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American Anthropologist 1902

Bogoras, Waldemar. The Folklore of Northeastern Asia, as Compared with that of Northwestern America. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4 (4):577-683.

Bogoras studies the characteristics of approximately five hundred tales of the Chukchee, Kamchadale, Koryak, Kerek, Lamut, Yukaghin, Chuvantzy, Anadyr, and Inuit natives. Many times folk stories from the Northeastern Asiatic and the Bering Sea shore American Natives are strikingly alike. For instance, the subjects of animal stories are treated in the same way in the folklore of the Chukchee and of the American Inuit.

Bogoras totals the numbers of similarities and differences between the folklore of the native tribes studied. Some groups contain several tales that are identical, while others display only similar episodes within folktales. Comparisons lead to the conclusion that Chuckchee folklore is closely related to the folklore of both the Inuit and Northwestern Native Americans. Certain folklore comparisons suggest other West Bering tribes show much greater similarity with Northwestern Native Americans than with the Inuit.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Burkitt, Robert. Notes on the Kekchi Language. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):441-463.

Burkitt examines written Kekchi: prayers to the earth, curses, and the medicinal chants of a Kekchi doctor. Burkitt finds the Kekchi language unique in that attribute relation is not an independent device, but something evolved from predicate relation. Kekchi vowels are distinctly uttered, whether accented or not. In terminating a vowel sound Kekchi sometimes applies closing verb cords. Burkitt believes verb forms in Kekchi draw are similar to French, while verb endings are similarities to Spanish.

In addition to word structure and grammar, Burkitt is interested in the structure of Kekchi chants. He compares poetic Kekchi chants to the Greek Homer’s epics. Burkitt takes into consideration colonial Spanish translations of Kekchi. He believes they are unnecessarily wordy. The transition from the traditional Kekchi counting system based on twenty and the European system based on the number ten is reflected in the Spanish translations. Burkitt also reflects on his English translations of Kekchi. Burkitt’s lack of English words for the names of translated animals reveals that many American species at the turn of the century were unknown by Western society.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON: Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Chamberlain, Alexander F. Earlier and Later Kootenay Onomatology. American Anthropologist April-June, 1902 Vol.4(2):229-236.

Chamberlain examines Kootenay synonyms. He considers how older, and in some cases more simple, Kootenay terms relate to later and more complex words. Chamberlain illustrates that earlier synonyms sometimes exhibit more natural uses of words, and the later display the grammatical side of Kootenay language. The earlier words tend to be associated with indigenous characteristics while the later tend to be a result of contact with white men. Chamberlain points out that when encountering the synonyms it is necessary to know it is not always the case that the more ancient word is the shortest or simplest.

Chamberlain provides the reader with a seven page listing of Kootenay synonyms. He also presents grammatical explanations of the words. Chamberlain suggests the importance of studying the older and newer strata of words in aboriginal tongues.

JASON HULS Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Chamberlain, Alexander F. “Earlier and Later Kootenay Onomatology” American Anthropologist 1902 (4): 229-236

In his onomatology of the Kootenay tongue, Alexander Chamberlain examines a collection of words from this northwest American Indian language. He describes the Kootenay language as a development from an indigenous language, a derivation from the influence of English and European settlers, and an expansion from earlier, simpler forms of the language. In his explanation of vocabulary, Chamberlain gives several words for one definition or variations of the definition. The first word usually is the simpler form of the word. As he attempts to give a precise definition of the vocabulary, the author breaks apart the grammar of each word. According to him, in many cases, a particle, verbal modifier, radical, prefix, etc. addresses the meaning and further clarifies the origin of the word.

The word “brush,” for example, is yk’ kínmML. Chamberlain explains that the word implies “paint brush,” referring to what he deems a primitive way of painting. Yk’ k+n is a combination of grammatical components where the particle yk means “on”; the radical  means “paint”; and the particle kin means “with the hand.” There are several other definitions of words that Chamberlain believes were derived in a similar manner.

Another example illustrating the origin of the word and its definition is the word for “hammer,” which is pk’ pk. Just from sounding out the letters, the Kootenay word for hammer seems to be onomatopoeia—the word pk’ pk is formed around the imitation of the sound that the hammer makes. Chamberlain defines pk’ pk as “a word [that] properly signifies the old primitive stone hammer of these Indians.” However, the second word for “hammer” is tk’psEnw’tsEk ómML. The second word is the Kootenay description for the “white man’s” tool. The meaning derives from the actual utility of the instrument—“driving-in instrument.”

More examples illustrate the indigenous culture as an influence on the vocabulary. The words for “clock” are ntáník, meaning sun, and ntáník nán, meaning little sun. Chamberlain explains that with many “primitive” people the sun is a source of measurement of time. As the utility of the clock is the same as a use of the sun, the word for “clock” was derived from ntáník. A further analysis illustrates that the definition of a modern-day instrument attached to a traditional and cultural meaning or symbol is an important characteristic of that society. By looking at the definition of words, an anthropologist can use it as a representation of cultural themes in that society.

Chamberlain’s study of the Kootenay language not only gives the reader an understanding of the Indian vocabulary, but it also represents the importance of the definition as a tool in learning the origin of languages. As explained by Chamberlain, the definitions “suggest also the great importance of the study of older and the newer strata of our aboriginal tongues.”

Clarity: 4
ALISON BRILL Boston University (Parker Shipton)

Cutler, Elbert. Tropical Acclimitazation. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):421-440.

Cutler argues that colonial Europeans can acclimatize to tropical weather. The author disputes claims that Europeans transplanted to Africa, Asia, and South America deteriorate over colonial generations. Turn of the century scholars believed tropical heat caused malaria, hepatitis, anemia, and decreased reproductive ability in Europeans. Cutler argues that tropical heat does not cause these maladies in Europeans.

Cutler begins his refute by citing the overwhelming success of Europeans in the Southern United States and Australia. Using the work of Alfred Russell Wallace, Cutler demonstrates that malaria is not caused by heat. Cutler goes on to refute the idea that tropical heat causes increased anemia and hepatitis in Europeans. Cutler cites statistics showing no dramatic increase in these maladies across European settlements. Lastly, Cutler argues against the idea that tropic heat causes reduced reproductive rate in European colonialists. Cutler argues that new settlers in areas of tropic heat are not initially economically or psychologically established. Cutler states that over generations, as colonial wealth accumulates, colonial families in fact become larger in size. Cutler believes that European settlers can enjoy a healthy life and economically advance themselves by continued colonization of the tropics.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Dorsey, George A. The Osage Mourning-War Ceremony. American Anthropologist January-March, 1902 Vol.4(1):404-411.

This article is a description of the Osage mourning-war ceremony. Only three out of the four ceremonial days were actually observed in the writing of this article. An English speaking Osage who actually took part in the performance of the ceremony provided the other information. Dorsey writes that this article is incomplete and fragmentary and should be taken only as a valuable introduction to this ancient Osage ceremony.

The ceremony centers on the fact that the spirit of a dead Osage must be avenged. The ceremony is held for all dead members of the society ranging from children to warriors. The death is avenged by the sacrifice of the scalp of an enemy over the grave of the deceased. A very close relative of the deceased must carry out this part of the ceremony. Before the scalp of the enemy is obtained, there must be a war dance or a ceremony.

The chief mourner of the ceremony was the deceased’s father. The chief mourner has to prepare for the ceremony and choose the men who are going to perform. Then a time is appointed for the ceremony and all of the heads of the Osage families are notified. Many things go on during the actual ceremony, including face painting, singing and dancing, ritual activities, and the preparation of large quantities of food. The ceremony is filled with many details and lasts for four days. After the completion of the four days of ceremony, there are four more days of celebrating.

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

Fewkes, J. Walter. Minor Hopi Festivals. American Anthropologist July-September, 1902 Vol.4(3):482-511.

Fewkes describes the Hopi War Festival at Walpi, the Mamzrauti, Winter Sun Prayer stick making, and the Buffalo Dance in an attempt to salvage them before they disappear. The Hopi War Festival consists of three parts occurring on three different days. Fewkes goes into great detail while describing the three parts of the festival, as well as describing the individual prayer objects, altars and dances used in the ceremony.

The lesser Mamzrauti ceremony acts to complement the War Festival in that it gives the Hopi chiefs another occasion to present their rites. Fewkes describes the gathering and the dance involved in this ceremony. He describes the attire and wooden headdress worn during this ceremony.

The Winter Sun Prayer stick making ceremony takes place in an enclosed room similar to a kiva. Songs and prayers are described as to their impact on the magical powers of the priests leading the ceremony.

The Buffalo Dance is peculiar in that buffalo never ranged as far west as Arizona. Nevertheless, the Hopi still honor and worship the animal with this dance ceremony. Different pueblos perform each of the described ceremonies in different ways. Fewkes believes that understanding these ceremonies is critical to the understanding of Hopi culture.

BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Fewkes, Walter J. The Pueblo Settlements Near El Paso, Texas. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):57-75.

Fewkes studied Native Americans inhabiting five Texan pueblo settlements at the turn of the century. He originally concerned himself with the pueblo inhabitants’ traditional dances. These dances are conducted before Christian churches and have lost their original pagan meaning. Fewkes believes the inhabitants cannot give an intelligible explanation of the meaning of these dances due to the influence of Spanish Catholicism. The pueblo settlement dances are only permitted on certain religious holidays. Artifacts used during the dances resemble pagan-associated artifacts used in neighboring pueblos.

Fewkes’ study transformed from one analyzing traditional dances to one concerned with the preservation of traditional pueblo cultures. Fewkes stresses the importance of studying the pueblo settlements near El Paso. Specifically, he urges the recording and analysis of pueblo languages. Fewkes is confident that the settlements’ native language will not survive another generation; for no child can speak the language the old adults speak. Fewkes recorded a considerable vocabulary during his field studies at the settlements but has not yet transcribed the inhabitants’ traditional prayers. In addition, Fewkes stresses the importance of observing and recording how the women of the villages bake the traditional paper-bread and make traditional black ware pots.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Fishberg, Maurice. Physical Anthropology of the Jews. 1.—The Cephalic Index. American Anthropologist 1902 Vol.4:684-706.

The author reevaluates the question of the purity of Jewish lineage through cephalic data. The modern Jews of Europe are inconsistent with the idea that Semitic origins are dolichocephalic (longheaded). Analyses of Jews’ cephalic indices showed a tendency towards brachycephaly (broad-headedness) which implied intermixing or that Jews were originally broad-headed. The indices were seriated and graphed to determine if interbreeding had affected head shapes. The results from European Jews were homogeneous and the consistency of cranial type was more than any other civilized race.

The authors used the Boasian idea that the variability of head-form is greater when intermixture of two types takes place, i.e. the graphs would reflect two apices. If the Jews were Semitically consistent then long-headedness would persist. The Jews had homogeneous head-form but Jewesses were slightly more brachycephalic. However, this was not inconsistent with the notion that phylogenetically males vary more than females throughout the animal kingdom.

From cross-comparisons of data, the authors contend that homogeneous head-form is consistent with Jews and intermixture. There are inconsistencies that need further analysis, such as pigmentation and physiognomies, to determine more clearly the degree of intermixture among contemporaneous Jews.

RANDY INGRAM Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Fletcher, Alice C. Star Cult Among the Pawnee-A Preliminary Report. American Anthropologist October-December, 1902 Vol.4(4):730-736.

Fletcher writes about the influence and importance of a Pawnee cult centered around star worship. The Pawnee once lived in the area that is now Nebraska, but they were relocated to northeastern Oklahoma after Europeans reached America. Fletcher focuses on the organization and cult of the Skidi band of Pawnee. Within the Skidi band there are several villages that each have their own sacred articles, which they keep in a shrine. Each village is a representative of a star, which is believed to have given them their symbolic articles, rituals and ceremonies. Almost every aspect of the five main Skidi villages is related to their individual star, including its name, geographical location and spatial relation to other villages. The western-most village of the Skidi band was the most important, in that all of the other villages in the band were referred to as branches of this village. The ceremonies associated with the shrines of the other four villages relate to activities such as planting, harvesting, hunting, change of leadership, and honoring warriors.

Fletcher’s Pawnee informant described the ceremonies of the star cult as, “giving an account of creation, the establishment of family, and the inauguration of rites by which man would be reminded of his dependence on Tirawa, of whom he must ask food.” Tirawa refers to a higher power that the Pawnee revered as above all other stars. There is a fundamental message in the star cult ceremonies; the duality in the universe which is similar to that between males and females. The importance and influence of the cult can be seen in the earth lodges that the Pawnee constructed to represent the stars. The stars the Skidi band worshiped is not known, but Fletcher believes that they may be the four main stars of Ursa Major.

BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Fletcher, Alice C.. Star Cult Among the Pawnee A Preliminary Report, American Anthropologist 1902 Vol. 4 pp.730-736

Alice Fletcher documents the astrological symbols of an American Indian culture in Star Cult Among the Pawnee. She notes the historical diffusion of beliefs and rituals throughout American trade and pilgrimage routes. Fletcher focuses on the Pawnee perception of the stars and its effects on village planning and indigenous mythology.

Up until the late nineteenth century the Pawnee inhabited the Platte River in what is now the Midwestern state of Nebraska but were exiled onto reservations in Oklahoma. Fletcher investigates the Skidi Pawnee clan who portray astrological themes in village construction. Skidi comprise five functioning villages, each containing ritual icons for the worship of certain constellations. Each village took on characteristics of certain star systems, and ceremonies were initiated to celebrate the astronomical rhythm of favorite constellations. The geographic location of five Skidi villages in relation to one another corresponded respectively to the constellations to which they were symbolically attached.

The stars were, and are, an important part of Pawnee mythology. At the top overseeing all of creation is the god Tirawa, who represents the primal universal principle. Below Tirawa are the galaxies that protect and guide lower forms of physical reality. Planet Earth is connected to certain astronomical constellations such as the Pleiades and Draco. Some clans have believed that earthly human origins might be located in far off galaxies. Fletcher notes that ceremonies and rituals help to reinforce this version of the creation myth. These ceremonies portray the Pawnee perception of duality in the universe, an even split of male and female qualities. The star systems of the West represent the feminine principle, while the male influence rises on the eastern horizon.

Fletcher explains how the earth lodge abodes that the Pawnee build are based on constellation patterns. The circular floor connects man to earthliness, and the rounded roof the arching sky. Four cedar logs prop up the roof and represent the four most powerful Pawnee clans. A ritual star shrine points towards the West, a conduit for devotional energy toward the female constellations.

Alice Fletcher begins an intriguing study of astronomy and astrology as adapted by one Native American society. The Pawnee transform observation of stellar patterns into village planning, hut construction, and religion. These tribes had an intensive ritual life that took place at shrines dedicated to the night sky over the flatlands.

Clarity Ranking: 5
RALPH BACHLI Boston University (Parker Shipton)

Gatschet, Albert. Onomatology of the Catawba River Basin. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):52-56.

The Native Americans residing in the South Eastern region of the United States are grouped into six linguistic families. As a result of European expansion, the original language families’ influence upon or contact with one another remains uncertain. Gatschet concerns himself with the extent to which Catawba was influenced by neighboring languages. The Catawba language appears homogeneous in its lexicon. This allows reliable studies concerning the penetration of other linguistic factors. Gatschet believes foreign language penetration into the Catawba language should be compared to the foreign influence other language families of the area experienced. Gatschet’s study of the South Eastern Native American languages reveals that local names applied to rivers and landscapes of the area exhibit foreign elements that were possibly imported from the West Indies.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Gordon, George Byron. On the Interpretation of a Certain Group of Sculptures at Copan.American Anthropologist Jan-March, 1902. Vol.4(1):130-143.

Gordon discusses the similarities between two sculptures, X and Y, that were found near the great plaza at the Maya site of Copan. Focusing on the presence of certain characteristics, such as horizontal and vertical bands tied in knots, Gordon argues that although the sculptures were found in different places, they were found in similar contexts and are almost identical in design, which merits studying them as their own group. He attempts to answer the questions of the age of the sculptures relative to the dates of the later era, and whether or not that question can be answered by the inscriptions themselves.

Gordon focuses on the relationship between the designs on these sculptures and the Maya calendar. He attempts to show a relative age between these two particular sculptures and the dates of the later era of the Maya culture. He points out that there are a total of six bands that are tied together and divide the block into four equal areas, in which human figures are seen pulling on the knot. He also mentions that in Mexican picture-writing, this era was represented by a bundle of sticks tied with cords, and the name of this period literally means “the binding up of the years.” He also relates these sculptures to others of its time which show similar bands, knots, and numerals which represent days of Cycles of Great Cycles.

Gordon concludes that not enough is known about the intricacies of the Mayan calendar to fully understand the dates that are depicted on these sculptures. One of the main problems is that it is not certain whether the beginning Katun was denoted by a one or a zero.

NICOLE ROTH Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Gordon, George Byron. On the Use of Zero and Twenty in the Maya Time System.American Anthropologist April, 1902 Vol.4(2):237-275.

Gordon herein discusses the usage of the Maya time system to analyze and recreate the historical timeline of Chilan Balam, Tikal, and Copan. To explore this set of data, Gordon used multiple photographs of replicas of glyphic calendars recording various fifty-two year Mayan time increments.

Two distinct methods are used to represent Maya time: numerical symbols that are composed of dots and lines, and pictorials of faces. Both methods appear to be used to identify the same time periods and sets of numbers, however no purposes for the emergence of two distinct sets of measurement have been found. The significance of the numerals zero and twenty in the Maya calendar system has been widely disputed. Zero has been interpreted as originally representing twenty, and then later being set aside to serve another purpose while suggestions for the numeral twenty’s placement in the system include twenty as a final day of the month while concurrently serving as the eve of the next month.

Gordon believes a juxtaposition of the symbols for the numbers four and five appear to represent the number twenty. This theory is based on characteristic differences described, a comparison between the pictograms of one and twenty, and is variant upon the initial day of the fifty-two year period in the Mayan calendar that was drawn upon by scholars to further understand the time system.

ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Grinnell, Bird George. Cheyenne Woman Customs. American Anthropologist September, 1902 Vol.4(3):13-16.

Grinnell writes about Cheyenne woman customs from puberty to childbirth. An old Cheyenne woman told these customs to him. Grinnell starts by explaining what happens when a young Cheyenne girl has her first period. The girl is kept away for four days with her grandmother and at this time her father will announce to the community what has happened and gives away a horse. He notes that women during menstruation must stay away from any sacred object and the husbands will not lie next to their wives for fear of dying in their next battle.

Another custom is for women not to have their second child until their first is ten years old. At this time the husband and wife publicly announce their news and give away a horse. After the birth of a child, the mother will not breast feed, but another women will feed the child for four days. After the new baby is healthy the father will again give away a horse.

ALICIA HOLMBECK Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Grinnell, George Bird. Cheyenne Woman Customs. American Anthropologist. September, 1902 Vol. 4 (3): 13-16.

George Bird Grinnell’s article describes rituals once practiced by Cheyenne women, but no longer used at the time. At first menstruation, adolescent females went through a purification ritual. They were painted red and cleansed with smoke from a fire. After this, the girl left with her grandmother for four days to live in a small hut outside the village. The girl’s father publicly announced the important family event to the village and gave away a horse in honor of the event. After the four days passed, the girl was again purified with smoke and could return.

During menstruation, the girl could not live near or touch medicine, shields, weapons, or anything sacred. Young men could not eat or drink from the same dish as a menstruating woman, for fear that they would be wounded in the next battle. For these reasons, women usually spent almost all of their four days of menstruation in the lodge.

Nor did married women sleep at home during their menstruation. If they did enter the home, it had to be purified with burning juniper leaves and sweet grass before a shield owner could enter.

The Cheyenne customarily waited ten years between the times the first and second child were born. When the second child was conceived at this time, a large dance or public gathering was thrown and a horse was given away as a celebration. To make this announcement of a successful period of abstinence was a great credit to the self-control of the parents and was praised by the community. When any child was born, the father’s female relatives made a cradle and presented it to the parents. The child did not nurse from its mother for four days, so the mother could rest. Once the child was strong, the father gave away his best horse to friends or family.

Clarity Rating: 5
DANA CHITWOOD Boston University (Parker Shipton)

Hewitt, J.N.B. Orenda and a Definition of Religion. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):33-46.

Hewitt compares Western concepts of environmental surroundings with the ideas and concepts held by Iroquois Native Americans. Hewitt claims Western civilization’s ideas are grounded in science, while Iroquois Native Americans’ ideas are grounded in mystic mythology. Hewitt states that Iroquois other non-Western groups believe hypothetic magic is the property of all things and the cause of all phenomena and activities of the environment. Hewitt discusses hypothetic magic and mystic potency using the term orenda. Hewitt believes religion is defined as any systems of words, acts, devices, or combinations of these employed to obtain welfare or avert maladies. In contrast, orenda is an imitative representation or dramatization of the operations of the mystic potency subsumed in the environing bodies. Hewitt compares the Iroquois to “savage man” who conceived the diverse bodies in the environment to possess inherently mystic potency and to be living, thinking, and willing.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Hewitt, J.N.B. Orenda and a Definition of Religion. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4): 33-46.

Hewitt attempts to define an Iroquoian term by elaborating on all the situations in which it might be used. What he terms “Primitive man” believes that all material objects have life in them. His world is small and egocentric. All movement and action are governed by supernatural powers. Since most movement is accompanied by sound, all sounds (especially specific human utterances) carry mystic powers.

Shamans study ways to control nature, through verbal spells. Iroquoian tribes refer to all of these magic potencies as orenda. Shamans are believed to have powerful orendas. Orenda is also often used to account for one’s skills on a physical or mental level. Orenda is a concept that applies to all things. Animals’ orendas bring about meteorological and seasonal changes. Humans or animals are not blamed or credited for their actions; their orendas are considered strong or weak. For example, a hunter who returns without a kill would say that his orenda was inferior to his quarry’s. All struggle in nature is seen as a struggle of conflicting orendas. An orenda can be omnipotent, capable of giving life, causing death, cursing, and enchanting. It is instinctively and naturally expressed. Orenda is used not only to describe capabilities and powers, but also their effects. A mystically significant utterance is an orenda, as is a change that it causes.

ALAN BAUBONIS Boston University (Parker Shipton)

Holmes, W. H. Flint Implements and Fossil Remains from a Sulphur Spring at Afton, Indian Territory. American Anthropologist January-March, 1902 Vol.4(1):108-129.

Holmes describes the entire process of excavating and interpreting the flint and fossil artifacts from the sulphur spring in Afton. He begins by detailing how the site was found and how he came to work at the spring. Step by step details are given as to the excavation methods and the difficulties that a sulphur spring can cause for an excavation. Holmes lists all of the fossil remains that were discovered, most importantly the mammoth and mastodon bones. The flint implements, mainly points and knives, were found in direct association with many of the bones, as would be usually seen in an occurrence of hunting.

Holmes gives alternate theories than just hunting though, namely that the spring was thought, by indigenous people, to have some “power”. Therefore local people may have made offerings of bones and stone tools to the spring, accounting for the archaeological finds. The material used to make the stone implements is also described by Holmes, as well as the type of bone and antler tools found at the site. He concludes by making cross-cultural comparisons between several Native American tribes to try and explain the deposits in the spring at Afton.

BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Holmes, W.H. Fossil Human Remains Found Near Lansing, Kansas. American Anthropologist September, 1902 Vol.4:743-752.

Holmes discusses the age of the human remains unearthed at the Lansing, Kansas site near the Missouri River. He briefly describes the work conducted at the site by his colleagues, who were responsible for the excavation and cranial examinations. Holmes is interested in the age of the formations with which the remains are associated.

Holmes questions whether the remains were deposited at the site before the end of the Wisconsin Glaciation. After examining the cranial remains, a colleague concluded that the remains are similar to most Plains Indians. The uncertainty of the age of the remains is derived from the fact that they were buried under twenty feet of deposits. Initially, the earthen deposits suggested great antiquity. However, after examining the earthen deposits Holmes concluded that the deposits are materials derived from the area, spread out by local flooding of the Missouri River, and not the result of glacial flooding. In conclusion, Holmes believes the remains should be classified as post-glacial, which is in agreement with the conclusions of his fellow researchers.

ROB O’BRIEN Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Holmes, William H. Sketch of the Origin, Development, and Probable Destiny of the Races of Men. American Anthropologist April-September, 1902 Vol.4(3):369-391.

Holmes discusses the striking physical unity among the “races.” Holmes believes it is necessary to compare humans to the apes. He uses images of humans and apes to illustrate how very similar all types of humans are when compared to apes.

Holmes notes that geological formations will, in good time, yield ample evidence of the direct genetic kinship of man with ape forms. He believes anatomy and embryology will yield more convincing proof that, “in his origin proud man is linked with Nature’s humbler children.”

Holmes presents several proto-cladistic models depicting how humans and apes evolved. He believes the first humans were restricted in area, as present day apes are restricted to small geographical areas, and that they eventually spread gradually from the restricted area into the various continental areas. After migration, the homogeneous characteristics of humans became widely separated and thus resulted the physical diversity and “races” of humans today. Holmes concludes by pondering the destiny of the human species and includes seven possible courses of extinction.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Holmes, William H. Sketch of the Origin, Development and Probable Destiny of the Races of Men. American Anthropologist 1902 Vol. 4 p369-391

In this article, Holmes attempts to lay out a brief history of the origins of different races, describe the shared characteristics of man, and predict that all races will eventually become one homogeneous type.He uses many diagrams to display the range of possible origins of living forms and how they flourished or became extinct.These show that many species have come about and then ceased to exist through their inability to compete.

A regular species that developed on much of the Earth was man, whom Holmes categorizes in four groups: Caucasian, Mongolian, African, and American (Indian and Eskimo). All of these races were alike in their key features, the author states; they shared in the “physical unity of the races of men.” Divergence beyond that unity comes from a biologically innate tendency to vary, as well as from influence from sundry environments and the process of selection.

Holmes outlines stages of development, including a period of specialization and a period of expansion.In the final part of his essay, Holmes outlines his predictions for “the inevitable course of human history.” According to his stages, in the third period, races will cease and become one generalized race in which the most dominant traits will be integrated. In the fourth period, humans will have populated every inch of the planet and exhausted all resources. At this stage, Holmes offers several possibilities for the imminent decline of the species. They include the possibilities of humans degenerating into savages, the water of the earth drying up, the earth falling out of its orbit, comets or other wandering bodies hitting the Earth, and other apocalyptic outcomes. He closes with an assured idea of our inevitable extinction along with the Earth’s destruction.

Rating of clarity: 4
PAULA CROSSFIELD Boston University (Parker Shipton)

Huxley, Henry. Preliminary Report of an Anthropological Expedition to Syria. American Anthropologist 1902 Vol.4:47-51

An archaeological expedition to Syria took place, beginning in the summer of 1899, led by Howard Butler. It was accomplished over a course of two trips ending in June of 1900. However, Huxley stayed for another year studying physical anthropology. He worked in close association with Franz Boaz and F.W. Putnam.

Huxley began his work by learning a practical knowledge of the Arabic language. He lived in various places, beginning with a small village called Bhamdun. His studies consisted of collecting various stories and songs of their culture. His travels then led him to the Malulu people, Fellahin people, Anezi Bedawins, Fan ish-Shemali residents, and Kasr Khulef residents. He traveled throughout these and other regions accompanied by a few native people. His methods of study were photography, taking physical measurements of the people, and recording descriptive physical characteristics. In further studies, he did statistical work in the area of age grouping, he noted distinct religious practices, and he described building structures. Huxley obtained and collected a number of skulls from Samaritan and Bedawin cemeteries, along with a variety of costumes and sent them to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

MICHAEL WAHLS Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Jenks, Albert Ernest. Economic Man – A Definition. American Anthropologist April-June, 1902 Vol.4(2):201-206.

Jenks confronts the realm of material possessions and its impact on early twentieth century American economics. The author defines what he calls “economic man” by looking at differences between primitive and modern American people and culture. The differences bring about change that is primarily due to economic sense, a unique mental attitude toward goods and services, which is the mark of the economic man in 1902.

Jenks compares what he calls natural man and economic man. Natural man produces only what he needs and immediately wants; economic man produces and traffics consumable goods for future gain. The author stresses the importance surplus has on an economy. He believes it is the surplus that provides man with desired leisure time; however, it is the notion of future gain that is the true driving force behind the economic man. Jenks brings up the subtle evolution of economics in America in the early twentieth century. Simple barter systems lead to the production of a surplus and the superior nation will supply the desired wants of other people.

MATT EKLUND Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Kroeber, A.L. Preliminary Sketch of the Mohave Indians. American Anthropologist April- June, 1902 Vol. 4(2):276-285.

This article is principally concerned with a brief overview of the author’s time with the Mohave Indians. Kroeber made two trips, characterized by their brevity, to visit the Mohave, one in 1900 and one two years later. This work is most notable in that it is an example of Kroeber’s practice of salvage anthropology. The framework is structured so that this article is more of an ethnographic sketch rather than an argumentative paper. However, Kroeber does make several assertions within the paper. He suggests that the Mohave are in fact representative of their environment, in that they share many cultural features with their Californian and Southwestern neighbors. The paper is constructed around the larger concepts of environment, material culture, social organization, and Religion/Mythology with subsidiary concepts being addressed as well. Within each section a description is provided of the activities or beliefs that Kroeber sees as important and then any similarities or differences from the two neighboring cultures is noted and aimed towards proving the original postulate.

The data offered by Kroeber is representative of many different areas and times. Data is provided for mortuary practices as well as for the imparting of power to a Medicine-Man. There is virtually no information on birth and while Kroeber makes a point that the Mohave seem to have rigidly controlled racial boundaries, he does not explain the amount of trading for necessary items that he reports on. More detail is provided for the section on religious aspects than any other. Kroeber asserts that dreaming has an unparalleled importance in Mohave that is not seen in another religion. He uses the individualistic experience of the supernatural by the Mohave to better support his assertion that the Mohave are an intermediate group and this is reflected culturally in all aspects of life. Kroeber finds further support in the fact that the Mohave myths are similar to Navaho and Pueblo but have a single powerful figure more reminiscent of the Californian groups.

War for the Mohave, according to Kroeber, is more about obtaining distinction and receiving gains like the chieftainship, rather than about revenge and retaliatory actions. This is an instance where the Mohave reflect the Southwestern influence. The Mohave also have an incipient clan system. This system is described as one in which there are remnants of a clan system, reflected in name and inheritance, but is not used for many truly meaningful distinctions. This is demonstrative of another reason why the Mohave fall between two polarities: The Californians who have no clan system and the Southwestern tribes who have a full clan system. Much of the support provided by Kroeber is from his own ethnographic analysis from the brief time he spent with the Mohave. His support is very brief and subject to his interpretation of not just the Mohave but the comparison system as well. No outside corroborating evidence besides his own is presented.

IAIN PERDUE Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)

Matthews, Washington. The Earth Lodge in Art. American Anthropologist January-March, 1902 Vol.4(1):1-12.

Matthews states that most artwork and representations of the earth lodge in art are inaccurate. He examines errors in artwork drawn from several different sites ranging from the beginning of the 1800’s to the present. The architecture and artwork of earth lodges has been recorded in several ways: by etchings from artists viewing the lodges, secondhand artistic impressions based on an explorer’s written or spoken description, and from photographs.

Ethnological data gathered from the Mandan and the Omaha, is used in conjunction with Matthews’ previous work as a frame of authenticity. Artwork deviations are described by the author’s model of an earth lodge and are examined for validity and possible variation due to multi-purpose usage. Matthews concludes that the majority of the errors in the artwork are due to error not on the part of the artists, but of the ethnographer who is interpreting the earth lodge artwork.

ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Matthews, Washington. Myths of Gestation and Parturition. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):737-742.

Throughout America, islands of the Pacific Ocean, the eastern world, and in Scandinavia exists myths describing the human race as having originated within the earth and emerging to its surface through a hole in the ground. The ascent from the lower world is accomplished by means of a tree, vine, or reed, and a deluge is usually associated with the emergence. Matthews believes these are not merely myths of descent, but a representation of gestation and birth.

Features of these types of myths are suggestive to tocologists. In these origin myths the relations of the four wombs of the Earth to parts of the human anatomy are blatant. Matthews believes myths of these characteristics represent nothing more than what midwives behold while performing their duties.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Mason, Otis T. In Memoriam Thomas Wilson. American Anthropologist April-June, 1902 Vol.4(2):286-291.

Thomas Wilson was considered by many of his Anthropological Society of Washington colleagues to be the “most informed” man on prehistoric and protohistoric Europe. He was the Curator of the Division of Prehistoric Archaeology in the National Museum for several years of his life at which time he published many papers on varying anthropological topics.

Before his appointment to the Division of Prehistoric Archaeology at the National Museum in 1887 he traveled and studied in Europe for seven years. In 1881 he was appointed Consul at Ghent, Belgium. He researched “cave men” and the cave bear of the Mousterian epoch in Ghent until he was transferred to Nantes. In Nantes he was involved with work on the megalithic monuments at Brittany. Two years of his time abroad was spent traveling Europe and studying any and all prehistoric sites and collections he came across.

Wilson privately published only one volume, but he did publish thirteen papers on various topics during his time at the National Museum. A member of twelve different anthropological and cultural societies, Thomas Wilson was deeply involved in as many anthropological pursuits as were available to him. He was a respected authority in the United States as well as in Europe for his work investigating everything from cemeteries and caves to Swiss lake cultures and the hidden treasures of Etruscan tombs. He made numerous reports to the State Department on everything from the Treaty of Ghent to postal savings institutions. Finally, at the age of 70, Thomas Wilson passed away in Washington on May 4, 1902.

BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

McGee, W. J. Anthropology at Pittsburg. American Anthropologist July – September, 1902 Vol.4(3):464-481.

This article reviews the meeting of anthropologists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At this meeting, the American Anthropological Association was founded. McGee lists the various committees that were formed at the meeting and the members of each.

The committees presenting reports and resolutions were as follows; the Teaching of Anthropology in America, Anthropometric Measurements, the Protection and Preservation of Objects of Archeological Interest, and American International Archaeological Commission. Various anthropologists presented many papers as well; the author went into detail on each paper. The papers and anthropologists presenting them were as follows; “A Prehistoric Proto Rico” by Fewkes, “Classification and Arrangement of the Collections of an Anthropological Museum” by W. H. Holmes, “A Collection of Crania from Gazelle Peninsula, New Pomerania” by Dr. George Grant, “Square Occipital Congenital Pigmentation in the Sacro-Lumbar Region” by H. Newell Wardle, “The Aspects” by Dr. Charles Sedgwick Minot, “The Human Effigy Pipe taken from the Adena Mound, Ross County, Ohio” by Dr. W. C. Mills, “Micropscopical Sections of Flint from Flint Ridge, Licking County, Ohio” by Dr. W. C. Mills, “Gravel Kame Burials in Ohio” by Warren K. Moorehead, “The Hernandes Shell-heap, Ormond, Florida” by C. H. Hitchcock, “A Rare Form of Sculpture from Eastern Mexico” by Dr. M. H. Smith, “The Throwing Stick” by Dr. George H. Pepper, “Preservation of Museum Species” by Dr. Walter Hough, “Account of Anthropological Museums and Museum Economy” by Culin, “Methods of Collecting Anthropologic Material” by Dr. Harlan I. Smith, “Anthropological Museums in Central Asia” by Rev. Frederick Wright, “The Place of Anthropology among the Sciences” by W. J. McGee, “Explorations of 1901 in Arizona” by Dr. Hough, “Climatic Changes in Central Asia Traced to their Probable Causes, and Discussed with Reference to their Bearing on the Early Migrations of Mankind” by Rev. Mourning-War Ceremony” by Dr. George A. Dorsey, “Minor Hopi Festivals” by Dr. Fewkes, “Mortuary Ceremonies of the Cocopa Indians” by W. J. McGee.

The author ends with a list of several more papers, which were presented by title only due to the absence of the authors.

MELISSA ANN-TERESE BOCKER Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks).

Powell, John Wesley 1834-1902. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):564-565.

Major J. W. Powell is remembered as a prominent and adventurous scientist. Born in New York, Powell traveled to Illinois to receive a collegiate education and pursue a professional scientific career. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Powell joined the Union Army. Although Powell lost an arm at the Battle of Shiloh he remained in the service until the end of the war. Despite his handicap, Powell pursued rigorous scientific fieldwork after the war. In 1869 he led a party through the Grand Canon completing the most remarkable exploration trip made in North America. Soon after, Powell was appointed directed of the United States Geographic and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, the United States Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Ethnology. In 1979, as president of the Anthropological Society of Washington, Powell was among the founders of the Archaeological Institute of America. In addition, Powell was an editor of American Anthropologist and Science. Powell strived for the advancement of anthropology and geology up until his death in 1902.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Prince, Dyneley J. The Differentiation between the Penobscot and the Canadian Abenaki Dialects. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):17-32.

The Penobscot speak a characteristic Algonquian language that resembles more the idiom of the Abenaki than of nearer Algonquian neighbors. Prince’s examination of the Penobscot and Abenaki shows that both forms of Algonquian speech are sister dialects which sprung from a common language at a comparatively recent date. Prince believes the dialect differentiations took place between 1679 and 1901, during which time practically no communication took place between the two Native American groups. Prince believes nowhere among American languages does the philologist have such a favorable opportunity of determining the exact extent and period of time necessary for linguistic differentiation as in the case of the Penobscot and the Abenaki.

Prince examines modern Penobscot and Abenaki usage and the conditions of both these dialects in comparison with their common mother tongue, Old Abenaki. He is certain that the Penobscot system of intonation is the original of the two dialects. The differences between the dialects appear phonetic. Prince notes that the influence of colonial powers is reflected in both languages. Regardless, the grammatical structure of both dialects remains essentially the same. A comparative table of Old Abenaki, Penobscot, and Abenaki numerals illustrates the connection of both modern languages to Old Abenaki.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Prince, J. Dyneley. The Differentiation between the Penobscot and the Canadian Abenaki Dialects. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):17-32.

Using specific linguistic evidence, J. Dyneley Prince presents a strong argument that the languages of the Penobscot Indians and Abenaki Indians are sister languages that split from a common mother tongue, Old Abenaki, quite recently. The Penobscot Indians, who live near Bangor, Maine, speak a form of Algonquian speech which is closer to the language of the Abenaki Indians of Quebec, than to that of their closer neighbors, the Passamaquoddies.

The two dialects studied differ substantially in intonation. The Penobscots have a very complicated system of rules of intonation, accentuating words in a way similar to the singsong fashion of the Passamaquoddies. The Abenaki language, however, is very monotonous, every syllable receiving the same intonation. The author argues that the Penobscot intonation is the original system and the Abenaki language is the one that has diverged from Old Abenaki, because (1) the Penobscots could not have been heavily influenced by the Passamaquoddies because of the distance between the two groups, and (2) the Abenakis in Quebec have been surrounded by French speakers, whose system lays equal stress on each syllable.

The variations between the phonetics of the two dialects are evident in the vowel systems, as it is common for the vowels to change first as a language breaks away from a mother tongue. The consonant systems, however, remain almost exactly the same. The grammatical structures of the dialects are also fundamentally the same, and the differences in vocabulary are slight. In the author’s studies, 248 out of 315 words have close association, while 63 words (of the 248) have exact parallels.

Prince’s detailed analysis of grammar and vocabulary leads him to assert that the Penobscot dialect diverged from Old Abenaki somewhat less than the Abenaki. However, in preserving the ancient nasal sound, the Abenaki language is closer to Old Abenaki in terms of intonation. The Penobscot and Abenaki dialects are significantly different, but it is clear through the phonetic, grammatical, and vocabulary evidence presented by Prince, that both stem from a common mother tongue, Old Abenaki.

SARAH DARCEY-MARTIN Boston University (Parker Shipton)

Safford, W.E. Guam and its people. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):707-729.

Safford attempts to uncover the truth about the people of Guam. Even though Guam was the largest and the most important island in the United States, the people were considered to be of the lowest order of civilization, lacking agriculture, and ignorant fire making. Safford did intensive research on Guam and discovered that popular beliefs regarding the people of Guam were untrue. They had the best type of soil for rice cultivation in the U.S. They had good agricultural skills for their different vegetable crops and rice. The Guam people were not only good with food resources; they were also smart and very skillful in artwork.

In Safford’s closing arguments, he mentioned that in every society there is a chance of prosperity and downfalls, however, not all societies should be penalized because of their lack of richness compared to other societies. At the end of the article Safford said, “If wealth consists in the ability to gratify one’s wants, the people of Guam would be considered rich.”

KIMBERLY JONES Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Sebillot, Paul. The Worship of Stones in France. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(1):76-107.

Paul Sebillot’s work revolves around the historic rituals regarding stone worship in France. His first claim is that if archaeologists of the past had made inquiries among the country folk regarding the worship of stones, we would now have much more information than is currently in stock. Sebillot goes on to describe the immense number of significant stones throughout France and how one could not, at that time, make any definite conclusions from the geographic distributions of observations made regarding current stone worship.

In this study, Sebillot catalogues many practices regarding stones, including those connected with natural rock formations, those worshiped for their peculiarities, and stones connected with megaliths. Usually, the worship of stones dealt with favors regarding protection, fertility, health, and the endowment of curative abilities. Males and females often had different rituals performed at different times. Females would sometimes perform stone rituals in hopes of hastily gaining a husband. Sebillot describes an array of practices including rubbing on stones, sliding on stones, climbing, passing through or under, dancing around stones, and giving offerings. Certain fragments of rock were also said to have power for the possessor.

Sebillot explains why he did not compare his research to anywhere else in Europe. He felt that his work would be incomplete due to the fact that no one had created an inventory of significant stones for any other European country. A peripheral goal of Sebillot was to inspire American students to study stone worship among the aborigines of the New World, in hopes that comparisons would yield many interesting results.

JASON HULS Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Swanton, John R. Notes on the Haida Language. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):392-403.

The Haida language is based on a Skidegate dialect. The Haida phonetic system is similar to systems of neighboring Native American tribes yet does not require the same degree of stress in articulation. The Haida language is unique from neighboring languages in that it uses only six or seven vowels. In addition, euphonic changes are not so numerous in Haida as in many other languages. Swanton suggests this is due to the position of the Haida accent.

Swanton is impressed by Haida sentences because they are brought into close association with their verb by series of preceding elements which usually have the aspect of propositions, though sometimes also of substantives. In certain situations general meaning is associated with substantives. Unlike most American languages, the order of Haida pronouns is object, subject, and verb. Another curious phenomenon is the use of a final -s or -es replacing the regular past endings.

ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Swanton, John R. Notes on the Haida Language. American Anthropologist, 1902 Vol. 4: 392-401

John R. Swanton went to the Queen Charlotte Islands on the Jesup North-Pacific Expedition to conduct a study on the northwestern tribes of Canada. He focused on the Haida language and based his study on the Skidgate dialect. Dr. Franz Boas writes on the subject as well.

The phonetic system of the Skidgate dialect is similar to that of other coastal tribes in the region, as illustrated with the frequent occurrence and use of k- and l- sounds. There are several vowels that are recognized in Haida: i or e; A, a, `a, o, or u, `o or `u. Also, there is a recurring vowel that sounds like -ei but is written -ai. The euphonics of the Haida language are different from those of other languages as well. There are some consonants that are completely ignored within the dialect, while others transform into new sounds altogether. For instance A changes into -ao. Sentence structure relies heavily on the verb and verb stems. Pronouns always precede the verb.

Haida is unlike many languages in that a usual sentence order is object, subject, verb(395). When a pronoun is used once within a conversational context, the next verb does not accompany it. For example: “ldjila’da, ‘ I have (something just referred to) for bait” (396). There are no personal pronouns, and when possessives are needed, a series of words can be used to reflect the ownership of something. Na’Ga is used for the first person singular, where gia shows possession in general, i.e. ‘your thing’ or ‘your property’ (396). Expressing plurality of something is done with adjectives and in the context of the conversation. A demonstrative like a- expresses objects close by; wa-, things that are farther away. The demonstratives in Haida are highly developed. Two series of prefixes exist to convey action being preformed. The prefixes L- and da-, express ‘ to do things with the hands'(397). There are other prefixes to express action. The second series of prefixes refers to objects and their shape and size.

Suffixes serve a more complete and useful purpose than prefixes. Suffixes can help describe the type of movement being displayed, or direction of motions. They also describe frequency, action and its duration, or indication that one action is taking place simultaneously to another. The prefix Gam negates any phrase or sentence when placed first in syntax. The tenses known thus far are present, past, two futures, and a perfect and past perfect (398). Verb stems are monosyllabic and consist of a consonant followed by a vowel (399).

Clarity: 1
KATE ABNEY Boston University (Parker Shipton)

Thomas, Cyrus. Provisional of Linguistic Families and Dialects of Mexico and Central America. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):217-216.

Thomas attempts to simplify the linguistic grouping of languages in Mexico and Central America. Thomas stresses that various languages and dialects are no longer part of certain language systems. Thomas applies his study of languages no longer spoken in Mexico and Central America to support the simplification of language groupings.

In Mexico, the native languages of the Apache, Toboso, and Chihauachua are extinct. In addition, the Guatemala Mayan, Chuna, Lecan, and Chalnigia native languages are no longer in use. Thomas examines how native languages and dialects, spoken for centuries, were abandoned. Usually, the dominant cultures’ languages in the region replaced the native languages. Thomas believes the extinction of native languages strips cultures of their native heritage. In addition, Thomas attempts to relay the transition process of abandoning a native language for a politically and socially dominant language. Thomas stresses the need to thoroughly study the few native languages that remain in and are still practiced in Mexico and Central America.

Thomas does not only simplify linguistic groupings of Mexican and Central American languages. Thomas examines why certain languages become extinct, the consequences that languages have on cultural heritage, and the importance of studying and understanding native languages still in use.

KIMBERLY JONES Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Uhle, Max. Types of Culture in Peru. American Anthropologist December, 1902 Vol.4(4):753-759.

The goals of the study in Peru are to understand the development of its culture through time. This is done by first examining the stratification of the old temple of the god Pachacamac. At the temple graves earthen vessels were found and studied. Based on the characteristics of the vessels, they were divided into five separate culture periods. These results were supported by a second expedition to Peru when archaeologists excavated the ancient town of Chimus. This was the city were the Incas came into contact with the natives. During excavation the same style of pottery was found as in the fourth cultural period. This study helps to organize the Peruvian culture in its chronological position. In addition, the results have created a connection between the cultures of South and Central America.

MEGHANN O’BRIEN SMITH Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Wardle, H. Newell. Evanescent Congenital Pigmentation in the Sacro Lumbar Region. American Anthropologist July–September, 1902 Vol.4(3):412-420.

Wardle discusses a marking on the lower back and posterior region of infants and children through the ages of two to eight years. The author discusses the Amerindian, Polynesian, Papuan, Malayan, Indonesian, Negritan, and Mongolian peoples on which this mark occurs. The geographic area in which the blue-gray mark occurs is sporadic, from Greenland on the east to Madagascar on the west. Wardle goes on to discuss the different theories associated with this vanishing blue-gray mark and the different reasons these theories can be refuted.

MELISSA ANN-TERESE BOCKER Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Wardle, H. Newell. Evanescent Congenital Pigmentation in the Sacro-Lumbar Region. American Anthropologist. 1902 Vol. 4: 412-420.

In his article, H. Newell Wardle examines the information on the production of short-lived skin pigmentation in what he calls certain “races.” A large number of children of some dark races are born with birthmarks located on their legs, backs, arms, faces, and/or loins. These marks differ in size and color, from gray to blue-black or black, and eventually disappear as the child grows older. Several anthropologists have documented accounts of these transitory birthmarks in a wide-ranging geographic area, including Greenland, Vancouver, Hawaii, Samoa, Korea, Japan, China, the Philippines, the Celebes, Java, Malay Archipelago, Indo-China, and Madagascar.

Professor Baelz and Dr. Deniker believed the disappearing pigmentations to be Mongolian or Mongoloid because of the frequency among these children. W. von Bulow found an equal presence among Samoans, while Soren Hansen attributed the inherent pigmentation to “Negro” ancestry. Wardle argues, however, that it is not possible to assign the pigmentation’s origins to “prenatal influences of custom and environment peculiar to Mongoloid peoples” (p417), and he states that racial characteristics are dependent upon physiological causes.

In order to explain the disappearance of these marks, Dr. Chemin suggested that they were reserves of pigment used up in early life. Wardle speculates, though, that the colored areas were the basis of normal pigment for darker races, and the apparent birthmarks were located deep in the cells of the dermis where earliest deposit would be expected. However, Dr. Kohlbrugge found that the native children of Malay Archipelago were darker than adults.

Furthermore, if Wardle’s conjecture were true, the nuclei of pigmentation would be found in intrauterine Negroes. The data on this are inconsistent. Dr. Chapman stated that Negro fetuses were as pale as those of whites, and that the pigment developed in the deep cells of the dermis at or after birth. But Dr. Deniker found that pure Negroes did not have marks and the pigmented areas only occurred in mixed Negro-Indonesians. Dr. Baumgarten discovered a ninety percent occurrence in people of mixed European-Javanese background. Baumgarten also observed that full-blooded Europeans also occasionally, although rarely, had transitory marks.

Although Wardle has his theories on evanescent congenital pigmentation, his main purpose is to inform American anthropologists on the importance of discovering, studying, and verifying “fundamental principles of growth involved in the production of race characters” (p420).

Clarity Rating: 3-4
ERIKA BOAS, Boston University (Parker Shipton)