American Anthropologist 1928

Blom, Frans. Gaspar Antionio Chi, Interpreter, American Anthropologist. 1928. Vol. 30:250-261.

Gaspar Antionio Chi was an educated, indigenous Yucatan Indian versed in several languages: Spanish, Aztec, Latin, and his native tongue. It is also believed that as he was a descendent of royalty, he also could understand and write Mayan hieroglyphs. He lived in Merida, in Yucatan, between the years 1579-1581, at which time King Charles V of Spain was interested in gathering information relating to the history, geography, and culture of his American colonies. Many colonists were unable or uninterested in writing responses to the questionnaires the king sent them, so often they hired Gaspar Antonio to fill out these papers for them. While filling out these questionnaires, Gaspar Antonio would relate his own personal views to the king about the way things have changed for the worse since the Spanish arrived. Several of these questionnaires have been found and are a wealth of information about post-colonial America as well as on this interesting interpreter.

Much of the article relates the family history of this man, told to us by various historical documents. He grew up in the district of Tutul Xiu, was the grandson of Ah Napot Xiu, and the son of Ah Kin Chi. These two men were of royal blood and were killed by a rival tribe during a supposed peace meeting. The Spanish were able to capitalize on the hatred Gaspar Antonio had for this rival tribe by aligning themselves with him. Gaspar obtained revenge by talking the rival tribe into admitting the Spanish into their lands. The Spanish consequently conquered the area for Spain. He, then 17 years of age, became the charge of Spanish missionaries where he learned Spanish and Latin. He then became an interpreter and friend to the Spanish, receiving a 200 peso grant for his pains.

This article relates the life of Gaspar Antonio Chi to share information about pre- and post-colonial America. He uses historical documents to prove his analysis, believed to be taken from the time and place his analysis is set.

CLARITY: 4
NATALIE WHITTAKER Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley).

Blom, Francis. Gaspar Antonio Chi, Interpreter. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol. 30: 250-262.

Francis Blom takes an ethnohistorical approach in offering a biography of Gaspar Antonio Chi, an interpreter for the Spanish during the early years of the New World conquest. Blom utilizes historical data in the role of “informant,” and provides a glimpse into the anthropology of colonialism. By examining several historical documents, Blom proposes that he was an important figure in the early colonial period of the Yucatan, and played a major role in the political and social environment of the time.

Blom stumbled upon Chi while examining documents form the provincial governments, answering questions posed by the Spanish King. King Charles V circulated these questionnaires in an attempt to assess the climate of his newest possession, New Spain. While studying the answers to the King’s questions, Blom noticed that the same person answered many of the questions. This led him on a search for the source of the information, and culminated with his discovery of Chi, a Mayan interpreter for the Spanish officials.

A thorough search of the historical documents revealed several mentions of Chi in the text. Gaspar Antonio was a descendant of the Xiu family, the rulers of the Mayan lands near the Spanish town of Merida in Yucatan. The rival Cocom people reportedly killed Chi’s grandfather, the Tutul Xiu, and his father, Ah Kin Chi, after a prolonged battle to resist Spanish occupation of their lands. When the Spanish returned, the rulers sided with the Spanish and encouraged the people of Mani, the Xiu capital, to learn the Spanish language and become educated. Gaspar Antonio took advantage of this opportunity to become proficient in both Spanish and Latin, according to the contemporary historian Bishop Landa. Landa took the young Gaspar Antonio under his wing, educating him in the traditions of Spain. As Chi matured, he utilized his skill in both Spanish and Mayan to interpret for his people in the courts, as well as serving as a mediator between the Spanish officials and the indigenous Mayans until his death in 1591.

Blom relied heavily on texts originating from Landa and his contemporary historians. This methodology uncovered limited information, allowing one to draw conclusions that may or may not be historically accurate. The Xiu family tree was another source of information, which Blom admited was probably inflated since it was written after the Spanish conquest. While it is obvious that much historical research went into this treatise, a more thorough examination of the documents may provide more evidence to support Blom’s conclusions about the mysterious figure, Gaspar Antonio Chi.

CLARITY: 4
CINDY CARTER University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Clements, Forrest E. Quantitative Method in Ethnography. American Anthropologist 1928 N.S., Vol. 30.p295-310.

Forrest Clements writes this article in support of a previous paper he co-authored, which presented statistical methods used to examine possible relationships between six areas in the Polynesian Islands. The earlier submission was a paper entitled “A New Objective Method for Showing Special Relationships,” which Clements published along with S.M Schenk and T.K Brown and submitted to the American Anthropologist in 1926. The objective in this latest article is twofold: the author wishes to further detail what he calls “the more ideal of fundamental aspects of the application of this statistical procedure” (295), and he also writes to defend his earlier work against the criticism it received from W.D. Wallis.

The author outlines four main points that he says are pertinent to understanding the application of this statistical method. First of all, this method is useful only in showing the evidence for, (or the absence of), relationships between sub-areas within relatively homogeneous cultures. It is also dependent on using representative samples of cultural wholes from each sub-area being compared. All of these traits must become reduced to their simplest units, which automatically weight complex or generic traits. And finally, he clarifies that derived correlations will only show the degree of positive or negative relationships that may exist between the culture areas being examined.

In the paper “Probability and the Diffusion of Culture Traits”, Wallis took issue with the objectivity of their methods and with the conclusions they derived from this study. The author’s response to this entails a definition of objectivity. He says that if data can “as far as possible rule out the errors due to individual variability in subjective attitude” (290), then a study will have achieved the highest level of objectivity possible without ever having ‘complete’ data. He posits that this is in fact what their study has done. To defend the conclusions he and his colleagues derived from their work, the author explains that the earlier article that presented this study had specifically stated that the information they were drawing on was incomplete. In addition, Clements adds that interpreting data is a subjective process and does not necessarily reflect a flawed methodology.

CLARITY RATING: 4
BRONWEN SWEENEY: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Clemmens, Forrest E. Quantitative Method in Ethnography. American Anthropologist, 1928, vol. 30: p. 295-310.

Quantitative methods in ethnography are discussed as a valuable tool for conducting research within cultures. Clemmens outlines the requirements for using the quantitative method appropriately based on his use of the method during his ethnographic work. The sample should include a range of traits, selected randomly to avoid bias. When studying similarities between cultures based on this data, there are two ways to analyze the information. One way is to say the traits arose independently, which is very unlikely. The other way is to consider the possibility of a historical connection between the groups.

Correlation is another important factor in this method. The main point is that positive or negative correlation do not directly imply a direct causality but rather that there may be a connection between the two factors. The quantitative method is meant to draw general inferences about trends within a culture. It can also show that some traits within a culture may have diffused into another culture over time or may have had little effect on the culture.

The statistical method shows positive and negative correlations between entire cultures. Specific details and traits within a culture are not considered the focal point of the data because all traits in the study are treated equally. This is because it is difficult to determine which traits, if any, should be given greater consideration.

The quantitative method is designed to show a relationship or non-relationship between groups in a culture. Also the traits studied should be representative of the culture as a whole. All areas of a culture should be equally represented to produce accurate results. It is also imperative that the traits be reduced to simplest units which will then automatically factor in specific details. A trait such as burial practice would be studied according to the “tree burial” style rather than “arms extended” or “arms wrapped”.

The statistical method and correlation may show historical connections between groups. They can also objectively show that certain areas of a culture may be similar or different. It is important to remember that correlation and the quatititative method do not directly imply that there is a direct relationship between two factors. It only points out the trend. Additional analysis may be necessary to determine the extent of a relationship.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ETHEL TOVAR. Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

Conzemius, Eduard. Ethnographical Notes on the Black Carib (Garif). American Anthropologist April-June, 1928 Vol. 30 (2): 183-205.

Eduard Conzemius basically wrote an ethnography of the Carib and condensed it to twenty pages. His apparent goal is to chronicle the culture and history of this ethnicity.

The Carib, or Garifuna as they call themselves, are a people found along the Caribbean Coast of Central America. The name Carib, stemming from cannibal, was given to them by the Spaniards, who thought they ate human flesh. They were a warlike tribe who inhabited the island of St. Vincent, from which the British government deported them in 1796. Following this, they relocated to the aforementioned coast. There are also some that live in the West Indies, called the “Island Carib,” who are nearing extinction. The Central American Carib had an estimated population of 20,000 to 25,000, which is increasing despite the fact that they seldom intermarry with other races.

There is much to note about their culture. Caribales, Carib villages, are always found within close proximity to the sea. The houses are neat and clean. The walls are made of palmwood or mud and the floor is made of leveled mud. Beds are reserved for the married and the others use hammocks. Physically speaking, the Carib are somewhat short in stature and muscular. They walk around barefoot. The men wear hats fashioned from palm leaves and the women wear a large neckerchief around their neck. Music is one of their favorite pastimes and they have made instruments out of various items such as reed, bones, gourds, and conchs. Singing and dancing usually accompany the music. Every Christmas and New Year’s they celebrate their Carnival, in which masked dancers parade around the streets in gaudy attire and all the children follow them. With the death of a relative, the women cut their hair and wakes are held in honor of the deceased. Polygamy does exist, but the men rarely have more than one woman in the same village. All wives are treated alike and the man rotates living with each one. After the birth of a child, men refrain form working for two weeks, keeping a diet and not going to sea or in the bush lest the child get sick and die. Men generally do all the hunting and fishing with a little help from the women in the latter. Agriculture varies in that men in some tribes plant, but in others, it is believed that women know how to do it better and are left alone to the work. Their food consists mainly of fish, cassava, and coconuts. Bread is also made from cassava. As far as industry is concerned, the Carib rely on the sale of items such as fowls, eggs, fruit, cassava bread, coconut oil, and other products to their eastern Spanish-speaking neighbors. Much of their work is done on a communal basis. They are experts in canoeing and sailing as well. One of the favored occupations is smuggling. The Catholic faith is the outwardly accepted religion, but the beliefs and rituals of their forefathers are still practiced. They also have a buye or medicine man who performs shamanistic healing rituals for the sick and possessed.

Conzemius has done an excellent job in his descriptive ethnography of the Carib. Although the article does not have much theoretical depth, it is informative and colorful. He paints a vivid picture of Carib life and culture.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
FRITZ HANSELMANN Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley-Moore)

Conzemius, Eduard. Ethnological Notes on the Black Carib (Garif). American Anthropologist April – June 1928 Vol.30(2):183-205

This article is concerned with the ethnohistory, language, subsistence technology and rituals of a Caribbean people today referred to as Garifuna. These subjects are discussed in order and build up toward the author’s implied hypothesis regarding a somewhat sensationalized ritual event called the Dugu Festival (Baile Mafya by the Ladinos and luban dogu by the Garifuna). Throughout the article several ethnological hypotheses are offered or implied on items ranging from language use, technology diffusion, Garifuna socio-political position and the meanings behind specific rituals.

The account is based on the author’s personal visit to Central America during 1921-1922 and various early European histories of the region which are clearly cited. Other persons are referred to in the article without being cited. This is all blended together to produce an account that is very informative, detailed and a pleasure to read.

The first section of the article notes that Black Carib were originally located on the island of St.Vincent in the Southeastern Caribbean but at that time they were located on the Caribbean coast of Central America from British Honduras (now Belize) down to Honduras and parts of Nicaragua. Their total population was estimated to be around 23,500. In the next two sections the author sketches out the fascinating story of how Caribs (themselves a mixture of Carib and Arawak Amerindians) came to intermix with Africans, how they were forcibly relocated by the British government to the Bay Islands of present-day Honduras and some of their early political and economic history in their new home. The next six sections are packed with detailed information about language, physical appearance, customs, food technology and general livelihood.

The last two sections of the article are titled respectively “Religion, Superstition, Sorcerers” and “Dugu Festival.” In these the author describes various Black Carib beliefs and practices. The article concludes with a detailed description of a Dugu Festival which had by that time come under some regulation by governmental authorities. Shockingly the author implies that the death of a young boy after the ceremony was caused by forced and excessive alcohol consumption possibly as a replacement for outright sacrifice.

Throughout the account the author provides extensive cross referencing of Carib terms into Spanish, French and English. The wealth of linguistic data also helps illustrate the attitudes of Central American Ladinos and Europeans toward Caribs.

CLARITY: 5
PETER BREEDEN University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Davidson, D.S. The Family Hunting Territory in Australia. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol.30(1):614-631.

The author of this article used the Australian aborigines to prove that historically, nomadic people have had individual property rights and ownership. This is in stark contrast to what was previously believed; L.H. Morgan in particular believed nomadic hunters, agriculturists and pastoral peoples did not own property. Morgan’s theory was believed to be true until first disproved by Stark in 1914. The author of the article wrote to reaffirm Starks’ findings and provide a firm foundation for the belief that nomadic people did indeed own land.

When this article was written, the Australians were believed to be the most backward of the human race. For this reason, they provided an excellent example of primitive nomadic people. Australians as a whole have a surprisingly similar culture, in spite of the large size of their continent. The author draws upon the research of several anthropologists who conducted research in various parts of Australia. The combined research of the anthropologists helps the author come to the conclusion that historically, the Australians have had very specific land ownership, and rules concerning trespassing, inheritance, and other land issues.

In spite of the fact that the Australians were nomadic, their wanderings were not random. The author reminds us that each was bound to custom and tradition, including staying within his own land. The Australians knew that individuals not only owned land, they owned the resources on the land, including animals. Although they always shared excess food, they knew that trespassing or taking advantage of another person’s land was punishable, even by death. Landowners also had the right to sell their land. When a landowner died, his land was divided among his sons. If he did not have sons, the land was divided among adjacent neighbors.

Not surprisingly, as Europeans began to invade Australia, land policies among the natives began to change. As European conquests and diseases catastrophically affected native population, the native people began to band together. Thus, even by 1900, anthropologists were not finding individual land ownership. The author had to rely on the research of earlier anthropologists to verify his findings, citing anthropologists in the 1840s and 1850s.

From his findings, the author found enough evidence to disprove Morgan and conclude that historically, nomadic hunters had a concept of real property and a very structured system of property rights.

CLARITY: 4
CANDICE KULBETH Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

Davidson, D. S. The Family Hunting Territory in Australia. American Anthropologist June, 1928 Vol.30:614-631.

The point of this article is to prove that the Australian people (who lived in the continent at the time of the article’s publishing) are not unrestricted wanderers, they are bound by customs and traditions which have the force of law. In the past, he says, many people have believed that “primitive man” had no concept of land boundary or ownership. This has been disproved in recent years using the Algonkian family hunting tribe system from North American: leaders of this tribe have been able to indicate land ownership on a map. He then begins to discuss Australia. There is a dearth of literature on Australia, he states, so he gives a brief description of the lifestyle there. He first depicts the people who live in Australia as possessing a unified, singular culture spanning the entire continent. He describes the Australian people as “the primitive, if not the most backward, of all the world’s people” and proves this point discussing the people’s crude tools, weapons, and their nomadicism. Davidson then gives a brief summary of the political organization of the people—they are divided into “tribes” which occupy a definite territory. Every tribe is divided into local groups which are comprised of paternally related individuals and their wives and children. The author then quotes the opinions of his contemporary anthropologists regarding Australian family territoriality. Within each territory owned by each tribe, individual families can also have their own land boundaries. Trespassing is forbidden, and these districts are inherited from father to son. He describes specific Australian tribes that his colleagues have studied and the specifics of their tribal land distinctions. After this, he discusses the connection that the Australians have with the land, where “the land belongs to humans, but also that the humans likewise belong to the land.”

Near the end of the article he describes why this practice of family hunting territory might have been overlooked. One reason he offers is that because of the introduction of European diseases, the custom might have been wiped out in recent years, and investigators may not have scrutinized the populations enough to realize that territories had existed previously. He also attributes the disintegration to the influence of European culture. In conclusion, the author states that there is ample evidence that the concept of property ownership did exist amongst Australian natives and that Morgan’s theory that all primitive nomadic hunters had no concept of property ownership is now almost, if not entirely, discredited.

This article is clear and concise. It proves its points thoroughly, with believable proofs and applicable references

CLARITY: 5
ZOHAR SHAMASH Barnard College (Paige West)

Davidson, D.S. The Family Hunting Territory in Australia. American Anthropologist January-March, 1928 Vol.30:614-631.

In his article, “The Family Hunting Territory in Australia,” Davidson disputes the theory set forth by many previous anthropologists, most prominently Morgan, that “primitive” man did not truly own property. Morgan referred to “primitive” people, or Davidson’s “nomadic hunters” as “savages.” Morgan’s basic proposition was that it is impossible for groups of people who are constantly wandering in search of game to establish any sense of property ownership. Davidson proposes, and attempts to prove, that this was a misinterpretation on the part of early anthropologists, and that increasing knowledge about nomadic hunters stands in stark contradiction to the above perspective.

Davidson supports his claim that “primitive nomads” did own land with extensive evidence regarding the practices of the Algonkian field of North America and the Australian aborigine. Davidson states that an Algonkian head of a family knows so distinctly the lands to which his family is bound that he could pinpoint them on a map. The family is the immediate unit which owns land. In stating his argument about the Australians, Davidson highlights the idea that they are considered by some to be, “the most backward group of the human race” (615). Davidson states that the Australians are “nomadic hunters” characterized by “a series of negative traits,” which include a lack of “pottery, agriculture, metallurgy, clothing, permanent dwellings, and domesticated animals” (616).

While seen as generally nomadic, Davidson argues that the Australians are limited in their movement by property ownership. Australian tribes are divided into local groups which are composed of, “paternally related male individuals” and their families who “occupy a geographical subdivision of the tribal territory and possess exclusive rights to dwell within the limits of that territory” (618). Certain rules pertain to the land, such as the fact that it is passed through male lineages and others must request permission to cross the land. The land is regarded as belonging to the whole family because all members use its resources for sustenance. Thus, the animals and other resources on the land belong to those who own it. Davidson emphasizes a deep respect for land ownership among the Australians, which is epitomized by the complete absence of war for the gain of land, and lack of Australian interest to work on land other than their own.

In closing Davidson questions the lack of past anthropological knowledge surrounding the property rights of the Australians. He proposes that the introduction of European influence, in particular diseases, which greatly decreased the population of many tribes, could have effected the distribution and ownership of the land. Davidson suggests that much of the research has been conducted in post-colonial times, during which original systems have been altered. Ultimately, Davidson closes his argument by stating the belief that enough support lies in the argument of the Australians alone to disprove Morgan and other early theorists who believed in the lack of land ownership among nomadic people.

CLARITY: 4
ADRIENNE DAVIS Barnard College (Paige West)

Davidson, D.S. Notes on the Tete de Boule Ethnology. American Anthropologist, January-March 1938 Vol. 30 : pg. 18-46.

The Tete de Boule Indians, or the Tcekamekiriniwak (whitefish people), as they call themselves, are a unique group. They compromise about 160 miles of the western region of the Quebec province and are bordered by the Trenche River on the east and the Megisken River on the west. As an individual group, the Tete de Boule are no more important than any other northern band, but their ethnological location makes them significant in the eyes of anthropologists.

The Tete de Boule are bordered by four different groups of peoples: the Montagnais, the Mistassini Naskapi, the Waswanipi Cree and the Algoquins. In such a location, D.S. Davidson asserts, they are susceptible to influence from all four groups. In his article, Davidson analyzes the developments of the Tete de Boule and outlines their lifestyle, claiming they were most heavily influenced by the Algonquin-Ojibwa group. He asserts that they adopted their use of cradle-boards, square-headed snowshoes, and bark wigwams from the Algonquins. They also construct their canoes using the same method the Algonquins.

As Davidson notes, a typical family among the Tete de Boule will live by itself for nearly 9 months of the year, during which time they experience very little social contact. Under such circumstances, Davidson found their advancements in adopting “principles of civilization” to be impressive. Such advancements include canvas canoes, hand-powered sewing machines, and manufactured clothing.

In the past, succession to the position of chieftain has been strictly hereditary. Because the chief at the time of the article was not supported well by the people, it was doubtful that he would gain sufficient support to maintain his position. Davidson projected that the voice of the people would be heard loudly and that the next election would be determined entirely by election, opposed to the traditional practice of succession.

Davidson’s article provides a brief overview of the life of the Tete de Boule. They are an interesting group, located in circumstances that provide influence from other groups to affect their lifestyle.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
IAN DAVIS Brigham Young University. (Julie Hartley).

Davidson, D. S. Notes On Tete De Boule Ethnology. American Anthropologist January, 1928 Vol. 30(1): 18-46.

This article ethnographically locates the Tete de Boule, a Northeastern North American Indian tribe, in relation to neighbouring tribes. Davidson’s primary interest is to decipher which culture group, the Montagnais-Naskapi of the Labrador Peninsula, or the Algonquin-Ojibwa of the Great Lakes, the Tete de Boule most resemble. The Tete de Boule have cultural traits similar to each neighbouring culture group. Davidson is interested in the Tete de Boule’s unique ethnographic position. He nonetheless finds it very easy to arrive at the conclusion, based on linguistic and material culture evidence, that they most resemble the Algonquin-Ojibwa.

Davidson’s research question- who are the Tete de Boule most similar to?- is answered by the third paragraph. The remainder the article is a collection of, somewhat poorly organized, ethnographic data. Of interest is his chart listing the cephalic index of male and female members of the Tete do Boule band, as well as “half-breeds”. The Tete de Boule, as the name describes “are characterized by pronounced brachycephaly,” (p.21). He also describes, in detail the Tete de Boule land tenure system, the practice of patrilocality, and the patrilineal inheritance of land. The conclusion of this article is a nine page chart with the names of land-owning men, the family names of their wives, the total number of family member and some comments about hunting practices. This chart is followed by a map, which attempts to plot these aforementioned land holdings.

This ethnography is interesting because it contains a combination of physical and cultural anthropological approaches. Davidson is influenced by cultural diffusion theory, and references the idea that there are areas of culture climax from which culture diffuses outward presumably becoming more diffuse the further away the culture travels. However, this article illustrates that diffusion theory, in and of itself, lacks explanatory power. That diffsuion is a component of cultural genesis and change can be assumed but, as Davidson exemplifies in this article, the specifics of culture still need to be attended to. The attention given to the details of Tete de Boule ethnography for the majority of this article reveal that more is needed in understanding culture than simply proving that diffusion has occurred.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
EMILY HERTZMAN: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Delabarre, Edmund Burke. A Prehistoric Skeleton From Grassy Island. American Anthropologist June-September, 1928 Vol. 30 (3): 476-480.

On May 21, 1927, the author, Edmund Burke Delabarre, located bone fragments underneath four feet of peat at Grassy Island in Massachusetts. After some inspection he realized that they were human bones dating from nearly one thousand to fifteen hundred years ago. The disk-shaped bones were scattered around in a small pile, ranging in size from small specks to pieces two inches long. He concluded that there were fragments from an arm, leg, and a foot and that most definitely there were portions of a human skull.

A colleague, Professor H. H. Wilder, concluded that the bones came from an adult. Wilder also noticed that animal remains were among the fragments discovered. An opposing view came from Barnum Brown. He concluded that the remains belonged to a much younger person than Wilder had supposed and disagreed that animal bones were present.

Delabarre concluded that the remains could not have come from the result of a burial. Many began to wonder how the remains got there in the condition they were in. Brown believed that the appearance of the bones was a result of long weathering. Willoughby thought that they were the remains of a cremated body. Still Delabarre wondered why there were only small parts of a human skeleton, mixed with bones of an animal in such a small space.

After consulting with others, several individuals announced their ideas as to how this occurred. The first conclusion was that it was a portion of a human settlement. This was quickly denounced because of the lack of additional artifacts, such as pottery. The second conclusion was that it was the remains of a prisoner burnt at the stake and that the animal remains must have come from animals that were burnt along with the human. The third conclusion was that it was the burial of a cremated body in some perishable container. The animal pieces could have been included to serve as food for the departed spirit. The fourth conclusion was that it was the stomach-contents of a carnivore, such as a wolf, that had partaken of a human body, died, and then been disemboweled. The final conclusion was that it was contents of a medicine bag because all sorts of unusual things went into such bags. This final conclusion was the one that they considered most likely happened. Although none of these conclusions were precise, the surest conclusion was that the remains belonged to an Indian who lived in Massachusetts about ten to fifteen hundred years ago.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
ADRIENNE WOOLLEY Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

Delabarre, Edmund Burke. A Prehistoric Skeleton From Grassy Island. American Anthropologist June-September, 1928 Vol.30(3):476-480.

In 1925, Delabarre printed in American Anthropologist information about a buried Native-American encampment site discovered at Grassy Island submerged in the Taunton River in Massachusetts. In 1927, at the same site Delabarre uncovered fragmentary remains of a Native-American who must have inhabited the land at least a thousand years before, when the site was located above sea level. Originally Delabarre did not believe the fragments to be of human origin and thus he did not preserve all of the pieces. He later returned to collect more fragments and, though it is possible that Delabarre may have mistakenly collected foreign fragments or may have lost some fragments from the deposit, in this article Delabarre states he feels confident that his collection is mostly pure and complete.

According to Delabarre, the fragments appeared to be unaltered other than “checking,” which was most likely caused by weathering or fire. Other strange characteristics of the deposit include its small size (it was not large enough to include an entire skeleton) and the absence of teeth. Most confusing is the presence of nonhuman remains in the deposit.

Delabarre cites others’ professional opinions of the deposit in this article. Professor H.H. Wilder claimed to have discovered in the deposit many fragments from animals along with the remains of what he believed to be an adult human. On the other hand, Barnum Brown found only one nonhuman piece (a vertebra) with the human remains, which he believed came from a young person. Brown also felt the checked appearance of the bones came from weathering while C.C. Willoughby believed their appearance resulted from cremation.

Delabarre lists five possible explanations for the deposit that each take into account the remains’ unusual characteristics. According to Delabarre, the fragments may have been a portion of a kitchen midden, the remains of a prisoner burnt at the stake, the remains of a body cremated in some perishable container, the stomach contents of a carnivore, or the contents of a medicine bag. Though Delabarre seems to lean toward last two options, he makes no conclusions other than that the remains are those of a Native-American who live in Massachusetts at least ten to fifteen thousand years ago.

CLARITY: 5
NICO D’AUTERIVE Columbia College (Paige West)

Delabarre, Edmund Burke. A Prehistoric Skeleton From Grassy Land. American Anthropologist, 1928. Vol. 30 : 476-480.

The author of this article wrote previously about Indian relics discovered on an ancient site. In this article, Delabarre adds extensively, describing a prehistoric skeleton found on the same site, proving the existence of Indian inhabitants near the Taunton River in Massachusetts about fifteen hundred years ago. Throughout the article there is great speculation as to how the skeletal remains arrived at their present location, but no clear and definite answer to the question of where they came from.

Delabarre’s larger intellectual concern is addressed in both the beginning and end of the article. Regardless of the way the remains came to be, it is correct to assume that the remains are of Indian origin and prove the area was inhabited by Indians about fifteen hundred years ago. The remaining body of the article poses various theories as to how the skeleton arrived there. In this area of the article however, Delabarre gives the opinions of those who have better knowledge on the subject, such as Professor H. H. Wilder, Barnum Brown, and Mr. Willoughby. These experts give an array of possibilities as to how and why the skeleton appears where it does and its current physical conditions.

Delabarre presents his evidence and the theories of the given experts in list form. Due to the large range scenarios, categorizing such evidence in any other way would be not as effective. Delabarre presents the range in possibility by naming each expert and then describing their theory along with the historical evidence that has led them to this theory. The list contains five major possibilities, in sequence, ranging from the most probable to the farthest possible. The most likely scenario consists of the remains of a prisoner or the portion of a kitchen midden. The last theory is the stomach of a carnivore killed after it gnawed potions of a human, all but the stomach being disposed of.

Delabarre ends the article by restating his main concern, the affirmation that the remains prove that Indians inhabited this specific Grassy Land about an estimated fifteen hundred years ago. After giving a wide selection of theories to choose from as to how the remains came to be at their present location, Delabarre ends the article with both the affirmation of Indian existence in this region at that time, and the difficulty of pin-pointing the exact means as to which the mysterious skeleton arrived where it was discovered.

CLARITY: 4
KIMBERLY WEST Barnard College (Paige West)

Delabarre, Edmund Burke. A Prehistoric Skeleton From Grassy Island. American Anthropologist, June-September 1928. Vol. 30 (3): 476-480.

On May 21, 1927, the author unearthed bone fragments at Grassy Island, which lies under several feet of peat in the Taunton River in Massachusetts. Today the island is also covered by high tides; the remains must date back to about fifteen-hundred years ago, when the land was still above-water and habitable. Upon realizing that the bones were human, Delabarre determined them to be the fragmentary remains of a native who once inhabited the site.

Delabarre emphasizes that the deposit was sharply defined, with a clear distinction between the overlying peat and the ancient surface. Found ten feet beneath this surface, the bones were broken into tiny fragments and compacted into a small, disk-shaped mass. Other than a checking perhaps due to weathering, the bones appeared unaltered. Little was found nearby to help determine the identity of the deposit.

There were several enigmas about the remains. For one, there seemed to be many portions absent from the skeleton, despite the clear-cut compactness of the deposit. Moreover, animal bones were intermixed with the human bones. Given these oddities, Delabarre and his consultants arrived at five hypotheses that might explain the situation. Their first hypothesis, that the remains were part of an ancient refuse-heap, was essentially discounted because of the many characteristic features that were lacking. Second, they reasoned that the remains might be those of a prisoner burnt at the stake. However, Delabarre states that this supposition conflicts with the incompleteness of the skeleton. The incomplete skeleton also undermines the third explanation—that the remains might represent a cremated body buried in a perishable container. Fourth, Delabarre postulates that the deposit might have been the stomach-contents of a carnivore. However, this conclusion rests upon a series of possible but highly improbable assumptions. The final suggestion, which merits some consideration, is that the deposit had been the contents of a medicine bag.

Ultimately, none of these hypothesis are fully convincing. The only certainty Delabarre provides about the remains is that they were the bones of an Indian living in Massachusetts somewhere between ten- and fifteen-hundred years ago.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
NATALIE SEARS Barnard College (Paige West).

Densmore, Frances. The True Story of a Little Stone Image. American Anthropologist April-June, 1928. Vol. 30(2): 311-313.

Densmore was shown a small stone figure in a museum, which had been collected from the Makah on Cape Flattery of the Olympic Peninsula on the Northwest coast. She was asked if she had seen carvings like it and was given a photograph of the figurine in order to determine its use if she returned to the Makah tribe in the future

The figurine is about 11 inches tall and looks like a person looking up and holding something in its arms. The figure looks sad and has a broken place on the top of its head. The figure appears to be sexless and is kneeling. The object it is holding looks like a small animal. When Densmore returned to the Makah tribe in the summer of 1926, she asked around about the figurine. An old man, named Young Doctor, identified the figurine as a fishing sinker carved by a man named Santiano. The broken part on the top of the head was where a nail had come off that was put there to hold the fish line.

Young Doctor thought the object that the figurine was holding looked like a baby sea lion. Densmore interviewed another person who said Santiano carved many things and had the help of a tumanos (something that comes, according to Indian legend, when a man is very depressed). Young Doctor though that this sinker represented a creature like a mermaid, possibly the tumanos. Although Densmore interviewed people to determine what the sinker represented, no one knew. Only Santiano, the man who made it, could tell what it stood for and he was dead. So, the little stone image will sit in a museum without anyone knowing what it represented.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
JENNIFER MEILSTRUP Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley).

Densmore, F. The True Story of a Little Stone Image. 1928. American Anthropologist. Vol 30:311-313.

This article describes a carved, slate figure collected from the Makah peoples at Cape Flattery. Described initially as a “fancy sinker”, the author’s Makah informants reveal mysterious pieces of information in order to give deeper insight into the significance of this figure. The original carver- a medicine man named Santiano- is no longer alive, so no one will ever truly know what the figure represents. Nevertheless, Densmore recounts two conversations she had with knowledgeable Makah men in order to give the figure some context.

The first man Densmore speaks with is “Young Doctor”: he speculates that the figure is a fancy sinker and depicts a person holding a baby sea lion in its arms. He further questions whether or not it represents a sea-dwelling creature, like a “mermaid”. Although Young Doctor has never seen one, he relates a story from his own childhood when long hairs became entangled on his fishing line: shortly thereafter he experienced many bites and success with fish. He believes the hairs came from such a creature and caused his good luck. The second Makah man Densmore questions, is an old whaler named Mr. Irving: he believes the carver (Santiano) had a “tumanos” to help him with carving (we can infer this to be some sort of spirit helper). The “tumanos” would only come to a man who feels “so small that he does not care whether he lives or dies” (p.312), but just what caused Santiano to need this assistance we do not know. Similarly we will never know why the expression on the face of the figure is so sad and tragic.

Although this article is inconclusive, it is not due to a lack of effort on the part of the author. Densmore provides us with some interesting stories from the Makah people that help give some explanation for the mysterious stone figure: but they are far from being the “true story”. What she concludes, is that the little figure “will take its place in the collections of the museum” (p.313), where a label can describe the origin, but not its significance: this, she feels, is the real truth of the figure.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CHRISTINA ZAENKER University of British Columbia

Estabrooks, G.H. That Question of Racial Inferiority. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol. 30: 470-475.

In the early twentieth century many anthropologists were beginning to doubt some of the claims made in the nineteenth century that less developed cultures were some how biologically and socially inferior to northern Europeans. G. H. Estabrooks’s article “That Question of Racial Inferiority” analyzes the opinions of various anthropologists in America and England as to their opinion regarding what if any differences in intelligence are determined by race. Estabrook’s investigation revealed much ambiguity regarding the issue. Most were quick to point out that no noted differences had yet been proven.

Estabrooks shows how the historical record reveals many early technological advances had no European influence; he uses the civilizations of Egypt and the Euphrates as examples. He also notes the innovations in astronomy and masonry of the Mayan and Incan civilizations of Central and South America. Estabrooks refutes any claims that Roman, Carthaginian or Babylonian cultures came from Nordic (Northern European) sources. These theories were apparently being made at the time by ethnocentric (racist) northern Europeans.

One of the main flaws in determining racial factors is identifying what exactly makes up a specific race. Many people at this time were making assumptions that Italians represent an ethnic group where in actuality they are of a very mixed heritage. The same goes for blacks in North America whose bloodlines were influenced heavily by whites. Thus, finding a true definition of race is essential in any effort to test intelligence based on that premise. Also vital is finding a valid way to measure intelligence in an unbiased manner. Tests that contain verbal questions favor different ethnic groups. Estabrooks cites examples of Philippine children who did poorly on the verbal sections of the exams (English was for them a second language) but actually scored higher on the math section than their North American counterparts. Estabrooks also addresses the issue of the quality of the education received. Black children in the Jim Crow South were at an obvious disadvantage to white children.

This article does a good job of recognizing the complexity of the issue of race and intelligence. Estabrooks distinguishes the errors existing in many arguments of the so-called success of the American colonization as being based on racial superiority. He gives Cortez as an example who defeated the Aztecs with smallpox as much as with steal. This assertion was very controversial for 1928, when many still likely believed that the conquest of Native Americans was due to the superior European intellect and culture founded in Europe.

The article ends with Estabrooks stating the need for anthropological and biological authorities to evaluate any tests measuring intelligence along racial lines. These disciplines are just as essential as psychology in determining a fair testing method. Even then Estabrooks doubts that a test designed by Americans would be fair. Racial biases are difficult to eliminate. According to Estabrooks the question of racial superiority remains in doubt. This is as true today as it was in 1928.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
JOHN EDVALSON Brigham Young University (Julie R. Hartley)

Estabrooks,G.H. That Question of Racial Inferiority. American Anthropologist, 1928 Vol.30; 470-475.

In this article, the author questions about inferiority or superiority between races. He blames that many of anthropologists in England have moderate opinion about racial inferiority or even their attitudes are very ethnocentric. He claims that as long as there is no satisfying proof, racial inferiority should not be determined.

From historical point of view, he claims that the people who developed great civilizations like Egyptian or the Maya were not the Nordic origin. Therefore, he denies historical proof of racial inferiority. Moreover, the author strongly points out the falseness of intelligence tests. The author argues that even though intelligence tests should be determine the intelligence of “races,” since some groups of people such as the Italian, the Jew and African Americans are not categorized as one pure race, the tests tend to test the intelligence of “nationalities” rather than “races.” He also discusses unfairness of language handicaps in the tests. Because the intelligence tests are taken in English, he declares that it is obvious that children whose first language is not English get lower score that the children who speak English as mother tongue in verbal tests. In addition, he points out that children who have intelligence tests should have same standard of school experience for the reason that I.Q. is basically a function of school experience. Finally the author claims that this issue should not be studied only by psychologists but also this issue lies on anthropologists as well as biologists.

The assessments of this article are very organized and clear. Also, his denial of racial inferiority and his encouragement toward more anthropologists’ involvement on this issue are clearly and effectively stated.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
YUKIKO KASAHARA University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Faye, Paul Louis. Christmas Fiestas of the CupeZo. American Anthropologist October-December, 1928. Vol. 30 (4):651-658.

Paul Louis Faye’s article examines the Christmas fiestas among the Cupeno, a small branch of the Shoshonean-speaking peoples of southern California. The object of Faye’s trip to the Cupeno was to secure linguistic data. However, every time he was out on the grounds he found it difficult to not make note of the fiestas he witnessed. The village fiesta was fast superseding the old type of festivity based on the exchange of courtesies between clans. Spanish and Catholic factors were at work to break up the old spirit party of the clans. Faye explains that reconstructions of the past are indispensable, but only as a background for the study of culture in its incessant, ever existing demonstrations. As native traits in the culture of the Cupeno were disappearing fast, Faye found it necessary to publish these notes, adding that the fiestas might never take place again. Among the Cupeno we have an unusual case of social transformations. The Cupeno were wrenched from their former habitat and given a new way of life. At the time of Faye’s research among the Cupeno, 1919, the tribe was still hanging on by a thread to their old ways of life. The Cupeno’s former habitat was in the foothills below the San Jacinto range, at Kupa. In 1903 they were moved to Pala, their location at the time of Faye’s visit. Their population in 1919 was 200. Faye attended several fiestas, which mainly consisted of dances, feasting, smoking, and fires. The first two fiestas were very similar. The fiestas were officiated by a man who was “the one who is over the fire,” or the fire tender. The chief did not officiate in any capacity. The fiestas were held at one of the homes of the clan chief. In the yard, an empty space had been converted into a wamkic, or an area enclosed by canvas walls. Inside the wamkic, benches and a few chairs were provided. Many dances occurred in the wamkic. There were dances performed by just men, just women, and both. The dances were accompanied by drums, grunts, and singing. After the dances, the singing began. Faye notes that one of the chiefs would begin a song, and the others would follow. A good many people remember the songs, but they do not know how to start them. Not the words, but the music fails them.

The fiestas were followed by the ‘putting out the fire’ ceremony. At the ceremony, a native Reservation police officer, made a speech about how the old ways were good for the old people, but the younger people had better think about something else. The gesture was intended to be impressive, as the clan chiefs stood behind the speaker.

This article will interest individuals who are interested in fiestas and dances among Native American tribes. The article also reaches out to a wider audience among the social sciences with regard to history. Faye’s article convincingly illustrates and expresses how important the fiestas used to be for the Cupeno.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
LAURA POULSEN Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

Faye, Paul Louis. Christmas Fiestas of the Cupeno. American Anthropologist, 1928 Vol.30: 651-658.

While the author’s purpose of his trip in 1919 was to secure linguistic data, he stumbled across a unique ethnological moment. The Cupeno had been moved (1903) from their former home in the foothills below the San Jacinto range to Pala in Southern California. The author finds this culture on the edge of extinction due to various factors including their translocation. This cultural shift is unique and manifested in their Christmas Fiestas. Faye vividly describes the set-up of tents and seats of the first night of the Fiestas. Only men sat on the benches, while women sat on low stools and boxes. The active officer of the ceremony was the fire-tender whose main purpose was to keep the fire blazing. The fire-tender fulfills many important roles in the community such as: holding prayers in the Priest’s absence, baptisms, and burials. The author notes that the newer generation does not respect his role as much as the older one, and notes that he was among the last. Then the dancing and singing of the men began for thirteen rounds. Their formations and sounds are described in great detail. When all is finished, the women and most of the men leave. The women leave food in buckets for the men to cook for the next day. Then, the next day the “boys” [author’s parentheses] of the town raised money and held a fiesta where there were many similar dances. They sang many songs led by a very old man. The author analyzes the relationship between the words and the music. Now the women dance thirteen rounds. Their dance and song are described as a rather spiritless performance. After that, Faye describes the dance before the fire which involves both men and women. There is some debate whether the dance performed by the women here are girls, unmarried women, or all women; the author remembers only unmarried women participating in the daring dance. On this night three women singers are the ones keeping the fire going. The men’s singing lasts until dawn when the old women leave. Finally the fiestas are over after the men and women dance in a circle around the fire and the men put out the fire.

Faye believes these rituals represent the gradual change of this Indian community to a more European-like community. He recognizes the Catholic Church and Spanish influences as major factors to the social transformations which are accelerated by their recent translocation.

CLARITY: 4
MARIANNA DOUGHERTY Barnard College (Paige West)

Gifford, E.W. Notes on Central Pomo and Northern Yana Society. American Anthropologist April-June, 1928 Vol. 30 (2): 675-684.

Gifford uses the Californian Indian tribes of the Central Pomo and Northern Yana as the backdrop for his discussion of certain characteristics common to tribal societies. Although several different aspects are discussed, the focus is on political and kinship systems. According to the author, an actual connection exists between chieftainship and lineage (genealogy) among the Pomo and Yana. He states that different bloodlines exist in villages and that the unification of these lineages is a significant achievement because the result of the uniting of families is the beginning of village life. This unification is evidenced in the Central Pomo and Northern Yana.

The political system of the Pomo is the first upon which the author expounds. Chiefs inherit their office through either the mother or father. Sisters and daughters of chiefs are called cheftainess, or queen. For the most part the transmission of office occurs from father to son. The chief passes down his position to his son. Transmission of office only occurs through blood and not marriage. If the chief has no son, he passes his duties on to a brother or the son of a brother or sister. There can be from three to four chiefs in one village alone, each chief at the head of a different section of the village, each answering to one superior chief. The main chief, to whom all answer, inherited his position due to the fact that his ancestors were the first to occupy the tribal land, giving their future kinsmen precedence over any others who dwell there. This inheritance of chieftainship through genealogy demonstrates the link between lineage and politics among the Pomo.

As supporting evidence, Gifford also details the political structure of the Northern Yana, which is very similar in nature to that of the Central Pomo. The chiefs of the Northern Yana also achieved their status through heredity, suggesting that their political system is also organized on a basis of lineage, supporting Gifford’s theory of the connection. Many similarities abound in the political structure. There are plural chiefs within the village; the main chief heads the original family and the inferior chiefs represent families that arrived later at the area. The people only obey the principal chief, viewing the others as “lieutenants.” In the Northern Yana, the chieftainship is passed down from father to eldest son, holding true to the idea that lineage is connected to leadership.

Gifford uses his notes on these two tribes to show how the unification of various lineages has occurred. The article is very clearly written and understandable, but seems random in scope, lacking cohesiveness between institutional characteristics-such as land ownership, marriage, death, names, and the calendar-and unification. The main idea gets lost in the actual ethnography. The unification clearly exists, but how was it achieved? Gifford shows that the various lineages within the two tribes have unified, but fails to explain any type of processual action that might have taken place to cause the unification.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
FRITZ HANSELMANN Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley-Moore)

Gifford, E.W. Notes on Central Pomo and Northern Yana Society. American Anthropologist April-June, 1928 Vol. 30 (2):675-684.E. W.

Gifford provides a descriptive account of the political and genealogical linkages in several Central Pomo and Northern Yana villages. While the linkages are made clear in this work, it is not clear as to whether Gifford actually intended to do this. One must remember that this work was being done at a time when anthropologists were attempting to “salvage” the disappearing cultures of various Native American groups. During this era of “salvage anthropology,” it was typical for works of this nature to be more descriptive than analytical. The data he presents is based on fieldwork done in the Native American California groups in 1917 for the University of California. The data was primarily derived from informants in the villages. He discusses the institution of chief and how this title is transmitted. Other aspects of these societies, including land ownership, marriage practices and housing are also touched upon. Gifford finds that, while considerable variety existed in land ownership practices, a core uniformity existed in chieftainship and societal organization.

Chiefs (djayadul) of villages of the Central Pomo acquired office primarily by inheritance through the mother or the father. While female chiefs, or chieftainesses (matakaletc), were not unheard of, this only occurred through inheritance, not through marriage. The transmission of this title primarily occurred from father to the eldest son.

Gifford further discusses land ownership patterns among the Central Pomo. In the Hopland area village there was little or no land ownership. All hunting, fishing and gathering lands were communal. Some Yokaia village lands were considered to be family owned and included some fishing and acorn gathering sites. There were, however, no family-owned hunting grounds.

With regard to marriage and post-marital housing there was no fixed pattern. Recently married couples spent some time living with the wife’s family and then some time spent living with the husband’s family before permanently settling. In this discussion Gifford provides cursory description of burial practices and the Pomo calendar, though how these things factor into the whole discussion is not made clear.

For the Northern Yana group in the Istalomato village there was a superior chief (mudjaupa) and lesser chiefs. The author supposes the superior chief was the head of the lineage that originally held the chiefdom while the lesser chiefs headed lineages that moved into the area later. In this village the sons of the chief bore his name or title, and wives and daughters were called chiefesses (mudjaupana). Here Gifford points out that, where the Central Pomo employed separate stems for the terms chief and chiefess, the Northern Yana employed the same stem.

While Gifford provides insightful descriptions of the Central Pomo and Northern Yana institutions of chieftainship and marriage, as well as cursory descriptions of land ownership and burial practices, his overall argument in not clear. His descriptions illustrate an underlying link between genealogy and chiefdom, but whether this was Gifford’s intention is not clear. His study also shows that, while this link between genealogy and chieftainship may have existed in both cultures, substantial variability within and among these two societies also existed.

This study, published in 1928, illustrates some of the work being done in anthropology as it was emerging as a discipline. These earlier works show the reader the foundations on which anthropology was built and illustrate how far this discipline has come in the last seventy years.

CLARITY: 3
JEANNE THOMAS University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Gifford, Edward Winslow. The Cultural Position of the Coast Yuki. American Anthropologist January, 1928 Vol. 30(1): 112-115.

This article defines the cultural position of the Coast Yuki peoples of California by comparing them with their neighbours living to the North, South and East. Edward Winslow Gifford uses this four page article as an arena to show that the coast Yuki are variously and interchangeably, primitive, underdeveloped, and inferior as compared with their relatively sophisticated neighbours, the Northern Pomo, the Yukian Huchnom, the Athabascan Kato, and the Athabascan Sinkyone. Gifford begins his essay with a description of the living Coast Yuki elder’s who he employed as informants for his research. Then he proceeds to highlight the positive cultural traits present among the Coast Yuki’s neighbouring cultures, but absence in Coast Yuki culture proper. These absences, according to Gifford, constitute quantifiable data proving that the Coast Yuki are at a lower stage of human development. In addition to summarizing the coast Yuki’s deficiencies, as Gifford sees them, he also lists a number of their own, unique, negative cultural traits. For example, “[s]tone-boiling, cooking in ashes, and in or over coals were the only method,” (pg.113) of cooking used by the Coast Yuki, which Gifford believes is indicative of their “backward position” (pg.113). Although unarticulated in this article, Gifford’s argument is premised upon a number of theoretical assumptions. First, Gifford views human cultures as though they are arranged into a continuum ranging from simple to complex, where simple is inferior and pre-historic, while complex is progressive and contemporary. Second, Gifford employs a model of cultural diffusion that locates the origin of cultural practices in specific centers. It is from these cultural centers that traits diffuse outwards, becoming increasing diluted the further they move from the area of origin and concentration. “The sparseness of the northwestern traits . . . suggests that their diffusion has been recent and superficial,” (pg. 115). This article is interesting not only for its analysis of the Coast Yuki’s cultural position, but also because it is written in the idiom of the 1920’s when relevant debates and theories in Anthropology focussed on evolutionism and diffusionism.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
EMILY HERTZMAN: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Gifford, Edward Wilson. Position of the Coast Yuki. American Anthropologist April-June, 1928 Vol. 30 (2): 112-115

When considering the Coast Yuki, Gifford found that they were quite primitive compared to their other central California neighbors. With scarce information considering the tribe, which consisted mostly of a few vague pages published by A.L. Kroeber, Gifford decided that he would personally solve this puzzle.

The purpose of this paper is “to show why the Coast Yuki are adjudged primitive in relation to central California, and how that primitiveness has been overlaid by certain northwestern California traits.” Gifford argues that the reason for the primitive nature is due to remote geological location, which has isolated the Yuki, except for the recent adoption of northwestern California traits due to intermarriage with the Sinkyone.

Gifford first describes the remote location of the Coast Yuki, giving images of a mountain ridge of two thousand feet and a border made of a number of creeks. He then goes on to give the general state of the Coast Yuki, saying that they lack religious, social, and material refinements that are found in other central California groups.

Gifford then goes on to describe some of the northwestern California traits which the Coast Yuki possess, including a harpoon used for hunting (which is only obtained directly from northern California). He goes on to claim that these northwestern traits are specialties of the culture, while many of the central traits are either nonexistent or of a very primitive nature.

In the end, Gifford admits that there must be some other restraining influence that has prevented absorption of more modern traits that other central Californians obtain.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
Sarah Broadbent: Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

Green, Laura S. and Beckwith, Martha Warren. Hawaiian Household Customs. American Anthropologist January, 1928 Vol. 30(1): 1-17.

This article provides a description of a number of cultural practices of traditional Hawaiians arranged into the following general headings: the house, eating customs, fishing customs, planting customs, travelling, and the weather. This article has no introduction, no thesis, and no conclusion. Instead the authors enter directly into ethnographic descriptions of Hawaiian household customs. Descriptive and explanatory, this article presents data objectively, but makes no analysis beyond stating the emic rationalizations for cultural practices.

The first two subsections, the house and eating customs present the data in an organized manner and provide limited, yet adequate descriptions. The organization and thoroughness of the following three subsections deteriorates considerably. The result is that the article reads more like a list than ethnography. For example in the section about travelling the authors unite in one long paragraph “[c]ertain signs concerned with the making of a journey” (pg. 11). These “signs” include what is means to see a hat, to have a hat fall off ones head, to see a person with their thumb between their index and their middle finger, or to met a blind man, a lame man, or a bow-legged man and other seemingly random notes about Hawaiian beliefs. The tendencies to list rather then elaborate the cultural phenomena, although stylistically wanting, and analytically barren, nonetheless allows for many subjects and examples to be included in a short number of pages.

When accounting for a given cultural custom the authors provide one connection linking the custom with another feature of Hawaiian culture. For example, in the section about fishing they claim that “[t]he presence of a shark is indicated by an unusual warmth in the sea as sharks are believed to be closely related to the volcano goddess” (pg. 8). The reader knows that volcanoes are hot and therefore can make the connection between a volcano and hot water. However the authors do not explain who the volcano goddess is, or explain the associative relationship between sharks and this deity. This article references many cultural practices and beliefs and would be useful for those seeking early records of a particular practice, or for those who want to survey many aspects of Hawaiian culture before reading more detailed, analytic and interpretive literature.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
EMILY HERTZMAN: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Hall, Ivan C. “A Parmaco-Bacteriologic study of two Malayan Blow-Gun Poisoned Darts.” American Anthropologist March, 1928 Vol 30 (1): p 47-59.

In this study, Ivan C. Hall examines the poison on two Malayan blowgun darts. His primary interest is to discover if there are any bacteria in the poison that produce a dangerous amount of toxin. He also performs some tests to study the toxicity of the poison and its chemical composition. Malayan darts often contain a poison the natives call ipoh. This term is a general word for poison and does not reflect any specific composition. Often ipoh is formed from the toxic sap of the Upas tree. However, Hall does not know how the ipoh on these darts was formed. He did not acquire the darts himself, and by the time he examined them they were at least seventeen years old.

Hall first studied the toxicity of the poison. He removed a sample from the darts, dissolved it in water, injected measured doses of it into guinea pigs, and timed how long it took for them to die. By this he was able to measure the toxicity of the poison. He discovered that the poison on the shorter dart was more toxic than the poison on the longer dart. His findings indicated that the poison was less toxic than the poison on other darts examined by other researchers, but because his darts were so old, the poison may have lost some of its effect.

Hall then did a chemical examination of the poison, but because of the small amount of material left on the darts, he was unable to discover any interesting properties.

Next Hall performed a bacteriological study. He put several samples of the poison into different cultures, allowed them to grow, and injected them into pigs. However, none of the pigs died or lost weight, but several of them produced small sores that soon healed. He examined the bacteria that caused these sores, but was unable to identify their species. He gives an extensive list of their physical properties.

Hall concludes that unlike the arrows of Bushmen, the Malayan darts do not contain any serious “pathogenic” or disease-causing bacteria.

Clarity ranking: 4
CLAY LARSON Brigham Young University (Dr. J.R. Hartley)

Hall, Ivan C. A Pharmaco-Bacterialogic Study of Two Malayan Blow-Gun Poisoned Darts.American Anthropologist January, 1928 Vol. 30(1): 47-59.

This article meticulously documents the laboratory study of the poison residue extracted from the tips of two Malayan blow-gun darts, dating back to the late 19th century. This study conducted by Dr. Ivan C. Hall, professor of Bacteriology and Public Health at the University of Colorado Medical School (at the time he wrote this article) contributes, to this volume of American Anthropologist, a unique, and relatively non-anthropological perspective. The research is scientific, based on quantitative, observable data, and the article is organized like a lab report, containing numerous chemical names, formulas and technical language. Hall is interested in determining whether the blow-darts contain, in addition to poison, infection diseases, suggesting the presence of bacteria. After a brief description of the poison used on the darts, a poison called locally (on the Malayan Peninsula and in Borneo) Ipoh, a derivative of the sap from the Upas tree, the author describes his methods for the bacteriological analysis.

This article contains interesting methodological descriptions including a detailed description of the live animal testing conducted on guinea pigs. “Another guinea-pig of the same size was inoculated subcutaneously with 2 c.c . . . [i]mmediately after the autopsy showed the heart in diastole but on irritation with the scalpel it slowly contracted,”(pg.53). Hall carefully completes several tests of the resin, transforming it from crystallized form to dissolved form in order to determine its chemical composition, and even though he detects some bacteria living on the poison, none of the bacteria present are pathogenic bacteria, although some of the guinea pigs developed legions in the areas where they were subcutaneously exposed to the hay bacilli detected. Dr. Ivan C. Hall’s research is synergistic of the two large and distinct, yet related camps of science and social science. The strength of this article is the emphasis on the details of laboratory procedures and analysis.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
EMILY HERTZMAN: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Hough, Walter. The Lead Glaze Decorated Pottery of the Pueblo Region. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol. 30:243-249.

Certain Pueblo pottery styles are identified by an occurrence of green lead glaze. In 1928, there was a question whether it was introduced by the Spanish or developed by Pueblo potters. A new school of thought at the time was trying to use stratigraphy as a methodology to determine cultural sequences based on ceramics. An archaeologist named Hodge found, on the basis of stratification, that the green glaze pottery was present in a prehistoric layer at the Hawaikuh site in New Mexico. In his article, Walter Hough challenged the plausibility of pre-Spanish lead glazing by Pueblo potters and the validity of Hodge’s findings.

First, Hough tried determining the origin of the glazed pottery. This was difficult in that the boundaries determined for the glazed pottery had been established over a 20,000 square mile area in New Mexico, and the instances were extremely sporadic. The first mention of the glaze pottery in literature was in 1892 by Bandelier (247).

Hough then delivered a series of arguments against the likelihood of pre-Spanish lead glaze pottery in New Mexico. These included the fact that it would have been independent of any other lead glaze pottery in North America. Also the lead was not readily available to the Pueblo potters. The techniques that would have been used to both obtain the lead and create the glaze were already known in Europe. He points out that sherds with the glaze were found near Spanish buildings, but were not used in building the walls, indicating that they were not there before the walls were built. And finally, lead glazing did not survive to the present, which Hough felt signified that it was not an indigenous art.

Hough concluded that a pre-Spanish glaze was not probable. Since Hodge determined that the stratigraphy at the Hawaikuh site indicated prehistoric status for ceramics with the green glaze, Hough felt that it was the methodology of the Pueblo stratigraphy that must be brought into question.

What makes this 1928 article interesting is the way he challenges the findings of someone else’s research. At a time when the focus of anthropology was a concerted rush to collect information on disappearing cultures, Hough used several well thought out arguments to pull in the reins on suspect research. Hough’s writing is clear and his conclusions believable without the harsh and sometimes unfounded criticism that surfaced in the last half of the 20th century.

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

James, Edwin Oliver. Cremation and the Preservation of the Dead in North America. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol. 30:214-237

In this article, James examines the practice of cremation and the preservation of the dead among the native North American peoples. He attempts to make the connection between the two distinct practices and how they relate to one anther, and as a result, how these practices associate the beliefs and cultures between different North American peoples. James argues that although different preservation methods and cremation practices started out as specific to a certain people, through the process of migration and travel, these practices shifted into new cultures, resulting in shared and sometimes common customs among the deceased.

James recognizes that preservation methods such evisceration, embalmment, mummy-bundles, and desiccation were among the first practices among the North American peoples. These methods preserved the bodies of the dead long past their deaths. The bodies were clad with ornamentation and often times buried with their belongings and loved ones. These methods were used in order to preserve the mortal remains so that the immortality of the body might be secured. Sometimes the body was dried artificially by smoking it over a fire.

In other areas of North America, James found that partial cremation was performed. Some bodies were mummified, and their heads burned. In other instances, the head of the deceased was preserved and the body cremated. If the entire body was burned, images of the deceased were made to represent their immortality. These images were treated as real. The images of the dead were eventually burned and the spirit of the dead was ‘set free’. This suggests that there was a vital connection between cremation and the preservation of the dead.

With the diffusion of culture through migration and racial mixture, cult practices have constantly changed. Rituals have changed meaning, so that the purpose of fires went from preserving the dead, to cremation, to warm the mourners of dead, and accompany the ‘ghost’ to the spirit world. Cremation was first used for the rulers, and was later used for everybody. Data suggests that the practice of cremation grew from attempts to preserve the body, which later came second in the attainment of the immortality of the soul.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ASHLEY MCKINNON Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

James, Edwin Oliver. Cremation and the Preservation of the Dead In North America.American Anthropologist 1928 Vol. 30: 214-242.

James decodes the various burial practices found among Native American cultures before and after the contact period. He finds that two main forms of mortuary ritual used in North America were preservation (through mummification) and cremation. James believes that mortuary practices underwent a shift from preservation to cremation in pre-contact times. He credits primary innovation and diffusion for the change from a mortuary practice that centered on preserving the body for use in the afterlife to one that included partial or complete destruction of the human vessel. James is also interested in how the mortuary ritual of each culture bespeaks its supernatural beliefs.

James gives credit to the mechanisms of accidental (primary) innovation and diffusion for the transition in practice and beliefs. Many of the body preservation rituals of Native Americans involved desiccation by fire. This was usually accomplished with a system of ropes that suspended the corpse over a fire. James hypothesizes that cremation may have been accidentally invented when a body fell from the ropes into the fire. James notes that cremation would have been a more practical option for nomadic groups who spread the custom throughout the continent by way of diffusion. However, he recognizes cremation would have had trouble diffusing into cultures where the belief in preservation needs after death was important. By the time this transition occurred, James believes that preservation of mortal remains had secondary importance in immortality attainment for the soul.

To support his thesis, James takes an holistic approach. He uses ethnographic fieldwork to infer the belief systems of these Native American cultures. He turns to ethnohistorical accounts of missionaries and explorers for descriptions of the mortuary rites. These ethnohistorical accounts also offer evidence of the beliefs behind these practices. James used bioarchaeological evidence to describe and understand the funerary rituals of North America. This allows him to assess the physical elements involved in the various processes, and how each worked to meet the goal of preservation (either bodily or through images of the dead).

James’s article begins with a short introduction in which he outlines the general problem. Most of the article consists of detailed descriptions regarding the different mortuary practices in addition to speculation on the belief systems involved. He also makes comparisons between the mortuary methods used by various American Indians. This descriptive section is broken down into the main categories of preservation and cremation. He divides the two categories of preservation and cremation into sections also. The former is divided into evisceration, embalmment, mummy-bundles and desiccation. The latter is split into partial cremation and images of the dead.

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

Katz, Miton. Gnena in Southeastern Asia. American Anthropologist, July-September 1928 Vol. 30: 580-601.

Southeast Asia has a social-religious complex termed, by English-speaking writers, Genna. Katz breaks down the Genna complex into three subsets: the Kenna-Penna, the social Genna, and the erection of memorials. Kenna and Penna are a special form of taboo. Kenna is a type of “quarantine” where a village, clan, family, or individual isolates themselves from certain people for a described amount of time. Penna is described as an “obligatory holiday,” where people abstain from either all labors, or prescribed tasks. They both are associated with crises in life (such as birth, puberty, marriage, and death), and periodical ceremonies. Genna is a means of social advancement. It involves a series of ceremonies and feasts. Monuments are erected to “commemorate the performance of religious or social Gennas, to recall a great feast, or to mark the grave of a rich or distinguished man.”

Katz attempts to locate the cultural origins of the Genna complex by analyzing the demographic use of the three subsets of the Genna complex throughout Southeast Asia to discover patterns of development and patterns of abandonment. He feels that the Genna rituals are old and that newer developments are displacing the use of the Genna complex. Buddhism and Hinduism tend to diminish use of Kenna-Penna and social Genna, but tend to foster the continuation of erecting monuments. Katz analyzes the influence of other cultures upon the Genna complex in a similar manner.

He concludes that the Genna originated with the Tibeto-Burman peoples. They migrated into the area, which was occupied by the Mon-Khmer. The Mon-Khmer practiced the Kenna-Penna and the Tibeto-Burman invaders assimilated this practice. The practice of erecting monuments came with migrations from the southern regions. As the three religious customs radiated throughout Southeast Asia, the Tibeto-Burman peoples began to accept Buddhism and Hinduism. So where they once had all three practices they abandoned all but monument building. So as of 1928, we have a hodgepodge of Genna beliefs throughout Southeast Asia.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
Jeremy Richards. Brigham Young University. (Julie Hartley).

Kissell, Mary Lois. The Early Geometric Patterned Chilkat. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol.30:116-

Chilkats are blankets made in the Pacific north coast. They relate to ceremonies and contain both geometric and animal ornament designs. Two examples of the geometric pattern are known–one obtained by Captain Swift in 1800, and another by early Russian explorers. They are now in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University and the National Museum in Copenhagen, respectively. These use purely geometrical design and weave with different colored strands. Distinguishing features also include things such as a rectangular shape with no dipping curve, integral fringes, purely goat-wool warp and a weave pattern related to older patterns. More striking is the presence of geometric ornaments on primary and secondary stripes. Such garments come from two places, namely Lynn Canal and Sitka.

A third web is a ceremonial tunic that uses both geometric designs as well as animal medallions. It is in the Ottowa Museum in Canada. This uses latticed wrap weave as well as tapestry twilled twine, which was developed by the Tsimshian. This varies from the Tlingit example, where only the latticed weave is used. The union of Tsimishian animal ornament and Tlingit geometric design suggests that this particular garment is a transitional type between the early and late Tlingit types, before these particular Indians changed to a Tsimshian style of robe.

A fourth robe is found in the British Museum, which was probably collected by the explorer Vancouver in Prince Edward Sound in 1794. It is Tlingit with geometric designIt is probably older than the other robes and made by a tribe further south than the Chilkat.

The appearance of a slender band of yellow crossing the width of the web and in the side fringes is interesting. It is also found among the Bella Coola. On the Vancouver garment, it takes a minor place in the decoration, but is possible a manifestation of an older manner of indicating the principal figure, which had since lost its significance.

Still, much is not known about early Tlingit weaving. Studies of weaving are often left to ethnologists, whose lack of knowledge relating to weaving lead them to make mistakes. Soon, the need for trained textile research will be recognized.

CLARITY: 2
CHRIS VERMILLION Brigham Young University (Professor Julie Hartley)

Kissell, Mary Lois. The Early Geometric Patterned Chilkat. American Anthropologist. 1928: Vol.30 (1): 116-120.

The author’s objective is to relay the ethnographic importance of Chilkat cultural textile industries. The article includes an in-depth analysis of the manufacturing techniques and variations within the weaving patterns. Kissell has based her research on the People of the North Pacific Coast, and is based upon the recovery of an unidentified Chilkat ceremonial robe. Regional and cultural characteristics, such as the use of animal ornaments in Tlingit designs, are noted as an index of reference group and ceremonial identification. The Chilkat-Tlingit ceremonial robes consist of a unique weaving pattern similar to the technique used in basket-weaving. The variations within manufacturing techniques allows for the distinction between everyday-robes and those of ceremonial designation. The author also gives a brief documentation of other-known ceremonial robes including their historical acquisition and their present day locations.

The occurrence of similar manufacturing technology and decoration patterning allows of the identification of cultural transitions and diffusion. The reconstruction of stylized patterns assists in the reconstruction of the chronology of the culture. The author notes the union of Tsimshian animal ornament-decoration and the Tlingit geometric patterning as a transitional stage between cultures.

The author stresses the lack of knowledge and applicable training within the field of textile-based ethnography’s. The article defines the patterning of the robes, and provides the reader with a brief introduction into the weaving techniques of the North Pacific Coast People.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
REBECCA PALMER University of British Columbia. (John Barker)

Lavrischeff, Rev. T. I. Two Aleut Tales. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol.30: 121-124.

“Two Aleut Tales” are a pair of stories recorded by Rev. T. I. Lavrischeff in Ellamar Alaska from the Aleut Indians. He was a Russian Orthodox priest in charge of the Prince William Sound Area. Each story contains a moral lesson and reflects Aleut views on family and society.

The first, titled “The Unfaithful Husband,” is a story about an adulterous old shaman named Akcheenkoo and his wife Eekakhlee. The old man has the power to go into a trance and appear to be dead. Akcheenkoo decides to use his ability to trick his wife into burying him in a cave.

For three days, Eekakhlee returns to the cave to mourn her husband. On the fourth day, she does not find him there. Through the aide of a bird, she finds out that the old man is living on the other side of the island with two young women. Eekakhlee is skeptical at first but the bird persuades her to follow it to where the old man lives. She finds the two attractive young girls preparing soup for the old man while he is out fishing. Angrily she takes the soup pot and hits the girls in the head, killing them both. Finished with that, she decides to manipulate their bodies to look as if they are alive. She has one appear to be laughing and the other scolding. The old woman hides behind a tree to await the arrival of Akcheenkoo. When the old man comes back, he finds the two girls apparently quarreling. He tries to resolve their argument by expressing his love for both of them and offers them two otters that he killed. This apparently is too much for Eekakhlee. Also possessing magical powers, she turns herself into a bear and devours her husband.

I believe this story shows the importance the Aleut placed on marital fidelity. This social norm parallels with many cultures. Published in 1928, this story was a clear illustration that many so-called primitive cultures shared many of the same values of more modern societies.

The second story called “Old Man of Nutchek,” is about a rich man named Anoogne from the village of Nutchek who has a large cache of food along with many valuable furs and clothing. The people of Nutchek praise him because of his generosity in giving feasts. One day as Anoogne is walking along the beach he slips on a dead fish. He begins to complain bitterly when a voice from the heavens tells him to not complain, that without the fish it provided for him he would starve. The voice is a spiritual entity that never identifies itself, but seems to have power in providing the Aleut with the food they need. Anoogne, in his pride, tells the voice that he has stores enough to last him a very long time. The voice counters telling him that he could send snow to cover the earth and freeze everything. Anoogne mocks the voice; he does not believe the voice can do what it says. No reply comes. Shortly thereafter snow begins to fall. It continues until it covers the whole island. Anoogne is not able to shovel fast enough to keep it from freezing his food storage. The frozen food is like white paper and provides no nourishment. Anoogne begins to starve and confesses his sin to the people. The snow covers the island for twenty-four months. All living creatures perish. The voice comes again telling Anoogne not to curse fate. He confesses his sin to the villagers. The pride of Anoogne brings about the downfall of the whole village.

I believe this story clearly illustrates Aleut attitudes towards wealth and the danger of pride. It demonstrates the respect the Aleut held for the forces of nature. It also shows the importance of being grateful for what the earth provides.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
JOHN EDVALSON Brigham Young University (Juile R. Hartley)

Lavrischef, Rev. T.I. Two Aleut Tales. American Anthropologist. Vol. 30(1):121-124.

The article consists of two, relatively brief Aleut tales. The article does not contain an ethnographic sketch of the People, and it does not contain an interpretation as to the context and meaning of the tales. The author does not distinguish whether these tales were an important aspect of an oral tradition, and he does not note their cultural relevance. The stories are not placed within a social or historical context. The first tale within the article, named “Unfaithful Husband”, tells the story of an old man and his attempt to rid himself of his wife. Staging his own death, he allows for his wife t mourn alongside his burial place for three days before he rises and disappears. The man is punished for his actions once the wife discovers the truth of his deceit. The second tale, “Old Man of Nutchek”, is a tale of egotism and the disrespect of nature. The man, though respectful and giving to the people of the village, disrespects the ancestor spirits. He is forced to suffer the consequences of his actions as he freezes to death alone in his cabin. The two stories are fables; they convey a moral-message and are part of cultural mythology and legendry.

The author does not place the tales into a cultural context. The reader must use secondary sources in order to establish the cultural relevance of these tales.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
REBECCA PALMER University of British Columbia. (John Barker)

Linton, Ralph. Culture Areas in Madagascar. American Anthropologist, July-September 1928 Vol. 30: pg. 363-390.

Madagascar is a very diverse island. Although it is unified by one national language, it varies culturally and geographically from region to region. This article was written in attempt to correct the inaccurate assertion made by many writers that culture is uniform throughout Madagascar. The author, Ralph Linton, carefully analyzes the lifestyles of the peoples of Madagascar and divides them into three distinct regions: the East Coast, the Plateau, and the West Coast and extreme South. He acknowledges the differences of each region in support of his argument that the island of Madagascar is not unified by one common culture.

The area defined by Linton as the East Coast region is the narrow strip along the eastern coast which extends nearly the length of the entire island. In this area, common dress for men are clothes similar to that of a poncho, with a sleeveless piece of cloth open at the sides. The women wear a straight, tubular garment reaching form the armpit to the knee. Exposure of genitalia is not uncommon in the East Coast region. Unity among tribes is important to the inhabitants of this region of Madagascar, and the king is the social and political head of the tribe.

The second region classified by Linton is the Plateau, which encompasses the entire central portion of the island and has a average elevation of 3,000 feet. Unlike the East Coast region, exposure is uncommon in the Plateau area and only infants are seen nude in public. The societal leader of the particular area is the king, who is an absolute monarch with complete power over the lives and the property of his subjects.

The final of the cultural areas defined by Linton is the West Coast and extreme south region. In this part of the island, rainfall is scarce and the climate is excessively hot. Consequently, much of the land is deserted and villages are many miles apart. Along the coast, men typically wear skirts and carefully avoid exposure while women do not avoid appearing in public while not fully-clothed. Similar to the kings in the Plateau region, the kings of the West Coast are absolute monarchs and receive portions of the fines imposed by the supreme court and also receive tributes from their subjects.

Although the three areas share some commonalities, they are vastly different from one another. As Linton argues, the island is not, contrary to common belief, unified by one universal Malagasy culture.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
IAN DAVIS. Brigham Young University. (Julie Hartley).

Linton, Ralph. Culture Areas in Madagascar. American Anthropologist, 1928 Vol.30 (3); 363-390

The author of this article, Ralph Linton, contests the idea of cultural uniformity in Madagascar. He points out that all the authors who have written about Madagascar do not recognize that there are cultures in the area other than the one that they have seen. He assumes that this mistake comes from the fact that few Europeans have knowledge of the whole island of Madagascar, and he points out three distinctive culture areas in Madagascar that suggest a lack of cultural uniformity.

He divides the culture of Madagascar into three groups, based on geographical, climatic, and cultural distinctions. He calls these areas “the East Coast,” “the Plateau,” and “the West Coast and Extreme South.” He provides a mass of information for each culture area, including geography, climate, material culture, social organization, religion, disposal of the dead and art. He also describes the distinctions of each culture area. He not only points out the differences between these areas, but also shows which characteristics are influenced by which area.

The mass of details is illustrated with a strong influence of American diffusionism. Linton emphasizes the cultural distinctions in Madagascar but also he describes where these cultural traits originated and how neighboring cultures influences them.

His purpose of this article is made very clear at the beginning and at the end; however, too much information can obscure the main idea and confuse the readers.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
YUKIKO KASAHARA University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Loeb, Edwin M. Mentawei Social Organization. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol. 30: 408-433.

The social organization of Pageh in Mentawei Island is presented in this article. The author explains that readers need to know about material cultures and religions to understand Mentawei social organization. Therefore, the type of house and its use, clothing, weapons, body decorations such as filed teeth and tattooing, and spiritual ideology are briefly described as important elements of understanding Mentawei social organization. The author also argues about “punen”, the religious ceremony of people of a communal house (uma), and “lia”, the family religious festival, as well as marriages and childbirth and the taboos and rules associating with these events.

The author; however, puts more focus on terminology to picture the social organization of Mentawei Island. The author addresses issues such as how the members of kin are referred to, and how these terms are related to their relationships. For instance, the children of two brothers call each other brother and sister and they are not supposed to marry. On the other hand, the children of two sisters and of a brother and a sister do not call each other brother and sister. Therefore, they can marry but it is not favorable to do so. He also gives detailed descriptions about personal names. He discusses how and when the new born babies are named, the meaning of the name, and how people change or “lose” their names as a result of social changes such as the death of a member of the kinship group.

In addition to social organization in Mentawei Island, the author shows where the cultural traits of Pageh originated and how they were diffused. At the beginning of the article, the author mentions some Hindu influences in the Mentawei culture. In the middle of this article, he explains the similarities and differences in other cultural areas of Mentawei Island. He also compares them to Polynesian, Melanesian, Malayan, Indonesian and other Asian cultures to find out the origin and the flow of cultural traits as they reached Mentawei Island.

He gives little interpretation and generalization despite a mass of information. Therefore, this article is open ended without solid conclusions. However, since he clearly implies his ideas in the information that he presents, the article succeeds in leading readers to the same conclusions as the author’s.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
YUKIKO KASAHARA University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Loeb, E.M. Mentawei Social Organization American Anthropologist, 1928. Volume 30 (4) 408-433

The Mentawei Islands are located in an isolated portion of Polynesia, situated just west of Sumatra. An anthropologist by the name of Edwin M. Loeb began studying the culture of the Mentawei in 1926, and has since published several articles relating to the rituals and practices of their customs. The Mentawei’s way of life can simply be defined using only two words: religion and survival.

The Mentawei religion is based primarily on the belief and fear of spirits, souls, and ghosts. Rituals are consistently made to avoid sickness and death. It is believed that spirits and ghosts alone cause illness or any other misfortune, and sacrifices are made to stave off unwanted complications and ensure health and longevity. The sacrifices are made in special religious festivals such as Punen or when erecting a new building. When an animal is sacrificed its liver is placed onto an altar to call on spirits that will protect the village or family. The spirits don’t eat the liver; they eat the soul so it will not bring any hardships to the village. The structure of the religion is made up of two different orders of priests. The first priest, or rimata, completes all of the sacrifices for the souls of the community. The other is the house father, who also makes sacrifices just for the members of his family. Priests are very important to the Mentawei but the Shaman is considered to be the most important person within the community. He is capable of communicating with spirits and diagnosing severe illness or disease. Only the Shaman can see the ghosts so his status is ranked very high among the Islanders.

Everything in Mentawei culture correlates in one way or another with their religious practices. The festivals are all linked with religion and the most important of the festivals is called Punen. Punen is held on occasion when there is a new priest, an epidemic infiltrates a village, blood is shed within a village, a new house is built, or a tree has fallen on the ground. The festival is started by the ritual of washing hair by everyone in the village. All physical labor within the village stops and several ceremonial sacrifices take place throughout Punen. During the festival prohibitions are made regarding physical contact between husbands and wives. Men are to sleep in separate houses away fro women because any type of fornication is taboo.

The Mentawei people are entirely monogamous and emphasize a great deal of importance on marriage and family. Before a couple is married there are two stages that must be completed before the ceremony can take place. During the first stage the couple may sleep together but not eat with one another. Any children born before marriage are adopted by the woman’s father or the woman’s uncle. When a couple is engaged the implication is marriage and any adultery from that time is highly frowned upon. At one point in Mentawei history adultery was punished by death. Before a man can marry he must establish his own banana field and build a house. On the day of the wedding hair is ceremonially washed just as it is during Punen. The ceremony is directed by the grooms brother and the bride is escorted by the grooms brothers wife. After the wedding has taken place it would be a sin if the husband and wife didn’t were to miss a meal of eating together.

The Mentawei culture is a completely self-sufficient community that has lived that way for centuries. As unique as the culture may be it still has been influenced by outside sources. But even with Christian influence the Mentawei has been able to keep the keystone to their culture, their religion.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
Brandon Henscheid Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

Lowie, Robert H. Edward Sandford Burgess. American Anthropologist, 1928. Vol.30:481-482.

This is an obituary for Edward Sandford Burgess, one of the founders of the American Anthropological Association. He died February 23, 1928. Lowie elaborates Burgess’ contributions to and importance in the field as is expected from an obituary. For Burgess, anthropology was more of a side-interest than a main vein of study, however he made significant contributions through lifelong interest. He was the first to encourage anthropological instruction in a women’s colege, and was a great ethnographic recorder. His primary interests were botany and science, which he taught for several years. He studied the Romansch people of Switzerland and always tried to encourage the rising generation to view liberally the racial strains meeting in New York City at the time.

Lowie presents a stirring claim as to Burgess’ good character, “a felicitous blend of scholarly devotion and character.” He writes that Burgess would be a fine character to be an example for younger generations, and writes that those who knew him would never forget him.

CLARITY: 5
MCKENNA WOODGER Brigham Young University (J.R. Hartley).

Lowie, Robert H. Edward Sandford Burgess. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol. 30:481-482.

Dr. Edward Sandford Burgess was an educator, botanist, and anthropologist. He was born on January 19, 1855, in Little Valley, New York, and died on February 23, 1928, in New York City. In this 1928 obituary, the anthropologist Robert Lowie wrote a glowing account of the life and work of one of the founders of the American Anthropological Association.

Edward Burgess spent his professional life as a teacher. He first taught high-school botany at Central High School in Washington, D. C., and later taught at John Hopkins. In 1895 he became a professor of biological sciences at Hunter College in New York City. It was at Hunter College where Dr. Burgess became one of the first educators to introduce regular anthropology instruction in a college for women.

Dr. Burgess taught many courses through the biology department, including Primitive Man, Language and Race, and Prehistoric Man. He also taught courses on Primitive Mediterranean Civilization and Ethnology and Culture of China and Japan. He had a keen insight into human problems, and held a sympathetic view to the racial issues of New York City.

He was primarily a botanist and published several works including History of Pre-Clusian Botany in 1902 and Species and Variations of Biotian Asters in 1906. Later in life his studies turned to anthropology. His interests included the Romantsch people of southeastern Switzerland, American Indian lore, and primitive craftsmanship.

Dr. Burgess’ interests and expertise were widespread. Lowie called him a “student of the universe, with a loving absorption in all its manifestations” (482). Dr. Burgess’ life and career were full and Lowie recalled him with affection and admiration.

CLARITY: 5
DONALD L. CRAIG University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Lowie, Robert H. A Note on Relationship Terminologies. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol.30: 263-267.

This is a brief discussion on Lewis Henry Morgan’s Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family. Robert Lowie felt compelled to respond to Morgan’s analysis of relationship systems and kinship terminologies. Within the realm of nomenclature or clans and tribes, consanguinity or genetic relationship refers to individuals who have at least one common ancestor in the preceding few generations. There are two major types of relationship systems. Descriptive systems reject classification of kindred, while classificatory systems reject descriptive phrases to avoid creating “arbitrary generalizations.” Morgan believed that primitive systems were classificatory, and civilized systems were descriptive. Lowie pointed out a flaw in Morgan’s dichotomy that these two systems are not “hand-in-hand” but “belong in different logical universes.”

A.L. Kroeber stated that kinship terminologies are not so many coherent “systems.” In logical universe systems there is no distinction from a mother or aunt, only classified as elder female. Nor is there one for son or nephew, only younger male. Father and uncle are distinguished by “bifurcate collateral.” The collateral criterion rests on the distinction between siblings and lineal relatives. Grouping lineal and collateral relatives under the same term is called “merging.” In kinship systems the relatives most frequently merged are a parent and sibling of the same sex, a sibling and parallel cousin, or a son or daughter.

The following is a list of possible guidelines:

Uncles and aunts may be treated as parents.

The paternal uncle may be classed with the father, while the maternal uncle is designated by a specific term; and, correspondingly, the maternal aunt may be classed with the mother, while the paternal aunt has a specific designation.

The paternal and maternal uncle (or aunt) are alike distinguished from the parents and each other.

The paternal and maternal uncle (or aunt) are alike distinguished from the parent, but bear a joint uncle (or aunt) designation.

Bifurcate Merging recognizes that relatives may be traced through either a male or female connecting relative. It is a kinship system in which there are no distinctions based on certain lineal and collateral relatives, as when a father and the father’s brother are both called “father.” Through his work, Morgan stressed the genetic relationship of generations, combined with this idea of bifurcation.

CLARITY RANKING: 1
SAMUEL QUINTA Brigham Young University. (Dr. Julie Hartley)

Lowie, Robert H. A Note on Relationship Terminologies. American Anthropologist, 1928 Vol.30: 263-267.

Lowie considers two kinship terms originally introduced by Lewis H. Morgan. He explains that the terms “descriptive” and “classificatory” are used by Morgan to describe how differing cultures may apply kinship meaning. Lowie’s understanding of these terms seems to be based on cultural considerations rather than the more biological perspective taken by Morgan.

Descriptive, according to Morgan, is associated with actual blood affiliation of family groups. Classificatory is concerned with the general classification of a group type, seemingly regardless of blood affiliation. Lowie argues that this paradigm does not accurately explain terminologies used in kinship systems. In accordance with an explanation given by Rivers, Lowie explains that “descriptive” terms may be better understood as “denotative.” That is, there is not a direct correlation between blood relationship and the term “descriptive,” but an inclination to use terms that only reflect connections, and not necessarily a blood relationship.

Further, Lowie explains that the term “classificatory” can not be paired with, or balanced against, the term “descriptive.” The terms have different realms of kinship ascription. “Classificatory” is described as being singular in description, naming individual groups of relationship. Specifically, the terms are used to put relative types together. “Descriptive” (or denotative) terms illustrate actual relationships between individuals in a unilinear relationship.

Lowie elucidates his points by listing possibilities surrounding the relationships of individuals of one ascending generation. In addition, he utilizes ideas obtained from his work with Iroquois in his argument.

CLARITY: 3
DALE NORTON University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Macleod, Christie William. Economic Aspects of Indigenous American Slavery. American Anthropologist Vol. 30,632-650.

It is my understanding that Macleod’s article sets out to demonstrate the elaborateness of slavery that was indigenous (original) to the Americas.

The first part of Macleod’s article covers a wide range of reasons why a person can become enslaved. For example, Mayan’s were enslaved if they were unable to pay a debt. However, relatives could pay off someone’s debts if they were willing. In the Valley of Mexico people sold themselves into slavery if they felt they were unable to provide enough food to survive. In the Aztec culture a traitor’s descendents could be enslaved until their fifth generation.

Part way through the article Macleod shifts his focus to chattel slavery. This is where an individual owns the person enslaved. In this situation the men were usually sacrificed, whereas women and children were either made slaves for life or adopted by their “masters.”

Supposedly there are accounts from colonizers that suggest those Indians who went too far from home were fair game for enslavement. Spanish colonists were shocked to discover the vast amount of slaves in the company of the Creek. De Soto found some slaves with mutilated feet, in order to keep them from running away.

Slaves were used in many economic aspects of indigenous American life such as: maple-sugar making, wild rice gathering, firewood collecting, water carrying, hunting, fieldwork, and gardening (p. 641)

Macleod surmises that the indigenous American Slavery was well underway before any kind of European influence. The Slave Trade, Macleod suggests, came about because of the need to put distance between the slaves and their homes and it was not a direct result of contact with Europeans.

CLARITY 3
SUMMER FENSTERMAKER-PIERCE Brigham Young University. (Dr. Julie Hartley)

Macleod, William Christie. Economic Aspects of Indigenous American Slavery. American Anthropologist, 1928. Vol. 30: 632-50.

For the indigenous American cultures slavery was a common practice that arose of two conditions: the need to relieve an individual of financial or moral debt, debtor slavery, or by capture or hereditary ownership, chattel slavery. As proposed by the author the terms and construct of slavery was a complex social and political structure indicative of the appropriating society. It is his further contention that although there was economic rationale for the slave workforce of the plantations in the Northeast Americas established by Europeans, that the institution of slavery for indigenous populations was less for sustenance and more for community support and the maintenance of moral good. With in depth analysis of regional communities he author isolates the subjects of slavery and their treatment within each community referencing his prior works. He theorizes about the value and purpose of slavery to the indigenous cultures, supporting his assertions with both primary sources, recounts from explorers and slave members of particular communities, and secondary sources, the works of two historians, Cogolludo and Gomara.

He concludes that the slaves, who performed duties that ranged from maple-sugar making and firewood collecting to gardening, maintained a level of prestige for the owner important in all the indigenous communities. Furthermore, the potential monetary value of a slave attained through trade in all communities could lead not only to improved wealth, but possibly improved status. The author focuses on the Northwest coast communities that proved to attain significant economic strength from the trade of slaves to outside communities. It is the effort displayed by the raids of neighboring communities and public sale of persons that indicate the slave to be of economic value to the coastal people. The trade held both at public auction and privately, was explained by primary sources, to achieve economic gain and to establish distance between the captive and his relatives.

The monetary affiliation between the communities and the slave trade are comparable to the plantation slave trade yet prove not to indicate European influence. It is evident, instead, that the indigenous American populations had already embraced the institution of slavery as both a social regulation and economic finance before European discourse.

CLARITY: 2
SUZANNE DEMAS, Barnard College (Paige West)

Macleod, W.C. “Jumping Over” From West Africa to South America. American Anthropologist, 1928. Vol.30:107-111.

Macleod, during casual reading and research finds a pattern of traditions that include stepping over the legs of either women or corpses. He researches the issue because he notices instances of this ranging from Africa to throughout the Americas.

Macleod believes that he has found the remains of a “Paleolithic” religious concept, meaning that the various forms of stepping or jumping over, as a religious base, have existed since the Stone Age. These forms have evolved and changed over time, and now symbolize everything from death to sexual intercourse in different societies. He needs to find evidence of this religious tradition in a few additional societies before he can generalize the concept.

He first came across the evidence when reading about war practices in Africa and noted the peculiar custom. When he heard, several years later, of similar traditions in America, he began looking for evidences more closely. He found evidence of a similar dance among the Kutchin of Alaska, the neighboring Kwakiutl, the Hupa of California, the Ojibwa of the Great Lakes and their Winnebago neighbors. The Delaware Heckewelder, Indians of the Virginia Piedmont, tribes of the Guianas, and the Arawaks all adhere to similar traditions and practices. In several of the cultures the dance had sexual meaning, and stepping over a woman was considered akin to intercourse.

In most of the tribes the dance was tied in with death, either as a matter of respect or of getting out of the duties of marriage vows. This showed respect in place of a eulogy, in recognition that the forefathers had been holy and that the ground they touched was holy, therefore they should step over this holy ground as an act of deference. By stepping over the legs of a dead husband a woman was freed to remarry, otherwise she would be bound to the dead for life.

It is taboo to step over graves other than during the funeral ceremonies and has even taken different forms of tabooing stepping over children for fear of stunting their growth. In some cultures the act of stepping over can be retracted by stepping back over the way you have come.

He found data from Jewish and Irish communities, but all of the references found included warnings against jumping over. He suspects there is more information available for the Old and New Worlds and had not ruled out the prospect of doing field research on the topic. He hopes that the origin/history of this ceremonial action will eventually be discovered. If evidence can be found among the Patagonians, the Bushmen and the Australians, then, according to Macleod, it can be proven as dating from the Stone Age. He also gives an example of how the practice has influenced Western culture, in the form on a well-known nursery rhyme; the cow jumping over the moon.

CLARITY: 4
MCKENNA WOODGER Brigham Young University (J.R. Hartley).

Macleod, W.C. “Jumping Over” From West Africa to South America. American Anthropologist January, 1928 Vol.30(1): 107-111.

The author of this short, descriptive article is fascinated by the cross-culture practice of either superstitiously jumping over things, or avoiding jumping over things, which, according to his research, is a common practice in many ceremonial complexes. He first noticed this custom in an African warrior ritual, wherein warriors who are leaving for battle run toward the women of their group and once they are approaching the women, the women all quickly lie down, and the men jump over them. It was important for the men to jump over them successfully as any man unable to make the jump, it is believed, will not survive the battle. Further observation of cultures in America, and Europe revealed the prevalence of similar practices. For example, Macleod quotes Teit’s description of the Thompson River Indians of the British Columbia plateau: “Children whose mother had died, were made to jump four times over the mother’s corpse,” (pg.108).

The article is organised as a list of some of the cultures where “jumping over” (or the inverted practice of jumping over avoidance) is practiced, and although there is a short description of each of the unique customs, the article provides no analysis of the practice in general. Also, the links, if any, between the cultures that he lists is not apparent, which weakens his overall presentation of the material, and restricts his flow of ideas. In the first paragraph, the author makes two vague and seemingly contradictory remarks attempting to explain the reason why this practice is observed cross continentally. He suggests that there may be a “genetic relationship” accounting for the distribution of such a cultural phenomena. He also suggests that it may be the result of diffusion. The article, however, does not develop either of these ideas. The reader quickly realises that the article is not intended to provide any kind of analysis or conclusion. This article describes, in a reduced, or summarised form some of the author’s preliminary research. Macleod successfully presents many snap-shots of ethnographic curiosities in a short amount of space.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
EMILY HERTZMAN: University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Mathiassen, Therkel. Norse Ruins in Labrador? American Anthropologist 1928 Vol. 30:569-579

Mathiassen’s article Norse Ruins in Labrador? is based on disproving: “the common assumption that if something is repeated enough, it becomes fact” (569). Through step-by-step analysis, Mathiassen successfully disproved the notion of Norse occupation within the Labrador Islands. His theory, tested through analysis of history, folklore, and archaeology, is that the Norse may have visited the area but did not settle there.

The historical evidence was a series of documents describing Norse explorer’s comments of sailing to a land where no grass grew; glaciers were seen inland and the land, “did not seem to them to have any value” (569). Further investigation of the documents concluded no mention of occupation. Mathiassen’s thoroughness crossed over to the ‘folklore’ evidence with similar results. It seems that Norse people were actually a separate Eskimo hunting tribe that utilized the area in the summer. Locals believed there were nomadic Eskimo with little knowledge of the local environment, adaptation, and successful hunting/fishing techniques. The discrepancies in identification were the fault of the local missionaries who confused the visiting Tunnit tribe as Greenlanders. Mathiassen concluded that there was no connection through folklore between the lost Norse tribes of Greenland and of the Tunnit Eskimo.

Perhaps Mathiassen’s most brilliant point is through investigation of the archaeological evidence. The Norse ruins were in fact, characteristic of old Eskimo summer dwellings. The ruins were situated on cliffs facing the sea, built of heavy stones, and had strong tent rings and meat caches associated with old Eskimo culture. Further investigation of grave lengths and markers concluded that all the culture traits were Eskimo and not of Norse origin. By combining history, folklore, and archaeology, Mathiassen found no evidence of Norse occupation on the Labrador islands.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
KELLY MCCLAVE University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Mathiassen, Therkel. Norse Ruins in Labrador? American Anthropologist, 1928. Volume 30 (4): 569-579.

In this article, Therkel Mathiassen addresses the issue of the Norse ruins in Labrador and if they can be regarded as Norse in origin. Many people believed the ruins, distinct from the local Eskimo ruins, to be of Norse origin. However, Mathiassen argues that the ruins can be attributed to the lost Thule culture in the Arctic. He deals with this issue in three ways: through historical evidence, local Eskimo folklore, and archaeological evidence.

To begin with, Mathiassen provides evidence from the Saga of Erik the Red and other Norse historical accounts. Though these accounts record that the Norsemen were clever sailors and may have ventured to Labrador, he argues that it does not prove that the ruins are Norse. History therefore cannot solve the question or prove that the ruins are Norse in origin.

Mathiassen next explores the folklore from the local Eskimos in Labrador. Eskimo tales of a strange people referred to as the Tunnit, seem to prove that the Norse were these people. However, the Tunnit legends include other possibilities as well, including Indians and strange Eskimos. All three peoples offer a possible explanation to the identity of the Tunnit. The description of the Tunnit, though, seems to describe an Eskimo-like people and not the Norsemen. Mathiassen concludes that folklore does not indicate that the Norsemen were the Tunnit and that the ruins were Norse.

Lastly, Mathiassen examines the archaeological evidence. The supposed Norse remains have many features, such as usually being situated on the most exposed side of islands, containing strong tent rings, built of heavy stones without interval, and several other features. In summarizing the work of other anthropologists, Mathiassen argues that the archaeological evidence points to the Thule culture as the architects of the ruins in Labrador. The Tunnit sites seem to resemble the summer encampments of the Thule culture in the Central Eskimo areas of the Arctic and not the Norse.

In summary, Mathiassen concludes that neither history, folklore, nor archaeological evidence shows that the ruins are Norse. The ruins, he believes belongs to the lost Thule culture from the Central Arctic.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ERIN CHAPMAN Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

Morice, A.G. “The Fur Trader in Anthropology: And a Few Related Questions.” American Anthropologist March, 1928 Vol 30 (1): p 60-84.

Morice writes this article as a rebuttal against W. C. McLeod’s criticism (American Anthropologist 1926: 566-577) of his own criticism (American Anthropologist 1925: 478-482) of McLeod’s article “Certain Mortuary Aspects of Northwest Coast Culture” (American Anthropologist 1925: 122-150). McLeod claimed that the Sékanais Indians of the northern interior of British Columbia practiced cremation, but Morice insists that though their westerly neighbors, the Carrier, practice cremation, the Sékanais never did. Morice complains that McLeod based his criticism on the journal of Daniel William Harmon, a fur trader who never learned to speak the Sékanais language, and that McLeod himself does not speak Sékanais and has never lived among them for an extended period of time. He contrasts this with his own familiarity with the Sékanais language and his nineteen-year experience living near the Sékanais as a Catholic missionary.

Morice contends that Harmon and other fur traders stationed in that area are unreliable. He shows several instances where he claims they misrepresented the language, religion, and customs of the Carrier and Sékanais and the geography of the land they live in. He also questions how well Harmon’s journal is preserved in the published text, noting that Daniel Haskel had “written it over.” He even suggests that passages about scalping in the Harmon book were inserted by “his censor or editor” claiming “he must have known better.”

Morice then argues that Harmon’s book actually supports his own view. He cites a passage that says that the Sékanais bury their dead, while the Carriers burn their dead. However, he ultimately argues that the Sekanais did not bury their dead either until they fell under the influence of Europeans, but rather left their bodies in the open air. He bases this claim on his personal conversations with Sékanais elders and the writings of French Catholic missionaries who preceded him. He notes that the one instance in Harmon’s book where a Sékanais man is cremated occurred in a Carrier village, though McLeod said the village was Sékanais. He defends his assertion in a pervious work that the cremated Sékanais man must have been married to Carrier women, though Harmon’s work never states this. Morice conjectures that the Sékanais man was cremated by supposed Carrier in-laws.

He explains that the Carrier cremate their dead because they had more contact with coastal groups than the Sékanais. Both the Carrier and the Sékanais belong to the Déné language group. Before the Déné were influenced by costal Indians, Morice argues, they were “living relics of primitive society” with little government, few ceremonies, no settled villages, and a “patriarchal” family system in which lineage was traced through male lines. In this pristine condition, the Déné always left their dead in the open air. However, Morice contends, the Déné are naturally receptive of foreign traditions. The Carrier who live close to costal Indians therefore adopted the culture of their neighbors, becoming a matriarchal (female lineage) society with chiefs, elaborate ceremonies, and villages. They likewise copied their neighbors by cremating their dead. However the Sékanais, who were relatively isolated from costal people, had few of these practices and continued to leave their dead in the open until they adopted the European practice of burial.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
CLAY LARSON Brigham Young University (Dr. J.R. Hartley)

Morice, A.G. Summary of “The Fur Trader in Anthropology: And a Few Related Questions.” American Anthropologist March, 1928 Vol 30 (1): p 60-84.

This article is mainly a response to another work by W.C. McLeod. Morice had extensive experience living with the Ameri-Indians of that area and learned their language, while McLeod, who apparently has little or no experience with the tribes in question, relies on the journals of furs and traders to make his arguments and conclusions. Morice deals with the reliability of people with long term, but only surface experience with a group, and the superiority of field experience over records made by others.

Morice’s first point is that an anthropologist cannot absolutely rely on accounts by fur traders, at least the fur trader’s records concerning the Ameri-Indians of the Canadian Rockies area. To prove his point, Morice cites various problems with the geographical, sociological, and ethnographic statements of these traders, refuting with his own experience and ethnographic studies of the tribes in question. For example, Morice refutes one fur trader’s claim that the Carriers (a Canadian Rockies tribe) was totally ignorant of medicinal herbs and roots, which Morice refutes by citing an earlier article on Carrier medicine.

Morice, in the remainder of the article, rebuts the conclusions McLeod makes with the flawed data of the fur traders. Morice refutes McLeod’s claim that the Sékanais tribe (another native group residing in the Canadian Rockies) did not practice cremation. He again disproves this by citing his own experience and interviews with his native contacts. Finally, the Déné (a group of tribes in the same region) were a culturally adaptable group that absorbed the customs and social traditions of whatever group was close to them. He establishes this point by comparing the cultural practices of Déné speaking groups with their neighboring tribes and found that these Déné groups almost entirely copied the cultures of their these tribes while retaining the Déné language. At the end of the article, McLeod’s claims seem totally refuted.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
NATHAN TOLMAN Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

Morice, A.G. The Fur Trader In Anthropology: And A Few Related Questions. American Anthropologist, 1928 Vol. 30:60-84.

The general concern of this article is directed toward correcting assertions made by previous contributors to American Anthropologist regarding several Dene groups (North American Native Americans). Father Morice contends that one mistaken contributor used the inappropriately edited journals of a fur trader as a primary source of field data. The author discusses how in his experience fur traders did not adequately know the language of the peoples with whom they did business. The author presents himself as a highly educated priest with linguistic training who has lived among several Dene groups for extended periods and has fully mastered their languages. He also discusses how the fur trader’s relationship with Native Americans – often exploitative and contemptuous, affected their interaction with those peoples.

The author discusses the challenges of truly coming to know another people and the many opportunities for error, misunderstanding and deception such entails. His discussion shows his intelligence and experience and makes his assertions more credible, which of course is his purpose. From his discussion and the references therein he is apparently widely published on Native American anthropology and has also read widely on such.

Through out the article Father Morice painstakingly discusses many points related to Dene language, burial treatment, socio-political organization and temperament. The primary ethnographic fact he wants made clear is which tribes practiced sky-burial and which ones practiced cremation. He also describes some of the interactions occurring between Native American groups as they are impacted by Euro-American expansion.

The author lived among the Dene as a missionary. His judgment as to their moral behavior clearly shows his religious perspective. His paternalistic view of Native Americans is blatant: “…it must be understood that the Indian being a grown-up child…” (65). Lastly, much of the article is concerned with relaying information that supports then popular diffusionist theories.

CLARITY: 3
PETER BREEDEN University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Parsons, Elsie Clews. Notes On The Pima. American Anthropologist Vol. 30, 445-464.

Elsie Clews Parson’s article criticizes Russell for his lack of attention when studying the kinship system of the Pimans in early nineteen hundreds. Parsons gives us an extensive account of family relations among the Pima through her explanation of Kin, Clan, and Moiety.

Kin

Family relations (kin) in Piman society are traced bilaterally. This means that familial lines are traced through one’s father as well as mother. Surprisingly, there are no specific responsibilities or rites that are practiced during significant points in one’s life such as birth, puberty, marriage, or death.

Pima family terminology is based on the standards of descent and seniority. The way Pima’s are classified in their familial roles might have nothing to do with actual social organization.

Clan

In Pima society men are called by the name of their clan. Clans are traced through the line of the father (paternally) and serve no other function. Even if you belong to the same clan as someone you are not considered kin if you are more than five generations outside of the relationship.

Moiety

Piman social organization is made up of five clans that are grouped by moiety. Moiety is the same term that is used in reference to cross-cousins which are the children of your mother’s brother or father’s sister. Moiety means that the society is divided into two halves. In the case of the Piman, this division is between the Buzzard moiety and the Coyote moiety. Each moiety expresses the cohesiveness of the group through bragging rites. This bragging or thoughts of superiority toward the other moiety usually ends in hair pulling.

In the rest of the article Parson’s focus is on the comparison of the Piman and Pueblo culture. For example, there were various Pueblo ceremonies that were highly organized unlike the Pima who had very few ceremonies. However, both the Pueblo and the Pima held the belief that mammals, birds, and insects both caused and cured sickness.

Through studying the Pueblo and Pima culture Parsons comes up with a very Boasian realization: in order to truly appreciate or understand aspects of a particular Indian culture, one must analyze those aspects within their own cultural context.

CLARITY 3
SUMMER FENSTERMAKER-PIERCE Brigham Young University. (Dr. Julie Hartley)

Parsons, Elsie Clews. Notes on the Pima. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol.30: 445-464.

This article is a cultural comparison between Pima and the Pueblo. According to the description written by Frank Russell who visited Pimeria in 1901-2, students of the Pueblo Indians found some similarities in Pima culture. However, since Russell does not know well about the Pueblo culture and since at the time of Russell, systems of cultural relationship was little concerned by American anthropologists, the author does more extended and comprehensive comparison based on her survey in 1926 and other’s work including Russell’s.

First of all, she argues social organization of Pima and the Pueblo regarding to terminology. The Pima kinship is reckoned through the fifth generation of both paternal and maternal lines. Kinship terms are used through the fifth generation and there is definite restriction of marriage within the fifth generation. Despite of this, the author argues that there is no specific obligation in either daily or customary life. The five clans system, which is called “father words” since a father is called by his name of clan he belongs to, is existed among Pima. However, there is no regulation or functions in this system. The only thing that the author recognizes strong sense of bondoness in Pima social organization is moiety. The five clans belong to either Coyote or Buzzard moiety and the author discovers the strong self-consciousness of moiety among Pima. The author assesses that the relatively weak bondness in Pima completely opposes to the Pueblo social organization which has strong maternal exogamous clanship and moiety.

Secondly, she explores to the ceremonialism of Pima and the Pueblo. In here, she finds some similarities between Pima and the Pueblo rituals like theories and concepts of religion or magic. Both the pueblo and Pima believe that a disease is caused and cured by same thing, and causer or curer is mainly thought of the mammals, birds and insects. Moreover, the author inclines the strong connections between Pima Navichu mask cult and the mask cults of the Pueblo, Navaho and Apache. However, she points out remarkable distinctions. For example, among the Pueblos, where complex of societies and sacerdotal chieftaincies are existed, there is fixed ceremonial calendar and all rituals are pervasive. On the other hand, the Pima ritual is restricted and ceremonies are few and not precisely dated. Moreover, although among Pima and the Pueblos, there is existence of medicine men as curers and causes of diseases, significant differences are recognized in details. From these facts, the author concludes that it is too early to claim the relationship between Pima and the Pueblos on ceremonialism. Moreover, she proposes that the study of the similarities between two cultures should be weighted truly in the integral setting. Also, ceremonialsm of each culture in the Southwest scattered outside of the separate culture but arranged distinctively. Therefore, she claims to understand the essence of any single native culture, acquaintance of the distribution of culture is required.

The author is succeeded to tell the complexity of single culture and of the cultural diffusion by displaying scattering similarities and the differences in two cultures.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
YUKIKO KASAHARA University of British Columbia (John Barker)

Parsons, Elsie Clews. The Laguna Migration to Isleta. American Anthropologist 1928 Vol.30: 602-613.

In the late 1870’s three Protestant white men married into the Laguna clans of the American Southwest. The innovations they introduced into Laguna society caused a schism among the Laguna. The more conservative members of Laguna society left Laguna and moved to Mesita. From Mesita a colony moved to Isleta. The Isletans convinced the Laguna to stay claiming that the Lagunas would bring them good luck. Parsons’ article deals with the changes brought into both societies as each group adapted to the other’s presence. Parsons identified four main changes in their societies; language adaptations, pottery techniques, social structure and ceremonial practices.

There have been a number of marriages between the two groups, although those of Laguna descent live in close proximity to each other. These marriages are possible because the colonists and their families all become bilingual. In contrast, the Isletans did not learn the language of their immigrant neighbors.

Upon arriving at Isleta, Laguna pottery technology was more complex than that of the Isletans. They taught their Isletan hosts their techniques, although they have not learned the simpler ceramic tradition of the Isletans. If Laguna potters need ceramics in the Isletan style then they purchase it instead of learning the processes necessary for its production.

The third major aspect of social change is that Laguna social structure has largely been abandoned in favor of the strong clan system of the Islatans. This introduced endogamy among the Laguna, who traditionally practiced exogamy. The introduction of the Isletans clan structure to the Laguna also had the additional effect of weakening the moitey system of the Isletans.

Finally, the ceremonial practices of the immigrants have also been retained and introduced to the Isletans, expanding the religious ceremonial structure of both groups.

These four areas were all backed up by ethnographic data, interviews with members of both groups and personal observation. Parsons introduces each social change and follows it with examples from the combined Laguna/Isleta society. Her main downfall is that she does not define the majority of her terms, assuming that the reader will be familiar with Pueblo cultures.

CLARITY: 2
CAMILLE LYNN JOLLEY Brigham Young University (Dr. J. R. Hartley)

Parsons, Elsie Clews. The Laguna Migration to Isleta. American Anthropologist October, 1928 Vol. 30(4):602-613.

Elsie Clews Parsons assessed culture change for Laguna and Isletans as these two cultures merged, following the Laguna migration to the Isletan community. Laguna and Isleta were Pueblo Indian groups in the American Southwest. In the 1870s, a rift occurred within Laguna people when three Laguna women married Protestant white men. As a result, a large faction of the group migrated eastward to Isleta around 1880 where they settled, persuaded by Isletan offers of land in their community. Elsie Clews Parsons examines the degree of assimilation of Laguna culture in Isletan society in four areas: language, pottery, social organization, and ceremonial practices. Her visit to Isleta took place in the mid-1920s, some fifty years after the migration.

Parsons notes that Isletans generally did not learn the language of Laguna, Keresan. The only exceptions she observed were Isletans who married Laguna. However, Laguna learned to speak Isletan, but continued to speak Keresan to each other.

Laguna and Isletans had distinct pottery traditions. Laguna women practiced a more intricate style. Isletan technique involved building and polishing, while Laguna tradition included building, smoothing, painting, and burning. Isletan potters readily accepted the more attractive Laguna tradition, enough that Parsons encountered several Isletan potters who only produced Laguna wares. Other potters continued to produce undecorated Isletan wares.

Isletans admitted Laguna to their clans. Laguna brought with them a strict matrilineal clan system and a two kiva moiety system. On the other hand, Isletan moiety system included the Winter and Summer people, who were further divided between the seven groups of Corn peoples, all without strict adherence to a clan ideal or matrilineal association. Isletans absorbed Laguna into their Corn groups. Parsons contends also that Laguna dropped their moiety system in favor of Isleta, as evidenced by the absence of kivas built by Laguna in Isleta.

In ceremonial matters, Laguna brought strong influence to Isleta. Laguna retained many ceremonial dances, usually performing after simple consultation with Isletan leaders. Isletans enjoyed the performances, and on rare occasions an Isletan might join the dance. The most prominent area of Laguna influence was in medicine. Two curing societies emerged in Isleta, one lead by Laguna and the other by Isletans. In fact, Laguna medicine men trained Isletans in their ways, and by the time of Parson’s visit the ‘Laguna’ medicine man was an Isletan.

Overall, Laguna cultural assimilation in Isleta was mixed. Laguna language and clan systems did not integrate with Isletan culture to any appreciable extent. On the other hand, Laguna dance practices were well accepted and Laguna pottery styles and medicine became regular features in Isleta by 1928. Parsons’ study manifests the dominant methodology of the day. Her work examines well-defined ethnic groups with distinct cultural practices. The frank description of culture practices gives the reader a clear picture of the mixture of Laguna and Isletan ways.

CLARITY: 5
MATT FREEMAN University of Southern Mississippi (Jeff Kaufmann)

Phillips, George Brinton. The Earliest Ornamental Metal Work. American Anthropologist June-September, 1928 Vol. 30 (3): 465-469

The University of Pennsylvania discovered a row of metal bulls in the ruins of Tell-el-Obeid, Chaldea at the temple of the Babylonian goddess Ninkhursag. This was not only a significant archeological discovery, but also one that led to the study of ancient metallurgy, the study of metals.

The metal work dates back to about 4000 B.C., which shows that even during that time people possessed considerable skill and knowledge of metals. Four bulls were found measuring approximately 8 ½ inches tall and 27 ½ inches, or about 2 feet long. The bodies were made of plates of copper hammered over a carved wooden body. The hollow heads were molded within metal casts. The heads and the bodies were connected by a peg in the head, with a thin plate of metal joining the two. The author reasoned that the melted copper must have been poured out on a flat stone and then hammered thin with a heavy stone.

The next question was if the ancient metal workers knew of the alloy bronze. Several scientists sampled the metals contained within the bulls and provided their conclusions. The first analysis stated that it was 85 % copper, the second stated it was 95% copper, and the final analysis stated that it was 95.62 % copper. The scientists concluded that the ancient peoples were unaware of the brass alloy and simply used copper in their metal works.

The author next questioned the use of the word brass, stated in the Old Testament. He wondered if ancient peoples used the alloy brass as we know it today, a combination of copper, zinc, lead, and other metals. The director of the British Museum in London told the author that he had heard of no such works of prehistoric brass. The author then noted that had there been such brass works during that ancient period, they must have surely been discovered alongside the bulls. The author concluded that the translated word “brass” could only refer to copper. He later acquired knowledge that there was brass found in coins in the third century A.D., but that the alloy was not scientifically measured but rather used because of its durability. The author’s final conclusion stated that copper objects were in fact made of native copper or copper reduced from pure ores and not bronze as was sometimes reported.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
ADRIENNE WOOLLEY Brigham Young University (Julie Hartley)

Phillips, George Brinton. The Earliest Ornamental Metal Work. American Anthropologist, 1928 Vol. 30; .465-469.

This article argues how advanced knowledge and skills people of Stone Age had on metal working by analyzing a metal frieze of bulls which discovered at Tell-el Obeid, Chaldea. This ornament dates back to about 4000 B.C, and the ruins where this metal work was discovered were in the temple built during 1st dynasty of Ur or around 4300 B.C, which is 3rd dynasty from Babylonian tradition. The author claims that the metal workers of coppers must have wide knowledge of ores and smelting.

From the analysis of this metal frieze, two things associated with ancient metallurgy were discovered. First, the author discussed the skill in metallurgy from the observation of this ornament. The bodies of the bull are made of metal plates, and its head is cast figure of copper. The bodies and a head are joined with a thin plate which was hammered down, and nailed. The author claims that the ability of making metal plate and cast heads requires remarkable knowledge and experience. Secondly, several metal assays evidenced that these metal plates consist of large amount of copper but not metal. Although in the Old Testament, a statement mentions about “brass” and “Iron,” the author estimates that during this time, “brass” only referred to coppers.

Detailed analysis of ancient ornament successfully gives a clear argument and indicates his intentions of this article which are to prove developed civilization of the Sumerians and to motivate archeologists’ interests on ancient metal works.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
YUKIKO KASAHARA University of British Columbia (John Barker)