American Anthropologist 1990

Albert, Steve M. Care giving as a Cultural System: Conceptions of Filial Obligation and Parental Dependency in Urban America. American Anthropologist June 1990 Vol. 92 (2):319-331

This article discusses the attitudes of 70 different caregivers and their feelings towards their parents. The interviews took place in the caregivers home, and averaged about 90 minutes each. The questions were structured to fit the caregivers into four basic categories based on the combinations two different sets of opinions: the parent as an ill person or as a child, and the reason for care giving as an exchange of services or as caring for oneself. These were set onto a four cell grid where x= parent and y= reason for care giving. The majority of the caregivers fell into either the exchange/ill cell, or the care/child cell. The outliers in the exchange/child cell seem to be people who have regained and strengthened the bond between parent and child through the care giving, and the outliers in the care/ill cell seem to be people whose relationships have been strained through care giving. Overall this is a very interesting study, and my only problem was addressed in the conclusion by Albert. He agrees with me that, since all of his research consists of urban Philadelphia caregivers, we need to have more cross-cultural studies of care giving in other places such as rural settings and other countries to see of these categories can be universally used.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
COREY REILLY Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Anthony, David W. Migration in Archaeology: The Baby and the Bathwater American Anthropologist December, 1990 Vol. 92 (4): 895-911

This article focuses on migration as archaeologists deal with it. Before, archaeologists avoided migration because they lacked the theory and methods that might allow them to incorporate migration into the explanation of culture exchange. This article covers a brief history of the theories of migration and how they evolved throughout time. It also covers the conditions favoring migration and the short and long distance migrations. The archaeological methods for recognizing migration were never related to or drawn from any explicit set of theories defining how migration worked. Early methodologists could not develop irrefutable tests for recognizing migration because they lacked any real understanding of migration as a patterned behavior. Migration was often seen as an external factor and became irrelevant to many research designs. Recently, migration has reemerged as a subject of serious study. However, archaeologists have achieved little progress in dealing with migration. Migration is still generally studied by demographers and geographers. A bias towards methodological approaches also exists.

This article is well organized and easy to read.

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

Arnold III, Philip J. The Organization of Refuse Disposal and Ceramic Production within Contemporary Mexican Houselots American Anthropologist December, 1990 Vol. 92 (4): 915-932

In this article, Arnold writes that refuse is treated differently in the domestic household. Contributing factors to this are the amount of space within the household and the disposal variability. Arnold goes over the three factors that condition refuse maintenance. The first is the potential reuse of a given item even though it no longer serves its original purpose. The second is that refuse size affects maintenance activities. The third factor is the category into which the refuse falls. The type, organic or inorganic, affects the manner in which it is treated and where it is located when it is disposed of. Arnold then discusses the background of his research including information on the location and how data was collected. He discusses the locations of disposable. They range from the edge of the patio, to the stream/river bank, to the basis of trees. After this, Arnold discusses the firing procedures for ceramics. He discusses the techniques and the refuse that is a result of each on average and how that is dealt with.

This article is well organized and fairy easy to understand. Arnold includes graphs, charts, and formulas that were apart of his data.

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

Bell, Amelia Rector. Separate People: Speaking of Creek Men and Women American Anthropologist June, 1990 Vol.92 (2): 332-343

In this article Bell examines subjectivity, gender, and language among Creek Indians. She begins her paper by discussing the Creek’ views on menstruation. Through this she understands that the Creeks’ gender relations are expressed through two fundamental social roles which model the symbolic and subjective interdependencies distinctive of Creek social life. After this, she discusses a Creek woman’s role as the “food maker.” She explains the jobs that a Creek woman undertakes before and after marriage. Making certain foods marks a woman as head of her own household. These foods only she may make and only her family and guests may eat. The men are “made” through ritual processes that separate them physically and existentially from their mother. All Creek babies are given names from their mother’s clan. During the green corn ceremony, the prepubescent boys are receive a war name from their father’s clan. Pregnancies proclaim and prove that a marriage has taken place. Bell also discusses the language, tribal politics, and briefly she covers gender, history, and speech.

This article is well written and well organized.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CHRISTINA ROSER Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Bernstein, David J. Prehistoric Seasonality Studies in Coastal Southern New England. American Anthropologists March 1990 Vol.92(1):96-116.

In the article, Bernstein analyses the seasonal flux of faunal remains in New England settlements. He attempts to reconstruct the patterns and seasonal movement of the Native Americans in Greenwich Cove in Rhode Island. Bernstein stresses the importance of using material remains to gain information about these people instead of the European accounts from the 17th century. He uses mainly clamshells and deer teeth found in a midden to conduct his analysis. The midden encompasses a period from the Terminal Archaic (2700 B.P.) to the Late Woodland (600 B.P.). A detailed description of the native quahog clam gives valuable information regarding the age and time of death of the clams found in the midden. One can tell from the number of lines of the clam, similar to a tree, how old the clam is and therefore ascertain which season the natives were collecting that animal. There are three main stages that can be identified by studying the lines, which are classified as juvenile, mature, and senile. Unfortunately, many of the clamshells from the older sites are in bad condition and their age is almost impossible to determine. To compliment the quahog clamshell, Bernstein uses fossilized white-tailed deer teeth. Age of the teeth found could be determined through careful microanalysis of the enamel layers, which built up during the deer’s lifetime. However, it is more difficult to establish the season that the deer was killed because the enamel layers do not represent regular seasonal intervals. Bernstein concludes that the Greenwich Cove site was occupied year-round for approximately the last 2,000 years. Any earlier occupation is difficult to assess because of the poor condition of the faunal remains, but Bernstein tends to think that occupation was purely seasonal. The site of Greenwich Cove was thought to be very rich in resources and hunter-gathers were able to become basically sedentary because of the large array of resources available.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ABBY WEINSTEIN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Ellison Peter T. Human Ovarian Function and Reproductive Ecology: New Hypotheses. American Anthropologist December 1990 Vol. 92(4): 933-947.

In this article the author examines the controversial hypotheses of Frisch and Revelle, which linked menarche to nutritional status in human females. He begins his observation with a series of eight hypotheses, which are based on the current research, concerning the responsiveness of the human ovary to constitutional and environmental variables. The hypotheses in which he examines are as follows “1-Ovarian responsiveness occurs along a observed continuation. 2-The graded continuation of response forms a final common trail for various stresses. 3-Ovarian function tracks energy balance, not simply nutritional status. 4-Ovarian function tracks aerobic activity independently of energy balance. 5-Additive interactions characterize the interaction of constitutional and environmental modulating environmental factors. 6-Reproductive growth is synchronized with skeletal growth, especially of the pelvis. 7-Peak ovarian function is ordinarily achieved until the early twenties.8-Late reproductive growth is associated with slower rise in indices of ovarian function with age, and a lower level of ovarian function in adulthood”. The second theory views ovarian function as responsive in a similar way to the need to maintain long-term maternal balance.

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

Ensminger, Jean. Co-Opting the Elders: The Political Economy of State Incorporation in Africa. 1990 92(3):662-675. American Anthropologist

In this article by Jean Ensminger, a description of a contemporary case study in of state incorporation and places the analysis in a theoretical context that has relevance to the process of state incorporation and state formation through time. The subject is the Orma of northeastern Kenya. Their social organization is typical of other East African pastoral societies; however, there are many dissimilarities as well. The Orma are more commercially oriented in livestock marketing and have converted to Islam. This may be due to a migratory past that has left them geographically isolated from other Oromo or centuries of unrest with their powerful neighbors.

After Jean Ensminger’s first study from 1978 to 1981, a nine-month return was deemed necessary. This is when many institutional changes were found. There was an acceleration of the dismantling of the common grazing system, a break down of gerontocracy and a frequent refusal by women for arranged marriages. The most surprising was the increase in authority of the government appointed chief at the expense of the city elders. In order to understand the changes, the social order in stateless societies must be examined and a processual theory of institutional change that allows for an understanding for demand and supply of the new institutions.

Michael Taylor believes that social order in a stateless society is maintained by a combination of structural characteristics of the society, the processes of socialization that instill common values and threats and offers or positive and negative sanctions. Furthermore, institutions may facilitate economic growth by reducing the costs involved in exchange, ensuring that exchange is more cooperative, and that institutional change may stem from either a change in prices or a change in preference.

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

Gaulin, Steven J.C. Dowry as Female Competition. American Anthropologist December, 1990. Vol.92(4):994-1005.

Gaulin, with the assistance of James S. Boster, writes about dowry and its purposes in society. The authors specifically want to know the benefits of a dowry, how they can be used as “bribery,” the parental investment in dowries, and what characteristics dowry societies share. The article also compares Gaulin and Boster’s female-competition model to Boserup’s labor-value model. Boserup’s labor-value model views “dowry as a payment made by women to guarantee future support for them and their children under circumstances where their own contributions to subsistence are relatively small.” The female-competition model views a “dowry as a reproductive tactic used by prospective brides and their kin to attract the wealthiest bridegroom.”

The article begins by comparing societies that have a high rate of dowries and societies that have a high occurrence of bridewealth. Then, the article focuses on the female-competition model in polygynous societies. According to the article, there is a higher distribution rate of bridewealth than dowry. Gaulin and Boster interpret “the bias in marriage transactions as reflecting a bias in competition for marriage partners. In this view, the wide distribution of bridewealth and the rarity of dowry suggest that men frequently compete for wives, whereas competition among women for husbands is seldom of equal intensity.” The authors give the reasons for competition among women and their dowries for the best husband, and the benefits and disadvantages of monogamous and polygynous marriages.

The authors use various types of evidence to support their opinion. They use statistics, secondary sources, and they conduct a study of their own. The article is concluded with this study, which is a comparative/cross-cultural study of 1,267 societies and applies both the labor-value model and the female-competition model to these societies. Finally, Gaulin and Boster use their data to support their model over Boserup’s.

CLARITY: 5
VERONICA M. ALVAREZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Gilmore D. David. Men and Women in Southern Spain: “Domestic Power” Revisited. American Anthropologist 1990 Vol. 92(4): 953-967.

In this article the author offers a definition of “domestic power” and attempts to identify its function for a parallel study of gender relations in southern Europe. The article describes the relations between male-female relations in two rural towns in Southern Spain. The data Gilmore presents shows that working-class women in these towns, often united with their mothers, are able in many cases to prevail in domestic decision making despite opposition from their husbands. This article then goes further and explores the cultural and psychological reasons for these apparent inversions comprised of hereditary ideal and the relative effect of social class upon male and female power asymmetries. The implications, which arise, are the limited access of male fieldworkers to Andalusian women are briefly addressed. Ultimately, these findings are discussed in the light of broader epistemological issues in gender study. The overall article was very well constructed and divided into several different categories, which made it much easier to understand and read.

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

Goodenough, Ward H. Evolution of the Human Capacity for Beliefs American Anthropologist September, 1990. Vol.92 (3):597-612

Goodenough proposes that human’s ability to perceive abstractions leads to evolution of our belief structure. He tells us that there is physical evidence for language based on tool kits and site layouts. He calls language an adaptation to the environment and states that language began to emerge around the time of Homo erectus. Then there is a discussion of language evolved based on the uses that it needed to fulfill. He states that even primates other than humans show signs of language based on the presence of distinct vocal calls in troops that help them coordinate their hunts. We finally get to the evolution of beliefs where Goodenough attests that the understanding of the relationships between things and actions and the extrapolation of results of that understanding can be construed as rudimentary beliefs. Belief then, according to Goodenough, is the “knowledge” of “truth” based on how an individual perceives their surroundings. Goodenough’s conclusion is, then, that the development of belief began before the hominid era, and that it has been evolving ever since. Language is a tool used by hominids in order to socially interact and share beliefs in order to help their culture evolve such as the creation and improvement of tool kits.

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

Graber, Robert Bates and Silverberg, James. Victor Barnauw (1915-1989) American Anthropologist June 1990 Vol.92(2):492-494.

Victor Barnauw was born in 1915 in The Hague, Netherlands and moved to the United States when his father was appointed as the professor of the Dutch Language and Literature at the University of Columbia. He attended Princeton University for two years and then studied at the National Academy of Design for two additional years. He concluded his undergraduate degree with honors at Columbia College in 1940. He later went on to receive his Ph.D. at Columbia University where he studied under Ruth Benedict and was greatly influenced by the school of culture and personality. As a cultural anthropologists, he pursued scientific methods to help make his research more quantifiable but also searched for interpretations within his data. Barnauw conducted fieldwork at several Chippewa reservations in Wisconsin and among the Sindhi refugees of Poona in India. He has written many books including An Introduction to Anthropology (1989), Wisconsin Chippewa Myths and Tales (1977), and Culture and Personality (1985). Barnauw, throughout his career, taught at the University of Illinois from 1956-1957, and then moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee were he taught till his retirement in 1982. Victor Barnauw died at the age of 73 of pancreatic cancer in Milwaukee. He is survived by his wife Sachiko.

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

Hantman, Jeffrey L. Between Powhatan and Quirank: Reconstructing Monacan Culture and History in the Context of Jamestown American Anthropologist September, 1990. Vol.92 (3):676-690

Hantman bases his paper around the fact that the initial years of contact between Europeans and Native Americans was tolerant, and sometimes friendly. Soon after the first Jamestowners arrived they learned of the presence of the Monacan to the west. They tried an expedition to meet the leader of these peoples, but turned back before reaching there so as not to offend them. There was then an altercation between the two groups, and an Indian named Amoroleck was taken captive. The third contact with the group was during an exploration for minerals, and the contact was uneventful. John Smith then wrote a “definitive” ethnography on the Monacan. He stated that they were “diverse” or different then the colonists, and in some cases each other. He also classified them as barbarous, or uncivilized based on his European standards. He also said that they mostly lived off of wild beasts and fruits, and that they had different languages. Archaeology of the Monacan culture shows their settlement pattern beginning around A.D. 800- about A.D. 1000. Their economy was agriculturally based, and they did create earthworks as a way of cultural continuity and unity. His conclusion shows that the reason for Powhatan to let the Jamestowners survive was probably primarily copper. In Monacan society copper was the source of power, and the Europeans brought European copper to trade, which brought forth a new source of copper for Powhatan to exploit.

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

Herdt, Gilbert Mistaken Gender: 5-Alpha Reductase Hermaphroditism and Biological Reductionism in Sexual Identity Reconsidered American Anthropologist June, 1990 Vol. 92 (2): 433-446

Herdt writes about 5-Alpha Reductase. This 5-Alpha reductase impairs the metabolism of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. DHT is the prenatal mediator of masculinization of external genitalia. People born with this are sexually ambiguous at birth with a marked bifid scrotum that appears labia-like, an absent or clitoris-like penis, and undescended testes. Because of these, they are considered hermaphrodites. However, generally at puberty, their bodies develop enough testosterone that they then physically become male. Herdt’s paper focuses on specific cases in the Dominican Republic and New Guinea. He focuses on what sex the children were raised as and what role they adopt after puberty.

This article is well written and informative.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CHRISTINA ROSER Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Hill, Carole E. & Mathews, Holly H. Applying Cognitive Decision Theory to the Study of Regional Patterns of Illness Treatment Choice. American Anthropologist March 1990 Vol. 92 (1): 155-170.

This article argues that the utility of cognitive decision modeling in assessing regional patterns of health behavior effectively analyzes the intracultural variations within a region. The data collected contributed to the understanding of regional patterns of health behavior. Separate models were needed to be constructed for the West Indians and the Hispanic populations. These are flawed so it is unable to represent intracultural variation and cannot provide insight into socioeconomic and cultural factors. Variation in individuals also ranged from one end of the scale to another in both cultures which made it difficult to say that what was right for one group, or person for that matter, may not be for another group. The differences ranged from the use of power to the choice of treatment made by each group. Decision models may capture the uniformity of individual beliefs rather than considering the source of beliefs in the context of larger social and political structures.

CLARITY 3
ALLISON NEWTON Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Kelso, A.J. Fredrick Patton Theime (1914-1989). American Anthropologist June 1990 Vol. 92(3):740-741.

Fredrick Patton Thieme, an esteemed physical anthropologist, died at 75 years old from a stroke on July 2, 1989. He was born in Seattle, Washington and received his undergraduate degree in 1938 from the University of Washington. After graduation he joined the Navy and fought in World War II. Thieme later received his Ph.D. in 1950 from Columbia University where he studied physical anthropology under S.L. Washburn and H.L. Shapiro. Theime’s first teaching job was as assistant professor in the Anthropology department at the University of Michigan in 1949, and was later made department chair in 1957. That next year Theime left the University of Michigan and returned to his hometown of Seattle where he was named provost at the University of Washington. He was later named vice president in 1963. Theime’s greatest promotion came when he was named president of the University of Colorado in 1969. His years in office were viewed as turbulent as a result of student riots and general disorder on campus. Dr. Theime was relieved of his position as president at the University of Colorado in May of 1974, after which he returned once again to Seattle where he functioned as curator for the Burke Museum. Many believed that he contributed a great deal to the world of physical anthropology. His study concentrated on population genetics in human evolution and the interpretation of human evolution by means of the instruments of evolution. Dr. Theime is survived by his wife, five children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

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

Kilduff, Martin and Krackhardt, David. Friendship Patterns and Culture: The Control of Organizational Diversity. American Anthropologist. March, 1990. Vol. 92(1): 142-154.

Krackhardt and Kilduff set out to discover how relationships within a corporate environment would reflect how they perceive others in the same environment. To do this they developed a system to conduct surveys of employees to derive how much relationships affected the worker’s point of view. The site of this test was a corporation called Pacific Distributors Incorporated. The company’s founder and it’s day-to-day manager believed that a casual, open environment lead to better work satisfaction. The company’s CFO, however, was more inclined to a strict, financially motivated system.

The test was divided into two phases, the first being an informal, open discussion where participants were asked to elicit responses to similarities and differences between triads of PacDis employees. The Kelly method of analysis was used and researchers found seven verbal constructs that were shared by six out of ten participants. The common struggle was similar to that in the previous paragraph: loose, open business atmosphere compared to a strict, rule-based atmosphere.

The second phase studied network relations and cultural attributions. In other words, friends and coworkers who like each other will tend to agree as to the flexibility or inflexibility of their superiors and coworkers. Two hypotheses are noted: 1) that friends will have similar attributions to the seven constructs and 2) there will be a positive correlation between agreement of individuals with their friends and job satisfaction. Several matrices and questionnaires were used to test these hypotheses, the most prominent being the QAP (quadratic assignment procedure) and the Friendship Matrix. The result was that friends, relative to non-friends, tended to agree with each other and therefore view their environment similarly. Those who disagreed with their friends tended to be dissatisfied with their jobs. This proves that the theory was correct and there is a direct correlation between friendship and job satisfaction.

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

Lambek, Michael. Exchange, Time, and Person in Mayotte: The Structure and Destructuring of a Cultural System. American Anthropologist. September 1990 Vol. 92 (3): 647-

The main focus of this article is to examine the Malagasy speakers of Mayotte and their articulation of aging and exchange. One of the chief ceremonial exchanges lies within the shunggu. This exchange system has four major components that apply to the participants. The first two deal with redistribution and reciprocity. When the feast is held all the goods are collected and redistributed, and although there is no predetermined order in which participants must hold a shunggu each member of the group of expected to pay. The third component is the composition of the shunggu groups, which also rely on age. These are not based on political of military status but the member’s function in the organization of the production of the production and consumption of the ceremonial feast. Lastly, the fourth function feature celebrates the reproductive cycle of the shunggu. This entails payment upon marriage, to the village for a son’s circumcision, the wedding of a daughter, or the death of a parent or close kinsperson.

The requirements for shunggu payments change over time. When villages were smaller towards the beginning of the century, the obviously poorer community used small livestock, such as goats; however, as villages grew the overall prosperity increased and led to cattle being used in shunggu payments. This eventually lead to large shunggus, which require many years of planning and saving, and eventually peaked out around 1960. Consequently the shunggu seems to be in a stage of abandonment due to the shift of the society to a commodity based one from that of a gift society.

The article also focuses on the groups involved on a shunggu exchange. The first entity is the age group, which has a distinct number of members and does not change after the initiation of the exchange cycle. Secondly, the focus moves to women and men. The wedding shunggus are more important to men while the village shunggus leaves the women with a greater sense of satisfaction, and also remains as an area where prestige can be established and evaluated. Lastly, village groups form the most complex shunggu group because new members are constantly being introduced through reproduction and the forming of new age groups. Through these various groups the organization of a shunggu is clearer.

CLARITY RATING: 2
ALLISON NEWTON Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Leavitt, Gregory C. Sociobiological Explanations of Infest Avoidance: A Critical Review of Evidential Claims. American Anthropologist December, 1990 Vol.92(4):971-993.

In this article, Leavitt argues that the evidence that sociobiologists offer to explain incidences of incest avoidance does not fully support all cases of incest avoidance and is, in his opinion, not universal in its assumptions. Leavitt’s article goes through the four main sociobiological explanations for incest avoidance, and he presents his counter-argument to each explanation. He begins with the first sociobiological explanation for incest avoidance, which is the “universality of, and compliance with, incest rules.” In a quick summary of his argument; he argues that if the incest rule is universal, than in the avoidance of incest should also be universal, which confuses the sociobiological claim. The second explanation argued against by Leavitt is “the question of the inbreeding effect.” In order to counter this argument, Leavitt states that the data on this explanation is rare and inconsistent. He is also quick to point out that much of the data is in support of the opposite of this conclusion. The third explanation offered by sociobiologists is “the analogy from other animals.” The final explanation for incest avoidance is the “natural experiments,” which were conducted by sociobiologists. For these last two explanations, Leavitt uses the cases used by the main sociobiologists he is critiquing. He states that the data used on these studies can be manipulated to support either side of the argument, so the data become less clear in its argument.

In this article, there are many citations from studies done on incest avoidance and from secondary sources, such as Michael Ruse and van den Berghe. Many of Leavitt’s conclusions come from his own studies of the research done on incest avoidance, and on his own experience on this subject matter.

CLARITY: 3
VERONICA MARIA ALVAREZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Levieil, Dominique P. and Ben Orlove. Local Control of Aquatic Resources: Community and Ecology in Lake Titicaca, Peru. American Anthropologist 1990 92(2):362-382.

Dominique Levieil focuses on the communally controlled fishing territories in Lake Titicaca, Peru. The one hundred and fifty one fishing communities helped with the analysis of their similarities and differences. Three types of territories were located in the region and were differentiated in regard to the distance between the shore and the outer edge of the territories and the depth of the water and its outer edge. The main conflict in the area is between the Peruvian state and the peasant communities, and although there is continuous ongoing debates the arguments favor locally controlled communal systems. The analysis also shows the ability for fishermen to sustain such systems even though they face much opposition from the government. Throughout the article the details of the lake are discussed, such as the types of fish and the types of banks that the local communities live on. Arguments are made for the policy (that benefits the local communities) which include the activities of totora collection, the social organization of the communities, and the maintenance of the fishing territories. The government believes that they are directly in charge of the aquatic space and shoreline areas and the fishery regulations are enforced by the Ministry of Fisheries and the Coast Guard; however, the local fisherman are unwilling to turn to the Coast Guard for assistance. In spite of all the confrontation with the government the communal fishing territories continue to operate.

CLARITY RATING: 2
ALLISON NEWTON Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Marshall, Fiona. Origins of Specialized Pastoral Production in East Africa. American Anthropologist December, 1990 Vol. 92(4):873-889.

In this article Marshall explains how specialized pastoral production originated in the Loita-Mara area of Kenya. Marshall concludes that specialized pastoral production came about from new opportunities in pastoral production. The results of archaeological evidence show that there existed two Neolithic people: the Elmenteitan and the Highland Savanna Pastoral Neolithic, during the time that the first evidence of specialized pastoral production is found in East Africa. This specialized system was based on sheep, cattle, and goatherds. Marshall explains factors that contributed to this form of specialized production, stating that the change in subsistence came about as a result of major changes in rainfall patterns. During the advent of specialized pastoral production the climate shifted to bimodal regime of rainfall with a short dry season. This rainfall allowed cattle herds to increase their milk production and come to season more often throughout the year. Development was further aided by the introduction of Bos indicus cattle into the area. This new breed of cattle was highly adapted to the stresses of the heat and water and food scarcity. Marshall considers cultural factors that may have influenced development of specialization. Subsistence patterns seem to have been interconnected in East Africa with pastoral, agricultural and hunter-gatherers establishing trade connections that contributed to the desire for specialization. Through these trade connection pastoralists realized that they could trade their commodities for others they lacked as a result from the change to specialized pastoral production.

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

McNabb, Steven. “The Use of ‘Inaccurate’ Data: A Methodological Critique and Applications of Alaska Native Data.” American Anthropologist. Vol 92. March 1990: 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)

Murphy, William P. Creating the Appearance of Consensus in Mende Political Discourse. American Anthropologist March, 1990 Vol.92(1):24-40.

This article examined the discourse in a lineage meeting among the Mende of Sierra Leone. The sources and data are from the 1970s and 1980s. Discourse “refers broadly to the situated usage of language in social life.” Murphy suggests a revision “of consensus based on the notion of secrecy as a special form of reflexive human agency.” The article also states that secrecy is proof of individualism, while the individual is keeping with the social consensus. The essay also addresses the role of an individual in a society, in which consensus is a common phenomenon. Murphy disagrees with theories that suggest that moral consensus with society shows a lack of individuation and a lack of separation from social order. Murphy also challenges the “fundamental presupposition in arguments about the consensually conforming, socially unknowing ‘native.’” He claims that this is a traditional Western thought placed on non-Western societies.

The author used various types of evidence to support his argument. Including, the ethnography conducted on the Mende, and various secondary sources. Murphy also discusses various theories used by Marx and Durkheim. There are also many examples of Mende orthography, including many phonetic symbols.

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

Palsson, Gisli and Durrenberger, E. Paul. Systems of Production and Social Discourse: The Skipper Effect Revisited. American Anthropologist March, 1990 Vol. 92 (1):130-140.

This article attempts to examine the phenomenon labeled the skipper effect in Icelandic conceptions of fishing. The skipper effect is defined as the skipper’s ability that contributes to the size of the catch from his boat. The article reveals that examination of this effect has been problematic. The greatest difficulty faced by ethnographers was establishing a statistical model that adequately described the variables that led to fishing success. There is a biological analysis of the skipper effect, which states that boat size and effort are the only variables that are significant, while the skipper has no effect on the outcome. However many ethnographers base their approaches on the Icelandic folk models which conclude that the skipper controls every aspect of the catch, making all the difference. The folk models are complex and their aspects appeal to different contexts. Palson and Durrenberger argue that the belief that the direct outcome of the catch is dependent on the skipper is misleading. They state that these folk models do not attribute explanations for failures or alternatives. They also argue that anthropologists examining this phenomenon attribute no suggestions of the opposite occurrences in their ethnographies. These accounts ignore the context of discourse, and perceive the folk accounts as facts.

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

Parman, Susan. Orduighean: A Dominant Symbol in the Free Church of the Scottish Highlands. American Anthropologist June, 1990 Vol. 92 (2) 295-305

Susan Parman demonstrates the symbolic effects Orduighean has on communities in the Scottish Highlands. Orduighean is a five day ceremony of communion in the Free Church of the Scottish Highlands. The Free Church was established for a revitilization movement and was based on this five day ceremony. The Free Church gained it’s uniqueness by allowing a very small number of privileged church members to experience Orduighean. Prior to the Free Church, practically all members of the church participated in communion. These few privileged members go through an intense scrutiny to become one of the chosen. They must be in the third category of sacredness, the curam or conversion. This transformation is ultimately determined by the kirk-session, a board of the holiest. The entrance into this group not only means a new spiritual level, but also a new social status. These people gather together many different times a year for meetings, preparation, etc. Even though only a few members of the church are curam, all the members participate in the social activities of the Orduighean. If you are not in the third degree of sacredness, you are looked at as separated, isolated, helpless, and even evil. In these Scottish communities, you are born a sinner and work toward sacredness. The Orduighean symbolizes acceptance and control of your life. Onlookers at the ceremony are reminded of their sins and are forced to examine their life of sin. Women in these societies are not generally accepted to take communion, but do play an important role in society. Women set guidelines and examples for men to follow. Men are seen to be born further away from God, than women and need help finding the sacred path. Many men in this culture are judged by their amount of alcohol consumption. Once men establish their faith they are able to move closer to God than women. The Orduighean is a tool to help establish meaning in one’s life and serves as a guide to one’s identity, in gender, religion, nationality, and social class.

CLARITY TANKING: 2
CHEYENNE MCDOWELL: Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Posserl, Gregory. “Obituary: Hasmukh Dhirajlal Sankalia.” American Anthropologist. December, 1990 Vol. 92 (4): 1006.

Hasmukh Dhirajlal Sankalia was one of India’s most prominent archeological anthologists. In his book, Born for Anthropology he traces his love for his culture and its ancient past to his father. Although his father entertained him with the stories and myths of his country, he and the rest of the family desired for Sankalia to be a lawyer. Although his father of the past, he and the rest of the family believed Sankalia future was that of a lawyer. It was through much persuasion that he convinced his parents to enroll him in the Indian Historical Research Institute of St. Xavier’s College. There he studied under his mentor Henry Heras, architecture, iconography, and epigraphy. He later obtained a master’s at the University of Bombay.

It was at the end of his Studies Bombay College that political turmoil began in India. Gandhi’s fasts, strikes and nonviolent assemblies involved many in political disputes. Sankalia’s parents as well as his mentor, Heras, believed it would be best for Sankalia to leave the country during this time that he earned his Ph. D at University College, London. His dissertation was the archeology of Gujarat.

When he returned to India he was given a post as professor of ancient Indian History at Deccan College, Prune. He remained there until retirement. During his time at the University he published numerous papers and established India’s best lab for archeological studies. The department offered courses in archeological chemistry, paleontology, soil science and physical anthropology. His most important work to the university was his field excavation and survey in Maharashtra throughout WW. II. It was through this research that he was able to prove the connection between Chalcolithic Cultures and the eventual development of the Gangenic Region. For his research as well as published work he received numerous awards as well as honorary position in archeological societies.

CLARITY RANK:5
CLAUDIA P. GUZMAN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Roscoe, Paul. “The Bow and Spread-net: Ecological Origin of Hunting Technology.” American Anthropologist. Sept. 1990. Vol. 92: 691-699.

In the article,” The Bow and the Spread-net: Ecological Origins of Hunting Technology,” Paul Roscoe attempts to provide a new idea for the reason why tribal foragers such as the Sepik and the Mbuti have changed hunting technology. The most archaic hunting technology compared in the article is the bow and arrow. The more recent technology used by the foragers is the spread-net. For years, anthropologists have attempted to formulate theories for the transition of the hunting technology. A diffusionist approach seemed the most plausible; however, it failed to explain the use of the spread-net of the Sepik and the Mbuti. The most overt reason for the theories failure was that the neighbors of the Sepik and the Mbuti did not use the spread-nets.

Roscoe suggests that by looking at the surrounding environment of the Sepik and Mbuti, one can quickly correlate the use of the spread-nets with the environment. Roscoe points out that the bow and spread-net have different properties that make them ideal for hunting prey only in certain environments. For example, the bow is ideal to hunt long vertical and horizontal distances, but without obstructions. In contrast, the spread-net does not require a clear view to hunt. It appears the Sepik and the Mbuti live in a dense vegetative environment, where animals can easily hide. The spread-net allows them to hunt without knowing a clear- cut and defined location of the animal. As a result the spread-net has become the ideal technology for them.

The article is very easy to understand. The author provides various quantitative data about the vegetation of the environment to support his ideas and make them more scientific.

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

Rosenberg, Michael. The Mother of Invention: Evolutionary Theory, Territoriality, and the Origins of Agriculture. American Anthropologist June, 1990 Vol. 92(2):399-413.

Rosenberg’s article examines two opposing paradigms concerning the evolution of agriculture. The referred paradigms are identified as the Spencerian perspective and the Darwinian perspective. These two perspectives are at the core of the debate regarding the development of agriculture. The Spencerian perspective states that change is directed toward adaptation, while the Darwinian perspective views change propelled by natural selection. Rosenberg supports the Spencerian perspective by stating, “it seems logical that the more directly the manifestation of stress is understood (by those experiencing it) in infrastructural rather that superstructural contexts, the greater the likelihood that some of the resultant innovative behaviors will have direct selective value.” Rosenberg believes that innovations are motivated to adaptation to particular stresses. The article concludes, “Thus, for the evolution of culture, insofar as selective pressures do not just select from existing varieties but also cause varieties to come into being from selection to operate on, necessity is truly the mother of invention.” Rosenberg gives an example of this Spencerian perspective by identifying an allocation model. This model attempts to “explain how and in what contexts population pressure, whatever its source, leads people to opt for the production of food, instead of some other behavioral pattern.” Through territoriality, hunter-gatherers attempt to alleviate the stress of population increase. They become increasingly territorial to areas of moderately predictable resources to combat population stress. Once this allocation is implemented, it inhibits the movement towards other allocations. Focus begins to center on manipulating the resources that contribute to food production.

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

Sered, Susan Starr. Women, Religion, and Modernization: Tradition and Transformation among Elderly Jews in Israel. American Anthropologist June, 1990 Vol. 92(2):306-318.

In Sered’s article the question of how modernization and modernity has affected the religious lives of women is addressed. She also discusses how the economic and familial areas in a modern woman’s life compare to her religious life. Sered begins her article by clarifying to the reader how she is using the term modernization, and that her use of this word is very general and relates to any kind of social change in the recent past or present day. Sered evaluates the roles women played in religious ceremonies not just in modern times, but how they have participated in their religions historically. She is focused mainly on women of the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

Sered breaks her article into several steps for the reader to take in order to fully see the picture of women’s changing roles in religion. She begins by discussing the religious roles traditionally taken by men and women. Sered continues by explaining what the new roles of women are in the modern world. Towards the end of her article, Sered discusses the positive and negative sides to modernity’s effect on women. She explains that women are much more active participants in their religions, but roles that have been traditional female have become segregated, discontinued, or passed off as witchcraft.

In order to fully support her argument, Sered conducted fieldwork in a senior citizens’ day care center in Jerusalem. The women who frequented this day care center were of many nations, but Sered chose to focus on the Jewish women. Sered also used many secondary sources, and cited many studies conducted on this subject. Sered ends her article by stating why she believes that the roles of women in religion have changed, and why women will always play an important role in their religion, their society, and their families.

CLARITY: 5
VERONICA MARIA ALVAREZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Stoffle, Richard W., Halmo, David B., Evans, Michael J. and Olmstead, John E. Calculating the Cultural Significance of American Indian Plants: Paiute and Shoshone Ethnobotany at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. American Anthropologist. June, 1990. Vol. 92(2): 416-432.

The focus of this article is the use of plants in Native American culture, specifically the Paiute and Shoshone tribes of Nevada. The analysis is divided into four main parts: 1) a description of the ethnobotanical research done at Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, 2) a summary of the Turner model, 3) an adaptation of the model to reflect research requirements in the Native American cultural study and 4) an application of the model using Yucca Mountain data.

The Yucca Mountain study involves the joint effort between the Native Americans and anthropologist to study the effect of a nuclear facility on the Yucca Mountain. Sixteen tribes from three groups selected experts for the study. On-site visits were carefully done because each group had differing classifications for the importance of the plants in the area. A second phase involved the interviews of tribal elders who were not able to go to the site. Thirty-seven plant experts identified seventy-six important plant species, which were reviewed and accepted by the tribal experts and professional botanists.

Four examples of mitigation of these plants were proposed during this study: holistic conservation, cultural triage, egalitarian triage and weighted triage. Turner’s model, developed during this study, resembled weighted triage, wherein plants were given a classification in order of their importance to the tribe and the areas where they grow are ranked as well. It was adapted for use in this study. Turner’s model used an ICS (Index of Cultural Significance) to rank and evaluate the importance of Native American plants. Cultural significance is the “importance of the role that a plant plays within a particular culture.” Three criterions were used to make this classification: quality, intensity and exclusivity of use. Values are multiplied and added together to receive scores.

The adaptation of Turner’s model occurred because several of her categories were too specific to fit the needs of the Yucca mountain study. Also, contemporary plant uses were taken into account, which caused an adjustment to be made in the ICS, to make it useable, and it was then called the EICS. Spatial Area Significance, or SAS, weighted procedures accurately reflected the views of the Native American populations because they allow a calculation for usage.

It is difficult to apply our scientific method to Native American culture, but it is nonetheless important in the mitigation of these plants. The authors encourage new methods of such studies in order to ensure the survival of the Native American culture.

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

Stone, Glenn Davis, Netting, Robert McC., Stone, M. Priscilla. Seasonality, Labor Scheduling, and Agricultural Intensification in the Nigerian Savanna. American Anthropologist March, 1990 Vol.92 (1):7-20.

This article demonstrates how the Kofyar, a small group in the Nigerian Savanna of Africa, have effectively mastered their agricultural resources by labor scheduling. Human labor is a basic component for most agricultural groups, but few are as efficient as the Kofyar. The Kofyar rely on organization, mobilization, and scheduling of labor. This has allowed the Kofyar to have increasing total labor contribution, revised crop mixes to reduce weekly wavering in labor, and lengthened agricultural seasons. In turn, this has led to a higher population density and a better market in the Nigerian Savanna for the Kofyar. These labor demands are met by labor mobilization, degree of flexibility, and type of compensation. They have continued behavior of firm, constant work, putting in an average of 1,600 hours per adult. They also demonstrate a balanced gender division of labor. Several institutions have resulted from this intense schedule of labor that the Kofyar may have otherwise never experienced, such as exchange of labor and beer parties. Overall it seems that the Kofyar have adapted extremely well to their environment, despite the many different and changing difficulties they face.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHEYENNE MCDOWELL: Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Stromberg, Peter J. Ideological Language in Transformation of Identity. American Anthropologist. March 1990. Vol. 92(1): 42-55

Stromberg tries to explain the use of specific language in the retelling of a story of conversion in Evangelical Christianity. He believes that conversions are not truly a religions event, but rather the influence of ideology. He contends that one does not truly change his identity, but is forced into believing a change has occurred because of the ideology bestowed upon them by the church, or any ideological system.

In his argument, Stromberg cites two specific conversations between himself and a converted Christian. He uses examples from these conversations to illustrate his point. The first of his subjects, Jean, uses various forms of the word “communicate” to describe her dealings with god and her family. Stromberg suggests that this proves her transformation or conversion was not an act of God, but more of a need to clarify herself as a moral person and to distinguish herself from her brother and parents. She also shows the need to fill emotional gaps in her life, which she seems to have filled when she asked God into her life.

His second subject, a man called George, had his “conversion” after a series of slip-ups in his life. He had lost his father, been divorced and lost touch with his children. At several intervals during his interview, he experiences the inability to convey his point; a problem which also led to his remarriage to his ex-wife. Stromberg believes that the inability to speak suggests that George has conflicts between what he wants to do and what he perceives to be “moral”. In that sense, George, despite his claims to conversion, still experiences the same problems that plagued him in the days before his conversion.

Stromberg tries to show that though both subjects claimed to have been transformed, have merely fooled themselves into believing they were transformed by an ideological system.

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

Sutton R. Constance, Lee Richard. Eleanor Burke Leacock (1922-1987). American Anthropologist March 1990 Vol. 92(1): 201-204.

The author in this article critiques the work and life of Eleanor Burke Leacock. The article begins with the death of Leacock in Honolulu on April 2, 1987, which was the result of a stroke suffered a few weeks after returning from Samoa. In her 40-year career she was to have a very productive life. She was a mother of four, chair of the anthropology department at City College/ Cuny for nine years. She was also known for being a big political activist arguing of the side careers for Third World women and any injustices or exploitations which where being carried out. Regarded as a leading U.S. Marxist anthropologist and feminist her body of published work included 81 articles and 10 books, which fell within the fields of education, women cross-culturally, foraging societies, ethnohistory, urban anthropology, and Marxist anthropology. She was educated on scholarships at Dalton School and at Radcliffe and Barnard colleges.

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

Phillip Walker and Barry Hewlett. “Dental Health and Social Status among Central African Foragers and Farmers.” American Anthropologist. June 1990. Volume 92: 383-397.

In the article, “Dental Health Diet and Social Status Among the Central African Foragers and Farmers,” Barry Hewlett and Phillip Walker make a comparative study of the oral health the Bantu and three Pygmy tribes. The study includes man and women in three age brackets: 20-40, 40-60, and 60-80. Walker and Hewlett specifically examined frequency of carious lesions, rate of attrition and rate of teeth retention. Oral hygiene was scored according to the amount of food debris and dental calculus.

Before making any surveys, Walker and Hewlett had to make ethnographic observations. It was noticed Pygmy people are foragers. They have the tendency of eating food as soon as possible with minimal preparation. Much of their food is gritty in texture. Pygmy people have little economic resources and cannot afford to buy refined sugar or carbohydrates. Bartering is not a feasible system because the nearest village is a twenty four-hour walk from their camps in the forest. As far as oral cleansing rituals, rinsing with water is enough for the Pygmy.

In Contrast, the Bantu are farming people. They have great access to carbohydrates and refined sugar. The protein to carbohydrate ratio is low. Their oral cleansing ritual includes chewing on tree twigs and leaves.

The result of the experiment showed great variation in the oral health between the Pygmy and the Bantu. In addition there was variation between the women and men within the groups themselves. Pygmy men have great access to protein. They are the hunters and frequently leave for extended periods of time to hunt. Meanwhile, the Pygmy women must eat berries or the few carbohydrates they have access to. It was found that the Pygmy has fewer carious lesions then the Bantu. Between Pygmy men and women, the men have a lesser frequency of caries. However, because their food is gritty and little oral hygiene is practiced they have a higher attrition rate and greater loss of teeth.

On the other hand, the Bantu have greater access to sugar and have a higher frequency of caries. Men eat more carbohydrates and as a result have more carious lesions than women. However, because their food is mushy, their attrition rate is low. The sticks they chew on are parts of trees that produce antibiotics. These antibiotics help reduce the bacteria in the mouth and reduce the development of periodontal disease. Lower frequency of periodontal disease results in greater tooth retention for the Bantu.

Overall the article was easy to understand. The researcher made their results more reliable by dividing their groups into age brackets. This was necessary as oral health declines with age. Attrition rate increases and tooth retention decreases when age increases.

CLARITY RANK: 5
CLAUDIA P. GUZMAN Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Watson Patty Jo, Fotiadis Michael. The Razor’s Edge: Symbolic-Structuralist Archeology and the Expansion of Archeological Inference. American Anthropologist Sept. 1990 Vol. 92(3): 613-627.

In this two part article the authors attempt to summarize and discuss a range of new themes in the literature on archeological theory with special emphasis on symbolic approaches. Finally they tie their arguments together by applying a structuralist analysis to Watson’s argument. Watson begins her analysis by examining a variety of critical reactions to new archeology. The first is the inadequate attention paid to site-formational processes, that is how an archeological site, and what cultural and noncultural forces affect it before and archeologist gets there. The second is the philosophy of science and the scientific method were oversimplified, or misinterpreted. Third that no attention was paid to the cultural meanings of material objects, and to the interplay between the symbol systems and the artifacts created by past human groups. The fourth is all causes for change or development through time were sought in the category of Eco-utilitarian or environmental mechanisms. Fifth and final was the research and results of new archeology were biased by the sociopolitical contexts of its practitioners. It’s these different analysis, which then bring the author to what she describes as the Razors Edge. The author explains that the razor’s edge that separates far extended inference about the past imaginative formulations free of empirical contact or content, but also slipping off it into the realm of ingenious but non-empirical and archeologically irrelevant exercises. The final comments made by Fotiadis examine Watson’s principal point which is that the intellectual concerns of sympahtizers which, prescribe a research program that cannot be implemented easily, if at all in prehistoric archeology; such a program raises questions that cannot be readily investigated by means of the archeological record.

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

Wolf, Eric R. Distinguished Lecture: Facing Power—Old Insights, New Questions. American Anthropologist September, 1990 Vol.92(3):586-596.

Wolf’s lecture addresses the problem of power and how anthropology has dealt with this issue in the past. He argues, “that we actually know a great deal about power, but have been timid in building upon what we know.” In the beginning of his lecture, Wolf divides the way we have thought about the use of power into four different modes. The first mode is that a person uses power as their capability and potency see fit. The second mode “can be understood as the ability of an ego to impose its will on an alter, in social action, in interpersonal relations.” The third mode is when the power controls the circumstances that people react and use their own power. The last mode is the type of power “that not only operates within settings or domains but that also organizes and orchestrates the setting themselves, and that specifies the distribution and direction of energy flows.” After he lists each mode, Wolf quickly explains what each mode means to him and how is he going to use it.

Further in the lecture, Wolf discusses the relationship between organizational power and structural power. Wolf mentions what he thinks the tasks of anthropology are, and how we can build on the work done by our predecessors by asking new questions. In the last two sections of this lecture, Wolf discusses organization and signification. He says, “organization is key, because it sets up relationships among people through allocation and control of resources and rewards.” Signification’s role in power is to uphold our realities and to fight alternatives to our reality. At the end of his lecture, Wolf thanks the “old generations” of anthropologists, but is clear with his audience that we can build on their work, we must not be afraid to venture into new work and new insights.

Throughout Wolf’s lecture he uses various secondary resources as evidence, and he cites many projects done by anthropologists. He specifically quotes three projects done in 1948-49, 1937, and in the 1960s. He uses them as examples of “what happens to people in the modern world and the questions raised about power, both tactical and structural.” In the end, the projects accomplished two things; the first is that all three projects called attention to history. The second thing in that the projects are able to focus anthropologists’ attention to processes conducted on a micro-scale.

CLARITY: 3
VERONICA M. ALVAREZ Baylor University (Tina Thurston)

Wynn, Thomas. Regional Comparison of the Shapes of Later Acheulean Handaxes? American Anthropologist March,1990 Vol.92: 73-83

Thomas Wynn addresses the question of whether the handaxes, from the Old World, specifically from different regions are similar in shape. Prior to his research a generalization about the handaxes was made and they were said to be “very similar.” Wynn analyzes the geographic variations, and the variations in characteristics. He studies tribes from Europe, East Africa, India, and the Near East.

Wynn documents the homogeneity of the handaxe shape. Before beginning his research he hypothesizes that he will be unable to identify any significant geographic trends in the shapes of the handaxes. Similar studies have been done, however, most comparisons were very specific and did not address the larger issue of interregional differences. In order to get a very broad perspective on the shapes of the handaxes in the different regions Wynn had to be sure to select a large and highly diverse region for sampling. He chose certain regions because they were believed to be similar. For example, African handaxes are supposed to be very similar to European and Indian handaxes, Wynn wanted to see if similarities did exist and distinguish the areas that had major similarities in their handaxes.

After his analysis was complete he discovered that his prediction was wrong and that handaxes shape did vary according to geography, particularly during later Acheulean. The hand axes were divided in to characteristic distinguishing groups, such as “wide” or “narrow” and similarities were found within those groups based on geographical location.

HERNANDEZ, ILEANA San Diego Mesa College( Denise Couch)