American Anthropologist 1923

De Hostos, Adolfo. Anthropomorphic Carvings from the Greater Antilles. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25(4): 525-558.

In this essay Adolfo De Hostos tries to decipher certain West Indian artifacts through an explanation of their origins and characteristics. He summarizes that “the anthropomorphic stone carvings from the Greater Antilles should be considered as evidence of local developments of a specialized art evolved from the agricultural complex of eastern South America” (529). For the purposes of De Hostos’ research, he chooses to separate the Antillean carvings into two categories; the first including separate human heads, and the second including semblances of the entire human body. He follows with detailed descriptions of both groups. It is through these descriptions that De Hostos relates the Antillean carvings to animism, and insists that they not be prejudged as involuntary expressions of creativity. Furthermore, he argues that the simplicity of the objects is deceiving and should not discredit or discourage their study.

De Hostos pinpoints three forms of Antillean carvings: three pointed idols, elbow-stones, and collar-stones. Through description and sketch, substantial attention is paid to the carvings’ facial features and limbs. The importance of both the placement and size of the forehead, eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, and mouth is elucidated. In addition, the significance of the position of the carving’s limbs and how it is posed (squatting, kneeling, or standing) is interpreted. Anyone with an interest in the precise detail of such artifacts will benefit from this article.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
NICOLE ARSENAULT Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

De Hostos, Adolfo. Anthropomorphic Carvings from the Greater Antilles. American Anthropologist. Oct. – Dec., 1923 Vol.25(4):525-558

This article presents an argument that the Arawak inhabitants of the Greater Antilles originally migrated from north-eastern South America. The author points to the form, style, and function of Antillean stone carvings as evidence of this migration, stating that they evolved from a tradition of archaic art found on the mainland. Two points are made to back up the argument. The first point is that the animistic subject matter of the carvings shows that when they were sculpted, the inhabitants of the Antilles practiced a simple animism deriving from the agricultural complex of eastern South America. The second point is that the primitive execution and conception of the carvings demonstrates their link to prehistoric sculpture from the continent.

The first assertion, that the Antillean carvings depict religious subjects and were used in animistic ritual is based on the following evidence: 1.) that the abstract nature of the individuals depicted in the carvings (without facial expression, clothes, tribal markings etc) suggests that they do not portray humans, but gods or spirits; 2.) that unusual images portrayed in some of the carvings (ie: death heads, distorted limbs, crawling beings) may have been inspired by visions attained through ritual use of narcotics and; 3.) that many of the objects, such as amulets, pestles, and masks are of a type that would be used in religious rituals.

The second argument, that the carvings are primitive and therefore derive from an archaic tradition of carving on the South American mainland, is backed up with a detailed description of incision techniques, which are evaluated as crude, as well as an itemized study of the style and methods used for sculpting the facial features, headbands, and body details of the carvings. These are listed under headings such as Eye, Nose, and Body Details.

The author writes engagingly, using illustrations of different features of the carvings to support his argument. The article concludes with a number of points to consider in a possible comparitive study of the stone sculpture of Haiti and Puerto Rico.

CLARITY RATING: 3
TIFFANY GALLAHER. University of British Columbia, (John Barker)

De Hostos, Aldolfo. Anthropomorphic Carvings from the Greater Antilles. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol.25(1): 525-558.

One culture, three different islands, very similar results. The author of this article studied the aboriginal culture of the Arawak in terms of rock carvings and found very surprising results. Eastern Cuba, Haiti, and Porto Rico are the three islands under the author’s microscope and he found that even though these cultures are separated they – in terms of sacred rock carvings – are almost identical. The author of this article is expressing to the reader what carvings looked like and what they meant in the area of the world known as the Antilles. These carvings ranged from massive to miniature and were primarily carvings of human figures and their weapons or tools of choice. This article also describes how such carvings where constructed, and the meaning of such carvings. The data offered by the author was very detailed and well organized. He broke the carvings down into two major categories: separate human heads and entire human bodies. These two categories were then broken down into many different categories which were important to the carvings. The author goes deeper into these sections and even provides pictures of the many different styles of carvings.

The meaning of these carvings are believed to be gods and spirits. According to the Haitian belief in animism, is every object, being, process, and phenomena possessed a spirit. So this theory is believed to be behind the carvings’ existence. These carvings represented anything from men getting ready for war to hoping for a good vegetable growth that season.

The clarity of this article was adequate. It was a little difficult at the beginning to see where the author was going, but once he got to the surprising similarities of the three islands through rock carvings and the analysis of the carvings the author achieved true clarity.

CLARITY: 4
STEVE ROBERTS University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

De Hostos, Adolfo. Three-pointed Stone Zemi or Idols from the West Indies: An Interpretation. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol. 25 (1): 56-71.

Native American artifacts from the Great Antilles, known as the Three-pointed stones, have been viewed as mysterious and puzzling to researchers. Collectors have hypothesized many interpretations of their purpose and use. Some collectors believe that these objects are vessels used for crushing, while others think that they represent the brilliance of the man and animal figures, and others, that they represent volcanic phenomena.

These Three-pointed stones have been examined historically and archaeologically. Ramon Pane, a friar who spent time with the Haiti Indians, thinks that the Three-pointed stones cause the yuca plant, a root eaten as a staple food of the West Indies, to thrive. The Three-pointed stones are generally shaped the same and have been acknowledged as zemi, or a sacred spirit that helps the yuca to grow. The stones are made from a large rock, smoothed and formed into the shape of a triangle. Human or animal figures are carved into the sides, tops and edges of the stones. The size, shape and placement of the carvings vary from stone to stone.

Native American tribes in the Great Antilles were known for their remarkable agricultural art. They had sophisticated methods of irrigation, soil preparation and fertilization. It is also believed that the stones were the result of a bountiful harvest. Perhaps using the stones in a ceremonial way would result in good crops. It is viewed by collectors of the stones that there is a symbolical connection between the stones and the phenomenon of vegetable growth. An uprooted adult yuca plant has a noticeably similar shape to the Three-pointed stones. The spirits zemi are seen in all things that the Native American people hold important. These spirits are given human and plant attributes. Regardless of whether the spirit is good or evil, it is believed that the spirits must be pleased in order to have a favorable crop.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
EMILY HORNE Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

De Hostos, Adolfo. Three-Pointed Stone Zemi or Idols from the West-Indies: An Interpretation. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol.25 (1): 56-71.

In this article Adolfo de Hostos attempts to shed some light on the meaning and uses of three-pointed stones from the West Indies which have been subjected to many mixed interpretations. Proposed functions for the stones are numerous. They have been interpreted as paint mortars, as symbols to account for volcanic phenomena, as cosmotheogonic symbols, and as clan idols or images of tutelary totems. De Hostos agrees with Dr. J.W. Fewkes’ speculation that the stones were idols or zemi (meaning “sacred thing”). He seeks logical, systematic evidence on which to base the view that these three-pointed stones represent agricultural idols for the promotion of plant growth. He draws on historical, archeological and collateral data to support this claim.

He begins by examining the testimony of friar Ramon Pane who witnessed many of the native ceremonies when he lived among the Indians of Haiti in the fifteenth century. Pane describes stone zemi with three points which the locals believed caused the yucca plant to grow. The purpose of idol worship, de Hostos argues, is to evoke the assistance of the spirits for some temporal benefit, which in the case of agricultural idols such as this, is to aid in the growth of cultivated plants.

De Hostos goes on to describe the morphological details of the stones, organizing them into arbitrary classes based on complexity. The simpler forms always have a prominent conoid projection, which he believes is an objective representation a tuber of the yuita plant and “was made to symbolize the invisible power of germination which they knew to reside in the bud” (64). Different forms of the stone zemi may have been used for different plants.

According to de Hostos the use of agricultural idols would have been the combined product of three factors: “1) a wish to promote the well-being of slow growing plants; 2) woodcraft and plantlife knowledge acquired in the course of the native’s routinary activities in the field; 3) his mental subordination to animistic beliefs” (63). He goes on to provide explanations for the anthropomorphic and animalistic representations on some of the more complex zemi, arguing that they are an outward depiction of animistic concepts. The animal groups represented are either beneficial or harmful to plant life and the stones elicit the help or cooperation of these animal spirits to accelerate the growth of the plants. The stones with concave bases may have been attached to stone collars, thought to be “the embodiment of a tree spirit”, in ceremonies where the reproductive powers of the three-pointed stone zemi were required.

De Hostos makes his arguments clearly and succinctly while still paying considerable attention to the details of his argument.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CAROLYN SAUNDERS University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Densmore, Frances. Conscious Effort Toward Physical Perfection Among the Makah Indians. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25 (4): 564-567

Research of Makah music has put forth two ideals of the Makah Indians. The first ideal is physical beauty among women, and the second is physical strength among men. The primary source of evidence that supports these ideals were songs by the Makah which had elements of vanity and focused on the appearance of the individual.

Upon further investigation of this “child-like vanity,” the author discovers a routine that is common among the Makah. It is a process of massaging that begins at the birth of a child and continues “with unremitting diligence during the entire life of the individual”.

This procedure, as stated above, begins right after birth when the head, face and body are massaged very carefully. At this early stage, the child’s bones are still soft so massaging ensures the correct molding of the child’s facial features, head, and body to the Makah standards. This is repeated for the baby three times during the course of the day. According to the Makah, massage is the underlying framework for reaching physical perfection.

A young girl is instructed to use a “powder puff” made of inner bark fiber of young cedar trees to rub her face to “take off the shine.” This process becomes the morning ritual of a woman “who [is] careful of her appearance.”

The men’s routine involves taking baths when the moon is waxing and praying for their strength. In addition, they engage in contests of strength by seizing another man by his long hair and attempting to throw him to the ground.

Achieving physical perfection is an integral aspect of Makah culture. The techniques and rituals between men and women may differ, however, it is clear by studying both sexes that an inherent belief in beauty is represented in the rituals of the Makah Indians.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
TANYA SZAFRANSKI Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Densmore, Frances. Conscious Effort Toward Physical Perfection Among the Makah Indians. American Anthropologist. Oct.-Dec., 1923 Vol.25(4):564-567

This short article describes methods used by the Makah of Washington State for enhancing beauty, which is considered an important attribute for both sexes, and building strength, seen as an important trait for men. Densmore learned of the significance placed on these qualities through observing indigenous songs and dramas in which they were celebrated. She believes that a description of Makah standards of vitality and beauty and the means of attaining them is a natural topic of interest for anthropology.

The article begins with several examples of “admiration” songs celebrating comeliness and strength. It follows with descriptions of beauty treatments for babies, young girls, women, and men. Rituals for babies centre around regular massage, believed to help shape their bodies and features. This massage continues into adulthood for both sexes. It is supplemented in women with bathing, hair and eyebrow care, attention to posture, and a specialized diet. Men bathe frequently during the waxing moon, believing that this builds their strength. An example of Densmore’s description of Makah cosmetic practices is as follows:

“…While the child’s bones were soft, the shape of the nose was modelled, the ridge between the eyes receiving special attention. The cheeks were rubbed upward so that they would not sag, the eyes were rubbed outward “to take out puffiness,” and the eyebrows were massaged “to get them into the proper place (566).”

Densmore concludes the article with an account of methods of wrestling and instruction by which men encourage each other to improve their strength in order to become dependable warriors. The article is written clearly and concisely.

CLARITY RATING: 5
TIFFANY GALLAHER University of British Columbia, (John Barker)

Densmore, Frances. Conscious Effort Toward Physical Perfection Among the Makah Indians. American Anthropologist, 1923 Vol. 25: 564-567.

In this article Densmore focuses upon Makah perceptions of beauty and beliefs on the proper human form. Densmore relates these views by recounting a dancing scenario he observed among the Makah. The dances he observed featured body language and music that focused on the issue of physical appearance. Some of the participants sang about how they were grateful for their good looks; while some mourned the loss of such attractiveness. Dancers would pantomime certain actions pertaining to beauty; such as looking into a mirror.

Densmore finds that the theme of beauty is not confined to dance. Rather the dances and songs are a projection of common behavior. The key behavior for attaining beauty among the Makah is by massage. Shortly after birth, the young Makah under goes his or her first massage. These initial massages are directed at preventing sagging in the face, maintaining a slim figure and for good posture. As the child grows older the massage practice abandons the practice of hand massage and proceeds to massage his or her self with foliage. Women are taught to use the fiber of trees to clean and scrub their face. Also, they are instructed to bathe and shampoo regularly. The Makah quest for beauty does not end at the act of massage. For four years after a Makah women reaches maturity she is prohibited from consuming certain foods. The Makah believe that the forbiddance of such foods will help women to retain a proper figure. Makah men took an active and prescribed part in these beauty rituals. However, the focus for masculine beauty was more related to public displays of strength. It was common practice for Makah men to engage in martial contests with other men to show off their strength. The men were rated by their strength, which fell into the categories of “good” “better” “best.” Densmore remarks that this rating was done to better prepare Makah society in the event of warfare.

Densmore makes a good case for his remarks by employing both Makah lore and observed ceremony. However, I feel that Densmore should have employed a higher level of analysis in this article. He does not discuss why the Makah are concerned with physical beauty. Perhaps this issue would seem obvious at first glance but Densmore stated that this article involved “conscious effort” and beauty. So, what was the consciousness behind these activities? I do not feel that Densmore satisfied this concern though I do find his observations appropriate and well formed.

CLARITY: 4
CHRIS SHEFFIELD University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Densmore, Frances. Conscious Effort Toward Physical Perfection Among the Makah Indians. American Anthropologist, 1923 Vol.25: 564-567.

In this article Densmore reveals his ideas on Makah music and how it relates to the tribe’s culture. He feels that the music represents two of the tribe’s main ideals. One is the importance of physical beauty for women and the other is the importance for men to exhibit physical strength. This is of importance because music of admiration, as Densmore points out, “has always been attributed to the influence of the white race” ( Densmore, 564). Densmore offers evidence that the music is native and not influenced by another culture.

He finds that a ritual , called a massage, is the basis for the desire for physical beauty and strength. “As soon as a child was born, before it was bathed, its head, face, and body were carefully massaged (566).” During the process the nose was molded, eyebrows places in the proper place, cheeks rubbed up to prevent sagging, and the wrists and ankles massaged to ensure slimness. These techniques to enhance beauty continue in the person’s life.

Young girls were to rub their face with cedar bark fibers and to eat a special diet that would prevent corpulence. Beauty regimens continued as girls grew older. Besides face massages, women in the culture were to take proper care of their hair. The tribe had formulas for “hair care products”, usually made with huckleberry (566).

Men were to bathe, rub themselves with herbs, and pray during the waxing moon to promote strength. A man’s strength was measured by a process called the “hold”, which was used to classify men according to strength. “Each man seized his opponent by the hair on either side of the head and attempted to hair. throw him to the ground.” This ritual made it important for men to have an abundance of hair. These rituals were performed during potlatch ceremonies (567).

CLARITY: 5
ELISE WENDLAND University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Fewkes, Walter. Clay Figurines Made By Navaho Children. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25(4): 559-563.

Walter Fewkes’ article describes a collection of clay figurines presented to the Bureau of American Ethnology by Dr. W.H. Spinks. Researchers agree that the objects were made by young Navaho children. The figurines take the form of animals and human beings. They are also said to represent the concerns most connected with the lives of children. The figurines most likely functioned as toys for the Navaho children. This article includes several pictures of the figurines that are mentioned.

The author’s intent in writing this article is two-fold. First, he finds the children’s artistic ability noteworthy because the toys were created with such realistic accuracy. A second, more scientific reason is that some of the objects strikingly resemble a type of figurine discovered in the ancient ruins called “prehistoric fetishes.” These were figurines used in Pueblo rites and placed in shrines. The author rhetorically asks whether the figurines could be “survivals reduced to play things or are they anything more than simple toys?” (559).

Fewkes does not answer the above stated question. However, he does state that even if the figurines were modeled after prehistoric effigies, one cannot assume the figurines did not also function as toys for the children of prehistoric times. Fewkes also adds that prehistoric Pueblo children are noted to have made similar figurines. He concludes by saying that he has no facts to prove or disprove whether the children were shown how to make the figurines or whether they did this on their own initiative.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
JESSIE HUBBARD Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Fewkes, J. Walter. Clay Figurines Made by Navaho Children. American Anthropologist. Oct.- Dec., 1923 Vol.25(4):559-563

This short article describes a collection of toy figurines modelled by a young Navajo child. The author comments that they illustrate the influence environment has on early childhood skill development and on shaping nascent perceptions of the world. He also speculates on their possible use in interpreting the function of similar objects found in archaeological excavations of Navajo pueblos.

The first observation is that the dexterity of the pottery work shows the influence of environment on the development of specific skills. Fewkes compares the quality of the Navajo child’s modelling to the more inferior quality that would be expected in the work of a white child of similar age. The implication is that the importance of pottery-making and dearth of commercially manufactured toys in the Navajo child’s environment has resulted in her acquiring skills in modelling figurines from clay which would be considered “precocious” in Western society.

The second observation is that the subject matter of the figurines shows the importance of environment in shaping perceptions of the world. The author notes that the images the child is surrounded with, namely domestic animals, babies, and blanket-clad women, are those she depicts in her pottery work.

The final, most significant observation, that the toy figurines are similar to archaeological specimens found in Southwestern pueblo sites, is elaborated on by the author as follows. He states that archaeologists working in the Southwest have interpreted prehistoric figurines as religious fetishes, based on the knowledge of their use in contemporary Navajo religious ceremonies. However, this interpretation is not adequate, as the above contemporary example of figurines used as children’s toys indicate that such artifacts may also have been made for use as playthings.

This article is clearly and concisely written and includes photographs of the toy collection described.

CLARITY RATING: 4
TIFFANY GALLAHER University of British Columbia, (John Barker)

Fewkes, J. Walter. Clay Figurines Made by Navaho Children. American Anthropologist, 1923 Vol. 25: 559-563.

This article discusses clay figurines made by Navaho children. The author states that they are remarkably creative and clever, and that the quality is rarely seen in objects made by white children. The objects themselves seem to be playthings, according to Fewkes’ “informant,” and they are mostly women figures and those of domesticated animals, such as sheep, goats, horses, dogs, and cats. Fewkes argues that they represent what surrounds the child.

The question asked is are they just toys, or survivals diminished to playthings? The animal forms seem to resemble “fetishes” that have been found in Southwestern ruins. The majority of the figures are of women, but facial features are not represented. Also of interest to the author is that they were seemingly made without any tools, and instead were skillfully molded out of adobe. Still, no details exist as to whether the children made the figures on their own, or were shown how to by their mothers.

Perhaps the main issue in the article is that of the idea of the fetishes. Similar objects have been found in the prehistoric mounds of ruins. Previous excavators have
thought they might be ritual figurines, but Fewkes disputes this by saying that is not necessarily true. He asserts that there is reason to believe that they were made as toys for prehistoric children, and that they perhaps made effigies themselves.

The article’s basic point is that these objects seem to be nothing more than playthings. Fewkes takes this standpoint himself, but provides little evidence. When people are in doubt as to what an object is, they tend to say it is either ritualistic or for fertility. Some people have said that these clay figurines were ritualistic, but Fewkes disputes that. In all fairness to him, there really is not a way to be sure, all we can do is speculate. That is what Fewkes does – he asserts the possibility for all options.

CLARITY: 4
ANDREA ROWLAND University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington)

Fewkes, J. Walter. The Hovenweep National Monument. American Anthropologist April-June, 1923 Vol. 25 (2): 145-155.

The Hovenweep National Monument in Southwest Colorado and Southwestern Utah was made into a reservation in order to preserve the antiquities that are similar to other monuments. Furthermore, it preserves the features that have not been discovered in other monuments in the region. There are three types of prehistoric towers in the monument’s regions found in these sites. The first type of tower is the square, circular, or semicircular. Second, there are towers positioned next to kivas, which are ceremonial rooms. Kivas are found underground or at the base of a tower. And finally, there are towers that rise from the pueblo which constitute living established villages, or cliff dwellings.

There have been several theories suggested by the author to explain the function of the towers in the monuments. One is that they were used for practical purposes such as food storage, observatories, or forts. Another theory suggests that the towers functioned as a place of religious worship in conjunction with the kivas. Perhaps spiritual ceremonies were conducted around the towers.

The Hovenweep National Monument reservation has several towers which were very well preserved after their abandonment. Compared to other national monuments in the Southwest region, Hovenweep National Monument is in great condition, perhaps due to the more recent construction of the pueblo. Some of the walls of the pueblo have collapsed to the ground or into the canyons. Debris has also accumulated and filled some of the kivas. Archeologists in the field would most likely benefit from the continuing to study this site, considering some of the features have not yet been described.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
EMILY HORNE Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Fewkes, J. Walter. The Hovenweep National Monument. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol.25 (2): 145-155.

This article describes the ruins of the newly created Hovenweep National Monument located in western Colorado and southeastern Utah. The majority of the ruins consist of well-preserved towers similar to those in the adjacent Mesa Verde National Park. It is Fewkes’ belief that the Hovenweep towers were constructed after those in Mesa Verde because they are in a better state of preservation.

The first portion of the article consists of a short discussion of the significance of the towers to those who built them. The towers have been variously interpreted as forts, observatories, or as storage units for grain. The author speculates that the towers serve a ceremonial function, particularly for the worship of the sun. The basis for his interpretation wrests on the agricultural lifestyle of those who built the towers. Fewkes reasons that a tower would provide a much needed vantage point for observing the rising and setting of the sun and hence would aid in determining times for planting and harvesting. Conversely, the subterranean rooms or kivas located under the majority of the towers would provide a site for the worship of mother earth. Fewkes describes some of the idols and pictographs associated with the sites to support his theory. Images of the sun, coiled serpents, mountain lions and mountain sheep are some of the symbols that adorn many of the buildings. Fewkes’ interpretations rely heavily on speculations that are not adequately supported by textual evidence, giving the reader the impression that his theories are improbable or at least subject to doubts.

The second half of the article offers minute descriptions of each site including the location of the site in the monument, the shape and size of the tower, the state of preservation and any other details deemed important, such as unusual types of masonry. There is very little interpretation in this portion of the article.

This is a simple, easy to read article, however, it is primarily descriptive and offers very little in terms of engaging analysis.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CAROLYN SAUNDERS University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Flom, George T. Figures of Ships and the Four-Spoked Wheel in Ancient Irish Sculpture. American Anthropologist July-September, 1923 Vol. 25 (3): 387-396.

Flom’s research in this article is based on rock carvings of ships and four-spoked wheels found in Ireland. This article will be more useful for those who already have some knowledge or interest in Irish rock carvings and their influences. Flom relies on previous work done by George Coffey in his memoir, On the Tumuli and Incised Stones at New Grange, Dowth, and Knowth, and A. L. Coll’s work in Scandinavian rock carving classifications. Great attention is paid to the types of carvings found in specific regions.

The Irish figures of ships and four-spoked wheels are rarely found in England or Scotland. Flom finds that Scandinavian influences are highly prevalent in both the complete and incomplete carvings on Irish soil. The Irish carvings are said to be of the Bronze and late Neolithic Age. In contrast, the Scandinavian drawings, mainly from Sweden, are of the Stone Age, thus making his proposal plausible.

Many cross-comparisons are also made between the Irish rock carvings found in different sites. Flom provides great detail of each rock, specifically how the lines are drawn and the ratio of the figures to other drawings on the rock. He focuses more on the figures of the ships and devotes only two pages to the wheel carvings. Aside from the descriptions, Flom’s only conclusion is that a connection can be seen in Scandinavian and Irish rock carvings, suggesting Scandinavian influences on the Irish.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CARRIE L. PRIOR Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Flom, George T. Figures of Ships and the Four-Spoked Wheel in Ancient Irish Sculpture. American Anthropologist July-September, 1923 Vol.25(3): 387-396.

Flom references multiple earlier works on the topic by other researchers in his article. Knowledge of these works along with a previous awareness of the subject would be helpful in reading and understanding the article. Flom’s main objective is to show evidence of the figures of ships and the four-spoked wheel in Irish sculpture.

Flom describes the “ship pictures” as evolving from the simplest, type a, to the most complex, type c. Of those from Loughcrew, the incomplete ships are the most rudimentary of the most primitive category. The finished ships belong in class c. In New Grange the ships were classed as b or intermediary between b and c. The ship at Dowth appears to be an early form of type c. Flom states that the described ships look like others from the Mediterranean and North Scandinavia and that there could be a relationship between their origins.

Flom indicates that the ships from New Grange, Dowth and Loughcrew all support his assessment that the ship forms from North Scandinavia resemble those from the South of Europe. He uses the evolutionary type forms of the ships as well as the details of the carvings themselves. Flom also mentions the four-spoked wheel towards the end of the article. The wheel carving was found only once in Scotland but there were multiple found throughout Ireland. The trends between the ship forms in Irish sculpture seem to coincide with those of the four-spoked wheel carvings. He also points out that there is a possible connection with the Celtic West and those of the Scandinavian North.

CLARITY: 3
FAYDRE L. PAULUS University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington)

Goldfrank, Esther S. Notes On Two Pueblo Feasts. American Anthropologist April-June, 1923 Vol.25 (2): 188-196.

In approximately 3000 words, Esther S. Goldfrank provides an observational account of autumn festivals in “Notes on Two Pueblo Feasts.” She comments on a span of several days before and during the events, extremely careful of detail, social interaction, and the sequence of events. The first description is of St. Joseph’s day in Laguna, NM, and comparison is then drawn to the second festival six days later for St. Elizabeth in Pohuati.

In describing the feast at Laguna, Goldfrank notes a voluntary change in the event date to autumn so the feast will be more plentiful. The emphasis on feast preparation and event procession occupies the bulk of her essay. Various groups from the regions arrive amongst the backdrop of food, dress, and material preparation in a complete picture of the mounting event. Goldfrank continues her chronological account by describing the different American Indian groups and Mexicans who gather together dressed in their best garb for Catholic mass. After all partake in a procession through the village; she describes the different ritual dances that are the main event of the feast. Duly noting the dress, actions, and configurations of the participants, Goldfrank concludes her documentation of the St. Joseph feast with descriptions of dances and the periods between each performance. Transcripts of speeches by the Governor, Teniente, War Captain, and Fiscal are separately provided with lyrics of the dance songs and definitions of gestured movements.

For the St. Elizabeth feast in Pohuati, Goldfrank finds few variations between the two festivals. Her main observation is that only one dance from the gathering in Laguna was repeated at Pohuati, and the performer’s costumes were less extravagant.

Esther Goldfrank’s account captures the gathering of different peoples to celebrate a single religious event. Written in a detailed fashion, she is careful to note specific social interactions between the participants. As an example, she observes that although Navajo blankets adorn the ceremonies, the Navajo are disliked and do not enter the church alone. There is no analysis in her essay.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
TODD PANG Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Goldfrank, Ester S. Notes on Two Pueblo Feasts. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol.25 (1): 188-196.

This short article describes two Pueblo Feasts, one at Laguna and the other at Pohuati. The feast at Laguna took place on September 19th, 1921 and combines a celebration of the harvest with a tribute to Saint Joseph. The author meticulously describes the details of the ceremony including the preparations before hand, the costumes, the dances, and the procession through the village. Speeches from the feast are transcribed in full, along with the lyrics and hand gestures of the songs performed. (Franz Boas provides the translations of the lyrics and the meanings of the hand gestures). Her descriptions of the dances are some of the most interesting parts of her article, particularly the dances that feature men dressed as women and clowns. Unfortunately, she does not speculate on the meaning of these activities.

The feast at Pohuti took place on September 25th in celebration of Saint Elizabeth. The description of this feast is quite brief and focuses on the ways in which it differed from the feast at Laguna. The focus is on the somewhat dissimilar dancing formations, which the author describes in detail. The dancers at Pohuti were also dressed more casually than those at Laguna.

This article is representative of the purely descriptive monographs of the time and does not offer very much in terms of analysis. In addition, the reader does not get a very good sense of the motivations and meanings behind the activities described.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CAROLYN SAUNDERS University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Gustaver, Bror. On a Peculiar Type of Whistle Found In Ancient American Indian Graves. American Anthropologist July-September, 1923 Vol. 25(3): 307-317.

In Bror Gustaver’s article he proposes to investigate whether or not a series of peculiar objects found in ancient American Indian graves are in fact early types of whistles. These objects have been found in certain Aboriginal sites on Green River, the Lower Ohio River, and the Mississippi River. A large number of these objects are made of stone while others are made of anther. All objects are small in size and could easily be held in the palm of one’s hand. There are four different types of these specimens. All have a drilled hole as distinguishing feature. It is this feature that points toward the idea that the objects were not simply a type of ornament, but served some practical purpose.

Through the investigation of acoustic laws and measurements of the size of the bore, one is able to realize that these specimens are capable of making a favorable pitch normal for a whistle. When examining the bore more closely, it seems oddly large for its basic function, which suggests that it may serve another purpose. The decorative shape alludes to the possibility of having been worn around the neck by a string. If this is true, then the string was passed through the bore, which would provide conclusive evidence that they are whistles. The designer who made the object would have also had to take into account the diameter of the bore in order to filter a string through it. One may assume that the designer would not have gone to the trouble of making the hole 12 to 18 mm in diameter, if one was not meant to wear it on a string. Therefore, the bore is the essential feature of all the specimens.

This article would interest individuals who are intrigued by Native American artifacts. Assuming the artifact in question is a whistle, there is hope in discovering its prevalence among the Native American Indians. From these artifacts, it may be possible to draw remarkable conclusions about other aspects of their culture.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
LINDSAY HUMPHRIES Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Gustaver, Bror. On A Peculiar Type Of Whistle Found In Ancient American Indian Graves. American Anthropologist July-Sept., 1923 Vol. 25(3): 307-317.

In this article, Bror Gustaver attempts to deal with the question of whether or not certain objects found in some Native American graves in the eastern part of the United States would be adequate for use as whistles. These objects are described as made of stone and antler and drilled through so that there was a hole from 12 to 18 mm in diameter in the middle.

His work stems from an article published in the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (Vol. XVI) by Clarence B. Moore in which the author proposed these objects were used as sizers to make nets for fishing. In a later paper by Count Eric Von Rosen, published in the journal Ymer, the author hypothesizes that these objects were actually whistles. Mr. Gustaver examines further whether or not these objects could be used as whistles.

The basic argument Bror Gustaver makes is that Native Americans could have used the objects as whistles. To prove his point, the author gives a brief summary of what is known to him about the laws of tone production in pipes and then applies these principles to the objects. First of all, he states the formulas from which the frequency of notes is calculated. By trying four wooden models of the objects, he is able to calculate the frequencies of the notes made them and presents the results in table form. He found through his experiment that the pitch they made is exactly the right pitch for a whistle. Gustaver then goes into the topic of the material a whistle is made from. According to Gustaver, the force of sound is increased the harder the material a whistle is made from. Lastly, Gustaver examines the diameter of the bores in the objects. They are all consistently between 12-18 mm in diameter, which are exactly the best sizes for whistles based on the laws of tone.

CLARITY: 3
BROOKE MILEY University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington)

Herskovits, Melville J. Some Property Concepts and Marriage Customs of the Vandau. American Anthropologist July-September, 1923 Vol.25 (3): 376-386.

In approximately 5000 words, Melville J. Herskovits describes two social institutions of a cattle-keeping in an East African tribe. A Columbia University student who is a member of the tribe provides the information for his account.

Herskovits describes property relations by first tracing the origins of how a man acquires land either by joining a kraal (social hierarchical group), or receiving land rights from the sub-chief of the district. With this new land, he is to establish his own kraal (although women can technically own property they rarely do). Land rights are handed over from the sub-chief, and the new owner may do as he pleases. Herskovits then describes the basic differences between private and public land in Vandau terms. Land claimed by an owner is considered private and cannot be intruded upon. All land and its bounty not claimed or previously owned is considered public, although Herskovits also notes that it can be unclear for the Vandau to determine public land. He also describes sanctions and counter-sanctions that are involved with trespassing. Disputes in local courts are a common sanction for trespassing and stealing, but the main deterrent for theft is fear of the spirits that guard the property in question.

In this herding society, owning cows denotes wealth to the Vandau, and young men often receive gifts of cattle from their families. Although women can technically own the same property as men, their chances are often overpowered by revolving constraints: the rules of Vandau inheritance essentially restrict a young woman from receiving anything from her father.

Herskovits account of marriage rituals begins with the man’s request, which is either accepted or challenged by his parents. A system of dowry is given by the prospective husband to the wife’s family, and is usually paid in cattle as a display of good will. A woman commonly has the option to select her own husband, and her parents rarely challenge her intent. Herskovits also notes that dowry can be reclaimed if divorce ensues, unless the wife can prove that her husband mistreated her. He also remarks that if the husband does not pay the entire dowry, his wife may leave him as she pleases and upon his death, the children belong to the mother’s family.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
TODD PANG Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Herskovits, Melville J. Some Property Concepts and Marriage Customs of the Vandau. American Anthropologist July-September, 1923 Vol.25 (3): 376-386.

In this article, Herskovits addresses various aspects concerning land and marriage practices among the Vandau, whom he considers to be a tribe of eastern Africa. His motivation appears to be the documentation of the similarities between the Vandau and other tribes that occupy East Africa. Not surprisingly then, comparisons about the Vandau’s attitude toward court systems, cattle, dowries, and inheritance customs are made. Herskovits’ information comes from a native of the Vandau and student at Columbia University, A. K’amba Simango.

The Vandau live in communities called kraals, which each have a head-man. Higher in the government are the positions of sub-chief and chief, which, unlike the head-man positions, are hereditary. Both men and women of each kraal receive their own plot of land for gardening. The land may be near the kraal of residence, but if one kraal is very near to another, the plots of land may be farther away.

As with other East African tribes, the Vandau own cattle, obtaining them through working and/or gifts. Also similar to other tribes, cattle are a sign of wealth as well as the typical dowry payment for a bride. Everything is owned individually among the Vandau and women have the same ownership rights as men, though property is inherited through the male line. Wealth is not the only factor of prestige for a person however, as strength is also highly regarded.

The Vandau have a court system (again, Herskovits points out that this is like other African tribes) whereby disputes are settled by a principal chief or one of his subordinates. There are no lawyers; each person represents him- or herself, and there are only two fees paid: one by the plaintiff to the chief or subordinate, and another by the defendant to the messenger who comes to inform him of the case against him. Herskovits notes that according to the information given by Simango, it appears that the punishment one would receive from the ruling spirits does as much – if not more – to deter law-breaking than punishment given by the courts.

Marriages are very important in the culture. Having a large number of wives has traditionally been considered as a sign of wealth among the Vandau, as it provides the husband with a more comfortable lifestyle, more land in the family, and – it is hoped – many children which help to make the family more prestigious and prosperous.

Herskovits does not neglect the white European influence on the Vandau culture. He relates that near the coast the necessary dowry for a bride is increasingly being paid in European money rather than cattle. Furthermore, it is now much harder financially for a man to have many wives. Before the Europeans arrived, men had two or three wives on average, but in Herskovits’ time, it was only a small number of wealthy people who could afford that many wives.

CLARITY: 4
AMANDA PARR University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Hough, Walter. Alice Cunningham Fletcher. American Anthropologist April-June, 1923 Vol. 25 (2): 254-258.

Walter Hough uses this article to give a brief glimpse at the career of Alice Cunningham Fletcher. At the pinnacle of her career, Fletcher obtained several prestigious honors for her lifetime research and support of the American Indian. Each of these honors was deemed well deserved by her peers, as “her methods were the outgrowth of her character” (256).

Fletcher, who was born March 15, 1838, began her effort to help the American Indian sometime before the year 1880. One of her first accomplishments was the innovation of a system in which small monetary loans were given to Indians to assist them in purchasing land and building houses. During 1881 and 1882, she spent time examining the Sioux, Omaha, Winnebago, and Pawnee tribes; substantial collections of objects resulted from her investigations. A short time later, Fletcher was able to secure land not only for the Omaha and Winnebago Indians, but for the Nez Percé Indians as well.

In 1891, Fletcher’s work, in conjunction with that of Professor F.W. Putnam, attracted the attention of Mrs. Mary C. Thaw. In response, the Mary Copley Thaw Fellowship was founded in association with the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. This fellowship allowed Fletcher to dedicate the rest of her life’s work to her studies of the American Indians. During one particular stay, Fletcher developed an interest and appreciation for Indian music after a tragic attack of inflammatory rheumatism, which left her crippled. While bedridden, the Indians sang to her in an attempt to raise her spirits. As Fletcher regained her health and her strength, she recorded their songs for future use. This research is significant today as there is now evidence that Indian songs have inspired some American compositions.

At approximately the same time, Fletcher made yet another noteworthy achievement. She was able to record, for the first time in history, a complete documentation of the Hako ceremony of the Pawnee Indians. The importance of this, along with all of Fletcher’s work, resides in her ability to convey the “inner spirit and beauty of the Indian’s concepts” (256). While other observers of her time discredited the study of Indian tribes, Fletcher forged ahead to eagerly interpret their culture.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
NICOLE ARSENAULT Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Hugh, Walter. “Alice Cunningham Fletcher.” American Anthropologist 1923 N.S., Vol.25:254-258

This article is a short, three-page dedication to the life achievements of Alice Cunningham Fletcher. The article begins with her birth in 1838, and briefly touches on her many accomplishments and endeavors as one of the first recognized female anthropologists. The author David Hough describes the nature of Fletcher’s work among a number of Native American tribes, such as the Sioux, Omaha, Winnebago, Pawnee and the Nez Perce, to name a few. Tirelessly dedicated to recording Native American culture, Fletcher contributed a great deal not just to the broader anthropological community, but also to the people whose cultures she studied. Among the skills that she took with her to the field was a lifelong interest in Native American music, much of which she carefully documented, making the significance of Native American music better known and understood by her colleagues. She also recorded numerous ceremonies and other aspects of indigenous culture that were under the threat of extinction, from encroaching settlement and inhibitory government policies.

Regarded as a friend within the indigenous communities where she worked, she was granted access to aspects of their culture as an ‘insider,’ while continuing to maintain an influential connection to scientific anthropological institutions. In this later arena, Fletcher lectured on archeology, and conducted a number of studies from the Cambridge Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. She was also the president of both the American Folklore Society and the Anthropological Society of Washington, and Vice President of the Anthropological Association for the Advancement of Science. Her significant position in the scientific community made her work available to a broad audience and heightened public awareness and understanding of First Nations cultures. Hough writes of Fletcher, “she made unusually important contributions to our knowledge of the inner spirit and beauty of the Indian’s concepts” (256).

This article gives a brief and uncomplicated profile of Fletcher. It is smoothly written, full of praise, and includes most of the chief events and contributions of her life long work as an anthropologist.

CLARITY RATING: 5
BRONWEN SWEENEY: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Kroeber, A.L. American Culture and the Northwest Coast. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol. 25 (1): 1-20.

A.L Kroeber’s article is concerned with the origin of cultural elements in the

tribes of the Northwest Coast of America. Some of these elements have traits which are found in other cultures, and some are commonly found, generic traits that are seemingly absent in this particular area. The article is concerned with establishing cultural connections between the Northwest Coast, Middle America, and Asia. Kroeber tries to establish a pattern of geographic migration of the first people to come to the Americas by tracing certain elements present in all three areas.

Kroeber asserts that there are four groups of ingredients that make up Pre-Colombian American culture. The first are the original common American cultural traits. Though not necessarily universal, these traits must be shown throughout much of the Americas and may be originally from the Paleolithic-Neolithic era when the first people started migrating to the continent. The second group consists of elements that developed in America and have since spread beyond their point of origin, e.g. agriculture. The third group contains elements of local American origins that have remained within certain tribes from their common American inheritance. The fourth group incorporates elements that have been brought to America since the dawn of history in the Old World. By exploring these sets of traits, Kroeber has tried to account for the presence of traits common in American culture that are known to have developed in Asia, and to explain the lack of typical traits developed on American soil by cultures in relative proximity.

Kroeber provides a thorough investigation of cultural elements such as boat making, basket weaving, house building and political organization to explain the development of the culture of Northwest Tribes. In addition, a historical map of migration is provided to trace different tribes and various distinctions that may have become absorbed by the people of the Northwest coast. By incorporating these two methods, Kroeber has provided the reader with a clear idea of the possibilities of cultural development of certain people.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
AMY NELL Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Kroeber, A.L. American Culture and the Northwest Coast. American Anthropologist 1923 Vol.25 (1): 1-20.

In this article Kroeber attempts to sort out the relationship between the Northwest Coast culture and other Native American culture areas. He classifies groups of Native American culture traits into four distinct categories: 1) original common American culture traits presumably of Asiatic origin; 2) elements that developed in America and spread extensively beyond their point of origin; 3) traits that are American in their origin but are local in their diffusion; and 4) traits ‘imported’ into America since the dawn of history in the Old World. Kroeber theorizes that Northwest Coast culture is distinct from the rest of American culture because it contains so few standard American elements such as pottery, masonry, pyramid mounds or temples, and communal religious societies. He argues that any similarities between Northwest Coast culture and other American cultures are the result of independent invention or contact with Europeans. All other common traits form part of the Asiatic-American culture base from which all American cultures ultimately derived.

In this article Kroeber goes through a list of culture traits that are considered common to most Native American cultures and indicates their presence or absence in the Northwest Coast. These include everything from the use of tobacco to the presence of ball-headed clubs to the use of calendars. Kroeber uses the continental distribution of traits and internal evidence to show that any similarities were independently derived in the Northwest. At the end of his article Kroeber discusses Native American culture traits that are similar to traits in Asia. He entertains the possibility of Asia having a more direct relationship to the Northwest because of their relative geographic proximity but ultimately decides that there is a lack of evidence on which to base such as proposition. It seems that the majority of traits considered to be of Asiatic origin are found in areas surrounding the Northwest but rarely in the Northwest proper. These traits include the net snowshoe, the sled, the oil lamp, birch-bark vessels and transvestite customs. The Northwest Coast seems to have developed in a very remarkable manner in that its culture traits are unusually distinct.

This article contributes to an overall understanding of the diffusion of culture traits throughout America. It is well organized and easy to follow.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CAROLYN SAUNDERS University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Lothrop, S. K. American Feather-Decorated Mats. American Anthropologist July-September, 1923 Vol. 25: (3) 304-306.

Lothrop’s article “American Feather-Decorated Mats” examines preserved mats stored in Rome and Madrid for their depiction of various themes created by the feather patterns. He suggests that the artifacts originated in Northwestern Argentina, rather than another part of the New World. The mats were stolen during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries by Spanish conquistadors and missionaries. They were brought back to be displayed in Europe.

Lothrop goes into considerable detail describing the physical construction of the mats. Specifically, he reconstructs the placement of wooden slats and cotton thread, showing the method in which the makers ensured that the materials would not slip. Feather placement is also of interest to Lothrop because it supports the argument that the mats are not from Mexico or Peru, but from Argentina. Lothrop then goes on to describe each plate that is featured in the article as well as the Aboriginal and European influences depicted in their designs.

Using the specific placement of the feathers on these mats and comparing them to other mats collected at the time, Lothrop states that their origins can be determined using the patterns which they employ. They do not resemble mats from Mexico, but have similar designs to those of Peru. The motifs contained in the American feather-decorated mats share qualities with the Peruvian mats. From this information, Lothrop surmises that the mats are from Northwestern Argentinean cultures in origin with distinct intrusive Peruvian features.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CARRIE L. PRIOR Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Lothrop, S.K. “American Feather-Decorated Mats.” American Anthropologist 1923 N.S., Vol. 25:304-307

This article gives a descriptive analysis of feather-decorated mats that were brought back from South America by Sixteenth Century Spanish conquerors, and from underground excavations undertaken in Peru. The author believes that these mats originally came from North West Argentina, because they “are technically unlike any examples of feather-work which have been published…”(304). They are unlike those that have been found in Europe and North America.

To explain this hypothesis, the author discusses in detail the artistic patterns found on these mats, carefully explaining the symbols and designs that he links to various distinctive cultures in South America. The author identifies patterns and designs found on the mats, and discusses them in them in detail. Included is descriptive analysis such as “The pattern [sic] consists of two double-headed monsters so curved that the heads face each other, like a letter C” (305) and constructural information such as “a single gummed strand runs down the center and additional black lines can be seen under the central pattern…” (305-6). All of the feather-decorated mats discussed by this author are now preserved in museums, located in Rome and Madrid. Included are three photographs and four illustrations of their unique feather décor.

The information presented in this article is more descriptive then it is conclusive; it is not a theoretical examination of the symbolism of these unique designs. The only conclusive aspect is the assertion made as to the origin of these artifacts, and their connection the historical cultures of Argentina.

CLARITY RATING: 3
BRONWEN SWEENEY: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Lowie, Robert H. Psychology, Anthropology, and Race. American Anthropologist July-September, 1923. Vol. 25(3): 291-303.

This article discusses the differences in the ways in which psychology and anthropology approach the issue of race. Lowie accuses the field of psychology of fabricating biological facts in order to prove a theory. He supports the anthropological approach, which takes environmental factors into consideration when dealing with race issues. This article addresses common misconceptions associated with anthropology and concludes that racial studies must be conducted under careful consideration of all the factors that influence racial issues.

Lowie addresses many misconceptions about anthropology. A common misconception is the idea that anthropologists favor excessive influence of environment over hereditary factors in the explanation of cultural patterns. Another misconception is that anthropologists teach absolute equality of all races. Lowie cites Professor Franz Boas as a common target of these callous accusations, and argues that Boas is not a guardian of these doctrines. He quotes professor boas at length to refute the misguided interpretations of Boas’s work. Lowie also states that Boas teaches his students that the innate equality of all races is unproven yet, just as all claims of inequality of all races has not yet been scientifically proven.

Lowie goes on to refute the claim that anthropologists are obsessed with environmental factors affecting the abilities of the races. He also states that those who most enthusiastically accuse anthropologists of miscalculating heredity as compared with environment are hypocritical. Lowie examines the debate of innate ability and culture are not necessarily rooted in any innate differences, thus he argues this popular stance is wholly inconclusive.

Lowie also holds that environmental factors must be taken into consideration when thinking about racial stratification. He feels it is necessary because no effective quantitative determination of innate differences among races has been developed. Lowie also deters anybody from attempting to group races and nationalities, stating that they rarely coincide. He again attacks prominent psychologists from the time for trying to do just this. Lowie believes the variability of ‘pure’ nationalities is really not known.

Lowie concludes anthropological ventures in racial studies must be done with a survey of these difficulties. One must pick a region well known in the field and that contains more than one segregated racial strain. He fingers Italy as being a good choice. The difference between North and South Italy provides an excellent place for psychological investigation. Furthermore Italy is an easy country to minimize environmental factors. Lowie feels that when psychologists provide proof of innate differences among the races, anthropologists will embrace them, but until then scanty biological facts and unheeded criticism will not be accepted.

CLARITY RATING: 3
ALISON TREBBY Wheaton College, MA (Donna O. Kerner)

Lowie, H.R. “Psychology, Anthropology, and Race.” American Anthropologist 1923 N.S., Vol. 25 July-September No.3:291-303

This article by Robert H. Lowie takes a defensive stance against what he calls “the strange notion that certain anthropologists favor an extravagant influence of environmental as contrasted with hereditary factors”(291). When addressing the question of hereditary explanations for cultural variations, the author begins by arguing against the assumption that anthropologists put sole emphasis on environmental factors to explain cultural variation. The author argues that anthropologists are not denying the possibility of biological explanations, but is adamant that explanations of this type cannot be made without more complete scientific evidence. He supports his argument by drawing attention to the nature of cultural change, which can often happen without any subsequent biological alterations. He says “when we study the known history of culture, we find great changes without any corresponding changes in racial constitution” (296). To further support his argument, psychological studies of biological differences are discussed, which are seen to have yielded unscientific results. It is mentioned that there is more variation found within cultures then between them, and that judging mental capacity based on culturally specific I Q testing and educational standards are obviously going to be biased in their findings.

I would suggest that primarily the author is defending anthropologists who were educated as ‘historical particularist,’ studying under Franz Boas. It is mentioned in the article that Boas has been misinterpreted as writing off biological influences in his explanations of cultural variation; the author argues that it is a lack of scientific data, not the conviction of a purely environmental influence, which has stopped Boas from taking a definitive stance for or against genetic influence on culture.

He concludes the article by suggesting that conducting scientific research to find more empirical evidence is in fact possible to do, but only under specific and unique circumstances. That is, the area being studied must be well known anthropologically, and include two or more different cultures who have been relatively isolated and segregated from each other. Until unbiased researchers can carry out this kind of study, the author posits that it is the duty of anthropologists “to repudiate not biology but the sham biology that invents facts and even biological ‘laws’ to support personal views” (303).

The author makes it clear that although he himself is not in favor of taking a stance for racial inequality, he feels that there is insufficient evidence for professionals of any field to make definitive scientific conclusions. I found the subject of argument in this article to be, of course, an outdated and ethnocentric concern. Perhaps it is however a good depiction the differing stances taken for or against racism during the early 1900s, and the push to find definitive ‘evidence’ that would end the various disputes.

CLARITY RATING: 4
BRONWEN SWEENEY: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

MacCurdy, George Grant. Certain Specimens from the Riviere Collection. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol. 25 (1): 72-89.

This article commences with a short introduction of Emile Riviere, who was the last member in the elite group of French prehistorians. He and his relatives donated many of his findings to museums. His exploration lasted between the years of 1870 and 1910. He died in Paris in January of 1922.

Riviere’s greatest findings were at the caves of Rey, Liveyre, Lanugerie-Haute, La Mouthe and La Micoque. MacCurdy explains the important discoveries of Riviere in each one of the caves. Below is a brief summary of the discoveries in each cave.

Cave of Rey: Riviere, along with the help of Peyrony, discovered a type of cultural sequence for Paleolithic Europe. This sequence was not only for the cave of Rey, but also for the cavern of Les Cambarelles, to which the cave of Rey opens up. The most important specimens in this cave were two sculptured fish that were carved with great artistic skill.

Cave of Liveyre: Contained various flint implements, along with tools and weapons constructed from bone and antler. There are also points of quartz-crystal, a wolf’s tooth, a pot of fossil shells painted with red ochre, a red ochre crayon, a limestone pendant and a perforated pendant, with animal figures.

Cave of Laugerie-Haute: Findings of javelin points and spatulae of reindeer horn, bone needles, a javelin point of ivory, harpoons and a baton of reindeer horn, stone pendants, perforated teeth of Bos, the engraving of a head of a horse and two mammoths carved on reindeer horn.

Cave of La Mouth: Findings that indicate its cultural sequence. It is the first recognition of parietal cave art in France during the Paleolithic age. There is an assortment of teeth, pointed pieces of bone, reindeer horn fragments, javelin points, ivory implements and bone needles.

Cave of La Micoque: Discovered by Riviere in 1895. It is one of the oldest stations in Dorgogne. In this collection are, crude flint pieces, bone pieces, cleavers, blades, points and side-scrapers.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
TANYA SZAFRANSKI Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

MacCurdy, George Grant. Certain Specimens From the Riviere Collection. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol.25 (1):72-89.

In this article the author describes various palaeolithic specimens acquired by the Peabody Museum at Yale University from the estate of Emile Riviere, a prominent French prehistorian. Although the specimens acquired by the Museum represent numerous sites in France, the author focuses on those sites that have appeared infrequently in the anthropological literature. These include the caves of Rey and Liveyre, and to a lesser extent, Laugerie-Haute, La Mouthe, and La Micoque. When necessary, he discusses items found at other locations in order to demonstrate the larger significance of the artifacts now in possession of the Museum.

For each site he provides the cultural sequence and a detailed inventory of the palaeolithic tools and art objects found there. He pays particular attention to items with special significance. For instance, at Rey, two of the most notable finds are sculptures of fish carved from the ribs of a ruminant. Fish are one of the more unusual animal representations found in cave art. He provides a detailed account of the various reproductions of fish found in sites throughout Europe. These accounts include specifics such as the type of fish depicted (trout, pike, salmon, etc.), type of decoration used, other types of animal figures represented, and other features of interest such as hooks or harpoons. At another site, Laugerie-Haute, he remarks on a perforated tooth that is unusual because the hole is located in the middle of the tooth rather than at the tip of the root. The majority of the information in the article is descriptive; however, the author does occasionally attempt to draw larger conclusions from the data. For example, he speculates that the harpoons found at many of the sites may have been used for fishing because figures of fish were found at these same sites.

This is an informative article that emphasizes the description of material objects. Overall this article is representative of archeological writing in the 1920s.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CAROLYN SAUNDERS University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

MacLeod, William Christie. On the Significance of Matrilineal Chiefship. American Anthropologist, 1923 Vol.25(4):495-524

William Christie MacLeod looks to discuss the significance of matrilineal chiefship. He extensively discusses the rules that surround inheritance and those conditions that lead someone into power. MacLeod feels that chiefship is universally the arena of adult men. Only when a male cannot fulfill this position of power will an intermittent leader take office until another capable male is ready. Intermittent leaders can include an immature male, a woman, or the son-in-law of a former office holder. However, the occurrence of these events is very rare and found in the southern Kwakiutl. The Kwakitul have a bilateral kinship pattern but they lean towards patrilineal chiefship. Matrilineal chiefship is often associated culturally with the mother-sib. MacLeod feels that there is a primal psychic urge towards the evolution of patrilineal chiefship. MacLeod discusses the findings of Le Petit, Du Pratz, and Dumont with respect to the matrilineal chiefship of the Natchez, which is based on the fact that the men of this community are licentious. The Lenape chiefship is important in that it demonstrates the significance of the evolution of matrilineal chiefship. He rejects the idea that this is an ancient custom, saying that matrilineal chiefship is a result of uncertain paternity. This relationship between the mother-sib and hereditary chiefship is not dependant upon each other. MacLeod concludes that where there is patrilineal chiefship it will be prior to the evolution of the mother-sib. The article is wordy, and filled with footnotes, and he comes to his conclusion in a long-winded manner.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
MAURA MAE DEEDY Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

MacLeod, William Christie. On the Significance of Matrilineal Chiefship. American Anthropologist Oct.- Dec., 1923 Vol.25(4):495-524

This analytical article traces the evolutionary origins of matrilineal chiefship. The author believes that this form of chiefship is notable, as the institution of chiefship is generally passed down through the father’s line.

Using extensive cross-cultural data to support his argument, MacLeod explains that matrilineal chiefship only exists among peoples with a mother-sib (a matrilineal kin group), which molds the chiefship along matrilineal lines. In all other cases, the “primal psychic urge” of the father to promote the welfare of his progeny leads to a patrilineal chiefship. Deviations from this pattern (co-occurrence of patrilineal chiefship and a mother-sib or of matrilineal chiefship and a father-sib) are explained in several ways. MacLeod states that in groups where a patrilineal chiefship coexists with a mother-sib, the sib has insinuated itself in after the chiefship was already established, and does not compete with the chiefship. Co-occurrence of a matrilineal chiefship and a father-sib indicates either that a group with a matrilineal chiefship has superimposed itself upon a group that was originally patrilineal or that the group originally possessed a mother-sib which then decayed or disappeared.

As an example of the general ‘primary’ tendency towards patrilineal inheritance of the chief’s office, the author points out that even among the Tsimshian, who have a mother-sib, the families of chiefs often practice cross-cousin marriage, so that the chief’s heirs in the succeeding generation will be his own grandchildren (503). The Lenape are given as an example of a group with a mother-sib, who may be evolving a matrilineal system of chiefship (519-521). Cultural data supporting the theories about deviations from the basic pattern of inheritance of chiefship includes the example of certain Australian tribes with a patrilineal chiefship and a mother-sib and the Baganda of Uganda, where the commoners belong to a father-sib while the chiefly family belongs to a mother-sib. MacLeod speculates that in the case of the Baganda, the chief’s family may be a matrilineal group that conquered an originally patrilineal clan (518).

This article must be read carefully to follow MacLeod’s argument, which relies on detailed descriptions of family relationships to make its points.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
TIFFANY GALLAHER University of British Columbia, (John Barker)

MacLeod, William Christie. On the Significance of Matrilineal Chiefship. American Anthropologist Oct.-Dec., 1923 Vol.25(4): 495-524.

In this article William Christie MacLeod traces the evolutionary origins of matrilineal chiefship and its significance. MacLeod feels that since chiefship is universally the prerogative of an adult male, that matrilineal chiefship is notable. Only when a male cannot exercise his position of office will an intermittent leader take office until another male is ready. This intermittent leader can be an immature male, a woman, or the son-in-law of a former leader. He states that this is found only as an irregular phenomenon, and only among peoples with whom the chiefship is definitely hereditary. An example of this phenomenon is used in the case among the southern Kwakiutl.

With the use of extensive data, MacLeod states that matrilineal chiefship is generally or typically correlated culturally with the mother-sib. I most cases there is a primal psychic urge tending universally towards the evolution of patrilineal chiefship.
MacLeod uses data about the Lenape chiefship to illustrate the evolution of matrilineal chiefship. He also explains that the mother-sib and hereditary chiefship do not always evolve concurrently, nor does the mother-sib either through independent or imitative development always precede that of the hereditary chiefship. Co-occurrence of a matrilineal chiefship and a father-sib indicates either that a group with matrilineal chiefship has superimposed itself upon what was originally patrilineal or that the group originally possessed a mother-sib, which has decayed.

The Baganda are considered (with reference to Natchez and Loango data) and appear to exemplify the superposition alternative, and the indigenous social organization of Uganda and Loango would seem to present an example of incomplete evolution of mother-sibs.

This article is wordy, filled with many footnotes, and must be read carefully to follow MacLeod’s arguments, which he backs up with detailed descriptions of different and irregular family relationships to prove his points. This is a good article on matrilineal chiefship and it gives a different perspective on chiefship.

CLARITY: 3
KEVIN PURCELL University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington)

Means, Philip Ainsworth. Some Comments on the Inedited Manuscript of Poma de Ayala. American Anthropologist July-September, 1923 Vol. 25 (3): 397-405.

Educated Spaniards or high figures within the Church mostly recorded documentation of Peru’s history. Therefore, an accurate picture was not always presented. This article takes a look at one such figure who recorded some of Peru’s history, named Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. Although his work was never published, two people have published accounts of the manuscript. The manuscript remains at the Royal Library in Copenhagen where it is on loan to Dr. Richard Pietschmann. It is through meeting Dr. Pietschmann that Means was able to examine the manuscript.

There are 1179 pages, measuring 10 inches by 7 that make up the manuscript. It is dated (in the expertise of Dr. Pietshmann) to the year 1613 and is bound in ancient parchment. The manuscript is different from most early chronicles in that it is illustrated throughout.

Poma de Ayala gives an account of pre-Incaic history in the following chronology: the Variviracocharuna lived for 800 years, followed by the Variruna who flourished for 1300 years, the Purunruna for 1100 years, and the Aucaruna for 2100 years. The author acknowledges a discrepancy; his interpretation dates the pre-Incaic period back to 4200 years B.C., which he notes is “untenable on scientific grounds”(400). The manuscript has various pictures of different people that flourished during these time periods.

The manuscript then describes Incaic times; there are illustrations of the first and second Incas, Manco Capac and “Cinchi roca Inga,” respectively. There are further pictures of Christ, who was said to have been flourishing at this time. Poma de Ayala goes on to show illustrations of other figures important to Inca history, such as “Maita Capac Inga,” “Capac Iupanque,” “Pachacuti Inga,” “Topa Inga Ivpanquvi,” “Guainacapac,” to name only a few among the long list of figures mentioned.

Means explains that although this manuscript fails as an accurate Chronology of Inca history, it serves as a useful anthropological text by describing customs and trends in the early colonial period.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
TANYA SZAFRANSKI Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Means, Philip Ainsworth. Some Comments on the Inedited Manuscript of Poma de Ayala. American Anthropologist, 1923 Vol. 25:397-405.

“Some Comments on the Inedited Manuscript of Poma de Ayala” by Phillip Ainsworth Means is exactly what it sounds like; a summary of the work found in the manuscript, “El Pipero Nveva Corniica Bve(n) Govierno,” by Poma de Ayala. Much of the text in Poma de Ayala’s manuscript has been discounted over the years because it lacks historical accuracy and is linguistically confusing. Means discusses these problems in his initial presentation of Poma de Ayala’s manuscript as well as contrasting it with other manuscripts written in the same period on the same subject in order to highlight the uniqueness and overall value of the manuscript. As Means points out, according to Poma de Ayala, pre-Incan society would have been flourishing even before humans were created, just one of his obvious misconceptions, lending to the disqualification of much of the information recounted within the text of the manuscript. Scholars are also left wanting, according to Means, as Poma de Ayala switches, with no coherent reason, between several different languages.

Although Means notes that Poma de Ayala’s illustrations are far from art, he devotes almost the entire article to describing each picture in the manuscript in detail. This may be because the illustrations throughout Poma de Ayala’s manuscript are much more valuable anthropologically than the actual text of the manuscript. Poma de Ayala’s manuscript is also important because it is one of the few, if not the only manuscripts of the time that has detailed illustrations accompanying the text, providing a non prejudicial account of pre-Incan society that cannot be achieved in a written account. For the most part, Means describes each picture in detail, but rarely goes into the accuracy of the depiction or the historical value of the illustration. Rather than delving into the text of the manuscript, Means focuses on what seems to be the most valuable portion of the manuscript and provides an in depth, but concise explanation of the pictures in Poma de Ayala’s manuscript and their value to the community of anthropology.

JENNIFER PEDRAZA University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Mendizabal, Miguel O. The Náhuan Chronology: Astronomical Significance of the Number Thirteen. American Anthropologist 1923 Vol.25: 318-338.

Miguel O. Mendizabal’s aim is to discover the astronomical significance of the number 13 in the Náhuan calendar system, or tonalámatl (schedule of days), also called meztlapohualli (lunar computation). The Náhuan have developed two calendar systems, one for ritual purposes and the other for civil purposes. The ritual calendar system is 260 days long; this number coming from 20 symbols repeated 13 times, to produce 260 different ideograms. This system was repeated 73 times without variation. The civil calendar had 365 days and was derived from the ritual calendar. It had 18 months, and 5 useless days, nemonteni. Mendizabal examined the numbers, and was able to determine the origin of some of the numbers, but 20, 4, 13, and 260 remained a mystery and he sought to explain these “mysterious fundamental elements” of the chronology.

Mendizabal seeks to understand the origin of these mysterious numbers. He starts with the common idea that there were 20 symbols in the zodiac. However this idea was refuted due to lack of valid evidence. In Mendizabal’s path to understanding the significance of the number 13, he examines the arguments of others, which helps him come to terms with his conclusion. Don Alfredo Chavero suggested that the 20 symbols were reduced originally to four fundamentals. Mendizabal agrees with the hypothesis presented by Chavero, and moves on to examine the numbers 4 and 5. Mendizabal seeks to discover the significance of the number four. He finds that four is the number of primordial gods, celestial bodies that the calculations are derived from, cosmogonic ages into which life of the world was divided, and the universal elements. Next examined is the number five, but to discover the logic of the system, there is a need to move on to explore the numbers 13 and 260.

The evidence and arguments that Mendizabal cites are based on the moon and the number 13. Boturin suggests that the Náhuan divided the lunations into two parts, each of which has a period of 13 days; one being that the moon was visible at night, and the other during the day. Gama built upon this theory, arguing that the thirteen units represented and daily (diurnal) movements of the moon. Orozco y Berra continues with this hypothesis, saying that 13 represents half the time that the moon is visible during a lunation, but also that 13 bears a relation to the movements of the moon. Orozco y Berra elaborates on a cycle of 2360 days by 260 (days in the calendar) times 9 (the “Attendants of the Night”) obtaining 2340, and then adding 20 for the symbols resulting in 2360, equivalent with slight variation to 80 lunations. However, Chavero rejects this on the grounds that the legend Boturin spoke of is analogous to the legend of the sun.

Mendizabal believes that “the number 13 has no relation to the lunations, for it is impossible to admit of a calendarian regimen which proceeds absolutely at variance with the phenomenon in which it had its origin, yet this would happen in our case since the computation of the thirteen units of the tonalámatl was successive and invariable.” Mendizabal then states that 260 might hold the secret of the Náhuan chronology citing Father Motolinía and his belief that the tonalámatl is related to Venus, and its movements in relation to the sun. The conclusion is then based on that the idea that tonalámatl is a cyclic calendar of the movements of Venus and the sun. It is here that the number 13 is considered again. He finds that 13 is that of Venus years around the sun appearing in five different movements of apparent position change in the space of eight solar years.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
MAURA MAE DEEDY Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Mendizabal, Miguel O. The Nahuan Chronology: Astronomical Significance of the Number Thirteen. American Anthropologist, 1923 Vol. 25: 318-338.

In this article Mendizabal concerned himself with the astrology of the Nahuan peoples. In particular, he wrote this article in reference to the Toltec culture. Of note, Mendizabal used some interesting language in regards to the people he wrote of, using the phrase “active and superior intelligence.” He also saw the change in Nahuan astrology from abstract to calculation as an evolution. These two examples give this article context in regards to the history of anthropology. It was not until around this time period that indigenous peoples were not thought of as “savages.” Also, it appears to me that Mendizabal would not have been American trained as his concept of evolution appears to have been Tylor inspired.

Mendizabal noted that the Nahuan calendar revolved around the number thirteen. The Nahuan calendar was created with twenty symbols which repeated thirteen times to make a two hundred and sixty day calendar. He also remarked that the use of these twenty symbols has been associated with twenty constellations used in the Nahuan zodiac. However, he stated that this had not been backed by any real proof. At the time some had also stated that the significance of the number thirteen was a result of observing the moon. This hypothesis was based on the idea that Nahuan peoples perceived the movements of the moon broken down into two thirteen day cycles, Mendizabal rejected this hypothesis. Mendizabal at great length explored various hypotheses pertaining to the significance of thirteen in this calendar. The one that satisfied him was the hypothesis that the number thirteen represented thirteen Venus years. He supported this hypothesis because of the Nahuan observation of the planet Venus. The Toltec’s had a preference for this planet as it represented their “favorite deity.”

CLARITY: 2
CHRIS SHEFFIELD University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington)

Moore, Riley D. Social Life of the Eskimo of St. Lawrence Island. American Anthropologist July-September, 1923 Vol. 35 (1): 339-375.

In this article, Riley D. Moore provides a concise, thorough, and readable account of the people of St. Lawrence Island. The piece begins with a geographical description of the island, mentioning its area, topography, and its extreme, at times harsh, climate. The mild “woman-winters” and severe “man-winters” play a great role in the cultural factors of food and clothing, among other things.

Moore divides the article into a number of headings: former subdivisions and government, clothing, dwellings, food, occupations, general habits, sports and amusements, marriage, mortuary customs, and mental and moral characteristics. Throughout the article, Moore cites the changing conditions within the culture. In the first section, he mentions the shift of the political organization from leadership by tribal lines to rule by “a loose confederation of small autonomous groups or patriarchally governed families” (340-341). These current groups are comprised of at least two male relatives and their families, all of whom are in cohabitation. Community government matters are greatly influenced by “the old men, ‘strong men,’ sorcerers, and boat captains” (341), though their actual level of authority is not as strong.

The clothing of the people of St. Lawrence Island consists primarily of coats and pants fashioned from the skins and furs of animals such as seals, walruses, and local birds. Fabrics such as muslin and calico have been increasingly acquired and used as the result of interaction with traders. This relationship has also introduced such foods as fruit, dairy products, grains, and sweets, which now serve as supplements or luxuries to the cultural staples of meat, bird, plants and roots. Snow, ice water, and tea are the beverages consumed, tea being the most popular.

The high cultural dependence on animals is further seen in the island dwellings, which are constructed using the skins, bones, and even skulls of the creatures of the land. These one-room residences are devoid of privacy. Even the process of defecation is not a private matter. Garbage is thrown in the holes where former igloos (residences) stood. Moore remarks upon the odor this and non-Western food storage methods cause. These people are often thought to be filthy, but Moore states that the situation is unavoidable given the circumstances.

In conclusion, Moore states that the people of St. Lawrence Island are quite favorable, likable, and that, while they do have their weaknesses, they have many virtues as well.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
AMANDA DALY Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Parsons, Elsie Clews. Notes on San Felipe and Santo Domingo. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25 (4): 485-494.

Parsons’ goal in this article is to classify the difference which distinguish the people of San Felipe and Santo Domingo. Parsons’ descriptions of San Felipe and Santo Domingo include a chart of the clan names, and a list of the largest clans in each area. She then vaguely discusses religion, religious areas (such as the round house), and the dances which are done during different parts of the year. In both San Felipe and Santo Domingo, there is a dance performed for both the summer and winter solstices. The people of San Felipe use masks in their dances and ceremonies more often than the people of Santo Domingo, who rarely use masks. For each population, Parsons provides a short description of government and marriage

Parsons does not specify when she did her fieldwork in San Felipe or Santo Domingo. She did mention that it was difficult to get informants. Her two most reliable informants were considered progressives, so they were already under suspicion according to Parsons. She had to catch other people off guard in order to get them to speak to her. The difficulty in getting people to talk may have contributed to the information in this article being sparse and poorly explained.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
KATHERINE GILL Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Parson, Elsie Clews. Notes on San Felipe and Santo Domingo. American Anthropologist Oct.-Dec., 1923 Vol.25(4):485-494

This descriptive article is a catalogue of cultural traits of the Pueblo inhabitants of the villages of San Felipe and Santo Domingo in the American Southwest. No statement is given of the objective of this catalogue. This may be due to the author’s connection to Franz Boas (485), whose approach to salvage ethnography of vanishing cultures emphasized inductive gathering of pure data.

The ‘notes’, obtained largely through interviews with informants, are comprised of data on kinship patterns, social status, ceremonial and religious customs, material culture, government, hunting practices, and childbearing, marriage, and burial customs. This data is organized under topic headings such as ‘Clan Elders’, ‘Government’, and ‘Ceremonial Terms’. An example is:

Clan Elders

“There is a term for clan elder or head, na’waiya (Laguna, nawai’). The Ant clan head would be si hanoch na’waiya or si na’waiya. Clan disputes would be referred to the na’waiya. I was unable to ascertain what ritualistic functions, if any, were performed by the na’waiya.”

The article must be read carefully because of the large number of vernacular terms used. The meaning of some of the terms must be deduced by the context in which they are used.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
TIFFANY GALLAHER University of British Columbia, (John Barker)

Parsons, Elsie Clews. Notes on San Felipe and Santo Domingo. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25(4): 485-494.

The article “Notes on San Felipe and Santo Domingo,” addressed the ways in which these two named societies classified their clans and explained the workings of their societies. Elsie Parsons discovered, through chance interviews in San Felipe, that this group had twelve matrilineal clans. In Parsons’s few interviews in Santo Domingo, it was determined that this society had only six matrilineal clans. Through both sets of interviews, Parsons heard about the governments, special dances, and marriages. In each society, Parsons was provided with each clan’s name. Also mentioned in the San Felipe interview, Parsons’s heard of ceremonial terms, while in Santo Domingo the interviewer mentioned how this group buried their loved ones.

According to Parsons’s informants in San Felipe, a newly married couple will either live with the bride’s parents or her parents will provide the couple with a house. Parsons noted in Santo Domingo, the bride usually goes to live in her husband’s home. In both San Felipe and Santo Domingo, a special ceremonial dance happens after Christmas. The after Christmas dance in San Felipe is called chakwena and is performed with masked dancers. In Santo Domingo their dance, we’latsukya or Ko’manchi, was not performed with masks.

Parsons’s article lacked detail about the clans of San Felipe and Santo Domingo. One reason is that her observations and interviews in Santo Domingo lasted only hours and the stay in San Felipe was short. The brief visit in each place was not the only reason for the lack of detail. Another reason was the limited number of informants that Parsons could get to comment on each society and their reluctance to speak with the interviewer.

CLARITY: 3
HILARY POLSON University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Parsons, Elsie Clews. The Hopi Wöwöchim Ceremony in 1920. American Anthropologists 1923 Vol. 25:156-187.

Elsie Clews Parsons writes a descriptive piece on a 1920 ceremony performedby the Hopi. Her account of the 8-day ceremony is very detailed in itsdesccription of dress, body adornment, movement, and the behavior of theparticipants. She also discusses the direction of movement. She carefullyrecords the details as to length of time the ceremony took to perform, andthe purpose and reason for the ceremony, according to her informants. Hergender limited her involvement and participation in some events. However,she mentions that her account of the ritual should also be examined alongwith those of Mr. A. M. Stephen and Dr. Feweks who have also written onvarious aspects of the ceremony. She often cites them throughout heraccount. The wöwöchim ceremony initiates boys into one of four societies.This marks their entry into adulthood. Parson’s suggests that there is afemale equivalent to the ceremony, but does not go into detail about it.Parson’s relies heavily on her informants, who instructed her on the properand taboo behaviors surrounding the ceremony, and depends on their adviceto guide her.

Parsons compares the ceremony she witnessed with past ones in 1892 and1898. Using information from Stephen and Feweks she makes note of theevolution of the ritual over time, how some aspects are modified, cease toappear, or even skip a few of the ceremonies witnessed. She emphasizes thatshe is not drawing conclusions because she feels that she lacks theevidence to support them. In her concluding discussion, Parsons drawsparallels to the Zuni and their traditions surrounding coming of age rites.She suggests that a more extensive study needs to be done on the lines ofwar organization. She points out that many of the symbols used in thewöwöchim ritual are also used as auspicious artifacts in wartime. She usesher own study, along with others to draw parallels about the two and thensuggests room for further research.

CLARITY RATING: 3
MAURA MAE DEEDY Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Parsons, Elsie Clews. The Hopi Wowochim Ceremony in 1920. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol.25 (2):156-187.

The Wowochim ceremony initiates young Hopi boys into ceremonial life of the community. This article describes the ceremony as the author observed it in 1920. She begins with a description of the ceremonies at Walpi from November 18th to 28th, followed by a shorter account of a performance at Mishongnovi on November 25th. She then makes comparisons between her observations and those of Dr. Fewkes and Mr. A.M. Stephen who witnessed the ceremony in 1892, 1893 and 1898. She concludes with a discussion of the similarities and dissimilarities between the Hopi ceremony and the ceremonies practiced by other First Nations groups in the southwest, particularly the Zuni. Parsons is particularly interested in the way the ceremony has changed over the last 30 years, and unlike Fewkes and Stephen, her article provides analysis and interpretation of the ceremony.

Parsons could not gain entry into the kiva rituals that comprise a good portion of the ceremony. She attributes this to the fact that she is a woman and that the Hopi are “much more exclusive” than they were in the past. Parsons notes at the beginning of her discussion that the value of her article “lies in the fact that the observations, limited as they are, are made over two decades later [than the more complete accounts of Fewkes and Stephens] and contribute therefore to the historical record” (158).

She begins her description with the “narrative of the smoke talk” and the “calling out”, two rituals that precede every ceremony. For the four days after these rituals no ceremonial activity occurred. Then on November 23rd a ceremony to “bring out the fire” was performed. Dances took place before sunrise on the 24th and 25th during which the women throw water on the male dancers, the dancers representing crops and the women, clouds. On the 26th prayer-sticks were made by the Singers, Horn and Agave societies and dancing occurred throughout the day. In the evening there was feasting in the kivas. On the 27th there was an all night ceremonial and visits to Sun spring, the Earth Woman shrine and the Masowo shrine. On the final day of the ceremony, the 28th, there was a rabbit hunt. Parsons is careful to record any superstitions associated with the ceremonies. For instance, she was told not to walk in front of the dancers or her mouth would go crooked.

Parsons is very frank about her observations and, although she includes a phenomenal amount of detail in her article, it reads more like a diary than a standard scientific account. In comparison to other anthropologists at this time, Parsons is extremely self-reflexive about the fieldwork process. She is careful to note when her observations may be deficient due to the fact that she was not permitted to participate fully in the ceremony. Her observations are rich in detail and interesting to read.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CAROLYN SAUNDERS University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Roys, Ralph L. The Ritual of the Chiefs of Yucatan. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25(4): 472-484.

In this article Ralph L. Roys presents a literal translation of an excerpt from a collection of ancient Mayan texts called, “Chilam Balam of Chumayel.” The Chumayel is a Native American book originally written in the Mayan language. The book was written during the time period when the people of the Yucatan had not completely forgotten the days before the Spanish conquest. These manuscripts are very important in the study of the history and ethnology of the Maya.

The authors of this book were able to read the old hieroglyphic manuscripts and conclude that the Chumayel was actually made up of much older writings. Roys points out that the Maya in the northern Yucatan had knowledge of hieroglyphic writing up until the end of the seventeenth century.

At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Yucatan was divided into many independent states. However, there was still a large portion of the country that was under central government control located at Mayapan. It is at this main city where the Chumayel ritual occurs. The ritual is held at the beginning of each katun, which is a set period of twenty years. However, over the years, the Mayan prophecies have stated that the ritual has changed because there are thirteen different rituals for corresponding to each the thirteen katuns. The head-chief of Mayapan continually has successors, making accurate knowledge of each ritual quite difficult to obtain.

This article would interest individuals who are fascinated by Mayan rituals, prophecies and ideas about lineage. At the end of his article, Roys states that since the book of “Chilam Balam of Chumayel” is generally available to the public, he did not see a reason to publish the entire Mayan text in this article. For further knowledge on this topic, one should consider viewing the fully translated version of the Chumayel.

CLARITY RANKING: 1
LINDSAY HUMPHRIES Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Roys, Ralph L. The Ritual of the Chiefs of Yucatan. American Anthropologist Oct.- Dec., 1923 Vol.25(4):472-483.

The author’s objective is to provide an English translation to Mayanists, of the ritual of the chiefs of Yucatan, which at the time of the Spanish Conquest was performed every twenty years, at a festival dedicated to their god, Kukulcan. The ritual is described in the “Chilam Balam of Chumayel”, an eighteenth century compilation of older Maya writings, written in hieroglyphs. Roys states that the material in the Chumayel is important for the study of Mayan history and ethnology, as those who compiled it evidently had knowledge of both Maya hieroglyphic writing and Maya traditions as they existed in the days before the Conquest.

The English transcription of the Chiefs’ Ritual, which takes up much of the article, is prefaced by a description of the probable geographical origin of the chiefs of Yucatan and their place in the Mayan social structure. An explanation is given of the function of the ceremony, as a series of tests of the knowledge of the chiefs of the towns. The tests, which to be carried out successfully, required understanding of the meaning of a number of ritual metaphors, weeded out those who did not possess adequate knowledge from those who did, and were thus verifiably “of the lineage of rulers”. An example of one of these tests is as follows:

“This is the second ritual which will be sought of them. Then let them go and get the brains (moisture) of the sky, that the head-chief may see how much there is.

“It is my will to see it. Let me see it.” This is what shall be said to them. This is what the brains (moisture) of the sky are. It is copal gum (Roys 1923:476).”

This article draws on many historical textual sources besides the Chumayel for its information, which is communicated in a clear, engaging manner.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
TIFFANY GALLAHER University of British Columbia, (John Barker)

Roys, Ralph L. The Ritual of the Chiefs of Yucatan. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25(4): 472-484.

The author of this article understands the importance of interpretation of ancient records so that we can become better informed about the cultural practices of past societies. As Mr. Roys mentions, there is very little known about the political institutions of the natives of Yucatan. The “Chilam Balam of Chumayel”, an 18th century native American book, contains important information regarding the history and ethnology of the Mayan culture around the time of the Spanish conquest. By utilizing the information in this Mayan text, which was translated from hieroglyphic writings, the author is able to reconstruct the social state which existed during this early time in the Yucatan. Interpretation of the Mayan text provides information regarding the religion, tradition, and hierarchy of social standing among the various tribes that occupied the land. Mr. Roys provides an excerpt from the Mayan text as an example, which specifically deals with the rituals performed by chiefs to maintain their position in the political system.

As determined by the translation, these rituals were performed in an effort to verify the “lineage of rulers”. This is one indication that there was an obvious distinction between social classes among the members of the tribes and their rulers. The article points out that during the time of the Spanish conquest, the laboring class of people within the tribe did not generally participate in government affairs. These affairs, described also as the religion and tradition of the tribe, remained the task of the rulers, or chiefs.

The chiefs that were currently holding political positions were subjected to an extensive examination for the purpose of eliminating the less-knowledgeable among them. The rituals, or examinations, were held at the beginning of each katun, in the city of Mayapan. According to the text, a katun is a period of twenty years, with an indication of thirteen total katuns. During this time, thirteen rituals were performed, each one differing from the previous ritual. The chiefs who successfully performed the rituals retained their lordship, securing their social standing within the tribe.

Although the excerpt provides an insight into the cultural rituals of the Mayan society, it is necessary to read the published text of the “Chilam Balam of Chumayel” in order to have a deeper understanding of these traditions, their origin, and their impact on the society.

CLARITY: 2
JENNIFER PIPPIN University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Sapir, Edward. A Note on Sacree Pottery. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25 (4): 247-253.

In this brief article Edward Sapir comments on the possibility of pottery existing in the Sacree tribe of Alberta, Canada. He suggests that despite the lack of examples of aboriginal American pottery and lack of discussion among various other scholars, it seems likely that pottery was utilized as long ago as hundred or more years. Drawing on the accounts of two Sacree Indians, Sapir indicates that both informants acknowledge that pottery was used previously for such things as trays, cylindrical water pots with handles, and children’s toys in the shape of animal figurines. However, the technique used is now forgotten. It is posited that with the adaptation to the horse, sturdier vessel were required, thus the pottery was replaced with bark and wood carved containers for their structural integrity.

Sapir compares the material used in Sacree pottery to the material used in Alaskan forms of pottery from examples made by one of the informant’s wives. He finds the use of additional materials added to the clay in order to reinforce the pots, common to both cultures. From this he questions whether the Sacree form of pottery may in fact be the survival of a northern type, of which present Athabaskan tribes in area know nothing. Finally, he offers a linguistic analysis of the many words for various vessels and containers that are not material specific. Sapir is suggesting that the modern meanings might actually have been derived from the original specific term for ‘clay pot,’ although he admits this is a potentially weak argument.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
DANA YOUNKIN Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner).

Sapir, Edward. “A Note on Sarcee Pottery.” American Anthropologist 1923 N.S., Vol. 25:247-254

This article presents a brief but relatively detailed discussion of the pottery made by aboriginal people throughout North America, where it was found to exist in the Western Great Lakes area and the Mississippi Valley. Traces of pottery use were also found among the Blackfeet and the Sarcee in more Northern regions. The author argues that various tribes applied various methods of crafting the pottery, narrowing in on the differences that were maintained, as well as those that diffused across cultures. In discussing the possibility of cultural diffusion, the author draws on the research of Clark Wissler who had conducted extensive studies of First Nations people. He also compares his data to other research findings, from as far a field as certain Southern regions of the Arctic culture area. Some speculation is made as to which culture regions had adopted practices from other neighboring people, but this article seems to be more of a generalized discussion of the data that had been collected. Among the cultural practices discussed are those of the Sarcee First Nations in Alberta, but because the traditional practice of pottery crafting is now obsolete, this information regarding the actual construction methods is not extensive. Most of it is taken from the accounts of a very few Sarcee who recall from memory a time before colonial influence replaced ceramic crafts with those made of iron. The author makes the speculation that “It is not likely that even the oldest living Sarcee has ever seen a native vessel of clay.” (249)

Although the article is not long or detailed, it provides a valuable record of the historical practices of pottery construction, its use within different cultures, and the subsequent diffusion of this that may have occurred between indigenous societies. It is somewhat unclear as to why this article is entitled “A Note on Sarcee Pottery,” as the author seems to make comparisons between pottery found in a variety of culture areas. Interesting in and of itself is the fact that this article was written by Edward Sapir (1848-1939) who was a well known student of Franz Boas. Sapir was a gifted linguist who primarily focused on studying language and cognition. But it accords well with the influence of Boasian methodology that he was also gathering and speculating on other types of data, and using what appears to be emic, culturally specific accounts of pottery use given by First Nations people themselves.

CLARITY RATING: 3
BRONWEN SWEENEY: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Speck, F.G. Algonquian Influence Upon Iroquois Social Organization. American Anthropologist April-June, 1923 Vol. 25 (2): 219-227.

In this article, Speck shows that the Iroquois people are characterized by a matrilineal grouping, whereas Algonquin people are grouped in a patrilineal system. The matrilineal society is associated with agricultural purposes whereas the patrilineal society is associated with hunting and gathering practices.

Speck notes that there have been crossovers within an Iroquoian group. This group, residing at Oka, should be a matrilineal group with a tendency toward agricultural practices. However, “Until some thirty years ago the Oka people were extensively engaged in hunting, at the same time practicing the usual Iroquoian industry of agriculture…” (221). This may be explained by the close geographic location of their Algonquin neighbors. Intermingling of these tribes may have caused a blending of these matrilineal and patrilineal societies.

Upon further investigation it is found that the Iroquois “shared the hunting grounds of the Algonquin with whom they were domiciled under the authorities of the mission” (221). This region in Ottawa, between the Black, Mattawin, and Rouge Rivers, was very plentiful with game. Although land was used for both hunting and agricultural purposes, land boundaries were often questionable and were usually only separated by blazes cut upon trees, which made definitive land ownership close to impossible. It is here that the Algonquin influence upon the Iroquois becomes evident.

The Oka Iroquois “are the only Iroquois so far reported who show the Algonquin economic structure” (224). This is shown in the Iroquois tribes through practices of hunting and patrilineal inheritance of land.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
TANYA SZAFRANSKI Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Speck, F.G. “Algonkian Influence Upon Iroquois Social Organization.” American Anthropologist 1923 N.S.,Vol. 25:219-227

This article argues that many of the Algonkian methods of kin organization, land ownership, and hunting/gathering practices were adopted by their Northern neighbors, the Oka Iroquois. The Iroquois originally were a people engaged in horticultural subsistence, with a kinship system of inheritance and social organization that was passed through the matrilineal line. In this particular area however, (present day Ontario), the Oka Iroquois were found to have many aspects of their culture that differed from this commonality, resembling instead those of the Algonkian people. The author posits that the most notable resemblances appeared in their practices of individual land ownership, and hunting territory passed in this case through the patrilineal line. The Oka people were also seen to have practiced common hunting and trapping methods and rituals. He says, “In view of the Patrilineal decent of land privileges among the Oka people, we must consider possible Algonkian influence” (224).

The author supports this thesis using facts that are grounded with persuasive examples, defending his view in light of various other speculations regarding this phenomenon. One other theory, for example, suggests that these traits simply reflected a Northern Algonkian migration. This would attribute their appearance to “an older hunting period before the rise of agriculture” (227). The author discredits this assumption by explaining that the Oka Iroquois were already residing in the most Northern regions, yet still displaying cultural traits more commonly found among hunting/gathering societies. The author thus concludes that the establishment of typically Algonkian cultural practices can best be explained by assuming that they were the effects of cultural diffusion.

CLARITY RATING: 4
BRONWEN SWEENEY: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Speck, Frank G. Mistassini Hunting Territories In The Labrador Peninsula. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25 (4): 452-471.

In this article, Frank G. Speck outlines the territories of the Mistassini Tribe of the Labrador Peninsula on James Bay. He points out that one cannot call these people Cree because it is artificial and signifies an affiliation with the Cree that does not exist. He indicates that it is difficult to determine where the exact boundaries are for their territory because many different tribes use the same land. The Mistassini allow other tribes to use the various territories in question because at different points in the year, food abundance shifts. He also tries to draw parallels between the Mistassini and the other tribes which occupy the same region.

Speck discusses the number of people living in the Mistassini tribe with whom he comes into contact. He makes it very clear that it would take centuries of studying many generations to grasp a complete knowledge of these people’s migration habits. This would give a more accurate estimation of the size of the population. He says it is very difficult to fully understand the Mistassini from his short encounter with them because the mortality rate is very high, thus, the size of the tribe is constantly changing.

The author discusses the appearance and the lifestyle of the Mistassini as being very healthy. He describes the items which they make with great skill such as toboggans, snowshoes, canoes, beadwork and ribbon appliqué embroidery, birch bark baskets, and leatherwork. He compares these items with neighboring tribes such as the Montagnais. The religious practices of the Mistassini are considered a private matter, however, the author does note that their religion is directly related to animals. Different animals are sacred to various clans that are distinguishable in part by the area in which their family name originates. Mistassini territories have never been mapped and Speck lacks the cartographical skills to do so. As the article makes clear, the territories are difficult to map because the boundaries can change with each ensuing generation.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
KATHERINE GILL Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Speck, Frank G. Mistassini Hunting Territories in the Labrador Peninsula. American Anthropologist Oct.-Dec., 1923 Vol.25(4):452-471.

This descriptive article is an ethnographic overview of the territorial divisions of a band of northern Algonkian natives, living in the area of Lake Mistassini, on the Labrador peninsula. The author states that the group has not yet been studied by an ethnologist and that accurate surveys of their territorial divisions are necessary before research can be done on patterns of inheritance and other social institutions.

The documentation of Mistassini hunting territories in this article includes their geographical boundaries, their names in Algonkian and English translation, and their owners’ names in both Algonkian and English. Other details are also given, such as family ties between owners of different territories and clues to the geographical origin of certain families based on an English translation of their names. The above information is documented on a map, a chart, and an extensive list. An example of this documentation as it appears on the chart for a territory marked number 3 on the map is: Native name: At’tce’m; Translation: Little Dog; English Name: John Stout; Name of District: kaketce’ pectsiwa’n; Meaning: rush lake.

The remainder of the article is devoted to a brief description of Mistassini material culture, migration patterns, territorial marking, customs of inheritance and trespass, and connections between hunting practices and spiritual beliefs.

The author communicates the information clearly. In order to understand the information that is given about Mistassini territorial divisions, it is necessary to correlate the numbered territories depicted on the map with the corresponding information on the chart and list.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
TIFFANY GALLAHER University of British Columbia, (John Barker)

Speck, Frank G. Mistassini Hunting Territories in the Labrador Peninsula. American Anthropologist, 1923 Vol.25: 452-471.

In the article Mistassini Hunting Territories in the Labrador Peninsula, by Frank G. Speck, he describes the division of land among the Mistassini for hunting purposes and gives a perspective on their cultural individualism, as well as delving into their patrilineal land inheritance practices. Speck performed his social-economic survey over an eight-year period, 1915 to 1923; it is apparent from his detailed analysis that he held a keen interest for the Mistassini people and their simple yet efficient way of life.

The author’s initial opinion, that the hunting territories and their division amongst the Mistassini was a recent occurrence that must have coincided with the establishment of the Hudson Bay Company, was later proved wrong. Speck was able to observe and interpret the present territorial hunting boundaries among the many Mistassini people as an aboriginal ideal intrinsic to the Mistassini. Hunting territories of the Mistassini were very large, and they were inherited through patrilineal lines. When a couple married the husband moved into the home of his father-in-law and eventually the son-in-law inherited the land of his wife’s father. Family names were used to identify the hunting territory. A spell cast by the village Shaman was believed to punished trespassers.

Speck credits the Mistassini for creating the most sought after toboggans, snowshoes, and canoes among the tribes that he had encountered. Re-enforcement of his opinion can be observed in the fact that many of the surrounding tribes often traded with the Mistassini for the goods they made. Two members of the Mistassini tribe were of particular importance, Joseph Kurtness and his father, to Speck because they enabled him to communicate with their people, while also giving a firsthand account of their customs and beliefs. The Mistassini used the things found in their natural environment to further the comforts in their lives. The Mistassini carried their naturalistic attitude into their belief system of hunting.

The Mistassini, like most all Native American tribes, believe in the re-incarnation of our spirit when we die. Speck observed that the only means of religion displayed by the Mistassini was the careful way in which the spirit of hunt animals were revered and the special care that was shown in the handling of a carcass. He goes on to elaborate that the Mistassini communed with the spirits of the forest animals through dream visions. Shamanism was prevalent in the Mistassini culture. The spiritual nature of the Mistassini can clearly be interpreted from their hunting practices and their respect for the forest animals. This is a very concise article that was easy to read and offered an interesting perspective into the lives of the Mistassini people.

CLARITY: 5
KIMBERLEY A. PIERRE University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Stirling, M.W. Indonesia and the Middle American Calendar. American Anthropologist April-June, 1923 Vol. 25 (2): 228-246.

M.W. Stirling’s article questions the methodology and results of a previous article written by Fritz Rock entitled “Kalendar, Sternglaube und Weltbilder der Tolteken als Zeugen verschollener Kultur-veziehungen zur Alten Welt.” The article concerns the cultural traits of the Toltecs of Middle America. Rock hypothesized that various forms of the Middle American calendar were transmitted to the Toltecs from Southeastern Asia. Stirling believes that Rock molded his results to support his predetermined thesis. Both authors are concerned with connecting cultural traits of Native Americans to a previous culture in the Old World.

Stirling asserts that there are two methods, or theories, of cultural development. The first theory states that since humans all over the world are the same physiologically, they will respond and react in similar ways when exposed to similar stimuli. This could account for similar developments in cultures that have never had direct contact. The second theory of cultural similarity states that at one point in time cultures must have drawn from a common source. Stirling believes that while Rock’s article uses credible evidence, it does not take the first theory into consideration.

Stirling attacks Rock’s belief that the Middle American calendar is a descendent of an earlier one developed in Asia. Utilizing the first theory, Stirling suggests that Rock has not only molded evidence to his liking by collecting data that would only support his predetermined hypothesis, he has also ignored the obvious possibility that threefold calendars evolved separately all over the world because the sun, the moon, and Venus are the three most visible and stationary objects in the sky. Stirling also accuses Rock of using only mathematical detail and ignoring basic ethnological principals that could also pertain to his thesis. According to Stirling, Rock has ignored basic anthropological methods that could have rendered his thesis incorrect or incomplete.

The method Stirling uses to criticize Rock’s argument is well organized and thoroughly researched. However, the article seems less concerned with convincing the reader of the logic behind cultural attributes than it does with merely proving that Rock has not clearly researched the subject. A reader unclear about the subject of calendar systems would have no clearer understanding after having read this article, but would understand Stirling’s opinion regarding the discrepancies of his colleague’s argument.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
AMY NELL Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Stirling, M.W. “Indonesia and the Middle American Calendar.” American Anthropologist 1923 N.S., Vol.25: 228-246.

This article finds fault with a theory that was presented by Fritz Rock, wherein Rock derives cultural connections between historical Asian and American societies by comparing the functions of their calendar systems. Rock has focused in particular on the similar use of the Venus Calendar, which he describes as “a threefold calendar system comprising time cycles based upon observations of the sun, the moon, and the planet Venus” (230). The author argues that Rock’s analysis is flawed because it has oversimplified the vast and complex cultures being compared. Although the author agrees that similar systems were used cross-culturally, he denotes the widespread simplification of attributing all the differing calendar systems to one basic origin. He also finds fault with Rock’s analysis of how the calendar systems were traditionally charted. He supports this accusation with his own specified calculations of the various systems, (also focusing on the Venus system). The author is trying to prove why Rock should not assume that commonalities between the systems necessarily imply that evolutional diffusion occurred from one specific area.

The author backs up his argument with substantial scientific data; indeed, without prior knowledge of various time recording systems, I found it difficult to closely follow the author’s argument in this section of the article. The vernacular becomes very data specific. For example, when making calculations based on the Venus system, he compares “the length of the tonalamatle, (260 [days]), with the length of the sidereal revolution of Venus (225) [sic] with half the synodical revolution (292 [days])” (239). However, I would suggest that this close examination of such systems would be very interesting to those studying the more empirical methods of researching calendar calculations in historical societies.

The article provides an interesting example of the theoretical issues that were contemporary at that time, when many diffusionists speculated that all human evolution could trace its origin to one or to a specified few culture areas. The author discusses this briefly, relating it to the article be reiterating that such explanations are oversimplified generalizations that cannot be applied to all global areas, particularly those areas with many differing cultures.

CLARITY RATING: 3
BRONWEN SWEENEY: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Von Merhart, Gero. The Paleolithic Period in Siberia: Contributions to the Prehistory of the Yenisei Region. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol. 25 (1): 21-55.

Von Merhart’s article discusses prehistoric artifacts found on eleven field sites in Siberia. The artifacts or “cultural remains,” are remnants of a prehistoric culture of Paleolithic hunters who lived on the banks of the Yenisei River. The collection of artifacts gives modern scientists a glimpse of these ancient tools and weapons.

This article describes the geology and stratigraphic sequence of each site with great detail. Hand-sketched maps of several of the regions are provided. The fauna of the area are described complete with a list of the animals most likely to have lived during the palaeolithic period in the Yenisei valley. The artifact findings include points, scrapers, scratchers, blades, cleavers, and handles of other weapons. The artifacts are accompanied by sketches and photographs, which are analyzed individually. The author describes the shape, size, function, and material out of which each was made.

Previous studies of artifacts found in this region have dated them to the late Paleolithic time. However, Von Merhart concludes that all of the artifacts in question are from the same cultural level and belong to the early Paleolithic time frame. Von Merhart’s research of Paleolithic objects enhances our knowledge of the Paleolithic period in the Yenisei region.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
JESSIE HUBBARD Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Von Merhart, Gero. The Palaeolithic Period in Siberia: Contributions to the Prehistory of the Yenisei Region. American Anthropologist January-March, 1923 Vol.25 (1): 21-55.

In this article Von Merhart’s attempts to determine whether palaeolothic remains from different sites around the Yenisei region of Siberia represent a single cultural horizon and, if so, to discover where they belong in the palaeolithic sequence. With the exception of one site, all of the sites lie within the municipality of Krasnoyarsk. The majority of the sites are located near or around Afontova Mountain next to the Yenisei River. Von Merhart begins his analysis by reviewing the contributions of I.T Savenkov, the Russian archeologist who discovered the Afontova sites, and Frenchman Baron De Baye, who also did archeological work in the region. Both men felt that the Afontova site should be attributed to the Magdalenian epoch of the late palaeolithic although in general references it is usually credited to the early palaeolithic.

The author uses data from these older excavations as well as from his own excavations, done in the summer of 1920, to discuss several interrelated problems associated with the palaeolithic period in the region. These problems are 1) pinpointing the location of the cultural materials in the geologic deposits; 2) determining the stratigraphic sequences of the sites and figuring out geological succession processes that may have altered these sequences; and 3) figuring out what to do with cultural materials that do not fit into the proposed palaeolithic period. He discusses these problems in relation to each site while detailing the types of cultural materials located at the sites (mostly stone or bone tools, hearths, animal remains and occasionally the remains of a shelter).

Von Merhart found that the majority of the Palaeolithic implements from Yenisei were representative of the Mousterian period of Europe and extending into the Aurignacian. He is troubled, nonetheless, by a “residue” of implements that are not associated with either of these periods. These include small duckbills, narrow blades, delicate nuclei, and nuclear-shaped scratchers. The author cautiously suggests that these items could indicate the Aurignacian, pointing out, however, that none of the items are diagnostic of the period. It would appear that the palaeolithic period in Siberia is distinct from anything in Europe. Von Merhart suggests that the palaeolithic remains in the Yenisei region be placed in the upper palaeolithic with a Siberian face. He stresses the need for more careful excavations in the region that could supplement our understanding of the palaeolithic period in Siberia

Although Von Merhart’s arguments are reasonable, they can be confusing and require the focused attention of the reader.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CAROLYN SAUNDERS University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Waterman, T.T. Some Conundrums in Northwest Coast Art. American Anthropologist October-December, 1923 Vol. 25 (4): 435-451.

In this article, Waterman discusses four points of interest regarding the art and house building practices of the Northwest Coast tribes in the United States and Canada. These include the artistic representation of the shark, the style of house-pits, totem poles, and the form of objects known as “Coppers.” He draws on specific and generalized examples of artwork, using sketches from Swanton, his own photographs, and first hand interviews with native informants to formulate and support his ideas.

In his discussion of the representation of the shark, Waterman draws on Boasian theory regarding the stylistic symbolism of native artists. Boas suggested that a systematic set of conventions is often used to convey each particular animal. The shark provides a distinct example of this practice because the general outline exhibited follows an anatomically correct form of the fin and tail placement. However the presence of eyes on the ventral surface is contrary to what we might visually understand.

Regarding the house-pit, Waterman in concerned with the discrepancy of style between the north and south region compared to the central area. He notes the north/south style exhibits a gabled form with a deep pit with a ladder or steps descending into it. In contrast, the central style is “roughly built” with a shallow pit and a ramp for entry. He suggests that this difference is the result of the diffusion of Salish people into the central region. Furthermore, he includes a discussion of the origins of the pit. He suggests that in light of the fact that no one today knows why it is used, it ostensibly came from an environmental necessity such as a rainy or cold climate.

Attempting to clear up the function of totem poles, specifically among the Tinglit people, Waterman suggests that they represent not family history, but tradition. As receptacles of human remains; the carvings relate to the particular events of a person’s life aside from the family crest.

Finally, he attempts to understand why the specific shape of objects known as “Coppers” is used. Like the name suggests, these were sheets of copper. They were often figured as deities and were traded in potlatches within the region. From informants, Sapir finds that the form of the coppers were representation of the forehead of a wealth-bestowing mythological figure known as the Gonaqadet. However, he is unsure whether the form of the copper has taken on the shape of the Gonaqadet or the mythical figure taken on the shape of the coppers.

This article would be useful for anyone interested in artifacts of the Northwest coastal tribes. It offers a brief and accessible discussion on the aforementioned subjects.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
DANA YOUNKIN Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner).

Waterman, T.T. Some Conundrums in Northwest Coast Art. American Anthropologist, 1923 Vol.25: 435-451.

In this article, Waterman attempted to explore aspects of art and architecture prevalent in Northwest Coast Native American art. This exploration was in search for an explanation of why the art was done in such a manner, and what the historical reasons for these forms were. The figures examined by Waterman in this article were forms in which he observed in various tribes including the representation of the shark, pits in the center of houses, and totem poles.

Waterman’s first assessment, the representation of the shark in different tribes, began with his premise that Native Americans were “literal-minded.” With this view in mind, he commented on the various obvious physical features that distinguished this animal as a shark in various totems and other forms of art. However, since the shark was always represented from the ventral side, the placement of the dorsal fin and eyes were modified in order to help distinguish the animal. Waterman implies that these modifications make the art more functional to the Native Americans.

Waterman also examines pits in the center of houses. He examines different forms in different types of houses, but always the same basic idea. Since they did not seem to be of use in the present day, he hypothesized that they were suggestive of a use in the past, most likely a place to live in cold climates.

Totem poles were the last art forms to be examined by Waterman in this article. He emphasized their importance as a representation of mythology and history of a family or individual. They were also compared to gravestones in this way, and because he examined cremated remains being placed into them on various occasions.

All Waterman’s evidence for his theories were backed up by information from informants and observations. He also looked at history and compared the similarities and differences among tribes. All of his information helps to reinforce his idea so it seems he is basically telling the reader that he is correct.

CLARITY: 4
KELLY GILLIN University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Wilder, Harris Hawthorne. Notes on the Indians of Southern Massachusetts. American Anthropologist April-June, 1923 Vol. 35 (1): 197-218.

This article discusses in detail the interment process of the Indians of Southern Massachusetts. Wilder also mentions the effect various environmental conditions such as insects, gravitation, and frost have on fossils. He defines fossils as being “not only the impressions of living and fresh organic material…but…the impressions of bodies in all the phases of decay, and in all the varied positions assumed by such decaying bodies” (197). He notes the importance of considering this factor when remains are examined. Wilder defines this work within a new field called necrodynamics or necrokinetics and notes that this type of study is not just limited to humans, but includes other organisms as well.

The objects of Wilder’s study were gathered in Western Massachusetts, including such towns as Greenfield, Deerfield, and North Hadley. The tribes include the Pocumtuck, Mohawk, and Nonotuck. The article provides photographs which show the reconstructions of the excavated bodies.

The second section of this article focuses on the skull of a relative (most likely a daughter) of the Niantic chief Ninigret, who died in 1660 and was buried in Charlestown, Rhode Island. The skull is presently located at Brown University. Wilder gives detailed background information about the clan. This article features sketches of the skull, which were later used in a reconstructive model of the girl pictured in the text. Precise measurements of the skull are given.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
AMANDA DALY Wheaton College, MA (Donna Kerner)

Wilder, H. H. “Notes on the Indians of Southern Massachusetts.” American Anthropologist 1923 Vol. 35 (1): 197-218.

This article provides archeological information on excavations undertaken in the Southern United States. It is divided into two separate sections; in the first half, the author provides a rigorous analysis of the burial practices of indigenous tribes in Southern Massachusetts. The studies are done on skeletal remains that the author unearthed in this area, during a study of internment methods done with Ralph Whipple. Careful speculation is given to the physical and environmental influences that could have affected the decomposition of the bodies after internment. The second half of the article is a discussion of a skull with a missing mandible, which is held today in the Arnold Hall, at Brown University. Undertaking the task of reconstructing a hypothetical physical depiction of this individual, the author traces her origin to the Ninigret First Nations people living in Rhode Island, dated back to approximately1660 when the Ninigret society occupied this region. This skull is of interest because it is lacking not only the mandible, but also many other parts of the skeleton, and this has generated a great deal of speculation as to its origin. The author’s hypothesis is that it once belonged to the daughter of the chief of the tribe, during the zenith of their civilization. He explores this possibility in detail.

This article provides some interesting information regarding the fieldwork methodology that was utilized around 1923 when these investigations were done. The author does not make an overtly evolutionist argument, but his work seem to have been based in the evolutionist school of thought. One of the prevalent theories at that time was the myth that by studying cultures that were seen as existing in ‘primary’ stages of development, the ‘civilized’ cultures could then learn about their own history that was seen to have ‘progressed’ along similar lines. This article thus exemplifies the rush to collect and preserve disappearing material and cultural data, which was thought to hold key information regarding Universal stages of development.

Clarity Rating: 3
BRONWEN SWEENEY University of British Columbia (John Barker)