American Anthropologist 1927

Allison, Vernon C. The Mound Builders: Whence and When. American Anthropologist. 1927 Vol.29 670-688.

This article is an investigation into the origins of the Mound Builders and the function of the structures they created. Omitted from this study are mounds, which could be built by a single man using stone, dirt and simple tools. The mounds being studied here are complex structures mainly built of high places adjacent to river bottoms, land where maize was grown. One debated feature of these mounds was the presence of an interior ditch. Many theories relating to this feature are provided, these range from its use in religion to its use for protecting structures within the fortified mound. The size of the mound usually corresponded with the size of arable land in adjacent valleys and therefore the size of the communities that could be supported by this land.

The history provided here for the Mound Builders begins with the cultivation of maize (in the Valley of Mexico) and the changes this caused in the social organization of people in the area. Populations grew and when a change in climate reduced the amount of suitable land, migrations ensued and it is believed that the original Mound Builders could be found in those that migrated. In Ohio, river bottoms were narrow villages were established on high places overlooking the maize. In the Mississippi basin however, the river bottoms were large and there were no nearby bluffs on which to build a village. In this case, mounds were built that were large enough to accommodate a fortified village overlooking the fields. Their occupation of these mounds saw the beginning of the end in 520 A.D. when another change in climate led to a spread in forests. These people could not prevent the spread of trees onto their fields and eventually they either abandoned their agricultural way of life or migrated to new regions. Overall, it is believed that the occupation of the Mounds lasted a period of about 1000 years, from 1 A.D. until about 900 or 1000 A.D.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
VANESSA PALSENBARG University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Allison, Vernon C. and Vance Randolph. Prehistoric Inhabitants of Crawford County, Kansas. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29:258-261.

Prehistoric artifacts, not particularly abundant in Southeastern Kansas, offer evidence of a long occupancy before the coming of the white man (258). “The collection of Mr. Andrew M. Brooks of Pittsburgh is … the most extensive and complete ever made in this locality” (258). The author’s objective is to “make some permanent record of Mr. Brooks’ work” (258) in this article, as his collection has never been properly labeled or described. Eight hundred pieces comprise the Brooks collection, “including metates and pestles, broken pottery, double-bitted axes and hoes, knives, spear heads, drills, scrapers, and a great number of arrow points” (258). The surface within four or five hundred miles of Pittsburgh is the area where all of these objects were picked up. The article first gives a brief description of the collection, illustrating the size and scope of the collection. Secondly, various locations, in Kansas, that is “hunting grounds for these flints” (258) are surveyed. Finally the author places these artifacts in approximate time periods and links them to the inhabitants that would have constructed and/or used them.

As the “hunting grounds” for these flints are looked at, South Broadway and Lincoln Park are identified as being the best site for finding these flints and other objects. Cow Creek, four miles west of Pittsburgh, has also yielded many artifacts; while “another rich field lies a mile upstream, on the east bank of the creek, just north of the 20th Street road” (258).

Joseph B. Thoburn (Secretary Oklahoma State Historical Society and Curator of the State Archaeological Collection, Oklahoma City) concludes that “approximately three-quarters of the specimens are of Caddoan origin and the remaining twenty-five percent are Siouan” (259), using inference from two different bind points. Siouan and Caddoan people both made potteries although the Caddoan far excelled beyond the Siouan in this art (259). Siouan people displaced the Caddoan people, according to Thoburn, four to five hundred years ago when they entered Oklahoma to the east. Caddoan people were preceded by a people of an unknown origin, although it is speculated that they were Iroquois. Coupling Thoburn’s estimates of successive migrations and climatic and chronological data an approximate prehistory for Crawford County, Kansas is completed and the objects in the Brooks collection can be dated.

The authors obtained their objectives of creating a permanent record of the Brooks collection while also hoping to create some local interest.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
LINDSAY THOMPSON University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Buckstaff, Ralph N. Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29: 279-285

The author’s objective is to discuss the different stars that are on the Pawnee Sky map. To make his point clearer to his readers, the author included several pages of drawings of stars in his article. The Sky Map is in the collection of Pawnee material at the Field Museum of Natural History at Chicago. The map is oval in shape, and is made from a piece of tanned elk skin. One end is colored with red and the other with brownish yellow. Moreover, the map is at least three hundred years old. There are eleven groups of stars on the map and they have been traced with an unbroken line. The author also describes some constellations. At first, he talks about the constellation, Taurus, and also the stars that makes up Taurus. Furthermore, he talks about Pleiades, Orion group, Auriga, Lyra, Corona Borealis, Ursa Minor, Coma Berenices, and Andormeda. In describing each of these constellations, the author discusses their positions in the sky, and also the stars that make up these constellations. Sometimes, the author includes specific or interesting details about some of the stars. According to the author, the groups on the map were placed with a great deal of thought and care. The large groups were foremost in the minds of the Indians. In addition, they recognized the seasonal shift of the stars, and this is shown by the division of the map. The author believes that the Pawnee Indians must have had the same knowledge of astronomy as the early white men.

The article was easy to follow and easy to read; however, since the figures were not numbered, it was a little bit to find them when the author was describing them in the article.

CLARITY RANKNG: 4
CHRISTINE LAM Univeristy of British Columbia, Canada (John Barker)

Campbell, Walter Stanley. The Tipis of the Crow Indians. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 87-104

Because of their impressive size and elegant proportions, Campbell argues that Crow tipis are superior to those of any other American Indian tribe. As support for his claim, he describes in detail the construction of the Crow tipi, while maintaining that the infrastructure is the basis for the supposedly aesthetically pleasing features upon which his judgments are based. One of the article s primary weaknesses, though, is that the author does not clearly delineate his reasons for choosing size and proportions as the most important measures for Crow tipi superiority. A clue as to his motivation, though, may lie in the fact that he is dissatisfied with the stability and decoration of Crow tipis, and thus is instead compelled to highlight other features.

Campbell admits that Cheyenne tipis are stronger than those of the Crow, and he concedes to Lowie s assertion that Crow tipis are also inferior in ornamentation. However, as evidence for Crow tipi superiority, he outlines the myriad aspects of construction that he finds contribute to the pleasing nature of the structures. These aspects are the fabrication of the smoke hole with respect to the placement of the poles, the cut of the canvas depending on the type of tipi, the making of the poles themselves, and the set-up of the tipi. The proportions of the flaps covering the smoke hole seem to be of importance in Campbell s judgment of tipi beauty, and he thus states that compared with the short, blunt-ended Blackfoot flap, the Crow model is elegance itself. As compared with the ugly oblong of the Sioux, or even the sweeping lines of the long Cheyenne flap, it is much more trim (104).

Although not explicitly stated, it is clear that Campbell sees tipis very differently from those who actually used them. He overlooks the social and practical implications of the features that make it beautiful, not to mention the function of the tipi in Crow society.

CLARITY: 3
KRISTINA WILSON University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Densmore, Frances. The Study of Indian Music in the Nineteenth Century. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 77-86.

In the nineteenth century, an interesting argument arose on the subject of Indian music. Its focus was whether or not Indians had any knowledge of musical scales. One of the author s objectives in this article is to illustrate the points of view of various authors regarding this debate, without explicitly stating his stance; the other is to simply describe various researchers contributions to the study of Indian music in general.

Benjamin Ives Gillman, who studied the phonograph recordings of Jesse Walter Fewkes of Zuni and Hopi music, argued that the Indians had no sense of the musical scale. Those in support of him were Theodor Baker, a German who studied the Seneca, Iroquois, Plains, Southwestern and Mexican Indians, and Alice Cunningham Fletcher, recorder of hundreds of Omaha, Dakota, Ponca and Pawnee songs, among others. John Comfort Fillmore adamantly disagreed with Gillman; he explained that Indians used scales, key changes, and harmony just as white people did. Considering the social climate of the time, Fillmore was sternly reprimanded for his claim. However, he had support from some of his colleagues, principally Franz Boas, who studied Eskimo and Kwakiutl songs; Boas furthermore stressed the importance of rhythm in Indian music. Densmore seems to assume that readers have a good understanding of musical notation and scales; therefore, the intricacies of the Gillman/Fillmore debate are largely beyond the scope of the non-musical student. The sections of the article that simply describe contributions to the study of Indian music lack a certain sense of direction. Perhaps a simple, central thread could have combined the Gillman/Fillmore argument with the notes on the others ethnographic projects to make the article more valuable as a broad view of the study of Indian music in the nineteenth century.

CLARITY: 3
KRISTINA WILSON University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Garth, Thomas B. A Comparison of Mental Abilities of Nomadic and Sedentary Indians on a Basis of Education. American Anthropologist Vol.29:206-213.

The author’s objective is to indicate the technical problems with another article he wrote entitled “The Comparison of the Mental Abilities of Mixed and Full Blood Indians on a Basis of Education”, in which he illustrated that the mixed-blood performance was eleven percent higher (on average) than the full-blood performance. The Plains and Southeastern tribes were the full-blood Indians that were tested, but “since they were of ancestry of nomadic habits roving over the plains and through the southeastern forests, we have conceived the problem of comparing these individuals of so-called nomadic habits with pure-blood Indians of an ancestry of sedentary habits” (pg.206). Another problem in this study was that there was no device to determine whether or not these were really ‘full-blood’ Indians. As a result of comparing two classes of Indians intelligence testes were not used, but group psychological tests instead. The data is broken down into median scores for the nomadic and sedentary Indians in their educational sub-groups (by grade) for each test. The data is then calculated showing the percent obtained by dividing nomadic average score by the sedentary average score. “The question then arises as to whether or not the differences indicated are real” (pg.211), as there is great variability and overlapping present. After taking the overlap into consideration the author then concludes that the differences are real and that in tests of higher mental process, the Indians of nomadic descent are better than those of sedentary ancestry.

The author obtains his objective by outlining problems with his initial study and after acknowledging these issues, illustrates that even with the variability and overlap he can still conclude that Indians of nomadic descent scored higher than those of sedentary descent. The article is slightly difficult to follow and the reader would benefit from reading the article that this article addresses.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
LINDSAY THOMPSON University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Garvan, John M. A Survey of the Material and Sociological Culture of the Manobo of Eastern Mindanao. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29:567-604

The author’s objective is an ethnographic description of the Manobo people of the Phillipines. In this article (formerly and originally published as chapters II & III of a monograph for the Bureau of Science of Manilla), Gavan has argued that, contrary to popular belief where the Manobo peoples are seen as dangerous, hostile and/or ferocious, he extends the idea that “good sense, sympathy and courtesy…” (p. 568), are common amongst these tribes people. This argument is important because, although Garvan believes the Manabo are of primitive nature, he insists “they are the least influenced by civilization and that they still live their ancestral lives, uncommercialized, unsophisticated and unspoiled…” (p. 569). Garvan comes to recognize the knowledge of the Manobo language and customs by describing this with material, mental/moral and religious evidence.

Some material evidence to support Garvan’s argument of the “primitive” nature of these tribes people, are shown through their choice of dwellings. Each family carefully selects a site on the Augusan River, eight meters above ground, in a one-room house to fit the entire family. The house sits above a pigpen, where the family’s animals survive off the falling refuse from the tenants above.

Mental/moral characteristics of the Manobo peoples also demonstrate Garvan’s idea of an “unsophisticated and unspoiled” life (p. 569). His research shows that the Manobo peoples have a limited educational attainment since there does not exist a written system; and correspondingly, their limited knowledge of mathematics is expressed by counting with their fingers and toes, and grains of corn. Although, given their lack of scientific knowledge, Garvan suggests, “their observation of nature is marvelous” (p. 595). Their good sense and sympathetic outlook is expressed in their long familiarity and respect for the forest, streams and mountains.

Through religious ideas of the Manobo, Garvan’s thoughts concerning an “unspoiled” and “least influenced lifestyle by civilization” (p. 569) are provoked. “Agriculture and hunting operations are all preformed under the auspices of gods and goddesses” (p. 591). According to the author, since “tradition” and religion are essential aspects of Manobo life, it is these same elements that impede on the advancement in civilization amongst these people.

Garvan manages to accomplish his objective in describing the Manobo peoples, although his work exemplifies an empirical kind of collection of its time.

CLARITY RANKING:4
DIANA SENICHENKO University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Gifford, Edward Winslow. Southern Maidu Religious Ceremonies. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29:214-257.

In an ethnographic overview the author reveals that the Maidu are a “God-impersonating cult…in which the participants in the most important ceremonies impersonated spirits and deities” (pg.214). “The presence of a male secret society, the use of disguise, and the use of a large earth covered house together with a log foot-drum” (pg.215) are regarded by Kroeber as distinctive traits of this cult system. The article first deals with the three strata of Southern Maidu dances- southern, northern and indigenous. Secondly further details on ceremonial gatherings, the dance houses and dance paraphenalia are filled in. The role of shamans in Maidu religious practices is explored thirdly, followed by a final overview of the social structure, including the role of chiefs and village structure.

The lowest and earliest stratum of Maidu dances constitutes the simplest and least elaborate form of the God-impersonating cult; these dances are categorized as ‘indigenous’. The dances that come from the south were influenced and connected with the Ghost Dance cult which was introduced by an ‘Indian’ named Yoktco around 1872. Also connected with these widespread dances is “the custom of confining boys and girls in the dance house in order to teach them songs, which were sung as dance accompaniment”(pg.224). Here the author also notes that the two earlier strata are not associated with confinement. The northern groups of dances are also derived from the influence of Yoktco, but have no link to confinement. As further details are filled in the bigger picture is illustrated; Women attended dances but not all children did, as they might be frightened. Not all men became dancers, and according to the dance calendar these events did not take place in the winter. The kum is the Maidu dance house which is the same as a ‘sweathouse’, although it is actually several times larger than a real sweathouse (pg.240). Shamans manifested themselves in “the initiation of boys who expected to become shamans, the contest of shamans, and the seance in which the spirits of the dead were conjured” (pg.242-243). Their primary function was to cure disease and was perpetuated after the third strata mentioned earlier. After the Maidu religious ceremonies were described the picture elaborated to include the structure under which these ceremonies took place; Villages were chieftainships and spoke the same sub-dialect, but were politically independent and there was no chief over all (pg.251). He concludes that the absence of rigid localization would aid in the diffusion of dances and that Yoktco comprised the majority of elaborate dances within the cult.

Gifford obtains his objective of providing an ethnographic overview of Southern Maidu religious ceremonies and outlining evidence to prove that it is a God-impersonating cult. The specifics of the dances are not concrete; however, the conclusions are based on solid evidence.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
LINDSAY THOMPSON University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Gillett, Henry W., D.M.D, F.A.C.D. Contacts Between Archaeological and Dental Research.American Anthropologist. 1927 Vol. 29 : 291-295

This article discusses the role of dental research in archaeological investigations. Dental research was traditionally omitted from these investigations into past cultures; specimens of teeth and jaws deemed as imperfect and therefore of little value to the laboratory of Physical Anthropology, had been returned to excavations. There are two reasons proposed for this treatment of the material, first the archaeologists lack the knowledge to realize the importance of these specimens and secondly, those who possess this knowledge (dentists) are unaware of their existence. It is this lack of communication that leads to the omission of such important specimens.

The importance of dental research lies in the information it can provide regarding food supply and food habits. A diet what lacks the elements necessary for the development of good teeth, would have deleterious results. As well, the use of teeth and jaws in the mastication of food could influence the development of disease-resisting masticating organs. This form of study can also give information for the history of a disease in a culture. As example of this is a study in Pecos, New Mexico, it revealed that every pathological condition dentists treated in this region was also found in the prehistoric remains of the area. This was contrary to the long held belief that the diet of primitive races made them free from modern ailments.

The specimens needed for dental research are often friable and after excavation, exposure to the outside atmosphere, they can quickly lose enamel, becoming useless for study. Included in this article are steps which are necessary for the preservation of the specimens (as well as a list of specimens useful for research). An address is provided for the storage and study of these specimens.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
VANESSA PALSENBARG University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Goddard, Pliny Earl. Facts and Theories Concerning Pleistocene Man in America. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 262-266

This article suggests a relatively new theory for its time concerning the original migration of human beings to North America from Asia. Goddard suggests that, contrary to popular belief, human beings indeed arrived in the Americas some time during the Pleistocene time period, which spanned from 1.8 million to 11,000 years ago, not later, as suggested by others at the time.

Goddard’s evidence for this assertion is quite concrete. First of all, worked flints dating back to the Pleistocene were recently discovered under the fossilized skeleton of an extinct species of bison in Texas. Therefore, humans must have been living there at the time. Other remains referable to the Pleistocene have been found scattered throughout the southern United States, the only region in North America whose land was not covered by ice.

Goddard sets up a logical time frame with his knowledge of the timing of the ice ages that occurred during the Pleistocene. According to Goddard, it would have been very difficult and unlikely for many people to have crossed the Behring Strait after the retreat of the ice cap. It would also be unlikely for entire areas of North and South America to have been populated so fully so rapidly given the previous time frame. Drawing on what he knows about the ice ages, Goddard proposes his ideas for the migration patterns within North America traveled by the different Native American tribes.

Goddard’s article is not very difficult to understand, but his organization is poor and requires a second reading to grasp his argument.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
KATHRINE RUSSELL Columbia University (Paige West)

Guthe, Carl E. The University of Michigan Philippine Expedition. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 69-76

After three years of archaeological fieldwork in the Philippine Islands, here the author briefly outlines the extent of his research. He details how the material was collected, what was found, and the conditions in which items were recovered. Of primary import is the finding of Asiatic ceramics, the distribution of which the author correlates with a proposed geographic profile of early Chinese trading in the area. Guthe refrains from additional speculation, as the data had not yet been fully analyzed at the time of writing the article; nonetheless, he does presume that further study of the materials should add not only to the knowledge of early Chinese commerce, but also to a better understanding of the earlier Filipino cultures (75).

Instead of surveying all of the Philippine Islands, the team concentrated on those in the southern half because of transportation difficulties. They gathered information from locals and foreigners familiar with archaeological sites or in possession of archaeological remains. Artifacts were found in caves, burial grounds, and houses, where artifacts were bought from their owners.

About seventy-five percent of the items collected were ceramics of Chinese origin, obtained mostly from caves. Guthe suspects that these ceramics came from the era of the Sung dynasty and were traded by the Chinese in return for local wares. Artifacts such as weapons, ornaments and pipes were also found in caves, and elsewhere, and were usually associated with burials. The author posits that the skeletons themselves were once simply laid out on cave floors, or in burial grounds, buried without a coffin; in both cases preservation was minimal. Human skeletal bones, ceramics and other artifacts were typically found amassed in depressions in caves, suggesting that they were carried there by water at one time. Recent human and animal activity had further reduced the level of preservation. In burial grounds, ploughs had usually shattered the human remains.

Guthe concludes very little about early Filipino cultures, except that they possibly reflect those of the modern interior tribes on the larger islands. Similarly, he is rather vague regarding his hypothesis on Chinese commerce. He suggests that further research along various archaeological avenues, as well as ethnographic ones, would enable researchers to put forward more concrete theories.

CLARITY: 3
KRISTINA WILSON University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Harrington, M.R. A Primitive Pueblo City in Nevada. American Anthropologist March, 1927 Vol. 29(2):262-277

M.R. Harrington discusses his work done in the Pueblo Grande in Nevada and describes his archaeological findings. He begins by discussing the architecture of the pueblo. The most primitive houses found were the pit-dwellings, most often seen with adobe walls in Pueblo Grande. Notably, the houses were circular or oval, with semicircular courts in the larger houses. They were pretty much all one story; some had lateral entrances and some hatchways in the roofs. The walls were constructed of adobe bricks, or more typically, long masses of adobe. Some, particularly larger rooms, mixed stone with adobe. Most of the rooms were very small, never larger than ten or twelve feet in diameter. Harrington proposes that this may be due to the lack of long poles for roof beams. Most houses consisted of only one room, others had up to four, and the largest was found to have almost a hundred.

The artifacts they collected were found in three places: ruined rooms, waste deposits, and graves. Graves yielded the best preserved artifacts, and were filled with various pottery vessels, implements, and ornaments. Harrington goes into detail of the different pottery types found in the Pueblo Grande, discussing the decorations and functions on many types of vessels. He also mentions that while arrowheads were found, axes were not, which are normally seen in pueblos. Animal bone was also very rarely used. They also found remains of textiles, baskets, sandals, and netting bags, though these were all poorly preserved.

From such findings he concludes that the people of pueblo Grande relied largely on agriculture, less on animal resources. This pueblo, though very similar to other excavations done, has yielded some unique findings, and Harrington acknowledges that they have yet to place it chronologically.

CLARITY: 4
FRANCESCA SACASA Columbia College (Paige West)

Harrington. Pueblo Grande de Nevada. American Anthropologist 1927 (262x)

Harrington begins his article by bringing to light the fact that although the remains of several primitive Pueblo developments are scattered all over the southwest, they earn far less attention than the later, more elaborate cliff dwellings of still prehistoric, yet later Pueblo cultures. The Museum of the American Indian and The Heye Foundation, in coopertion with the State of Nevada came upon the discovery of a city of adobe ruins and pit-dwelling near St. Thomas, Nevada. Harrington discusses how this discovery sheds additional light on the remote period of prehistoric Pueblo society when its culture was taking shape and Pueblo architecture was being formed. The official name of the unearth ruins is “Pueblo Grande de Nevada,” although the media and press refer to the city lightheartedly as “Lost City.” Pueblo Grande seems to have been the largest Puebloan settlement in the State of Nevada. At its widest, the city was no more than a mile; however, in most places it is much less.
As Harrington describes the structure and the layout of most of the houses discovered, we see the extremely primitive nature of the homes. He points out that homes later developed from these crude pit dwellings, yet they began as simple pits in somewhat irregular rows. In the article, Harrington discusses the evolution to rectangular shape of the “rooms,” and describes the development of floors and walls. He continues to explain the evolution of trapdoors to relatively “modern” windows and doors, steps, ceilings, floors, and fireplaces. His descriptions bring the reader to an understanding of how the simple dwellings seemed to sprout into the image of a many-roomed house; truly rectangular homes in rows with floors on the ground level were actually being built before Pueblo Grande was abandoned. He even claims that the primitive homes ranged in size from one to three rooms all the way up to nearly one hundred rooms! With Harrington’s detailed descriptions and explanations, we see how true Pueblo architecture was formed.
Just as Harrington thoroughly described the process of architectural evolution within this small city, he explains how as time progressed, sediment and residue slowly built up around the city and buried the physical remains of culture and life. With the buried dead, archaeologists found objects in perfect condition that were found in pieces
elsewhere. This natural preservation teaches us all today what life was like for the early Pueblos. Harrington explains how pottery was the most abundant evidence of life, and that the different kind of pottery discovered revealed how the tribes advanced in their knowledge of pottery and in their ability to make it, as well as their knowledge of how to create tools and goods. Two exceptionally preserved graves produced a girdle, colored cotton yarn, and most spectacularly, basketry.
Harrington concludes his article by stating that “there has been no time for extended comparisons, so any conclusions formed must be regarded as tentative (271).” What he refers to is Pueblo Grande’s exact location in the chronological timeline of the Southwest.
The article declares that this dwelling is most like the one found at Paragonah, Utah, and yet goes on to state many differences, as well as similarities. “Paragonah seems to show a higher state of development than ours and quite possibly represents the same culture at a later time.” Initially, experts thought it exemplified the transition period between the Pre-Pueblo and Early Pueblo periods. However, it is now believed instead to be a progression culture from the Post-Basket-Maker stage directly into the Early Pueblo. According to Harrington, this would account for the conditions found at Pueblo Grande de Nevada.

CLARITY: 3
GRACE COYLE Colombia College (Paige West)

Holdredge, Claire Parker and Young, Kimball. Circumcision Rites Among the Bajok.American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29: 661-669

The authors’ objective is to describe the rites of male circumcision among the Bajok people of Africa, “which serve as the ceremony to initiate the adolescent into adult age classes” (662). Holdredge and Young have written this account based on the fieldwork of two anthropologists- Roscoe and Brown. In Africa, “where white man has touched black native customs”, certain customs have disintegrated in areas such as weaving and hunting (663). Although these authors argue since the Bajok people have been so persistent in continuing ceremonial customs, these initiation rites have remained un-altered. Such evidence to support this argument, is the description of the process of the elaborate ceremony, the meaning of the affair, as well as the significance of the lessons of becoming a man.

The authors describe the circumcision ceremony as a lengthy and elaborate one that lasts for days. The ceremony is situated a few kilometers away from the village where only men could attend the affair. The night before the ceremony, all the men would gather to sing, dance and drink until the morning ritual. There is one operator for each boy who performs the incision and a number of rituals with each subject. After many months of healing, learning tribal customs and the secrets of manhood, the boys could return to the village as a man.

According to the authors, the meaning of the ceremony is to introduce the boys, through a traditional procedure, into the realm of manhood by ritual and mental processes. When the actual flesh is severed, it is collected and buried by the father so that no other person could find it and control or possess the boys, thereby making them do evil acts.

Holdredge and Young argue that Bajok ritual is significant because it teaches the novices these lengthy and essential rituals as well as the importance of becoming man. The day after ceremony, the boys are taught the secrets of sex and tribal matters that only men are in charge of. This offers the assumption that among the Bajok, men are the caretakers and informants on political and tribal matters in the villages. The novices could not return to the villages until after their wounds healed and their probationary period of 3-4 months ended. Upon their return to the village these transforming men performed their dances that they have learned and practiced, and then received their gifts.

Following this, they were assigned to a woman who taught them the technique of sexual intercourse. Once all this was complete, the new men were allowed to build their own house and marry if they desired.

The author’s accomplished their objective by stating the main argument of the article and then exemplified this Bajok ritual through the traditional initiation into the realm of manhood.

CLARITY RANKING:4
DIANA SENICHENKO University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Hooke, S. H. Diffusion with a Difference. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29:615-624

Hooke’s objective is “to contrast two methods of dealing with the phenomena of distribution [diffusionism]” (p. 615). In this article, Hooke argues that Clark Wissler’s (a former anthropology student of Franz Boas), definition of diffusionism (cultural spreading), is poorly defined and ambiguous; whereas Gordon Childe’s (archaeologist) idea of diffusionism is clear and concise. The author uses Wissler’s own quotes and points out his contradictions from his book The Relation of Nature to Man in Aboriginal America (p. 615), and compares it to Childe’s “brilliant book, The Dawn of European Civilization” (p. 617). Evidence to support Hooke’s argument is used by stating Wissler’s mistakes in defining distribution, cultural isolation and the origin of Indigenous peoples of the New World. Secondly, the author refutes Wissler’s same idea of isolation through material traits of one culture. And thirdly, Hooke compares Wissler’s two ideas with Childe’s more favourable definition of diffusionism.

Hooke argues that, “Wissler’s treatment of culture distribution is vitiated throughout by oversimplification” (p. 618). Assuming that Wissler believes that indigenous people originated by the Alaska-Siberian connection, Hooke questions how this migration would conclude the way in which these people reached a position of cultural isolation in the New World (p. 616). Consequently, Hooke questions again, Wissler’s idea of the cultural matter and intelligence distribution, where the former argues against this by using the analogy of the invention of ball games. He argues that ball games took place contemporaneously not only in North American mythology, but in Egypt, Europe and Australia. Hooke therefore refutes Wissler’s idea of isolation and material/mental distribution.

Hooke asserts another fault in Wissler’s work, which is undermining archaeological evidence in finding similar material and mental characteristics between the Old and New World. For example, the elements of the Sun Dance practiced by indigenous people in North America, resemble parts of ceremonies in other places of the world (p. 619). Therefore Hooke disagrees with Wissler’s idea of cultural isolation in defining material traits of one culture, since one ceremonial practice can occur contemporaneously in other parts of the world.

Accordingly, Hooke argues and briefly describes Childe’s definition of diffusionism being an instructive one. The author therefore refutes Wissler’s concept by comparing his inaccurate and ambiguous work with other modern day anthropologists (especially with Childe’s), who have properly used this concept.

Hooke obtains his objective by comparing Wissler and Childe’s views of diffusionism with discrepancy; however, the author does not give much detail to Childe’s definition of distribution. Hooke accomplishes his objective, although the article was fairly difficult to interpret.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
DIANA SENICHENKO University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Hough, Walter. A New Type of Stone Knife. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29:296-299.

The author’s objective is to discuss an “unusual implement of chipped flint, which in all probability is a knife”. It differs from the form of a flint knife because it is nocked for hafting on one corner opposite the cutting edge instead of being nocked equally on both corners of the base. The first specimen was found in Taos, New Mexico, where it was “used by Pueblos as a fetish in accord with their custom in regard to ancient stone implements”. Several other of these unusual implements, this time made out of obsidian, were found in a cave near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Texas proved to be a third locality including a lake at San Marcos and Travis Co. A translucent stone flint was photographed in Terry, Montana and added to the data, which serves as sufficient authority to regard this knife as a new type of flint implement. These specimens can be broken down into three variation: the first has finger grips formed in the handle, the second is rounder and simpler and shows a diagonal cutting edge, while the third is also cut on a diagonal edge. The author then notes that it is desired to “call this form to the attention of museums and collectors in the hope of extending the range of this rare type of flint knife”.

The author accomplishes his objectives in this short but informative article, and hopefully invokes interest in this type of flint in the anthropological world.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
LINDSAY THOMPSON University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Houghton, Frederick The Migrations of the Seneca Nation. American Anthropolgist 1927 Vol. 29: 241-250

In this article, the author discusses the migrations of the Seneca Nations. The author suggests that the present habitats of the Seneca are party due to the migrations during late historic times; however, it is also partly due to little known but evident movements during early historic and prehistoric times. During American Revolution, the Seneca affiliated themselves with the English, and consequently, the Seneca villages were burned. Since these events took place during early autumn, a time when cornfields in about every Seneca village were beginning to ripen, all of the cornfields were destroyed and the Seneca found themselves threatened with starvation. As a result, they fled to their allies, the English, at the nearest depot at Fort Niagara. In the following spring, the English government provided farming tools, and seeds to the Seneca; therefore, enabled them to form new homes. Seneca establish their new villages in areas along Buffalo Creek, Tonawanda Creek, Cazenovia Creek, and Cattaraugus Creek in western New York. In 1779, the villages were very fertile, and highly productive in farming. The aroused the admiration of the French. As a result, the French governor, Denonville, penetrated the isolated Seneca country at Irondequoit Bay, burned their four great towns and destroyed their farms. One large portion moved eastward to the region between Canandaigua Lake and Seneca Lake. A second group settled along the middle reaches of the Genesee River. According to the author, the latest pre-European Seneca village was at Richmond Mills, near Honeoye Lake. The first pre-European Seneca site was at Portageville, just above the falls of the Genesee River. In addition, the origin of the Seneca village was thought to be at Bolivar. In concluding his article, the author suggests that the most reasonable theory of the origin of the Seneca is that they were branches of the Erie nation, or of the people who later became the Erie.

This article is easy to follow, but there were parts that may confuse the readers. There was also information that I thought was unrelated to the article.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHRISTINE LAM University of British Columbia, Canada (John Barker)

Krober, A.L. Disposal of the Dead. American Anthropology. 1927, Vol.29: (308-315).

In this article the author discusses and compares the burial practices of specific aboriginal groups in California with those of other groups throughout the world. The author has two primary objectives, the first of which is to argue against the commonly believed assertion which claimed that Californian aboriginal burial practices were consistent. The second objective is to determine whether “affect-laden” customs, which evolve as a result of cultural integration and/or assimilation are inherently less stable than emotionally based or “low-toned” customs.

To address his first aim, the author analyses the archaeological evidence that pertained to aboriginal groups throughout California. In doing so, he finds that groups such as the Salinan, Maidu and other tribes, had not always buried their dead, as was commonly believed. Based on the author’s observations of charred evidence that dated back to an earlier period, he asserts that at one time some of the dead bodies must have been cremated. Likewise, through his research of mound sites along the San Francisco bay, which were originally believed to have functioned as crematories, the author finds that dead bodies were also interred.

In order to address his second objective, the author describes the burial practices of several cultures throughout the world. Although he refers to specific continents such as Australia, pre-historic Europe, Africa, and South America and discusses specific burial practices, he does not include important details regarding the names of the tribes, or the precise regions they occupied. Nevertheless, based on the examples given, he reinforces his central argument that burial practices of particular cultures rarely remain static.

Also, by looking at a wide range of examples throughout the world, he concludes that there is not enough evidence to answer the question posed earlier- that is whether low-toned burial practices are more consistent than affect-laden ones. Having said that however, he concludes by asserting that the disposal of the dead has little to do with biological or social necessities dictated by institutions of a culture, but more to do with the class of an individual within a culture.

CLARITY RATING: 4
EVE MOREAU University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Kroeber, A. L. Coast and Highland in Prehistoric Peru. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 625-653

The author’s objective is to analytically review pre-Columbian cultural history concerning the relation of the coast and highland of Peru. Kroeber analyzes the different archaeological approaches from works of Max Uhle, who focused on coastal cultures such as the Lima culture, and Alfred Tallo, who paid particularly close attention to the highland areas like the Ica culture as well as a few coastal cultures such as the Nazco. Kroeber also uses the information supplied to him on the Peru expedition of 1926, on behalf of the Field Museum of Natural History. Kroeber argues that since 9/10th of the interior of Peru is highly unknown, then the construction of Peruvian cultures are one sided. Therefore, since most of this material representation comes from the coast, Kroeber suggests that one cannot determine the conclusive origin of coastal culture. To support his argument, Kroeber uses evidence of Uhle’s framework and data collection of the Lima culture, Tallo’s work with Nazco culture, and the material investigation (such as ceramic remnants) supplied from his 1926 expedition.

Kroeber reveals that Uhle’s work provides “a foundation of our understanding of Peruvian culture”, yet not something to base all answers on (625). Uhle’s method was that of distinguishing and identifying origin and dates of emerging cultures through materials such as styles of monuments, sculptures and ceramics stratified in the earth through time (625). For example, through scientific investigation, Uhle argues that Lima shows first signs of Tiahuanaco culture (Bolivian highland), since he found painted ceramics similar to this style.

In addition, Kroeber argues that Tallo’s more specific highland research, implies that Nazco coastal culture is found as a later phase of highland irradiation/ or influence. These highland cultures, which also seemed to have influenced Cuzco and Inca (more interior, midland cultures), identify Nazco style as a larger culture movement of highland origin.

Kroeber’s final evidence to support his argument is through the excavation in 1926. Since 150 of 30 000 Nazco style graves were opened, less than 1% of interpretations are based on clear evidence concerning Nazco origin. By stating this reveals that it is difficult to pin point where Nazco style originated. In addition, Kroeber and others believe that highland cultures (since it holds 2/3rd’s of Peru’s population), marks as a register of what happened on the coast, however, it cannot account for evidence of exact coastal cultural origin, such as Nazco’s (631).

The author accomplishes his objective successfully, although much attention is deserved in following names of areas in reporting these details.

CLARITY RANKING:4
DIANA SENICHENKO University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Langford, George. The Fisher Mound Group, Successive Aboriginal Occupations Near The Mouth of the Illinios River. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29:153-205.

This detailed survey of an old Indian village and mound site, located in Northeastern Illinios about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, represents more than one culture throughout its stratigraphic layers. The numerous superimposed graves, more specifically, mark evidence of at least three occupations.

The Fisher site is a “glacial limestone gravel deposit overlain by a veneer of dark surface soil, with sandstone and clay of the Lower Coal Measures beneath”. The author refers to different mounds and pits separately, making the site easier to envision and the article easier to read. Various evidence of occupations are kept in the context of they layers in which they were found. Such findings include “human burials and relics, clay pots and artifacts of stone, bone, copper and shell (found in the middle layer) above which was a great bulk of loose refuse, potsherds, chert flakes, clams and shells and splintered animal bones”. The lower level contains the largest skeletal remains in the mounds.

Consistently throughout the article, the author distinguishes between what information was found, stating the evidence, location and layer, and the occupation it is associated with. Along with the specifics of the unearthed artifacts, Langford attempts to connect his findings to mortuary customs, the manufacturing of clay pots and the role of copper, shell and animal bones within the cultures that once inhabited the site. It should also be noted that chipped stone implements, along with some animal bone artifacts) served as indicators of a stone culture in the Lower level.

Langford’s objective is to give a detailed survey of his findings at the Fisher site, while breaking it down into the locality and stratigraphic context. The author accomplishes his objectives in this detailed article that requires careful reading to get an understanding of the many aspects described. The reader would also benefit from an archaeological background as it is geared to the archaeological details and specifics of the site.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
LINDSAY THOMPSON University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Linton, Ralph. Report on Work of Field Museum Expedition in Madagascar: From January to September 9, 1926. American Anthropologist 1927, Vol. 29: (292- 307).

The author’s main objective is to provide information about Madagascar to other anthropologists who may be travelling in the area. This information is based on his experience in the region, while he was serving as US government agent in search of purchasable land and collectables.

To discuss the country, he divides his paper into fifteen main topic which include geography, transportation, climate, living conditions, health, natives, working methods, and so on. In doing so the author attempts to give a well-rounded view of the country. However, it is important to notice that many of his descriptions regarding the country and its people are overly simplistic. When discussing the natives for example, he states that they are “surprisingly uniform”(295). He goes on to ethnocentrically describe them as “uniformly cowardly, treacherous and dishonest…” and later as “universally suspicious of anything or any one connected with the government”(297). None of these declarations are well substantiated but instead they reflect the author’s attitude toward the people of Madagascar.

Although the article is clearly written and easy to read, it provides an overly simplistic view of the country. This work would be particularly useful for researchers interested in such topics as ethnocentrism in anthropology and strategies used to collect “curiosities” for museum exhibits.

CLARITY RATING: 4
EVE MOREAU: University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Linton, Ralph. Report on Work of Field Museum Expedition in Madagascar: From January to September 9, 1926. American Anthropologist 1927, Vol. 29: 292- 307.

The author’s main objective is to provide information about Madagascar to other anthropologists who may be travelling in the area. This information is based on his experience in the region, while he was serving as US government agent in search of purchasable land and collectables.

To discuss the country, he divides his paper into fifteen main topic which include geography, transportation, climate, living conditions, health, natives, working methods, and so on. In doing so the author attempts to give a well-rounded view of the country. However, it is important to notice that many of his descriptions regarding the country and its people are overly simplistic. When discussing the natives for example, he states that they are “surprisingly uniform”(295). He goes on to ethnocentrically describe them as “uniformly cowardly, treacherous and dishonest…” and later as “universally suspicious of anything or any one connected with the government”(297). None of these declarations are well substantiated but instead they reflect the author’s attitude toward the people of Madagascar.

Although the article is clearly written and easy to read, it provides an overly simplistic view of the country. This work would be particularly useful for researchers interested in such topics as ethnocentrism in anthropology and strategies used to collect “curiosities” for museum exhibits.

CLARITY RATING: 4
EVE MOREAU: University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Linton, Ralph. Rice, A Malagasy Tradition. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29:654-670

This article is an ethnography regarding the meaning and tradition of rice among the Malagasy people. Ralph Linton recorded the article in a field expedition to Madagascar, led by the Museum of Natural History of Chicago. Linton’s objective is to explain the cycle or rice from the moment it is seeded to the moment it is eaten and prayed for by the Malagasy people. Linton argues that the lengthy process of farming rice and celebrating its production is the most important aspect of the Malagasy tradition. Evidence to support his work is explained by: the production of rice, the mythological and superstitious beliefs during the harvest, and finally the symbolic nature this tradition represents to the Malagasy people.

The author reveals the importance of the production process as being extremely specific, since there exists seventy different types of rice. Linton explains the method of sowing, labouring and harvesting which entails intense planning.

Linton explores the Malagasy mythological and religious beliefs concerning rice. For example, “it was forbidden to eat peanuts or to burn green plants at the fire in the house, while the rice was growing” (657). This action was believed to bring locusts to the fields and/or beckon natural catastrophes such as severe hailstorms and bring damage to crops.

Finally, Linton discloses the symbolic importance of rice to the Malagasy by the different ways of preparing food. He explains the special thanksgiving ceremonies, as well as the prayer sessions that were done directly to the gods [of rice]. This action affirms protection, for the well being of the people as well as their ancestors.

The author manages to attain his objective by recording the cycle of rice from the historical information and traditional knowledge of the Malagasy people. Linton appears to be writing for a wide audience, which therefore allows the general public to easily understand the article.

CLARITY RANKING:4
DIANA SENICHENKO University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Lutz Henry. The Sumerian and Anthropologist. American Anthropologist. 1926,Vol. 29: 202-209.

The author’s main objective is to argue that the Sumerian people, with their keen interest to understand cultural development, were in many ways similar to anthropologists of the 19th and 20th-centuries. Unlike the Semitic people who believed that humans became more imperfect over the course of time, Sumerians, like many anthropologists, believed that humans progressed from a primitive stage to one that was more developed or civilized.

In order to effectively support his claim, Lutz first establishes that the Sumerian people were in fact interested in the development of culture. To illustrate this point he looks at two Sumerian belongings: the seal cylinders and the Didactic Poem. In both examples, there are references to hunting groups, which predate the Sumerian settlers. For example, upon each seal are the pre-Sumerian heroes, Enkidu, who is represented with bison horns, and Gilgamesh, who is often seen fighting a bison. According to Lutz, this animal, which is intrinsically related to hunting, indicates that Enkidu and Gilgamesh must represent a pre-Sumerian hunting people. These seals, therefore, must indicate that the Sumerians had an interest in the cultures preceding them.

The Sumerian Didactic Poem of Creation also supports this claim. The author refers to the poem in order to discuss the Sumerian perspective of cultural development. In their view, humans originate at a ‘low stage’ -that is, nomadic and hunting-based- and progress to a ‘higher stage,’ which refers to cultures that are settled and ‘civilized’.

The author accomplishes his objective, which is to liken Sumerians to anthropologists, through a clear, well organized, and well-supported discussion.

CLARITY RATING: 4
EVE MOREAU: University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker).

MacLeod, William Christie Trade Restrictions in Early Society. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29:271-278

The author describes some trade restrictions in early society. The first trade restriction that the author talks about includes the Mohawk and Onandaga. The Long House include the Seneca, in the west, Keppers of the Western Door; the Mohawk, in the east, Keepers of the Eastern Door; and the Onandaga, in the center. In the middle of 17th century, the French of Canada traded with the Onandaga by shipping merchandise around Lake Ontario straight into the Onandaga country. By going around Lake Ontario instead of going through Mohawk, they avoided paying a toll to the Mohawk. In 1652, the Mohawk protested. They wanted to change the policy of the confederacy by insisting that French goods from St. Lawrence must enter by their “door” and pay toll as they pass through. Another type of restriction that is described in the article happened among the natives of the Huron Iroquois. The restriction suggested that those who discovered a new line of trade or new field of trade automatically has a monopoly to this line of field. Moreover, family was also regarded as the unit of political representation; therefore, the family was, typically, the owner of its own territory. As a result, anyone wishing to travel across the territory of a family or band had to pay the family owner or the feudal lord or chief a payment equaling to the fine for trespass. For instance, in great Northwest, the Hudson Bay Company found that Stone Age aborigines had very definite trade boundary and trade regulations. The natives of this region were not interested in the fines, but rather wanted to act as middlemen between adjacent groups because they could make a profit by doing this. However, some groups fail to act as middlemen because adjacent groups were stronger and more powerful. In northwest coast, intergroup trade was very important, and sometimes vital to their survival.

The author concluded that early groups were not only greedy for resources of raw materials, but also eager for new markets. As a result, wars were often declared, and the weak were often exploited by the strong.

The article is interesting to read, but must be read slowly, especially when readers have no previous understanding in aborigines.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTINE LAM University of British Columbia, Canada. ohn Barker)

Nelson, N. C. Archaeological Research in North China. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 177-201

After scientists gained access to China around the turn of the century, three researchers made some notable discoveries mainly in the northern part of the country. In this article, Nelson comprehensively summarizes the finds of these researchers by analyzing their various papers on archaeological, geological and geographical finds. At the time, it was believed that humans originated in Asia, thus, archaeology is the primary focus above all else.

The author explains that Dr. J. G. Andersson s papers deal with thirty-eight Eneolithic sites, including peat bogs in the Peking Plain, the village of Yang Shao in northwestern Honan, Sha Kuo T un cave in Manchuria, and various localities in Kansu Province. He says that Dr. Andersson s finds included whole villages as well as isolated ceramics, skeletons, worked bone, antler and shells, etc.

In the work of Father Vincent and Father Teilhard de Chardin, Nelson highlights discoveries of Paleolithic remains that are similar to those associated with the Mousterian and Aurignacian cultures. He also notes Neolithic findings from the region within the northern limits of the bow in the Yellow River.

Despite his detailed summaries of the three archaeologist s discoveries, Nelson claims that there are still many gaps in the record, but if scientists had more information from French Indo-China, Yunnan, Tibet and Siberia, more conclusive observations could be made. He also states that while findings neither negate nor substantiate evidence for human origins in China, they do suggest that human culture originated elsewhere.

CLARITY: 3
KRISTINA WILSON University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Schuller, Rudolph. The Native Country of the Maya-K’ice Indians. American Anthropologist, 1927: 231-240.

This article concerns itself with the original homeland of the Maya-K’ice Indians, as well as the time and circumstances in which the Maya and Huaxteca separated. Schuller begins by critiquing the theory of the well-known German scholar, Sapper, and later goes on to essentially disprove many of Sapper’s claims. Schuller explains that it is not accurate to group languages together based only on the similarities of their words, something Sapper apparently does, and also that simply the nature of the language of a people does not show us definitely the migration pattern of those peoples.

Schuller goes on to explain some of the more ethnological characteristics of the Huaxteca people- how they were a strong people uninfluenced by even the Catholic church. He explains that for a people to be so strong and uninfluenced, they must have been very numerous as smaller groups tended to be more easily influenced and converted by other cultures. Because they were such a numerous people, a large scale migration would have been nearly impossible. He also shows that the migration that Sapper claimed happened could not have happened even if the Huaxteca were a smaller people, since then they would have been assimilated into the other societies they passed through.

Based on his own interpretation, as well as other’s research, Schuller concludes that the Huaxteca migration must have occurred in very early times and that it undoubtedly had a large impact on the linguistic and ethnic makeup of the land. He claims that this Huaxteca migration created a separation between the Huaxteca and the Maya that was never fixed. He does not seem to give a definite answer to one of his two opening questions: the original homeland of the Maya, although he does say in the beginning of the article, that there could be no scientifically accurate answer.

CLARITY: 3
JENNY COHEN Barnard College (Paige West)

Schuller, Rudolph; The Native Country of the Maya- K’ice Indians, American Anthropologist, 1927, pg. 231

Schuller seeks to discover where lay the original homeland of the Maya- K’ice, and when, and under what circumstances did the Huaxteca, the northernmost branch of the Maya-K’ice (linguistic) tribe separate from the Maya. Indian race. He offers an alternate opinion as to where the Maya originally came from. He quotes the common opinion of a German scholar known as Sapper, who believed that the Huaxteca, a Mayan tribe traveled from Southwest Mexico to Northeast Mexico. Schuller seeks to prove that the Mayan tribe originally existed in the Northeast and then traveled southwest.

He proves his case by combining ethnographic data of tribes to geographical remnants. Furthermore, he discusses the hardships that would come upon a relatively small tribe such as the Huaxteca trying to emigrate, namely, trying to pass thru areas controlled by other, larger tribes. Therefore, Schuller believes that the original home of the Maya was along the gulf coast, close to the Huaxteca. Then, came an invasion of central Mexico by the Nahua Mexican tribe, which drove the Central Mexican residents south, and into the Maya territory. This movement caused a breach between the Maya and the Huaxteca, which has remained separate ever since. He proposes that the Maya Huaxteca made up a uniform ethnological group, with a patrilineal structure (unlike the current Huaxteca, which has been more Matrilineal since the separation). Therefore, the separation caused a movement of the Maya from North to the South, while the Huaxteca continued in the North.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
JONATHAN ROSENBERG Columbia University (Paige West)

Smith, Harlan I. A List of Petroglyphs in British Columbia. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29:605-610

The author’s objective is to identify a list of petroglyphs recorded in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Petroglyphs are defined as, “a sculpture in low relief, situated on rock in situ or at least of rather large size” (605). Since this article is plainly a list of petroglyphs, Smith has not developed any argument.

The list of petroglyphs is arranged in a geographical manner beginning with the petroglyphs in the northeastern sub-artic area to the southeastern plateau area of B.C.. The author believes it seems “desirable” to have a list like its kind to be on record for public access (606). The list is compiled of vouched sightings and reported sightings, which are also said to, “probably be correct”, since several observers have reported the sightings (605).

Smith makes a point that there is other information surrounding these petroglyphs at the Victoria Memorial Museum in Ottawa. In conjunction with this, Smith explains that the province of British Columbia created this list in 1925, naming it under the Historic Objects Preservation Act. This Preservation Act advises that under the Lieutenant-Governor, “no person shall… remove, deface, obliterate, alter add to or otherwise interfere with the historic object…” (610).

Since this article is simply a list of the locations of petroglyphs for public query, Smith accomplishes his objective briefly and minimally, although he does not attempt to define the cultural and historical context associated with these petroglyphs.

CLARITY RANKING:3
DIANA SENICHENKO University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Smith, Harlan I. A Pictograph on the Lower Skeena River, British Columbia. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29:611-614

The author’s objective is to describe the location and the visual image of a painted pictograph on the Skeena River in British Columbia. In this brief article, Smith simply describes the shapes and colours of the pictograph seen on the rock face. The article begins with the pictograph’s geographical location, the physical appearance, and then leads to a brief description of another set of pictographs along the river. Smith’s article lacks a significant amount of cultural and historical context, which signifies a “salvage” archaeological method of its time.

Smith describes the pictograph being visible from passing trains, one and a half miles East of Tyee on the Skeena River. These pictographs were painted in red and brown colours on a rock face approximately six and ten inches above the horizontal rock at the base of the cliff.

Smith argues that these images are presumed to be six “coppers” and one face, which are characteristic of the North Pacific culture (p. 613). The author inclines to say that this pictograph was made in honour of an individual, since “coppers” are associated with peoples of high status and great wealth (p. 613).

The author precedes to describe another set of pictographs further down the river, where Smith intelligently suggests that the pictograph’s “preservation as a provincial or national monument would seem well worth while…” (p. 613)

Smith accomplishes his objective by simply describing the visible archaeological monuments on the rock faces of the Skeena River.

CLARITY RANKING:4
DIANA SENICHENKO University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Smith, Harlan I. A Prehistoric Earthwork in the Haida Indian Area. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 109-111

Consisting primarily of a description of an earthwork discovered on Graham Island in the Queen Charlottes, this article provides dimensions, possible materials used in the original construction, conceivable temporal relationships between the sand dunes, trees and the earthwork, and potential functional explanations.

The discovery of the earthwork on Rose Point was made in 1919. It is comprised of various low ridges of earth, some of which form rectangles. The ridges measure twelve to eighteen inches in height and vary in length. A local resident posits that the walls are made of sods; however, Smith writes that it is more likely that they are made of timber. Covering part of the structure are sand dunes, which may have been present before or after construction. Inside one of the rectangles stands a 175 year old spruce tree. If the tree sprouted after the earthwork was built, it would date to about 1744.

Smith concludes that if there was any occupation of the site at all, it was of a short duration. He doubts that the ridges represent remains of banking around houses, for Haida houses were traditionally square. Other Haida sites have been identified as fortifications, but Smith has reservations about labeling Rose Point as such. In short, the author largely proposes what the site is not and supports his arguments with a comprehensive description.

CLARITY: 4
KRISTINA WILSON University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Smith, Victor J. Some Notes on Dry Rock Shelters in Western Texas American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 286-290

The author wrote this article in order to supply those who may be interested with some information concerning the nature of the sites that were investigated in the Big Bend district of Texas. He wrote this because there is hardly any other information about the rock shelter finds in western Texas. This district is a small district with mountains that range from 4,800 to 6.750 feet above sea level. The rock shelters may be classified as two types: long open shelters, and cave shelters extending back into a cliff. Within the shelters were several findings. In some shelters were the presence of crude drawings on the shelter walls and the rock surfaces were grooved and lines in crisscross fashion. In other places, the rock floor and wall were smooth and polished to a high gloss. This may be the result of constant contact with the human body. In the district, many desert plant materials were found. In addition, for the first few inches of digging, there were rarely other materials other than the metate and mano stone, mortar and pestle, or flints. In the article, the author also provided notes about the specimens that were found. The specimens are put into different categories such as wooden articles, sandals, and baskets. By the end of the article, the author suggested that the notes were not made to draw comparisons or to indicate negative finds. The author also included several photographs in his article.

The article was easy to follow and the photographs helped enhance the points in his article.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTINE LAM University of British Columbia, Canada (John Barker)

Smith, Victor J. Some Notes on Dry Rock Shelter in Western Texas. American Anthropologist. 1927 Vol. 286-290

This article offers information on sites being investigated in the Big Bend district of Texas. Climatic and geographic conditions of this area are favorable for the preservation of specimens; it is a semi-arid district with a rugged topography offering numerous shelters. Mountains in this area range between 4,800 to 6,570 feet above sea level, rising 300 to 2,250 feet above the surrounding valleys and plains. There are two major classifications of rock shelters in this area. The first is long open shelters, containing slabs, boulders and smaller fallen rock. The others are cave shelters, which extend back into a cliff. The floors of these shelters are often covered with fine dry dust, animal refuse, etc. between six inches and six feet deep. Shelters are found at the foot of many canyon bluffs or at the top of the talus. The shelters most used by primitive man are those that offer the best protection as well as access to nearby water sources. In many locations there are crude drawings, grooves in the stone and areas where the rock has been polished due to constant human contact. Specimens are found from the surface level to a depth of six feet, the general character of which is nearly the same throughout the district (except in one deep excavation where the twisted string found displayed less skill in its manufacture). In all cases there are specimens of food grinding implements and desert plant material used in the preparation of food and drink as well as the manufacture of baskets, ropes, sandals etc. There are few specimens found in the first few inches of excavation, they are mainly remains from the Comanche Apache as they were driven westward by the whites.

The remainder of the article is comprised of notes relating to the most important specimens found in this region. There are also photographs included displaying a typical rock shelter and some of the specimens found within.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
VANESSA PALSENBARG University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Spier, Leslie. The Association Test as a Method of Defining Religious Concepts. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29: 269-270

The author recorded a word-association list among the Havasupai of Arizona. His reason for obtaining the list was to attempt to define the vague religious concepts of the Havasupai. The author suggests that religious concepts are especially vague among the Havasupai. Havasupai, according to the author are people “poor in culture, with the barest of ceremonial life, shamanism of an unspecialized sort…” (267). Moreover, although they are the neighbor of the religiously rich Hopi, they share the lack of cultural development of the Basin tribes. Usually, there is a religious norm among a group of people, but it was obvious to the author that no two individuals among them hold the same set of beliefs. Dealing with the above ideas, the author wanted to obtain the associations in order to figure out the range and character of their beliefs. The list consists of words referring to religious things. By the end, the author suggest that the interpretation of the list was one problem was that the author knew too little of the Havasupai language.

The author’s language was easy to understand and the article was easy to follow; yet, it would be better if the author could expand his ideas or explanations a little more.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTINE LAM University of British Columbia, Canada (John Barker)

Steward, Julian H. A New Type of Carving from the Columbia Valley. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 255-261

The author’s objective is to describe in detaile a new type of aboriginal carving that was found in an excavation conducted in the Columbia Valley by the University of California during the summer of 1926. The source of material was excavated in two cremations pits. One was situated on Miller’s Island in the Columbia river at the confluence of the Columbia and the Deschutes Rivers. The other was on Oregon shore, about ten miles below Miller’s Island. The carvings comprised of human, animal and geometric figures and executed for the most part in bone, but sometimes in slate and antler or horn as well. According to the author, the most striking are the human figures. They were all done on flat bone and are notable for the accuracy and the neatness of workmanship. Moreover, the face is essentially the same with eyebrow clearly defined and they continued downward into the nose with eyes in almond shape and mouth of crescent shape. According to the author, elements of this kind art style can be traced to neighboring areas. For instance, some elements are linked with totemic figures of the Northwest Coast art. It is suggested that the use of human figures are purely ornamentation. Other artifacts that were briefly discussed about were bones used for hand-game or guessing game, fragments of war clubs made of whalebone, and pipe fragments.

The author makes his point by using a simple, but descriptive style. He enhances the article with photographs of the different artifacts that were excavated.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTINE LAM University of British Columbia, Canada (John Barker).

Strong, William Duncan. An Analysis of Southwestern Society. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29(1):1-61

The central intent in An Analysis of Southwestern Societies is to prove that aboriginal groups of the American Southwest that exhibit the house, priest and fetish complex and corresponding social divisions must have a historical relationship with one another. Accordingly, Strong argues that groups that do not possess such social traits must have been intruders to the area at some point in time. He delves into great depth concerning the specifics of moiety divisions and the extent to which the complex is practiced in each of twenty-nine aboriginal groups.

Where the house, priest and fetish complex is present, clans are divided into moieties. The moieties have distinguishing names, associated animals or characteristic face-painting. As a function of the overall group social structure, systems of either patrilineal or matrilineal descent, rules of exogamy, certain patterns of residence, etc. shape and govern each moiety.

Assuming that readers have some prior knowledge of the house, priest and fetish complex, Strong explains that one of its primary features is the ma=swut, a bundle in which ceremonial objects are placed. Among the Cupeno, Ait was considered to be alive, and baskets and other presents were made to it. The chief or priest obtained his power for this ma=swut, and he talked to it in the ma=swut language. The bundle, and the house in which it was kept, were very sacred. The author describes the importance of the complex within the context of each moiety and group as a whole.

In his article, Strong amalgamates valuable records of Southwestern aboriginal culture, drawing on the work of myriad authors who had previously worked in the area. These records may have otherwise never been integrated under such a broad interpretation; nevertheless, since the data is formatted into subjects rather than aboriginal groups, the goal of the article would have been lost in detail had it not been accompanied by maps and charts.

CLARITY: 4
KRISTINA WILSON University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Teeple, John. Maya Inscriptions, IV. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29:283-291.

“In recent articles [Teeple] attempted to work out a method of connecting Maya and Christian chronology entirely from pre-Columbian sources [which] resulted in three or four possible dates” (283). The best one, in both its relation to the Maya dates of Spanish times and its astronomical agreement made “November 22, 504 of our Julian calendar equal to Maya date 9.16.4.10.8, 12 Lamat 1 Muan” (283). The author’s objective, in this article, is to briefly outline the steps of the argument of the correlation that he reached, while pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each step.

Determining the values of glyphs D and E of the supplementary series was the first step. Secondly, pages 51-58 of the Dresden Codex (which was recognized as an eclipse table long ago) was proven to be a table of “solar eclipses, and consequently the eclipse days are new moon days” (284). In the preceding steps the author details the progression in computing a day when the sun is in conjunction with the moon’s node, and a date for the beginning of the eclipse table. Within the calendar (step five) a complete succession of 73 zero dates were evident to be possible before a repetition occurs. Then “given the system of Venus calendars and the sequence of zero dates” (258) a statement of the end of a Venus year must be identified in the inscriptions. The weakness here being that this step depends on the correctness of Teeple’s readings of the inscriptions cited. In the seventh step, “from the above combined data” (286), the author specifies that on day 9.16.4.10.8 there was an eclipse of the sun. In steps eight and nine, cycles within the Venus calendar are counted out successively resulting in six dates being found that meet the fixed conditions for 9.16.4.10.8.

Further evidence that one of the six dates must represent 9.16.4.10.8 is furnished through comparison of other people’s calculations (i.e. Wilson); revealing that at least four of the six dates would be consistent with other calculations. Of the six dates for 9.16.4.10.8, Teeple selects November 22, 504 because it coincides with other calculations (of other people) the most and because the Maya chronicles of early Spanish times seem to agree.

The author obtains the objective of outlining the nine steps used to calculate this date, and points out both strengths and weaknesses of this argument. The article focuses on previous articles written by the same author and the reader would therefore benefit from reading the articles being discussed. Previous knowledge of archaeology, more specifically astronomical readings, calendars and inscriptions, would greatly aid the reader in comprehending this detailed account of calculations.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
LINDSAY THOMPSON University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Teeple, John E. Maya Inscriptions: Stela C at Copan. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol.29:278-282.

“Stela C at Copan shows the Venus sign in Glyph 3, has the date 18 Kayab, and so has been supposed to have some relation to the calendar or movement of the planet Venus” (278). The author’s objective is to make a correlation between the inscription on this hieroglyph and the system of the Venus calendar; therefore “indicating the relation the various dates bear to one another and to the calendar” (278). The author then describes “Zero dates” in the Venus calendar, in relation to the cycles. Secondly, the link between the Venus calendar and the various calendar round dates given in the inscriptions of Stela C are charted out. Finally, although the readings and explanations can’t be proven as correct, key points of notice are outlined.

After outlining Zero date cycles in the Venus calendar year, “the date of the monument itself is given as 4 Ahau 18 Muan”(279). Venus has the most conspicuous object in the evening sky on that date, “less then 36 days from conjunction and 40 days from the end of the Venus year at 9.17.12.2.0.5 Ahau 18 Kayab” (279).

After further deciphering the dates on Stela C, the author (with out proof that these readings are correct) outline points that should be noted. First the readings are based only on Maya data, not on the correlation between Maya and Christian chronology. Second, “aside from the date of the monument there are seven dates given. Six of these seven false into their places in the Venus calendars” (281). Third, dates and events such as new moons correctly correlate between the inscription and the calendar. Fourth, other inscriptions date 40 days before the end of a Venus year, such as Altar W’ Copan. Finally, “the reading of the glyph as 13 calendar rounds, was what first led the writer to see that Stela C was a summary of the Venus calendars” (282).

The author obtains his objective to outline the correlation between the inscription and the Venus calendars. The article, however, is extremely difficult to understand and must be directed to an elite anthropological (or archaeological) audience that has an understanding of these calendars and knowledge of hieroglyphs. The author also provides reasons to support these readings and correlations although he “cannot furnish proof that these readings are correct” (281).

CLARITY RANKING: 3
LINDSAY THOMPSON University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)

Waterman, T. T. The Architecture of the American Indians. American Anthropologist April, 1927 Vol. 29 (2): 210-230

In this article, Waterman uses inference to extrapolate the entire evolution of Native American architecture in the Americas up to 1927. He proposes his analyses of this architecture as he compares regions and tribes in roughly three main categories: shape, building materials, and aesthetics and form. Waterman’s principle types of evidence are photographs and sketches of several pieces of Native American Architecture, while he grounds his arguments in common sense as he draws from his own reading.

He begins by making a case that the earliest form of houses was a circular dwelling. He suggests this based on initial contact between Europeans and Native Americans in the Bering Strait region and the sketches that remain, in addition to the lack of evidence that suggests another building style existed prior to the circular kind. Waterman extends his claim by presenting examples of the diffusion of the circular dwelling in several adaptations built by present day tribes. Waterman continues by drawing a distinction between “primitive” and “progressive” tribes and their use of the circular and square dwelling, respectively. He associates the building of square dwellings with tribes more advanced in their organization and arts. Waterman’s impression stems from the density of the distribution of the separate styles across America, presented with a shaded map that locates the Atlantic side of Central America as the foci from which the square-style house diffused northward and southward, becoming less common at the periphery inhabited by more primitive tribes.

The article proceeds to explain the use of stone with and without mortar in house building. From the use of stone, Waterman claims the first aesthetic sense in Native American architecture emerges as the construction and elaboration of stairways. Simultaneously, the use of mortar appears and expands. He constitutes the Native American architect’s aesthetic choices as an affinity for multiple doorways and façade ornamentation. Eventually, the use of doorways allows the author to claim a succession in the development of styles through the difference between pillars and round columns, rounding off his discussion with vaulted ceilings.

Waterman concludes with an apparent evolution observed by following the distribution of building styles across the map of the Americas from the periphery to the center. He also affirms that the source of the Native American architectural styling occurred from within the Americas rather than from an outside source. The evolution of architecture inherently takes time, and Waterman also believes that an outsider would not have caused a unilateral spreading of ideas without the exchange of ideas, inventions and artifacts which Christopher Columbus later spread to the Old World from the New World.

The author is logical and concise in his description of an evolution of Native American architecture. His delineation of the cultural diffusion of this architecture is plausible, yet suffers from conjecture as evidence in several examples.

CLARITY: 5
IAN L. COFRÉ Columbia University, NY (Paige West)

Webb, Wm. S. A Note on Recently Discovered Evidence Throwing Light on the Possible Age of a Kentucky Site. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29(1):62-68

In 1925, in Fox Field, Maysville, Kentucky, the author found a pair of black bear teeth with an engraving of a Maltese cross on each. AA Note on Recently Discovered Evidence Throwing Light on the Possible Age of a Kentucky Site@ sums up Webb=s understanding of these articles, as well as his speculations as to the origination of the Maltese cross in the local aboriginal art, and the age of the site.

Of considerable interest to the author is the similarity of the bear teeth to a previously discovered shell gorget from the same site. All three artifacts bear the Maltese cross, whereas only one of the teeth as well as the gorget has conical pits. Theorizing that it is not likely that the cross would have been transported by early English or French explorers, Webb suggests that perhaps the occupants of Fox Field had contact with Spanish explorers. He suggests that the pits represent exact replication of pits on a breast plate or sword hilt belonging to a Knight of Malta in the Spanish company.

Assuming that the people living at Fox Field at the time gave Agreat veneration to signs, charms and tokens@ (67) and that Spanish Aprowess in battle would by a primitive people be attributed to the effects of some charm or symbol as very potent >medicine=@ (67), Webb hypothesizes that they copied the Maltese cross for the assurance of their own success in battle. Thus, to have had contact with the Spanish, the author dates the artifacts to the early to mid sixteenth century.

CLARITY: 5
KRISTINA WILSON University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Willoughby, Charles C. An Ancient Indian Fish-Weir. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 105-108.

In this very short article on the excavation of an Indian fish-weir found in Boston, Willoughby concludes that if Boston Harbour is subsiding by about one foot per century, the fish weir must have been constructed in the early sixth century. He provides a precise account of the discovery, initially made by subway excavators; and he records the context in which artifacts (mainly stakes) were found, surrounding matrix composition, details of preservation, characteristics of artifacts, measurements of strata thickness, the artifacts, and most important to the thesis, the depth at which artifacts were found.

Willoughby explains that because the wattling (mesh of twigs and branches) begins eighteen inches above the blue clay layer into which the stakes were driven, there could not have been more than eighteen inches of silt on the bottom of the bay at the time the weir was built. The mean low tide must have been near the bottom of the wattling, and if sea level has remained constant since the weir=s construction, the land has sunk thirteen feet, eleven inches, based on depth measurements. Translated temporally with the help of a civil engineer, Willoughby posits that the weir had been built about 1400 years prior to its discovery.

Perhaps the article would have been more clear had the author described the functional aspects of a fish-weir and the principles of its construction; nevertheless, Willoughby presents a convincing argument for land subsidence in Boston Harbour.

CLARITY: 3
KRISTINA WILSON University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Wintermberg, W.J. Was Hochelaga Destroyed or Abandoned? American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 251-254

Some people thought that the village of Hochelaga was destroyed, but according to the author, there is no evidence of the destruction of the village, but rather it is more likely to have been abandoned. In the author’s point of view, the assumption of Hochelaga as being destroyed rest solely on the statement of two Indians that was written in Relation of 1642. Author opposes the statement by saying that the two Indians only said their ancestors had been driven out from the country. In supporting his views, the author brings out what he has learned from Dawson’s papers and Dawson’s Fossil Men. From Dawson’s work, the author learns that no evidence of the destruction of the village was discovered at the site of Hochelaga. Although some people suggested that the ashes, charcoal, charred corn and charred beans were due to destruction of the village by fire, the author objects this because he believes that the ashes and charcoal were remains of the fires for cooking and for warming the houses. By the end of the article, the author suggests that the broken condition of most of the artifacts found at the site is the only archaeological evidence that would suggest that the place was abandoned. The author also concluded that there was no means of learning how long Hochelaga was occupied.

Overall, the article was easy to understand. However, the section of pg. 252 regarding the different tribes was kind of confusing.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHRISTINE LAM University of British Columbia, Canada (John Barker)

Wu, Ching-Chao. The Chinese Family: Organization, Names and Kinship Terms. American Anthropologist 1927 Vol. 29: 316-325

The author’s objective is to describe the typical composition of the Chinese family, which consists of the father, mother, sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. The author argues that the configuration of the Chinese family is associated with certain responsibilities and distributions of power. Wu’s evidence to support his argument is through the family composition within the household, the idea of the “greater family” and its board members, as well as the importance of kinship terminology (318).

Wu argues that Chinese families have more than five generations living in one house, and usually, when the parents die, the eldest son in the family is granted authority to govern the household. It widely compares to the occidental family, which is composed of the husband, wife and children.

The author stresses the fact that ‘without’ the family lies “the greater family” (318). These are families bearing the same name, and therefore have a common temple, which is pivotal to the social and religious life of the Chinese. Through the greater family, a board of elders is put in charge of the greater-family affairs. These board meetings are held every year to record births of sons and marriages, which are transferred to genealogical records. Correspondingly, the board is in charge of property and income, as well as possessing judicial power where it can call a meeting to solve familial disputes.

Wu also emphasizes the importance of naming each family member with a generic name that all Chinese families use. For example, there are five different ways to say aunt or uncle depending on the age of the individual, but always with respect to the age of the husband of the family. This reflects the patrilineal characteristic in Chinese kinship traditions. Therefore, this concept is disregarded when referring to the mother’s brothers, and father’s sisters. For example, a mother’s brother is Chiu Fu and the husband of a mother’s sister is called Yi Fu.

The author accomplishes his objective in detail, although much attention to the family kinship terminology is deserved.

CLARITY RANKING:4
DIANA SENICHENKO University of British Columbia, Vancouver (John Barker)