American Anthropologist 1956
Adams, Richard N. Cultural Components of Central America. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58 (5): 881-907.
Adams is attempting to provide a “…systematic identification and classification of Central American peoples and culture” and in doing so hoped to contribute to the general knowledge of populations of the world. This article is not so much an article, but an essay detailing the various cultures and class systems as they pertain to the various regions of Central America. Adams looked for the similarities and differences between the population in question and found that the cultures of the regions often dictated class and often occupation, if any.
Adams used previous writings about the myriad peoples of the regions studied and has included and extensive bibliographies and also provided a few monographs. Adams also proposes a new system of classification of the population components of Central America. To this end, he takes into account the geography and history of the regions as well as the contemporary culture of the peoples in those regions. Adams goes into great detail in describing these disparate groups and is critical of his predecessors for not be as meticulous.
His main criticisms are that his predecessors’ system of classification does not include all of the population components present. Also that the “…Murdock and Wagley and Harris systems suffer from the lack of comparability of categories.” The third criticism Adams has is that each of the previous classifications is based on different criteria and only one, Gillins’, is clear due to its generality. Overall Adams concludes in this respect that the data collected is insufficient because it was not collected for the purposes of classification but for other purposes.
CLARITY RANKING: 1
CRIS CORCORAN University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Adams, Richard N. Cultural Components of Central America. American Anthropologist October, 1956 Vol. 58(5): 881-907.
Adams aim is twofold; first he provides a descriptive sketch on the distinct and numerous cultural traditions that exist in Central America, and consequently he provides an outline in which other archaeologists and anthropologists should follow when attempting to identify and classify a site or cultural region. He is therefore concerned with the issue in improving methodology when it comes to classification and identification in anthropology.
He attempts to prove this by first outlining his new method, then using it to describe cultural components that exist in Central America and finally by comparing it with previous works done on the issue.
Classification, according to Adams, must take into account numerous recognition’s that include distinct historical traditions, processes of assimilation, existence of cultural differences, and existence of differences and similarities in social and economic relationships.
He does this by first trying to decipher and define certain concepts and ideas found when dealing with classification of a specific area; these include population components, regional variants, cultural components, cultural traditions as well as regional traditions.
Adams makes clear the notion that when classifying characteristics into population components, cultural components, or cultural tradition it is important to realize that these notions are always open to change and variations.
Using his theory on classification he then uses it to organize the cultural components that exist in Central America. His primary concern is with the culture components that appear in culture traditions; these include characteristics of geography, history and contemporary culture. His work is very detailed and well structured because of his use of maps and charts and provides informative information on Central American cultures and a general classification of all cultures found in within that area.
By furthering to prove his method of classification he then attempts to compare his work with other studies and points out specific problems that the others had. He concludes that the other studies lacked the notion of population component and did not presume the notion of culture variability, variation or difference within areas.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
TRACY OLIVEIRA York University (Naomi Adelson)
Albert, Ethel M. The Classification of Values: A Method and Illustration. American Anthropologist 1956, Vol. (58)2: 221-245.
This lengthy article outlines the classification of values, using Ramah Navaho Society as an example. Ethel Albert first explains the theory and method of classification. Albert outlines the categories for describing a value system and cultural world-view, which are as follows: metaphysics, logic and epistemology, psychology, and the value system.
Albert systematically goes through each of these categories with explanations and examples within the Ramah Navaho. Albert explains that for the Ramah, their metaphysical concepts explain that the universe is very interconnected, and is full of dangers for the heedless, but is also full of opportunities. The author notes that Ramah logic states that ideas must be demonstrated physically within the world. For the Ramah, speculative ideas without a demonstrable connection in the world do not exist. She also elucidates that Ramah epistemology, the theory of knowledge, states that unless experienced first-hand, an event is merely a hypothesis. Basic human nature, in accordance to Ramah psychology, states that humans are a combination of good and bad.
Within the value system, Albert notes that there are several subcategories. The categories for the classification of cultural values within the value system are: value premises, focal value, directives, character, and valued and disvalued entities. For the Navaho, the value system is composed of realism and ‘practical ideas’. Their society is focused towards this world instead of the next one. The focal values of the Ramah, explains Albert, are based mostly on “family, knowledge, health, possessions, and enjoyment of life” (p. 235). The Navaho have a general model as to what a prime character would be. Albert outlines this character as a “knowledgeable, well-spoken, agreeable, industrious, responsible person”, with an attractive appearance (p. 238). There is a myriad of other valued and disvalued personal characteristics that fit into one or more of these a fore mentioned characterizations. As for valued and disvalued entities, Albert explains that these may take the form of material goods, such as clothing, jewelry, and automobiles, skills, including technological skills and ceremonial skills, or non-material goods, like songs, rituals, and wisdom.
Albert’s article is very informative and highly fascinating. However, as a professor at Harvard University, Albert’s language is highly sophisticated. Some passages may need to be read several times before the meaning is grasped. Once the language barrier is crossed, nevertheless, the article makes some very good points.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ERIN QUINN University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie).
Albert, Ethel. The Classification of Values: A Method and Illustration. American Anthropologist, 1956 Vol. 58: 221-248
Albert presents one method of reconstructing the cultural value system of the Ramah Navaho group through classifying values according to their level of generality. Combination studies, which brought together concepts and methods of contemporary philosophy and anthropological data for clarification of scientific and philosophical issues, were used to invoke knowledge of cultural value systems. The scheme presented for classifying was constructed to organize data relevant of the values of five cultures in the American Southwest (Navaho, Zuni, Spanish American, Texan and Mormon) and was collected over a period of five years. The author tapped into philosophical and behavioral science sources for methods, concepts and terminology. The definition of value that was used in the article was derived from Kluckhohn (1951:395, 403-409): in which values, positive and negative, are elements in the effective definition on the situation of action that designate desirable and undesirable modes, means and ends of action. Much attention was given to discourse containing value terms.
The conceptual framework and terminology of ancient Greece was useful in dealing with the philosophies and values of the Navahos and Zunis. The categories proposed for describing a cultural world-view and value system were metaphysics, logic and epistemology, psychology and the value system. The category that was proposed for the classification of cultural values as elements of a value sys are value premises; focal view; directives; character; and values and disvalues entities. The categories are in descending order of generality, with directives and character at the same level. He concludes by clarifying that the research presents one method for reconstructing a cultural value system through classifying values according to their level of generality. Much evidence led to the belief that the way of the Old People still remains in large part the model by which behavior is governed and the way the good life is defined.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
AMBER IQBAL Barnard College, Columbia University (Paige West)
Albert, Ethel M. The Classification of Values: A Method and Illustration. American Anthropologist, 1956. Vol 58: 221-244
Albert’s article touches on the philosophical and scientific discourse of cultural value systems, with particular focus on the Ramah Navahos. She attempts to delineate the theory and method of classification of the value system, as well as the philosophical context of the value system of the Ramah Navahos, and explores the possibility of using this discourse for further studies on value systems.
Albert draws on a classification scheme that was formulated to consolidate data on values of five cultures in the American Southwest which includes the Navaho, Texan and Mormon cultures. She first sets out to define “values” as elements that can “designate desirable and undesirable modes, means and ends of actions”, and concedes that such classification of values may be subject to change with changing culture and perceptions. Albert notes that while the individual may not subscribe to the prevalent culture value, there is a societal consensus on the value system. She describes the following categories used in describing various values in a value system: a) the Metaphysical values, b) the Logical and Epistemological values, and 3) the Psychological values.
Albert provides a schema for the structure of a value system. This schema is made up of discrete categories in which the cultural values can be organized. The structure comprises the value premise (or rationale of a value system), which give rise to focal values (core values), that in turn promulgate directives to instruct and character traits to describe what is or is not valuable.
The article then proceeds to classify the Ramah Navaho system in terms of the aforementioned classification and schema, in particular focusing on the Navaho’s emphasis on temperance and moderation. Albert provides a list of characteristics that are either valued or disvalued in Ramah Navaho culture, and elaborates on specific aspects of the culture in terms of their value premise, focal values, directives and character traits. She then concludes her article with the note that the study of values is essential to cross-cultural and comparative studies.
DARREN ZHOU Columbia College (Paige West)
Apple, Dorrian. The Social Structure of Grandparenthood. American Anthropologist 1956(58) Vol.4:6:656.
Dr. Apple analyses the relationship that grandparents and grandchildren share in different societies with specific patterns of authority in the family. She is expanding on the work done by Nadel (1951: 234-236) on the relationship between grandfather and grandson in ten Nuba tribes. In this paper, there are two hypotheses. The first deals with a grandparental generation maintaining a sense of authority over the parental generation after grandchildren are born. Apple suggests that this would result in a non-friendly relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. She states the opposite would be true if there was no authority held over the parental generation when grandchildren were born. The second hypothesis deals with the difference in authority between paternal and maternal grandparents over the parental generation. The grandparents that don’t share a friendly relationship with the grandchildren will be those related to them through the side of the family with more household authority. She proves these hypotheses by using ethnological fieldwork on 75 societies, 54 of which are in the Yale Human Relations Area Files and/or gathered by Murdock (1949). For the first hypothesis, Apple evaluates each society and places it in one of the four constructed groups. Either Grandparental authority over parents is present or absent, and either a friendly equality between grandparent and grandchildren is present or absent. For the second hypothesis, some of the societies are removed from the total on behalf of overrepresentation of societies being too similar. Apple removes certain societies if they have had independent existence for less then six generations or if they did not have self-definition as a separate people. With the remaining societies, she groups them according to where the household authority is found, either mother’s side or father’s side, and also if the household demonstrates less friendly equality with the paternal grandparents or maternal grandparents.
Dr. Apple points out a bias with her research, in that the case studies are not representational of all societies. She realizes that such continents like Africa are over represented in her samples and that South America is under represented. However, she states that one can make generalizations “only on plausibility, not probability”. To deal with this issue, she conducted a statistical analysis of each tested area to demonstrate that no single area significantly effected the data pool. Throughout the paper, the data is visually displayed in easy to follow tables which facilitate the reader’s comprehension of the sometimes confusing subject matter. Key terms are also defined, and the groups used are defined according to what is considered to be a grandparental generation. Many other works are cited in this paper, such as work done by A.R. Radcliffe-Brown and S.F. Nadel, who share different anthropological backgrounds. This demonstrates that other fields of study were influential or important to the subject matter being dealt with in this paper. It shows that it is a complex and significant anthropological study.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
MARK BELL University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Apple, Dorrian The Social Structure of Grandparenthood, American Anthropologist, 1956, Vol. 4 (6): 656-663
The article begins by responding to what Apple views as an unfounded generalisation by Radcliffe-Brown on the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Radcliffe-Brown had suggested that “friendly equality” between grandparents and grandchildren was a response to tensions between parents and children. Apple prefers Nadel’s belief that this “friendly equality” is related to “patterns of authority” within the family but wishes to take this idea further. Apple complicates this discussion by looking not only at cases where grandchildren and grandparents are on good terms but also at cases in which grandchildren have closer relationships with one set of grandparents.
Apple sets out to prove two hypotheses, the first looks at societies in which grandchildren have the same degree of closeness to both sets of grandparents. It suggests that the degree of closeness or informality relies on the level of authority the grandparents play with in the family and the society as a whole. The second hypothesis suggests that in relationships in which the grandchild is closer to one set of grandparents the grandparents will hold different degrees of responsibility. To prove these hypotheses, data collected form societies throughout the world was divided into categories and then tabulated. In this way both these hypotheses were proven to be correct. Apple then created a third hypothesis based on these findings. This hypothesis suggests that the degree of formality in the relationship between grandchild and grandparent is influenced by the degree of authority the grandparents hold in the family. This hypothesis was also tabulated and proven correct.
The processes and findings in this article are presented in a strictly scientific manner, relying on numeric comparisons to draw its conclusions. Apple clearly states which societies were included in this study in the tables provided. He also explains how the data collected was then divided into categories, defining each of these categories in detail. In fact more space seems to be given to explaining how the conclusions were reached than exploring what these conclusions were.
ALICE KENTRIDGE Columbia College (Paige West)
Arieti, Silvano. Some Basic Problems Common to Anthropology and Modern Psychiatry. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(1):26-39.
Arieti declares that anthropology and modern psychiatry share three main problems, the first of which focuses on the real or assumed existence of paleologic thought. Inferior to our normal way of thinking (Aristotelian), paleologic (primitive) thinking, which is a different kind of thinking, easily causes erroneous conclusions to be formed. A normal person who thinks in an Aristotelian manner “accepts identity only upon the basis of identical subjects,” whereas primitive thinkers “accept identity based upon identical predicates.” Thus, similarity leads to identification. Furthermore, a part is usually identified with the whole; for instance, a room (a) that is part of a certain house (a+b+c) is identified with that house (a = a+b+c).
Paleologic thinking appears in nature under several conditions, the two most controversial of which are stated below. It existed as the form of thinking in pre-sapiens. Currently people think paleologically when in certain situations as a result of culture, not biological forces; as individuals they retain the capacity to think in an Aristotelian manner. Some native cultures demonstrate paleologic thinking to such a great extent that anthropologists claim that they are primitives and inferior. However, Arieti illustrates that the primordial human passes through a paleologic stage during the process of becoming hominized and evolving into a Homo sapien. The individual progresses faster than the culture, and some cultures may be slower to lose paleologic thinking than others.
A second common problem involves the method of studying culture and personality. The scientific method strives to determine the laws that govern a culture, whereas the historical approach examines the sequence of events in the culture. The former is the method used by psychiatrists and the latter by anthropologists. After numerous failed attempts by psychiatrists to strictly follow the scientific method, Freud began the historical method in psychiatry. It examines the process of development as well as the environment that the individual is exposed to. Realizing that psychiatry is both a study of the history of the individual and a scientific examination of the world that the individual is exposed to, thus both history and science, Arieti stresses the use of both methods for a full understanding of culture or personality; Kroeber advocated that anthropology is both history and science, and it is from him that Arieti forms his idea.
A third issue that continues to be debated is the origin of personality and culture. The main principle of the Freudian approaches is that personality and culture are mainly formed by the instinctual needs of man. The “sociopsychological approach” considers man to be mainly the product of his environment or culture. There are two main contacts between the individual and culture. The first requires the use of certain biological equipment to understand the environment and to satisfy needs, and is psychological. During the second contact the individual obtains things from culture that enables him to be different from infrahuman animals. Individual and culture coexist and are mutually dependent; they belong to a dynamic process in which the individual contributes to culture and vice versa. At some point in history, before which only the individual existed, a mutation occurred in some primates so that the formation of culture was possible. The potentiality eventually became a reality, and both individual and culture progressively grow and become enriched.
CORINNE VANBEEK Barnard College (Paige West)
Barth, Fredrik. Ecologic Relationships of Ethnic Groups in Swat, North Pakistan. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58 (1):1079-1089
In this article, Fredrik Barth discusses three of the ethnic groups found in the Swat region of Pakistan: the Kohistanis, the Pathans, and the Gujars and describe their respective niches. He states he will use an ecologic approach to the development of each group’s niche. Barth, therefore, includes a lot of description of the land itself in this region. He describes each group’s livelihood—how each group uses the land they live on in this mountainous area surrounded by two large rivers. Included in this article is a page with a map of the Swat region on it to show where each group lives or the paths along which they seasonally migrate. Barth focuses mainly on the Gujars in his discussion in this group, arguing that their role as herders and fieldworkers allows them to inhabit more of the land in this region than can either one of the other groups. However, the Gujars are militarily weaker than the Pathans and Kohistanis and are therefore unable to displace them from the land. Barth looks at the way these three groups complement one another ecologically as a method of explaining how they can coexist relatively peacefully in the same area. He tried to link this explanation or contrast it with the different ethnic groups among the Native Americans and how they got along. This link got somewhat obscured, though, by all the information he provided about the landscape and the subsistence of the ethnic groups in Pakistan and the omission of sufficient similar information about Native Americans. Barth’s article provided many facts about the ethnic groups of the Swat region of Pakistan, but seemed to aspire to another goal apart from simply the transmission of this information.
SARA LUDUEÑA Barnard College (Paige West)
Bruner, Edward M. Primary Group Experience and the Process of Acculturation. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58 (43): 605- 623
Bruner wrote this article in order to help identify the factors involved in acculturation. His focus was on the residents of the village of Lone Hill in the United States. This was a group of Native American’s of mixed tribal backgrounds. This particular village was used because it was highly isolated and self- sufficient for its time. He defined acculturated families as those that no longer regularly attended the traditional dances and participated in the donation ceremonies there. By this criteria fourteen of the families in the village were acculturated and not regularly attending the traditional ceremonies, and thirty-four families were unacculturated and regularly attending the ceremonies. Bruner hypothesized that an important factor in the rate of acculturation was whether or not these families were descended from a white parent, grandparent, or great- grandparent. Furthermore, this white relative had to stay and take an active role in his/her native family. Therefore, a biological parent who left and had no involvement in raising the children would not count. Bruner argued that this was important because the isolation of Lone Hill meant that most of its residents had no meaningful interactions with white people. This fact would be changed by the presence of a white family member.
Bruner tested this hypothesis by tracing the ancestry of each of the forty-eight nuclear families in Lone Hill. He discovered that, of the fourteen families that he had defined as acculturated, every one of them had a white family member within the last four generations. Of the thirty-four unnacculturated families, only three had recent white ancestors. His hypothesis was further supported by the fact that one family had a white ancestor who left without participating in their family life and that family remains unacculturated.
Bruner’s writing style is quite clear. He also includes in his article information on the values and perceptions of the acculturated versus unacculturated families and further explanation of the role of isolation and language in all of their lives.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
KATHERINE ANDERSEN University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Bruner, Edward M. Primary Group Experience and the Process of Acculturation 1956 Vol.58: 605-623.
The following article explains and describes the degree of acculturation among the Mandan-Hidasta village of Lone Hill. As well, the author sets out to prove the process by which acculturation takes place among the Indian’s of Mandan-Hidasta village, thereby analyzing the broader social context in which acculturation occurs.
Bruner looks at the history of the Indian people living in the Lone Hill region prior to the arrival of the missionaries and white people and after contact. He writes, “Viewed historically, contemporary Indian culture is mixed”(Pg. 606). By this he suggests that certain Indian ways of life have not stayed in isolation and thus, they have changed as a result of “changing conditions of life.” Thereby, Bruner’s conclusions are drawn from the study and comparison of group differences present among the village people. He categorizes the village people based on the extent of acculturation observed in their way of life. Burner’s studies suggest that of forty-eight nuclear families present in Mandan-Hidasta village, thirty-one of those families that have not had a white model in their household are “unacculturated”. As well, another three families with white models present are, “unacculturated”. Meanwhile, the other seven families that have had a white model figure are in between or “marginal”, and another seven with white model present in the household have been acculturated. The acculturated families will not attend Indian ceremonial dances and reject traditional Indian ways, customs, and behaviours. These forms of rejection have been brought forth as a result of the process of acculturation.
Bruner, writes that an individual becomes acculturated, as a result of the presence of a white model through intermarriages and through the attempts of the parents to train their children to adapt to white or American cultural ways. These are evident in the linguistic, religious and social patterns of the acculturated nuclear families. Thus, acculturation in the Lone Hill will continue to be dependent upon social learning in small family groups.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
AZADEH ZARE-MOAYEDI York University, (Naomi Adelson)
Cammann, Schuyler. Exhibit of the Month. American Anthropologist. 1956. 3(58): 540-543.
This article was written about a unique concept of how to display objects in a museum. Specifically, it goes into detail of how Cammann replaced the idea of emphasizing the object and focused on the idea(s) in which the object represented. Cammann wrote this article while she held her position at the university museum in Philadelphia. The museum was faced with decreasing viewers while it was partially closed. Even though many museums have had ‘exhibits of the month’, Cammann introduced the concept of focusing on the idea behind the object. In his exhibits, Cammann would place one, or a few objects that were related, together and compare and contrast them to present day objects. By doing this, viewers would learn interesting facts about other civilizations and how they worked. He gave many examples of what types of displays were done by the University Museum in Philadelphia. These included exhibits on walrus ivory, jade, animal and bird products, horns, feathers, cards, chess and knives to name a few. Cammann not only found that these presentations increased the number of viewers but they also demonstrated other cultures and new ways of using old and/or familiar objects. These exhibits helped introduce cultures that were not normally displayed in the main showcases therefore diversifying the museum. To create some of these exhibits private collectors would come forward and lend never before seen objects. By creating this unique way to display the objects Cammann found that people had a new and better understanding of other cultures. This article was well constructed making it easy to read.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JODY WERT University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Cammann. Schuyler. Exhibit of the Month. American Anthropologist. 1956 Vol.22: 540-543
The article entitled “Exhibit of the Month” describes the ways in which a museum in Philadelphia was able to gather many patrons despite the fact that the museum was undergoing renovations. A showcase titled “Exhibit of the Month” was created to attract people. The goal of the exhibit was to teach old and new audiences, and to add something new and fresh into the mix. The article describes in detail the methods of implementation of this exhibit. It involved placing a desk in the front foyer of the museum and arranging many objects on the desk all signifying a common theme. Labels were used on the artifacts in such a way that it forced visitors to really think about the exhibit and get the most out of it.
The author goes on to describe the few exhibits that were extremely popular. One exhibit involved different displays of walrus ivory. Artifacts included “Chinese chopsticks, Persian and Indian dagger hilts, and a Hawaiian necklace-hook” (540). Another exhibit that proved to be popular was about “Jade around the world” (541). This exhibit was so popular that it lasted for three months instead of just one. Although the exhibit functioned to promote various cultural artifacts, it also served to introduce new cultures not previously present in the museum. A particular exhibit that aroused much interest was about different types of knives around the world. The author adds that it “aroused such public interest that it inspired us to arrange a much larger weapon show which filled an entire gallery” (541). Not only did the museum garner many visitor, it also gained attention from the media. A nightly news program had a few segments about the exhibits in the museum. In addition, the ideas generated by the exhibits were used in other areas around the city. One of the downtown banks borrowed some objects and created a display of it’s own. Further, information about the exhibits were written about in such magazines as “Bulletin” and Nature Magazine” (543). The article concludes with the author describing how good it felt to have created the displays despite the hard work and time it took up. He states that they felt to much satisfaction from knowing that their exhibit-helped people gain a new understanding of different people around the world.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
LAURA DOBROVICKIY York University (Naomi Adelson)
Carlyle May, L. A survey of Glossolalia and Related Phenomena in Non-Christian Religions. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58: 75-96
The focus of this paper is Glossolalia, which is a form of speech phenomena also known as the tradition of speaking-in-tongues. Glossolalia and similar speech-phenomena occur in various forms during shamanistic rites of the New and Old World. Since the author believes that speaking-in-tongues may have its roots in the ancient religions of Asia Minor, other cultures are compared to Christian glossolalia.
To make the definition of glossolalia a little clearer, many specific examples, especially from Eastern and African cultures, are provided with general timeframes. People may speak a different language that they don’t even know, when put into some sort of spiritual trance or in a state of emotional ecstasy. There are different symptoms such as hypnotism, hysteria, and nervous instability.
The author discusses religious and non-religious examples and compares it to the Christian religion and discusses a variety of hypotheses. According to Lomard, it may also be in a form of infantile linguistic pattern, where there seems to be a need for vocalization but without the need to convey meaning. According to Cutten, a person is in an emotional state where the controlling part of the mind is not functioning and the subconscious comes to the surface.
Lombard recognizes four main types of glossolalia. The first is phonations furstes, which is characterized by incomprehensible sounds like groaning. The second is pseudo-language. Sounds can be recognized as fragments of words. The third is when words may contain particles of foreign phonemes and this is called verbal fabrication. Xenoglossie or speaking a foreign language is the fourth kind. In most cases the person has had previous contact with the language although they cannot speak it when in a conscious state.
It is widely believed that it may be the language of the spirits or is a sacerdotal language. Examples are extracted from Indonesians, Alaskan, Haitian, African, and Oriental experiences. The author therefore shows that the phenomena of glossolalia is widespread and very ancient.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
RAGHBIR SINGH York University (Naomi Adelson)
Carlyle May, L. A survey of Glossolalia and Related Phenomena in Non-Christian Religions. American Anthropologist May,1956 Vol.58: 75-96
May’s focus is on glossolalia the practice of speaking in tongues. May asks; Where did speaking in unknown languages originate and does it have Christian roots? Some examples of glossolalia throughout history were brought up within the article.
May discusses the studies of Lombard, Cutten, Moisman and a few other anthropologists. He suggests glossolalists speak in tongues while being in high emotional states (Pg 76). According to Cutten, the person participating in glossolalia is in an emotional state where the controlling part of their mind is not functioning, meaning they are using their subconscious. Moisman states that glossolalia occurs when “speech organs come under temporarily control of the reflex centers” (pg77). Lombard states that speaking in tongues is a “form of regression”(pg77).
According to May, Lombard organized glossolalia into four types. Unrecognizable sounds such as mumbling, fragments of words, native and foreign phonemes, and speaking foreign tongues .
May continues by discussing two different types of language used speaking in tongues. The first is called the “Language of the Spirits”. An example is when the Hudson Bay Eskimos speak from the trickling water, rushing wind or roar of a bear. In this language the ‘shaman’ becomes the person who the spirits speak through. The second is “the Language of Animals”, which is when the ‘shaman’ is transformed into an animal by making the same sounds as the animal. This allows the shaman to travel the world and be a spirit, or non human being.
May gives many examples of tribes that have experienced differant types of glossolalia within their culture, including tribes all around America, Africa and Asia.
May concludes that glossolalia is widespread. May lists some areas of the world where glossolalia might have occurred and even where it might have begun.
KATHERINE A ASELAGE University of San Diego (Denise Couch)
Caudill, William and George De Vos. Achievement, Culture and Personality: The Case of the Japanese American. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.56(6):1102-1125.
As the title suggests this article discusses the influence of culture on achievement and even personality. Caudill and De Vos focus specifically on Japanese Americans living in the Chicago area and the compatibility of their value systems with those of the American middle class. It is argued that due to an increased desire to achieve and a generally higher level of education it was possible, regardless of racial visibility, for Japanese Americans to acquire white collar and skilled labour jobs post war. Discussed throughout the article are the Issei – Japanese immigrants of America in the early part of the century; and Nisei – American born children of the Issei; these groups are compared with each other as well as with lower and middle class non-Japanese Americans. Many examples and charts are provided comparing these 4 groups. Explanations of analysis in both achievement and personality are also provided. Although some of the analytical techniques that were employed in this study are outdated, such as the IQ test, there is detailed and extensive support for the arguments made by Caudill and De Vos.
The authors argued that the personality of a Japanese American possessed a greater desire to achieve than did a non-Japanese American. The data presented in the article supports this thesis, however the argument would be more convincing if all classes of non-Japanese Americans were used in contrast with Japanese Americans, rather than only the upper-lower and lower-middle class. Perhaps if more inclusive ratios were considered the authors’ conclusions would have been altered or less definitive than is presented in this work.
Caudill and De Vos provide an interesting and intelligible read, despite the length. Scholarly journals and their views of Japanese Americans at the time are discussed throughout. Those concerned with post war treatment of Japanese Americans would find this article fulfilling. The many examples, descriptions and comparison charts encourage a coherent argument while holding the reader’s attention.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ELIZABETH OLSON-GLOVER University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Caudill, William and De Vos, George. Achievement, Culture and Personality: The Case of the Japanese American. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.56(6):1102-1125.
This article explores the cultural and personal differences between Japanese Americans in Chicago and their American counterparts for an explanation in their differing levels of success. Caudill and De Vos begin with the premise that a lot of literature regarding achievement bases assumptions on very quantitative analysis, such as the IQ test. Though these tests can help in explaining the success of different individuals, Caudill and De Vos argue that it does not take into account other relevant factors in personality that exist between individuals. As their example they use Japanese Americans, specifically Japanese born immigrants and their American born children, to show how average intellect can translate into above average achievement. The author’s use analytic data to show that Japanese American are more favorably viewed than their American peers, and have a much higher level of success than would be expected from their IQ scores alone.
Caudill and De Vos focus specifically on a group of Japanese Americans living in Chicago after Word War II. They begin the analysis by presenting data comparing the education levels of first generation Japanese, their children, and American’s from Chicago in the lower-middle and upper-lower classes. The educational data suggests that the Japanese had a much greater level of ambition, having a higher percentage of their population graduate from high school and college, when compared to Americans in the Chicago area. This higher education relates directly to the higher level of employment the Japanese were able to secure. Here the author’s show how the first generation Japanese who migrated from Japan held mostly semi-skilled occupations, but within only one generation they were able to elevate themselves and secure jobs as white-collar workers.
Despite having similar opportunities and intelligence, the Japanese were able to excel in their new environment, when compared to Americans in the same area. The reasons for this, Caudill and De Vos explain, are the different expectations and motivational levels that exist amongst the Japanese. To show this, they performed Thematic Apperception Tests and Rorschach’s to evaluate the personality dynamics that most relate to achievement. They concluded the Japanese were more self-motivated, had a more positive view of situations they were confronted with, and a desire to improve themselves. It was these factors, and not IQ, that ultimately contributed to their success.
NICHOLAS MAISANO Columbia University (Paige West)
Codere, Helen. The Amiable Side of Kwakiutl Life: The Potlatch and the Play Potlatch.American Anthropologist, 1956 Vol 58(2):334-351.
Codere re-examines previous studies of the Kwakiutl, a group of people from the North West Coast of British Columbia, done by Ruth Benedict and Franz Boas. Her main objective is to show aspects of light-heartedness and friendliness in the Kwakiutl institution of potlatching, specifically through examples of what she terms “play potlatching”. She finds it significant that playfulness exists within the potlatch, as it is a very serious institution that is integral to Kwakiutl society.
The author begins with displaying the contrast between Benedict and Boas’ portrayal of the Kwakiutl culture. Benedict has characterized the Kwakiutl to be a society entirely focused on notions of rank, wealth, and superiority. The hymns of self-glorification sung at potlatches provide an example of their preoccupation with superiority. With the leading drive in Kwakiutl life being the “pursuit of gaining social prestige” (p 335), Codere states that it is easy to overlook amiable qualities of the Kwakiutl people. With this in mind, she begins to discuss Boas, and his response to Benedict’s interpretations. Codere explains that Boas is in agreement with Benedict in terms of the dominant ambition of the Kwakiutl people being the achievement of high prestige. However, Boas wants to examine the amiable qualities of the people that Benedict failed to mention.
Codere gives multiple examples of amiable features in Kwakiutl living, again drawing on Boas’ research. She illustrates Boas’ account of relations between a grandfather and his grandchildren. Their relationship is of interest because the grandfather was of high rank, and the grandchildren played with him as if there was no difference in rank, or age; their relationship was egalitarian. She argues amiable features present in the potlatch by providing multiple “clear instances of funmaking” (p 338). She describes events in a potlatch where the chief behaves in a way clearly contradictory to the concept of self-glorification described by Benedict. She describes potlatches given in a humorous frame of reference, and a ceremony where laughter is supernaturally induced. Codere dismisses the idea that they are only a form of “comic relief” at a tense time during the serious potlatch, because there is no pattern to their timing. Her final example is a detailed explanation of play potlatching, which “made use of heavy themes of potlatching to create fun, nonsense, and congeniality” (p 342). A play potlatch is either the first potlatch for a child, or a woman’s potlatch held at the same time as the man’s potlatch, during which they insult the serious potlatch. She states that the same people who did the serious potlatching also engaged in play potlatching, sometimes with their rivals. Codere concludes by expressing the hope that the new evidence presented in her article may lead to a more humanized view of the Kwakiutl.
This article will interest individuals who are familiar with the potlatch in general. Codere convincingly illustrates her main point that there are amiable features to the potlatch.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
JENNIFER SMITH University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Codere, Helen. The Amiable Side of Kwakiutl Life: The Potlatch and the Play Potlatch.American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58: 334-351.
Codere explores the importance of potlatch and play potlatch among the Kwakiutl in Fort Rupert where they are highest in social rank. Fort Rupert has the highest activity of potlatch and the most accounts of play potlatch. This is used as a means to understand the Kwakiutl on a more humanistic level through evidence of the importance of potlatch in their lives.
Other anthropologists, such as Boas, merely characterize the Kwakiutl way of life as a mean to show oneself as superior to one’s rivals, the quest for social esteem and self gratification. Codere disagrees that this is the only aspect of importance to the Kwakiutl. Through observing play potlatch scenarios, Codere found that a warm, casual, equalitarian relationship exists between old and young, and the healthy and infirm that would be inconceivable in Western society. Codere does not deny that self gratification is a prevalent concept, especially through speech, but in skits performed as play potlatch she observed that there is none of the expected pursuit of personal honor or glory. The same people who are involved in the serious distribution of potlatch participated in the play potlatch versions.
Play potlatch uses the same themes of the serious potlatch but in a fun and humorous fashion. Being that a battle of the sexes mentality was common, grown women would often use a play potlatch to mock the men’s interest in potlatch itself although this was accepted by the men, who did not participate or watch this, as good fun. Everyone, except possibly the very young, took part in and enjoyed these play potlatches where small items were distributed like soap and handkerchiefs.
Codere relates detailed but incomplete accounts from villagers of play potlatches due to their spontaneous nature as opposed to the dependable structure of the serious potlatch. Play potlatches as a central demonstration of Kwakiutl culture, punctuate that there are positive characteristics as well as the negative characteristics that have been presented.
SHIRA ZINBERG Barnard College (Paige West)
Codere, Helen. The Amiable Side of Kwakiutl Life: The Potlatch and the Play Potlatch.American Anthropologist, 1956 Vol. 58(2):334-351.
Codere provides a reexamination of characterizations of the Kwakiutl people, an ethnic group studied by eminent anthropologists Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict. Through a discussion of potlatching and play potlatching, Codere systematically argues against the portraits of the Kwakiutl sketched by Boas and Benedict.
Benedict described the Kwakiutl as ‘paranoid and megalomaniac,’ fixated on self-glorification and superiority, to the point that all of their institutions—social, economic, and political—were organized around these goals. In response, Boas characterized the Kwakiutl as ‘atrocious but amiable,’ fixated on rank and superiority, but capable of being amiable within a familial setting. Here he critiques Benedict’s overarching concept of culture in terms of a ‘dominant character or leading motif,’ contending that a culture is not defined by one singular concept or character.
While Boas does allow the Kwakiutl a more diverse character, Codere argues that his view remains narrow, and that his evidence supporting the ‘amiability’ of the Kwakiutl was rather sparse. She proceeds to reexamine his study, illustrating flexibility and geniality within the rank system. She then presents more recent evidence showing amiability of the Kwakiutl in a public as well as private settings.
One public setting in question is potlatching, a Kwakiutl ritual usually associated with self-glorification and rank. Codere describes the play potlatch in various instances where laughter takes the role previously held by self-glorification. She goes on to contest the notion that these light-hearted moments are simply ‘comic relief’ from the seriousness, because they do not reliably occur at significant or poignant moments. She then discusses play potlatching, during which the serious ceremony is lampooned, often by the same figures who performed the original serious event. Moreover, she states, the play potlatch functions irrespective of rank, again refuting Benedict’s assertion of the Kwakiutl as paranoid megalomaniacs obsessed with status.
Codere concludes that cultures ought not to be described by one single characterization, but should be regarded as ‘integrated wholes,’ and ties her argument to the configuationist-functionalist debate. While Boas added another dimension to his study of the Kwakiutl, he does not provide an integrated model. Lastly, Codere advocates examining cultures with an eye towards reality, rather than toward a model, which has the potential pitfalls of a utopian ideal.
CLARITY RATING: 5
CATHERINE ISAACS Columbia College (Paige West)
Dart, Raymond A. The Myth of the Bone-Accumulating Hyena. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(1):40-61
A collection of bones was discovered in a lair near York City, but who or what could have placed it there? Dart’s objective was to disprove the long-lasting explanation by Dean William Buckland, who stated the South African Hyena was collecting, accumulating, and depositing large amounts of bones in lairs. By using imaginative and logical points, from literature to historical and scientific information, Dart offered a strong argument in favor of his own interpretation: Buckland told a myth, and the behavior of the bone-collector was more related to a human ancestor, the Australopithecine, than the hyena.
Dart began with stating how the story of Garden of Eden says that man was, by nature, a fruit-eater instead of a flesh-eater. He acknowledged this ‘mistaken idea’ for the continuous blame on carnivores as scapegoats for human behavior. Speaking specifically of the hyena being accused for what was possibly a human ancestor accumulating the bones, Dart went back through evolutionary history and illustrated how our ancestors were indeed flesh-eaters. The most prominent and convincing argument, however, was the behavior of the South African hyena. Encyclopedia definitions, and scientific observation showed that the hyena does eat flesh, but it usually crushes the bones to extract the fleshy marrow. Therefore, complete bone remains would not be present at all. In Buckland’s den, later investigators found no evidence of hyenas or bone fragments.
Buckland hypothesized three other possibilities: the hyenas could have suddenly entered a cavern to die, they possibly “fell” into the lair, or a flood deposited their carcasses there. Dart sarcastically brushed these ideas off, and concluded that Buckland’s original explanation had disguised the importance of human ancestors being carnivorous, bone-collecting creatures, such as had deposited bones in the York City lair. Dart prepared a thorough, clear, and coherent thesis to prove the bone-accumulating hyena was none other than a myth.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
NIKI KUX-KARDOS University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Dart, Raymond A. The Myth of the Bone-Accumulating Hyena. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58:40-61.
The author of this article, based on his research of hyenas and their habitats, claims that two deductions about hyenas and man can be made. Firstly, the author claims that the prevalent view of hyenas as being bone-gatherers is a myth. Secondly, bone accumulations that have been excavated in caves are the work of Australopithecinae, and not hyenas. This, therefore, points to evidence of primary skills not previously attributed to primitive humans.
This author’s argument is threefold. To begin, he provides a history of the myth of the bone-accumulating hyena including examples from the Bible, Greek mythology, fairy tales and finally the scientific literature of Dean William Buckland at the University of Oxford in England in 1823.
Furthermore, he discusses the common belief that early man was by nature a fruit eater. This belief, in part, has been responsible for blaming the hyena for large bone deposits found around the world. In contrast, according to the author, the carnivorous habits of early man are well known.
Finally, the author writes about his own research of bone deposits at an Australopithecine cave in South Africa where ten tons of bone breccia were excavated. The author claims that this large amount of bone is significant because no comparable deposit of broken bones has been reported from the lairs of living hyenas.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
LESLIE WARREN York University (Naomi Adelson)
Dobzhansky, Theodosius and Gordon Allen. Does Natural Selection Continue to Operate in Modern Mankind? American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58 (13): 591-603.
This article examines the validity of the assertion (made in medical, biological, and sociological writings) that natural selection has been relaxed or done away with in modern mankind. This field may gain some clarity through a re-examination of the concepts of natural selection and adaptation, as they apply to man. Re-examination is needed, as these concepts have not remained stable since Darwin advanced them.
The article gives an in depth look at the different aspects that affect natural selection. There have been many evolutionary changes and genetic variants. Humans, along with other species, have become adapted to their environments to guard against degenerative changes. This also includes when humans become adapted to the environment, their genes change as well as their culture.
The “struggle for existence” and “survival of the fittest” are terms often used when thinking of who will continue to exist. The struggle for existence is noted as being environmental issues such as scarcity of food, disease, unfavourable weather, and predators. Survival of the fittest is more of a genetic issue such as being physically fit, intelligent, resistant to weather, getting along on little food, and being able to escape disease, parasites, and predators.
Key issues of natural selection such as reproductive success, the environment, the relaxation of selection, adaptedness, whole genotypes, and evolutionary processes accentuated by civilization are also carefully examined by Dobzhansky and Allen. They conclude by stating that biological species are constantly subject to natural selection and that it cannot pre-adapt them to future environments.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
PATRICIA A FALCONI York University (Naomi Adelson)
Dobzhansky, Theodosius and Gordon Allen. Does Natural Selection Continue to Operate in Modern Mankind? American Anthropologist, 1956. Vol. 58(1): 591-604.
The authors of this article address the question of whether Darwinian natural selection still operates in the human species or whether it been relaxed or completely eradicated by the effect of modern industrial civilizations. The concepts of natural selection and adaptation to the environment are re-examined as they apply specifically to man in modern times.
The authors argue that natural selection most certainly still affects mankind. However, its effects are mitigated by modern medicine and other cultural factors that may allow not only for the “survival of the fittest” but also for the survival of any “fit” individual who can cope with the environment even if only with the aid of technological means. Dobzhansky and Allen employ the science of population genetics in their argument. They state that mutations provide the raw materials for evolutionary change. They further argue that man is able to adapt to his environment not only by selecting for certain genes like other species, but also by altering his cultural adaptations. The general biological laws still operate, however, the effect of modern medicine has interfered with this process to some extent thus, modifying the results of natural selection.
Utilizing the principles of population genetics, the authors argue that natural selection will cause gene frequencies to be altered from one generation to the next. Selection is influenced by the ability of an organism to pass on its genes to its progeny. The authors further support their argument that natural selection is still operating in humans by explaining that once selection stops the proportion of genotypes to surviving offspring would remain constant from one generation to the next. Since mutations continue to arise, the gene frequencies are modified causing selection to occur.
The authors bring out another interesting point when they state that natural selection is an opportunistic process that assists the species’ survival in the current environment but cannot guarantee success if the environment changes in the future. In general, higher genotypic fitness consistent with the Darwinian model does lead to a higher rate of successful reproduction, which is favored by natural selection. Although this is not a perfect correlation, the authors argue that it still operates in the human species despite mitigating factors such as advanced medical technology, as well as social and cultural patterns. The importance of physical strength in man is relatively diminished in relation to the importance of mental health when comparing selection in modern man as opposed to primitive man, respectively.
MICHELLE KAPLAN Barnard College (Paige West)
Eggan, Fred and Warner, W. Lloyd. Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown 1881-1955. American Anthropologist Feb, 1956 (58)3:13 pp544-547
An obituary by Fred Eggan and W. Lloyd Warner provides a look in the life and times Professor A. R. Radcliffe-Brown. Colleagues from his time in Chicago, Eggan and Warner praise the works and anthropological disciplines of Radcliffe-Brown, which offered a great importance in growing anthropology during 1955. Eggan and Warner demonstrate the development social anthropology through Radcliffe-Brown’s contributions to literature, education and field research.
Born in England in 1881, Radcliffe-Brown suffered with tuberculosis as a young child, leaving his lungs impaired and ultimately contributing to his death. Educated at Trinity College in Cambridge, he first made his impact on social anthropology studying under Rivers. Stimulating the interests of fieldwork, Radcliffe-Brown took to researching abroad, only to expand his influences in such roles as Director of Education for Tonga. As Eggan and Warner point out, Radcliffe- Brown organized many extensive programs for field research before settling down in Chicago, where he was free of administrative burdens and able to concentrate on writing and teaching. Creating his notions concerning social anthropology into a series of lectures and seminars, Eggan and Warner note how Radcliffe encouraged the integration of social anthropology into the societies of the West and the Far fast.
According to the authors, retiring at the age of 65 had no effect on the contributions Radcliffe-Brown made to the anthropological society. The editing of ‘African Systems of Kinship and Marriage”(1950) is only one example provided by Eggan and Warner demonstrating Radcliffe-Brown’s continuing importance. Distinguishing his last couple years, Eggan and Warner describe how Radcliffe-Brown “was his old self”(546) until his death.
Ending the brief biography, the authors slightly confuse the reader by noting that the obituary was not an assessment of Professor Radcliffe-Brown’s contributions to anthropology. Eggan and Warner continue to commend the work of Radcliffe-Brown from a professional and personal point of view, and entitle him an “anthropologist’s anthropologist”(546). Making note of the various awards received by Radcliffe- Brown, Eggan and Warner commemorate him for ” the breaking down of provincialism in anthropology”(547) and reducing the gap between American and British anthropology.
Clear and informative, the obituary composed by Eggan and Warner provides their readers with a complete summary of Radcliffe-Brown’s life and achievements.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
MEGAN WEST University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Leslie Young)
Faron, L. C. Araucanian Patri-Organization and the Omaha System. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(3):435-457.
Faron is interested in the organization of the Araucanian society, and how it was before the Conquest and how it has evolved since then. He suggests that Araucanian society was patrilineally organized before the Conquest, but that the Omaha system of kinship was a more recent development to the Araucanians.
He identifies the two assumptions of Araucanian societal evolution that were prominent at that time: 1) that Araucanian society was matrilineally organized at the time of the Spanish invasion in Chile, and that aspects of matrilieanlity survived into the eighteenth century and 2) that there has been considerable change in Araucanian kinship since the early 1600’s and that the latter-day patrilineal organization is reflected in the Omaha system. Faron disproves the assumptions by studying Latcham’s argument, which upholds the assumptions, and saying that Latcham’s data is “inconclusive” and “uncritical”, and furthermore that the situations Latcham uses as his proof are adopted practices from the Inca and Spanish.
Faron then proceeds to prove that 1) Certain features associated with patrilineal organization and important in the development of the Omaha pattern (e.g. polygyny; disregard of generation seen in cross-generational marriage and in the inheritenance of the avuncular role) have roots in the beginnings of recorded Araucanian history and 2) a trend toward a fully developed Omaha system seems to have been arrested in most of Araucania – perhaps because of some of the very pressures often cited to explain emergence of stronger patrilineal organization (e.g., warfare and enhancement of the male role in regard to warfare; group solidarity in time of hostilities).
Faron’s research allows us to understand the evolution of the Araucanian people, and how anthropological ideas about the Araucanians have changed over the years, while giving us an idea of how those same ideas may be changing today.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANDREW THOMPSON University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Faron, Louis. Araucanian Patri-Organization and the Omaha System. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58: 435-456
The thesis of Faron’s paper is that the Araucanian society is patrilineally organize since the time of European conquest, while the appearance of the Omaha system is very recent development and not fully representative of the Araucanian society. In his discussion of the Araucanian societies, Faron argues that there are basic assumptions about the development of kinship and social organization. In addition, Faron also examines the historical kinship terminology. Central to his analysis are documented fieldwork from 1953 and other current data of the time, which allows him to interpret the development of Araucanian social organization on the basis of historical material and the present patterns of distribution.
The Araucanian’s are the native inhabitants of Chile, They have withstood years of large-scale colonization. Know locally as the “Mapuche”, they live bordering Argentina and the Nahualbuta Mountains. Today only the Mapuche remain as a large social group. Many of the other indigenous people were rapidly acculturated during the early colonial period.
Little information regarding kinship remains intact. Even more so, little direct information about kinship terminology remains. Nonetheless, Faron believes the key to understanding patriarchal organization is found within the nomenclatures and lexicons of the remaining inhabitants. Faron also draws from the past historical analysis to bas his conclusions about the Araucanian Indians. Faron suggest that there are two main assumptions. One, that the Araucanian society was matrilineally organized at the time of Spanish invasion, and two, that there has been a considerable change in the Araucanian society, reflected in the patrilineal organization of the Omaha tradition.
Through an extensive analysis of kinship terminology, past historical practices, and recent fieldwork, Faron concludes that the Araucanians first lived in ‘multilineage farming settlements where descent was in the male line. Residence may have been either patrilocal of bilocal, but marriage was within a specific group as required by custom of law. Therefore, this did not warrant the women leaving their community. With the onset of war and economic exploitation, many of the settlements broke up, creating instability with kinship groups, consequently leading to stricter patri-organized societies. However, there was also new importance in regards to sororal polygyny, hinting at a matrilineal organization.
Eventually, a new stability was achieve, in part to an increase in the status of kinship head, land titles, and the elaboration of social and ceremonial customs. As a result, the male role and patrilineal line were exalted. Consequently, the Omaha patri-organized tradtion permeated the Araucanian society.
CLARITY RANKING: 1
ROBERT WASYLYK York University (Naomi Adelson)
Freeman, Linton C. and Merriam, Alan P. Statistical Classification in Anthropology: An Application to Ethnomusicology. American Anthropologist. 1956 Vol. 58: 464-471.
According to the authors of the article, Statistical Classification in Anthropology: An Application to Ethnomusicology, most statistical studies employed in cultural anthropology up to 1956 have been relational and used correlational techniques to determine the degree of association between two cultural variables. Linton C. Freeman and Alan P. Merriam feel these studies are too simplistic. They purport that these past correlational techniques can be “extended to deal with problems of classification”
(p. 464). They feel that this extension takes the form of statistical techniques that provide the researcher more precise estimates of the relationship between the objects being classified together than correlational techniques can. In addition, they see that statistical techniques provide an exact measure of the difference between various classifications.
Overall, they see that statistical techniques provide accuracy when constructing and comparing types of classification.
The cultural variables that the authors use to prove the value of statistical technique, is the music of the Brazilian Ketu and the Trinidad Rada. Freeman and Merriam use interval counts of Ketu and Rada music as the statistical technique used to determine a difference between these two styles of music. The reason these two styles of music are being studied is because they are both different variations on one regional style of music. The authors studied twenty songs of each style of music and made interval counts as well as determined the frequency of major seconds and minor thirds. They also established the total intervals for each song.
Freeman and Merriam feel that the use of statistical techniques greatly increased the probability of the proper classification of these two styles of music. They state: “this study demonstrated that classification may be systematized and improved through application of a statistical technique” (p. 471). Although the goal of this article is clear throughout, which is to use statistical techniques to improve the classification of variables in cultural anthropology, it is hard to understand the statistical results of their study without former knowledge of musical terminology and method. Freeman and Merriam do not describe what interval counts, major seconds and minor thirds are so it is therefore difficult to understand why these measurements are used or what significance they have to the study of Brazilian Ketu and Trinidad Rada music.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
CRYSTAL TRACY University of Alberta, Heather Young Leslie
Freeman, Linton C. Statistical Classification in Anthropology: An Application to Ethnomusicology. American Anthropologist 1956 58: 464-472
In this paper, Linton Freeman identifies a growing interest in the application of statistics to cultural anthropology. He believes that proof of the importance of this growing trend, can be found in the fact that an entire section of the 1954 meeting of the American Statistical Association was devoted to ‘The use of statistics in anthropological studies’. Freeman acknowledges that most statistical studies in cultural anthropology have been ‘relational’, and that anthropologists have attempted to determine the degree of association, which exist between two or more cultural variables via techniques of correlation. Freeman states, however, that correlational techniques may be extended to deal with “problems” in relation to classification, and that this is precisely the subject, which his paper is concerned with.
Freeman believes that the process of distinguishing among classes of objects on the basis of a set of measurements of their properties can only be accomplished by using a specialized statistical technique. Thus, he introduces a technique developed by R.A. Fisher in 1936, known as the ‘discriminant function’.
Freeman recognizes that although his paper is concerned with the anthropological application of the ‘discriminant function’ in relation to his studies of ethnomusicology, it is not limited to the latter. He confirms that this technique can be employed in other areas of anthropological study such as craniometry, anthropemtry, linguistics, material culture (i.e. pottery), etc.
In this essay Freeman uses Fisher’s ‘discriminant function’ in a preliminary application, in the field of comparative musicology. Freeman compares the use of ‘major seconds’, ‘minor thirds’ and ‘total intervals’, in relation to songs from the Trinidad Rada and Brazilian Ketu. He acknowledges that it is possible to significantly differentiate between the music of the aforementioned societies on the basis of the frequencies of ‘interval use’, but concludes that his application of the ‘discriminant function’ “markedly enhanced the probability of correct classification” (p471).
He contends that the study described in his essay has demonstrated that the accurate systematization of classification can be improved using Fisher’s statistical technique. He also suggests that further studies with ‘larger samples’ and ‘more variables’ should be conducted, so that significant measures can be isolated and classificatory problems solved, in an effort to reduce errors, so that “questions of relatedness and derivation may be systematically attacked” (p 470).
CLARITY RANKING: 3
JADEN J. WINFREE York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson)
Friedl, Ernestine. Persistence in Chippewa Culture and Personality. American Anthropologist Febuary, 1956 Vol. 58, No.5 (4):814-825.
From his studies of Chippewa culture, Friedl asserts the assumption that there is congruence between the psychological structure an individual develops from sociocultural conditions and the psychological structure from individual personality. However, he questions the assumption that as sociocultural conditions change, the personality of individuals in its environment is expected to show variation. He presents this argument that in the case of the Chippewa. In this case, expectations that human events will be ever changing have continued to persist throughout Chippewa history, and this expectation resulted in a constant psychological structure in personality structure among acculturated Chippewa.
Friedl sites many reasons for this continuity from his study of Chippewa data. First of all, Chippewan environment and subsistence methods brought about expectations that the consequences of skilled activity were immediate and forthcoming. Secondly, each man derived his power from the manidos, or dreams. From his manidos, he would derive the power to achieve a definite and immediate result. The meaning of dreams were intricately linked to the actions a man must take and the consequences to follow. Thirdly, Early historical patterns of Chippewan leadership and authority illustrated that each new situation required new decisions and that each man made separate decisions. Consequences of the decision making process was unique for each situation and was therefore short-lived. The derivation of power from the spirit world meant that each man had an equal right to change the direction of his life and to turn to his own powers for guidance. One day, he could have a sudden acquisition of power or possessions, and the next day none. Actions were short-lived and subject to constant change.
As a result of short-lived consequences, the Chippewa tend to be generous with their acquisitions. Friedl argues that efforts at great accumulations were never successful because of an individual’s assumption that he shares all that he accumulates. Friedl asserts that Chippewa personality structure is a consequence of Chippewa history. As contact with Europeans became more frequent, old subsistence methods and trading patterns broke down. Native Americans settled down in reservations, became dependent on government relief and odd jobs of wage labor. Their circumstances changed together with treaty policies between the natives and the American government. This further reinforced the Chippewa belief that decisions had immediate and short-term consequences and that situations were ever changing and unique.
Friedl asserts that as more information and detailed life histories of Native Americans come to light, it will reflect further evidence for changing situations and shifting human contacts. He asserts that his paper opens up further fields of investigation into cultures that have undergone considerable change and that they may maintain continuity of some sort. In this article, Friedl has presented that Chippewa culture has functioned on such a degree of constant change that the resulting underlying Chippewa expectations of change retain their adaptive value.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHIA YUEH JEAN University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Garigue, Philip. French Canadian Kinship and Urban Life. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58: 1090-1101.
In this article, Garigue addresses the belief that kinship loses significance in an urban setting. He set up a study which would describe the importance of kinship among thirty urban French Canadians. Garigue describes the kinship structure with the nuclei being the parent-child and sibling relationships of the domestic family. It then extends outward with relatives first of similar age, and then throughout the next generations. It can be generalized that women are more active within the kinship system than men, giving women a good deal of influence over family.
This study examines the extent of the participants knowledge of their relatives: number of generations and names, age, sex, family affairs, activities, etc. From this, Garigue’s major findings included: closest kinship existed within similar generations, women seemed to be more in touch with the family affairs and had greater knowledge of kinship, women also seemed to establish closer emotional ties with family and relatives, the frequency of services rendered between relatives was high, and that most participants knew their family tree at least three generations back.
Based on the study, Garigue concluded that The French Canadian urban kinship system did not show a trend of insignificance as did as did the urban areas of the US. Furthermore, this kinship strength will probably continue. This present system is based elasticity, in that it can adapt to different situations. The “priority” king is limited while the “non-priority” kin oftentimes remains a formal extension between generations. This is caused by low frequency contact which in turn is caused by personal preference will bring together people of roughly the same background and age. The major traits within the French Canadian kinship can be traced back to New France. This longevity can be explained by the elasticity previously mentioned.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
JENNIFER MAGUIRE Barnard College (Paige West)
Gibson, Gordon D. Double Descent and Its Correlates among the Herero of Ngamiland. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58 (1:8): 109-139
Gibson uses a structural-functional approach in the analysis of double descent within the Herero tribe of Ngamiland. He proposes the idea that both patrilineal and matrilineal systems can occur simultaneously to produce a “relatively stable, though loose, organization” (p. 110). Ultimately, the conjunctive functions of the matrilineal system and the disjunctive functions of the patrilineal system complement one another, achieving an order and logic to the Herero’s kinship system.
Gibson first summarizes the historical context of the Herero of Ngamiland. The Herero were divided into three geographically distinct tribes – the Herero, the Mbanderu, and the Himba. During the 1840’s, the Herero underwent a period of German invasion, resulting in a full-scale war in 1904. In Germany’s attempt to exterminate thousands of Herero, many fled to the area of Ngamiland, an area many Herero previously migrated in 1896. It has been shown that the Herero of Ngamiland have undergone very little change from their traditional form of social organization.
The explanation of the system of double descent begins through an analysis of the Herero’s organization of local residence. The Herero homestead or “onganda” (p.112) is composed of clustered huts of different household groups. The onganda is an example of the patrilineal-based economic and social unit within the Herero. This homestead is run by a male “owner” (p. 112) and his younger brothers and their sons. Women only occur within this system as wives, relatives, guests, or servants.
However, the huts within the homestead, the “onjuo”(p.112), are based upon a system of matrilineal descent. Huts are built and owned by the women. Each woman has a hut for herself and her children. All the residents within the household name their hut after their mother. Gibson explains in detail why the minor matri-lineages are wider in membership than the minor patri-lineages, and why kinship can usually be traced among the members of a minor matri-lineage but not among the members of wider matrilineal groups. Detail is also given to explain why the Herero are able to recount their patrilineal ancestors back ten to fifteen generations.
Gibson’s in-depth description and explanation of the co-existence and intermingling of both systems gives credit to the fact that dual descent can occur successfully without creating instability. Gibson furthers his point through a comprehensive analysis of the patrilineal segmentation: the association between patri-lineages and priests, patri-clans, phratries, fire and cattle cults of the patri-groups, and the descent of priesthood and the fission of patri-lineages.
Furthermore, Gibson thoroughly examines the matrilineal segmentation through descriptions of activities within the matri-lineages and matri-clans, details within the Herero kinship terminology, and the associated activities of the matrilineal descent. Gibson also provides detailed diagrams of the homestead layout (p.114), descent lines (p.115), and the Herero consanguineal system (p.131).
Gibson’s use of diagrams, his thorough descriptions of both the matrilineal and patrilineal systems within the Herero society, and his extensive analysis of both the conjunctive and disjunctive aspects of both systems provides ample evidence to support the fact that “cultural uniformity and social cohesion” (p.136) can occur within a system of dual descent. Gibson’s explains that while the patrilineal system “divides the society into separate corporate bodies” (p.136), the matrilineal system “provides the channels for interaction between the segments of the patrilineal system” (p.136). Dual descent can provide a society with a functional and interconnected system.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
AMY MARTIN University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Gibson G. D. Double Descent and Its Correlates among the Herero of Ngamiland American Anthropologist 1956. Vol. 58:109-139
Gibson’s objective in writing this article is to discuss and debate the issue of the double descent issue of the Herero of Ngamiland, which was due to migration, and among other causes. He also points out the credibility of the research done by other anthropologists such as S.F. Nadel. He gives many descriptions of the kinship relationships among the Katuwi, as well as their functions within the social group.
In this article, Gibson provides charts of the kin relationship of the local Katuwi people as well as a rough mapping of their homestead to illustrate how their relationship to each other was alike. He also provides a rough diagram of the Katuwi’s homestead. A hierarchical chart of the matri-clan is also provided.
This article should be read very slowly and carefully but the presence of the charts and the hierarchical chart allows the relationships to be understood easier.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
LIZA POH York University (Naomi Adelson)
Goffman, Erving. The Nature of Deference and Demeanor. American Anthropologist 1956 Volume 58(3): 473-502.
Erving Goffman investigated some of the senses in which an individual in our secular world is allotted a kind of sacredness that is demonstrated and confirmed by symbolic acts. Deference and demeanor are the two major concepts that are essential to his investigation. Deference refers to the part of the ceremonial activity while demeanor refers to that element of the person’s ceremonial behavior. Goffman’s position states that ancient religion can be translated into concepts of demeanor and deference, which facilitate people to grasp some aspects of urban secular world. This article provides insight into demeanor and deference in relation to ceremonial life.
The term, rule of conduct, is defined “as a guide for action” and also “infuse[s] all areas of activity and is upheld in the name and honor of almost everything” (Goffman, p.473). Rules of conduct are imposed upon the person in two different ways either directly as obligations or indirectly as expectations. Goffman uses the mental hospital as examples throughout the article to describe the relationships between patients and nurses, and between doctors and nurses. The article also details how one would feel when rules of conduct are broken, and how these individuals would “transform both action and inaction into expression” (Goffman, p.475). He illustrated two classes of conduct, asymmetrical and symmetrical.
Deference is part of the ceremonial activity. Goffman categorized deference into two broad groupings. Avoidance rituals, which specify what should not to be done. The other, presentational rituals, which specify what is to be done and also comprise of four common factors: salutations, invitations, compliments and minor services.
Demeanor refers to that element of the person’s ceremonial behavior “conveyed through deportment, dress, and bearing, which served to express to those in his immediate presence that he is a person of certain desirable or undesirable qualities” (Goffman, p. 489). It was seen that “through demeanor the individual create[d] an image of himself” (Goffman, p. 489) although not intended for the individual’s eyes. Similar to deference, demeanor can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.
In conclusion, individuals can appreciate ceremonial life by separating demeanor and deference. It is seen that ceremonial rules play their social function. The mental hospitals were used as examples in the article because they were “graded according to the degree to which they violate ceremonial rules of social intercourse” (Goffman, p. 497). Although the article is lengthy, it provides great insight on any person desiring to read about the nature of deference and demeanor. Goffman concludes that it is necessary for an individual to possess areas of self-determination when an individual acts with proper demeanor and shows proper deference.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
JULIE TRUONG University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Goffman, Erving. The Nature of Deference and Demeanor. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58:473-501.
In this article, Goffman wants to explore why people display certain symbolic acts within the community. In doing so, he supports Emile Durkheim’s notion that a person’s actions not only represent the collective but is performed for himself through deference and demeanor.
Goffman argues that there is a “rule of conduct” that people live by. Everyone is aware that if they do not live by these “rules of conduct” there will be severe social sanctions and repercussions. Many people perform certain acts because they expect to gain something in return. The gain may be unconsciously embedded in the brain but either way, Goffman thinks that people do certain things to get the same treatment in return. He explains that people do things to be the kind of person they want others to see them as. He goes on to talk about deference and demeanor separately. He defines deference as a symbolic act in which one conveys appreciation to a recipient. Deference is something that a person needs to get from others. No one is capable of giving deference to themselves, therefore they seek it from others. Goffman says you give deference to get deference. He then defines demeanor as being behavior conveying to others that one either possesses desirable or undesirable qualities. Demeanor is not something that can be verbally conveyed but done through actions over a long period of time. Demeanor is a way in which a person creates himself. Finally, Goffman examines how deference and demeanor go hand in hand. By giving deference to a recipient, the individual does it in such a way, portraying himself as a well or bad demeaned individual. Also, willingness to conduct yourself in a well demeaned manner is a way of showing deference to those around you.
This is a very interesting article because it forces the reader to look at everyday practices that everyone participates in. It also forces the reader to carefully examine what each of those acts mean. Consciously or subconsciously, everyone does things and says things to portray themselves in a certain way. We are all trying to create ourselves through deference and demeanor.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
RIE KOREEDA York University (Naomi Adelson)
Gough, E. Kathleen. Kinship in a Tamil Village. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol58 (5): 826-853.
This article focuses on the kinship patterns of members of the Hindu caste Brahman, in South India. Gough describes the kinship and the intricate naming system. Gough compares the traditional practices of this group with the practices witnessed and described to her by members of the group during her research between September 1951 and April 1953. This research is used to investigate the moral values of the Brahman caste and the impact of the hierarchical positioning of members within the caste on those members. These findings were then compared to the practices of a lower caste to illustrate that the Brahman caste was in fact the cause of these issues.
Gough used the information from her extensive research to show how the ideas of moral value and social position affected the roles of women, aggression between family members, and the roles of non-blood kin (i.e. adopted children). The formal separation within the extended family of this patrilineal and patrilocal system and the specific naming for each member of this family is seen to acerbate if not cause the separation of the “lower” members of the group.
The author uses examples of the treatment of women by their husbands and their families to show how the system of nomenclature and kinship traditions had affected them. As for the aggression between family members this was witnessed between siblings towards the eldest son. He was the only member of the family outside of the father with any say in decision making. The roles of non-blood kin were almost non-existent since adoption was not a respected practice and although adoption did take place these children could not carry on the familial line so they were not considered to be true kin. These problems are not found within the lower castes and it is thus concluded that the Brahman caste expectations were the determining factor in these problems.
The Brahman caste naming system is very complex and although the author does provide an appendix to supplement the reading and aid in the descriptions of position within the caste it can be very difficult in understanding some of the terminology.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
CURTIS F. CHRISTOPHER University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Gough, Kathleen. Brahman Kinship in a Tamil Village. American Anthropologist, 1956 Vol.58: 826- 849
Looking at the Tanjore district of South India, Gough attempts to explain the major differences seen between the different castes within this area. He looks at the kinship system as a whole, size and generation depth of the patrilineal family, the dwelling groups, and also the rules of marriage and divorce. Gough shows what social as well as familial implications these differences have within the castes themselves.
Gough mainly describes what sets the Brahmans apart from others. He is yearning to explain the reason for their highest ranking within the caste system, yet also how this ranking has allowed certain kinships to form. He examines how time and the change in culture have slightly clashed with tradition, especially when it comes to land and family decisions.
For the most part, Brahmans have become permanent landowners, and survive on the labor of the lower class, known as the Adi Dravidas. Each lineage does not have a headman, but does worship usually a god from a famous Brahman temple of the Tamil area. These lineages are quite united, but one only sees this characteristic at festivals, marriage, and other ceremonies. Today, it is important to note that lineage is not a proper corporate group or anything of the sort; their unity is now only seen in ritual.
Gough’s focus is on the four dominant lineages within Kumbapettai. Their dominance has been the factor sustaining tradition within an ever-changing society and world. He also explains the dwelling group and its relation to the Brahmans, as well as marriage. With urban work gone and more and more people moving out of the village, inheritance of land has changed, and family ties are now preserved more in the emotional sense. The family is constantly changing, as different steps within life occur. Gough documents these changes and their importance. Between marriage and infancy, a child’s ties to her/his parents are constantly changing. The mother and father, who each have certain obligations, have very different relationships with their children, especially sons, which change with each step of life.
Each one of these phases is described as Gough explains the importance of familial relationship within the social and caste context.
SUNITA KURRA Barnard College (Paige West)
Herman, Mary W. The Social Aspects of Huron Property. American Anthropologist. 1958. Vol. 58: 1044-1058.
Herman outlines an investigation of social settings in relation to property rights within the Huron culture. She describes ownership of property in the “social sense” as an “interrelated collection of culturally prescribed rights, duties, and beliefs” (p. 1044). Her argument is developed by discussing Huron trade in the 17th century and then she introduces issues of communal responsibility, informal entertaining, gift giving, diplomatic feasts and exchanges of presents, reparation payments, gifts required for curing ceremonies, as well as burial gifts. She documents the importance of wealth and social status, gambling, and theft within Huron culture and concludes that movable property was associated with communal responsibility, institutionalized gift giving, and generosity. She also notes “social status accrued to the liberal and wealthy man (p. 1057) and that ownership was stressed in terms of the influences of communal pressures (not individual accumulation).
The purpose of discussing 17th century trade was to give context and understanding about who and what was traded. Herman identifies communal responsibility as being an integral part of Huron life, such that all individuals had rights to basic necessities and that specific group obligatory expenditures were beneficial for the community at large. Communal responsibility accommodated for special emergencies such as fire, or curing ceremonies, where objects were required. According to Herman, gift giving served as a means of developing relationships and giving access to people. In this context, intention was emphasized, not the actual gift. Hurons had specific rules of hospitality, depending on the visitor and the context of the situation.
When discussing diplomatic feasts, the goal for Hurons was to secure smooth relations with other groups and within their own tribe. In giving gifts at social events, friendships were bound together and strengthened. As Herman indicates, reparation gifts acted as a means to heal a wounded relationship due to a crime committed. Theft commonly occurred in Huron society but “was not considered a seriously anti-social act…and commanded none of the communal action available in the case of murder” (p. 1056). Here Herman points out the absence of any serious sanctions that would have served to protect the owners of property.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
HELENA KOSKITALO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Herman, Mary W. The Social Aspect of Huron Property. American Anthropologist. 1956 Vol. 58: 1044-1058.
Herman examines 17th century Huron property practices to demonstrate that the traditional anthropological conception of property is inadequate. She argues that “not only the form of ownership patterns, but their interrelationships with other aspects of the culture” must inform our understanding of property, and that “A full understanding of the institution of property therefore requires an investigation of the social setting in which it functions.”
Herman’s discussion is based on historic accounts of the Huron by Samuel de Champlain and on the reports of local Jesuit priests. She organizes her discussion along the occasions at which major exchanges of property occur: informal gift-giving, formal presentations (especially politics), curing and burial ceremonies, theft, and gambling. Herman discusses the centrality of gift-giving at all events, and how wealth was intended to be in constant
circulation. Wealth was used rather than accumulated–it had no intrinsic value–and its use earned its expender status and rewards. Social thought was focused on gift-giving; for instance, although gifts in certain situations functioned as payments, the Huron mindset never considered the gifts as payments, only as gifts. Herman concludes: “(1) [The Huron] had a strong feeling of communal responsibility; (2) there was widespread institutionalization of gift giving; (3) high value was placed on generosity; (4) social status accrued to the liberal and wealthy man; and (5) a disinterested attitude toward ownership per se was encouraged.”
Herman is able to argue that the traditional notion of property cannot encompass the Huron’s alternative treatment of property, and that the traditional notion must therefore be expanded or enhanced so as to be applicable across many cultural conceptions. Herman’s own attempt to give such an expanded definition of property is as follows: “Ownership in the social sense can best be understood as a more or less interrelated collection of culturally prescribed rights, duties, and beliefs concerning property.”
AVERILL J. LESLIE Columbia University (Paige West)
Hoijer, Harry. Athapaskan Kinship Systems. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58: 309-333
In an attempt to offer a less tentative reconstruction of the proto-Athapaskan kinship system, Harry Hoijer, with help of Professor Kroeber and Mrs. Janet Joel, carried out a comparative-historical study of kinship terms in Athapaskan daughter languages. At the same time, building up on A. L. Kroeber’s declaration that kinship systems are in part, sets of words (1973), Hoijer tried to test if it was possible to gather information about kinship systems through comparative linguistic studies.
The procedure used, involved bringing together cognate kin terms from each of the daughter languages, enabling him to determine the meaning and form of the original proto-Athapaskan word from each set of terms. Subsequently, a comparison of the kinship categories represented in the daughter languages took place and was summarized in tables, helping gather more precise information about the kinship systems of proto-Athapaskan.
The data assembled led Hoijer to the conclusion that the daughter communities closest in kinship to the proto-Athapaskan are all in the north, while less related communities are on the Pacific Coast and in the Southwest Area. Furthermore he discovered that the boundaries that were set before for Apachean linguistic substocks were no longer supported by the new data. This led him to suggest a revision of the data, because it is possible for two substocks, and not one, to exist. It is confirmed as well, by the interpretation of the data that: the migration for the Pacific Coast and Southwest groups was from the north; and that the Pacific Coast and the Southwest Athapaskans came in two waves.
The author nevertheless recognizes that the conclusion must not be taken as absolute because the data, on which is based, was both small and incomplete.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
RAQUEL ZEPEDA York University (Naomi Adelson)
Hoijer, Harry and Beals, Ralph L. George Walton Brainerd, 1909-1956. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58: 908-912
This is an obituary for anthropologist George Walton Brainerd. He was born in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1909 and died in his home in Pasadena, California on February 14, 1956 due to a heart condition.
Brainerd began his career in zoology — receiving his B.S. in 1930 and teaching and then teaching general biology for the next few years in Persia. In his last year in Persia he was a member an anthropological expedition. This followed with a M.S. in 1935 and a Ph.D. in 1937, also in zoology, from Ohio State University. His doctoral dissertation, however, was anthropological as well as zoological as it was based on the animal remains from mound sites on the Ohio River Valley.
In 1940 he became the Archeologist to the Division of Historical Studies, Carnegie Institution of Washington. This position ended in 1943 when he joined the Navy as a lieutenant in World War II, serving in the USA, India and China. At the University of California, he became Assistant Professor of Anthropology in 1946, Associate professor in 1950 and would have become professor in 1956.
Brainerd was interested in improving techniques of excavation, laboratory analysis and field survey, and made contributions in the quantitative study in these areas. This led to contributions in typology and classification, particularly in ceramic analysis and using ceramics to determine the time and regional variations of culture. Many students were attracted to his teaching in this field as he was also considered an enthusiastic and inspiring teacher.
Few scholars were as knowledgeable of paste, temper, pigments, and firing temperatures as related to archeology. He also developed methods of sorting and analyzing ceramics based on their style. His ceramic chronology of the excavations in which he participated in Yucatan would continue to be fundamental to Mexican archeology for years to come, in the opinion of the writers.
His research in ceramics contributed to his study of cultural change and its process. This he applied to proving that the Toltec invasion of Yucatan began a major cultural change. In Brainerd’s words, his study covered “the nature of the rise of the Toltecs, and the means whereby they staged their very rapid cultural expansion over Meso-America.”
Brainerd also stimulated and guided a lot of local, non-professional research through the Southern California Archeological Survey Association.
This obituary is concise and clear in its description of Brainerd’s work. It concludes with a bibliography of his published works.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JOEL CURRIE University of Alberta: (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Hoijer, Harry and Beals, Ralph L. George Walton Brainerd. American Anthropologist, 1956. Vol. 58: 908-911.
In this article Harry Hoijer and Ralph L. Beals focus on the professional achievements of George Walton Brainerd. Hoijer and Beals demonstrate Brainerd’ success as a scientist and researcher by describing the variety of research projects that Brainerd successfully completed during his life. One common theme found in Brainerd’s work is his focus on the culture change and its processes. He used ceramics research and problems of chronology as two focal points in his study of culture change.
Like many other anthropologists Brainerd began his studies and research in different scientific field; he received his undergraduate degree in Lafayette College in zoology, as well as a M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology at Ohio State. Between the time that he received his bachelors and his masters, he first came in contact with archeological research as a member of the University of Pennsylvania Persian Expedition. He furthered developed this skills in archeological field research at the Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley Expedition, while also working in the ceramics laboratory at Ohio State University. In 1940 Brainerd solidified his career in archeology as he was appointed Archeologist to the Division of Historical Studies, Carnegie Institution of Washington. He then received a post, after serving in the Navy for a short while, as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Hoijer and Beals suppose that Brainerd would have achieved a professorship if he had lived.
Brainerd continued his archeological research, covering a broad range of geography and methodology concerns. After running into different problems of classification and methodology, he developed a perfected form of ceramics analysis as a methodology used to determine deviations of time and within regions of a culture. He expanded his research field to comparative art of non-literate peoples, working on systemization in the field of primitive art.
His last project focused on the “conviction that the Toltec invasion of Yucatan initiated a major culture change” in the Valley of Mexico, using the methodology and ceramic analysis that he developed throughout his career, as a culmination of all his studies in ceramic analysis and problems of chronology.
Hoijer and Beals end the article by focusing on Brainerd’s gregarious personality and his dedication to his students. Brainerd did not allow his research pursuits to take away from his students at UCLA, nor did he allow his research to prevent him from guiding nonprofessional workers in Archeological research.
JEEHO LEE Barnard College (Paige West)
Hymes, D. H. Na-Déné and Positional Analysis of Categories. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(4):624-638.
The focus of this article is on linguistic analysis and culture theory. Specifically, Hymes’ research explored the disagreement amongst linguists as to the value of genetic linguistic classification in establishing cultural relationships and common ancestry. He used the question of Na-Déné as a test case. It was suggested that Na-Déné was a proto-language (predecessor) of a family of related languages of the Northwest Canadian natives: the Haida, Tlingit, and Athapaskan. These languages were proposed to be genetically related, which meant there was linguistic evidence that they had diverged from a common ancestral form. Therefore, this gives reason to believe that the ancestors of those who speak the Na-Déné languages were also genetically related. Though there was much debate among linguists as to the reality of Na-Déné, Hymes provided evidence for its existence and common ancestry using morphologic structure to analyze the languages’ similarities.
In addressing his topic, Hymes reviewed the background and status of the Na-Déné question. He addressed the role of morphologic data in genetic proof and applied the method of using morphologic structure to Na-Déné. Lastly, he commented on the implications for linguistic analysis and culture theory.
The use of morphologic structure to identify language similarity had been an issue of debate among linguists. This method involved identifying common occurrences of systematic positional structures. This meant identifying the position of verbs in relation to nouns and comparing the positions to that of the proto-language. The languages were then assessed for similarities on more than one plane of language, form, or context in order to prove genetic connection. This meant identifying phonetic and semantic similarities.
It was confirmed that there was evidence for the existence of Na-Déné: phonetic correspondences, parallels of morphophonemic alliteration, sound correspondences and similar positional structure. There was also evidence that the basic morphologic pattern was a stable sector of language and valuable for establishing relationship among languages.
This article required deliberate concentration to grasp the concepts, yet the issue was well supported and discussed. The issue of Na-Déné is of interest not only to linguistics, but also to cultural anthropologists. For, where there was once linguistic unity, there may have been cultural unity.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
JENNIFER ANDREW University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Jeffreys, M. D. W. Some Rules of Directed Culture Change Under Roman CatholicismAmerican Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58: 721-731
Jeffreys’ thesis in this article was that in studying directed culture change, one could gain insight into the mechanics of culture change and cultural interaction. What people understood about culture change could give us valuable insight into how people perceived culture. Jeffreys used Gillin’s principles of successful culture change in comparison to the Roman Catholic Church’s guidelines for culture change, along with specific examples of directed culture change under the Church.
Jeffreys used a variety of different sources to make his argument. A letter from Pope Gregory I (circa 601 AD) urges a missionary not to destroy temples, simply to put them to a different purpose. The author also used ordinances issued by Father Merolla to correct the “abuses” he saw among the natives of the Congo. Jeffreys lists the abuse, the ordinance, and then his own interpretation of the efficacy of the ordinance. He also included a story about the Maoris of New Zealand and their adjustment to a church built by missionaries. All of these examples served to illustrate that directed culture change is brought about by substitutions. This causes the least disruption in the lives of those being acculturated. All of the evidence also illustrated a structural-functionalist viewpoint to culture change. The missionaries were changing the structure of the religious practices without changing the function. They would replace the gods and the artefacts in the temples and make them into churches, but the reason people went to those churches and the function religion played in their lives did not change (during successful culture change). Substitution, converting leaders, and lowering the stature of opponents by using negative names are all also effective in affecting culture change.
The article is clear, concise and easy to read. Jeffreys did a good job of exploring culture change through an organisation that has been the driving force of culture change.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
CHERYL BLACK University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Jeffreys, M. D. W. Some Rules of Directed Cultural Change Under Roman Catholicism. American Anthropologist 1956 58: 721-731
Jeffreys discusses methods of changing the customs and beliefs of peoples by Roman Catholic priests. He discusses the various theories and practices of other anthropologists and catholic priests respectively, summarizes them and formulates a conclusion.
Jeffreys believes that the most powerful methods of converting people to Catholicism must follow certain criteria set out by Gillin. Gillin described four rules, which emphasized spiritual supply and demand, and gradual change. Jeffreys uses several examples, one is a minor example involving the conversion of the English pagans in the seventh century by Father Gregory. Part of the success of this conversion, Jeffreys points out, involves the fact that instead of destroying the temples of the pagans, Father Gregory opted to use them, maintaining much of the outer continuity of the religious community. He also mentioned that little of the social structure was changed, making it easier for the pagans to shift belief systems and increasing Father Gregory’s success.
The other example he uses is the major focus of his article. It is the conversion of the Congo Negroes in the 17th century by Father Morella. Morella used defamation to do away with the spiritual leaders who would otherwise replace the priest’s role in society. Jeffreys constructs his evidence about this conversion using a series of examples of “abuses” and “corrective ordinances” documented by Morella and “notations” added by himself. In these “notations”, Jeffreys points out how Father Morella could have made the conversion more successful, if Gillin’s criteria were employed. For example, in one of Jeffreys notations, he says that in order to change the customs of Negro women from holding a sacred item of their religion and confessing sexual transgressions during childbirth, Morella should have introduced holding a cross and regular confessions at the temples. Jeffreys states that certain questions should be asked about such conversions: “How effective has the cultural change been?” and “What social and spiritual values do the new adherents place on the new religion?”
In summary, Jeffrey’s examines the methods of conversion to Roman Catholicism with special emphasis on making cultural changes – changes in custom. His aim is to better the methods of conversion, to make it as swift and complete as possible. Jeffrey’s clearly has no regard for the preservation of culture, his aim is to perfect the science of changing culture.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
HANNAH WEITZENFELD York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kaut, Charles R. Western Apache Clan and Phratry Organization. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58: 140-146
When set against clear-cut systems of other groups consisting of clans, the Navaho and Western Apache clan and phratry systems can appear puzzling. The article is a re-analysis of Goodwin’s data, who had completed ten months of field work among the Western Apache. The author suggests that, based on research by Goodwin, the Navaho and Western Apache clans are related. Both have the same historical origin and their social organizations are closely related as demonstrated by their culture and language.
Many comparisons are made based on other clans and the activities that they performed such as agriculture, hunting, and gathering. The territories, mobility, and ceremonies are described in relation to the seasons, leading into a discussion of relations and ancestors. Claims of descent and origin are made and this is how further divisions in Phratries are made.
The paper is centered on clan-relationships from Goodwin’s point of view and describes, using a figure and several examples in the text, of how clans are related and inevitably describes marriage restrictions. Goodwin had described three types of clans and three types of associations between these clans. The Western Apache Clan is very organized and highly cooperative. The clans had an individual economic and religious activities but the clans and phratries were tied together by social activities and marriage patterns.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
RAGHBIR K. SINGH York University (Naomi Adelson)
Kaut, Charles R. Western Apache Clan and Phratry Organization. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58 (1):140-146.
The general issue that is discussed in the article is the relationship between the Western Apache clan, the Navaho clan, and other independent groups in the Southwest. The more specific purpose of the article is to describe the Navaho and Western Apache’s social organizational patterns, both within themselves and in relation to other clans. He discusses location of the clans and the dates for which his research is relevant. The origin of the three phratries and their function is a major topic discussed in this article. The author also looks at the differences among clans with control and organization. Another thing that is looked at with great detail is the main purposes of a clan, one of which is to regulate marital restrictions placed on members of clans. The author defines a clan and the three types of clans- “closely related”, “related”, and “distantly related”. Marital regulations, dependency on agriculture, and origin are the main factors that identified clans as unique. The author goes into great descriptive detail to explain the complex situations that surround each clan and their development as such.
The author uses the studies of a man named Goodwin, who dies before he was able to complete his research. The author takes his research and makes generalizations based on that info. He admits that there is a lack of factual history that explains the Navaho and Western Apache clans. The information that does exist contradicts itself and has therefore been proven unreliable. The author uses Goodwin’s argument in the beginning of the article to provide a base for the thoughts he will expand on throughout the entire article.
NATALIE YBARRA Columbia University (Paige West)
Krader, Lawrence. A Nativistic Movement in Western Siberia. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.(58)2:4pp282-292.
The article, “A Nativistic Movement in Western Siberia,” refers to the nativistic revival of the Altai Turk people in the beginning of the twentieth century. This movement originated in the form of a proclamation in which Chot Chelpan (an Altai Turk) has a vision that their ancient leader, Oriot Khan, would reappear and free the people from the foreign domination of Russia. The author believes that the movement in the Altai Mountains (also referred to as Burkhanism) is of importance and should be added to the literature on nativism (282). In this article the author is determined to prove that this movement, Burkhanism, is an accurate representation of a nativistic movement.
In examining the criteria of a nativistic movement, one can learn that there must be a messianic element, an idealization of the past, a rejection of the foreign way, and a list of commandments. Throughout this article, the author provides evidence that the Burkhanism movement meets the required criteria. Firstly, providing evidence of the messianic element, the author presents the proclamation to Chot Chelpan. Secondly, the author incorporates the cultural and historical background information into the article to provide a reason for the Altai Turks to desire liberation from the Russian Regime. Lastly, the eighteen commandments for the new Altai religion are listed, interpreted, and described in detail. From the evidence presented, the author satisfies the definition of a nativistic movement with the components of the Burkhanism movement, therefore, he is able to successfully support his argument.
In understanding this article, a second reading is recommended. The author makes mention of several names for the Altai people and the other groups living in the Altai Mountains. It is difficult to distinguish who is who, and which groups share what beliefs. These clarifications are essential in understanding this article.
The author supports his argument very well with the evidence provided throughout the article. In the conclusion, the reader is left with no question of whether this Burkhanism movement should be considered a nativistic one.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MEREDITH ROBINSON University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Krader, Lawrence. A Nativistic Movement in Western Siberia. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58: 282 – 292
Krader deals with one of several responses of native peoples to the acculturative impact of Western civilization. That response is called nativism which Krader defines as rejection of the unfamiliar way, and the cult of the native way. According to Krader, nativism arises from the problem of acculturation of Western culture to native culture, and is revivalistic and mystic. In nativism, natives seek to revive and relive a certain aspect of their past that does not exist in their present culture. To achieve this, natives employ realistic and or mystic approaches. Nativisim reflects the native people’s way of trying to understand and cope with the shocking changes resulting from acculturation. Thus, it can be considered as a form of rejection.
Krader further illustrates nativism by referring to a nativistic movement that involve the Altai Turks. In 1904, an Altai Turk named Chot Chelplan had a vision of a being coming to free the Altai Turks from Russian ruling. Stemming from this Chot Chelpan preached a new religion worshipping a new god with the name Burkhan, and preached political unity governed by one ruler. He created a prayer and had hundreds of followers. As a result of his proclamation, the natives of the Chuya valley in the Altai left their homes and went to a meeting place in the mountains that was carefully concealed from the Russians and the Christianized Altai Turks. The movement was partly religious and partly political, but totally a reaction to acculturation. It was called Burkhanism.
There is significance in the Altai nativism because it contains several different cultural influences. The Altai natives reside in a kind of refuge area which had been involved in several political, religious and economic developments. The empire which the natives aspired to revive was not their own, but that of the Mongol Kalmuks, who in the eighteenth century had subjugated the Altai Turks. There also exists Christian and Lamaist influences, and northern Buddhism because Burkhan is the Mongolian name fore Buddha.
In some parts of Chot Chelpan’s proclamation, the idea of an innocent virgin female is involved, and the existence of commandments of higher power is expressed. This exemplifies the Christian influence of the nativistic movement. There are eighteen commandments and they deal with personal habits of the Altains, Lamaist influence of Shamanism, and anti-Russian prescriptions and proscriptions. All eighteen commandments are singularly addressed to illustrate parallels of the commandments to other cultural influences and their contributions to rejection of an alien way, and cult of the native way.
The author concludes with the thought that nativistic revivals fail to attain their purpose because they do not realize how greatly influenced their social relations and thoughts are by the invading culture. However, nativistic movements do succeed in shaping definition of culture for people who have been victimized by acculturation.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANOULONE SOUPHOMMANYCHANH York University (Naomi Adelson)
Krader, Lawrence. Recent Studies of the Russian Peasant. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58: 716-719.
The Russian peasant became known to the west more so in the 19th century through accounts of others. Information was gained through foreign travelers as well as Russian novelists.
Although there were many people looking at the lives of Russian peasants at the time, Frederic Le Play was a leader among them all. A founder of sociology, he studied the peasant household of central and southern Russia in the mid 19th century, as well as the working class households of the Urals. Also at this time, Russians themselves were developing a rich study of their peasantry. They were able to produce a concise literature that was rich in detail. There were volumes in a series on the Russian peasant, and these studies were led by the Russian Geographical Society. The Society, “… published important contributions on the Russian peasant economy, ceremonials, agriculture, family relations including the position of women, settlement, customary law, house types, and folklore.” This was carried out from 1891 to 1916.
During the time of the revolution up until the Second World War, the life of the Russian peasant must be gained through other sources. There was a large gap from 1917 up until postwar period. In 1953 it was pointed out by L.A. Pushkareva, that it was also important to study the nonmaterial culture of the Russian Peasant, not just the material culture.
There is still a lot to be explored and learnt about the Russian peasant. There have been many changes with in the sections of the Russian peasant life, and these need to be looked at.
CLARITY RANKING 3.5
SHAIZA MURJI York University (Naomi Adelson)
Krader, Lawrence. Recent Studies of the Russian Peasant. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(1): 716-719.
This article is a summary of the recent studies that have been conducted on the Russian peasant. It discusses the different trends that have occurred within the writing, describing which approaches have been explored and which have been somewhat neglected. The author, Krader, does not present a very strong argument in the article, rather a somewhat objective overview of the “vast literature on the Russian peasant”. He does outline which aspects of the ever changing Russian peasantry had yet to be explored in the stagnant literature and suggest that the writing ought to keep up with its subject. The majority of the article, however, does not present evidence for the necessity of change in the literature on the Russian peasantry. Instead, it summarizes the different types of writing on the subject and gives examples of the authors and writing in each category.
Krader begins by outlining the different types of people who have written on rural Russia, listing Russian novelists, foreign “travellers”, including anthropological writings, as well as extensive writing by other Russians. The works by other Russians include many works by the Russian Geographical Society. The article then outlines the different time periods in the writing, delineating the twenty-five years in between the revolution and World War II as a hole in the anthropological writing. The time after World War II is divided into two eras, the second of which is largely criticism of the methods used during the first. Krader outlines the opinions of both the critics and the criticized while remaining remarkably neutral, not giving any indication which side he believes to be correct. He also points out that the majority of the writing on the Russian peasantry concentrates on the material culture, mostly ignoring the nonmaterial culture. Then, again without indicating opinion, Krader describes the small amount of writing that does analyze the nonmaterial culture, writing on the changing role of women in the rural agricultural economy. He then addresses the lack of “interrelation” of different types of research in the writing. However, keeping with his objective standpoint, he does not call for a change. He concludes by stating that the writing on the subject did not sufficiently capture the direction of change in the culture and that the ultimate fate of the Russian peasantry had yet to be investigated.
EMILY KNOPF Barnard College, Columbia University (Paige West)
Kurath, Gertrude P. Choreology and Anthropology. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58: 177-179.
In the article “Choreology and Anthropology,” Kurath argues that ethnology can benefit from the study of choreology. Choreology is the science of movement patterns and focuses on the forms of movement known as dance. Dance, as she advises us, is in some societies purely recreational; while in other societies, it is closely linked to religious and social aspects of life. She argues that there are certain questions to be addressed should an ethnologist or choreologist find himself or herself studying dance as it pertains to a certain society.
Kurath indicates that it is important to first analyze the formal components of dance in order to gain an understanding of the structure. She then claims that we must examine the dance in terms of “the relationship of individuals to one another, the relationship of their activity to social organization, to economy, [and] to the world of supernaturals”(p.178). The inference that can be made is that by looking at these aspects of dance, we can learn a lot about social and political organization.
Kurath suggests that once dance has been analyzed using these guidelines, the information should be used in a comparative analysis. We should compare features of the culture being studied with those of neighboring cultures or distant groups. We should consider three criteria – area study: “Which features are peculiar to the group? Which items are shared with other groups?”; intrusion and diffusion: “What feature appears alien? Where does this typical feature appear?”; and change: “During intrusions…what has happened to the local style?”(p. 179).
Kurath concludes by arguing that many of these questions are asked about other aspects of culture, and that is because choreology has learned from more developed sciences. She argues that choreology can provide benefits to ethnology “…if the worker wants to see a rounded picture, …tribal organization, wants to blend visual with mental patterns, [and] wants reinforcing clues to authorities”(p.179).
This article is very clear, concise, and easy to read. The language is recent enough to not confuse the reader, and the article is very basic in its argument. It is, in effect, a summary of a paper previously written by the author, and prior knowledge of that paper may provide some insight. However, on the whole, this paper is in itself understandable.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
CARMEN MONCRIEFF University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Lowie, Robert H. Reminiscences of Anthropological Currents in America Half a Century Ago American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58:995-1017
Turn of the century Anthropologists and how they contributed to modern (1958) anthropology are examined in Lowie’s article. Lowie critically examines what these men contributed to anthropology, all of who used evolution and diffusion to interpret their studies. In his opinion it was the lesser-known men working in anthropology that made the greater contributions. He writes that men like Brinton and Cushing who were more widely known did made very little lasting impression on anthropology and that many of their theories were nonsense.
The author then examines how different “extraneous sources” contributed to anthropology and how anthropologists used these sources in their work. Geography and psychology are looked at closely. He examines how anthropologists have argued over whether thought comes before behavior or vice versa.
This article would be useful for anyone who is interested in anthropologists such as Cushing, Brinton, Powell, McGee, Bandlier, Fewkes, Holmes, Morgan, Meyer as well as several other well known and not so well known men from a colleague’s point of view. The article also provides a history of anthropological theory and the men behind it (though the author mentions that it is not a history). The article is written and laid out clearly, though it sometimes gets confusing about whom he is talking about because names will be mentioned consecutively and then no name will be mentioned at all.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
RHIANNE MCKAY University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Lowie, Robert H. Reminiscences of Anthropological Current in America Half a Century Ago. American Anthropologist. 1956. Vol. 58: 995-1016.
Lowie states that prior to 1900 ethnological theories were based on physical sciences with their “truths” and their methodology; and the like the sciences of before “…new facts are disclosed , and shake the foundations of theories that seemed firmly established.” [Boas 1898:3f.] While Lowie’s younger peers were said to criticize their seniors for being “isolationist”, Lowie demonstrates that the concerns of that time and the individual experiences of scholars in history, psychological, philosophy and physical sciences both shaped and challenged, ultimately making way for transformation in American anthropology.
At the time of writing this article author Robert H. Lowie was into his seventies and was an anthropologist respected for his own contributions to the early development of anthropological discipline. His 19-page article reads like the Who’s Who of early American anthropology from both an analytical and familiar perspective.
Without reservation, Lowie introduces anthropologists of the early 1900’s and combines discussions of their individual contributions with the “intellectual movements” that guided the evolution of anthropological theories. Specifically, Lowie briefs us on the more familiar contributions of Frank Cushing (1857-1900), Daniel Brinton (1837-1899), John Powell (1834-1902), William McGree (1853-1912), and Adolphe Bandelier (1840-1914). Lowie also acquaints us with lesser known, but in his opinion more significant contributors, anthropologists Jesse Fewkes (1850-1930), Otis T. Mason (1838-1908), Walter Hough (1859-1935) and Williams H. Holmes (1846-1933).
An emphasis is placed on how the scientific theories of evolution were challenged by through shifts felt in other disciplines such as biology, history and in significant contributions from psychology [Galton], sociology [Wundt] and geography. Much of this interchange took place with the teachers, lecturers and students of Columbia University.
Lowie does not play favourites with the anthropologists of this time, nor does he make excuses for the mistakes made in the early establishment of cultural anthropology. He seeks not to gives us a history lesson, but rather to illuminate some of the scholarly currents that were meaningful at the time.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
ALISON PENTLAND-FOLK York University (Naomi Adelson)
Macwhite, Eoin. On the Interpretation of Archeological Evidence in Historical and Sociological Terms. American Anthropologist. 1956 Vol. 58: 3-23
In this study, Macwhite mentions the difficulty of the archeological interpretation especially in terms of the predocumentary periods. He points out that the archeological reasoning based on the non-documentary evidence tends to be not a fact, but merely interpretation (or representation) by a historian. As the approach to correct “error in archeological theory” (4), this article refers to the levels of archeological interpretation with detailed tables. The difficulty of interpretation concerning psychological plane is stated, and he admits “that intuition (in the popular sense of the word) often replaces the more logical processes of deduction and reduction, which includes induction” (6).
In terms of the problem of understanding the archeological culture, he again indicated the tendency to regard only fragments as the whole and this fact is often neglected. To deal with this problem, the author suggests interaction of two ideas: “culture change as a continuous stream to be segmented into types as this best suits the archaeologist’s purpose” and “to conceive of types as once existent realities”, both of which should be supported by archeological evidence(11).
The author also argues the “invasions and acculturation” (16), and “archeology and linguistic problems” (18), both of which have the difficulty to set up the definition because of the subjective nature.
He concludes that to seek the absolute interpretation is never-ending journey.
TAKUYA TSUNODA Columbia University (Page West)
MacWhite, Eóin. On the Interpretation of Archeological Evidence in Historical and Sociological Terms. American Anthropologist, 1956 Vol.58(1): 3-25.
Archeology is related to history in practice and theory; however in contrast to history, archeology exists in limited proportions of material culture only at the time of its discovery, and is impersonal since individuals cannot be discerned. The field of archeology has over time developed a system of reason that uses altered jargon borrowed from other fields. Archeological analysis varies with each person and object of study and thus prevents the science of archeology from unification of interpretation methods. MacWhite’s article is an examination of problems of archeological methods and theory. His goal is to research tools that can be applied universally and to identify weak points and potential sources of error in archeological method and theory.
In his study, MacWhite finds problems and discrepancies in archeological interpretation, concept of culture, and understanding of dynamic culture change and role of linguistics in archeology. MacWhite observes that there are varying levels of interpretation and patterns of cognitional factors in archeology. Interpretation varies according to circumstance of discovery, inherent factors of discovery, period, and geographic and climatic conditions. Also depending on level of interpretation, intuition can replace deductive or reductive reasoning. MacWhite finds that there is no single concept of what archeological culture is. Generally, the term culture is coined arbitrarily when patterns of groups and types are observed. He warns not to forget that archeological culture is only a fragment of a whole culture. After much discussion, MacWhite defines an archeological culture “as a significant group of space-time units consisting of possibly one but generally a number of phases, whose basic traits belong to the same tradition” (16). MacWhite notes that the role of linguistics in and natural evolution of culture is hard to understand.
In his article, MacWhite suggests questions rather than supply answers concerning typical errors of archeological method and theory. MacWhite calls for a fusion of European and American archeological method and theory so that the field can be more universal.
SARAH HARKNESS Barnard College (Paige West)
May, Carlyle L. A Survey of Glossolalia and Related Phenomena in Non- Christian Religions. American Anthropologists 1956 (58) 1:75-
In this article, May, focuses on glossolalia or speaking in tongues. He focuses on the question: Where did speaking in unknown languages originate and does it have Christian roots? Examples of glossolalia throughout history were surveyed.
May mentions the studies of Lombard, Cutten, Moisman and a few others. May suggests that the main conclusion is that glossolalists speak in tongues while in high emotional states (Pg 76). According to Cutten, the person indulging in glossolalia is in an emotional state where the controlling part of their mind is not functioning, therefore they are using the subconscious. Moisman states that glossolalia occurs when “speech organs come under temporarily control of the reflex centers” (pg77), and in a different manner, Lombard states that speaking in tongues is a “form of regression”(pg77). All men have similar definitions of glossolalia.
According to May, Lombard organized glossolalia into four types. The first is Phonations frustes, which constitute unrecognizable sounds such as mumbling. The second is pseudo-language, which are recognized as fragments of words. The third is the verbal fabrication, which is composed of native and foreign phonemes. The fourth type is xeoglossie or speaking foreign tongues, which can also include the interpreting of tongues.
May goes on to discuss two different types of language used in speaking in tongues. The first is called the “Language of the Spirits”. An example is when the Hudson Bay Eskimos speak from the trickling water, rushing wind or roar of a bear. In this language the ‘shaman’ becomes the person who the spirits speak through. Most of the time he does not remember what was said. It is normal to have different sounds in their voices and the unnatural sounds are said to be gods speaking through them. The second is “the Language of Animals”, which is when the ‘shaman’ is transformed into an animal by making the same sounds as the animal. This allows the shaman to travel the world and be a spirit, or non human being. Even going to hell and heaven is a part of this. May cites documented examples from many different tribes of this type of ritual.
May then expands on two types of Lombard’s glossolalia: phonations frustes and xenoglossia. He gives many examples of tribes that have experienced these types of glossolalia within their culture, including tribes all around in the Americas, Africa and Asia.
In conclusion, May states that glossolalia is widespread and very ancient. He also explains that it mainly comes from Christian roots, and then he lists some areas of the world where it might have occurred and even where it might have begun. May also suggests that more research and field work needs to be completed to include more explanations of how glossolalia is learned and give a clearer picture of its history.
Despite some complex terminology, this article was fairly easy to understand.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
DEANNA L’ABBE University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Mayer, Adrian C. Associations in Fiji Indian Rural Society. American Anthropologist Vol. 58:97-108
This article by Adrian C. Mayer attempts to study the rural areas of the colonies of Fiji, in which the topic of interest is the voting system and its degree of equality with respect to the different social classes that make up the three specific cultural associations discussed. The author focuses on three communities the first being The Cane Gang, the second, The School Committee, and the third being The Settlement Associations. Three main cultural groups existed within these three communities: the Hindus from Northern India, the Hindus from Southern India, and the Muslims. The author explores the ways that people felt about the importance and fairness of the voting systems within the domain of their cultural and societal functioning.
The Cane Gang is an association where a major crop, sugar cane is grown. Cane cutting is organized by the CSR (Colonial Sugar Refining Company) to ensure a steady flow of suitable cane. The hierarchy of authority within the cane operations is discussed, including the description of the “Sidar” whom is in charge of overseeing operations. There is no formal election, per se, for the position of the “Sidar” because it is believed to cause tension, division, and even favouritism within the structure of a cane gang.
The School Committee are those within the community who maintain the buildings and who pay the salaries of the teachers from monies collected from the parents. The teachers are civil servants, under the control of the education department. The election patterns is similar to that of the cane gang. Those elected are those who have succeeded in the pre-election canvass. The issues in the pre-election canvassing may be the discussion of disputes over policies or differences involving culture and kin groups.
The Settlement Associations are composed of a group of people whose main purpose is to aid in the organization of major ritual and social events and to be the arbitrators in disputes that may arise within the community. Three major positions are elected annually: a president, a secretary and a treasurer. Elections are followed along the same lines as the two previous associations, except only candidates that are publicly nominated are unanimously supported.
In essence, the issue that encompasses all three rural areas of the colony of Fiji is the equality of voting and if within these cultural systems there exists a system of voting that lacks the influence of the more powerful people. As in many societies, there are inequalities and the unanimity of a society ceases to exist, leaving the voices of the powerful heard and the whispers of the “less recognized members of society” unheard. This issue is explored in the article along with the possible repercussions arising from them.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
CARLA DI GIANDOMENICO York University (Naomoi Adelson)
McQuown, Norman A. A Linguistics Laboratory Serves Cultural Anthropology. American Anthropologist 1956 Pg. 536-9
In this article, McQuown discusses the emergence of the field of Linguistics as uncovered by Benjamin Lee Whorf. During the 1940s Whorf published several articles in Linguistics on its relation to other fields and the relation to the worldview. His work served as an inspiration to further expand studies on language and culture. Viewing language as a part of culture brought forth the question of how to explore patterns of culture. The two noted ways found that served to assist cultural anthropologists were: The use of a local person/interpreter, translate via a “contact” language, or have a test site within the community. McQuown does infer that some consideration must be taken when observing Mr. Whorf’s publishing as his theories were based on generalizations in regards to the relationship between Linguistics and (formal) cultural activity, which results in much misinterpretation. Whorf”s main premise is that “There are connections but not correlations or diagnostic correspondences between cultural norms and linguistic patterns” (McQuown 536). Moreover, he argues that connections depend on ways of analyzing and reporting experiences that have become a part of the “fashion of speaking.” McQuown indicates that Whorf’s early findings leads one to believe that language acts as a vehicle and serves to open the door to cultural patterns. McQuown provides further discussion indicating that language in itself can be recorded (more concrete), describable, and dissected, but using language to observe cultural patterns becomes complex. Mr. Whorf states in determining the “value” of language in relation to cultural patterns one of two areas must be met. First we need to become an expert in techniques (language technician) and secondly, we need to have an interpreter/translator.
Upon Whorf’s early discussion of “Linguistics as an Exact Science”, Whorf foresaw that there would be a time when “…well equipped laboratories of linguistics…” (McQuown 537) would exist as a refined field of expertise. McQuown provides insight into the financial problems that may arise. In establishing a laboratory, trained persons in this field are required in addition to equipment that would assist in data collection and recording information. McQuown states that being able to establish a laboratory can be beneficial and that it is important to “justify expenditures” when seeking funding money from sources.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
TRACY WOOLRIDGE York University (Naomi Adelson)
McQuowan, Norman A. A Linguistics Laboratory Serves Cultural Anthropology. American Anthropology, 1956 Vol. 58: 536-539
In his article, Norman A. McQuown presents an argument supporting the necessity of linguistic analysis in cultural anthropology facilitated by linguistics laboratories. He begins his article by referencing Benjamin Lee Whorf and his link between linguistics and other fields of study. Eventually, this established a standard view that language and culture are closely related. In addition, language can be seen as a vehicle of culture, however, McQuown brings forth the issue that the “full implications” of the relationship are “seldom explored” (McQuown 536).
McQuown analyzes Whorf’s statements regarding the relationship of language and culture. Whorf claimed that culture and language are connected, but not correlated. “He pointed out that the principal value of linguistic data is evidential” (McQuown 537). Then he presents his own views on language as being a vehicle by which cultural patterns are transferred to not only future generations, but also to cultural anthropologists. Furthermore, he describes the various aspects of language that make it an ideal method for cultural analysis. Language is recordable and reproducible, as well as a form of communication, thus, the anthropologist must be able to properly learn the language in order to gain information.
In order to facilitate this learning, McQuown proposes a linguistics laboratory, which provides the necessary linguistic elements and has materials submitted to it. Specifically, he refers to taped recordings, which can provide insight, such as verbal rituals; into the life the anthropologist is studying.
To qualify his assertions, McQuown presents several problems of the linguistics laboratory for the linguists. For example, besides lacking funds, labor can be scarce in analyzing and transcribing the language. On the other hand, McQuown also emphasizes many of the positive aspects of the linguistics laboratory. For instance, the laboratory would enhance the training of linguistic technicians. Finally, McQuown explains the methods involved to make the laboratory a successful endeavor.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
SHIMUL KADAKIA Barnard College (Paige West)
Mednick, Lois W. and Orans, Martin. The Sickle-Cell Gene: Migration Versus Selection. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(2): 293-295.
In their article, The Sickle-Cell Gene: Migration Versus Selection, Mednick and Orans describe how the relevance of the sickle-cell trait has changed from a strictly biological perspective to having an important role in the ideas on racial migration. They present the new theories of the time including Dr. Ronald Singer’s 1953 American Anthropologist report and the work done by Allison in 1953/54. Dr. Singer’s article, “The Sickle-Cell Trait in Africa,”(1953) is summarised by Mednick and Orans. It suggests the sickle-cell trait originated in the Mt. Ruwenzori region of Africa and it was distributed to the world from this point through the migration of people. The work done by Singer truly spurred on the interest in the sickle-cell trait.
Mednick and Orans then describe how the sickle-cell trait is not restricted to the Negro populations of the world (as previously thought). They tell of findings in parts of Greece, Italy, and India that brought up questions about how the frequency of the gene could be so widely spread. This led them to a direct discussion of the work of Allison.
The key points of Allison’s work are examined in detail. His research on how the sickle-cell gene, when found in heterozygosity, can protect people from malaria is emphasized. This allows people in areas of the world with malaria to survive its effects and spread the sickle-cell gene to a wider population. The conclusions Allison draws from his findings are stated. He tells how the occurrence of the sickle-cell trait is true unbalanced polymorphism and how the presence of the gene relates to the amount of malaria in a region through gene mutation. Mednick and Orans supply examples of this research by providing the results of tests run in African nations. From the data attained, it is possible that all populations that have the sickle-cell gene are related due to the mutation rate allowing the people of a region to survive contact with malaria.
Finally Mednick and Orans state that you cannot examine the sickle-cell trait in isolation as all other genes on the chromosome are affected by change in populations. They warn of the dangers of basing a theory on limited data. Many factors must be taken into consideration when looking at gene migration among populations. Selection plays an important role but must be considered along with migration when formulating a conclusion about the specific traits of a population.
This scientifically complex article gives students the ability to look at the key theories of the past and see how they were developed using the sickle-cell trait as an example.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
TAYLOR ROGERS University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Mednick, Lois and Orans. Martin. The Sickle-Cell Gene: Migration Versus Selection. American Anthropologist 1956 vol. 58:293-295.
This article discusses distribution and frequency of sickle-cell trait in various populations. Dr. Ronald Singer wrote an article in the 1953 issue of American Anthropologist stating that the origin of sickle-cell trait in the Mt. Ruwenzori region, spread out from that location to other parts of the world.
This article takes a look at the conclusions and research found in Singer’s article in American Anthropologist. Before 1945, investigators thought sickle cell was strictly a Negro trait (racial diagnostic). It seemed to only be reported among African Negroes, or descendents. However, after 1946 and 1951 studies were performed, it was also found to be relatively common in parts of Italy and Greece, areas that Negro admixture were not abundant. In Greece, the highest known frequency of sickle-cell trait is found in the people of the Lake Copais region (17.7 percent); and in southern India it is found among the Veddoid peoples (30 % found among one tribe).
Also discussed is frequency inconsistency in that there is a high frequency of the gene in separated locations. Allison (1954, 1955) gave an explanation for this. He indicated that there might be a relationship between incidence and frequency of the trait and the presence & severity of malaria. A study subjected 30 men to malaria, 15 trait-carriers and 15 non-trait carriers: 14 of non-traits developed malaria; only 2 of 15 trait-carriers developed it, and cases were milder than the control group. Detractors of this study were of course the small sample size, however unlikely due to chance. The experiment indicates that heterozygosity for the sickle-cell trait affords protection against or lessens the effects of malaria (subtertian).
Allison studied life expectancy and relative fertility of those with the anemia; she found that these (homozygous) people have 1 chance in 4 of reproducing. This means that the loss of genes from death (due to sickle-cell trait) would be so minimal that to balance it would require an almost-impossible rate of mutation (some thousands of times greater than any estimated for man). This means that instead of individuals dying from sickle-cell trait, which would decrease its abundance, they are able to reproduce and pass it on to other generations.
Allison concluded that the incidence of sickle-cell trait in only a proportion of a population is due to two factors: 1) the severity of malaria in the region, which tends to increase the frequency of the gene; and 2) and the rate of elimination of the gene due to death from anemia. Sickle-cell mutation would have a reasonable chance of survival in a malarial area.
This theory of selective advantage of the sickle-cell trait in a malarial environment casts doubt on previous migrational theories. It is compatible with evidence of the trait found in people with no Negro-admixture.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
LARA ZENTINS York University (Naomi Adelson)
Miner, Horace. Body Ritual among the Nacirema. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58 3 : 503-507
Miner’s article is a famous article about the well-known Nacirema people (i.e. Americans spelled backwards). In this article, the author is attempting to explain differences in behavior in terms of customs by way of example showing how someone else might describe our own practices. The author demonstrates that “attitudes about the body” have a pervasive influence on many institutions in Nacirema society. In the article readers get a thorough and exciting ethnographic account of the myriad of taboos and ceremonial behaviors that permeate the everyday activities of the members of a magic-ridden society. Focusing on secret rituals that are believed to prevent disease while simultaneously beautifying the body, Miner demonstrates the importance of ceremonial specialists in directing even the most routine aspects of daily life among the Nacirema.
An important focus of this activity is the human body, the appearance and health of which is of major importance in the belief system of the people. They are incredibly concerned with the body and it’s natural tendencies (i.e.: disease, weight gain). The people believe that the mind is trapped in a diseased body, and the only way to avoid sickness is through the powerful influences of rituals and ceremonies. Some of the repetitive social practices that the Nacirema perform daily are representative of their beliefs in some higher being.
The ceremonies and rituals that these people undergo are very intriguing and obviously quite painful. It is hard to imagine how the population of the Nacirema has remained alive, let alone growing under the circumstances that they impose upon themselves. The culture certainly has its own take on how to stay healthy and how to survive. According to Malinowski, the power and guidance of magic helped the early culture and population of the Nacirema advance to a higher stage of civilization. The rituals of the Nacirema, elegantly depicted by Miner, give shape to a culture that at first could appear quite foreign to most Americans; however, on closer examination, there is something familiar sounding to all this.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
ALLISON TWISS University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Miner, Horace. Body Rituals among the Nacirema. American Anthropologist 1956 v:58 p:503-507
Horace Miner believes that exotic customs of different groups of people should not surprise anthropologists as they are used to studying the extremes of human behaviour. (In fact, he is using America – Nacirema spelled backwards – but that is never made explicit in the article.)
He follows Professor Linton’s studies of the Nacirema peoples, a North American group originally from the east, possibly living in the Eastern United States. Their culture is fairly sophisticated with a strong economy. The main cultural activities of the society are rituals, focused on the human body. The appearance of health is a primary concern for the Nacirema peoples and it is evident through their ceremonies. Their underlying beliefs are that the human body is ugly and its natural tendency is to debility and disease. This becomes the motivation for their rituals and ceremonies.
Each Nacirema household has shrines for these ceremonies and their rituals are held privately. Charm boxes, which hold “magic” potions and medicines, are also sacred to the rituals. The society has specialized medicinal practitioners for different rituals. For example, the Nacirema have a fascination with the mouth, believing it to have a supernatural influence on all social relationships. If not for the mouth rituals, everything in the mouth would deteriorate and social relations would suffer. With the mouth rituals come the ‘mouth-rite’ in which hog hairs and “magic” potions are placed inside. The Holy-Mouth-Man is described like a dentist with his tools but he performs torturous ceremonies to the client. The purpose of his ministration is believed to arrest decay and to draw friends. Any decayed holes in the mouth are enlarged and if there are no holes they are created by gauging out some teeth. Again, special “magic” potions are placed inside these holes.
Professor Linton theorizes that sadism is possibly involved within the rituals, and that much of the population shows masochistic tendencies. Another example of a daily masochistic ritual for men is scraping and lacerating the surface of the face with a sharp instrument. For women, four times a year they bake their heads in small ovens for about one hour.
For psychological treatment there is another doctor. The “listener” helps the Nacirema see “troubles going back to traumatic effects of their own birth”.
Horace Miner uses these examples to illustrate the exotic and diverse practices of people that anthropologists choose to study through the traditional perspective.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
LIVY FELDGAJER York Universtiy (Prof. Naomi Adelson)
Movius, Hallam L. Jr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., 1881-1955. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58 (1): 147-149.
The author’s main concern with writing this obituary was the “sudden death” (p.147) of Pierre Tielhard de Chardin, whom he describes as “one of the outstanding paleoanthropologists, Pleistocene geologist, and Cenozoic vertebrate paleontologists of our time” (p.147). The goal of the article is to demonstrate why Dr. Tielhard was so important to the fields in which he worked. The author shows, through careful reconstruction of his life events, how Tielhard de Chardin benefited the greater mankind.
Movius begins the article by detailing the early years of Dr. Tielhard’s life, from his birth to his years of schooling. Tielhard was able to study hominids with Professor Marcellin Boule, and it was under Boule that he developed his interest in human evolution. Dr. Tielhard made his own mark on the subject of human evolution, from his discovery of the “tooth of Eoanthropus dawsoni “(p.147) to his many published works. Dr. Tielhard served his country during WWI, and received medals for his outstanding service. This supports the author’s claim that Teilhard was someone who did many important things for his fellow man.
Movius details the many awards and accolades that were bestowed upon Tielhard. This article provides the reader with a brief synopsis into all the fieldwork accomplished by Tielhard, which he did in both Asia and Africa. This article would be beneficial as a “stepping stone” for any research on Pierre Tielhard de Chardin, because the reader is given a condensed version of all his many achievements, which can then be researched in more depth. The author discusses Tielhard’s most important scientific contribution, that being his collaboration in the Choukoutien excavations, which led to the discovery of Sinanthropus. This article was clearly written and easy to understand, however more background on the specifics of Tielhard’s studies would have been helpful to grasp the full value of his work.
Movius then describes the man that Tielhard was, not simply in the scientific realm. He describes Tielhard as “both a great scholar and an outstanding scientist…a gentleman in a very true sense, and his passing deprives us of one who was essentially preoccupied with the totality of the human problem” (p.148). This is a very appropriate ending to this article, as it describes the essence and greatness of Tielhard, effectively accomplishing the author’s goal.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MELISSA MCCLUSKEY University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Movius, Hallam L. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., 1881-1955. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol 58: 147-150.
This biographical article focuses on the life and achievements of Dr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who was a paleoanthropologist, Pleistocene geologist, and Cenozoic vertebrate paleontologist. According to the article he was known as “Dr. Teilhard” and studied in France at the Jesuit College of Mongré at Villefranche-sur Saône. He also studied religion in England and Egypt. Later, after studying with Professor Marcellin Boulle, he researched and studied human evolution.
Dr. Teilhard also served in the French army during World War I and for this he was awarded medals and recognition. He was also a Corresponding Member of the Academie des Sciences in Paris and taught Geology at the Institut Catholique de Paris. Later, he conducted work in China, Somaliland, Abyssinia, India, and finally returned to New York. He was influential in the discovery of the Sinanthropus, and contributed to research on the Pithecanthropus and Meganthropus.
Perhaps most important is the description of Dr. Teilhard as a man of “humble manner” and “inspiring teacher” who was dedicated to his work. It is clear that without his contributions and research, the field of scientific research on evolution and fossils would not be as advanced as it is today.
ABIGAIL ZAUSMER Barnard College (Paige West).
Movius, Hallam L. Jr. Piere Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., 1881-1955. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58 (1): 147-149.
In this article, Hallam L. Movius, Jr., discusses the life of Piere Teilhard de Chardin, a renowned paleoanthropologist, Pleistocene geologist, and Cenozoic vertebrate paleontologist. Movius basically gives a biography of Dr. Teilhard’s life and discusses why his death is such a great loss to the anthropologic world. Movius starts out by describing the early life of Dr. Teilhard. He was tutored by Professor Marcellin Boule, who was Director of the Laboratoire de Paleontologie du Museum d’Historie Naturelle in Paris (147). Studying under Professor Boule, Dr. Teilhard became very interested in human evolution. Movius then goes on to discuss Dr. Teilhard’s life accomplishments, one of which was discovering a tooth of “Eoanthropus dawsoni.” In 1923, Dr. Teilhard began his field work in China and later received the title “Officier de la Legion d’honneur au titre des Affaires etrangeres” specifically for his work in China (147). He was a member of the Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History to the Gobi Expedition in Upper Burma where he collaborated with other paleontologists. Movius emphasizes Teilhard’s “most important scientific contributions” (148), which occurred during the years 1929-1937. Teilhard worked with the Chinese in the Choukoutien excavations, which led him to discover “Sinanthropus”(148). In the final years of his life, Dr. Teilhard wrote several papers on the evolution of humans based on his countless years of field work. In conclusion, Movius describes Dr. Teilhard not only in a scientific sense, but also as a humble person who “freely and unsparingly shared his enormous fund of information and wisdom with others” (148).
JOHNNY HESSLER Columbia College (Paige West)
Movius, Hallam. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., 1881-1955. American Anthropologist, 1956 Volume 58: 147-148.
This article is an obituary where Hallam Movius reflects on the late Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a paleoanthropologist, Pleistocene geologist, and a Cenozoic vertebrate paleontologist. Movius not only gives a brief history of Chardin’s accomplishments and fieldworks, but also comments on how Chardin had a passion and dedication for his work, and was interested in the purpose and direction of human evolution.
Chardin attended the Jesuit College of Mongré and received his doctorate at the Sorbonne. He held various positions including Director of the Laboratoire de Paléontologie du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, and Professor of Geology at the Institut Catholique de Paris. He also worked under the Museum of Natural History. Among Chardin’s awards were the Médaille militaire, the Croix de la Légion d’honneur.
Fieldwork was a great part of Chardin’s life. He studied in the field in Somaliland, Abyssinia, the Gobi Desert, Chinese Turkestan, Burma, Java, and India. His most significant scientific contribution was the discovery of Sinanthropis in the Choukoutien excavations between 1929 and 1937.
Chardin also contributed to connecting the geological ages of Pithecanthropus and Meganthropus and similar forms of fossil man. He made sure to make his views known, from his observations, on the evolution of the human species.
Cardin is presented as an example of an ideal anthropologist. He worked hard for his data and liberally shared is found information with others. He was a moving teacher and generously spread his knowledge to others.
CLARITY RATE: 4
JOHANNE HORNSLETH Columbia University (Paige West)
Murphy, Robert F. Matrilocality and Patrilineality in Mundurucu Society. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(3:3):414-433
This article focuses on the rare co-existence of matrilocality and patrilineality among the Mundurucu Indians of Brazil during the mid-nineteenth century. Murphy discusses how this organization was an adaptation to cope with the evolving environment and introduction of new inhabitants.
The Mundurucu were known as fierce warriors and gained attention during the 1700’s for launching raids against white colonists and other native tribes in the Amazon Valley. Murphy explains that their pacification by Portuguese colonial forces at the end of the century was followed by peaceful symbiosis with the settlers. In fact, colonists actually hired the Mundurucus to protect them against other native tribes. Manioc flour was their principal trade commodity until the late nineteenth century when wild rubber became dominant.
The roles of men and women were distinctly divided. Men even had their own residence, a large building separate from the smaller household units of the women. The fraternal bonds were advantageous for their warrior lifestyle. It was common for Mundurucu men from different villages to band together for fighting purposes. Men also worked communally during hunts and manioc cultivation. The routine of manioc flour, however, united the women because they were responsible for digging out the manioc from the ground and producing an end product of either manioc flat cakes or flour. Due to the nature of their role divisions, it was suitable for men to have more fluidity in their movements and for the women to remain in one geographical location. Therefore, when a marriage took place the man moved into the men’s house of his wife’s village. Relationships can be closely examined by Mundurucu kinship terms. Murphy describes in great detail the marriage rules, such as the encouragement of cross-cousin unions and the taboo of avuncular unions, due to clan, phratry and moiety organization.
The Mundurucu system of descent is patrilineal because titles and statuses, such as that of chief, are inherited through the father’s line. Murphy’s description of the Mundurucus creates the impression that it is a male-dominated society, whereby most important decisions are made my men, who have higher status and privileges than women do. The main conflict within the social structure was that the chief’s sons remained with the chief, and were not obligated to move into the village men’s house when they came of age. This meant that they were usually unfairly exempt from the laborious project of manioc cultivation.
Murphy concludes by speculating that the matrilocal nature of the Mundurucu evolved from a patrilocal society. He explains that the shift was probably due to the economic pressures of the trade of manioc flour with Brazilians, which increased the importance of maintaining the integrity and continuity of the female household work-group. Cultural patterns are adaptable to new situations and it is possible, for the sake of convenience, that the patrilineal descent line will eventually evolve into a matrilineal one.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
KERRY THAM University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Murphy, Robert F. Matrilocality and Patrilinity in Mundurucu Society. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58: 414-435
In this article, Robert F. Murphy observes and comments on the rarity of patrilinity in a matrilocal society such as in the case of the Mundurucu Indians of central Brazil. These two cultural aspects are hardly ever found coexisting in the same social context.
Economic pressures stemming from the increasing trade of manioc flour with the Brazilians caused a shift in Mundurucu society from patrilocality to matrilocality. The heightened agricultural production of the manioc flour increasingly maintained the integrity of what is considered to be women’s work by the Mundurucu. Since all men in Mundurucu communities board together in what is referred to as the “men’s house” the shift to matrilocality was a fairly easy one.
This shift to matrilocality meant that men from different Mundurucu families and clans would all be integrated and housed together in the same house. This cohesion made it very easy for men to maintain relationships with each other and thus easy for the different clans to feel a strong sense of community as Mundurucu. This resulting intercommunity organization was excellent for the interests of warfare and ceremony. There were no lapses in horticulture since there were always enough people in the community to help out where they were needed.
Matrilocality for the patrilineal Mundurucu was a success since it built their foundation as a unified group in a society that maintained hostility towards outsiders and harmony within.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
ELISE GRETO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Naroll, Raoul. A Preliminary Index of Social Development. American Anthropologist. 1956. Vol. 58(4) 8: 687-715.
The report, written by Raoul Naroll, deals with the measure of social development. Naroll writes to prove the social development is based on a variety of indicators. The indicators mentioned, influence social development in different ways and to different degrees. The author admits that the results of his study are “tentative and inclusive,” (p. 687). He does, however, hope that the information given will provide a basis for discussion. The importance of this report is that of “progressive differentiation of function,” (p. 687). By this it is meant that society is extremely evolved with the highest amount of functional differentiation, either in the form of occupational specialization or organizational complexity.
Naroll provides some basic concepts, the first of which is social evolution. There are two ends to a spectrum consisting of lower and higher civilizations. A point brought up by several Old World archeologists was, where there was urbanization there was increased civilization. Given this, the author provides an interrelationship between urbanization and social evolution. The patterns follow an allometric pattern of relative growth, between social evolution and urbanization. Allometric growth is the growth of one part relative to another, or to the whole, this happens at a rate that a linear pattern develops from the dimensions. An example would be, the relationship between occupational specialization/organizational ramification and size of settlement.
Naroll goes on to provide an index theory that generalizes the development of society and culture. He presents three indicators that consist of five characteristics. The three indicators which are, settlement size, craft specialization and organizational ramification, consists of several rules plus definitions and Naroll provides a discussion to explain the importance and uses of the indicators. Weighing of the three indicators has equal importance and all use the same regression formula.
The report written by Naroll includes thoughts and work of past research, of both his own and several others such as, Redfield, Wright, Spencer, et al, to compare then from now. The definitions given provide a clear meaning of indicators used in the study. These definitions help us also determine the difference between the meanings of the different types of words used in the study that readers may not know. The rules enable the reader to determine what is acceptable or unacceptable and the way things work. The discussion helps the reader understand the given definitions and rules. It also includes advantages and disadvantages of specific indicators and reasons why these indicators are used. An evaluation is given at the end of the report, this provides assumptions, evidence, and answers to several questions.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
SAMNATHA BIDLOCK University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie).
Naroll, Raoul. A Preliminary Index of Social Development. American Anthropologist February, 1956 Vol. 58 (1): 687-715.
The primary purpose of Raoul Naroll’s article is to assess social development. He clearly organizes his means of measurement by underlying basic concepts and their significance. In discussing this social development, which for centuries was deemed as a sequence of stages, Naroll addresses the importance of both social evolution and urbanization and their intricate relationship with one another. His tool in measuring social progress, an index number, required him to present indicators that represented social evolution and urbanization. These indicators, which according to Naroll, are representations of distinct segments of the total phenomenon being measured, are settle size (the urbanization indicator), craft specialization, and organizational ramification.
To assess an idea is to lay out precise, organized rules and definitions of measuring devices (indicators). The settlement size records the number of people in this largest settlement of the particular ethnic unit. The craft specialization, or occupational specialization indicator, refers to the number of craft specialties present. The organizational ramification indicator measures the complexity in social organization. Naroll succeeds in clarity and organization, defining for example, settlement size, building cluster, and building – components necessarily addressed upon measuring the urbanization indicator. He presents his three indicators in the same orderly fashion: giving definitions, guidelines and discussion where he defends his reasoning in assessment. Rather than avoiding drawbacks and disadvantages in his proposal, Naroll openly considers the problems in his preliminary index.
Although Naroll mathematically and thoroughly explains the means of computing the weighted scores, he offers a simple table where readers can simply use the index and are saved from time and trouble in calculating the scores. He even goes on to implement his index of social development on a sample, using data measurements from thirty ethnic units, allowing readers to not only read of its assessment tools but to see it work.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
Y. ALICE KIM Barnard College (Paige West)
Nissen, W. Henry. Individuality in the Behavior of Chimpanzees. American Anthropologist 1956 vol 58(3:2): 407-413.
Henry Nissen’s article on the chimpanzee, attempts to explain individuality within the species. He is convinced that chimpanzees have unique characteristics that set them apart from each other. His research was conducted in Orange Parks, FL at the Yerkes lab of primate biology. His argument consists of multiple examples of variability in chimpanzees. He is clear in his presentation of this argument providing many different proofs. This article will be important to people with a vested interest in Primatology or even the general public.
In the time before Nissen’s research, chimpanzees were classified along the lines of aesthetic characteristics such as skin pigmentation, size and hairline. Nissen wanted to change this classification scheme, so he began his research with chimpanzees. He noticed details of individuality through behavioral observation and analysis. Nissen lets the reader know before hand that all the chimpanzees are treated equally and humanely.
He noticed how there were certain chimpanzees that walked on two feet and others that walked on all four. He stated that this difference was not due to any particular kind of experience. Other individual differences he speaks of are eating habits, grooming practices, rocking behavior, threshold of excitability, parenting and the most fascinating of all, the difference in intellect. This was demonstrated by using the case study of Jenny and Jojo, two female chimpanzees. They were the same age and were raised together in the nursery. The conditions for the two chimpanzees were exactly the same. Jojo showed extreme intellect in her superior use of tools. Her use of tools far exceeded Jenny’s. On the other hand, Jenny persevered in socializing with other chimpanzees while Jojo did not. Nissen also claims that in this case using the argument of nature vs. nurture is pointless, there is way too much support for the combination of the two playing a huge role in development. Genetics of chimpanzees at that time were a mystery because it was just way too risky; there were a small number of chimpanzees. The reproduction process is also very lengthy, much like human reproduction. Based on these arguments he was convinced of differences in chimpanzee individuality.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ALAN SUKONNIK University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Nissen, Henry. Individuality in the Behavior of Chimpanzees. American Anthropologist 1956, Vol.58(1):407-412
This articles raises the question of whether chimpanzees function as individuals rather than as a homogenously behaving group of animals. Nissen puts forth the argument that chimpanzees in fact do behave individual of one another and that this observed behavior cannot be explained through age, sex, or experience. The basis for Nissen’s argument is in his own observations of chimpanzees, as well as other previous anthropological and scientific discussions of this same topic. In his own observations, he provided the same general treatment to all chimpanzees and made environmental conditions uniform throughout his experiment. He noted that fully-grown chimpanzees vary, on average, in weight within a range of 100 pounds, and that their individual facial structures can be compared to anything from an Asian “slant” in the eyes to the look of an Irishman. In addition, grooming techniques, which is an unlearned pattern of behavior, indicate individualistic tendencies, in the number of fingers used and types of noises made. Eating habits and food preferences vary arbitrarily as well. Among young chimps, Nissen noted that all his subjects engaged in a rocking or swaying motion when they were bored, tense, or frustrated. However, within this motion, chimps were “individually consistent” in the particular way in which they would sway. As with human beings, no two chimpanzees have the same fingerprints.
Nissen was more concerned with the individual nature of the behavioral traits, such as intelligence, dexterity, skill, inventiveness, emotionality, drive, persistence, aggressiveness, and timidity, in chimpanzees. He noted that chimps and humans have the same level of recognizing their emotion, and if anything, the level of recognition was more accurate among apes, because they are direct and uninhibited. Levels of excitability varied tremendously, from being constantly jumpy to being always calm. Nissen also documented the myriad of phobias that he observed in the chimpanzees, which he recognized six months into the chimpanzee’s life, therefore suggesting that these phobias cannot be traced back to experiences. Maternal instinct among chimps was also completely random, as some mothers were very protective, while others were entirely unresponsive to their kin. In terms of intelligence, chimpanzees were observed to be gifted in different subjects. When tested on speed and performance, they also varied significantly. Nissen highlights the case study done in 1940 on half-sisters chimpanzees Jenny and JoJo. Jenny and JoJo lived together and have the same upbringing all their lives. However, JoJo was noted to have an uncanny ability to use tools, and to manipulate twigs and branches into mechanisms. None of her other living mates even tried to imitate these same talents. When given the same twigs and branches, Jenny would chew on them and indicated no ability whatsoever comparable to JoJo’s. Jenny, on the other hand, exhibited more social intelligence and interaction, to the point where she lost her virginity and became pregnant. JoJo remained a virgin.
This case study, along with the rest of Nissen’s research, was used to prove that chimpanzees do in fact have the ability to behave independent of one another, and have the capacity for individuality, both on physical and behavioral levels.
ELANA JAFFE Barnard College (Paige West)
Powdermaker, Hortense. Social Change through Imagery and Values of Teen-Age Africans in Northern Rhodesia. American Anthropologist, February, 1956 Vol.58:(5):3:783-812.
This article addresses the concern that when a society, such as what was then called Northern Rhodesia, undergoes rigorous development, both social and technological changes occur. Hortense Powdermaker examined the youth of Northern Rhodesia (now part of The Republic of Zambia) and conducted a study depicting their views towards themselves and Europeans. European colonization meant that European cultural practices and concepts had been integrated into the lives of Northern Rhodesians. Powdermaker obtained essays that were written by both male and female Northern Rhodesian students. The topics of the essays were designed specifically to answer questions regarding self-perception, perception of Europeans, values, personalities, attitudes, desires and fantasies. She summarized the essays and identified overarching themes that were prevalent in the student’s writings. The results that Powdermaker presents show that most Northern Rhodesian girls responded in a more conservative and relativistic manner, while the male subjects tended to look down upon their native culture. They made comments such as, ‘Africans have a much harder life than Europeans.’ However, both male and female subjects showed an appreciation towards Europeans, and a sense that European culture was superior to African culture. Powdermaker noted that although Northern Rhodesian people highly admired and imitated aspects of the European culture there was still great respect for their African heritage. The values that the students admired most in a person were hospitality and respect, values which reflected traditional Northern Rhodesian ideals.
Powdermaker provided some background on Northern Rhodesia by describing the transition from a pre-industrial culture to a modern industrial one. The inclusion of tables and charts make it easier to understand the types of attributes the students listed as most valuable.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ZEHER CHADI University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Powdermaker, Hortense. Social Change through Imagery and Values of Teen-Age Africans in Northern Rhodesia. American Anthropology 1956. 58. 783-813.
Since 1925, the European presence in Northern Rhodesia has helped the nation during its industrial and technological growth. Hortense Powdermaker wanted to see what kind of influence the European presence has had on the young African children in Northern Rhodesia. She wanted to see how the European influence changed the way these African children saw themselves and how they saw Europeans, as well as the values and goals they had for themselves.
The main point stressed by the article is that the European presence in the country has changed the way the children view themselves. She conducted this test by getting boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 17 to write essays on various questions. Most of the children did see themselves similar to the Europeans but noting that there was a difference in skin color. The children that were tested also felt that the Europeans lifestyle was not that much different from their way of life. The influence that had the most impact on all African children was education and family life. The children felt that education was a great importance on future successes and they wanted to marry those who came from an educated background. When it came to settling down, most wanted to live the city life rather than the country life that most were accustomed to.
The article was easy to read with the evidence laid out in a simple and precise manner that was easy to understand. There is no confusion in the data with the responses of the children supporting the arguments.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
DISHAN JEBAMONEY York University (Naomi Adelson)
Quiqley, Carroll. Aboriginal Poisons and the Diffusion Problem. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol58(3:9):508-521
Carol Quigley’s, Aboriginal Fish Poisons and the Diffusion Problem, conceive of tracing back an ancient trail to determine the flow of waters and culture more than two thousand years ago. In this case the trail chosen is surprising — she is using the most recent (1956) research and statistics on the worldwide distribution of aboriginal fish poisons rather than referencing older publications. This work, she indicates, suggested that the New World forms a single diffusion area spreading outward from a focus in northern South America. Also, the Old World may be within a single diffusion area or three separate ones and finally, that the two worlds are not linked. Quiqley’s intention is to prove a single diffusion area for the Old World and show that the independence between the New and Old World is not conclusive.
Working much like a geologist proving continental drift, she compares the presence of plant life on the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Instead of rock formation or animal species, Quigley uses poisonous plant life. By leaving out the North American continent, she seems to want to disprove her Amercanist colleagues who believe that fish poisons had been discovered independently by American aboriginals with no influence from other continents. She discounts the Bering Strait migration theory by the lack of any of those plants notoriously know to have been used as fish poisons. The pattern she builds on is one where the origin of fish poisoning is South or South East Asia. From here it spreads to Indonesia, Australia, Oceania, and Africa. The second movement is to Europe and West African rain forests. To prove this part of the poisonous journey, she examines water currents the shape of waterways within what is know of Old World geography. This is where the article becomes reminiscent of Wegener’s theory of continental drift once again.
Plotting the occurrence of fish poisoning plants and speculating the passage of water, people, and therefore culture, she makes her argument for a common diffusion point in the Old World. The example she uses examines the stark similarities of the culture of Madagascar with that of Malaysia. It becomes even more interesting when she suggests travel to South American prior to Columbus. This, she says, many are skeptical of but remarks that, “Old World pre-historians do not share this reluctance because they have extensive evidence of navigation even earlier than 2000B.C.”(p.508) Also, West African species like the bottle gourd, black-fleshed chicken and 13 chromosome cotton are noted to be common to South America. It is with this point, plus improvements in plant classification by botanists, that she makes the link to South America more concrete.
Quigley makes her evidence diverse, always well substantiated, and links it with all that she has said before. As a reader, having never seen this fish poison evidence before or even heard of its extensive use, this article provides a whole new perspective with which to consider concepts like cultural drift. Besides a refreshing area of research, she also provides historians with evidence for prehistoric travel at least between African and South America. As for her own evidence, it could be benefited greatly (as she mentions) by more concrete genetic research on the plant specimens collected from around the world. She mentions that even among botanists there are discrepancies regarding genus and in many cases a number of species are, in fact, the same plant grown in different conditions. However, keeping in mind the article is written forty five years ago, that genetic technology, let alone specific DNA mapping is primitive, costly and time consuming, she uses her evidence to its potential. Still, even without the absolute scientific evidence, Quigley makes her reader intrigued almost form the start and certainly very thoughtful by the end.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
VICKI UNDERSCHULTZ University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Quigley, Carroll. Aboriginal Fish Poisons and the Diffusion Problem. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58: 508-523
This article examines the diffusion of certain plants used in various parts of the world. These plants contain poison used in the extermination of fish and are referred to as piscicides. The article contains evidence and arguments to prove that these piscisides originated from one single area of diffusion in the Old World and are not the product of independent sources in America, Australia, and Asia for example.
Quigley maintains that the origin point for the growth and use of piscicides is South East Asia. From there, the spread of the growth and use of these plants proceeds in the following order: Indonesia, Australia, Oceania, Africa, and Europe. Australia’s piscicide practices stem directly from Malaysia and Melanesia. From there we see cultural links between Malaysia and Madagascar and sea links between South East Africa and South West Asia. The links are supported by commonality of species of plants used in different parts of the world. For example, the most common fish poison in Europe is the same species of the plant used in Palestine and Syria for the same purpose. Quigley also shows evidence that the piscicides reached the Americas courtesy of direct human transport via the slave trade.
There is also botanical evidence supporting Quigley’s theory, such as the fact that although there are different names for piscicides in different parts of the world, they are essentially the same plants genetically. This multiple naming of the same plant can be blamed on human activity. The activity of people causes a disruption of geographic intergradation, which accounts for the accidental classification of new species. Any local inconsistencies in the character of piscicides can be attributed to human cultivation.
On the whole, Quigley feels that floating plants, changing political borders and changing climates, and human migration are the causes of the diffusion of piscicides from one central point in the Old World.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ELISE GRETO York University (Naomi Adelson)
Redfield, Robert. Robert Neil Pehrson – 1926-1955. American Anthropologist. 1956 Vol.58: 357-359
This article is a brief obituary of Robert Pehrson, who died while working in the field near Quetta, Pakistan. Having known him personally, Redfield describes how anthropology, “lost a courageous and devoted worker and colleague” and that, “there is no doubt that his further achievements would have been many and important” (357).
The author begins by outlining how Pehrson became involved in anthropology and by recognizing his accomplishments. Pehrson, who was born in Wisconsin, received a bachelor’s degree with honours from the College of the University of Chicago in 1948. It was while he was working as a sailor on the Great Lakes that he began to read anthropology and made it his plan to work his way to Sweden and conduct his own research. Pehrson was in the field the following summer and after learning Swedish and Lappish, he began to study the Karesuando Lapps. His studies in Sweden earned him much recognition including the King Gustaf V Fellowship from the American-Scandinavian Foundation, as well as a fellowship from the Wenner-Green Foundation. It was when Pehrson became more interested in the, “more formal matters of social structure” (358), that his fieldwork took him to Pakistan. He and his wife Jean Sutton began their study of the Marri Baluchi in the fall of 1954. Because the work for his doctorate was nearly complete when he passed away, Pehrson was honoured with the degree in 1955.
This brief article is easy to read and is successful in portraying the subject, Robert Pehrson, as a dedicated anthropologist who had much promise. Redfield effectively sums it up by saying, “I salute a life justified, a spirit bright and indomitable” (358).
CLARITY RANKING: 5
ERIN STEWART University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Redfield, Robert. Robert Niel Pehrson 1926-1955. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58 (1): 357-558.
This obituary briefly describes the life of the late anthropologist, Robert Niel Pehrson, who died at 29 years of age near Quetta, Pakistan in September,1955. Pehrson had recently married Jean Sutton, who was with him in Pakistan when he passed away.
He had initially written to Redfield to ask if he could do some amateur anthropological work while in Sweden. After spending a summer studying the nomadic Karesuando Lapps in Lapland, and learning Swedish and Lappish, Pehrson received two fellowships, and completed three sessions of field work with the Lapps.
Pehrson was fascinated with nomadic peoples and their ways of life. Redfield says that while the young anthropologist wrote specific descriptions of Lappish life, he always wanted to understand the general nature of nomadism. This broader question led him to begin his study of the Marri Baluchi in Pakistan, which he had not yet completed at the time of his death.
The article includes information about the anthropologist’s education and studies. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago, where he taught in 1953 and 1954. He also studied at the University of Stockholm. He had almost completed his doctorate, which was awarded by the University of Chicago posthumously in 1955. Pehrson attended and read papers at the International Anthropological Congress at Stockholm, Vienna, and several other European scientific congresses.
Redfield says that Pehrson was intensely committed to his work and was to be one of American anthropology’s finest researchers. He presents this young anthropologist as a bright spirit that was tragically lost.
REBECCA JACOBS Columbia College (Paige West)
Rhodes, Willard. Toward a Definition of Ethnomusicology. American Anthropology September, 1956 Vol.58 (3:5): 457-463
When people think about types of music, they think of diversity and within countries, as it represents part of the culture. Country music represents the North American farmer with a guitar and hardship. Rap music represents modern black music and often, life in the hood or ghettos. However, if you look back to forty, fifty years ago, rap music does not exist. At that time it is mostly blues and mostly sung by black people as well. This is when an ethnomusicologist should step in and explain the reasons for such changes, because anthropologists alone are not capable to do so. The overall concern of the address is defining what ethnomusicology is and how significant it is to society, and especially anthropologists. The author sets out to prove that ethnomusicology is important and it cannot be taken lightly by defining the nature of Ethnomusicology.
Ethnomusicology requires knowledge that “embraces the entire field of music study and acknowledges the interdisciplinary relationship to the collateral sciences, acoustics, physiology, psychology, logic, grammar, pedagogy and esthetic qualities of music.” Ethnomusicology requires extensive studying in techniques and methods of cultural anthropology and musicology. It also requires an objective, scientific view of interpreting music from various cultures.
When anthropologists study human culture, how can they neglect one the greatest products on human culture, music? Anthropologists need to study human culture as a whole. They should not simply neglect or disregard what they don’t know or consider being “on the side”. In order to appreciate how human culture evolves, people need to know about the history of music as well. However, ethnomusicology has been limited by the fact that it is hard to find people both master anthropology and music as well. Therefore, despite the great amount of data collected, there are only a few ethnomusicologists qualified to analyze and interpret that data. Oriental art music, folk music of the world, and primitive music are waiting for ethnomusicologist to study.
The writer had shown his greatest sympathy, by demonstrating how ethnomusicology has a real contribution toward Anthropology that has been neglect. Regardless of modern or primitives societies, they all have their own music. Anthropologists cannot neglect the products of all human culture (music). They have to go beyond musicology and Anthropology alone with the interdiscipline of ethnomusicology.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
GABRIEL TOU University of Alberta (Dr. Heather young Leslie)
Rhodes, Willard. Toward a Definition of Ethnomusicology. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58:457-463.
This article deals with questions regarding the significance of music as a study of man and culture. At the time that it was written the study of music although apparent was not considered a part of Anthropology or ethnography and the author feels that it should be recognized as a critical piece to the study of culture. He argues that while music and its impact is recognized the spheres of study in musicology and ethnography have not yet made the connection that they should and little attention has been paid to making this so. He argues that although the term ethnomusicology has been coined it is not so far being taken seriously nor has any attempt been made at creating a discipline of ethnomusicology that can be used and applied to greater theories within the field of Anthropology.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
ZACH DAVIDSON York University (Naomi Adelson)
Roberts, D. F. Industrial Applications of Body Measurements. American Anthropologist 1956 58:526-535.
With the advancement of technology and the appearance of the Industrial Revolution, scientists are working hard to develop machinery that would better suit the working class. This article takes into consideration peoples’ height and weight to better adapt machines, which will help the worker to become more productive in the company, thus increasing the over profits for the company. This occurs, since the employee is more comfortable in the working environment and not exerting more energy, to do less work. This also promotes better health for the employee, which increases the output of the product based on the employee working to full capacity. At the period that the article was written is was a breakthrough in technology, since the thought of the worker was never really taken into consideration. Not only did scientists research machinery and the proportions to people, but furniture for school children, which are potential investments for the work force later on. Also appliances were examined, by making everyday life easier, it gave people more free time to do other things, thus placing more money back into the economy where it was needed most.
CLARITY RATING: 3
SHERISSE SEQUEIRA York University (Naomi Adelson)
Roberts, D. F. Industrial Applications of Body Measurements. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(3):526-535.
Anthropometry, the measurement of the shapes and sizes of people, is used by physical anthropologists to assess the nutritional state of human populations, to compare different populations in different environments and to assist in the construction of items that require a standard size. This latter aspect is the subject of Roberts’ article. In his article, he described problems, mainly in the design of machines for industry, in which the use of anthropometric measurements would be valuable. In doing so, he described an applied aspect of anthropology – real designers used it to construct machines that were more comfortable for workers and thus maximized their productivity.
First, Roberts described the sources from which anthropometric data could be obtained. These included narrow small-scale studies, general large-scale investigations of key measurements, standardized photographs and statistical manipulations. He also indicated the shortcomings and gaps in the data gathered up to 1956.
Second, Roberts described four types of problems in which anthropometry could be applied. Although the four types of problems were not well defined, Roberts illustrated examples of various problems. These included determining the limiting height of necessary items, such as light switches, the distance between the front and back seats of vehicles and the height of tables. These types of problems involved only single dimension measurements, such as average height. Anthropometry could also be used in more complex problems requiring numerous measurements. The placement of controls on a telephone switchboard and the placement of the controller’s seat in relation to the board so as to be efficiently used by most controllers was one such problem. This involved measurements such as the foot pedal’s position relative to the seat, the height of the seat, and the length of the lower and upper limbs. Roberts also described how body movements were important and how these needed to be taken into account when designing human-operated machines. He used an example of children’s desks to illustrate the complications that can arise in an actual usage of anthropometric measurements. He described how the limits of a knowledge base, in this case the lack of data regarding children’s stature, and the requirements of manufactures, such as the cost advantages in having a minimum number of spar sizes, are also important when making design decisions.
Roberts’ main emphasis was how industry would benefit from anthropometry. Human fatigue was seen as the factor limiting efficiency in production. Through the correct positioning of controls, seat and body supports, which would be determined using anthropometric measurements, fatigue would be reduced. This approach is still used today under the name of ergonomics. Roberts concluded that industry would benefit not only through increased efficiency but also with increased profits when they convinced the public to buy new, ergonomic products.
In this article, Roberts described a useful application of one of the methods of anthropology, one that could be valuable outside the discipline of anthropology. In this way, he contributed to anthropology’s continued acceptance as a relevant study.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
KATHERINE VLADICKA University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Salisbury, F. Richard. Asymmetrical Marriage Systems. American Anthropologist, 1956 Vol (58) 4:5: 639-654
Richard F. Salisbury’s main objective for writing this paper was to show the association between the system of marriage relationships and the economic system of production and exchange. In particular the paper focused on the asymmetrical marriage system. In writing the paper, Salisbury used many secondary sources from Levi-Strauss and Leach as well as information obtained from his own research.
As stated above, Salisbury’s main concern was the asymmetrical system. This system is one where certain groups give out more women then they receive, while other groups receive more women than they give and a payment of some form is involved.
Salisbury studied the asymmetrical system of the Siane people. He collected data on the Siane by studying all the marriages, which had taken place over three generations in one clan. Once his data was collected he concluded that their system was asymmetrical. He discovered a trend of wives being obtained from clans to the south and west and for women to go out in marriage to the north and east. This drift of women going in one direction resulted in valuables going in the opposite direction.
Through his research, Salisbury also determined that there is no obligatory marriage rule in Siane, and the only preference for marrying a definite category of kin goes against the asymmetrical system. The preference was that girls favored marriage into the clan of their mother. This meant that their mother’s brother would live in the village that the girl married into and he would give support in marital arguments. This went against the asymmetrical system because this system is supposed to work like a chain with the first group-receiving wives from the last group, and the last group receives valuables from the first group.
Salisbury’s paper is important to anthropology because it demonstrated how an asymmetrical marriage system works and on a more intellectual level what problems can occur in that type of system. The problems that could occur would be such as, one group becoming deprived of women but having many valuables or one group having many women but becoming deprived of valuables. The paper is also vital to anthropology because it tried to stimulate an interest in this topic and for more data to be collected.
This paper demonstrated how complicated marriage systems could be. Asymmetrical systems exert an influence on wealth and power, in the sense that there is a status difference between groups of wife-receivers and wife-givers. Salisbury wrote this paper because it demonstrated the association between the marriage system and economic system and as well it showed that men’s wishes were often related to their male kin’s (brothers/fathers) desire for valuables.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
CHELSEA ASTILL University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Salisbury, Richard. Asymmetrical Marriage Systems. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol 58:639-655.
Asymmetrical marriage systems can arise when societies are associated with reciprocity expectations or economic exchange. It exists in various societies, even in those that do not recognize themselves to be asymmetrical, but as symmetrical.
Richard Salisbury, the author of the article “Asymmetrical Marriage Systems,” examines the correlation between the systems of marriage by taking a look at the cultural differences between their relationship; more specifically, at their economic system of production and exchange. He calls the asymmetrical marriage system the “preferential rule of marriage,”(641) that exists when two or more societies have clear status differences and contrasting views on distributing economic resources. Asymmetrical marriage systems are used to maintain alliances and exchanges between groups.
He demonstrates his points through Levi-Strauss and Leach’s reports on asymmetrical marriage systems. Levi-Strauss mainly deals with “obligatory marriage rules,”which involves the exchange of women through his theory “Structures Elementaires de la Parente”. This theory involves two points: echange restreint and echange generalise. Echange restreint is a circular system of rule, each group receives the same number of women given except for the last group to the first where no women are exchanged; therefore it is asymmetrical. Echange generalise is a system that occurs when women are traded in one direction and a bride-price in the opposite. In this system they must trade their women and the valuables to their unilateral cross-cousins through the patrilineage.
Leach’s “structural implications of matrilateral cross-cousin marriages” reports that it is not a circular marriage system that is the cause of asymmetrical systems, that they must consider the social structure including the marriage, the political, and the economic systems. He states that it is a difference in wealth, power and prestige. If a society cannot match the trade then it is a reflection of the societie’s wealth.
Since the arrival of the Europeans, they’ve introduced a substitute for trading women which allow them to receive services, money and valuables without exchanging their women. This substitute is ideal, but it causes social organizational strains. For example, one group might receive more women than another or one group might get an abundance of money and another group an abundance of women, leaving the next group with no valuables and a lack of women, therefore showing an asymmetrical marriage system.
Salisbury shows that asymmetrical marriage systems exist without recognition that it exists in the society. It is automatic no matter how they perceive themselves.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MELISSA MOKEDANZ York University (Naomi Adelson)
Singer, Ronald. The “Bone Tools” from Hopefield. American Anthropologist Month?, 1956 Vol.58:1127-1134.
Ronald Singer’s essay, The “Bone Tools” from Hopefield, is a re-evaluation of fossilized bone chisels, which were thought to be remnants from pre-historic man. In another paper entitled “A New Race of Prehistoric Man: The Saldanha Skull”, it list fossilized remains of extinct South African animals with other stone and bone tools that were thought to made from the metacarpal bones of horses.
Two bones from the Hopefield Collection, numbered 1378 and 1379, were described as being man-made bone chisels due to the fact that they were both found at the same location and had identical chisel-like markings. On closer examination of the bones it was discovered that they were not identical. The bone numbered 1378 exposed long dorsal furrows and was crudely fashioned, while bone 1379 had finer furrows and smoother shaped ends. It was further suggested these bone markings could have resulted from carnivores attempting to chew away at the bones to access marrow. On examination and comparison of other bones in the collection it was found that other bones had similar markings as bones 1378 and 1379, which were attributed to fragmentation, evidence of dental scarring and their smoothness to weathering.
Further evidence pointed to the bone collection as being a result of carnivores instead of prehistoric man. Almost 200 bones were discovered in a cave at Fish Hoek, which was almost filled with fallen-in rock and sand with a mere two feet of standing room. It has been suggested that only non-humans could have inhabited this cave. All the bones discovered showed evidence of gnawing and had the same chisel-like markings and fragmentation. Evidence shows the leopard as the only animal likely to inhabit the cave and feast there on the meat and bones of its kill. The porcupine is also a likely candidate since experiments, which were done at the Milan Zoo, in Florence, concluded that the porcupine produced the identical gnawing marks that were discovered on the bones from the cave. Therefore, this evidence suggests that carnivores are mostly responsible for the chisel-like bone markings and not pre-historic man.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
NEKEISHA MOHAMMED York University (Naomi Adelson)
Singer, Ronald. The “Bone Tools” from Hopefield. American Anthropologist, 1956 Vol.58: 1127-1135.
This article is a re-evaluation of the “fossilized bone chisels made by prehistoric man from the metacarpal bones of a horse. Found at Hopefield and for the first time associated with the older South African cultures.” These bone fragments were originally featured in the Illustrated London News (September 26, 1953). The two bones Featured in this article have been numbered as 1378 and 1379 in the Hopefield Collection. These bones are actually equid metatarsals. Originally archeologists thought they were man-made bone chisels. But on further evaluation the two bone specimens were not as identical as they had first suspected. The furrows and markings of the two bone fossils differ a great deal. On 1379 finer furrows are seen on the dorsal surface of the shaped end. On 1378 is more roughly formed and the shaped ends are not smooth. It is possible that these tools could have been made by a human using a sharp stone but on further examination it looks like there are more likely explanations. These markings probably would have been made by the teeth of a carnivore in its attempts to chew away the end of the bone so as to get at the bone marrow.
There are a numerous possibilities of carnivora that have been described from this site on the farm Elandsfontein. A possible predator who would have left fossils in this condition is the Panthera shawi, an extinct form of lion. This lion at this time would have lived on and chewed the bones of some of the numerous animals found in this area. In each of the fossils studied either the medullary captivity is exposed or attempts to do so are apparent. Nearby caves have similar evidence of bone fragments with grooves made by teeth. In the Fish Hoek valley many animals subsisted in the area for about 300 years. The ox, porcupine, wildebeest, baboon, dassie, bush pig along with others lived in the nearby region. The author of the article considered the leopard the most likely real killer of the baboon. Although it is also possible that the porcupine would have collected and gnawed on bones.
In conclusion the previously thought bone tools are most likely simply bone fragments chewed by carnivores. Along with the process of weathering these fossils have presented the appearance of implements.
JULIE ROULETTE University of San Diego (Denise Couch).
Sjorberg, Andree F., Sjorberg, Gideon. Problems in Glottochronology: Culture as a Significant Variable in Lexical Change. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58(3) 296-300
This article is a critique of the wordlist created by Swadesh. Swadesh created a list of two hundred and fifteen words to compare the Sanskirt language to four other Dravadian languages. If Swadesh could prove there was word borrowing going on between the Sanskirt and the other Dravadian cultures then this would be one method of dating. This would also demonstrate the changing of vocabulary through time.
The authors of this article, Andree and Gideon Sjorberg, are concerned about the assumption that in order for this list to be valid, the words on the list should be removed from the influence of cultural values, and therefore display a uniform rate of change. The overall point behind this article is to show that there are difficulties in the present day glottochronology due to cultural influences in the word list.
The Sjorbergs argue that this assumption is wrong. They start by stating that Swadesh’s view that the diagnostic list is least influenced by culture is exactly the opposite of what the table suggests. The Sanskirt were of a religion that focused on “nature” and the diagnostic list is made up of mainly nature related words.
At the end of this article, the Sjorberg’s state that by addressing the assumed non-culturality of existing basic word lists, there is the realization that cultural factors can bring about distortions in the study of Glottochronology.
Overall this article is very hard to read and understand. There is no background information to what they are talking about so some parts are unclear.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
AMANDA ROSS University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Sjoberg, Andrée F. and Gideon Sjoberg. Problems In Glottochronology: Culture as a Significant Variable in Lexical Change. American Anthropologist 1956 58: 296-300
This report describes a growing interest in the theory and method of lexico-statistic dating, but cautiously points out that the examination of the assumptions that inform lexico-statistic dating is required.
Authors Andrée and Gideon Sjoberg state that Glottochronologists such as Swadesh (1952:452-63) and Lees (1953:113-27) believe that there is a “relatively constant rate of change in a basic vocabulary, and that this phenomenon aids materially in historical reconstructions” (p 296).
These authors identify two problematic, underlining assumptions made by those who employ the ‘word list’ used by glottochronologists in historical linguistics. The first assumption being, that it is possible to select ‘universal’ words for all cultures. Secondly, their paper expresses concern in relation to the assumption that words on such a list are quite removed from the influence of cultural values, and thus are more likely then others to display a uniform rate of change.
The authors of this paper conduct an experiment, which will point out certain difficulties that they feel are ‘inherent’ to present-day glottochronology. In utilizing Swadesh’s basic word list and carrying out interviews with some urban, educated, native speakers in four of the major Dravidian languages – Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam, the authors are able to give evidence to support their concerns. They strongly emphasize that their report is in no way intended to suggest that glottochronology is of no value, because it may be helpful in arriving at rough approximations in linguistic dating, but at the same time, these authors feel that more attention needs to be focused upon the cultural factors that can distort dating. “The general disregard of culture seems to have lead many anthropologists and linguists into over-estimating the universal applicability of this approach” (p 300).
CLARITY RANKING: 3
JADEN J. WINFREE York University, Toronto (Naomi Adelson)
Smith, Marian. Glorys Armanda Reichard. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58:913-916
The article by Marian Smith deals with the death and life of the linguistic anthropologist, Gladys Reichard. Smith went about writing the article from a professional as well as a personal perspective. She addresses the relationship she herself had with Reichard as an assistant to her, as well as the friendships Reichard formed with other prominent anthropologists. Smith’s attempt to convey to her readers the persona of the late anthropologist comes off almost as strongly as the facts with which such an article should be concerned, suggesting that Reichard is indeed someone to be remembered.
Gladys Reichard was born on July 17,1893 to a conservative intellectual family. She pursued a Bachelors degree majoring in classics at Swarthmore College. Reichard received both her Masters and Ph.D. at Columbia University. Reichard went on to do field work which focused on the study of the Navaho Indians in the southern United States. She felt the necessity throughout her career to maintain close ties with field work, a sign of the influence of her contemporary Boaz.
The content and construction of the article itself are evidence that our work as a whole takes on more than just face value. The display of the extent to which anthropologists form relationships, professional and personal, often intertwined, and the international recognition and participation of the bunch show that anthropology had definitely by then evolved into a full fledged form of study and community. Anthropology is not just a job or a personal endeavor, but something which must be viewed and understood collectively, not excluding in any way any form or fact of the human condition and its involvement with the world.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
THEODORE YADLOWSKI University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Smith, Marian W. Obituary of Gladys Armand Reichard. American Anthropologist . 1956 Vol. 58: 913-916
Gladys Armand Reichard, July 17, 1893 – July 25, 1955 was reared in an intellectually- oriented Quaker household. Her educational and academic career extended over many years beginning in 1919 at Swarthmore College as an undergraduate, then as a graduate and doctoral student working in linguistics at the University of California. She earned her PhD. in 1925.
In 1923, Reichard began her anthropologic fieldwork with the Navaho while teaching anthropology at Barnard College, one of the first women’s colleges to have a Department of Anthropology. Her teaching was patterned after Franz Boas who became a close, personal friend.
Her work was considered to be richly intensive, yet personal. Her ethnography Prayer: The Compulsive Word exposed a new field in religion that had yet to be unexplored.
Various honours and awards came her way throughout her career. Many female anthropologists received their initial training from her. Reichard became a full professor at Barnard College in 1951.
CLARITY RATING: 5
MARCIE GOLDMAN York University (Naomi Adelson)
Sreekantaiya, T. N. Notes on Loans and Native Replacements in Kannada. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(2):306-308.
This article explores the difficulty involved in determining the origin of words. In, Notes on Loans and Native Replacements in Kannada, T.N. Sreekantaiya was attempting to identify the origin of classical Kannada language.
The Kannada believed that their language was derived from Sanskrit. While not ruling out the possibility that Sanskrit may have had an influence on the language, Sreedantaiya suggested that other languages could have influenced classical Kannada. Words and terms in classical Kannada were found in Indic as well as Prakrit. The author used this evidence to assert that classical Kannada did not only use words and terms from Sanskrit.
What increased the difficulty of Sreedantaiya’s task was the occurrence of two words used interchangeably. For example, ‘toval’ and ‘carma’ both mean ‘skin’ in Old Kannada. The author used charts to display how different words were used throughout the ages to represent one meaning. Trying to find the correct language of origin for a certain word is difficult. Essentially, T.N. Sreekantaiya used evidence that ‘Old Kannada’ contained words that were not Sanskrit and therefore one cannot conclude that classical Kannada’s language was derived from Sanskrit alone.
Although one can understand the difficulty in correctly assigning the origin of classical Kannada’s language, the author does provide sufficient evidence that Sanskrit was not the only language that contributed to its origination. However, the article is very brief and the charts are somewhat confusing.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
TEENA SEREDA University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Sreekantaiya, T. N. Notes on Loans and Native Replacements in Kannada. American Anthropologist, 1956. Vol. 58:306-307.
T.N. Sreekantaiya discusses the practice of borrowing words from other languages to explain the evolution of the Kannada language into its present state. The analysis provides information about the history of the language as well as a comparison between various words that were used in different time periods. The author breaks down the borrowed words into three categories: 1) words borrowed from Indic by the tenth century, 2) words that were native from the tenth century but have been replaced by Indic loans and 3) words that were native but have been replaced by other native terms. The article also mentions that information gathered about classical Kannada may be limited because poets of the period, whose works form the bulk of knowledge about early Kannada vocabulary, were avid users of the Sanskrit lexicon. Furthermore, widespread use of the Prakrit language during the earlier time period also suggests that at least some aspects of the Kannada language can be attributed to cultural diffusion. Finally, a table is included to give examples of Indic loans found in classical and modern Kannada vocabulary.
The article is concise and specific and as a result does not offer much background information for those who are unfamiliar with the language and history of the region. For this reason, the article seems to be geared more towards the advanced linguistic anthropology student or those specializing in Indic languages.
CLARITY RANKING: 2
KAHLILAH FRANKLIN, JENNIFER GARCIA, JOSEPH SALAMON, NICOLE SIMON Northern Illinois University (Giovanni Bennardo).
Swadesh, Morris. Some Limitations of Diffusional Change in Vocabulary. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58:301-306.
In “Some Limitations of Diffusional Change in Vocabulary”Morris Swadesh sets out to discuss how contact between cultures influences how languages change over time. He does not explain exactly how changes in language can be used to understand cultural change, rather he chooses to further discuss the ways in which this system of analysis can be made more accurate and effective. He alludes to new studies which have increased the usefulness of the system by placing limitations on how it can best be used. He is able to effectively culminate this information by pointing out how new information can apply to the entire concept of “diffusional change in vocabulary” (301).
Swadesh is able to successfully construct his argument by first outlining how the concept works. In essence, he describes how one can identify replacements of words as well as the approximate time these changes took place. He also spends time examining the differences in changes between what he call “‘cultural’ vocabulary” (301) and “‘intimate’ or ‘noncultural’ vocabulary” (301), as well as differences between more or less educated speakers. As the article progresses he uses statistical data to enhance hos arguments. He uses statistical information mainly from two sources, these sources make up subsequent articles in the same journal.
Unfortunately Swadesh uses some terminology which he fails to explain thoroughly, this adversely affects the clarity of the piece as one is left to guess what exactly some of the terms pertain to. He also fails in some was to provide context to the statistical information he provides. As a result, one becomes lost in the information and it becomes difficult to relate the evidence back to Swadesh’s basic argument which appears to be that despite some limits to the concept of changes in vocabulary, by reorganizing the way in which it is used it can still be an interesting as well aseffective way to explore a culture.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
KRISTEN RUMOHR University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Swadesh, Morris. Some Limitations of Diffusional Change in Vocabulary. American Anthropologist 1956. Vol.58:301-306.
Morris Swadesh’s essay, “Some Limitations of Diffusional Change in Vocabulary” is one of three in this volume addressing problems in glottochronology. The focus is on the distinction between rates of diffusion in cultural versus non-cultural vocabulary. Swadesh’s essay is to be considered additional input on previous work on this topic by Andrée and Gideon Sjoberg.
>The essay discusses the distinctions between cultural versus non-cultural vocabulary. Swadesh states that cultural terms are easily borrowed from neighboring peoples, and are therefore borrowed more often. On the other hand, non-cultural terms are rarely affected by outside sources. The author looks at the rate of borrowing in four case studies. He reviewed studies about England, Albania, American languages, and Dominica and states a problem that he has found with every one of the studies. They do not show if the difference is a regional issue, if it has to do with greater and lesser urbanization, and “whether it represents individual fluctuations around the community norm” (302).
A limitation that Swadesh encounters is determining the rate of diffusion. He states that vocabulary shows a large variation in the way its diffusion is affected. He ponders if diffusion is spread out over a long period of time or if it occurs during a short spurt of intensive diffusion. It is determined that the rate is very difficult to understand, which he says is a problem in linguistics.
Swadesh states that instead of the Sjoberg’s idea of regional differences in cultural versus non-cultural vocabularies, it is more precise to use degrees. He also wonders what the effect is of loans on the total rate of change is, and if borrowed words increase the rate of change in a language. Essentially what Swadesh states is that there are problems that need to be studied further in order to understand cultural diffusion and its effect on a language.
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BRIAN SANCHEZ, NATE WICKS Northern Illinois University (Giovanni Bennardo)
Titiev, Mischa. The Importance of Space in Primitive Kinship. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58:854-865.
The ancient Hopi society was the context for this article, in which Titiev examined and evaluated the unilocal matrilocal (Crow) and patrilocal (Omaha) lines of kinship. Herein, Titiev explored more specifically the likelihood of there once being cross-cousin marriage among the Hopi, who, at the time of this article, forbade such bonds. He found that because of the nomenclature used between group members, the Hopi most likely practiced the Crow system at one time, and also practiced cross-cousin marriages.
To the inexperienced, kinship systems such as these seem complex and confusing. By comparing the Hopi system to others of the time period, however, Titiev tried to clarify the complexities that confuse people unfamiliar with kinship terminology, and systematics.
In some social systems, Titiev explained, where there is close proximity between brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers, as well as cousins, aunts, and uncles, inter- kin relationships are bound to occur. Such a living structure is the case with the Hopi, but because of incest regulations, ties between blood brothers and sisters are forbidden. Cross-cousin marriages, therefore, are the idyllic unions in this type of society for ensuring as little movement of kin members as possible. Titiev tried to determine the chances of the Hopi also practicing cross-cousin marriages. He described these systems in more detail using the Ashanti and the Kariera groups as examples. His description is complex and may seem unclear, but he concludes in the end that the Hopi nomenclature is such that it implies a Crow kinship system as well as cross-cousin marriages.
Titiev’s argument is complex and seems somewhat unclear. This is due partly to the fact that these kinship systems are foreign to the average North American reader, and partly to the fact that Titiev did not write for the average North American but for knowledged anthropologists.
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JENNIFER CONNOLLY University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Titiev, Mischa. The Importance of Space in Primitive Kinship. American Anthropologist 1956. Vol.58: 854-865.
Mischa Titiev writes about the analyses of “primitive” kinship and that it seems to be in danger of “reaching a dead-end.” Titiev goes on to say that it is sometimes hard to follow kinship through blood because there are kinship “that are based on notions other than those of actual or fictitious descent from common ancestors.” Titiev goes on to say that in the United States it is hard for the mother to really know if her baby is really her baby because after delivery she is “hazy and unconscious at the actual moment of parturition” and kinship terms are culturally not genetically determined.
Titiev then goes on to talk about the Omaha and Crow kinship patterns: who is supposed to marry whom; in both these societies it is expected that cross-cousins be married to each other. In the Omaha kinship diagram is unilocal patrilocal and the Crow kinship diagram is unilocal matrilocal, but as the “Social Science Research Council’s Seminar on Kinship, held at Harvard University in the summer of 1954” states Omaha and Crow kinship patterns are not mirror images of each other.
Titiev states that the reason that cross-cousins get married to each other is because of the belief that “a male child who is not mixed up, but who is born in keeping with the postulated rules for preferred marriages, will have the same abusua and ntoro affiliations as his father’s father; whereas a baby girl would share her mother’s mother’s ties.”
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CHRISTINA SAUNDERS York University (Naomi Adelson)
Voget, Fred W. “The American Indian in transition: reformation and accommodation”. American Anthropologist. 1956 volume 58.
In his article, “The American Indian in transition: reformation and accommodation”, Fred W. Voget analyzes the effects of the integration of a Christian-type religion into Native American society. Voget concentrates on three specific locations and movements: the “Great Message” of the Iroquois in Tonawana, Peyotism in Oklahoma, and Shakerism in the pacific northwest region of Mud Bay. Inside each movement, he recounts the processes of assimilation from traditional Native beliefs to a redefined set of statuses; indicating that these processes resulted in the success of the movements.
Within each of the communities there are recited stories of how the Natives’ lives were bettered by the influx of this pseudo-Christian movement. Examples such as the decline of alcohol abuse and decreased deviant sexual behavior is given as testimony to the positive effects of Peyotism, Shakerism, and the Great Message. The author downplays the intertribal rivalries with respect to conversion; there was an element of brutality with respect to the “biblical-Indians” message to the traditional Natives, of “convert or be destroyed” that was not expanded upon within the article.
Along with his accounts of the “greatness” of these movements, Voget injects psychology into his rather ethnocentric jargon: “By providing Indians with a legitimate base for the elevation of Indian ways, a new dignity and self-confidence emerges”. The psychology as well as the subsequent onslaught of catch phrases such as “reformative-nativism”, despite being somewhat comical, leaves the reader with the foul echoes of early imperialist propaganda reverberating about the cranium. These points, as well as the infinite quotes and phrases Voget borrows from others in his field collectively make this an aggravating article to read. The redundancy and overuse of referencing sources makes it read more like a who’s who in the field rather than an analysis of the issues.
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BODHI RADL University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Voget, Fred. The American Indian in Transition: Reformation and Accommodation. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58: 249-263
Voget’s article examines the process of acculturation by American Indians in response to European pressures of reformation and accommodation. The conscious and organized attempts on the part of the American Indian members to revive or perpetuate selected aspects of their culture was commonly classified as ‘nativistic’ movements. These movements are deemed acculturation, whereby the ideologies of a subordinate group are dissolved into the norms of the dominant group. The nativistic movements were further broken down into three distinct typologies; “magical revivalism”, “rational revivalism” and “perpetual rationalism”.
Focussing on the Gaiwiio, the Peyotism, and the Shakerism, Voget’s evidence explains the linear process of acculturation. Beginning with a transition phase often saturated with protest to new social orders. Followed by a reformation stage, that often included old traditions in combination with new traditions. The process ended with accommodation on both parts, creating a new set of beliefs, traditions, and practices.
The process of ‘reformative nativism’ is an attempt on the part of the subordinate group to obtain “personal and social reintegration through a selective rejection, modification, and synthesis of both traditional and alien [dominant] cultural components” (Voget, 1956, p250). Voget suggests that this accommodation process by the American Indians is legitimized ‘vis-B-vis’ the dominant group.
Voget argues that the accommodation process of the ‘nativistic’ movement seeks to incorporate traditional acts of ‘healing’, whereby other tribal practices must be converted of destroyed. Seeking little alternatives, the attitudes expressed by the leaders of the movements “reorganize the past selectively in relation to the known present”. Reformation of ‘nativistic’ movements expresses a clear push towards morality and character development. In addition, the reformative accommodation builds ‘social status’ as well as the acceptance of such things as ‘holy places’, ‘political agendas’ and overall new social order.
Reformative movements are relatively stable, although membership is in decline. Acculturation seeks to incorporate past practices and traditions, with the pressures of the dominant group. Voget suggests that reformation appears to be an essential phase in the growth and experience of American Indian minorities, creating in them a ‘bolder’ and more ‘confident’ outlook in the face of contemporary issues.
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ROBERT WASYLYK York University (Naomi Adelson)
Wallance, Anthony F. C. Acculturation: Revitalization Movements. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58(2): 264-279
The article “Acculturation: Revitalization Movements” describes a new model for anthropologists to understand the ways in which cultural systems change. Major cultural upheaval has been studied by many disciplines in the past who have has produced vast amounts of literature. The article describes a variety of movements, which have previously been categorized under specific headings: revolution, social movements, religious movement, and cults. This article examines theories and events and combines them into an all-encompassing theory, which creates a new analogy to describe how cultures change. Social, political and cultural movements, according to the author, are all examples of revitalization movements. Revitalization theory can be used to explain all the various types of cultural phenomena.
Revitalization is defined as a cultural change phenomenon where members of a society become dissatisfied with the current societal constructs. These feelings cause individuals to feel ‘stress’ which causes them to look to reconstruct their existing culture into one that they will find more satisfying, thus eliminating the source of their stress. Revitalization occurs first in an individual that experiences a major disruption to his mazeway. A mazeway is defined as the way in which a person preserves himself, his place in society and his environment. In revitalization theory feelings of dissatisfaction must then transfer from the individual to the group. Depending on how powerful the movement is, it can have a wide variety of effects such as the creation of cults, small groups of people who separate themselves from main stream society to the creation of new political systems, where the change is felt at the state level.
The article outlines the stages of development through revitalization. To prove his point he refers to examples from all over the world making makes his arguments universally applicable. The sources the author cites are: journals, diaries, surveys and anthropological literature. The examples of society range for small-scale societies in Africa to larger state based societies in Europe. The author primary focus is on religious revitalizations movements, however, he does describe other ways in which a culture can be redefined. As a conclusion, he points, to the historical origins to prove that cultural change can be understood as a process of revitalization. The author uses a point-by-point method to break down his argument, whereby one argument builds on the next and leads into another. This creates a very clear picture of what is meant by revitalization and how it is an accurate way to describe how cultures change.
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KELLY READ University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Wallace, Anthony F. C. Revitalization Movements. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58: 264-281.
Revitalization movements and the comparative studies made among various religious communities, this essay focuses on the importance of these movements, their (re) occurrences throughout history, and their influence on their respective societies. Defined as deliberate, conscious, organized efforts by members of a society to create a more satisfying culture, the revitalization movement is examined and criticized for the times in which they take place. Since this phenomenon is considered a change in cultural ‘rules’ so to speak, the author notes that a process is undergone where an individual or group decides upon a new cultural system that will challenge and defeat its predecessor. Primarily, those involved must be unsatisfied with their state of affairs and must specify and act upon new changes including new relationships, and ways of satisfying the desired system.
The author uses several analogies, the first being of an organismic proportion. The theory of homeostasis, for example, explains the principle of a functioning society operating by coordinated actions by all or some of its parts like a human body. Examples like these help define the revitalization process. Homeostasis almost presents an opposite but integral angle to that of revitalization, and illustrates a similar process of a group coordinating action for one cause – stress reduction. Human societies are regarded as organisms, similarly because of how they function to reduce stress for the whole.
Essentially, the author describes the structure behind these movements and how certain elements have remained throughout time in ether religious or secular positions. The five stages: 1) Steady state, 2) Period of increased individual stress, 3) Period of Cultural Distortion, 4) Period of Revitalization, and, 5) New steady state, each represent the stages met and required in order to challenge the status quo and, ultimately, alter the ‘mazeway.’ The mazeway is perceived as one’s understanding of themselves as individuals as parts of a whole within society.
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ANOULONE SOUPHOMMANYCHANH York University (Naomi Adelson)
Warner, W. Lloyd. Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown: 1881-1955. American Anthropologist, 1956. Vol.58:544-547.
Warner presents a wonderful description of Radcliffe-Brown- his life, his accomplishments, and the lasting impact that he has had upon us. Warner does his best to beautifully capture who R-B was and what he contributed to society and to anthropology, while conveying Warner’s own sense of loss and remorse. Radcliffe-Brown is attributed as being the main creator of modern social anthropology, and is said to have had the most significant influence on the development of social anthropology.
Radcliffe-Brown was born and educated in England. He was influenced by Rivers, Haddon, and Whitehead, and was Rivers’s student when he began to focus on anthropology. R-B conducted field research in the Andaman Islands and in Australia, primarily focusing on the significance and purpose of rites, myths, institutions, and social organizations. He established research programs in social anthropology in Cape Town and in Sydney, and held many administrative positions as well. He published important literary works on the culture and social organization in the regions that he studied. In 1931 he went to Chicago and reexamined American Indian social organization, studying the changes in their kinship institutions and developing theories and the basis for the modern treatment of the lineage. He ran seminars and gave lectures, introducing a totally new method of social anthropology to America. He showed us how to study society using a more systematic way of examining new problems with new methods of scientific analysis.
Radcliffe-Brown was a crucial player in the development of social anthropology in England, Asia, Africa, and practically every other continent as well. He served as the chairman of numerous institutions of anthropology in universities, and helped establish many research programs in social anthropology all over the world. Although he wrote numerous essays, papers, journals, and other literary pieces, his most preferred method of education was through personal contact, urging his students to think independently. R-B was able to eliminate the division among anthropologists in different areas and became one of the first “international” anthropologists. He was a key player in uniting England and America in their studies of anthropology, helping the students and educators to exchange ideas and information and further their knowledge of anthropology. He continued to educate and engage in intellectual discussions until he eventually died from the weakness of his lungs as a result of the tuberculosis that he had as a child.
RACHEL KAHN Barnard College (Paige West
Wax, Murray. The Limitations of Boas’ Anthropology. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58 (5): 63-74.
Murray Wax describes the techniques used by archaeologist Fanz Boas and in turn addresses the limitations that Boas created for the field of anthropology. Wax suggests that relying solely on observations and experience, with little or no interpretation of his studies created these barriers. Wax uses comparisons of the scientist, historian and phenomenalist in attempts to classify Boas. He also seeks out the purpose, subjects and methods of Boas’s research.
The scientific method would seek a general statement, being true to every statement, but not descriptive of a specific situation. Thus, Wax proposes that typical objectives of Boas would include a general hypothesis from another anthropologist, he would then collect an abundance of data and describe the results. However, Wax explains that Boas would discuss the data with little to no interpretation and find an exception in his data that would allow Boas to refute the entire proposal. Wax criticises Boas because Wax explains that the aim of a scientist is not to completely discredit, but to test boundaries, where the hypothesis fails and where it succeeds. However, Boas did not consider partial truths and would attack the ‘false’ hypothesis repeatedly in his publications.
He also uses the method of historical interpretations to criticise Boas in much of the same way. Wax describes historical approaches as seeking an understanding to particular events of the past and their human significance. Wax explains that Boas gave no attempts at cultural processes in his publications or research and Boas himself claimed not to be a historian. Wax also proposes that science and history are not mutually exclusive to the field of anthropology. They have the same general goals: to generalise about behaviour and then describe the history of that particular behaviour or event. Therefore, since Boas doesn’t completely follow the scientific method, Wax concludes that by default Boas does not follow the historical method either.
The phenomenalist archetype, according to Wax could classify Boas, but Boas would use this method only “to criticise scientists and historians for careless and rash generalisations and interpretation.”. Although Boas was concerned with individual phenomena: the importance of heredity and freedom of the individual, Wax criticises Boas again because he suggests that Boas lacked the understanding of phenomena such as religion and hence was unable to give insight into his studies. Wax also suggests that this archetype is complementary to historical and scientific methods and any unbalance would create a danger to the field if one area dominated for too long.
Even with Boas’s interest in the individual, he would not accept the historical method. Also, when he took a scientific method his hard convictions ended up that of a temperate critic. Wax suggests these actions, coupled with a lack of insight and interpretation, sets limitations to anthropology and wounded any positive research within the field. Wax seeks to explain how the complementation of historical, scientific and phenomenalist methods can be used to acquire a more rounded scope to a particular study and to anthropology itself.
The concepts presented in this article were easily understood, however there were also a large amount of information put into each statement. Therefore, this article must be read slowly and carefully.
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DANA KYLUIK University of Alberta (Dr. H Young Leslie)
Werner, Heinz & Kaplan, Bernard. The Developmental Approach to Cognition: Its Relevance to the Psychological Interpretation of Anthropological and Ethnolinguistic Data. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58:866-879.
The authors argue that there are different types of cultures in the world, and each of these cultures has its own way of living as well as it’s own language (linguistics). Some of these forms of linguistics are much more complicated than others, some have more meanings, some use objects for meanings, and some are even without words. The differences in the complexities of language begs the question: If some linguistic forms are less complex than others, does it necessarily mean that they are used by groups prior to those using more complicated linguistic forms? In short is linguistic simplicity code for cultural primitivity?
Because a language, either written or spoken, might seem to us to be less complicated than our own, it absolutely does not mean that the peoples who used these languages had so called ‘primitive minds’. Linguistics and culture were not what made a group primitive. According to Werner and Kaplan, “conditions for primitivity are not limited solely to membership in technologically undeveloped societies.”.
Though a group’s linguistics didn’t play a large role in proving it’s primitivity, it definitely did show the differences in culture and cultural experiences of separate groups. Werner and Kaplan argued this by citing work done by developmental psychologists, anthropologists and some sociologists. Work such as that done by D. D. Lee, with the Trobriand Islanders (1950). The Trobriand Islanders used absolutely no adjectives in their speech, but they have no problem in getting across to others what they want to say. One’s language was limited to the cultural texts that surrounded them.
This study on cognition and linguistics had a positive effect on anthropology, affecting the way that anthropologists as well as developmental psychologists and sociologists looked at underdeveloped groups. Not all agreed with Kaplan and Werner but the many that did began to learn a great deal about cultural linguistics.
This article displayed a gross lack of clarity. Its argument was not very well stated and the author was definitely not writing this for a student to read. This was not very easy to understand, but after careful and attentive re-reading provides very interesting facts and concepts.
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NATHAN CONNOR University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Werner, Heinz and Kaplan, Bernard. The Developmental Approach to Cognition: Its Relevance to the Psychological Interpretation of Anthropological and Ethnolinguistic Data. American Anthropologist 1956 vol. 58:866-879.
Heinz Werner and Bernard Kaplan depict the approach of comparative development in psychology to anthropological and ethno linguistic concerns. They address the developmental method associated with cognition, criticize objections to the developmental approach of ‘primitivity’, and exhibit the importance of linking ‘ethno linguistic data to psychological interpretation’.
As a comparative discipline, developmental psychology observes behavior and presents empirical testing. Inherent in this discourse is the principle that development advances from a state void of differentiation to a condition of increasing differentiation. Developmental psychologists provide examples as to how this ‘law’ pertains to psycho cultural experience. For example, classifying objects according to their color engages a mode of cognition ‘genetically prior’ to a categorization that lacks attachment to a particular object.
Werner and Kaplan discuss five confusions of ‘primitivity’. (1) Confusion between primitivity and as an evaluative and as a designative concept (2) Confusion between primitivity as defined temporarily and as defined logically (3) Confusion between primitivity as an ideal construct and as a predicate applied to cognitive activities of actual men (4) Confusion between the phenomena of primitivity and the conditions of the phenomena (5) Confusion between primitivity as characteristic only of certain types of mind and as an ever-present feature of the mental functioning of all individuals. For example, the fourth confusion is between the nature and conditions of primitivity. A lack of differentiation of self and not self is prevalent in primitive developmental stages. This concept provided a clash between anthropologists and developmental psychologists.
According to Werner and Kaplan, the developmental comparative framework consists of three parts. Firstly, language is ‘primarily activity and only secondarily product’. Secondly, they question the notion that all experiences can be identified with language and predict that verbal language is only one expression of experience. Thirdly, not all patterns of linguistics are developmentally congruent.
Werner and Kaplan draw on Dr. D. Lee’s analysis that inherent in a more primitive linguistic usage is a technologically backward culture. She explains that the Trobriand Islanders language lacks adjectives and is void of a time based connection between objects. In contrast to their language, the English language emphasizes lineality. Werner and Kaplan argue that the Trobriand Islanders inability to convey a concept linguistically is reflective of their primitive development of expression.
In formulating a testable hypothesis, they worked under the assumptions that particular psycholinguistic manifestations are more primitive than others and that even the Western man retains primitive modes of cognition. Their method employed to display the second assumption is the technique of line schematization. Subjects illustrated their experiences via line-drawings. Werner and Kaplan hypothesized that the object of the sentence would be autonomous from the verb. Within the line drawn, the verb would change in relation to a distinct context.
Experiments, however, did not illustrate the isolation but rather the connection of the verb to the object. In fact, most subjects exhibited Fusion; a drastic change in representing the verb with each with each specific object. Absence of change in reflecting the verb, Invariance, is void in line-drawing but present in verbal language. A second experiment was based on the assumption that an experiment aimed at eliciting primitive cognition, linguistic exercises characterized by time tend to be experienced as different endeavors. The subject perceived the present tense as real but the past and future as unreal. In the English language, however, the present differs from the past and future only in terms of the action’s time.
These experiments elucidate that particular linguistic patterns common in noncivilized cultures reflect mental processes more primitive than those discernable in the modern civilized man.
ILANA LAUER Barnard College (Paige West).
Whiteford, Andrew H. The Museum in the School. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol. 58(2): 352-356.
Andrew H. Whiteford examines the museum’s role in post-secondary institution, arguing that a museum is a critical tool in teaching anthropology. The examination of artifacts help abstract concepts become tangible, stimulates curiosity and can replicate aspects of fieldwork. Furthermore, Whiteford suggests that museum artifacts are also beneficial to general liberal arts and social science students because of the increased cultural awareness they create.
Whiteford’s argument for the “teaching Museum” is based on observations from the Logan Museum of Anthropology, at Beloit College, as well as personal theories. He presents several cases that illustrate a student’s curiosity of an artifact(s) generating a question, and then leading to a term paper. Consequently, the student obtains a greater understanding of the artifact and its culture. Whiteford also theorizes that the handling, examination, and cataloging of artifacts can partially replicate fieldwork, especially for archeologists and physical anthropologists. Fieldwork, he argues, provides irreplaceable experience for the anthropology student, and an increased cultural awareness for liberal arts students in general. Thus, through personal experience and theoretical frameworks, Whiteford justifies the importance of the museum to anthropology and liberal arts studies.
Whiteford expresses his theories and personal experiences with conviction and clarity. He generalizes his success at the Logan Museum as representative of school museums. Yet, Whiteford fails to examine the unique aspects of the Logan Museum and their effect on his findings. As academic institutions vary tremendously, there is no evidence to assume that the Logan museum is representative of school museums. Moreover, Whiteford never addresses the shortfalls of teaching museums nor how or if they can be compensated for. Finally, although his idea of increased cultural awareness in a liberal education is a good one, he only briefly examines this hypothesis and provides insufficient evidence.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
CATERINA SNYDER University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Whiteford, Andrew, H. The Museum in the School American Anthropologist, 1956, v: 58 p. 352-356
Andrew Whiteford illustrates the strong relationship between anthropology as a discipline, and the objectives of liberal arts institutions by focussing this article on the necessity of a museum on campus. He writes that anthropology has a liberalizing influence on students because it allows them to explore outside of their own culture and see what is different from them. Whiteford argues that as long as a campus museum makes an effort to relate its activities to educational objectives of the larger institution it is part of, it will increase its potential educational ability. If anthropological museums focus on contemporary anthropology and teach objectivity and tolerance, it will contribute to liberal education. As long as students are encouraged to work with tangible materials and participate in authentic activities, they will be stimulated to learn and will have a great deal more hands-on experience than by no other means.
He suggests that students are surrounded by ethnocentrism, but through the museum and the education it provides, students can learn more effectively than by simply reading texts. The only problem with developing a museum to its full educational capacity and to express anthropological materials coherently and effectively is lack of money.
A complete exhibit in a complete museum needs to appeal to the students and adhere to them in ways texts cannot. Through the addition and use of actual artefacts –thus contributing to a sense of reality and giving the exhibition actual depth –the museum has the ability to display human relations to other animals, to evolution, to the development of tools and utilisation of natural resources, and to other cultural growth experienced by civilization.
Specific exhibitions make specific points that can be of importance to the education of a non-anthropological as well as the specializing student, and can be used by many of the academic departments of the school as well. There should be close interactions between the academics of other departments and the museum administrators to make exhibits useful for all.
The opportunity to deal intimately with materials (handling and examining) will help fix the new understanding in the students’ minds. Artefacts stimulate curiosity and prompt questioning that will entice the students to go out and research what is of interest to them. The stimulated curiosity in the student is of great value in a teaching museum and one single eye-catching object may excite a student more than a shelf stacked with volumes of publications on one culture. To illustrate the point, Whiteford compares the museum to anthropology using fieldwork, something very valuable to the discipline. If fieldwork plays the role that the anthropological society believes it to, the museum should try to bring the field to the student. Whiteford suggests that it is not the fieldwork entirely which is the great experience, but rather the experience of handling the products of fieldwork (i.e. Archaeology and it’s tools) has a great impact on the student as well. The substitution could consist of homemade sites within the museum while still using real instruments and techniques.
The relation between physical anthropology, the museum and laboratories is also compared. The study of bone maturation could also be accomplished with the help of the museum through particular exhibits before taking the results to the actual lab.
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LIVY FELDGAJER York University (Naomi Adelson)
Willey, Gordon R. The Structure of Ancient Maya Society: Evidence From The Southern Lowlands. American Anthropologist 1956 vol.58:777-781.
This article concerns itself mainly with examining ancient Mayan social dynamics, specifically the question of how separate the living conditions were between the urban elite and the peasants. Earlier excavations and explorations of ancient Mayan sites led archaeologists and anthropologists alike to believe Mayan culture was highly segregated, at the ceremonial center there were savvy theocrats and in the village there dwelled simple village folk. Such a distinction has been long held as representative of the Mayan culture as a whole.
Willey has decided to question the depth of that distinction. He asserts that the relationship between rural village and ceremonial center may have been a more intimate one than was previously thought. Some evidence of his argument has been taken from the examinations of various small dwelling mounds in the Maya lowlands of the Belize Valley, British Honduras.
Little investigation has been undertaken of this locale, as studies on the remains of these mounds suggested ordinary domestic buildings, with no other interesting facets. In the article, Willey states that the nature of the Belize Valley village sites allude to a more sophisticated peasantry as opposed to common, countrymen and woman. The mounds are oval or oblong collections of earth and rocks, running in a continuous scattering for some 30 or more miles to the north and east.
The organization of the mounds implies a strong connection with the ceremonial life of the more urban centers. This is seen in the location of the smaller, domestic mounds, in close proximity with large mounds that were thought to be of religious purpose. As well, numerous intricate jars and pottery were found at the smaller mounds, items that were previously considered “luxury” objects only found in ceremonial centers. These upper-class goods (or imitations of them) are evidence of a good connection between rural and urban areas.
An explanation for these finds could be that ceremonial centers recruited tradesmen from the smaller villages, who in turn brought back souvenirs or rewards. This suggests that villagers could move up and down the social ladder, creating homogeneity in Mayan culture. The collapse of the Mayan civilization was once thought to be (at least partially) due to internal dissention between upper and lower is questioned by Willey. He believes that if this were the case, there would be more evidence of Post classic period artifacts (pottery, ceramics, etc) demonstrating continued life in rural settings after urban ones had fallen. This has not been found yet, alleging that priest and peasant disappeared together.
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LARA ZENTINS York University (Naomi Adelson)
Wilson, H. Clyde. A New Interpretation of the Wild Rice District of Wisconsin. American Anthropologist 1956 vol. 58: 1059-1064
Wilson’s article is based primarily on the previous research of A.E Jenks. Jenks made two conclusions in his 1900 article that are counter argued by Clyde Wilson. His first error was defining the wild rice district of the Upper Great Lakes in Wisconsin as being populated only by rice gatherers. This led to his second error, where he concluded that the reason for the high population density in the region was based on the surplus of wild rice. Other ethnographers studying similar topics have used this flawed research and committed the same mistakes.
This publication was written to reject the theories of Jenks through the discovery of additional information about the Great Lakes region and the Indian tribes that once flourished there. First, Wilson concludes that five of the eleven tribes that Jenks mentioned were actually not wild rice gatherers. As well, he argues that the motive for the escalation in population during that time was not due to the abundance of rice. Jenks concludes two reasons for the increased population: the first was French trading in that area, and the second was land pressure forced on tribes by the Iroquois.
Through new information made available years after the publishing of Jenk’s paper, Wilson was able to deduce that tribes such as the Sauk and the Fox, who were argued by Jenks to be rice gatherers, in fact grew Indian corn.
A publication written by the missionaries working within these tribes thoroughly described the conditions of living as well as weather and availability of food. Through that new information that came to light, Wilson was able to argue that the information provided by the priests would not be accurate had the tribes been rice gatherers. The description of difficult winters due to lack of food is not possible amongst rice gatherers. Their rice is harvested in the fall and should be available through the winter (note that the observations made by the missionary priests were not based on just one winter, but several, so these descriptions are not an isolated case).
Wilson agrees with Jenks in that the region did become highly populated. He disagrees with the reasons provided by Jenks, though. The French set up trading posts in the area and, because this was one of the earliest trading centers available, it drew in large numbers of tribes. The second reason for this high population density was the pressure applied by the Iroquois tribe. They also began to move into the trading region, but with different objectives. They were looking for beaver pelts which they could use to trade with the English. So the Iroquois were not penetrating the market that had been established by the French, but using it to prosper with the English.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
RON SOREANU York University (Naomi Adelson)
Wilson, H. Clyde. A New Interpretation of the Wild Rice District of Wisconsin. American Anthropologist, 1956. Vol. 58(6): 1059-1063.
Wilson refutes A. E. Jenks’ ethnography that, incorrectly according to Wilson, classifies certain tribes as wild rice gatherers. Jenks’ ethnography is used by many anthropologists as a guide to distinguishing the different ecological and cultural regions of North America. Wilson redefines the sharp distinctions between the regions by proving that some of the tribes classified by Jenks as rice gatherers were not and had recently migrated to the region.
Jenks claims that there was a high concentration of Native Americans in the region as a result of the abundance of wild rice. Therefore, he classifies the tribes residing in the region as wild rice gatherers. To negate Jenks’ claim, Wilson discusses the ecological and cultural data pertaining to the region northwest of Green Bay and explores alternative reasons for the high concentration of Native American tribes in the region. Wilson contends that most of these tribes had only recently migrated to the region as a result of, both, French trading in the area and pressure from the Iroquois to migrate. He asserts that the Kickapoo, Fox, Saux, and Prarie Powtami tribes, classified by Jenks as rice gatherers, should not be placed in this ecological region; rather, they should be classified as Prairie tribes.
Wilson sites Jesuit Revelations and other missionary texts and accounts as historically accurate sources to lend credence to his argument. He also employs Moll’s map to support his findings. These sources mention stark linguistic differences and the large amount of migration into the area. Although Jenks also cites Jesuit Revelations as a source for his findings, Wilson critiques the edition Jenks used as being incomplete and weak.
Wilson uses these sources to examine each of the tribes mentioned above, and show that they could not have been wild rice gatherers nor do they belong in the region. Using the sources, he proves that the main subsistence for these tribes was corn, grains and wild game. He cites examples of the Kickapoo, Fox, and Sauk tribes being known for either not using the canoe or being “very poor canoemen,” indicating that they could not have been wild rice gatherers. Furthermore, Wilson discredits Jenkins claim that the high population concentration was a result of an abundance of food; instead, he brings missionary accounts that describe a shortage of food resulting in mass starvation in the winter.
JESSICA LEVI, Barnard College (Paige West).
Wolf, Eric R. Aspects of Group Relations in a Complex Society: Mexico. American Anthropologist, 1956 Vol. 58 (6): 1065-1078
In this article, Wolf examines the complex relationships between communities and the larger nation. He provides a very detailed examination of the conflicting and accommodating factors of these relationships, emphasizing that they are both multi-faceted and important for a better understanding of human institutions. He uses the example of Mexico from the time of its colonization to 1956, and examines historical, economic, and political evidence.
Wolf first examines theoretical ideas of group relations. He emphasizes that even in 1956, societies were becoming more complex and susceptible to outside influence. To understand a society, he suggests that one must first understand something of its institutions and how they are influenced by relationships among groups of people. The relationships that are the most influential to this argument are the ones among local communities and national institutes. An example of this would be the effects that a group of farmers can have on the government, or vice-versa.
The author then provides a very detailed and lengthy examination of the historical development of inter-connected groups within Mexico. Two major groups developed from early on in its colonization: the Spanish conquerors and aboriginal groups. The Crown attempted to gain economic and political control over the settlers. To achieve this, a group of royal officials regulated to each settler land and native labour. Thus, the Crown was to retain control over the local people and tribute payments. A major development of this relationship was the ecomienda, where the Crown regulated native labour for each settler.
At the same time, natives were encouraged to live in their own villages, under mostly self-rule, apart from major control by the European settlers. Despite these limitations, the settlers worked around the Crown and the aboriginal villages to gain relative autonomy. They developed their own labour forces against the Crown’s command, mainly by using slaves, poorer settlers, and natives who wanted to leave the villages.
The author then examines how the eventual Mexican Independence from Spain resulted in a further increase in local power and less autonomy for natives, as their protection laws were abolished. He emphasizes the role of the hacienda, which gave more control to its owners and turned native groups into a larger labour force. Eventually, various groups gained more power and further encouraged wage labour and private land ownership.
Wolf then describes how the Mexican Revolution of 1910 destroyed the hacienda, returning power to a central government and resulting in a greater movement of people across the country. Power from this point on has been attained primarily through political means, which is closely related to economic power. He also makes the point that behavioural patterns for success are important, that they are culturally learned, and that they are different in every culture.
Through this detailed analysis, Wolf shows how ties between groups, rather than the analysis of each one in isolation, exert influence on a nation’s development. His argument is well constructed, through both evidence and analysis, and it gives the reader a better understanding of group relationships in the past, present and future.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
MIKE MLYNARZ University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Wolf, Eric R. Aspects of Group Relations in a Complex Society: Mexico. American Anthropologist 1956 Vol.58:1065-1076
Wolf’s article begins with a short background about how, previously, the discipline of anthropology studied communities. They were perceived as separate entities belonging to themselves that were not affected by other outside groups. This changed to studies including outside factors which did affect the community. Finally it changed to anthropologists recognizing that these groups could not be treated as independent wholes, in fact, they continuously change because of other systems. Wolf’s article deals with the described transition by looking at Mexico. Wolf says that “a nation [Mexico] is more than the sum of its communities and it’s national-level institutions together. It is the web of group relationships which connect localities and national-level institutions.” He constructs this argument by taking an historical look at Mexico, and by using relations of community-oriented and nation-oriented groups within the country. This evidence shows how presently Mexico is a rearrangement of their past and their past is a determinant of their present.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
WAYLAND GILL York University (Naomi Adelson)