American Anthropologist 1924

Benedict, Ruth Fulton A Brief Sketch of Serrano Culture American Anthropologist 1924 Vol. 26:366-392.

In A Brief Sketch of Serrano Culture, Ruth Benedict discusses the Serrano, a dialectic group of Southern Californian Shoshoneans living in Riverside and San Bernadino counties. She provides a map of the Serrano territory as well as topographical information regarding the region where they live around the Morongo Valley. Benedict focuses on the Serrano of Morongo Valley because she believes she cannot develop an accurate cultural account of the whole group given their westernization and secularization since 1834.

Benedict states that the history that is available about the Serrano is largely exoteric. There are not longer any priests or shamans to pass down tribal information. The shamans were crucial to the Serrano ceremonies. They acted as custodians of tribal rituals and customs. Benedict notes that Serrano cultural traditions are still perpetuated through certain ceremonies today, most notably the animal festival. Still, she believes that many of the traditional practices, as well as the meanings surrounding them, have been lost. She asserts much of the interpretation of Serrano ceremonial songs and religious practices that have come down to us today is essentially guesswork. The question Benedict raises is: Are the present interpretations of these practices “authentic” then?

Benedict suggests many Serrano traditions and practices have been lost as a result of cultural diversity among the Serrano themselves. She attributes Serrano differences in social and ceremonial organization as a possible reason there is rather divergent (and perhaps inaccurate) information on the Serrano. Benedict, in emphasizing the unique and structured lifestyles of the Serrano, focuses on marriage relations, joking relationships, superstitions, and ceremonies. She views the Serrano joking relationship as the clearest indicator that aspects of Serrano social life, from earlier times, have survived. The joking relationship divides families into joking and respect relatives which, in term, determines status relations among them. For Benedict, this seemingly unique way of assessing social worth – especially in relation to our own practices – is a reliable indicator that Serrano traditional practices remain alive and functioning today. Benedict also discusses the traditional life of Serrano women. She notes the “hot sand pit” was a traditional and sacred ceremony undergone by adolescent women. In addition, she comments on Serrano attitudes toward menstruation, birth, and death.

The death of several prominent Serrano has meant significant cultural losses of information for the Serrano as a whole. Still, despite the absence of such individuals, celebrations and ceremonies continue. Benedict suggests the true significance of these celebrations may never be recovered and that they continue, today, for mostly symbolic and customary purposes.

CLARITY RATING: 4
TRACY PABLO Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Benedict, Ruth Fulton. A Brief Sketch of Serrano Culture. American Anthropologist July-September, 1924. Vol. 26(3): 366-92.

This paper is a contribution to the reconstruction of Serrano culture, which was heavily disrupted in the early Nineteenth Century. The Serrano are a branch of the Shoshone. Benedict says her account is based on decades old documents obtained at the Morongo Indian Reserve. She does not mention interviewing any Serrano, but it is clear that this account is based in part on current observations. She does mention that some people still practice some of the customs she describes.

Benedict divides her findings into four categories: social organisation, ceremonial observances, shamanism, and material culture. Most of the paper is devoted to a description of ceremonials.

Benedict reports that the Serrano were divided into 19 local groups. Each had a chief and, in most cases, a ceremonial official. A local group belonged to one of four ceremonial units and each took turns playing host to the other members of its unit. Kin belonged to one of two categories, those with whom joking was expected, and those to whom respect was due.

Of the several ceremonies she describes, Benedict gives the most attention to a week long, annual festival. Other rites included the hot sand pit, when hot sand was raked women’s bodies, up to the head. Benedict describes housing, pottery, basketry, and other material culture. The dietary staple was finely ground mesquite, mixed with water. She notes also that the Serrano practiced sweat bathing and ceremonial face painting, and they smoked tobacco.

CLARITY: 4
D’ARCY POCKLINGTON: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Blom, Frans. Notes From the Maya Area American Anthopologist N.S, 26, 1924: 403-413

Frans Blom describes his journey to ancient Mayan sites in Southern Mexico. The article is an account of the stone tablets and monoliths Blom discovered. Blom focuses on specific artifacts including two stone tablets found in the settlement of Bachajon (inhabited by Indians of the Maya-Tzeltal tribe). Blom meticulously describes each of the tablets according to the characters that are shown even though many have become worn through the ravages of time. He provides the dimensions of each tablet offering as well suggested meanings for various symbols. The author infers that his findings possibly related to a similar tablet discovered in Xupa. However, Blom does not attribute great significance to the ruins at Xupa.

Blom further offers an explanation for where the tablets studied originated. He suggests the tablets were in temples made of a material that did not withstand the elements because there were no traces of mortar or buildings found with them. Blom cites the investigation of another site near the Encanto River (at another Indian settlement, Tortuguero). He compares his findings at this mound to that of General J.D. Ramirez, who published his study in Ethnos. Blom challenges Garridos’ assessment of the ruins, stating Garridos failed to mention the most important structure there, a monument with a stela inscription. Blom gives Garrido some credit, noting that Garrido was the first to report the ruins, but it is minimal. Blom is obviously unsatisfied with Garridos’ description of the artifacts, calling Garridos’ investigation “rough.” Blom, by contrast, thoroughly discusses the stela’s location, condition, and his effort to decipher the inscription. Blom expresses regret that he did not have enough film in his camera to take a pictorial record of the ruins. He offers the opinion that the stela involves some type of “tiger man” since it contains an animal symbol with a human head.

CLARITY RATING: 3
TRACY PABLO Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Blom, F. Notes from the Maya Area. 1924. American Anthropologist. Vol 26:403-413.

This article contains notes from Blom’s visits to the Tabasco and Chiapas provinces in Mexico between 1921 and 1923. During his explorations, he finds carved tablets, mounds of limestone, large monoliths and the remains of ancient human (Mayan) settlements. He describes the various findings with sufficient detail so as to give a visual overview of the area, but unfortunately does not interpret the material so as to enrich our actual understanding of the ancient Mayan cultures or artifacts found there.

Blom begins the article by describing two carved tablets found close to the Finca Encanto (on a branch of the upper Tulija River). On the larger tablet there are two distinctly Mayan characters: a standing priestly figure (wearing a serpent-bird head-dress) and a masked person walking towards the priest, carrying an ornamented ceremonial bar in his left hand, long stick in his right. The smaller tablet has a similar priestly figure, yet he standing alone and facing a large ornamental scroll. On both tablets the priestly figure has a cavity under his nose containing a resinous substance, which Blom states is most likely some kind of plug where a stone would be attached. The author does not explain the significance of these figures but does describe with some detail the sites at which the tablets were discovered. He states that the style of tablet resembles the low relief of Palenque, and the technique of a tablet found by Maler at Xupa (p.406).

The second important discovery Blom recounts is located at the small Indian settlement of Tortuguero. There, the author walks through dense forests to discover broken pottery, fragments of ornaments, and limestone mounds. At these visible remains an ancient, densely populated settlement, he finds another tablet and a large monolith (or stela), two hundred meters away: carved onto its sides are hieroglyphs. Translated by Dr. S.G. Morely, the carvings show the dates (9.10.13.0.0.) 1 Ahau 3 Kankin. Unfortunately, Blom does not know what these dates mean, and thus provides little context in which the reader can understand them. Blom does include his own hand-drawn representations of the carvings, but again with little explanation of style, form or meaning.

The title sums up the article accurately: it is simply a collection of notes from Blom’s trips to different Mayan ruins. It provides the readers with brief glimpses into the vast material and cultural worlds of the ancient Mayan peoples, yet leaves us helplessly lost in their ruins, alienated from a deeper understanding of the significance and value of the author’s discoveries.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHRISTINA ZAENKER University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Boas, Franz. The Social Organization of the Tribes of the North Pacific Coast. American Anthropologist 26:323-332.

The main question this article explores is how one might account for the variations in social organization among a group of neighboring tribes residing along the Alaska and British Colombia coastline.

“In the extreme north we find a purely matrilineal clan organization while in the extreme south we find village communities with bilateral decent in which, however, preference is given to paternal descent.” In the central regions, descent among males is matrilineal and among females “is obtained by the transfer of privileges from a man to his son-in-law.”

Kinship terms vary between these neighboring groups. But a relative constant among the groups is that “parallel cousins are considered as brothers and sisters, while cross-cousins belong to the groups into which one may marry, and are designated by a separate term.”

Another difference in social organization among these groups centers on exogamy vs. endogamy. For some groups, “the idea of exogamy is entirely foreign,” while to others “intermarriage between two member of the same clan is incestuous.” Concepts of village unity, too, varies from tribe to tribe. In some communities, “local units have certain privileges” in which “changes occur rarely, and then only by formal adoption.”

One prominent similarity among the different tribal groups is the practice of the potlatch. But the groups differ in their winter ceremonies – as indicate by the Bella Bella whose family ceremonials “have been transferred to the winter ceremonial.”

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ERICA HIDALGO Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Boas, Franz. The Social Organization of the Tribes of the North Pacific Coast. American Anthropologist, 1924 Vol.26: 323-332.

In this article, Boas describes social organization among several Native American groups of the North Pacific coast. The range of the groups stretches from Alaska southward to Vancouver. The most northern groups are of matrilineal descent and the most southern are of patrilineal descent. The groups in between base their social organization on culturally diffused elements of both. Toward the end of the article, Boas briefly discusses the economic structure of the Bella Bella and it’s connection with the lines of descent and its relevance to participation in potlatches among the groups.

To the north there is a great emphasis on a particular totem (wolf, bear, killer whale, eagle, and so on) that defines ancestral lineage. A person may receive religious privileges and affiliation to these totems by way of matrilineal descent. It is understood that, as in nature “an eagle can not mate with a wolf, a wolf must mate with a wolf”, thus the groups remain endogamous such that each member of the various parts of the group is said to be able to trace its lineage to the ancestor who became religiously attached to the totem.

The more centrally located groups; Kwakiutl and Bella Bella are both bilateral systems, however the Kwakiutl is more notably of patrilineal descent and the Bella Bella is more notably of matrilineal descent. These groups practice exogamy to gain new totemic privileges or endogamy to maintain privileges.

The groups to the south are organized patrilineally. The political system becomes less reliant on totems and recognizes the power of the chief.

Among these groups the potlatch reflects the order of the society. Within Bella Bella society the most affluent members of the group, the chiefs and individuals closest to the totem are able to participate in the most crucial roles in the potlatch ceremony. Each following members of society from nobles to orphans participates in their economic proportion in ceremonies.

CLARITY: 4
EMILY VAULTONBURG University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Boas, Franz. Evolution and Diffusion. American Anthropologist. 1924. Vol. 26:340-344.

Boas infers from his previous work on the distribution of clans and related social phenomena, that the diffusion of culture and social organization occurs between geographically extreme areas, and the intermediate regions show these transitional types.

This may be seen in comparing folklore and art styles of peripheral cultures to their central counterparts. This is taken as proof that all special cultural forms are the products of historical growth, and that unless considerations entirely foreign to the observed distribution are introduced, no proof can be given that one of the extreme forms is more ancient than the other.

Boas cites research done on Alaskan and Zuni tribal diffusion of myths noting mixed cultural types that are geographically or historically intermediate between two extremes give evidence of diffusion. The idea is then applied to clan organization and the reader is cautioned about the assumption that the simplest form of social organization is historically the oldest. An example of this can be found in analyzing matrilineal institutions. The fact that a matrilineal society may develop into a patrilineal or bilateral system, Boas argues, proves only that this type of society is instable, not that it is the oldest.

Also refuted are two assumptions: of a unique form of cultural beginnings and the uniformity of early patterns of social organization. In respect to the research areas analyzed here, Boas concludes that two fundamentally distinct forms of society came into contact, and through the mingling of the two forms – through diffusion – new types arose between them.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SELAH GEISSLER Hawaii Pacific University (Robert Borofsky)

Boas, Franz. Evolution or Diffusion? American Anthropologist, 1924 Vol.26: 340-344.

The obstacle Franz Boaz confronts in his article “Diffusion or Evolution” is the question of whether cultures evolve onto newer ones or are diffused into a new form, either by contact with others or introduced by individuals within the culture. Boaz uses material culture, art styles, and mythology of regional tribes as examples that cultures diffuse when they come into contact with one another. He also goes on to state that all cultural forms are a result of their history. As evidence of diffusion, he uses the research that he gathered of North Pacific Coast tribes and compared their folklore to that of Alaskan tribes. Boaz affirms that though both cultures maybe noticeably different, the transitional provinces that are found in between have mixed characteristics of both cultures. In another argument, Boaz declares how cultures can change from within by explaining the case of a single tribe on Vancouver Island. In this case, a single man who had been a slave in Alaska pioneered the origin of the Raven. Furthermore, Boaz attacks the idea that matrilineal clans must be older than patrilineal clans. He states that in both situations that if one moves away from the center, both systems begin to break down and a combination of both types is seen in the margin. Matrilineal clans are seen as a survival, in a sense, because some aspects of their society can still be found. The collapse of this society could be due to their weakness and instability but this in no way proves that matrilineal forms are older than patrilineal societies. It is wrong to assume that if all societies hold characteristics of a similar one, they must all be derived from that one, without taking into consideration the particular societies’ socio or economic background.

Boaz presents his arguments of diffusion by means of ethnographic research and portrays his evidence in a convincing way. Through his examples one can infer that cultures do diffuse more so than evolve. Franz also makes a persuasive comment by stating that through the study of cultures first patterns of development, one might find or surmise the diversity among those early patterns.

CLARITY: 5
TAYANA ALVES VIEIRA University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Flom, George Sun-Symbols of the Tom-Sculptures at Loughcrew, Ireland, Illustrated by Similar Figures in Scandanavian Rock-Tracing American Anthropologist April-June, 1924 Vol.26(2):139-159

In this article, the author compares similarities regarding sun-symbols dating from the Stone Age with those found at Loughcrew, Ireland. Flow contends that the Lougcrew symbols demonstate that the once believed notion of the sun representing two entities – light and darkness – is false. He argues instead that the sun represented many facets of life including, life, death and fertility.

In an attempt to prove his argument, Flom offers evidence drawn from Bronze Age rock tracings where the sun has a dual position, one as the god of fruitfulness, the other as a diety of death. Flom suggests that symbolic interpretations of the sun were shared by various groups in different regions across various periods of time. He offers, as an example, Scandanavian rock tracings which suggest sun worship was part of specific cults involving nature deities and anthropomorphic gods. Flom describes the sun symbols of Loughcrew as representing fruitfulness and life. Those found in Scotland and England contained the same symbols – cupped circles – as a sign of fertility in nature and human life. These same symbols represent Siva, the Hindu deity of fertility in India. It is Flom’s goal to show that the markings used by these diverse groups had (or have) a universal meaning.

Overall, Flom refutes the longstanding theories of earlier archaeologists that the figures and carvings on stones in ancient Irish cairns were merely ornamental. Flom strengthens his argument by citing the findings of other anthropologists who have studied these sculptures and carvings. He emphasizes that the carvings are more characteristic of symbolic as opposed to ornamental designs. Still, Flom concedes that more research is needed to find a satisfactory meaning for the stone engravings.

CLARITY RATING: 4
TRACY PABLO Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Flom, George T. Sun-Symbols of the Tomb-Sculptures at Loughcrew, Ireland, illustrated by similar figures in Scandinavian rock-tracings. America Anthropologist. April- June, 1924 Vol. 26(2): 139-159.

Flom compares figures carved on ancient cairns in Ireland to similar looking rock-tracings found in Scandinavia. Flom concludes that the ancient drawings found in Ireland are symbolic of the sun and suggest sun worship.

Flom disagrees with those who argue that the markings found in Ireland ” ‘simply represent the style of decoration of the period’”(139). Flom believes that these have symbolic meaning and compares the figures drawn to rock-tracings found in Scandinavia. The ancient rock-tracings found in Scandinavia, while different in their range of representations, have a number of similar features. Both in Scandinavia and in Ireland are there drawings of wheels of four spokes; wheels of eight spokes; wheels without spokes; spirals; flexed and open concentric rings; and cupped rings. The images in Scandinavia have been interpreted as variations of the sun and seen as evidence of sun-worshipping. Flom argues that the figures in Ireland, which share a number of similar features, could “hardly have had entirely different purposes”(142).

Flom argues that in Ireland, “as in the North, we have the sun-symbol in certain characteristic primitive forms and in a considerable variety of developed forms” (143). For Flom, these images, like those found in Scandinavia, are “unmistakable evidence of a well-developed sun-cult”(143). Not only in Scandinavia are these similar looking figures interpreted as evidence for sun worship, but the cairns that these figures in Ireland are carved into are situated on the “highest spot in the region (as near to the sun as possible)”(144).

CLARITY: 3
SHELAGH KING University of British Columbia (Dr. John Barker)

Gamio, Manuel The Sequence of Cultures in Mexico. American Anthopologist July-September, 1924 Vol. 26(3):307-322.

The author addresses the question of whether pre-Hispanic Mexican cultures constitute offshoots of a primitive “mother culture” which evolved in different ways in response to different climatic and geographic environments in different parts of the country. Gamio suggests that the region’s indigenous population migrated there during Neolithic times. Gamio goes on to assert that present archaeological research is being done backwards. Rather than concentrating on relatively recent complex societies, the focus should be on the mother, primitive culture from which these other societies evolved.

Gamio discusses five issues that need be addressed in archeological studies of the region. The first involves identifying the original Neolithic base culture prior to emigration onto the American continent – so one can understand the foundation on which all later cultural groups were built. The second involves determining where, in North America, traces of this Neolithic culture still exist (or existed in historic times). The third focuses on establishing the traits of the mother culture for all pre-Hispanic Mexican settlements so as to assess to what degree this mother culture is (or is not) an advancement on the earlier Neolithic culture. The fourth involves investigating specific characteristics of the mother culture that influenced the later, derivative, cultures of the region. And the fifth emphasizes tracing the migration of the North American civilization into South and Central America, especially the types of differentiation, from the mother culture, that arose as these groups adapted to different geographic and climactic conditions.

Throughout the article, Gamio offers his own interpretation of where and how Mexican culture arose. Overall, he suggests that more research is needed in the isthmian region of the Panama Republic because a great number of emigrant cultures arose in that area.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
TRACY PABLO Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Green, Laura C., and Martha W. Beckwith. Hawaiian Customs and Beliefs Relating To Birth and Infancy. American Anthropologists 1924, Vol.26: 230-246.

This short article is about Hawaiian beliefs surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. It discusses a number of traditions, wives tails, and taboos that mothers believed and practiced during the time of the two author’s research. Specific topics covered include: Beliefs about Pregnancy, Birth, Birthmarks, The Aftermath, The Navel-Cord, Hair Taboos, Naming Customs, The Weaning Ceremony, and Infanticide and Adoption.

According to Hawaiian beliefs, a mother can tell much about her child’s future personality and/or appearance from what happens during pregnancy. A child can be affected by what a mother eats (or craves), by a mother’s illnesses, by certain people that are prominent in the mother’s life during the pregnancy, or by how the child is born. If a mother should become ill during her pregnancy, for example, her child may become mean-natured. Or, again, if the child faces the door at birth, he will be a provider for his family. Birthmarks also convey a sense of the child – different shapes, sizes and colors foretelling different traits.

The article also discusses the importance of the afterbirth and the umbilical cord. Various Hawaiian ceremonies surround these objects. For example a tree is planted with the afterbirth and the tree is cared for as long as the child lives. The child’s navel-cord must be very carefully taken care of by the child’s parents until a sacred place is found for its disposition.

There are several similar such examples touched upon in this article. Overall, the article is an interesting, straight forward description of various Hawaiian beliefs relating to a mother’s pregnancy and the birth of her child.

CLARITY: 5
AMELIA VARGAS-MARÍN Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Green, Laura & Martha W. Beckwith. Hawaiian Customs and Beliefs Relating to Birth and Infancy. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol. 26:230-246.

In this purely descriptive article, the authors detail Hawaiian beliefs and practices surrounding pregnancy, birth, and infancy, up to the time of child weaning . They draw from extant literature on Hawaii and Polynesia, Haleole’s myth of Laieikawai (an Hawaiian classic romance involving the birth of twins), and informant interviews.

According to the extensive folklore, a child’s appearance, behaviour and future prospects are dictated by events in the mother’s pregnancy, and by actions of adults and the child during infancy. For example, “Should a woman become ill during pregnancy, her child will have a mean nature. If she is troubled with constant nausea, he will not provide for her. Whatever special food she desires a few days before the child’s birth will be the child’s favorite dish. The kind of food she craves determines some special characteristic of the child.” (p. 231).

The customs, superstitions and ceremonies are well organized under topical headings: pregnancy, birth, birthmarks, the afterbirth, the ‘navel-cord’, hair, naming customs, ceremony to ensure milk from the mother, weaning ceremony, infanticide and adoption. Full vernacular text and translation of prayers utilized in the ceremonies are included. The authors also describe differences in practice between commoners and chiefs, and between past and present.

The authors do not remain objective throughout the article, and are particularly biased in the discussion of infanticide and religious beliefs and practices. For example: “Common people practised infanticide to rid themselves of work. Often they were too busy waiting on their chiefs to bother about raising children.” (p. 245), and “…it is not necessary to attribute the supposed action of the gods to any special miracle.” (p. 238). It is unfortunate that in an otherwise interesting and clear paper, such personal judgements are included.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
KIMBERLEY FINK-JENSEN University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Harrington, M.R. The Ozark Bluff Dwellers. American Anthropologist January-March, 1924 Vol.26(1) 1-21

Harrington studied prehistoric artifacts found in several dry rock shelters in the Ozark mountains. The artifacts are an especially interesting find because they are so well preserved despite the humid Arkansas climate. The study concludes the ancient inhabitants of the region had created special storage rooms which, as a result, protected these artifacts. The article explains in detail what the rock shelters were like, the types of artifacts found there, how well preserved they were, and what they were presumably used for in everyday life.

At first, the artifacts were assumed to belong to a single culture. It was discovered, however, that the articles in fact varied in form through time. The original bottom layer was termed the “Ozark Bluff dwellers” and the topmost layer, the “top-layer culture.” A “latest” North East Kansas layer is also documented. The article mainly focuses on the Bluff dwellers but has a short account explaining the differences between the “top layer culture” and the “latest culture.” The article, in examining these artifacts, also explores which known Native American tribes the Bluff dwellers, “top layer” and “latest” cultures might have belonged to, or at least, have been related to.

The Ozark Bluff dwellers practiced hunting, agriculture, the gathering of natural products, and fishing, in that order of importance. Harrington describes in detail the types of weapons and tools used by the Ozark Bluff dwellers to obtain their favorite meats and vegetables. How the agricultural products were stored and how they utilized the seasonal products of the forest is also explained. Other artifacts analyzed in detail include woven baskets, pottery and two mysterious objects assumed to be used in spiritual practices. The Bluff dwellers buried their dead between the rocks of the shelter or between fallen rocks. The shelters they stored these bodies in helped preserve them to the point of mummification.

Comparing the products of the Bluff dwellers with products other cultural groups suggests cultural ties with aboriginal groups of the Southwest. However, the group also shares traits with tribes from the North and Central United States as well as surrounding areas to the Bluff dwellers’ home. The most interesting fact is that the only atlatals documented to be like the Bluff dwellers are found in an Aztec temple in Mexico City! It was assumed the Bluff dwellers were clearly pre-colonial because no evidence of European influence was found among them.

The “top layer” is believed to be remains of a Siouan, Osage or Kansa group. The Osage were found, by the first whites to visit the area, to be in possession of the district. The article fails to mention what tribe the Bluff dwellers could possibly belong to, but suggests they likely were not the original occupants of the rock shelter area.

CLARITY: 4
MISHALLA SPEARING Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Harrington, M.R. The Ozark Bluff Dwellers. American Anthropologist. January-March, 1924 Vol. 26(1): 1-21

M. R. Harrington in his “brief preliminary paper” gives an update of the nature of the archeological explorations underway in dry rock shelters of the Ozark Mountains by the Museum of the American Indians. Harrington argues that the artifacts uncovered are from three different time periods and cultures. From the artifacts found, he postulates on the type of culture and subsistence strategies of these historic people.

The artifacts found by this expedition are unusual in “quantity and variety”. The northwestern corner of Arkansas is humid and unlikely to preserve perishable materials. Due to the dry nature of the rock shelters, however, “prehistoric articles of wood, basketry, vegetal fiber, skin and even feathers”(1) were conserved. The most abundant source of artifacts comes from, what they term, the Ozark Bluff Dweller culture. From the archaeological record, the Ozark Bluff Dwellers appear to have relied on “hunting, agriculture, the gathering of natural products, and fishing”(4) as indicated by the presence food remains and hunting and farming equipment. With the information gathered from the archeological record, Harrington, hypothesizes on the origin of the Ozark Bluff Dwellers, the time of their existence and their geographical distribution. On the basis that 11 of 19 Ozark characteristics resemble those of Southwestern tribes, Harrington argues that the Ozark Bluff Dwellers might have originated from Arizona, New Mexico or Old Mexico. Harrington proposes that the Ozark Bluff Dwellers were from the pre-colonial period, and possibly even later, closer to antiquity. He basis this proposition on the fact that no article suggesting European influence was found and the artifacts “gave an impression of great age”(16) because of their rudimentary fashion. For example, the only type of axe found in the artifact collection was a chipped axe, characteristic of the tool assemblages of Paleolithic Europe. Harrington also in his article alludes to research done to determine the geographical distribution of the Bluff-dweller culture. From evidence found in other rock shelters it is believed that the Ozark Bluff dwellers occupied a territory roughly 175 to 200 miles in each direction.

CLARITY: 5
SHELAGH KING University of British Columbia (Dr. John Barker)

Herskovits, Melville. A Preliminary Consideration of the Culture Areas of Africa. American Anthropologist. 1924 Vol. 26: 50-63

Herskovits explores the possibility of dividing Africa into several cultural areas to allow better in-depth comparisons among different regions and groups. Since mapping culture areas has proven successful among Native American tribes, Herskovits decides to attempt the same approach for Africa. He articles focuses on the similarities and differences among different cultural areas.

He first discusses the possible reasons why (and why not) such an approach should be used. Among the problems noted are: there may not be distinct changes between related areas and, to some, the continent’s tribes might be perceived as too similar to be worth studying separately. It is argued, however, that real differences exist between cultural groups and these need to be acknowledged. Herskovits notes the more a cultural group is broken up for study, the smaller and smaller it gets to a point approaching non-existence. He argues, instead, for the classifying of cultural data in terms of broad cultural patterns and gaining the “big picture” regarding the continent’s cultural groups.

A map of Africa with a set of culture areas is presented. Herskovits discusses the different ways of life embodied in each cultural area. He discusses, for each cultural area: food, drink, clothing, shelter, the role of men and women, marriage, economy, religion, and politics. For some cultural areas, he also suggests possible causes for why certain exist. For instance, the cultural groups on the Eastern coastline are more influenced by Islam than the central part of the continent where Islam has not spread as much. There is more information on some cultural areas than others. It is fair to say Herskovits mostly presents a preliminary outline of cultural groupings across the continent that is meant to encourage more detailed research rather than constitutes anything definitive in and of itself.

He concludes that cultural areas offer a productive way for studying the cultural diversity of Africa though the method of using cultural areas will need further refinement to be fully effective. He suggests more detailed investigations will follow with time and should shed much more light on the continent’s cultural groupings and the “baffling” historical relationships among diverse groups.

CLARITY: 4
MISHALLA SPEARING Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Herskovits, Melville J. A Preliminary Consideration of the Culture Areas of Africa. American Anthropologist. January-March, 1924 Vol. 26(1): 50-63.

Herskovits applies the concept of culture areas, which had only previously been used to study the American Indians, to the civilizations in Africa. Herskovits argues that applying the concept of culture areas to Africa is not only “feasible”(63), but also “cannot but be of value in the study of the cultures of the continent”(63).

In his article, Herskovits defines culture areas as “[r]egions in which the culture is more or less of a unit-i.e., comparable”(50). He discusses the benefits and drawbacks of using the term culture areas. Herskovits states that the concept of culture areas has “proved it usefulness in museum technique, library classification, and for pedagogical purposes”(50). Herstkovits is aware, however, that this method of analysis is complicated because one, the classification of culture areas is arbitrary and empirical in nature. Unless there is a climate or geographical feature that clearly distinguishes between two cultures, the change from one culture area to the next is gradual and difficult to pinpoint. The boundaries drawn are based on the researcher’s understanding of what are the defining aspects of the “typical culture”(50). Two, by comparing all surrounding cultures to the “typical culture”(50), those not having many shared similarities are termed “marginal” which gives a negative connotation not intended by the researcher. Three, the analysis is schematic and can give the impression that those within a culture area are strictly uniform. Four, the concept of culture areas is based on the belief of the diffusion of cultures.

Despite these concerns with the use and concept of culture areas, Herskovits finds it possible to divide the civilizations of Africa into nine distinct culture areas: Hottentot, East African Cattle Area, Bushman, Congo Area, The East Horn, Eastern Sudan, Western Sudan, Desert Area, and, Egypt. He uses differences in modes of subsistence, eating practices, religion, language, inheritance, division of labour, shelter, marriage practices and other aspects particular to the region to categorize and compare the cultures in Africa. Herskovits states that with the use of culture areas, “the chaos a study of Africa ordinarily presents is greatly reduced”(63). Herskovits concludes that further studies of Africa are required to establish the correctness of his distinctions and to identify the historical relationships and role of diffusion between the various regions.

CLARITY: 5
SHELAGH KING University of British Columbia (Dr. John Barker)

Linton, Ralph. The Origin of the Plains Earth Lodge. American Anthropologists 1924, Vol.26: 247-257.

This article discusses the earth lodges that belonged to the Plains Indians living along the Missouri river. It also explores the origin of the Plains Indians’ earth lodges. Linton compares the structures of earth lodges from ten different tribes and, because they tend to resemble one another, he proposes they all came from the same ancestral source.

The beginning of the article is mostly a description of what the Hidatsa tribe’s earth lodges looked like. They were of wooden frame covered with willows and the doorway was made of rawhide. The floor had a flattened ground surface that went about a foot deep into the ground. There was a fire pit in the center of the lodge and a hole, through the center of the ceiling, for the smoke to leave through.

The next section of the article compares similarities and differences of the Hidatsa earth lodge with other earth lodges built by other tribal groups. There is a discussion of earth lodges not having holes in the ceilings, of earth lodges being rectangular versus round, of earth lodges covered with earth versus with rawhide, and of earth lodges shaped like tipis. Linton notes three different North America areas that possessed earth lodges.

Finally, Linton suggests the Plains Indian earth lodge originated in the lower Mississippi valley. They were carried northward through tribal movements, he infers, principally by the Arikara and the Mandan Indians. He concludes, by noting, although the earth lodge has a long history within North America, its actual origins may be in Asia.

CLARITY: 3
AMELIA VARGAS-MARÍN Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky).

Linton, Ralph. The Origin of the Plains Earth Lodge. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol. 26:247-257.

This article attempts to determine the diffusional centre of the Plains Indian earth lodge by defining the extent and location of its range, and by comparison of structural characteristics between regions. Utilizing archaeological data and published descriptions of more recent construction styles and practices from other researchers, the author presents a clear argument for the origin of the Plains style in the lower Mississippi valley. Linton cites the Arikara and Mandan tribes as the probable agents of a relatively recent diffusion northward through migration. He argues further that the style in question is an elaboration of an older shelter type, evidence of which has been found archaeologically in the oldest cultural layers, from Siberia down the west coast, and across the Southwest, indicating a possible Asiatic origin. Further archaeological investigation is needed to verify his conclusions.

Linton systematically reviews the architectural styles of numerous tribal groups, including the Omaha, Ponca, Pawnee, Iowa, Oto, Minnesota, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara. Through their comparison, he concludes that a four post central support, present in the mythology of most of these groups, was the historical style. This is represented in Mandan and Arikara construction and, therefore, it is posited that these groups approach the original style most closely. From this conclusion, he examines distribution and degree of variation from the four post style, as well as other features of diffusion, to determine a southern geographical locus of dispersion. With this locus established, Linton then describes similar forms of construction distributed throughout North America, divided into three cultural areas, viz., Western, Southwestern and Eastern, with links existing between the regions. The author concludes that “some type of earth-covered dwelling has been used over a practically continuous area extending from eastern Siberia to the Carolinas…(and that) throughout this vast territory the earth lodge is nearly always associated with an old, if not the oldest, cultural stratum… The wide distribution and evident age of the earth lodge in North America strongly suggest that the use of this type of dwelling was a feature of some very ancient generalized American culture, possibly even of that of the Asiatic migrants who were ancestral to the North American Indians.” (p. 256).

The author’s arguments are clear and convincing, with candid recognition of the need for further study to test these hypotheses. He concludes with an excellent and clear summary of his argument in the closing paragraph, and it may be advisable to read his conclusions first in order to easily follow and understand the path of his argument.

CLARITY RATING: 5
KIMBERLEY FINK-JENSEN University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Linton, Ralph. The Significance of Certain Traits in North American Maize Culture. American Anthropologist. 1924. 26:345-349.

Linton argues that the maize complex of North America differed from that of the American Southwest and Mexico (where maize was first domesticated). Linton suggests particular traits of the North American maize complex were either developed independently from those in Mexico, by groups in North America, after the acquisition of maize and/or were derived from older food complexes in North America other than maize.

Linton begins by characterizing the tools and techniques used to cultivate maize in Mexico. Maize cultivation, as practiced in the Southwestern United States, seems to be directly patterned after Mexican practices. While some features may have developed independently in the Southwest, the tools and techniques for hulling, cooking and fermenting are all precisely the same. Eastern maize culture, however, has many distinctive tools and techniques in comparison with these other groups.

Since maize was domesticated in Mexico and moved quickly into the Southwestern United States, if there were evidence that maize production in the Eastern United States was built on that in the Southwest, one could make a nice chronological development: moving from Mexico to the Southwest to the Eastern United States.

But Linton finds certain tools used in the Eastern United States – particularly the hoe and corn mortars – were virtually unknown in the older maize cultures and therefore, such tools must have been developed independently or introduced from other Eastern United States groups. Linton notes that various features of Eastern maize culture, that may seem to represent the survival of archaic Mexican patterns, could just as easily have been taken from pre-agricultural food complexes in the Eastern United States. These include the use of wood ashes for hulling, the griddle, and cooking by boiling.

Linton concludes that while the Southwestern maize complex appears to have developed directly from the Mexican complex, that in the Eastern United States differs in too many ways to have grown directly out of the Southwestern complex. Linton hypothesizes that in the east, maize probably arrived as a result of gradual diffusion, lost most of its cultural context in route, and was adopted into a preexisting cultural pattern which had grown up around other foods.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SELAH GEISSLER Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Linton, Ralph. The Significance of Certain Traits in North American Maize Culture. American Anthropologist, 1924 Vol. 26: 345-349.

The overall concern of Linton’s article is a tripartite comparative analysis of the Native Peoples’ maize complex in Mexico, the Southwestern, and Eastern regions of the United States. Specifically, the author seeks to prove that since maize usage was minimal in the Eastern regions, and reached there by diffusion, survivals of pre-maize culture should be evident in the East. Furthermore, Linton proposes that traits particular to the Eastern tribes might have either developed independently following the adaptation to maize usage or evince survivals of a pre-maize culture.

To do so, Linton focuses on four factors: 1) type of digging implement, 2) type of grinding utensil, 3) whether griddle breads or mush were predominant, and 4) methodology for hulling corn. Using data from this comparison, the author develops an argument to prove that since Eastern tribes differed greatly from both the Mexican and Southwestern groups in their production and usage of maize, this reflects the existence of an earlier complex food culture in the East.

It is Linton’s assertion that maize originated in the Mexican tribes, diffused to the Southwestern groups, and eventually became a relatively small part of the food staples of the Eastern tribes. He cites as proof the major differences in digging tools, grinders, and end-products (griddle cakes or mush) between the Mexican and Southwestern tribes and those of the Eastern regions. Although the author can not give a definitive date for the invention of the hoe, he argues that since only the eastern groups possessed such an implement, this is indicative of a pre-maize food culture as this tool is better suited for digging in a wooded area. Additionally, he cites the fact that the grinder used by Eastern tribal groups is radically different than either its Mexican or Southwestern counterparts, and asserts that this is due to the independent development of the item prior to its usage to mill corn.

Linton suggests that these factors lead to the conclusion that while the Mexican corn culture was absorbed by the Southwestern tribes en bloc, gradual diffusion into an already established food complex was responsible for the changes noted in the Eastern tribes’ methods of planting, preparation, and usage of maize.

CLARITY: 4
MARGO SMITH University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Loeb, M. E. The Shaman of Niue. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol. 26: 393-402

The people of Niue differ from other Polynesians in respect to their democratically organized form of government. The island’s political system lacked a system of divine chiefs, caste division of laborers, and a hereditary priesthood (pg. 393). Interestingly, the Niue did not memorize genealogies, a common practice on most other Polynesian islands. Loeb attributes such differences to two possible causes: Either the Niue are descendants of Samoans or Tongans, who embarked on their journey without accompanying priests or nobles, or the founders of Niue left their previous home before the development of aristocracy and theocracy took hold in Polynesia (pg. 393). The functions of priests on Nuie tend to be more individualized and along the lines of shaman in Siberia rather than priests elsewhere in Polynesia.

The priest’s (or shaman’s) duties tend to focus on prophesying and spell casting. Families with tendencies towards mental instability and epileptic fits often have a higher proportion of shaman basically because the Niue shaman are considered possessed by the gods. The role of the shaman was not necessarily inherited from father to son. Sometimes it skipped a generation or two depending on the presence (or absence) of epilepsy in the individual.

The role of the such shaman was not without risks. Shaman whose predictions or spells failed might well lose their social reputation though in certain areas – such as curing illness – many were able to successfully weather the situation where the patient improved or not. If the patient worsened, the shaman would still be paid by the sick person’s family to send the gods to look for the individual’s soul.

CLARITY: 4
FRANK VENTIMIGLIA JR. Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Loeb, E.M. The Shaman of Niue. American Anthropologist. 1924 Vol 26:393-402.

In this article the author describes the shamanic practices of the taula-atua (the “anchors of the gods”) in Niue, a Polynesian island located 240 miles west of Vavau (in the Tonga group). Also known as “Savage Island”, Niue is unique to Polynesia in that its culture lacks a system of divine chiefs, caste division of labor, and hereditary priesthood. Loeb believes this may be the result of an emigration of Samoan or Tongan residents to the island, prior to the development of theocracy or aristocracy. If Niue is, in fact, an example of “archaic survival perpetuated by comparative isolation” (p.394), the spiritual traditions practiced there provide a glimpse into pre-Christian Polynesian society.

Loeb begins by explaining the difference between gods and ghosts (atua and aitu) in terms of their relevance to society, both historically and in the present. In “the olden days”, Niue shamans were possessed by gods (atua) that enabled them to bewitch, cure, prophesize and curse the enemy; ghosts (aitu) were the human spirits, floating around, helping shamans or accosting humans as necessary for the reproduction of morals and society. Although the practices are the same, modern taula-atua are possessed by aitu rather than atua, because of the Christian intolerance for “heathen” gods. There are four skills that are required and desired of shamen: the first is witchcraft, or the ability to bewitch another person and cast spells upon the natural elements; it is said that the taula-atua control the sun and rain. The second skill is prophecy, useful in predicting outcomes of war; the third is curing illness, a condition caused by the loss of one’s soul; the fourth skill is cursing the enemy. In all situations the shaman draws on his or her personal character and relationship with the gods in order to perform. In order to show that gods possess them, the taula-atua must either be epileptic or prone to fits of temporary insanity.

Loeb reveals (p.395) that the profession is usually hereditary and runs in families afflicted with a high degree of mental instability. Such a condition allows the taula-atua to go into a deep trance or fit when communicating with gods (or ghosts), bewitching and healing. The author notes the physical appearance of one particular shaman with whom he spoke during his seven month stay in Niue. The man, “Titituli” is subject to epileptic fits, suffers from elephantitis with swollen legs, and is covered in sores (p.398). Yet, despite being unkempt and living in foul conditions, the taula-atua are still utilized in Niue, even after many citizens have converted to Christianity and use Western medicines.

Though it is not as culturally acceptable to admit using the services of the taula-atua, Loeb provides us with accounts from government records to show the various situations wherein shamen were used. Thus, the shamen of Niue have two roles: firstly, to fulfill the medical and spiritual needs of a people who don’t always trust the foreign systems, yet who are also compelled to believe and accept them; and secondly, to be a dynamic, symbolic reminder of a pre-Christian, pre-Western Polynesian cultural tradition found on this island and elsewhere.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTINA ZAENKER University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Lutz, H. F. Geographical Studies Among Babylonians and Egyptians. American Anthropologist. 1924 Vol. 26:160-174.

In Geographical Studies Among Babylonians and Egyptians, H. F. Lutz explores the geographical knowledge of ancient Middle Eastern peoples. In particular, he focuses on Babylonian and Egyptian understandings of particular geographical locations as well as the shape and size of the earth.

Anthropologists have found Babylonian geographical textbooks and maps. Textbooks contained roads and country names, along with distances associated with them. Maps contain distances, waterways, mountains, villages, and topography. Lutz suggests the geographical construction of many of these maps tended to be borrowed from earlier sources, and that these sources, in turn, were borrowed from earlier ones still. This leads Lutz to suggest that Babylonians were unable to incorporate new ideas into their thinking, and, hence, unable to develop more sophisticated geographical knowledge of the world around them.

A tablet from neo-Babylonian times indicates the Babylonians saw themselves as the center of the world. The tablet was a map of what they considered “the world”. It contained a circle which represented the salt river or the Persian Gulf. Encircled by the salt river, at the center of the tablet, lay Babylonia and Assyria. Babylonians lacked, that is to say, an understanding of the heliographic nature of the universe. This map reinforces other findings suggesting Babylonians conceived of the world in the shape of a disk occupying a central place in a universe.

Lutz argues that the geographical knowledge of Babylonians was not extensive. Babylonians held to the doctrine that what ever happens in the sky happens on earth, and one has only had to read the map of the sky in order to understand life on earth.

Lutz then turns Egyptian geographical knowledge which he views as comparable with Babylonian knowledge. School textbooks that indicate some geographical instruction was given. Egyptians appeared mostly interested in their own country. Geographical knowledge of foreign lands was limited to a list of cities involving glorified battles and conquests. Such knowledge served mostly as an adornment on walls rather than as data for study.

Like the Babylonians, Egyptians believed that the earth was a copy of the heavenly world and also excluded information that was not compatible with traditional religious beliefs. Lutz suggests these ancient peoples were unable to eliminate false geographical notions because of their overly strong affirmation of their respective traditions.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
JULIE KAHIAPO Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Lutz, H.F. Geographical Studies Among Babylonians and Egyptians. America Anthropologist. January 1924 Vol. 26(1): 160-174.

From the archaeological record, Lutz attempts to reconstruct the geographical worldview of the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians. He argues that the Egyptians and Babylonians “shut themselves up in their own world of thought and excluded everything that was not in harmony with traditional knowledge sanctioned by their religion”(174). Despite being exposed to new information, the Egyptians and Babylonians held fast to the geographical concepts of the past, and ignored anything that challenged their beliefs.

Evidence from the archaeological record indicates that both the Babylonians and Egyptians had an interest in geography. The Babylonian archeological record includes many maps engraved on tablets, and metal. School texts from Egypt include lists of fortresses in Egypt and the southern country of Nubia. While there appears to be an interest in geography, this interest does not extend beyond neither the Babylonian’s nor the Egyptian’s own regions. Both the Babylonians and Egyptians had only a “hazy”(171) understanding of foreign geography. Despite the fact that geographical interest “must have been stimulated by the growing commerce and cultural intercourse of the various peoples with whom they [the Egyptians and Babylonians] had come into contact”(163), these new geographical insights are not reflected in the archeological record. In Babylon, a map was found that Lutz dates back to the times of either Neo-Babylonia of Late Babylon. It is a map of the world and has the Persian Gulf as the source of water for the Eupraseus and the Tigris River. This map, Lutz argues, is a copy of an older tablet. For, as Lutz states, by the time of Tiglathpileser I (1110-1100 B.C) the actual sources of these rivers had been discovered. The drawing of the world with the Persian Gulf as a water source despite their supposed knowledge of the actual sources proves to Lutz that the Babylonians were “unable to express new ideas . . . in fact they disregarded the new to a great extent and went back to the more primitive ideas”(166). Religious beliefs are what Lutz proposes guided geographical thought. Lutz argues that the Egyptians and Babylonians both based their conceptions of the earthly world on their understandings of the heavenly world. They believed that “one has only to read the map of the sky in order to be enabled to come to an understanding of the earth”(170). This, Lutz argues, stunted the active pursuit of geographical knowledge. All new information of the world was processed by this religious understanding and thus prohibited the furthering of geographical understanding.

CLARITY: 2
SHELAGH KING University of British Columbia (Dr. John Barker)

Lutz, H.F. Kingship in Babylonia, Assyria and Egypt. 1924. American Anthropologist. Vol 26:435-453.

In this article, the author examines the various forms of leadership within the ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian cultures in order to shed some light on the origin of kingship. Although he does not actually intend to uncover the origin of this institution (a task he leaves to scholars involved in the study of social institutions), he assumes that kingship is synonymous with leadership and thereby sets out on this analytical adventure, picking apart words, ideas and historical situations wherein leadership in the aforementioned areas was employed. He begins by stating that the basis of social organization is dependent not on religious factors, but on economic ones. Lutz examines the etymological remnants of the transition from matriarchal to patriarchal society in Babylonia, discovering that the titles given to Sumerian rulers reflect this change in social organization. He states, “instead of the great mother goddess, male divinities arose to the lofty position of ‘exalted fathers’” (p.441).

The investigation of the institution of leadership continues when Lutz shows the effects of nearby Semitic groups on the Sumerian conception of a ruler. The latter originally called their leader lugal, or “great man”, a title associated with great physical and moral strength. However, after exposure to the Semitic ideology that a king is the “son of the divinity” (p.442), the Sumerians changed their views and adopted a more religious connotation for their leader. In Assyria, kingship actually developed out of the priestship, and the coronation ritual itself “substitutes or employs for the word kingship the word priestship in order to emphasize the special dignity of the Assyrian ruler” (p.446). Similar to the previous situation, the Egyptian “pharaoh” is conceived to be a divine son: he is “the great offspring” of the sun god Horus (p.453). Although his power could be overruled in times of political or social upheaval, his title reveals other aspects of his role, as “father”, “councilor” or decider” (p.450).

From the above examples we can see that the institution of kingship developed over many years and across various geographical, cultural and linguistic boundaries. Lutz’s etymological approach to solving the question of kingship is in-depth and at times difficult to read. However, the words and titles are well excavated from their historical context, and the author presents some interesting arguments. Whether or not we will ever know wherefrom the institution of kinship once originated, at least we are aware of the tools with which we can examine the ancient terminology and possibly uncover hidden layers of meaning. In the meantime, we will understand and agree with Lutz that leadership in the ancient world was indeed a complex concept.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHRISTINA ZAENKER University of British Columbia (John Barker)

MacCurdy, George Grant. The Field of Paleolithic Art. American Anthropologist. 1924 (26): 27-49

The subjects chosen by paleolithic artists, their artistic techniques, and the materials used in their art offer clues, MacCurdy suggests, into the lives of these people. MacCurdy is impressed and surprised with the artistry involved and, as a result, goes into great detail describing each of the artifacts considered.

MacCurdy notes the preferred artistic subject is mammals – including humans. He finds three tendencies in the artistic portrayals of humans (by humans): The first is the pictorial predominance of the female over the male, the second is a female type suggestive of the “Huttentot” or “Bushman,” and the third is the wide geographic and chronologic distribution of this type in Europe. In addition, MacCurdy notes representations of humans and animals are almost always in whole form, except in the case of the human hand. He lists the places where artifacts were found – mostly in France and Spain – and describes what artifacts were found where.

He goes on to describe the game animals, fish and birds depicted by Paleolithic artists, and lists, again, all the places and their respective artifacts in detail. He explains the types of weapons found as well.

The inanimate objects described include a set of signs, which suggests, to MacCurdy, the existence of primitive writing during the Magdalenian Epoch. The symbols were images designed as signs of objects and, MacCurdy believes, represent words. Other inanimate objects include chevrons, frets, spirals, volutes and wave ornaments. Tectiforms are also depicted, reproducing simple shelters, tents and huts.

MacCurdy explains the techniques and materials involved in the different forms of art referring to both stationary and portable art. Portable art is created from stone, bone, ivory, wood and horns. Stationary art, like murals, is either engraved or painted, sometimes with color. Paleolithic artists did not ignore questions of scale MacCurdy notes, depicting a mother and her young, the male and female of the same species, and a herd of animals. The materials used for such works of art were limited to what the artist could find in nature. Clay was probably used more widely than thought, but such clay artifacts would likely not withstand the ravages of time and hence their actual number remains unclear.

CLARITY: 4
MISHALLA SPEARING Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Mac Curdy, George Grant. The Field of Paleolithic Art. American Anthropologist. January –March, 1924 Vol.26 (1): 27-49.

Mac Curdy analyses the importance and meaning of Paleolithic art found in the Old World. Mac Curdy argues that the study of Paleolithic art can inform one about the capabilities, behaviors, and beliefs of early man.

Early man used a variety of materials for his/her artistic expressions including, “stone, bone, ivory, reindeer horn, and stag horn”(48), ocher and oxide of manganese. Art “adorns the walls, ceilings, and sometimes even floors of caverns, and the walls of rock shelters” (48). These examples of artwork done by early man in the Paleolithic era are seen as evidence for early man’s cognitive capabilities. Artistic representations of animate objects like animals, and humans, Mac Curdy argues is proof of early man’s ability to “improvise, to seize upon resemblances and make the imagination a labor-saving device”(39-40). Artistic representations of inanimate objects like chevrons, frets, spirals and volutes are interpreted, by Mac Curdy, as evidence of early man’s ability to conventionalize, to standardize, [and] to symbolize”(45).

Mac Curdy believes the chosen subjects of early man’s artwork is significant for understanding the behavior of early man. The frequency of the representation of animals signifies the importance of that particular animal to the diet. By tabulating the occurrence of animal forms Mac Curdy concludes that the “horse was easily the favorite in France; in Spain it was second, conceding first place to the red deer”(33). The lack of artistic representation of invertebrates is understood, therefore, to be because they “did not serve the needs of man to any appreciable extent; when wanted, they could be had without resort to magic”(44). Representations of what are termed alphabetiform signs, like a dotted circle, are interpreted as proof of “the existence of primitive writing”(45). Representations of “tent-shaped figures”(47) called claviforms, are understood to represent “the kind of temporary abode employed by the Upper Paleolithic races”(47). Evidence of hunting is seen in depictions of what are interpret as pictures of “darts dangling from the side of wounded animals”(47).

The existence of a belief system is also concluded from Mac Curdy’s analysis of Paleolithic art. He concludes, “many of the representations are prayers for the increase of the species useful for food”(27). The frequency of females, especially female hinds in Paleolithic art is due, Mac Curd states, to the female’s connection to reproduction. For example, Mac Curdy argues that the “hind is the symbol of fecundity”(27). Mac Curdy believes that the more hinds the artist drew, “the greater the increase of the herd”(28).

CLARITY: 4
SHELAGH KING University of British Columbia (Dr. John Barker)

MacLeod, William Christie. Natchez Political Evolution. American Anthropologists 1924, Vol. 26: 201-229.

This article explores the political structure and evolution of the North American Natchez. Most of the material discussed comes from information gathered by J. R. Swanton in 1911. The main topics examined are: the structure of the political class, its reputed origin, who were the honored class, how people could achieve such a status, and a psychological oriented commentary on the political system itself.

Following its title, the first section, “The Structure of the State: The Civil Stratification,” is a description of how the political system worked. MacLeod explains the principal officers were members of a royal matrilineal family. The king was known as the Great Sun and his mother or sister was The White Woman or Sun Woman. The king nominated all officers of the state. These officers constituted the uppermost status rank among the Natchez. The lowest status strata were the commoners, known by the derogatory name of “Stinkards..”

Following sections discuss how people could move into the elite status strata. “The War Organization,” explains the different warrior grades present in the political structure: the apprentice (the lowest), the ordinary, the true warriors, and the warrior chiefs. Even higher than the chief warriors was the council, which consisted of “the oldest and best warriors.” People of “stinkard” status could rise up the status ladder through feats in war.

Another way for moving up the status ladder was through meritorious religious action. When a king died, a father and mother could sacrifice their child in the king’s honor. Or a person could sacrifice him (or her)self at kings death. Either way, the remaining family members would be elevated to an honored status.

The “Components of the Honored Class,” then, were: (a) children of nobles, (b) stinkards raised through meritorious service in war and (c) stinkards raised the meritorious religious actions.

The final topic covered in this article is “Psychic Content and Structural Evolution.” This section discusses how the political structure influenced Natchez behavior as well as the honored class’s possible origins and changes through time.

CLARITY: 3
AMELIA VARGAS-MARÍN Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky).

MacLeod, William Christie. Natchez Political Evolution. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol. 26:201-229

The author takes the opportunity provided by an abundance of information on this extinct culture to examine the unique character of Natchez politico-social organization, and the problem it poses in debates of “convergent evolution versus diffusion by migration and by imitation” (p.201). The author explores the features of Natchez social and political organization, and through comparison with other world cultures, comes to the conclusion of “the improbability of other than independent development accounting for Natchez practice.” (p. 227). In the appendix, he also argues for a Floridian origin of the tribe. His primary information is drawn from a collection of materials made by Dr. J. R. Swanton for the Bureau of American Ethnology, which includes accounts from the time of initial contact in the early 1700’s, prior to the Natchez’s destruction. Additional information on cultures used for comparison are drawn from a variety of published sources.

MacLeod provides a detailed description of civil stratification with grades of nobility, and war organization with warrior grades, also describing inter-grade potential for mobility and marriage practices. Society is divided into the ranks of Suns, Nobles, Honored Men and commoners, known as Stinkards. Warrior grades included war chiefs, true warriors, ordinary warriors and apprentice warriors. Both systems provide for mobility between the grades, except to the highest ranks which are ascribed matrilineally. The features of the system of greatest interest to the author include the rule of exogamy for the Suns, they marry only Stinkards, and the requirement of spouses of Suns to commit suicide upon the death of their mate. The author conducts a complicated examination of links between these practices which requires very careful reading to be understood. Essentially, the practice of widow / widower immolation prevented development of an endogamous nobility. Encoded in their origin myth is the creation of grades of nobility, and a prohibition against violent or unnatural death for a Sun. This required their spouses to come from outside their class.

After examining these unique features and comparing them to practices in other cultures, MacLeod dismisses similarities with other cultural groups including the Manchu in China, the Ashanti, and Bantu tribes of West Africa, and concludes these are “very readily understandable as convergences” (p.227).

The author’s most believable conclusions come in his linking of the development of Sun exogamy and widow / widower immolation. His argument for evolution versus diffusion comes across as rather weak, and at some points in the article he appears to be arguing for the opposite. There is an overwhelming amount of detail provided, but the article does whet the appetite for further investigation of the Natchez culture.

CLARITY RANKING: 3.5
KIMBERLEY FINK-JENSEN University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Malcolm, L.W.G (with note by A.S. Parker). Sex-Ratio in African Peoples. American Anthropologist. October-December, 1924 Vol.26(4): 454-473

Is an uneven sex-ratio a sign of racial decline? L.W.G Malcolm explores the answer to this question by investigating the sex-ratio of men and women in several African tribes. Since women are clearly more numerous than men in many African tribes, the author offers the opinion that mortality rates are probably higher for men than women. This is due, he suggests, to the fact that men in these tribes live more dangerously than women, having to hunt for food as well as protect the tribe against intruders.

In order to find an answer to the uneven sex-ratios between men and women, Malcolm investigates hundreds of tribes in Africa. While he attempts to measure primary (conception), secondary (birth) and tertiary (adult) sex-ratios, Malcolm finds that he mainly has rely on tertiary sex-ratios for his data. The fact that information is so scarce and inconsistent for primary and secondary sex-ratios means the author’s analysis must remain incomplete.

Malcolm compares African sex-ratios with sex-ratios from other parts of the world such as Europe and Asia. Here, too, he finds the same uneven pattern. In search of an explanation, he refers to other authors who have written on the subject. The larger number of women versus men is considered by Westermarck to be a partial result of race mixture. Torday supports Westermarck’s position noting that mixed marriages of Belgian men and “negro” women in the Belgian Congo gave birth to more girls than boys. Thomas suggests that while monogamous relationships favors female births, polygyny gives an excess of male births.

A.S Parker, who writes the last pages of the article, supports Thomas in his statement that polygyny favors male births since increased sexual activity may “alter the ratio between the X-spermatozoa (female producing) and the Y-spermatozoa (maleproducing) in favor of the latter, so that the primary ratio is slightly higher” for males. Parker concludes that it seems natural to have more females than males since women carry the babies while men only carry sperm. One woman can only carry one baby per year, but one man produces millions of sperms every day, Parker notes. He suggests that any society that has more men than women must use some form of “artificial selection such as female infanticide” to alter this basic fact.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
THERESA ARONSSON Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Malcolm, W. L. G. Sex-Ratio in African Peoples. 1924 American Anthropologist. Vol 26:454-473.

This article is divided into two parts: the first is an analysis of sex-ratios in African tribes, and the second is a collection of notes written by A. S. Parkes, on the relationship between these ratios and racial decline. In the first section, Malcolm compiles statistics of the tertiary sex-ratios (of adults) of various West African countries: Cameroon, Congo, Nigeria, Togo, and Sierra Leone. He then follows with a brief generalization of the aforementioned ratios in East and Southwest Africa, and Egypt. In all cases, the author finds that there is a greater proportion of women in these tribes, and that men are spread irregularly over a large area. He proposes that this higher percentage of women over men is due to artificial causes such as intertribal warfare, slavery, and forced labor, and a lower birth rate. Malcolm describes the three different types of sex-ratio as: primary (sex-ratio of conception), secondary (of birth) and tertiary (of adults).

In the next discussion of secondary sex-ratio in Africa, Malcolm uses statistics from across the globe in comparison with the African findings. The author finds that, in general, there is a higher proportion of female to male births in African (and “colored”, as shown in the European statistics) groups, but admits that more research is needed in this area. The final section, written by Parkes, suggests that the reason for this low secondary ratio may be that African women suffer from malnutrition more often than Europeans and it is more difficult to bear a male fetus. The author wishes to give a definitive assessment as to the interrelation of race decline and high masculinity, but can only state that the limiting factor in the rate of increase in a race is the number of fertile females. Because a tribe cannot reproduce any faster than the duration of one pregnancy per woman, an excess of males would not cause a significant increase in population. Parkes also notes that an excess of males would not be a result of natural causes. A situation where there are more men than women, could perhaps even be a contributory cause of racial decline: Parkes gives the example of lab rats, wherein more males caused stress to the point of sterility in the females.

It took me several readings before I could understand what Malcolm and Parkes were doing. I could not see the relevance of listing the ratios of men to women at birth or even at conception (how can one even do that?), and got lost in their numbers and calculations. I now see that the authors are concerned about the cause of racial decline, yet I wonder if these findings were ever used as a tool to manipulate or control the population. If you know how many men there are in a community, you can assess its strength; if the resources in that area are valuable to outside interests, then this data can be used to determine which areas are least likely capable of defense. I do not suggest that the authors intended their research to be used as a colonial weapon; I just believe that with hindsight we must question the purpose and usefulness of such statistics.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
CHRISTINA ZAENKER University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Parsons, Elsie Clews. Tewa Kin, Clan, and Moiety American Anthropologist 1924, 26:333-339.

This article examines kinship terms among the northern Tewa. However, since this subject has been studied by J.P. Harrington, Parsons focuses on the relation of kinship terms to clan and moiety structures.

In respect to the northern Tewa, except at Taos where there are no clans, kinship terms are also used as clan terms. Persons bearing the same clan name, however, are not thought of as related. And though there are usually three or four clans in each town, “they are mere names, without function, not even regulating marriage.” The following are the clan names recorded in 1885: Coral, Earth, Sun, Gopher, Turquoise, Grass, Bear, Lizard, Badger, Calabash, Mountain Lion, Corn, Cottonwood, Cloud, Firewood, Eagle (painted), Stone and Water.

A moiety classification exists among the northern Tewa as a “substitute for clans in the social consciousness.” It “exists to a slight extent for ceremonial purposes; but it is quite dissociated from descent.” In the Northern Tewa’s two kiva system, “one belongs to the kiva or ceremonial moiety of his father, or parents, since the woman joins the kiva of her husband.” Throughout the region, the “kivas are popularly referred to as Turquoise and Squash, and are associated with ideas of summer and winter.”

In some towns, there is a tendency to organize activities mostly around clan or moiety principles. For example, at San Ildelfonso, houses are distributed according to moiety affiliation. This does not occur in all cases and, moreover, there are cultural differences, regarding such practices, even between towns that speak the same language.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ERICA HIDALGO Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Parsons, Elsie Clews. Tewa Kin, Clan, and Moiety. American Anthropologist, 1924 Vol.26: 333-339.

This article explores the kinship terms of the northern Tewa. Parsons attempts to expand on the previous studies of J.P. Harrington by concentrating on the connection between kinship terminology to the clan and moiety systems in the Pueblo languages. Parsons concludes that among the Pueblo, vocabulary “variation (exists) from town to town” even when language is shared. Additionally, it was found that “terms are borrowed irrespective of language.”

Parsons explains that “Tewa kinship terminology is less expressive of clanship than other Pueblo kinship terminologies,” except when compared to that of Taos (where there are no clans). Nevertheless, the relationship between kinship terms and clanship is not defined sharply in any Pueblo system. Furthermore, other than the Taos, the Pueblo used kinship terms as clan terms. Although there are three or more clan names in each town these “are mere names.” They serve no definable function, nor do they regulate marriage. In 1923 some of the clan names still represented (in genealogical tables or through citation) are: G’uhpi (pink quartz), Badger, Corn, Tseping (eagle, mountain), Earth, Sun.
In relation to moiety systems, these are a “substitute for clan in the social consciousness.” For example “among the Hopi and at Zuni a moiety classification exists to a slight extent for ceremonial purposes;” but remains dissociated from descent. The outstanding principle of social classification among the Tewa is an alignment to Summer People or Winter People. Typically, the tendency is “for the moieties to be endogamous.”

Finally, Parsons discusses home ownership in San Ildefonso. According to the research, there is a tendency for the distribution of houses to be made based on moiety. Also, home ownership by men and women alike is characteristic of the Tewa as well as to the rest of the middle Pueblo area. These findings are specific to San Ildefonso and are not characteristic of the Pueblo in general.

CLARITY: 3
DEBORAH VICK BELTRAN University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Phillips, George, B. The Antiquity of the Use of Iron. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol. 26: 175-183.

The antiquity of iron – specifically by whom and where it was first discovered as well as when – has not been solidly decided. The area that first obtained iron ore and processed it would logically be the best candidate to claim earliest production. Historical documents offer limited help, however, in this regard. The Old Testament has passages that suggest the Philistines had knowledge of iron. Sanskrit discusses the word “Ayas” but the references are ambiguous. The hieroglyphic used for iron in Egypt might have also represent a number of other metals other then iron.

The discovery of a blade, believed to be the property of Ramses III, is the earliest known example of Egyptian iron weapons. The blade has been dated to around 1200 BC. The suggestion that Egyptians had considerable knowledge of iron tools is furthered by the discovery of five iron tools.

Sir Robert Hadfield, an authority on iron and steel, believes that a collection of axes, adzes, chisels and other tools from India and Ceylon dating from between 1200 to 1800 B.C. are the oldest known specimens of ancient iron. Chemical analysis of one chisel suggests the chisel had been subjected to a cementation, or hardening, process. Over 250 different specimens of Sinhalese iron – across a range of objects – suggests an extensive iron industry was in place during this early period. Hadfield discounts to that Egyptians were the first to effectively use iron. He believes, rather, that the Egyptians imported this technology from Asia via trade routes.

CLARITY: 4
FRANK VENTIMIGLIA Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Phillips, George Brinton. The Antiquity of the Use of Iron. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol.26:175-183.

In this article Phillips investigates the antiquity of the use of iron. He presents a summary of existing literature and puts forward his theory of the origins of iron’s use. Unfortunately, he does not provide bibliographical information for his numerous sources.

Ancient use of iron is demonstrated both in historical texts and in ancient iron artefacts. Controversy exists over who were the first to employ iron smithing technology. ‘Metal’ is spoken of in Old Testament texts, the Indian Vedas and Egyptian hieroglyphs, but the translation of ‘metal’ is problematic as it may not necessarily mean iron. Additionally, there is a lack of artefacts from the periods of these texts, so the precise kind of “metal” that was used remains in dispute. Iron artefacts from Egypt have been dated from as early as 2700 B.C., but there are some theorists who believe Egypt acquired the technology from either China or India, as these regions have a long tradition of metallurgy. Artefacts from India and Ceylon date from 437 B.C., and chemical analysis of their composition demonstrates that by this time they had mastered carbonization techniques used to harden iron, resulting in a product similar to steel.

The article continues with a description of the possible accidental discovery of the properties of naturally occurring iron ore. Phillips speculates that iron was accidentally heated in a domestic hearth to the point of malleability, and that perfection of tool production was achieved through subsequent experimentation.

Phillips diverges from his analysis to describe an historical battle between the Celtic Briton Queen Boadicea’s army and the Romans in 61 A.D. Romans were known to have use of iron by this time, therefore, Phillips theorizes, in order to succeed in battle, the Celts had also developed an extensive iron industry. Although artefacts from this battle have not been found, evidence of smelting capabilities have been demonstrated in England dating from 300 A.D. Seemingly ignoring the evidence presented at the beginning of his article, the author ends with a rather fanciful hope that one day England can lay claim to the oldest iron industry.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
KIMBERLEY FINK-JENSEN University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Phillips, George, B. The Claims of India for the Early Production of Iron. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol. 26 350-357

Anuradhapura, an ancient buried city in Ceylon, was the site of a number of iron objects believed to of considerable age. Included among the objects found were tools, weapons and domestic items as well as an implement of hardened steel. The city of Anuradhapura dates back to roughly 450 B. C.. A collection of iron objects plus the tools needed to produce wrought iron were also found at Tissamaharama, India as well as at a number of other Indian sites. The variety and number of objects discovered suggests to Phillips that India represents one of the earliest sites of iron production and people in India and Ceylon may be the original discoverers of steel.

Phillips believes the Sinhalese metal workers understood how to reduce iron ore to metallic form and then form wrought iron into steel in what is known as the cementaton method. Although evidence of early iron industry has also been discovered in Hallastat, Austria and La Tene, Switzerland the artifacts are believed to be of a later origin than the discoveries in Ceylon and India. Moreover, the Hallastat and La Tene sites show no evidence of large scale manufacturing ability – as is found at the Indian sites.

Indian metallurgists, moreover, were the first to manufacture structural pillars and beams. The “Pillar of Old Delhi” is the best example of Indian structural iron manufacturing: The pillar is constructed by hand and is of a size that today would require powerful and complicated machinery. The pillar has been confirmed to be constructed of wrought iron pieces welded together. The assembled pillar weighs close to six tons. The question is how such a mass of heated iron could be forged, welded, and moved about in primitive furnaces without the aid of machinery.

Phillips suggests, in conclusion, that India’s claim to being the oldest large scale worker of iron in the world is well founded.

CLARITY: 5.
FRANK VENTIMIGLIA JR. Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Phillips, George. The Claims of India for the Early Production of Iron. American Anthropologist, 1924 Vol. 26: 350-357.

This article addresses India’s claims for the early production of iron. George Phillips wants to substantiate India’s claim for its early work in iron by focusing on the following evidence.

Evidence presented by Phillips establishes that the iron industry was well established at least by 850 B. C. based on the recovery of iron weapons and objects from a cemetery unearthed at Hallstatt in the Austrian Tyrol at that time. Phillips states this was considered the first proof of a recognized iron industry, and that there was also the discovery of iron objects in La Tene, Switzerland dating back to 500 B. C.

However, Phillips further states that evidence of early iron works in India was the discovery of iron objects, dating back to 450 B.C., at Anuradhapura, Ceylon, a country on the island of the southeast tip of India; and analysis of one of these iron tools revealed that it was made of hardened steel (iron alloyed with small percentages of other metals to produce hardness). According to him, these objects suggest an early iron industry in India and Ceylon. He also states that there were tools made of hardened steel located in Ceylon dating back 2000 years or more and that there was also an early collection of iron objects found at Tissamaharama, India.

According to Phillips, Indian metal workers produced large pillars and beams of iron, as the pillar of “Old Delhi,” dated from 310 A.D., is an example in addition to the pillar of Dhar in Central India which dated back to about 321 A.D. He stated that at Konarak in Orissa, India there was other evidence of iron work on a large scale as there were “fragments of iron beams apparently for structural purposes” dating back to the ninth century.

Phillips also states that another discovery of iron in India was located in the Stone Column of Heliodorus at Besnagar which dated back to the middle of the second century B. C.; Iron chisels and wedges found to be made of steel had been driven into the stone slabs at the base of the column. He states there were iron weapons and implements from Vedisa and Taxila that also showed evidence of the early iron industry in India.

George Phillips concludes that because of the evidence of large masses of ancient iron and the collection of iron tools made by the Indian workers, “it must be admitted that the claims of India as the earliest worker in iron on a large scale is well founded” and that if India was not the discoverer of the use of iron, it is “entitled to the credit for the early production of hardened steel.”

In conclusion, Phillips presents evidence that establishes that proof of the first use of iron was discovered at Hallstatt in the Austrian Tyrol. However, he also presents evidence to suggest that India was the earliest worker in iron on a large scale and that India deserves credit for the early production of steel.

CLARITY: 4
RUBY WALKER University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Radin, Paul. Ojibwa Ethnological Chit-Chat. American Anthropologist. 1924 Vol.26: 491-530

Radin’s article is a collection of stories involving town gossip or chit chat. The original purpose of his project was to collect autobiographical data from Ojibwa men. The Ojibwa instead preferred to give him stories involving town gossip. The material he collected paints a picture of what normal Ojibwa life was like in the 1800s. Every phase of their existence is represented, particularly their more intimate side – especially their fears, jealousies, loves – as well as their relation to the forest and the animals inhabiting it. What is left out are the more formal parts of Ojibwa life – their religion and ceremonies. The stories are mostly everyday conversations which convey, in their narrative flow, both the tragedies and comedies of life.

There are ninety stories in Radin s collection. Some are only a short paragraph of a hundred words. The longest one is about four hundred words. The stories are fascinating. Perhaps some meaning is lost in translation, but the stories, themselves, in English appear ambiguous and, as a result, lead the reader into pondering their meaning. The stories often leave much unanswered. There is no real moral to most of the stories. The chit-chat significantly diverges from forms of storytelling that I am familiar with. Sometimes the stories would leave me wondering what was the point of the story. For example, story #12 is only a small paragraph. It tells about an Indian who hunted racoon and saw something shiny. When he got close to it, it turned out to be a shining stone. There the story ends. It left me wondering: What is the point, what is this supposed to mean? Once I realized the stories do not have clear objectives, I began to enjoy them just for themselves. The way they are spoken, their subject matter, their style all offer clues – without ever being complete – into both the way Ojibwa thought and what was important to them.

CLARITY: 4
MISHALLA SPEARING Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Radin, P. Ojibwa Ethnological Chit-Chat. American Anthropologist. 1924 Vol 26:491-530.

What started as an attempt to obtain personal reminiscences from older individuals in the Eastern Ojibwa territory of Ontario, ended up as a collection of short tales and local gossip recounted by two elders. The narratives in this article provide an interesting glimpse into the Ojibwa village life and culture of the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century. There are accounts of everyday subsistence activities (hunting, berry-picking, fishing) as well as encounters with the supernatural (spirits, “Wild Indians”, super-human powers). The stories are similar in form: most begin with “Once (there was) a (an)…” followed by an adjective, subject, and action or event. Most are quite brief, but some accounts are a half page long. As an example of their style, here are some beginnings: “Once a young woman was captured by the enemy” (#46); “Once an Indian stole something from his fellow Indians” (#43); “Once an Indian came upon the track of a raccoon” (#80); “Once a young girl fasted for a long time” (#84).

There are ninety-one items in this article with no specific order; this is due to the author’s belief that there is charm in the haphazard nature of the stories. Each tale paints a mini picture of different aspects of Ojibwa life at all ages and stages: by leaving out an imposed structure or deeper explanations of religion and culture, Radin presents the data in its purest form, allowing the stories to express their own meanings. Some tales convey a moral message, such as: bad things happen “to all who disobey when they are told something” (p.24); others simply describe various situations wherein people interact with one another, with spirits or other creatures. Some tales describe encounters with specific animals (such bear, fox, raccoon, deer), with several mentioning specific incidents where an Indian is rescued from near-death. The most frequent type of story is about hunting, and generally men have the lead roles, although women, animals, spirits and ancestors are also very important characters in Ojibwa life.

These tales are interesting, humorous, and easy to read. Whether they are based on actual lived events, or are simply mythical interpretations of the past, they enrich our understanding of the forces and characters underpinning traditional Ojibwa culture.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTINA ZAENKER University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Smith, Harlan. The Petroglyph at Aldridge Point, near Victoria, British Columbia. American Anthropologist. October-December 1924 Vol.26(4): 531-533.

The author of this article, Harlan Smith, discusses the finding of a petroglyph near Victoria, British Columbia. The petroglyph was found on the rocks of Aldridge point at the Western side of the entrance to Becher Bay, the most southern part of Vancouver Island. Although the author was skeptical when he first heard about the petroglyph, he was astonished to discover it, especially given its odd location.

From a distance the petroglyph looks like “faint chalk marks.” When one comes closer, figures start to be decernable. The most apparent figure is a huge animal, possibly a seal in profile. A Mr. Ford believes he saw a whale among the petroglyphs with a large dorsal fin but others were less sure. Many figures were badly damaged and because of the short observation period, only 15 minutes, Smith and his colleagues did not have time to discern what other figures might be there. Smith suggests the “character of the art seems to resemble that of the petroglyphs near Nanaimo” (a nearby site).

The petroglyph, Smith asserts, was formed by “bruising lines in the rock.” The lines are about an inch wide and a quarter of an inch deep. Since the petroglyph is located on a rock, just above the high tide mark but below the surf, it appears an unlikely spot for a petroglyph. The petroglyph, moreover, is at a spot that is difficult to gain access to.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
THERESA ARONSSON Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Smith, H. Petroglyph at Aldridge Point. 1924. American Anthropologist. Vol 26: 531-533.

This three-page article describes a seal-like image carved into a large rock, found at the western side of the entrance to Becher Bay in East Sooke (near Victoria, BC). The rock is slightly to the East of Beechy Head, the most southern point on Vancouver Island, situated between the high tide and spray line, immediately eastward from a fault near to the international cable landing. Smith describes the interesting visual effect that occurs when the rock is viewed from a distance. He states that the presence of lichen and dirt cause the intervening spaces on the rock to appear dark, whereas the smoothly worn lines of the seal-like symbol are quite bright, resembling chalk markings. Another petroglyph is reported to be near to the first one, but its carved image cannot be identified. Smith does not explain the origin of the two carvings: instead, he hypothesizes that the character of the art seems to resemble that of the petroglyphs near Nanaimo, differing from those known to be found on the coast, north of Comox. This article is one of many that Smith wrote during the first half of the twentieth century, during a period wherein he attempted to document the extensive distribution of rock art in the Northwest Coast of North America.

A petroglyph is a symbol made of lines bruised into rock. The two photographs included within the brief article each show a different view of the seal-like carving: these were later submitted to the National Museum of Canada, along with moving picture stills of the figures. The article is easy to understand, yet has insubstantial evidence to discuss why the particular image was carved there, or even what the significance of Becher Bay was to local indigenous groups (as often petroglyphs were used to mark specific fishing or cultural territories). Perhaps if a richer context were laid out, this article would give us a better understanding of the nature of the petrogylphs at Aldridge Point. However, as it stands, there are many questions left unanswered.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHRISTINA ZAENKER University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Speck, Frank G. The Ethnic Position of the Southeastern Algonkian. American Anthropologists 1924, Vol. 26:184-200.

The Algonkian Indians are discussed in this article, especially their cultural characteristics language, tribal groupings, boundaries, and differences from neighboring tribes. The entire southeastern portion of North America came to be known as the Algonkian linguistic and cultural area, Speck notes. But because there is not necessarily a specific line that divides culturally defined from linguistically defined areas, it is difficult to distinguish boundaries between Algonkian and neighboring tribes.

The next section of this article examines the Algonkians in general showing two major groupings with additional tribes as sub-groups. For example, there is the Powhatan group which extended from Albemarle Sound to the Potomac River (Virginia area). This group consisted of twenty-six to thirty-two tribes belonging to the same confederacy. The other group, in this region, is the Carolina group, consisting of just one tribe (in the North Carolina area).

To explain the different cultural traits between these two groups, despite the sharing of a common language as well as religious and political autocracy, Speck suggests a sub-group of Algonkians migrated from Virginia to North Carolina and, there, came under the influence of the Muskogian tribe.

CLARITY: 2
AMELIA VARGAS-MARÍN Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky).

Speck, Frank. The Ethnic Position of the Southeastern Algonkian. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol.26:184-200.

Frank Speck provides a detailed overview of the Southeastern Algonkian culture area—a region which includes coastal eastern and south-eastern Virginia and eastern North Carolina. The group represents a transitional or intermediate cultural area between the Algonkian speaking hunting tribes to the north, and the agricultural tribes to the south. Using extensive data from archaeology, linguistics, material culture and ethnology, Speck explores commonalities between neighbouring groups, and presents his theories to explain the cultural and linguistic patterns which emerge.

The S.E. Algonkian group is sub-divided into the Powhatan and the Carolina. Apart from a difference in political organization, (the Powhatan have formed a confederacy of tribes) the two groups are culturally indistinguishable and represent a continuous culture area. Linguistically they are linked to northern Algonkian speakers and demonstrate little change from their parent language, apart from a minor phonetic shift. Culturally, little resemblance exists between this group and the Algonkians to the north. S.E. Algonkians demonstrate remarkable similarity culturally to the groups in the south, particularly the Gulf culture area. Speck provides voluminous detail of shared culture traits including material culture, ceremonial and ritual activities, social structure, mythology and agricultural products and practices.

Speck concludes that Algonkian language spread via a southward migration of Algonkians. En route they encountered a more sedentary people with developed agriculture, material culture and social structure. They also acquired new cultural traits, revising, adapting, and eventually transmitting them northward into New England.

To explain the preservation of Algonkian language despite the adoption of the material culture of outsiders, the author proposes that the Algonkian rapidly emigrated into regions of established sedentary culture through invasion, capturing women and children from Southern territories, thus introducing new elements of culture.

This article presents much detailed information about cultural attributes and geographical locations. Despite the reference map, it was difficult to follow some of the material, and the article required careful reading. The final few pages make the purpose clearer, and it is recommended to read pages 196-200 prior to the remainder of the article to get the most out of this paper.

CLARITY RANKING: 2.5
KIMBERLEY FINK-JENSEN University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Spier, Leslie. Wichita and Caddo Relationship Terms. American Anthropologist. 1924. 26:258-263

In Wichita and Caddo Relationship Terms, Leslie Spier discusses Wichita and Caddo terms for marriage and family relations based on information gathered from Wichita and Caddo informants. Spier defines family position and relation terms of each group and then explains the marriage and family relations that existed, at that time, among the Wichita and Caddo. Spier focuses on three main issues.

First, each groups family position and relation terms are defined. Nuclear, extended, and in-law family member kin terms are discussed. For Wichita, dada is defined as “father” and natiok’i is defined as “my wife”. For Caddo, a’a is defined as “father” and ina’ is defined as “mother”.

Second, cultural marriage and family relations are explained for the Wichita. Band solidarity is emphasized through the practice of endogamy. Extended family ties are considered as close relations – first cousins are thought of as real siblings and, hence, are not allowed to marry one another. In terms of the widowed, spouses often marry a deceased’s sibling. Communication with in-laws is often directed through the respective spouse.

Third, cultural marriage and family relations are explained for the Caddo. Like the Wichita, the Caddo practiced endogamy. Again, marriage to a cousin is taboo. Similarly, a Caddo widowed man may marry the sister of his deceased wife (but, interestingly, not vice-versa). Communication between in-laws is restricted. Communication between parents in-law and children in-law is forbidden.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
JULIE KAHIAPO Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Spier, Leslie. Wichita and Caddo Relationship Terms. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol. 26:258-263.

This article is primarily a list of kinship terms from the Wichita and Caddo Native American languages, with a brief paragraph on each cultural group’s marriage practices and communication taboos between relations. No interpretations of language or practices are offered, and no direct comparisons are given between the two groups. Spier’s information is drawn from a native speaker of each language. He reports confidence in the Wichita terms obtained, but expresses some doubt as to the accuracy of the Caddo terms “particularly as the unusual separation of collateral from lineal relatives suggested would indicate misunderstanding” (p258). Terms are presented in phonetic transcription of a non-standardized form, and a pronunciation guide for the symbols is provided in the footnotes.

It is interesting to note certain similarities evident between the two languages. Both posses different relationship terms relative to ego’s gender, age, and who they are speaking to. Both group relatives of the same generation into categories, for example, father, father’s younger brother and father’s older brother are referred to as “father”, “little father” and “big father” respectively (p. 258 (Wichita) and p. 261 (Caddo)). Both groups are endogamous within the band, have a taboo on marriage of cousins, and limit communication with in-laws of a different generation to rare or emergency situations.

Although the meaning of terms and categories of kinship are similar, the actual phonetics of the languages are quite different. For example, the term for “little father” in Wichita is “da’tasikitsa” (p. 258) and in Caddo “ahatit” (p. 261). Further differences between the two include Wichita terms designating a sibling’s spouse as “our spouse”. This reflects the Wichita practice of sororate, marriage of one man to 2 or more sisters successively following the death of one, or her inability to bear children, and levirate, where a man is required to marry his brother’s widow, particularly if she has children. Although the Caddo have the same practices, it is not reflected in their terminology. The Caddo have a complex system of designating lateral relationships, such as “wahadin, father’s father’s brother’s son’s son’s son’s son or daughter” (p. 262). No such categories are defined by the Wichita.

CLARITY RATING: 4.5
KIMBERLEY FINK-JENSEN University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Spier, Leslie. Wichita and Caddo Relationship Terms. American Anthropologist 1924, Vol. 26: 258-263.

The article is a study of basic relationship terms of two languages, namely Wichita and Caddo. The terms were obtained at Anadarko, Oklahoma in August, 1919. The informant for the Wichita terms was John Haddon who habitually spoke Wichita, but was a Kichai, and the terms in Caddo were obtained from Bill Edwards from the Xasine band. Spier notes that the Wichita terms were reasonably stable and clear, while the Caddo was questionable since there was an unusual separation of lineal relative from that of collateral ones which indicates some misunderstanding on that point.

Most of the article is dedicated to actually listing the different terms in each language, while stressing the different relationships. It doesn’t seem to be too concerned with comparing or contrasting the different relationships of the terms, but states them independently. It clearly states that both bands don’t practice exogamy. In both cases as well, neither a man nor a woman could talk a lot with their parents-in-law or the brothers and sisters of the parents-in-law including their children (children-in-law). In addition, one term usually had several meanings or applications. Among both groups, there is a clear distinction when talking to or about children, the young, and elders.

In the case of Wichita speakers, it is the sororate which was mainly practiced, although the levirate was also practiced. First cousins could not be married since they were thought of as conceptual siblings, and so were to be treated as real brothers and sisters.

Caddo speakers, on the other hand, have more complicated terms for different members and the relationships are more complex. Again, the terms real and conceptual are applied, but this time to children. Spier’s confusion on the application of several terms is apparent as there seem to be notes on other probable applications next to the ones listed. This confusion is observable for both groups of terms but seem more emphasized for Caddo. Spier’s presentation of the data was a clear-cut listing of terms and their relationships, and simply states observable facts, while noting the obvious discrepancies in the data collected.

CLARITY: 3
BELEN SISAY University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Spier, Leslie. Zuni Weaving Technique. American Anthropologist. 1924 Vol.26: 64-85

Spier is concerned with recording, in detail, Zuni weaving techniques. The article starts with the preparation of yarn. Spier goes on to consider the different types of weaving Zuni do – such as not only dress fabrics but dress fabrics with a diamond self-pattern, blanket weaving, belt weaving and belt loom weaving. The article touches upon men as weavers and concludes with a comparison of Zuni weaving vis-a-vis other Southwestern Indian groups.

The explanations of the looms are very detailed and give exact measurements. Spier provides a diagram of a loom used by Zuni and spells out every part of the loom.

The dress fabric with the diamond self-pattern is illustrated and broken into a grid, warps on the horizontal edge and heralds on the vertical edge, to explain the weaving process. Spier depicts the order in which the dress is sewn and explains how the loom works to create particular results.

The loom used for blanket weaving is the same as for weaving dress fabrics. Spier again, records in detail the techniques used noting that is a little simpler than for weaving dresses. Spier records that only sixteen inches were woven on one loom in three days of intermittent labor.

The loom used for belt weaving is different from dress or blanket weaving. Again, Spier offers a detailed diagram of the loom. The style of the weaving is distinct from those noted above. Belts and head bands are woven on belt looms, which are not upright like other looms. The belt loom uses a belt stick and reeds. Spier concludes this section by noting belt weaving is declining because weavers often carry a “contemptuous attitude toward the use of belt looms” and are careless in storing the reeds needed for it.

Many male Zuni informants seemed quite knowledge about weaving. They were even able to offer Spier a demonstration of various techniques, but, interestingly, many did not themselves take up weaving.

In the comparative notes, Spier gives a brief summary of which Southwestern tribes wove – essentially all of them. He then compares the different types of weaving styles used including the different weaving patterns, techniques, and tools used throughout the Southwest.

CLARITY: 4
MISHALLA SPEARING Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Spier, Leslie. Zuni Weaving Technique. American Anthropologist. January-March, 1924 Vol. 26(1): 64-85.

This article is the “incomplete”(64) notes of Leslie Spier on Zuni weaving techniques. Spier’s article is among the first accounts that discuss Southwestern weaving. His notes describe the weaving techniques used by the Zuni and discuss the cultural variations in weaving among the Southwestern tribes. Spier questions the role of men as weavers and provides evidence that could support the “common assumption that all weaving was done by men at the Spanish advent”(81).

Spier gives a detailed description of the techniques used by the Zuni to prepare, and weave dress fabrics, blankets and belts. He describes everything from preparing the wool (64-66), the tools used (66; 77), to how to weave dress fabric with a diamond self pattern (70-72), and position oneself when weaving (66; 70; 78). Included is a discussion of the cultural variation in weaving among the Southwestern tribes. Spier notes that, while only the women among the Zuni do the weaving, Hopi, Pima and Santa Clara men are the weavers in their culture. While the Zuni men do not weave, when asked they could demonstrate certain weaving techniques and discuss the raising of cotton, a task only done by women. This evidence seems to suggest that it could be quite possible that men were the weavers before Contact.

CLARITY: 3
SHELAGH KING University of British Columbia (Dr. John Barker)

Sullivan, Louis R. Race Types in Polynesia. American Anthropologist 1924 Vol.36: 22-26

In this article, Sullivan asserts there is no set “Polynesian type.” He compares a uniform, “Polynesian type” to an “American type.” He argues that just as the “American type” would have to be an average of all the nationalities living in America (African, Caucasian, Asian, Native American, etc.), the Polynesian type is much too diverse to be summarized as an average “type.” The definition of a Polynesian, by anthropologists, is ambiguous. Some argue Polynesians were once “Mongols”, some Caucasian, some “Negroid”, and some even, their own separate race.

Sullivan proposes, in an analysis of the measurements of indigenous peoples in Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Marquesan, Tuamotu, Tahiti, Tubual, Easter Island and Tonga that a difference exists between present and past inhabitants. Comparing earlier and current skeletal remains, he concludes that the present inhabitants are taller, with larger cephalic structures, and even bigger noses.

He then describes in detail the different features of several Polynesian groups. For example, the Chatham Island people are a very “primitive caucasoid type” due to their isolation and would, according to Sullivan, likely fit the description of a “Polynesian.” The inhabitants of Easter Island were categorized as “Melanesian” or “Oceanic negro” with a long head, broad nose and a “tendency to a projecting face.” Sullivan believes they cannot be rightly called Polynesian. Tongans, Samoans, and Tahitians are not perceived as Indonesian nor might they be classified, depending on one’s definition, as “typical” Polynesian. The natives of Hawaii and the Marquesas are designated as Indonesian in type.

The population of Polynesia, Sullivan suggests, consists of at least four different and distinct elements, two are “Caucasoid,” one is “Negroid” or Melanesian, and the last is part Negroid, part Mongolian. These physical types are divided among the different island groups, each group contains these characteristics in different proportions.

Sullivan asks for greater uniformity in anthropological terminology. There are too many names in anthropology, he argues, and not enough body types to fit them.

He concludes by raising the issue of whether there are separate body types due to different degrees of isolation among the islanders (and their ancestors). He believes that none of his four types is “confined wholly to Polynesia.” He questions whether these types are of “local origin” due to the fact that the different types seem so widely distributed throughout Polynesia.

CLARITY: 2
MISHALLA SPEARING Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Sullivan, Louis R. Race Types in Polynesia. American Anthropologist. January-March, 1924 Vol. 26(1): 22-26

Louis R. Sullivan uses craniometric and osteometric literature to argue that Polynesians are not a uniform racial type but a “badly mixed”(22) people made up of several races. Sullivan uses the variation in height, head size, nose width and prognathism (projecting face) among the Polynesians as evidence of a non-homogeneous population.

Sullivan notes the variation in physical types among the Polynesians. Sullivan groups the Polynesians of the Easter Islands as characteristically having a “long head combined with a broad nose and a moderate tendency to prognathism (projecting face)”(24). The Polynesians of the Chatham Islands, however, he characterizes as typically having a “long head combined with a narrow nose, lack of prognathism and moderate stature”(24). Sullivan postulates that this variation is a result of at least “four different and distinct elements”(25). Two of these elements being Caucasoid in nature, one Negroid or Melanesian, and the other, a mix between Negroid and Mongoloid in character. The variation found among the Polynesians, Sullivan argues is not a result of local differentiation from living on isolated islands. The physical variations that are found within the Polynesian populace can also be found in other population groups around the world. Thus, Sullivan believes that the Polynesians are the result of racial inter-mixing: “some of these remote islands [have] been reached by man not only once but in a few instances as many as four separate times”(26). At this point in time through analysis of past and present day Polynesians it appears that the “tall, short-headed, narrow-nosed element” among Polynesians is a recent arrival. These characteristics also present with the European and Asiatic Alpine line suggests recent migration of these people to Polynesia.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SHELAGH KING University of British Columbia (Dr. John Barker)

Swanton, John R. Three Factors in Primitive Religion. American Anthropologist. 1924, 26:358-.

In Three Factors in Primitive Religion, John Swanton points out certain errors occuring in the anthropological study of religion. Among the errors noted are: (1) the view that religion originated from observing various natural phenomena, (2) the assumed successive introduction of various religious elements, and (3) the indefinite use of the term animism.

In terms of the first error, Swanton observes that humans, throughout history, have associated religious beliefs with natural phenomena such as death, dreams, breath, and nature. Swanton acknowledges a casual connection between religion and these phenomena. In fact, he feels that phenomena excite religious interests. Yet Swanton believes that these phenomena became associated with existing beliefs rather than constituted the deductive origin for religious beliefs.

The second error – the assumed successive introduction of various elements into religious complexes – Swanton asserts tends to create time sequences along with their explanations for them. Studies show that each religious complex (monotheism, animism, polytheism, etc.) became distinctive while, at the same time, retaining elements of these other complexes. Swanton believes we should regard the evolution of religion not as an expansion and differentiation of an underlying group of core elements rather than a successive introduction of wide spread elements across the globe.

Last, Swanton complains about the vague usage of the term animism. As presently used, it lacks sufficient specifity. The term encompasses both ideas of anima and magic. Yet these two ideas are rather distinct.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
JULIE KAHIAPO Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Swanton, John R. Three Factors in Primitive Religion. American Anthropologist, 1924 Vol.26: 358-365.

This article by Swanton, a celebrated author for American Anthropologist, concerns the probably religious beliefs of primitive peoples and a genetic value given those beliefs. He relates the ideas of four anthropologists of note: E.B. Tylor, R.R. Marett, Carveth Read and Lucien Lévy-Bruhl. Swanton refutes all four of these ideas as being flawed. Tylor asserts his belief that primitive peoples likely had a notion of humans having both physical and phantom bodies, while Marett talks about the probable religious awe in which primitive man held natural phenomenon like thunderstorms and that he could not have beheld such things without attributing them religious significance. Read mentions his idea that primitive man connected cause and effect to spirits residing in natural objects, that if one saw an unusual item and then afterward something happened to him, good or bad, then it must be because of his encounter with that item. Lévy-Bruhl goes even further and says that primitive man surely would connect any phenomenon as being a manifestation of some unseen power.

Swanton says that the theory of particularism, the idea of “the assumed introduction of various elements in the religious complex at successive periods,” is also flawed. He believes that there are seven primary elements of religion that instead of being new ideas built upon existing ideas, are present in varying degrees in religions. These beliefs are: magic; numerous anthropomorphic beings which have never lived as men; a difference in power between these, sometimes with a supreme being; supernatural beings of human origin but higher powers; disembodied souls of the dead; humans embodied with connection to supernatural powers; general belief in humans having souls. Swanton gives examples of how these elements are mixed in many modern or recent peoples’ religions like Christianity, Islam, older China and many aboriginal peoples.

Thirdly, Swanton takes issue with what he feels is the too common and inappropriate use of the term “animism”. He differentiates animism from the ideas of animatism, anthropomorphic and anthropopathic as all being various ways to describe particular religious beliefs and beings.

CLARITY: 3
MONTY WATSON University of South Florida (Kevin A. Yelvington).

Waterman, T.T. The Subdivisions of the Human Race and their Distribution. American Anthropologist. October-December, 1924 Vol.26(4): 474-490

This article divides the human race into three racial categories: Caucasians, Mongolians and Negroes. According to the author T.T Waterman these three groupings also have subcategories, or mixed races, such as Polynesians – a mix between Mongolians and Negroes – and Indians – a mix between Negroes, Mongolians and Causcasians. The author claims Caucasians and Mongolians must be superior to Negroes since they inhabit the best land masses while Negroes have been pushed into the world’s peripheral dry lands.

The author examines these three racial categories in respect to four geographical regions. The Northern platform, or Holarctic region, is where the “highly civilized people reside” the Caucasians and Mongolians. Waterman envisions the other three regions as great peninsulas “raying off from the (Northern) platform along three lines of disturbance in the earth’s crust.” These Peninsulas are called South America, Southern Africa and Australasia. All are separated by huge bodies of water while remaining, in some form, a connection to the Northern platform. These peninsulas are inhabited by less uncivilized people, especially Negroes.

Waterman also believes that Negroes were the first group to people the earth and they, in fact, inhabited all the globe’s areas except the Americas, which was, at that time, covered with ice. The author concludes Negroes must be inferior to Caucasians and Mongolians since, today, they have been pushed out of their original habitat – especially the central “Holartic region” – and into less favorable areas such as Africa. Noting the tendency of superior forms of animal life to drive inferior forms into extinction, Waterman suggests “we ought to save out a few good Negro types before he become extinct.”

CLARITY RANKING: 3
THERESA ARONSSON Hawaii Pacific University (Rob Borofsky)

Waterman, T.T. The Subdivisions of the Human Race and their Distribution. 1924 American Anthropologist. Vol 26: 474-490.

This article provides an explanation for the division of the human population into three main racial categories: Mongolian, Caucasian, and Negro, and describes their global distribution as the result of historical evolution from a central polar landmass. He equates geographical location with human capacity, yet does not have sufficient data to prove his theories.

Waterman believes that in order to understand the distribution of man, we must first understand the shape of the earth. It is not “a ball”, but rather is a four sided, inverted pyramid. It can be viewed as “the platform of Holarctica [the northern polar region] with three peninsulas hitched to it” (p.476). The circumpolar (“top”) region extends to the thirtieth parallel, and includes the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, and alternating chains of mountains (the Rockies, Pyrenees, Alps, Atlas, Caucasus and Himalayas). This area is home to all of the “highly civilized peoples”, the Caucasians and Mongolians. The rest of the land is divided into peninsulas called South America, southern Africa and Australasia: the first two groups plus the Negroes inhabit these, with the latter restricted to specific areas. The reason why Negroes occupy only these southern areas is because the other stronger, aforementioned groups kicked them out of Europe. A contrasting theory from the current belief of Africans having evolved from Africa and migrated into Europe!

It is clear that the author shares the bias of many scientists in the 1920’s who searched for explanations for racial differences. The Mongolian groups are characterized as strong, patient, of vast ingenuity, but although the author describes them as “likeable”, or even “equal” to the Caucasians in some respects, the White people are the most successful, dominant group (p.487). Negroes, on the other hand, are the lowest forms of men: they were historically unable to defend themselves against other two groups thus had to migrate far away from the central platform. Although Waterman devotes one section to the “reasons for this distribution” of the Negro in the peripheral areas, he frequently admits that ‘he is not familiar enough” with the history of such areas to truly account for their mixed populations. Another section looks at the “mental position of the Negro”, but again Waterman lacks sufficient information in order to summarize their true capacities.

The author concludes that because Negroes are backwards and resistant towards advancement, they will vanish from the earth in due time. His final statement is “We ought to save out a few good Negro types before he becomes extinct” (p.490). This is a good indication that the author was trying to blame the geographical distribution and inequality of races on the groups themselves, thereby proving why Caucasian groups are superior to all others: it is because of their natural ability to dominate.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHRISTINA ZAENKER University of British Columbia (John Barker)