American Anthropologist 1952
Bock, Kenneth E. Evolution and Historical Process. American Anthropologist October-December, 1952 Vol.54 (4): 486-495.
In this article Bock investigates the history of evolution and historical process and their roles in science. Specifically he focused on Leslie A. White’s position of defending the “pre-Boasian brand of evolution” which was strongly refuted by his colleagues.
White argued that Boas confused a people’s culture history with the evolution of culture. He states that a historic sequence is composed of a series of events unique to a people, while the evolutionary process is a measurement of classes of events, and the two are only alike in that they both involve temporal sequences. In other words, history is unique, evolutionary process is general. What White sought to do was find a way of generalizing the science of man by looking for evolution outside of the historic process. In other words, he wanted to make generalities about a culture in a manner that included avoiding the particular events of history.
His colleagues criticized this concept on the basis that although particular and universal knowledge are intertwined, the science of particulars cannot be avoided to obtain generalities. Indeed there is no reliable system of arriving at generalities without the existence of particular events.
Bock summarized Whites accomplishments well when he writes, “he (White) has recalled to us our general failure to supplant evolutionism with any other satisfactory methodological framework within which we can seek generalizations about cultures,” and that social scientists “cannot immerse (them)selves indefinitely in a piecemeal appreciation of the discrete, the exotic, the particular, or the contemporary” (p.494).
CLARITY RANKING: 2
BETHANY J. MYERS Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Brown, Paula. Changes in Ojibwa Social Control American Anthropologist January–March, 1952 Vol.54(1):57-70.
Brown’s objective in the article is to look at the past authority and social control of Ojibwa society of Red Lake, Minnesota. Brown describes Ojibwa, also known commonly as the Chippewa, as “loosely structured, fluid, and flexible.” The Ojibwa were an indigenous culture performing important ceremonies (giwengia), a make-up of Shamans known as cisaki who specialized in the finding of objects that were lost, and a society that lacked formal law. The Ojibwa inhabited areas of Red Lake, sometimes communicating with other bands of the society. In 1863 a treaty was signed between the Ojibwa and the United States Government. This treaty established reservation areas of 3,200,000 acres, today having been reduced to 400,000. This treaty changed the organization of the band.
During the time of earlier productivity, the Ojibwa family was made up of a husband, his wife, and their children, married or unmarried. Members of the band were free to come and go as they pleased joining other clans located elsewhere. There were rules of marriage, being that no member of the patrilineal clan could marry another of the same clan, called (dodem). The parents did not punish the children harshly. If they did something bad they were told stories in which there were severe results from the action they had performed. The men and the women of the band established strong bonds between them in the form of friendship.
The Reservation Act of 1863 placed bands of the Ojibwa under one leadership. They now had formal law and political structure. The families could no longer make a living off of the fish hatcheries alone. The lakes that used to provide the food for them are no longer abundant, and the maple trees, which provided syrup for the families, were also less abundant. This was a result of the large number of bands now located in one area instead of spread out all over the Red Lake region. “Lacking a tradition of formal authority and formal means of social control and losing the economic and social basis of informal authority and social control, the Ojibwa are unable to call upon “the old way” as a solution to modern dilemmas.” The men of the bands are now leaving the reservation to go look for work outside the Red Lake area. As well, there is quarreling among the members because of the possibilities of community development with some of them willing to work for it, and others wanting their traditional ways back again.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MEGAN WILSON Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Brown, Paula. Changes in Ojibwa Social Control. American Anthropologist 1952 54: 57-70.
Paula Brown discusses a series of changes that occur to a native Indian tribe called Red Lake. These changes occur in a gradual progression of three stages, before their placement on the reservation, during the beginning of their stay on the reservation following through to the present period, which at the present are the fifties. The first stage deals with their early hunting and gathering society, which traveled in small bands. The second change that happened was on the reservation and the restrictions that were imposed upon them. At this period in time war with the Sioux was prohibited coinciding with a great influx of white settlers, who brought with them the idea of Christianity. At this point Chiefs are introduced to be representatives for their own individual tribes. The final change, which is discussed, deals with the present period that the article was written. This final stage shows the slow digression of the Red Lake peoples away from their traditional norms of behavior based on the appearance of the settlers. At this point, chiefs do not represent distinct local groups and there are a lot conflicts over tribal councils, due to the large amount of government interference. Also, serious offenses are now dealt within Federal courts, as opposed being dealt within each tribe. The large amount of government control, beliefs in the supernatural and its sanctions are in a steady decline. This could also be evident due to the large amount of white settlers who brought the concept of Christianity with them. The changes in the Red Lake people arise from numerous factors, the two most distinct are the placement on reservations and the increase of government control.
SHERISSE SEQUEIRA York University (Naomi Adelson)
Chapple, Eliot D. The Training of the Professional Anthropologist: Social Anthropology and Applied Anthropology. American Anthropologist July-September, 1952 Vol.54(3):340-342.
As early as the fifties, anthropologists were being sought after by other fields and professions such as psychiatry and social work. With the increasing demand for anthropologists in the professional world, Chapple believes that not only are there not enough anthropologists to cover the demand but that young anthropologists are not adequately trained for their jobs.
Chapple believes that the best solution for the lack of well-trained anthropologists is to focus university curriculum on the “five points of strength in anthropology” (p.341). Chapple’s five points of strength are: 1. the relativistic approach that is founded on the comparative study of cultures, 2. the early classical descriptive works in cultural anthropology, 3. anthropology’s natural science background, 4. the importance placed on field work, and 5. the importance placed on accurate and as much as possible un-biased recording of cultural activity. These five strengths as outlined by Chapple are still today at the core of social and applied anthropology. Though Chapple’s article was a call for better education in the fifties, his principles still apply today.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
LISA PORTER Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Chapple, Eliot D. The Training of the Professional Anthropologist: Social Anthropology and Applied Anthropology. American Anthropologist July-September 1952 Vol.54(3):340-342.
By the early fifties, anthropology had come to play an important role in a multitude of disciplines, including social work, business and governmental organization, personal and industrial relations, and even technical assistance. Despite the use of anthropology in many fields, the number of well-selected and well-trained anthropologists remains low.
In order to better train and educate anthropologists, Chapple points out five strengths that can be capitalized upon in forma university training. The first is that anthropology takes on a relativistic approach to humanity, and focuses on the comparative study between culture and social organization. The second is the work done by early anthropologists; third is the natural science background of anthropology. Fourth is the primary emphasis of anthropology on fieldwork. The fifth and final strength is made up of the other four, and places importance on carefully recording details so that observations may be as accurate as possible.
In using these five points to train anthropologists, the training is viewed as similar to that of a “potential consumer.” Applied anthropology requires a complete grounding in comparative social and cultural organizations, along with a complete historical examination of cultural evolution. Also required is a study of basic monographs, an appropriate background in the physiology of human behavior, training in collecting accurate and objective data, and perhaps most importantly, field work beginning during undergraduate work. Following these rules will enable the elimination of those not ready to undertake the requirements of the field, and will better prepare those who do wish to become anthropologists.
STEPHANIE WEST Indiana U. of Penn. (Miriam Chaiken)
Cole, Fay-Cooper. Eminent Personalities of the Half Century. American Anthropologist April-June, 1952 Vol.54(2):157-167.
In this article, Cole begins by stressing importance of those who came before us. He reminds us that we cannot take full credit for the way anthropology is today. He discusses a few of the many men and women who worked to define the goals and guidelines of anthropology in the first half of the century.
Cole gives us a general summary of important names in early anthropology and stresses that some of the important early work was accomplished by people from other fields. He then continues with a brief overview of the lives and careers of some of the more outstanding early anthropologists. He discusses how Frederic Ward Putnam became Harvard’s Curator of American Archaeology and Ethnology and, later, a Peabody professor. Dr. Alfred Kroeber (the Dean of American anthropologists at the time of publication) attributed Putnam with placing “anthropology in America on a firm foundation.” (158)
Cole shows how William H. Holmes grew interested in archaeology through his career in art. On a survey of the southwest he became intrigued by the cliff dwellings and ceramics of the area. This prompted papers on the subject which led to his placement in the U.S. National Museum as Curator of Aboriginal Ceramics, only the beginning of his career. Also included were profiles of Adolph Bandelier the “‘Bohemian’ of American Anthropology,” (159), Dr. Berthold Laufer, George A. Dorsey, Clark Wissler and Roland Dixon, and Franz Boas among many others.
Cole gives accounts of these anthropologist’s careers, including the paths they took to anthropology, and the ways in which they affected the discipline. He also includes first-hand accounts, such as his first encounter with Bandelier, of a few who have personally affected his career. This is a good article for any who wonder about anthropology as a career choice or any who wish to read a touching tribute to the people who forged anthropology into what it is today.
A. SKYE FLYNN Indiana U. of Penn. (Miriam Chaiken)
Collins, June McCormick. An Interpretation of Skagit Intragroup Conflict during Acculturation. American Anthropologist July-September, 1952 Vol.54(3):347-355.
In this article, Collins studies why domestic violence has become more prevalent within a tribe located in the Puget Sound region of Washington. She cites four examples of familial violence that, she theorizes, would never have reached this severity before the ways of white people were adopted. First she explains that most cases of violence occurred between people who were related by marriage: a mother-in-law attempting to poison her daughter-in-law, brothers axing their sister’s husband to death, a husband beating his wife until she was surrounded by a pool of her own blood, a stepfather throwing his two year old stepson out of a canoe in water where the boy could not reach the bottom.
Collins does not deny that physical violence took place in precontact times but explains that most aggression found its relief in the spread of vicious gossip and through supernaturalism. When physical violence did occur in precontact times, there were usually protectors available due to the interwoven social organization of the Skagit. The Skagit always recognized tensions when distant relatives shared space for a prolonged period of time. In the case of in-laws the tensions may rise due to a fear of one another’s guardian spirits.
Collins attributes much of the rise in violence to the emergence of the nuclear family living arrangement for the Skagit. She explains that the sheer number of people in extended family households discouraged violent behaviors. She also illustrates that within the larger housing units there was an increased chance that one would be living with members of her own family who had already married into the same family. Also, in precontact times in-laws relied on each other economicaly, and this interdependency included the entire extended family rather than just husbands and wives. When the Skagit began to choose their spouses in mission schools without regard to kinship relations, many lost their protection and were viewed as outsiders.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
TERA CREMEENS Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Collins, June McCormick. An Interpretation of Skagit Intragroup Conflict During Acculturation. American Anthropologist, 1952. Vol.54 (3): 347-355.
Collins addresses the causes of incidents of extreme physical violence, including homicide, among a group of Native Americans living in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. These acts, while in the past where not uncommon between members of differing social classes, are now involving family members – specifically those related through marriage. The central thesis of the article states that these acts of aggression result from tensions present prior to European contact. Past hostilities were eased through non-violent means, such as sorcery or magic, but with the incursion of the Europeans, family violence erupted.
Collins then discusses the roots of this underlying tension, which was expected to exist between distant relatives. Despite this, it was common for them to marry or spend large amounts of time together. She believes that rivalry for the attention of the person through whom two people are related and the belief that a distant relative’s guardian spirit may pose a threat are both causes of this tension. Reasons as to why this hostility was not expressed violently include social norms supported by myth, the existence of large households, and the authority exerted over the household by the eldest brother. Economic reasons include the exchange of property at the time of marriage and the “food-getting visits” enjoyed by the two sets of in-laws, during which they could exchange special foods the other set may not have access to. This economic dependence facilitated cooperation and minimized tension. In the event that a step-child was being abused by a step-parent, members of the extended family had the right to intervene and place the child with another family. Both the social system and cultural values prevented the violence observed by Collins.
While the presence of Europeans may not have led to an erosion of these pre-existing values, it greatly affected the structures that were enforcing them. Family units grew smaller in number and lost much of the influence of the older generation, including the authority of the elder brother. Marriage patterns also began to change, with more women marrying outside the group and experiencing hostility from the husband’s family. An exchange of property is also less likely to occur and the reciprocity enjoyed by the in-laws is no longer necessary, since families can obtain food without having to forage. Kin can no longer step in to protect an abused step-child, as this would most likely be punished by the court system.
Collins concludes that while these domestic disputes occur among relatives expected to experience tension, the violence is a result of the breakdown of the social structure of Skagit society. Without this structure, the cultural values that promoted cooperation can no longer allow this society to function effectively.
KATHY GLEDITSCH Indiana University of Penn (Miriam Chaiken)
Daifuku, Hiroshi. A New Conceptual Scheme for Prehistoric Cultures in the Southwestern United States. American Anthropologist…April-June, 1952 Vol.34(2):191-200.
In this article, Hiroshi Daifuku points out certain incorrect portrayals of different groups of the Greater Southwest. His primary concern is with the misrepresentation of the Mogollon culture. He adamantly contests that the notion of this group as a “basic culture”is wrong in several different ways. Three main flaws are most prevalent in this claim that the Mogollon are a “basic culture.” First, the actual definition of the word basic implies that they are the primary, or first inhabitants of a certain region or from a certain ethnic background. Since such a notion is impossible to trace genetically, or by any other means, then it should be disregarded. Secondly, Daifuku reveals that this region is often the stage for many archaeologists to begin their careers. He subtly attributes this lack of experience to insufficient evidence by arguing against claims of a physical type (Caddoan) supported by measurements of one in tact skull. His third, and perhaps strongest, argument is that the term “basic culture” is extremely relative to different peoples and has resulted in mass confusion in regards to the status of the Mogollong culture. While pottery fragments do differentiate the Mogollon from the San Juan, other characteristics remain similar. This effort to dismiss any notions of the Mogollon as the basic people is done so in order to substantiate the notion that this region of eastern-central Arizona was an area of central development. After explaining the controversy, the author provides his own classification of these interrelated cultures in a specific outline form. In support of his own perspective on the development and chronology of the Greater Southwest, Daifuku incorporates origins, migration, agricultural development, and even faunal extinction in his personal account of the history of the Greater Southwest.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
KEVIN CONNORS Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Daifuku, Hiroshi. A New Conceptual Scheme For Prehistoric Cultures In The Southwestern United States. American Anthropologist 1952. Vol. 54: 191-200
Hiroshi Daifuku’s article examines the evolution of archaeological conceptual schemes that are used to classify the different levels which took place in various southwestern cultures.
The earliest cultures in the area were hunter gatherers. However, as climactic conditions changed, much of the large game disappeared, forcing some cultures to adapt and find new sources of food while others remained in their hunting ways. Of the agricultural cultures, there are two universally accepted groupings – the Pueblo and Hohokam cultures. Daifuku lists the periods making up the conceptual schemes for each of the aforementioned cultures, providing definition for each stage. Each scheme is divided up according to cultural criteria relating to economy, physical type, house type, pottery and bone.
A third cultural configuration, the Mogollon, has been recognized which is also characterized by agriculture and pottery. Some archaeologists believe the Mogollon is a “basic culture”. However, Daifuku points out that according to its definition, it is virtually impossible to prove any “basic culture” exists. To do so would require one to go back in time to the level where culture first began and be able to genetically trace all other cultures to that first one.
Archaeologists have tried to distinguish between the Mogollon and Pueblo cultures by physical type and house building, but have found that the groups are much too similar in those areas. Pottery, however, is the strongest argument when it comes differentiating between the two, but it still plays a minor part in generally distinguishing traits among peoples.
Daifuku goes on to state that the term “Peubloan” can be used as a collective term too refer to each the southwestern cultures – the Pueblo, Hohokam and Mogollon. He then proposes a new conceptual scheme that can be used for the whole area, resolving conflicts between the old schemes, yet also using many suggestions garnered from them.
CLARITY RATING: 3
SEVAAN FRANKS York University (Naomi Adelson)
Eggan, Dorothy. The Manifest Content of Dreams: A Challenge to Social Science. American Anthropologist October-December, 1952 Vol.54(4):469-485.
Dreams are, according to Eggan, a “universal human phenomenon” (p. 484), and are therefore of interest to social scientists as they attempt to systematically investigate the concept of culture. In this article, she describes the content of the dreams of a number of Hopi Indians, and categorizes the dream elements reported to her by one specific individual. Eggan then applies what reads as basically Freudian psychoanalytic theory to this data in an effort to interpret and then situate or organize it within Hopi culture.
Although written in the early 1950s, the theoretical orientation of this article seems to center around not only psychoanalytic theory, as previously mentioned, but also around the basic tenets of the culture and personality school of anthropological thought prevalent during the 1930s and ’40s. This process is exemplified in the article through Eggan’s analysis of the frequency of certain Hopi dream elements, which allows the investigator to, among other things, “…[discern] more fully the degree of an individual’s acculturation [and] the areas in which the informant’s value system is in conflict with that of his culture” p. 484). It is interesting to note the generalizations made by the author in attempting to explain the presence of certain cultural phenomena. For example, she wonders whether the process of birth in cultures where infants are “…pushed and shaken from a squatting mother…” causes members to symbolize birth differently from those people of western cultures where babies are born “…on a comfortable bed…aided by relaxing drugs and gentled in every conceivable way” (p. 480). At the same time, however, one must recognize and take into account the enormous changes that have taken place over the intervening years in regards to the knowledge base of areas such as psychology and psychiatry.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
LINDA SMITH Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Eggan, Dorothy. The Manifest Content of Dreams: A Challenge to Social Science. American Anthropologist, 1952. Vol 54: 469-485
This article deals with the resistance of many anthropologists to consider dream analysis as an adequate or appropriate method of scrutinizing a culture. Historically, dreams are not considered “scientific” because of their seeming ambiguity, and/or because of the improper analysis they have been subjected to in the past. Eggan concludes that dreams should be chronicled by researchers because they are a universal constant and can help to form a bond between the researcher and his or her subjects. With enough examples, dreams can also reveal insights into certain cultures, including evidence of acculturation, conflicts between a subject and his culture, and symbols the culture deems significant.
The evidence used by Eggan to support her arguments is gathered from both her own case studies and the studies of other scientists. In order to demonstrate the universality of dreams and explain both the good and bad aspects of dream analysis, Eggan relies on Murphy, French, and Freud. To support her theories about the bond between a researcher and his or her subjects and the insights one can gain into the culture, she cites evidence gathered from her own studies with the Hopi people.
Eggan’s case is presented by first introducing the concept of dreams as having scientific merit and explaining the universality of dreams throughout all cultures, as well as their function in relaxing self-censorship and letting an individual work over his or her problems internally. Second, she uses specific examples of dreams she has collected throughout her work with the Hopi people and analyzes their dreams using not only a psychological method, but an anthropological method as well, by making larger generalizations about culture through the dream world. Third, she discusses the utility of having a collection of dreams in order to cross-analyze them and gain generalizations about the cultures they represent. Finally, Eggan restates her conclusions about the importance of dreams and concludes by reiterating that anthropologists can no longer dismiss this method of investigation.
ANNA WATSON Indiana U. of Penn (Miriam Chaiken)
Erasmus, Charles John. The Leader vs. Tradition: A Case Study. The American Anthropologist April-June 1952, Vol.(54): 168-178
In this article, Charles John Erasmus takes on the arduous task of trying to find out how much individual influences have on a culture, and likewise defining how much the culture itself determines those influences. The paper deals with individual leadership, and how at times it tends to contradict tradition.
The area in question and used for evidence in this article is the Comunidad de los Indigenas de Masiaca. It is on the coastal plain of Sonora, Mexico. The Mayo Indians are the indigenous peoples, although there are also many mestizos and Mexicans. Here Erasmus provides a short background of the geography and people. The Mayo have an extreme fear of losing their traditional communal lands to the Mexicans and this is the major cause of unrest in this area.
Examples are given in which the individual nature of these people comes out before they become concerned with tradition. Most of the inhabitants are concerned with their land, and their individual problems are the only ones in which they are involved. These Mayo show no inclination to follow the lead of others, although the way the political system is set up, it is hard for an individual to fulfill and personal desires.
Erasmus believes that there is no such thing as a “full-blooded” Indian in the area, but this causes lots of confusion, with much interbreeding and individual groups. An example is given of a small revolt-like occurrence 1945 led by Giobila, a Mayo Indian. He tried to lead the people to force the Mexicans off of their land but he failed to realize the heterogeneous nature of the people of the area. Many Mayo made money from the Mexicans, and were unwilling to see them all go. Erasmus believes this program was too violent.
Erasmus speaks of three different levels of limitation, relating to the individual vs. tradition. The first is that limitations apply to human culture everywhere. Secondly, each tradition poses certain limits on its own culture. Lastly, each culture depends on its individuals. He goes on to state that when anthropologists study culture, their information and findings are based on a higher level than just the individual. Since the individual makes up such a huge part of culture, maybe more emphasis should be given to studying individuals, rather than just the culture as a whole. In this way, less over-arching generalizations will be made.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ALAN THIES Southern Illinois University (Jonathan Hill)
Erasmus, Charles John. The Leader vs. Tradition: A Case Study. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54(1):168-178.
Charles Erasmus’ article, “The Leader vs. Tradition: A Case Study,” presents the topic of “individual leadership” in rural communities and its affects on the culture and the social circumstances connected to it. Erasmus shows the issues of this topic by studying a case that concerns leadership within a Masiaca Native Community in Sonora, Mexico. This particular case study deals with land disputes and questions of who possess the true ownership of this particular land.
The land the Masiaca Native Community is located on contains natural resources, which are valuable to both the native people of the land and other rich Mexican companies. Because both are dependent on these natural resources, disputes have come about regarding who is the actual owner of the land and thus whom has the right to take its natural resources for themselves. Is it the Masiaca community, who has claimed this land as their home for many generations? Or is it the rich companies who have permission to take the resources since it is on government-owned property?
According to Erasmus, such disagreements over land ownership has now created “an almost universal” feeling of suspicion towards anyone of an authoritative position because of their reputation of offering bribes to the natives of the Masiaca community. Because of this issue, universal feeling of suspicion also carries on into the daily and religious relationships of the Masiaca people; thus, three degrees of limitation arises as a result of this. The first is the notion of generalization and the assumption that certain groups of people involved with the disputes belong to specific categories. The second accuses certain cultural traditions as being conditioned and limited. The third, degree of limitation that has resulted from the Masiaca ownership disputes, is the unfair notion of creating biases based on both the Masiaca people and the Mexicans of authoritative positions.
Clarity Ranking: 3
SARAH CEREZO York University (Naomi Adelson).
Fenton, William N. The Training of Historical Ethnologists in America. American Anthropologist July-September, 1952 Vol.54(3):328-339.
Fenton voices his concern about the maturity of the discipline of ethnohistory. Fenton stresses particularly the history, source material and methods/practice of the discipline.
Historically Fenton notes 4 periods when considering American anthropology: Exploratory (1492-1800), discovery (1800-1860), museum (1860-1900) and academic (1900-1950), and applied (1951-). Fenton considers an essential part of the education of anthropologists to be knowledge of the history of American ethnology. One benefit Fenton sees of this education would be insight into the direction of the discipline and therefore the trends of the job market. It also seems Fenton is realizing the early stages of specialization within the discipline of anthropology and comments that anthropology was “dying at the core while expanding at the periphery”(331).
One of the major problems Fenton sees is the lack of knowledge on the part of upcoming anthropologists, particularly ethnologists, in the types of materials available as well as how best to use them. These materials include informants (first and foremost), photograph collections, specimens, manuscripts and other printed materials. Fenton briefly indicates the importance of each and also notes advances in technology aiding today’s academic/researcher (e.g. the copy machine) (333).
On the topic of methods and practice Fenton spends considerable time on what he refers to as “the Direct Historical” method, what Fenton calls ‘upstreaming’. Basically this entails “working back from the known to the unknown” (333). In addition to much praise, Fenton discusses the “Direct Historical” approach in relation to deep-level ethnography, archaeology (which he sees as resting on 3 premises: stability of major trends, ‘upstreaming’ and preference for descriptions which show continuity) and fieldwork. Also included in Fenton’s discussion of methods and practice are the topics of “time perspective” or stability/cultural change through time, diffusion (with warning by Fenton for thorough and repeated analysis), as well as a discussion of two applications of the practice of historical ethnology. Teaching from literature of contact (native Americans specifically) is the first of these two applications and d Fenton states how anthropological knowledge follows the frontier citing Mooney and Kroeber. The emerging field of courtroom ethnology and the use of theory and historical fact to set precedents is the second application. Fenton discusses problems such as rigor of method in reference to court application.
CLARITY RANKING: 3.75
JEFFERY BROWN Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Fenton, William N. The Training of Historical Ethnologists in America. American Anthropologist January, 1952 Pg. 328-339.
According to William N. Fenton, cultural anthropologists in America do not consider themselves in the field of historical science. Rather, they depend strongly on the upcoming ethnologists to provide ther field work findings in the libraries, allowing them not to do field work.
The people who are mainly biographers, colonial historians, historians of the West, and lawyers, don’t have the ethnological training to fully understand the studies they are researching. Surprisingly, these are the people who are mainly using ethnologists’ findings rather than the ethnologists themselves. Historians must help to train some ethnologists in historical procedures to establish an equal at-home observation of their field studies and historical facts. In addition, anthropologists without historical facts are similar to historians without cultural knowledge. In turn, Fenton believes that ethnological samples are the most precious but yet the most neglected. American enthology is experiencing lowered opportunities to do field work involving primitive cultures. For example, the Clements library at the University of Michigan has a collection known as the Gage Papers, which are the detailed reports of John Stuwart, who was His Majesty’s Superintendant of the Indians. These haven’t been examined by an ethnologist.
The author suggests that students that focus on an area and its people allow them to have a holistic perspective of the culture. The author highly recognizes professionals such as Samuel Kirklands, Guy Johnson, Conrad Weiser, and Lewis H. Morgan whose field studies correlate with his description of the Iroquois.
Fenton suggests that information obtained from fieldwork analysis was often taken without reference to other similar work collected in the past. For example, Wissler’s team wrote an ethnography of the Plains Indians without first referring to historical data.
Fenton concluded his paper suggesting that the American Indian course be taught strictly in a historical manner. Furthermore, students will not only receive the background history of the Natives but they will also learn to develop the necessary skills from historical methods. He recommends training anthropologists to learn the principles of historical research and also he advices historical ethnologists to do their research in the libraries and archives.
JANI TRINDADE York University (Naomi Adelson).
Garvin, Paul L. and Riesenberg, S. H. Respect Behavior on Ponape: An Ethnolinguistic Study. American Anthropologist April-June, 1952. Vol.54(2):201-219.
In this article Garvin and Riesenberg attempt to show that the study of a culture’s language can be an affective means of analyzing that society’s cultural structure. They illustrate this by showing the likeness of linguistic and behavioral relationships with the Ponape culture.
The Ponape people consist of more than twenty matrilineal clans. The clans are divided into two leading clans, called the A-line and the B-line, each of which is composed of a single senior clan and several sub-clans. The sub-clans are thought to be descended from a family of sisters from the senior clan and are ranked according to their relative lineage distance from the original clan. Garvin and Riesenberg investigate the respect between and amongst the sub-clans as well as their relationship to the senior clan through the study of language and behavior.
The authors identified two types of speech patterns, honorific speech and “common” speech. The height of honorific speech patterns, or royal honorific speech, is used only when speaking to or of the two highest tribal titles, Nahnmwarrki and Nahnken, meaning chiefs or officials. The honorific speech system not only includes speaking of the chiefs with respectful language, but also speaking with a respectful attitude in the presence of or even when speaking of the chiefs in their absence. Honorific speech is also used when speaking of terms in association with the Nahnmwarrki or Nahnken such as the name of food, which for the royal family is referred to as sak, but for commoners is referred to as kang, although it should be noted that honorific vocabulary primarily includes the names of body parts and verbs that mark bodily activities and states.
Behaviorally levels of respect can be seen by and individual’s physical arrangement in relation to the chiefs’. During ceremonies the chiefs are seated physically above everyone else. People are never to stand or sit with their head higher than the officials’. Should the official be seated, in order to pass him one must crawl by so that their head is lowered. It is also thought taboo to touch the Nahnmwarrki’s and Nahnken’s person or clothing, and until 1925 commoners could not eat with or even speak to the chiefs.
Garvin and Riesenberg prove in this article that attitudes of respect can be conveyed through speech patterns that are in turn paralleled by behavioral action. The authors also attempt to gauge the depth of the Ponapean attitudes of respect by what they call the ” ‘degree of pattern involvement’ in the use of honorific speech,” or the extent the cultural and linguistic patterns are involved in the different levels of respect. By studying behavioral and linguistic likeness in the Ponapaen culture the authors have shown how language can influence and reiterate cultural and psychological structuring.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
BETHANY J. MYERS Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Garvin, Paul and Riesenberg, S.H. Respect Behavior on Popape: An Ethnolinguistic Study. American Anthropologist 1952 Vol. 54:201-220.
This article is a detailed analysis of the verbal and non-verbal patterns of respect in the Ponapean culture; a small island located in the eastern Caroline Islands.
As a means of adequately understanding the social structure of the Ponapean culture, the authors outline tribal rankings. There are two tribal groups, the Nahnmwarrki and the Nahnkun. Within these two tribes there is a complicated structure of titles, sub-clans and status, which help in determining the amount of respect or honor a specific person is entitled to. This concept of honor (or waw as they call it also determines the characteristics of communication (both verbal and nonverbal) that occur in their society. Inferior and superior persons are distinguished and spoken to differently.
These patterns of verbal respect are referred to as honorific speech. The basic distinction between the two types of speech when addressing inferior or superior people is separated into honorific versus non-honorific (or common) speech. Honorific is used in addressing those superior in ranking. As well, royals have their own royal honorifics, which differ from both honorific and non-honorific speech. Thus, three different dialects or languages are used for each ranking. Each pattern is outlined in great detail. Grammar is a very important part of all three types of speech. As well, the size of one’s vocabulary is seen as a reflection of that person’s knowledge and wisdom.
Also researched are the non-verbal patterns of respect. This is particularly important in addressing those of royal rankings. For example, during ceremonies the seating arrangement is such that no one’s head is physically higher than the chief’s. As well, attendants to the chief are not allowed to look directly at his face. This is seen as disrespectful. Many other examples of non-verbal honorifics are outlined.
This article offers an interpretation of two patterns of respect (verbal and non-verbal) among the Ponepean and seeks to show how greatly a tribe member’s life is affected by the learning and use of these honorifics. An extensive list of honorific vocabulary (109 words) is given at the end of the article.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
NO NAME York University (Naomi Adelson).
Gillin, John. Antonio Goubaud Carrera, 1902-1951. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54(1):71-73.
Gillen reports Carrera’s passing at 49 in 1951. Carrera’s credits include the Guatemalan Ambassador to Washington and principle professor of anthropology at the University of San Carlos I Guatemala City. Carrera led a charmed life in which he pursued his academic interests without rest (special interests lying in “Indians”) and was very politically active and influential.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JEFFERY BROWN Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Gillin, John. Antonio Goubaud Carrera, 1902-1951. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54 (1): 71-73.
Antonio Goubaud Carrera was a Guatemala City native born on August 17, 1902. Carrera held a few different positions throughout his lifetime. They included: Guatemalan Ambassador to Washington and principal professor of anthropology at the university of Guatemala City. He was schooled in a private German academic elementary school, after that he was sent to the United States in 1916 to complete his high school and college work at St. Mary’s College in Berkley, from which he graduated in 1921. In 1939, he finally went to the University of Chicago after spending five years in the tourist business in order to get professional training in anthropology. He carried out fieldwork in 1942 spending his time in New Mexico. Carrera had been active in developing anthropological interest in the Society of Geography and History for quite some time. He also took a leading part in establishing the new National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the new administrative unit of the Guatemalan government called the Institute of Anthropology and History. In 1947, he traveled to Paris to serve as consultant to the UNESCO department of education. Antonio Goubaud Carrera was also a fellow of the American Anthropological Association and a member of the Royal Anthropological Institute. John Gillin stated in his article that Antonio Goubaud Carrera died at the early age of forty-nine in Guatemala City on March 8, 1951.
TOMMY J. HELD JR. Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Miriam Chaiken)
Gotesky, Rubin. The Nature of Myth and Society. American Anthropologist October-December, 1952 Vol.54(4):523-531.
In this article Gotesky reviews the ideas about myth that are presented by David Bidney. Chiefly, the question is whether a society has the ability to discriminate between myth and non-myth within their own culture. Bidney disagrees with Comte’s position that as a society becomes more advanced scientifically the fewer myths are perpetuated. This article attempts to look at the contradictions of Bidney’s article “The Concept of Myth and the Problem of Psychocultural Evolution”, that appears in the 1950, Vol. 52, No. 1 of the American Anthropologist.
The general idea is that societies are inherently the same as far as myth. They are able to clearly differentiate between what is true and what is mythical. In contrast to Comte, Bidney argues that the development of myth does not end when a society attains a particular level of scientific advancement, only that the way in which those individuals view the myth changes based on how the members define ‘belief’.
Gotesky lists the seeming contradictions that are present in Bidney’s article. They include: that myth is clear and known, even though by nature is unclear; societies only understand myth at a later time, but at a point when their perception is clouded by the knowledge that the myth is false; Bidney’s agreement with Malinowski’s statement that myth cannot be scientifically proven, contradicts his statement that myth cannot be “beyond truth or falsity.” If science is responsible for a society being able to distinguish myth from non-myth and a society prior to scientific knowledge has no basis for analysis, how can they distinguish between them? When a myth is created by science, scientific analysis is not sufficient to distinguish myth from non-myth. Finally, if the ability to discern the difference between myth and non-myth destroys myth, then every culture will not have myth as scientific knowledge increases.
The definition of myth can be tricky for analyzing myth. The beliefs that are attached to myth determine how they affect the society that observes them. Anthropologists define myth as something that is accepted by society regardless of value attachment or the ability to prove or disprove. Bidney’s idea of myth follows with this, but adds the idea of a value attachment; a false-truth; dependence on the view of the person, whether they believe the myth is true or false; and false if proven by science. However, these views miss that myth can be known as false, but still have a large loyalty due to it’s value-attached aspect. The examination of culture may find there are four (4) types of beliefs based on the understanding of what myth is and is not.
The conclusions are that myth for every culture serves the purpose of protecting the culture from unnecessary disorder. Myth will depend on the individual needs of the society, not solely on scientific data, and it’s ability to prove or disprove. There will always be disputes over the proper classification of belief and myth. Finally, social integrity and importance of myth as a form of identity are accepted for these “specific and general” purposes.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
TINA HASTINGS Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Gotensky, Rubin. The Nature of Myth and Society. American Anthropologist 1952 Vol. 54: 523-532.
In endeavoring to answer the question concerning the possibility that a society can distinguish between its own myths and non-myths, anthropologists have responded that the more scientific a society is, the more capable it is of making the distinction.
Others have opposed this viewpoint of Comte, such as Malinowski, who argued that myth is essential for the perpetuation of a society. This article, however, explores the views of Bidney who emphasized that myths are not just necessary but are inexpungable.
Bidney argues that every society distinguishes between myth, fact and fiction, and that “myth making” ends with the appearance of a scientific society. Thus myths, when believed, or when seen as false or when unable to be scientifically substantiated or disproved, are fraught with misconceptions and contradictions. Bidney’s analysis of myth is a series of arguments concerning the validity or invalidity of when a myth is a myth and when it is no longer believed to be a myth. Nevertheless, Bidney’s theses is a series of contradictions and ambiguous statements concerning the concept of “myth”, false belief” or “true belief”.
In accepting that every society has its myth, the author attempts to distinguish between what is true and what is myth, which is explained as a “value-charged” belief. This concept appears to be closest to the archaeologist usage of the term “myth”. However, Bidney labours the point as to what he considers to be the essential characteristics of myth. He claims that those who believe a myth as true, do not believe it to be a myth. Thus the author attempts to provide an explanation concerning Bidney’s concept of myths. Comparing various contentions, the article demonstrates that Bidney’s conception of myth is that myth is belief, which is value-charged, believed to be true, although actually false. If true it is of course not a myth. There is no indication if these definitions of what is a myth is compatible with scientific knowledge of the time, which would prove myths to be true, and hence not a myth, or a myth and hence not true.
If the analysis of Bidney’s hypothesis is justified, then his thesis, that all cultures create their own myth still holds. However, this is true if, and only if, the concept of myth as false truth is rejected. Finally, a myth, like any belief, can be false, but it is not false because it is a myth. Furthermore the acceptance or rejection of what is a myth, what is true, and what is false depends not only on scientific criteria, but on the needs of the society to maintain its belief in myths as being of special significance and utility for that particular society.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
BERTIE FRIEDLANDER York University (N. Adelson)
Honigman, John J. Intercultural Relations at Great Whale River. American Anthropologist October-December, 1952 Vol.54(4):510-522.
Honigman’s interest was with the three cultural groups who lived at the Great Whale River at the time of this article. In 1949, there were 193 “Eskimos,” 171 “Indians,” and 4 or 5 Eurocanadians. Honigman discussed the nature of the interactions between the groups, and gave reasons for why these interactions were so limited. All of them lived different lifestyles; the whites had little dependence on the environment, while the other two depended on it to a large degree. The groups only lived in close proximity during the summer months because the Eskimo and Indian men left for months at a time for hunting purposes. The Indians depended on land mammals in forested areas, while the Eskimos had a coastal subsistence. Though they did not share subsistence strategies, Honigman explains that their cultural material appeared to be similar due to heavy trading between Eskimos and Indians.
Trading was one form of interaction, though there were a few others. Eskimos and Indians also interacted in dances, two ball games, and various other occasions. Births, weddings, and funerals were ritual events in which there was some sort of interaction between all three groups. The Eurocanadians held religious services, during which the Indians and Eskimos were given the opportunity to interact. The Eurocanadians interacted with the other two groups mainly only on religious occasions, or when providing medical supplies or food. Eskimos commonly held jobs with the whites in return for wages.
Honigman found that all three groups had lived together for a relatively long time without learning each other’s languages. One of his explanations for this was ethnocentrism on behalf of each group, particularly that of the Eurocanadians. Also, he mentioned the fact that summer was the only period when they all lived near one another, and so for the most part, heavy contact was impossible. The fact that their life ways were so different meant little collaboration and conflict—another reason for limited contact. Without overcoming the language barrier, Honigman doubted that heavy interaction was possible.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
RACHAEL WILLIS Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Honigmann, John. Intercultural Relations at Great Whale River. American Anthropologist 1952. Vol.54:510-522
This article analyses three inhabitants of Great Whale River; Eskimo, Indians and Eurocanadians in 1949. Great Whale river is located on the east coast of the Hudson bay in Ontario. Introduces the article by announcing the first contact of the Europeans and the natives. The Europeans developed a commodity fetish that lead to the exploitation of the natives and their land. Europe was interested in furs and the fur trade, then the white whale and whale oil. The industry’s goal was to create a profit at any cost. Overall the combination of symbiotic dependencies and the distinct lifestyle variations that keeps a peaceful nature between the three groups.
Each of the groups that inhabit Great Whale river have distinct lifestyles that vary between one another. There is never any conflict for resources for food or land because each live in different regions for example Eskimos live near the shore and islands and the Indians live in the forest that borders the coastal strip of the tundra. The native groups hunt and gather for their own food and trade for the necessities that they can not provide themselves. The Eurocanadians have more access to imported items that allow them to enjoy luxury comforts.
Trade between groups is common activity, it promotes inter-group relations. Eurocanadians have the most control over the wage labor and trade dependency of the two native groups. They also provide church and medical services. Eskimos earn cash through selling their labor and trade trappings. Indians buy necessities from selling furs and trappings. They have a higher economic status and can secure commodities easier than the Eskimos. The Eskimos have rituals of visiting and recreation. Visiting is when the women go from tent to tent to familiarize themselves with the others pattern of living. The recreations rituals includes the young kids; go to dances and participate in ball games.
Although they all have factors promoting group inter-relations there are many factors that still inhibit inter-group relations such as ethnocentrism and linguistics. Each group creates a boundary separating themselves by stereotypes generalizing the group as a whole. Eskimos thought Indians were cheap and did not trade fairly, Indians thought Eskimos were not clean, that they were stronger, had prettier girls than the Eskimos. Whites knew they were the most powerful being the administrators, the teachers and the natives being the recipients. The problem began with the resistance of the natives to accept the European culture, they wanted to keep their own traditions.
Overall they all led lives with little conflict between each other because of the symbiotic dependency of the trade market and the fact that they are not in competition for land, resources or women.
MELISSA MOKEDANZ York University (Naomi Adelson)
Howells, W. W. The Study of Anthropology. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54(1):1-7.
In this essay Howells discusses the birth and evolution of anthropology –”The science of man and his works” (1). What Howells is in essence describing is the bringing of humans into the picture. When anthropology began the established sciences viewed “man” as separate/outside the laws being set down for animals. Anthropology is the result of a shift in these views and Howells notes the fields coming together (realization) and its subsequent specialization.
After mentioning benchmark events in anthropological history, Howells questions the speciation (branching and specialization) of anthropology, but advocates this conclusion in the long run. As Howells sees things, at first the now branches of anthropology were able to make more conjectures about realities. As facts arose conjectures and the ability to conjecture was limited and depth of knowledge on subjects increased. This process continued until anthropologists were no longer able to be renaissance in knowledge. “Goldenweiser designated Boas as the first true general anthropologist and ventured the guess that Kroeber was likely to be the last” (3). This issued in the days of specialization. Howells depicts this as a “consequence of the essential rigorousness of the scientific method” (6).
Howells ends the essay by examining the need for a larger audience of the field of anthropology including liberal arts and junior colleges. I would agree and urge it also in grade school – high school as well as greater representation of human studies with in the associated sciences (e.g. zoology).
CLARITY RANKING: 4
JEFFERY BROWN Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Howells, W. W. The Study of Anthropology. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54(1):1-7.
The article entitled “The Study of Anthropology”, by W. W. Howells, tells of the beginnings of anthropology, and how the discipline has changed over the years. Howells reminds us that anthropology once was not divided into different subfields, but has since transformed into a vast discipline with many subfields within it. Howells discusses the importance of each of the four subfields and emphasizes how each subfield can learn from the others because they each derive from what Howells calls, the “science of man and his works” (1). Howells also provides an argument for the importance of a holistic study of anthropology for students and anthropologists alike.
Howells argues throughout his article that the scope of anthropology has widened immensely, and at great speed, and that “general” anthropology is a thing of the past. Howells cites the thoughts of Goldenweiser, [who] “designated Boas as the first true general anthropologist, and ventured the guess that Kroeber was likely to be the last” (3). General anthropology is still available for students to study, but Howells explained that advanced students studying anthropology almost always focus on a specialized area or subdiscipline. Despite the fact that the field of anthropology is so broad, and contains so much information, Howells also stresses the fact that it is important for students not to forget about the subfields that differ from their area of study. This article was written in 1952, and Howell mentions the need for anthropology classes to be taught in all universities regardless of their size.
Howells’ article gives the reader good insight into a time when anthropology was experiencing change at a rapid pace. Howells tells the ways in which anthropology has changed over the years and provides an argument for students of anthropology to be exposed to all subfields of anthropology.
NICHOLAS M. RAMIREZ Indiana U of Penn (Miriam Chaiken)
Kelley, J. Charles. Factors Involved in the Abandonment of Certain Peripheral Southwestern Settlements. American Anthropologist Jul.-Sept., 1952 Vol.54(3):357-385.
In this article, Charles Kelley presents numerous theories on the abandonment of settlements in the American Southwest from A.D. 1000 up through the eighteenth century. He focuses on settlements in the Rio Grande River Valley between El Paso and La Junta. Historically, theories on the abandonment of these settlements include pressure from nomadic tribes, changes in climate, over-utilization of land, epidemic disease, and internal problems such as civil war. Through archaeological, geological, and historical evidence, Kelley provides the reader with an understanding of why these establishments may have been abandoned and why it is so difficult to determine exactly why these settlements disappeared.
With the abundance of abandoned settlements in the American Southwest, Kelley first presents us with farming establishments that disappeared shortly after A.D. 1400. Although archaeological excavations have not provided us with a reason for the downfall of these sites, it has been suggested that Athapascan raiders from northern Mexico appeared here for the first time and led to the disappearance of the culture known as the Chihuahua. However, as climatic changes have been accepted to explain the expansion of this culture down the Rio Grande, so too can the climate be responsible for the abandonment of this region by agriculturalists. Kelley points out that the only farming villages to survive over time were those below the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Rio Conchos rivers, which is the area of greatest water supply.
Kelley continues with an overview of abandoned settlements in the La Junta region between 1400 and 1750. These settlements include San Antonio de Julimes, El Mesquite along with San Juan Bautista, San Francisco de la Junta, and San Cristobal. It has been historically suggested that these settlements were abandoned due to the fear of invading Apache tribes. However, these historical suggestions are often contradictory, and many historical documents suggest an allied and friendly relationship between La Junta and the Apache.
Kelley theorizes that the coexisting Apache, having a hunting and gathering lifestyle, and La Junta, having a farming lifestyle, came into conflict with fluctuations of rainfall throughout time. Having trouble providing for themselves, as well as providing for the demanding Apache, they abandoned their settlements in search for a better watered area.
In this heavily footnoted work of Charles Kelley, we are provided with a clear understanding of the numerous theories surrounding Southwest abandonments, as well as his own well-calculated theories.
CLARITY RATING: 5
CHAD KALBFLEISCH Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Kelley, J. Charles. Factors Involved in the Abandonment of Certain Peripheral Southwestern Settlements. American Anthropologist 1952 54:356-387
In this article, Kelley examines evidence found through archaeological research that provides a possible explanation of the abandonment of Southwestern Settlements stretching from the Southern Rio Grande to the La Junta Towns. He describes the factors that led to the area first being settled and those that played a part in the eventual abandonment.
He begins his analysis with the Rio Grande, discussing the region and its environmental aspects. Kelley describes the aridity of the location, the desert-like soil and the fact that the winters are regularly cold and dry. He then moves his focus to the La Junta area, describing the loamy soil ideal for agriculture and its moderate temperatures year round. He frequently cites previous articles and texts written by experts on climate and agriculture, though for no apparent reason.
After spending inordinate amounts of time discussing the features of these locations, Kelley goes on to only briefly do what he claimed to be striving towards – analyzing the possible reasons for the abandonment of these areas. In the instance of the El Mesquite, he doesn’t even answer his own question, but poses another: “…how is the relatively permanent occupation of San Juan Evangelista from shortly after 1400 to about 1650 and the corresponding occupation of the site during the La Junta Focus to be explained?” (Kelley, 371).
Kelley attempts to explain the desertion of particular sites using primarily other experts’ research, quoting questionable and even occasionally unrelated statements. He includes information unrelated to his goal and makes unproven claims for no overall point.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
MICHAEL FILLITER York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson)
McCown, Theodore D. The Training and Education of the Professional Physical Anthropologist. American Anthropologist July-September, 1952 Vol.54(3):313-317.
McCown begins this article by explaining the importance of cultural knowledge in the understanding of anthropology as a whole. He believes that it is important for students of anthropology to be aware of the problems that this study may cause. The study of primates, along with their connection with human evolution becomes problematic “by the cultureless condition of our primate relatives” (McCown). Another problem that according to McCown, is that many studies deal with strictly organic materials used to distinguish between the human races. He believes that some physical anthropologist have simply refused to admit the importance of language and culture toward the analysis of various human races. His third area of interest begins with the study of physical characteristics of living people being generalized on the basis of individuals, but not of that particular individual. In other words, physical anthropologist set up hypotheses as if the organic variables were neutral or non-existent. He believes there are too many “as ifs” in the descriptions used by anthropologists.
Other criticisms made by outside parties are concerned with the reluctance of physical anthropologists to create a hypothesis that man is not just a mammal and not just a primate. Physical anthropology is commonly criticized for the lack of theory. These criticisms do not come from McCown, but by both zoologists and social scientists of numerous persuasions. With these criticisms, along with his own, McCown feels that a physical anthropologist must be trained as a morphologist. An anthropologist should know the specifics and segmentations of human and animal anatomy. McCown believes that the most important part of training should come at the graduate level of an anthropologist’s education. He believes that the anthropology professors must educate an anthropologist to be concerned with man, a mammal unlike any other, and be knowledgeable about, not only the organic form and processes, but of the larger concept of man’s place in nature.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
CARRIE CROZIER Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
McCown, Theodore. The Training and Education of the Professional Physical Anthropology Students. American Anthropology, September, 1952 Vol.54(3): 313-317
McCown argues that today the teaching of physical anthropology to students has become so narrow that the students are losing site of the big picture. He states that the three major problems and interests facing physical anthropology today are: the place that man holds in the natural world, the better understanding of the present condition of man and the interest and the organic nature of the individual in relation to his behavior. This brief overview of what McCown feels is physical anthropology’s most important focus is set up for a discussion of what he feels should encompass the teaching of physical anthropology. He feels that the study is too pinpointed in the beginning and that the basis of physical anthropology encompasses much more that what the students will learn from undergraduate programs.
Since this is the case the students must be morphologists, understanding the processes by which the human conditions change over time. McCown recommends that the true teaching of physical anthropology should not be taught until graduate school and that the undergraduates should instead spend those years getting a working knowledge of how the processes work. He recommends that they focus on zoology, comparative anatomy, genetics and physiology. This education would then provide valuable information that would assist the student and the discipline as well. With this knowledge the students would gain a better understanding of the interconnection of the discipline and the area of his study. Saying this, McCown points out that it is not his duty to lay a curriculum, but that the role of the anthropological teacher must be brought back into perspective.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
WILLIAM MCGINNIS Indiana U of Penn (Miriam Chaiken )
Mead, Margaret. The Training of the Cultural Anthropologist. American Anthropologist July-September, 1952 Vol.54(3):343-346.
Margaret Mead speaks to the necessity for better training of cultural anthropologists in this article where she outlines four items of focus for the up and coming graduate student. As a pretext to her four points, Mead states that for an anthropologist to truly get adequate field experience, they must go into the field alone and be responsible for the whole of how to apply their training. She goes on to say that research with a nonliterate, or at least non-Indo-European people, is absolutely necessary for the training of professional anthropologists.
Mead’s first point of focus is at the graduate level when students should have a preview of the theoretical situation they will encounter in the field. This should be done by working with existing materials, monographs by anthropologists, as well as what she terms more inadequate materials that consist of folk tales and traveler’s accounts. This, she states, will allow opportunity for developing the kind of working hypotheses essential to well rounded understanding.
The second point of focus for the anthropological toolbox is the training in the recognition of patterns. For Mead this is essential in giving a coherent account of any culture and may be accomplished, most effectively, through linguistics. The third point of focus is knowing one’s own cultural position. She states that the anthropologist needs an acute awareness of his or her own idiosyncratic version of culture. The fourth and final point for the improvement of anthropological training is for there to be enough observational work done for the student to realize their strengths and weaknesses in observation. For instance, if the student can take notes while kneeling in a room filled with smoke.
All of these suggestions are still applicable if only slightly in need of adjustment for current theoretical purposes. Obviously it is not necessary for today’s anthropologist to research non-literate peoples, or even those outside of their own country. However, more focus on what will be encountered in the field, any field, is definitely a worthwhile cause, even if the only way for students to realize this is to go in the field as soon as possible.
T. M. KEY Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Mead, Margaret. The Training of the Cultural Anthropologist. American Anthropologist 1952 vol.54:343-346.
The overall concern of this article is one of great importance to Anthropology. The author of this article discusses and details how the training of the cultural anthropologist should inform, educate, and transform the discipline of anthropology. Mead postulates a formula for the student of anthropology to better prepare for such work that can in application give information about human practice.
The overall argument recommends noteworthy objectives for the training of cultural anthropologists. Fundamentally, the author sets out to revolutionize anthropology. Mead argues that exposure to the field and the developments of ethnography are very important ingredients to the success of the student anthropologist prior to entering the field solo. Mead believes that exposure to literature and supervised field experience near home will allow for adequate experience before going to the field alone with full responsibility. Also, the student should exercise applying skills learned during graduate training before entering the field. According to Mead, fieldwork apprenticeship is a vital part to the training of anthropologists. At the graduate level, Mead asserts that students must be given a practical preview of theoretical situations that will confront them in the field. Secondly, training in the recognition of pattern is deemed important; this means students must analyze cultural data comparatively. Thirdly, the students must be trained to be aware of their own cultural position. Therefore, the student must take a reflexive approach and remember that sometimes phenomena is relative and culture is not static and changes over time, also, it is differently perceived by every individual. In addition, the method of observation should include systematic comparison of what is being observed, and should use several sensory modalities.
The argument is actualized via the author’s personal experience and subjective understanding about the training of cultural anthropologists. Mead also makes direct reference to an anthropological colleague, Dr. Chapple, which postulates a philosophy that corresponds with hers. The theory of knowledge is that in order to be a qualified social anthropologist one must be well trained as an ethnologist, as well as having direct field responsibilities, before starting one’s own field research; this supports her premise and philosophy.
The author provides a celebrated argument. The article clearly argues in detail for the training of the cultural anthropologist and details specifically the methods in which to do this. Mead organizes the data methodologically. She supports her argument by complementing the work of other scholars and gives the reader a clear objective: to become better anthropologists. She details step by step how one is to achieve this knowledge and details how to exercise this learning when accomplishing the task of doing anthropology. Mead provides a qualified argument equipping the teachers and students of anthropology with a brief, yet concise epitome.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
GIROLOMA D’ALESSANDRO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Nadel, S. F. Witchcraft in Four African Societies: An Essay in Comparison. American Anthropologist January, 1952 Vol.54(1):18-29.
In this article Nadel presents to us a model of comparative analysis. The subject with which the author deals is witchcraft and its variations in four different African societies. The two assumptions on which Nadel proceeds with his article are that 1) cultural differences between one group of people and another are always accompanied by further, concomitant, differences between the two groups and 2) witchcraft beliefs result from frustrations and psychological stresses. Nadel starts the article by separating the four societies into two geographically close groups. The Nupe and Gwari societies are placed in one group; the Korongo and Mesakin are put into another. The author states that the reason for choosing these four peoples is that they all share similar beliefs with few marked differences. One of the divergences is their differing belief surrounding witchcraft.
Within both the Nape and Gwari societies witchcraft is widely ascribed to. Both societies believe that things connected with witchcraft all take place in a “spirit world” that is separate from the physical world. Both believe that witchcraft is evil. However where these two groups differ is gender association with witches. In Nupe culture witches are always women, in Gwari witches can be either male or female. Nadel continues to give explanations for these discrepancies by comparing the sexual behaviors of the men and women of each clan. In the Nupe culture women always visit men’s huts to copulate. In Gwari, however, men come to the women’s huts to copulate. This insures that any young children had by women will be present during the sexual meetings of men and their wives. Nadel, assuming Freudian psychology, feels that this fact would instill deeply unsettling psychological effects in the children. It may foster, he continues, Oedipal traumas and tensions between child and father. These repressed feelings may find an outlet in the fantasy of witchcraft.
Among the other two societies, the Korongo and Mesakin, there are even more discrepancies. The Mesakin are obsessed with witchcraft beliefs while the Korongo have no witchcraft beliefs at all. To explain these differences Nadel once again turns to sexual explanations. The Korongo feel that pre-marital and promiscuous sex is fully acceptable and openly engaged in. The Mesakin, on the other hand, were extremely set against pre-marital sex. Pre-marital sex continued to occur in the Mesakin society, but was fully concealed. Nadel feels that this repression of sexual behavior may show itself in the form of extreme belief in witchcraft.
It is Nadel’s conclusion that witchcraft is a product of people’s fears and inhibitions. It is their way of answering and dealing with forces and social complexities for which they have no other institutions. But from his point of view, it is doubtful that their solution of witchcraft is any less harmful than the problems with which they use it to deal with.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
BRANDON A. HALE Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Nadel, S.F. Witchcraft in Four African Societies: An Essay in Comparison. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54 (1): 18-29.
This article looks at how the issue of witchcraft is viewed within four African cultures. It compares two pairs of societies: the Nupe and Gwari in Northern Nigeria and the Korongo and Mesakin in the Nuba Mountains of Central Sudan.
The Nupe and Gwari societies share many of the same attributes, including witchcraft. They believe that witchcraft is evil and that it destroys lives through the means of mysterious diseases. These witches, they believe, lurk around at night where ordinary people cannot see them and that witchcraft occurs within “a fantasy realm” (Nadel, 1952).
Among the Nupe, the witches are always women and are thought to have a society of witches who are lead by the head witch, who is able to control the powers of the other witches. Men are thought to possess power that is similar to witchcraft, but it only allows them to see the witches. In a sense, the men are good, so they are able to control and fight the witches. At the same time, the female witches need the powers of the men in order to make their witchcraft more powerful. The men, in this case, use their powers to restrain the females and to block evil witchcraft. Men are never accused of witchcraft and they have their own secret society that cleans the villages of witchcraft through means of threats and torture. In Gwari, however, they believe that witches and victims can be female and male. The main way that witchcraft can be prevented is through annual “‘cleansing’” of the village (Nadel, 1952).
In both societies, they believe that people become witches in two different ways. The first way is that as small children, they have witnessed their parents having sexual intercourse. This may have been psychologically scarring for these children and to resolve this, they turn to witchcraft in order to seek revenge. The other reason occurs in marriage, where the woman is wealthier than her husband and more powerful in decision-making.
The Korongo and Mesakin tribes share many of the same qualities as the Nupe and Gwari; however, there are distinct differences: the Korongo don’t have any witchcraft beliefs whereas the Mesakin are obsessed by the fear of witchcraft. Within Mesakin society, witchcraft occurs between people related matrilineal, with the witch and victim usually being male. Mesakin culture has three age classes that organize all of the men. A man is thought to be at his physical peak during his second age class (17-25) where he is physically strong and able to participate in rigorous sports. However, when he reaches the third class (26+), he is considered old and must pay an inheritance to his sister’s son. Men resent the fact that they are getting older and must pay an inheritance to a younger man and will try to refuse or delay it. Hostility will mount in the uncle and he will lash out towards the nephew to express his unhappiness.
Within each African culture, there are unique witchcraft beliefs and ideas that set them apart from one another.
BRIANNE N. DUFFNER Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Miriam Chaiken)
Opler, Morris E. & Singh, Rudra Datt Two Villages of Eastern Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), India: An Analysis of Similarities and Differences. American Anthropologist April-June, 1952 Vol.54(2):179-190.
The purpose of this article is to overthrow the tendencies of people to assume that most Indian villages are all alike. This article points out that two villages, though in close vicinity to each other, are very different in terms of land area, population, caste constitution, land ownership patterns, degrees of isolation, tradition, and each society’s overall different reaction to the same stimuli.
Madhopur and Ramapur are villages in India that both cover relatively the same amount of area and in both cases all arable land is farmed. Both villages have caste systems; Madhopur has twenty-three castes and Ramapur has twenty-four. Madhopur has more wells for irrigation and they practice more double cropping than Ramapur. Madhopur also raises rice, sugar cane, and maize in addition to Ramapur’s crops and in all Madhopur cultivation is more intensive. Ramapur is located near the large city of Allahbad at the point where the Ganges and Jumna Rivers meet. This place is considered holy and is visited by pilgrimages. Madhopur is not located near any large cities and thus there are not as many work opportunities as in Ramapur. Madhopur’s population relies entirely on the land and boasts a smaller population than Ramapur. A small Muslim population in Madhopur and a large one in Ramapur leads to very different cultural representations in both villages. Ramapur has different mosques, graveyards, and degrees of seclusion of women than Madhopur.
Land ownership and caste systems are dissimilar in the two villages. In Madhopur the land is owned by one resident caste, the Thakurs, while in Ramapur the land is held by absentee landlords. There are roughly the same number of castes in each village, yet the groups deemed as important in one village are either poorly represented or absent in the other village. The Thakurs, and Nonias, earthworkers, are in a struggle for top political power in Madhopur, but in Ramapur the Brahmans, traditional priests, and Mallahs, boatmen, are the influential castes. The only similarity between the two villages concerning castes are the Ahirs, cattle herders, who hold comparable places in both Madhopur and Ramapur. In Madhopur factors of wealth, numbers, and traditional social rank are combined with land ownership to advance castes in power, yet this is not the case in Ramapur where personalities and sheer numbers have been important for the power structure.
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NIKKI JOHNSON Southern Illinois University Carbondale Jonathan Hill)
Opler, Morris E. and Singh, Rudra Datt. Two Villages of Eastern Uttar Prudesh (U.P.), India: An Analysis of Similarities and Differences. American Anthropologist 1952 Vol.54:179-190.
In this article, the authors argue that the two villages in question, although relatively close in proximity, vary dramatically with respect to population makeup, land ownership and political power.
Two villages in Uttar Prudesh, Madhopur and Ramapur are compared. The authors provide a numeric breakdown of the various castes and describe their political and economic stature in each village. Madhopur is a village in the eastern part of the state of Uttar Prudesh. Here, the Thakurs, the second highest caste in Hindu social hierarchy, are socially and economically dominant by virtue of their vast land ownership. The Brahmans, while socially a higher caste, are few in numbers and not an influential group in Madhopur.
The other village under study, Ramapur, is close to Allahabad, one of the holiest cities in India as it is situated at the junction of the Ganges and Jumna Rivers. The largest group in this village are the Mallah or boatman caste who derive their income from ferrying religious pilgrims. Due to the demand for religious ceremonies in this area, the Brahmans are the next largest group represented in this village.
The authors explain that, aside from being in close proximity and sharing similar land area, these two villages are for the most part dissimilar. The differing underlying economies of these villages are said to be the reason for the different balances of power in each group. In Madhopur, where agriculture is the predominant economy of the village, the landowning Thakurs are socially dominant. In Ramapur, where neighbouring religious sites spur the economy, power is not derived from land ownership.
The authors conclude that, by virtue of this example, one cannot assume that Indian villages are all the same. They can vary in caste representation, land ownership, power setups to name a few. Therefore, one cannot assume that similar development programs will provide similar results in any two villages.
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LESLIE WARREN York University (Naomi Adelson)
Smith, Marian W. The Misal: A Structural Village-Group of India and Pakistan. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54 (1):41-56.
This article attempts to view caste as part of the functioning social structure of the Indic culture. Over the past one hundred years there have been many first hand studies of India and Pakistan’s caste system. Through these studies Smith examines the Punjabi government administration and village structure.
The Punjabi government administration and village structure has been around for centuries and continues to grow and stay in existence for years to come. The administration of the Punjabi functions through ordinary government channels. Their legal definition is established from this main organization. Through the activities of the police and the collection of land revenues the Punjabi people and the administrative system come into contact with one another.
The most important administrative unit within the village of the Punjabi is the patti, which is not legally defined but is used by the government. The Punjabi village structure lacks legal definition and is not considered to be a part of the government process. The village structure of the Punjabi relies heavily upon the relationship between groups defined by the framework of their occupational and social specialization. As a result of this process both the villages and pattis are self-sufficient groups, which can be linked to the caste practices called “misal”. Through examining the type of social structure found in the “misal” we will enhance our understanding of the functional analysis of caste and the general Indic structure.
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REBECCA KULAGA Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Smith, Marian. The Misal: A Structural Village-Group of India and Pakistan. American Anthropologist 1952 Vol. 54:41-56.
Marian Smith goes beyond a purely judgemental view of Indian caste systems, interpreting data as an argument for the isolated communities, called misals, as integral to Indic culture. Her piece is a call for ‘explicit’ (verses ‘implicit’) administrative awareness of the misal within Indic cultural structure by the Punjabi government. Smith cites a lack of renewed study of the misal in the context of a modern renewal of Indic society. She sees a fresh recognition of village structure as invalueable in surpassing archaic 19th century identification of the misal with the Sikh Empire towards a contemporaneous recognition with the India and Pakistan of 1947 as modern nation states. A more fruitful definition of ‘misal’ would reconcile it as a unit of self-sufficiency linked to the government of a unified nation state.
An administrative breakdown between higher levels of government whose primary interest is collecting land revenue only requires lower level administrative staff, called tahsildar, to record land owning villages. The result is an exclusion of any non-land owning groups within a village’s geographic division, areas known as patties, which nevertheless, play an integral regional economic role. Inaccurate data informs the main Punjabi administrative system in which some villages, such as Khampur, technically don’t exist. Amore well rounded understanding of Indic structure cannot exclude an awareness of the misal as a tightly knit system of ‘functional specialization’.
The tahsil must expand its function beyond that of documenting and collecting land revenue towards a sensitivity of contingent factors that both set apart and encompass the misal into the Punjabi administrative framework. Smith also illustrates that despite the misal’s relative self-sufficiency, its reliance on ‘capital villages’ for political information and some supplies forms a viable, though non-regulated connection to outside contacts. The misal as a potential source of political and economic influence should act as a strong incentive for the Punjabi government’s recognition.
Smith’s fluid use of ‘self-sufficient’ denotes a circular connection (not to an hierarchy headed by the ‘capital village’) of economic specialization held together by contingent factors: The author vies for a symbiotic relationship. A cultural sensitivity and administrative recognition will integrate the misal to solidify India as a modern nation state. Smith’s organic approach provides a practical model for India and Pakistan as modern nation-states, integrating existing social systems within a new holistic frame.
SUSIE MORGADO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Spiro, E. Milford. Ghosts, Ifaluk, and Teleological Functionalism. American Anthropologist October-December, 1952 Vol.54(4):497-503.
Milford Spiro examines the culture and religious beliefs of the Ifaluk people in the Central Carolines. Spiro’s main focus is the way this culture functions on a daily basis with belief in supernatural beings, known as the alus. The author points out that this culture is based on non-aggression between individuals; they help one another, and believe in sharing and group cooperation. The Ifaluk political structure is simple being run by five chiefs of hereditary status. Social organization is based on a rule of matrilocal residence.
The Ifaluk have strong beliefs in supernatural beings, or the alus. The alus, high gods and ghosts, are commonly known as benevolent and malevolent ghosts. These ghosts play important social roles in the everyday lives of the Ifaluk people. Malevolent ghosts are known to cause evil and harm taking delight in what they do. They are “the souls of the malevolent dead”. The benevolent ghosts bring assistance to the medicine men of the Ifaluk and help people, thus being known as “the immortal souls of the benevolent dead”.
The alus is responsible for all aggressive and unnatural behavior performed by anyone in the society. The Ifaluk also believe that the alus also causes worry, fear, and sometimes sickness and death. The Ifaluk continue to have such strong bonds among the society with the understanding of a non-aggressive society. With this understanding, the alus is to blame for any person who expresses aggression. As well, the Ifaluk show no aggression because of their small number and territory. They suppress the development of anger that could cause harm within the group by holding ceremonies to drive the alus, or the malevolent ghosts, away. This ceremony is referred to as alusengau.
Melford points out the psychological disorganization caused by the high gods and ghosts reflecting on the society’s attitudes. The alus plays such a strong part in the everyday lives of people that they believe these high gods and ghosts to protect them from psychological disorganization. Without this belief, the individual could become overwhelmed with anxiety and aggression thus leading to confrontation within the Ifaluk. The alus is the central channel to all explanations for the culture. “The dysfunctions are severe: The belief serves to drain energy from creative enterprise to that of defense against the alus; thought it resolves many anxieties, it creates a very serious one in its own right – the anxiety created by fear of the alus itself.”
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MEGAN WILSON Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Spiro, Melford E. Ghosts, Ifaluk, and Teleological Functionalism. American Anthrpologist. 1952 Vol. 54:497-503.
Ifaluk is a small atoll in Micronesia and the culture is noted for its ethic of non-aggression, helpfulness, sharing, and co-operation. In Ifaluk religion, there are two types of supernatural beings: high gods and ghosts. Ghosts are an important part of the daily life in Ifaluk, and are separated into two types: alusisalup (benevolent), and alusengau (malevolent). The alusengau (or simply, alus) are the most feared and hated, and are thought to be the cause of all immoral behavior, and illness. Not only does the belief in the alus offers an explanation for illness and to its control, but also helps to minimize anxiety stemming from feelings of helplessness in dealing with various life crises.
The author’s understanding of why the belief in the alus has survived is inextricably linked to the Ifaluk culture of non-aggression. Because aggression is not allowed to be displayed, the alus becomes the socially acceptable embodiment for the expression of that aggression. Displacing aggression onto the alus becomes an effective coping mechanism and functions to prevent “psychological disorganization”. Without the alus, the tension from anxiety and repressed aggression would be unbearable and serve to disintegrate Ifaluk society. The author stresses that non-aggression is a key component to optimal living in Ifaluk: successful sharing and co-operation enable the Ifaluk to live in peace, foster mutual physical and psychological security, and strengthen group solidarity.
Spiro highlights a dysfunctional aspect in the belief of malevolent ghosts – it drains energy to constantly defend against the alus, and channels economic activity into non-productive activity. It also prevents research into different disease theories, and although it resolves anxieties, it creates a serious one — that of the fear of the alus itself.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
MARY CHUNG York University (Naomi Adelson).
Streib, Gordon F. The Use of Survey Methods Among the Navajo. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54(1):30-40.
Streib examines the usefulness of survey questionnaires in fieldwork using research in two Navajo communities (one in New Mexico and one in Arizona) as examples. According to Streib, at this point in anthropology, studies tended to focus on non-literate societies. As studies shift toward semi-literate and literate societies, Streib emphasizes the need to explore alternate methods of field research. He maintains that the traditional methods of field study such as collecting life histories and participant observation should by no means be abandoned, but that the use of survey questioning may well serve to supplement other field methods. By survey, Streib means a “structured type of social investigation in which preferably a representative sample of respondents are asked a series of questions which are usually embodied in a written schedule or questionnaire” (p.30).
Two different approaches were used in surveying the two Navajo communities. At one site, a direct approach in surveying was used. At the other site, the researcher was introduced to several members of the community and had spent the better part of a year within the community before surveying his subjects. The direct approach is often criticized, but Streib points out that a direct approach can have several advantages. For example, in the direct approach the anthropologist immediately identifies his or her role in the community as a researcher and student. In a less direct approach the role of the researcher may not be as clearly defined in the community. Delineating the role of the researcher at the beginning may for instance eliminate if not reduce any question of what the researcher is doing there and it justifies the researcher’s motives for asking many questions.
Streib also describes the manner in which questions for the survey were drawn up. Other anthropologists with prior field experience reviewed potential questions. The surveys contained questions that were both open-ended and highly structured, or factual and attitudinal (p.39). Researchers found that by beginning an interview by asking the subject if he/she has any questions usually relaxed the subject and facilitated the interviewing process.
Streib concludes that although more research on the use of surveys in field research is still needed, surveys are useful in obtaining significant information and that in the future their use should be considered in combination with other field research methods. Steib’s article is a helpful reflection on the problems of field research.
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LISA PORTER Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Streib, Gordon F. The Use of Survey Methods Among the Navajo. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54(1):30-40.
Streib examines the appropriateness and feasibility of survey techniques among the Navaho. Two studies are involved in the discussion, having taken place in the Navaho Reservation in Fruitland, New Mexico and Many Farms, Arizona. Two approaches were used in these studies. The first approach, used at Fruitland, is what is termed as an anthropological orientation. Before the surveying began, the anthropologist integrated himself into the community informally. The objective was to make the community at ease with the presence of a white researcher before surveying was to begin. The second approach, used at Many Farms, was a direct one with little informal integration. The anthropologist simply introduced himself as a researcher and soon after began interviewing. Two criticisms arise surrounding this approach. The rapport in specific interviews may be affected, as well as the rapport with the community. Streib claims otherwise stating that the Navaho interviewed, normally hostile and weary of a white student, accepted him, seeing him as a specific member different from the whole. The length of time the interview took also provided evidence that the direct approach does not necessarily result in hostility. Furthermore, a direct approach establishes the role of the student in the community, making clear his role and helping the subjects to understand the reason behind the student’s presence.
The survey method used in this study was adapted to the “construction and administration of a schedule embodying factual and attitude questions”(34). The results showed that it is difficult to generalize the topics that should be discussed through a questionnaire. It was also shown that intensive questioning weakened rapport. As well, because the Navaho language is literal and specific, it was difficult to include questions on abstract topics. The reception of the respondents varied, although only 2 percent actually refused to respond. It was found that Navaho respondents behaved in the same manner towards the student as would an American. Techniques, such as the “abreactive technique” could be used to create a more open atmosphere. Steib concludes that modifying the survey will not replace anthropological techniques but will act as an addition to field research and that a direct approach to utilizing the survey will not affect the relations with a community or an individual.
ANNA COLOMBO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Strong, William Duncan. The Value of Archeology in the Training of Professional Anthropologists. American Anthropologist July-September, 1952 Vol.54(3):318-321.
In this article Strong discusses why archeological teaching is important to anthropologists. He points out that many non-professional people have been very influential in anthropology. These individuals include Charles Darwin, Mayan amateur archeologists Stephens and Squier, and many others. Strong discusses the ways ancient history has influenced related peoples who study their past. He points out that for American archeologists there is no such parallel unless they are an American Indian. History is not as close to the average American archeologist as it is to other groups of researchers.
Strong reviews the history of archeological approaches. He calls the first phase “Pioneer-Speculative”. This phase begins with the observations of European pioneers in the New World and continues with antiquarian speculations such as the “Mound-Builder Culture”. The next phase begins with the publication of “Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley” by Squier and Davis in 1847. This phase is called the “Pioneer-Scientific” phase. Few of the workers of this phase were trained as anthropologists. This phase is filled with descriptive archeological research that continues until today.
In 1916 the “Developed-Scientific” phase began in American archeology. This phase focuses on techniques of objective analysis and “specific historical (sequential) aims” (319). Most of the workers of this phase have received some technical anthropological training. Strong feels that in the last few decades another phase has developed, the “Synthetic-Anthropological” phase. It uses the aims of the “Developed-Scientific” phase to integrate archeology with physical anthropology, linguistics, ethnology, theoretical anthropology, documentary history, and other social and cultural sciences.
Strong feels that there has been too much teaching of anthropologists and not enough training. He encourages anthropologists to receive teaching and training in the field. Strong states that archeology is extremely important to anthropology because “more than 99% of man’s biological and cultural history is beyond the realm of written history” (320). Comparative ethnology and sociology give evidence of cultural patterning in space, while archeology gives evidence of cultural patterning in time. One is just as important as the other to human understanding.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
KELLY EILEEN JONES Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Strong, W. M. Duncan. The Value of Archeology in the Training of Professional Anthropologists. American Anthropologist 1952 vol.54:318-321.
In this article the author is primarily concerned with the value of archeology in the teaching of North American anthropologists. He asserts that archeology, together with ethnology is vital to human understanding, and contributes to the real work that anthropologists do in the field. The training of anthropologists should be theoretical, as well as practical, and the serious student, according to Strong, should participate in supervised field trips in both ethnology and archeology, in conjunction with physical anthropologists, before doing his own research.
The author’s basic argument is that in order to understand the present or future, anthropologists must look to the past to better understand the human experience. The anthropologist must combine techniques of archeology with physical anthropology, linguistics, ethnology, theoretical anthropology, documentary, history and all the other social and cultural sciences. Appended, detailed integrated data would be the most productive way according to this author to obtain information about human culture adequately.
The argument is constructed reasonably well bearing in mind it is a brief synopsis of a broader frame of reference. The complete article can be referenced in Historical Approach in Anthropology a background paper that was presented for the International Symposium on Anthropology of the Wenne Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research in New York, June, 1952. The argument employs various works or experiences of other social scientists to provide evidence of prior practice and argues for the proper training or lack thereof. For instance, A.L. Krober would have had a better field work experience if he had been better prepared and, therefore, would have been more efficient and productive in the Mexican and Peruvian fields.
The author provides a reasonable argument providing easily accessible information that can be cross-referenced and properly examined in a different forum that can provide a wide rage of information for scholars who are interested in this topic.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
GIROLOMA D’ALESSANDRO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Tolstoy, P. Morgan and Soviet Anthropological Thought. American Anthropologist January-March, 1952 Vol.54(1):8-17.
This is a classic essay on anthropological theory concerning “soviet” social development pre and post World War II. Tolstoy’s analysis of a gambit of theorists provides for a most thoughtful argument and logical treatment of his resources.
Tolstoy, in an attempt to show a glimpse of soviet anthropological theory illustrates Morgan’s position, pre- and post- World War II in soviet anthropology. Tolstoy organizes his discussion in two parts – “section II”, which briefly outlines Morgan’s position in Russian ethnological and archaeological literature during the third decade of the 20th century and “section III” in which section II is contrasted by writings post world war II which concern the same selections of Morgan’s literature as section II.
What Tolstoy is arguing is Morgan’s thoughts when analyzed pre war were sound Based on their incorporation of the three “fundamental characteristics of soviet ethnology (primary interest in pre-class social structure, “extensive use of pre-boasian schemes” and evolution). In addition, pre-war there was the “appeal to the Soviet school: that Morgan proved the communistic character of the primitive community” (10). Post-war, Tolstoy sees Morgan’s thoughts “highly revered, but for reasons which are the very opposite” (10). Tolstoy sees the changing atmosphere as the result of an emerging nationalist pride post-war. Along with increased nationalism came a greater focus on ‘ethnogenisis’ (a premise not unlike that of race, but more concerned with local changes), less emphasis on a functional interpretation of the structure of primitive society and a greater criticism of western anthropological works (11). Also noted was the Soviets’ harsher criticism of “superorganic” concepts that were more accepted pre-war. New attitudes were largely based on a new science. The new science took on a cultural perspective based on the writings of both Lenin and Stalin and therefore a greater adherence to the principles of diffusion and praised Morgan for his evolutionist take which did not cause friction with the writings of Lenin or Stalin. The ability for Morgan’s writings to be so flexible was Morgan’s lack of need for diffusion or evolution as premises for the body of his writings. Thus Morgan is first revered for evolutionist schemes for stages of society and later for his very Marxist materialism.
Tolstoy closes with a discussion of soviet politics and the writings, which already decades old at the time, give light to the workings of the soviet mind (almost in the “superorganic” sense).
CLARITY RANKING: 4.5
JEFFERY BROWN Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Tolstoy, P. Morgan and Soviet Anthropological Thought. American Anthropologist 1952 Vol. 54: 8-17
This article addresses Lewis H. Morgan’s influence and position in Soviet anthropology before and after WWII, and the similarity between the Morganian and Marixian outlook. The paper is constructed in three sections in which the first introduces the topic along with the author’s opinion of points to be considered before approaching the topic, the second illustrates Morgan’s position in Russian ethnological and archaeological literature before WWII, and the third involves Morgan’s influence after WWII. In the process Tolstoy lightly explores Soviet anthropological theory. Tolstoy expresses that Soviet anthropological opinion and its position on several problems has changed over time and that the changes or contradictions did not result from imperical intervention, but from a changing attitude of official opinion. Therefore, it is uncommon to find two authors in disagreement on any problems of any level. Tolstoy reinforces his ideas by referring to anthropological literature existing before and after WWII, and by examining criticism or praise of Morgan by prominent anthropological figures of those time periods.
The foundation of Soviet history results from Morgan’s evolutionary scheme, which is supported and elaborated by other anthropological writers and archaeological researchers. Morgan’s eminence in Soviet literature is illuminated by a legend stating that Morgan was silenced by other bourgeois scientists. Basic characteristics of Soviet ethnology in the pre WWII period are understood as an interest in the “social structure of pre-class society,” a varied use of the schemes or systems of the type in style before Boasian American anthropology, and definite evolutionism. All these characteristics or traits are to a certain point, shared by Morgan and Marx. Therefore it is because of these traits that Soviet authors support Morgan, and Soviet ethnography derives its ideas from Morgan’s outlook.
In post-war Soviet anthropology, a new attitude toward Morgan’s outlook unfolds. Now the evolutionary scheme is discredited and criticized and considered an invalid methodology in Soviet literature. Soviets now see Morgan’s significance exists because he is a materialist, not because he is an evolutionist. Soviet literature expresses that Morgan’s evolutionism contributes to the errors of his conclusions.
Before the war, Morgan is credited for his evolutionistic scheme where the notion of social growth and process exist. After the war, his scheme is no longer supported. After a greater study of society and literature, Morgan is revealed as being just a Marxist because he is “materialistic” in his understanding of process.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
ANOULONE SOUPHOMMANYCHANH (email@example.com): York University (Naomi, Adelson)
Van Der Kroef, Justus M. Some Head-Hunting Traditions of Southern New Guinea American Anthropologist April-June, 1954 Vol.54(2):221-240
In this article, Justus M. Van Der Kroef attempts to explain the complex head-hunting rituals that take place among the Marindese and Boetinese in southern New Guinea. He provides a very interesting account into the lives of these people and dispels some of the rumors commonly associated with them.
Providing a background is essential for familiarity with these inhabitants and Van Der Kroef explains the economy and socialization of the Marindese and Boetinese in a brief summary.
As many earlier researchers of the area failed to realize, the main need for head-hunting is the scarcity of names among these people. For a child to be born without any controversy, a proper head-name has to be prepared for them. This ritual has little to do with increasing one’s status in the tribe. “The head name is a badge of honor, with whom the bearer is completely identified”. This involves many brave men from the tribe volunteering to go on a head-hunting party, in order to have names to give the children.
Sometimes a village is simply attacked, while other times an individual may decide to go on his own hunt, and may lure the prospective victim onto a beach. From here he will carry out conversation and get the person to eat with him. It is here that the names are exchanged. As the friendly conversation continues, out of nowhere the assailant kills his victim and chops off his head. In the cases where a whole village is attacked, elaborate rituals take place before and after the head-hunting party.
The head-hunt is a glorious occasion. Plans are carefully drawn out, and scouts are sent to find a good location and scope out the unfortunate village that is about to be massacred. Women are allowed to go also, but only the ones who have acquired a name are allowed to participate in the hunt. Before the hunt a day long festival is usually held and the “snake rites” are performed in a dance. When a village is attacked, all of the victims are rounded up, and every member over twelve has his or her head cut off. Babes are left to die, and the younger children are adopted by the head-hunters.
Extreme care is taken with the heads and they are decorated elaborately. When the hunters return, another festival ensues and feast follows. The heads are then hung in the houses of he who killed the person.
This head hunting seems to be a circle of life for the Marindese and the Boetinese, and it serves as a religious function of sorts. The names of the beheaded live on in a sense, and a kind of immortality is reached.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
ALAN THIES Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Van Der Kroef, Justus M. Some Head-Hunting Traditions of Southern New Guinea. American Anthropologist 1952 Vol. 54: 221-235.
In this article, Justus M. Van Der Kroef describes head-hunting traditions of the Marindese and Boetinese people of the Southern New Guinea coastline. These traditions are clearly rooted in the “patterns of social motivation and moral-religious necessity” (221). The major reason for the head-hunting is to acquire names, which are believed to hold the “soul substance” (222). It is the father’s responsibility to have a head-name ready for when a baby belonging to him is born. “A ready reservoir of names is one of the chief treasures of any village” (223).
The plans and preparation for a head-hunt are very involved. The decision is made by the men when they have run out of names to be passed on. The “knowledge of the elders” (226) is very important in this process. The whole village helps to prepare for the hunt. A communal dance is held and mock fights and battles are played out between the hunters and the elders who are no longer able to participate in the hunt. Once they have staked out a village, a magic formula is used to make the group invisible before they launch the attack in the early morning, declaring it with a loud battle cry. The people are captured, their names learned, and then they are beheaded in a ritualized way.
The author challenges the belief that these practices are for cannibalistic reasons and he makes clarifications on the subject. The cleaning and decorating of the heads involves customs that are described in detailed in the article. The return of the hunters leads to celebration and it is normal to see a hunter shed tears at his first sight of the village. The stories of the hunt are told to a captivated audience and an elaborate feast is prepared involving eight distinct stages. The celebration takes two nights. Dances tell stories of the hunt and proclaim the joy of new head-names for the unborn. The elders dress as legendary heroes of the village. Sexual intercourse after the ceremonies “acquires a symbolic religious meaning” (234) celebrating the life cycle. Justus M. Van Der Kroef also points out that although the Dutch and Australian Governments have attempted to get rid of these practices, only the frequency of the head-hunts has reduced.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
LAURA MONTEITH (firstname.lastname@example.org): York University (Naomi Adelson).
Voegelin, C. F. and Harris, Z. S. Training in Anthropological Linguistics American Anthropologist July-September, 1952 Vol.54(3):322-327.
The article overviewed the struggle of the field of linguistics in the history of anthropology. Harris and Voegelin began the article by posing the question of uniform quality of linguistic training throughout America. According to them, many who wrote on the subject of linguistics for official records had little or no linguistic training at all, and their writing displayed that. Up to around 1933, linguistics was still in the early stages of development. Sapir did not develop his idea of phonemes until 1925 when he was working at Yale. This technique proved to be quite key in the acceleration of anthropological linguistics. The other advance in the field came during the early thirties; the use of the combinatorial method. These steps forward almost separated the fields of anthropology and linguistics permanently, since a linguist could then examine a language without analyzinng its culture (and vice versa). Harris and Voegelin proceeded to note the sufficient amount of linguistic publication from persons receiving their doctorate before 1933 (second-rate) as opposed to the doctorates since. Their fear was that the field of linguistics had declined. According to Harris and Voegelin, anthropology and linguistic training should go hand in hand, for those who wrote on a culture without studying their language tended to give only a sociological perspective, and those who wrote on the language without knowing true linguistics “tended to be amatuerish.” Their prescription for all anthropology departments was to emphasize the importance of linguistics as an active component of all cultures.
BRYAN TIPPY Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Voegelin, C. F., and Z. S. Harris. Training in Anthropological Linguistics. American Anthropologist 1952 Vol. 54: 322- 27.
In the article “Training in Anthropological Linguistics,” authors Voegelin and Harris discuss the importance of studying linguistics in the anthropological discipline. In addition, the authors explain how students perusing anthropology were once linguistically weak, but offer suggestions of how students can embrace linguistics in their anthropological study.
The article begins by discussing Sapir’s critique of the linguistic field in his review of the “Bureau of American Anthropology.” He explains how individuals trained in linguistics did not receive adequate education, nor did they specialize in a variety of languages. Sapir urged for the training of anthropologists in comparative linguistics and wanted them to focus on the problems native Americans were facing. A discussion follows on the books “Bulletin 40″ and articles from “International Journal of American Linguistics,” written before the Second World War.
The authors continue to explain that students who were taught exclusively in anthropology between 1913-1933 were considered linguistically weak and then offers the characteristics that one would possess in order to be considered linguistically strong (e.g., know about comparative linguistics or have training in Indo- European languages). Also, the work of Franz Boas is discussed and how he attempted to introduce a new field of linguistics termed “diffused linguistics.” Commentary on the controversy between Sapirs’ and Boas’ research is addressed.
Further on in the article, similarities between descriptive linguistics and descriptive ethnologies are provided. Basically, the similarities discussed show that in order to do linguistics work anthropologists “do not have to be trained in a whole separate science” (325). Although, the article also concludes that the majority of anthropologists who received their doctorate in linguistics in 1933 have done little with their diploma, suggesting that they were not adequately trained.
Finally, the article offers suggestions of how to integrate linguistic training with the study of anthropology , applying their relevance to culture.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
DIMITRA LAZAROU York University: (Naomi Adelson)