American Anthropologist 1981

Andriolo, Karin R. Myth and History: A General Model and Its Application to the Bible. American Anthropologist June, 1981 Vol.83(2):261-284.

Andriolo describes the relationship between myth and history as frames of thought. She focuses on the complementary definitions of myth and history, then applies them to literature to test their analytical worth. The Bible is the main literary work Andriolo uses to exemplify the ideas she proposes.

Many comparisons are made between the social role behaviors of men and women in the Bible. Andriolo believes that within the Bible, women represent the myth point of view, while men represent the history point of view. The main purpose of this work is to show the relative position of men and women within the cultural system.

CLARITY RANKING: 1
BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Andriolo, K.R. Myth and History: A General Model and Its Application to the Bible. American Anthropologist 1981 Vol. 83: 261-284

This article begins with conceptions of myth and history and an explanation of the differences between the terms’ meanings and how they relate to one another. Structuralism and Marxism give opposing contemporary definitions of myth and history. Myth is to history as dreams are to consciousness, or self-evidence is to self-reflection. Eliade also contributes to the polarity of the two terms, equating history to uniqueness and irreversibility, and myth to universality and repetition. These definitions and others combine to form general models of the conceptions of myth and history to better explore the relationship between the two.

Andriolo then uses her creation of the general model of the relationship between myth and history to analyze selected readings in the Hebrew Bible. Using the afore mentioned model, Andriolo establishes that although their social roles differ, men and women represent both myth and history in the Bible, in varying degrees.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ELISE GRETO York University ( Naomi Adelson )

Arensberg, Conrad. Cultural Holism through Interactional Systems. American Anthropologist September, 1981 Vol.83 (3):562-583.

Holism emphasizes the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its part. Anthropologically holism regards arrangements of symbol and value. Empiricism in anthropology includes observed events of social, economic, and ceremonial organization. According to Arensberg, anthropology must integrate the concepts of holism and empiricism. Arensberg sites that science in general pushes towards understanding wholes emergent from, and different from, the sum of their parts. If anthropology masters this it can put to use the immense knowledge regarding the diversity and continuity of human cultures.

Arensberg considers anthropologists as curators of still-living inventiveness, plasticity, and accomplishment of humankind. Methods of reflection include the understanding of culture systems at work. This is accomplished by operational model systems of interpersonal interaction. Arensberg applies operation model systems to ethnographies regarding hunters’ sharing, shamanism, and African kinship.

Arensberg calls anthropologists to recognize and generalize ethnographic observations in terms of operation models and system building. To do this, anthropologists must thoroughly understand societies’ means of subsistence. Understanding subsistence is critical when applying operational models and systems. Arensberg believes that systems enlace subsistence with social organization and these in turn with cognition. In addition, Arensberg deems strong dependencies exist in cultures between subsistence and organizational activities and expressive behaviors involving styles of performance in music, dance, art, and other ethnic thought. Arensberg suggests that anthropologists can only apply their knowledge and contribute to society when they conceptualize general systems of community, ecology, and adaptive evolution.

Arensberg believes operation models and systems reveal human capacities and their products as ever evolving in space and time. Observing and understanding this is only possible when holism and systematic thought are linked. Arensberg stresses humanism and empiricism should not be separated. With this, anthropologists can reduce sociological and anthropological facts to basic units from which the universals of culture and society can be built up, understood, and eventually applied to world problems.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Arensberg, Conrad. Cultural Holism through Interactional Systems. American Anthropologist 1981 Vol.83 (20): 562-581.

In this article, Arensberg states his hopes that he wished to fulfill while he was president of the American Anthropological Association. The hopes were “to broaden employment, to enlist ‘them’ in public society, to foster cultural equity, and lastly to integrate ‘their’ science with the other sciences”. He wants to bridge the gap between humanities and sciences.

Arensberg also writes about anthropology with its many branches, each of which is continually expanding and deepening. Anthropology has already made contributions to holism, realism, and methods, but would also like to make another contribution to the world and its problems. Arensberg sees that anthropologists are documenters and curators of the living. Through this profession, it is their duty to form an understanding of various peoples. There are a number of anthropologists named in this article. He goes on to discuss his and many of his colleagues’ experiences. Throughout their studies they came to realize that anthropology wasn’t only cultural, a new trend was on the rise and was named “applied anthropology.”

The article is very complex in its ideas of holism and the systems that it functions in. Arensberg takes it upon himself to try and explain four steps of science. “The first step is the application of a general and human ecology to the understanding of subsistence sharing. The second is the question of the differences in putative ‘sharing’ between nonhuman primate hunters and foragers and human ones. The third will treat the emergence of hierarchy in human civilization. The fourth will be conflict and network analysis.”

In anthropology, change and continuity are to be understood. Arensberg ends by stating that holism and systemic thinking are linked. Holism, among other theories, is one of the glories of anthropology.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
PATRICIA A. FALCONI York University (Naomi Adelson).

Balzer, Majorie M. Rituals of Gender Identity: Markers of Siberian Khanty Ethnicity, Status, and Belief. American Anthropologist December, 1981 Vol.83(4):850-867.

Balzer did his research on the rituals of gender identity of the Siberian Khanty people. Balzer noticed that Khanty men considered women impure. He argues that women had restrictions because of menstruation. Both men and women as insults to spirits and ancestors restricted menstruating females. Menstruating women were considered threats to three interrelated categories: they were a threat to food procurement, a threat to social propriety, and a threat to spiritual life. Women who were considered contaminating could not cross in front of a herd of deer, because they were a threat to the animals, food, and the Khanty men. Not only were females socially and sexually dangerous to males, they were also threatening to the Khanty spirits and gods, and to male relations with these spirits and gods. Balzer noticed that these rituals were common among the Khanty people.

His research indicates that the Khanty rituals show no evidence of male monopoly on concepts of culture, power, and religion. Khanty men were dominant in public decision-making but susceptible to informal female pressure. The males had greater social dominance and higher ranking, but the older postmenopausal women and ancestresses had more spiritual respect than menstruating women and dominant males. Balzer discovered early on that Khanty women who stopped menstruating, gained an enormous amount of respect because of their expertise in raising a family, their knowledge of the mysteries of birth and death, and their skills for making beautiful clothing. The powerful roles that a Khanty woman plays have a great affect on their cultural lifestyle.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
KIMBERLY JONES Illinois State University (Robert Dirks).

Beal, Cynthia M. and Goldstein, Melvyn C. Tibetan Fraternal Polyandry: A Test of Sociobiological Theory. American Anthropologist January, 1981 Vol.83(1):5-12.

Beal and Goldstein’s primary hypothesis tested by the fieldwork presented is the maximization of inclusive fitness by fraternal polyandry. This sociobiological hypothesis is tested by systematically gathering demographic and ecological data. Fraternal polyandry counteracts the societal norms associated with female and male reproductive trends. Beal and Goldstein test the theory of strengthened familial lines and increased reproductive success.

Theories for polyandry are analyzed for validity; family fitness, economic status, and timing issues are all tested. Beal and Goldstein disprove each of these hypotheses as a form of increased reproductive success and suggests that outside cultural, economic, and political factors contribute to lifelong dedication of Tibetans into the practice of fraternal polyandry.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Beal Cynthia M. and Goldstein Melvyn C. Tibetan Fraternal Polyandry: A Test of Sociobiological Theory. American Anthropologist March 1981 Vol. 83. (5-12)

The kin selection theory in a Tibetan-speaking population has been tested in the context of the practice of fraternal polyandry, the mating system in which two or more brothers jointly share one spouse. This practice reduces the probability to reproduce the alleles of a particular brother, in the offspring generation as compared to monogamy. Probability decreases proportionately according to the number of males in the marriage. However, it has been hypothesized that multiple brothers enhance inclusive fitness or kin selection, because of the documented higher rate of offspring survival from such unions, due to greater parental support.

The practice of polyandry in Tibet is explained as the custom of brothers sharing a wife to ease the difficulty of eking out a living in the harsh Tibetan terrain. Statistically, however, fraternal polyandry is more common in wealthier peasant families, as it is perceived as a way of preserving productive resources and precluding the division of family land and animals. The negative aspects of fraternal polyandry are the development of tension between the wife and her husbands and between the brothers regarding access to the wife.

The perpetuation of this mating system strongly suggests sociocultural, economic and political factors, as analysis demonstrates that Tibetan polyandry does not appear to enhance fitness of individuals who practice it, but on the contrary entails reproductive sacrifice.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
BERTIE FRIEDLANDER York University (N. Adelson)

Berndt, Ronald. Adolphus Peter Elkin 1891-1979. American Anthropologist March, 1981 Vol.83(1):368-371.

Adolphus Peter Elkin’s death in 1979 represented the end of a significant epoch in the history of Australian anthropology. Elkin dominated the Australian anthropological scene from the beginning of his fieldwork in Western Australia in 1927 until his death. Elkin stressed practical involvement in matters relating to the political voice and advancement of Australian aborigines. For this, he is considered a pioneer of applied anthropology in Australia.

Elkin graduated with honors in philosophy at the University of Sydney. Then he was ordained as a priest in 1915. However, his interest in the aborigine peoples of Australia and anthropology grew. While serving a large parish, Elkin completed a master’s thesis on aboriginal religion. Ultimately he realized that anthropology was his true calling and resigned from the rectorship in 1925. Soon after, he earned his doctorate at the University of London. Returning to Australia, Elkin found a Department of Anthropology established at the University of Sydney with A.R. Radcliffe-Brown as its first professor. Elkin and Radcliffe-Brown established the new anthropology department, created the journal Oceania, wrote numerous articles and pamphlets, and influenced trends regarding the state and federal policies toward Australian aborigines. Throughout his career Elkin trained several prominent anthropologists. Elkin stressed to his students the responsibility to aid the political and social voice of Australian aborigines.

CLARITY RATING: 4
ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Berndt, M. Ronald. Obituary of Adulphus Peter Elkin 1891 – 1979 pg. 368 – 371

Adulphus Peter Elkin was best known for his tireless efforts with the Australian Aboriginal research department. Early in his career, Elkin was part of the South Pacific Commission. As the only Professor of Anthropology in Australia, Elkin devoted his time as the Chair of the Anthropology department at the University of Sydney.

Professor Elkin died suddenly on July 8, 1979 while chairing a meeting. His death marked the end of an era of significant anthropological research. Author, editor and proprietor of the long running Oceania, Elkin was committed to Aboriginal advancement. Contemporaries such as A.R. Radcliffe-Brown praised his ongoing efforts to bring recognition to the Aborigines of Australia.

Establishing both teaching and the research of anthropology in Australia, Elkin’s legacy will last forever. He, more than anyone else, was responsible for questioning and changing the negative policies of the past and was a true architect of positive contemporary developments in Aboriginal policy.

CLARITY: 5
ROBERT WASYLYK York University (Naomi Adelson)

Blust, Robert. Linguistic Evidence for Some Early Austronesian Taboos. American Anthropologist June, 1981 Vol.83(2):285-308.

Blust uses linguistic evidence to show that the early Austronesian’s had taboos. He uses a typology of culture trait distributions to help with his argument. Blust has three explanations for the distribution types, convergence, diffusion, and common inheritance. He states “to date no linguistic reconstructions have been proposed that imply the existence of particular taboos in early Austronesian society.” In two earlier studies there have been steps taken to prove taboos do exist in Austronesia.

The first study was on the busun taboo. The question asked by Blust was what type of behavior induces the swollen belly caused by the busun taboo. After sectioning Malayo-Polynesian languages up by geographical areas and comparing them, he came to the conclusion that an offense against status is the most essential feature violation of the busun taboo. Thus, meaning that status was of great importance to Proto-Western Malayo-Polynesian times.

The second study was on the blaiw taboo or thunder complex among Austro-Asiatic-speaking groups. The purpose of this study was to argue that the blaiw taboo did have antiquity in the Austronesian world. The conclusion was that there are four arguments for its antiquity. First was the “reconstructibility of Proto-Western Malayo-Polynesian blaiw “punitive storm””. This term was of Austronesian origin and extremely important in the culture. Second, was the different “lexical innovations that have replaced reflexes of baliw in attested societies”. Thirdly, where ever Negritos were historically, the thunder complex was apparent. Lastly, was that in branches of the Malayo-Polynesian language the thunder complex existed. In the end through two different studies there is proof of taboos in early Austronesian cultures.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ALICIA HOLMBECK Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Blust, Robert. Linguistic Evidence for some Early Austonesian Taboos. American Anthropologist 1981, v:83 p. 285-313

This article remarks that the problems of justifying cultural and historical inferences from non-linguistic data have resisted a generally accepted solution and that cultural traits are associated with cognate linguistic forms. This article is broken down in to several demographic tables. The author focuses on the typology of culture trait distribution (this being the linguistic relationships among societies with traits; continuous nature of the trait distribution looking at Geography and the common nature of the trait).

Blust explains that traits found among Austonesian people in Formosa-Philippines- are also from parts of New Guinea and South America. He explains that the possibility exists that even among Austonesian speaking societies, particular traits described developed independently in some areas of acquired its distribution among cultures through borrowing under appropriate conditions.

Specific features (physical) or linguistic traits are compared as distribution types in order of Plausibility, in terms of (a) convergence or independent invention; (b) diffusion (historical contact with borrowing); (c) common inheritance from a common cultural descent.

Physical features may include body piercing which adhere to different cultural groups globally and would fall under the ‘b’ category. Blust explains that language accounts for everything in order to categorize traits. If language is similar between two groups of people, then they can most likely be classified under the ‘b’ and ‘c’ categories. The opposite applies to ‘a’. He also mentions the discontinued distribution within groups with linguistically related features that are also found in other parts of the world and categorizes them under ‘a’ and ‘c’.

Blust’s interpretation numbers off twenty-four taboos of different cultures and their geographic locations, and he analyses linguistic features connecting some of the taboos. He compares the analyses of other people (Needham and Freeman) and their arguments over the use of natural symbols in cultures. Blust explores taboos about deities and their historical influence on cultures and whether they relate linguistically to others.

He concludes about his proposed typology of culture-trait distributions that attempts to reduce the intuitive judgements of actual practice to a ‘binary matrix’ constructed around linguistic related ness, continuousness of distributions, and the naturalness of traits. Historical inferences seem to be the key.

CLARITY: 1
LIVY FELDGAJER York University (Prof. Naomi Adelson)

Bohannan, Paul. Eva Verbitsky Hunt. American Anthropologist December, 1981 Vol.83(4):892-893.

Eva Verbitsky Hunt was known for her ability to connect structuralism and history with her skill in analyzing kinship system. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hunt became aware of North American Anthropology at the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia She also became the research assistant of Reberto Weitlaner at the Museo Nacional de Antropologia. Hunt later moved to Illinois and taught at both Northwestern, and at the University of Chicago, where she was promoted to professor. Hunt’s first publication was the “Analysis Comparitivos de Cinco comunidades en los Altos de Chiapas”, her most important work was The Transformation of the Hummingbird in 1977.

CLARITY RANKING:4
MEGHANN O’BRIEN SMITH Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Bohannan, Paul. Eva Verbitsky Hunt. American Anthropologist 1981 Vol.83:892-893.

Through this obituary we get a brief biography on the life of Eva Verbitsky Hunt. The reader gets a minor overview on her remarkable life.

She was born in Buenos Aries, Argentina, on April 12, 1934. She studied anthropology at the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia. She ended up in Chicago working with Romney, and she eventually earned her M.A. in 1959 and a Ph. D in 1962. Eva’s most important work was, “The Transformation of the Hummingbird “in 1977. She carried a joy for learning and teaching. Eva Hunt died on February 29, 1980.

Eric Wolf said it best, “she was a real anthropologist, with a fine mind…”

CLARITY RANKING: 5
SHAIZA MURJI York University (Naomi Adelson)

Brown, Daniel E. General Stress in Anthropological Fieldwork. American Anthropologist March, 1981 Vol.83(4):74-92.

This selection focuses on the study of general stress. The author describes ways of measuring stress and applying that information to biocultural research. Stress can be produced by both biological and cultural factors that occur everyday. When anthropologist are working in the field stress can be expressed in many ways, and as the outsider, anthropologists encounter stress from all angles. From an anthropological view, cultural differences are the main causes of stress in all areas of life.

Brown feels that understanding stress gives us new perspectives about cultural phenomena and the evolutionary process. From a biological view stress responses are both adaptive and maladaptive. Stress affects the individual and the population in areas like growth, fertility and mortality; it may even lead to eventual genetic changes as well. Brown states that humans measure stress in three ways: Behavior rating scales, psychological tests and physiological measures. Anthropologists deal primarily with physiological measures which are initiated by cultural factors. In the field, stress plays a pivotal role, the observer may feel stressed if they aren’t accepted and they may intern cause stress to those being studied. It is an inevitable cycle that is commonplace in anthropological fieldwork. Anthropological studies of stress are just a precursor to the field of biocultural psychology, which deals with our psycho-physiological reactions to adaptive problems mediated by our culture.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
MATT EKLUND Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Brown, E. Daniel. General Stress in Anthropological Fieldwork American Anthropologist 1981, Vol.83: 74 – 92

Brown’s work stresses the importance of studying how human stress reactions are responses to physical, biological, and sociocultural stimuli that lead to adaptive activities. Studying biocultural stress, Brown attempts to show how ‘general stresses’ reflect the total amount of stress an individual experiences and their effects on the entire culture. Stress measures can be used to evaluate studies of cultural change, observations of cyclical patterns of stress, and help to identify highly stressed groups. Consequently, his research can lead to an understanding of the relative importance of specific stressors on certain groups and identification of cultural phenomena that are either, stressors or stress reducing.

Brown identifies two kinds of stress: one, anticipated stress, and two, immediate or physical stress. The research in this article focuses on prolonged anticipated stress. This stress is further broken down into physical or psychosocial stresses, noting that both have nonspecific effects on the body. Physical forms of stress trigger the adrenal corticoid hormones, which induce observable physiological changes in the body. Brown notes that most stress is a response by the body that is clearly adaptive. However, prolonged exposure to anticipated stresses can have negative effects. For example, chronic general stress has been shown to lead to involution of the reproductive system and, as result, a decrease in fertility. Therefore, general stress is an important consideration for the evolutionary process.

The most common measures of physiological stress include urinary and plasma catecholamine levels. Brown measures ‘catecholamines and corticosteroids’; both are hormones found in urine as a by-product of stress. Carefully collecting around-the-clock samples from a group of ‘Filipino-American Hawaiians’ Brown was able to measure levels of hormones over long periods. Being able to measure and isolate periods of high stress in a group is critical. Brown suggests that there is a possibility of constructing stress-reducing strategies, because stress can cause any number of physical problems including cardiovascular disease, duodenal ulcers and vasomotor rhinitis.

The limitations of stress studies are apparent to Brown who notes that it is impossible to “deduce very specific information about a population from general stress levels alone; stress levels represent a summation of many bits of information about a population with no regard for the relative contribution of each bit”(85).

CLARITY: 2
ROBERT WASYLYK York University (Naomi Adelson)

Cohen, Ronald. Obituary: Klaus-Friedrich Koch, 1937-1977. American Anthropologist Sept., 1981 83(5):602-605.

Klaus-Friedrich Koch was a prominent legal anthropologist whose first major contribution to the field was on dispute settlement and warfare in west New Guinea. He was trained in ethnology at Bonn and Tubingen universities, and later finished his undergraduate work at Berkeley, where he also did his doctorate work. While at Berkeley, Koch studied legal anthropology with Laura Nader. Under her direction, he and several other graduate students developed the Berkeley Law Project. Koch’s dissertation research in New Guinea was the first of a series conducted by this group.

After receiving his Ph.D. from Berkeley, he became a faculty member at Harvard where he not only taught, but also organized and was a senior investigator for a project to study conflict resolution in Fiji. There he and his students studied the adaptation of political and legal institutions to contemporary conditions of society and economy. Koch did fieldwork in Illinois, Germany, and Cairo. He believed that wherever there were people there were disputes, conflict resolution, and the means of observing and recording. them. Although Koch’s professional career spanned only about twelve years, he was responsible for over 30 articles, two books, and a number of other articles and at least one more book being worked on at the time of his death.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
NICOLE C. ROTH Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Drucker, Philip. Ronald Leroy Olson. American Anthropologist September, 1981 Vol.83(3):605-607.

Ronald Leroy Olson was born on December 8, 1895, and died August 1, 1979. He had two major accomplishments. He was an excellent field ethnographer and he single-handedly built up the enrollments of the Department of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkley.

Olson received his M.A. in 1926 at the University of Washington at Seattle. His study was on “Adze, Canoe, and House Types of the Northwest Coast.” He then received his doctorate at the University of California, during the time period, which was later labeled the “golden age” of anthropology at Berkley.

Olson’s dissertation was published in 1933. He was a professor at Berkley until his retirement in 1956. During his time at Berkley he returned to the Northwest Coast to perform ethnographic research. He worked on lengthy complex genealogies, descriptions of potlatches and ceremonials, alliances and feuds, and marriage.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CARLY J. SCHROCK Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Frayer, David W. Body Size, Weapon Use and Natural Selection in the European Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic. American Anthropologist March, 1981 Vol.83(1):57-73.

Frayer tests the merits of an article published in 1959. The 1959 article presented a model describing the relationship between body build and offensive weapons. Frayer presents evidence from European Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic groups to test the contentions of the model.

The 1959 model states that two main weapon types, the spear and the bow, were used before, during, and after the European Upper Paleolithic and the Mesolithic. The model proposes that physique is correlated with better ability to utilize specific types of hunting armaments. This is the notion that a tall frame and long arms are better for using spears while short arms and a compact frame are better for using a bow. The 1959 article suggests that a shift from the use of spears to bows led to change in body morphology. Frayer examines this hypothesis by looking at the lifestyle and technology of hunters in the European Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic, the skeletal evidence from the archaeological record, and climate changes over time.

Although there was a reduction in body stature and limb size, Frayer states that climate and the size of prey were the reasons for the changes. Frayer suggests “the reduced metabolic demand of smaller individuals in the Mesolithic, coupled with no selective pressure for maintaining large body size, may be the reason for reduced overall body size from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic.” Frayer believes stature reduction was selected for as a form of nutritional conservation.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Frayer, David W. Body Size, Weapon Use, and Natural Selection in the European Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic. American Anthropologist 1981 83: 57-73.

“In a paper appearing in this journal over 20 years ago, Brues (1959) presented a model describing the relationship between body build and offensive weapons.” In this paper, Frayer represents Brues’ theory – that the stature and physique of prehistoric hominids are directly related and affected to the weapon type used – and uses the evidence found in the last 20 years to analyze its validity.

Brues argued in 1959 that the two principal weapons used by hunting peoples, the spear and the bow, had a direct affect on the “laterality” and “linearity” of their physical built. Basically, when hunters relied on the spear for sustenance, Brues believes that they were taller and more robust. A longer arm is required for speed and velocity of throwing a spear, while the proximity to the prey required a longer frame for speed and agility. As the bow was introduced, Brues theorized that the stature of the hominid decreased, as a shorter arm with close, tight muscles are advantageous, while the greater distance allowed less requires the physique for quick movements.

Once clarifying Brues’ theory, Frayer proceeds to present the evidence found, both before the publication of Brues’ article, as well as in the 20 years between them. He offers statistical data about the growth patterns of both male and female skeletons found, and relates these findings to Brues’ theory. He includes other possible factors that could have had an impact on the body size of these hominids, such as climate factors and nutritional differences and diet.

Ultimately, Frayer summarizes that the “basic predictions of Brues concerning the relationship between body build and weapon type are not supported by data drawn from European Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic populations.” He states that there are too many factors which could be the cause of the decline in stature, and finalizes by stating that in a society in which only the men hunt, the growth decline should have been more apparent in men than women. This however, is untrue in the evidence provided.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
MICHAEL FILLITER York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson)

Kaplan, Flora S. and Levine, David M. Cognitive Mapping of a Folk Taxonomy of Mexican Pottery: A Multivariate Approach. American Anthropologist December 1981 Vol.83(4):868-884.

Structuralism, psychological and symbolic analyses, and ethnoscientific approaches are common methods for gathering information in anthropological studies. Criticized as focusing only on verbal behavior and internal logic, and for failing to incorporate observable behavior, these strategies are utilized in this folk taxonomy of pottery, but are not the sole basis for conclusions. Kaplan and Levine demonstrate that methods such as ethnoarchaeology aid in a better understanding of social and cultural behaviors by material culture analysis.

Multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis help to determine the cognitive structure of the folk taxonomy of black-on-red glazed pottery from Valley of Puebla, Mexico. The potters’ responses and methods of dividing the pottery were the input for the cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling, instead of the taxonomic data itself. The authors found that the potters used terms similar to archaeological pottery categorizations. Generally, studies show that taxonomy are not solely derived from cultural behavior, but are an historical development as well.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Kehoe, Alice B. and Dody G. Giletti. Women’s Preponderance in Possession Cults: The Calcium-Deficiency Hypothesis Extended. American Anthropologist December 1981 Vol.83(4):549-560.

Giletti and Kehoe propose that a dearth of essential vitamins and minerals can be a significant contributing factor to spirit possession. This relationship has been strongly linked in areas where women are considered lower class or deprived of life elements more than men. In many societies, pregnant and lactating women are given inadequate amounts of nutrients and vitamins. The first proposal made by the authors states that if basal metabolic amounts of vitamins and minerals are inadequate for an extended length of time, then symptoms of deficiency will develop.

If an extended length of time elapses and the woman does not receive sufficient nutritional substances, she may develop a deficiency. Also proposed is the theory if these symptoms are prevalent to a class in a population, then these symptoms can be culturally documented and labeled. Giletti and Kehoe use ethnological studies of African and Eurasian women to document incidences of spirit possession in nutrient-deficient pregnant and lactating women. A possible link between psychological disturbance and spirit possession for the acquisition of goods or attention and physiological nutrient-deficiency models are the two major theories tested.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Kehoe, Alice B. And Dody Giletti. Women’s Preponderance in Possession Cults: The Calcium-Deficiency Hypothesis. American Anthropologist 1981 v:83 p.549-561

This article explains the link between the spirit possession cult and the deficiencies in nutrients and vitamins, specifically vitamin D and Calcium, in women. Women’s nutrient intakes are higher than men’s due to the possibility of poverty and sumptuary rules restricting their intake. Economic patterns limit accessibility for women to adequately balance their nutrition; this includes the needs of pregnant and lactating women as their needs exceed the norm.

The authors look at how the insufficient intake of nutrients is, over a long period of time, the cause of the symptoms of the deficiencies. These symptoms have become classified and labelled in some societies as ‘spirit possessions’. The women look at the correlation between diet and behaviour, therefore accounting for the spirit possession. The symptoms may include falling unconscious, convulsions, tremors, meaningless conversation and behavioural symptoms like hysteria. This test was done on lab rats to check for similar behavioural traits based on diet and lack of nutrition. The authors’ hypotheses stem from Wallace’s Eskimo Study of calcium poor diets especially in the winter (lack of sunlight leads to lack of vitamin D). They explain that humans can physiologically adapt to relatively low nutrient intakes and can function with chronic but mild deficiencies, but in many Eurasian and African societies, women are at a higher risk of nutritional deficiencies than most men are and therefore fall under ‘spirit possession’.

Social distinctions between men and women are examined as women are often restricted from many food/nutritional sources (calcium/milk, meat, veggies) or women eat 1-2 meals daily while men eat three or more (in the Djerid society women fall to spirit possession more frequently because of this). There is a high frequency of possession associated with gender stratified societies and low incidence associated with egalitarian ones.

The authors examine the history of stratified and egalitarian societies on a global scale involving Eurasia, Africa, North and South America. They explain involuntary behaviour being able to be voluntarily replicated under an induced trance (hypnosis). This assures the subject that they aren’t beyond human control and therefore reduces anxiety.

The authors explore the Zar Cult based in Ethiopia, as an example of where the spirits possess the body after debilitating illness. The ridding of the spirits involves hypnosis. In this cult, the women eat only after the men have finished eating, and after all the ‘good’ food is gone. They conclude their evidence by looking at women who have immigrated to a higher standard of living and how they no longer become possessed.

CLARITY: 4
LIVY FELDGAJER York University (Naomi Adelson)

Lancy, David F., and Strathern, Andrew J. “Making Twos”: Pairing as an Alternative to the Taxonomic Mode of Representation. American Anthropologist December, 1981 Vol.83(4):773-795.

The authors question if the taxonomic paradigm affects cognitive skills better than pairing methodology used by Melpa children. Comparing different New Guinea societies the authors found children use taxonomiclike strategies in discerning material realities varied in their abilities to organize and recall. The testing determined if the children were using superordinate or nominal methods. The results were contingent on endogenous categories and how “tighter” associations affected outcomes. The authors found that an “alternate mode of representation” was employed that “muted” taxonomic tendencies.

They found that children performed according to their folk taxonomy, that atypical methods were used by the Melpa children because there were fewer “supra-generic terms,” and that the Melpa children developed the alternative strategy of pairing, i.e. making twos, and that these twos appeared to be directly related to one’s functioning capacity within the culture. It was acknowledged that paired categories may imply broader ones but there are no “lexical label[s]” to support that possibility. The examples of pairs do not show the antagonisms typical of binary oppositions thus it is likely that they are “conjunctivity considerations,” i.e. that differences emerge from disrupting a continuum or by “cross-cutting dimension.” What is consistent is that nominal filiation is cultural distinctions by individuality.

The authors used the findings of Strauss to affirm that Melpa thought hinges on complementary pairs in order to “achieve full being.” The pairing, or “binary idiom,” as applied to groups and kin emphasizes equality and relationship respectively. It was determined that making twos are social devices used to infuse differences, similarities, complementarities, alliances, equalities, etc., rather than to taxonomically structure, i.e. they were for social categories. The egalitarian quality of the twos is to neutralize inequalities as they arise. Taxonomy is not used for mnemonic ends typical of modern thinking and evolutional structuring. The Melpa culture is not akin to hierarchal differentiating thus the pairing method suits their worldview.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
RANDY INGRAM Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Lancy, David F., Andrew J. Strathern. “Making Twos”: Pairing as an Alternative to the Taxonomic Mode of Representation. American Anthropologist 1981 Vol.83:773-795

Taxonomy, according to Lancy and Strathern, is important to the theories of culture and the process of human thought. The study carried out involved comparing the taxonomic strategies of societies in Papua New Guinea.

On Ponam Island and among the Melpa, folk taxonomies were collected and analyzed. Picture sorting and free-recall tasks were performed to collect this data from individuals. Some categories were identified as “tight” and a second study was done to examine these more closely. A final test was done to determine the concept of class inclusion. Because there was doubt about the performance of children in the class-inclusion task, this study was repeated.

The results found children on Ponam Island performed similar to Western children in the sense that they are aware of their folk taxonomy and can apply it to problem-solving tasks. The classification examined resembles the “standard” scientific classification. However, the Melpa results did not resemble the Panom, and therefore neither the Western, method of classification by children. The Melpa used a set of supra-generic terms instead.

The taxonomies found in Melpa culture may have been a result of the method of gathering data and not a reflection of what actually exists. The nature of classifying plants and animals, colours, numbers, groups, kin, and ideas of person and status, are all recognized. These taxonomic levels are identified and analyzed on the basis of pairs or “making twos”. Opposites are used to define and identify these classes. Using this theory of pairing to identify, the authors wonder if this specific usage of taxonomy interferes with artificial situations of cognitive tasks.

CLARITY: 3
ANNA COLOMBO York University (Naomi Adelson)

Lurie, Nancy Oestreich. Robert Eugene Ritzenthaler 1911-1980. American Anthropologist September, 1981 Vol.83(30):607-610.

Robert Ritzenthaler was a competent ethnographer. Although ethnology was his primary field, Ritzenthaler was also a teacher and an accomplished archaeologist. Ritzenthaler earned a teaching certificate in 1934 and doctoral degrees in 1940 and 1950. His interest in educating the public led him to teach the first anthropology courses offered in Wisconsin.

Ritzenthaler’s first professional job was a position as a museum aide in the History/Anthropology Department at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Six years later, he was placed in charge of the entire Anthropology Department of the museum. His numerous years of fieldwork began in 1939 with the Oneida Indian people of Wisconsin, and took him as far as Mexico and Micronesia. In Mexico Ritzenthaler compiled the first ethnography of the Mexican Kickapoo.

During his career Ritzenthaler wrote and edited numerous anthropological articles for the Milwaukee Journal and the Wisconsin Archaeologist. He served briefly as the president for the Wisconsin Archaeological Society and the Central States Archaeological Society. In 1972, Ritzenthaler retired, although he still acted as a consultant to the Milwaukee Public Museum until his death on March 25, 1980.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Lurie Oestreich, Nancy. Robert Eugene Ritzenthaler American Anthropologist 1981 Vol. 83:607-610

This obituary of Robert Eugene Ritzenthaler written by Nancy Oestreich Lurie is one that quite extensively describes the life and experiences of the famous anthropologist and archaeologist. Ritzenthaler died on March 25,1980 following a stroke. He was born on November 11,1911 in Milwaukee where he grew up and began his education at Milwaukee teacher’s college focusing on history. He was first exposed to anthropology in 1935 and grew to like the field, which caused him to change his major over to anthropology. In 1950 he received his Ph. D. in anthropology from Columbia University. His first professional job was as a museum aid at the Milwaukee public museum. Throughout his lifetime he strayed back and forth between anthropology and archaeology, and at times doing both simultaneously. Ritzenthaler’s first fieldwork was was among the Oneida Indian people of Wisconsin in 1939. In the same year he married Pat Hillis who specialized in Sociology, and who often assisted Ritzenthaler in his ethnological research. In 1954 Robert and his friend Frederick Peterson visited the Mexican Kickapoo Indians, but had to leave shortly after, for religious events were soon to occur and the Kickapoo allowed no outsiders in the community during this time. Ritzenthaler then spent six months with his wife among the Bafut in what was at the time the British Cameroons. They took photos and movies, recorded music and collected many objects for the museum. Robert felt a strong need to portray anthropological information in a responsible way to the general public, so he wrote articles, reviewed anthropological books for the Milwaukee Journal, and provided pamphlets on his areas of expertise that were sold at the museum. Thus, it is evident that Ritzenthaler lead quite a detailed life whose research, findings and personal influence will serve as important material in anthropological literature.

CLARITY:5
CARLA DI GIANDOMENICO York University (Naomi Adelson).

Mandelbaum, David G. Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark. American Anthropologist September 1981 Vol.83(3):616-617.

Prince Peter is one of the most renowned anthropologists in the study of polyandry. He combined ethnological fieldwork with psychoanalytic theory to give depth to anthropological work. His book A Study of Polyandry, published in 1963, is still recognized as a major source of information even though many more recent studies do not accept many theories he presented.

Primary influences in Prince Peter’s career included his mother, a psychoanalyst, and her father, an anthropology enthusiast who sponsored many expeditions. Geza Rogeim and his wife, who were working with Aborigines when he met them, also piqued his interest in the field. After earning his Docteur en Droit en Paris in law and economics, he studied anthropology at Oxford with Marrett and later studied with Malinowski. His wife was also an anthropologist and together they conducted ethnological fieldwork in the Himalayas, in South India, and worked among the Todas tribe in Nilgiri Hills.

Peter’s work with the Todas led to his largest societal contribution: in 1950, the tribe numbered only five hundred due to a high infant mortality rate. Prince Peter petitioned the Indian government for medical assistance to save the dwindling clan. As a result of his involvement, medical units were sent to the aid of the Todas and thirty years later, the tribe had doubled in size. After receiving his Ph.D. in anthropology in 1959, Prince Peter did not an academic anthropological position. He entered banking and often intermingled business travel with anthropological study.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Milton, Katharine. Distribution Patterns of Tropical Plant Foods as an Evolutionary Stimulus to Primate Mental Development. American Anthropologist September, 1981 Vol.83(3):534-548.

The author is arguing that the extreme diversity of plant foods in tropical forests and the way they are distributed between time and space play a major part in the development of “advanced cerebral complexity in certain higher primates”. She states that because these “proto-humans” were becoming dependent upon animal protein, they hade to increase their hunting efficiency, which was done by cooperative hunting, food sharing, tool making, and symbolic communication. The pressure to hunt more accurately caused a dependence on memory and learning, which, in a tropical forest, are essential to survival.

She argues this hypothesis on the basis of several factors. First it is the body size, diet, and home range size. With the varieties of primates, one encounters a variety of areas covered, with the larger primates covering more ground than the smaller ones. The second factor is spatial distribution of potential plant foods. These potential food sources in tropical forests were quite spread out, which required more time and work to get to them. The third factor is temporal distribution of potential plant foods. Each plant has its own cycle, but like its location, each plant is only available at certain times, so it is considered patchy distribution. The fourth factor is predictability. This factor can help to counteract the patchiness of its distribution, both temporally and timely. Each primate had to know when certain plants were in season and where they were located to survive. This need may be considered a stimulus for the growth of cerebral complexity.

Along with the individual primates learning, memorizing, and retaining this information, complete efficiency would be accomplished only by passing it on to their younger generations. Along with their genetics, these primates had to teach their “kin” to hunt efficiently for themselves, as well as to help others.

Testing her hypothesis, she used howler and spider monkeys, because they are similar in characteristics, yet are different in dietary focus. She showed two sides of the spectrum to illustrate their difference in mental ability. Her findings showed that spider monkeys showed more mental development because they had to deal with a more complex diet focus. This reveals that a patchy distribution of food causes increased cranial capacity. It is likely that the family line leading to hominids had to deal with many of the same pressures.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
VICKIE SQUIER Illinois State University (Robert Dirks).

Milton, Katharine. Distribution Patterns of Tropical Plant Foods as an Evolutionary Stimulus to Primate Mental Development. American Anthropologist 1981 83: 534-545

This article is primarily concerned with the diet of the ancestral line leading to the development of hominids, which appears to be somewhat rare, because of its members having changed trophic levels not just once, but twice during their evolutionary history.

The first dietary shift involved the transformation from insectivore to plant-eater, and the second, from plant-eater to omnivore, with a strong orientation toward meat as a protein source.

Milton contends that this shift in dietary focus and in behaviour, “favouring the increasing ability to exploit mobile foods from the second trophic level, particularly to hunting down and killing such prey with sufficient efficiency so that it could be depended on in the diet, should therefore have required some major changes in certain areas of the brain” (p 544). Also, because humans lacked the powerful jaws and claws characteristic of hunting carnivores and because they were already predisposed to solving their dietary problems primarily through behavioural rather than physiological adaptations, “these hunting hominids may have depended heavily on mental acuity to outwit and capture prey” (p 544). Milton also states that this hominid population’s ability to secure a dependable source of high quality protein would have placed them in a stronger position in terms of fitness when compared with other hominid populations who relied on a more precarious source of subsistence.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
JADEN J. WINFREE York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson).

Nardi, Bonnie Anna. Modes of Explanation in Anthropological Population Theory: Biological Determinism vs. Self-Regulation in Studies of Population Growth in Third World Countries. American Anthropologist March, 1981 Vol.83(1):28-51.

Nardi examines the self-regulatory processes and deterministic factors of population growth. Deterministic factors of population growth are environmental or biological in nature, and they affect fertility and mortality. Deterministic factors either limit population growth or cause populations to thrive. Disease, diet, and involuntary sterility are all negative deterministic factors. Nardi examines different deterministic theories. She discusses the Demographic Transition Theory, Frequency of Coitus, and the affects of breast-feeding. In addition, Nardi describes how the character of women, venereal disease, and chiefly control may affect rates of pregnancy.

Self-regulatory factors are those ways in which humans control their own populations. They may include birth control, infanticide, abortion, etc. Nardi argues that these factors are more influential than the deterministic factors, although the deterministic factors still do play a role in population growth. Nardi illustrates how self-regulation plays an even larger part in determining populations. She begins by uncovering that the economic value of children is a key issue in overpopulation and the productive systems of many countries simply demand a large labor force. All in all, self-regulatory factors far outweigh deterministic factors in explaining population growth.

CLARITY RATING: 5
MICHAEL WAHLS Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Nardi, A. Bonnie. Modes of Explanation in Anthropological Population Theory: Biological Determinism vs. Self-Regulation in Studies of Population Growth in Third World Countries. American Anthropologist 1981, Vol. 83: 28 -51

At the centre of Nardi’s argument is the issue of population control. In this paper, Nardi looks at the current level of population growth as a result of changes in the biological environment (citing more medicine, improved nutrition, and extensive disease control) juxtaposed to issues of human intention and rational action and the deliberate creation of large families. Nardi focuses on countries that are known as underdeveloped.

The population crisis in many underdeveloped countries is reaching epic proportions. Nardi seeks to study the reasons why such a rise is taking place. In doing so, she attempts to explain the role of cultural factors and their relationship to biological process and rational action. In particular, Nardi examines the practices of the Ontong-Javanese society, who have been characterized by their use of conscious fertility checks. Nardi also examines the Makin Islanders in the Gilberts and their use of infanticide, abortion, and postpartum abstinence as measures of control.

Nardi’s focus then shifts to explain the abundance of children in underdeveloped countries. The first hypothesis she focuses on is the use of children as a means of labor power. Many agrarian societies invest in children to support the family, because children are an exploitable labour force. Further inquiries, combined with a Marxist conceptualization in regard to the demand for labour, shows that economics may control birth rates. For example, the Yengoyan maintained birth rates and indices of fertility as a response to differential levels of labour inputs. Children become a valuable asset in underdeveloped countries, where their potential on the farm and working in cities is crucial for survival.

In contrast, the demand for labour theory is somewhat flawed. Children demand initial upbringing and, therefore, may be too costly at first to warrant a large family. In addition, the livelihood of a family is an important consideration when judging family size. Fishing families have a tendency to have smaller families than do agriculturists. Nonetheless, Nardi’s data suggests that children are economically valuable to their parents, despite initial costs of early childhood rearing.

Nardi notes that many studies on population controls neglect several aspects of biological and cultural controls. For example, patterns of breast-feeding, levels of infant mortality, maternal health, or any of the other deterministic factors on the growth rate of the society studied, as well as lactational amenorrhea and maternal mortality. In conclusion, Nardi suggests that self-regulation is preferable to that of the deterministic approach as it relies on the premise that people are rational, self-interested actors, not merely passive beings at the mercy of biological processes.

CLARITY: 2
ROBERT WASYLYK York University (Naomi Adelson)

Olmstead, D.L. Words of Thanks. American Anthropologist December, 1981 Vol.83(4):885-887.

This article is a brief reflection of the author’s time working for the American Anthropologist. Olmstead expresses his fondness for his coworkers at the journal, but focuses mainly on the members of the American Anthropological Association who act as “referees” for the many articles that are written for the journal. The members of the Association act as monitors of content within the articles written for the journal, as opposed to editors who review grammar and style. He offers his thanks to the “referees” as well as the writers of all of the articles that he read in his three years with the American Anthropologist journal.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Opler, Morris. Marvin Kaufmann Opler. American Anthropologist September, 1981 Vol.83(3):617-619.

Marvin K. Opler is best known for his psychological anthropology work with the mentally ill. A prolific, skilled writer and cherished professor, Opler was born in Buffalo, New York, on June 13, 1914. Early in his undergraduate studies at the University of Buffalo, he proved himself worthy to enroll in an experimental honors program in which he could take control of his own curricula. Opler, a social science major, opted to accompany his older brother in the field to study Southwest ethnography.

After this project, Opler stayed at the University of Buffalo through his junior year. He then transferred to the University of Michigan due to the expanding reputation of Leslie White. As it turned out, Opler and White held differing views regarding the role of psychology in conjunction with anthropology. Opler was interested in possible connections in the fields while White was beginning to move away from psychology. After Michigan, Marvin attained his doctorate from Colombia University where he studied under scholars Ruth Benedict and Ralph Linton. In 1938, Opler began his teaching career at Reed College and remained there until called for service in World War II. His role in the war was that of a social scientist, and he studied the evacuation of the West Coast by those with Japanese ancestry. After the war, Opler remained on the West Coast where he taught at Occidental College, and later at Stanford University. His interest in medical and psychological anthropology grew, and he was invited to participate in a study hosted by Cornell University that focused on mental disorders.

In 1957, despite a busy research schedule, Opler helped found the International Journal of Social Psychiatry. He remained the North American editor for the rest of his life. Opler returned to Buffalo in 1958, and became a professor of social psychiatry in the College of Medicine of the University of Buffalo. Later he also became involved with the Department of Anthropology, and served as the chairman of this department from 1969-1972. During the later part of his life, Opler did much to help the mentally ill in the Buffalo area. He was a member of many scholarly societies, including the American Anthropological Association, the Northwestern Anthropological Association, and Sigma Xi. His body of work consisted of over 200 books, book chapters, journal articles, and reviews. During a memorial service held in New York, Opler was not only remembered for his writing, but for his work in the community as well.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
JASON HULS Illinois State University (Robert Dirks).

Richard, Alison F. Changing Assumptions in Primate Ecology. American Anthropologist September, 1981 Vol.83(3):517-533.

Nonhuman primate research development and a comparison of the field’s evolving methods for ecological study to those existing is Richard’s primary focus in this article. Originally, primate studies were separated from other animal studies due to the inherent similarities between human and nonhuman primates. The development of primate ecological studies is based on the exclusion of primate ecology by systems theorists and evolutionists. Richard points out that although anthropologists and psychologists have studied primates, these fields study human behavior in attempts to better understand human nature.

The study of primates by incorporation of the adaptation theory, its assumptions, and problems relating to the concept of adaptation, such as the lack of significance of behavior, are tackled in this article. Exploration of new methodology that focuses less on adaption theories and more on the optimal strategy in relation to ranging and feeding behavior is highly focused upon by Richard. Optimal strategies formulate a theory and test results against primate behavior. Various emerging primate ecology study methods are pitted against primate ecology methodologies and adaption theories to determine if the new methods will give scientists greater insight into the nonhuman primate studies.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Richard, Alison. Changing Assumptions in Primate Ecology. American Anthropologist 1981 Vol.83:517-528.

This article explores the separation between the study of primates and other mammals. It also discusses the changes occurring in the goals and assumptions of the investigation into primate ecology. Darwin’s proposed theory of natural selection is now being tested and many researchers are developing new methods of testing previous assumptions. This article outlines the many changing assumptions within the study of non-human primates contained by their natural settings. Theoretical ecology has branched into two methods of testing hypothesis outlined in previous primate research. The relationship between primates and their environments are now more concerned with understanding ultimate processes and at the same time remembering to focus in on specifics. Changing methodologies in the study of ecology and social processes was key in emphasizing a more pluralistic approach.

Modern research looked at primates habitat, feeding and social behaviour. More recently ecologists have begun to study the group size, habitat and the groups adaptive relationship along side their social organization and environment. Researchers have described primate adaptation as a response to conditions of food availability, predators and the distribution within the social structure. They have also articulated there is only one type of social structure developed in certain conditions and that at the time of studies the primates are already well adapted to their environments.

Studies dealing with non-human primates feeding behaviour and social structures always focused on the group as a whole. New strategies outlined in this article assess individual behaviour leading to knowledge on how the group differs. Also, they have found conflicting individual strategies within the unit. Primate study lacks no data as it began as a way of understanding ourselves. In today’s day and age primate studies can no longer focus on bio-medical research because of ethical reasons but a greater understanding of human behaviour does benefit from speculative research on our non-human relatives.

Questions of whether animals exercise choice or act only as response to stimuli are still being questioned. With the new methodologies in theoretical ecology researchers are recognizing problems within the debate and working through solutions in the study of our closest relatives.

CLARITY: 2
LARA ZENTINS York University (Naomi Adelson).

Steponaitis, Vincas P. Settlement Hierarchies and Political Complexity in Nonmarket Societies: The Formative Period of the Valley of Mexico. American Anthropologist April, 1981 Vol.83(2):320-363.

The most common method used in the study of political complexity is typology, or categorization according to specific characteristics. Many problems exist with the use of this technique; two major problems are the broad categories societies are placed into and attributes from societies being lumped into the same category rather than individually inspected. Steponaitis focuses on three separate variables of political dimensions: “the number of levels in political hierarchy, degree of centralization at the uppermost level, and the relative amount of surplus food mobilized to support the political establishment.”

A cyclic growth model is used to study political evolution of regional settlement hierarchies. Several ways to archaeologically study political centralization and its role in the economy are discussed first, followed by a mathematical model of a correlation between settlement size and political evolution, and lastly, the model is applied to political complexity in the Formative period in the Valley of Mexico.

Ethnographic fieldwork from among the Suku and Tswana tribes are used as examples of this model. A scatter diagram that graphs settlement size and catchments productivity is used as a visual representation. The majority of the article is focused on the application of the above model to the Formative period in the Valley of Mexico. The primary goal of this study is not to imply that classification categories are obsolete, but that additional information is needed to formulate a more effective model of political complexity and evolution.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Steponaitis, Vincas P. Settlement Hierarchies and Political Complexity in Nonmarket Societies: The Formative Period of the Valley of Mexico. American Anthropologist. 1981. Vol. 83: 320-363.

In reviewing this article, I have found the abstract to be extremely useful, which is why most of it is included here.

“[Steponaitis developed] a theoretical model which explicitly [related] certain aspects of political complexity to variation in settlement size. [This model was applied to] societies without well-developed market economies – societies [such as] chiefdoms and (perhaps) simple states. Using settlement data from the Formative Period Valley of Mexico, [he shows] how this model is useful in measuring (1) the number of levels in a regional hierarchy, (2) the degree of political centralization, and (3) the relative amount of surplus food mobilized to support the political establishment.” (p. 320)

Steponaitis discusses the limitations and contributions of authors on the typological approach to characterizing sociopolitical forms. The author states his goal is to demonstrate that political complexity should be looked at in relation to several analytically separate dimensions, dimensions he says can be measured on a continuous scale. Three of the dimensions he is interested in are delineated in the abstract.

He illustrates his points by developing a mathematical model that shows differences in settlement size as “related to aspects of political complexity”, a model which is then applied to specific political systems in the Valley of Mexico. In order to understand this model, the author outlines his definition of centralization, and tribute that indicate where power lies, as well as “visible archaeological manifestations of tribute flow”. Steponaitis believes that power and tribute are interdependent variables, which is why he considers them. He also considers difficulties associated with trying to determining tribute value.

Building on Brumfiel’s work that looked at site size in relation to catchment productivity, he uses his own ideas to construct a more accurate model. For example, he uses the algebraic expression Vj = k P j to describe a situation where the political settlement hierarchy has one level. Vj is the size of each village, and Pj is the annual yield of the catchment, and k is a constant of the amount of people that can be supported by each unit of productivity. This expression is the basis for understanding three different levels of political settlement hierarchy. In using the model on the Middle Formative, Late Formative, and Terminal Formative periods that occurred in the Valley of Mexico, the author uses critical assumptions regarding estimating population and agricultural catchment productivity. To analysis the data collected using the model, Steponaitis uses a series of scatter diagrams that illustrated site size versus catchment productivity which demonstrate his findings for each of the Formative periods.

CLARITY: 3
HELENA KOSKITALO York University (Naomi Adelson)

White, Douglas R. Burton, Michael l. Dow, Malcolm, M. Sexual Division of Labor in African Agriculture: A Network Autocorrelation Analysis. American Anthropologist December, 1981 Vol.83(4):824-846.

In this article White, Burton, and Dow try to understand how slavery, residence, polygyny, and other aspects of life are affected by female participation in agriculture in Africa. This study was done using an extensive cross-cultural analysis of 186 societies. Africa, having the highest female participation in agriculture in the world, was the obvious place to study. First they wanted to establish causes for the division of labor. Some of the causes studied where the limitations of reproduction, technological advancements, the type of crop grown, and slave labor. Reproductive limitations implied that women would avoid work that would prevent her from being able to have children and to properly feed and care for infant. So jobs that required people to leave home for along period of time would most likely be done by men so not to interrupt nursing schedules. They found that the more complex and high tech a job got the more likely it would be done by men. For example, women participate less in agriculture in societies with plows. An example used by how crop types can affect division of labor is that cereal crops need a rather large group of people to harvest and the time to harvest is shorter. Because of this harvesting becomes more of a community effort involving both men and women. Root crops only require one person and do not need to be harvested in a narrow space of time. Because of this women are more likely to harvest roots. Slaves reduce female involvement in agriculture by doing the work of the high-status women.

Auto correlation looks at culture’s that are close together spatially and looking for statistical relatedness. This is used to account diffusion and historical fission of societies. They also believe that higher female participation leads to polygyny. Also cereal crops and slavery are proven to lower female participation in agriculture.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
MEGHANN SMITH Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

White, Douglas, & Burton, Michael. Sexual Division of Labor in African Agriculture: A Network Autocorrelation Analysis. American Anthropologist December, 1981 Vol.83(4):824-848.

Testing variables pertinent to the sexual division of labor in agriculture using a sample of African societies reveals a wealth of information. White and Burton use a sample of thirty-four societies to uncover processes of autocorrelation within variables pertaining to the agricultural division of labor. Autocorrelation analysis of relationships among crop type, slavery, residence, polygyny, and female participation in agriculture validates some beliefs while disregarding others previously held about the nature of the sexual division of labor in agriculture.

Autocorrelation analysis leads the authors to believe observed variation in the division of agricultural labor across Africa is not due to variations in agricultural intensity or population density. Using autocorrelation models and maps, the authors predict high participation in agriculture will lead to increased degree of polygyny. Furthermore, the authors confidently suggest that patri-virilocal residence acts facilitate polygyny. In addition, although sexual division of labor in agriculture exhibits strong linguistic autocorrelation, the relationship between sexual division of labor and degree of polygyny does not exhibit linguistic autocorrelation.

The authors stress their study demonstrates the usefulness for cross-cultural research of the multiple regression approach to correlation. The authors believe that autocorrelation makes possible unbiased and consistent estimates of the relationships among variables, whereas traditional models of comparison do not produce unbiased estimates.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

White, Douglas, & Burton, Michael. Sexual Division of Labor in African Agriculture: A Network Autocorrelation Analysis. American Anthropologist December, 1981 Vol.83(4):824-848.

In Anthropological theory, variations in the sexual division of labour have often been seen as causes of variation in residence patterns, marriage practices, beliefs about gender, socialization patterns and many other aspects of human behaviour and belief. In this article we see that the main idea is to prove that matrilocality, polygyny and altruistic behaviour by children are consequences of high female contributions to subsistence activity. The authors found a correlation between high female contributions to subsistence and the presence of adolescent initiations ceremonies for either sex. This article also examines possible causes of variations in the sexual division of labour in African agriculture, and tests a hypothesis about one consequence of that variation, relating increased female subsistence contributions to increases in the degree of polygyny.

The authors point out that such factors are crop type and the presence or absence of slavery are shown to be effective predictors of the degree of female contribution to agriculture subsistence, and the degree of polygyny is shown to be affected by female agricultural contributions. This effect is an example of one of the kinds of phenomena that anthropologists have referred to as Galton’s problem, meaning a sexual division of labour, cultural ecology that takes place in Africa.

CLARITY RANKING:2
DORY CARSON York University (Naomi Adelson)

Wilson, David J. Of Maize and Men: A Critique of the Maritime Hypothesis of State Origins on the Coast of Peru. American Anthropologist March, 1981 Vol.83(1):93-120.

Wilson supports the idea that agriculture, especially maize, is what led to the development of Pre-Hispanic state societies in Peru. Prior studies and reports took an opposing viewpoint stating that the origin of state level society in Peru centered on a maritime subsistence pattern instead of agriculture. Wilson describes the coastal environment, the marine life available for consumption, and the effects of El Nino on marine life. He believes that the unpredictable effects of El Nino make it too difficult to establish a state level society around fishing.

It is believed that agriculture led to state development throughout the world in places like Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China. Wilson supports this argument by creating a best-case scenario for maritime subsistence and a worst-case scenario for agriculture. He then compares the two scenarios. The scenarios establish the total possible carrying capacity for the society in either situation. The results show that worst-case agriculture is six times more productive than best-case fishing. .

Lastly, Wilson believes that there were not even state level societies in Peru before Hispanic contact. There were large chiefdoms prevalent in pre-Hispanic Peru, but these chiefdoms were not nearly large enough to be considered states.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Wilson, David J. Of Maize and Men: A Critique of the Maritime Hypothesis of State Origins on the Coast of Peru. American Anthropologist 1981 Vol.83:93-120.

This paper is “concerned with critical limiting factors related to socio-culutural evolution and the rise of complex society on the coast of Peru during the Late Archaic and Formative periods (ca. 2000-1000 BC).” The discussions of the article focus on “subsistence adaptations to the two major biomes-marine and terrestrial-as they relate to the rise of civilization”. The paper is set to determine on which of these two environments provided the “critical setting” for which settlement patterns and culture of this area developed. The entire paper focuses mostly on detailed information regarding the patterns of behaviour of these people in relation to their search for food. The paper sets out to critically asses what these people needed to do in order to survive. Within are also math equations and estimations on the amount of food the people of the area were able to produce from the two spheres (land and water). It takes into account what these people had to work with as a result of their geographical location and the potential possibilities that were provided for sustenance. These results were then compared to each other as well as the factors surrounding their production. The argument presented is that while at first sustenance relied heavily on the production of food from the sea it was the introduction of maize as a staple food and more importantly structured agriculture that took over in dominating the culture surrounding the survival of the people from that area. This is a very well written article with distinct arguments presented. There is a great deal of substance backing up the theories presented.

CLARITY RANKING 5
ZACH DAVIDSON York University (Naomi Adelson)

Witkowski, Stanley R. Brown, Cecil H. Lexical Encoding Sequences and Language Change: Color Terminology Systems. American Anthropologist March, 1981. Vol.83(1):13-25.

Brown and Witkowski have found something striking in Linguistical Anthropology. They have found that lexical items in several domains are added to languages in fixed orders or sequences. Color, plants, animals, and geometric figures have had their encoding sequences described. This paper mainly describes implications of encoding sequences for lexical reconstruction. In particular, Brown and Witowski focus on color encoding in the prehistories of three different language families. These families are Polynesian, Miwok, and Mayan.

Languages that have a few basic color terms tend to be the languages of people living in small-scale societies. These societies have little political integration, social stratification, and technological elaboration of speakers of languages possessing many basic color terms. Also, it has been found that language acquisition, rather than a loss of basic color terms, happens over time. Color encoding might be increasing as a population increases it’s technological control over color in the form of such things as dying and painting. In nature things have a fixed color so the language does not need to grow accordingly. Looking at these encoding sequences has been an important addition to the usual tool kit of historical linguistics.

Brown and Whitkowski’s main point is that lexical encoding sequences show the process of language. Also, it provides principles for recovering important language history and the conceptual inventory of humans who lived in the past.

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CARLY J. SCHROCK Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Witkowski Stanley R. and Brown Cecil H. Lexical Encoding Sequences and Language Change: Color Terminology Systems. American Anthropologist March 1981 Vol. 83. 13-27.

Lexical reconstruction of Proto-Polynesian, Proto-Miwok and Proto-Mayan, basic color term vocabularies are presented and compared. Linguistic anthropology research has revealed that words of a language are added in a fixed order as a sequence. This paper focuses on the encoding sequences of lexical reconstruction in the prehistories of these three language families.

Terms for “black”, “white” and “red” were known in Proto-Polynesian and reconstructed from an association of the color such as “red” with (red) feathers. Similarly the Mayan stem for the color “grue” (green plus blue) is raw or unripe. Miwok color terminology has three basic color categories and in addition “grue” is constructed from grass. Color terminology in Mayan is derived from Proto-Mayan of 4000 years ago, which had terms for “black”, “white” and “red” and later for “grue” and “yellow”. In comparisons of language development, the Polynesian languages, which were dispersed over a vast area, have shown a higher degree of independent development than if the languages were geographically connected. Thus Mayan color terms systems are especially uniform. Languages, historically, either add or loose color categories in encoding sequences order as defined in earlier papers and thus all contain subtle changes from the proto-language.

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BERTIE FRIEDLANDER York University (N. Adelson)

Wolf, Eric. Angel Palerm Vich. Obituary. American Anthropologist 1981 Vol.83:612-615.

Angel Palerm Vich, professor of anthropology at the Universidad Iberoamericana of Mexico, died on June 10, 1980.

Palerm, born in Spain in 1917, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Barcelona. Throughout his life, Palerm studied the impact of Spain on the New World. He received his master’s degree at the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Here he began a lifelong interest in irrigation and its implications.

In 1952, Palerm was appointed social science specialist in the Pan American Union in Washington, D.C., the central bureau of the Organization of American States (OAS). There he became editor of the journal Ciencias Sociales, bringing new vigor and stature to this publication. Palerm founded the Department of Social Affairs of the OAS where he served as the director until 1965. It was in this position that he promoted the use of social science to help solve many important problems such as land reforms and social planning in Latin America. In 1973, Palerm was appointed director of the new Center of Advanced Studies of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

Palerm taught many students, encouraging them to teach themselves by plying them with questions and encouraging discussions. He felt strongly about encouraging fieldwork at the start of a student’s career.

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LESLIE WARREN York University (Naomi Adelson)

Wolf, R. Eric. Angel Palerm Vich (1917-1980). American Anthropologist September, 1981 Vol.83(3):612-615.

Angel Palerm Vich reorganized the major institutions sponsoring Mexican anthropology, contributed to the Centreal Bureau of the Organization of American States, and founded the United States Department of Social Affairs.

Palerm earned his bachelor’s degree in 1936 from the University of Barcelona in Spain. Soon after, during the Spanish Civil war, he was forced to join the Spanish emigration to Mexico. In 1945 Palerm entered the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico to complete his licencia in history in 1949. While earning his history licencia he entered the anthropology program at the Escuela Nacional de Anthropologia e Historia. He became involved with the fieldwork of the Totonac of Tajin and, as junior author under Dr. Isabel Kelly, published Tajin Totonac in 1952.

Also in 1952, Palerm was appointed social science specialist at the Pan American Union in Washington D.C. within the Central Bureau of the Organization of American States. Palerm soon became head of the office and editor of the union’s journal Ciencieas Sociales. In 1961 he founded the Department of Social Affairs serving as its director until 1965. During his time working for the United States, Palerm received a doctoral in social sciences, with special emphasis on social planning from the Institute of Regional Planning in Lima, Peru.

Palerm continued to work for the United States and serve as a visiting professor at the University of San Marcos in Lima until the United States involvement with the Dominican Republic in 1966. In 1966 he returned to Mexico to teach anthropology full time. In 1967 he became head of the Institute of Social Sciences at the Universidad Iberoamericana.

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ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)