American Anthropologist 1942
Bailey, Flora. Navaho Motor Habits. American Anthropologist April-June, 1942 Vol.44 (2):210-234.
This is an article that deals with the individual motor habits that are distinct to the Navaho Indian society. Bailey’s objective in the article is to point out that, although the Navaho people’s society is similar to our own society, there are many subtle differences in their motor habits which help to distinguish their unique culture.
To distinguish these motor habits, the Navahos were filmed doing everyday actions. These films were then carefully examined, and any repeated actions were identified, and noted. To identify these actions as unique to the Navaho culture they were compared to those actions of a person from an American culture. Any differences between the two were noted and categorized as unique to whichever culture they belonged. To help identify these differences, Bailey has broken down the actions into several different categories. The first category is Personal Habits. This category list differences noticed in personal actions, such as sleeping, walking, and eating. The second category, which is Social Habits, describes motor habits observed in social settings, such as handshakes, storytelling, and others. The next category of Work Habits is involved in habits observed in work situations. The category of Game Habits is motor skills uses by Navaho people while playing games. Ceremonial Habits is another category, and it describes the actions involved in Navaho Ceremonies. The last category is Left Handedness. This discusses the differences in actions of the Navaho people who are left handed.
Within the article, Bailey also discusses how these motor habits are transmitted. They are transmitted through imitation, and by the adults’ attempts to teach the child specific actions. There is also a section involving restrictions; it talks about certain actions that the Navaho traditions do not permit doing. By showing the distinct action differences between the Navaho, and our own cultures motor habits, Bailey has proven that within each culture there is an unspoken set of actions that is unique to each culture.
NICOLE HERZOG University of Montana (John Norvell)
Bascom, William R. The Principle of Seniority in the Social Structure of theYoruba. American Anthropologist January, 1942 Vol.44:37-46.
Bascom describes the kinship system of the Yoruba with intent to add the factor of seniority to Kroeber’s original eight factors of kinship. He describes three classes of people including the members of a patrilineal sib, their wives, and unrelated outsiders. He lists Yoruba words that distinguish between senior and junior siblings, wives, co-wives. Factors that influence a person’s seniority include character or reputation of the one addressed, the intimacy existing between him and the speaker, the speaker’s arrogance or humility, and the situation.
The author accomplishes his objective with the wealth of specific and concrete examples of Yoruba terminology packed tightly into nine pages without the benefit of a chart.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ASHLEY RAE CURRAN University of Central Florida (David E. Jones)
Bascom, William R. The Principle of Seniority in the Social Structure of the Yoruba.American Anthropologist January-March, 1942 Vol.44(1):37-46.
William R. Bascom focuses his paper on the kinship terminology of the Yoruba of Nigeria, West Africa. Believing that he has discovered a new criterion for kinship, he proposes an additional statement to Kroeber’s original eight factors that define kinship relationships. The issue of seniority, Bascom argues, is a crucial aspect of West African kinship systems and should be recognized as a unique defining factor. Bascom claims that this issue of seniority goes beyond the definitions of relative age or simple genealogical conditions encompassed within Kroeber’s model. Seniority is specifically defined as the quantitative length of an individual’s affiliation with a patrilocal kinship group or compound. This affiliation can be through marriage or by birth.
By utilizing Yoruba kinship terminology Bascom is able to illustrate his argument. Throughout his paper he outlines kin terms and their relationship to different levels of family seniority. In order to prove that seniority is distinct from relative age he gives numerous examples in terminology. When addressing a sibling one will either use the term “senior sibling” or “junior sibling.” The factor that decides which term will be used is based on the order in which the speaker and the person being referred to were born. If the speaker is younger he or she will address their sibling as “senior” and vice versa. This does resemble Kroeber’s relative age factor but only in relation to the two siblings alone. Bascom’s seniority factor highlights the family situation where the two siblings are affiliated or connected through a marriage. Here seniority rather than simply relative age decides which kin term will be used.
Bascom continues to give examples portraying the importance of seniority within the kinship terminology of the Yoruba. His strongest points include situations where individuals are referred to as “senior” when they are actually younger than the speaker. Bascom ends his discussion by analyzing the social implications connected with senior status.
KRISTY WERCHEK University of Montana (John Norvell)
Barnett, H. G. Invention and Cultural Change. American Anthropologist January-March, 1942 Vol.44(1):14-30.
This essay illustrates Barnett’s opinion on how different cultures advanced through invention. He wrote that inventions could be split into three basic classes. These classes are A, B, and C. Class A is very common. It is essentially an invention that improved upon another. In basic form and function, it is the same but it performed the task in a more efficient manner. Class B represents a whole new type of invention. This invention has no “prototype”. Barnett wrote that this is the most rare of all the inventions. This invention is purely thought up. It is unique in all aspects, except for the task it performs. Class C is an invention that is invented in order to perform a task that is new to a culture.
He then goes on to describe artistic invention. This type of invention is unique because it creates no real beneficial advances. Barnett describes the differences in flower vases. He demonstrated that the form of a vase could be almost infinite. However, the function remains the same. This type of invention did not fit into any of Barnett’s three classes.
The final part of the essay deals with the exchange of inventions between different cultures. He splits these exchanges into four groups. The first is fairly common. It is the exchange of different forms that perform the same function. The second is said to be very rare, and is the exchange of two different forms that perform the same function. The Third form is the exchange of cultural ideas that have the same function and similar form. Barnett describes this through the similarities between gift exchanges during the Potlatches and birthdays. Fundamentally both events have the same form and function. The final group is different forms that have different functions.
This essay was easy to read, but moderately difficult to follow. The author did use a diagram to illustrate his examples. Unfortunately, I found the diagram very confusing and difficult to understand. Overall, the topics were covered well and Barnett used excellent examples.
YATES, STEPHEN University of Montana (John Norvell)
Barnett, H.G. Invention and Cultural Change. American Anthropologist January-March, 1942, Vol. 44 (1): 14-30.
In this article, H.G. Barnett focuses on how he believes invention has occurred in various cultures. He begins by stating the problem of inter-cultural invention: societies are weary of substituting another’s traits or behaviors regardless of their similarities—yet, substituting like traits and behaviors is what constitutes invention.
Barnett outlines the four aspects of a trait: its principle, form, meaning, and function. The principle is “that quality or property which manifests itself only when the form is in action” (15). A form and the meaning-function attributed to it are culturally dependent—different cultures interpret the purpose of various traits differently. He emphasizes that new inventions are usually old forms modified to fit a new context. Inventions are inspired by a device currently in operation and are intended to be an improvement upon, and a substitute for, the current one.
Barnett realizes that most inventions have a similar pattern: “a form and principle [is borrowed] from one functional context for the purpose of substituting them in another context formerly serviced by a different form and principle” (16). He illustrates his point with a few examples, one of which is the changing form of automobile jacks. The screw jack has been substituted for the jack using lever and ratchet principles, yet both serve the same function operating on different principles.
The final section of Barnett’s article concerns cultural contact. He illustrates four combinations that may result from cultural interaction: “ different forms utilizing different principles but serving the same function;  different forms utilizing the same principle but serving different functions;  different forms utilizing the same principle to serve the same function; and  different forms utilizing different principles for different functions” (23). The first combination is inter-culturally rare. His second combination is also rare, but is visible in the realm of social forms. The third combination has occurred, but the two cultures often do not realize it because they do not see their similarities through their differences. The fourth combination is most frequent. Barnett rightly states that this is because “any form has multiple aspects and all of us are culturally conditioned to consciously recognize but a few of these” (emphasis mine, 28). Thus, Barnett asserts, inter-cultural substitutions are unpredictable, yet inter-cultural inventions unexpectedly and frequently occur. These are unconscious inventions (30).
SUSANNA MADRID Santa Clara University (George Westermark)
Benedict, Paul. Thai, Kadai, and Indonesian: A New Alignment in Southeastern Asia.American Anthropologist October-December, 1942 Vol.44(4):576-601.
Paul Benedict believes that Tai, Kadai, and Indonesian constitute a single linguistic complex. He believes that there are two premises for this hypothesis. First of all, the Indonesian substratum is represented by four scattered languages; the Li dialects of the island of Hainan, the Kelao language of southcentral China, and Laqua and Lati of China-Tonkin border region, which make up a single linguistic stock: Kadai. Secondly, the Kadai stock was contacted numerous times by Tai, which in turn explains the Tai-Kadai-Indonesian relationship. Benedict gives several examples as to why his hypothesis is true.
Benedict begins his argument by looking at the relationships of Tai and Indonesian to the Kadai linguistic stock. First of all, Li numerals are taken directly from the Indonesian family. Also, Li is under direct economic pressure from their powerful Tai-speaking neighbors, the Ong-Be. Secondly, Kelao, which is nearly extinct, has married into Chung-chia (Thai) and Old Chinese families. Also, Kadai languages are a monosyllabic, isolating type, with full tonal systems as in Tai. Numerals and a scattering of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives show Indonesian affinities and the remaining elements show Tai affinities.
Word order is very much like Tai and Indonesian in that the object follows the verb and modifying elements. However, Benedict does not believe syntax can explain the relationship between these languages. On the other hand, morphology and phonology does provide some incite. Kadai, like Tai, lacks the affixation apparatus of Indonesian. The majority of Tai-Kadai-Indonesian roots were originally disyllabic in nature rather than monosyllabic. Tai and Kadai languages have undergone extensive phonetic reduction to become monosyllabic while Indonesian has remained disyllabic. In addition, the phonology of the Kadai stock is very similar to Indonesian phonology. Even with this information, Benedict believes that judgments must be based almost entirely on a lexical analysis, rather than a morphological one. This is due the lack of representation in Tai of the elaborate affixation system of Indonesian. The most critical single piece of evidence for a Tai-Kadai-Indonesian relationship is the remarkable parallelism shown in treatment of the two roots for eye and die.
Prior to Paul Benedict, it was believed that the Tai language was related to the Sino-Tibetan language family, especially Chinese. Also, linguists believe that Indonesian-Tai-Kadai relationships are based largely on borrowings rather than a single linguistic stock. Tai has borrowed heavily from the Chinese language, so Kadai could have borrowed just as easily from the Indonesian language. It is important to note that the Tai-Kadai-Indonesian relationship theory can only stand or fall on its own merits due to the destruction of the ethnological picture, according the Benedict.
REBECCA GREENE University of Montana (John Norvell)
Bonos, Arlene Helen. Roumany Rye of Philadelphia. American Anthropologist April-June, 1942 Vol. 44(2):257-274.
In this article the author explores the life of the Roumany Rye or Gypsies of Philadelphia. Gypsies have always been of interest to outsiders who they call Gajos. Bonos clearly illuminates aspects of their rather secretive life.
Gypsies prefer to locate in areas where there will be a high concentration of pedestrian traffic. They will rent business space and divide the room into three areas. The front area is where the Gajos will be allowed to enter. The middle space will be used as a divider. The space farthest back will be used by the Gypsies for living. There is little or no furniture in the home. It will be brightly decorated with silks, velvets and other brightly colored cloth.
Laws within the Gypsy community are different than the outside world although they will sometimes allow the police to deal with crimes. The worst crime a Gypsy can commit is raping a virgin. They are very concerned with cleanliness and are careful not to contaminate their food or bodies. Anything associated with reproduction is considered unclean.
There is a caste system within the community which is strictly followed as far as marriage is concerned. However, Gypsies are a very tight knit community and will take care of one another. It doesn’t matter if they are strangers or not, they will always be clothed and fed.
Ceremony and celebration are a very important part of their life. They celebrate Christmas but it is of no religious importance. They enjoy listening to religious stories but in general they change their religion to what ever the Gajos around them are. They find this makes things easier. A gypsy wedding ceremony is described in great detail.
Men are officially the head of the household but it is the woman who supports the family, normally through fortune telling. Men may sometimes do work with metal. She also owns the home and all property. Men are generally not the ones to commit the crimes, women are. Women will have an easier time crying their way out of it. Crimes committed are mostly theft.
This article gives a clear explanation of some of the ways a Gypsy lives his or her life. This article would be appropriate for anyone who has any curiosity about or interest in the life of Gypsy or some of their history.
CLARITY RANKING 5
MEGAN SIMPSON University of Central Florida (David Jones)
Brown, G. Gordon and Barnett, James H. Social Organization and Social Structure. American Anthropologist January, 1942 Vol.44:31-36.
Brown and Barnett wrote this article to distinguish between the terms “social organization” and “social structure” and offer a standardized method of using the two. They suggest the following distinction for the two terms: “social organization refers to the systems of obligation-relations which exist among and between the groups constituting a given society, while social structure refers to the placement and position of individuals and of groups within that system of obligation-relations” and define “obligation-relations” as “a set of reciprocal duties and privileges commonly agreed upon and practiced by a social group.”
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ASHLEY RAE CURRAN University of Central Florida (David E. Jones)
Brown, G. Gordon and James Barnett. Social Organization and Social Structure. American Anthropologist January-March, 1942 Vol.44(1):31-77.
The terms social organization and social order are questioned in this article as they are confusing to many and need to be simplified. The description of a social organization stresses the nature and functioning of obligation-relations as these operate among the various groups constituting this society. A description of the term social structure consists of the position of the numerous groups in this social order with reference to each other as manifested in the system of familiar, economic, political, religious and social-class obligation-relations which obtains at any given time.
These obligation-relations can be broken down into three types of evidence to support an obligation-relation. There are definitions of ideal social behavior, statements of anticipated social behavior, and observations of actual social behavior.
As said in the article, “In describing social structure, attention should be focused upon groups”. For social organization, these groups would be regarded in relation to obligation-relations and individuals would differ among them as they would in social structure. To determine the use of these two terms, a better method would be to use both, as they both truly look at the same thing. When one begins to look at individuals, they can place these individuals into a context, i.e. structure. Once this structure is signified, obligation-relations are used in order to facilitate the found structure. Once you have this determined organization can be made apparent. In sum, these two terms are used to help each other find a social phenomena, therefore acting as a team for social learning.
SENECA LACOMBE: University of Montana (John Norvell)
Cannon, Walter B. “Voodoo” Death. American Anthropologist 1942 Vol. 44: 169-181
The author’s objective is to describe, inquire, and recite whether reports of “voodoo” death are real and try to prove it as such. “Among the natives of South America and Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of the Pacific, as well as among the inhabitants of nearby Haiti, “voodoo” death has been reported by apparently competent observers.” At the beginning of the article, he gives witnessed accounts of death wrought by superstitious fear. One account from New Zealand states that a woman, who had eaten some fruit, was told it was taken from a tabooed place; “she exclaimed that the sanctity of the chief had been profaned and that this spirit would kill her.” By the next afternoon she was dead.
The author makes a point that the possible use of poisons must be excluded before “voodoo” death can be accepted as a consequence of sorcery. Also, we must rule out claims of supernatural power when the resulting death is due to natural causes. This is where he turns to the enquiries of medically trained observers. One example is an account from Dr. W.E. Roth. He served as a government surgeon for three years among the primitive people of north-central Queensland. He stated ” So rooted sometimes is this belief on the part of the patient that some enemy has pointed the bone at him, that he will actually lie down to die, and succeed in the attempt: I have witnessed three or four such cases.”
Associated with the circumstances the author describes in this article is under certain conditions, such as being subjected to bone pointing or other factors, death is sure to come. These beliefs are firmly held by everyone in the tribe. This immediate threat of death fills the victim with terror and misery. In this terror, the victim refuses to eat or drink. This is highly significant for the understanding of the onset of weakness the victim has. Because fear is one of the most deeply rooted emotions, it is associated with physiological disturbances. The author hypothesizes that “voodoo” death may be real, and that it can be explained as due to “obvious or repressed terror.” He suggests simple tests can be done to learn if “voodoo” death is justifiable and that the test could be conducted before “the victim’s last gasp.”
CLARITY RANKING: 3
HEATHER La ROCCO University of Central Florida (Dr. David E. Jones)
Cannon, Walter. “Voodoo” Death. American Anthropologist April-June, 1942 Vol.44(2):169-181.
Walter Cannon’s article, “‘Voodoo Death,” examines the phenomena of black magic, or voodoo, among indigenous peoples of South America, Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Cannon’s goal is to review specific recorded cases of voodoo death, analyze the trustworthiness of these cases, and lend possible explanations for the occurrence of such events.
Cannon’s analysis of specific cases reveals levels of intimidation, fear, and the power of belief in ghostly powers and social taboos as the reasons for death. An individual who has a heightened “imagination” or belief in the powers of voodoo creates negative physical responses in his or her person, usually resulting in death. Cannon sets aside traditional cultural belief systems and taboos to propose that voodoo death is merely a case of poisoning, or what he believes are catastrophic, often fatal consequences of not properly dealing with one’s own fear. He discusses the power of kinship, and how direct kin – by treating a condemned member as if they were already dead – can literally kill that person in a matter of days. He also examines the emotion of shock as an explanation for some deaths, where death comes from prolonged emotional stress.
Cannon finds that reports of voodoo death do not bear much weight under scrutiny, and comes up with a scientific explanation as to why. He refutes the aboriginal belief that a witch doctor can point a bone at a tribal member, resulting in that person’s death. He writes that the shock of being condemned is sufficient cause for death. He also points out that when someone receives dreadful, horrific news, or is “shell-shocked” from battle during war, the person often dies, even though there are no outward signs of trauma.
When tremendous amounts of rage or fear consume man or beast, Cannon feels there must be an outlet for the pent emotion, or the animal will certainly die. The rapid demise of a targeted tribal member shortly after being cursed by a sorcerer or witch doctor is intriguing to say the least. This article should be looked upon as essential when researching black magic among indigenous peoples around the globe. Cannon concludes that majority of these deaths are merely the result of prolonged fear, and/or the power of suggestion, and he points to the power of suggestion as possibly the most telling factor contributing to a recipient’s demise
KURT HIGH University of Montana (John Norvell)
Fogg, Walter. The Organization of a Moroccan Tribal Market. American Anthropologist January-March, 1942 Vol.44(1):47-61.
Walter Fogg’s article discusses a number of the roles of persons, customs, and purposes in one market, focusing as well on the differences in pre- and post-Spanish occupation. Fogg primarily highlights the differences between officials, functionaries, and customs between the two periods, his main idea being that much had changed between the periods. The article mostly consists of descriptions of various persons, and within each person’s description, Fogg includes bits of custom, method, and how each person operated in relationship to others. Examples of both occurrences and what may have taken place on any given day are also cited. Transliterated Arabic terms—mostly the terms for officials within in the Market—are given as well.
Fogg begins by explaining the market, its surroundings, and the tribes that attended. He then continues by describing, in turn, the officials and constituents before the Spanish occupation. These include the master (or governor) of the market, his scribe, village leaders, policing authorities, the notary, judges, collectors of taxes and dues, various arbitrators, commission-agents, auctioneers, water-vendors, measurers, etc. Within the description of each, their duties are explained as well as how each was viewed by the people at market.
Within the post-Spanish occupation description of the market, Fogg examines how each of these persons changed with the arrival of the Spaniards. A new Spanish leader was installed, Moorish foot soldiers (which had been an appalling thought in pre-Spanish occupation), a Spanish (Christian) doctor, the Moorish governor’s representative, and several others became new parts of the Market. A number of the officials and functionaries’ roles were changed with the arrival of the Spaniards. New rules and regulations were added—serving to keep sanitation and disorder under control—which led to the removal of several persons, and the addition of new ones.
TAYLOR MEEK University of Montana (John Norvell)
Gillin, John. Acquired Drives in Culture Contact. American Anthropologist October-December, 1942. Vol.44(4):545-554.
John Gillin’s article examines the influences of anxiety for those who go through acculturation. He searches to find out the causes of the problems that have affected those cultures that are put through acculturation. Gillin focuses on the Flambeau band of Chippewa in Northern Wisconsin, who showed signs of apathy, disorganization, and large amounts of negativism.
One must understand that concepts of anxiety are often the results of acculturation before one can grasp the problems with the Flambeau. The basic definition of anxiety is the anticipation of punishment, the result of previous incidents in which an individual has experienced punishment. Two types of habits that generally reduce risk are positive, removing the danger altogether, and negative, abstaining from action that would cause further punishment. Negativism often results because it is the only way to protect an individual from the dominant power. This often results in cultural paralysis.
The Flambeau had relatively good relations with white fur traders up until about 1885, when suddenly things changed rapidly and confusingly for them. First of all, their reservation became an active commercial and logging operation in which a sawmill was built. This new sawmill recruited Native Americans, which would lead to the complete dependency on money and manufactured goods, rather than their old traditional ways. A money anxiety was a result of the new system. Also, the US Indian Service instituted a resident staff, which made frequent and unpredictable changes to the policy. The Flambeau were constantly trying to find a means of reducing anxieties, but were unable to find any due to the ever-changing policies.
These influences on the Flambeau had a substantial effect on their outlook and behavior in life. Their basic traditions of long hair, moccasins, and inability to speak English were all subject to ridicule by whites. Often they were punished for acting out their traditional ways, such as speaking their native language or having pow-wows. The Flambeau reacted in two ways. One was to withdraw as far as possible from the whites and their practices. The second was to attempt to submerge themselves completely into the white culture. The second was often very punishing, for even though they couldn’t practice their old beliefs, they were also condemned if they attempted to act white. A sense of status anxiety and government anxiety seem to be created from these actions.
Overall, Gillin was able to find reasons why the Flambeau had such a negative outlook on many aspects of life. This article looks at a much different aspect of Native American life and acculturation than previous texts.
REBECCA GREENE niversity of Montana (John Norvell)
Griffin, James B. On the Historic Location of the Tutelo and the Mohetan in the Ohio Valley. American Anthropologist April-June, 1942 Vol. 44 (2): 275-280.
The Tutelo were a Siouan tribe found in the states of Virginia and North Carolina by English explorers. There has been speculation as to the geographic location of the Tutelo and other Siouan tribes of the area previous to contact. John R. Swanton published an article supporting the hypothesis that the Tutelo came from the Ohio Valley. The author presents Swanton’s argument that there is evidence of Tutelo occupation in the Big Sandy Valley, near Williamson, West Virginia. An excerpt from Swanton’s article refers to the Colonial History of the State of New York, published in 1854. The 1854 history in turn refers to letters and documents from 1699, and a map from 1775. These sources all cite supposed sightings, dealings with, and movements of the Tutelo along the Ohio Valley.
Once Swanton’s argument is put forth to the reader, the author proceeds to disprove or discredit each piece of evidence used by Swanton and the 1854 history. The author does so by providing documentation from what he considers more reliable sources of the same periods. Problems in Swanton’s evidence range from the name “Totteroy” on a map being misinterpreted to a 1699 quote of Earl of Bellomont that was later proven to be inconsistent with his actual statement. The author concludes “there is not…any sound historical evidence for believing that the central Ohio Valley was the point of dispersal for the Siouan speaking tribes.”
Though most of the article is devoted to the Tutelo, one paragraph gives a brief outline of the Mohetan tribe’s movement east to west through the same area. There is one sentence discussing Ohio Valley occupation by the Mosopolea.
This article can be difficult to follow, as the author makes numerous references to individuals that were not introduced in the article. Also hindering reader comprehension are the many references to directions, routes, and locations, sometimes under multiple names, without aid of maps. The piece is largely comprised of quotes, many from the eighteenth century, rendering it a difficult read.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
ERIN K. SMITH University of Central Florida (David Jones)
Hallowell, A.I. Some Psychological Aspects of Measurement Among the Saulteaux. American Anthropologist, 1944 Vol. 44:62-77.
Hallowell discusses the different concepts of measurement as depicted by the Saulteaux. Hallowell argues that every adult human has the ability to make estimations of distance, length and area however; it is cultural boundaries that limit their use.
The author argues that the cultural measurement system of the Saulteaux limits their ability to provide quantitative values for spatial attributes. Hallowell begins the article by arguing that all humans have an innate ability to deal with contrast comparisons. Hallowell also argues that the complexity of which these measurements, as with other things in a culture, are developed, is a “genuine measurement and the extent to which they use them.”
The author breaks down the measurements into distance, length and area. First Hallowell discusses distance. The Saulteaux consider two measurements of distance, “near” and “a great way off”. The author points out that actual (quantitative) measurements are not involved at this point. Hallowell also describes a lack of units or standard of measurement in this culture. Hallowell also claims that the Indians “qualitative character” makes it difficult to conceptualize abstract numerical values. The author goes on to discuss “manipulable lengths”. These lengths would be associated with semi-standardized units such as parts of the body. All of the units implemented by the Saulteaux are independent of each other. The Saulteaux do not have a quantitative system for length, making it difficult to construct a concept of area. Although proportional differences are recognized, there are no numerical values assigned. Hallowell describes a better understanding of manipulable areas. These areas are simply based on proportions.
The author argues that the absence of cultural values supporting and motivating abstract numerical concepts are lacking in the Saulteaux. According to Hallowell, the general terms of “small” and “big” are all the Saulteaux require for cultural understanding. The only area where numerical values or abstract descriptions were employed was in areas of previous “white” contact. Hallowell concludes by arguing that the Saulteaux have no objective standards, only because they are not necessary. The measurement system implemented is adequate for the culture.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
JOY LANG University of Central Florida (David E. Jones)
Hallowell, A. I. Some Psychological Aspects of Measurement Among the Saulteaux. American Anthropologist January-March, 1942 Vol.44(1):62-77.
Hallowell investigates the measurement techniques used by the Saulteaux. The author describes the Saulteaux’s system of measurement as “crude” and “variable”, but sufficient within the culture of the Saulteaux. The daily life of this society does not require refined operations of measurement. Therefore, the processes of measurement among the Saulteaux are qualitative rather than quantitative. Hallowell focused his study of measurement on the spatial abilities of distance, manipulable length, and area. There are examples of functional measurement procedures among the Saulteaux illustrated throughout the article.
According to Hallowell, distance is indicated by the relative position in space of the object or place with reference to the speaker. The Saulteaux are limited with respect to refined quantitative measures, and have thus applied other qualitative means to communicate aspects of distance. The distance of a journey, for example, are measured by the number of “sleeps” or “nights”. If the journey takes less than a day, then the Saulteaux measure the distance with the relative position of the sun. Although these measures are variable, they are suitable for the Saulteaux.
Manipulable lengths are generally applied with the use of standardized units of measure. Hallowell described the Saulteaux’s use of various body parts as semi-standardized units. For instance, the length between the elbow and the tip of the forefinger is considered a unit of measurement. Another unit of measurement used among the Saulteaux is the “stretch”. This is the length between the tips of the fingers when both arms are stretched out, and a half a “stretch” is the length from the breast bone to the fingertips. “Stretches” are the units of measurement used in the manufacture of birch-bark canoes. In addition, “steps” or paces are another example of the conventional units used by the Saulteaux.
Measuring area among the Saulteaux is difficult, because it is an abstract, non-manipulable length. They do not have any method of measuring area, even though it would seem to be necessary in dividing territories of hunting grounds. Hallowell believes this is because the Saulteaux do not have a cultural value that would motivate the use of the abstraction of area.
Hallowell concludes that there is no demand among the Saulteaux for the application of standard, refined measurements and that the qualitative, conventional measurements that are used are satisfactory. The measuring methods used by the Saulteaux are functional relative to their cultural conditions.
CARLA RIME University of Montana (John Norvell)
Hodgen, Margaret T. Geographical Diffusion as a Criterion of Age. American Anthropologist 1942 Vol. 44:345-368.
One of the greatest challenges facing modern anthropologists is establishing a sequence of social change where no written record of history exists. In her article, Geographical Diffusion as a Criterion of Age, Margaret T. Hodgen addresses the problems faced by anthropologists in trying to devise a timeline for the diffusion of cultural traits and examines the practical application of the age and area hypothesis.
Early schools of thought relied on developmentalism and diffusionism theories that lacked any basis in scientific fact. In order determine the age of diffusion of social change, anthropologists first needed to ascertain a method of study that could be substituted where a written record was lacking. The hypotheses of geographical dispersion of biological and zoological species in concentric circles appeared to be applicable to the study of cultural diffusion. Using the analogy of “rings formed by casting a stone into the pool” anthropologists assumed two presuppositions about the age of the trait versus diffusion. Firstly, the greater the distance from the point of origination, the older the trait. Secondly, after the appearance of new traits, expansion is inevitable and will move in an outward direction. These presuppositions led to the formulation of the age and area hypothesis stating that in human culture there is a persistent tendency for new traits to radiate in waves from a culturally superior source and spread out at an even pace. New traits will be continually generated from the source and supplant older traits. Therefore, traits lying at a greater distance from the source are older than those lying closer to the center.
Hodgen applies the principles of the age and area hypothesis to a study of the relationship of the diffusion of water mills and wind mills in the Thames Valley in England, an area with a well documented history. In theory, the study’s findings should agree with the written history. What Hodgen discovers is that, in fact, the findings do not appear to support the age and area theory as diffusion of the water mills and wind mills occurred at an uneven rate in no particular pattern.
Hodgen is quick to respond that the age and area theory cannot repudiated on the basis of one negative test result. She further stresses that additional studies are needed involving the cooperation of both anthropological and historical investigation before the age and area theory is ultimately accepted or rejected.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MARTHA CHRISTY University of Central Florida (David E. Jones)
Honigsheim, Paul. The Philosophical Background of European Anthropology. American Anthropologist July-September, 1942 Vol.44(3):376-387.
The purpose of Honigsheim’s article is to name one by one the philosophical concepts responsible for current European anthropological thought. He begins his argument with a historical review of nineteenth-century romanticism and eighteenth-century evolutionism in order to identify eight general principles that describe the evolution of new philosophical and anthropological ideas. Honigsheim recognizes the foundations of Darwinism, French Positivism, Marxism, and Racism to explain the presence of a romantic concept and an evolutionary concept. Honigsheim illustrates the idea that the group is an essential factor of social development (a romantic concept) and the idea that cultural forms are evolutionary (an evolutionary concept) in order to summarize the eight general principles. Next, the author identifies a change in these philosophical ideas.
Honigsheim continues his enumeration of philosophical concepts by recognizing oppositions to the eight previously noted concepts. He claims that these oppositions are responsible for modifying the philosophical background of European anthropology. The oppositions or modifications took four distinct forms: Materialism, the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer, Psychoanalysis, and Neo-Kantianism. The author sees these four forms as a move away from the “optimistic elements” of the earlier eight general principles. From the four new concepts, Honigsheim recognizes three branches that have aided the development of European anthropology. He recognizes “Irrationalistic pessimism” as a branch reflective of nineteenth century romanticism, “the new historical concept of anthropology as a science and of the ‘primitives’ as scientific phenomena” as a branch imperative in explaining the culture of past civilizations, and “The National Socialist state dogma”.
The author’s guided tour through the philosophical background of European anthropology serves as a way to obtain an objective view about the concepts. It is not a complete history of the philosophical background, but instead an introduction and guide to understanding the complexities of European anthropological thought as opposed to American anthropology.
MEGAN HILL University of Montana (John Norvell)
Howells, W.W. Fossil Man and the Origin of Races American Anthropologist 1942 Vol. 44: 182-193
This article by W.W. Howells examines the origin of races and the connections between fossil man. Howell presents the two main theories of the time. First, the theory that races derived from parallel phyla and secondly, that races resulted from interspecific hybrids. He also discusses the possible effect Neanderthal Man had on Homo sapiens as well as his view on the appearance of races.
He begins his examination of the first theory with a paper by Dr. F. Weidenreich,1 which suggests that there were several branches of the human stock that passed through the same basic series of morphological stages all leading to Homo sapiens. Howells believes that this hypothesis would place all known fossils somewhere into the parentage of Homo sapiens.
T.T. Paterson exemplifies the second theory.2 Paterson arranged the tool techniques in a specific order, which Howell believes would be paralleled among the human stocks. Just as stone cultures mixed, so did human stocks. Howell concludes that because of the prevalence of hybridization, a pedigree system of classification should be used instead of the Linnaean one. Through all this hybridization, the Hominoid strain was dominant and alone survived in essence. Dr. C.S. Coon was another supporter of this theory albeit on a smaller scale. He uses the Cro-Magnons as an example of hybridization believing them to be a combination of Neanderthal Man and early Homo sapiens.
Howells also discusses the theoretical emergence of Homo sapiens from Neanderthal Man. His support for this is the work of Dr. Theodore McCown and Sir Arthur Keith.3 They believe that the Mount Carmel population was diverging into a sapiens type and a Neanderthaloid. They rejected the hypothesis that Carmelites were hybrid descendants of these two forms. Ashley-Montagu4 has indicated a weakness in their hypothesis. The weakness lies in the supposition that a single small population likes that of Mount Carmel could become heterozygous and heterogeneous, and diverges into two species. It is a biological fact that such groups can only tend to become homozygous, so that as a group changes, it does so as a unit. This is based upon the general evidence of studies of variation in nature. Evolutionary divergence can only appear between breeding units, which are to some degree isolated from one another.
Howell believes that the available background of fact is so slight that probabilities are difficult to judge, but that it is likely that racial differences had origins, other than hybridization, of more importance. On the topic of Neanderthal Man, no actual continuity between Neanderthal Man and Homo sapiens can be shown, but there remains the suggestion that a single race may be descended from the Neanderthal stock.
Finally, he discusses the appearance of races. The main pattern of evolutionary activity is divergence. The principle of evolutionary radiation would appear more than adequate to account for the full range of differences among the races of modern man, as well as for the bulk of the species differences in earlier times. The possibilities of evolutionary radiation should be exhausted before other factors are appealed to. The more dominant the factor of evolutionary radiation is taken to have been, the less reason there is for assuming any connection between modern man and fossil forms excepting only through a remote common ancestor.
Howells describes and contrasts the theories in a very organized manner. He does not attempt to answer the question, which those theories address, but merely to present two possible answers in a logical way.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
LISA ROGERS University of Central Florida (David E. Jones)
Hsu, Francis L. K. The Differential Functions of Relationship Terms. American Anthropologist April-June, 1942 Vol. 44 (2):248-256.
The author of this article was exploring kinship terminology in a North China community. Traditionally Anthropologists have been concerned with three categories; terms of reference, terms describing relationships and term describing address. In China however there is fourth category that had to be considered, the written language. Terms of address are used to recognize an individual’s rank within the community. Children of brothers address each other using the same terms as when addressing their brothers and sisters but they refer to each other in terms that distinguish their specific relationships. A husband who is in favor with a concubine may have his children refer to her in a mother term; this will please the concubine immensely. School children may also use kinship terminology to gain the upper hand in schoolyard quibbles.
Terms of reference are a more permanent fixture in the culture. “A nephew can abstain from addressing his uncle directly for reasons of hostility, but when he is asked by some one else who that man is, he has in most cases to use the proper term of reference” (252).
The use of terms describing relationships may be used in three different ways. The first way is to define the formalized relationships. The second way is used solely to designate the type of relationship without emotion. The third way is used to get something one wants. Whether it is to end a quarrel or apologize.
Dealing with the written word is a little different. It is much more concerned with recognizing generations. Literary terms are just as important to the language as the spoken word.
The author explains in great detail with multiple examples, how each of these terms work within the language. This article would be of interest to anyone who is interested in linguistics or the workings of different kinship terminology.
CLARITY RANKING 4
MEGAN SIMPSON University of Central Florida (David Jones)
Jakobson, Rowan. The Paleosiberian Languages. American Anthropologist, 1942. Vol. 44: 602-618.
The central point of Roman Jakobson’s article is to give a group of languages, in the Northern region of Russia a name: Paleosiberian. He notes two distinct groups, Eastern (Chuckchee, Koryak, Kamchadal, Yukagir, Chuvantsy, and Gilyak ) and Western ( Ket/ Yenisei-Ostyak, Cottian, Asan, and Arin ) also known as the Yeniseian languages. Jakobson’s analysis of linguistic data supports the notion that common traits allow these languages to be a part of the same language group. Although he acknowledges similar characteristics in the Paleosiberian languages to those of Eskimo and Ural-Altaic, there are more inter-similarities between the Eastern and Western language families. His argument is that they must have been more geo-graphically centralized before breaking up due to surrounding languages and Russian expansion. Jakobson presents linguistic data from geographically similar groups to show commonalties that allow them to be grouped within the Paleosiberian languages.
He first gives into a brief geographical history of each group and sub-group, followed by a brief history of the Northern Siberian culture. The speakers of these languages had no written language until the 1930s and even than it was not widely used. According to Jakobson, most native speakers simply used Russian for their written needs. Pictography was the traditional form of written communication. The pictures represented daily activities, hunts, and beliefs.
A detailed overview of the grammar and phonetics follows. Certain traits of these languages further support that they are part of the same language group. Paleosiberian languages possess only bi-phonemic speech sounds which end in “i” and “u.” The Paleosiberian languages also share the use of an accent mark in the beginning of the word and within its first two syllables. With one exception, another aspect of the Paleosiberian languages is that they possess a single liquid consonant. Some of the Paleosiberian languages which lack checked vowels use independent glottal consonants.
Within Paleosiberian languages exist “complexes.” Formed by a fusion of a defining modifier and a defined modifier. These “complexes” are liable to sound change. The “complexes” have characteristics which seem not to be easily broken down into smaller groupings. Two categories of words are distinguished: nouns and verbs. The possessive nouns and pronouns are placed first. The Paleosiberian languages lack conjunction but are plentiful in subsidiary voice forms and expressions defining the mood of a verb.
Jakobson delivers a firm foundation for his argument that dialects in the Siberian region fall into a Paleosiberian language group. Though, for anyone untrained in linguistics, this would be a difficult conclusion to come to. Most of his article is composed of the data he collected, and while obviously important to his argument, leave little space to the untrained linguist.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
SCOTT GRANT, DOM PELLETIER, RAFAL CZAPLICKI, ARIANA JOHNSON Northern Illinois University (Giovanni Bennardo).
Jakobson, Roman. The Paleosiberian Languages. American Anthropologist October-December 1942 Vol. 44(4):602-619.
Jakobson provides a linguistic analysis of the Paleosiberian languages. Paleosiberian languages are not similar to each other typologically, but rather are simply a geographical grouping of the languages. There are four languages included in this grouping, Luorawetlan, Yukaghir, and Gilyak in the Eastern group and Yeniseian in the Western. There is no Paleosiberian language outside the USSR, except a few Gilyaks who now live as Japanese citizens. The culture is extremely Archaic in nature, with hunting and fishing the principal occupation. Animism, the worship of ancestors and animals, especially bears, and the importance of shamans are characteristic beliefs among the Paleosiberian cultures. The dog is the only domestic animal among these language families.
Writing systems and phonology are quite interesting in Paleosiberian languages. Pictography was the writing form of the past for these nomadic clans until 1932-34, when the Russian alphabet was introduced. Today these cultures choose between the Russian and Roman alphabets. There is no common vowel system across these languages. However, Paleosiberian languages possess only biphonemic dipthongs terminating mostly in /i/ and /u/. With regard to consonants, the languages vary, but all except Kamchadal possess a single, lateral, liquid sonorant. It is unique to see that the women’s phonetic framework diverges clearly from that of men.
The morphology and syntax of these languages are intertwined. These languages are all agglutinative to a certain degree and have mostly SOV word order. Chukchi and Koryak of the Luorawetlan language group are ergative and have vowel harmony, unlike the rest of the Paleosiberian languages. The possessive form of the noun and pronoun is always placed first. There are approximately seven different cases , marked by special endings for each case. All of these languages make a clear morphological distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs. The affixes of the transitive verb denote the person, number, and, in Ket, gender of the object. This is true for all languages except Yukaghir and Gilyak. The distinction of number is subordinate to case and the distribution of gender, if such exists, to that of number. In regard to number, the first five numerals are clearly distinguished from all others. That is, “six” is actually “five plus one” or minR; “eight” is mi-naR, “twice four.” Also, each nominal suffix signifies a single grammatical category.
REBECCA GREENE University of Montana (John Norvell)
Kelly, William H. Cocopa Gentes. American Anthropologist October-December, 1942 Vol.44(4):675-691.
Kelly establishes within the first sentence of this article that his goal is to provide, “a brief account of the Cocopa gentile system and its cultural position in relation to other Yuman tribes.” He notes that descent group systems are either Eastern or Western and describes Cocopa people as patrilineal, exogamous, non-localized, nonautonomous and totemic. Charts and maps are included in this article to show geographic distribution and naming similarities that exist between Yuman tribes. His focus is on the Cocopa peoples.
In his comparisons of different naming systems, Kelly finds that in Western tribes, people have unique names and do not place female names under a naming system. In the East, he discovers the use of a gens naming system in which all women have a different gens name. Kelly uses the designation of gens in this paper to refer to, “a patrilineal exogamous descent group.”
Overall, the significance of Kelly’s findings seems ambiguous. He concludes that numerically, the Cocopa share more traits with the Yuman tribes to the East; however, he believes that in reality the Cocopa are more culturally connected to Yuman tribes to the West. He gives three reasons for this conclusion:
Cohesion centers in the gentile name, and the Cocopa name is, in the majority of cases, a Western one.
Totemism and women’s names are secondarily adhering traits.
The native attitude is appropriate to a lineage system rather than to a true gentile system.
SUMMER BEEKS University of Montana (John Norvell)
Leighton, Alexander H and Dorothea C. Some Types of Uneasiness and Fear in a Navaho Indian Community. American Anthropologist 1942 Vol. 44:194-209
The authors describe in detail the process that should be used when conducting fieldwork. They believe that fieldwork can be divided into three principal phases: Inquiry, Organization of the obtained data, and Analysis of the data. The authors point out that many people develop their own techniques of recording and organization which may be sufficient for the creators, but are not readable by anyone else. When data is obtained from observations that are largely not repeatable, it is imperative that the data be organized so that it may be clearly understood without prejudice of the original hypothesis and so that the structure of analysis and the validity of the conclusions can be reviewed by anyone. They also explain how the basic material is available to others who may wish to use it in order to check their results or employ it in relation to other problems. They organized the data by date and made an index that listed several items including persons, customs, folklore, etc. The Navaho are the focus of their work. The Navaho have several sources of unease and fear including disease, accidents, injuries, social relationships, white pressure, threats to religion, environmental threats, etc. The authors used participant observation and life histories in their study. When completed, they categories the information and drew conclusions based on the types of threat and the sources of these threats. The authors accomplish their objectives of giving an original contribution on the Navaho and presenting the results of some experimentation in method.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
LISA ROGERS University of Central Florida (David E. Jones)
Leighton, Alexander and Dorthea Leighton. Some Types of Uneasiness and Fear in a Navaho Indian Community. American Anthropologist April–June 1942 Vol.44 (2):194–209.
Alexander and Dorthea Leighton designate two objectives to their essay. The first is to present original data on the Navaho. The second objective is to present the results of their experimentations of methods they used in the field. The couple does research in Mexico with a specific Navaho community and write about their methodology and their research they used while working there. Their desired result was to have original data organized so that the information gathered would be more readily accessible to others who may want to use it in their own conclusions. The subject of the paper was the investigation of types of uneasiness among the Navaho. The observers used an informant to gather and interpret events of other members of the community
The Leightons give a qualitative and quantitative analysis from their psychobiological research of the stresses experienced in Navaho life after living among them for four months. The couple gathered and recorded 859 references to threatening situations. The items were examined by their degree of concern the Navaho placed upon the threat. The threatening situations started with disease and injury as most threatening then subsistence and then social issues. The data collected showed that disease was predominant but the underlying factor was most likely poor subsistence. But the Navaho assign blame from a religious point of view and failed to see the connection between disease and poor subsistence. This situation gives rise to other problems that could be investigated using the Leightons’ research.
The Leightons then propose how their collected data can be of use by others. The first problem rises out of the religious significant assigned to disease by the Navaho. The Leightons close by saying that in order for the Navaho to be relieved from the diseases they have to be educated but not in the way that has been so prevalent. The second problem proposed, maybe finding a way to educate them without trampling on their religious beliefs. The Leighton’s also propose other lines of inquiry that maybe pursued using their research, first how the actual threatening situations match amounts of concern among the Navaho. The second line of inquiry is the nature of the situations underlying social conflicts that are threatening, and third, how these threatening situations actually affect society.
LALANEYA J. BRAIN: University of Montana (John Norvell)
Malouf, Carling. Gosiute Peyotism. American Anthropologist. 1942 Vol. 44:93-103.
Carling Malouf attempts to describe and clarify the peyote cults known as the Tipi Way and the Sioux Way among the Gosiute tribe. The peyote cults, dating back to the early 20th century only came to fruition as a result of diffusion and acculturation in the Great Basin area.
Both groups hold meetings four to five times a month depending on the season. In the fall, most people are out picking pine nuts so the frequency of meetings may fall to one or two meetings per month. Meetings are held primarily to commemorate holidays, and to speed the recovery of illnesses. Although a tipi is desirable, meetings can also be held in tents or cabins, with the only stipulation being that the door faces east.
Regardless of the location, the ritual area is dominated by a crescent shaped altar constructed of wet sandy material ranging between four and six feet in length and five to six inches high. Meetings begin at nine p.m. with the leader of the ritual placing the chief peyote disk on a bed of sage at the center of the altar. The leader says a short prayer, after which tobacco cigarettes are smoked. The smokers individually pray for the cure of illness or whatever is desired and exhale toward the altar. Next, sage is used to cleanse and purify the body after which a bag of peyote buttons is passed clockwise around the circle with each person taking four. The meeting cannot continue until everyone eats their first. The leader accompanied by a drummer sings an opening song and is followed by all the participants except women who each sing a series of four songs. At midnight, after a short break, the leader sings the water song, in which water is passed around the room for each person to drink and refresh themselves. Prayers and songs dominate the activities until about four a.m. At the first rays of morning sun, the leader sings the morning song and conducts the morning water exercises after which a small breakfast of ceremonial dishes are served. The meeting is officially over when the leader removes the chief peyote and places it in his shirt pocket.
Although attitudes toward the cults and the use of peyote vary among Indians and Whites within the vicinity of the Gosiute reservation, Malouf explains that the chief function of peyote is the “curing of sick and for supernatural guidance in political and economic activities.” Malouf states that despite the origins or current feelings toward the ceremonies, the Gosiutes are on the whole positively affected by the peyote cults in that they have achieved an amount of solidarity and coherence that was previously obsolete.
HEATHER REAY University of Central Florida (David Jones)
Malouf, Carling. Gosiute Peyotism. American Anthropologist January-March, 1942 Vol.44(1):93-94.
In this article, Carling Malouf examines the origins and practices of the two main orthodox peyote cults among the Gosiute, a Shoshone speaking people, who live in western Utah on the Deep Creek and Skull Valley reservations. He describes different accounts of how the Gosiute were first exposed to peyote and how they organized a cult. He cites the major factors for this as various individuals, cultural diffusion, and acculturation. Peyote was first introduced in the early 1900’s during an ethno-botanical study. However, ritual use is of Plains origins (the cults supposedly originated in Oklahoma) and began in the 1920’s, when “peyote missionaries” such as the Sioux man, Sam Lone Bear, established cults in the Great Basin region. The Gosiute borrowed their ritual, paraphernalia, and organization from their neighbors, the Ute. He also describes the Christian influence on these rituals.
After this brief history, Malouf gives a detailed description of a Tipi Way peyote cult ritual, or “meeting.” Meetings are held quite often, several times a month, depending on the season. They are all-night rituals where specific procedures and equipment are used in prayers, songs, drumming, and feasting. The purpose of the ceremonies is to produce visions, heal the sick, and offer prayers to the god Peyote. In addition, peyotism is valued for creating tribal unity and preventing alcohol use, since it is banned among cult members. Some in the culture consider peyote “dope” and whites are concerned with the negative effect of leaving the participants unable to work for two to three days after use. However, most Gosiute, from all generations, are members of either or both of these cults. Malouf argues that the peyote movement reconciles the breakdown of Shamanism and the misunderstanding of Christianity to new concepts that meet the cultural and psychological needs of individuals. This article gives both an account of the spread and success of a newly formed Native American religion and a colorful picture of a Native American spiritual ceremony. More broadly, it offers insight into Native American culture, the social organization of religion, and the concept of ritual drug use.
HEIDI GOETTEL University of Montana (John Norvell)
Mills, C. A. Climatic Effects on Growth and Development with Particular Reference to the Effects of Tropical Residence. American Anthropologist January-March, 1942 Vol.44(1):1-13.
In this article, Mills studies the effects of tropical residence in the Panama Canal Zone upon a white population that has migrated from a temperate climate. First, Mills outlines biological evidence of a tropical depression in vitality. Then, Mills presents data on native Panamanians, Panamanian-born Americans, and American-born residents of the Canal Zone with regard to height and weight of both sexes and age of first menarche among females.
Mills describes evidence of tropical effects on growth and development in experimental animals. Mammals have a heat loss mechanism (sweating) by means of which the body can effectively dissipate waste heat. If the mammal is exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time, then another mechanism for controlling body temperature is implemented. The cellular combustion rate slows and other bodily activities are affected. Mills states that when body waste heat is dissipated with great difficulty, then growth is slower, development of sexual functions are slower, resistance to infection is greatly reduced, and the individual is forced to live at a lower existence level.
There is also an increased requirement of B vitamins, mainly thiamin, for those who are exposed to prolonged high temperatures. Thiamin and other B vitamins facilitate the optimal utilization of food for energy. It has been found that tropically grown pork has less thiamin content than pork grown in the United States. As a result, the increased need for thiamin in tropical residence and the decreased amount of thiamin in tropically grown pork has an impact on the health of an individual residing in a tropical area. According to Mills, there is a double effect of tropical climates reducing existence level by producing a difficulty in heat loss that necessitates a lowered tissue combustion rate, and by inducing an inadequacy in the vitamin catalysts (B vitamins) essential in this combustion process.
In this study done by Mills, the thiamin deficiency is controlled by importing United States grown pork in order to focus the study on the effects of tropical heat alone. Mills compares and contrasts the height and weight of native Panamanians, Panamanian-born Americans, and American-born Panamanian residents. Mills presents tables of the differences between these three groups. Furthermore, Mills presents a table on the first menarche of females among these three groups.
In this study there is no statistical significance between these three groups. This may be a result of the small sample size used in this study. Mills concludes that it is difficult to attribute how much of the growth depression observed in the Panama Canal Zone school children is due to tropical heat and how much is due to the higher vitamin requirements.
CARLA RIME University of Montana (John Norvell)
Mills, C. A. Climatic Effects on Growth and Development with Particular Reference to the Effects of Tropical Residence. American Anthropologist January-March, 1942 Vol.44(1):1-13.
This article focused upon the effects of tropical residence in the Panama Canal Zone within the white population that has migrated from a moderate climate and condition. The author Mills carried out an in depth study concentrating mainly upon how the growth development is directly linked to the nutrients and climate indigenous to their environment. Mills then later introduced data regarding the height and weight of both genders and the age when females begin their menstrual cycle.
Through experimenting upon animals Mills was able to provide evidence of tropical effects on growth and development. Sweating is a heat loss mechanism by which mammals are able to dispose of waste heat. However, if mammals are introduced to a greater amount of heat for longer periods of time, they may become adapted to another form of body temperature mechanism. There’s a decrease in cellular combustion rates hindering their activities within their bodies. Mills states that if there are any difficulties with the expulsion of body waste heat, this will slow down the growth process; thus making the mammal incapable of sexually functioning orderly and being more susceptible towards diseases and infections. With a weaker immune system, mammals are not granted longevity .
People who exposed to extended higher temperatures require a higher demand of B vitamins, mainly thiamin. Thiamin and other B vitamins helps direct nutrients to create energy. Mills then mentions how the pork that is native to the tropical residence lacks the nutrients in comparison to the pork that indigenous to the United States. With the increasing demand for thiamin and the lacking amount produced in the pork, problems within the tropical residence arises. Later Mills gives insight upon how the tropical climate is contributing to a lower existence level, through a decrease in heat ventilating which is essential in the tissue combustion rate and by creating a shortage of vitamin catalysts, B vitamins, which is necessary for the combustion process.
In Mills’ experiment, he compares and contrasts the native Panamanians, Panamanian-born Americans, and American-born Panamanian resident by height and weight. He gives tables of the three groups differences with the data collected.
This study presents no statistical importance among the three groups because the small amount of evidence collected. In conclusion, Mills states that there were difficulties to access a proper and thorough observation on the growth in the children in the Panama Canal Zone, thus making it unsure of the vitamins required for them when exposed to tropical heat.
VIBOL YOUM San Diego Mesa College (Denise Couch)
Montagu, M.F. Ashley. The Genetical Theory of Race and Anthropological Method. American Anthropologist. July-September, 1942 Vol.44(3):40.369-373
This article aims to answer the question, What is Race?, while suggesting that mankind was once, and in some forms still remains, a homogenous species and that race is merely a term used to describe the inherent variability and mutations mankind is subject too.
Disagreeing with Darwinian conceptions of evolution, the article discusses four principles of genetic conception of race according to physical anthropologists. Stemming from the idea that original human species were genetically homogenous, migration from original groups, geographical isolation, inherent variability, and physical change are the actual causes and defining ideas of race.
Inherent variability is the idea that “random variations in gene frequencies will, with the passage of varying intervals of time occur so that such groups will, in time, come to exhibit certain differences from other isolate groups, or economic types, which started with the same genetic equipment.” Because of this, anthropologists believe race is formed through the primary factors of variability such as, physical differences, environmental factors, and sexual selection and secondary factors such as migration, social selection, and endogamy or exogamy.
The article compares the views of physical anthropologist Friedrich Blumenbach with Darwinian conceptions of evolution and the taxonomic approach to an understanding of race. To clearly understand race, we are encouraged to examine the trends through a geneticist eye rather than a taxonomist eye. Taxonomist approaches to race would only clarify the relationships between groups of mankind rather than understand the meaning of race through genetic frequencies that accurately describe racial variability. Additionally, anthropologists Fischer, Herskovits, Davenport, and Steggerda believe race can be understood through the analysis of variability in localized groups and through the effects of mixture among living people.
The article makes known common misconceptions of race and will interest those seeking to understand the cause for racial differences, segregation, and patterns. It also offers a possible definition of race through a geneticist’s perspective.
MOLLY SCHLINGER University of Montana (John Norvell)
Noon, A. John. A Preliminary Examination of the Death Concepts of the Ibo. American Anthropologist. October-December, 1942. Vol 44(4):638-654.
John A. Noon, in his paper, “A Preliminary Examination of the Death Concepts of the Ibo”, looks at the ways in which the Ibo envision death. He does this by dividing his paper into two parts. The first part is laid out in a series of case studies that were given to him through an Ibo informant. He lists and describes seven different ways the Ibo explain death, either natural or accidental, in their society. The second part of his paper attempts to analyze the data in three ways. These include looking at the Ibo concept of death as examples of Ibo thought, the effect of these concepts on ritual and morning behavior, and finally, the social significance of death.
Before Noon delves into the case studies, he gives a brief introduction to Ibo supernaturalism. He did this by dividing the spirits into three categories: 1. The high god Cukwu, 2. a variety of supernatural beings which control everyday lives, such as the spirits of the land and misfortune, the maternal goddess, and clan spirits, and 3. the supernaturals who act as individual guardians. Noon stresses the importance of reincarnation in the formulation of ego concepts. The individual is linked to life in the physical world and the spirit world. Birth and death are simply phases which the individual’s spirit moves to and from.
Having this as a basis for understanding the spiritual life of the Ibo, he then goes on to explain their seven main conceptions of death. These are:
1. Onwutci: “Death by the God”
2. Death by Uke
3. Deaths of Violators of Taboos, Oaths, and Duties as Agents
4. Death resulting from committing Alu
5. Death of Young People
a. Death of Young Girls by the Oath of the World
b. Death of Young Men by Recklessness
6. Death of One to Repeat
7. “Death of a Witch”
The second part of his paper begins with the analysis of the information that he has gathered and written about in the first part of the paper. He begins with using Ibo death concepts as examples of Ibo thought. He is primarily concerned with how the Ibo use the supernatural spirits to explain death. For example the death of an elderly person who has achieved an acceptable status in society is usually explained by “Death by the God” (the highest god, Onwutci). His death was only a minor disruption and could have been foreseen. On the other hand, a woman who has a history of her children dying at birth or soon thereafter, would call this a Death of One to Repeat. The “repeater child” is sent as punishment to the parents for not getting along harmoniously with one another.
There are also malevolent spirits that take life away for little reason, and spirits who take life away as a form of punishment. So the seven Ibo conceptions of death, can be understood as ways to reduce disharmonious relations, suicides, and other anti-social behaviors or simply to help them make sense of something that is not easy to deal with.
EMILY PIRKLE University of Montana (John Norvell)
Passin, Herbert. Tarahumara Prevarication: A Problem in Field Method. American Anthropologist April-June, 1942 Vol.44(2):235-247.
Herbert Passin’s article addresses the problematic field problem of informants lying to the ethnologist. While conducting field research, it is not uncommon for anthropologists to encounter subjects that lie and Passin advocates that idea that these lies can be just as informative as truths, illustrating cultural regulations and pressures at work. If recognized as such, lies provide valuable cultural data for the ethnologist.
Passin examines lying among the Tarahumara Indians of Chihuahua, Mexico. In the time spent among them, he was able to identify and classify three general types of lies. He discusses each category, giving examples and illustrating their cultural motives, attesting to the value they hold for the anthropologist.
The first category of prevarications are those that are deeply vested in cultural interests. For example, Passin came across instances in which informants denied the possession of economic goods such as food and musical instruments. This is demonstrative of the diametrically opposed value placed on both wealth and generosity. Passin had known that wealth is symbolic of prestige and the obligation to share. He discovered that the Tarahumara value wealth itself over the prestige of having shared that wealth.
Passin also explores two other categories of lying that exist in Tarahumara society, one in which the subjects lied to adapt to external agencies and another that he designated “prestige-lies.” There were many examples of ways in which these Indians lied as the result of the presence of government workers, missionaries or mestizos in an effort to adapt to the ways of life these outsiders were advocating. Denial of the existence of sorcery or the use of peyote was often voiced despite the author’s documentation of their use, especially in the presence of missionaries or government officials. Passin also discusses how some of his informants fabricated lies that would increase their prestige, or concealed facts that would decrease their standing. Passin urges ethnologists to look beyond the lies themselves and try to see the cultural truths that the lie purveys, in this case the emphasis on individual prestige.
Herbert Passin is successful in persuading readers to see the worth of a potentially misleading practice. He stresses that the ethnologist must be aware of the lies that are being told and be able to distinguish culturally bound lies from abnormal social behavior and individual habits. The result is another tool through which researchers can gain valuable knowledge concerning culturally sanctioned areas of stress and conflict, those worth lying for.
NORA BAMBRICK University of Montana (John Norvell)
Parsons, Elsie Clews. Anthropology and Predictions. American Anthropologist July-September, 1942 Vol. 44 (3): 337-345.
The author spends much of the article establishing that the desire to know the future is universal. This desire crosses the boundaries of folkways and science, and coexists almost interchangeably in the mind of the layman. Due to the cultural effect of radio and film, Americans are reverting to preliterate forms of communication, such as word-of-mouth. This draws contemporary society close to the “divide between literacy and lore.”
The author goes on to compare applied anthropology with the field of medicine. Both fields attain knowledge that is useful to the general population. This knowledge, if used correctly by officials could benefit ordinary people, and perhaps raise the quality of life. The most important similarity, however, is the giant gap between the educated specialist and the layman. Do to lack of knowledge on part of the general public and officials, these areas of science had yet been widely used to their full potential, and many suffer as a result. Instead, in the medical world, “quack” remedies and magical medicine fog the popular perceptions of health, disease, epidemics, and hygiene. Likewise, in applied anthropology, groups such as the Churches are left to predict such things as the effect of changing Federal Income Taxes on marriages and family.
In a wartime era, there are many opportunities to make use of knowledgeable applied anthropologists. Why not add anthropologists to the teams of military advisors to foreign governments? Why not have anthropologists analyze the conditions which result in “antagonism between Jew and Gentile,” and try to educate against the predicted wave of anti-Semitism? It is suggested by the author that anthropologists utilize mankind’s fundamental urge to know the future as a starting point in motivating the public to learn about culture and cultural trends.
The author makes a call for anthropologists to make a concerted effort to popularize the field, and to educate the general public via radio, lecture, primers, and best-selling novels. Until the layman understands the principals of anthropology, those in power will not utilize the field to its full potential.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ERIN K. SMITH University of Central Florida (David Jones)
Parsons, Elsie Clews. Anthropology and Prediction. American Anthropologist July-September, 1942 Vol.44(3):337-344.
Parsons suggests that the time has come for anthropology to find its “market” and supply its knowledge of the past to predict future happenings for the good of the world. She envisions a society in which anthropologists will be among the members of a president’s cabinet and will be consulted as to the proper actions during times of war or other crises. She argues that the cause of the much of the world’s strife is a direct result of the laymen’s misunderstanding of society and that many of the current figures that are looked upon to provide answers as to what course society should take, such as church leaders and presidents, are themselves laymen in the science of culture. Continuing with the idea of anthropology as a market that has “goods” to sell she looks at another applied science, modern (1942) medicine, and its ability to sell itself.
Medicine, she argues, has made little progress in the way of marketing its goods as evidenced by the extreme difference in health care opportunities among different social groups. Also, the vast body of medical knowledge that could be passed on to laymen is still only in the hands of a relatively small pool of specialists. As further evidence of this problem she points the quack remedies and quack doctors who are still preying on the ignorance of the majority. Parsons points out that if this is the model that anthropology is striving for, the future may be bleak indeed, but she is confident in the power of predictive anthropology to overcome this barrier. But, like any service, anthropology needs to provide a benefit to those being served.
Parsons points out that anthropologist “popularizers” are up against quite a barrier in that there is no motivation for acquiring knowledge about society among its own members. Yet there is one feature of anthropology that lines up with the desires of the people and that is the power of prediction. She points out that the desire to know what is going to happen in the future is one of the basic needs of human beings and in this need is where anthropology will find its selling point. Utilizing the predictive feature of anthropology will put it in a position to have a say in the direction of society. She concludes, with a prediction of course, that cultural knowledge will spread amongst society and that this, in itself, will be the way that anthropology revolutionizes the world.
DAVID TARBY University of Montana (John Norvell)
Reichard, Gladys A. The Translation of Two Navaho Chant Words. American Anthropologist July-September, 1942 Vol.44(3):421-424.
Gladys Reichard identifies a communication deficiency within the fields of Navaho linguistics and ethnography that results in duplicated research efforts and general misunderstanding. To help clear up confusion, Reichard offers a few basic explanations of linguistic translations and religious classification for two Navaho chant words.
Navaho translations are complex due to the extensive use of words, verb-stems, and affixes that are similar in form but have distinctive meanings. Further, there are a number of individual linguistic elements that may have a variety of meanings in different contexts. To illustrate the difficulties Reichard offers an alternate translation for a well known Navaho chant, xaDe·Bné·he·. Dr. Clyde Kluckhohn and Dr. L.C. Wyman define this chant as “Moving Up Way,” though they note that a number of their informants and interpreters had difficulties translating this chant. Reichard calls upon her extensive work experience in the region of Ganado, Arizona, at least six informants who supply precise interpretations of the chant, as well as the corresponding myth in text with ceremonial description to challenge Kluckhohn and Wyman’s interpretation. Reichard proposes xaDe·Bné·he· is the “Chant of Waning Endurance.”
Reichard walks through the appropriate process of translation to support her interpretation. The analysis of every Navaho word complex should begin with the stem, which is located at the end of the word, possibly with a suffix or two, and work forward. For her example, – B-né·h is the stem with the suffix -e·. Here Reichard compares xaDe·Bné·he· with xadji·Dái, because the two are commonly mistaken due to the similarity of each word’s principal parts. The translation for the verb stem is put into the context of the appropriate myth to portray subtle meaning and give it religious connotation. For example, the root – B-né·h translates to “last, endure, sustain life but at the same time wear out,” or more simply, “he just makes it.”
Reichard outlines a number of Navaho words, prefixes, and suffixes that are often misinterpreted do to structural similarity or multiple meanings. Finally, she briefly discusses the state of Navaho religious studies, comparing xaDe·Bné·he·, the Chant of Waning Endurance, with other well known chants including the Night Chant, the Emergence, and the Blessing rite.
JASON ALTEKRUSE: University of Montana (John Norvell)
Shimkin, D.B. Dynamics of Recent Wind River Shoshone History. American Anthropologist July-September, 1942 Vol.44(3):451-462.
Through this article, D.B. Shimkin illustrates the history between man and culture of the Wind River Shoshone through “ordinary, intelligent” people rather than “messiahs and eccentric” leaders. He claims that “ordinary” persons as opposed to “extravagant” persons create the foundations of cultural history. The article seeks to prove this theory by discussing the recent history of the Wind River Shoshone.
The Shoshone are ideal for this argument, according to Shimkin, because they lack any “guiding genius” and yet were able to adjust to the pressures of white civilization. In order to argue his case Shimkin retraces Shoshone history back to its recorded origin in 1801 and slowly emphasizes the rise and fall of prosperity among the culture. Shimkin refers to a member of the Shoshone, Washakie, as an apparent leader in order to further demonstrate his point. Washakie was a member of the Wind River Shoshone valued for his communication and interaction with white civilization. Shimkin illustrates the movement of the Shoshone from hunting and trading to abundant forms of agriculture. This change is primarily a result of interaction with white civilization. Next, Shimkin provides historical data to the reader stating that the Shoshone fell from prosperity and were forced to overcome their misfortunes without a prominent leader.
In 1904 the Wind River Shoshone began to show signs of recovery from twenty years of despair. This was a period of marked cultural change for the Shoshone. Shimkin discusses the introduction of formal education, new investments, and new religious values to the Shoshone. He explains that during a time of mass confusion for the Shoshone they were confronted by Mormons, the Episcopal Church, and Catholicism. Due to the overwhelming nature of these new ideas, the Shoshone joined with other Native American groups such as Crow and Arapaho to create a new identity. These new forms of unity created new cultural identities that included the Ghost Dance and the Wolf Dance. Later the development of Peyotism adapted from the Arapaho served as a new aspect of the Shoshone culture.
At this point in the article Shimkin aims to prove his theory by describing the “internal modifications” of the tribe as a whole regarding the renewed prosperity. He discusses the influence of several other tribes, the influence of Christianity, and Peyotism on the structure of the Shoshone. Shimkin then reviews the break between the Washakie band of followers and the new revolutionary band. According to Shimkin, prosperity is only evident in the new revolutionists. Due to their openness away from tradition, they able to rise once more. Shimkin’s argument concludes by illustrating that the “traditional” ways of “extravagant” leaders are not the reasons that history and culture evolve, but instead that it is the “ordinary” persons who make it possible for history and culture to evolve.
MEGAN HILL University of Montana (John Norvell)
Simpson, George Eaton. Sexual and Familial Institutions in Northern Haiti. American Anthropologist October-December, 1942 Vol.44(4):655-674.
In this well organized and detailed account of family life and sexual practices in Northern Haiti, George Eaton Simpson argues that, “the focal point of Haitian peasant social organization is the family group.” Within ten subcategories, he examines the many aspects of peasant family and sexual life (most Haitians are of the peasant class, there is a small middle class, and the upper class makes up only 3% of the population.) He relies mainly on observation but gives some firsthand testimony from Haitian natives. He also compares his work with other work done on the region.
He begins with a comparison of the two types of marriage in Haitian society, legally recognized vs. socially recognized. He describes the influence of the Catholic Church on these institutions as well the effects of the impoverished economic conditions. Most Haitians are Catholic (they also practice a pre-Christian spirituality called vodun) and desire to be legally married, but it is expensive, so only a few can actually afford it. The institution of marriage without legal recognition is called placage. He goes on to describe Haitian living situations, marriage ceremonies, divorce, and the extended family. They live in small three room huts. Marriage festivities are different in the North than other Haitian regions studied by M. J. Herskovits. Divorce is rare and expensive; long marriages are common even if not legally recognized. Extended family used to be very important for mutual aid among kin, but American influence has shifted the Haitian family to a more nuclear model. However, godparents and godchildren are just as important as blood relatives; incest taboos even apply to them.
Simpson then discusses the status of women, the sexual division of labor and the life of peasant children. Status of these groups depends on economic and marriage situation they are in. More freedom is enjoyed by unmarried women. In general, women must be obedient and work very hard. There are three classes of children based on marriage status of their parents. Children enjoy more leisure but are expected to work. Children may be sent to live with a family of higher status in the city. Children are welcome and little attempt is made at population restriction. He also has sections on attitudes toward sex, which are positive. There is a sexual double standard for women and there is a unique belief in Diablesses, evil spirits of dead virgins who haunt the woods. Men are allowed to have many sexual partners even when legally married. There has been a recent expansion in the practice of prostitution.
Simpson concludes that, “kinship is thus seen to enter into the various phases of Haitian life to a much greater extent than it does in the industrial civilizations.” This article will appeal to anyone interested in issues related to kinship, marriage, women, children, religion, or peasant life.
HEIDI GOETTEL University of Montana. (John Norvell)
Speck, Frank. Vladimir Jaroslav Fewkes. American Anthropologist July-September, 1942 Vol.44(3):476.
Dr. Vladimir Jaroslav Fewkes, an anthropology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, died December 11, 1941. Dr. Fewkes held the position of assistant in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Fewkes, born March 23, 1901 in Nimburk, Czechoslovakia and worked as an archaeologist in Europe for the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University throughout his life. He sat on the council of the American Anthropological Association, the American archaeological Society, and the Anthropological Society of Philadelphia.
SENECA LACOMBE: University of Montana (John Norvell)
Swanton, John R. David I. Bushnell Jr. American Anthropologist 1942 Vol. 44: 104-106
This is a brief biography of David I. Bushnell JR. who was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1875. After he received his education in St. Louis, and later abroad, he witnessed a Chippewa ceremony along the streams of Minnesota. He made notes of his journey and later published them in the Anthropologist. This would be the start of a long career contributing to the Handbook of American Indians and many other ethnographic projects.
From 1901 to 1904, Bushnell was an assistant in archaeology at the Peabody Museum. In 1911 he began assembling material for the Handbook of North American Antiquities East of the Rocky Mountains. Although this work was never published, it brought together the preparation of four bulletins on village sites and burial customs of Indians east and west of the Mississippi River, which are often quoted. In the years that followed, he obtained airplane pictures of Cahokia mounds, conducted archaeological investigations at Cape Fear River, and studied shell and sand mounds on Pinellas Peninsula, Florida, further contributing to what we know about native North Americans.
In 1935, most of his work was undertaken in Virginia, where he supplied many articles to the Virginia Magazine and conducted archaeological work in the James and Rappahannock valleys. The results of these works were published in a number of short papers for the Smithsonian Institute. He also surveyed the old Monacan country and tried to identify the sites of villages given by John Smith.
During his investigations, he also engaged in forming a comprehensive collection of paintings and sketches of Indian subjects by early artists. Some of which, have been unknown to either ethnologists or historians. He also undertook a larger project, which consisted of artistic representations of Indians and their lives before 1875. He was extremely prepared for this undertaking, but unfortunately, he died before he could finish.
Mr. Bushnell contributed a great deal to the science of anthropology. He was a member of many academies and anthropological societies such as the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Washington Academy of Sciences, and the Virginia Historical Society just to name a few. He also called attention to European collections of Indian objects and unpublished manuscript material. Swanton explains that because of these contributions and many others, Swanton believes we are in debt to him as American anthropologists.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
HEATHER La ROCCO University of Central Florida (Dr. David E. Jones)
Swanton, John. David I. Bushnell, Jr. American Anthropologist January–March 1942 Vol.44(1):104–106.
John Swanton writes in memory of David Bushnell Junior’s life and accomplishments in anthropology. He recalls his long string of accomplishments in life and his love for his work. Swanton reflects Bushnell’s life by recalling a number of his publishing, expeditions, prominent positions he held and the people he worked with.
Bushnell was born in St. Louis Missouri in 1875. Like his father he was interested in American Indians and archeology. Bushnell’s interests were sparked during an n expedition on the Minnesota lakes and streams when he saw and took notes on a Chippewa ceremony. Bushnell pursued his archeology career as an assistant at the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. He was a contributor to the Handbook of American Indians. Bushnell continued to work among Indian tribes gathering and collecting data on mound groups. He collaborated and wrote many articles for the Smithsonian. Throughout this whole time Bushnell began collecting paintings and sketches of Indians by early artists. He also designed work on artistic representations of Indian life before 1875. Unfortunately this was never finished due to his illness.
David Bushnell Jr. died June 1941. Swanton recalls his love for his work by recalling the groups he was took part in. He was a member of the Minnesota Historical society. He was a member of the A.A.A.S. and of the royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. He was also a member of the Anthropological society of Washington, and the List goes on. Swanton makes a personal note about Bushnell’s work ethic. He took great care in the detail and arrangement of his work, and presented many interesting problems for anthropologists in the future.
LALANEYA J. BRAIN: University of Montana (John Norvell)
Zingg, Robert M. The Genuine and Spurious Values in Tarahumara Culture. American Anthropologist 1942 Vol.44:78-92
The Tarahumara Indian Tribe populates the southern third of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. This author describes the people, culture, life and family. Some of the important facts about these people are the fact that they must migrate to warmer climates when it gets cold. Everything they own must therefore be left behind when they make this hard, strenuous journey. Due to a fear of loosing or having someone steal their belongings caused these people to develop a more reserved way of doing things in life. Why develop this great art style when you most likely couldn’t bring that art with you on the long journey to the warmer areas? Their art is limited to things easy to travel, like blankets.
Within his study of this culture come the author’s beliefs. It seemed to me as if the Tarahumara’s were never good enough for his standards. They were always inferior to him. Some of the examples that Zingg gives includes the necessity for clothing, tools and the need to migrate. But the author always states that the Mexicans or the Spanish (or any other outsider to the group) helped the Indians along, so they should be grateful. Although the surrounding populations tried to “update” the Indians into the present times, the Tarahumara’s retained their traditions. The Tarahumara’s are also closer to nature than anyone else in this area. They don’t eat cattle, but raise them. They don’t eat raw meat, and before they eat it cooked, they go through ritual behavior first.
The genuine and spurious culture aspects of the Tarahumara Tribe are completely subjective. Sapir called genuine culture a harmonious and balanced culture. I believe that the Tarahumara’s symbolize this due to they have basically kept up their traditional values and ideas throughout conquests and other temptations to stray them away from their tradition.
KARA GAJENTAN University of Central Florida (David Jones)
Zingg, Robert. The Genuine and Spurious Values in Tarahumara Culture. American Anthropologist January-March, 1942 Vol.44(1):78-92.
Robert Zingg addresses the temptation of mid-20th century anthropology to present ethnographic data in a purely descriptive form without an evaluation of the culture. In order to facilitate cultural evaluation, he modifies Edward Sapir’s concept of genuine and spurious cultures. Zingg redefines genuine culture as a culture system that sufficiently provides for the physical, social, and spiritual needs of an individual so that it is not abandoned by its members upon contact with another system. He then attributes to spurious values “the inadequacies and limitations which a general study of groups and cultures reveals as the possible and proper functions of culture itself” (Zingg, p. 78). Zingg uses these modified concepts to offer an evaluation of Tarahumara culture based on ethnographic data collected by himself and Dr. W. C. Bennet.
Zingg briefly describes the Tarahumaras, a tribe of some 40,000 individuals occupying a southern portion of the Mexican State of Chihuahua. Using evidence from the ethnographic data, he evaluates the technological, social, cultural, and religious aspects of Tarahumara culture by summarizing the genuine and spurious values of each, and discussing the influence of their Mexican neighbors and Spanish missionaries. For example, he notes the failure of Tarahumara technology in providing adequate shelter during the winter, which necessitates a long trek to their lowland caves. Consequently, Tarahumaras living near Catholic missions utilize stone masonry structures for year round shelter. In addition, the Tarahumara subsistence strategy of restricted agriculture combined with herding limits socialization and the opportunity to develop close social ties. Zingg attributes to this the “wooden” personalities and behavior of the tribe, and the lack of a spirit of friendship or “positive social feelings.” For another example, Zingg describes the complete lack of color and drama in Tarahumara pagan ceremonies that he argues has driven the Tarahumaras to adopt artistic Catholic ceremonies. Though he illuminates many spurious values within Tarahumara culture, Zingg argues that Tarahumara culture is ultimately genuine because it has survived for so long as an independent and traditional culture.
JASON ALTEKRUSE: University of Montana (John Norvell)