American Anthropologist 1989

Abruzzi, William S. Ecology, Resource Redistribution, and Mormon Settlement in Northeastern Arizona American Anthropologist September, 1989 Vol. 91 (3): 642-655

Abruzzi’s article is about the success of Mormon agricultural settlements. He says that this success is due to cooperative Mormon values. He recognizes these values; however, he argues that successful colonization had an ultimate material basis: the redistribution of surplus resources among individual settlements. He also argues that that the adaptive advantage of Mormon resource redistribution conforms to expectations derived from general ecological theory. Abruzzi goes on to discuss the two systems that were used, the first of which failed. The second is a system of tithing redistribution. It succeeded because it was based on resource redistribution among nearly twenty settlements located in diverse, independent, and widely separated habitats. Abruzzi then proceeds to focus on the Mormon colonization of the Little Colorado River Basin. He shows the redistribution talked about in the beginning of his paper, including maps and charts. From here he discusses the different obstacles that the Mormons faced during their colonization and what they did to overcome these obstacles.

This article is clearly written. It covers many different aspects of the Mormon colonization from their conjoint enterprises to the tithing redistribtution.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTINA ROSER Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Abruzzi, William S. Ecology, Resource Redistribution, and Mormon Settlement in Northeastern Arizona. American Anthropologist September, 1989 Vol.91(3):642-655.

The success of Mormon settlements in Northeastern Arizona can be explained using general ecological principles. Ecological communities are more stable, in the face of variable environmental conditions, when a high degree of redundancy, functionally independent sources of resource flows within a community, exists in the system. The principle of redundancy is the ecological basis for the Mormon redistribution system that resulted in successful colonization of the Little Colorado River Basin in the 19th century. Colonists forming agricultural communities in this highly variable and arid environment faced several challenges including low precipitation, climatic variation, flooding, droughts, insects, and high winds. Due to the timing of rainfall, irrigation systems were necessary and required substantial time and effort to maintain. Levels of agricultural productivity were highly variable between settlements due to localized environmental conditions.

Using historical records of the Mormon settlements, Abruzzi discusses the use of two systems used to exploit environmental diversity and alleviate variation in agricultural productivity and labor resources. The first system established by the United Order was conjoint enterprises. As irrigation systems in the lower valley settlements required more labor inputs to maintain and population size declined in the nearest settlements, the labor needs of these enterprises could not be met. The dependence of these enterprises on lower valley settlement labor resulted in their failure in less than five years. The second system evolved by the Little Colorado Mormon settlements, tithing redistribution, contributed to the success of colonization of the area. This type of system was established by Church leaders to “encourage cooperative production, marketing, and purchasing activities among Mormon settlements” (649). Tithing redistribution enabled local settlements to maintain and reconstruct their irrigation systems by providing produce, supplies, and labor. This system, established between settlements in variable local environments, provided an adaptive advantage for exploiting regional diversity.

The conjoint enterprises were not ecologically viable, though based on adaptive ecological principles, because they did not establish ecological redundancy in the system, thus ramifying the impact of environmental instability. Tithing redistribution, in contrast, was not established for ecological purposes, but succeeded by developing separate and independent resource flows that were integrated into a multi-habitat, multi-resource system. This system provided sufficient redundancy to buffer environmental variation and substantially contributed to the success of Mormon colonization of the Little Colorado River Basin. The success of system redundancy in the Mormon settlements shows the potential of general ecological principles for explaining complex human communities.

CLARITY: 4
CATHRYN M. MEEGAN Arizona State University (Independently Done)

Anderson, Connie M. Neanderthal Pelves and Gestation Length: Hypotheses and Holism in Paleoanthroplogy. American Anthropologist. June 1989 Vol. 91(2): 327-340.

Anderson, going on a theory suggested by Trinkhaus, attempts to dismantle the idea that Neanderthals had significantly larger pelvic inlets than other species of H. sapien sapien. This hypothesis suggests that neonates had especially large brain. Trinkhaus hypothesizes that these Neanderthals had a gestation period of 12-14 months, a theory based on the study of other mammals with similar pelvises. However, this is an unsupported claim. The pelvic inlets cannot be compared and we cannot accurately predict the brain size of Neanderthal fetuses or neonates. But Trinkhaus contends that these Neanderthals, who had bigger pelvic inlets to account for their bigger babies, could not keep a nine-month product alive, hence the longer gestation period. Adaptation by later species would shorten the gestation period to become more energy efficient and because they could sustain younger neonates. But there is little evidence to either support or deny Trinkhaus’ claim.

Several alternate hypotheses have been suggested over the years: ancestral hypothesis, which suggests that the Neanderthals are ancestors of Australopithecus and H. erectus, which have similar gestations to modern humans; environmental hypothesis, which suggests that the larger pelvis is a result of environmental pressures; the cold-adaptation hypothesis, which suggests that the larger pelvis is a result of adaptation to colder climates, which brought upon a larger build; locomotion hypothesis, which suggests selection through locomotion as the culprit; larger-size hypothesis, which suggests that larger babies were the reason for the larger pelvis; and the maturation hypothesis, which suggests that faster reproduction would cause earlier age maturation and help with the survival of the species, which would cause the gestation to be nine months instead of twelve. All of these contradict Trinkhaus’s theory, but are not mutually exclusive of each other.

One helpful piece of evidence would be to discover either infant skeletons or intact female pelvises for comparison to that of modern infants and female pelvises. That discovery would definitively prove or disprove Trinkhaus’s claim, but the chance of ever finding such evidence is slim. However, the discover of a male Neanderthal pelvis shows no difference in the size of the pelvic inlet. Also, there is no direct correlation between the brain size of a fetus and the brain size of an adult, so it is difficult to determine whether or not the Neanderthal neonates actually had larger brains. In order for Trinkhaus to be correct, we would have to assume that Neanderthal neonates were atritical, which is highly unlikely and also their similarity, both physically and socially, to species of the same area, make it implausible that the gestation theory is correct.

While all of the hypotheses on pelvic size may have been simultaneously true, the gestation theory seems highly improbable. We do not know the truth behind these hypotheses, but from what we can ascertain, Neanderthals gave birth similarly to modern humans.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
ANDREA CLOUTIER Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Anderson, Connie M. Neandertal Pelves and Gestation Length: Hypotheses and Holism in Paleoanthropology. American Anthropologist, June, 1989 Vol. 91(2): 327-340.

Anderson takes issue with a series of papers previously published by Trinkaus that propose that the difference in pelvis sizes between Anatomically Modern Homo Sapiens and Neandertals is due to a difference in gestation length. Essentially, Trinkaus claims that the size of the Neandertal pelvis and pelvic inlet are adaptations for a longer gestation that allows for a larger and more advanced (larger brain size) baby. Thus, being born more advanced meant that Neandertal offspring were less altricial than AMHS because Neandertals were not advanced enough to keep alive babies that were less advanced, or born prematurely. Additionally, the longer gestation period would reduce the total number of births per individual, making it easier to care for the infants longer, again suggesting that Neandertal’s had difficulty caring for “too many” dependents. Finally, Trinkaus correlates adult brain volume of both sub-species with gestation length.

Anderson claims that none of the points made by Trinkaus are substantially supported. There are two few samples of female Neandertal pelves for statistical analysis. Correlations between altriciality and gestation length and adult brain size and gestation length are not supported by similar statistical analyses between humans and other primates. Therefore, Anderson indicates that Trinkaus’s hypothesis lacks consistency.

She then proposes six alternative hypthoseses to account for the difference in pelvis size and proportion. She breaks them down, indicating which are mutually exclusive and which are not, and provides data from her own and others’ work on primate reproduction and anatomy to either support or contraindicate the hypotheses. Most of the data supports the difference as due to selection for an anatomical structure that is adapted to a colder, northern climate rather than for differences in gestation and neonatal care. She suggests that human infants are not as altricial as Trinkaus’s theory indicates, nor that Neandertals were less capable of caring for a premature infant than were AMHS.

She concludes with a description of how much each hypthoses is supported or contraindicated, and proposes that anthropologists continue in their long tradition of making use of holistic hypotheses rather than specialty hypotheses. Only in this way, according to Anderson, can the wider range of information be correlated and usefully integrated to give a clearer picture of paleoanthropology.

CLARITY: 3
CARRIE CHANNELL Northeastern Illinois University (Independently Done)

Bailey, Robert; Head, Genevieve, Head; Jenike, Mark; Owen, Bruce; Rechtman, Robert; Zechenter, Elzbieta. Hunting and Gathering in Tropical Rain Forest: Is It Possible? American Anthropologist March, 1989 Vol. 91(1):59-75.

The article questions the notion that hunter-gatherers inhabited areas of tropical rain forest before the development of agriculture. The article puts into serious question whether purely hunter-gatherers could have existed in the rainforest independent of domesticated plants and animals. The authors call for a reevaluation of the established notions that hunter-gatherers existed in all habitats of the world. The article makes reference to the lack of adequate resources in rainforests to support the existence of a purely hunter-gatherer society. These lack of resources explain a possible hypothesis that hunter-gatherer societies inhabited tropical rainforest areas after the advent of agriculture. The article states that there is no clear evidence to suggest the habitation of hunter-gatherers in tropical rainforests. Archaeological evidence has been unable to conclude areas where hunter-gatherers lived independently of domesticated plants and animals. There is also a lack of ethnographic evidence that suggests independent, full-time foragers lived in tropical rainforest areas. The article concludes with the possibility that the adaptability of humans in tropical rainforest areas was only made possible after the advent of agriculture in near by areas. This domestication would compensate for the lack of resources tropical rainforest held.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
PANTALEON YZAGUIRRE Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Bailey, C. Robert; Jenike, Mark; Owen, Bruce; Rechtman, Robert; Zechenter, Elzbieta. Hunting and Gathering in Tropical Rain Forest: Is It Possible? American Anthropologist. 1989. Vol. 91:59-82

This article tests the hypothesis that human do not nor have they ever existed independently of agriculture in tropical rain forests. The authors argue that this hypothesis is true, but the negative evidence cannot be conclusive. Therefore, the re-examine common assumptions regarding the recent history of tropical forest dwellers, the adaptability of preagricultural humans, the geographic and environmental range of hominids, and the form and consequences of warm, humid environments upon humans. The overall purpose of this article is to encourage further ecological and archaeological research in the tropical rainforests of the world. The authors conclude that they are unable to find that people living in tropical forests are able to survive without reliance on domesticated plants and animals.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTINA FIORE York University (Naomi Adelson)

Barrett, Richard. The Paradoxical Anthropology of Leslie White. American Anthropologist. Vol 91. Dec. 1989: 986-995.

The article, The Paradoxical Anthropology of Leslie White, introduces the conflict between of the effects of Boas’ historical approach and the 19th Century Evolutionist on White’s work. Richard Barrett mentions that although White classified himself as a “neo-evolutionist,” his works reflects the Boas approach of culture. Barrett provided the reader with some common ideas that are found in White’s work. He then compares these ideas to the Boas group ideas.

For example, White’s first works demanded a greater “recognition of culture as a force shaping the individual.” This idea is very similar to Margrette Mead’s idea of culture and personality. Without a doubt Mead was strongly influenced by the Boas approach. Her teacher and mentor, Ruth Benedict had been a student of Boas.

White’s ideas are also comparable to Kroeber and the superorganic. Like Kroeber, White stated culture was “independent of the vagaries of human wills or choices.” It is important to remember Krober was a strong opponent of nineteenth century theorist such as Spencer, Morgan and Tylor. This comparison helps the reader once again the sees the irony in White’s claim of evolutionary culture.

Barrett provides one final example that helps the reader see the irony of Whites claim of being in the evolutionary paradigm. Although White maintained the 19th century evolutionary vocabulary- savage barbarian and civilized- he did not maintain their definitions. It is evident by White’s work that he was a culture relativist and as a result he did not interpret the word savage as being inferior. The evolutionist on the other hand, interpreted savage and inferior as synonymous.

CLARITY 3
UNKNOWN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Barrett, Richard A. The Paradoxical Anthropology of Leslie White. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91: 986-999

Leslie White’s earliest essays came from ideologies shared by his mentor, Frank Boas. Boas’ theories are arguably the first to arrive at what is considered as ‘culturally determinist.’ This notion, according to both Boas and White, distinguishes itself from the evolutionist standpoint since culture did not arise from the reasoning of individuals, but that an individual’s thinking was determined by their cultural traditions.

However, soon after this start, White appeared to separate the earlier methodologies he learned with a materialist-evolutionist perspective. This dissent, which appears to be the general focus for the author, appears to be in complete contradiction to his culturological view. After his Boasian influence, White later went on to theorize that cultural practices were to be understood in adaptive, utilitarian terms. In other words, humans were selective about the tools used to adjust to material circumstances of everyday life.

White, quite simply, let go of one of the theories throughout his career, especially with his work on the Symbol, where he felt even the symbolic nature of language separated us from animals. The main conflict resided in this area as well because symbols, of any kind, aren’t necessarily biological, thus, not reducible to the organic. One’s thought, feeling, and actions, then, are culturally determined.

CLARITY: 4
ANOULONE SOUPHOMMANYCHANH York University (Naomi Adelson)

Basso, Ellen B. Kalapalo Biography: Psychology and language in a South American Oral History. American Anthropologist Sept. 1989 Vol. 91 (3): 551-569

Ellen B. Basso article examines the oral history of the Kalapalo people of the Upper Xingu region of South America. Their oral histories have a particular function that recounts historical processes and descriptions of personal development. These biographical narratives are used to express a shift in ideological forms of community and social awareness. Anthropologists are beginning to identify the genesis of concepts regarding the evolution of member’s roles and moral identity in the narratives of the Kalapalo. It is being understood that the narratives give testimony to the belief that every individual shares in moral ideals that extend beyond their village and into the surrounding area. In the article, Basso, recounts the warrior story of “The Bow Master.” In these stories the warrior character assumes the identity of the collective consciousness of the entire community. Throughout the story he is challenged with situations with hostile outsiders and must resolve the issues by exploring new possibilities and challenging new risks. The warrior, trained to defend the village and kill anyone that threatens it, comes to see the possibility of peaceful existence with newly encountered people. Through concepts such as marriage, trade, and ritual, the warrior attempts to recognize these strangers as members of a collective community. Their decisions give meaning to actions taken that reinforce the communal mentality of the village. These stories attempt to understand the coexistence with members of other societies and the formation of a new society that shares the moral ideals of community in the region.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
PANTALEON YZAGUIRRE Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Basso, Ellen B. Kalapalo Biography: Psychology and Language in a South American Oral History. American Anthropologist September, 1989 Vol.91(3):551-569.

Ellen Basso analyzes narratives she collected while studying the Upper Xingu peoples of Brazil. While she finds the majority of western biographies personal, “with history merely a context surrounding personal progress,” these she asserts are first historical narratives, ones which document a critical change in outlook experienced by the ancestors of the Upper Xingu peoples as they attempted to understand the European colonial expansion which threatened their lives and homelands.

The narratives she presents envision a set of circumstances considerably different than those in which she finds her study groups. Long ago, conditions appear to have been harsh and dangerous. Stories of cannibalistic feasts and graphic mutilations of war victims testified to the grim reality of the ancestors of the Upper Xingu peoples. These older tales weave the story of puberty rites and rituals of seclusion for warriors who endured almost unbearable hardship and physical pain during long periods of training. Basso finds this contrary to their present practices, although the young are still secluded in rites of puberty.

She describes many of the subject narratives in folkloric terms: stories of challenges faced and overcome; those about difficult decisions which were life-changing examples of commitment and moral fortitude; and prophetic stories which foretold the dreamer’s own death and the circumstances surrounding it.

A constant theme in the stories she collected is moral thought and action. Here Basso finds the transition in the Upper Xingu peoples’ thinking: a transition away from abject violence and murderous rage toward a morally just and all inclusive future for everyone concerned. She believes her study group “learned” their present ideology from the biographical narratives of warriors which have been passed down in oral traditions through many generations. In her extensive analysis of the stories she finds that “the warriors expanded the external locus of ethical judgement beyond their own group.” And she comments that her study group today seems to value that outlook as they face threats from new others and attempt to live alongside those who disturb their lives and threaten their homelands anew.

CLARITY: 4
ARIEL WALLIS-SPENCER Sonoma State University (Richard Senghas, Ph.D.)

Bastien, Joseph W. 1985. Qollahuaya-Andean Body Concepts: A Topographical-Hydraulic Model of Physiology. American Anthropologist.1989 Vol. 87 (3): 595-611.

Bastien’s (1985) article reflects on the need to incorporate concepts of self into modern medical practices if those concepts differ from those of the medical practitioner and/or the society at large. Using Bolivian peasants as an example in the opening paragraph Bastien (1985: 595) shows how medical care facilities have increased while the number of patients have not increased significantly over the years. Bastien’s research is focused on gathering data that would facilitate the interactions between peasants whose beliefs about the body and its care differ from those of the mainstream. In the article Bastien (1985) describes his research among the Qollahuaya of the Bolivian Andes. Bastien’s (1985) goal is to draw a picture of what the Qollahuaya believe about their bodies and how they confront medical issues.

According to Bastien (1985), the Qollahuaya have a complex system of medical practices that incorporate both body and spirit; the description of what the Qollahuaya believe about their body’s working is too lengthy and complex to describe in such a short summary. However, an attempt will be made to present Bastien main objectives. The Qollahuaya, according to Bastien (1985:601), have what he describes as a “topographical-hydraulic model of physiology.” Bastien (1985: 601) further forwards that the Qollahuaya believe that the earth provides cures through special plants that are gifts from their Gods. It is easy for a westerner to see how such beliefs would conflict with modern medical practices and/or practitioners. Bastien’s main objective in collecting his data on the Qollahuaya is to provide this knowledge to modern medical practitioners so that they can devise methods of treatment that the Qollahuaya and other natives can accept.

Armando Reyes California State University, Hayward. (Peter Claus).

Behrens, Clifford. The Scientific Basis for Shipibo Soil Classification and Land Use: Changes in Soil-Plant Associations with Cash Cropping. American Anthropologists March 1989 Vol. 91(1):83-96.

In this article Behrens studies the agricultural habits of the Shipibo peoples who live in Eastern Peru. The Shipibo culture is highly based on agriculture with plantains, bananas, and roots being their main crops. Recently, as a result of natural disaster and changing market conditions, the Shipibo have started farming rice. The question that Behrens wanted to answer is could the Shipibo successfully farm rice given the tropical soils and relatively traditional farming techniques? Research has shown that rice cropping is most productive in alluvial soils, which are often flooded and therefore have rich soil deposits. However, most of the soil in Peru is not alluvial and therefore rice farmers have to work harder to find fertile lands.

The Shipibo organize their land into several categories: nii, huai, and nahue. The first, nii, is classified as the tropical forest where all wild things live including evil spirits and mystical creatures. The next category, huai, literally means “abandoned garden.” This area was used at one time, but is now inactive and sometimes overgrown. However, this land is still capable of being productive. Nahue refers to land that is infertile and hasn’t been used in 5-20 years.

Behrens goes on to analyze soil samples to obtain information about Ph levels, phosphorus, and many other chemicals that exist in the soil to determine which type of soil reaps the most product. The Shipibo categorize the soil types as well. Those soils that were reddish gold in color were generally considered to be the most fertile and most preferred. Behrens is concerned that continued rice cropping by the Shipibo would result in a Westernization of their culture in order to meet market conditions. Their traditional ways of agriculture might be lost in the growing need to create a greater surplus and sale food for cash.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
ABBY WEINSTEIN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Behrens, A. Clifford. The Scientific Basis for Shipibo Soil Classification and Land Use: Changes in Soil-Plant Associations with Cash Cropping. American Anthropologist March, 1989 Vol. 91(1): 83-100

Clifford Behrens examines the physical-chemical basis for Shipibo land use and soil classification. The Shipibo speak Panoan and inhabit the Central Ucayali River of eastern Peru and its major western tributaries. The article was published in 1989. Behrens mentions that during this time period Shipibo farmers began to produce upland rice for local cash markets. The data is presented in charts, graphs, and tables. The subheadings include: Ethnographic Background, Shipibo Classification of Land use and Soils, Analysis of Soil samples, Garden sites Selection, Changes in Planting Practices, and Consequences of Cash Cropping.

The article begins with the discussion of agricultural potential of rice in the Peruvian Amazon by analyzing Shipibo yields. Next, the correspondence between Shipibo soil categories and Western pedology is examined by distinguishing soil samples by their physical-chemical properties. These data are then used to evaluate the effects of swidden agriculture on soil fertility. The results from a survey of subsistence and rice gardens shom that shipibo rice producers are gradually ignoring cultural principles that summarized important soil-plant relationships in the past. Behrens concludes that these behavioral changes are associated with greater agricultural labour costs and the substitution of domesticated animal foods for fish and game.

CLARITY: 2
DAGMARA ROMANSKA York University (Naomi Adelson)

Boehm, Christopher. Ambivalence and Compromise in Human Nature. American Anthropologist December 1989 Vol. 91 (4):921-937

This article discusses the functions of ambivalence as it is used in human nature and society. The author defines his meaning of ambivalence as a person who “is torn between conflicting feelings, desires, or alternatives for action.” There is then a listing of the scientific models of human nature that show the different approaches to typing human nature. There is then a small discussion about the satisfaction quests as outlined by Malinowski and then a discussion about how the attainment of these satisfactions may lead to ambivalence or a need to compromise a solution. The example of Netsilik Eskimo was used, stating that in the lean years parents are forced to decide whether to allow their children to have the food, or to let them starve in hopes that when food is once again abundant they can start another family. There is then a lengthy discussion of the ways ambivalence can occur such as competitive self-assertion and politics. This includes a long example about how homicide can cause ambivalence in a person, such as whether or not the murder will advance the person, or the abstinence of the murder will advance the person. Boehm then asserts that the “ambivalence model” is not binary, stating that the options are compromised, but to me it still seems to be very binary. The use of the ambivalence model helps us overall to see the complexities and understand the conflicts in cultures better. The problem with the idea of ambivalence is that it focuses on the psychology of the individual, so many examples must be obtained if one is to focus on the norms for an entire group.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
COREY REILLY Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Boehm, Christopher. Ambivalence and Compromise in Human Nature. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91:921-939.

Studying ambivalence in human nature is important as outlined in this article. Looking at ambivalence and compromise specifically is key for anthropologists because ambivalence can be used in the ethnological analysis of studies on people for a better understanding of human behaviour. The author notes that questions usually posed by anthropologists about human nature are often oversimplified because they don’t account for ambivalences. He discussed the study of human nature in depth and how it fits in with the ethnographic study of decision-making.

The article’s main focus is about conflict and tensions surrounding ‘satisfaction quests’. ‘Satisfaction quests’ are humans need to obtain food, procreate, nurture one another and the need for social bonding. Fundamental emotions and the satisfaction quests create a need for humans to be natural problem solvers in dealing with often two sides or more and the need to find an answer or compromise. Human nature and ambivalence go hand n hand. By looking at these two aspects anthropologists are able to point out distinctions and similarities between human nature, cultural tradition and the behaviours observed.

The article goes on to discuss conflict and feuds in great detail in regards to understanding competition, politics and the process of feuding. All in all, the article definitely sets down many of the important ethnological uses for understanding and analyzing ambivalence.

CLARITY: 3
LARA ZENTINS York University (Naomi Adelson).

Boster, James S. and Johnson, Jeffery C. Form or Function: A Comparison of Expert and Novice Judgments of Similarity Among Fish. American Anthropologist. December 1989. Vol. 91(4): 866-889.

Boster and Johnson tackle a seemingly difficult question: How do humans classify biological resources in their culture? They begin by citing several famous anthropologists, Malinowski and Levi-Strauss, who share differing ideas on the subject. Malinowski believes that animals and plants are recognizable because they are useful, while Levi-Strauss believes animals and plants are useful because we recognize them. We are then moved to Hunn and Berlin, who agree that satisfaction of biological needs cannot be confused with humans attempt to classify elements of nature. Boster and Johnson offer five steps in framing this issue: 1) transform the question from kind to degree, 2) shift from assessment to evaluation, 3) avoid analyzing the difference between folk biological transformations and taxonomic hierarchies, 4) solve the measurements problem between methodology in reporting strategy and constraining informants responses because of that methodology, and 5) directly study the variation in people’s knowledge of the subject. Because of these steps, Boster and Johnson chose fish as a test study because of their obscurity to most of the general public, which would allow for less chance of bias.

There were four types of data: 1) unconstrained similarity of judgments of fish from novices, 2) the same from four groups of experts, 3) beliefs about the use and functional characteristics of the fish and 4) measurement of morphological similarities of the fish. The result was that novices more closely associated the fish to their scientific classifications, while experts leaned more towards the belief system classifications, that is to say the former associated more to form and the latter to function.

The next step was to study experts and novices based on their sorting methods. The result was that novices tended to be in agreement with each other as far as similarities in method, while experts varied greatly in theirs.

In conclusion, they found that folk biology is a product of context. It is more important to the average person to have a meaningful category in which to place the fish; i.e. it will depend on what you want to do with the fish as to its function. A fish will be judged differently if you want to cook it than if you want to group it in a class with other fish.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ANDREA CLOUTIER Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Boster, James S. and Johnson, Jeffrey C. Form or Function: A Comparison of Expert and Novice Judgments of Similarity Among Fish. American Anthropologist December, 1989 Vol. 91 (4): 866-889.

This experiment sets out to determine how we view the world and how we make use of knowledge to make further determinations. They begin by discussing the differing viewpoints about how we classify species: primarily by their form (morphology) or by their function (utility or role)? The specific experiment is sorting line drawings of fish according to their common characteristics to create a folk taxonomy. Two groups were chosen at random: the novices were all people who had never fished or weren’t interested in fishing and hadn’t fished in at least a year, and the experts were sport fisherman culled from membership lists of fishing clubs throughout coastal areas in the south, primarily Florida, South Carolina, and Texas. Each group was asked to sort the fish according to their similarities.

Boster and Johnson then went on to correlate the data in various ways. The aggregate analysis found that the novices sorted according to morphology, a trend (according to the authors) observed in other studies of native groups and how they name and group the pieces of their natural surroundings. The experts, on the other hand, grouped the fish according to both morphology and their other knowledge, including whether or not they were good to eat (or “trash” fish), what the flavor was like, where they could be caught, and what their feeding habits were. Thus was there a divergence in the classifications between the groups. There was correlation when form (morphology) followed function, as in elongated sport fish that looked alike and also formed to be good “fighting” fish. Additionally, when asked why they sorted the fish the way they did, the novices emphasized the forms of the fish consistently, while the experts included form as well as other characteristics, but were not consistent in which characteristics they selected. Therefore, the piles created by the experts were not as correlated with each other as were the piles of the novices with other novice piles. Individual experts were consistent in their specific criteria, but different experts simply used different criteria, or prioritized them differently.

Novice piles correlated more positively with actual scientific taxonomic classification than did that of the experts. The researchers suggest that could be because the current classification system tends to use criteria that are easily understood by the maximum number of people. Thus do societies tend to characterize things alike because of their appearance.

The researchers also found, in comparing this study with others, that rather than trading criteria (i.e., looking for functional characteristics instead of morphological ones), experts would simply accumulate criteria and look for both form and functional characteristics. Novices, in contrast, looked only at the obvious: form.

Finally, Boster and Johnson conclude that, although this experiment does point to some clear patterns, the nature of the test steered it in that direction. When determining what are the most important characteristics (form or function) in folk biology or taxonomy, the nature of the group being queried (expert or novice) indicates what the answers will be and how much variation will result.

CLARITY: 3
CARRIE CHANNELL Northeastern Illinois University (Independently Done)

Bowen, John R. Poetic Duels and Political Change in the Gayo Highlands of Sumatra. American Anthropologist March 1989 Vol.91(1):25-39.

Bowen states that the concern his article addresses is “the process by which changes in society and politics lead people to reshape their salient forms of verbal performance.” Obviously, the article is linguistic in nature, and uses many linguistic terms and examples. Bowen uses the case of poetic duel in the northern Sumatra Indonesia, more specifically of the Gayo society. The article begins by showing how “public dialogues are sensitive to changes in the broader sociopolitical context.” Then, the article discusses how social roles have a part in dialogues. More specifically, Bowen is studying the Gayo society’s transition into a larger, more complex society.

Bowen not only studies Gayo society, but how societies around them verbally adjust to the same sociopolitical processes. The article is filled with secondary sources, and many hours spent in the field. Bowen states that there are three stages in constructing links between sociopolitical changes and language. The first is “studying how sociopolitical processes lead to the restructuring of verbal performances.” The second is “analyzing the capacity of performances to comment on or model sociopolitical relations.” Finally, you must “trace historical change in the relative openness of the performances.” Bowen’s conclusion is that the Gayo model is an example of how a small-scale society can open up to public dialogues while integrating into a large-scale, more complex society.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
VERONICA ALVAREZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Bowen, John R. Poetic Duels and Political Change in the Gayo Highlands of Sumatra. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91:(25-40)

The main concern with this article is the means by which sociopolitical changes lead people to alter their prominent forms of verbal performance. The author uses the poetic duels in the Gayo society of northern Sumatra, Indonesia for consideration as to how discourse structure links the formal and semantic features of tests, performance contexts, and broader sociopolitical systems. Gayo society has shifted from an egalitarian society with equal exchange, to one that is filled with hierarchy and rivalry. Bowen argues that a multilevel approach to verbal performances simplifies the ability to convey sociopolitical messages. Gayo poetic duels have shifted from representing the dominant sociopolitical relations as fixed to a style in which social combat, political control, and challenges to control grapple for a voice in performance.

Bowen shows how public dialogues are susceptible to changes in the entire sociopolitical context. Because of the many changes in Gayo society and politics during the late colonial and postcolonial period, poetic duels were altered to fit the new sociopolitical world. Poetic duels began to be sponsored by the government and there was much political turmoil in the period, thus the duels began to address current events. For example the new forms of oral performance are multivocal and dialogic, whereas in the past they were univocal and monologic. In the recent case, performance can represent sociopolitical life in ways that support and challenge state control.

CLARITY: 4
RYAN MASON York University (Naomi Adelson)

Chamber, Erve. Thalia’s Revenge: Ethnography and Theory of Comedy. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91: 589-597.

The objective of the author in this article is to compare the theories of comedy to the development of modern ethnography. He is trying to show that there is a relationship between the two. “…the two genres are viewed as employing similar literary modes – those of exaggeration, exceptionality, reversal, and practice – in their approach to text.”

Just as there is an observer in ethnography, we see that there is one in comedy as well. By looking at 18th century satire, we see how the comic observer tells the readers the story through their eyes. The reader is introduced to different cultures and worlds through the observer’s adventures. There are literary examples given to describe what the author is trying to say. As readers our mind are open to a world outside our own, one that exists beyond ours. Satires like ethnography show the reader a world outside their own that could exist.

In general terms, comedy encounters the issues brought about by social and cultural differences, like ethnography. Both comedy and ethnography share common elements. We see elements of exaggeration, exceptionality, reversal and practice in both comedy and ethnography.

From this viewpoint, we see how ethnography also results from humor. Another side of ethnography is seen when looking at how it shares a relationship with comedy.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SHAIZA MURJI York University (Naomi Adelson)

Chambers, Erve. Thalia’s Revenge: Ethnography and Theory of Comedy. American Anthropologist, 1989 Vol.91: 589-598

In this article Erve Chambers explores the parallel aspects of ethnographic presentation and western comic expression and satire. The author points out that though this relationship is not “direct or causal” these genres make use of similar literary modes such as exaggeration, exceptionality, reversal, and practice in their development of text.

Chambers uses examples taken from 18th century literature such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels to exemplify characteristics of comedy and satire to highlight their relationship with ethnography. Through this discussion he shows that these works served to challenge commonly held beliefs and values by giving account of radically different worldviews and customs as they were seen and presented by an outside observer. Chambers also points out the development of the idea of moral relativism challenged by moral absolutism as a subject of satirical and comic presentation. Citing the distinction made by Bernard Mandevile between the “public”(or culture) basis of values and the “natural” (or absolute), Chambers remarks that Mandeville’s “satires debunk moral absolutism and demonstrate how values are created to fit particular circumstances of human existence” (591).

In this Article Chambers does not argue that comedy is the source of modern ethnography but suggests that both texts are influenced by “common descriptive, moral, and philosophical problems” (596).

CLARITY: 3
MAXWELL PITTMAN University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Clark, G.A. and Lindly, J.M. Modern Human Origins in the Levant and Western Asia: The Fossil and Archaeological Evidence American Anthropologist December, 1989 Vol. 91 (4): 962-979

This article is written about the biological evidence that shows the morphological transition of Homo sapiens to modern humans. The authors show the biological evidence, the biological transition in perspective, and the cultural evidence. They discuss sites and the evidence found at each site. They discuss Trinkaus and his view that while there was gene flow into the Levant during the Upper Pleistocene, there was also substantial continuity between archaic Homo sapiens and modern humans populations there over the biological transition. The authors also list evidence that supports Trinkaus’s views. Then they discuss the rates of changes and how they differed by region. This part of the article is very concise. From here they go to the cultural evidence. This part of the article focuses mainly on the assemblages found at various sites. They end the article with different scenarios and models and a focus on molecular evolution.

This article contains a lot of information. It is very wordy and slightly difficult to understand.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
CHRISTINA ROSER Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Clark, G.A. & Lindly, J.M. Modern Humans Origins in the Levant and Western Asia: The Fossil and Archeological Evidence. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol. 91: 962-985.

In this article, Clark and Lindly are looking at the biological and archeological evidence in the regions of the Levant and western Asia. They argue that evidence shows continuity between archaic Homo Sapiens (AHS) and morphologically modern humans (MMH). They split the evidence into two parts, the biological and cultural.

The biological evidence consists of mostly skeletal information, especially the skull. They used numerous sites with extensive data concerning the postcranial skeleton, limb proportions, anterior dentition, midfacial skeleton and the neurocranium. The skull information shows a gradual decrease of the browridges and midfacial prognathism because of jaw decrease and anterior teeth decreases. They use this information to show a morphological transition between AHS and the MMH.

The cultural evidence consists of mostly technology-based tools. They analyzed tool forms, retouched pieces and reduction sequences. They examine the different types of tool making and show a technological transition and continuity between periods. The Boker Tachit presents a developmental sequence that demonstrates technological transition.

In conclusion, Clark and Lindly propose that MMH developed from the local population of AHS.

CLARITY RATING: 2
JOHN PARENTE York University (Naomi Adelson)

Cleveland, David A. Developmental Stage Age Groups and African Population Structure: The Kusasi of the West African Savanna. American Anthropologist. June, 1989. Vol. 91(2): 401-413.

Cleveland sets out to prove that there have been many errors made in the estimation of age in the Kusasi tribe of the West African province of Ghana, in the state of Bawku. He contends that by using a developmental stage system, he can more accurately give ages to members of the tribe and possibly to other groups as well.

Cleveland cites that most Africans have little knowledge of their numerical age and are seemingly more concerned with developmental stages. He divides his analysis of this study into three stages, the first being the developmental stages of the Kusasi. According to him, these stages are marked by important social and biological developments. The second is the age structure of these developments. There are generally seven developmental stages in the Kusasi. Each stage is marked by an important biological and or social event, such as crawling, ability to work, puberty, reproductivity, marriage and menopause. Very few people have actual birth dates, as far as Western standards are concerned, and those who do often have been miscalculated. Cleveland used locally recognizable events over a seventy-five year period, along with pregnancy histories, to make a more accurate guesstimation of the ages of the Kusasi. By doing this, he was able to associate age with the developmental stages in the Kusasi system.

The final stage deals with the overall population structure. Cleveland believes that the previously mentioned stages have caused major distortions in censuses taken in Ghana, Bawku and the village of Zorse, where Cleveland based his study. Migration had a large effect on age bias because the majority of migratory populations were men of marrying age. Another bias occurred because women are often transferred into neighboring age groups during adolescent and reproductive years, which lowers ratios in other stage groups. The difference in adjustments for age between men and women often leads to bias as well, because women are typically younger than men when they reach certain stages and men have less obvious biological markers.

Cleveland concludes by reiterating his belief that censuses taken in Africa are extremely biased and do not properly reflect the actual population. He believes that by doing in depth studies, like his own, one can more accurately reflect age structures in Africa.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANDREA CLOUTIER Baylor University (Tina Thurston).

Cleveland, David A. Developmental Stage Age Groups and African Population Structure: The Kusasi of the West African Savanna American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91:401-413.

It is very difficult to obtain accurate numerical ages in Africa. Censuses and surveys are biased, and this bias seems to come from the categorization of people by social and biological degrees of development. African ages systems are known and have been used to improve age estimation accuracy. David Cleveland has written this article to discuss “indigenous developmental stage age group systems”. Cleveland has collected his data from a Kusasi village in northeast Ghana.

Rates of mortality, fertility, and migration determine population structure. These rates are determined by complex biological, cultural, and social factors. For this reason, knowledge of population structure is vital to the understanding of population and demographics. Demographics are often hard to obtain in Africa, because even urban, educated young people may misreport their numerical age. This is generally because the western numerical age system has only been imported into Africa; it is not indigenous to the continent.

African age systems include age sets of people of similar numerical age or developmental stages based on social and biological development and relative ages. This knowledge has been incorporated in new systems of estimating numerical age.

CLARITY: 4.5
RYAN MASON York University (Naomi Adelson)

Cronk, Lee. Low Socioeconomic Status and Female-Biased Parental Investment: The Mukogodo Example. American Anthropologist June 1989. Vol.91(2): 414-429.

The article by Cronk investigates the “possibility that the Mukogodo childhood sex ratio is the result of female-biased parental investment and male-biased child neglect in response to the relatively poor reproductive prospects of Mukogodo males compared to Mukogodo females.” The Mukogodo are found in the Mukogodo Division and Laikipia District in Kenya and are a small group of new pastoralists. Cronk examines the different characteristics of the Mukogodo people and discusses why they are one the most precise examples of deviations from equal parental investment in the sexes. Cronk studies the Mukogodo wealth, ethnic status, reproductive opportunities, and behavioral factors. He also compares his findings to the peoples around the Mukogodo, and discusses how the Mukogodo and their neighbors interact with each other.

Cronk uses an enormous amount of data and graphs in his article to support his conclusions. The data includes a census, reproductive histories, interviews, data on livestock wealth, genealogies, bride-wealth estimates, and data on the ages, sexes, and ethnic group of all attendants. Cronk also uses a large amount of data from R. Trivers and D. Willard. R. Trivers and D. Willard argue that “under certain conditions, natural selection should favor deviations from equal parental investment in the sexes…If the condition of mothers during parental investment correlates with the probably reproductive success of their offspring, natural selection should favor the ability of parents to adjust their investment in the sexes to favor the sex with the best reproductive prospects.” Cronk concludes the article by clarifying to the reader that there is still much work to be done in this area, and that the Mukogodo serve as a wonderful study project into sex-biased parental investment.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
VERONICA ALVAREZ Baylor University, (Tina Thurston)

Cronk, Lee. Low Socioeconomic Status and Female-Biased Parental Investment: The Mukogodo Example. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol. 91: 414-429.

This article analyzes the problems of gender bias economic and social attention occurring in the Mukogodo communities in Kenya, East Africa. In this context, Cronk explains why females have an overall advantage over males due to poverty and lower social status. Since females are less independent, parents favour daughters and neglect sons as a form of investment so other non-Mukogodo males will pay a higher bridewealth to marry them, and provide another source of income for the family. Cronk argues that the Mukogodo’s extreme levels of poverty provide no alternative for parents but to invest in their daughters as a means to obtain any wealth.

Cronk uses various types of information to support this thesis. Cronk compares the Mukogodo’s economic opportunities with other ethnic groups in Kenya and shows the drastic economic disadvantage they face. Moreover, Cronk shows how cultural traditions hinder males from improving their situation and gaining economic relevance, as most of the males end up abandoning their traditional lifestyle to live in the cities and work as cheap labourers. Finally, Cronk indicates the cultural disadvantages of the Mukogodo in relation to other cultures in Kenya, as they are perceived to be the lowest class. Consequently, cross-cultural marriages are one of the few opportunities for Mukogodo families to improve their status.

This article will be particularly useful to individuals studying economic patterns in multi-cultured societies, and the implications that cross-cultural relationships may have on the treatment of any culture to its own members.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ERNESTO WULFF York University (Naomi Adelson)

Douglas, Mary. Distinguished Lecture: The Hotel Kwilu-A Model of Models. American Anthropologist December, 1989 Vol.91(4):855-865.

The article by Douglas is actually a lecture she gave at the 1988 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association. In the lecture, Douglas compares the Hotel Kwilu to the fields of Theology and Anthropology. The Hotel Kwilu is a well kept hotel, of rather medium size. It is nothing fancy, but has everything today’s traveler could desire. It seems to be stuck between a modern world, and the “primitive” world of Africa. Douglas uses the Hotel as a metaphor for the functionalist theory, “and for theory in general.” Then Douglas begins her comparison between religious debates and anthropological debates. Her claim is that it is important to learn the development of theology, because the two fields have many of the same problems. Her hope is that anthropologists can learn to solve these problems by learning what theologists did or did not do. Douglas writes, “But perhaps it is not surprising since both have been engaged in something of the same kind of quest, the quest to know the Other. The New Testament scholars have centered their work on Jesus, the Divine Other, a human with something plus. The anthropologists have centered their whole work on the Savage, the Primitive, the Native, you can call him what you will, the Other, a human with something minus.”

Douglas, then, begins to dive further into the comparison with several different angles and similarities between the two fields. She ends her lecture by reminding her colleagues that it is important that “theory has to start with ourselves.” Douglas’ main source is a theologist named Albert Schwietzer, and his book Quest of the Historical Jesus. She uses secondary resources, including David Strauss and Clifford Geertz. Since this is a lecture, most of Douglas’ evidence comes from her careful observations and insightful conclusions.

CLARITY: 5
VERONICA ALVAREZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Douglas, Mary. Distinguished Lecture: The Hotel Kwilu – A Model of Models. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91:855-865.

In this essay, Douglas discusses the state of cultural anthropology by way of using the Hotel Kwilu as a metaphor for theory. This is of significance, according to Douglas, because theories provide the framework for ideas without which ideas might not survive.

Douglas’ argument begins with a description of her stay at the Hotel Kwilu as experienced on a recent trip to Zaire. The hotel, while attractive and filled with modern appliances, had access to virtually no fresh water or electricity. Despite these shortcomings, Douglas felt that the hotel still functioned well and was able to provide the necessary comforts for her stay. While the hotel itself was fine, it’s services were affected by the breakdown of the central grids of communication and energy in Zaire. Douglas refers to this as the “Kwilu effect”. Metaphorically, this represents the fact that, according to Douglas, anthropology is not hooked up to the central grids of communication in the social sciences. Anthropology may be too cut off to deal effectively with concerns such as development in the Third World.

Douglas further expands by stating that anthropology should play a major role in the new thinking about societies in general. Anthropologists, in deconstructing the exotic “Other”, has provided an affirmation of the unity of mankind. Douglas, in a discussion of religion, shows how anthropology and religion went through parallel quests to do away with the “Other”. For this portion of her argument, Douglas draws from Albert Schweitzer’s Quest of the Historical Jesus. We are shown how, by 1906, the otherness of Jesus had been diminished and he began to be represented like a man.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
LESLIE WARREN York University (Naomi Adelson)

Friedrich, Paul. Language, Ideology, and Political Economy. American Anthropologist June, 1989 Vol.91(2):295-312.

The article, “Language, Ideology, and Political Economy” can be seen from two different views according to Paul Friedrich. The concepts of language, ideology and political economy can apply to the “analytic-scientific approach” and the “emotional-ethical approach.” Before he continues to explain his argument in further detail, Friedrich defines the terms “analytic-scientific approach” and “emotional-ethical approach.”

In the article, “analytic-scientific approach” is defined as a way of studying and experimenting with different social concepts in terms of their logic and diverse levels of knowledge. The “emotional-ethical approach,” differs from the scientific approach because it concentrates on how different social concepts will benefit society as a whole, therefore focusing more on ethical concerns affecting society. Once he defines the meaning of each approach, Friedrich ensures his readers that despite their differences each approach is essential to one another because they are both critically concern with societal values. Friedrich continues the rest of his article by explaining political economy, ideology and language in terms of the analytic-scientific as well as the emotional-ethical approach.

When defining the meaning of political economy, ideology and language along with describing the scientific and morale approach to each social concept, Friedrich discusses other sub-topics, which are also in relation to his article. For example when explaining the scientific and morale approach of the social concept known as language, Friedrich comments on the importance of “tropes.”

Friedrich argues that “tropes” studies the complexity of language, an example of this would be the use of irony or metonymy (which is the use of a word in association with a new meaning, i.e. “The White House”).

By presenting the scientific and moral approaches to political economy, ideology and language, Friedrich is defining the complexity of each concept’s social roles within society. In a sense Friedrich is critically comparing the complexity of the “scientific versus [the] humanistic” side of society.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
SARAH CEREZO York University (Naomi Adelson).

Freidrich, Paul. Language, Ideology, and Political Economy. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91: 298-312.

Freidrich demonstrates the intersection of two theoretical approaches, one the analytic-scientific, and the other the emotional-ethical, and relates their intersection to three phenomena: political economy, ideology, and language. Freidrich argues that these three phenomena are interrelated in a complex relationship often overlooked in the traditional approaches to the three areas of study. Drawing heavily on several differing schools of thought, Freidrich defines these three utilizing the combined theoretical approaches in terms slightly different from the norm and points out the deficiencies in traditional views. While there is no original data in this paper, Freidrich synthesizes several differing approaches in his argument.

Friedrich describes the rational-scientific approach as empirical, rooted in the cognitive. Emotional-ethical theory, on the other hand, is concerned with motivation and moral issues. Friedrich argues that these two approaches are often seen as diametrically opposed. Extending his argument further, Freidrich argues that the three phenomena of political economy, ideology, and language, can also be interdependent and thus avoid the distinctions often drawn between the three. He advocates thinking of the three as systems-in-process, implying that the three phenomena are part of a larger, integrated whole.

Freidrich then turns his attention to defining each phenomenon in terms of its similarities with the other two. For example, political economy can be seen as more than means of production and exchange; it is quantifiable and symbolic, just as language is thought of as symbolic. Likewise, viewed from the standpoint of “culture” it becomes a means of institutionalizing power. Ideology is described as both a system of beliefs and the mechanism by which the power structure replicates itself within the context of a culture. Finally, language is defined as a system of codes that can be likened to an exchange system reminiscent of political and monetary exchange.

Freidrich then demonstrates the interdependencies between the phenomena of political economy, ideology, and language by discussing tropes, or figures of speech. The first major trope is irony, or using words that have both a literal and figurative meaning. The second, metonymy, or “trans-naming,” is even more problematic. Metonymy is often translated into “Synecdoche,” which can often manifest in such forms as racial epithets, a form of asymmetry that is closely related to issues of political economy and power.

Freidrich concludes his article by proposing that “language” and “culture” are bound to each other in inextricable relations (a truism). He calls this phenomenon “linguaculture,” explaining that the language that ties a (sub) culture together often glosses over underlying differences. He believes those “elites” in power link the three areas of his study, political economy, ideology, and language, often exploiting that linguaculture. However, he argues that “linguaculture” is a more diffuse area found on the subconscious level of society, Freidrich concludes by urging others to entertain alternatives to generally accepted theories. His argument for considering a way of looking at how language and culture are connected lacks clarity.

CLARITY: 3
CINDY CARTER University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Fox, John W. On the Rise and Fall of Tulans and Maya Segmentary States. American Anthropologist September, 1989 Vol.91 (3):656-673.

This article explores the pathways of Maya segmentary states to their acceleration and decline. Many segmentary lineages are formed by a number of different circumstances and influences. Some of the influences discusses here include the isolation of groups into separate territorial enclosures, trade between empires, a core of self-protection, making alliances for warfare, escaping political hierarchy, and forming a new position of rulership. These lineages may be few in number, but can have kinship ties with broadly dispersed groups. The fall of many of these states is the result of changes in classification and political unification. Migration, alliance, and collapse is the common pattern for these societies. Fox investigates the distinct arrangement of different Maya segmentary states and how this effects their political structure and solidarity. The Tzutujil, Cakchiquel, and Rabinal societies each pulled away and broke apart from their state and created lesser opposing states resulting in fissioning and fragmentation. Later these societies branched together with groups so that they could become politically influential again. This proves to be a cyclic pattern among Maya societies. Fox describes this process in depth, providing many helpful examples and relationships. This article proved to be very interesting and a recommendation to anyone interested in the social sciences.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHEYENNE MCDOWELL Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Fox, John W. On the Rise and Fall of Tulans and Maya Segmentary States. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol. 91:656-681

This article is about the study of the Quiche group of peoples of the Mayan empire and the rise and fall of its segmentary states. Most of the article attempts to follow the chronology of the Mayan people in relation to the rise and fall of their segmentary states. The article focuses on the power relations between different groups within the culture and how that power was significant in the creation of their social behaviors, roles, and duties. Most of the evidence presented relating to this power struggle between groups is presented by an analysis of the geographical placement of houses and their relationship to one another within the confines of the city. The standpoint that the author makes is that “by comparing a series of sites constructed through time by the Quiche and by their Cakchiquel and Rabinal kin and allies, changes in ranking and political centralization can be ‘etically’ assessed through settlement pattern archeology”. He believes that by studying the chronology of events of the rise and fall of the Tulans and Quiche that more weight can be put on some of the theories that have been produced regarding the Mayan Empire. Some of the major themes of the article deal with migration, war, kinship ties, and power relations. Most of the article is detailed information about the relationship of kinship groups and their duties, as well as their behavior from a historical, chronological perspective.

Unfortunately this is a very dry and difficult article to read and due to the often-lengthy names makes it at the best of times difficult to follow.

CLARITY RANKING: 1
ZACH DAVIDSON York University (Naomi Adelson)

Handwerker, Penn. The Origins and Evolution of Culture. American Anthropologist June 1989 Vol. 91 (2):313-326

This article discusses more biological issues than cultural issues. The author states that once a rudimentary intelligence forms, culture is automatically present. Intelligence and culture, states the author, developed around 50 million years ago. Culture is seen by Handwerker as another physical function such as enhanced smell or instinct. The article defiantly reflects a evolutionist attitude, stating that there will always be random mutations that result in more intelligence and other survival needs. Culture is just the use of intelligence to become more efficient. The author makes no mention of art or any other extraneous things that humans do in the article, and he makes almost no mention of humans until his conclusion. Overall, I fail to see the articles relevance to anthropology and see it as more of a biological paper. The points made, however, are worth looking at as an example of evolutionism as it relates to anthropology.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
COREY REILLY Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Handwerker, Penn W. The Origins and Evolution of Culture. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91: 313-326.

This article outlines the involvement of genes on the evolution of culture. Culture is defined as a system of understanding of meanings. Those systems are combined with the perception of environmental elements to create new ideas, new ways of thinking. Genes control the creation of those systems, but culture is responsible for the interpretation and selection of what systems to use. This state of our brains evolved for millions of years, and it has a lot to do with the way we, as humans, evolved.

Natural selection favors the genes responsible for intellect, and those genes automatically generate culture. Combining new perceptions with the “prototype memory traces” creates new ideas. Those new ideas in turn create new “prototype memory traces”, those in turn are used to create even newer ideas. The article stresses the importance of the access to resources. Organism that create new ways to access the resources have a better chance of survival. In addition to the access, the ability to process those resources as efficiently as possible is vital to survival. The organisms that are able to accomplish the most out of the resources available will survive and pass their genes to the next generation. Due to those evolutionary processes, organisms will become more and more intelligent.

Genes however are not responsible for the way we act. If this was the case then culture would be inherited, and it is not. Behavior can be copied and imitated or adopted, but they will always be an interpretation of the “originals”. Each individual has distinctive mix of experiences that shapes the way that individual perceives the world. Genes are there to provide us with the systems that help us interpret the reality.

CLARITY RATING: 3
LUKASZ DZIEDZINSKI York University (Naorni Adelson)

Hanson, Allan. The Making of the Maori: Culture Invention and Its Logic. American Anthropologist December 1989 Vol. 91(4): 891-899.

The author in this article critiques the traditional culture, which is in his words “increasingly recognized to be more an invention constructed for contemporary purposes than a stable heritage handed on from the past”. He argues anthropologists and historians have become partially aware that in the more recent year’s culture and tradition are anything but stable realities handed down from generation to another. Tradition is he explains is now understood to a component of necessity to serve contemporary purposes. Hanson goes on further to state that anthropologist are in fact becoming inventors of culture as well. While his arguments aren’t clear, he does use many examples of the Maori culture in order to prove his hypothesis. He also gives examples of different anthropologists and their conclusion of different cultures, which they studied. He states that in their findings of these culture that anthropologist themselves invent key components to these cultures. In his conclusion the author states that to acknowledge the presence of inventions in anthropology may appear to jeopardize its capacity to locate truth and contribute knowledge.

CLARITY 2
TED F. GONZALEZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Hanson, Allan. The Making of the Maori: Culture invention and Its Logic. American Anthropologist, 1989 Vol. 91(9): 890-902

This essay addresses the affects of the altering of a cultural group’s ethnohistory. The Maori are an ethnic group living in New Zealand who are used as an example of what can happen when an outside culture attempts to alter the history of another group in order to enhance that group’s self esteem or to improve their appearance in the eyes of other groups. However good intentioned the act might be it can have a devastating long range impact.

Anthropologists have become more aware in recent years that sometimes ethnohistories are not always accurate. Sometimes the groups themselves change their histories to be more appealing socially and politically and in some cases, such as this, another group initiates the change.The Maori are Polynesian and arrived at New Zealand about 900 years ago. It is not known if they were actually seeking new and far away lands or if they were simply traveling to a well known nearby island and were accidentally blown off course by a storm.On New Zealand there is a dominant culture called the Pakehas. They discriminated against the Maori and did not look upon them as equals.When the United Kingdom established a colony on New Zealand in the 19th century the Maori were already well known to European travelers as different from the controlling group on the island.

The British attempted to bring the Maori up in the eyes of the controlling population by employing them in various strategic positions and by treating them as equals.The English then began to speak of the “whiteness” of the Maori and that they had a capacity for philosophy and that they even were in fact wayward Europeans who had at last come full-circle and met their long-lost countrymen on a tropical island. All of this is purely psuedo-science and there is no evidence to support any of these claims. That Maori have the capacity for philosophy and education is not questionable but the validity of the other claims that were made is purely conjectural.

The English attempted to create a history for the Maori that painted them in noble and heroic light. There were great tales invented about how the Maori sailed to New Zealand in a series of epic journeys.The Maoris themselves liked this attention even if it wasn’t true because it was elevating them in their own eyes as well as those of the Pakehas. It was hoped that the Maoris would be considered at least equal to the Pakehas but in the end this is not what happened.

Today, anthropologists and the Maori alike put no faith in the old stories. They are just that and everyone sees them as such. However if there was ever a chance of unraveling the true origins of the Maori, it is long lost in the intricacy of fiction that was interwoven into their own history although perhaps archaeology can get further into their origins.

This article is written in a style that is difficult to follow but is interesting. It demonstrates how traditional culture might not always be completely accurate and also what can happen when outsiders attempt to meddle in affairs that they know nothing about. Although the British were attempting to help the Maori in the end they did nothing more than make them look ridiculous.

CLARITY: 3
CHRIS MCPHAIL, University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Harris, Grace. Concepts of Individual, Self, and Person in Description and Analysis. American Anthropologist. September, 1989 Vol.91 (3): 599.

In the article, Concepts of Individual, Self, and Persons in Description and Analysis, Grace Harris undergoes a deep analysis of the terms individual, self and person. She mentions that although the words do not directly relate to themselves, the person could not exist without the other two. Each term, according to Harris, belongs to a different field of study. The individual is studied by biology. The psychologist studies the self. The person is studied by the sociologist. The duty of the anthropologist is to see how these terms are viewed in other cultures, and to see if there is a universal definition for each of these terms.

Harris them attempt to give universal definitions of these terms. To be an individual one must be a member of the human kind. In other words, one must be “normal.” Harris defines normal as developing properly so that one can relate to human- kind. For example, the most basic development is language. Without language one cannot be an individual in his or her society because one will lack the ability to interact. The self is the experience of being someone. It is interesting that the self is the most controversial concept across cultures. For example, in western cultures a person with schizophrenia or a person with drug- induced hallucinations looses the ability of being “themselves.” In such cases the self does not exist. On the other hand, there are cultures in which one can lose consciousness and still be the self. Finally, there is the definition of the person. A person is someone that in a group of people can command or can do action. In order to be a person one must be human; however, not all humans are considered persons. Harris provides several examples to illustrate this concept. For example, a dead body is a human but can does not do action. As a result, the dead human is not a person. In the history of America, African American Slaves and Native American were viewed as humans, but not persons because they could not command action. Harris also explains that when it comes to defining the person one must be careful to differentiate between action and behavior. The latter does not make a human a person, but action does.

Harris’ introduction and description of the person are simple and clear cut. She went through great pains to illustrate the concept of person. However, there was not as much emphasis and explanations on the terms of the individual and the self. As a result these were some of the harder points to understand.

CLARITY RANK :4
CLAUDIA P. GUZMAN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Harris, Grace Gredys. Concepts of Individual, Self, and Person in Description and Analysis. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol. 91:599-611.

The author of this article presents the fundamental distinctions among the concepts of individual, self, and person, taking the view that local varieties of these concepts are in use everywhere. The author argues that these concepts differentiate the individual as a member of the human kind, self as locus of experience, and person as agent-in-society.

A concept of the individual is one focusing on a human being considered as a single member of the human kind. Harris illustrates by language, time and biologically-oriented argumentation the view that the individual as a human unit is the subject of divergent or at least its socially dominant members. To work with a concept of self is to conceptualise the human being as a locus of experience, including experience of that human’s own ‘someoneness’. All cultures appear to teach that any normal human past early childhood has some measure of capacity for privileged knowledge of that human’s own experiences, including the experience of continuity. Without some version of the assumption that the human world is populated by more-or-less persisting selves, mutual accountability would be impossible. To be a person means to be a “somebody” who “authors conduct construed as action.”

The author argues based on both the structural and the processual to socially identify humans. The structural argumentation uses the array of social kinds recognized in the socially and the processual other looks at the pattern of social life cycles as moral careers by which socially identified humans are brought to end points differing for the various social kinds. The resulting combination of insights and obscurities calls for attention to one source of recurrent problems for all of us: individual, self, and person can stand for both “native” concepts and observers’ constructs. Harris suggests that the concepts of individual, self, and person are not isolated from one another. Further, social and cultural changes produce new formulations. It is held that adopting as analytically central any one mode of conceptualising human beings has consequences for the analyst’s view of culture and/or social structure.

CLARITY: 3
KARRIE SANDFORD York University (Adelson).

Hatch, Elvin Theories of Social Honor American Anthropologist June, 1989 Vol. 91 (2): 341-353

Hatch states that his article is an analysis of a variety of approaches to social honor. He classifies the the approaches used to study status systems as either materialist or nonmaterialist. It is argued that materialist approach is unfounded. The nonmaterialist approaches differ among themselves, and these differences lead to different views about the nature of status systems. Hatch starts his article with the materialist approach. He sets up four defining features to the isomorphic thesis. He introduces each in turn and defines and discusses them. In the end, he says that the isomorphic thesis faces serious empirical difficulties because systems of social honor are not always isomorphic with systems of material inequality, and discrepancies appear that can not be reasonably explained in terms of cultural lag. From here, Hatch discusses a second materialist approach and ultimately parallels it with the isomorphic approach. After discussing these materialist approaches, Hatch goes into the nonmaterialist approaches. He identifies three of these theories. These theories are: the calculating prestige seeker, the ludic approach., and the self-identity theory. He discusses each of these theories and gives very clear examples of each as well as explanations as to why they are important.

This article is well written and well organized. The beginning of the article is a little difficult to read, but it is easier to understand when Hatch discusses the nonmaterialist approaches.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHRISTINA ROSER Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Hatch, Elvin. Theories of Social Honor. American Anthropologist. 1989. Vol. 91: 341-353

Author Elvin Hatch, in the article “Theories of Social Honor, ” discusses two ways of studying systems of social honor, applying non-materialist and materialist approaches. The author’s main focus is clearly presented in the introduction , where he states:

I argue against the common view that status systems can be explained in terms of material inequality, and I do so on the grounds that these approaches operate with a mistaken assumption about the motivation behind prestige systems and therefore about the way they work. Second, I show that a variety of non-material approaches have been employed in interpreting status systems, and I suggest that the differences among these materialist approaches reflect different assumptions about the nature of the individual. (Hatch 341)

The author believes that the essential difference between these two approaches reflects the differences in assumptions about human impulses. The author argues that the materialist approach is insufficient because it misinterprets the dynamics of social system (e.g., by simply establishing honor through economic wealth and material power)

Hatch presents the non-materialist approaches as being different among themselves, in motivational assumptions, and that these variances may lead to opposing views about the nature of status systems. Three non- materialist approaches are examined, and the author argues that one of these approaches is far more effective than the others, being the approach of calculating prestige within a social group.

The author concludes by applying his notion of the importance of prestige in selected honor systems.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
DIMITRA LAZAROU York University: ( Naomi Adelson)

Keegan, William F, Maclachalan, Morgan D. The Evolution of Avunculocal Chiefdoms: A reconstruction of Taino Kinship and Politics. American Anthropologist. September, 1989. Volume 91(2): 613-630

The article combines the use of ethnohistorical and archaeological evidence to further examine the Lucayan Taino societies of the Bahamas. The Taino ceased to exist a century after the arrival of Columbus. During the period from AD 800-1500, they were a avunculocal society with a matrilineal descent.

The Lucayan Taino people moved from Hispanola to the Bahamian archipelago in AD 800 in possibly because of population growth, or a search for more resources. Descent is matrilineal in Taino society, with the maternal uncle being the head of the group. Lineage ancestry is passed maternally, and the wife moved in with her husband, who lives at the avunculocal residence. Avunculocal societies arose out of prolonged period of external warfare. Wives began to depend more on their brothers than their continuously absent husbands, and husbands, to rely more on their sisters, because in times of warfare, blood relations side with one another. All avunculocal societies have internal warfare. The need for more alliances created a polygamous society. The avunculocal society begins when the chosen nephew reaches adulthood and chooses his first wife and moves into the uncle’s residence.

Matrilineal succession on avunculocal societies allows for a high degree of latitude when choose the next chief while maintain a semblance of order. Avunculocal chiefdoms exist in areas of circumscription, in areas of high concentrations of resources.

Taino societies underwent three phases: first of random spacing, where the society was matrilineal and matrilocal. When population pressures increased and there were no more islands to migrate to, the society structure altered to settlement pairs. At this point, matrilineal membership was vital for access to resources . Thus the settlement pairs were established so uncles could stay close to both their conjugal and matrikin groups. Continuing warfare and interisland raiding forced settlements to become more unified and made the settlement clusters, with a plaza. The last has the highest degree of integration. Long distance and interisland trading also increased.

CLARITY: 5
STACEY CHUN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Keegan, William F. and Morgan D Maclachlan. The Evolution of Avunculocal Chiefdoms: A Reconstruction of Taino Kinship and Politics. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol. 91:613-630.

This article focuses on reconstructing Taino social organization in the West Indies for three reasons; to form a more complete picture of Taino social organization, to offer lines of inquiry for further research, and finally because they represent matrilineal/evunculocal social organization. The article states that due to the devastating speed of the “Spanish Invasion” many matrilineal societies were wiped out “within about a generation” and left little traces of their histories or culture. The Taino on the other hand did not disappear as quickly as the rest and did leave traces of their past. The Taino through their history developed into what is considered an evunculocal society with matrilineal lineage patterns. The main focus of the article is a deconstruction of Taino social organization and settlement patterns in order to establish why and how the Taino developed into an evunculocal matrilineal society. It attempts to explain this by examining certain aspects of social, political, geographic, and economic spheres in Taino organization. Most of the article is a breakdown of information about the Taino given in four major sections; settlement patterns, social organization, political economy, and finally social organization and the evolution of settlement patterns.

What is interesting about the article is that it gives very specific reasons in explaining how an evunculocal/matrilineal society actually develops. What was most interesting was the connection that he drew between men’s tendency for war and its functions and those ties to the development of a matrilineal society.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ZACH DAVIDSON York University (Naomi Adelson)

Kinkade M. Dale. Charles Frederick Voegelin. American Anthropologist September 1989 Vol. 91(3): 727-729.

The author in this article critiques the life and work of Charles Frederick Voegelin. The article begins with his undergrad years and then concludes with his years of study for his Ph.D. Voegelin started out with law school, but didn’t enjoy it so he entered Stanford where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He later went to Vienna and then to New Zealand where he worked of the psychology of Polynesian music. He later came across a book of anthropology in which he decided to write AL Kroeber at Berkeley and begin his pursuance of a Ph.D. in anthropology. His work and study was usually in the field of Native of Americans though out the Northern America. Later he would establish the Museum of Northern Arizona Flagstaff, upon completion of his PH.D Charles found himself in a field where jobs were scarce. Then during World War II he began to study Turkish, and was assigned to write a Turkish handbook for the Army. One of his major contributions however was his revival of the International Journal of American Linguistics in 1944. Voegelin was a very respected man and had received many awards among his honors where: A Guggenheim Fellowship in 48 at Berkeley, the Presidency of Linguistic Society of America in 1954, and the Distinguished Professorship at Indiana in 1967.

CLARITY 5
TED F. GONZALEZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Kinkade, M. Dale. Obituary-Charles Fredrick Voegelin (1906-1986) American Anthropologist 1989 Vol. 91: 727-729.

This article is the obituary of Charles Fredrick Voegelin, an American anthropologist who died in 1986 at the age of 80. Born and raised in New York City, Voegelin studied at Stanford and graduated with a B.A. in psychology. Upon graduation he studied the psychology of Polynesian music in New Zealand. When he returned to the U.S., Voegelin went to Berkeley to study anthropology. There, he wrote a paper on the grammar of an American Indian group in California. Voegelin also had an interest in fieldwork, which he learned about at Berkeley and later taught to his own students (mostly having to do with Native Americans).

After completing his Ph.D., he went to Yale and then Columbia University (where he studied under Franz Boas). He then became a professor and taught at various universities from 1938-1976. During this time Voegelin supported linguistics as an anthropological field. As a result, he directed the Linguistics Institute, which was held at Indiana University in 1952 and 1953.

During World War II, Voegelin worked on Turkish linguistics. Over his entire career he studied and worked with over one dozen Native American languages. Two of Voegelin’s major contributions to anthropology were his revival of the ‘International Journal of American Linguistics’ of which his was editor, and the start of the publication called ‘Anthropological Linguistics’ (of which his wife was in charge). As well, Voegelin initiated the production of new language maps of American Indians. All the while, he continued to maintain his interests in theory, developing many linguistic theories and writing many book reviews throughout his life.

Voegelin was widely recognized and rewarded for his work in anthropology and linguistics. He received several honourary presidencies and awards. In 1983 he received the American Anthropologists Association Distinguished Service Award with his wife. During his entire life, Charles Fredrick Voegelin was committed to both anthropology and linguistics. He always maintained that the two disciplines had a very close relationship.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SANDRA FARFAN York University (Naomi Adelson).

Kipp, Rita Smith & Schortman, Edward M. The Political Impact of Trade in Chiefdoms American Anthropologist 1989 91(2): 370-385.

In this article the authors approach the topic of how trade impacted the political hierarchy in chiefdoms. Many theorist purpose that trade is a crucial step in the emergence of a state. Five elements are used in anthropology and archeology to depict the transition to a state. Those elements are: the nature of non-market economies, the symbolic value of luxury goods in chiefly polities, the extraction of surplus production by chiefs, the appearance of trade diasporas, and the extraction of surplus through the threat of force in state level polities. The combination of these is able to more clearly depict the transition of a chiefdom to a state. When trade becomes a part of a chiefdom there is less reliance on the elite powers to acquire goods and luxury items for their community. This results in the need for a change of political structure in order for chiefs to maintain their social status.

CLARITY RATING: 3
ALLISON NEWTON Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Kipp, Rita Smith, and Edward M. Schortman. The Political Impact of Trade in Chiefdoms. American Anthropologist June, 1989 Vol.91(2):370-385.

Kipp and Schortman examine the pressures and effects created in chiefdoms when luxury goods traditionally exchanged exclusively between chiefs become available as market commodities. Their extensive literature review traces the development of thought regarding the role of trade in secondary state formation, but they do not see trade as “merely a mechanism of diffusion.” Their emphasis is on the changes which take place in the chiefdoms and their surrounding trade territories as the process of exchange becomes divorced from traditional owner-to-owner exchange.

The authors point out that the term “trade” as it is used in past academic writings covers a whole range of meanings about exchanges and the relationships around them. Kipp and Schortman believe “trade” should be applied to “only those exchanges embedded in the market,” where “market” refers to the process and not the place. It is important to Kipp and Schortman that the relationships at play can be readily distinguished between personal ones occurring face-to-face such as those in reciprocal chiefly exchanges, and those impersonal ones which are part of a larger process and occur between intermediaries.

Central to their discussion is the part symbolism plays in relation to the value of luxury items. Kipp and Schortman agree with Earle (1977), who found that elites maintain their positions of authority by monopolizing the exchange of status markers and luxury goods. The authors focus on the power dynamics which frame exchanges in order to understand the significant contexts in which they occur. And it is with this concept in mind that they analyze various conditions which may or may not have precipitated the formation of secondary states from chiefdoms in various parts of the world. They use archaeological examples to support their assertions while touching on questions of stratification of societies, Marxist theories, and world systems theories as well.

Kipp and Schortman believe that trade diasporas create both “disruptive and formative” trends in chiefdoms. They conclude that “as chiefs are drawn into long-distance trade, they . . . must increasingly attempt to control if not monopolize trade” in order to perpetuate their position of high status and command.

CLARITY: 5
ARIEL WALLIS-SPENCER Sonoma State University (Richard Senghas, Ph.D.)

Leavitt, Gregory C. Disappearance of the Incest Taboo: A Cross-Cultural Test of General Evolutionary Hypothesis. American Anthropologist. March 1989 Vol 91(1): 116-131

The disappearance of the incest taboo cross-culturally is the focal point of Leavitt’s article. His research seeks to test and research hypotheses put forth in 1978 by Yehundi Cohen on the general evolution of society and the resulting decline of the incest taboos as a result. The degree of relatives included in the taboo declines as the society becomes more socially and economically advanced. Inter-societal trading eliminates the need for incest taboo all together, according to Cohen. The theoretical development of the incest traces back to Leslie White, who states that exogamous marriages allowed for more opportunities to make allies and a greater variety of privileges and statues. This urge to receive more power created a rule for exogamous marriages, and anyone breaking this mandate was punished because it hurt the group as a whole. Through the incest taboo, a society was able to advance their economic and social needs, and after time, the degrees of taboo grew in accordance to the socioeconomic environment. Overtime, as people moved and societies grew, the degree of incest taboo became less and less relevant. With the advent of new technologies, and the further globalization, the need for the incest taboo will disappear completely.

In his research, Leavitt randomly selected cross culturally from 121 societies and studied and documented their techo-economic and social levels. Six measures were used to categorize the societies: stratification, two divisions of labor, political differentiation, settlement size and trade. A four-category classification of the degree of incest taboo: Maximum, Intermediate, Abbreviated and Minimal extensions. Leavitt then cross-examined these with the degree of punishment: severe, social shunning or social disregard. Leavitt’s findings supported Cohen’s hypotheses that the advance of societies results in a decline of incest taboo extension, but that the hypotheses are not applicable in the simplest of societies.

CLARITY: 3
STACEY CHUN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Leavitt, Gregory. Disappearance of the Incest Taboo: A Cross-Cultural Test of General Evolutionary Hypotheses. American Anthropologist March, 1989 Vol.91(1):116-131.

Gregory Leavitt tests hypotheses offered by Yehudi Cohen in 1978 concerning the relationship between the complexity of a society and the extent of its incest taboo. Levitt seeks to test the hypothesis that as societies evolve toward more complex forms, their incest taboo becomes less restrictive. Additionally, Leavitt seeks to examine whether the punishment for breaking the incest taboo becomes less severe as the taboo becomes less strict.

Leavitt constructs his argument by highlighting general tenets, posited by anthropologists over the course of the last century, that support the inverse relationship between social complexity and incest taboo. In 1888, Edward Tylor noted that in “primitive” communities marrying outside of one’s social group was beneficial because it extended ties to surrounding areas, thus increasing access to resources, improving relations with neighbors, and decreasing chance of violent conflict. But as societies grow more complex, Cohen posits that political institutions, technological advances, and more recently the nation, control aspects of trade, thereby decreasing the importance of more restrictive incest taboos as a means of fostering trade ties and physical protection. Leavitt also submits that punishment for breaking the incest taboo decreases as the taboo becomes less restrictive. As evidence, he offers that breaking the incest taboo in many “simple” societies results in death. A similar transgression in more complex societies typically results in a few years in prison.

To test Cohen’s hypotheses, Leavitt uses a random sampling of 121 societies and examines their complexity and type of incest taboo through elaborate statistical analyses. Using the incest taboo as the dependent variable (with the following categories: maximum extension, intermediate extension, abbreviated extension, and minimal extension), Leavitt measures its relationship with complexity of a society (measured through such factors as technological development, social differentiation, and settlement size). Initial results showed that there was a correlation between extension of the incest taboo and the complexity of a society, with the exception of hunting and gathering societies. These “simplest” societies showed minimal extension of an incest taboo. Controlling for hunting and gathering groups, Leavitt found a stronger correlation between extension of the incest taboo and the complexity of a society. In separate analyses, Leavitt found a strong positive relationship between extension of the incest taboo and severity of punishment for breaking the taboo, supporting Cohen’s original assertion.

Gregory Leavitt’s research supports Yehudi Cohen’s main hypothesis. The extension of the incest taboo varies indirectly with the complexity of a society, with the notable exception of the hunting and gathering societies. Leavitt proposes that the self-sufficient lifestyle of these groups did not compel them to practice exogamy. Furthermore, Leavitt concurs with Cohen’s belief that as the incest taboo contracts, violations of the taboo are punished with less severity.

CLARITY: 4
MATT FREEMAN University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Lewis, Henry T. Ecological and Technological Knowledge of Fire: Aborigines Versus Park Rangers in Northern Australia. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol. 91: 940-961.

Henry T. Lewis addresses the issue of aborigines burning methods versus the Euro-Australian methods of burning land. He tells the reader of the three different groups that are involved: the Aborigines, the cattlemen and the park rangers. In 1980 when Henry Lewis first was addressed to the problem, burning to the Euro-Australians was viewed as destructive and they wanted proof that the fires that the Aborigines were setting to keep the area “clean”, was in fact beneficial and wouldn’t devoid the bush of natural trees, even though Aboriginal inhabitants had been setting fires to keep the area “clean” for the past 35,000 – 40,000 years.

Lewis mentions that in his resent visit the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Services (ANPWS) have been working more closely with Aborigines. But as Lewis points out, there is still some conflict over how and when burnings should be done. Among Aborigines age is the primary factor in the knowledge of burnings. It is taught to both sexes by word and deed. The argument against Aborigines setting controlled fires is that it is it is traditional, but that modern Aborigines are no longer traditional. They view tradition as a visual and material aspect of life, “rather than the underlying knowledge and belief systems that are the foundations of Aboriginal culture.”

CLARITY: 5
CHRISTINA SUNDERS York University (Naomi Adelson)

Lewis, Henry T. Ecological and Technological Knowledge of Fire: Aborigines Versus Park Rangers in Northern Australia. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91(4):940-961.

Henry Lewis examines differing attitudes held by Aborigines and the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (ANPWS) officials concerning “bush fires” as a conservationist tool in the Kakadu National Park of the Northern Territory. Australian Aborigines have a long history of using bush fires as an ecological tool to alter their environment not only for hunting reasons but also to prevent the land from becoming “dirty.” Aborigines wish to continue the practice of bush fires in the Kakadu National Park as a means of conservation to keep the area clean and also to protect against unwanted, or uncontrollable, fires that could spread due to thick leaf litter or debris. Although not completely against the use of bush fires, ANPWS officials want to conservatively use the ecological tool because they do not understand aboriginal techniques, technologies, or traditions. Through investigations concerning the use of fire, Lewis strongly advocates the use of aboriginal fire techniques for conservation in the Kakadu National Park.

Lewis does an excellent job of showing the reader what the aborigines know while displaying what the park rangers do not know. Conversely, Lewis fails to show the ranger’s scientific knowledge offset by the Aborigines’ lack of such knowledge. Lewis’ argument is a very one-sided account that implores the use of aboriginal bush fire practices as a definitive ecological practice in the Kakadu National Park. By examining official records, Lewis recognizes the truce that has developed between aborigines and ANPWS officials that incorporates traditional burning practices for the Kakadu fire management program. However, he also explores the hesitations and concerns that hampered fire ecology by officials in the past.

By researching what each group said about the other, Lewis discerns that aborigines believe the park rangers to be too conservative in their burning practices while the rangers believed the aborigines burned in a “haphazard” way. Lewis regards the problem as stemming from a paternalistic relationship between the Euro-Australian officials and aborigines. Lewis portrays the officials as unconcerned with aboriginal technologies and traditions. Lewis even argues that officials question the validity of aboriginality and traditional knowledge due to the influence of outside forces that have affected traditional understanding. Lewis notes that it is merely material culture that is influenced and it has no bearing on traditional knowledge.

By using park records and memorandums along with statements made by aborigines, Lewis is able to show the reader how park officials play a paternalistic role towards aborigines and their burning practices. Lewis makes a strong argument for the inclusion of traditional fire ecology by examining the implications that occur throughout the environment. The article is not only an examination of two points of view, it is a call for the incorporation of aboriginal fire ecology and advocacy for traditional aborigine knowledge.

CLARITY: 5
LANCE S. HARRIS University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

McAllester, David. Leland C. Wyman(1898-1988). American Anthropologist June 1989 Vol. 91(2):441

Leland Wyman, an accomplished writer and scholar, died January 13, 1988. He retired from many years of teaching physiology and endocrinology at Boston University in 1962. For the next 20 years Wyman spent all his time studying Navajo culture and ceremony. He wrote many works including Southwest Indian Drypaint in 1893 and published a manuscript of friend Bernard Haile entitled Blessingway. Wyman was especially interested in Navajo sandpaintings and collected extensive data that included photos and cards of every sandpainting he could find. This archive can now be found and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Wyman wanted to see the Navajo culture through the native’s eyes and was able to understand their myths and art by having an open willing mind. His ability to compile and curate large amounts of data enabled him to learn more about the Navajo culture and convey that information to the public. His bibliography and biography up to 1977 appears in Brugge and Frisbie (1982).

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ABBY WEINSTEIN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

McAllester, David P. Obituary: Leland C. Wyman (1898 – 1988). American Anthropologist, 1989 Vol.91(2): 441

McAllester notes the successful events in the life of intellectualist Leland C. Wyman. Wyman initially taught physiology and endocrinology for 40 years at Boston University and then studied religion and ritual arts of Navajo culture. The obituary specifically features publications co-authored by Clyde Kluckhohn, Classification of Their Song Ceremonials and Introduction to Navajo Chant Practice. These publications offer detailed examinations of Navajo ceremonial song and art. In addition, they offer a relatively uncomplicated view of the copious Navajo ceremonial characteristics.

Working with materials about Navajo origin myths collected by Fr. Berard Haile, Wyman was able to create paradigms and detailed comparative analyses of the myths. He was also able to associate meaning with a collection of sandpaintings to the origin myths. A monumental publication, Blessingway, was a work in progress by Haile at the time of his death. In 1970 Wyman published Blessingway, which was the product of a 1930s recording and a core Navajo myth.

Wyman was the owner and part-time curator of a collection of 1,469 sandpainting cards. In 1983 he published Southwestern Indian Drypaintings, a book that constitutes a comprehensive sandpainting archive and Navajo perceptions on the paintings. The Smithsonian’s Handbook of North American Indians, in which Wyman contributed the Navajo Ceremonial System, was also published in 1983.

CLARITY: 5
DALE NORTON University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

McNabb, Steven. ”The Use of ‘Inaccurate’ Data: A Methodological Critique and Applications of Alaska Native Data.” American Anthropologist. Vol 92. March 1989: 116-129.

In this article Steven McNabb presents the reader with the ability to use data, which may seem inaccurate for various reason. The subject of his data involves the Alaska native subsistence problem. McNabb has collected data from various studies and over an extended period of time. Many people believe that because the data was collected over a vast time it is not comparable. McNabb disagrees with this idea. He believes the data may be used, although not for its original purpose. He mentions that each study in isolation is worthless, but in comparison to the other studies one may obtain patterns in the culture.

In the second part of the article McNabb mentions the subject of the various studies. There were two main goals of the study. The first goal is to see if sharing of food results in great losses for the families that participate. The answer seemed to be no. It is usually “wealthy” families that participate in shared subsistence. The second question was if rare items are shared less than readily available items. The answer to this question was not direct. Instead it was implied. It is believed that since there is access to storage of food, rare items may be saved.

Over all McNabb’s article is difficult to understand. McNabb does not present the article in vocabulary that is clear. Secondly, it is difficult to understand because he does not present the data he is studying until the very end.

CLARITY RANK: 1
CLAUDIA P. GUZMAN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Moore, Jerry D. Pre-Hispanic Beer in Coastal Peru: Technology and Social Context of Prehistoric Production. American Anthropologist August 1989 Vol. 91 (3):682-693

This article discusses the making of beer, or chicha, in the pre-Hispanic coastal Peru. Moore discusses the importance of the beverage in the society there as a form of exchange, since the Inka didn’t have money in the conventional sense of the word. There is more than just historical data, the author discusses the Manchan barrio in the Chimu Empire on the North Coast of Peru. There is a discussion on the methods of fermenting the brew, which is primarily made out of maize, the most popular method being malting. The evidence found at Manchan indicates that there were times when the brew was made in large quantities seemingly for special occasions, it must be drunk quickly, however, since it spoils into vinegar very quickly. By using archaeological and ethnohistoric data it was possible for us to extrapolate how this drink must have been made in pre-Hispanic times, and how much was made by using how much waste there was in one midden. The methods for making chicha was not limited to specialists, but the technology was relatively simple, and most households could brew small quantities of it. Chicha was also used as part of the intricate political system as a way of the elite to use their power. Overall, a very interesting article, but sometimes it seems to veer away from the point.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
COREY REILLY Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Moore, Jerry D. Pre-Hispanic Beer in Coastal Peru: Technology and Social Context of Prehistoric Production. American Anthropologist September, 1989 Vol. 91(3):682-695.

Chicha, an Andean beer generally made from corn, was an important social and political tool for pre-Hispanic Peruvians. The beer served both as an everyday beverage in social and ritual activities, and as a political means of “hospitable repayment” by political leaders who were expected to repay their laborers. In this 1989 article, Jerry Moore uses a methodological approach to gain understanding of how the political leadership got the chicha they needed for this repayment.

Moore concentrated on the Chimu Empire (A.D. 900 – 1470) located in the Casma Valley of coastal Peru. At Manchan, the provincial center of Chimu Empire, Moore studied a site that consisted of both elites and commoners made distinct in the archaeological record by adobe residential sectors and barrios of cane-walled structures. The commoners of the barrios were involved in a number of activities including fishing, food preparation, tool making, weaving, and agriculture. Because of both its social and political importance, Moore concentrated on the making of chicha.

Using ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and archaeological data to explore his ideas, Moore described the making of chicha, the social context of the households producing the beer, and the significance of the production in these households. First by using ethnographic descriptions he discovered how chicha was made and what the byproducts were. By comparing ethnographic descriptions of the making of chicha with the archaeological record, he showed the materials needed to produce the beer were present throughout the barrios of Manchan. Then by using ethnographic and ethnohistoric data, he described three different social contexts of the making of chicha.

The first context was communal groups of women, called mamakuna, who made chicha and were given the raw materials by the state, as well as food for the labor group. The second context was chicheros; men whose only economic activity was making chicha to sell at market. The third context was simple household production. This involved households of men and women who had economic activities other than chicha-making. At Manchan, the archaeological record showed that most of the barrio households were involved in local household production and had chicha-making materials. At one of these household sites, a single dumping of byproducts was found, and Moore discovered that the amount of waste was much greater than would be created from a batch that would be consumed by that household. Since the beer is only drinkable for one or two days, Moore concluded that, at least in some cases, certain households made large batches of beer for communal use.

By showing that chicha was made in households involved in other activities, and that at least in some cases it was made in batches much larger than could be consumed by the inhabitants of that household, Moore concluded that non-specialized households were involved in the making of chicha for the Chimu political leadership as needed. In this way he challenged the assumptions of political processes and the centralized bureaucracy of prehistoric states, and showed that the Chimu state could obtain resources without specialization or the state’s involvement in production.

CLARITY: 4
DONALD L. CRAIG University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Munson, Henry. On the Irrelevance of the Segmentary Lineage Model in the Moroccan Rif. American Anthropologist. June 1989. Vol 91: 386-396.

In the article, On the Irrelevance of the Segmentary Lineage Model in the Moroccan Rif, Henry Munson attempts to show the error in David’s Hart theory of the pre-colonial organization of the Rif. David Hart did field work in the Rif highland of northern Morocco. He wrote the ethnography, The Aith Waryaghar of the Moroccan Rif, which evaluates the social organization of the Rif as viewed by Hart from 1952 to 1955. Because the Rif existed in tribes, Hart concluded that they organized themselves according to their genealogy. These tribes lived on arable land, the most valuable resources to them, and defended the land at all cost.

Later research concluded that in reality the Rif did not organized themselves into patrilineal societies. The Rif social structure was divided into territorial entities called dhaba’ir. The entities were formed by political allegiance to a “big man,” a male with the most private land. People who had allegiance to the big man were willing to fight their own kinsmen in order to maintain and defend the big man’s property.

Munson goes on to explain that the most probable reason Hart falsely believed the Rif were segmented according to lineage was two folds. Hart’s first mistake was to generalize the meaning of the word tribe. Because the Rif were segmented into tribes, he assumed that these tribes were composed of people with similar ancestry. Another explanation for Hart’s error is that the people called themselves “people of my father’s brother.” It is obvious that Hart interpreted this to have a literal meaning. In reality the father was most likely referring to the big man in the territory.

CLARITY RANK: 2
CLAUDIA P. GUZMAN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Munson, Jr., Henry. On the Irrelevance of the Segmentary Lineage Model in the Moroccan Rif. American Anthropologist 1989:386-397.

Henry Munson’s article is a perfect example of how two ethnographers can have a different opinion about the interpretation of one culture. Munson’s article, On the Irrelevance of the Segmentary Lineage Model in the Moroccan Rif is an analysis of David Hart’s, The Aith Waryaghar of the Moroccan Rif. Munson believed that Hart’s observations of segmentary lineage systems in Rifian society were false. And that he found lineage systems where they did not exist. Munson stated that “the segmentary lineage model is irrelevant insofar as pre-colonial Rifian social structure is concerned” (396). Despite the discrepancies between the existence of a segmentary model, Munson stated that The Aith Waryaghar of the Moroccan Rif is one of the finest ethnographies written about the Berber highlands of Morocco.

Munson’s first problem was with Hart’s analysis of the Rifian economic system. The area of study is called the Rif, which refers to the eastern mountains of the Rif chain to the plains of south Mellia. The economy relies on plowed agriculture and irrigation. There is no record of pastoral nomadism, which was found in several neighboring societies. According to Munson, the Rif was divided into territorial entities within the sedentary agriculturists and it is not a result of genealogical boundaries. Munson stated that Rifian social structure lacks genealogical definition. The land controlled by those in the sedentary agriculturists society was not controlled by lineages; rather it was bought and sold by individuals. Munson stated that lineage theory and segmentation were two different things while Hart stated that they were the same.

Hart called the genealogy linking the various components of descent dhaqbitsh. The dhaqbitsh that lived within the territories were genetically similar, thus providing a type of segmentary lineage. Munson stated that there is a complete lack of genealogical definition and that Hart confused genealogically defined with what should have been merely territorially. According to Munson, the Rif have never had the traditions of common ancestry. Harts definition of dharfiqth was not genetically linked and that those that inhabited specific parts of the village were not necessarily family groups. In addition, Hart mistook land sales as lineages whereas Munson stated that land was owned by individuals and was bought and sold through land grants with no specific genealogical agenda

The rest of Munson’s article is a critique of Hart’s evaluation of the political and social structure of the Rifian inhabitants. Munson’s critiques the economics section in that he would state Hart’s conclusion and proceed through step-by-step analysis of how it was misconstrued. Although I did not detect a conclusion of Munson’s theory of the irrelevance of segmentary lineages, he did make a good argument. Both Hart’s and Munson’s conclusions can be solid theories of the Rifian social structure. Who may have the correct interpretation has yet to be determined.

CLARITY: 3
KELLY MCCLAVE University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

O’Meara J. Tim. Anthropology As Empirical Science. American Anthropologist June 1989 Vol. 91(2): 354-367.

The author in this journal argues against the notion that human affairs are subjective and therefore outside the realm of empirical science. In fact it is in her opinion that their arguments employed do not imply that the application of empirical science to the explanation of human affairs is either impossible or inappropriate, as some critics maintain. The author further contends that more and more anthropologists are rejecting the empirical basis, logical methods, and explanatory goals of the so-called “natural” sciences as being inappropriate for the study of human affairs. Her purpose as stated is nudge the pendulum in the other direction, in an attempt to show that whatever benefits an interpretive approach may offer, such benefits neither derive from nor imply that the application of the scientific method to the explanation of human affairs is either impossible or undesirable. She begins her argument by first giving a specific definition to the term “empirical science”. The definition given to the term is as follows the “systematic description and classification of objects, events and processes, and the explanation of those events and processes by theories that employ lawful regularities, all of the descriptive and explanatory statements employed being testable against publicly observable data”. The argument she uses is based on the work of other anthropologists in which she compares contrast the works between the past and present anthropologists. As a basis for her work she cites Tyler quite considerably for ex. “There is no origin of perception, no priority to vision, and no data of observation”. She then goes further and breaks down her argument in to several specific topics in which she looks at the logic and limits of objectivity. She concludes her argument with the statement that the “goal of humanistic anthropology is to represent or evoke the subjective meaning of human experience, then the scientific and humanistic goals of anthropologists are complementary, not contradictory”.

CLARITY 4
TED F. GONZALEZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

O’Meara, Tim J. Anthropology As Empirical Science. American Anthropologist. 1989 Vol.91(2):354-369

O’Meara’s general concern is with the rejection of empirical science by interpretive anthropologists who assert that empirical science is impossible, inappropriate or both for the study of human affairs. O’Meara sees these assertions by anti-science anthropologists as an excessive reaction to both over-zealous science advocates and the unrealistic goals of logical empiricism. O’Meara’s point is that although interpretive anthropology does draw attention to the difficulties involved in constructing knowledge of human affairs the application of the scientific method in the explanation of human affairs remains both possible and desirable.

O’Meara uses logical argumentation and the writings of philosophers of science, social scientists and others (including the writings of interpretive anthropologists themselves) to counter the claims against anthropology as an empirical science. O’Meara distills five assertions made by critics of empirically based anthropology and addresses each. In order to counter these assertions O’Meara argues that: 1) the impossibility of disproof (absolute refutation) is based in formal logical methods and applies equally to nonhuman phenomena; 2) even if human actions are random or irrational the anthropologist’s statements about them can still be subjected to true/false testing; 3) similarly, any contradictory elements within culture can still be explained and those explanations tested; 4) valid causal explanations of human affairs should include, explicitly or implicitly, reference to the psychological processes of the individuals; and 5) the collapsing of referential meaning into symbolic meaning often becomes an inappropriate extension of metaphor which loses its original subject.

O’Meara’s analysis is very technical and dense but considering what is covered in a mere thirteen pages such is appropriate. This article is very important for understanding the ongoing discussion (sometimes war) between humanistic and scientific approaches to anthropology. Unlike many writings on the subject this one achieves a degree of balance in its criticism.

CLARITY: 4
PETER BREEDEN University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Robarchek, Clayton A. Primitive Warfare and the Ratomorphic Image of Mankind. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol. 91: 903-920.

In this article, Robarchek examines the view of violence and warfare and its assumptions of “biological beings in ecological contexts.” He gives an alternative conception, using the example of the Semai Senoi people, that we are beings of “sociocultural context.” He begins with describing the views of biological determinism, ecological determinism and then moves to his example of the Semai Senoi.

He first discusses biological determinism and the view of frustration and aggression. This states that when we are being thwarted, our reaction will become anger and physical aggression. Lab animals are used to prove this point and Robarchek states that this ignores the sociocultural settings of humans. He discusses the ethology/sociobiology view and this discussion views the aggression through an innate or genetic phenomenon. He states that this tells us nothing of the cause of warfare.

He discusses the ecological determinism and the view of functionalism and final causes. Its argument is that warfare is an adaptation to environmental conditions. It is seen as a response to population pressures and limited resources. He states that ecological forces would have to dictate culture and this gives a ratamorphic view of human beings.

Using the Semai Senoi, he shows how aggression is resolved through cultural methods. The Semai have a non-violent view and construct their culture to avoid aggressive confrontations. He discusses the Semai view of the world, need and satisfaction and using an example, shows how behavior is culturally based. The Semai do not see violence as a means for resolving disputes and that these are cultural values.

In conclusion, we see that violence was rejected as an option and that they defined situations with cultural values and ideals. They made decisions based on these cultural values and not on the material of biological or ecological determinism’s.

CLARITY RATING: 3
JOHN PARENTE York University (Naomi Adelson)

Robarchek, Clayton A. Primitive Warfare and the Ratomorphic Image of Mankind. American Anthropologist 1989. Vol. 91(4): 903-920.

Robarchek proposes a paradigm shift in the research of primitive warfare that emphasizes human decisions and motives over biological determinism or frustration -aggression theory. Robarchek says the two main schools of thought about primitive warfare conceive of people as either reactive to their environment or biologically determined to wage wars for space and resources. He uses Arthur Koestler’s “ratomorphic view of man” from The Ghost in the Machine as a foil to his approach (903). Koestler writes that relegating humans to their biology treats them like lab rats and discounts their cognitive ability. Robarchek considers the environment as being created and imbued with meaning by active human minds.

Robarchek uses both theoretical and ethnographic sources to support his argument. After a short introduction and theoretical positioning, he explains the hypotheses put forth by sociobiologist, behavorists, and eco-functionalists in the past and examines their short-comings. To illustrate his view, he uses ethnographic evidence from his 15 years with Senoi of the Malay Peninsula. He explains how their cultural concepts are grounded in their belief in non-violence. Robarchek describes Senoi’s concept of “goodness” as meaning generosity. For Senoi, a bad person has an aggressive or non-cooperative personality. According to Robarchek, Senoi see it as their responsibility to promote harmony between kinsmen and covillagers. They report that their primary concern in their decision to be gracious, rather than competitive, is the negative impression it would create for future generations. They fear that fighting would illustrate war and disharmony as an option for dispute settlement. Senoi, Robarchek argues, refuse to see violence as a viable end.

After elucidating aspects of Senoi culture, Robarchek gives a detailed account of a particular meeting he attended aimed at settling a village dispute. The Becharaa’, as it is called, demonstrates what happens in Senoi culture when all the people in the village accept one act according to this standard of goodness. The main cause of the situation is an individual’s decision to plant fruit trees on others’ property. Because the rest of the villagers acted generously in not punishing Nyam, and his kin did not support his disruptions, the situation was handled peacefully, concluded generously, and still allowed for release of accumulated tension.

His argument is well made; however, given the hii’ (us)/ mai’ (them) worldview presented to us by Robarchek, I wonder what happens when hii’ runs into mai. He gives no account of diplomacy or war between Senoi and outsiders. He presents Senoi as fearful and distrusting of forces external to village life, but barely mentions their necessary dealings with the government that encapsulates them. Perhaps, Robarchek covers war situations in further writings on Senoi life.

CLARITY: 4
ERIN R. VILLARRAGA University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Robben, Antonius. Habits of the Home: Spatial Hegemony and the Structuration of House and Society in Brazil. American Anthropologist June 1989 Vol.91(3):570-583.

In this article Robben establishes the two distinct social classes that exist among Brazilian fishermen. Their lifestyles inhabit the same social realm, yet there are subtle differences, which lead to major distinctions in family structure and social status. Robben divides the local fishing population into two main categories: boat fishermen and canoe fishermen. Boat fishermen have entirely different lives than those men who primarily use canoes for their livelihood. They work on a motorboat that is owned by another man and are generally out to sea for long periods of time. Their time spent ashore is often at the local bar or brothel where they discuss financial settlements and job advancement. These men are more apart of the public life in the city and make a more steady income than the canoe fishermen. Because of their lifestyle, the boat fisherman’s domestic life is often stressed. They provide financial support for their family, but their time is rarely spent at home. Relationships are often lacking intimacy and adultery is commonplace. The canoe fishermen, on the other hand, spend most of their time in the home. They go on daily fishing trip that do not last the majority of the day. Because of their relatively poor income, the majority of their time is spent improving the domestic environment instead of having a public life in the bars and brothels. With their meager salary they buy television sets or record players to impress their guests and gain prestige. The architecture is also very important to the family. The majority of lower-class Brazilians have the same house layout, which was first established by the Portuguese colonials. This consists of a front room, bedroom, kitchen, and back yard. The front room is used for entertaining guests, the bedroom is used for the intimate relations of the couple, and the kitchen is the main gathering area of the family. The back yard contains a latrine as well as a bathing place. The men, when they are returning from a fishing trip always enter the house through the side door so as not to tread in evil spirits. The structures of the house and those that surround it hold great symbolic meaning for the Brazilians. The street in front of the house, for example, represents the public life and is the place where people demonstrate their prestige. For the canoe fishermen, this area is not as important as the home. The sidewalk is considered apart of the house and is not walked on except when one is going into a house. The Brazilians divide their lives into three distinct domains: home, street, and sea. These three areas shape their lives and serve to control the domestic, economic, and social aspects of their society.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ABBY WEINSTEIN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Robben, Antonius C.G.M. Habits of the Home: Spatial Hegemony and the Structuration of House and Society in Brazil. American Anthropologist September, 1989 Vol.91(3):570-588.

In this article, Robben discussed the relationship between household and social structures, and social interactions in the lives of canoe and boat fishermen of Camurim, Brazil.

Robben first provided a brief history of the economic developments that changed Camurim. Camurim developed from a lower class town of only canoe fishermen, into a town with a “capital intensive fishing industry” supported by numerous motor powered fishing vessels and a chance for class mobility. There were a few fishermen that held on to canoe fishing traditions. He then described the differences in the lives of the boat and surviving canoe fishermen at sea: time spent, number of fish caught, and economic gains and losses. The boat fishermen were at sea for many days and had to produce a number of fish to export to other markets. The canoe fishermen were at sea for only hours and produced fish to be sold on the streets, fresh. Robben used this information to provide a historical background of the fishermen.

Robben used the methodological approach of participant observation to gain information from within the households of a selected group of both canoe and boat fishermen in Camurim. He identified patterns of social interaction that were reflected in the structures of house and society. Through observation in the fishermen’s households, he identified three places of interaction or “domains” in the lives of both groups of fishermen. The “domains” were domestic, public, and economic and were defined structurally by the fishermen as the house, street, and sea. Robben also found that Camurims had three terms used to describe the social relations within each of the domains. He translated the terms as consideration, obligation, and an untranslatable Camurim term, “media.” “Media” described a relationship that had not yet evolved. Robben then described the organization of the house into the kitchen, bedrooms, and front room. He described how each domain (domestic, public, and economic) was a reflection upon the house.

The term “consideration” was used to describe the interactions that took place between house and society. The relationships within the house were long term and out of respect. The street, or public domain, was where the term “media” was used. The street was where the fishermen made themselves seen in the eyes of the public. It was where social interactions took place, and was known as a bad place. To Camurims, it was necessary to separate the domains. A sidewalk usually separated the house from the street to separate domestic from social interactions. The street was also separated from the sea as a need to separate social interaction from work. The sea was known as the economic domain and the term “obligation” was used to describe interaction that took place here. The fishermen worked to catch fish which in hand provided for the domestic domain. At the end of the day each of the domains were brought together within the domestic domain and the rooms of the house reflected the interactions of the public and economic domains.

The kitchen was where the family reproduced through meals and conversation. The main bedroom was where the parents fulfilled their marital obligations. If a fisherman was at sea or in a bar or brothel, the activities that regularly took place within these rooms were disrupted. The front room displayed the household status and how the fishermen presented themselves to the public domain. The longer the fishermen were at sea, the more economic gain was brought into the house, and this was reflected through the front room in items that were displayed.

Through the interactions that took place within each domain, Robben described that the domestic domain, or house, was a reflection of all relationships in the lives of the canoe and boat fishermen of Camurim. When more time was spent away from the domestic domain, the relationships within the house (kitchen, bedrooms and front room) were offset. Therefore, the relationships of the fishermen within public and economic domains had an effect on the relationships within the domestic domain. The canoe fishermen were more concerned in providing for the domestic domain, whereas the boat fishermen were not only concerned with the domestic domain, but also in providing to the public domain.

CLARITY: 3
STACEY YOUNG University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Schiffer, Michael B. et al. A Provisional Theory of Ceramic Abrasion. American Anthropologist March, 1989 Vol.91 (1):101-113.

Schiffer explores the mysterious world of ceramic abrasion and it’s relationship to archeology and engineering. He states that much more is to be learned of it’s effectiveness, but he allows a simple summary of it and it’s partners. Schiffer defines ceramic abrasion as “a trace that was formed by removal or deformation of material on a ceramic’s surface by mechanical contact, specifically the sliding, scraping, or, in some cases, striking action of an abrader”. He notes the basic concepts and principles of abrasions and abrasion processes. He tells how ceramics can deviate terribly in their sensitivity to deteriorate by an abrasive process. He describes several abrasion mechanisms: intergranular fracture, tribochemical mechanisms, plastic deformation, plowing, microchipping, fatigue and delamination, plastic flow, and pedestalling. He also depicts the characteristics of the ceramic used and how the solidarity or brittleness may affect how well the abrasive processes would work. Some of the characteristics of ceramic he researches are the strength of fixed paste, pores, cracks, voids, the hardness and shape of temper particles, the size and quantity of the temper, the distribution and orientation of temper particles, and the shape and surface characteristics of the ceramic. He also investigates the characteristics of the abrader and the nature of the ceramic-abrader contact. In conclusion, Schiffer gives a good introduction into this mysterious theory of research and provides interesting questions. Ceramic abrasion is now something I would like to delve in more depth.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CHEYENNE MCDOWELL Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Schiffer, Michael B., Skibo, James H. A Provisional Theory of Ceramic Abrasion. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91: 101-113.

This article deals with the study of abrasion on ceramic surfaces. The authors investigate the factors that cause abrasion using various experimental techniques such us sand blasting. Those methods are used to simulate years of normal wear in a matter of minutes. By knowing those factors, archeologists are able to tell a large number of things about a ceramic pot found on a dig site. This pot can tell them a lot about how people who made it lived. Two phenomena are examined in the article: “(1) abrasion as a category of traces”, and “(2) abrasive processes … “. Abrasion is defined as a “deformation of material on a ceramic surface by mechanical contact”. The process of abrasion happens when the “abrader inflicts abrasions upon a ceramic”. The amount of abrasion is measured using the percentage of weight loss.

Authors of the article identify eight kinds of abrasion mechanisms: intergranular fracture, tribochemical mechanisms, plastic deformations, plowing, microchipping, fatigue and delamination, plastic flow and pedestaling. Each of the mechanisms is shortly defined and explained, without going into much detail.

For the abrasion to happen there has to be an active contact between an abrader and the ceramic. Rates of abrasion are not uniform on the surface of the ceramic, they change depending on the topography, for example: convexities or edges are more prone to abrasion due to higher probability of contact with an abrader.

Second part of the article deals with the characteristics of the ceramics. Those characteristics depend on a number of factors like temperature of fire or ingredients of the paste. The susceptibility of ceramics to abrasion depends on its porosity, hardness and the shape of temper particles. The less porous the material is, the smaller are the chances of abrasion. Similarly, hard ceramics are tougher to scratch. Temper particles are, usually, small particles that are of different hardness then the rest of the clay, if they are above the surface of the clay they will slow down the processes of abrasion.

Next section describes the characteristics of the abrader itself. Ceramics are affected by factors such as sand, metal, dirty hands or other ceramics. The amount of abrasion depends on the harness, shape and size of the abrader. Velocity, direction and rate of contact also play a big role in the process of abrasion. As a final note, authors briefly describe the effects of liquids, such as water, on ceramics.

CLARITY RATING: 3
LUKASZ DZIEDZINSKI York University (Naorni Adelson)

Scollon, Ron. Scollon, Suzanne. Fang Kuei Li (1902-1987). American Anthropologists December 1989 Vol.91(4):1008-1009.

Fang Kuei Li, a well respected linguistic anthropologist, died at the age of 85 in 1987. Li first arrived in the United States in 1924 and attended the University of Michigan where he received a B.A. in linguistics. This field was still very new in the United States and his work helped to pave the way for many anthropologists to come. His main interests, at this time, were in the development of methods for unwritten languages. To further his research he went to the University of Chicago so he could study under Edward Sapir and Leonard Bloomfield. During this time Li did extensive study of several American Indian languages and an overview of 18 other languages including Chipewyan language. After he received his PhD, Li returned to China where he began his extensive study of Chinese and Tai historical linguistics. Because of the World War 2, Li was forced to remain in China and spent many years moving around in order to stay out of reach of Chinese authority. During this time Li conducted fieldwork in the Chinese countryside were he studied many languages and dialects. Unfortunately, most of this work was lost due to the destruction of war. Li finally returned to America in the 1950’s and taught mainly Chinese at the University of Washington. Although his work is not well recognized in the United States, he has received much acknowledgment throughout the world including honors from the government of Thailand. His outstanding ear for languages allowed him to become an expert in three separate language fields. Li and his wife, Hsu Ying, lived the remainder of their years in Hawaii where they enjoyed playing the flute, cooking, and reading.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
ABBY WEINSTEIN Baylor University(Tina Thurston)

Scollon, Ron and Suzanne Scollon. Fang Kuei Li (1902-1987). American Anthropologist December, 1989 Vol.91(4):1008-1009.

In an affectionate manner, Ron and Suzanne Scollon inform the reader of the accomplishments of Fang Kuei Li, a great linguistics scholar not well known in America. Fang Kuei Li is said to have provided foundational work in several language groups, including Native American, Chinese and Tai.

In the early 1920’s Li came to the United States and studied linguistics at the University of Michigan, where he received his Bachelor’s degree. He then went on to the University of Chicago and studied linguistics under Edward Sapir and Leonard Bloomfield. Working closely with Sapir, he studied Athabaskan, American Indian linguistics, Vietnamese, and a variety of other languages. His fieldwork at Fort Chipewyan in the late 1920’s has served as the foundation of linguistic knowledge of the Chipewyan language. In the 1930’s he returned to China to work on Chinese and Tai historical linguistics. He moved around often and studied in remote areas during World War II and was successful in remaining far removed from politics.

Scollon and Scollon also discuss Li’s work as a teacher and praise his insightful advice with regard to both understanding the subtleties of specific languages and the problems students and colleagues had in their writing about language. In his own writing Li was successful in presenting his arguments tactfully so as not to be viewed as conflicting or “at odds” with Sapir or other scholars he worked with. Fang Kuei Li is noted for his foundational work and his love for languages. He is also hailed for his ability to steer clear of both the political conflicts in China and theoretical conflicts in linguistics.

CLARITY: 5
JEANNE THOMAS University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Stanish Charles. Household Archeology: Testing Models of Zonal Complementarily in the South Central Andes. American Anthropologist March 1989 Vol. 91(1): 7-21.

In this journal the author tackles the methodological problem with defining ethnicity in archeological settlements in the South Central Andes. The author begins his observation of this problem by stating that the testing of zonal complementarily models in the South Central Andes requires a methodology beyond this “artifact-based” approach. Despite the fact that zonal complementarity has been the dominant paradigm in Andean studies for more than two decades, the material correlates of the model remains generally undefined. In the following pages of the journal the author attempts two demonstrate that modified concept of the household can overcome these methodological objections and serve as an appropriate means of defining ethnic differences in pre-Hispanic settlements. He further goes on to contend that it is essentially impossible to construct a narrow definition of the household that is valid cross-culturally given the diversity in residential patterns, kinship structure, and domestic functions seen in ethnographic, historic, and prehistoric populations. The author then goes on to break down the different areas in two several categories in which he uses in his argument. The author then concludes that with the use of the household to define ethnic differences, this will be a powerful tool for modeling the complex processes of zonal complementarity. This contextual approach is one that will provide a much greater understanding of the social, political, and economic dynamics of the later prehistory of the South Central Andes.

CLARITY 3
TED F. GONZALEZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Stanish, Charles. Household Archaeology: Testing Models of Zonal Complementarity in the South Central Andes. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91(1):7-24.

This article addressed an area of settlement pattern studies, specifically how the household was used as an analytical unit of study in southern Peru. Using a model of zonal complementarity, which suggests that people subsidized their economic base through exploiting and settling different ecological zones at different elevations, Stanish’s goal was to distinguish among different pre-Hispanic ethnic groups living in this environment. He theorized that by using individual households as an analytical unit, he could make comparisons within and between these structures about the ethnicity of the prehistoric inhabitants.

Stanish first discussed the theoretical underpinnings of his research strategy. He found that by looking at the ethnographically documented households in southern Peru, it was tempting to use them as an analog for the archaeological remains. However, historical research into the economic and social situation revealed to Stanish that European colonization had markedly altered the indigenous society and encouraged a social, economic, and domestic uniformity. Because of this homogeneity, Stanish believed pre-Hispanic households were much more complex, and that the model of zonal complementarity would be a more objective research strategy for studying them.

The next phase of his research involved defining the household archaeologically. This was done by isolating repetitive artifactual and architectural patterns within and between structures in order to identify domestic activities and residential patterns. To isolate the ethnic differences between households, Stanish observed the nature of the material deposits and reasoned material variability reflects ethnic variability. He noted that previous studies of prehistoric ethnicity were often made of materials excavated from funerary contexts, where a wide variety of exotic and non-local artifacts are typically found. He reasoned that these contexts were not an accurate reflection of everyday activities. In addition to artifactual variability, Stanish believed architectural differences also reflect ethnic diversity. Internal patterning of structures, their relationship with neighboring structures (and other sites) would reveal multiple ethnic differences if any existed.

Stanish chose the Otora Valley in southern Peru to test the model of zonal complementarity. After excavating thirty-seven structures from seven sites, he was able to recognize two distinct type of structures. He termed these the domestic terrace type and paired type household. This was based on their architectural patterning and artifact variability.

By comparing the information he gained from the excavations, the author concluded that two different ethnic groups were settled in the Otora Valley. He demonstrated that in an ecologically diverse setting such as the Andes, different pre-Hispanic ethnic groups occupied the same areas and competed for valuable resources, and this was reflected in their material culture and architectural patterns.

CLARITY: 4
JASON A. GARDNER University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Sumner, William M. Population and Settlement Area: An example from Iran. American Anthropologist September, 1989 Vol. 91 (3): 631-641

There are recent developments in techniques for estimating population densities according to archaeological site areas. This article focuses on an analysis of 114 villages in the Kur River Basin, Fars Province, Iran. The goal is to estimate the mean of the population size during specific time intervals on urban archaeological sites. These archaeological sites then become equivalent to a proxy of population mean over periods of time. Sumner concludes that population estimates must rely on total settlement area and population. The focus has been set on new variables that help explore explanations of populations in settled areas. These variables include settlement age, population growth, settlement, morphology, and economic factors. It has been found that there is a correlation between the age of a village and its population density. Evidence is given to spatial adjustments being made to accommodate the growing population. As population increased, the process of fission (where people began construction buildings outside the city walls) occurred. The formation of new villages occurs as a result of density variation. It is stated that the normal oscillations that occur among the average population density can be explained by the spatial adjustments of construction outside the city walls, settlement fission, and infilling. Sumner speculates that some forms of population density can be attributed to certain conditions or problems that are traceable through the archeological record. Sumner makes generalizations regarding the occurrences of low and high-density villages. Low-density settlements have an emphasis on pastoral production. It has been discovered that these low-density areas have higher than average total farmland, while their irrigated land remains below normal. Sumner explains the settlement morphology of these areas as consisting of scattered compounds or groups of buildings. They are located on slopes that provide pastoral opportunities, but do not possess the potential for irrigation development. In high-density areas, there is both a higher average of population density and lower average area. These settlements usually occur on rocky slopes above a flood plain. Sumner explains that the reason for the oscillations in high densities is economic. Its toleration is supported by the expansion of labor markets, or the migration of refugees, natural disasters, or civil unrest. Sumner concludes that there is enough evidence that justifies the creation of a single conversion factor that can account for such elements and lead to an explanation of density populations in settlement areas. Sumner further states that estimates require a case-by-case analysis that includes exploring living quarters and structure of rural and urban complexes.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
PANTALEON YZAGUIRRE Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Sumner, M William. Population and Settlement Area: An Example from Iran. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91:631-641.

In his article William M. Summer sheds light on the issue of the archeological methodology in deciphering population from the site area. He begins by acknowledging that there may indeed be factors that can’t be accounted for in an economic rationale for site features, (power, prestige and other social values), and thus might weaken the method of using site data to estimate population size. However he argues that thorough a rigorous analysis of consumption, production and land use patterns such a methodology is justifiable. To this end he analyzes habitation patterns in Iran. These include 114 villages in the Kur River Basin, spatial adjustments in the village of Shah Qotbeddin, and Masurabad-e Izadi. Summer concludes by stressing the complexities involved in understanding the causes of population densities and historic villages.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
BEHZAD SARMADI York University (Naomi Adelson)

Wierzbicka, Anna. Soul and Mind: Linguistic Evidence for Ethnopsychology and Cultural History. American Anthropologist March 1989 Vol. 91 (1):41-58

This article discusses the differences between languages and the possible use of linguistics to help form an ethnology of a people. The specific comparison is that of the Russian word dusa, which is literally translated as soul, but also can be mind or spirit. The author uses this example with translations to show how difficult it is for Anglo-Saxons, who have a cultural distaste for the soul (or at least the frequency in which it is used in Russian texts). She shows how, over time, the English word soul has fallen into disfavor as the word mind has risen in popularity, but in Russian literature and speech the word dusa is still widespread. She also brings out the German and French equivalents to the word soul, steele and esprit respectively. While the author has an interesting point of study here, she doesn’t follow through with any sort of strong conclusion that states any position on the subject, other than saying that even though the differences can be misinterpreted, they can be clues to differences in cultures through their languages. I think that further study of other differences in other words and even phrases should be done before any solid conclusions could be made.

CLARITY RANKING: 1
COREY REILLY Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Wierzbicka, Anna. Soul and Mind: Linguistic Evidence for Ethnopsychology and Cultural History. American Anthropologist 1989 Vol.91:41-58

Various languages have diverse interpretations of certain words, for example, the English word soul has a different meaning than that of the Russian word for soul, which is dusa. The Russian meaning for dusa is roughly, fate/destiny or a painful feeling. In most translations from Russian to English, the word dusa is usually omitted or replaced with either heart or mind. Apparently, the Anglo-Saxon culture does not encourage the use of the word soul as much as typical Russian prose; however, the word dusa has a wider scope of use in context than the word soul can acceptably be used in English. The author believes that differences in the range of use of dusa in Russian and soul in English reflect differences in underlying semantic structure and in cultural outlook, or in what is sometimes called ethnopsychology.

A clear description of what the word soul refers to is persons, not things, usually only part of a person not the whole, not a part of the body, and it cannot be seen. The concepts of “soul” and “body” seem to reflect a dual, rather than a multiple structure. In folk philosophy, a person has two parts, one that can be seen (the body) and one that cannot be seen (the soul). Two other concepts of the aspect of soul are: one referring to the “transcendental,” otherworldly nature of this (hypothetical) entity, and another referring to its moral character, linked with the idea of “good.” The soul is also the source of values in a human being. The existence of souls is often denied because of its spiritual component. Soul refers to an entity with both a religious and psychological dimension. Soul can always be translated into Russian as dusa, but not the reverse.

The author feels that the concept of “mind” is striking in terms of the role it plays in psychology, psychiatry, anthropology and most importantly, philosophy. She also believes that the term “mind” designates the nonmaterial half of a human being. It is misleading to present the dualism of body to mind as a characteristic of “Western culture” as a whole.

Changes exist in the folk concepts of soul and mind. The older concept of mind did not seem to focus on the intellectual and the rational, on thinking and knowing, in the way that the modern mind does. Also, the older English mind was clearly linked with emotions, whereas now, this link exists with the heart. In addition, the older mind seemed to be linked with values, whereas the modern one is morally neutral. The current mind focuses on thinking and knowing rather than on feeling or wanting. The soul used to combine religious, psychological and moral aspects opposed to the material body; however, history evolved the concept of mind into purely the religious sense. A human being now tends to be viewed as composed of a body and an intellect.

In Russian, the word dusa can be portrayed as an internal spiritual theater, a place where certain events happen that could never occur in the world of inanimate things. There are many expressions in Russian that point to the need to express hidden inner states to others. Other possibilities for meanings of the word dusa are: suggestions of actual or potential good feelings toward other people, terms of endearment such as darling in English, as a symbol of pricelessness, and especially, a person’s inner knowledge. Basically, the word dusa has a variety of interpretations referring to virtually all aspects of a person’s personality such as feelings, thoughts, will, knowledge, inner speech and the ability to think.

In the English language, an ethnotheory exists that opposes the body to an (imaginary) entity centered on thinking and knowing. On the other hand, in Russian, the ethnotheory opposes the body to an (imaginary) entity of a different kind involving subjective, spontaneous, emotional, spiritual, and moral aspects, not on the intellectual and the rational.

In conclusion, the word soul in the English language is declining in its various meanings and usage, whereas, in the Russian language, the word dusa has a variety of different meanings, allowing it to be used in a much wider range.

CLARITY: 3
LISA ARGENTINI York University (Naomi Adelson).