American Anthropologist 1951

Bascom, William R. Social Status, Wealth and Individual Difference Among the Yoruba.American Anthropologist. July-September, 1951. Vol. 53 (3): 490-505.

William Bascom frames this article in terms of a wider disciplinary interest in the problems of culture and personality. It is useful, according to Bascom, to look at how individual differences in social status are viewed in another culture. His interest in the Yoruba of Ife is not in psycho-ethnography, but in Yoruba categories of status. The Ife, Bascom says, are too complexly stratified to be defined only in terms of the major Yoruba social strata. He looks at the effects of wealth on social status and position. Recognizing that wealth and individual difference are two among many traits that determine rank, Bascom argues that wealth may have more to do with status than individual differences in determining relationships between individuals in the same stratum. He complicates his argument by showing the ways in which wealth provides an individual the opportunity for social mobility between social strata.

Wealth, seniority, and individual difference, according to Bascom, dictate relations between individuals in the same stratum. Bascom begins by outlining the social positions that have to do directly with wealth: the “wealthy man” is the highest, followed by “the rich man” or “man of money.” In order to gain social status, one must not only gain wealth, but also spend money so as not to be considered “stingy.” At the other end of the spectrum are the “poor man,” and worse off than he is the “destitute.” To an extent, these statuses are determined by a person’s “luck,” which the Yoruba associate with the kind of “creator” one has, and “destiny,” which a person chose before he or she was born. Bascom then discusses individual differences that determine status. A “gentleman” and a “man of principle” have a relatively high status that is based on the demonstration of good personal qualities as well as the maintenance of good relations with family and friends. Bascom catalogues the specific characteristics with which the Yoruba define eachstatus category ; even insanity is socially constructed, to the extent that it can be reduced to six types with corresponding treatments.

The effects of wealth and individual difference are however superceded by an individual’s membership in one of the nine social levels in Ife, usually determined by birth the clan into which an individual was born. At the top is the position of the king, at the bottom, the non-Yoruba. The five lowest strata contain 95% of the population, and are positions mostly determined by birth. At the highest of these five strata are the Modewa, a clan of people from whom the palace chiefs are chosen; from the palace chiefs, the second highest stratum of Ife society, the king is chosen. While membership to the Modewa clan is hereditary, it can also be purchased by any one at any age. It requires a mighty demonstration of wealth and bestows on a man the status of a “man of leisure.” Through this status, a man ranks with the king’s messengers, just above the Modewa clan members, and passes on to his children his purchased status as a Modewa. Bascom argues that social positioning is more than ranking; it also determines a complex web of privileges, obligations, and patterns of social interaction between individuals that are determined by and also reinforce the social rank.

In his conclusion, Bascom complicates his own argument that wealth is of little consequence in the dertermination of social strata. He argues that while wealth is indeed only one of many factors in determining social status, it can be used to increase one’s status as well as the status of one’s family, and to achieve high ranking offices. Even in cases where an office is hereditary, spending of money is necessary to be installed in an office. While titles based on personal difference such as “man of principle” can be helpful to an individual, it is wealth that determines an individual’s ability to exert any influence within his own stratum as well as across strata.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
EMILY BEST Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Zolani Ngwane, Maris Gilette)

Bascom, William H. Social Status, Wealth and Individual Differences Among the Yoruba.American Anthropologist 1951. Vol. 53: 490-505.

In this article, William Bascom discusses the major levels of social structure and analyzes the classes of the Yoruba. The Yoruba are subsistence farmers found in West Africa. The author begins by giving the logistics of the Yoruba, including population size, exact location, political and economic statistics, as well as naming the different tribes that play an important part in the social politics of the nation. Bascom then begins to describe the ranking qualifications that divide the people into their class. He explains that a person’s rank is dependent upon many factors, including “wealth, sex, age, his station as free or slave, his relative age or seniority, the rank of the clan into which he is born, the political or religious office which he achieves or inherits, and the social position of his relatives, friends, and associates.” The levels of social structure within the Yoruba nation are very complex. Bascom gives detailed descriptions of every type of person found within the Yoruba society from “the lazy person” to “the man of principle” to “the kind hearted person” to “the sinner”. He also mentions their belief in luck and destiny that gives one the impression that it is hard to change social status within the society. He focuses a lot of attention on defining wealth among the Yoruba. They have three different classifications for a person who is financially secure, “wealthy man”, “rich man”, and “man of money”. He discusses the past and their definitions of wealth and contrasts that with their understandings of it today. Wealth among these peoples is not totally dependent upon monetary standing; wealth is also seen through individual happiness, health, and well-being. Bascom ties everything together when he relates the Yoruba fascination with money to the emergence of contact with the Europeans.

Overall the article is ethnographically interesting and entertaining. Members of the Yoruba society give much of the data collected to Bascom however its validity is questionable because social strata are not drawn in ink. Social categorizing is a very dubious practice that cannot be seen as absolute truth.

CLARITY: 5
TIFFANY BAUER Temple University (Susan B. Hyatt)

Beals, Ralph L. Urbanism, Urbanization, and Acculturation. American Anthropologist January-March, 1951 53(1): 1-10

In this article, Ralph L. Beals discusses the need for interaction between the disciplines of anthropology and sociology for the creation of a unified body of theory for the social sciences. Anthropology had (at the time the article was written) “moved toward concern with process and toward the formulation of wider and wider generalization”(3), much like sociology and psychology. Yet despite the close relationship between many sociological and anthropological journals and university departments, anthropologists distance themselves from the field of sociology.

Beals suggests that research in urbanism, urbanization, and acculturation could benefit from collaboration between sociologists and anthropologists. Sociologists such as Louis Wirth are primarily concerned with “the nature of the urban society, rather than with the processes of urbanism or the adaptation of men to urban life”(5), which, along with acculturation, are the primary domains of anthropological studies.

Discussions between sociologists and anthropologists have taken place, and Beals concludes that both fields share similar ideas on urbanism, urbanization, and acculturation as social phenomena. These discussions culminated with the hypothesis that “rural-urban acculturation and cross-cultural acculturation differ only in degree and do not represent substantially different processes of change”(7). However, because of the considerable contribution of sociologists to urban research, the assumption is that Euro-American urban characteristics are general urban characteristics throughout the world. Anthropologists have a much greater experience in dealing with non-Euro-American cultures and could contribute this knowledge to the field of urban research.

Beals raises questions about acculturation and the processes and characteristics of urbanization based on the tools and methodologies of both sociologists and anthropologists. In presenting these questions and possible areas of study, Beals hopes to spur the interest of sociologists and anthropologists to work together for a unified theory of urbanism, a subject of great importance to both fields. Despite critics who do not believe that anthropology should be a theory-based field, Beals believes that such an approach would strengthen the future of anthropology.

CLARITY RATING: 4
CAROLINE DURHAM Haverford College (Maris Gillette, Laurie Hart, Zolani Ngwane)

Beals, Ralph L. Urbanism, Urbanisation and Acculturation. American Anthropologist January-March, 1951 Vol.53(1):1-10

This article, written by Ralph L. Beals, illustrates the dichotomy between two prominent academic disciplines: anthropology and sociology. Historically, as he explains, although sociologists have been extremely welcoming towards the field of anthropology, the hospitality has not been reciprocated. Sociological journals have been known to publish anthropological articles, while anthropologists seem prejudiced against the field of sociology. The sociologists felt that the anthropologists were illiterate, due to the fact that over sixty percent of their time was spent doing field research. The anthropologists asserted that sociology was primarily an over-conceptualised and philosophized historical discipline. Beals explains that the field of sociology had primarily sponsored the expansion of anthropological studies, and that a more collaborative and synergistic relationship would be more constructive for both disciplines. Beals believed that forging a new cooperative relationship would help particularly within the areas of urbanism, urbanisation and acculturation.

According to Beals, sociologists have spent too much time preoccupied with notions of “urbanism”, which deals with the alteration of human behaviour and conduct imposed by urban social order. Beals suggests that what has been overlooked is the process of urbanism, or the adaptation of individuals to urban existence; the process of “urbanisation”. Another concept vital in understanding this process is “acculturation”, which refers to the contact of two foreign primitive groups. Beals illustrates his point by using examples of direct acculturation. Although the degrees of acculturation may differ between immigrant Mexicans in Southern California and the peoples Yucatan, or a rural southern white moving into an urban setting and rural Mexican in Los Angeles, Beals believes that “rural-urban acculturation and cross-cultural acculturation differ only in degree and do not represent substantially different process of change” (Beals:7). Sociologists would believe that the process of acculturation is foremost dictated by individual behaviour. Beals does not see this to be entirely true. He believes that what is also important is the effect a foreign or unfamiliar culture has on the individual.

Another example Beals provides is that of a conversation with Paul Kirchoff (a sociologist who studied the Aztec culture). Kirchoff had stated that after many years, he had realised that he was not adequately prepared to deal with the problems he encountered in attempting to interpret and understand the Aztec culture and society. He explained that he had no choice but to begin analysing the people of Peru, as well as many other cultures surrounding the Aztec to gain a better understanding of them. Beals adds that one must not only look exclusively at the sociological factors surrounding a person or persons, but must continue their research into more diverse cultural venues.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ARTHUR HAGOPIAN York University (Naomi Adelson)

Brewer, W. D. Patterns of Gesture Among the Levantine Arabs. American Anthropologist, 1951. Vol. 53: 232-237.

W.D. Brewer explores the meaning of gesture and its relationship to language. He traces the sparse history of the study of gesture patterns and mentions two categories: gestures of “meaningful nature,” and those of “unintentional communication.” Brewer focuses on the category of meaningful gesture only, those gestures that have an understood meaning within a culture. Brewer expands the study of meaningful gestures by proposing a systematic approach for labeling levels of meaning.

Based on his own observation and research in the Levine, he divides the category of meaningful gestures into three groups, according to their relationship to speech and consequent level of meaningfulness. Group I gestures exist independently of speech and have the most symbolic meaning; Group II gestures usually accompany speech but can also be understood independently; Group III gestures add emphasis to a conversation but cannot alone communicate a meaning.

Brewer then lists, by Group, examples of gestures he observed among the Levantine Arabs. He describes each gesture and its meaning and argues that gesture, like language, is a rich source of cultural knowledge in need of further study. He concludes his article by suggesting an exploration of instances when the same meaning is given more than one gesture.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
MAREN WALDMAN Haverford College (Maris Gillette, Laurie Hart, Zolani Noonan-Ngwane)

Brewer, W. D. Patterns of Gesture Among the Levantine Arabs. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53:232-237.

In a study of the gestures of the Arabs of the Eastern Mediterranean coastal region, the author is struck by the degree of symbolic, or what he refers to as “lexical”, meaning that can be assigned to these various gestures.

In his effort to explore the relationship between gesture and language, the author finds it useful to divide gestures into three categories: Gestures with meaning that are understood in the absence of speech, gestures with pictorial meaning which may require speech in order to be understood, and gestures which merely provide emphasis and would be incomprehensible without speech. The reader is provided with several examples of gestures from all of the above-mentioned three categories. The author describes the gesture and then offers its accompanying meaning.

The author concludes this study by highlighting two points. First, the author is intrigued by the large number of Arab gestures which denote a desire to disconnect oneself from a given situation or to negate responsibility for an event. Secondly, the author noted that certain gestures that appear to take a different form can actually have the same meaning. The author recommends further study of these gestures is required.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
LESLIE WARREN York University (Naomi Adelson)

Dozier, Edward P. Resistance To Acculturation And Assimilation In An Indian Pueblo.American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53:56-65.

Edward P. Dozier’s article on the Tewa of First Mesa, Hopi, Arizona, discusses how collective representation and memory affect social behavior, attitudes and, ultimately, change. To do so, Dozier examines the ways in which the Tewa are viewed as distinct from the Hopi; his goal for the article is to explain the possible cause for this distinction. Dozier uses historical research from white historians as well as legends from the Tewa and the Hopi that he gathered during his field work.

Dozier argues that the collective identity of a group is influenced by how they perceive themselves through the history that they have passed down. Dozier uses Robert K. Merton’s paper “The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy” in order to show how a group’s legend could affect how they perceive themselves as well as how others perceive them. His fieldwork demonstrates this idea: the Tewa have remained a separate culture from the Hopi because they believed they were superior, enacted their superiority and, in doing so, became judged and valued superior by the Hopi and Euro-Americans as well.

The Tewa created the distinction of their superiority, through what Dozier considers a legend. The story explains that the Hopi needed help in fighting against the Utes and asked the Tewa for help. The Tewa came to protect the Hopi and, after they brought peace to the Hopi, they were denied the reward that the Hopi had promised. In reaction to this, the Tewa proclaimed a restriction on marriage with the Hopi. It is this legend that Dozier asserts was the initial cause for the Tewa’s need for cultural distinction from the Hopi and that has since been used to keep the Tewa distinct from the Hopi majority.

The Tewa are seen as superior and distinct from the Hopi due to efforts taken by the Tewa to enact these differences. This article will interest those studying how collective memory affects the present, how social identity is created and developed, Merten’s Self-fulfilling prophecy, as well as research on the Tewa.

CLARITY RATING: 5
GLENNA HALPERIN Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Maris Gillette, Zolani Ngwane)

Elbert, Samuel H. Hawaiian Literary Style and Culture. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol. 53( ): 345-354

This article examines the stylistic elements of Hawaiian literature in terms of how these elements represent Hawaiian culture. The study is based on a series of Hawaiian tales printed in Hawaiian newspapers in the late 19th century and later translated into English, although not very accurately, according to Elbert. Elbert worked with the writings of native Hawaiians, explorers, missionaries, and anthropologists to construct his idea of Hawaiian culture, which he describes as aristocratic, yet rooted in the interests of society as a whole.

Elbert groups Hawaiian social interests into four categories: physical (the body, nature, war); intellectual (humor, punning, trickery); emotional (love, affection); and ethical (hospitality, vows, revenge). These interests are present in the stylistic elements common throughout Hawaiian literature, differentiating this style from other, non-Polynesian cultures. Examples of such stylistic elements include hyperbole, metaphor and simile, symbolism, and naming. As Elbert examines each element and its importance in literature, he illustrates these with examples from the four categories of social interest. War heroes are greatly exaggerated until they are larger than life; “they drink the sea dry, leap from island to island, or transform themselves into fish or animals”(346). Humor ranges from punning as competition between heroes to scatology. Stories show particular detail in descriptions of body parts, physiological processes, and, most often, nature: ” ‘the ants weep, birds sing, pebbles rattle, bivalves mutter indistinctly, birds wither, smoke lies low, […]”(349). The unique structure of the language enhances many of the stylistic elements: the language contains eight consonants, five long vowels, and five short vowels, assisting in repetition, alliteration, and use of homonyms.

With many examples in Hawaiian and translated into English, this article offers a clear and concise view of the patterns that exist connecting Hawaiian culture and literature and the importance of each to the other.

CLARITY RATING: 5
CAROLINE DURHAM Haverford College (Maris Gillette, Laurie Hart, Zolani Ngwane)

Elbert, S. H. Hawaiian Literary Styles and Cultures. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53: 345-354

The author’s objective is to describe how Hawaiian literary style relates very closely to Hawaiian culture. This article shows the comparison of the Hawaiian oral literature with the culture as manifest in its various aspects and interests, considering such features as hyperbole, metaphor, symbolism, humor, names and details. The major concern in this article is the idea that these sacred Hawaiian stories are not being seen for the beauty and illustrations of man’s values through stories. In fact, this article proves that when doing research on another country a person may benefit from one’s literary patterns and find similarities between the findings of a person and their linguist.

The this article the author shows many examples of the Hawaiian style of writing and how the Hawaiian people combine literary style to their culture. An example of this would be that many Hawaiian tales frequently mention body parts, especially eyes, in their stories. This is in keeping with the cultural interest in the sacred body. As well, a system of classification of all objects possessed is largely based on their proximity to the body, showing again the importance of the body. In the article it is hoped that the study may show how literary style can also take a patterned form, and that these patterns to some extent parallel patterns traceable in the culture and in the language, affording a vivid and sparkling reflection of these configurations.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
DORY CARSON York University (Naomi Adelson)

Elkin, A. P. Reaction And Interaction: A Food Gathering People And European Settlement In Australia. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53(1): 164-186.

In his article, “Reaction and Interaction: A Food Gathering People and European Settlement in Australia,” A.P. Elkin creates a paradigm for the interaction between the European Settlers and primitive peoples. Elkin explains the development of European intrusion amongst the Aborigines through his own anthropological research conducted in the north coast of New South Wales in the 1930s, as well as through the research of other anthropologists such as James Frazer, E. Taylor, and B. Spencer.

The body of Elkin’s text outlines the different phases of European-primitive interaction. An issue in this article is that Elkin attempts to create a general model of interaction, yet he writes specifically on the Aboriginal situation which doesn’t comply with his pre-conceived notions. His assumption is that since Western “culture is comparatively rich, the less well-endowed peoples, when confronted with it, would desire to examine, acquire and imitate it.” (Elkin 1951: 164) However, according to Elkin’s fieldwork, this does not transpire in the Aboriginal culture since “the individual is trained not to show curiosity.” (Elkin 1951: 164)

Elkin clearly delineates the phases of his model of the progression of European-primitive interaction. His analysis is representative of the anthropological field of the time, assuming that the Aborigines would desire to become “civilized” and to integrate into Western society.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
GLENNA HALPERIN Haverford College (Laurie Hart)

Eggan, Fred. John Fee Embree, 1908-1950. American Anthropologist 1951 vol 53: 376-382.

On December 22, 1950, John Embree, director of Southeast Asia Studies at Yale University, was killed in an automobile accident. After receiving his M.A. from the University of Toronto, Embree went to the University of Chicago where he became a student of Radcliffe-Brown. With his new PhD from Chicago, Embree traveled to the University of Hawaii and became an assistant professor. The fact that he lived in Hawaii would be very significant to Embree’s career. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, his expertise in Southeast Asia became valuable to the government. He helped train military government officers for Japan and other Occupied areas. This training prepared officers for the practical aspects of a new culture they would encounter. John Embree was very influential both as an academic and as an applied anthropologist.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
KRISTY WALDRON Haverford College (Maris Gillette, Laurie Hart, Zolani Ngwane)

Firth, Raymond. Contemporary British Social Anthropology. American Anthropologist. 1951. Vol. 53: 474-489.

Firth writes this article in response to George Peter Murdock’s “British Social Anthropology” (1951) in which Murdock outlines the limitations of the British “school” of social anthropology. Firth reflects upon and then addresses those limitations from his own perspective as a British social anthropologist.
Firth immediately debunks the idea of one unified “school” of British anthropologists implied by Murdock, suggesting instead that variation in methods and assumptions are emerging. He admits and regrets the tendency among his predecessors and peers to study only in Africa and make no attempt to compare their work with ethnographies from non-African cultures, especially with those ethnographies written by American social anthropologists. In defense of his colleagues, he stresses the advantages of an in-depth study of fewer cultures over a survey of a large number of cultures.

Firth defends British social anthropology as a discipline – as a social science – against Murdock’s charge that British social anthropology is really sociology. Firth argues that sociology and anthropology are indeed closely related, but the practice of ethnography distinguishes anthropology. However if Murdock’s conclusion helps characterize social anthropology as a scientific discipline distinct from biology, physical anthropology, archaeology, and history, Firth concludes that Murdock’s charge is valid.

Firth acknowledges that social anthropology has an identity crisis that cries for deeper analysis of the field. The remainder of his article outlines four “abstractions”, or areas of contention within the field of social anthropology. The four abstractions are as follows: 1) relationship between interpretation and theory; 2) use of models; 3) “society” versus “culture”; and 4) the distinction between history and science.

The nature and applicability of theoretical models in social anthropology comes into question because models are built on generalizations, assumptions, and interpretations. What roles do those generalizations, assumptions, and interpretations play? This inquiry stems from contrasting primary theoretical models, one following Malinowski and the other following Radcliffe-Brown, that have been cause of dissension among anthropologists for years.

In the debate between the study of society versus culture, Firth argues that “society” and “culture” cannot be studied independently; they are merely different lenses used to view the same “human situations”. Therefore it follows that there is no need to divide (British) social anthropology and (American) cultural anthropology, for their ultimate motivations are inseparable.

Finally, Firth addresses the lack of interest on the part of social anthropologists to more seriously integrate history and psychology into their studies. While better integration may be useful, he argues that there are significant differences between social anthropology and history and psychology, and there are, therefore, reasons for anthropologists to emphasize to their own, distinct discipline.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
MAREN WALDMAN Haverford College (Maris Gillette, Laurie Hart, Zolani Noonan-Ngwane).

Foster, George M. Report on An Ethnological Reconnaissance of Spain. American Anthropologist. July-September, 1951. Vol. 53 (3): 311-325.

George Foster poses a problem: many Latin American cultures studied at close range often appear to be near carbon copies of 16th century Spanish culture. Viewed from Spain, Foster says, it is much easier to see how native indigenous ways persist, re-appropriating foreign traits into a way of life that maintains a “a native feel and personality.” As Foster sees it, the study of new world cultures, indigenous and syncretic, could profit from Iberian studies. An “Ethnological Reconnaissance” looks to the potential for studying Spain to better understand indigenous America, to help sort between indigenous and Spanish traits, to yield some “insight into the nature of cultural process.” For Foster, Spain and the areas it dominated are “a near-laboratory set up for social science research.” How Spain exported its cultural traits was outlined in detail by crown officials, and as a result the same Spanish cultural forces were at work across a wide spectrum of indigenous societies in colonized areas. This also meant that the exportation of culture was well documented, providing nearly half a century’s worth of historical data. Foster finds that indeed some cultural traits were selectively transferred from Spain to the new world in a formal manner, and still others were transferred informally and randomly. Throughout, Foster poses problems that complicate the nature of Iberian studies.

Foster’s first task is to sort between cultural traits that are Spanish and those that are Indian, and to catalog cultural changes and patterns that occurred in Latin America as a result of contact. Foster outlines his personal impressions of Spain versus Latin America, using also other ethnographies of Spain to help generate his impressions. He begins by describing some of the general differences in city structure pre- and post-colonization, also comparing the materials used to build homes. He then finds both similarities and differences between the new world and Spain’s agricultural patterns, clothing, pottery and basketry techniques, and public markets. Foster includes a tentative comparison of ‘general cultural psychology.’ Important to his argument is the distinction between the formal and informal transfer of cultural traits. The Spanish crown handed down directly detailed rules concerning the formation of national economics, governments, and town planning in the new world. The church, one of the most potent vehicles of transmission of cultural elements, passed on to the new world only certain stories and a calendar of festivals that contained only certain holidays; many popular Spanish fiestas were excluded in the new world. The informal passage of traits, according to Foster, probably occurred when indigenous cultures, trying to maintain a certain social cohesion that was being lost in colonization, adopted certain Spanish traits that were available to them and infused them into their own native practices. One provocative complication is what Foster calls parallelism, that with similar environments, two separate cultures may have created analogous solutions and therefore there exist traits that are neither Spanish nor indigenous, just common human responses to situations. The second major complication Foster poses is that there are many “Spanish” cultural traits that may not be nationally defined, but rather may be common to all of Europe or the old world.

In providing a rich body of data and pointing out some theoretical problems in the study of Spain and its colonies, Foster poses an argument not only for further Iberian studies as necessary to better understanding new world studies, but also for the necessity of a wider disciplinary study of the Mediterranean and Europe to better understand the cultural traits of its old world cultures as well.

CLARITY RATING: 3
EMILY BEST Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Zolani Ngwane, Maris Gilette)

Goldschmidt, Walter. Ethics and the Structure of Society: An Ethnological Contribution to the Sociology of Knowledge. American Anthropologist 1951 vol. 53 (506-523).

In “Ethics and the Structure of Society: An Ethnological Contribution to the Sociology of Knowledge,” Walter Goldschmidt examines the social structure and ethics of indigenous North Californian societies in order to shed light on the nature of functional relationships and the development of capitalism. Goldschmidt invokes Weber who has linked “protestant ethic” to “capitalism” which he defines not as an economic but a social structure. If it is true that there is a societal and not just cultural link between these two structural elements, similar patterns must be found outside Western Europe. Although there are many differences between the Yurok, Hupa, and Karok cultures as compared with a collective European one, there are key similarities that led Goldschmidt to believe these native North Californians would provide fertile ground for investigation of structural functionalism.

Goldschmidt provides a description of the essential social characteristics of these groups. Individuals belong to villages, households, and sweathouse groups. There are no mandatory group affiliations or official positions of authority. Rather, power and social status are gained by control of resources, money, and wealth. The societies are characterized by a social mobility that, much like ours, exaggerates the opportunities for an individual to change his status. This description supports a categorization of the Hupa-Yurok as a capitalist society, which Goldschmidt defines as, “a system in which the individual was placed chiefly by personal acquisition of wealth which in theory was freely attainable by all, with both status and power resting upon the ownership of property.”(513)

The discussion of the emphasis placed on the individual among the Hupa –Yurok provides a nice link to their ethical principles, which are both secular and religious in nature. The first principle is the moral demand to work and the attendant pursuit of gain. The second is the moral demand of self-denial or asceticism and the third is the individuation of moral responsibility, which leads to a sense of guilt.

Next Goldschmidt defines two kinds of functional relationships. Permissive functional relationships require only that two cultural elements coexist in a culture. Requisite functional relationships are those in which one functional element “requires the other either as a necessary condition or as an inevitable consequence.” The relationship between “Protestantism” and “capitalist structure” are believed to belong to the latter category.

Finally, Goldschmidt describes the process by which he hopes to determine the nature of the relationship between these two structures in Northern California and elsewhere. He tabulates all of the characteristics of each structure for each culture. Those characteristics which are present in both cultures are deemed to be requisite to the formation of this particular type of structural relationship in the most general sense. That is not to say that certain characteristics, occurring in only one of the cultures, were not requisite in the context of that particular culture.

Goldschmidt concludes by urging us to consider different types of functional relationships in the domains, for example, of personality and child rearing. His analysis of Northern Californian capitalist structures can be used to frame a critique of traditional analysis of the development of capitalism. Features that have been emphasized as crucial to the process such as heavy industry and the exploitation of workers are not present in the Hupa-Yurok configuration and thus, may not be requisite to the formation of capitalist structures in the abstract.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
KRISTY WALDRON Haverford College (Maris Gillette, Laurie Hart, and Zolani Ngwane)

Goldschmidt, Walter. Ethics and The Structure of Society: An Ethnological Contribution to The Study of Knowledge American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53: 506 – 524

Goldschmidt compares the ideology of a capitalist society, and the evolution of the Protestant ethic in European society, to that of the Northwestern Californian cultures of the Yurok, Hupa, and Karok. These ‘primitive’ people exemplify the capitalistic structure of society, rather than the capitalist economy. The capitalist structure of society is a system in which the individual is placed predominantly by personal acquisition of wealth that is ‘freely attainable by all’, Consequently, both status and power rest upon the ownership of property within the capitalist system. Goldschmidt links the idea of capitalism and Protestantism to the inherent similarities of the Northwestern Californian societies, thus implying that these primitive cultures are patterned behind the industrial societies in a linear social and cultural evolution.

The Northwestern Californian societies show considerable similarities to post industrial Europe. On the economic side, property is individually held, money (in the form of denticulate shells) is used for exchange, and the accumulation of wealth is seen as a way to increase prestige. In terms of social development, Goldschmidt argues that power and control of wealth are overwhelmingly important. In this open class system, prestige rested fundamentally with the possession of goods. In addition, ownership is related to the well-being of the individual, thus equating to the direct relationship between resource ownership and wealth status.

All social affiliation contained a measure of individual consent, and all social positions contained a level of personal achievement. Essential to the Hupa and Yurok society are the distinctions of social status, as with European society. Further social similarities are exemplified by the moral obligations towards work, as seen with the Protestant ethic, as well as the commitment of the Northwestern Californians to strictly adhere to a life of asceticism. Overindulgence of anything was seen as sinful and demoralizing to the character of the individual. Consequently, like the Protestant ethic, moral responsibility was internalized to focus on self-denial thus creating a pattern of individual guilt and the concept of sin.

The necessary ingredient, Goldschmidt argues, for both European culture and the Northwestern Californian society, was a stern god-factor. This he believes was crucial in the development of capitalism in the West and the patterns in Californian natives. However, Goldschmidt also argues that the study is limited to the broader dynamics of social life, although, there is a link between an ethical, morally based life and economic phenomena. Nonetheless, one must recognize that the individual culture has its own involvement, its own necessary conditions and inevitably its own consequences of development. Goldschmidt emphasizes that the social structure of a society is more important than the economic implementation of that structure, which seems to have crucial involvement with the ethical system.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ROBERT WASYLYK York University (Naomi Adelson)

Haas, Mary R. Interlingual Word Taboos. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53:338-344.

Haas argues that speakers of a minority language observe certain language taboos when encountering the language of a majority. While speakers are learning a majority language, they may encounter taboos only they are aware of in relation to their language.

As with the Creek Indians in Oklahoma, they avoid the use of specific words in their language while around speakers of English. This is due to the fact that certain words in Creek are phonetically similar to taboo words in the English language. The taboo began as a result of bilingualism and acculturation among the Creeks. In some cases it may be that only part of a word will resemble that taboo being avoided and so a stress shift may occur in an effort to avert the similarity. Thai students in English speaking countries experienced similar dilemmas. Again, they avoided the use of specific words in their language while around speakers of English if they phonetically resembled taboo English. However, the reason for avoiding these words arose from an uncertainty about the appropriateness of using these words because of their own knowledge of English. Avoiding specific Thai words occurs as a result of students teaching about the taboos. This avoidance is temporary in terms of the Thai language since the taboo is not carried back to Thailand. To avert the “self-imposed” taboo words, the students would use another Thai term of the same meaning. In Thai, the use of vulgarity around intimates is condoned whereas the use of vulgarity around non-intimates (say speakers of English) is not condoned. In Thai, vulgarity is very deliberate, making this unintentional vulgarity absurd.

The reverse of this issue also exists, where various English words become phonetically similar to taboo words in another language. This exists between the English language and that of Nootka Indian language as well as the Thai language. As well, the tone of a word can affect the meaning, subjecting even more words to a taboo.

Similarities can also exist between taboo words and given names. In Thai, animal names can be used as given names, where in Bangkok this type of name is avoided. It may even occur that Thai names are changed because they are unpleasing to the ear in Bangkok. This change usually occurs when a Thai goes to Bangkok. The name changing is a result of a taboo being imposed by another culture.

The problem of interlingual taboos is often not noticed by field researchers, especially if the contact is brief. It is observed that resemblance’s exist phonetically between ordinary words of one language and taboo words of another. Generally it is the minority language that feels compelled to recognize the taboo.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ANNA COLOMBO York University (Naomi Adelson)

Hallowell, A. Irving. Frank Gouldsmith Speck, 1881-1950. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol. 53: 67-75

Hollowell’s obituary of Frank Gouldsmith Speck demonstrates well the passion of this man who was considered by some to be “the major contributor in the field of folk sciences” (Hollowell, 1951; 68). His interest in the subject of American Indians began when he was a boy and was further developed under his instructor, Franz Boas. Speck was able to master Indian languages and pursue his study with many different groups, specifically the Algonkians. Speck studied material culture, as well as ethnobiology, religious belief, decorative art, myths, and tales. He is known for his study of Algonkian hunting territories. He also had an interest in “conceptions, attitudes, and experience of American Indians” (Hallowell, 1951; 74).

Frank Gouldsmith Speck is accredited as the founder of the department of Anthropology at University of Pennsylvania. Speck founded the Philadelphia Anthropological Society and acted as Associate Editor of American Anthropologist.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
GLENNA HALPERIN Haverford College, (Laurie Hart, Maris Gillette, Zolani Ngwane)

Henry, Jules. The Economics of Pilgá food distribution. American Anthropologist October-December, 1951 Vol. 53 (4):187-219.

Jules Henry begins the article by defining the term pattern as it is used in anthropology as “the way in which individuals in a culture behave on the average in the majority of cases”. He states that the notion of a pattern has mathematical connotations and it is likely that anthropologists are using the word and concept too freely. The intention of the paper is to attack the generalization of the term by showing that statistics can be used to analyze anthropological data in order to gain insight into a culture. In this case Henry is using statistics to examine the economic system of food distribution among members of the Pilagá tribe for a six month period.

The author gives a short background of the tribe, discussing kin ties and how the village is set up according to these ties. These ties play a very important part in food distribution. The closest family members, those living under the same roof and sharing a close kinship bond share food the most frequently, this system is the basis for Henry’s argument. To analyze the system the author uses eleven questions including the amount of food distributed, the frequency of giving and receiving and who exchanges the food between them. The results of these questions are displayed in tables throughout the article.

The main body of the article discusses individual food exchange relationships between the Pilagá and the variables involved. The statistical tables help to analyze the material in a quantitative manner and allow Henry to discuss means and percentages of food distribution in the village. Henry maintains that although the methodology is quantitative there is no special training needed to use the statistical method. He concludes that the Pilagá economic system creates a social form from the individual’s products. These products are made into public property and the individual is expected to give away the majority of his products and is not guaranteed equal return. Although the system is not efficient the people are still motivated and seem to accept the inequality of the system. This acceptance and motivation allow the system to continue to function in the village.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
ALANNA MURPHY-HOFFMANN Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Zolani Ngwane, Maris Gillette)

Levi-Strauss, Claude. Language and the Analysis of Social Laws. American Anthropologist April-June, 1951 Vol. 53(2):155-163.

Claude Levi-Strauss suggests that social structures, and in particular language, can be studied scientifically. By way of framing his argument, Levi-Strauss dismantles Wiener’s assertion that mathematical/scientific methods of prediction cannot apply to the social sciences. He refutes Wiener’s objection that by their nature social sciences affect the objects of their experimentation. Levi-Strauss insists that society is inherently communal and that individuals cannot affect societal structures. Weiner also claims that there is not enough social data to merit a scientific study. Levi-Strauss points out that many social phenomena have long histories and thus there is sufficient data to support scientific study.

Levi-Strauss’ envisions a machine that could make mathematical calculations regarding various aspects of linguistic structures, particularly phonemes. The result of this process would be the development of a periodic table of sounds not unlike Mendeleev’s periodic table of the elements used in chemistry. In his estimation, this type of analysis would be more accurate than empirical investigation.

Up until this point, Levi-Strauss has been talking strictly about language as one example of social structure that could benefit from mathematical/scientific analysis. Later, he suggests that results of this type of investigation could be applied to other forms of social phenomena. He urges us to think of fashion, kinship systems, and religion using the process he outlines for language. Ultimately, Levi-Strauss hopes to arrive at a process through which one can understand the origins of and predict changes in various social phenomena using linguistic and mathematical processes.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
KRISTY WALDRON Haverford College (Laurie Hart)

Levi-Strauss, Claude. Language and the Analysis of Social Laws. American Anthropologist April-June, 1951 Vol.53(2):155-163.

In this article, Claude Levi-Strauss argues that language is a social phenomenon that can be studied with empirical research methods to draw cohesive conclusions about similarities in social structures of different geographical areas. The author challenges Wiener’s objection to the social sciences as a valid area of research because it is not able to apply mathematical methods and predictions. Levi-Strauss argues that language is an area capable of mathematical study for two reasons: “much of linguistic behavior lies on the level of unconscious thought” (156), and “language appeared very early in human history” (156) giving it the property of “long statistical runs”(156).

The author argues further that language is connected to marriage rules and kinship systems that can also be the object of mathematical study. An understanding of the laws of exchange can make certain customs clear and predictable “by treating marriage regulations and kinship systems as a kind of language, …a certain type of communication” (159).

The author introduces the idea of five specific categories of geographical locations in which there is a correlation between language and kinship systems: the Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, African, Oceanic, and American. For each system, linguistic features are compared to social structure and complexity of marriage rules. Levi-Strauss proposes that for this kind of experiment, the anthropologist should proceed from what is most familiar (kinship structures) to what is least known (linguistics). The author believes that social phenomena can become better understood by employing his proposed experiment.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
LAURA MONTEITH York University (Naomi Adelson)

McQuown, Norman A. Robert Hamilton Barlow, 1918-1951. American Anthropologist. 1951 Vol. 53: 543.

McQuown writes an obituary for Robert Hamilton Barlow, an anthropologist who devoted his life to the study of native Mexican languages. Barlow also acquired an interest in “the exploitation of the documentary sources for Mexican prehistory (McQuouwn, 1951; 543).” With a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, Barlow was able to study Mexican sources held in France’s Bibliotheque Nationale. He participated on councils such as the Mexican Council for Indian Languages. He also was a major figure in the creation of Tlalocan, a journal “devoted to the pubication of documents in Mexican native languages (McQuown, 1951; 543).” Barlow was the acting chairman of the department of anthropology at Mexico City College and taught Nahautl at the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia.

This article presents a chronology of Barlow’s positions within the field of Mexican Anthropology and outlines his major role in the field Mexican languages.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
GLENNA HALPERIN Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Maris Gillette, Zolani Ngwane)

Mercier, P. The Social Role of Circumcision Among the Besorube. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol. 53: 326-337

In this article “The Social Roles of Circumcision Among the Besorube” the author shows the significance of the circumcision ritual among young men. It studies the elements that surround the rites of circumcision and factors of the social structure. The author shows how circumcision renews the unity of the clan and gives a person a definitive personality. The author also states that the underlying purpose of this ritual is not to make a mark that distinguishes one from his neighbours but it’s an occasion for strengthening the social relations by a dramatization that is shown in the “bloody rite”. Circumcision for the individual is the supreme rite, which ends his initiation and gives him full majority.

The circumcision process is a long one and lasts for several months, from September to March. The process marks the passage from one age class to another. The ritual of circumcision is divided into two parts, the first being performed by a member of the Bekube clan and the second performed by a member of the Bewatyiribe clan. Both are different sections of the Besorube tribe. The order of the ceremony is significant in itself; it is a symbol of hierarchy among the different groups. The Bekube were the first settlers and are held to be the originators of circumcision in that tribe and therefore go first in the circumcision ritual. During the year of circumcision it is seen that the greatest importance of this ritual is to renew one’s self and ensure one’s place in the tribe.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
DORY CARSON York University (Naomi Adelson)

Murdock, George Peter. British Social Anthropology. American Anthropologist

October-December, 1951 Vol.53(4):465-473.

The focus of this article, as stated by Murdock, is to analyze the reasons behind an “increasing ambivalent attitude toward recent trends in British anthropology-a curious blend of respect and dissatisfaction.” The publication of African Systems of Kinship and Marriage provides the basis for Murdock’s argument. This publication contains an introduction by Radcliffe-Brown in addition to contributions by many other leading members of the British school. Murdock places much of the blame for the current methods of the British on Radcliffe-Brown. He argues that the British anthropologists are not practicing what he determines to be anthropology and should be reassigned to positions as sociologists; he provides examples of why this reclassification should take place.

Murdock begins with praising the high level of professional competence visible in British research and analysis of social structural data. He makes it clear that the British are a highly respected group, and comments that the ethnographic competence of the group as a whole is unequalled elsewhere. However this competence is somewhat limited to certain areas and this greatly contributes to the changing attitude towards British social anthropology.

Murdock finds that British social anthropology characteristically emphasizes certain methodologies and limits theoretical possibilities. As a result of these limitations Murdock suggests that British social anthropologists be relabeled as sociologists because they no longer meet the criteria of anthropology. This reassignment would place them in a sociological school of an earlier generation. This placement would allow other anthropologists around the world to accept the British school for its own specific contribution. Murdock closes with the hope that Britain will be able to support both primitive sociology and anthropology in the future and again rise to the top of the field.

Murdock establishes a definition of what he feels to be anthropology and contrasts this to what is presented in African Systems of Kinship and Marriage His criticisms are based on the limitations of British research. However, this publication was meant to focus on kinship and marriage in Africa, not to provide broad ethnography. The reader should be aware of this aspect of Murdock’s criticism.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ALANNA MURPHY Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Maris Gillette, Zolani Noonan-Ngwane)

Murdock, George Peter. British Social Anthropology. American Anthropologist Oct-Dec, 1951. Vol. 53: 465-473

George Peter Murdock’s article examines the British school of anthropology and the limitations inherent in it, basing his arguments on the publication of African Systems of Kinship and Marriage, which features contributions by all the leading British anthropologists.

First, Murdock discusses the positive aspects of the school, stating that the British anthropologists do very professional fieldwork and analysis of social structural data. He also mentions that their theoretical and factual knowledge is advanced.

Murdock then delves into the negatives, creating a list. He mentions that the British social anthropologists do not focus on the entire range of cultural phenomena, but rather focus on kinship and related subjects, ignoring such important aspects as technology, art, folklore and language.

He points out that the British do not seem to work with any society that is not located in British colonial dependency. Another related problem is that they do not seem interested in general ethnography, having in-depth knowledge of only thirty cultures out of two or three thousand. Murdock also states that they have a complete disinterest in history, the processes by which culture changes over time, and psychology.

Finally, Murdock writes that British anthropologists never cite the work of anthropologists from other countries, only referring to each other. He then comes to the startling conclusion that the British school are not anthropologists but are, rather, sociologists. Murdock ends by saying that once other anthropologists realize that the British school are sociologists, their ambivalence and uneasiness will disappear.

CLARITY RATING: 4
SEVAAN FRANKS York University (Naomi Adelson)

Secoy, Frank R. The Identity of the “Paduca”; an Ethnohistorical Analysis. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53: 525-541.

Frank Secoy has two objectives in his article “The Identity of the ‘Paduca’; an Ethnohistorical Analysis”. The first is to sort out a plethora of what he sees as misleading and incorrect documentation relating to the identity of the ‘Paduca’, a Native American Plains tribe. His examination of this amalgamation of material leads him to conclude that, in fact, those who interacted with and studied the Plains people applied the term “Paduca” to different groups at different moments in history.

Secoy’s second accomplishment is his actual demonstration of how this sort of examination of an ethnohistorical question can become confused by information gathered in the past. Each successive historian/explorer/ethnographer studying a group that no longer exists, or no longer exists in the same way as it once did, is forced to some extent to base his conclusions on what was written before. Secoy’s article demonstrates the difficulties that this may lead to, yet in the end stresses the importance of the use of a documentary approach, if used carefully, in conjunction with ethnographic and archaeological approaches when seeking to record a cultural history.

CLARITY RATING: 2
MEGAN RITSON Haverford College (Laurie Hart)

Secoy, Frank. The Identity of the “Paduca”; An Ethnohistorical Analysis. American Anthropologist. 1951, vol. 53: 525-542.

Frank Secoy points out that the question of the identity of the Paduca has long been a highly confusing problem for Plain ethnologists. However, in the article “The Identity of the ‘Paduca’; An Ethnohistorical Analysis,” Secoy argues that when the evidence is systematically organized by historic periods, and by the particular ethnic groups concerned, the situation becomes quite clear. According to Secoy, the Paduca who appear on certain French maps prior to the beginning of the 18th century, and who occupy exactly the same position as the “Apache”, who appear on other French maps of the same period, must be Apache, under the name by which they were known in Louisiana colonials. With the evidence presented, Secoy argues that the strange hybrid “Apaches et Padoucas” represent an attempt to compromise between the French and Spanish sources of information. Thus, the fact that the Indian auxiliaries of the Villasur expedition of 1720 were called “Apache” by the Spanish and “Paduca” by the French officials of Louisiana is in complete accord with the situation inferred from the evidence of the maps.

Secoy goes on further to prove that under Spanish political domination there was a tendency to replace any French terms, not very firmly established through active local use, by their Spanish equivalents. Since these years were approximately the transition period when the French colonial use of the term “Paduca” was rapidly shifted from being a destination for the Apache to being a designation for the Comanche, the Spanish term for the Apache easily displaced the older French term “Paduca.” Secoy proves this by referring to the Surville map by the uniform use of the term “Apache.” This map is extremely significant in his argument because this map includes all of Mexico and the Spanish dominations of the Southwest and Texas. It indicates clearly that the author of this map participated in a trend that leaned toward a fusion of French and Spanish geographical traditions which was greatly accelerated after 1763 by the transfer of Western Louisiana from France to Spain, but which had existed for some time previously.

Secoy concludes his argument by pointing out that the variation in meaning of the Paduca depends on the specific source of information by which the individual writer happened to be influenced.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
PATRICIA MAIOLO York University (Naomi Adelson)

Smith, Hale G. The Ethnographic and Archeological Significance of Zamia. American Anthropologist 1951 53( ): 238-244

In this article, Hale G. Smith examines the food plant Zamia in Florida as evidence of culture contact between Florida and the Antilles, and examines how cultivation of this plant relates to the growth of corn in Florida. Species of Zamia are used throughout the world as foodstuffs; in the Americas, the roots of the plant are ground and dried to produce flour.

In some of the literature Smith uses in his research, Zamia and two other similar food plants, Smilax and Mantioc, are often referred to by different names, confusing the histories of their cultivation in the Caribbean. Smith bases much of his research on the work of botanist John K. Small on Zamia in Florida. There are four species of Zamia in Florida, and Seminole Indians consumed and traded the flour for centuries. However, it is not known how the plants came to the state and how it was distributed and what, if any, other materials, plant or cultural, were also brought. The introduction of Zamia to Florida by man is thought to have been relatively late and there are many hypotheses as to how this occurred: it was gathered from wild plants, brought with corn yet more successful, etc. Archeological evidence points to prehistoric cultivation of Zamia by the natives of Florida, successful because of ease in propagation and high adaptability.

Commonalities in the processing of Zamia and similar food plants leads Smith to believe that the technique was brought up from the Antilles. Because of the ease of cultivation of these plants, corn was not commonly grown in Florida. Solid evidence of a connection between Florida and the Antilles is meager, limited to pottery forms and fishing techniques. Smith hopes that his evidence on the growth of Zamia will help support such a connection.

CLARITY RATING: 4
CAROLINE DURHAM Haverford College (Maris Gillette, Laurie Hart, Zolani Ngwane)

Smith, Hale G. The Ethnological and Archeological Significance of Zamia. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53:238-244

This article deals with the issue of human intervention and impact on world ecological systems.. This topic covered poses questions on the origins of the Zamia plant, a member of the Cycad family, and how it became a staple part of the diet for the early peoples who inhabited the southern U.S. most notably Florida. Most of the article speculates as to how the Zamia plant made it to North America as it was not always a part of that ecosystem. The paper argues that this could have been done by migration of birds, and the movement of the seas, but concludes that most likely it was done by human intervention. It speculates that the origin of the Zamia plant came from somewhere in the south and at one point there was a connection between Florida and Antilles. For this particular article the main issue that the author is trying to determine was whether or not plant origins can be studied to help in determining this connection. The points that they make surround the issue of not only movement of the plant itself by human migration and trade but also the movement of the knowledge on how to use the plant for food purposes. The article is very short and easy to read but unfortunately presents no truly solid arguments and simply offers suggestions as to what could have happened but very little a long the lines of substance to back it up.

CLARITY RANKING 3
ZACH DAVIDSON York University (Naomi Adelson)

Starr, Betty. The Chorti and the Problem of the Survival of Maya Culture. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53: 355-369.

In this article, Starr critically examines Raphael Girard’s text on the Chorti of eastern Guatemala. The part of Girard’s thesis that Starr is primarily concerned with is that “the Chorti have conserved, in their essential form, the institutions, traditions, and customs of their Maya ancestors” (Starr 1951; 355). Starr focuses her analysis on Girard’s lines of evidence, the completeness of the ethnography and his hypotheses on Chorti religion and symbolism.

Starr examines Girard’s work by looking for inconsistencies in the text and his use of data: Starr finds shortcomings in the lack of case material that specifically supports his thesis. Starr questions Girard’s use of native documentary sources (the Popol-Vuh, the books of Chilam Bam, and the codices) because she categorizes them as books of myth and legend, not “history”. Girard’s other types of evidence are archaeology, linguistics and comparative ethnography. Starr does not believe that Girard is qualified to interpret archaeology because of his subjectivity or linguistic symbols because of a lack of training. In the section devoted to Chorti religion, Starr refutes Girard’s claim that the tzolkin survived among the Chorti by comparing Girard’s statements and data to those of other anthropologists in the adjacent area. It is Starr’s argument and opinion that Girard has a “tendency to state as fact what is part fact and part personal interpretation” (Starr 1951; 356).

Starr also does some comparative analysis of Girard’s work with that of Wisdom, another anthropologist studying the Chorti. In both texts, there are disagreements between the two authors and Starr indicates that Girard “does not give any concrete data to substantiate his statement[s]” (Starr 1951; 359). This article contains no conclusion; it just ends.

This article has value as an example of how anthropologists critically examined each other’s methodology in the 1950s.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
EMILY ROMERO Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Maris Gillette, Zolani Noonan-Ngwane)

Starr, Betty. The Chorti and the Problem of the Survival of Maya Culture. American Anthropologist 1951 Vol.53: 355-369

Betty Starr criticizes the Rafael Girard publication examining the existence of ancient Maya religion, tradition and customs among the Chorti Indians of eastern Guatemala. She cites lack of internal and external evidence as flaws in Girard’s study. Among his propositions are a pagan religion, the existence of an ancient calendar, the use of astronomical observations and calculations in conjunction with the ancient calendar, and the use and understanding of ancient symbols.

Starr cites that in looking at Girard’s ethnographic study, concrete evidence does not exist. Who his informants were is not mentioned, nor their qualifications. Girard explains this with the reason of secrecy of the native priests. Furthermore, no specific circumstances were mentioned to describe Girard’s interviews. Starr describes Girard’s observations as “subjective interpretation” (357) and certain claims of his are said to “not [be] supported by any statements of informants” (358). The validity of Girard’s work is questioned due to this lack of evidence to support his claims.

Girard’s descriptions of characteristics among the Chorti appear to be inconsistent. Throughout Girard’s work, Wisdom’s book The Chorti Indians of Guatemala is referenced; however, differences occur between the findings of Wisdom and Girard. Starr sets the difference as between an ideal pattern (that of Girard’s) and what is actually practiced (Wisdom’s findings). Internal inconsistencies are exhibited in the ethnology section of Girard’s work, as well as a generally incomplete ethnography.

In regards to Chorti religion, Girard does not cite any text to support his statements and does not give sources for his information. To again contradict Girard’s theory of native calendars existing among the Chorti, Starr seeks the work of Tumin. The work performed by Tumin failed to find any existence of an ancient calendar. As well, no other form of an ancient calendar survived in any adjoining area. In Wisdom’s text, it is said that no astronomical phenomena exists with the calendar, while Girard points out that it does; however, he does so with no internal evidence. In Girard’s attempt to point out the connection between ancient Maya culture and that of present-day Chorti natives, the same pattern of lack of internal or external evidence and contradictory writings continues with his study of Chorti symbolism.

CLARITY RANKING: 3.5
ANNA COLOMBO York University (Naomi Adelson)

Steward, T. D. and Newman, M. T. An Historical Resume of the Concept of Differences in Indian Types. American Anthropologist 1951. Vol. 53:19-36

The authors’ main objective in writing this article is to dispel the discrepancies of several documentations from the old journals written during the early 1700s and the 1800s that suggest that all Indians were the same. Some of which were from Antonio de Ulloa and Samuel G. Morton. These statements and so call “true accounts” from the travellers misled most people to stereotype the minority non-European races as one would say “He who has seen one tribe of Indians, has seen it all.”(Pg.19) They gave several examples of how one prominent traveller’s words would mislead most to think likewise. Steward and Newman then went on to say, “Perhaps it is only natural for travellers to recall the homogenous appearance of strange people.”(Pg. 20) On the other hand, some observers insisted that despite the tribal differences, there were overall resemblances. As quoted from Sir Arthur Keith’s book, “a fundamental similarity”. It was mentioned that the earliest interpretations of the American Indian variability was surrounded by the monogenesis-polygenesis controversy. This means the variability was a result of the Indians changing to suit the environment around them or that of intermixture.

No charts or pictorial examples were given although they did gather a lot of quotations from prominent figures such as Samuel Morton and Hrdlicka, and historic background of related topics from the early 1700s to the 1800s.

This article should be read very slowly and carefully as the author introduces many points at the same time that makes it hard to digest at one go.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
LIZA POH York University (Naomi Adelson)

Stewart, T. D. and Marshall Newman. An Historical Resume on the Concept of Differences in Indian Types. American Anthropologist. 1951 Vol.53: 19-36.

In this article, Newman and Stewart are concerned with the “superficial nature” of interpretations of race. The authors try to show that “interpretive studies” of race are unscientific and therefore need to be re-examined and placed within a sociocultural context. Newman and Stewart want more emphasis on population genetics, systematics and prehistory. The article does a survey and interpretation of various texts and statements (not all by anthropologists) regarding race, in some respect, from 1790-1950. This is the evidence that they use to substantiate their argument that race is not discussed in a scientific way. The article is divided in sections devoted to the following topics and subtopics: variability (views of travelers in America, views of craniologists, views of classifiers), interpretation (the early period 1790-1880 and the modern period 1880-1950) and the summary. Almost all evidence within the samplings of writing is based on the identification of “Indian” physical characteristics, and the assumption that “the principle of Indian racial unity rests almost solely upon the outer appearance of living Indians”. The article is an incomplete study (What about 1492-1790?) but it stresses the importance of anthropologists having an acute awareness of how the issues of race, science and “interpretation” intersect and how the discipline confronts such issues.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
EMILY ROMERO Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Maris Gillette, Zolani Noonan-Ngwane)

Voget, Fred. Acculturation at Cuaghnawaga: A Note on the Native-Modified Group. American Anthropologist. 1951 Vol.53: 220-231.

In this article, Voget is concerned with the construction and use of socio-cultural groups undergoing cultural change. The conceptualizations contained in this paper are a result of the fieldwork that Voget conducted with the Crow Indians in Montana. Voget analyses the conceptual framework that anthropologists use to group people: how he (and others) decide(s) what to include and what to leave out. It is Voget’s observation that certain groups of people craft their identity vis-B-vis the dominant society and culture. Voget wants to identify and connect individuals with systems of values (social, political, and religious). Voget employs the idea that change is not homogenous and that people are dynamic (poststructuralist ideas) but he does contradict himself with certain descriptive statements that discuss “the distinctive character of the Indian”. This is a useful paper by an anthropologist who’s trying to connect theory and practice in his own field-work and writing.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
EMILY ROMERO Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Maris Gillette, Zolani Noonan-Ngwane)

Wallace, Anthony F. C. Mentaweian Social Organization. American Anthropologist

October-December, 1951 Vol.53(4):370-375

This article focuses on the social structure of the native peoples living on the Mentawei archipelago, which consists of four islands off the west coast of Sumatra. According to Wallace there has been significant confusion surrounding the ethnological literature about Mentaweian society. This article “draws attention to that confusion, and offers a reinterpretation of the basic structure of Mentaweian society .”

Wallace constructs the article around his critique of previous work done by Warner Meunsterberger and Edwin M. Loeb, while mentioning Murdock and Kruyt as well. The main elements of the Mentawein social structure are mentioned such as the uma, “a body of men, women and children who live in or near a large communal pile-dwelling and act as a unit on certain ceremonial occasions.” Wallace focuses on the system of descent and through this discusses incest taboos, marriage, kinship terminology and tribal organization. He discusses previous studies that determined that descent was matrilineal and counters this with evidence that it is in fact patrilineal while attempting to clear up confusing statements made by previous authors. Wallace ends with a short summary of his views on Mentaweian social organization clearly summarizing the basic points he makes concerning marriage, descent, tribal organization and the role of the uma.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ALANNA MURPHY Haverford College (Laurie Hart, Maris Gillette, Zolani Noonan-Ngwane)

White, Leslie A. Lewis H. Morgan’s Western Field Trips. American Anthropologist. 1951. Vol. 53: 11-18.

In this article Leslie White explains the significance that Lewis Henry Morgan’s four Western field trips have to the field of anthropology in general, and American anthropology in particular. Twentieth century American anthropologists tend to attribute the inadequacy of the work of earlier, classical anthropologists to their neglect of fieldwork. In doing this, current anthropologists (mid 20th century) forget the monumental work of Lewis Henry Morgan.

White acknowledges Morgan’s supreme ability to theorize however focuses the article on proving the superiority and vastness of Morgan’s fieldwork, specifically his fieldwork in the West. Morgan desired to collect as much information as possible on kinship structures and nomenclatures around the world. While he depended on others to collect information outside of America, he aspired to collect data on the American Indians.

His four Western field trips were the most important in gathering data for his kinship systems research. Quoting often from Morgan’s journals, White reminds the reader of the hostile relationship between whites and Indians during the time of Morgan’s western field trips. Despite the situation Morgan was able to collect enough data on his field trips to constitute numerous books and journals cited in the article, including Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity (1871) which in itself is a compilation of information gathered during one trip on the Missouri River.

White praises Morgan as an exemplary field worker not only for his assembling of information on kinship systems. Morgan is also admired for his attention to detail and his ability to collect vast amounts of data on a variety of topics; for the Western field trips that includes mythology, ceremonies and dances, tribal government, and the landscape of fairly unknown regions. In his journals from his Western field trips Morgan even critiques the dishonest management of United States government policy towards the Indians, and further examines the cultural results of interaction between United States and Indians.

Finally, White applauses Morgan’s observational skills, his meticulousness in recording information, and the care with which he distinguishes his own views from those of his informants in his journals.

Note: This article also includes a map of the mid-west indicating the location of numerous Native American tribes.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
MAREN WALDMAN Haverford College (Maris Gillette, Laurie Hart, Zolani Noonan-Ngwane)

White, Leslie. Lewis H. Morgan’s Western Field Trips American Anthropologist 1951 Vol. 53:11-18.

This article outlines the life, and more specifically the four major western field trips of Lewis H. Morgan. According to White, Morgan was one of the most notable and influential anthropologists of the 19th century. He wrote several books including ‘The League of the Iroquois’ in 1851, with which he began his studies. After taking time off to raise his family, Morgan came upon the kinship systems of the Ojibwa tribe in Marquette, Michigan. White does not mention how or from whom the kinship information was gathered. After this, Morgan began research and field trips that consumed the next thirty years of his life. Morgan’s trips were taken between 1859 and 1892. The first two trips were to Kansas and Nebraska, the third to Ft. Garry (near Lake Winnipeg) and the fourth to Ft. Benton (past Yellowstone). Many of his trips proved to be dangerous due to disease and war. His trips last only a short time (from four to ten weeks).

During his studies he gathered information about kinship systems, which he wrote about in ‘Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family’. As well, he learned about clan organization and tribal government practices; using this information he wrote ‘Ancient Society’. Morgan also gathered lots of information on ceremonies, dance, diet, mythology and many other cultural practices among various Native tribes in America. He wrote several articles, journals and books outlining his studies of the tribes he studied on his four field trips. These books and journals contained many comments and observations about Native Americans (many of them praising the tribes and their way of life). The article also recounts a later field trip, where Morgan traveled to southwestern Colorado to study Aztec ruins.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SANDRA FARFAN York University (Naomi Adelson)