American Anthropologist 1914
Barbeau. M. Supernatural Beings of the Huron and Wyandot. American Anthropologist. 1914 Vol. 16:288-313
The article discusses the Huron and Wyandot people in relation to their beliefs about the supernatural. Power and attributes of the supernatural kind were given to mythological beings. The article says that there are three groups of supernatural abilities: primeval deities and races of dwarfs and giants, sky gods, and good and bad monsters. However, the article strictly deals with the “primeval cosmological deities and the sky gods” (288). The article says that these supernatural being were used to explain natural occurring events in the world for which there was no concrete explanation. The article gives many such accounts to explain how they interpreted their world. The article describes the many myths used to explain naturally occurring events. Stories consist of turtles, sky-women, sun and moon. The phases of the moon, for example, “are explained as periodical relapses into the original state of prostration that followed her disgrace; and the annual decline of the Sun seems to be a punishment inflicted by the Little Turtle upon him for his rash deed” (291). Death, according to the Huron and Wyandot is believed to be suffered by “the woman fallen from the sky, mother of the Twins” (296). Despite the fact that her identity is often confused with the mythological character of the grandmother, the duty of the dead woman is to take care of the dead souls who arrive curiously to the underworld. An important deity to them is described as the “Good twin” who, along with his twin brother, created what is known as earth. The article ends off by discussing some of the deities that are used for worship, most of which are men.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
LAURA DOBROVICKIY York University (Naomi Adelson)
Bingham, Hiram. The Ruins Of Espiritu Pampa, Peru. American Anthropologist January- March, 1914 Vol.16(9):185-199.
This article provides insight into the archaeological study of Inca civilization in Peru. In 1902, local prospector Lopez Torres discovered remnants of Inca culture near a region called Conservidayoc. However, Torres had died and there were no official documents to validate this discovery. After hearing this information, author Bingham began his exploration to verify Torres’ reports. Bingham proceeded through the mountainous terrain and discovers a small plain called Espiritu, Pampa. Because of high elevation (3,300 feet above sea level), dense forest and jungle it became increasingly difficult to access Espiritu, Pampa. Upon the discovery of the land, it was evident that humans had in fact inhabited Espiritu. With the help of a topographer Bingham was successful in retrieving valuable information and statistics. Pierced grave stones, large jars, bronzed axes and stone mortars were among the articles found in Espiritu. The ruined buildings that were discovered in the villages were plastered with mud. These were unquestionably of Inca architecture, due to the niches being symmetrically arranged. He succeeded in proving that the ruins in Espiritu, Pampa belong to the ancient Inca peoples.
Bingham is very descriptive and provides explicit details of his discovery. The diameter and shape of each dwelling that is discovered is recorded and charted. As he tries to piece together remains of the Inca culture, he assumed what types of rituals or events may have occurred in each room. With the addition of photos in this article, it is easier to relate to the Inca culture.
ZEHER CHADI University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Bingham, Hiram. The Ruins of Espiritu Pampa, Peru. American Anthropologist 1914. N.S. Vol.16:185-199
Hiram Bingham writes an account of his exploration of the ruins of Espiritu Pampa, Peru. He gives a short background that while visiting a man in Peru in 1911, he learned of a local prospector named Lopez Torres who had discovered some Incan ruins in 1902. Unfortunately, Torres had died by this time, so the author had to find his own way to the hidden ruins. This article gives information on the layouts of the buildings and artifacts that were found in the ruins of the Incan village.
WAYLAND GILL York University (Naomi Adelson)
Emmons, George. Portraiture Among The North Pacific Coast Tribes. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol. 16(4): 59-67.
In Emmons’ paper, he writes about portraiture among the North Pacific Coast tribes. He discusses the importance of these portraits to the members of the tribes. After Emmons talks about the importance of the portraits, he then writes about two stories to give a better understanding about what the portraits represent and the importance the portraits have to the Indians. He then goes on to talk about how the arrival of the Europeans and missionaries changed the artisanship of the portraits and the Indians way of life. Then he compares our knowledge to their knowledge of the portraits and what they represent.
These portraits represented the Indians social organization and semi-religious worship of ancestry. The portraits and their meaning played a big part in controlling the people’s actions and the portraits were greatly respected. These portraits also created a form of competition between clans.
The way of life and beliefs the Indians have today, are much different from the way of life and beliefs the Indians had at one time. Due to our civilization and commercialism the perfection and meaning disappeared in the art that the Indians found so much pride and had belief in. The Indians’ portraits represented important people; as well these portraits had spiritual meaning. Our interpretation of a portrait and their interpretation of a portrait are two different things. The Indians had strong feelings toward their portraits, as they were symbols of important people in their lives. According to the author, following the trader came the missionary, causing things to change, including the spiritual meaning of the portraits. The missionary “discouraged all social and shamanistic observances and abolished ceremonial paraphernalia.”
The author however only discusses the importance of the portraiture; therefore, we don’t get to see how other beliefs or aspects of the Indians lives changed. However this article is important because it shows how our influence changed an important part of the Indians life and culture.
SAMANTHA BIDLOCK University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Emmons, George T. Portraiture among the North Pacific Coast Tribes. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol. 16(N.S.): 59-67.
In this article, Emmons discusses the lifelike carvings of the North Pacific tribes. These originated from the worship of ancestry and the importance of it within these tribes. The competition between tribes contributed to the design and craftsmanship in the statue-like carvings. Therefore with the chiefs demands for lifelike art, these statues or busts arised.
He gives us an example of a story in the Tlingit Myths and Texts by Dr. J. R. Swanton. This story revolves around a chief and his dead wife. The chief wants to get a statue done of her. The chief finds a carver of great skill and later dresses the statue and sits it down. The statue is so lifelike that people from villages far away come to see it.
The statues would have been impossible without the acquiring of European iron; so work
of this detail would have been impossible before. The gradual disappearance of this work was inevitable because of trading and also missionary work. These works are very rare and expensive; therefore only three were found within the Kitishan and the Nishkar. These figures were called Kitumghun and were made of wood with jointed limbs for maneuverability. An example of this was in the village Kitwankool where a portrait figure was placed on a box (which contained the cremated remains) and attached it to a totem pole. The figure’s limbs had dowels at the knee and elbows so it could be seated and also was dressed, but very little clothing remained. His face indicates he was young and presumably of a higher class.
This work was very uncommon and difficult to trace in other tribes and was dissociated from the work of totem poles. Although similar works in masks were found, the resemblance of craftsmanship was never duplicated.
CLARITY RATING: 4
JOHN PARENTE York University (Naomi Adelson)
Fewkes, J. Walter. Prehistoric Objects from a Shell-heap at Erin Bay, Trinidad. American Anthropologist, 1914 Vol. 16 (10):200-220.
Fewkes, author of this article, examines the cultural origins of the potters of earthenware he found in a shell-heap at Erin Bay, Trinidad. He provides a historical account of the area before launching into a detailed description of the excavated remains and ends his paper with a conclusion of the findings. Throughout his article, many references and comparisons are made to the discoveries and writings of previous travelers and archaeologists of the region.
Fewkes opens with historical references to Columbus’s third voyage in 1498, noting descriptions of aboriginal sightings on the journey and comparing them with accounts from other writers who have traveled to the region. It seemed that descriptions of inhabitants and their tribal names vary from account to account. Pure blood aborigines speaking any aboriginal language no longer remain on the island, though some have aboriginal features.
The aborigines of Trinidad and islands of the region have practiced the potters’ art and Fewkes devotes a large part of the article to detailing his examination of the ceramic remains. His excavation took place at the largest shell-heap on the island, known as Tcip-tcip hill in Erin Bay and revealed not just pottery, but handles of vessels, bone and wooden objects and stone implements. It had been excavated prior to the author’s arrival, and previous discoveries had revealed evidence of Indian settlement. Yet, he found many marked differences – the shape of bowls and rectangular receptacles were unlike those of West Indian pottery. Some of the vessels and handles resembled turtles, reptiles and sharks. He excavated stone implements similar to those from the West Indies, almond shaped celts and a pendant similar to polished green petaloids collected at Porto Rico. Bone and wood objects were discovered as well, among them a black finger ring worn by natives of the West Indies.
The pottery excavated in Erin Bay reflected potters whose art was influenced by cultural proximity and their natural environment. In form, they were similar to Antillean pottery but had handles with elongated heads similar to those of Porto Rico. There were also ornamented figures similar to those found in St Vincent and Grenada. In general, Trinidad pottery also showed more resemblance to South American pottery then that of the northern islands of the West Indies. Fewkes concluded that while the pottery of Trinidad had a likeness to those of the islands of the West Indies, special ceramic culture developed locally in different islands.
Through the excavation and study of pottery, Fewkes seeks to find further information on the native people of Trinidad. He casts doubt on conclusions drawn from previous excavations at Erin Bay and asserts a different opinion on the cultural origins of the aborigines of Trinidad. The findings and the conclusion are well presented and the article is an interesting read.
CHIA YUEH JEAN University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Fewkes, J. Walter. Prehistoric Objects From A Shell-Heap At Erin Bay, Trinidad. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16:200-220
In 1912, J. Walter Fewkes ventured to Lesser Antilles to gather data on the aborigines of these islands. The excavations deemed most important because of size and cultural value were made in a shell-heap at Erin Bay, Trinidad. The artifacts discovered consisted of different forms of pottery, stone implements and bone and wood objects.
Many reasons exist as to why Trinidad is good for the home of an aboriginal people, such as constant fresh water, an abundant food supply, lots of animals in the mountains and plains, a large amount of fish, mollusks, and crabs, and lastly, its soil yields a variety of edible roots and fruits.
Erin Bay is a small settlement in Trinidad consisting of a few shops, two churches, and number of houses along a main road that passes through the town to a warehouse on the shore. Large plantations can also be found there; however, they are considerably scattered. They produce profitable crops (chiefly cocoa and tropical fruits) that are shipped to Port of Spain for export.
The largest shell-heap in Trinidad, locally known as Tcip-tcip hill, is situated at Erin. It is a short distance from the shore and it covers many acres, forming a considerable elevation. The shells in this mound can be found in layers along with vegetable mold, ashes and soil, forming a sticky mass that clings to the artifacts and almost makes them unidentifiable. Frequent fragments of charred wood could also be distinguished. The entire surface of the mound allowed for dense growth of tropical vegetation, with some clearings for cocoa and plantains.
The majority of fragment found at Erin Bay was pottery. The pottery was painted bright red, although the color is now worn, showing gray beneath. This occurred because of washing off of the mud surrounding the pottery and primarily due to the fact that the color was not permanent. Most specimens of this pottery are located at the Heye Museum. Two kinds of pottery exist, glazed and unglazed, with the latter dating back to a time before the discovery of the New World. The following specimens are figured by Collens: a hollow stone used as a hard, smooth pestle for pounding their seeds and grains, a well-shaped squirrel or perhaps a toy whistle, heads of animals in burnt clay, and an earthen bowl in fine preservation. The best entire vessel excavated by the author is a shapely brown vase that was buried two and a half feet below the surface, in a thick layer composed wholly of shells. It appeared to have been abandoned or dropped by the owner. The shape of this vase is uncommon among prehistoric West Indian pottery. It is a bowl with a circular ring at the base, allowing stability, and another feature of it is incised decoration. Many fragments of red and green pigment were found in the mound. Other artifacts pictorially represented in the article are a small pottery rest, a decorated rectangular clay box, which is interesting because this form was rare among West Indian pottery, fragments of a turtle effigy bowls and an elaborately decorated food bowl that is the finest specimen found at Erin Bay. The last artifact represents the highest type of incised decoration capable of an Antillean potter. The well-made pottery at Erin Bay suggests an agricultural and fishing population.
In addition, sections of rims and handles were also found at Erin Bay. Some of the handles were mere knobs or bosses, whereas other examples were in the form of elaborate heads. One of the most elaborate heads was thick and broad, with the key feature being that if the handle was turned in two different ways, two different heads could be represented. A common form of pottery is a design that resembles elongated heads of reptiles. The rims found at Erin Bay were often enlarged, or turned back, and are usually ornamented with figures as in the pottery from Grenada and St. Vincent.
Stone implements were another group of fragments excavated at Erin Bay, consisting of celts, axes, chisels, pecking-stones, mortars, pestles and other forms. A number of almond-shaped celts were collected in Trinidad. The most interesting axe was flat, with notches cut at opposite edges. Several stones were evidently used for pecking other stones or for pounding pigments or bruising roots. Circular stone disks were also found, likely used as grinders. Animal bone objects were also found among the heap along with a fine black finger-ring, similar to other rings worn by natives of the West Indies. It was made from a seed of the gougou palm.
It should be noted that throughout the article are a number of stimulating sketches of the pottery found at Erin Bay.
LISA ARGENTINI York University (Naomi Adelson).
Fewkes, Walter. J. A Prehistoric Stone Collar From Porto Rico. American Anthropologist, 1914 Vol 16:319-330
This articles deals with a detailed description of a stone collar found near Arecibo, Porto Rico. The collar is made of a hard, light gray andesite or diorite with its surface fairly smooth but not finely polished. It measures 15 and 11 inches in greater and lesser diameters respectively. The article focuses on various parts of the stone collar, including its features, the three pointed idols with heads, the two lateral appendages, and the decoration.
However, the articles specifically focuses on the what the author feels is a highly conventionalized head, with accompanying pits or circles that the author feels are eyes. The collar also seems to possess legs, which would prohibit their identification as serpent idols and would weigh against acceptance of the opinion that the head on the collar represents a snake, were it not for the fact that primitive man is not always consistent in fashioning his image. The decoration on the panel borders of different stone collars falls naturally into a series passing from realistic to conventionalized figures.
The article goes on to compare the stone collar to other collars that have been found throughout the world including one found by Professor Mason and said to be from Guadeloupe, and stone collars in the Latimer collection. The article compares and contrasts the stone collar with various other collars and come to the conclusion that wherever we have figures cut on decorated panel borders, they probably represent a head, body, arms, or legs often highly conventionalized and sometimes lost.
This article does an excellent job of describing and interpreting the stone collar found in Porto Rico. It is a good article to read if you are interested in classification and interpretation of archeological data.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
SHANE MATTE York University (Naomi Adelson)
Fewkes, J. Walter. Prehistoric Stone Collar from Porto Rico. American Anthropologist April-June, 1914 Vol. 16 (2):319-330.
In this article Fewkes takes a close look at some inconsistencies of primitive man as found in recurrent symbolism in Porto Rican prehistoric collars and three pointed idols As a catalyst for this examination, Fewkes uses an oddity present in a collar uncovered near Arecibo, Porto Rico. The collar was at the time owned by Mr. Leopold B. Strube, and is thus referred to as the Strube specimen. This piece has two distinguishing features: 1) the presence of a solo head figure, and 2) the orientation of the three points idol figure.
The three pointed idol refers to the recurrence of three points created by a central point and two adjacent points rising from the crest of decorative panels on such collars. In the pieces Fewkes looks at the central point as representative of a head and the two adjacent points representative of two angular appendages of the body commonly thought of as the forelimbs. This Strube collar shares this set of symbols with other such collars. A defining feature of this piece is that the central point or head symbol is inverted such that the jaw of the image is at the crest of the point and the eyes are imbedded in the valley of the other two points. This feature is not uncommon as Fewkes points out that it is only an indicator of a “right handed collar”. On the left handed collars the central peak is the top of the face and the mouth is opened downward.
In this piece there is also a solo head styled in the same way as a more elaborate three point idol carved from a knob located away from the decorated panel and border. Before having examined this piece first hand, Fewkes received sketches of it and believed the prominent idol figure to be of a snake head. If this were true it would have implications on the culture it came from. Fewkes shows however that this head is formed from forehead to chin horizontally on the cylindrical collar and thus does not allow for prominent appendages to be displayed, where as in the three points idols the head is in a vertical position. In the three points idols the head is depicted with appendages supporting the idea that the animal is something other than a snake. Fewkes then continues by looking at the implications of this figure as it ranks in a line of more elaborately to less elaborately detailed pieces.
Fewkes fails to make any prominent closing statements other than to support the already accepted views that the Strube specimen symbols are simplified heads of some possibly reptilian animal other than a snake, and that the decorative symbols are still up for speculation.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
DANIEL H. VANZANT Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Freire-Marreco, Barbara. Tewa Kinship Terms From the Pueblo of Hano, Arizona. American Anthropologist N. S. 16, 1914 : 269- 287
In “Kinship Terms From the Pueblo of Hano, Arizona”, Freire-Marreco provides an account of kinship terms and relationships among a native American community in the early 1900’s. The information was documented during a visit to the Tewa village of Hano, Arizona on the First Mesa of the Moqui reservation from January to April 1913. The terms were obtained through direct questions to the people through interpreters as well as study of daily word usage.
The most important social unit at Hano was the clan. These clans are matrilineal and marriages are exogamous and matrilocal. As a point of comparison, when the article was written, clanship among the Tewa pueblos of New Mexico had become less important and kinship was more patrilineal. Although both Arizona and New Mexico groups used the same kinship terms, usage had become inconsistent in New Mexico, with many local variations.
The first three fifths of the article is a glossary of kinship terms. In keeping with a matrilineal society, the majority refer to males and females on the mother’s side of ego’s family. Terms for those on the father’s side of one’s family tended to be more generalized.
The final portion of the article illustrates the kinship relations in a more concise way than can be easily derived from the glossary of terms. It is written in a first person narrative style from the perspective of a hypothetical Tewa girl.
The head of a household was the maternal grandmother. She owned and distributed the food, held the religious paraphernalia of the clan and directed the household work. Below her in authority were her brothers and sons who are referred to with the same general term. Although they call the grandmother’s home their own, these men are typically married and live in their wives’ homes. They will often eat, invite guests and act as masters in the grandmother’s home; they only provide materially (food, firewood, etc.) to their wives’ homes. Below these men in authority are the grandmother’s daughters, the eldest of which shares in some of the grandmother’s responsibilities and authority.
In almost daily contact with the household were the husbands of the household’s women. They were all referred to using a term roughly equivalent to ‘bridegroom’. A biological father belonged to his mother’s clan and was considered to be more distantly related to his children than the grandmother’s brothers and sons. Freire-Marreco suggested, however, that there was a close emotional relationship between a father and his children. A father’s mother had the added honour of cutting the children’s umbilical cords at birth and conducting the naming ceremony. Close and friendly contact was also kept with the children and wives of the household’s men and the clan of one’s maternal grandfather.
People of the village that are outside one’s clan were collectively referred to as ‘the people’. They were often seen as disagreeable, envious and even hostile to one’s own clan. There are, however, friendly relationships with clans related by marriage in other villages.
The article concludes with a detailed set of rules regarding forbidden and undesirable marriages, exogamy being the rule.
The glossary tends to use sentence fragments which can occasionally make meanings unclear. Freire-Marreco also has an unusual tendency to use middle-English words such as “thou” and “ye”. Whether this was intended as a transliteration of Tewa terms, or intended for clarity (so to distinguish second person singular from second person plural) is unclear. Also, because of the nature of a glossary, it can be difficult to mentally sort the kinship relations. The first person narrative is very effective in summarizing and ordering terms and relationships.
The article is a comprehensive account of the kinship terms of the Tewa of Hano Peublo in Arizona, in the early 20th century. More than half of the article is glossary of these terms with the rest being mostly a composite first person narrative which helps clarify and summarize the terms.
JOEL CURRIE University of Alberta: (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Freire-Marreco, Barbara. Tewa Kinship Terms from the Pueblo of Hano, Arizona. American Anthropologist N.S. 16, 1914. 269-287.
Barbara Freire-Marreco spent four months in the Tewa Village of Hano on the First Mesa of the Moqui reservation in Arizona documenting their kinship terms and comparing them with the Tewa kinship terms of New Mexico. Her article is comprised of an introduction and general explanation about clanship, along with terms, definitions, examples and familiar illustrations, which the author explains are “useful to add a brief outline of their relation to daily life.” New Mexican Tewa variations being referenced are found in brackets following the Hano terms, and it is noted which variances are obsolete or exceptional.
The Tewa of Hano use a matrilinear clan system. Their marriages are matrilocal and the clans are exogamous. In contrast, the Tewa pueblos of New Mexico trace their descent paternally with less emphasis on clanship and more on family (father-mother-and-child). In spite of this contrast, all the Tewa use the same kinship terms, albeit inconsistently and with variation.
Terms used express the relationship of individuals and clarify any barriers, particularly those found to marriage. For example, respectful terms are used regardless of age, gender or relationship to distinguish elders [elder sister, younger uncle] or to mark generation gaps. Concerning marriage examples, in the familiar illustration, the author uses the voice of a young Tewa girl to more fully define the term father or tada. “One of these is my father’s clan, in which all the men and boys, irrespective of age, are my tad’i “fathers”.
Some definitions are expanded to include the origins or to give contextual meanings to a term that has more than one definition. For example, sick people often attach themselves to a another man who “thinks strong” and thereafter, call him tada “father”.
The quantity or use of the kinship is not always reflective of the standing within the community. Although the term ‘father’ is observed frequently, the author uses the familiar illustrations to show how relationships operate in daily life. For example, she cites “our mother’s mother as the owner and dispensers of food, guardians of the clan’s religious items, and the person who “gives orders.”
In addition, the author notes that the “circle of familiarity” is marked by the use of kinship terms that end at the village, unless you are considered clan. With the rest being merely “the people are not good”.
CLARITY RATING: 4
ALISON PENTLAND-FOLK York University (Naomi Adelson)
Gilbertson, Albert N. In Memoriam: Alexander Francis Chamberlain. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16:337-348.
Albert Gilbertson dedicates his entire article to the life and accomplishments of Alexander Francis Chamberlain. Dr Chamberlain was an anthropologist who lived from 1865 until 1914. He had a great and lasting influence on the field of anthropology in both North America and Europe. Gilbertson proves the influence Chamberlain had on anthropology and the important role he held in shaping this science with a description of Chamberlains achievements and attributes throughout his life.
Dr. Alexander Francis Chamberlain dedicated his whole life to the study of anthropology and made many important contributions. He was born in England, but soon his family settled in Ontario where he went on to University of Toronto with honors and a scholarship. He achieved his B.A. in modern languages and after a couple of fellows and earning his M.A, he accepted a fellowship in Anthropology at Clark University. Chamberlain attained the very first Ph.D. of Anthropology given at Clark University, which was the first in America to offer classes towards such a distinction in Anthropology. His main focus was on languages and he did field work with the Algonquian and Kootenay tribes in Canada. He became an authority on Native American linguistics and even compiled a Kootenay dictionary. Dr. Chamberlain wrote for and edited many journals on subjects such as folklore, archaeology, psychology, anthropological literature and he wrote groundbreaking articles in many encyclopedias (see pages 343-348 for a partial list of publications). He also belonged to numerous learned societies throughout the world. Dr. Chamberlain was a student under Franz Boas and was his successor at Clark, where he became a professor.
Alexander Francis Chamberlain’s greatest achievements were not in all his accomplishments however, but in his ideas and attitudes. He was a big believer that religion was a major aspect of culture, and at the same time totally disregarded the theories that cultures evolve, perhaps evidence of his learning under Boas. He appreciated the “primitive man” and recognized universal characteristics of being human. He fought for human rights and world peace, and taught these values to his students. Chamberlain also emphasized in his teachings the importance of the history of religions when studying cultures. He found the education and lives of children to be very significant to anthropology. Dr. Chamberlain held the role of literature in society in high regard and was himself a published poet. He even wrote an essay describing connections between poetry and science. While his natural optimism and cheerful disposition made him a natural teacher, his ideas made him a good teacher in his time.
STEPHANIE FRIEDMAN University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Gilbertson, Albert N. In Memoriam: Albert Francis Chamberlain. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16:337-348.
Alexander Francis Chamberlain was born January 12, 1865, the eldest son of George and Maria Anderton Chamberlain, of Kenninghall, Norfolk England. Chamberlain’s family moved to America when he was just a boy and finally settled in Peterborough, Ontario. He attended the University of Toronto on a scholarship and received a B.A., with honours, in modern languages and ethnology. Chamberlain became a fellow in modern languages at the University of Toronto and continued his anthropological studies, being especially interested in the Mississaguas of Scugog and the Algonquin tribe. His anthropological studies were included in his thesis, and he received his M.A. from the University of Toronto in 1889. In that same year, Chamberlain accepted an anthropological fellowship at Clark University. He received his Ph.D., in 1892, from Clark, which was the first university to offer the Ph.D. in anthropology. He researched and wrote his dissertation under supervision of Dr. Franz Boas. In that same year, when Dr. Boas left the University, Dr. Chamberlain was made lecturer in anthropology, yet he was not made full professor until 1911.
Dr. Chamberlain’s articles were published in journals both in America and Europe. His was on the editorial staff of several journals including the Journal of American Folk-Lore, American Anthropologist, and the American Journal of Archaeology. Dr. Chamberlain also wrote many articles for encyclopedias including an article on North American Indians for the Encyclopedia Britannica.
One of Dr. Chamberlain’s fundamental beliefs was that there is “not a single thing in ideal civilization not foreshadowed in primitive life.” And his appreciation of primitive man was exhibited in his essay called “The Human Side of the Indian.”
As well as Dr. Chamberlain’s anthropological interests, he also was very interested in politics, and was an advocate of international peace, woman’s suffrage, and labour unionism. Dr. Chamberlain also loved poetry and simplicity and felt that family life was very special. At his death on April 8, 1914, he was forty-nine years of age.
RYAN MASON York University (Naomi Adelson)
Goodard, Pliny Earl. The Present Condition of Our Knowledge of American Languages. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.XIV No.25 pp.555-
An update of the then “present” knowledge of North American languages, this article reviews all relevant current and previous projects and publications on all known North American languages. The main purpose of which is to allow the scientific community to keep itself organized with the multitude of work yet to be completed. This article is both praise for the work already done, and encouragement for work to continue. Drawing from many sources, Goodard separates the known languages into six categories (Keep in mind the date of this information is 1914):
-Nearly Extinct Stocks (
-Stocks Satisfactorily Studied
-Stocks on Which Work is Progressing
-Stocks Practically Untouched
-Stocks Presenting Comparative Problems
The separate sections move through the languages alphabetically, identifying the area in which the particular language is or was spoken and past or current studies on the language. Goodard includes a brief synopsis on each study and their conclusions. Most of the data presented in this paper is strictly empirical. Goodard makes almost no inferences whatsoever, and uses this paper merely as a collection of knowledge that would allow further work to be done upon it.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
UNKNOWN University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Goddard, Pliny Earle. The Present Condition of our Knowledge of North American Languages. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16:555-594
This article is Goddard’s documentation of what has been accomplished as well as what subjects remain to be studied of North American languages. American languages have been given attention by various groups, he says, noting the importance of the work of missionaries in early linguistic studies. Goddard states that the numerous dictionaries and documented grammar of Native American languages are the result of “really effective missionaries” who devoted themselves not only to speaking the foreign languages fluently, but also to constructing new ideas from them. The missionaries’ propaganda and educational work was also eased with the use of dictionaries.
Goddard notes several people who were of great importance to early linguistic studies (1600-1800s). John Eliot , one of the first and best known missionary students of the field, mastered the Algonkian language, translated the Bible and published a paper on the grammar. Stephen R. Riggs, in the language of the Eastern Sioux, translated the Bible and published a grammar and dictionary. Riggs is recognized as being of greater importance because as a result of his work, the Sioux learned to read and write their own language, which enabled the elderly tribe members to record accounts of their lives and ceremonies. Rev. James Evans eased the task of teaching Indians to read and write their own languages with an invention, described as “a system of syllabic characters”.
The bulk of this article consists of the author’s documentation of the research that has been done (up to 1914) on North American linguistics. All of the known languages are placed into one of six groups: (1) Extinct Stocks, (2) Nearly Extinct Stocks, (3) Stocks Satisfactorily Studied, (4) Stocks on Which Work is Progressing, (5) Stocks Practically Untouched, or (6) Stocks Presenting Comparative Problems. The languages placed in each group are acknowledged and for each, Goddard provides a short paragraph, which includes by whom and where the language is (or was) spoken. A description of what studies have been done, and by whom, on each language is also presented. All of the information presented is purely data—Goddard draws no conclusions on the results of the studies.
Goddard concludes by emphasizing the importance of preserving records of every language spoken, and in doing so, making the records “thoroughly intelligible for all time.”
ELLEN BLOCKER University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Grinnell, George Bird. The Cheyenne Medicine Lodge. American Anthropologist, 1914 Vol.16 : 245-256
The article addresses the misconceptions surrounding the Sun-dance in the contexts of Medicine Lodge ceremonial practices. The misconceptions stem from the reactions of Indian Agents who believed that the ritual was intended to create warriors that could threaten the state and Christian missionaries whom upon seeing this ritual performed believed that they were witnessing a form of torture antithetical to their religion. Both parties agreed that the Sun-dance must be stopped so they persuaded the government to intervene. Noting that several ethnologists also subscribed to this notion, Mr. Grinnell through his understanding of the importance of this aspect of Medicine Lodge ceremony seeks to disprove these misconceptions.
Mr. Grinnell shows that the Sun-dance is not central to the Medicine Lodge ceremonies, but is part of it. The Medicine Lodge is a religious ceremony, which everyone in the community must attend, for to do otherwise could bring misfortune on the individual and this misfortune could spread to others. At the Medicine Lodge, blessings are asked for and sacred operations are undertaken because; it was held that Medicine Lodge ceremonies were a most fortuitous time to do so. The Sun- Dance is usually undertaken as a payment for a vow fulfilled from a previous Medicine Lodge. The Sun-Dance itself; which is detailed in the article is an incredibly painful and taxing trial to undergo. It involves inserting a strip of wood underneath the flesh of the celebrant’s chest, then tying a rope around the strip of wood and tying that to a vertical pole stuck firmly into the ground. The celebrant then begins to either try to pull himself free or dance around the pole for several days non-stop in order to have visions. Sometimes the celebrant would simply attach a rope to him/herself with beef-heads attached to the other end and then drag them around behind. The reason for the Sun-Dance, Mr. Grennell states, “…was a sacrifice of self to bring good fortune or to avert misfortune in the future, or else was the carrying out of some instruction received in a dream.”(247).
It was ethnocentric ignorance that led to the outlawing of the Sun-Dance and changed the whole lifestyle of aboriginal groups who had formerly practiced this. Mr. Grennell explains that undergoing the ceremony of the Sun-Dance served to create a feeling of loyalty among those involved in the soldier societies in that his comrades would seldom let the soldier undergo the suffering alone. As well Grennell concludes that the Medicine Lodge is only a form of summer dance common to many tribes.
CRISTIN CORCORAN University of Alberta (Dr Heather Young Leslie)
Grinnell, George Bird. The Cheyenne Medicine Lodge. American Anthropologist 1914.Vol.16:13pp245-256
The Medicine Lodge ceremony was very important to many Aboriginal cultures. It was performed during times of great need and also if a member of the society envisioned the ceremony. The ceremony was associated with severe forms of personal sacrifice and many people, including government agents, believed that the sufferings endured by men at these ceremonies was a normal and necessary part of the Medicine Lodge ceremony itself. They therefore they condemned the ceremonies. Grinnell asks the question: Were these tortures, suffered by men at the ceremony, a part of the actual ceremony itself?
According to George Bird Grinnell, the tortures and sufferings that took place at the time of the Medicine Lodge ceremony had nothing to do with the ceremony itself. Normally, this was a ceremony full of ritual, sacrifice, and dance, which celebrated life and growth. The Medicine Lodge, argued Grinnell “seems only a form of the Summer Dance common to many Indian tribes”. However unlike the other summer dances, the Medicine Lodge was chosen by those enduring the suffering to be the time and place of such.
Grinnell believed that the best way to prove that the suffering had nothing to do with the Medicine Lodge was to analyze both of the ceremonies in detail. By interviewing a man involved in the suffering and priests of the Medicine Lodge he came to some conclusions about the nature of the sufferings.
The first man who underwent the personal suffering did so because his son was very ill, and in order to safe his child’s life he decided to make a sacrifice, to swing to a pole. A dream told him this is what must be done. The time chosen by all that undergo the suffering is during a Medicine Lodge. The Medicine Lodge isn’t a ceremony to make a warrior or to prove ones strength through torture, it is a celebration of life and rebirth. There is no better time to save a life, sacrifice one’s self for prosperity, or to show loyalty, than during this celebration. When questioned about these tortures having anything to do with the Medicine Lodge the Priests showed bewilderment at the thought. According to Grinnell, “each man earnestly and positively declared that the torture had no relation whatever to the ceremony”.
This research on the Medicine Lodge definitely affected anthropology, in that it changed the way many viewed these ceremonies. Not all anthropologists agree with Grinnell but it gave them a new perspective on the rituals and ceremonies of these peoples.
This article displayed great clarity. It had a very well stated argument and the way the author organized his data was clear. It was quite easy to understand as well as being fairly interesting.
NATHAN CONNOR University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Grinnel, George B. The Cheyenne Medicine Lodge. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol. 16: 245-256
George Bird Grinnel writes about a prominent, and controversial at the time, religious ritual, the Sun Dance of the Plains Indians. He considers the ever-changing nature of the ritual and insists on the need to speak about the process and correct many flawed understandings.
Grinnel speaks about earlier writings on the ceremony that say the ceremony was a form of torture for making ‘warriors’; others claimed it was a test of endurance. At one point in the late 19th century it was argued by missionaries that the torturous ‘religion’ was wrong and the Sun Dance was forbidden in many places. The argument surrounding torture in the ceremony continued.
Upon considering the Cheyenne Indians, the author insists that the physical sacrifice of the body was not about ‘making warriors’, for endurance, nor was it in fact any part of the ceremony. Grinnel states that the physical sacrifice, a ritual that has been universally carried out for as long as religion, was merely a gesture of loyalty, the sharing of suffering with a ‘friend’. The author justifies this reasoning by saying, “As ‘civilized people’, as the Priests of Baal consume the sacrifice of Eleijah and cut themselves with knives as they pray to him, and as woman of today fasts during lent, the ‘primitives’ practice such rites.”
As we read through the details of the ceremony, told to the author by a Cheyenne named Little White Man, we can admit concurrence. Little White Man, formerly known as Bird That Calls (utters a cry), made the sacrifice in order to save the life of his first child when he was very sick. Upon completion of the ceremony, Little White Man sat in a sweat lodge with no other people than those who had been through the ceremony before, and after 4 days his body was ‘his’ again. Grinnel draws parallels from this loyalty; others spending time in the Medicine Lodge with those who performed the ceremony, as well as the person who gave his body as a sacrifice, to the rituals of soldier societies. This ‘torture’ is not associated with the Medicine Lodge ritual as is thought.
As Grinnel describes, the Medicine lodge is considered “the renewing of the earth”. Once a sacrifice has been given, there is a purification where one does not eat, allowing a ‘rebirth’, ‘a return to growth’, which happens in the Medicine Lodge.
KARRIE SANDFORD York University (Naomi Adelson)
Hagar, Stansbury. The Maya Zodiac at Acanceh. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol. 16: 88-95
The zodiac was an important part of the early American culture. The Mayans and the Mexicans are two of those early mezo-American societies. The purpose of this article was to interpret figures found on a wall in Acanceh, Yucutan. The author, Stansbury Hagar, set out to refute and clarify some of the previous interpretations done by a Professor Seler. Included is a reproduction of the wall, along with Hagar’s detailed explanation of each symbol and figure. Each figure was given a Mexican and/or Mayan name, and the figures were related to the common zodiac each culture shared. Although there are some figures missing from the wall, Hagar did an excellent job of interpolating what those figures may have represented. He also presented a table organising the figures and indicating to which zodiac sign they correspond. The author used some of his previous works to support his argument. He asserted that there is enough evidence to provide for the existence of a common zodiac known throughout the Americas. The article is a good starting point for someone researching zodiac symbols or systems. It lists other archaeological findings (like walls, city plans, and codices) that present a similar zodiac system.
This article demonstrates an interesting approach to anthropology. Where anthropologists trained in the Boasian schools were taught to simply record and report, Hagar interprets it. He placed the figures and zodiacs in a broader perspective, and situated this particular finding on the spectrum of what was popular knowledge at that time.
Overall, the article is clear and concise. A knowledge of Mayan or Mexican deities and zodiac symbols will help in understanding, but are not necessary.
CHERYL BLACK University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Hagar, Stansbury. The Maya Zodiac at Acanceh. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16:88-95.
The author takes as his topic an ancient wall that was found in Acanceh, Yucatan. The wall is forty feet in length, covered with stucco figures, and thought to be the zodiac of the Maya peoples. Hagar takes on the task of describing the inscriptions to the common public. The wall is divided into three horizontal parts and zodaic signs cover the three parts.
Symbols of the zodiac signs appear in the middle band and almost all have been found with few exceptions. Some symbols are missing or have been obliterated. From this basis, the author is able to deduct that the symbols in the top band refer to festivals determined by the zodiac. The bottom band is made up of symbols for the planets that are associated with the zodiac. This Acanceh zodiac differs from the American one in that there are tow symbols for each zodiac sigh. The author undertakes to explain all of the symbols occurring in the Acanceh zodiac.
Hagar also notes the similarities and differences between the Maya Acanceh zodiac and the Mexican, Mitta, Salcamayhua, zodiacs, etc. One of the similarities between the Maya and Mexican zodiacs is that there appears to be evidence of temples built in honour of the zodiac. The author also comments on the importance of the recurring symbolic signs of the zodiac from culture to culture.
KARA STEWART York University (Naomi Adelson).
Holmes. H. W. Areas of American Culture Characterization Tentatively Outlined as an Aid in the Study of the Antiquities. American Anthropologist September 1914 Vol. 26 (19) 413-446.
The author of this article addresses American culture in terms of the study of and how the study of antiquities allows the anthropologist to define regions of culture. This process also works in reverse, where the culture characterization aids in the study of antiquity. Overall, the article focuses on artifacts of various regions and from this explains the differences in cultures.
The author writes this article with the purpose of giving the reader an outline of the various regions of culture found throughout North America. The author explores various artifacts and draws boundaries between regions where culture seems to differ. The author concludes that a general division of eleven regions is applicable in defining the various cultures. The author argues that as the artifacts differ, so to do the cultures. In accordance with this, he also makes the argument that the more advanced the artifacts, the more “advanced” and “civilized” the cultures are. He argues that the anthropologist must observe the tribes in the present and historically to paint a picture of the culture. For examining the historical part of the culture, the author argues that the anthropologist falls back on the artifacts found in the various regions.
After noting which artifacts come from which regions, the author explores the similarities and differences between these artifacts and the regions. Knowledge of the native culture is evident largely through a study of the contents of burial mounds, housing, utensils, ceremonial masks, and various other artifacts found in the area. The author compares the making of the various artifacts and draws conclusions about the culture that created the various artifacts. For example, in his study of the Georgia – Florida area, the author makes the connection that the artifacts found in Florida more closely resemble those of the West Indies than those of the northern district of North America. In this way, the culture differs from the northern part of the country and is more like the West Indies. The author draws such conclusions between various regions in this way subdivides the Americas into areas of various cultures based upon the artifacts found there. Therefore, the same process applies to all eleven regions to provide a guide for the study of the antiquities and culture of the region.
VASILIOS GALANOPOULOS University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Holmes, W.H. Areas of American Culture Characterization Tentatively Outlined as an Aid in the Study of the Antiquities. American Anthropologist January-March, 1914 Vol.16(1):413-446.
In his article, “Areas of American Culture,” W.H Holmes explores antiquities and shows how “geographical distinctions characterizes the material culture of the past,” thus reaching the conclusion that relations between environment, man and culture play an important role in the analysis of aboriginal history. Holmes acknowledges that while conducting this analysis there will be a limited or overlapping of geographical and cultural information. Because of these limits and overlaps Holmes realizes that the analysis of the aboriginal history might not always be so easy to determine.
Before going into further detail, Holmes mentions to his readers that the analysis, which is viewed in the article is based on archeological and not ethnological evidence. This indicates to the reader that all the evidence mentioned in this article is based on artifacts that were discovered and not theories created by the anthropologist by studying the area. Afterwards Holmes informs readers that his analysis of aboriginal history will be based on the following areas: the North Atlantic, Georgia-Florida, Middle and Lower Mississippi Valley, Upper Mississippi and Lakes, Plains and Rock Mountains, Arid, California, Columbia-Fraser, Northwest Coast, Arctic Coastal, Great Northern-Central area and others. Holmes states that the geographical and cultural evidence that is found in all of these areas will help to differentiate and individualize between each culture within each area. He also claims that the analysis of aboriginal history is also meant to help his readers become more familiar with and hopefully rounds out the history of man in America. Holmes then continues the rest of the article by stating what has been discovered within each area.
In each synopsis of each area and what is discovered in it, Holmes first identifies what states or provinces occupy that particular area in the present time. Holmes then describes the geographical space within these areas, which aboriginal tribes once occupied or still occupies and how these tribes have evolved from the time of their ancestors. In each summary, Holmes informs the readers of the numerous artifacts found within each area and how they were used to help each tribe survive in their geographical space. After presenting the use of the artifacts in each area, Holmes states how these tribes were affected by European contacts and how some groups were affected more than others because of the environment they lived in. Through the description of the environment in each area, Holmes is able to present how much the tribes within in each area evolved during the historic and in some cases even the pre-historic times.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
SARAH CEREZO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Hrdlicka, Ales. Physical Anthropology in America. An Historical Sketch. American Anthropologist, November 1914 vol. 16 (24): 508-554.
Ales Hrdlicka’s goal was to recognize the founders of physical anthropology in America and the importance of the first institutions.
In the article, Hrdlicka named many people (about ninety) who contributed to the foundation of physical anthropology. Although he believed recognition of these scholars was necessary, he did not go into great detail about all of their accomplishments. However, he did describe in more detail the works of Samuel G. Morton.
Morton’s major contributions to the field of physical anthropology was craniographic research, the study of skulls. He gathered a large collection of crania from First Nations of North America. The aim of his most famous publication, Crania Americana was “to give accurate delineations (measurements) of the skulls” (Pg.515). In addition to Crania Americana, Morton also published more than twenty anthropology papers, mostly relating to America. His collection of crania was the largest and most valuable of anthropological materials that existed in his time. In reference to his collection, Morton established the main proportions of the skulls of many First Nations and provided skull comparisons of five human ‘races’.
Learning of the immense interest and following in the then growing field of anthropology was inspiring. Public curiousity exploded around the mid nineteenth century. This interest resulted in the growth of physical anthropology and later led to the development of academia in this discipline.As well as an outstanding bibliography, Hrdlicka provided a general overview of the history of physical anthropology in America. This article would be very useful if one was to complete a paper on history of physical anthropology.
Hrdlicka wrote a very informative paper with an abundance of information. However, because Hrdlicka was referring to ninety different people, it was overwhelming, a little confusing, and difficult to keep track of the various institutions and places.
CLARITY RATING: 4
JENNIFER GROVES University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Hrdlicka, Ales. Physical Anthropology. American Anthropologist, 1914: 508-554.
“Physical Anthropology” appeared in the American Anthropologist in 1914. It examines the early history of physical anthropology, or somatology, in the United States. Anthropology is a very holistic discipline and the article describes the origins of this branch of study.
The beginnings of physical anthropology as an academic field occurred during the early nineteenth century. American Indians were still prevalent in the United States and European Americans were interested in studying them. Government funded expeditions, like the travels of Lewis and Clark, encouraged such pedagogy. Academics initially tried to understand these unfamiliar and indigenous people through biological means and the article proceeds to list a myriad of people who did the first taxonomic classifications in somatology. These individuals were usually doctors or biologists making and recording observations about human skulls. Early projects seemed disjointed and unorganized as work was done independently and projects seemed to culminate with one scientist’s death.
Samuel G. Morton was one man whose work stood out in this cluttered history. Morton was a doctor in Philadelphia in the 1830’s and is credited as the founder of physical anthropology. He classified Native American skulls to illustrate the racial unity of all American nations. Despite the innocent intentions of early physical anthropologists, it is easy to see how race became entangled with biology. Race is a cultural phenomenon often created to subjugate certain groups of people. Biology can be used as a dangerous weapon when coupled with race to justify racial discrimination. It gives racism validity if one group can claim biological superiority over another.
ROBERT BAKER University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
Huckerby, Thomas. Petroglyphs of St Vincent, British West Indies. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16: 238-244.
Thomas Huckerby recorded and compared petroglyphs (ancient rock pictures) of the West Indies, in order to gain insight into the unknown prehistoric society (or societies) that created them. His goal was to contribute to the understanding of the Antillean culture and the effects of human migration to and from the mainland continent. Today, authors often examine sculptures, paintings, textiles, and beadwork, among many other pieces of artwork to give us insight into ancient societies. If we are able to decipher these pieces accurately, it is assumed that we can then understand the stories, the events, or even the religious beliefs of the people of the past. Information such as that found by Huckerby can now be used in order to do just that.
Huckerby began the article by giving a brief overview of the history in the West Indies, and more specifically of St Vincent Island. In his opinion, studying petroglyphs on this island was necessary because many have not been disturbed since the time of their creation, a unique feature among artifacts. He continued by examining the time period in which the petroglyphs might have been made. Here, although Huckerby discussed the presence of Indians on St. Vincent Island and the effects of weathering, he failed to connect these issues or to suggest a plausible time period. In the end, Huckerby was not able to assess with any degree of certainty, when these pieces had indeed been made. Next, Huckerby sought to discover which tribe was responsible for these art remains. Again the author admitted his many uncertainties, but was at least able to narrow down the petroglyph “The Petit Bordel” to it’s original creators: the Caribs. A tribe preceding the Carib conquest, he believed, most likely did all of the others. Finally, Huckerby examined possible explanations of the purpose behind the rock-engravings. He assumed that they were most likely created for religious purposes, either serving as religious objects or centers for religious worship.
Huckerby’s ideas seem unorganized at times, and it is sometimes difficult to see his direction with them. However, even though many questions are left unanswered, Huckerby raised some interesting issues and had clear documentation that will be helpful to future anthropologists.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
JENNIFER CONNOLLY University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Huckerby, Thomas. Petroglyphs of St. Vincent, British West Indies. American Anthropologist. 1914. Vol. 16: 238-244.
Huckerby gave an introduction on the history of the island of St. Vincent. He indicated that the importance of the rock-carvings would be realized upon fully documenting and comparing those that exist on various islands and the mainland. He suggested this under the assumption that artists of petroglyphs from St. Vincent would have brought distinctive implements from one’s homeland. He implies that research on the surrounding area would indicate the origins and development of Antillean culture. The article includes photographs of various artworks from around St. Vincent, along with descriptions of various plates, which illustrates the author’s argument as he dealt exclusively with this island.
Petroglyphs were divided into those being deeply incised, shallow, or associated with caves, and Huckerby suggests the type of toolkit required to produce each type of rock carving. He documented the location of the different types of carvings and indicated the possibility of a representation of different cultures or periods. Moreover, the author noted the implications of determining the timing of petroglyph creation in relation to the “antiquity of the aboriginal occupancy” of the island. He also acknowledged the difficulty in determining the aging effects of the natural weathering and erosion.
Huckerby asked the question “What tribe was responsible for these art remains?” and then went on to discuss the likelihood of a Carib influence. He suggested that the work was probably not Carib when considering the rock-carvings in relation to the Carib Invasion that occurred in St. Vincent. Huckerby also indicated that it is not easy to determine the significance of the petroglyphs to the artists who created them. He did suggest that there was some sort of “definite intention” as demonstrated by similar figures occurring at different sites.
Huckerby made assumptions based on petroglyph locations, such as the importance of fresh water or their importance in everyday aboriginal life. He also thought there was a lack of affiliation to Mexican culture. Descriptions of each individual plate (photograph of a petroglyph) reinforce Huckerby’s points on rock-carving location, similarities between different sites, and similarities to other cultural groups
HELENA KOSKITALO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Jenks, Albert Ernest. A Piebald Family of White Americans. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16: 221-237.
This article deals with four generations of one family, in which at least one member of each generation shows abnormal pigmentation markings of partial or imperfect albinism. The affected subjects posed vast
pigmentation “spotting” covering much of the body. Jenks was in contact with an affected member of the first filial generation and this male plays the role as the authors informant for the history of the family and assists
in constructing the pedigree for the four known affected generations.
The author in his study and research of these subjects is not able to identify the cause of these markings but does attempt to show that the markings do not have any adverse effects on any other aspects of the
subjects physical, mental, or moral well being. In the course of his research the abnormality is found to be a heterozygous dominant trait that is not sex-linked as both males and females are affected.
Jenks uses educational test scores to ascertain the mental status of the affected members of this family. It is found when results are compared to national averages the subjects scored equal or higher marks. Similar
results are found when physical fitness tests are performed on the subjects. The fitness and physical stature of the subjects are also equal to or above that of peers tested at the same time. The results concerning morality are slightly less scientific. The author uses the fact that the subjects follow present day ideals and conduct themselves in a conventional manner to show that they are of strong moral fibre.
This article is presented in a very scientific way and the author uses considerable data to support his theory that these subjects do not show any negative afflictions caused by the abnormal pigmentation.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
CURTIS F. CHRISTOPHER University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Jenks, Albert Ernest. A Piebald Family of White Americans. American Anthropologist. April-June, 1914 Vol. 16(2):221-237.
Albert Ernest Jenks examines the incidence of irregular pigmentation, also known as piebald pigmentation, within three generations of an American family. Jenks aims at understanding the biological reasons that create piebald pigmentation as well as the physical consequences of being piebald. He also examines the relationship between piebald pigmentation and albinism.
Jenks examines family history in an attempt at understanding the patterns of inheritance associated with piebald pigmentation. He thoroughly discusses genealogy while focusing on the relationships between “normally” pigmented individuals and “abnormally” pigmented individuals. Jenks focuses initially on thirty-three members of the family in order to understand patterns of inheritance. However, he also makes note of six members of previous generations that are believed to have had the condition.
When examining the physical consequence of being piebald, Jenks compares physical records of piebald individuals with those of “normally” pigmented individuals. He maintains that there are no physical effects associated with being piebald other than the obvious pigmentation abnormalities.
Jenks concludes by maintaining that individuals who exhibit piebald characteristics appear to be heterozygous for the dominant trait. He also notes that there are no negative physical effects associated with abnormal pigmentation. Furthermore, he links piebald pigmentation to albinism by maintaining that in certain cases, piebald pigmentation can be termed “progressive albinism” or partial/imperfect albinism. Jenks makes this conclusion based on the presence of albinistic features found in conjunction with piebald pigmentation.
Jenks’ work is problematic because he does not introduce albinism until he actually begins the discussion of albinism. Continually, the information he presents pertaining to a link between albinism and piebald pigmentation is unclear and without thorough examination. As a consequence, Jenks concludes by presenting problems to be addressed in subsequent studies.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
DANIEL BAUER Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Lowie, Robert H. Ceremonialism in North America. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16(26)602-29.
Lowie’s article compares and contrasts ceremonial practices of various native tribes from across North America. Utilizing relevant case studies, he is able to account for the similarity between many tribal rituals (of the Algonquian and Southwest Indian, among others) and the myths from which such practices derive.
The main concern of the commentary is how ceremonies, either in whole or in part, are passed on (or “diffused”) from one tribe to another. Those aspects of the ceremony that are most similar, or more closely conform to, the existing practices of the tribe are more likely to be adopted; those rituals that “fit” in accordance with the pre-established, or individual, culture of the tribe. Whole ceremonies may diffuse from one tribe to another, or the tribe may alter the ceremony to adhere more closely to their own culture. The important thing to note, Lowie claims, is that ceremony should be regarded in its entirety – that is, the ceremony itself exists for its own sake. It is self-sufficient in meeting the specific needs of the community in which it is practiced.
Lowie’s effective use of examples of intertribal diffusion of ceremonial practices clearly illustrates how such rituals are adopted and exchanged. At times, however, the article seems somewhat too lengthy and the detail cumbersome. Shortening the article by doing away with unnecessary components would possibly have sharpened his position and improved clarity.
ERICA HOLT University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Lowie, Robert. Ceremonialism in North America. American Anthropologist, 1914. Vol 16 ( ): 602-629.
Robert H. Lowie’s article addresses the theories of origination and diffusion of ceremonialism among Native American tribes in North America. He examines whether ceremonies were independently developed or whether they were spread through historical contact and concludes that the ceremonies were spread through historical contact. He discusses how this was achieved by the principle of secondary association. This principle holds that myths and ceremonies begin in one society, and that the elements of the ceremony come to be adopted by other societies through some form of contact. The receiving society of the culture adopts the new ceremony yet assimilates it in keeping with the distinct customs of its own culture, subsequently generating a secondary myth or explanation for the pre-existing ceremony. The secondary myth can be quite different from the primary one, though the ceremony itself remains similar. He cites the conclusions and examples of prominent anthropologists such as Boas, Ehrenreich, Masimilian and Radin to support his argument.
Lowie enumerates important ceremonies from several cultural provinces in demonstrating his theory. He uses examples of Native American groups in the Plains area to show the theory of diffusion of ceremonials as being not merely a plausible hypothesis but in some cases, historical fact. In one example, evidence comes from linguistic similarities found among the Tsimshian, who even derive the names applied to their performances from the Kwakiutl (Lowie, 610-611). Where direct evidence is lacking, Lowie points to cases where diffusion is obvious, such as in the example of the Fly Dance found among the Grosventre and the Blackfeet tribes. He notes the sharp coincidence of the two ceremonies both having members who imitate mosquitoes, pursuing people and pricking them. The Grosventre use spines and claws to prick their victims while the Blackfeet use eagle-claw wristlets. Not surprisingly, Lowie finds that the two groups have been in close contact with one another and that the only other people known to have the Mosquito ceremony are the Sarsi who also are known to associate with the Blackfeet (Lowie, 611).
Lowie organizes his argument by stating his position and then provides likely scenarios of how diffusion may have taken place. He describes how ceremonial regalia carried in war was later imitated or stolen by other tribes, alien dance regalia was gained by killing the owner, visitors to tribal dances learned new ceremonies, and ceremonies which were considered forms of property were purchased. At the end of his argument, Lowie concludes that the object of complex ceremonies in any local tribe is often not the genuine or original intent, but merely the present native’s theory of the origination and intention of the performance (Lowie, 625).
ALLISON V. CHILDS University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)
MacCurdy, George Grant. La Combe, A Paleolithic Cave in the Dordogne. American Anthropologist April-June, 1914 Vol.16(2)157-184.
MacCurdy provides an account of the excavation and artifacts collected from La Combe, a Paleolithic cave south of Les Eyzies, France. The main excavation pit was located outside the cave and consisted of five components: surface soil, yellow clay, yellow clay, reddish sandy clay, and sands. These contained artifacts that indicate three stages of occupation: Aurignacian, Mousterian, and Archaic Mousterian. The Aurignacian and Mousterian occupations were not separated by a sterile layer of soil. The entrance and interior of the cave included the above occupations as well as evidence of later occupations including foyers within and outside the cave and hearths containing post-Paleolithic potsherds dating from the first to eleventh century.
MacCurdy focuses his discussion on the artifacts pertaining to the Archaic Mousterian, Mousterian, and Aurignacian occupations, providing detailed descriptions and figures of the major artifacts of each occupation. MacCurdy reinforces his interpretations by documenting the resemblance of the La Combe collection with collections from other sites of the same occupations. The artifacts identified as Archaic Mousterian include notched scrapers or spoke-shaves, points with thick square bases, utilized bone, and spherical pebbles. The Mousterian occupation contained typical Mousterian artifacts including a classic side scraper, point, and 30 points, flint drills, hammerstones, and spherical pebbles. MacCurdy suggests that these pebbles and the Archaic Mousterian pebbles may have been part of a weapon similar to the South American bola. He bases this assumption of the findings of Pittard, who documented groups of three such balls at another Mousterian site, which resemble the bolas in form and pattern. The Aurignacian artifacts include: a Chatelperron blade of the lower Aurignacian and artifacts typical of the middle Aurignacian such as graver-perforator, flint gravers, end scrapers, blades, knives, carinate scrapers, hammerstones, anvil stones, rubbing stones, an effigy stone resembling a bird’s head, bone points, bone polishers, worked ivory and bone, and worked teeth. MacCurdy includes detailed accounts of the designs on the Aurignacian artifacts, such as perforated and grooved teeth, arguing that such abilities were not inherited from their predecessors, who produced only utilitarian artifacts.
The purpose of the excavation was twofold. First, MacCurdy hoped to gather an authentic collection of artifacts based on systematic excavation. The second and primary objective however was to test the European system of Paleolithic classification, which consisted of three occupation stages including the Archaic Mousterian (oldest), Mousterian, and Aurignacian (youngest). The goals were in keeping with the general archaeological theoretical perspective of the time, which focused on description of artifacts and development of chronological sequences of occupations.
CLARITY RATING: 4
CECELIA MITCHELL Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Maccurdy, George Grant. The Man of Piltdown. American Anthropologist September, 1914 Vol. 16: 331-336.
George Grant Maccurdy feels that his readers should be informed of the additional information that had been published since the initial discovery of the Piltdown Man, scientifically known as Eanthropus dawsoni. Maccurdy notes that scientists are in agreement that the Piltdown Man is a hominid based on the mandibular structure. However, they do not agree on the reconstruction of the cranium. Maccurdy notes that the two scientists in agreement with one another, Dr. Smith Woodward and Professor Elliot Smith, have verified their conclusions concerning the estimated cranial capacity.
Next, site remains are discussed. A picture diagram shows collected artifacts of the Eanthropus skull. The recovered nasal bones link Eanthropus to a more African or Melanisian race opposed to Eurasian descendents. Furthermore, the canines thought to belong to the specimen, indicate more proof that these were the remains of one individual. Maccurdy then illustrates with the stratified archaeological site diagram. Here, the contents of the site are divulged in the reading. Of the eoliths (flint tools) found in the upper layers, there seems to be nothing to indicate that Eanthropus used them. Evidently, layer three contained the remains of Rhinocerous, which effectively situates Eanthropus in a time period during or preceding the Pliocene.
In conclusion, Maccurdy states that the lower jaw is undeniably that of Eanthropus, thus he is therefore adequately named. Maccurdy’s final thoughts are questions as to whether or not Eanthropus made use of the eoliths and what answers future explorations might hold. [The Piltdown Man was later found out to be a hoax. Apparently, someone was responsible for placing the mandible bone at the archaeological site of Eanthropus. The perpetrator was never discovered.]
CLARITY RANKING: 4
SARAH RICHARDSON Southern Illinois University (Jonathan Hill)
Nies, James B. The Boomerang in Ancient Babylonia. American Anthropologist 1914(16) Vol.2:26-32.
It is the authors’ goal in this article to trace back in time the symbol of the boomerang in ancient Babylonia. Nies believes that if anthropologists are able to trace back the meaning of one symbol through time, one can hope to discover information about other ancient civilizations from other symbols that carry anthropological significance.
The article first focuses on the boomerang and distinguishes it from the more common throwing stick, which does not return when thrown. Nies then describes in great detail the traits of a return-boomerang. He includes in his explanation common properties such as: size, weight, composition, thickness, width, and even the angle of the arc from tip to tip. He then asks the question: “Did Babylonians or Sumerians ever use the boomerang at any time in history?” To answer this question he uses pictographs as evidence. Through the study of pictographs, sketched on stones and other substances, anthropologists were able to reveal practices, utensils, and even weapons that were in use at the time of the engraving.
This evidence is significant not only in tracing the symbol of the boomerang, but also for the larger anthropological perspective, which I believe to be a point Nies is making with his article.
Nies presents his article in a straight forward manner with clear examples and an easy to understand vocabulary, making his work very reader friendly and comprehensible. Perhaps the larger anthropological idea behind this article is the interconnections between different fields of study. For example, the study of ancient writings on artifacts or cave drawings is not only important to physical anthropologists but also can be very useful to linguistic, and cultural anthropologists. Being written in 1914, Nies article, I believe, has lasted the test of time and is still very defendable today.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MARK BELL University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Nies, James, B. The Boomerang in Ancient Babylonia. American Anthropologist. 1914. Vol. 16: 26-32.
In introducing the topic of this article, Nies discusses the possibility of common sources or common needs for unusual artifacts. His argument for common sources is supported by the existence of the step-pyramid that may be found in Egypt, Asia, and America. He says that the existence of the swastika and boomerang are also unique cultural artifacts that have similar appearances and purposes in different locations. The boomerang is described as a weapon used in Australia, northeastern Africa, southern India, and on the American continent. Nies suggests that the boomerang first appeared in Babylonia to the aborigines of Shumer and Akkad based on evidence of a cuneiform sign and its meanings.
To avoid any confusion, Nies distinguishes between a throwing stick and a boomerang; the latter has a very distinctive shape and style in terms of curvature and angle. Size and angle were known to vary; however, there did seem to be a common standard for weight in Australian boomerangs. When thrown, Nies describes the weapon as flying through the air with a whistling sound in a straight line and then returning to the thrower. The author also considered an Egyptian boomerang in his research.
Nies’ main question is “Did the boomerang exist in ancient Babylonia, or rather was it, at any time, used by the race known as Babylonians, or Sumerians?” To answer this, he discusses Assyrian languages and various kings of the time to help assert a likely timeline for written language. The author indicates the possible existence of an early sign picturing a boomerang by following cuneiform sign development. He investigates the various signs in the evolution on a linguistic level to understand their meanings. His findings indicated to him that “all these meanings [could] be derived from some phase in the action of a boomerang and its effects, and, when this [was] considered in connection with the earliest pictographs, the argument [seemed] conclusive” (p. 32). Nies demonstrated his belief that archaeological data proved that the boomerang existed in Ancient Babylonia. Finally, he gives a plausible explanation as to why Sumerians would have stopped using the weapon (environmental change).
HELENA KOSKITALO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Peabody, Charles. Ten Days with Dr. Henri Martin at La Quina. American Anthropologist January-March, 1914 Vol.16(1):257-268.
The article, “Ten Days with Dr. Henri Martin” discusses one writer’s experience of being a guest of Dr. Martin at the Mousterian station in La Quina. At this location there is a department called Charente. Charente is a location that contains many prehistoric artifacts of the Paleolithic period. Dr. Martin bought this department several years ago with the purpose of protecting it from the profanation of the unscientific. Dr. Martin always makes an effort to ensure the scientific care, recording and exhibition of the La Quina specimens that are found. Also, he ensures that no one sells the specimens. The main goal that Dr. Martin is trying achieve is to ensure that all the specimens found within his station are treated with scientific care and to prevent anyone from treating them like commodities.
In order to show how Dr. Martin attempts to ensure the scientific treatment of specimens, Charles Peabody presents the scientific findings of Dr. Martin and his associates in this article. Peabody is able to do this by discussing how the doctor studied the animal bone specimens that were found. Throughout the rest of the article, Peabody explains the methods that Dr. Martin used during his studies. He also discusses the importance of studying how these artifacts turned into the shape that they were found in. Peabody descries how Dr. Martin studied the materials that some of the artifacts were made of, such as limestone. However, some specimens were not from the Paleolithic time period, thus affecting some of Dr. Martin’s research.
By presenting the scientific findings, Peabody shows how Dr. Martin treats the specimens as scientific findings rather than commodities. Peabody also shows the difficulty of Dr. Martin’s research, and the importance of studying specimens in order to discover more about different time periods and the specimens within that era.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
SARAH CEREZO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Hooton and Peabody, Charles. Ten Days With DR Henri Martin at La Quina, American Anthropologist April-June 1914 Vol.16:(2)257-268.
Charles Peabody of Harvard University’s Peabody Museum records an excavation during the Autumn of 1913 with Dr. Henri Martin near the French coast. For nearly a decade, Dr. Martin had been painstakingly probing a limestone rock-shelter at La Quina, collecting, classifying, cataloging and dispensing Paleolithic artifacts. This article offers no theoretical position, rather it is merely a record of their finds.
Artifacts yielded by the dig were classified into collections identified by their location in the strata. The harvest of the strata were then compared, with the stratum dubbed M. Gamma proving to be more productive than the C2 stratum. Peabody provides comparative charts and illustrations of a handful of noteworthy pieces. The phenomenon of patination is mentioned and data recorded in hopes that it may be investigated at a later time. According to Peabody La Quina’s “crowning glory” was the quantity of animal bones displaying scratches identified as “human markings”.
Peabody assures us that only “flint marked” specimens were recorded on the “scratched” list. There were 72 scratched bones in C2 and 92 in M. Gamma collection. Peabody stops short of offering any explanation of the high occurrence of Paleolithic points and scratched animal bones. The author does suggest further study noting that the “reason for the bone markings is not known”. It seems a small step to conclude that animals had been butchered at the site, however that was not the aim of this paper. There is a curiosity tacked onto this record of finds from a 1913 excavation. Among the gifts donated to the Peabody Museum by Martin was a “maquette” of a skull found earlier at the site.
Attached to the report of fieldwork is a commentary on Martin’s reconstruction of a “Neanderthaliod type” “maquette” produced by Martin. The “La Quina Man” representation, was reviewed by E.A. Hooton, who generally dismissed the work for employing an illegitimate method rendering an “anthropiod ape” rather than “essentially human” Neanderthal.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHESTER LUNSFORD Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Prudden T. Mitchell. The Circular Kivas of Small Ruins in the San Juan Watershed.American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16: 33-58
The general argument of this article is how the ancient kivas (houses) built by the “primitive” Pueblo peoples of the past have not changed over the years to what was then being built. Prudden describes how, ten years earlier, he brought attention to the fact that the consistent similarities in construction of the various ancient kivas of the Pueblo people proved that their construction was not simply a coincidence. In this current work (1914) he recognized that there are certain varying characteristics within the building of kivas but nonetheless they remain quite constant in their structure. His main argument is very difficult to understand at first reading because he describes his thesis in five pages. In the conclusion it becomes clear what he is trying to say in his introduction.
Prudden discusses the idea that the structure of the kivas in association with the pueblo (dwelling) and the burial mound has a lot to do with the clans and other such social relationships of the Pueblo people. We learn that the pueblo is the part of the structure where the people sleep while the kiva-pit described which is located south of the pueblo is for ceremonial purposes. The burial mound is obviously where the family or clan living in the pueblo is buried.
Prudden describes step by step how he went about excavating four separate sites. The first is the most thorough with exact measurements and exact descriptions of where everything is located. His description of site one is described in ten pages and the other sites are found to be lacking in certain areas and are not fully excavated. He also provides pictures that assist in understanding and visualizing his descriptions of the measurements of the kivas as well as what he finds in them. Prudden concludes by summarizing his findings and stating that he believed that the builders of the ancient kivas were no better or worse than the builders of the more recent structures that were much larger and complex but still had the basic elements of the “unit type” kiva.
CLARITY RATING: 3
JACQUELINE BELLEROSE University Of Alberta (H. Young Leslie PhD)
Prudden, T. Mitchell. The Circular Kivas Of Small Ruins In The San Juan Watershed.American Anthropologist. Jan.-Mar., 1914 Vol. 16(1):33-59.
Prudden begins by giving the characteristic features he has specified to constitute a determined “unit type” found at small ruins. The “unit type” contains a pueblo or dwelling, kiva, and burial mound. Prudden also provides the reader with a brief explanation of each of the features. The understanding of the “unit type” allows for a more complete interpretation of more complex sites in the same areas. Prudden states the differentiation found at other sites is a result of modification to the basic “unit type”. The modification may be a result of topography, territories, and access to water. The question is posed regarding the existence of the “unit type” of small ruins to be before, after, or contemporaneous to more complex sites.
Prudden’s focus of investigation is the excavations of the kivas associated with the “unit types” of small ruins. The author notes the fact that none of the circular depressions, or kivas had been excavated at the time of his study. Several theories are discussed regarding how, when, and why the kivas were constructed. Prudden’s goal is to completely expose the kivas located in “unit types” of small ruins and compares the architecture to the kivas previously excavated at complex ruins.
Prudden systematically chose the small ruin to excavate. Specifically, Prudden wanted the small ruin to be close to an already excavated and analyzed complex site.
The reader is given detailed measurements, artifacts, maps, and pictures of what was discovered at the site. Most importantly to Prudden was the masonry wall construction of the kiva. It proved to be identical to the construction of the kivas found at complex ruins. Prudden also gives an account of several other features shared by the small ruins and complex ruins such as: fire-pits, deflectors, niches, and passages to adjacent dwellings.
To further support the finds at this particular kiva, Prudden chose to look at three other “unit types” at small ruins in the same area. Prudden’s goal at these sites was to expose enough of the kiva to find masonry wall construction. All three sites exhibited similar stonewall structures. Prudden concludes, “the builder of these primitive dwellings in the open country was not less skillful in masonry, and not less punctilious in his devotion to his tradition and ceremonies, than was the builder of the larger defensible structures in similar locations, or those who left the still more imposing ruins in the cliffs.”
AMBER NAPTON Southern Illinois University (Jonathan Hill)
Skinner, Alanson. The Cultural Position of the Plains Ojibway. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16(17):314-318.
In this article Alanson Skinner described the cultural changes and pressures felt as an American tribe of natives moved from inhabiting one type of environment to another. The majority of Ojibway Indians traditionally practiced a Woodland culture, as they lived in forest settings. As white traders entered the region, a strong outside influence was applied to the natives. The coincidence of several factors caused a movement of people out of the forests and onto the plains. These newly plains-dwelling tribesmen considered themselves to be completely separate from the Ojibway. These bands called themselves “Bungi”. Over time, the Bungi modified their cultural life away from their original Woodland culture. A hybrid of cultures resulted as ideas from a classic Plains society were borrowed and adopted into their everyday lives. This article briefly outlined aspects of both the traditional Woodland and Plains cultures. These two ways of life were then compared against data collected from the Bungi of Manitoba in the summer of 1913. Aspects of culture studied included: Degree of dependence on buffalo and agriculture for food, materials used for making houses, as well as the home’s shape and location in relation to others. Art, ceremonial organization, government and modes of transportation were also investigated.
Ultimately, when the Bungi were compared with the two traditional cultures, it was found that they possessed aspects of each. When the Bungi entered the plain’s area, they were committed to a Woodland culture. As new ideas drifted into their communities, ideas began to change, whether it was subconscious or not. Ceremonial rituals performed were taken from each of the cultural traditions. Religion and folklore were found to have experienced the least amount of change. Their way of building homes and organization of houses shifted from Woodland culture to those homes of the Plains people. A new emphasis was placed on hunting buffalo in addition to agriculture. It was determined that the Bungi became a perfect example of a mixed culture: Fifty percent of the culture was Woodland, while the remaining fifty percent was Plains.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
CERI FALYS University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Skinner, Alanson. The Cultural Position of the Plains Ojibway. American Anthropologist 1914 16:314-318.
In this article, Skinner looks at the two descents of the Ojibway Indians and the qualities of their culture. Skinner tells the reader about the inducement of many of the tribesmen out of the plains due to the lure of the buffalo herds as well as the persuasions of the traders. Today many of those existing tribesmen found in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota are called the Bungi. Skinner points out the similarities of the Ojibway tribes of the plains today, as well as the forest tribes of the past. Throughout the article Skinner examines the rule of the buffalo in the Bungi tribe, and points out that the Bungi people were and still are dependent solely on the buffalo. The buffalo is seen to be used for food, the skin is used to make tents (tipi) and ceremonies within the tribes were made in worship of the buffalo. Skinner stated that the plains tribe entered the region fully equipped with the forest culture and that their religion, social life and government were influenced from the Plains tribe
CLARITY RANKING: 2
TAMAR PAPISMEDOV York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson)
Skinner, Alanson. Notes On The Plains Cree. American Anthropologist. 1914 16;68-87
In this article, Skinner’s main objective was to obtain information on the Plains Cree military organization for the American Museum of natural history, however, while doing so; Skinner gathered an enormous amount of information of the Plains Cree’s customs, rituals, and experiences of daily life. The main sources of this article came from testimonies from Spotted One, Four Clouds, and Jacob Bear. Through reading this article it was quite evident that dreams played a very significant role in the Plains Cree decision making process. In the Process of giving a name to a child, tattooing the body, and sexual intercourse, dreams were said to have given the person illusions as to what the baby should be called as well as what kind of tattoo a person should have. Sexual intercourse with a partner was forbidden to anyone prior to attempting a dream due to the fact that dreams were seen as holy. In addition, there was a very important ritual done once the children of the Plain Cree hit puberty. The child was made to take off all their clothing and wander in the forest without any food and was expected to make a shelter for themselves and must sit and await a dream. In death all personal property is buried with the remains, two of the objects always placed in with the body are the pipe and tobacco to ensure the deceased reaches the land of the spirits.
Skinner analyzes many of the Plain Cree’s involvement with games and classifies those that are most common to men and those that are more practiced by women. He stated that cooking was not something that was done in this religion but that stone boiling was the object in which food could be processed. The importance of the buffalo was evident. Not only did the Plains Cree use the buffalo’s meat as a source of nutrition, the skin was also used for shelter as well as storage for medicine. It was seen that though the women built the tent in which they lived, it was the property of the men. Dog sledges were commonly used for transportation, dogs were the used due to the fact that they could follow a trail no matter what weather condition and only needed to be fed once a day. Throughout all the information that Skinner had gathered of the Plains Cree, he learned that tattooing was a sign of bravery, only powerful men could stand the pain. The colors of black red and yellow on a certain object, especially the shield was significant. It was used to illustrate the experiences of that man during war or combat.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
TAMAR PAPISMEDOV York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson)
Swanton, John R. and Roland B. Dixon. Primitive American History. American Anthropologist 1914. Volume 16 (21): 376-412.
This article offered a comprehensive survey of the migration patterns and origin theories of all the major aboriginal groups of North America. The peoples were grouped along linguistic and geographic lines, and include the following: Muskhogean (Alabama/ Mississippi), Southeastern, Sioux (Central Plains/ East Coast), Iroquois (Eastern United States and Canada), Algonquin (St. Lawrence Region west to Rocky Mountains), Beothuk (Newfoundland), Eskimo (Arctic/ Baffin Bay), Caddo (Central/ Southern Plains), Southern Texan, Kiowa (Southern Plains), Athapascan (Alaska to Mexico), North Pacific, Kutenai (British Columbia), Shahaptian (Northwestern United States), Californian, Shoshonean (Western United States), Piman (Northwestern Mexico), and Pueblo (Southwestern United States/ Mexico). The authors mentioned that they did not group the peoples on a physical basis, because of what they considered an “absence of a satisfactory classification” (p.377) along those lines.
Swanton and Dixon recognized the available written evidence of Amerindian peoples to be incomplete, since it was produced by the conquering European groups and did not cover the period prior to European contact. They placed more authority in archaeological findings and anthropological field research conducted among living cultures. “Primitive American History”, therefore, aimed at summarizing the current research and provided some arguments that refute previously accepted theories. For example, the theory that the Eskimo peoples were descendants from Asian tribes was disputed based on the linguistic ties between Eskimo and other American groups. Also, opposing theories of origin were outlined, as in the dispute between Hodge and Goddard over when the Apache and Navajo settled their current territory.
In their conclusion, Swanton and Dixon clearly outlined their perception of a hierarchy of anthropological methods. In evaluating current research, they placed highest authority with archaeological evidence, which overrode conclusions based on linguistic or cultural investigation. In fact, cultural study was at the bottom of the hierarchy, and information based on oral tradition was given only a glancing acknowledgement. Since these authors clearly believed aboriginal culture to be disappearing, a sense of urgency was given to linguistic study, which would only yield results as long as there were Natives remaining who used the language. In this way, they seemed to be encouraging linguistic research as long as it was possible, and leaving archaeological study to have final authority after all the Indians were dead.
CLARITY RATING: 5
KAREN GABERT University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Walker, James. Oglala Kinship Terms. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16(7):96-109
Walker analysed Oglala kinship terms to try to understand why are there so many different terms given to each family member? Walker suggests that by uncovering the meaning within these terms one can find a logical reason to the great meanings given to them. He included many charts of kin term translations which provide logical evidence to explain the reason for such diverse terms.
Walker argues that the most important factor to consider in order to understand the Oglala people’s use for a great variety of kinship terms, is their ethnocentrism. Walker pointed out that: “The Lakota are allied against all others of mankind” (page 97). In other words, they believe in being superior to other human beings, referring to outsiders of their culture as “other-people,” whom they see as inferior. This ethnocentricity helps explain the reason for the use of such kinship terms, insofar as they mark stratification within a society. The different kinship terms may elevate a group of people from another creating different ranks, responsibilities, and ways of acting within their society. A little brother, for instance, may refer to his older brother differently than to his older sister, in regards to the terms that should be applied to people of different age and gender. From this assumption, the creation of kinship terms lead to ethnocentrism, because these terms build a stratified group of people that collectively will look at other ethnic groups in a sort of stratified way, the Oglala being at the top while the other group at the bottom because of their inferiority
The article is fairly well written and well organized, but the definitions, rather than clearing the picture made a bit more difficult to understand.
JORGE BUCH University of Alberta (Dr. Leslie Young)
Walker, James R. Oglala Kinship Terms. American Anthropologist 1914 Vol.16:96-109
This paper focuses mainly on those people among the Oglala Lakota. By thoroughly explaining the concepts behind the Oglala kinship terms, the author provides a clear understanding of how the native people live amongst each other. Throughout the paper, Walker uses Lakota words and follows them up with the English translation in parentheses. Some of the words of the Lakota cannot be translated. For instance, the term “oma-wa-heton” expresses the relationship of the parent of a married child to the parent of the one whom the child has married. Many of the Lakota terms have a very close relation to some terms used in the English language. For example, the suffix –la gives to a term an endearing significance and as a result is equivalent to the English suffixes –ie or y in such words as “auntie” and “sonny” (1914:96).
The author does an excellent job at describing the kinship patterns of the Oglala. The Lakota are classified as those who speak specific dialects and conform to specific customs. They are allied against all others and consider one another kindred or, in their words, taku-kiciyapi.
The author makes his point on kinship by focusing on marriage. Marriage is an important factor to the Oglala. A woman is purchased for the price of six buffalo robes or that equivalent. This is then given to her father and mother. If this cannot be accomplished, a woman may be presented to a man or taken without the consent of anyone (1914:98). Depending on how the woman was gained, the man may reside with her or in a normal cases she will reside with him.
Walker does an excellent job at explaining the importance of kinship and marriage resulting in an article that is clear and easy to understand.
ANGELA ADU York University (Naomi Adelson)
Wissler, Clark. The Influence Of The Horse In The Development Of Plains Culture. American Anthropologist January-March, 1914 Vol (16): 1-25
Clark Wissler had two main objectives for writing this article. The first objective was to determine the dates at which the Spanish introduced horses into Plains culture. His second objective was to determine if the introduction of horses created cultural modifications or if these modifications resulted indirectly.
He provided evidence for how the horse affected Plains culture, i.e. in the examples of how horses changed the design of the tipi and the style of warfare. Basically, with the addition of the horse, tipis became more mobile. The use of the horse in war modified weapons and tactics. For example, it seems that the long spear of the Comanche was developed for use from horseback. Also, horses increased mobilization and extended the range of tribes.
However, Wissler also asserted there is evidence of other factors having an impact on the Plains culture. One such factor he mentions is the presence of white traders who gave Indians the opportunity to obtain firearms. These had a great impact on Indian cultures. These new weapons brought feelings of power and confidence. Furthermore, the trade through which the weapons were received created new demands and wants.
Wissler concluded that the horse may have stimulated changes in the Plains culture but the horse alone was not the sole contributor to these changes. The changes that the Plains culture experienced were more of a result of many factors.
The larger intellectual issue discussed is how a culture can change and be modified in response to contact with another culture. If the Spaniards had not come into contact with the First Nations, we probably would have seen a different Plains culture. But there was contact and it stimulated the Plains people to integrate aspects of the Spanish culture into their own. For example, the Spanish style of riding.
In addition, this article is important because it demonstrates how critical it is to anthropology to have data organized and to know the relative time origin of certain events. It would have been difficult to discuss the influence of horse culture without knowing its relative time of origin, for, if it preceded other European influences, it’s value of influencing culture is high. Thus, that is why it was so fundamental for Wissler to determine the date that horses were introduced.
The only criticisms that I have is the article is too long. The same ideas are repeated through out. Wissler could have shortened the article by making it more to the point.
CHELSEA ASTILL University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Wissler, Clark. The Influence of the Horse in the Development of Plains Culture. American Anthropologist January-March, 1914 Vol.16 (1):1-25.
In this article Wissler examines the horse culture of the Plains Indians. Specifically, he analyzes the relation of horse culture to other Plains traits and whether or not the introduction of the horse created new behaviors or just influenced old ones. Using first-hand accounts of horse sightings dating from the time of Coronado’s contact with the Pawnee in 1541 to Lewis and Clark’s expedition west at the start of the 19th century, he sought to answer whether or not the Plains culture as a whole came after the introduction of the horse and, if so, what changes to the culture did it influence. Wissler traced the route of distribution up from the southwest quickly spreading east and west of the lower Mississippi then north using documented sightings of the horses (wild and domesticated), reports of thefts, conditions suitable for grazing, and horse culture traits shared between the groups.
It is known that use of dog traction was widespread before the time of Coronado. So the horse only improved that trait. Where canoes were used (mainly in French territories) the value of horses lessened. In terms of warfare, the horse allowed many smaller tribes to expand their range. Wider ranging also helped the demise of maize planting by some tribes. He noted it is probable that horse culture inhibited agriculture, pottery and basketry but more proof is needed.
Wissler concludes that the introduction of the horse did nothing but intensify already existing traits and probably helped diffuse the tribes into a cultural whole.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
STEVE CUTRIGHT Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)
Wissler, Clark. Material Cultures of the North American Indians. American Anthropologist. 1914 Vol. 16 (23) p. 447-
In this article, Wissler discusses the trend towards studying aspects of culture such as art and ceremonial practice at the expense of studying material culture. He also discusses the inherent problems in the study of North American material culture that have led to this emphasis on art & ceremony. He acknowledges and provides justification for this trend, as well as giving a summary of the information available on North American culture areas.
Wissler provides a list of data that is required for the adequate description of the material culture of a tribe. The list serves as a checklist for research, providing categories and examples of information that must be gathered. It contains headings such as “food” and “dress”, and also supplies specific sub-sections that would enable a complete account of a tribe’s material culture.
Wissler describes the nine culture areas into which the area north of Mexico had been divided, noting that each area consists of a large number of tribes, not all of which conform to the typical material culture of the area. He then discusses the material cultures of the different culture areas in the context of his topical list of details, demonstrating how the list can be used to systematically characterize the material culture of each tribe. He notes the degree to which traits are uniform across the area, suggesting an alternative classification system for tribes by which certain tribes are designated “typical” and the rest are grouped according to the degree to which traits vary, and are classified as either intermediate or transitional. He then regroups tribes into nine material culture centres, and provides a map of the entire area on which they can be located.
The problems that hinder the study of material culture in each area are also discussed. For example, in the Plateau area, the non-uniform topography and lack of definite information for some important tribes make it difficult to characterize the material culture in a systematic manner; the same problem arises as a result of lack of geographic contact in the “Eskimo” area. Wissler also identifies a relationship between the study of material culture and the dominating view of a culture, noting that the lack of data on the material culture of the Déné has lead to an overestimation of their lack of individuality. The relationships between ethnology, archaeology, and the study of material culture, suggest to Wissler that archaeology in particular can be compatible with the study of material culture. He notes that archaeological work, when it indicates the age of a culture area, can complement the study of an area’s continuity, thus aiding in the formulation of theories about the diversification of the material cultures of groups in the same area. Archaeology also provides clues about the effects of the environment on material culture, for example providing evidence for the reasons behind a culture group’s tendency to specialize in one or two foods. He then provides a detailed description of specialization in food, clothing, tools, and other areas of material culture, incorporating this description into a discussion of trait diffusion, and how this phenomenon relates to the cultural history of culture areas.
In summary, Wissler acknowledges the problems that plague the study of material culture, but argues that its study has merit, and he provides a framework and historical background to illustrate this point.
SARAH GAMBLE University of Alberta: (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Clark Wissler, Material Culture of the North American Indians. American Anthropologist, 1914. Volume 16: ppgs.447-508
The purpose of the article was to present the material culture of the “Indian” (Native American tribes) of the North American continent up to 1914, by relying on the information that had thus far been gathered from various anthropological and other sources. Mr. Wissler undertook the task of studying material culture because he believed that it had been neglected, and that: researchers had been focusing more on language, art, ceremonies and social organization.
Wissler, first proposes a list of criteria for adequately describing material culture. In general, the researcher should include information about food, shelter, transportation, dress, pottery, basketry, mats and bags, the weaving of twisted elements, work in skins, weapons, work in wood, work in stone, work in bone ivory and shell etc. He then divides the North American continent into nine “culture areas”, which he admits are not scientific but, purely convenient.
The nine cultural areas include: the Plains, Plateau, California, North Pacific, Eskimo, Mackenzie, Eastern Woodland, South Eastern, and South Western areas. These areas almost perfectly mirror the list of criteria detailed above. To better illustrate this fact, let us take the example of the Plains area.
Wissler begins by telling us that thirty-one tribes comprise the Plains area. He makes a distinction between tribes that manifest the typical material culture of the area and those that do not. Wissler puts the region in historical context and speaks of the possible history of given traits, how they might have been transmitted to given groups, the tribes that used to live in the area and their “habits”. This general format is followed for the remaining cultural areas. The article then changes pase and goes into the different problems associated with the analysis of cultures and the categorization of traits.
Wissler, first looks into the question of widely distributed traits that do not appear to be attributable to any one “culture area”, and then proposes to divide the North American continent into more appropriate categories. We are then taken into a discussion of traits and their origins and questions related to trait association. Wissler concludes the article with three relatively brief topics: trait Association, diffusion of material traits, and motor factors.
This article is very rich in information and presents fascinating facts. In spite of the time-period during which he wrote this article,–1914–, Wissler appears to take a rather post-modernist approach in the presentation of the Native American cultures. He does not claim his categorizations and conclusions to be definitive are universally applicable to all aspects of the cultures of these peoples. Unfortunately, I found the article to be very lengthy and, at times, a bit monotonous. I feel that, although the his language was quite accessible, Wissler could have done a bit more in the effectiveness of the presentation by being more concise. I also feel that he introduced some topics that, though relevant, took away from his main arguments.
YOGELD ANDRE University of Notre Dame (Carolyn Nordstrom)