American Anthropologist 1955
Ames, David. The Use of a Traditional Cloth-Money Token among the Wolof. American Anthropologist October, 1955 Vol. 57 ( 5):1016-1023.
This article discusses the different uses of cloth money in different areas of Africa, mainly Gambia and Senegal. Cloth money was used before the 20th century as both a ceremonial exchange, such as a form of dowry, as well as a “basic economic exchange” (1016). The author describes the process of weaving the cloth that was once used for creating the cloth money, but today is simply weaved for alternative purposes. Ames also describes the necessity that this cloth played in the Wolof society before Europeans. It was used in every aspect of society and was highly valued in return. He continues to describe how, although it may seem “foreign” to view money as an art object, it has and is still done in many societies. In western contexts sliver coin pieces are used in creating jewelry and in other African societies cowrie shells are used in divination as well as in decoration pieces. Separating “economic” objects and “art” objects is often a difficult process, because, too often, the lines are blurred.
On the third page of the article, the author lays out a graph of how the cloth money was “measured” economically. The exchange rate between the cloth and “paper money” as well as a price listing of certain items, such as grain, cows, roosters, etc., and their monetary value was illustrated. Cloth money was not just used within the Wolof community, but was also used in external trade (1019). It could be used to buy materials in other areas, such as Serahuli, Fula, and Bambara. After the Europeans invaded Senegal and other African societies/countries, the appearance of cloth money became few and far between. Instead the colonizers exchanged the cloth money with different types of monetary exchange, such as “fair trades”, as well as gold and silver brought by the Europeans. According to the author, the use of other materials as money “indicates an economic system in transition” (1023). And the change in these societies from using local materials to using other types of currency is the result of European colonization.
JESSICA SAVAGE: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Arensberg, Conrad. American Communities. American Anthropologist. December, 1955 Vol. 57 (6):1143-1161.
Conrad M. Arensberg, a professor from Columbia University, discusses the community-study method, and how this method addresses American cultures. Although all cultures are unique, there are common traits occurring among all cultures or subcultures. He incorporates the findings from Mumford, who wrote The Culture of Cities in 1937. Mumford stated that there is a pattern of study of among American cultures. Arensberg asserts that there are five main criteria of all cultures, and these elements are fundamental to analyze for methodological arenas. The first variable is individuals. What are the individuals’ characteristics or identities? The second element is spaces such as the boundaries of the community. Another factor is time. Arensberg studies how the culture “occupy their space in time” such as calendars or schedules. He adopts a structural-functionalist perspective. What is the purpose or the “social survival” of the culture? Lastly, what is the structure or process of the community? All of these elements are crucial in understanding the dynamics of communities.
After discussing the elements of a culture, Arensberg discusses historical communities in the United States such as the New England Town and the Southern County. The purpose of this description is to depict how, in every community, there is a specific and apparent culture. By analyzing numerous communities, Arensberg answers his initial questions. Within all communities, there is an apparent culture, which can be compared and contrasted to other American cultures and subcultures.
KELLY GILFEATHER: Denison University (Tavakolian)
Berndt, Ronald M. “Murngin” (Wulamba) Social Organization. American Anthropologist February, 1955 Vol. 57 (1): 84-105.
Berndt sets out in this article to discuss the “Murngin” (Wulamba) kinship system and social organization of north central and northeastern Arnhem Land, in Northern Australia. He acknowledges that while several anthropologists have studied these people and drawn controversial findings, his article is not meant to support or contradict these authors, just to discuss the importance of the kinship system among the Wulamba. The purpose of the article is to discuss in depth some significant parts of their system of social organization, specifically referring to unilineal descent groups.
Berndt is a structural functionalist who believes that the mode of social organization, in this case a kinship system, is what allows the Wulamba to reproduce and survive as a society. Their society is guided by the principles of unilineal descent. The kinship system of the Wulamba is an asymmetrical system, which is based on marriage with a matri-cross-cousin. Using the diagram first shown in the work of Radcliffe-Brown, the lines of patrilineal descent are shown vertically, while the lines of matrilineal descent are shown diagonally. Females in the system do not inherit or transmit the status of their descent, however they serve as an agent or link in the passing down of status and privilege through their matri-line. There is great detail given to the specific structure of the Wulamba kinship system, but in summary, Berndtís goal is to show how marriage alliances are a means of creating social cohesion within their society.
In his conclusion, Berndt does respond to other authorís ideas on the social organization of the Wulamba. He, however, concludes with the statement that there is a need for even more empirical testing to understand the full extent to which kinship and marriage are used to govern the society.
EMILY RAINE Denison University (Bahram Tavalolian)
Berreman, Gerald D. Inquiry into Community Integration in an Aleutian Village. American Anthropologist February, 1955 Vol.57 (1):49-59.
Berreman hypothesizes that when a community is forced to rapidly adapt to an alien culture without the use of its own cultural context, it will suffer from a decrease of integration. He analyzes the factors that have contributed to community integration and disintegration of the Nikolski village on Umnak Island, leading up to their state in 1952. This village escaped much of the early European contact due primarily to their isolated geographic location. Traditionally, Nikolski was a community with an informal social organization and a high level of individual responsibility for survival, but with supplementary forms of reciprocal and communal support. This integrated community network, with the guidance of a chieftainship, provided Nikolski members with economic security and stability. Russians, who came into contact with the Aleuts in 1759 did not dramatically disrupt the cultural practices of this group because they allowed Aleutians sufficient time to adapt to Russian practices and policies within an Aleutian context. Thus, the cultural means for community integration remained intact during Russian occupation, while being drastically disrupted during American contact.
American purchase of Alaska in 1867 was the beginning of disintegration in the Nikolski community. One of the key factors was the village’s economic dependence on whites. The required schooling of the Aleut children played an important role in assimilating the younger generation and encouraging them to adopt the “wants of the white man” without possessing the means to acquire them. Also, village councils were officially established in the 1930s, on the model of American “democracy,” with the power concentrated among very few people, but this system conflicted with the traditional chieftainship and stifled the community’s patterns of individualism. Americans have neglected to present their culture in an Aleutian context; therefore, Nikolski villagers are forced to assimilate into a foreign culture. This assimilation has meant the abandonment of traditional practices and values that once facilitated group integration. Berreman gives an example of an Aleutian village very similar to Nikolski that has been able to retain community integration through maintenance of cultural integrity. This reiterates his hypothesis that community integration is only possible within the cultural context of a community.
ALICIA HURLE Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Berreman, Gerald D. Inquiry into Community Integration in an Aleutian Village. American Anthropologist 1955, 57: 49-59
The primary objective of this article is the exploration of community “integration” and “disintegration”, which the author feels is a relatively neglected area of anthropological community studies. Gerald Berreman’s main focus is on ‘Nikolski’, which is an Aleut village, located in Alaska.
Prior to contact with the “white man”, Berreman describes an “emphasis upon self-sufficiency, supplemented by co-operation, reciprocal aid and mutual responsibility” (p49), which provided the people of Nikolski with maximum economic security.
Contact between the Aleut and “whites” can be classified into two main periods. Contact with the Russians was made between 1759-1867, and then followed by the Americans. The author mainly wishes to emphasize that Russian contact with the Aleut culture was less disruptive in comparison to contact with the Americans. According to Berreman, Russian contact allowed for “selective assimilation” and “integration”, whereas American contact has resulted in “assimilation” and “disintegration”, for various reasons described throughout this article in detail. The end result has been an ideological split amongst the villagers of Nikolski, which Berreman divides into and describes as being “outside-oriented” and “village oriented”.
Berreman concludes by stating that, “…persistently attempted projection to an unprecedented, alien context, if it cannot be achieved by community members within their community, is disintegrative to that community” (p 58). Berreman suggests that further community studies related to “integration” and “disintegration” be made in the context of anthropological work.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JADEN J. WINFREE York University, Toronto(Naomi Adelson).
Bohannan, Paul. Some Principles of Exchange and Investment Among the Tiv. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57:60-70
This article is a brief introduction to the exchange and investment practices amongst the Tiv. The Tive are a pagan people numbering over 800,000 who live in northern Nigeria. Bohannan discusses how the traditional ways that the Tiv invest are being washed out by the new economic system that demands different actions, motives and ideas. Much of the economic demands are believed to be coming from the West.
Bohannan splits his article into three parts. The first part is all about how the Tiv ideas of exchange are expressed in their language. There are two different ways that goods are distributed amongst the Tiv: through “gift” and “market”. Gifts mark a somewhat permanent relationship whereas the market calls upon no long-term relationship. In the second section, Bohannan goes into the categories of the investment and exchange items. Food is the most important category of exchangeable goods. This category is associated with subsistence. Then comes the exchanging of cattle and slaves. This category is associated with prestige. The third category is the exchange of humans rights of slaves and women. Bohannan tries to emphasize that the Tiv notions of “exchange” only covers a little part of the large range to which the English word “exchange” means. Bohannan also heavily emphasizes that the element of kinship is far superior to the element of prestige to the Tiv. This is an example of the moral basis of hierarchy that occurs amongst the Tiv. The third part of Bohannan’s article discusses the difficulties the Tiv are experiencing while trying to adapt to some of the new economic practices. Two of the three categories according to the Tiv have no overt validity to the Western economy. Furthermore, the introduction of money has created an upraor towards the Tiv practices of “exchange”. Tiv have a hard time accepting money because, unlike food, money does not produce seed or reproduce itself – once you spend it, it is gone.
This article is very interesting because it is a clear example of the conflicting practices, ideas and beliefs regarding exchange and investment. Bohannan emphasizes that the meaning of these words are not universal.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
RIE KOREEDA: York University (Naomi Adelson)
Broom, Leonard and Kitsuse, John I. The Validation of Acculturation: A Condition to Ethnic Assimilation. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol. 57: 44-48
Broom and Kitsuse are explaining how a culture assimilates into a new society. Specifically, analyzing what obstacles may hinder that assimilation. The example used is the acculturation of Japanese society into American society, where acculturation is defined as the ultimate assimilation into a society. Access to dominant societies such as America is hindered by many factors that are explicitly explained in the body of the article. The importance of acculturation, and subsequently the major difficulty is not in adjusting to specific cultural elements, but rather to assimilate in all aspects. Validation within the “new” society is the indication of achieved acculturation. Broom and Kitsuse describe the two ways in which an individual becomes acculturated into a society. The first is a sudden forced acculturation due to a traumatic experience or critical choice. The second is a gradual acculturation into the society. They continue to explain that acculturation in to a society is age specific. Adults have added contexts in which they must assimilate, whereas a teenager must assimilate to specific social stratums. For example, adults must adapt socially but also have the added responsibility of adapting economically.
The validation of acculturation must take place in the host society. It cannot take place in the ethnic community of that society. Validation is acceptance and, for the best outcome it must take place where the dominant society is widespread. There exist varying degrees of acculturation.
Parallel Ethnic Community is also discussed in this article. It is the organizations and institutions of an ethnic community within a society taking on the institutional roles of the larger society. This parallelism is important in three regards. First, it reduces some stresses of interethnic situations therefore allowing for acculturation under accommodating circumstances. Second, it will allow acculturation for individuals who are relatively isolated within their ethnic group. Finally, it will legitimize the status of the ethnic community in question.
For racially visible groups, acculturation does not guarantee acceptance into the society. Acceptance may take a significantly longer period of time for them. This ethnic group becomes slowed by its society’s unwillingness to accept them based on racial exclusion.
RON SOREANU York University (Naomi Adelson)
Bruner, Edward M. Two Processes of Change in Mandan-Hidatsa Kinship Terminology. American Anthropologist August, 1955 Vol.57 (4):840-850.
Edward Bruner tackles the process of kinship change in a Mandan-Hidatsa Indian village in North Dakota. He recognizes that researchers in the past have broken down the progressive stages in the Crow type kinship system to understand it in terms of its social changes. He, however, feels this research does not successfully approach the processes and interactions of kinship together to fully see the shift from one kinship type to another. He sets out to make this more evident for his readers. The Indian village at Lone Hill has a terminological system that is neither pure Crow or white generation types. There is no middle ground, thus suggesting that a significantly different type of acculturation takes place among these people. The author describes these differences first with a clarification of the types of terminological system and an analysis of the kinship change factors. The primary system is still the Crow type; however, more and more of this system is being translated into English. The secondary system is acquired from English terms in the White generation pattern. Each individual of the village is not consistent with the type of kinship pattern that they use. For example, a child of a mixed marriage will interact differently with each member of his/her family.
The two processes that accompany kinship change are: (1) a slow, orderly, and progressive modification; and (2) a more radical, abrupt jump from one kinship system to another. An Indian who has converted, “embraces a new way of life and comes to internalize a set of goals and values which are incongruent with the Crow lineage system” (846). The Crow system emphasizes older societal values. The Crow kinship “provides the means for mutual aid and cooperation in the village” (847). Those who choose to convert become more individualistic. Few converted Indians remain in Lone Hill. This departure from the area explains the “retention of traditional Indian ways” (847). Those that do remain serve as a source of change in the Crow kinship system.
LISA BAER: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Cory, H. The Buswezi. American Anthropologist. October, 1955. Vol. 57 (5):923-952.
The Buswezi is a secret society with branches widespread throughout what was previously called Tanganyika (now Tanzania), in areas inhabited by the Ha and Sumbwa tribes. The author, a sociologist employed by the British colonial government, joined the society in 1932, and years later returned to Tanganyika and checked his field notes by attending ceremonies again and by discussing the features and rules of the society with its senior members. This article is a detailed description of the secret rites involved with becoming a member of the Buswezi society. First, the author describes the origin of the Buswezi and the way the group functions. The Buswezi is unique and important to study, he argues, because of its form of organization. It is made up of numerous small units that are independent of each other, and organization is based on authority only within the group; the organization does not recognize the rank of its members in any field outside of the secret society. Cory believes, “it is necessary to see the initiation rites of the Buswezi through the eyes of the African — in particular the musisi (novice) – and to realize the lasting impression they make for him or her.” Thus, Cory presents descriptive qualitative data on the admission to the society, the preparation for the initiation, and the six days of initiation rites. He describes exactly what participants eat, drink, say, and do, and also suggests what meanings these ceremonies have for the people involved. In addition, he describes Kweselwa, an inner society of the Buswezi, and the rites involved in this membership.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
LEAH SMITH Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Davis, Hilda J. The History of Seminole Clothing and Its Multi-Colored Designs. American Anthropology, 1955. 57 pg. 974-980
This article by Davis looks at the history of clothing for the Seminole Indians that lived in Florida. Davis looks at how the Seminoles went from using animal fur to cloth themselves to using multi-colored cloth as well as what types of material was used to make this new multi-coloured clothing.
Davis main reason for the switch from animal fur to clothing is the warm climate that Florida has. The Seminoles realizing that the clothing they had was to warm they “took their animal skins to the white man’s trading posts and exchanged them for calico and gingham cloth”. However the use of multi-colors according to Davis is that since a lot of the clothing had been worn down, women mixed and match different pieces of clothing to make the new multi-colored pats and shirts and skirts.
The designs for these clothes were made from memory and there aren’t any design patterns that have been discovered. Also women can change the designs to make new ones. There were several different patterns used to make the clothing and these were sewed together to make the new clothes. These clothes are not only used as clothing for a family but also as a means of income for the Seminoles.
DISHAN JEBAMONEY York University (Naomi Adelson)
Du Bois, Cora. The Dominant Value Profile of American Culture. American Anthropologist December, 1955 Vol. 57 (6):1232-1239.
This paper attempts to manufacture and standardize the approach on American values advanced by a group of writers from De Tocqueville through Myrdal to the authors of the polemic or conversational pieces that have been so numerous in the last decade. It solely addresses the dominant value system in middle-class Americans.
Du Bois makes the general assumption that this system is rooted in the Protestant ethic and eighteenth-century rationalism. She justifies this piece of work by saying that this system shares some specific values with other societies, but its configuration has become considered peculiarly American. Du Bois makes two basic overall assumptions. Firstly, that no feasible value system can entertain logical contraries and secondly, that there is a strain for consistency among the contradictions that may be inherent in any value system. Du Bois believes that four major notions underlie the American middle-class value system: (1) a mechanistically conceived universe, (2) man’s mastery over the universe,
(3) the equality of men, and (4) man’s perfectibility. Du Bois suggests three focal values for these four premises: (1) effort-optimism, (2) material well-being, and (3) conformity. Du Bois concludes that each of these three focal values are derived from each of the four major notions, each constitutes a series of specific values and directives, and each are more or less consistently interlocked. Du Bois also concludes that the viability of a value system rest on both its internal and external coherence. “Changes in value systems will result, therefore, from a strain for consistency not only within the value system but also between values and situational factors” (1239).
SIMON BUSTOW: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Du Bois, Cora. The Dominant Value Profile of American Culture. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57: 1232-1239.
There is an effort to bring consistency to the American value system, and this effort might just account to its change over the last few hundred years. We see this strain in change itself and in compromise.
There are four premises assumed by the American middle class: 1) the universe is mechanistically conceived, 2) man is its master, 3) men are equal, and 4) men are perfectible. These four premises create three crucial values: material well-being that derives from the premise tat man is master of a mechanistic universe; conformity that derives from the premise of man’s equality; effort-optimism that derives form the premise of man’s perfectibility.
Within Effort-Optimism, we see that work in a specific value in American society. It is through this value that man tries to reach his own perfectibility and also the mastering of the universe that we have created. American work hard to have ‘fun’.
Material Well-Being is consistent within the value system. Americans believe they have a ‘right’ to this, because of the effort they put into work. America is seen as materialistic, but they believe that in the ‘rightness’ of this. As it is said, “Virtue is its own reward”, and this hold true for Americans. Working hard is seen as a “good thing”; therefore one is rewarded with material well-being.
Conformity is a more recent crucial American value that has been brought about, in comparison to effort-optimism and material well-being. Man must get along and co-operate with his fellow man in order to master the universe. Co-operation is an important value system now. All three of these focal values lead to mass-education.
The three values which were discussed above derive from the four basic premises that were stated earlier. A change in this value system will come from a continued effort for consistency within the value system.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
SHAIZA MURJI York University (Naomi Adelson)
Ehrenfels, U. R. Three Matrilineal Groups of Assam: A Study in Similarities and Differences. American Anthropologist April, 1955 Vol.57(2pt.1):306-321.
In his article, “Three Matrilineal Groups of Assam,” U.R. Ehrenfels discusses the similarities and differences between the Khasis, Lygngam-Khasis and Garos of Assam, India. He also discusses why these factors often result in historical and integration problems. Before presenting the reasons why these conflicts occur, he first provides the readers with a brief summary of each group’s background. Through this summary, Ehrenfels discusses how the spoken dialect within each group, as well as their societal lifestyles, can cause conflicts between each group. According to Ehrenfels, certain cultural problems can occur because, although each group considers itself different and separate from the other two groups (the Khasis and the Garos people), they still share similar dialects. These cultural problems are further complicated because all three groups have societal similarities, such as the matrilineal systems within each society.
After presenting the general problem between the three groups and briefly explaining how the background of each complicates the issue further, Ehrenfels shows how each group had an impact on the Lygngam-Khasis people. The ancestry of the Lygngam-Khasis people contains both Khasis and Garos origins; in addition, the Lygngam-Khasis group is located between the two other groups. Because of these factors Ehrenfels explains the problem from a Lygngam-Khasis perspective because they are affected the most from the similarities and differences between each group. Furthermore, although the groups still consider themselves separate from one another intermarriages often occur between all three.
By showing the numerous similarities and differences between the Khasis, Lygngam-Khasi and Garos in Assam, India, Ehrenfels is able to show why many conflicts occur within this area. By doing this, Ehrenfels shows how cultural integration can result in conflict but also teach more people and make them more aware about issues within other parts of the world.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
SARAH CEREZO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Erasmus, Charles J. Work Patterns in a Mayo Village. American Anthropologist. February, 1955. Vol. 57 (2):322-333.
This paper provides additional support for the work Melville Herskovits has conducted on work patterns of primitive peoples. “Using quantitative data found in several ethnographic descriptions, Herskovits shows that considerable effort is expended by primitive peoples in their productive activities.” Erasmus uses field data collected in 1948 in the Mayo village of Tenia in the state of Sonora in southern Mexico to further illustrate work patterns in a non-literate, peasant community. “While Tenia is both a ‘nonliterate’ and a ‘nonmachine’ village, it provides an example of a community which has become fully participant in a cash economy but whose members still adhere to the nonliterate pattern of taking ‘their ease at their own pleasure.” Erasmus begins with a description of village economic activities and family variation within these activities, and follows it with a presentation of quantitative data on the rhythm of daily work and leisure. These activities range from lime manufacturing to making adobe bricks.
The entire village was used as a “sample” for the quantitative study, and individual charts were created for each person in the village in order to examine the daily rhythm of work activities. Over a period of three months, from July to September 1948, five thousand observations were recorded of adults, children, and the aged. Three charts are provided in the article, describing distributions of work and leisure activities and the sexual division of labor. Interspersed among these is a description of the quantitative data in each chart, with examples of daily activities to illustrate the data.
Erasmus concludes “that each adult in Tenian is his own boss and can work and rest as he feels inclined. Men in the village spend the same amount of time working as the women, but when taking leisure time, they lie down more, which has led to the misconception that women are more active. Personal inclination of alternating work and leisure time, however, is what Erasmus argues “is related to a low degree of industrial specialization” in Tenia and other “nonliterate” communities.
CLARITY RATING: 4
JONATHAN VANBALEN Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Ewers, John. Problems and Procedures in Modernizing Ethnological Exhibits. American Anthropologist February, 1955 Vol. 57 (1):1-12.
In this article, Ewers has artfully described the processes that must be conducted in order to update an out of date museum. For the basis of his description, he is using the renovation of the New World Ethnology Hall in the U.S. National Museum. An assessment had been conducted in order to determine the merits of such a project and to readily suggest specific aspects of the hall that would need to be reviewed.
The space arrangement in the hall itself was quite cumbersome. There were many wood cases, most with inadequate lighting and far too many artifacts within them. This alone was presenting problems to the viewer, in particular to groups that would attend museum function; there was not enough space for them to explore together and the mind was overwhelmed at each case. There additionally was not enough information given about objects for the viewer to feel confident that they have learned something new. All in all, the hall looked like storage space for a number of artifacts.
Ewer emphasizes that the main concern with renovating was for the viewer. Items needed to be readily accessible, information easy to read, over-crowding of artifacts eliminated, and the dull colors replaced with brighter ones. The visitor is coming to see new things and would not want to be confused by a number of charts or complex labels. With these ideas in mind, the hall was renovated to include the ideas of the visitor, the museum director, the anthropologists, the ethnologists, and everyday folks who traveled to the museum. This article would be beneficial to anyone interested in the creation of order and modernization in the museum.
MELISSA CAVANAGH Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Ewers, John C. Problems and Procedures in Modernizing Ethnological Exhibits American Anthropologist 1955 Vol. 57: 1-12
From early in the 20th century, ethnology and anthropology have been a part of museum exhibits throughout America. What has appeared during this time is the challenge for scientists to model and remodel exhibits so that they are effective and entertaining yet educational experience for the public who visit the institutions..
In this article, Ewers reviews the evidence that over the years of evolution of the public presentation of ideas, where methods are becoming more attractive and capture the eye and imagination of the spectator, museum exhibits have not evolved to such an extent and in many cases have remained virtually static, above all compromising the effectiveness of their ‘presentation’. The ‘modernizing’ of museum exhibits is an anticipated and necessary change.
Taking Hall 11, an area in the U.S. National Museum devoted to an interpretation of ‘New World Ethnology’, as an example, Ewers reviews a critical survey of the exhibit analyzing elements such as unbalanced representation, disordered arrangement of subject matter, lighting, and labeling of items to name a few. After examining a “survey of visitor interests in the exhibit,” taking note of who the visitors were (in this case 40% were found to be children) and exactly what they were curious about, the author takes us through the planned ‘modernization.’ Key to the process was results of an observatory and exploratory study that revealed that visitors walking freely through the museum often were more taken by the size of the exhibits rather than the details. Visitors often could not get a good chronological or qualitative sense of the materials and did not see many of the detailed exhibits.
These and other discovered elements shaped the in-progress modernization of these areas of the museum in a way that it would consider diversity of visitors and respective backgrounds and interests. Overall what was learned to be the fallacy in past exhibits was their static nature. To quote Ewers, “Ideally exhibit improvement should be a continuing program.”
CLARITY RANKING: 4
KARRIE SANDFORD York University (Naomi Adelson)
Fallers, Lloyd. The Predicament of the Modern African Chief: An Instance in Uganda. American Anthropologist. April, 1955. Vol. 57 (2):290-305.
According to Fallers, the role of the modern African chief poses difficult problems for analysis because it is played out within the context of diverse and often conflicting institutions. The African chief has a series of roles in the indigenous institutions of African societies, as well as the institutions of colonial governments. Fallers believes that institutions are constantly getting in each other’s way, and individuals are institutionally required to do conflicting things. The notion of “social order” or “social system” can have two different referents, which should be distinguished, that of harmonious integration and disharmonious integration. African and European social systems have interpenetrated, resulting in new social systems made up of diverse and conflicting elements which affect the functioning of the system as a whole. Fallers illustrates this with an example of the chief in the Busoga District of Uganda. In Uganda, European and African institutions have merged, resulting in a social system containing elements of disharmony and conflict, especially surrounding the roles of the chief. For example, the chief must attempt to reconcile the civil service norm of disinterestedness with the traditionally-based personal ties of kinship and clientship. Both his own cultural values and those imposed upon him from the wider society pull him in opposite directions. Consequently, there is a high casualty rate among chiefs. It is very difficult for a chief to avoid breaking sanctions, whether they are imposed by the colonial administration or the Basoga people. The Soga political system is an example of the disharmonious situation, which provides a greater understanding of the present-day role of the African chief.
CLARITY RATING: 4
LEAH SMITH Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Fallers, Lloyd. The Predicament of the Modern African Chief: An Instance of Uganda.American Anthropologist. 1955, vol. 57: 290-305
In the article “The Predicament of the Modern African Chief: An Instance of Uganda,” Lloyd Fallers argues that the role of the modern African chief poses difficult problems of analysis because it is a role that is played out in a matrix of diverse and often conflicting institutions. In other words, the chief has a series of roles in the indigenous institutions of African society, as well as roles in the imported institutions of colonial government. Thus, Faller argues that integrated social systems have caused cultures to clash and societies to undergo disorganization, especially in the case of Africa.
In order to better understand his argument, Faller points out that there are two possible conceptions of order or systems in social life. The first conception of order finds its place in the sharing of a common system of values by a society’s members. If the actions of the people who are members of the system are to be mutually supporting, these actions must be founded upon common conceptions of what is right and proper. As a result, actions that are in accord with the common norm will be rewarded and those that run counter to it will be punished.
Faller points out that the second general characteristic of the integrated social system is the sharing of beliefs or a common system of cognition and communication. In other words, persons must also share a common system of symbols enabling them to interpret each other’s behavior. For example, for traffic to flow smoothly on a crowded street, drivers must not only share the common value of obeying the law, but must also interpret red light and green lights in the same way. Thus, in integrated social system is one in which the motivations of its component individuals are to a high degree complementary with the shared systems of values and beliefs.
With that explanation, Faller begins to point out that the system of beliefs and communications is also a focus of disharmony within the social system. Relatively widespread primary education and exposure to mass communications of media have produced a situation in which at least two sets of symbols and two views of the nature of the world are in the society. For example, a chief may read a newspaper and have a good working knowledge of world politics, but he may still believe that witchcraft does really work. These disharmonies in the system of beliefs and communication center upon the chief because he is simultaneously involved in the two systems through his relations with European officers on the one side and the peasants on the other. Thus, it appears that the African chief holds both systems of value and beliefs at the same time. Consequently, this results in frequent conflict, both between persons and within persons.
PATRICIA MAIOLO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Fischer, J.L. Avunculocal Residence on Losap. American Anthropologist October, 1955 Vol.57 (5):1025-1032.
J.L. Fischer’s paper looks at reasons for why the people of the island of Losap practice an avunculocal residence system even though they are surrounded by matrilocal societies. Losap has its own unique cultural characteristics. Brothers and sisters of this type of living have a special relationship. The brother in the relationship will provide food for his sister and her children. This occurs even when the sister is married and living in a separate residence. Some varieties may occur. Patrilocal residence occurs
as well. For instance, a father may choose to have his son live with him when he is approaching death. The father has many personal reasons for choosing to do this. The avunculocal residence occurs despite neighboring matrilocal islands. The author focuses on the existence of concentrated villages, the population, and the geography to explain this style of living. Prehistoric economic and political factors favored men and thus created a shift from a matrilocal residence to an avunculocal residence. This development was an easy transition due to the population of the village.
LISA BAER: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Garn, Stanley M., and Carleton S. Coon On the Number of Races of Mankind. American Anthropologist. October, 1955 Vol. 57 (5): 996-1001.
Garn and Coon write, “what seems to be a disagreement of considerable magnitude narrows down to a lack of agreement on just what taxonomic unit is properly designated as a race in man.” Defining race by using different taxonomies, like those of Linnaeus and Blumenbach, or population genetics of Mendelian studies, lends different meanings to the concept. The authors argue that both can be used in order to describe geographical race and local race, and thus, “the discrepancies mentioned above cease to exist.”
“A geographical race is, in simplest terms, a collection of (race) populations having features in common, such as a high gene frequency for blood group B, and extending over a geographically definable area.” The geographical limits generally correspond to continental areas. The authors wish to “stress the fact that the taxonomic unit immediately below the species is best defined as a geographical race.” Local races can be defined as “units that can be subjected to study and these are the units that change most in evolutionary time.” In densely populated areas, the local race can be expressed in microgeographical races, which are different from the local races only in qualitative aspects. In taxonomy, there has been a desire to assign every population to an appropriate geographical race, because of the need for order and the incorrect assumption that taxonomy can serve as phylogeny. Using India as an example of how difficult assignment of population can be, Garn and Coon state the lesson is “that every population can not be tagged in a simple system of but a few ‘major races’ or ‘stocks.”
“It is possible to achieve agreement on the number of races of mankind, once we distinguish between geographical races and local and microgeographical races.” When one defines these groupings, it is easier to enumerate the races that exist. On one level, there are as few as seven races and on another level there are more than thirty. “Since adequate data in many cases are lacking, every local race cannot be assigned to an appropriate geographical race.” This is frustrating because it upsets the order of taxonomic classification. Geographic races are more useful pedagogical purposes, while local and microgeographical races “not only are susceptible to direct study but also afford insight into the evolutionary mechanisms still at work in shaping man.” For these purposes, there is no need to count the number of races, only to acknowledge the different categories when classifying and studying different human populations.
JONATHAN VAN BALEN Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Garn H. Stanley. On the Number of Races of Mankind. American Anthropologist. 1955 Vol.35: 996-1001
This article describes the difficulties that physical anthropologists, taxonomists, and geneticists have when attempting to classify how many races make up mankind. The article distinguishes the two methods that are used when attempting to classify races. The geographical race is concerned with those “populations having an obvious similarity and contained within particular geographical limits” (996). The local races are characterized by the “populations themselves…corresponding to the units that are subject to investigation” (997). The article further describes each method of classification. For the geographical races, it says that it is “a collection of race populations having features in common, such as a high gene frequency for blood group B, and extending over a geographically definable area” (997). When describing the local races, the article describes it as “units that change most in evolutionary time…in many cases such local races can be identified, not so much by average differences, but by their nearly complete isolation” (998). The articles concluding paragraphs deal with the actual number of races that can be assigned to each classification. For the geographical race, there are approximately six or seven including, “Caucasian”, “Micronesia”, and “Polynesia”. The count for local races is not as easy to investigate because “not only are we currently unable to enter into a very large section of the world, where many populations remain unstudied, but we have been remiss in investigating race populations within our own national borders” (1000). Hence, due to this problem, there are at least thirty plus local races with the plus being an “indeterminate number” (1000). The article concludes by stating that local races are a better determinant of studying the different peoples of the earth.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
LAURA DOBROVICKIY York University (Naomi Adelson)
Gillin, John. Ethos Components in Modern Latin American Culture. American Anthropologist June, 1955 Vol. 57 (3): 488-500.
Gillin does not attempt to present a comprehensive image of modern Latin American culture. Instead, he focuses “on a limited number of components of the ethos, which is taken to mean the constellation of acquired drives or motivations that are characteristic of the culture, plus the goals, both explicit and implicit, toward which cultural activities are directed or upon which high value is placed.” He asks if there is a common pattern of customs, institutions that exist in modern Latin American society as a whole, and if there are certain cultural uniformities in the area that distinguish the people here from those in other areas. He asserts that there are, but he agrees that subcultures do exist in the region and that one must recognize a distinction between the urban and rural phases of the culture that exist, as well as those based on different social and class categories. The modern culture of Latin America is argued to be a symbiosis of the Spanish colonial culture and that of the indigenous peoples of the region. Each nation has had similar social and political experiences under the colonial rule of Spain, and their struggles for autonomy were similar as well. “The differences come, not from the differences in historical situation, but from the temperaments of the actors.”
In constructing the basic “components of ethos,” Gillin comes up with a list of four: the concept of the individual and his culturally respected objectives; the concept of man in society; the transcendental or idealistic view of the world; and the patterns derivative from these basic premises in political, economic, and spiritual life. Individuality is highly valued, and in Latin American culture “the individual is valued precisely because he is not exactly ‘like’ anyone else.” What is considered to be paradoxical to North Americans is the acceptance of social inequality in Latin American culture. The agreement about the degree to which societies are stratified varies among individuals, but all are aware of the hierarchical social structure in which they live.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
JONATHAN VAN BALEN Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Gilmore, Harlan. Cultural Diffusion via Salt. American Anthropologist October, 1955 Vol. 57 (5):1011-1015.
Harlan Gilmore, a professor at Tulane University, details the anthropological importance of salt. To most individuals, salt is viewed as a condiment that is accompanied by pepper. Yet, its social significance and uses go far beyond this. Salt is the “most commonly used preservative.” Earlier practices to obtain salt are still used today, such as mining, “evaporation of brines”, and sediments from salt lakes. Similarly, the uses for salt have been carried down from generation to generation. Salt is used in the flavoring of foods, preserving meats, rituals and ceremonies, nutrition for livestock and humans, trade, and even economic and political arenas. The dietary factors are a critical characteristic of salt. The human body requires a certain percentage of sodium, which can be consumed through salt. Dastre, from the Smithsonian Institution Annual Report, reports that there is no substitution for salt except in alt infused foods. Furthermore, studies have illustrated that farmers and pet owners have given their animals salt as a treat. In the farmers’ case, not only is salt considered to be a treat, but also an essential substance.
Due to the high demand for salt, historically, humans have migrated to salt lake/mines. It has also been noted that humans have perceived salt as a commodity for economic independence. In many ways, individuals would hide salt for trade. Furthermore, certain governments would place a tax on salt. Since every individual uses salt, the government would have a steady income. In Gilmore’s last concepts, the author recognizes the little attention involving the customs and practices of salt. Throughout history, salt has been an instrumental tool for many rituals and customs. Although, today, salt is viewed as a condiment, the historic and cultural uses of salt are an important indicator of its value in many societies.
KELLY GILFEATHER: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Gilmore, Harlan. Cultural Diffusion Via Salt. American Anthropologist. 1955 Vol. 57:1011-1015.
The main point of this article is to assert the importance of salt through history. Harlan Gilmore states that although salt has been an important part of almost every civilization, it has largely been ignored for its cultural importance by anthropologists.
The article goes on to list some uses of salt, including the flavoring and preservation of food. It follows this with a brief history of salt mining.
Gilmore believes that in all cultures were it is used, salt is seen as a necessity which cannot be substituted. As well, salt cannot be produced everywhere and for this reason pilgrimages for salt have occurred in various cultures throughout history. Gilmore also gives several historical examples where politics and culture have been greatly affected by salt and the acquisition of it.
Salt is also important because it is a universal trade item which is very durable and can withstand almost any conditions. As such, history has proven that salt is easy to tax because it is a necessity. For many governments taxes on salt have provided consistent revenues. Salt supplies have also played roles in military strategy, treaties and peace talks.
Gilmore’s final thoughts contend that because salt is seen as a necessity, it is worthy of being studied and considered more seriously as a part of history as well as part of many cultures’ customs and beliefs.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
SANDRA FARFAN York University (Naomi Adelson).
Godfrey, William. Vikings in America: Theories and Evidence. American Anthropologist. February, 1955 Vol 57 (1): 35-43.
It is absolutely certain that the Vikings were some of the first explorers in North America. Their explorations have been one of great interest to scholars and historians who are interested in the reasons for the Vikings’ travels to North America and the places where they lived during and after their exploration. The Vikings surely traveled to, and perhaps identified, Markland, Vinland, and Helluland. Indeed the need to have information of the Vikings is causing stirs in many circles, even creating cults of Vikings followers.
One main controversy is where on continental North America the Vikings were. Archaeological evidence definitely suggests the eastern coast, but evidence has also been found in the Midwest that still remains debated over. In this particular article, the eastern evidence is the example. The largest piece of evidence found was the Old Stone Mill in Newport, often referred to as the Newport Tower, which has be claimed to be of Norse heritage. This particular item, has not been particularly useful, it turns out, in confirming Viking life, and attention was then turned to mooring stones. There is, sadly, no good artifact evidence that the Vikings had definitely been anywhere. Many artifacts that are claimed to be of Norse origin have been passed through several hands and never observed in its setting.
A new approach is needed to explore the Vikings in America. There is some concrete evidence in Greenland and Vinland, but none continentally. Any evidence that claims to exist cannot be proven to be of the specific origin. Partially, the problem lies in the fact that the Vikings probably did not stay in any one place for an extended length of time, therefore mineralizing the possibility of finding substantial and concrete evidence.
MELISSA CAVANAGH Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Goldschmidt, Walter. Social Class and the Dynamics of Status in America. American Anthropologist, 1955 Vol. 57 (6): 1209-1217.
Walter Goldschmidt, from the University of California discusses America’s class system, and how the term social class is examined and defined among anthropologists. Many anthropologists study class by understanding the “context of the community,” When examining the totality of the community, it is important to depict the ideologies and the methods of communication within the culture. The community is viewed as a unit similar to a tribe. Thus, the three main methods to defining social classes are to examine the social behaviors within the community, the informants’ statements, and the patterns of organization within the community. Goldschmidt agrees with his colleagues who depict social class as it reflects social differentiation; however, he goes one step behind this and examines how social class also affects an individual’s character or personality. There is a dual interaction within social classes. Structures affect how an individual interacts with his or her society, but also an individual has the power and ability to affect its structure. It is critical for anthropologists to begin to study and understand this dynamic interaction.
KELLY GILFEATHER: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Goldschmidt, Walter. Social Class and the Dynamics of Status in America. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol. 57:1209-1217
In this article, Walter Goldschmidt discusses social class, as well as ideas concerning “status” in the United States. Goldschmidt asserts that anthropologists have not particularly studied this topic, and there have been only minor contributions in this area. He states that sociologists, social psychologists, economists and political scientists have largely carried the burden. The problem remains, however, that each of these disciplines have discussed their ideas concerning social class and status within their own contexts.
Goldschmidt chooses not to deal with separate “ethnographies” of America, but rather search for similarities and differences within communities. The idea of “community” remains the basis for anthropological research within this field. Anthropologists (and other social scientists) who have carried out studies of the community include Lynds’ (a sociologist who uses the anthropological approach) study of “Middletown” in the twenties. Other contributors include Powdermaker in 1939, and Dollard in 1937. The anthropologists stressed the study of the community because “through the community we could understand the culture of America or one of its major regions”. The emphasis was therefore placed upon the system of social interaction and ideology.
Goldschmidt maintains that anthropologists tend to see social class in America in terms of social and cultural characteristics. He states that social class has one or more of three distinct types of meaning. The first type of meaning is based upon the informants’ statements. For example, when informants define social categories by terms such as “the good, solid people” or the “mud-flatters”, it is easy to assume that there is social standing based upon that terminology. The second method refers to “the analysis of observed social behavior”. Anthropologists who study in the field carefully observe who participates in cultural rites and ceremonies. Social interaction is the basis for determining social class and status. During differing types of social interaction (whatever it may be), some individuals appear to hold contrasted levels of power and prestige. The third and final method is to investigate distinctive patterns of behavior within each of a set of categories. This is done to identify apparent subcultures, thus determining their level of social class and status held.
Goldschmidt concludes by stating that the American culture is built upon mobility, peopled by “humanity on the move”. Historical, geographical, philosophical, economic and social mobility remain significant factors in determining social class and status in the United States.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ARTHUR HAGOPIAN York University (Naomi Adelson)
Goldman, Irving. Status Rivalry and Cultural Evolution in Polynesia. American Anthropologist. August, 1955. Vol. 57 (4):680-697.
Goldman begins the article immediately with his main concept, cultural evolution. However, to be more specific, the main point of the article is to look at the effects of cultural evolution and its result on social status within Polynesia. According to Goldman, “in one way or another, then, the history of every Polynesian society has been affected by status rivalry, and under the proper conditions the effects of this rivalry have been felt in every vital center of the culture” (680). The author continues to talk about each different society and how the status power and rivalry is different depending on societies. Goldman discusses “traditional societies”, such as the Maori, “open societies”, which often results in guerrilla warfare, and stratified societies, such as Tahiti or Tonga (683). Each type of society has a different form of status rivalry, and/or mark of status.
Goldman is able to associate cultural evolution and change in social status with
a number of different changes in the society. Some of the common cultural changes that occurred in many of the Polynesian islands were changes in government, land systems, and kinship, as well as that mentioned at the beginning of the article, a change in social status. Some of the less prominent changes within the different societies were such things as societal position of women, sexual practices, an increase in warfare, changes in religion or religious deities.
In conclusion, Goldman argues that along with Polynesian cultural evolution came a change in political practices, an increase in violence, conflict, as well as a “greater general insecurity.” Although all of these changes have had a negative effect on the society as a whole, one of the positive changes that occurred as a result of the Polynesian cultural evolution was an increase in the specialization of the arts and crafts. It should be noted, however, that these changes did not occur because of an influence of new “elements”, but rather they occurred because of a rearrangement in the traditional culture throughout Polynesia.
JESIICA SAVAGE: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Goodenough, Ward H. A Problem in Malayo-Polynesian Social Organization. American Anthropologist February, 1955 Vol. 57 (1): 71-83.
Ward H. Goodenough’s publication concentrates on Malayo-Polynesian social structure and its historical significance. He argues that the traditional view of and definition of “Hawaiian” social organizations (bilocal extended families, bilateral kindreds and the absence of unilinear kingroups), is lacking. For, in order to truly understand why bilocal extended families, bilateral kindreds and the absence of unilinear kingroups exist within Malayo-Polynesian society, one must understand the relevance of land rights within a location with a scarcity of land.
Subsequently, to value the importance of land rights in relation to kindred and social organization, one must first comprehend what Goodenough meant by “kindred.” Within his article, he employs two similar yet different definitions. The first, originally defined by G.P. Murdock, defines kindreds as “a group of persons who have a relative in common, regardless whether kinship is traced through men or women” (71). The second definition is a group who recognizes a common ancestor. The first group is an unrestricted descent group, one that includes all of the ancestor’s descendents. However, the second group utilizes limitations to include only some descendents of the original ancestor. Other ways to restrict members is through the adoption of only certain descendents who attain particular land rights, or to include only those members who reside near their familial group.
Additionally, restrictions become necessary when many types of kingroups overlap in members. Goodenough uses the five types of kingroups on the Gilbert Islands to show how the variety of kingroups creates overlaps within membership. One specific example is the oo and bwoti descent groups. The oo is defined as “an unrestricted descent group including all the persons descended from a common ancestor, regardless whether through men or women” (73). Whereas bwoti are defined as “a nonunilinear descent group based on land rights, functioning in connection with community meeting-house organization” (73). Thus, not all member of the oo belong to the same bwoti, while all members of the same bwoti belong to the same oo. This is only one place where the many kingroups overlap, thus creating a need for restrictive land entitlement.
Goodenough employs the particular example of the Gilbert Islands, to elucidate the complexities of all kindred, bilocal and kingroups and their uniquely complicated relationships with land rights. However, what he consistently argues, although it is hard to discern at times due to his continual digressions and tangential writing, is that restrictions are applied to kingroups to limit the number of people who can claim land entitlement. Member restriction is particularly common throughout all of the Malayo-Polynesian islands, as land is limited, thus kinship groups were created to solve the problem of land redistribution. The solution was non-unilinear kingroups, defined land restrictions and a diversification of the kingroups.
HANNAH GORDON: Barnard College (Paige West)
Harding, Charles F. The Social Anthropology of American Industry. American Anthropologist December, 1955 Vol. 57(6):1218-1231.
Harding attempts to paint a picture of American industry and its many facets. He admits that American industry, as a whole, is an enormous topic to try to cover in a single article, but he reviews the works of colleagues who have examined specific components. His main objective is to describe American Industry as a system of organizations that have grown and changed through history. He defines industrial organization as “a group of individuals organized into an institution for the processing of materials into products or the assembling of products from parts” (1218). As an anthropologist would study the people of a culture and the tools that they develop and use, so does Harding study the tools and developments of those involved in industry.
He draws close attention to the divisions of labor in industry, namely the production line and the management, and the interactions these two groups have. In general, orders flow down from management to the production floor and reports flow up. This network of relationship is what Harding finds most important in his study. The middlemen of management and the production line are the foreman and the union shop steward. These individuals bear most of the direct contact between management and production line and union officials and the workers, respectively.
Changes that have been made in industry include a further standardization of parts, products and the motions used to create them. Harding talks about how changes made by the management have caused unease on the production lines, causing the developments of unions (both local and national) and strikes. Unions and industrial management have always found some way to cooperate, and cooperation between industries has allowed American Industry to grow nationwide.
Harding’s structural-functionalist views are seen throughout this article. He feels that an individual’s place in American industry (whether he is part of a majority or minority, management or production line) is set due to his or her skill level, and that the organization of industry keeps the individual where he or she is unless deemed worthy of promotion, granted by vacancies higher up the ladder. Primarily, though, the promotion of a few only occurs, with many never moving from their station at all.
MAGDELINE THOMAS Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Harding, Charles. The Social Anthropology of American Industry. American Anthropologist 1950 Vol.57:1218-1231.
In this article Harding gives a reasonably whole picture of American industry. The article attempts to draw a picture of American industry, even if it’s only in the broadest outline. Harding touches on many areas of industry and their importance to each other. Because an industrial institution basically processes minerals and assembles parts, it is simpler that it first appears and covers many basic relationships.
In a plant engaged in modern mass production the minerals and parts pass from hand to hand to be worked upon through the various stages necessary to complete the product. Thus by following the objects as they are being made, one follows a line of relationships. The relationships of any given individual in a production line are largely determined by his or her position in the system.
The symbols of status in an industrial organization in general relate to position in the supervisory hierarchy. Rise in status occurs through promotion up the ladder. In the industrial system, as individuals retire at the top levels others are promoted from below, but for every person promoted many people must remain where they are or fall by the wayside. This system is one of the sources of the urge to ‘succeed’ and also many of the frustrations common in American life. Traditionally and according to folklore, promotion depends upon ability, however other factors such as family, religious affiliation or out of plant social activities may also be involved.
A modern industrial institution is an extremely complex affair. To study such a complex organization it is necessary to have some general approach. Two such approaches may be recognized in anthropological studies. In the first the symbols important to the people who make up the organization are identified and studied as a means of understanding the social system. In the second, the organization is looked upon as a network of relationships and these networks are studied. As a matter of fact, most studies make use of both approaches but tend to focus on one over the other. Harding tends to focus on network systems in his approach for this article.
LARA ZENTINS York University (Naomi Adelson).
Harrington, J. C. Archeology as an Auxiliary Science to American History. American Anthropologist December, 1955 Vol. 57 (6):1121-1130.
This article examines the relationship between history and archaeology, using the United States as a case example. The main premise of the article is to argue that archaeology makes significant contributions to historical data, but the contributions to history itself are much smaller. Archaeology provides a unique kind of historical record, but that does not constitute history. The data is important to “flesh out the bones of chronology,” but it does not explicitly confront broader aspects of history or social processes.
It is important to consider, according to Harrington, the projects in accordance with their objectives. Often, reconstruction or site development is a key goal in archaeology. The historical data are used to educate visitors about the site. Thus, a goal of archaeology is “‘to make the past live again.’” However, some excavations have different objectives. Some sites are part of salvage archaeology, meaning the sites that are in danger are excavated as an emergency. Another objective is to provide data for a specific reason or research goal. Although evidence may not be conclusive, data may lend credibility to some hypotheses over others. The last objective discussed is to excavate in order to incorporate other research fields. For example, some sites are investigated to contribute to anthropological acculturation studies.
Harrington also addresses the shortcomings of archaeology: publications and trained specialists. Publications are essential to communicating information about the site. However, these publications often lack substance or are less detailed than they should be. In order to be useful, they need to provide all of the historical data that was discovered, and in adequate detail. As for trained specialists, there is a shortage of them in the field. Archaeologists need to be trained in history, as well as anthropology. Further, archaeologists should be trained in specific areas, both of history and geography.
Archaeology is essential as a historical tool. Many historians are beginning to use data from archaeological excavations in their research. Harrington agrees with Wertenbaker, a historian, in that historians have “‘depended too much upon manuscript evidences.’” Although historical archaeology has developed significantly, there are many improvements to be made. Then, Harrington believes archaeology will be able to become an auxiliary component to history.
KATIE JOHNSON Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Henry, Jules. et al. Projective Testing in Ethnography. American Anthropologist April, 1955 Vol. 57 (2):245-270.
Jules Henry, from the University of Chicago, discusses whether or not the Rorschach Test and other similar tests, such as TAT, are useful “in anthropological field work.” Henry presents several key points in his discussion of the usefulness of the Rorschach Test and TAT. To begin with, Henry’s overall belief is that anthropological researches should not solely rely on the Rorschach Test in their research. His reasoning stemmed from four main factors. The first factor is the reliability and validity of this form of testing. Secondly, in order to gain a true perspective of individuals’ personalities, it is critical to connect with and observe the individuals in a “normal social interaction.” Thirdly, Henry believes that “normal social interaction” is the basis for understanding personality-culture studies. Lastly, in the field of anthropology, there is no education for knowing how to use the Rorschach Test or TAT. In the end, Henry does not want to dismiss the Rorschach Test all together, but she is cautious of studies that solely depend on this form of observation.
As part of this article, several professors across the nation commented on Henry’s discussion. The comments ranged from total disagreement with Henry to partial agreement. As a whole, the commentators believed that in the field of anthropology, there needs to be further development of other methods for observation and interviewing. Although the Rorschach Test and TAT are not perfect testing models, they do provide
a framework to other methods of research.
At the end of the article and after reading the comments, Henry posed his opinions of the comments. He returned to his previous thoughts, and restated why he felt the Rorschach Test and TAT are not applicable methods in the field of anthropology. The major point that Henry emphasized is the fact that these two tests are not good methods for studying personality and culture. Henry believes that through observation and extensive interviewing, a researcher can truly gain a well-rounded perspective of an individual’s personality.
KELLY GILFEATHER: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Hewes, Gordon W. World Distribution of Certain Postural Habits. American Anthropologist April, 1955 Vol. 57 (2):231-244.
Gordon W. Hewes explores the geographic and cultural distribution of one hundred postural habits. Some postural habits are determined by physiological limitations, whereas others may be more culturally determined. Furthermore, some postural positions are divided along gender lines. Hewes claims that ethnographic accounts rarely include enough description about postural positions, thus it is a difficult topic to study. The methodology used in this article is based upon a random collection of ethnographic data, in which Hewes recorded all evidence of postural positions. Of these recordings, he selected one hundred postural positions to study. Most of these positions are varieties of sitting, kneeling, crouching and squatting. Postural habits are attributed to many different factors, such as excretory patterns, infant-carrying customs, emotional responses etc. Additionally, he states that postural habits are often enforced by rule and etiquette.
In the course of the article, Hewes argues that there are several levels of relevance for organizing data on the distributions of postural habits. The first level of relevance is applied physical anthropology, in which research is conducted on cultural distribution of postural habits for the application of building machinery to fit postural habits. The second level of relevance is the interrelations of postures and nonpostural cultural phenomena (terrain, clothing, status etc.). The third level is psychological implications of postural habits. The fourth level is culture-historical, rooted in the work of Franz Boas. The final level of relevance is phylogenetics.
Hewes concludes that postural distributions are not only culturally specific on many occasions, but these geographic patterns exhibit the distributions that “we have come to expect for other features of cultural behavior.” Generally, postural habits are understudied across disciplines, including science and social sciences.
MICAH TRAPP Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Ho, Ping-Ti. The Introduction of American Food Plants into China. American Anthropologist April, 1955 Vol.57 (2): 191-201.
Ho’s article discusses the controversial introduction of American food plants into China. The orthodox view suggests that food plants were not introduced into China until post-Columbian times. Ho specifically looks at the peanut, sweet potato and maize as examples. Ho suggests that the commonly accepted historical dates of plant introduction into China need to be re-examined. In each case it is usually documented, at least in anthropological literature, that each plant was introduced several decades later than it actually was. However, the basic orthodox argument that food plants (specifically peanut, sweet potato, and maize) were not introduced into China until post-Columbian times still remains.
To construct his argument, Ho provides ample historical documentation that these plants existed in China prior to the given dates. He uses historical botanical guides and handbooks that describe quite accurately the presence of the peanut prior to its given date of entry. In the case of each plant, Ho provides a brief historical account of how the plant arrived, as well as how it traveled and spread throughout the rest of China. The discussion of maize differs slightly from the discussion of the peanut and sweet potato because he discusses how it was not necessary for maize to be grown in China prior to the eighteenth century. Maize was suddenly necessary in the eighteenth century because of a population increase. Although Ho ends up adjusting the dates of introduction by at least several decades in each case, none of the American food plants seem to have been introduced in pre-Columbian times.
MICAH TRAPP Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian).
Ho, Ping-Ti. The Introduction of American Food Plants into China. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57 (11): 191-201.
This article is about the introduction of American food plants, such as the peanut, the sweet potato, and maize, into China. There is some controversy as to when and what plants were introduced and Ho gives the subject more clarity.
The peanut is the first discussed. There are three sources that state their acknowledgement of the growth of peanuts but none of them mention the place where the peanut originated. The debate continues of the many places the peanut could have come from; however, the end result is that the peanut was introduced to China in the early sixteenth century and came from Portuguese merchants.
The sweet potato date has been cautiously fixed at 1594, the year where there was a widespread crop failure in Fukien. There are two different claims to this story of introduction though. The first is that a local merchant who had been overseas in the Philippines introduced it, and the second is that it was introduced to the people of Chang-chou and kept a secret until the famine arose. Either way, Ho believes that the sweet potato must have been there decades before the famine arose because Ta-li recorded the sweet potato in 1563.
Maize, a cultivated cereal plant, is thought to have been introduced decades before the first written account. In 1555 there was a reference made to maize in a western Honan district. The conclusion is that maize came from India and Burma by ways of an overland route. Although the overland route is proved, a maritime introduction cannot be ruled out, as there are many witnesses to the cultivation of maize.
Ho states that it is foolish to believe that a certain plant can only be introduced to a new area once and only by a certain route. There are many possible channels for the dissemination of food plants: traders, travelers, emissaries, and government officials.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
PATRICIA A. FALCONI York University (Naomi Adelson).
Homans C.G. Kinship Terminology and the American Kinship System. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol. 57: 1194-1208
The main focus in this article discusses how Americans value kinship ties and illustrates how the American Kinship is marked by bilateral descent, and the nuclear family is the basic kin group. In this article the author argues that American kin ship is used purely for the family and does not have anything too do with the job you take on in society as well no political office is given to someone on the basis of kinship. Secondly the author also states that in the American kinship system there are a number of terms that one could be called which all mean the same thing. An example of this is seen with a young child his kinship terms will change as he grows up. A young boy may call his mother “mommy” when he is younger but as he gets old he may feel to childish saying that and call her “mom”. Although both names give the same idea of how a mother is portrayed it demonstrated how in the American Kinship system uses many variations of names but all lead up to the exact same idea or image of a person.
In this article the author give many examples of how the American Kinship system works and how it differs from other countries definition. The author concludes that the kinship system is primarily used as a socialization device it is the dominant value of the whole culture and is essential to maintain any social and cultural system.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
DORY CARSON York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kelly, J. Charles. Juan Sabeata and Diffusion in Aboriginal Texas. American Anthropologist October, 1955 Vol. 57 (5): 981-995.
This study focuses on cultural diffusion in Texas from 1683 through 1692 by following the travels and activities of Juan Sabeata, chief of the Jumano and Cibola tribes. Kelly argues that this shows that shared cultural traits among geographically distant groups can happen through interaction with travelers who offer information about other groups, and that anthropologists should not be fixated on large-scale migrations as the cause of cultural diffusion.
Sabeata’s travels ranged from east Texas to east New Mexico to Northern Mexico, and carried news throughout the region. Spanish and French documents from the late sixteenth century on referred to the Jumano tribe, which roamed Texas and beyond. Sabeata was first recorded in 1693 after requesting missionaries in Mexico to travel back with him to north-west Texas to tribes that wanted to be baptized, but actually wanted the missionaries because they would be accompanied by a military escort and they were traveling through Apache territory, who were enemies of the Jumano. Later, Sabeata traveled between Spanish and French territory and gave each group news of the other.
Most of the Jumano and Cibola spent the winter in west Texas and journeyed to east Texan annually in a trip that included traveling north to the buffalo plains and trading gatherings. Sabeata’s trade in specific information about Spanish and French activities was most likely matched by diffusing information about cultural practices. It appears that the Jumano have been agents of cultural diffusion for quite some time and that their travels have spread cultural traits to and from different tribes in Texas and bordering areas. Kelly mentions archeological evidence to support this claim, in addition to French documents recording that the Jumano brought items from Spanish areas to trade. The Jumano seem to have been traveling, trading, and diffusing cultural traits since at least 1583, according to the earliest recorded Spanish records that mention them. The importance of word-of-mouth and the individuals who are transmitting cultural information shape the process of cultural diffusion, which seems to account for many of the shared traits of indigenous groups in Texas.
KARA BURT Denison University (Bahram M. Tavakolian)
Kimball, Solon T. Problems of Studying American Culture. American Anthropologist. December, 1955. Vol. 57 (6):1131-1142.
Kimball writes about the recent interest in the study of contemporary civilizations and, specifically, the anthropological study of American society. He is concerned with “the adequacy of methodology and techniques for research; the quality of the substantive findings; the relations and influences with and from other disciplines; the effect of incorporation and modification of new techniques upon outlook and theory; and the prospect for the future” (1131).
Using anthropology as opposed to sociology to study American society introduces several questions about how the study will be carried out and what will be. Major concentrations for most prior anthropological studies of American society have been the social class-caste stratification system, institutional organization, value systems, and small groups. Kimball criticizes the fact that no examination has been made of the larger integrative organizations of American society, nor have there been any community studies of cities. He considers attempts to study such topics to be a test of how well the anthropological methodology can hold up.
Anthropology has long used the method of “natural history,” or the comparative approach, while quantitative approaches and statistical models are commonly used in many sociological studies. Kimball feels that “event analysis,” in which the factors of time, space, activity, persons, and conditions are all accounted for and taken into consideration in analysis” (1140) is the answer that anthropologists have already found. This method has been used in the study of primitive society and small-group studies, and it can be applied in the case of American society as well.
While contemporary society is vastly different than primitive society, methods can stay the same while techniques must be changed. “One cannot overcome this difficulty by isolating particular segments of behavior or attempting to comprehend
the whole through statistical analysis, but only by selecting communities as representative microcosms” (1135). While this helps in understanding aspects of American society, it does not touch on the superstructure of American life and economy, nor does it offer comparability.
Throughout the article, Kimball draws from several other authors’ works on the topic of anthropology and American society. Though several methodologies and analytical hurdles must be met, he feels that anthropology is and will remain a valid and effective basis for the study of contemporary civilizations.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
MAGDALENE THOMAS Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Kimball, Solon T. Problems of Studying American Culture. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57: 1131-1143.
The most constant tone within the article by Kimball is the question of how to and to what extent anthropological interest in American culture and society is measured and therefore appreciated.
It has been consistent through the passing of the ages that the political climate, development to society and methodologies shared of all individuals in society needs to be looked at seriously so as to provide the deficiencies in the system, and to provide insight to the future cause of events.
However clearly stated, the question becomes more defined when presented with the idea of what American culture faces as “difficulties” and “pitfalls”. As Kimball states, “by definition, anthropology had proclaimed a catholicity of interest but, by tradition, had confined to primitive societies, and not until after 1925 did Boas permit any of his students to study other than American Indian tribes.” Point well made. The interesting facet of this article remains that it has been the confines of anthropology and not the study of the science itself that has hindered growth and understanding of what anthropology tries to maintain. Often, we have all combined anthropology with the other social sciences, i.e.: sociology and psychology, to place some validity on what the science of anthropology tries to achieve.
In conclusion there is almost a “desperate” need for the development and implementation of new techniques to show the inter-relations between cultural and psychological facts. The overall goal is one where to achieve a clear understanding on our cultural history.
CLARITY RANKING: 3.5
SHAIZA MURJI York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kluckhohn, Clyde. Physical Anthropology. American Anthropologist. December, 1955. Vol. 57 (6):1280-1295.
Kluckhohn centers his article on the “anthropometric and morphological studies of the dominant American population” (1280). This topic sounds extraordinarily broad, and even after he states his limitations (contained within the 48 contiguous states, little attention to the Chinese, Mexican, etc. populations, little attention given to specialized subjects, etc.), it still seems broad.
He bases much of his work on the research of others. Boas, for example, is an obvious choice to draw from since his was the first effective study of immigrants and their descendants. Kluckhohn also gives mention to Terry and Trotter’s work to which we “owe the bulk of the limited anthropological information on the skeletons and cadavers of the American white and Negro populations” (1281).
Kluckhohn complains about the inadequacies in the general description of American human biology, and he claims that most studies have been “phenotypic rather than genetic. They consist primarily in measurements, most of which have arguable interpretations and questionable biological significance” (1281). A number of studies on this topic have drawn their subjects from the military or from college students. These studies, though, do not reflect the heterogeneity of the American population as a whole. He feels that Boas’ and Hrdlicka’s studies have been the most complete as far as analysis is concerned.
Kluckhohn is not surprised that there are few generalizations that can be made from the extensive amount of data that have been collected. Almost the only broad finding that is scientifically exciting is that made by Boas, and confirmed by others, of the biological ability in certain respects of transplanted individuals and their descendents” (1283). The author, after sifting through various findings and generalizations is left only with the occasional “hunch, based on intensive metrical and observational study, that is intriguing and susceptible of rigorous genetic investigation” (1283), such as Hrdlicka’s finding that female faces are more apt to show various ancestral features.
Finally, he goes on to cite other generalizations from previous research findings but concludes, “there is a great need both for new data and for reworking of data already available” (1289). Kluckhohn hopes that a new study will produce findings within a genetic framework as opposed to a strictly phenotypic study.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MAGDALENE THOMAS Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Kluckhohn, Clyde. Physical Anthropology. American Anthropologist. 1955 Vol.55: 1280-1295.
In this article, Kluckhohn examines the anthropometric and morphological studies of American populations excluding American Indians, Hawaiians and other populations. He bases his studies on the biological characteristics and processes of distinctive American populations.
He begins by detailing a ‘historical sketch’ of anthropological studies that began around 1908 with authors such as Boas and many others. He than discusses the ‘limitation of the data’ as being inadequate. The data is ‘pre-Mendelian’ and is more phenotypic than genetic. Also the anthropometric data is inadequate because it was obtained before the population concept.
He begins discussing the information found by other authors and the importance of the data to describe an ‘American type’ and concludes that nothing could generally fit that category. There is also an effort to describe regional and nationality types within the study and also studies information on what is called hybrids. The evidence found of the ‘typical American’ had very little scientific meaning and is rare amongst actual Americans. He than describes the work in this field as lacking in theory except for the work done by Boas, which has been poorly followed. The need for new data and the reworking of data within a genetic framework is important.
In conclusion, the data is insufficient and there must be more work done on the ‘American population’ with the requirement of a genetically oriented study with more random subjects, the use of many workers with different training and interests and, finally, an attempt to translate material for genetic analysis.
CLARITY RATING: 2
JOHN PARENTE York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kluckhohn, Clyde and Evon Z. Vogt. The Son of Many Beads. American Anthropologist, 1955 Vol.57: 1036-1037.
This article serves as an obituary for a Navajo Indian known as The Son of Many Beads, Bidaga, or José Pino. Many Beads, who died on July 30, 1954, served as leader of his tribe for a lengthy period of time. He also provided ethnographic information to many researchers, including W.W Hill, Robert Young, and the Ramah Project and Values Study research teams. Cluckhohn and Vogt say that he will be remembered for “his integrity, his wisdom, his unfailing sense of humor, and his lively and perceptive curiosity.” He was as eager to learn as he was to teach and asked numerous questions about other parts of the world, as well as the rest of America.
Many Beads also served as a spokesman for and defender of his Navajo culture. He resented the people invading his tribe’s land and worked for years to save it, making many trips to Indian Service agencies and even one to Washington, D.C. Although his efforts failed, he is remembered for his dedication to his people and beliefs.
ALLISON TITMAN Barnard College (Paige West)
Kluckhohn, Clyde and Evon Z. Vogt. The Son of Many Beads, 1866-1954. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol. 57(unknown): 1036-1037.
The Kluckhohn/Vogt paper is dedicated to representing the late José Pino, otherwise known as Bidaga, a Navajo Indian. They aim to portray not only his role and contributions within the general workings of society but also within the disciplines of anthropology. In the eulogy, Kluckhohn and Vogt seek to express Bidaga’s wholeheartedness, witticism, and inquisitiveness while subsequently revealing relations between the Navahos and the Whites.
The paper lacks a traditional argument in that it simply presents the importance of Bidaga’s contributions. In addition to discussing his life history and accomplishments, the article reveals Bidaga’s relations with the Whites and his opinions regarding the coexistence between the two cultures. Kluckhohn and Vogt consequently display the Whites’ presumed propriety over the Navahos.
They accurately present Bidaga’s life story by setting the eulogy in a historical context and including personal quotations; the incorporation of their own opinions regarding him and his successes further strengthen their discussion. The authors subtlety and successfully persuade the reader into forming her own conclusions regarding Bidaga and the relations between Whites and Navahos. As a result, they demonstrate that Native Americans can be respected and valued members of a community.
AMY GUITTARD Barnard College (Paige West)
Landes, Ruth. Biracialism in American Society: A Comparative View. American Anthropologist 1955. Vol. 57 (3): 1253 – 1263
In this article the author analyzes the issue of “belongingness” of the Negro race to the American society. Throughout the history of Negroes in America, issues of racism and prejudice have always prevented the cultural mixing of the two races. However, “our ugliest racism has never seriously questioned the Americanism of Negroes.” They are accepted as people that “belong” in American society, unlike Negroes living in Britain.
However, this raises the question of social alienation. Negroes do not belong inalienably and automatically to their societies. In America, the issue of racism is demonstrated by not allowing Negroes to have an equal place in the society they are said to belong to. After the abolition of slavery, Negroes were required to drop their own customs, and adjust to Anglo-American culture. In order to receive equality, they first had to go through cultural standardization.
In contrast to America, Negroes in Great Britain never felt like they “belong” there. They were always treated as foreigners, which were passing through to find work, no matter how long they stayed in the country. Even if they intermarried within the country, their children were not considered English because of their impure nationality. In the United States, people were judged purely by race, and intermarried couples became alienated from both racial sections.
In Britain the half-castes are viewed as Negroes, and are treated as outsiders by the British. In the United States, half-castes were categorized in the same race group with Negroes, and received the same “second-class citizen” type treatment. In the US, blacks began to gradually hope for better treatment, as Congress began to enforce laws to decrease discrimination. For example, one such law was to give the right for education in public schools. This gave hope for increase in equality in the future and possibility of a biracial society.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
YANA ZORINA Barnard College (Paige West)
Lantis, Margaret. The U.S.A. as Anthropologists See It: Introduction. American Anthropologist December, 1955 Vol. 57 (6):1113-1120.
In the introduction to this special issue of American Anthropologist, Margaret Lantis brings together the articles of the journal and places them into the context of studies of North American society and culture. According to Lantis, there were three objectives suggested to the articles’ authors for this issue. These objectives were the following: The papers should summarize the substantive content of the American anthropologists’ study of their own culture and people and the conclusions from this study, all papers should be integrative and evaluative, and all articles should present suggestions for practical future work. Lantis discusses several of the papers written by the anthropologists and explains what they have to offer to the field of anthropology. The subject matter varied among the articles, however Lantis drew correlations among them and discussed their contribution to the growing field of anthropology. The articles show a commonality in their interest in specific aspects of American culture and people. Lantis concludes from the variety of papers that there is a real change beginning to come about in the field of anthropology. Lantis argue that some of the papers set up a hypotheses about American culture that we should be testing and relating to our own sub-cultural view of American history.
There are three things Lantis suggests we can do to further the study living culture. First, she explains, we can apply the concepts used by anthropologists to study and analyze other languages and cultures, and we can use these same anthropological concepts to make physical studies of other populations. Second, she argues that anthropologists should look to hypotheses suggested in other disciplines, such as psychology or sociology, and do intensive investigation of their conclusions about American culture and language. Third, she explains that among the duties of the anthropologist is the obligation to record the history of ideas. Lantis concludes her introduction to this unique issue of the journal by stating that the articles in this particular issue are an honest appraisal of the small but important contribution anthropologists have made to the study of American culture as well the beginning of the first look at the large task of these studies that anthropologists will face in the future.
EMILY RAINE Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Lothorp, S.K. Alfred Marston Tozzer. American Anthropologist February, 1955 Vol.57:614-617.
Lothorp provides a summarized biography of Alfred Marston Tozzer, a professor who specialized in Mayan civilization. His account of Tozzer’s accomplishments culminates with a eulogy and with praise towards Tozzer.
A Harvard graduate, Tozzer became a professor of subjects such as anthropology, religion, social origins and continuities, drawing on knowledge that he gained from his extensive traveling. As a Traveling Fellow of the Archeological Institute of America, Tozzer went to the Maya region and was exposed to the archeology and culture of this area, which became his specialty of study and provided the material for his Ph.D. thesis.
While he was a professor at Harvard, he had the opportunity to become director of the 1910 archeological expedition in Mexico and Central America, which led to two publications about hieroglyphics, architecture and comparative methods.
He continued teaching, establishing a reputation as an excellent and well-known professor, and in 1914, became Director of the International School of American Archeology in Mexico. His interaction with people in Mexico greatly influenced his knowledge about the Mayas.
He eventually married and lived in New Hampshire with his wife before serving as a captain of Air Services and Chairman of Division of Anthropology during WWI. He acquired many executive and technical positions in the subsequent twenty years of his life and he continued to produce publications about his work and his study on the Maya. He also continued to work on translating Diego de Landa’s account of the Maya. Landa’s position as Bishop of Yucatan was removed due to his disallowance of idolatry. The manuscript that was made out of his defense is a detailed account of the Mayan pagan life and is very important to anthropological study. Tozzer’s prominent translation is filled with extra long commentary and additional accounts about the Maya.
During WWII, Tozzer left Harvard to become director of Honolulu office in O.S.S. He conducted many important military functions such as analyzing Japanese radio messages. Some of his military reports also served as anthropological literature. He returned to Harvard as a professor in 1945. Not only was Tozzer in charge of assembling and displaying objects recovered from the dredging of the Cenote of Sacrifice at Chichen Itza, Yucatan Peninsula, but he also started a publication about Chichen Itza.
The Maya and Their Neighbors, a book written in his honor in 1940, is an accumulative work with contributions from various anthropologists, some who did and some who did not take Tozzer’s courses. Lothorp concludes his article with praise to Tozzer as an inspiring professor, a passionate anthropologist and a very generous person, revealing how Tozzer cared for the undergraduates, provided a substantial amount of financial aid and was a most loyal adviser.
CLARITY RATING: 4
LYUDMILA GOROKHOVICH Barnard College (Paige West)
Lothrop, S.K. Alfred Marston Tozzer, 1876 – 1954. American Anthropologist, 1955. Vol. 57: 614- 618.
This article is not typical in that it is an obituary. It contains no particular argument except that Alfred Tozzer was an exceptional man. He was an anthropologist who specialized in the Maya. In 1902 Tozzer first traveled to the Maya area to study linguistics, but became fascinated with an archaeological dig going on at the same time. This interest swelled into Tozzer becoming the first student of ethnology to work with the Maya.
After many important achievements and writings in the field, Tozzer became more active administratively in museums and at Harvard. According to Lothrop, Tozzer’s translation of the Bishop of Yucatan Diego de Landa’s writings are considered a monumental scholarly achievement that will probably have no equal. Tozzer was considered a great professor by everyone from the undergraduates to the people who only read him. His commitment to his students personally and financially was considered extraordinary when this was written in the 1950’s. Undoubtedly it would be considered fantastic today. Perhaps the most telling indication of how influential Tozzer was is brought by Lothrop with the book, “The Maya and Their Neighbors.” Written in 1940, this book is an anthology of writings from all professional anthropologists in the field. It yields the most extraordinary fact about Tozzer’s influence—eight out of ten had taken Tozzer’s courses and of these, two-thirds had become specialists in the field. An extraordinary commentary on the influence of this man.
LISA SWYERS Columbia University (Paige West)
Mason, Leonard. The Characterization of American Culture in Studies of Acculturation.American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57:1264-1275.
This article contributes to one aspect of acculturation studies, that is it focuses on the ‘significance of differential participation by members of donor groups where ever cultural contact is obscured (p.1264)”. The main focus of this article is to outline a variety of acculturation studies done historically. The study of acculturation is always changing as society progresses. The field primarily looks at native people and their cultures in understanding donor groups and the total impact of other contacts made. This article focuses on North American culture and acculturation.
The article is well organized, firstly surveying past acculturation studies outlining key anthropologists and their findings. Secondly, the article sketches out some of the characterizations of American culture. The ethos of American culture is also summarized; aspects of individual’s lives and how they participate in American culture and what conditions are considered normal and accepted are all covered. The American capitalistic society has been described as a ‘money gathering economy’ and other aspects of the economic scene and technology’s impacts are discussed. American social organization, class systems and issues of social equality are outlined in the sixth section. Religion and morality are discussed with regard to how Americans are a modern and secular society, turning on and off religion. The American government and administration are summarized to end the article.
In concluding this summary, the article illustrates for readers the heterogeneous character of American culture.
LARA ZENTINS York University (Naomi Adelson).
McQuown, Norman A. The Indigenous Languages of Latin America. American Anthropologist. June, 1955. Vol. 57 (3):501-570.
McQuown’s article focuses on the various American Indian languages spoken in the United States, Mexico, south of the Gulf of Mexico in the islands, Central America, the West Indies, and all of South America. This involves a couple of thousand languages and dialects, which at the time of this research were divided into seventeen large families and thirty-eight small ones, with several hundred unclassified single languages. McQuown gathered information on these languages from a variety of sources, from brief mentions of languages in historical documents, to detailed and descriptive grammars and dictionaries, although these exist only for a few of the languages. European and North American scholars, natives of Latin America, and North American missionaries active
in certain locations all provided information regarding these languages and dialects.
McQuown then describes the criteria which have been used in such classifications. Often, simple geographic proximity, or references in historical documents to cultural likeness, and assumed linguistic likeness as well, are the last
resort in classification. All reliable groupings are based upon similarities in language. However, McQuown acknowledges that these similarities in language may be due to a variety of different factors. He states that physiological and psychological similarities derive from mere human nature. As a result of the limited number of functionally different sounds that are able to be produced by the human voice, similar successions of similar sounds will occur throughout many languages, and similar meanings may be associated with these similar series of sounds. Some of these similarities in form or meaning may be due to historical contacts and linguistic and cultural borrowings. Thus, McQuown suggests setting up a matrix of correspondence for the whole or portions of the sound system. Once this matrix has been established, it functions as a testing frame through which one can determine if, for example, a pair of forms from two languages are originally one, or if they are “innovations,” or analogical extensions of the possibilities present in the structured language which are built up out of the native material of a language model. McQuown states that this testing frame is absolutely necessary for classification, since without it, an individual would be unable to separate the innovations due to borrowed materials from other languages, and trace these innovations to their origins.
DANIELLE KUSKOWSKI Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Merriam, Alan P. Music in American Culture. American Anthropologist December, 1965 Vol. 57 (6):1173-1181.
This author discusses the types of research, or lack thereof, conducted on music in American culture. He discusses the relationship of the musician to his or her community, and the different musical communities which exist. He has divided them into four different communities: academic music, often referred to as “classical”; folk music of the white communities; popular music, distinct from jazz and including the hit tunes of the day; and Negro music, subdivided to distinguish jazz from other forms of music.
Merriam then discusses the influence of these forms of music on society, and the different influences on these types of music, jazz for example existing as the fusion of European and African forms as originated and interpreted by Negroes. Popular music has perhaps the greatest influence on society, because it reaches so many people at the most important age defined by society, the age at which patterns of behavior are developed which carry individuals into adult life- the “teen” years. The text material of these songs is especially important in influencing behavioral patterns.
Research and interest in the texts and styles of jazz music has waxed and waned, correlating with the interests in African-American culture. However, this music has never been fully accepted by society, according to four main conclusions stated by Morroe Berger, who studied the problem of the spread of jazz in the United States. According to Berger, leaders and representatives of the white community have opposed the acceptance of jazz because of its association with crime, vice, and a greater sexual freedom than condoned by the common rules of morality. Second, its musicians have not been educated in the familiar traditions nor conform to the rules of public conduct established. Third, the lower status of the Negro in the white South has inhibited its acceptance more than in the North, and fourthly, jazz was not as readily accepted as other forms of Negro music, especially spirituals, since these, in the eyes of whites, show Negroes in a submissive rather than exuberant role.
DANIELLE KUSKOWSKI Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Merriam, Alan. The Use of Music in the Study of a Problem of Acculturation. American Anthropologist February, 1955 Vol. 57 (1): 28-34.
The overall concern addressed in this article is the changes that have taken place in the musical traditions of North American Indians in Montana and in urban culture in Africa. The hypothesis that Merriam states at the very beginning of his article is that when two groups have continued contact with one another, and have similar ideas and values concerning one particular part of their culture, then these ideas and values will be exchanged more frequently than those that are not similar (28). Also, Merriam shows, that although over recent years there have been changes in the musical composition of the North American Indians and urban cultures in Africa, the basic themes and ideas of the music have not changed.
Merriam begins by explaining the differences and the changes the musicology of the North American Indian groups has gone through. He explains that there has been a change in the instruments, change in the text of the songs, but that there have been no changes in the musical performance, only changes in the materials used. He says that there has been a European influence, but that this style of music is being kept separate from the more “traditional” aspect of their music culture.
However, within the African context, there has been an adoption of a Western style of music and not only has there been a Western influence in African music, but that there is also an African influence in Western music. The author makes connections with percussion instruments as well as string instruments used in African music, which are very similar to the instruments that are used in Western folk music.
The North American Indians, whose music did not have any relation to a Western European style of music, ideas and values about the music culture were not exchanged between the two groups. There was a Western influence, but this influence was kept totally separate from the “traditional” forms of musicology. In the African groups, however, whose music and instruments were comparable and similar to those of a Western folk theme, these two groups were able to share values and borrow ideas from one another.
JESSICA SAVAGE: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Miller, Walter B. Two Concepts of Authority. American Anthropologist. April, 1955 Vol. 57 (2): 271- 289.
Walter Miller discusses the concepts of authority in this article by examining the structure of authority in Central Algonkian tribes and European societies. Miller explains that Central Algonkian tribes seem to carry out activities without any sort of recognizable authority. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, documents show European’s astonishment of the lack of authority within the tribes. For Europeans, societies are based on the relationship of power within authoritative structures, which they see as normal and right. Analytically, Miller explains, the interaction between individuals can be viewed structurally and described with distinctive features such as the following: the directive component, role-based, permanence, prestige differential, functional differential, and differential access to system of rules. In European societies these are all features of defining authority between individuals, and can be visually conceived as a “vertical” authority relationship.
Central Algonkian tribes have a negative view of a vertical system of authority. Authority for them is “ongoing interaction between individuals.” Any authority that can be found within the tribes is only brought about due to the need for the co-ordination of collective action. Each individual has an integral role in the action, the leader just serves as a peaceful guide to maintain unity in the group. The Algonkians strongly resent external direction, but this is matched by their intense desire to conform to the regulations and norms of their society. So for them, an order is seen as an insult. It implies that the person is lacking in his knowledge of the traditional rules of how to behave correctly within his culture. There are a few characteristics of vertical authority found in Algonkian society, however, but the relationship between individuals is not the same as with the standard structure of vertical authority.
Miller concludes by explaining that his work should raise substantial questions about how authority is analyzed cross-culturally. When the concept of authority is equated with vertical authority, one might assume that a society which lacks vertical authority must lack authority altogether. Miller states that considerable analysis of diverse cultures must be done in order to fully understand the concept of authority.
EMILY RAINE Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian )
Millon, Rene F. Trade, Tree Cultivation, and the Development of Private Property in Land.American Anthropologist. August, 1955. Vol. 57 (4): 698-711.
Millon notes that the development of incipient classes in an isolated society is the direct result of the institution of private property in land from the outside. This is clearly evidence in tree cultivation in Mesoamerica and elsewhere. There is a considerable body of evidence indicating widespread distribution of the practice of private ownership of cultivated trees, including the Popoluca in Mexico, the Maya, the Chinantec, and various peoples in East Africa, West Africa, and Polynesia. In Mesoamerica, coffee trees are privately owned among the Popoluca. This is not a result of intervention by the Mexican state, but has developed internally to Popoluca society as a result of the stimulating action of trade on that society. To understand this contemporary situation, it is important to compare the cultivation of crops in pre-conquest times. Cacao was widely cultivated and widely traded in the late pre-conquest period. In Guatemala and Honduras cacao was grown and commercial centers grew around its production. Trade was most likely an important factor in the development of cacao as a major crop. Among the people in the Yucatan, cacao trees were passed on through generations, and plantations were worked by slaves, indicating that cacao trees were definitely private property. Although the archaeological record makes it difficult to prove, it is hypothesized that trade increased with intensity, resulting in a tendency toward the concentration of trees into plantations, as among the Popoluca. As larger and larger poplations developed, so did divisions of society into social classes.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
LEAH SMITH Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Mills, George T. Social Anthropology and the Art Museum. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57:1002-1010.
Mills’ article addresses the function of the modern day art museum and its relation to social anthropology. Mills is concerned with the fear of art felt by those who hail scientific knowledge, and argues “the museum may attempt to overcome these fears and prejudices by demonstrating art’s profound ability to intensify and clarify the meaning of existence.” However, in tackling these meanings certain problems arise in regards to interpretation. The art museum is held partly accountable for misinterpretations as the display of art contributes to ideologies.
Mills therefore calls for an educational experience in the art museum, but this creates another problem in that the museum-going audience is nearly impossible to target. Mills attempts to narrow in on this shifting audience by splitting it into three categories: the artists, the idle drifters and the veteran regulars. Mills emphasizes the importance of education in the art museum that is not limited to one category, but instead reaches all. Mills then discusses the interpretation of “primitive art” in the museum. He suggests that the display and curator’s commentary of such art is responsible for the meaning that museum-goers derive from it. In this way the museum must be responsible in the impressions they give while also making the educational experience appealing. Mills continues by further honoring the universal value of meaning found in art’s expression.
At the end of his article Mills enlists the aid of social anthropologists for the educational purposes of the art museum. He claims the social anthropology can help define the art museum’s audience, help ascertain the educational goals for that audience, scrutinize the methods used by the museum towards that end, and propose new methods that might “bring some of the central, cultural issues of our time before the general public.” Although Mills’ arguments are vividly articulated, his article as a whole is somewhat incoherent as his points are sporadically placed throughout and seemingly disjointed from one another.
TASHA GREEN Barnard College (Paige West)
Montagu, Ashley M. F. Time, Morphology, and Neoteny in the Evolutions of Man. American Anthropologist. January, 1955. Vol. 57(1):13-27.
Montagu asserts the need to understand neotenous mutations and their role in human evolution and morphology. There has been confusion among anthropologists as to how “modernlike types of man” appear early in the evolutionary process. Traditionally the evolutionary process has been understood in terms of orthogenesis; as time progresses so does morphological development. However, the study of human evolution has been made more complex with the discovery of fossil specimen that resemble modern humans but which date back to the existence of Neanderthal man. Many paleontologists and paleoanthropologists have tried to ignore fossil findings such as Swanscombe in order to maintain their “straight line” evolutionary theories. Montagu urges these scientists to take into account the more advanced morphology of these species in order to more fully understand hominid evolution. Nevertheless, theorists must consider all the scientific evidence and constantly challenge their assumptions. He even challenges his own assumption about morphology by stating that while fossils such as Swanscombe appear to resemble modern man, they may have in fact been more primitive forms than the Neanderthal.
One way that Montagu chooses to explain the existence of modernlike species in early evolutionary history is through a discussion of geographic isolation. Through a process of migration hominid ancestors began to live in isolation from one another. As they began to adapt to different social and physical environments their evolutionary rates began to change and some groups evolved more rapidly than others. Some of the distinction between groups can also be explained by neotenous mutuations. It is difficult to trace the ancestors of humans and it is more important to ask whether neotenous mutation is an important factor in the evolution of man.
ALICIA HURLE Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Montagu, Ashley M.F. Time, Morphology, and Neotony in the Evolution of Man American Anthropologist 1955 Vol. 57: 13-27
This article is concerned with the theory that modern-like types of man appeared quite early in the evolution of the genus. The issue the author considers is the difficulty in understanding how and from which ancestors modern-like forms of man could have developed. Montagu attempts to indicate how this puzzlement can be deciphered.
By evaluating certain seemingly incontrovertible facts, Montagu attempts to shed some light on how modern-like forms of man came into being so early in the evolutionary history of man. By examining such concepts as the time/morphology relationship, orthogenesis, as well as the questions of probability related to findings, the author attempts to make sense of morphological differences found in different types of remains. Continuing, the author discusses the morphology of findings such as Fontéchevade, specimens from the Third Interglacial, Swanscombe man, the early Neanderthals, Kanam jaw fossils and Kanjera skull fossils, discussing their chronological placements in evolution. He focuses particularly on skull morphology. Evolutionary rates, or the measure of morphological change relative to given periods of elapsed time, according to his research, should be taken into account in the noted comparison studies. Finally, he addresses mutations, such as pedomorphosis, fetalization, and neotony, as playing a role in evolutionary differences. Additionally, he alludes to the importance underlined by other scientists that more attention might better be paid to the ‘developing’ organism than to the adult forms, as has long been done. The possibilities of neotonous mutations in different frequencies, cited by Dobzhansky, has lacked in attention and implies that more questions need to be asked and experiments carried out in relation to the functional roles of many morphological characteristics over time.
Reevaluating the role of time in evolution, Montagu concludes that time does not necessarily have a direct effect on evolution. Indirectly, time is a necessity, as without it, evolutionary events, such as the mutations discussed, could not transpire.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
KARRIE SANDFORD York University (Naomi Adelson)
Nadel, S. F. Two Nuba Religions: An Essay in Comparison. American Anthropologist. August, 1955 Vol.57 (4):661-679.
In this article Nadel focuses on the Heiban and Otoro people of the Nuba Mountains. These two groups are nearly identical racially, environmentally, and economically; their kinship systems and languages closely resemble one another. The two groups also share close ideologies of legal thought, artistic manners, and other forms of diversion. Yet religious thoughts between the two show great variation, and Nadel investigates why.
Nadel argues that the difference in religious thought between these two groups is based on their systems of thought. He reports that these two groups are completely self-governing and that the way in which they chose to act socially and culturally directly affect divergences in religious belief. Thus differences in size and political solidarity, regulation of young adults, the juridical status of wives and sexual morality, all vary between the two, leading to the difference in religious belief.
To support his argument, Nadel views the differences between the two groups’ views of a supreme being, spirit beings, body/soul (inanimate/animate), miraculous gifts or mysterious human enhancements, aspects of rituals, cultivation rites, rain rituals, and healing practices. Through these examples Nadel shows that the Heiban rely on highly ritualized acts of worship, “magical” manipulations, symbolic meanings and that they view the world as sinister. While on the other hand the Otoro view the world as ordered and rationalize, their beliefs are more “religious” in a submissive way towards God.
Nadel concludes that the social norms of the groups give rise to the difference in religious thought and that both the Heiban and Otoro are valid in their separate religious thoughts. Thus, in the context of his work, Nadel says it is unnecessary to further question why the social norms of these two groups create such differences.
MAKIVA HARPER Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Nicholson, H. B. Native Historical Traditions of Nuclear America and the Problem of Archaeological Correlation. June, 1955 American Anthropologist Vol. 57 (3):594-613
Nicholson is looking at a number of ways in which traditions and physical culture can be utilized by the archaeologist to develop a history for native peoples in the New World. Evidence has been found that includes what appears to be a very accurate method of record keeping and calendric methods in Mesoamerica. There is also information of use to the historian; information that has been recorded centuries ago by explorers and the like. One critical problem in the analysis of New World information is that what is excavated by the archaeologist is often not what the historian had seen all along. There are many schemes that have been created to alleviate this problem, to compromise the information of the archaeologist and the traditional data that has always existed.
Within the contest of this article various groups in Nuclear America are examined to illustrate the difficulty of correlating archaeological data with traditional history. The Mayas, both highland and lowland, Guatemala and El Salvador, and the north coast and Andean regions of Peru are all groups that are explored. With all of these groups, it is hopeful that archaeology will be able to clear up misconceptions that have developed throughout time. There is a considerable amount of information, archaeological and ethnological in these areas, but not enough work has been done to try to correlate them. It is hopeful that regional specialists will one day continue the work. It had been the goal of this article to simply present some of the discrepancies that exist between Nuclear American archaeology and historical traditions and to discuss the problems that exist when attempting to correlate them.
MELISSA CAVANAGH Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Oberg, Kalervo. Types of Social Structure among the Lowland Tribes of South and Central America. American Anthropologist. 1955. Vol.57(3):472-487.
Oberg discusses six types of social structures among indigenous societies in Central and South America, which he classifies into homogenous tribes, segmented tribes, politically organized chiefdoms, feudal states, city-states, and theocratic empires. Oberg considers food production and food surpluses as important determinants of population size and density, which influence the type of social structure that a group has. In particular, intensifying agriculture tends to increase population density and the complexity of social structures. Methods of subsistence do not determine the level of societal organization in a mechanistic way because environmental conditions and other factors are important variables. The ability of groups to produce surpluses is connected to their level of social stratification, including the existence of slavery.
Oberg first discusses homogenous tribes, which he defines as small groups of people related through kinship ties without any named subgroups within the tribe. These groups are self-perpetuating, and have various settlement patterns. Homogenous tribes in South and Central America tend to either have a two-lineage system or a four-lineage system, depending on the rules that determine who is eligible for marriage. Segmented tribes classify subgroups as well as individuals within themselves and result from increased population size and density. Politically organized chiefdoms consist of villages under the control of one chief; their emergence depends on the existence of a food surplus. Feudal states include a hereditary nobility, serfdom, priesthood, and a greater concentration of wealth. City-states depend on intensive agriculture and have specialized occupations as well as markets. The most complex social structure that
Oberg describes is the Inca theocratic empire that organized the economy of a very large area and collected surpluses for rulers, priests, and public works. In conclusion, increases in the food supply are the “necessary preconditions for the appearance of levels of increasing social complexity.”
CLARITY RANKING: 3
KARA BURT Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Oberg, Kalervo. Types of Social Structure among the Lowland Tribes of South and Central America. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol. 57 472-487
In this article Kalervo summarizes Steward’s classification of the marginal, tropical forests, Circum Caribbean, and Andean civilizations. He structures his material with three objectives in mind:
1. To classify tribes or other culture- carrying units on the basis of certain typical culture traits.
2. To distinguish broad cultural strata of levels and to indicate the developmental interrelationship of these levels.
3. To determine, in so far as possible, the concrete historical processes by which these developments have taken place.
He divides the tribes into six major social political units: Homogenous, Segmented, Politically Organized Chiefdoms, Feudal Type States, City States, and Theocratic Empires. He explains that the variety and complexity of these different units represent increasing complexity in their continuing social environment.
He concludes that the digging-stick agriculture varies so much by specific environments that each situation should be evaluated separately in order to weigh major developments and subsistence practices, like irrigation agriculture, and their correlation with social complexity. In this paper the relationship between social organization and subsistence and other economic activities has not been discussed, for the correlation here is of a different order.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
SIMON ISRAEL York University (Naomi Adelson)
Rouse, Irving. On the Correlation of Phases of Culture. American Anthropologist August, 1955 Vol. 57 (4): 713-722.
The purpose of this article is to examine the concepts of “component” and “phase” in regards to archeological research. Phillip and Willey (1953) propose that the majority of archeologists concentrate on tangible evidence from cultures, such as artifacts, but they believe that it is important to have a greater understanding of cultures themselves. Before Rouse begins his discussion, he states that he is not favoring one side but trying to illustrate the collaboration of all sides.
.A component is a tangible aspects of cultures such as “group of burials, food remains, collection of artifacts”( 1955: 713). A phase is the rituals, beliefs, and values of a culture. Thus, a phase is the uses of the component. Rouse brings forth several methods in determination of phases: descriptive correlation, distributional correlation, and genetic correlation. A descriptive correlation is the idea that there are similarities among phases. Distributional correlation asserts that it is mportant to know when and where phases began. Genetic correlation studies the relationships among phases. Although these correlations are critical to understand cultures, there are limitations to these methods. Distributional and genetic correlation are limited to availabe data. In general, none of the three correlations can be sufficient by itself. It is critical to have a collaboration among all types of correlations. Rouse concludes that culture historians need to understand that there “is no short cut to historical reconstruction” (1955: 721). It is fundamental that culture historians adopt new methods and concepts to gain a better and more complete understanding of cultures.
KELLY GILFEATHER: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Sayles, E.B. Three Mexican Crafts. American Anthropologist October, 1955 Vol. 57 (5): 953-973.
The purpose of this article is “to call attention to three important crafts now practiced in Oaxaca, Mexico” (953). The three crafts are pottery making, weaving, and jewelry making. It is important to point out to the reader of the article that although the crafts are “now” being practiced in Oaxaca, that the methods used to construct these crafts, can be compared to methods of past craftsmen. The author goes through and describes each craft separately and what makes each unique.
The pottery making is unique because the artists use a hand molding method to create the pots. Rather than using potting wheels, which were introduced by the Spanish, the artist uses their fist as a “lathe” to mold the pot. The other unique method used in pottery making is the firing method, where the heat of the kiln is increased steadily over time. Another unique type of pottery made by the artist is “Talavera” pottery, or a particular type of glazed pottery.
Within the weaving craft, there are different types of looms and weaves that can be used to create certain patterns and pieces. The body loom helps to weave particular types of cloth and clothing. For example, it can help to create a “rebozo”, or a female scarf that is often worn in Latin America. Horizontal loom weaving is another type of weaving that creates different forms of clothing and household materials, such as the serapes, which are often used to cover the floor or the bed.
Metal casting, is another process used that helps to create different pieces of art. It has often been compared to the lost-wax casting method found in the Benin Kingdom of Africa. In Mexico, however, this process helped to create copper bells and can also be used to create jewelry and dentistry tools.
I believe an underlying theme of this article is stated at the end when the author describes the importance of knowing about these different forms of craftsmanship: “by connecting the past to the present one can see how “ancient” art processes and creations were made.”
JESSICA SAVAGE: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Sayles, E.B.. Three Mexican Crafts. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57:953-973
In Mexico, the three most important crafts that are beneficial for the economy are pottery making, weaving and jewelry making. They are especially essential in the region of Oaxaca, which has a large Indian population. Basic descriptions for each of these forms of artwork are provided in the article along with numerous photographs of the crafts and step-by-step instructions on how they are constructed.
The principal types of pottery making are: the black ware of Coyotepec; the red ware and green-glazed ware of Atzompa; and the “Maiolica” or “Talavera” ware made in Oaxaca. The black ware of Coyotopec is the most important type of pottery making. Two shallow bowls are used to turn the clay after it is shaped into a hollowed cone and turned on a wheel. The potter’s hand and scrapers also serve as shaping tools. In the particular Coyotepec pottery, the hand holding the shaping tool remains stationary and the clay is molded by being revolved. There is a significant method for making the pottery using a certain firing technique. Fire is gradually increased in a kiln that is filled with pottery. Two or three hours later, the fire box is filled with wood and the kiln is completely sealed by covering it with soil and plastering the opening to the fire box with wet adobe. Adobe is a type of brick made from clay mixed with straw or grass and dried in the sun. The pottery is removed from the kiln the next day and wiped clean of the soot to produce a high polish on the gray and black metallic surface. In red ware pottery, the only difference is that the kiln is not sealed. In green-glaze pottery, the vessels commonly glazed are thin-walled and are made on a kick wheel. Some examples are pitchers with spouts and handles and cooking vessels with handles. The “Talavera” or “Maiolica” type of pottery are principally used in tourist export, the service of food and as decorations. Middlemen generally distribute all of these types of pottery to their market. They provide a great deal of ethnological information about Native American crafts, which can be of use in archaeological interpretation.
The second type of craft used by the Oaxaca is weaving. Females traditionally perform weaving on the body loom whereas men primarily do mechanical weaving. Body loom weaving is used mainly to make two things: a rebozo which is the universal female scarf of Latin America, and a narrow, short cloth, worn by native women as a sash. Another form of hand weaving is horizontal body loom weaving. Wool serapes are woven on the looms and are used as bed or floor coverings.
The last type of craft described is metal casting, which is used in jewelry making. In Oaxaca, a certain process using “lost wax” is performed to make the jewelry as well as other delicate metal castings such as those required in dentistry and for varied industrial purposes. A wax model is placed into a tin can, which is in turn placed into a hot oven. The heat burns up the wax, giving the name “lost wax”. Centrifugal force instead of gravity is used to force molten metal in the mold, eliminating oxygen.
This article is basically an overview of the different processes of pottery making used in Mexico, for economic purposes.
LISA ARGENTINI York University (Naomi Adelson)
Schneider, David M. and Homans, George C. Kinship Terminology and the American Kinship System. American Anthropologist. December, 1955 Vol.57 (6)1194-1208.
The authors set out to explain the American kinship system through the analysis of terms that Americans use for their kin. A variety of techniques were used on both students and faculty in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard University in order to assemble data for the study, but the sample consisted of considerably more men than women. Thirty-seven informants were intensely interviewed on the full genealogies of terms used for every kinsman. Although the sample included a variety of age groups, differences among the major regions of the United States were not considered.
The American kinship system is unique in how it makes use of alternate terms in referring to one’s kin. Not only is there a very large number of alternate terms that can be used when talking or referring to one’s relative, but there is also the usage of possessive pronouns that can vary as well when referring to whom the relationship is with. The authors found that the situational context influenced the reference and address made. “Second cousin” is an example of a term used in reference but never in address. There are instances in which the term can serve both purposes; not only does “father” define a class, but it also distinguishes a role.
Many of those studied claimed to use a “principal” term and a couple variant terms when speaking or referring to their parents. Formality seemed to play a part in what term was used for one’s parents. Another significant finding is that, over time, changes are made in the terms we use. As adults we rarely use the same “names” that
we did as a young child. For the terms for aunt and uncle, the variables included which side of the family the person was on, the gender and age of the informant, and whether a positive or negative relationship existed between the two relatives. It was also found that their informants made a distinction between “mother” and the person who raised them. This study showed just how complex the American kinship system is: “Kinship must therefore teach him more than the limited scope of pure kinship, it must teach him the fundamentals of his whole culture” (1208).
LISA BAER Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Service, Elman R. Indian-European Relations in Colonial Latin America. American Anthropologist June, 1955 Vol. 57 (3):411-425.
Service addresses the issue of aboriginal racial and cultural assimilation in various regions of Latin America. His hypothesis is that the acculturation of indigenous people by European conquerors took place more quickly and fully in areas where colonial control was more individualized and regulated. Service mentions the differences between the Europeans who sought control over the Indian populations, discussing the varying tactics of the Spanish and Portuguese. However, he asserts the greater importance of the indigenous cultural features in determining the method of European domination and, thus, the level of cultural and racial assimilation.
Service divides Latin America into three regions, each with its own distinct level of European assimilation. The most pure forms of native culture are found in the Mesoamerican and Andean highlands. A majority of the communities located in the lowlands are Mestizo, with a cultural and racial mix of Europeans and indigenous peoples. The plains of Uruguay, Argentina, and northern Mexico are largely areas of Euro-American occupation with little or no Indian survival. The primary reason that Indian culture was able to continuously prosper in the highlands was because of the economic structure of the complex pre-Columbian empires that the Europeans encountered. The Spanish found a culture very similar to their own, with intensive agriculture, densely populated areas, and hierarchal bureaucracies. They took their place at the top of these hierarchal systems and were able to control a majority of the highlands’ indigenous populations with little threat of their escape due to the landscape.
The lowlands populations were less dense, and the slash-and-burn horticultural made the villages less stable than in the highlands. Escape from European control
was easier in these regions, and in order to keep Indians in the area for labor purposes, European and indigenous cultures were put into closer proximity, accounting for the Mestizo composition of the lowlands. The cultural values and organization of these groups were stripped away more rapidly, and the cultural and racial assimilation was much more complete. Service’s conclusion is that the more similar the society of the conquered is to the conquerors’, the less their racial and cultural composition will be disrupted. Greater assimilarion will take place when these two cultures are radically different and must come into closer contact for the conquering to be successful.
ALICIA HURLE Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Service, R. Elman. Indian-European Relations in Colonial Latin America. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol. 57: 411-425.
The following article examines the degree to which aboriginal racial and cultural traits in modern Latin America differs form region to region. The racial and cultural characteristics of these modern Latin American regions vary because of their correlation with the early period of European colonization. The article observes three rural population types which include; Euro-America, Mestizo-America and Indo-America. Elman argues that during the colonial periods, Europeans introduced policies and institutions within these regions. However, policies and institutions in place differed from place to place, because they were designed as responses to the problems created by the extensive differences in the native cultures, which they encountered. In the second part of the article, Elman evaluates these cultural differences in order to isolate the specific characteristics, which were of most significance in creating the conditions, which resulted in the survival for great numbers of Indians in Indo-America and their early assimilation and extermination or expulsion. The article extensively discusses the colonial relation and their response to highland people versus the lowland people. Thus, the last part of the article is concerned with the quality of the acculturation in each region.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
AZADEH ZARE-MOAYEDI York University, (Naomi Adelson)
Simmons, Ozzie G. The Criollo Outlook in the Mestizo Culture. American Anthropologist February, 1955 Vol.57 (1): 107-117.
Simmons focuses on defining the criollo outlook in Peru, examining its relationship to different classes, ethnic groups, and regions in Peru. He examines criollo customs and the ideal characteristics of criollo personality. Simmons finds that criollo culture is prevalent among lower- and middle-class residents of Lima, the capital of Peru, and among the upper class of small cities in the coastal region.
The author begins with examining previous literature on criollo and mestizo culture. He finds that criollo culture is part of mestizo culture and is not the same as the culture of the original criollos in Peru, who were the descendents of Spanish settlers and have had a very European influenced culture. What Simmons describes as criollo culture in Peru creatively synthesizes indigenous and European elements and affirms mestizo culture and identity as original and positive. Elements of this culture include particular types of music, dance, food, and beverages that combine during extended parties. An ideal criollo man, according to Simmons, is clever, roguish, creative, and is able to obtain his goals with the least possible effort. These qualities are widely admired and lead to government corruption and little trust among criollos; they represent different values than the Protestant ethic, reflecting an intrinsic value of work. Elements of current criollo culture of the lower classes began to emerge in colonial times, and the Peruvian upper class looks down upon the criollism of the masses and identifies as white rather than mestizo. According to Simmons, criollo culture continues to mark ethnic and class boundaries and should be the object of further study.
KARA BURT Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Simmons, Ozzie G. The Criollo Outlook in the Mestizo Culture of Coastal Peru. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57 (11): 107-117.
In this article, Simmons is concerned with identifying and analyzing a key pattern of mestizo culture, with particular reference to Lima in relation to selected aspects of mestizo culture and social structure in coastal Peru. This pattern is the criollo outlook, which outlines the stereotype of the ideal personality and identifies the major function in the ordering of class and ethnic relations.
Simmons begins this article by comparing the prior works and opinions of John Gillin and Harry Tschopik. They each have varying opinions of what the term criollo means and to whom. Gillin uses the term to identify the Peruvian mestizo culture as a whole, while Tschopik restricts the term’s use to the upper-class way of life. Although Gillin and Tschopik use this term quite differently, the term is actually used to designate a set of patterns that represent mestizo culture in 1955 Peru. Simmons also touches on the various biological make-up of the people and the names that are applied.
The criollo outlook comes from the viewpoint of those oriented to it. There are many aspects of the culture that are revealed throughout the article, from dancing and courting to bullfighting and sports. Some of the characteristics of the culture have been in process since pre-colonial times, whereas others can only be traced as far back as the nineteenth century. They are depicted, as Tschopik believes because the upper- and lower-class have slight differences. Simmons closes by stating that this article has been about establishing and affirming the cultural identity of the Peruvian mestizo.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
PATRICIA A. FALCONI York University (Naomi Adelson).
Slotkin, J.S. Peyotism. American Anthropologist April 1955 Vol. 57 (2): 202-230.
After reviewing the literature available in 1955, Slotkin felt that there was simply not enough information known about peyote, its uses in Native American and American cultures, or the history of its usage. Slotkin begins the paper by analyzing and describing exactly what is meant by term peyote. The term peyote has, over time, been misconstrued into meaning several different things and referring to several different plants. From there, Slotkin then moves on to discuss the different tribes that had or still have a high level of peyote usage in their society. The reader is then presented with a map that shows the suspected areas, ranging from Mexico to just over the Rio Grande, that grow the cactus from which peyote is made as well as the regions of peyote using tribes. Next, Slotkin presents the reader with a list of the many different usages of peyote amongst the different tribes listed earlier. These uses vary from a healing compound to the tribe admitting to using the cactus simply as an intoxicant. Finally, the reader is presented with an explanation of exactly what is meant by the Peyote Cult and the role is plays in the current usage of peyote in these tribes.
Slotkin finishes his paper with a long list of interviews, historical documents, and quotes from sources on the region. These sources are meant to give the reader a better understanding of exactly how the peyote problem was identified and handled. Since the main point of the paper was to simply provide more information and better definitions on the peyote phenomenon, Slotkin makes no predictions and asks no questions that could be answered by his research. The only questions that Slotkin asks cannot be answered due to a lack of information and sources.
DEVIN GINGRICH: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Spiro, Melford E. The Acculturation of American Ethnic Groups. American Anthropologist December, 1955 Vol. 57 (6):1240-1251.
Melford Spiro’s paper begins with a survey of the literature on American ethnic groups. Spiro finds that the main focus of such literature has dealt with the cultures and the acculturation of ethnic groups. Spiro’s survey of literature examines anthropological studies which he finds focus largely on minority groups and race relations implying a strong interest in prejudice, discrimination, and what he terms ‘inter-group’ relations. Spiro then conducts a brief survey of research pertaining to American ethnic groups. His discussion of ‘Who has been studied?’ ranges from Mexicans to Jews to Japanese to Italians to Norwegians to Irish and to many others. Then Spiro examines ‘What has been studied?’ which emphasizes eight main categories. Spiro assumes it is better to restrict his comments to a few selected topics in his section, ‘What has been learned?’, rather than commenting on all these categories. Below is a summary of Spiro’s five main focuses followed by his five main conclusion or findings or beliefs: (1) Acculturation and social mobility (since acculturation is a necessary condition for mobility achievement, mobility aspirations lead to an acceleration of the acculturative process), (2) Acculturation and nativism (discusses that ethnocentrism is always present in the native), (3) Acculturation and religion (religion is an independent variable in acculturation and may serve to accelerate or retard the process), (4) Acculturation and the family (the influence of the Church serves to keep the structure of the family ‘inviolate’), and (5) Acculturation and personality (cultural changes occur without corresponding changes in personality).
SIMON BUSTOW: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Trager, George L. The Language of America. American Anthropologist December, 1955 Vol. 57 (6):1182-1193.
Trager analyzes the different languages of America, and the studies of linguistics, which have been conducted throughout history. William Dwight Whitney began the modern linguistics phase with his book, Language and the Study of Language, published in 1867; it was also the first book published in the United States on the general field of linguistics. Yale University became a center of linguistic study during the time of World War II, when many young men were associated with the language program. The Indian languages spoken in the United States dealt well with phonology, inflection, and word formation, but many languages exist which have not been studied, nor recorded, and the author warns that these languages may soon die out before adequate study is conducted. However, a great deal of books have been published which offer excellent studies of the English language. In 1951, with the support of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Outline of English Structure was published, which has been used as a basis for the creation of many textbooks of English produced for foreign speaking individuals. The series includes works such as English for Koreans…for Turks…for Indonesians…for Greeks, and many others. Language has an obvious and important connection to culture, and the author stresses the role of the anthropologist in studying, analyzing, and recording these different languages and their formations.
DANIELLE KUSKOWSKI Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Vogt, Evon Z. American Subcultural Continua as Exemplified by the Mormons and Texans.American Anthropologist December, 1955 Vol. 57 (6):1163-1172.
Vogt’s overall concern is that although anthropologists research all different types of variation in American culture, there are some that have not been sufficiently addressed to date (1955). The thesis of this paper is that there is a variation in American culture, which he calls ‘a historically derived subcultural continuum’. Vogt’s main argument is that there are subcultures that can be mapped in time and space and categorized by specific patterns and values. The Mormon culture and Texan culture are used as examples throughout this paper and argument.
The section labeled ‘Temporal and Spatial Distributions’ defines the author’s operational definition of Mormon culture and Texan culture and contains a brief historical time line of the two subcultures. The section labeled ‘Cultural Pattern and Value Characteristics’ compares and contrasts similarities and differences between the two subcultures and then with the generalized American culture. In Vogt’s conclusion, he acknowledges that he has advanced the idea of the concept of a historically derived subcultural continuum. Vogt notes that for a more exact and clearer set of boundaries and characteristics a much closer study is required. Finally, Vogt briefly addresses ‘regionalism’.
SIMON BUSTOW Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Vogt, Evon Z. A Study of Southwestern Fiesta Systems as Exemplified by the Laguna Fiesta. August, 1955 American Anthropologist Vol. 57 (4): 820-839.
The main attempt of this paper is to round out the understanding of the fiesta scene in the small village setting of the American Midwest. Vogt feels that the literature of the time did not cover the fiesta scene with the depth that was necessary to understand what was happening. Vogt also looks at the ties between the fiestas and Catholicism in their organization and their justification.
Vogt then begins to discuss exactly what the sacred meanings were behind the fiesta. According to Vogt, it seems that there are several different reasons that the fiesta takes place. Originally the fiesta was held in March in remembrance of the patron saint of the pueblo. Over time, the fiesta was moved to September so that it would coincide with the harvest of the season, as well as being in the more favorable weather of September.
Next, Vogt launches into a discussion of exactly what happens at the Laguna Fiesta. After spending two years at the festival, he is able to present information on who was present, what vendors were there, and how attendance changed from year to year.
Vogt concludes by discussing the communal beliefs about the fiesta. He feels that although there are many different groups of people present at the fiesta, there is no one reason for having the fiesta. Each group justifies their presence at the fiesta in their own manor, but are able to exist in harmony.
DEVIN GINGRICH: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Wagley, Charles. Bernard Mishkin. American Anthropologist, 1955. Vol. 37: 1033,1035.
Charles Wagley’s “Bernard Mishkin” is a short biography of Bernard Mishkin, an influential anthropologist during the mid twentieth century. Mishkin died of a heart attack in 1954 at the young age of forty-one; however, he had the theoretical insight which could have made him one of the foremost anthropologists of his generation. In order to convince that Mishkin had a gift in the field of anthropology, Wagley explores all of the contributions that Mishkin made during his short period of anthropological research. Wagley reveals all of the contributions Mishkin made to the field of anthropology and emphasizes his dedication. He presents Mishkin’s biography in chronological order, mentioning Mishkin’s background, education, and occupations. By giving a detailed list of the impressive institutions where Mishkin studied and taught, Wagley justifies Mishkin’s potential. He also confirms that Columbia University’s Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict recognized Mishkin’s abilities. Furthermore, Wagley explores Mishkin’s fieldwork on the Kiowa of Oklahoma, the Wapi area of New Guinea, and Kauri, Peru. He reveals that Mishkin had influence upon the development of ethnography in Peruvian universities and museums. However, Wagley reveals that Mishkin’s career was stunted by his war service and his later business activities. Wagley acknowledges that Mishkin is missed by many of his colleges who recognized his sparkling mind and erudition.
ERICA GREENBERG Barnard College (Paige West)
Wagley, Charles. Bernard Mishkin (1913-1954). American Anthropologist March 1955 Vol. 57(1):1033-1034
Bernard Mishkin, a man of real intelligence and of great promise died suddenly of a heart attack on July 13, 1954 in Frankfort on the Main, Germany. Mishkin was deeply involved in anthropology and considered himself to be an anthropologist even when he worked in other fields and stayed up to date in the recent developments in ethnology and social anthropology. Various reasons keep him from being fully devoted to anthropology and he was involved in various other activities including military service, administrative services and even business.
Mishkin’s education started in 1933, when he received his B.A from Franklin and Marshall College. He then went on to receive a M.A. degree in psychology from Columbia University in 1934. After studying under Franz Boas and Rught Bendict, who recognized his abilities early, he was granted his Ph.D degree in anthropology in 1937, at age 24.
Mishkin’s field work started during the summer of 1935 with the Kiowa Oklahoma as a Fellow of the Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology. There he examined the view of the Plains warfare as a just a game and showed it’s relationship to economic gain and social status and wrote the Rank and Warfare among the Plains Indians. In 1936, his field work took him to the Wapi area in New Guinea after receiving a fellowship from the Social Science Research Council. He is best know for the work the he did in South America, which he started in 1937 in Kauri, an Indian village in highland Peru sponsorship of the Columbia University Council for Research in the Social Sciences. He often returned to Peru is various ways other then for field work. In 1941, he returned as a Visiting Curator as the National Museum of Peru where he influences the development of ethnology in Peruvian universities and museums. In 1948, he traveled as a consultant to UNESCO. He demonstrate his extensive knowledge of Peru and South America in a widely discussed article for The Nation in 1949. He was also awarded a fellowship for the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation which he used to write a book that he was not able to complete. Mishkin also held various other jobs in the field of anthropology. He was a research associate at Columbia University and a lecturer in anthropology at Brandies University.
By not being just an ethnographer but a student and observer Mishkin learned a vast amount about the economic, social and political issues in Peru and other South American countries. He became acquainted with many people in Peru and in other South American countries and became more the just a expert or anthropologist but a participant of Peruvian society.
CLARTIY RANKING: 5
IRENE TENENBAUM Barnard College (Paige West)
Wagley, Charles and Marvin Harris. A Typology of Latin American Subcultures. American Anthropologist June, 1955 Vol. 57 (3):428-451.
Wagley and Harris divide Latin American subcultures into nine different types, based on combining the results of previous studies. Tribal Indian types are relatively rare and have been isolated from European influence, while modern Indian types have incorporated some elements of European and national culture. Modern Indian groups are still culturally distinct from the national cultures of their countries and usually speak an indigenous language. Peasant types are of a variety of racial backgrounds and work the land in small plots, frequently using slash-and-burn cultivation, and are more integrated into the national culture and economy than Indian groups. They live in rural areas and villages. The authors distinguish between two types of plantation systems, the traditional engenho plantation and the modern, usina plantation, and the owners of both belong to the upper class. Engenho plantations were originally based on slavery and had a subculture that, according to Wagley and Harris, included a “stable set of relations often accompanied by personal intimacy and intense loyalty,” while the usina plantations are larger, more mechanized, and worked by mobile workers. Towns have their own subculture formed by local elites that seek to emulate cosmopolitan, upper-class lifestyles, while manual labors who live in small towns have much in common with peasants. The metropolitan upper class is the new aristocracy that traditionally emulated France, but has recently turned more to models from the United States and values luxury. The urban middle class identifies with the values of the upper class, looks down on manual labor, and middle class people often live beyond their means in pursuit of luxury items. The urban proletariat remains understudied, does not share in the technological advancements associated with city life, and is largely composed of recent migrants from rural areas.
Wagley and Harris apply their typology to three Brazilian communities that they studied, finding that political attitudes, behavior and other characteristics were divided according to the subcultures in which the people belonged. The authors conclude that subcultures in Latin America are changing and becoming more homogenous due to industrialization and urbanization.
KARA BURT Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian).
Willey, Gordon R. The Prehistoric Civilizations of Nuclear America. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57 (3): 571-593.
Gordon Willey describes at length the cultural content of the native agricultural civilizations of the New World in order to understand the prehistory of various regions and groups. He specifically focuses his discussion on Nuclear America and the “Oikoumene.” He defines “Nuclear America” both in geographical terms, including central and southern Mexico, Central America, the north Andes, and Peru, and also with distinct cultural connotations such as the “aboriginal high culture.” The Oikoumene of the Old World is defined as “the millennially interrelated higher civilization in the connected mainland masses of the Eastern hemisphere…as a great web of culture growth” (571). He then discusses how an analysis of these cultures provides a foundation for understanding New World prehistory. More specifically, Willey sets out to analyze the cultures of Mexico-Peru “as a great historical unit or diffusion sphere” where, although there are regional stylistic differences, there is significant common culture content. His thesis is asserting the importance of examining this cultural content, “to offer hypotheses as to its origins and dissemination, and to further treat the similarities and differences of the course of civilization in the two principle subcenters of Nuclear America- Middle America and Peru” (572). In doing this Willey uses the cultural content of these populations to develop a chronology and history of these regions, as they are significant to their interrelationship and their relevance to the prehistory of the New World.
In his discussion of these regions, their cultures, and their significance to later histories, Willey analyzes a variety of artifacts that reveal “cultural content”, including agricultural patterns, pottery, tools, art, architecture, technology, and mounds. Focusing his discussion on these factors, Willey’s discussion is attentive to specific cultural issues and regional and time differences and similarities. This article is rather comprehensive in its analysis of the prehistory of New World. However, in order to most fully understand and appreciate this article, one should have a background in these early populations and cultures.
KRISTEN SHELL: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian).
Willey, Gordon R. and Philip Phillips. Methods and Theory in American Archaeology II: Historical-Developmental Interpretation. American Anthropologist August, 1955 Vol.57 (4):723-819.
This article is the second part of a discussion dealing with how to interpret archaeological data. The goal of this article is to outline six developmental stages and the criteria within those stages. The six stages are: Early Lithic, Archaic, Preformative, Formative, Classic, and Postclassic. The Early Lithic and Archaic stages are characterized by lithic technology and techniques. The Preformative stage was created as a theoretical stepping stone between the Archaic and Formative periods. It represents the period when elements of the Formative stage (“agriculture, stable settlement patterns, craft specialization, and ceremonialism”) were beginning to form and emerge. The Formative stage, then, incorporates the above criteria. It also requires agriculture to be fully integrated into society, to create socioeconomic complexity. The Classic stage is not defined by technological advances, but by “perceived characteristics of aesthetic excellence, religious climax, and general florescence.” Thus, the criteria are qualitative rather than quantitative, and are relative to the stages before and after. “[F]eatures of, or tendencies toward, urbanism, secularism, and militarism” define the Postclassic stage. For all of these stages, the authors elaborate in great detail the different evidences for the creation of such stages. Also, these stages are tested on the New World archaeological record, detailing the appearance of each of these stages geographically.
However, the authors contend that there are no “right” stages to be found, only ones that provide a better way in which to conduct interpretation. Further, there is no “evolution” of culture. The six stages are not inevitable, nor does a culture have to pass through all of them. There are many factors, both cultural and non-cultural, that determine whether or not a culture will undergo any of these stages. The authors ask the readers to question their scheme and they outline the shortcomings. One main problem with their scheme is that it tries to be both developmental and historical. Another problem relates to the change in criteria for stages (from qualitative to quantitative). The last main problem discussed is that the scheme does not allow for cultural regression. The authors then ask a number of questions for the reader to consider, regarding the problems in New World Archaeology and the schemes developed from it, including theirs.
KATIE JOHNSON Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Willey, R. Gordon and Phillips, Philip. Method and Theory in American Archeology II: Historical Developmental Interpretation. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol.57:723-818.
In their article, Willey and Phillips, attempt to organize an analytic developmental scheme for New World archeology. They begin by briefly going over the way they came to perceive this scheme and then explain its organization in detail.
As a point of departure they ask: “What method of organization can be used to integrate archeological data on an American-wide scale?” To this end they list two techniques for integrating historical data (or “units of culture”), the horizon and tradition. They do so not only to describe their significance, but more importantly to point out their limits. The former method for example focuses on an art style or specific complex of features and thus has little utility in multiple area synthesis. The later, while allowing for greater flexibility in spatial dimensions and content by focusing on repeating configurations of singular or whole systems of technologies, still carries strict limits of time and space.
So it is that they insist on developing a historical developmental scheme that is “free from strict limitations of time and space, yet has a general historical validity in the widest sense.” To achieve this they plot out a series of sequential cultural stages. These are similar to that which Steward and Krieger had done before them, with the major difference being that their model is one for the New World in general.
This scheme consists of six stages, with the first two being primarily based on typological and technological data, while the proceeding four bear greater configurational criteria. Furthermore, the authors also give detailed accounts of the key geographic location(s) of these eras. The scheme includes:
1. Early Lithic: defined as the stage of unspecialized percussion industries, or rough and chipped stone technologies. Settlement patterns are such that they leave little trace. Social organization is small scale and kinship based, relying on a hunting/gathering economy.
2. Archaic: defined as the stage where in addition to those stone technologies of the Early Lithic, grinding and polishing are also used. To be more specific, significant innovations in those technologies essential to gathering cultures were made. For example, these include heavy woodworking tools, or other more precise utensils (e.g.: drills). Settlements are small yet rich in deposits, denoting a sedentary not nomadic way of life.
3. Preformative: this stage is suggested as more of a theoretical of their model and less as one that arises out of sheer archeological evidence. It is to be that stage at which the elements of the Formative were assembling, these being agriculture, ceremonialism etc. Thus, the shift to the formative stage can be more clearly demonstrated than the shift from the Archaic, as those defining features of the formative are less pronounced.
4. Formative: defined by the presence of two key forms of agriculture, (maize and/or manioc), and by their efficient socioeconomic integration into a well-established sedentary culture. Such societies thus bear a certain level of minimal complexity, and have arisen from a particular food economy.
5. Classic: defined by a qualitative and not quantitative or absolute set of criteria. In other words its identification rests more on the “subjectively perceived characteristics of aesthetic excellence, religious climax and general florescence.”
6. PostClassic: is basically defined by features of urbanism, secularism, and militarism. Thus the criteria are once more objective. Of course such trends may have been previously present, but at this stage they are far more emphasized. Not surprisingly, another defining feature of this era was the large-scale movements of people, along with their ideas or conceptual frameworks.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
BEHZAD SARMADI York University (Naomi Adelson)
Wolf, Eric R. Types of Latin American Peasantry: A Preliminary Discussion. American Anthropologist June, 1955 Vol.57 (3): 452-471.
Eric R. Wolf discusses two main types of Latin American peasant communities, which he calls open communities and corporate peasant communities. The author defines peasants as agricultural producers who control land, unlike tenants, and aims at subsistence rather than expansion of their production. This definition emphasizes structural relations rather than any specific cultural content, and Wolf states that peasants are parts of larger societies and cultures and are related to urban areas.
The first peasant communities that Wolf discusses are those practicing intensive subsistence cultivation in highland areas and that hold land in common. These communities are in marginal areas and use traditional, labor-intensive production technologies. The community allocates power to its members, does not have strong class divisions, and is centered around the nuclear family as a unit of production and consumption. Community members sell a small amount of their crops in order to buy needed items, but produce mostly for their own subsistence. The other type of community that Wolf focuses on are what he calls open communities that sell 50 to 75 percent of their production and tends to be located in humid lowlands. Producing for the market gives them the opportunity to buy more goods, but their income from cash crops is unstable because it is subject to fluctuations in the world market, so they rely on subsistence production to meet their basic food needs. The possible accumulation in goods and economic differences between community members are sources of conflict.
Wolf points out that subsistence production and producing for the market should not be seen as two progressive stages in development because peasants often engage in both and shift their production in response to economic trends rather than showing a clear progression towards market production. Wolf points out other types of peasant production should be studied further, including peasants that sell most of their produce to stable local markets.
KARA BURT Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Worsley, P.M. Totemism in a Changing Society. American Anthropologist. August, 1955 Vol. 57 (4):851-861.
This article looks at totemism within WaniNdiljaugwa, an aboriginal Australian tribe and how it has changed over time. According to Worsley the use of the totem expresses the relations between man and nature and the relations between man and man. These relations are based on the resources in the environment and the influences of these resources and individuals within the area. Thus the arrival of white on the island of Groote Eylandt brought changes in the environment and in the society and totemism as a whole.
The attitude towards totemism is not ritually inclined, nor are totems considered to be eponymous ancestors. The totems are divided into three groups that have to do with the landscape or species of the island, the wind, and ships. All of these items have an importance to the people of the island. Certain plants and animals provide food and sustaining materials, the wind brings with it different seasons, and ships that provides methods of trading.
MAKIVA HARPER: Denison University (Bahram Tavakolian)
Worsley, P.M. Totemism in a Changing Society. American Anthropologist 1955 Vol. 57: 851-861
By observing the changes in the totemic system of the Australian tribe WaniNdiljaugwa, P.M. Worsley aims to prove that totemism changes as society changes.
The tribe WaniNdiljaugwa habits Groote Eyelandt in the Missionary Society Mission and in the independent settlement at Umbakumba. They are also part of two moieties with six clans each. Worsley observes they have no ritual attitude towards the totem, with their principal totems falling into three categories: totems that are features of the topography of the island or natural species; wind totems; and ship totems.
The wind totems are connected with annual visits of the Makasaans indicated by the name of the winds, which are of Makassareste or Malay origin. The Makasaans were a tribe that visited them annually from at least the last quarter of the 18th Century to 1907. Furthermore, Worsley states that the symbols used for the winds in paintings, as indicated by Rose’s hypothesis, were derived from the shape of Makasaar sails in various winds.
Worsley also states the ship totem was recent in origin and that it served to explain how ships were made in Bickerton Island and how humans were divided into black and white (for which the Makasaans were thought to be responsible). In addition, totems seemed to express relations between Man and Nature. They showed the relation of the tribe to a particular environment but not to nature in general. In view of this, Worsley concludes they created their totemic categories in accordance with their primary interests. Correspondingly, totems described the relationship between Man and Man, serving as group affiliations and as a group allegiance.
Worsley however, finds no differences between ‘totemic’ songs and ‘historical’ songs, thus showing new totems would depend on the importance of the social material from which they derive and that historical events can give rise to new totems through songs and dances.
According to the findings, Worsley concludes that because the basic life pattern was maintained almost unchanged over the centuries, so did the totemic system. This changed with the arrival of Makasaans, which modified the totemic system and their life pattern. These were further modified by the impact of white men (war and dependency on the white men’s goods). Worsley also believes that it is mainly its importance in social groups that makes the totem important today since no ritual significance is attached to it. Accordingly, if groups disappear, so will totems, and only songs as to comment on thing of social interest and change will remain.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
RAQUEL ZEPEDA York University (Naomi Adelson)