interesting data, however, this data is based on second hand accounts. His biases, and those of the times, are revealed in his list of religious characteristics of the in which the ‘Stone Builders’ are viewed as more sophisticated, due to real or imagined similarities to Christianity such as an ‘organized priesthood’ or ‘true prayer.’
JAIME HOLTHUYSEN University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)
Handy, H. S. Some Conclusions and Suggestions Regarding the Polynesian Problem. The American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22:226-236
Handy’s objective is to present several conclusions about Polynesian culture. He admits that his points are lacking in evidence due to time restraints and are simply “tentative suggestions based on the limited data now available.” Though “time and space” have limited him in proof his discussion of their culture is detailed and organized.
The article is divided into three different sections that discuss different topics in relation to the Polynesian culture. In the first section Handy discusses the differences and similarities of the different areas within Polynesia. He discusses how “the places of burial of sacred chiefs were places of public worship in Hawaii, the Society islands, the Marquesas, Tonga, and New Zealand.” He explains certain beliefs held regarding the stone tomb and temple forms in Hawaii, the Marquesas and Easter Island. He briefly explains some environmental issues and the “effects of political development.” He explains that in all of the areas studied there was a “sacred area.” “The sacred place usually consisted of a mound, platform, or pyramid.”
The second part of the article is about stone slab seats and their association with sacred places. He presents a hypothesis “that the cultural stratum, of which the use of stone slab seats was characteristic and which was represented by the chiefs in New Zealand, and elsewhere….was being presented by commoners.”
The third, and last section of the article is an analysis of the religious aspects in Polynesia and the association of this to “the use of stone slab seats and large stone construction.” He explains how “those who brought the use of stone slab seats have been called Slab Users, and those who utilized the stone construction, the Stone Builders.” These elements varied in different areas. In order to show the differences and similarities and to have a better understanding Hardy uses a list of typical elements of the Slab Users and Stone Builders.
SARAH RICHARDSON York University, Toronto, Ontario (Naomi Adelson)
Handy, Edward S. Some Conclusions and Suggestions Regarding the Polynesian Problem. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:226-236.
In this article, the author addresses the lack of research present within Polynesian archaeology. Despite this major shortcoming, he focuses upon the evidence for burial areas and compares the differential architecture of these sacred places across the Polynesian regions. The article attempts to summarize previous research in these areas in hopes to show that the “the greater part of the culture of Polynesia was made up of the combination of two great cultural infusions”(p. 235).
The two cultural infusions of which the author discusses are the use of large stone construction, named Stone Building, as opposed to the utilization of stone slabs, or Slab Using. Handy argues that the presence of such particular architecture in sacred places is based upon the local environment and concomitant political development. The author draws on the assumption that the lack of stone slabs in Hawaii is due to the surrounding environment. Instead, the author proclaims that a differentiated political structure led to the seclusion of commoners from burial worship sites and, hence, the rise of great walls surrounding the large stone temples.
More interestingly, the author reflects that religious elements in Polynesian culture correlate with the surrounding construction types. Accompanying Stone Building, scholars can expect to find evidence for a more complicated and advanced worship system, including an organized priesthood, extensive craftsmanship, and structured prayers. Slab Using, on the other hand, would exemplify more simple religious aspects, such as ancestral cult worship and primal dancing groups.
All in all, the article provides a rich description of the differences between the two architectural elements in Polynesian culture and how these elements interact with the dominant religious system. However, it would have been useful for the author to have theorized as to what particular characteristics of the environment led to the divergence between Stone Builders and Slab Users. Nevertheless, the author continually apologizes for the lack of evidence in this field and directs future scholars to research Polynesian migration patterns in order to develop more accurate explanations as to why there was a split in the cultural development of the region.
LAUREN E. GULBAS University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Harrington, J.P. Old Indian Geographical Names Around Santa Fe, New Mexico. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol .22 : 341- 359.
The main concept of the article is on the nomenclature of loci in the area of Santa Fe, New Mexico as described in ethno geographic terms by the Native American inhabitants of the area. Place names are compared between the current (1916) name and Spanish and Native American forms. The complete study is published in the Twenty-ninth Annual Report of The Bureau of American Ethnology, 1916. Harrington’s article of 1920, however, draws out and centers on specific place names he has deemed “the most important”. The argument is that these places are valid in reference to the archaeology within the region. Thus, a relationship exists between the etymology of the name of a place and its proposed function within the past cultural community relative to the current (1916). In certain instances, Spanish names and Native American names of a place have similar meaning suggesting ambiguity in origin of the name, however, Harrington concludes cultural relativity between a place and its name remains observable.
Harrington provides evidence of relationship in place names primarily through the linguistic morphology. One example is the Tewa name Tsipiwi’i , which is morphologically divided to show tsi’i means obsidian; pi means to come out; and wi’i means gap. Tsipiwi’i means gap where obsidian comes out. Harrington’s methodology reveals a direct connection to function of the location (in this case Chipiwi’) and its nomenclature in Tewa. Where applicable, Harrington notates the Spanish morphology to emphasize a relationship. For example, Gavilan in Spanish refers to any type of hawk, and the Tewa name refers to Falco nisus, a specific type of hawk.
The data was collected by interviews with current (1916) Native American and Spanish residents. The data is presented by place name (as known in 1916), in alphabetical order. Each name is notated as to its whereabouts in the 1916 publication. Under each heading follows a description of the Tewa name (shown morphologically within parenthesis), a Spanish name or another Native American name (if applicable), a synopsis of known function, and suggested relationships.
DORIE ERDMANN University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington)
Kidder, A. V. Ruins of the Historic Period in the Upper San Juan Valley, New Mexico. American Anthropologist 1920 22: 322-329.
This article is an expansion on an article written in the American Journal of Archaeology which was a brief summary of a paper written on some pueblo ruins in northern New Mexico. This expansion was to be written earlier, but this publication was postponed due to the loss of the field notes and a hope of further visits to the sites. Since these visits never occurred, and the notes were never recovered, it was thought best to present the data available without further delay.
The three ruins that were visited lie in Gobernador and Largo canyons, near the Colorado-New Mexico border line. These three settlements are described as “practically identical in situation and general appearance.” Being perched on spurs in the mesas, these sites were easily defensible positions with “wide outlooks up and down the canyons and back across the level tablelands behind them.”
Kidder then proceeds to describe the specific houses and remains of buildings. He explains the building methods using good-sized logs or hewn planks laid side by side. The roofs were formed similar to the walls, and those still intact bore marks clearly from the use of metal axes.
Other findings at the sites included cow and sheep bones, as well as many various forms of pottery. Kidder spends much of the remainder of the article describing the decorations and styles of the three main types of pottery found at the sites. The article is completed with a note from the editor about a recent trip into the Largo canyons by N.C. Nelson. He comments on the findings of several other sites, all similar to those described by Kidder.
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MICHAEL FILLITER York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson)
Kidder, A. V. Ruins of the Historic Period in the Upper San Juan Valley, New Mexico. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:322-329.
A.V. Kidder writes about some historical pueblo ruins he visited in New Mexico in 1912. That same year, he published a brief summary of his findings in the American Journal of Archaeology XXII after presenting his data at a meeting of the Archaeological Institute. He had planned on publishing a more extensive piece but unfortunately misplaced his field notes. Though he held out for some time, he never again got the chance to revisit the site, so he finally decided to publish what he could recall from his original visit some eight years prior. The article is clear, concise, and relatively deferential for its time.
Kidder begins by describing the location of the three nearly identical sites he examined. He notes that the sites are all in strategic positions, both by their being atop mesas, thus having wide views all around, and by said mesas’ enclosures within high, sealed walls. Next, he describes the individual ruins within the settlement, noting that there are two types: stone, pueblo-like structures; and wooden structures, commenting on their similarity to Navajo hogans. Kidder is quite certain that the beams used in both types of buildings were hewn with metal axes, and it is from this evidence of sophisticated metal tools (plus the remains of cattle and sheep bones), that he surmises the site is of an historic date.
After describing the dwellings, a simple exploration of the three types of pottery found at the site follows (blackware, thick two and three-color painted ware, and thin three-color painted ware), to which he draws a parallel to the modern painted ware of the nearby Pecos and Tano peoples.
What A.V. Kidder infers from these settlements is that the dwellings are from the historic period, and that the people who made use of them probably had some type of contact with the Navajo people. Furthermore, he proposes that the inhabitants here were “indigenous;” had relationships with more southerly tribes who in turn were in contact with the Spanish; and did not make permanent use of these dwellings. In support of this latter position is a rather derisory account of Spanish relations with various native bands of New Mexico, from which Kidder makes a final supposition—that these people could actually be the Jemez, who had fled into Navajo country in 1696.
Following this article is a brief addendum, which describes ruins found in 1916 in the same region by N.C. Nelson of the American Museum that are similar to those explored by Kidder. However, no further theoretical implications are considered.
LINDSAY MILBURN University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Kroeber, A.L. Games of the California Indians. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22:272-277
This article looks at the various games played by the indigenous peoples of California, and the role of these games in society. Kroeber examines the distribution of games played throughout this culture area in terms of an ecological perspective, a social perspective and finally what may be seen as a psychosocial perspective implying the concept of psychic unity.
First of all, these games vary in practice according to everyday life and the environment. For example, the Tolowa who subsist mainly on salmon played a version of the hoop and dart game that used salmon vertebrae as the hoops, while the Mohave who are primarily agriculturalists used pumpkin rinds (273). Next Kroeber looks at the function of these games, and recognizes the benefits of practicing the elements of speed and endurance that are needed for several of these games. Games are also perceived as a means of socialization, as they are incorporated into public rituals, dances and even mourning ceremonies (275). Throughout the article there are various comparisons made between the games of indigenous Californians, and ‘us,’ (the assumption is that ‘us’ refers to North Americans of European descent). Kroeber concludes by noting that there is an “underlying human similarity of the emotional processes connected with the practice [of playing games]” (277). Luck, a key component of both these games, appears to be linked with notions of sex and success with the opposite sex. To illustrate this point Kroeber points out that European North Americans have the saying lucky in love, unlucky at cards and vice versa, while Indigenous North Americans believe that sexual activity will cause good luck to disappear (277).
Upon the initial reading of this article it appears as if it is essentially a description of the various games played by different groups of indigenous peoples of California. Although Kroeber never blatantly states his purpose or methods of examination he does however provide an informative in depth look at the role of games in society from an ecological perspective, a social perspective and a psychological perspective.
JAIME HOLTHUYSEN University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)
Kroeber, A.L. Totem and Taboo: An Ethnologic Psychoanalysis. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22: 48-55
Kroeber discusses a critical analysis of Sigmund Freud’s hypothesis on the origin of socio-religious civilization with respect to totemism. Freud’s thesis states, that the beginning of religion, ethics, society, and art meet in the Oedipus complex (Freud: p. 258). Freud concludes that totemism (and exogamy) had emerged from guilt which was caused by a primitive act of patricide (primitive sons killing and eating their father in order to appropriate the females). Kroeber asserts his criticism very clearly juxtaposing the Darwin-Atkinson supposition in relation to Freud’s theory whereby he states is of course only hypothetical (p. 4). At this time very little of Freud’s work was being noticed by anthropologists. This article uses terminology such as primitive, the beginnings, at a very early period, primal horde, and there is no distinction to a particular clan (tribe) and/or society in terms of human civilization. Kroeber challenges this hypothesis pointing out that this conjectured method of interpretation of social components fails to address historical ethnology and states that, much cultural anthropology may come to learn more on the historical instead of the psychological method (p. 53). Kroeber’s final criticism– if psychoanalysts wish to establish serious contacts with historical ethnology, they must first learn to know that such an ethnology exists (p.55). This article must be read more than once in order to understand Kroeber’s critiques of Freudian hypothesis. Further exploration into Freud s psychoanalysis would be recommended. Kroeber’s conclusion points out that since we (anthropologists) know nothing directly about the origin of totemism, our business is first to understand as thoroughly as possible the nature of these existing phenomena; in the hope that such understanding may gradually lead to a partial reconstruction of origins–without undue guessing (p.55).
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EDNA NYCE University of British Columbia (John Barker)
Kroeber, A. L. Totem and Taboo: An Ethnologic Psychoanalysis. American Anthropologist: Vol. 22 (PP) 48-55, 1920.
A.L. Kroeber, in Totem and Taboo: An Ethnologic Psychoanalysis, explores the issues of totems and their taboos based on Freud’s thesis about the beginnings of religion, ethics, society and art in relation to the Oedipus complex. Kroeber illustrates how expected sons of a primitive horde band together and execute their father, eat him and appropriate the females of the tribe. Freud believed that in committing this type of behavior, one satisfied the same hate impulse that is a normal infantile trait and the basic root of neuroses, eventually leading to unconscious “displacement” of feelings, especially upon animals. Freud also comments that what the fathers presence once prevented, the sons now themselves prohibit in the psychic situation of “subsequent obedience”. This created the two fundamental taboos of totemism, exogamy and totem abstinence. Whatever its complete significance, there is no doubt about the striking similarities between the phenomena of magic, taboo, animism and primitive religion and neurotic manifestations. Kroeber also mentions how Freud argued that the two were by no means the same and that the ultimate difference lies in the fact that neurosis are asocial creations based on the escape from a dissatisfying reality. Kroeber goes on to mention the insight and imagination Freud had brought to the field of anthropology.
Kroeber further points out the many criticisms aimed at the weakness or lack of concrete fact/proof of Freud’s theory. It is believed that like every other branch of science, the field of anthropology is work and not a game of lucky guesses. It cannot be something based on a hypothetical situation and fabricated events, but rather on substantial situations and worthy factual information and subjects. Therefore, one cannot arrive at conclusions about the origins of totemism, or any other social phenomena at that, before thoroughly examining the information about the phenomena as they exist or have existed, in order to understand the nature of the existing phenomena. Kroeber goes on to demonstrate how this process helps to ensure that such an understanding will eventually lead to a partial reconstruction of such origins, without any unnecessary guessing.
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LEILA BAHRAMI York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kroeber, A. L. Totem and Taboo: An Ethnologic Psychoanalysis. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol. 22(1): 48-55.
In this article, Kroeber provides a criticism on the work of Freud. Kroeber feels that Freud will have an impact in different disciplines. The author states that the work of Freud is not acceptable for various reasons. He lays out eleven points in which he explains his criticism of Freud. Among these criticisms are a lack of proof, that some of the conclusions drawn are assumptions, or are not applicable to the areas Freud is writing about. He also states that some of the work is pure guess, doubtful, in need of more verification, and that some of his work goes “unexplained.” Kroeber elaborates on each of these points.
Kroeber goes on to state that Freud has weak arguments. Freud, he claims, does not “advance” the “argument” he makes. Other points the author makes is that Freud drags on his ideas by not getting to the point and not connecting his views. Kroeber feels that once Freud does make his point, the book ends abruptly without any further “re-examination” of the data presented. Kroeber also feels that Freud uses his book to promote his political ideas in a hurried manner and that the book is unconvincing to the “critical reader.” The author feels that people will be influenced negatively by the information presented by a “great name.”
Kroeber changes mode by stating that despite all these negative aspects, the book is “important and valuable.” The author does give some credit to Freud by stating that some of the information was “unquestionable.” Kroeber even claims that Freud poses excellent questions with his guesses of important problems that need to be addressed. Even while Kroeber is positively commenting on Freud’s work, he continues to criticize some aspects of the book. Kroeber concludes by stating that there is a need for more reliable research to avoid guesswork.
CARLA M. GUZMAN University of Texas at San Antonio (James McDonald)
Mason, J. Alden. The Papago Harvest Festival. American Anthropologist 1920 22;13-25
In this article, Alden examines the Papago Harvest Festival of the Vigita culture. He explains through analysis the procedures taken in order to hold the ceremony, who is involved in the ritual as well as the symbolism of the event. The celebration of this festival is celebrated through five main villages of the Santa Rosa valley which were known as Achi, Santa Rosa, Akchin, Anekam, and Kokemat Kek. The village of Achi is where the festival always took place due to the fact that it was considered the primary village of the Papago. The date of the festival was always near the end of November but the exact date was set by five men, one from each of the villages who come together during council. Once the date of the celebration was set, the entire population participated in the preparation for the big event, practicing songs that needed to be sung and preparing for the feast that would be eaten on the day of the harvest festival.
The nanawitcu men, better known as clowns, wore turkey feathers on their heads, as they represent the fruit. These men bring food and drink to those that were practicing for the festival. The shamans sprinkled corn meal on the breasts of all the people around the fire, preventing sickness and bringing them long life. All the participants of the festival gathered together and built the main enclosure to where the festival will take place, creating one entrance to the east. Nothing is put inside of the square until the actual day. In the centre of the enclosure, a representation of the sun is placed on the east side and on the west side hangs a representation of the moon, both of which are made out of cotton using sticks as the frame. The people of Achi sprinkle flour on those that gather in order to keep sickness away from them. Those that are sprinkled with flour then go and dance around the feast. An elderly man holds the important task in making a speech and at certain parts of the speech the participants make different animal sounds. In each group there are two men that represent the yellow corn, many of the participants are then seen taking off their clothing and painting themselves with live colors, which is symbolic because they believe this, will give them many crops. After all the songs and dances are performed by each village the festival is known to come to an end.
Throughout the article, one could see the importance of the sun, for it is symbolic due to the fact that it is what helps the crops grow. The wild paint colors symbolized the different crops that the village grew and the chanting of animal sounds were symbolic to what they ate and grew. This ritual was done in order to bless their field of harvest.
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TAMAR PAPISMEDOV York University, Toronto
Mason, J. Alden. The Papago Harvest Festival. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:13-25.
In this article the author explains the reasons for which the Papago Vitiga or Harvest Festival stayed unknown for a long period of time, to demonstrate that even if no similar ceremony is known for the Piman groups they probably had a harvest ceremony. The information in the article about the Vitiga ceremony is from Carl Lumholtz’s studies on January 1919, at Santa Rosa.
According to Mason little is known about the ceremony due to a combination of circumstances.
The Papago culture is unattractive to ethnologists, the Vitiga is supposedly celebrated every four years, but it depends upon the success of the harvest, and the consequences of modernization may result in a speedy loss of conservatism.
Mason proceeds with a detailed narration of the preparations for the Vitiga and the ceremony itself. Five principal villages participate in the ceremony, but it takes place in koa’tchi (Achi), the foremost Papago village. The date of the celebration is set by the principal men from Iron Pump village. The elders at Iron Pump village travel to Achi, where a secret session is held by a council, to set the time and date for the festival. The date is generally set twelve days after the meeting of the council, at the end of November. He proceeds to explain the activities, day by day, for the preparation of the Vitiga. He introduces the subjects that will participate in the ceremony, the singers, the clowns and the shamans, with a detailed description of their outfit and their function in the ceremony. He also gives a detailed explanation of the symbolisms, the prayer-sticks represent the growing corn, the wewegita or bull-roarer represents the sound of the rain, the clowns represent the sahuaros, or giant cactus, and the kokcepa represent the yellow corn.
The article is clear in demonstrating the importance of the ceremony for the Papago, reflected by the time spent on the preparations, and the outfits and symbolisms created. The narration of the Vitiga is specific and somewhat organized, but the author fails to give a conclusion that effectively links the Papago Vitiga to a possible harvest ceremony of the Pima.
MONICA CASTELLANO University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Nelson, N. Gustaf Retzius. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22:173-177
This is the obituary of an incredible man named, Gustaf Retzius. Retzius was born in Stockholm in 1842 and died at seventy seven. His family were very wealthy aristocrats of Sweden, which later was to his advantage to fund his research and to publish his work. Gustaf’s father was well known for his contributions to physical anthropology and for three generations of naturalists, and for the many scientists on his mother’s side of the family. Retzius was naturally smart and born a genius. He followed in his father’s footsteps, graduating in medicine. They both largely contributed to anthropology and to society itself. Retzius proved to be well rounded, not only was he gifted in sciences but in literature and politics as well. He produced over five hundred papers furthering medicine, won an Academy prize for a collection of sonnets, and was an active participant in political leadership. Naturally gifted, there is no doubt that his greatest accomplishment was his work on craniology when he examined one hundred skulls to distinguish racial differences from the past to the present. His works were influenced by Huxley’s lectures and by the time period in which he lived where the notion of the struggle for existence was very popular. These themes were common in his writings and ideas. Gustaf Retzius is presented accurately and fairly in this obituary.
MELISSA MOKEDANZ York University (Naomi Adelson)
Nelson, N. C. Gustaf Retzius. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol.22:173-177.
On July 21, 1919, renowned Swedish Anthropologist, Gustaf Retzius, died at the age of 77. In a short commemoration of his death, Nelson summarizes the background, life, and achievements of Retzius as well as Retzius’s contributions to anthropology and science as a whole. This summary, according to Nelson, is based mainly upon the accounts of one of Retzius’s oldest students and friends, Professor Carl M. Furst. In this recounting of Furst’s memories of his mentor, Nelson paints a picture of a complex yet gifted man who straddled the perilous grounds between art, literature, and science. Retzius’s main contributions to science were made in the realm of biology in which he wrote about protoplasm, spermatozoa, on the eye, the ear, the brain, and on the nervous system in the human body. He is noted for being a successful self publisher using his own fortune to publish over five hundred of his own titles.
More specific to Anthropology, Nelson writes that Retzius carried on the work of his father in the field of craniometry with which he classified human races according to a cephalic-gnatic index. According to Nelson, Retzius was one of the first scientists to question the supposed purity of the European “Aryan” population. However in doing so, Nelson notes enthusiastically that Retzius was a strong advocate for preserving a “pure and blond” Northern European race, which he felt was under threat from interbreeding with “darker” races. Nelson concludes his article on Retzius by calling him a “safe and sane” guide in these types of sociopolitical aspects of anthropology. While it easy to criticize Nelson on these grounds, there is little doubt that he was simply a product of his time.
Today in these days of heavy immigration in Europe, these issues and attitudes are as strong as ever in terms of national identity. Because of this, I believe that this article provides a fairly good starting point for anthropologists interested in studying the history of race studies and how it has influenced today’s notions of race and ethnicity. Nelson gives a good basic summary of one of the pioneers of Anthropological interests in the categorization of race and applying these characteristics to European societies rather then simply to “primitive” societies. While Nelson’s discussions of Retzius’s father and Retzius himself are somewhat blurred and overlapping, the article, overall, is fairly clear and well written.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTOPHER J. GIESEKE University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Parsons, Elsie Clews. Notes On Isleta, Santa Ana, and Acoma. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:56-69.
Elsie Clews Parsons describes indigenous clans from Isleta, Santa Ana, and Acoma. She focuses on ceremonials, and explains each clan-member’s social position and function within the ceremonials. Parson’s objective was to collect information from the local clans people themselves. She points out that information was very difficult to obtain, and that whatever little information she received helped her to better understand the Pueblo Indian. Parsons was able to learn about the Pueblo Indian with the help of various informants. Her informant on Isleta was a Laguna man she called Felipe. Very little information was collected about Santa Ana from a Santa Ana man married to a Laguna woman. Information about Acoma was obtained from notes, some visiting women who came to Laguna to trade, and from an old Acoma acquaintance living in Acomita.
Isleta clans are matrilineal and exogamous. The clans are Day, Bear, Lizard, and Eagle (Summer People); and Chaparral-Cock, Parrot, Geese, and Corn (Winter People). Isleta moieties are neither exogamous nor endogamous, rather divisions for ceremonial purposes consisting of its own estufa and its own headman. Throughout the article Parsons illustrates several ceremonials. In this particular ceremonial the women at Isleta carry the image of the santu (saint) on the days of Little San Agustin (June 10) and Big San Agustin (August 28?). Food offerings for the santu are taken to the house of the “war captain” followed by a ceremonial dance in the plaza called tarawai. According to Felipe, there are no k’atsina (masked dances) at Isleta, rather the face is whitened and a feather headdress is worn. Flint and Fire are two groups of cheani or medicine-men (kaan) on Isleta who partake in the ceremonials. Their influence within the clan is of significant importance. Parsons illustrates the ground altars of the kaan depicting cloud designs drawn on meal and sand and faces as well as lightning symbols painted on wooden boards. Sacred cotton-wrapped ears of corn, together with lion and bear stone figures, and wadaiyni (uncarved stones) dressed with the feathers of a sparrow-hawk and beads stand on the altar. The kaan regularly officiate a winter solstice ceremonial and a summer solstice ceremonial. Prayer sticks are prepared for these ceremonials by the kaan, and each prayer stick is accompanied by a crook stick and planted in a cornfield pointed towards the direction of the town. Exorcising ceremonials are carried out as well by the kaan to cure or clean the ground. On the fourth day each set of kaan accompanied by a war captain sprinkle corn pollen in the fields, and prayer sticks as well as a befeathered reed attached with war god offerings is buried in the fields. The people along with the food, which they have prepared according to their moiety, remain in the outer room, while the kaan sing several songs in the inner room. The war captain then brings into the inner room those who are to be treated. The kaan will then look into a bowl of water whose surface has been spread with powder in order to determine the cause of the disease. These ill manifestations sent into the human body by witchcraft are taken out with their eagle wing feathers. The Isleta warrior organization as described by Parsons in the article are lifelong representatives of the war gods. There are at Isleta eight or nine representatives. According to Parsons’ informant Felipe, these kumpawi’lawen are recruited through sickness. A sick man will vow unto his family his intentions of becoming a kumpawi’lawen should he recover. The invalid’s father then presents his son by going to the house of the kumpawi’lawen who in turn waits one day and summons its members. They will all pray for the invalid. Should he recover a dance is initiated, and should the invalid die they will be in attendance at the house of the deceased and at the grave letting people know that the deceased belongs to the kumpawi’lawen. The kumpawi’lawen participate as well in their own special ceremonial called daikwan held in April in connection with the footraces. Isleta clans also comprise of different secular officers, which are tabude (governor), two tinyientin (lieutenant governors), and two kaveun (fiscals).
Santa Ana clans are Dove or Snake (the most numerous clan), Mouse, Coyote, Lizard, Bear, and Turkey (the second clan in numbers), White Shell or Turquoise, Eagle, Corn, Water, Turquoise, Parrot, Fire (only two survivors), and Ant. Dove, Mouse, Coyote, Lizard, and Bear belong in one moiety, and in the other Turkey, White Shell, Eagle, Corn, Water, Turquoise, Parrot, and Fire. Interestingly, the Ant clan groups with either moiety. There are no clan heads, however, Parsons remains uncertain with these categorical statements. She lists the cheani groups as Flint, Fire, Eagle, shiwanna, and two sets of shika. Parsons briefly writes in her article what little information she has obtained on Santa Ana clans. She talks about the kasik or tiamoni. He does not have to be a cheani nor does he have to be chosen from a particular clan, rather he is chosen by all the cheani. It is the responsibility of the tiamoni to select a governor and all of the annual officers – the tapup, one tinienti, two piskales, two mayo roma (ditch officers), six capitanes, and two tsiyadyuye’ leaders: the first representing maasewi and the second tinienti, uyoyewi together with their six officers who are called tsamahtye.
The Acoma clans are: Antelope, Sun, Corn (Yellow Corn and Red Corn), Bear, Oak, Parrot, Chaparral-Cock, Eagle, Turkey, tani (Pumpkin), Mustard, Snake, and Sky or Water. Divisions or alignments do not exist in Acoma clans. Parsons explains that membership is unrelated to clan membership in the santu dance. The hoinawe, the two groups dance from the east and west estufas according to membership in the estufa. According to several Acoma women Parsons met, the new cacique is Eagle, however, her Acoma interpreter Johnson insisted that the cacique was always chosen from the Antelope clan and that this clan had autocratic functions. He tells Parsons that the new kazik was Antelope, and that it was his wife who was Eagle. Johnson further adds that a kazik always takes his wife to live in the Antelope clan house appropriated to the kazik. Parsons is confused by her interpreter and believes that Johnson’s contradicting Acoma kaziks and clan membership showed that he esteemed the Antelope clan to which he belonged. She argues that more data is necessary. The kazik does not have to be a cheani nor does he have an assistant or lieutenant. Unbroken continence is required of him, and together with the tsatio hocheni or “war captains” he looks after the k’atsina or masked impersonations.
The tsatio hocheni is also in charge of the communal hunts as well as building the preliminary fire. Hunting officials or shaiyaik sing hunting songs and know how to make hunt prayer sticks. Johnson does not consider the shaiyaik to be cheani. The u’pi is another organization that involved scalp-taking warriors, however, Johnson informs Parsons that the organization is now extinct. Parsons’ informant discloses very little information as to the k’atsina of Acoma , however, he tells Parsons that women are never made k’atsina, and that their initiation – the age of ‘making new k’atsina,” is seventeen, eighteen or even later.
Parsons’ article discloses information concerning the Pueblo Indians of Isleta, Santa Ana, and Acoma. She is addressing a desire to learn more about the Pueblo Indian, and she does this by gathering as much knowledge as possible from her informants. What little information they can disclose, Parsons feels is necessary to learn from their culture. In her article, Parsons talks about these different clans people, and she explains their functions within these clans as well as their participation in diverse ceremonials. Parsons’ article relies upon information she obtained from the informants, and from her experiences on Isleta, Laguna, and Acoma. She explains to the reader that some information obtained through the informant is either erroneous or incomprehensible. The article is not difficult to read, however, lack of information, specifically on Santa Ana and Acoma clans leaves many unanswered questions and a longing to learn more about these people and their culture. Parsons acknowledges that she needs to collect more data, nonetheless.
CLARITY RANKING: 3.25
SONJA DAVIS University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Parsons, Elsie C. Notes on Isleta, Santa Ana, and Acoma. American Anthropologist September, 1920 Vol.22: 56-69
In this article Elise Parsons examines the ceremonial life of Pueblo Indians. Parsons used previous research to gain the trust of her informants so she could learn from them. In the first section, Parsons highlights one of the main risks anthropologists encounter while doing research, misinformation. Throughout the article, Parsons describes each group’s characteristics–those that they share and those that they don’t. According to one of her sources, Parsons was erroneously told that the tribes of winter were: Chaparral-Cock, Parrot, Goose and Corn. The summer tribes were listed as: Day, Bear, Lizard and Eagle. However, her previous research with other Pueblo Indians alerted her to that error. Parsons realized that as she examined the culture and it’s people she needed to be cautious of the information she received.
The second section of the article focuses more closely on each tribe and its structure. In addition to the eight separate clans, the group also includes two different sets of medicine men, which represent Flint and Fire. Each clan tracks their heritage through the matrilineal line and members are not restricted to who they can marry, whether its’ outside of the clan or within it. In one example, Parsons describes the maskless ceremonial dances that the Laguna people who migrated to Isleta performed, which coincides with each holiday. The Isleta people also perform elaborate dances and everyone is welcomed–except white people. Reciprocity was apparent between the winter and the summer groups in that, whoever was responsible for the dance, they would invite the other group to participate.
Through intense fieldwork Parsons has demonstrated her grasp of Pueblo Indians culture. An example of her expertise is evident in her description of the altars, feathers, bowls and other implements utilized by the medicine men. She expresses the importance of the ceremonial dwelling and the significance of each room. Parsons painstaking research helps us to appreciate the clans shared traits while recognizing each group’s uniqueness.
MELANIE COSTNER University of South Florida (Kevin A.Yelvington)
Roys, Ralph L. A Maya Account of Creation. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol.22:360-366
This article consists of the Mayan texts from the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel and an English translation of these texts. Roys provides a brief but insightful commentary in addition to these texts. Roys’ main purpose in publishing this work is to provide insight into the Mayan worldview, and also to compare this Mayan creation myth with other creations myths, focusing on Christian views of creation.
Roys states that at this time (the 1920’s) there had not been many translated Mayan texts in circulation particularly pertaining to creation mythology (360). This is most likely another purpose for publishing this article.
This Mayan account of creation is surprising similar to the Christian account of creation. Both state a particular sequence in which elements were created on different days. In addition, both contain references to a great flood and to a supreme being, who is referred to as “Lord Dios” (363) in this translation. We must consider, as Roys notes early on, “Christian influence has affected the form of the following account” (360).
An essential section of this article to examine is Roys’ extensive and useful notes at the end of the article. For example he discusses the use of homonyms and their frequent placement in this text. It is in this section where he reveals his understanding of the text as it is presented and attempts to clarify for the reader what he can, and acknowledges what he cannot.
JAIME HOLTHUYSEN University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)
Roys, Ralph L. A Maya Account of the Creation. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22: 360-366
In this article the author gives an account of the creation of the world according to the conception of the Maya Indians of Yucatan. Three of these historical accounts and several of the prophecies together with translations appear in Brinton’s Maya Chronicles and a number of the prophecies are to be found in various histories of Yucatan, but only one of the mythological stories has been published.
The author then explains that Christian influence has affected the form of the account of creation to some extent but not the content before he proceeds to explain the Maya account of creation. He first gives us the story in it’s original form and then translates it into English.
The author then concludes by giving some brief notes as to his translation and explains all, if any, changes that he made in the translation of the story.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
LINDSAY GRANT York University, Naomi Adelson
Sapir, E. Nass River Terms of Relationship. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22: 261-271
The set of linguistic terms of relationship that the Nass River Indian people used are examined in this article. The orthography provided here was originally obtained in May of 1916 form Chief C.B. Barton of Kincolith, B.C. and was looked over again four years later by Mr. P.C. Calder, a Nass River Indian and Mr. G. Mathesoh, a Tsimshian Indian.
All of the terms and language analyzed in this article relate to kin relationships.
Through the examination of the supposed etymologies of all the kinship terms, it was felt that some of the real meanings of the words had been lost and only known by the tribe elders. Differentiation of certain terms could be indicative of the cultural relations that the Nass River Indians had with other tribes, particularly the Haida and the Tsimshian.
CLARITY RATING: 4
MARCIE GOLDMAN York University (Naomi Adelson)
Saprir, E. Nass River Terms of Relationship. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:261-271
In May 1916, the Nass River Indian terms of relationship were acquired by a member of the tribe.
In this article Sapir compares some of his findings or explanations to those which Boas had ascertained from an earlier time. Sapir included a table in this article of terms which the translation and vocative in order to make this a little easier to understand.
The first section of the article is classified as “Nass River Terms.” Here Sapir states the basic
notes or rules of the Nass River Tribe family relationships. These are concerning step-relations, parents of a married couple, parents-in-law of a sibling, and relatives by affinity.
Section two is titled “Linguistic Comments.” Here Sapir gives some linguistic remarks on the terminology. He states that far-reaching linguistic analysis is not very common. He goes to
describe that the vocative can be a noun stem or not, and how it can be a modified noun stem. He shows examples of this by referring to his chart. Next he discusses the possible historical meaning behind some of the prefixes of these term. He gives an example with the use of grandfather. He goes along by elaborating and comparing on the history and meanings more by contrasting some prefixes to two other tribes that are close by.
Section three is titled “Discussion of Terms.” Here rules and examples are given concerning the following: 1) the sex recognition of terms, 2) the sex of the speaker, 3) sex of the connecting relative, 4) reciprocity of terms, 5) classification of terms for aunts, uncles and their children,
6) classification of terms for the spouse of an aunt or uncle and their children, 7) the distribution of terms for in-law-relatives, and 8) the use of transparent descriptive terms. In this section he also summarizes some of the peculiarities of the Nass River system with six points.
The last section of this article is titled “Supplementary Notes Due to Mr. P. C. Calder.” Here Sapir goes through most of the terms on his chart that he included. He talks with people from different areas along the river to discuss these terms and their history. He compares the words that he has to the words that the others use. He then gives his ideas on where his words and their meanings came from and how they have changed with influences from other languages in the area over time. He gives a number of good examples throughout, and the article is reasonably straightforward and easy to read.
APRIL McCASLIN University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Shetrone, H. C. The Culture Problem in Ohio Archaeology. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:144-172.
In an era before the invention of radiocarbon dating, the culture problem in Ohio archaeology was the establishment of regional chronological systems and the description of the development of culture in each area.
What Shetrone wants to determine is: Who was the first prehistoric tribe in the Ohio region? Ironically, the great mound building cultures reached their heights of development in the Ohio and upper Mississippi valleys, but there was a great lack of ethnologic and historical evidence. Shetrone lamented at not having a “surviving element of its prehistoric population” available. This would have helped him understand the past by observing how a contemporary society used material culture. We now call this ethnohistory.
What is available to Shetrone are records from James Mooney’s 1907 bulletin to the Bureau of American Ethnology describing the Iroquoian conquest of Ohio. From this literature he concludes 1) a record of a native Ohio tribe (the Eries), 2) an explanation for the region to be uninhabited for a century (the conquest), and 3) an unidentified group of sites, which Shetrone designates as Algonguian (because their mound-building trait ceased after the Iroquoian invasion).
After settling the identity of the Mound Builders as Native American tribes, Shetrone goes on to compare and contrast other theories. He finally agrees on seven proposed prehistoric groups identified as: The Fort Ancient Culture, The Hopewell Culture, The Adena Group, The Stone Grave Area, The Iroquoian Area, Glacial Kame Burials and The Algonquian Culture. Then comes a struggle over which group was first to the region, which groups were contemporaneous, who disappeared and in what chronological order. Shetrone prove his theory using linguistic maps, site locations, mortuary customs, and other material archeological evidence such as pottery, tools, and trade goods.
The writing style of the article is dated by today’s standards. Shetrone uses words like “exotic tribe,” “aborigines,” “the Native American race,” and refers to “rude” stages of development. Even so, he broaches the timeless discourse on the elasticity of the interpretation of the term “culture,” which can either mean a few broad social divisions or a nation. Shetrone displays a heavy Boasian influence when he writes of the “possible diffusion of culture traits.” Diffussionism is also discussed in his long inventories of artifacts and burial customs, which he claims were found through tribal intercourse and commerce.
It is difficult to analyze what research design and theory (or speculation) was used behind the article. At this stage in the development of archaeological field techniques, Shetrone would likely have used both seriation and stratigraphy, as Alfred Kidder was using these as standard techniques at about the same time in the American Southwest, but Shetrone does not mention his methods. Without this disclosure his results seem circumstantial. In the 1920s archaeologists were reacting drastically to uncontrolled speculation. Shetrone was working under the fallacy that data would show what really happened and he restricted his viewpoint to that one way of thinking without acknowledging his angle of perception and preconception.
These men and women were committed to the classification and consolidation of early civilizations. They were devout salvage archaeologists, usually employed by governments or private foundations.
CLARITY RANKING: 2.5
LAURA FORNOS University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Shetrone, H.C. The Culture Problem In Ohio Archaeology. American Anthropologist June-April, 1920 Vol.22(2): 144-172.
The mound building cultures of Ohio and the upper Mississippi valley are of particular interest due to the complexity of their archaeology. It is expected that the behavior of mound building ended after the Iroquioan conquest of the Indians in this area as of the mid seventeenth century. Some of the many anthropologist who worked on understanding the origin and distribution of cultures in this area are Putnam, Thomas, Moorehead, Fowke, and Mills. The area has been inhabited by seven different groups; the Fort Ancient, the Hopewell, the Adena subgroup, the Stone Grave culture, the Iroquioan, the Glacial Kame, and the Alonquioan group. Attempts were made to piece together the different attributes of the distinctive cultures in order to know which areas they inhabited and what materials they used.
The most dominant culture groups of the areas were the Fort Ancient and the Hopewell. The Fort Ancient culture was given credit for the construction of Serpent mound, Fort ancient, and a prehistoric village site located near Madisonville, Hamilton County. Many other mounds across the area are attributed to this culture as well.
The Hopewell culture was much more highly specialized in their pottery than any other culture. It is thought that they may have been a member of the Cherokee tribe due to their similar behavior of burning houses on top of the mounds in order to erect new houses. The extension of Hopewell artifacts northward helped to trace their inhabitance to that of the Scioto valley from Columbus southward.
The Adena group is found to be mounds of the early Hopewell origin. The Stone Grave area is possibly attributed to the Shawnee or an off shoot of them. The Iroquoian area comprised one third or more of the northern state and was said to give evidence to the Erie or cat nation. The Glacial Kame burials, suggested by Moorehead were found to have characteristics that were simply natural and could have pertained to the Algonquian tribes. The Algonquian culture is also recognized for the grooved axe, the roller pestle and the bannerstone, which are absent form the two dominant mound building cultures in the area.
While the different culture varieties of the Ohio area were made evident it is still a question as to the time relationship of the cultural groups. A working hypothesis suggest that the Algonquian group was the earliest and the last and that the Fort Ancient and Hopewell groups existed at the same time but with in the confines of the Alonquion.
KELLI DEESE University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).
Sullivan, Louis R. The Fossa Pharyngea in American Indian Crania. American Anthropologist 1920 Vol. 22(N.S.): 237-243.
In this article, Sullivan discusses the anthropological importance of the frequency of the fossa pharyngea within the American Indian population.
He describes the fossa pharyngea as an oval depression at the basilar part of the occipital bone and gives measurements of the averages of the widths and depths of its occurrences. The purpose of the fossa pharyngea is briefly described using other authors opinions but still remains relatively unclear.
Sullivan focuses on the frequency it occurs by the data and comes to the conclusion that, within the crania’s studied, the occurrence is rare and not frequent enough to connect racially. The fossa pharyngea was to be believed connected through inheritance and also the local distribution of it has importance. From analyzing the crania’s in the American Museum of Natural History, he discovers that fossa pharyngea is infrequent among the American Indian and Eskimo populations. He finally concludes, with the material at hand, that the fossa pharyngea is more frequent around the southwestern area of the United States where the ‘Uto-Aztecan’ speaking people resided.
In conclusion he states that the importance of the fossa pharyngea, just as other attributes like the cephalic index, will have value with determining the relationship of local groups of the American Indian populations.
CLARITY RATING: 3
JOHN PARENTE York University (Naomi Adelson)
Sullivan, Louis R. The Fossa Pharyngea in American Indian Crania. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:237-243
Physical anthropologists have long used such things as cranial capacity, stature, and skull characteristics as a tool to form relationships between groups of humans. Louis Sullivan suggests in this article that the appearance of an obscure skull defect in Native American tribes may also be used as a marker to define relationships between groups. Sullivan sites the population frequencies of this defect, the fossa pharyngea, as a way to establish a genetic relationship between the Native American tribes of the American and Mexican southwest. Within the sample available to him, he notes that the fossa pharyngea does not appear very frequently in humans overall and is not a race determining factor by any means, however, its relatively frequent appearance among certain tribes in the southwest, mainly of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic group, is statistically frequent enough to use as a defining tool.
Sullivan begins the article by explaining the etiology of the fossa pharyngea and giving the normal frequencies of its occurrence worldwide. He then contrasts this data with his own evaluation of Native American skulls that he obtained from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and data obtained from colleagues. He concludes that the fossa, although not frequent in native American and Inuit skulls in general, is statistically frequent within the peoples of the southwestern basket making tribes and further concludes that this high frequency must be evidence of the fossa pharyngea as an inheritable trait among these groups.
Sullivan concludes his writing by posing his hypothesis that the Basket Maker peoples are a physically separate group from the neighboring Pueblo peoples. He views the frequency of the fossa pharyngea as a useful indicator of a separate “physical type” among the southwestern tribes. Sullivan acknowledges that his data set is quite small and that further research would be needed. He completes the article with urges for the further study of Native American crania for evidence of the fossa pharyngea.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
NANCEY HAHN University of Texas, San Antonio (James McDonald)
Wissler, Clark. Charles C. Abbot. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22:70-71
Clark Wissler has written an obituary for Charles C. Abbot, author of Primitive Industry, and a specialist in the development of Stone Age culture in New Jersey. Abbot died on July 27th, 1919.
Abbot received his degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1865. He was an assistant to the Peabody Museum from 1876-1889, and he was curator of archaeology in the University Museum, Philadelphia from 1889-1893.
Charles Abbot lived in a colonial homestead that his ancestors settled. The house burned down five years before his death and according to Wissler, Abbot never fully recovered from this loss. Abbot’s interest in archaeology developed with the discovery of argillite implements that he found near his home. In 1883 he theorized that there were three superimposed cultures on his site. This discovery led Ernest Volk and other researchers to work in his area and the Abbot farm became one of the most famous in the region.
Abbot wrote 23 articles that were published in a variety of publications including Science, Young Mineralogist and Antiquarian, American Naturalist, and Archeology to name a few. The majority of these publications pertain to Abbots knowledge of the stone age of New Jersey; however, he also wrote cross-cultural comparisons between the region of the American Southwest and the Pacific coast.
LEIF ENDRESEN University of Texas San Antonio (James H. McDonald)
Wissler, Clark. Dr. Charles C. Abbott. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol. 22: 70-71.
Clark Wissler’s article is more accurately an obituary for Dr. Charles C. Abbott. Dr. Abbott was born June 4, 1843. He grew up and throughout his career lived in a house, which was inhabited by his ancestors whom settled there in the colonial period. He was published in many Anthropological journals and also a book, Primitive Industry. Some of these journals included the following: American Naturalist, Popular Science Monthly and also Reports for the Peabody Museum. His contribution to the American Naturalist ,which is based out of the University of Chicago Press is titled The Stone Age In New Jersey. In Vol. 6, No. 3, Dr. Abbott’s article of New Jersey is about the Lenni Lenape Indians and their use of crude stone weapons and tools. These discoveries were truly important to Dr. Abbott, because they were in his home state. He had not only discovered archaeological finds in his home state, but also on his own property.
He received his degree as a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1865. Medicine was not his only interest, for this was acknowledged above. At the Peabody Museum of Harvard he was an assistant curator from 1876-1889. The same year of 1889 he became curator of archaeology in the Philadelphia University Museum until 1893 (p. 70). As assumed, throughout this remarkable career he accumulated many bits and pieces of his experiences in anthropology. However, his sweet possessions would soon parish. The burning down of his home in 1914, devastated him. All of its contents were destroyed. He died on July 27, 1919. Despite the tragedy that occurred on the Abbott farm, it was soon recognized as on of the most famous of American archaeological sites.
Clark Wissler honorably acknowledges Dr. Charles C. Abbott in the field of anthropology and in this obituary, brings to light his lifetime accomplishments.
RAIN DAVIS University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).
Wissler, Clark. Opportunities for Coordination in Anthropological and Psychological Research American Anthropologist January, 1920 Vol. 22 (1): 1-12
In this article Wissler considers coordination of aims between the sciences of psychology and anthropology. He begins by outlining the problems that call for such a coordination. By contrasting these two scientific fields, Wissler points out that the only commonality they seem to have is that they both study human beings. Examining further he reaches the conclusion that both psychology and anthropology overlap in the way that they are concerned with man’s ways of doing things. To distinguish between the two the author points out that the psychologist concentrates on the mind of man as confronted by the group and the environment, while the anthropologist is concerned with how the group functions when confronted by other groups, and the environment.
Changing the angle and looking at the two disciplines from the perspective of their histories and accomplishments, psychology has had a strong development in the direction of applied science while anthropology has remained in its place as a pure science.
After reviewing the two disciplines and contrasting, in a complimentary manner, their fields of interest and study, Wissler insists that the problems apparent in society related to “social unrest,” “profit-sharing,” “immigration,” and Americanization are for the psychologists to solve. As for racial phenomena, culture, the psychologist has no choice but to look to the anthropologists and their techniques. There are joint opportunities for the two disciplines, despite the contestations of representatives from the respective disciplines. The author concludes that, in the interests of the nation, it seems that anthropology and psychology have nothing to lose by working together, reinforcing the power of science and showing they can live up to its collective reputation.
KARRIE SANDFORD York University (Adelson)
Wissler, Clark. Opportunities for Co-ordination in Anthropological and Psychological Research. American Anthropologist, 1920 Vol.22( 1):1-12.
It may seem a bit odd to the contemporary reader that there should be a controversy over putting Anthropology in the same division as Psychology, but apparently that is what happened in 1920 when a joint division of the National Research Council was created. Wissler speaks out in favor of the decision in this article.
The author argues that the two disciplines can work well together on research projects in spite of differences in research goals and epistemology. The author reviews several similarities and points of divergence between Anthropology and Psychology but feels that the two should work together on projects to gain a broader perspective on research questions. Psychology has much to offer in understanding the individual and Anthropology has much to add by understanding the group and its impact on the individual.
Several of Wissler’s examples are dated. They reflect the concepts of race and cultural evolutionism championed in the early part of the twentieth century. He uses terminology such as lowly, backward, and savage to describe indigenous peoples that Anthropologists study. However, some of his points have a modern edge such as Anthropologists should study the urban American populations that had been the sole territory of the Psychologists. His main example comes from the social engineering experiments in industry to produce a happier and more productive workforce. Wissler argues the Anthropologist is the right researcher for the job because a lot of the workers being studied are immigrants. He also points out that Anthropology has much to contribute to Americanization programs because the Anthropologist has the research tools to go into immigrant neighborhoods and analyze how the communities function and help devise appropriate programs to help immigrants integrate into America. He is essentially arguing for an applied anthropology.
The language in this article is easy. There is no particular technical jargon, but it is helpful to know a bit of anthropological history to understand the context and conceptual framework behind the examples presented. The argument that both disciplines can work well together is supported but the central portion of the paper is a bit vague as the author attempts to legitimize Anthropology as a social science. It appeared to be inappropriate at first but then the author indicates there is a turf war and Anthropology is the transgressor.
Clarity Ranking: 4
LINDA BOISVERT University of Texas at San Antonio (James H. McDonald).