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American Anthropologist 1964

Ackerman, Charles. Structure and Statistics: The Purum Case.American Anthropologist. 1964 Vol. 66(2):53-65.

Ackerman refutes Rodney Needham’s assertion that Purum marriages are a “matrilateral connubium.” According to Ackerman, “The Purums are an ‘Old Kuki’ tribe of eastern Manipur,” residing in four small villages in eastern India with a 1950s population of about 300 people. According to Needham, they practice a selective, prescribed pattern of marriages, called the matrilateral connubium, or “marriage in a circle,” whereby some patrilineal groups exclusively supply and receive wives from other groups. Edmond Leach disagrees, adding, “In not a single case does the empirical evidence provided by the ethnographers tend to support this assertion.” Ackerman follows Leach’s lead and launches a statistical attack against Needham’s claim.

Ackerman attacks Needham on two grounds. First, he argues that Needham’s assertion lacks sufficient evidence. Second, he argues that Needham presented only partial evidence to support his claim. The main body of Ackerman’s argument follows from the first point, while elements of the second are scattered throughout. Ackerman bases his argument on data collected in The Purums by Tarakchandra Das (1945).

Ackerman employs two main strategies to disprove matrilateral connubium among the Purum. First, he uses a variety of statistical devices to demonstrate an absence of correlations between normative expectations and the actual marriages observed. Second, he makes the case that Purum terminology describing prospective mates is insufficient or contradictory for Needham’s assertion to be correct.

He concludes by stating, “No tendency to avoid the direct exchange of women exists in the distribution of actual marriages. On the contrary, in a series of tests, the null hypothesis has been corroborated…” The null hypothesis, in this case, assumes no presence of the matrilateral connubium.


TROY LINVILLE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Ames, Michael M. Buddha and the Dancing Goblins: A Theory of Magic and Religion.American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66: 75-82

Ames analyzes the relationship between Buddhism in Ceylon and the magic healing rituals widely used by the Sinhalese people. He argues that while Sinhalese theory views Buddhism and spirit healing cults as clearly distinct, in practice they are thoroughly intermeshed.

The relationship between magic and religion has traditionally been explained by academics in two different ways. Historians and scholars in the field of comparative religious studies usually make clear distinctions between folk magic and high religion. Anthropologists and sociologists, by contrast, have focused on establishing what functional differences (if any) actually separate these two categories. Ames himself argues that magic and religion cannot be distinct, that they are a continuum, actually commingling practical and spiritual aspects rather than opposing them as opposite ends of the spectrum.

A good example of this integration comes from Ceylon. The official religion of Ceylon is Buddhism, which concerns itself with the fate of the soul, karma, rebirth, merit and salvation. These same Buddhists also practice magical healing rituals to assist them in the practical science of worldly day, mundane life, in health, illness, work and the like. This includes invoking assistance of spirits to heal the body and spirit as well as exorcism. While Sinhalese Buddhists frequently fuse the practice of these magical healing rituals with Buddhist ritual practices, they themselves believe that the two systems are separate and a complementary “division of religious labor.”


TRISH MALONE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Arewa, E.O. and Alan Dundas. Proverbs and the Ethnography of Speaking Folklore.American Anthropologist December 1964. Vol. 66 (6 part 2):70-85

In this article the authors advocate studying folklore, specifically proverbs, in their original contexts in order to fully understand the genre and meanings held within this form of communication. The authors are concerned about how proverbs are applied in African social settings from home life to court rooms. In the “ethnography of speaking folklore” it is not only the text of a proverb that is important, but also the rules governing the use of the proverb in a given situation. The authors’ argument that even the best folklore fieldworkers record only texts is followed by a call to explore and record contextual explanations and evaluations from the community under observation. Recording the text of a proverb and the situations in which it occurs is not enough. Collection of the interpretations of a proverb from members of the culture is equally essential.

The authors present fourteen Yoruba proverbs associated with child rearing, with culturally relevant explanations on how and when to apply each proverb in social context as evidence to support their argument. Examples are followed by a brief discussion on the importance of observing the channel of communication for the proverb, the vehicle for delivering the message: whether it is voiced or drummed. What folklorists may think is a chance variation in delivery may in fact be a reflection of channel alternatives. If the use of proverbs is communication, then the ways in which it is used as communication and contexts surrounding that communication must be taken into account.

The article includes an appendix of proverb texts in Yoruba orthography and literal translations as well as standard English.

Clarity: 5

JAYNE SMITHSON CSU Hayward (Peter J. Claus)

Bidney, David. Paul Fejos. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(1):110-115.

This is an obituary of Dr. Paul Fejos, was prepared by David Bidney. Paul Fejos was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1897, and died in 1963. When he was young, Fejos was interested in the theater, but his family pushed him towards a medical career. He attended the Royal Hungarian Medical College, and in 1921 he earned his M.D. He then was a member of the Hungarian army during World War I.

Instead of putting his medical degree to use, Fejos moved to the United States, in 1923, to work in theater or motion pictures. He had a few minor jobs, and then got a job at the Rockefeller Research Institute for Medical Research, which he held until 1926. He then felt the need to go to Hollywood to follow his dream. He luckily met a producer, and was given a chance to produce and direct a film called The Last Moment. He then went on to work on several films for Universal and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In 1931 he left Hollywood, because he felt that he could not appropriately express himself, artistically, in that situation. He made a film in Hungary, and then went to work for a Danish studio, which allowed him to make films anywhere he wanted. He happened to choose Madagascar, where he began filming native people. He made thirty films about native Madagascarians, and began to develop an interest in anthropology. He later went to Asia and South America to film more ethnographies.

Fejos returned to the United States in 1941. He became the Director of Research for the Viking Fund, which was later called the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. He held this position for the rest of his life. He used it to promote Anthropology worldwide, and to show the connections between anthropology and science. He had teaching positions at Yale and at Columbia University during this time. He was also an advisor to many well-known anthropologists and helped to advance the techniques of using geophysical apparatuses in archaeology and the use of C-14 for the dating of Java Man. Fejos left behind a wife, Mrs. Lita Binns Fejos, who took over his place as Director of Research for the Wenner-Gren Foundation.


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Berndt, Ronald M. Warfare in the New Guinea Highlands. American Anthropologist 1964 vol. 66 183-203

In this article Berndt outlines the main features in the available published material of several New Guinea tribes. The article focuses on three aspects political unit, allies and enemies, and the refugees. The underlying point of this article is to show the diversity of warfare and its role in the social political environment of New Guinea.

Berndt begins by discussing the political unit of ten regions of the new Guinea Highlands. The first unit is Kamano, Usurufa, Jade, and Fore. He describes this region as fighting in the name of the district and not with their villages or lineages. In this region most of the fighting was between members of districts but were also the main source for marriage partners and were also guests at certain festivals and ceremonies. When a district was defeated parts of that district could be scattered over a wide area and some refugees overtime would become affiliated to their host district and lose their own political identity. The next political unit he covers is the Gahuku-Gama region. This region is similar to the first region but emphasized friendship and common origin when considerations of warfare were made. In this region refugees were treated in a rather different light for when women were captured they saw them as dangerous and typically killed them. Alliances between some tribes were typically seen as enduring and all others were considered transitional. In this region as well as several others mentioned in the article warfare was regarded as incompatible with marriage. The next region is Siane. This region was a patrilineal virilocal clan based villages. The clans in this region typically fought other phratries and typically clans were hostile between unrelated clans. Although they or hostile towards one another they would supply each other with wives in this way they would form alliances particularly when fighting other clans. This also provided refugees a friendly place to fall back on when defeated by an enemy. This also created a neutral group in the time of war who would watch the events unfold and offer advice on how to settle the conflict. Typically in all the regions discussed in this article compensation would be made after the war. The overwhelming goal in warfare in New Guinea Highlands discussed in the article was to scatter the enemy and force them to become refugees while in the process killing some of them and leveling their houses and gardens.

Berndt points out that warfare’s role in the social political environment of New Guinea helps to contribute to social identification and economic stability. He points out that through alliances social activities such as trade and ceremonial events help to stimulate social identification. Next he points out that through the death of people and peacemaking compensation is in the form of gifts helped to distribute wealth throughout the region. Through these economic exchanges and trade political alliances become rebuilt. Finally he states that economics and warfare “were two sides of the same coin”.

Clarity ranking: 4

THOMAS E. GRUBER University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)

Berreman, Gerald D. Aleut Reference Group Alienation, Mobility, and Acculturation.American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(2):231-250.

In this article, Gerald Berreman discusses the process of acculturation found in the Aleutian village, Nikolski. To do so he looks at how reference groups, social mobility and identification affect the Aleut people, comparing these features with other cultures and situations. Berreman further uses this analysis to uncover the processes involved in situations where a small cultural group is dominated by another larger culture.

Berreman explains that Nikolski is a village of about 60 Aleut people. He studied the village in 1952 and 1962. Many white people had contact with the village, and Berreman found that villagers desired to gain their respect. Berreman claims that villagers are identifying more with white culture, as the level of contact increases. Part of this identification with white culture appears to be coming from the increased use of radios, newspapers, and magazines, and also from increased travel and communication opportunities through commercial air service into the village.

Berreman uses the concept of the reference group to analyze the Aleut culture of Nikolski. He defines a reference group as the group, holding to a certain set of norms, on which a person bases their own actions and behavior. This group is called a person’s membership group, if they are a member of the group, but membership is not required for a group to be a reference group. Berreman uses Turner’s reference group typology to analyze the Nikolski Aleut, contrasting the identification group (with which a person identifies while trying to become a member of the group) with the valuation group (which affects or is affected by the person though the person does not identify with its standpoints or values).

Berreman explains that most Aleuts use whites as a valuation group but keep other Aleuts as their membership group. Although the Aleuts want to be respected by whites, they also practice reference group alienation within their own culture. Reference group alienation is shown by Aleuts acting hostile towards whites when the latter aren’t around. When an Aleut is only with white people, he or she usually acts as though they are a part of white culture. When Aleuts are in a group of whites and Aleuts, they usually identify with the norms of their membership group because this group will offer more sanctions.

Berreman claims that some Aleut do not conform to the typical behavior models of other Aleuts. For example, Sophia is an Aleut woman who identifies with whites and acts like them even in front of other Aleuts. The other Aleuts look down on this type of activity and say that “she always pimps for the whites.” She is alienated from her membership group and identifies with the white group. Sophia acts in a mobile way. She is trying to be accepted into the white group. Berreman likens this type of action to that typically found in the military, where soldiers act like their superiors to gain a promotion. Berreman seems to believe that the attitudes held by Sophia and other mobile Aleuts come from some sort of dissatisfaction with their membership group. Berreman looks at the issue of mobility and finds that terms used for mobility, such as “pimping” in Aleut culture, tend to be negative terms. Examples of these are: brown nosing, sucking up, pushing, etc.

Berreman also found similar issues within Hindu society in the Himalayas in 1957-58. Mountain Hindus related to the dominant plains Hindu group in much the same ways as Aleuts did to whites. Berreman sees these similar patterns as evidence that in situations where one group is dominant over another, the dominant group is looked upon as a positive valuation group but subordinate group loyalties usually stay with their own membership group. He believes that problems with status and satisfaction make it likely that some people will assume a role like Sophia’s.


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Boissevain, Jeremy. Factions, Parties, and Politics in a Maltese Village. American Anthropologist December, 1964 Vol.66(6):1275-1287

Boissevain’s article defines and illustrates the concept of “faction” by giving examples of groups in conflict in a Maltese village and then determining which ones should be termed factions. The author believes that various authors use this term so differently that comparative analysis is difficult. Boissevain’s analysis focuses on a village in Malta, a densely populated Mediterranean country and former British Colony. This village, which he called Farrug, contained several conflicting groups or partiti (singular term, partit). A partit is defined as “a group which supports a person or policy in competition with a rival group supporting a different person or policy.”

Using Festa partiti divisions, two groups each celebrate a Saint, have a band club, a social club, and an elaborate annual celebration with fireworks. These divisions began in about 1900 when a new parish priest who particularly liked St. Rouge wanted a celebration and social club in honor of him even though the village already honored St. Martin. Some villagers did not want to support another celebration, squabbling broke out, and the village divided into groups supporting either St. Martin or St. Rogue. People originally chose which group they would support, but are now born into one group or another. Boissevain gives many examples of tension, animosity, and squabbling between the two Festa partiti groups.

Two other groups in bitter conflict involved\ followers of the Malta Labour Party and those of the Archbishop. Membership in these political divisions cross-cuts the partiti groups and is split equally between supporters of St. Martin and St. Rogue. The political groups had existed for about 11 years at the time of Boissevain’s writing.

Also discussed are conflicts within groups and clubs. Boissevain mentions how some clubs include very vocal members of both the St. Martin and St. Rogue partiti, but mange to avoid internal conflicts mainly by taking care not to involve the club itself in any partiti activities. However, differing political allegiances among members have caused tension in the St. Martin band club and even led it to split up once. In another instance, the Labor members of the band boycotted their festa to retaliate against the church. The St. Martin club also became seriously “divided over whether to fire the traditional salute of firecrackers for the Archbishop when he came to take part in the festa.”

Another conflict, which divided the village for about a month, concerned the redecoration of the village church. During the redecoration the Parish Priest had hung his coat of arms in the church, an act which many people opposed, and when the priest left it was stolen. Some members of the St. Martin club wanted to issue an apology to the priest, but this was voted down and “three officers resigned in protest.”

Boissevain draws on previous definitions offered by Lasswell and Firth to conclude that only two groupings within the St. Martin partit, the firecracker and coat-of-arms groups, should actually be classified as factions. Lasswell had defined faction much like Boissevain defined partit but required that factions not be permanent divisions. Firth had emphasized that factions must also be thought of as only being “loosely ordered groups.” Thus Boissevain concludes that the Festa partiti and the political division of Farrug are too highly “structured” and permanent to be factions.


DANA DEKAY Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Boyer, Ruth M. The Matrifocal Family among the Mescalero: Additional Data. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol.66:593-602.

In this article, Ruth Boyer presents a detailed overview of the family structure of the Mescalero Apache. She draws on her own fieldwork, which she describes as “an intensive socialization study,” and which was carried out in New Mexico between 1958 and 1960. The article is in response to Peter Kunstader’s comparative study on matrifocality which had included the Mescalero as an example. Boyer agrees with the characterization in principle but finds Kunstader’s accepted definition of matrifocality to be limiting, and wishes to present “additional evidence which makes a matrifocal classification more meaningful with regard to the specific Mescalero society.”

Kunstader’s understanding of matrifocality emphasized the following elements: “a co-resident kin group having no regularly present male in the role of husband-father, the most effective relationships being those between consanguinal kin.” Kunstader estimated that 15% of the Mescalero population lived in households which fit this definition and cited economic conditions, Apache bilaterality, and the ideal of neolocality as supporting conditions of this pattern. Boyer found that other aspects of Mescalero society were closely related to matrifocality and thus needed to be considered. These included current household composition, preferred and actual residence patterns, friendship and visiting patterns, and economics and subsistence. Boyer is especially insistent that the strong emotional bond between female relatives be fully recognized, for she believes this factor may be more pertinent to the matrifocal standing of the Mescalero than the effect of an absent male father/husband figure.

It seems that the social standing of Apache men had indeed shifted drastically since what Boyer terms “pre-reservation days.” Formerly, “the man was ideally the decision-maker for the nuclear family… today, the woman frequently makes the major decisions and handles the family income.” Boyer points out the tension between “the Apache whose prestige formerly depended upon his ability as a hunter-warrior-raider” and the modern Apache who is faced with the disagreeable option of accepting jobs regarded as “White man” work. Without a “positive, pride-permitting” role, therefore, many men took to drinking and living on relief money. Boyer notes that, “in this respect, Mescalero resembles other Indian reservations.”

Boyer’s study included 198 Apache families, the composition of which changed often, in keeping with the Apache nomadic tradition. Only 17 of these had “no model whatsoever for a husband-father.” Nine households were headed by widows; four by divorcees; and some of the others by women who could be expected to marry soon. Despite the ambiguous status of the Apache male, Boyer remarks that “Apache expectations include the presence of a husband-father figure in the home.” In some matrifocal families, a brother or an uncle fills this role. Boyer noted that these father figures are often less heavy-handed than the mother in disciplinary matters yet participate easily in “domestic” chores. Contrary to expectations, Boyer’s analysis of employment showed that economic conditions do not necessarily keep the man away from home for extended periods, but that his presence is still recognized while he is absent.

Boyer’s comprehensive overview of Mescalero demographics illustrate how ties between female kin control housing arrangements. While friendships between non-kin are rare, visiting between female relatives is common and is facilitated by residential proximity. Although many Apache paid lip service to the ideal of neolocality, Boyer observed that “families cluster with their kin or in an adjacent chicken coop, barn, or tent rather than live in more isolated, but neolocal, fashion,” causing government-built houses to go unoccupied on the outskirts of the reservation. Boyer concludes that the Mescalero are indeed “matri-centered” within a network of female-kin ties, but that defining matrifocality around the absence of a male father figure does not capture the reality of Mescalero matrifocality.


KELLY McCOY Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Buchler, I. R. Measuring the Development of Kinship Terminologies: Scalogram and Transformational Accounts of Crow-type Systems. American Anthropologist August, 1964. Vol. 66(4):765-788.

In this article, I. R. Buchler does an analysis of all Crow-type kinship terminology systems. He notes that in previous attempts to assess Crow systems, only a few case studies were included. Buchler, however, proposes to include all known Crow-type terminology systems in his analysis and to make an explicit note of their variability. Here he illustrates a method of determining which Crow systems are identical, of demonstrating how each Crow system differs from every other Crow system, and of showing how much overall variation there is within Crow-type systems. He also illustrates structures that are partial and incomplete expressions of an underlying principle which governs the development of Crow kinship terminologies by reviewing Lounsbury’s recent contributions to structural studies.

He begins by explaining scalogram analysis, which “applies to any universe of qualitative data of any science, obtained by any manner of observation” and provides a method for ordering qualitative data. In this case, Buchler uses kinship terms as the data variables, which are scored negatively or positively depending on whether a term was used in the typical Crow-type sense or if it was used differently. In order to get the most accurate information, Buchler had to arrange the kinship terms in such a way that it would yield the maximum “coefficient of reproducibility.” Theoretically, an acceptable coefficient of reproducibility would be .90 or above. The formulas are presented and explained in considerable detail.

The first scalogram analysis included eight kinship term variables from seven systems, including Tlingit, Creek, Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Crow, and Hopi. The terminologies are listed and a graph is presented to show the scale type of each system, determined by whether each term is used or not. Since the terms have been ranked to produce a high coefficient, the systems appear as being ranked from lowest to highest. Some exceptions appear in the graph, as when a variable that is ranked higher is used while the expected lower ranked variable is not. These are seen as scale errors and are exceptions within the general terminology patterns of Crow-type systems.

The second scalogram analysis used sixteen terminology variables and included all forty-one systems that are of the Crow type. His data shows the systems’ order and rank, and the scale type which the analysis produced. There were twenty-seven scale errors and the coefficient of reproducibility was .959. Buchler goes on to explain each unreported kinship term and what their exceptional terminological assignments are. The twenty-seven exceptions occur in seventeen of the forty-one systems.

So far, Buchler has just categorized the kinship systems. To continue his study, he presents a transformational analysis, which will determine what rules generate the different kinship assignments. He illustrates the rules and corollaries, which Lounsbury has established. These “expansion” rules include the skewing rule for Crow type I, the merging rule, the half-sibling rule, and the skewing rule for Crow type II. Each rule has a corollary. He then analyzes which rules are applicable to the terms which were seen as exceptions within the scalogram analysis. He also presents a diagram listing each of the kin-types, the related expansion rules and corollaries for that term, and the general terminological variables used. This listing is then rearranged to show each system within its scale type, the exceptional kin-types that apply to the system, and the expansion rules which affect how these assignments are determined.

Lounsbury classifies Crow systems into three major types: fully bifurcate, semi-bifurcate, and non-bifurcate systems. “This typology is based upon the classification of [Father’s Sister], [Father’s Sister’s Daughter], their female parallel collaterals, uterine descendents, etc., and their reciprocals.” Buchler uses these distinctions to explain another skewing rule used to differentiate between fully bifurcated and non-bifurcated systems. By making these distinctions, generally used classes (such as “mother” and “child”) can be classified, as can collateral and lineal relatives. All aspects of Crow-type terminologies are included within one of the typologies.

The Zuni and Northern Wintun kinship terminologies involve alternative assignments. These irregularities in kinship assignments occur as a result of the distinction between the classifying function and the role designating function of the kinship term. In other words, these systems may have different terms for relatives when they are referring to their role in the society versus their classification in relation to an individual. Buchler explains the different terminologies used and introduces an alternative rule that will account for this exception.

Finally, Buchler wraps up his article by explaining the different purposes for which category words can be used to distinguish kin. Some believe kinship terms are used to signify social groups, whereas others (like Lounsbury) believe that kinship terms are used for the purpose of genealogical reckoning. In Lounsbury’s words, “the ‘basic meanings’ of primary category terms are primary kin types.” Buchler’s final summary stresses that the different analyses work effectively to produce the information needed because “they are a basic extension of culture in nature.”


COREY HOVEN: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Burling, Robbins. Cognition and Componential Analysis: God’s Truth or Hocus-Pocus?The American Anthropologist. 1964 Vol. 66(1):20-28.

Linguistic anthropologists use formal semantics to categorize words by their meaning. One of the procedures of formal semantics is componential analysis. In this article, Burling, of the University of Pennsylvania, questions the empirical validity of componential analysis because of the large number of different solutions that are possible. He also questions whether a particular semantic analysis of a language can claim to represent the cognitive organization of the people who use it. Burling illustrates multiple ways words can be divided into sets of meaning, providing diagrams and formulae. He draws heavily on the work of Charles Frake and Benjamin Whorf.

Semantics is the meaning of words, and componential analysis is the system used by linguists to categorize sets of words and their interrelationship. An example would be the set of words “tree”, “spruce”, “pine”, and “oak”. “Tree” is the main set under which fall “spruce”, “pine” and “oak”. In comparing a term in relation to “tree”, for example, the word “spruce” would be given a value of “+” because it is a tree, and “rose” would be given a value of “-” because it is not a tree. A subcategory of the set would be “evergreen” where, if the tree was an evergreen as in the case of a spruce, it would be given a value of “+” and “-” if not, such as in the case of an oak.

Items in a set like the one above can be divided in a number of ways. Burling provides a number of examples to illustrate the many ways a set of terms can be divided into subsets and how the complexity increases as larger sets are worked with. Compounding the issue, to list two of the problems presented in the article, are “homonomy,” where a term may have two different meanings; and “redundancy,” in the sense that the division of sets into subsets does not have to be non-redundant, which greatly increases the number of solutions. In addition, Burling believes that hierarchal classifications, such as in the grouping of “tree”, “spruce”, “pine” and “oak”, gloss over the issue of indeterminacy. He uses as an example the cedar, which is a tree, but is it an evergreen? If evergreen is defined as a “needled” tree, cedar is not really “needled”, but, then again, nor is it “leafy”. Its classification, therefore, becomes indeterminate. What is the “cognitive” difference between a hemlock and a spruce? He claims these questions “must be answered before any single semantic analysis can claim to represent the cognitive organization of the people, or even claim to be much more than an exercise of the analyst’s imagination.”

Burling critiques Frake’s taxonomic classification of medical terms of the Subanun language of Mindanao. Because Frake does not give a complete analysis of all disease terms, his analysis lacks certainty. Burling states that he will not be convinced that there are not hundreds of possible analyses of Subanun disease terms until Frake can present the entire system fully analyzed and can adequately explain how he has chosen his particular analysis. The issue that Burling is pressing is this: When a linguist does his study and then writes a grammar, is he determining something that really exists within the language (God’s truth); or is he just formulating a set of rules that happen to work (hocus-pocus)?

Burling’s conclusion leans far over to the “hocus-pocus” side. That is, he suspects that when an anthropologist undertakes a semantic analysis, rather than discovering some psychological reality which speakers of the language truly share, the linguist is simple working out a set of rules which somehow take account of the observed phenomena. Burling urges that we should be content with showing how terms in language are applied to objects in the world and stop pursuing the illusory goal of cognitive structures.

CLARITY RANKING: 2 Highly technical and difficult.

CAROL VEILLEUX Southern Oregon University (Dr. Anne Chambers)

Bulmer, Susan and Ralph. The Prehistory of the Australian New Guinea Highlands. American Anthropologist August, 1964 Vol.66 (4):39-76.

This article deals with the prehistory of the central highlands of New Guinea. A great deal of the work focuses on the available data obtained from excavation and other finds of prehistoric material culture in the Highlands area. Linguistic relations of Highlands peoples, modern culture of Highlands people, physical anthropological analysis of Highlands peoples, ethno-botanical analysis, analysis of domestic animals, and environment also provide insight into a synthesis of the prehistory of the highlands included in non-archaeological evidence. Limited data proves somewhat problematic in analysis.

The non-archaeological evidence is considered first, examining the relations of highlands peoples to one another and contemplating the antiquity of man in the regions. A number of the hypotheses originally proposed by these studies show fault in analysis, and the authors suggest different approaches to the evidence provided for the prehistory of the Highlands. They contend that the evidence shows a different course of development in the Eastern and Western regions of the highlands, but deny that any clear point of entry from East to West by any prehistoric peoples can be proven on the basis of this evidence. The authors contend that the antiquity of occupation of man in New Guinea extends back around 8,000-10,000 years ago. The first occupation speculated on the island by hunter/gatherer people gave way to horticulturist lifestyle before the development of more modern sweet potato cultivation. Another point suggests the existence of ancestral language groups to contemporary Highland New Guinea groups before the sweet potato’s introduction.

The latter part deals with the archaeological evidence in the Highland area. The material culture of the prehistory of the area includes stone, bone, shell, and ceramic artifacts. Rock shelters show evidence of prehistoric and recent use, and the excavations at the sites of Kiowa and Yuka show evidence that fits into the afore mentioned points from non-archaeological evidence of the region’s prehistory. The two sites mentioned lie in different regions, and show the different cultural developments between the Eastern and Western Highlands, but both follow the three-phase sequence postulated by the developments in the above paragraph.

The phase sequence places earliest occupation of the highlands by pre-neolithic people. Following is a second phase marked by the appearance of new complexes of technology for cultivation. This includes the appearance in the Western Highlands of a new complex of artifacts, which shows a possibility of immigration into the area by peoples possessing this technology from the North or Northeast. Included in this phase is the appearance of the axe-adze. Speculated is the existence of ancestral language groups to modern highlands peoples during this time. The third phase marks the appearance of new styles of axe-adzes in certain areas. This is the phase where intensive sweet potato cultivation shows up in the highlands. Pottery shows up in the Eastern Highlands. These findings show the differing development of the Eastern and Western highlands based on differences of material culture, but lack of data prohibits determining the direction of migration into the area.


BRANDON LYLE University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo).

Cassinelli, C. W. An Introduction to the Principality of Sakya. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(5):1105-1109.

C. W. Cassinelli describes the governmental and political structures of Sakya. Sakya, a Tibetan principality, constituted a small polity of around 17,000 people with a strong autonomous political system until it was taken over by communist China. This article was written as the first step in a larger study to be completed in the future.

Cassinelli studied the area of Sakya that contained the political and religious capital, an area of 2100 square miles. The aKHon family, whose ancestors had previously been the rulers of all Tibet in the 11th and 12th centuries, ruled Sakya. The inherited ruler of Sakya was known as the “KHri CHen,” and only needed to make the symbolic gesture of sending a few conscripts a year to the central government of Lhasa. Most of the 17,000 people were barley farmers, some of whom also had skills such as carpentry, tailoring, and smithing. Around 10% of the population relied on full-time animal herding, and there were about 500 Buddhist monks.

There were about 25 hereditary noble families, but the highest status in the society belonged to the governmental officials. These officials were selected by the KHri CHen, and could be from either noble or common backgrounds, depending on the preference of the ruler. Not only was the KHri CHen the governmental ruler of Sakya, he was also the principal lama of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This position reinforced his leadership role and brought in money through donations from other Tibetan Buddhists. This role of lama did not affect the operation of the monasteries in Sakya. The KHri CHen only had domain over the government.

The government was responsible for keeping Sakya peaceful. It enforced laws and had a court to settle civil disputes. The KHri Chen had considerable power, as long as he operated within the traditional beliefs of the Sakya culture. The KHri CHen was then able to make drastic policy changes, so long as they supported “traditional beliefs.” The next most powerful person in the Sakya government was the ZHabs Pad. This person, similar to a grand vizier, served as an advisor to the KHri CHen. Depending on the KHri CHen’s personal preference, the ZHabs Pad could end up running the government, or in the case of a very political KHri CHen, he could just provide minor assistance. Other officials of the government served as the ZHabs Pad’s staff. Some nobles worked as servants to the aKHon family.

Succession to the KHri CHen position was passed through the male line of the aKHon family, but no specific son was automatically chosen. The sons were able to compete for the position, sometimes resulting in splits in the aKHon line. This system categorized by Cassinelli as a “traditional” social organization, resulted in an integrated system of economics, religious beliefs, social deference, and taxation.


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Chafe, Wallace L. Another Look at Siouan and Iroquoian. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66:852.862.

Chafe begins his article by acknowledging that the relationship between the Siouan and Iroquoian languages is not “new.” Chafe considers his article to be a continuation of the earlier work of Louis Allen, whose article “Siouan and Iroquoian” has not received sufficient professional attention, but he briefly notes other authors who have written about this issue aas well. Chafe’s main goal is to compare the Seneca and “Pre-Seneca” to the “Proto-Siouan” languages, pointing out their obvious “similarities.” It should be noted that the author includes all Siouan languages in his reconstructions, but only one of the Iroquoian languages (Seneca and Pre-Seneca) because sources were so limited.

Chafe provides a list of 67 cognates, which are words in different languages that have the same origin. The Seneca form (Se) or Pre-Seneca form (*) is given first, and the Proto-Siouan (PS) is next. The author also provides “attested reflexes” after the Proto-Siouan form, which is acknowledged by the first two letters of the specific language. For example, “Wi” for Winnebago. The author also includes a Proto-Siouan-Iroquoian form (PSI) at the end of each set. Before the actual list, the author explains, very specifically, more about how the cognates are structured, including what it means when there are hyphens, accents, “hooks,” shortened lengths, etc. An example of one of these cognates is as follows: Again. Se *(?)are(?) (>?ae?) / PS *akhe (>Da ahke). PSI *akhe.

The author then provides a list of the phoneme correspondences from the 67 cognates, the structure being Seneca/Proto-Siouan. After each of these correspondences there is a “suggestion,” in parentheses, “of the Proto-Siouan-Iroquoian phoneme with which the correspondence may be equated.” The numbers of correspondence entries are then listed. After this extensive list, the author then compares the phoneme inventories of all three forms, which are illustrated in side-by-side charts. Another set of charts is presented to illustrate the reflexes of each form’s phonemes. Chafe’s discussion of the results of the charts is difficult to understand unless the charts themselves, and all of the other data, is understood first.

The author concludes by pointing out a few basic similarities between the grammatical patterns of both Siouan and Iroquoian languages. These similarities suggest to the author that “virtually all of North America east of the Rockies was inhabited by two great linguistic stocks: Siouan-Caddoan-Iroquoian and Algonkian-Gulf.” He urges that more detailed research be carried out in order to affirm this proposed relationship.


LINDSAY GILLESPIE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Cohen, Yehudi A. The Establishment of Identity in a Social Nexus: The Special Case of Initiation Ceremonies and Their Relation to Value and Legal Systems. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66: 529-552

Cohen presents an alternate approach to the problem of initiation ceremonies. He departs from the established work of Van Gennep and Durkheim (1909) and the more recent work of Whiting and his students (1962) in asserting that initiation ceremonies “help to establish a sense of social-emotional anchorage for the growing individual.” He argues that the resulting emotional identification, the “feeling one with another person,” allows society to function and encourages growing children to identify with adult roles. Societies manipulate these relationships in specific ways in order to create identification with relevant kinship groupings and socially important value orientations. Specifically, Cohen notes “if a society wants its growing members to acquire an anchorage outside the nuclear family, it is going to have to interfere with or weaken a child’s identification with his parents.”

Cohen takes the foundational work of Gluckman and Radcliffe-Brown as starting points in showing how societies manipulate the child’s relationship to his nuclear family at the first and second stages of puberty. Two primary types of manipulation are examined: extrusion from the nuclear family household or brother-sister avoidance in early puberty, followed by actual initiation ceremonies coinciding with the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics. Cohen hypothesizes that practices and rituals at each stage will co-vary with different social conditions and tests his hypotheses against a sample of 28 societies. His findings confirm that the orientation of initiation rituals fits specifically with the relationship that is valued between the nuclear family and wider society.

Finally Cohen seeks to correlate initiation ceremonies with legal systems (specifically liability), since he feels this provides a way to concretely specify what is meant by a term such as “social-emotional anchoring.” Again, his hypotheses are largely confirmed.

Cohen concludes his article by reiterating his points of agreement and disagreement with Whiting. Both agree that the problem of identity is central to understanding initiation ceremonies. However, while Whiting sees initiation ceremonies as resolving conflict in sex identity, Cohen argues that initiation ceremonies should be seen as playing a wider social role and connect with other customary kin-related practices to define the child’s relations to his nuclear family and kin groups.


TRISH MALONE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Coult, Allen D. Role Allocation, Position Structuring, and Ambilineal Descent. American Anthropologist 1964. 66(1): 29-41.

Coult’s article offers a broad analysis of role allocation, status, and position structuring in social groups and uses these concepts to compare and contrast aspects of ambilineal and unilineal descent groups, in an effort to shed light upon empirical ambilineal descent. The author does not set out to prove one particular point, but rather highlights a number of differences between the two kin systems and uses examples to illustrate how these differences affect societal structure and kin relations. However, within these broad comparisons, two reoccurring concepts emerge— that position structures of ambilineal descent groups are more variable than those of unilineal groups and that role structuring in ambilineal groups is based less on kin-type differentiation and more on allocation of roles to other types of positions.

Coult spends much of the article defining basic kin-terminology, providing definitions for “role,” “status,” “ambilineal,” “unilineal,” “kin-type,” and numerous other subsets and derivatives of these words. Particularly in the first half of the article, he clarifies the general concepts of kin-types and then uses these definitions to reevaluate the more particular concepts, while suggesting that these concepts can be utilized in an analysis of any type of social system, in particular, kinship systems. In formulating his definitions, Coult generally refurbishes previous definitions from other anthropologists of the 1950s-60s, namely Biddle, Linton, and Parsons, and in some cases he redefines the terms in relation to his own theories. To illustrate differentiation between ambilineal and unilineal descent groups, the author refers primarily to studies of Polynesian kinship systems, and uses these examples to demonstrate how kin structure defines social position, role and affiliation. A basic kinship diagram is also used to elucidate the reoccurring argument for “alternative possibilities of corporate affiliation for an ambilineal descent group”(37).

Though the author admits that his analysis is based on nominal definitions, and that empirical systems cannot fit any model exactly, he maintains that empirical systems can be understood and explained if similar elements are used in both the model and the system. Coult presents his data with little jargon and thus makes a reasonable, though highly simplistic argument, based primarily on the application of basic definitions, general kinship concepts, and vague examples.


MAGDALENE CRESKEY York University (Dr. Maggie MacDonald).

Coult, Allan D. Role Allocation, Position Structuring, and Ambilineal Descent. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(1):29-40.

In this article, Allan D. Coult describes the relationships between roles, positions, and ambilineal descent. He has three main goals in this discussion: to define the concepts of position and role so that each is independent of the other, to use these definitions in analyzing the concept of ambilineal descent, and to use this information to clarify the features of ambilineal descent groups.

Coult defines position, or status, as a feature of someone that can be either recognized or unnoticed by themselves and others. These features can take such forms as physical traits or group memberships. He defines role as a feature of a person that is implied by their position, which affects the way that he or she is treated and acts towards others. Coult claims that the concept of role always signifies the existence of a position, but that a position does not need to be connected to a role. In a social system, or “group of interacting persons,” there are position structures and role structures. A position structure consists of the total attributes of the group of interacting persons. A role structure consists of the total sets of roles in the social system. A factor that results in a role structure for a certain group becomes a position structure for the sub-groups involved with it.

Coult goes on to explain how status and role play a part in genealogical space. Genealogical space is the way in which male and female units are linked, that is through the descent link, affinity link, or sibling link. The descent link is a vertical linking of sex units. The affinity link is a horizontal link, and the sibling link is a horizontal link under the same vertical link. Position is involved in genealogic space through a concept called kin-type. A kin-type is a position that consists of each possible combination of links. A subset of a kin-type is called a kin-set, and unilineal descent and ambilineal descent are types of kin-sets. If membership in a group is defined through relationship to a living person, a kindred results, if the defining relationship is to a deceased person, the result is a descent group.

Coult then uses these concepts to predict differences that would be likely between ambilineal and unilineal descent groups. He expects that ambilineal groups will be less kin-type differentiated than unilineal groups, will tend towards less complex kinship terminology systems, will practice cross-sex avoidance but rely less on joking relationships between relatives, and devote little attention to formal marriage exchanges. These predictions appear to be borne out by the association between ambilineality and Hawaiian kinship terminology and by a tendency towards “status rivalry” in ambilineal Polynesia.

Coult also compares the roles of exogamy, segmentation processes, and succession to authority patterns in each system, finding significant differences. He explains that ambilineal systems typically rely on symbolic features beyond kin-type structure (such as formal seating arrangements, serving orders, and food redistribution ceremonies) to confirm structural relationships. This is logical since, as his analysis has shown, ambilineal structure is not determinable by descent principle alone. Coult concludes by contrasting succession to authority roles. These can follow patrilineal, matrilineal or ambilineal principles in ambilineal systems (patrilineal are the most common) and thus may differ from the actual rule defining membership, something that can never occur in a unilineal group.


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Despres, Leo A. The Implications of Nationalist Politics in British Guiana for the Development of Cultural Theory. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol.66: 1051-1077

Despres examines two theoretical models that have been used to study Caribbean societies, and proposes a third model which he believes to be a more realistic approach to cultural change in emerging nations with different cultural sections.

Despres argues that both the pluralist model and the reticulated model are inadequate for understanding the cultural changes of nationalist politics in British Guiana. He maintains that the pluralist model exaggerates distinctions between Europeans, Portuguese and Chinese and does not adequately acknowledge the existence of the native “elite.” However, the reticulated model overemphasizes the small sections of each cultural group that have entered upper levels of power and obscures the distinctions between different groups.

Neither model permits anthropologists to systematically investigate nationalist politics in British Guiana. Thus Despres offers his own model, which brings the activities of political parties into better focus. Including this “action dimension,” in addition to the spatial and time dimensions of the other models, allows the calculated actions of individuals to be assessed. Despres believes that political clashes do not occur by chance or because of “incompatible structures.” Rather, individuals and groups purposely create clashes to serve their own goals and purposes. This article provides rich ethnographic and analytical support for this position.


TRISH MALONE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Diebold, A. Richard, Jr. A Control Case for Glottochronology. American Anthropologist October, 1964 Vol.66(5)987-1006.

This article was written as a defense of a lexicostatistical technique called glottochronology. Glottochronology, developed by Swadesh, is based on a set list of commonly used terms (“basic” vocabulary) from two languages whose similarities and differences are analyzed to produce a time estimate for their linguistic divergence. Percentage of cognates (common terms) between the two languages are believed to decrease at a constant rate as their separation lengthens. Specifically, the logarithm of the percentage of cognates in the two languages is divided by the logarithm of the constant “r”, the rate of retention, and this result is assumed to be the number of years in millennia since the languages separated. Swadesh calculated the retention rate “r” by using Salishan languages with written records and known times. Solving the equation backwards, Swadesh’s data indicated an 86% retention per millennium based on the hundred-word list and 81% per millennium based on the 215-word list. All languages were assumed to have had the same retention rate.

Diebold’s paper was written specifically in defense of a paper published by Bergsland and Vogt in Current Anthropology in 1962. Bergsland and Vogt had solved for “r” using three different languages with written records and had come up with results that indicated a much slower rate of change. They maintained that these results disproved glottochronology and made a constant retention rate across cultures questionable. They suggested the difference might have been due to the sociolinguistic effect of having a “literary tradition” which could be expected to have caused the rate of retention, to increase. Diebold maintained that this result meant that glottochronology needed to be revised instead of totally rejected. He then attempted to show how this could be done for one sociolinguistic factor called “diglossia.” Diglossia is a situation in which there exists a primary informal spoken language and a formal literary variation. Bergsland and Vogt had raised the question: from which language tradition should the “basic” vocabulary list be drawn?

Diebold did a glottochronological analysis of diglossia using the formal and rarely spoken Katharevusa language and the informal and commonly spoken Demonic language, comparing them to their classic Greek ancestor. His hundred-word lists for each language are included in the article. The known time of historical divergence was 2400 years. However, using the Katharevusa list and an “r” of 81%, a time frame of only 938 ± 209 years resulted; with an “r” of 86%, the result 1311 ± 292 years. However, using the Demotic list and an “r” of 81%, a time of 2583 ± 394 years was produced; with an “r” of 86%, a time of 3609 ± 550 years resulted. The historically correct answer of 2400 years, therefore, was only within the standard deviation of the Demotic list with an “r” of 81%. However, Diebold had used the hundred-word list, which had an “r” of 86%. Diebold suggested that this discrepancy might have resulted because Swadesh had also derived his “r” values from languages with diglossia.

Diebold argues that attacking glottochronology is not scientific, but that developing it is. He agrees problems do exist, but suggests that these are resolvable. He also sees his analysis as resolving the problem of the sociolinguistic effects of diglossia and literary traditions. Glottochronology, he concludes, must be done with the common spoken language.


COREY HOVEN: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Downs, James F. Livestock, Production, and Social Mobility in High Altitude Tibet. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(5):1115-1119.

James Downs uses a single example to further illustrate the existence of the semi-nomad pastoralist social-economic type that Downs and Ekvall identified in their previous study of Tibetan society. According to Downs, the semi-nomad pastoralist is one of the three social-economic types found in Tibet. There is also the prestigious nomadic-pastoralist, owning no land and always on the move, and the common sedentary farmer, who owns land and farms for subsistence. The semi-nomad pastoralist type has some similarities with both of the other two types. They own land for farming and also raise livestock away from home.

The example that Downs uses concerns a small Tibetan village. An informant who had fled Tibet in 1959 told him about this village. 13 families inhabited the village, and it also was home to a monastery and a nunnery. The villagers relied on farming, trade, and domesticated animals to support themselves. The animals, called “door animals,” consisted of sheep, goats, oxen, horses, donkeys, and mules. They were used for wool, milk and meat, and also their manure was used to fertilize the fields for farming. “Wealthy” families were able to maintain another herd of animals of yak and mDzo, a type of yak and cattle hybrid, in the mountains. These families are what are considered to be a semi-nomad family.

The informant’s family was able to achieve the status of a semi-nomad family, because they no longer had to pay taxes after he became a secular dancer for his provincial government. His uncle herded the yak and mDzo in the mountains, while the rest of the family ran the farm. This uncle was able to marry a girl who was from a nomadic tribe, bringing even more prestige to their family, because they had a connection to a true group of nomads. The additional herd of animals brought in more hair and milk for the family, which they could sell for even more cattle. The additional animals saved the family much labor, because they could thresh more grain and haul more manure during farming season. The family was also able to support more of their extended family, because of their increased subsistence resources. This example shows that animal ownership can really influence the status and subsistence of a family in Tibet.


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Ekvall, Robert B. Law and the Individual Among the Tibetan Nomads. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(5):1110-1115.

In this article, Robert Ekvall describes the life of the pastorialist nomads of Tibet, before it was taken over by communist China. To do so he explains the role that the mixed system of law played in these people’s lives. He describes the ways that nomads reacted to the laws around them.

According to Ekvall, Tibetan law was an amalgamation, or combination, of three different law systems: canon law, royal law, and traditional law. Canon law was the religious law taken from Buddhism. Royal law was the law dictated by the “king.” The traditional law was based on an ancient law of reprisal, modified so that the repatriation was of mediated value payments instead of the violence that had been used in the past. This amalgamated system of law was present in all parts of Tibet, but was applied in various ways in different districts and regions.

The Tibetan nomads were also subject to these laws, but because of their mobile nature they were not highly affected by the official canon and royal laws. It became difficult for the central authority of Tibet to enforce its laws on the nomadic people. Due to this the traditional laws involving mediation were largely used to settle disputes. This kept anti-social behavior contained in the nomadic communities, because of the fear of violent reprisals that could lead to counter reprisals, leaving a cycle of violence throughout the nomad society.

Nomadic communities would pressure their members to conform to the traditional laws when there were disputes between a member of their group and another community. This pressure would come from the fear that the other community would try to gain reprisal against the entire nomadic group, and not just the individual who incited the event. Individual nomads found that they could get around this pressure by just leaving their group and joining another. Their mobile way of life made this very easy. The nomads of Tibet had many options and few laws affecting their lives. This made way for a very autonomous and individualistic existence.


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Edgerton, Robert Pokot Intersexuality: An East African Example of the Resolution of Sexual Incongruity. American Anthropologist Dec 1964 vol. 66(6):1288-1299.

Edgerton discussed the contrasting cultural responses to the universal reality of hermaphroditism or “intersexuality.” Involving varying degrees of anatomical or physiological sexual ambiguity, this condition is estimated to involve 2-4% of the human population. Rates are lower, of course, when external genitalia are the only evidence available. Edgerton argues that all societies universally assume that division into two biologically based categories of ‘men” and “women” is natural, and that exceptions must be explained through some sort of cultural lore. This paper reviews beliefs of Americans, Navaho, and especially the Pokot about intersexuality.

Typical American responses combine psychological horror with fear of social incompatibility. Moral and legal questions, as well as practical problems, are posed. These include: how will a birth certificate be made out, can an intersexed person marry, is military service relevant, what public bathroom is appropriate, who does such a person date, and so on. For the most part, Americans resolve these problems at birth, with the parents choosing if the infant is to be raised as a boy or a girl. Once the decision is made, the child is dressed and socialized accordingly. As an adult the intersexual individual may choose surgery to create conforming genitalia. American culture allows only for “him” or “her” and does not allow for an incongruous “it.”

By contrast, the Navaho view intersexuality as a supernatural gift, with the intersexed person offered respect and reverence. Intersexuals are designated “custodians of wealth’ and an intersexed child assures a family’s future wealth and success. Special care and favoritism are given to such children. As adults they may head the family and be given control over property. Generally, intersexuals behave and dress as women and may have sexual relations with men as they choose. Intersexed animals are valued as well.

Edgerton goes on to provide extensive detail about the African Pokot. Pokot distinguish between what is useful and useless, and apply this value system to intersexuality as well. People aspire to fulfill essential role expectations as either men or women, and three explicit performance stages define maturity in this society. These include sex-play, circumcision, and reproduction. Sex-play begins at age 10 or 11 and involves dancing, formal and informal conversations, gift exchanges, petting and sexual intercourse. Both males and females must be circumcised before adult status can be achieved, but an intersexual cannot participate in this definitive rite of passage. Finally, self-esteem and social merit depend on the production of children, since without children one is considered useless.

Therefore, intersexed individuals can never be normal within Pokot culture, as they cannot pass the test of being “useful.” Only through a life of hard work for the benefit of others may an intersexed Pokot receive some degree of acceptance. Their lives involve few pleasures and many indignities, however.

This paper maintains that intersexuality raises fundamental cultural questions about what is “natural and right,” and that each cultural system must provide a distinctive answer. Edgerton urges that a cross-cultural study of intersexuality might provide both practical and academic insights.


TRISH MALONE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Ekvall, Robert V. Peace and War Among the Tibetan Nomads. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol 66:1119-1148.

This article provides a detailed description of various aspects of peace and war among the aBrog (wilderness ones) or pastoral nomads of Tibet. Much of the author’s information is based on his own experiences among the nomads of northeastern Tibet during the years 1926-27, 1930-35 and 1939-41.

The author describes the nomads as being constantly concerned with peace. For example, their customary greeting “Khyod bDe Mo Yin Na?” translates to “Are you at peaceness?” The author believes that this continuing concern for peace is related to the “ever present realization that peace for the community, and more specifically for the individual, is fugitive and fragile, and strife is ever imminent.”

The Tibetan definition of peace is the four syllable epigram Dus bDe: gNas a Jam which means “time peace; place mild.” The author explains that the words “time” and “place” have many different meanings in the context of peace. War also has many definitions as well as many causes. The main cause of ear is aKHon (“enmity”) which can arise from oppression or “loss of wealth through theft or robbery” The act of war is expressed as M i bSod rT a sGyel, which means to “kill men: slaughter – or bring down possibly by hamstringing- horses.”

These pastoral nomads had relatively great political autonomy. It was difficult for rulers of larger Tibetan populations to include the nomads in their laws because the nomads were hard to locate and impossible to confine. Nomad law thus came to be a combination of the ethics of Buddhism, the “royal law” imposed by various kings and other rulers, and Tibetan folk law based on the retaliation of injured parties. Mediation or “achieving peace through agreement” served as a substitution for retaliation. Causes of war included loss of community livestock to raids, violation of water rights (including intentional poisoning of lakes and streams), poaching of certain animals, and the destruction of shrines. Ekvall reckons that the impatient and arrogant nomad personality might itself be a cause of war as well.

The nomads also sometimes fought for wider Tibetan ethnocultural reasons. Nomads “lived in a state of semi-alert” and were always prepared for warfare. “Speed of movement, patrolling, quick mobilization and displacement” were aspects of daily activity. These qualities facilitated success in larger warfare efforts. Ekvall claims that nomad recruits provided the strongest part of the Tibetan cavalries. However, nomads most often fought against other nomadic groups rather than against the outside enemies of Tibet.

Despite the nomads’ cultural emphasis on peace, peace was “a very fragile and delicate thing.” Individual disagreements in the absence of intervention from a higher authority easily developed into war between communities. The author provides a description of the history and use of various weapons, including arrows, bows, swords and guns. Stones were also used frequently. Weapons were usually not carried by formal participants in religious events, though the showing and use of weapons was necessary in certain rituals. Women did not use weapons unless to hand them to, or hold them for, men.

The author also describes nomad tactics for gaining possession of livestock, valuables and hostages. Great leadership and “effective timing and coordination” were crucial. Eventually, situations of warfare ended in a “turn toward peace” which was grounded in community fear of retaliation and was a response to “consensus and pressures within society.” The development of larger-scale warfare at the national or regional level might also cause conflicting groups to cease their own fighting and form an allegiance.

Mediators were very important in Tibetan society and were highly ranked in social class. Rulers and tribal chiefs would sometimes act as mediators as well. Mediators had different roles depending on the situation and thus were called either Bar Mi (“between men”), Bar aDum Ba (“between reconcilers”) or gZu Ba (“strightforward witness ones”).

Lastly, the author describes the three stages of the peacemaking process. In the preliminary stage, a truce must be called or imposed. If the truce were rejected, the mediation process would begin. Mediation must be accepted, in which case a delegation would be organized and all contestants and mediators would meet in a camp. The mediators paid for all expenses and there was much gift-giving and exchange involved. The mediation process was slow and long, and the mediators “sought to strike a balance between claims and counterclaims and sell that balance to each of the contestants at the best possible bargain for the moment and, possibly, for all time. If the latter bought that bargain, mediation was a success.’ If there was a refusal to buy, however, the mediation failed. For the conflict to be officially settled, both delegation leaders must say the word “yes.”

Ekvall’s article is extremely descriptive and detailed. It is based on his own remembrances over many years of contact with nomad life.


LINDSAY GILLESPIE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers).

Ferguson, Charles H. Baby Talk in Six Languages. American Anthropologist December 1964. Vol. 66 (6 part 2):103-114

The intention of this article is to initiate cross-language comparative studies of marginal linguistic phenomena known as “baby talk”. Baby talk is defined as a form of language that is regarded by a speech community as being appropriate for talking to young children. The author’s approach is to intercut comparisons of baby talk as observed in six languages: Syrian Arabic, Marathi, Comanche, Gilyak, American English and Spanish. The author states that certain assumptions have been made for this study, namely that (1) baby talk is a relatively stable, conventionalized part of language, not a universal instinctive creation by children, nor a speech form arising from adult imitation of child speech, and (2) that most baby talk is purposely taught as such by adults to children. Modifications of normal adult languages are discussed, as are grammar diminutives and lexicon modifications. The author asserts that characteristics such as simple, more basic kinds of consonants and only a very small selection of vowels are consistently used in baby talk. There is a predominance of reduplication, both of whole words and parts of words in baby talk of all six languages. The author tells the reader what to believe, offering few actual examples from baby talk in the six languages under reference. He often uses the words “probably”, “seems to” and “presumably” to give an air of authority to his assumptions. His conclusion seems to imply that baby talk is a universal parent phenomenon created to serve as a source of encouragement for their children’s pregrammatical vocables. A secondary purpose for baby talk seems to reflect a desire on the part of the user to evoke a pleasurable interchange in the nurtuant-baby situation.


JAYNE SMITHSON CSU Hayward (Peter J. Claus)

Fischer, J.L. Words for Self and Others in Some Japanese Families. December 1964. Vol. 66 (6 part 2):115-126

The stated purpose of this paper of to outline the way in which various types of linguistic forms are organized by members of urban, middle-class Japanese households, and to note some of the features of Japanese family and social structure to help explain the complex variety of usage. The Japanese language contains a variety of personal pronouns, chosen by speakers to reflect social status and interpersonal relationships. This study focused on the entire range of forms used to refer to “self” and “addressee” in conversations between household members. The author bases conclusions in this paper on data gathered from interviews with 41 Japanese families in Fukuoka in 1962. These interviews resulted in specific reporting of five major lexiconal categories: (1) personal pronouns, (2) kin terms, (3) age status terms, (4) personal names, (5) a zero, or absence of any form. Several examples and charts make it easier for the reader to understand the usage of kin terms and modes of reference. Particularly helpful is a chart of semantic domains used in personal reference in conversations among various pairs of family members. A questionnaire given to 90 families in Tokyo validates the data gathered by personal interviews in Fukuoka.

The author states general interpretation of findings in the first person imperative, concluding that Japanese modes of self reference tend to be socio-centric and child oriented, as compared to the ego-centric and individualistic focus of European modes of address. It is especially characteristic of Japanese society that behavior in most social relationships is very precisely defined and prescribed. Child centered forms of personal reference and socialization appear to be popular among urban middle-class Japanese speakers.


JAYNE SMITHSON CSU Hayward (Peter J. Claus)

Frake, Charles O. How to Ask for a Drink in Subanun. December 1964. Vol. 66 (6 part 2):127-132

The author’s purpose in writing this article is to illustrate the importance of knowing not only how to construct and express a statement equivalent to a request for a drink, but also a specification of what kinds of things to say in what message forms to what people in specific kinds of situations. Requests must be made with due consideration and understanding of the context of a given situation in order to have any hope of the outcome desired by the person asking. The ensuing ethnography describes the cultural contexts and appropriate etiquette for drinking a brew loosely defined as beer. The activity of beer drinking is closely interrelated with talking and transacting business, and serves as a major medium of interfamily communication.

Subanun society contains no absolute, society-wide status positions or automatically inherited offices. The strategy of drinking talk is to manipulate the assignment of role relations among the participants so as to have the opportunity to assume an esteem-attracting and authority wielding role. Four distinct discourse stages happen within the drinking talk of an encounter: (I) invitation/permission, (2) jar talk, centering on the actual drink being consumed, (3) discussion or litigation, not only a contest between litigants, but one between persons attempting to assume the role of legal authority, and (4) a display of verbal arts, which can take the form of song and verse composed within a rigid format. The most skilled drinkers and talkers are the leaders of society. Not only does one have to know how to ask for a drink in Subanun society, one has to understand the significance of the drinking ritual in order to get ahead socially.


JAYNE SMITHSON CSU Hayward (Peter J. Claus)

Friedl, Ernestine. Lagging Emulation in Post-Peasant Society. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(3):569-586.

“Lagging emulation” is a label coined by Friedl for the process in which less prestigious social groups use new wealth to imitate the behaviors of more elite sectors of their society, even though the behaviors emulated are no longer considered prestigious by the higher social group. Friedl believes that this concept is particularly useful in analyzing the transition of rural peasant populations to more industrial economies. She argues that “lagging emulation” is a social mechanism through which rural peasants become incorporated into the national society and culture. A key assumption in this concept is that a desire for prestige, social status or achievement underlies all societies.

The author develops a case study of lagging emulation using information drawn from her fieldwork in a small Greek agricultural village in Boeotia called Vasilika. She contrasts the emerging village culture and social structure with traits common in Athens and larger provincial towns and considers how the particular national situation of Greece contributes “obsolescent urban models for emulation.” Her analysis focuses on occupation and education, age and sex roles associated with family and kin organization, signs of prestige, and attitudes towards time.

Friedl then enters into a discussion of the conditions necessary for effective emulation. The first of these conditions is the availability of models to emulate. She states that the farmers in Vasilika had contact with people of higher social status, such as notaries, lawyers, government officials, physicians and teachers in their everyday business, as well as in the coffee houses that both parties visited almost daily. These professionals, some of whom lived in the village, adhered to an urban or upper class lifestyle adopted while living in the towns and cities where they had been educated. What professionals valued could be observed by all farmers, rich or poor in the coffee houses.

The second condition is a particular combination of economic resources, social structure and attitudes. She notes that other studies have shown that the kind of relationship observed in Vasilika does not necessarily lead to emulation, Redfield’s work with the Paharis in the Himalayan hills being a case in point. Friedl’s explanation is that three “interrelated conditions” need to coincide in order for rural emulation of elites to occur. These conditions include an increase in agricultural income, an increased opportunity for upward mobility for farmers’ children due to society-wide expansion in job markets, and an attitude that places both elites and farmers in the same “social universe.” In Vasilika, this attitude is created in part through kinship ties.

Friedl stresses that “lagging emulation” is only one of several change mechanisms that typically affect a rural peasantry. New technological aids to farming, mass communication of the “patterns” occurring across society, and accompanying influences and changes in attitudes are also important. Friedl hopes that looking at lagging emulation in other emerging pre-industrial nations with a rural peasantry may prove “pragmatically” helpful.

Friedl, of Queens College, City University of New York, states she was influenced by the ideas of Thorstein Veblen and Charles Erasmus, and received suggestions and criticisms on earlier versions of this paper from other culture theorists of this era, including George Foster, Clifford Geertz and Eric Wolf.


ANNA WRIGHT Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Freeman, Derek. Some Observations on Kinship and Political Authority in Samoa.American Anthropologist. 1964 Vol. 66(2):553-565.

Freeman counters assertions made by Marshall D. Sahlins and Melvin Ember regarding descent, political structure, and political integration among pre- and post-contact Samoans.

Sahlins characterizes Samoan descent systems as “patrilineal” while Embers characterizes them as “nonunilinear.” Freeman counters that neither of these terms adequately describe descent patterns in Samoa which are, “…an optative system with a major emphasis on patriliny.”

Freeman states that, “…Sahlins and Ember do appear to be in agreement in claiming that Samoa is characterized by the absence of any kind of ramified structure.” Freeman quotes Ella, Kramer, Stuttgart, Grattan, Mead, and Firth to dispel this assertion.

When Ember states that Samoa had, “an overarching, genealogical hierarchy of descent groups,” Freeman counters, even adding that Ember’s coining of the term “’aiga sa” to describe these descent groups is used incorrectly.

According to Freeman, Ember argued that, “the political system in ancient Samoa ‘was a function of the way kin groups were constituted,” that, “The power of a chief…depended almost entirely upon the size of the group he could count on for support,” that, “…political power and political authority were distributed more or less equally among the chiefs of a village,” and that, “…political integration of any kind beyond the village was infrequent and short-lived.” Freeman countered each of these claims, adding Pratt, Williams, Stair, and Hardie to his sources.

Finally, Ember suggests, “…there may possibly have been major differences in kinship and political structure between American and Western Samoa.” Freeman adds Powel, Davidson and Holmes to his own sources to refute this. Interestingly, Mead is cited no less than four times to support Freeman’s arguments.


TROY LINVILLE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Garn, S. M., Lewis, A. B. and Kerewsky, R. S. Relative Molar Size and Fossil Taxonomy.American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(3):587-592.

In this article Garn, Lewis and Kerewsky examine the relative size of the first and second molars in living populations in order to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to support the claim that the relative size of these molars can be used to differentiate between fossil humans and modern humans. To do this, the authors sample individuals from two different populations representing two different “geographical races.” Specifically, their sample consists of 243 Ohio White children and 163 contemporary Pima Indians.

Results of their study are presented in both graph and tabular form. Since having a second (or third) molar larger than the first molar had been viewed as a useful taxonomic criterion, the key issue is whether the first molar was bigger than, equal to or less than the second molar in the modern population groups. The authors found that 33 percent of the Ohio White children and 36 percent of the Pima Indians have second molars that are larger than the first, a characteristic previously attributed to pre-hominids and anthropoids. The conclusion they reach is that tooth size sequence polymorphism cannot be used to distinguish between Homo sapiens and pre-sapiens hominids or anthropoids. They argue that “when data on individuals are adequately analyzed… it appears that the metrical and morphological gaps between the fossils and us are narrow, and often non-existent.” They also assert that comparisons need to be made between fossil and modern populations. Inferences about generic, specific or racial differences between earlier hominoids and living humans should not be based on “chance-selected” individuals or “small-sample means” from either fossil or modern populations.


ANNA WRIGHT Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Haring, Douglas G. Earl Hoyt Bell: 1903-1963. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol.66(3): 614-615.

Earl Hoyt Bell was a professor of sociology and anthropology at Syracuse University. He published and taught in both disciplines and was a skilled researcher and gifted administrator. Born in Shellrock, Iowa on March 27, 1903, Bell died “unexpectedly” on October 17, 1963. He received his A.B. from Iowa State Teachers College in 1925, and his Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Nebraska in 1931. He taught anthropology at the University of Nebraska for a year from 1931 while directing the University of Nebraska archeological survey. He then administered several federal projects focused on agricultural and rural welfare until 1948. He was “Chief of Mission to Poland for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund” from 1947 to 1948.

When he joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Syracuse University as Chairman, Bell faced “tensions and problems not of his making,” stated Haring. His “justice and capacity for friendship” allowed Bell to guide the joint department to an amicable division. This reorganization was nearing completion at the time of his death.

A bibliography of Bell’s publications is included.


COREY HOVEN: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Hammel, E.A. Territorial Patterning of Marriage Relationships in a Coastal Peruvian Village. 
American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(1):67-74.

With this article, E.A. Hammel uncovers the specific patterns of marriage relationships in the Peruvian village of San Juan Bautista. To complete this objective, he determined the extent to which marriages were endogamous within various “levels of territorial specification,” the manner in which exogamous marriages were contracted, how marriage related to other parts of society, and how marriage systems have changed over time. In order to understand marital relationships in San Juan Bautista, Hammel found that it was necessary to look more widely at the regions of the Ica Valley as well.

Hammel begins with an overview of the environment that surrounds the village. He explains that the Ica Valley consists of four districts: Cerado de Ica, Salas, Los Molinos, and San Juan. San Juan, the smallest of the four districts, is where San Juan Bautista is located. Hammel goes on to explain that the system of roads in the valley is fairly good, but not all areas have equal access. However, the roads do make it possible to travel by bus to different cities and villages, allowing different groups of people to interact with each other.

Hammel bases his research on data from a census taken in San Juan village in 1957, and from district marriage records from the period of 1937-1957. Supplementary ethnographic data included the place of birth, premarital residence, and the post marital residence of the respondents in his study. Hammel was able to conclude that (1) Endogamous marriages in the region were more highly dependent on place of residence rather than on place of birth. (2) Endogamous marriages have decreased from the time of the respondent’s parents’ generation, to the respondents’ own generation. (3.) Endogamy increased as the size of the area being considered increased. An example of this is that all of the marriages studied could be considered endogamous within Peru. (4) Exogamous marriages between members of different sections, (such as people from the Ica Valley marrying someone from the nearby highlands) were more rare than marriages within the sections. (5) Finally, respondents moved to new locations more frequently than the members of their parent’s generation.

Hammel believes that the trends shown in his analysis relate to changes in local cultural context. He claims that the increase of transportation methods has made it easier for people to move around and meet people from different areas and regions. Also, he believes that the way that marriage proposals and inheritance practices are conducted in the region affect the ways that marriage takes place. Men and women both inherit land but men must propose to women. A man with land could marry either a woman with or without land, but a man without land, because of his lower social status, would only be able to marry a woman without land. This gives landless men more reason to look outside their region for a wife. While Hammel offers explanations such as these to explain the decrease in endogamy from one generation to the next, he admits that the sample size of his data was too low to provide definitive support.


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Henderson, Dan F. Settlement of Homicide Disputes in Sakya (Tibet). American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66:1099-1104.

This article offers a preliminary analysis of the settlement process for homicide disputes in Sakya, a quasi-independent Tibetan principality just northeast of Mt. Everest. Case studies of eight killings and their disposition by the court in Sakya were made. Two problems were very apparent in the data: that of the connection between conciliation (mediation) and the rise of law, and the connection between “torture and ordeal as fact-finding techniques in earlier forms of trial.” A larger study was underway at this time, called the Seminar on Tibetan Society and Culture, a project at the University of Washington’s Far Eastern and Russian Institute. The informants were a group of Tibetan scholars brought to Seattle, Washington. This particular study was done in collaboration with Robert B. Ekvall.

The author first addresses “Conciliation and the Growth of Law.” In regard to settling civil and criminal disputes in Sakya, the main method was conciliation, with minor disputes usually being taken care of between local and private parties. If the case wasn’t settled, it was then brought to the village headman. In the case of homicide disputes, however, the “Law House,” otherwise known as the central court, was in charge of the matter. The “Thirteen Pronouncements,” which are the oldest Tibetan laws, are then considered. In homicide cases, these “provided that the victim’s family was entitled to life money in amounts stipulated therein.” The amount of money depended on the social statuses of both the killer and victim, and also the killing circumstances. The decision-making was usually “prolonged” but finally resulted in an agreement between the parties involved about the money owed. A judge acted as a mediator and the agreement between both parties was absolutely necessary in order for the dispute to be settled. At times there were “induced agreements,” in which the judge would order the accused to be legally flogged. Henderson refers to this “pressurized” method as “didactic conciliation,” in order to distinguish it from a more “voluntary conciliation” of the Japanese and Norwegians. He writes that didactic conciliation has shown to be “historically prior” to adjudication.

Henderson then addresses the relationship between “Torture and Ordeal,” using the example of a specific homicide case. When a farmer was found dead in his front yard with a sickle in his hand, it was assumed that his neighbor was responsible because the two men didn’t care much for each other and had been in a sickle fight earlier that afternoon. In the Sakya trial, the accuser must prove that the accused is guilty because “if a conflict between his testimony and that of the killer results in a stalemate,” both men “become locked in a contest which can involve torture and perhaps even an ordeal by the gods for both, because the life money settlement requires agreement of both sides.” In the example case, when the accused denied the killing and the accuser had difficulty proving him guilty, the two men were flogged simultaneously, in turn with questions being asked back and forth to them. The men were then faced with an “ordeal,” which involved the rolling of dice over a fresh yak skin, with the bloody side facing upward. The accused won the dice roll and was set free and the accuser was not awarded any life money. The author looks for a functional connection between torture and ordeal in Sakya, and also compares these methods to those of European history, where only torture was used. He writes, “given a situation where authority is too weak to risk a mistake, which may have been the case in Sakya, to use both torture and ordeal if necessary in a showdown, makes some sense functionally.”


LINDSAY GILLESPIE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Hoijer, Harry. Weckler, Joseph E. Jr. 1906-1963. American Anthropologist

December 1964 Vol. 66:1348-1350

Joseph E. Weckler was Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chairman of the Anthropology Department at University of Southern California when he died on November 6, 1963. He was born in Mapleton, Iowa, in1906.

Weckler received a Ph.B. from the University of Chicago in 1928 with a major in sociology and minor in anthropology. He went on to graduate studies in anthropology and received his Ph.D. from University of Chicago in 1940. His dissertation, “Ritual Status in Polynesia,” was based on library research. As a graduate student he also participated in archeological field research in Southern Illinois, and served as field director for the Chicago National History Museum in archeological research in New Mexico. While in New Mexico studying Cundiyo, a Spanish American village, his interest turned to social anthropology.

Weckler was appointed assistant curator of ethnology in 1940 at the United States National Museum and then promoted to associate curator of ethnology two years later. In 1943 he joined the office of Inter-American Affairs as head of the Division of Inter-American Activities in the United States with the task of conducting and encouraging research aimed at a fuller utilization of Spanish-Americans in the war effort. From 1943 to 1945, he took a full time research position for the American Council on Race Relations working towards reducing tensions among those of different races, creeds, and national origins.

His life long interest in American problems of intergroup relations led to publications and his frequent participation in conferences and forums with this focus. One of his most notable papers dealt with the relationship between Neanderthal man and Homo sapiens and was published in the American Anthropologist, and later rewritten for Scientific American. Weckler also worked with C.B. Bentzen and Melvin Sloan to prepare a one-hour motion picture film on the native life on the Micronesian island of Mokil. At the time of his death, Weckler was involved in research on the social organization of mentally retarded youth at Pacific State Hospital in Pomona, California.

Weckler was an excellent teacher, genuinely interested in his students, and respected by his colleagues and peers. His career as an anthropologist was as broad and deep as anthropology itself, covering ethnology, archeology, and physical anthropology, as well as applied anthropology.


TRISH MALONE University of Southern Oregon (Anne Chambers)

Holland, William R. with Roland G. Tharp. Highland Maya Psychotherapy. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66:41-52

This article focuses on the healing practices of the Tzotzil Indian of southern Mexico, one of 21 Maya groups on the Yucatan Peninsula. While asserting that “all cultures necessarily develop systems to explain and treat illness,” Holland and Tharp move beyond simple ethnographic description to also draw parallels between Tzotzil practices and belief systems and modern day psychotherapy.

The Tzotzil, although nominally Catholic for four centuries, are “one of Mexico’s least assimilated Indian groups,” having “traditionally resisted social and cultural change.” The Catholic influence has, as far as the anthropologists could ascertain, been expressed only through the substitution of names and symbols. An overview is given of the Tzotzil worldview, the most relevant aspect of which is that every Tzotzil individual has a companion animal, which lives in a sacred mountain nearby. Their destinies are bound together; when the person is ill, the animal suffers similarly- their birth and death are simultaneous. There are 13 levels to the sacred mountain where the animals live, and the level at which an animal exists is correspondent to the social prowess of the related person. Holland and Tharp state that, “the total Tzotzil universe is a continuum of natural, terrestrial phenomena and supernatural spirit-world existence, with no dichotomy.”

The Tzotzil hold belief in witchcraft and shamanism, and it is noted that “a person is never certain of the origin of his illness because magically-sent diseases may either attack him directly, his companion animal, or both simultaneously.” When a person falls ill, a curer is sent for. The healing ceremony is well-explained in this article; it involves invoking and making sacrifices to the gods as well as ritualistic drinking and bathing. Afterwards the sacrificial chicken is cooked up and everyone, “including the women and older children, [become] intoxicated.”

The anthropologists correlate Mayan and modern-day psychotherapy, defining psychotherapy as “a persuasive healing method which attempts to re-integrate the total person into his universe.” The diagnostic process, which included dream analysis in the Tzotzil tradition, is found to have specific effects such as emotional catharsis, breaking the patients’ preoccupation upon the complaint, and finding reassurance in the attention of the group. The active, authoritarian role of the curer permits the patient to be passive, as he or she is involved in “magico-religious circumstances which are external to and beyond the control of ordinary man.” While different from modern psychotherapy in that it is based on a supernatural understanding of the universe, the authors assert that Maya psychotherapy offers a similar brand of release and “induces the patient to resume his traditionally-defined role.”


KELLY McCOY Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Howard, Alan and Irwin Howard. Pre-Marital Sex and Social Control among the Rotumans.American Anthropologist 1964 Vol.66 (2): 266-283

Howard and Howard have two goals in this article. First, they seek to describe the nature of social controls governing female behavior prior to marriage among the Rotumans of Western Polynesia. Secondly, they seek to illustrate the way in which demographic data can be used to test hypotheses from ethnographic evidence. Their research focuses on bilateral relationships of close kin up to the third and fourth generation with their social relations in work, politics, and “integrity circles,” all of which are significant in managing pre-marital sexual relations of young girls.

Three features of child rearing are important in structuring Rotuman courtship behavior. These include a high degree of bodily contact and physical demonstrations of affection, the association of affection with material indulgence, and finally discipline by ridicule. All of these play out within an “integrity circle,” defined by the authors as the people who manifest concern for one another’s behavior. Social pressures from a girl’s integrity circle create mixed behaviors. For example, while a girl might like a boy who approaches her, she will be concerned about her family’s wishes and will avoid casual involvements. Both material indulgence and ridicule are important aspects of courtship and sexual behavior. Pre-marital chastity is valued for girls, and sexual license is considered justified only when the male accepts corresponding responsibilities of economic support.

The authors also describe three types of marriage arrangements. These range from formal negotiations between a couple’s families, to public statement by a man of his intent to be her husband, to the rare and stigmatized bringing of the girl to live in the boy’s home.

Howard and Howard then go on to use demographic data to predict patterns in Rotuman premarital relations. Drawing on ethnographic data, four hypotheses are constructed which together assert that girls will have higher rates of premarital activity when they are not co-resident with their father, are older but not married, are Catholic rather than Methodist, and live in Fiji rather than on Rotuma itself. Field census and government records support the first two hypotheses. The third hypothesis required modification, while the last hypothesis proved false, leading the authors to reassess their conclusions regarding other aspects of Rotuman behavior in Fiji.

By using ethnographic evidence closely related to demographic data, Howard and Howard provide a clear understanding of the complex social controls that operate on Rotuma and their consequences for decisions by unmarried girls past puberty. They also provide an innovative example of ethnographic hypothesis testing.


TRISH MALONE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Joffe, Natalie F. Morris Siegel. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol.66: 395-396.

This brief obituary, by one of his classmates in graduate school, identifies Morris Siegel as a native New Yorker who carried the mark of growing up in the lower East Side and Brooklyn. He attended the City College in Manhattan and then pursued Anthropology at Columbia University. He is described as having a “thirst for knowledge” which inspired him to finish his Ph.D. and dissertation in only two years. After accomplishing this, he carried out his fieldwork in several regions, from the southwestern United States to Guatemala and the Caribbean.

After having worked for the government during WWII, Siegel went on to teach at several universities, including Columbia University, Boston University, Atlanta University, the University of Puerto Rico, and the University of Illinois. At the time of his death he was teaching at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

The author of the biography portrays Siegel as an inspired anthropologist who treasured the teaching process as much as he enjoyed learning. She calls him “a dedicated teacher, conscientious and warm.” Attached is a bibliography detailing the works he had published during his career.


KELLY McCOY Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Johnson, Erwin. The Stem Family and its Extension in Present Day Japan.
 American Anthropologist. 1964 Vol. 66: 839-851.

Throughout Japanese history, the basic functional form has been the stem family- a family composed of a series of first sons, their wives and minor children. This article describes the continuities and changes in Japanese family structure and assesses the extent to which there has been a transition away from this traditional family structure to modernized nuclear families.

Johnson suggests that anthropologists have tended to depict structural change processes as moving from an elaborate extended family, which formed a tight economical and social unit of the dozoku to the present day, urbanized nuclear family of Japan. Dozoku lineages consisted of patrilineally related kin (including living and deceased ancestors). The main stem family was composed of eldest sons of eldest sons and was complemented by a number of clustered dependent stem families. Johnson notes the widespread assumption that the shift from sedentary agricultural family farms to the new market economy in the 16th and 17th centuries caused nuclear families to increasingly replace the dozoku lineages. The hold of the household head (the oya) loosened on the dozoku members as some kin moved to urban centers. Furthermore, the change to a money economy made year-round support of kin burdensome for the oya, who instead began to hire workers only for the time needed. Johnson’s overall goal is to question whether the rise of the nuclear family has resulted from Japanese urbanization and industrialization.

Johnson cites two regions who are noted for dozoku “survivals.” One is the isolated, mountain region of Nagano ken. The other is the Tohoku region of Northeastern Honshu, which has an extremely marginal habitat. Johnson also includes a detailed description of how the traditional form of the stem family has changed throughout much of Japan. A common example is that the older brother seldom still has dominance over the other brothers, as would have occurred in a strong hierarchical dozoku. Johnson also found that related households within villages no longer showed the strong financial and ritual connections of the past.

Perhaps Johnson’s most interesting conclusion that the stem family is a generalized form and is still a viable unit in urban, industrialized areas. The dozoku lineages, by contrast, were specialized adaptations to situations requiring a large labor force. Johnson closes the article with an alternative hypothesis suggesting that the stem family is a stable form, adjustable to urban conditions and able to withstand them.


AMBER GIBBON Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Johnston, Francis E. Racial Taxonomies From an Evolutionary Perspective. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(4):822-827.

In this article, Francis E. Johnston addresses the question of whether “geographic races” existed before the emergence of Homo sapiens. He attempts to show the reasons why “geographic races” cannot be shown to pass from one species to the next in evolutionary lineage. Johnston provides a brief overview of the views on race that were current at the time. These ranged from the idea that present racial boundaries have just recently developed, to the belief that the equivalent of modern racial categories existed before the species of Homo sapiens came to exist, as reflected in other species such as Homo erectus. Johnston admits that disagreement over how to define “race” is intense, even among those who accept its existence.

Johnston goes on to describe some of the accepted ideas about the development of racial features. He claims that the variation seen in different racial categories was the result of natural selection in differing environments. The barriers of mountain ranges, oceans and deserts have kept populations separate, preventing gene flow, and creating morphological differences in Homo erectus populations and in Homo sapiens populations. These differences do not provide adequate support for the existence of “intra-specific” categories in fossil populations.

Johnston’s conclusion is that it is impossible to classify races with an evolutionary framework. This is because the evolutionary process involves “slow, continuous, dynamic change” while taxonomy itself “is a synchronous approach to rationality.” Racial classifications connecting different evolutionarily linear species cannot be justified.


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Landauer, Thomas K. and Whiting, John W.M. Infantile Stimulation and Adult Stature of Human Males. 
American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66:1007-1027

Landauer and Whiting review experimental research showing infantile stressors enhance growth in rats and mice. They go on to consider the effect that apparently stressful infant care practices might have on the stature of adult men. Data was drawn mainly from the Human Relations Area files and included 36 societies reasonably representative of the world’s “geographic areas, racial stocks and cultural groupings.”

Methods of infantile stimulation varied greatly cross culturally. However, in societies where the head or limbs of infants were repeatedly molded or stretched, where their ears, nose or lips were pierced, where they were circumcised, vaccinated, inoculated, or had tribal marks cuts or burned in their skin, the adult male height was found to be more than two inches greater than in societies where these customs were not practiced.

The authors took great care to precisely define variables and to use a valid sample. They also carefully assess the large number of possibly contaminating variables that might account for the increased growth. For example, children in some societies may have had better medical care, more sunshine, vitamins, and/or different foods than in others. It is also possible that some societies simply have stronger, faster growing children to begin with. Or possibly the stress factor itself might lead a society to engage in other activity that itself influences increased height. While the authors are cautious about inferring causation from correlation, they are, nonetheless optimistic that the relationship demonstrated between infant stimulation and human growth warrants serious consideration.


TRISH MALONE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Langness, L.L. Some Problems in the Conceptualization of Highlands Social Structure.American Anthropologist August, 1964. Vol. 66. (4): 162-182.

This article identifies the problem of trying to associate the social structure in the highlands directly with African models. The lack of information on New Guinea is attributed in part to social anthropologists tendency to revert to African models when studying New Guinea social structure. According to the author this contributes to an inability to view social construction in New Guinea in terms of its own uniqueness.

The article focuses specifically on the divisions within the Korofeigans. These people exemplify a large group that usually operates as a single group for the purpose of things such as male initiations and pig exchange. The Korefeigans can be divided into four sub-groups. The sub-groups are Benimeto, Nagamitobo, Nupasafa and Wailatagusa. The divisions are broken into three different levels. This break down makes it easier to understand the multi-layer system of social structure in New Guinea. It is easier to see how each division and sub-group operates independent of the others and also how they all fit together.

A close look at land ownership is used as a basis for understanding the significance of kinship and residence. Land ownership is initially based on tillage rather than lineage. Lander ownership is not a problem in Bena Bena because there is an abundance of land. Kinship is not extensively traced back. This is one problem that Langness points out when anthropologists try to understand the significance of kin groups and lineage. There is no long-term memory when it comes to kinship and descent is easily forgotten. In trying to understand social structure there is the risk of labeling a system of social structure that lacks significance in the functioning of the group.

The sheer fact of residence in Bena Bena can and does determine kinship (172). Langness explains that society is not constructed around kinship. Kinship is actually created by society. Langness identifies several possibilities for this level of flexibility in social structure. One possibility is warfare. Extensive warfare would possibly create the need for able-bodied men regardless of kinship. There would also be a need for fighters to be taken in by other communities after they scatter as a result of fighting. However, the author only offers this as a suggestion that requires more in depth research into warfare before any conclusions can be reached.

This article focuses on a lack of comprehensive studies into significant topics in New Guinea social construction. It also points out misconceptions about kinship. Langness finds misconceptions such as the false notion that New Guinea social structure has a unilineal basis. Another misconception is that kinship reflects biology when it is important. These are only a few of the flaws that are used to support the author’s argument that further observations need to be made before any conclusive observations can be made and supported.


JENNIFER LOWERS University of Oklahoma (Dr. Karl Rambo)

Leacock, Seth. Ceremonial Drinking in an Afro-Brazilian Cult. American Anthropologist. 1964 Vol. 66(2):344-354.

Leacock describes the meanings and possible functions of drinking in Batuque, an Afro-Brazilian cult. Batuque is actually an “African-derived” cult from Belem, Brazil. Its origins are clearly African, but many of its deities come from Native American and Brazilian folklore. Described as more individualistic than Candomble’, with less structured, specific rituals, Batuque ceremonies are centered around deities collectively called “encantados,” meaning “enchanted ones.” Encantados enter the bodies of the participants and encantados like to drink.

The Batuque belief-system stresses that encantados drink, not the participants who house them. The encantados enjoy having a good time. They like to dance, sing, smoke cigars, and drink a variety of alcoholic beverages. The most common is “cachaca,” an 80 proof Brazilian white rum. For providing this service to their encantados, the participants get something in return.

In exchange for a place to drink, the encantados provide favors. These favors normally include economic help, healing various ills, and predicting the future. Another possible benefit is that different encantados have varying specialties and strengths. Those who are possessed by more powerful encantados gain social influence. As Leacock notes, “If the encantado proves to be popular enough, it is sometimes possible for the cult member to engage in relatively lucrative curing practices, or ultimately to open a cult center of his own.”

Leacock describes the main contexts for drinking as, “curing rituals and public ceremonies.” Curing rituals are led by cult leaders and are very much like, “pagelanca, the shamanistic curing found throughout the Amazon Basin.” The public ceremonies are also dominated by leaders, who act as “mediums” to the most important encantados. These important, more respected encantados come first, drink little, and leave. They are followed by lesser encantados who stay longer and drink more. While some indications of drunkenness are common, Leacock notes that drunkenness is not the rule and that, “…a certain decorum is always expected on the dance floor, where high spirits are usually expressed in vigorous dancing, and much of the silly horse-play which also may occur takes place off the dance floor.” Drinking in Batuque is not all fun and games. It serves other social functions as well.

Cult leaders disapprove of too much drunkenness because it is scandalous to the wider community who look down on combining alcohol with religious ceremonies. In fact, criticism of other cults commonly includes references to excesses, such as, “One cannot tell if it is the encantado or the cachaca speaking.” Participants do not drink to become possessed and an encantado may become upset if its host drinks before a ceremony. Also, while some use these beliefs to rationalize their drinking, others use them to quit. Nevertheless, while drinking is a central element in these ceremonies, Leacock argues that they further integration of society, reduce anxiety, and provide a venue to deal with drinking problems.


TROY LINVILLE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Leeds, Anthony. Brazilian Careers and Social Structure: An Evolutionary model and Case History. American Anthropologist December, 1964 Vol.66(6):1321-1347

Leeds hypothesizes that when an agricultural society is in significant contact with an industrial society then its structure and institutions will include those from both types of societies. Social structure of agricultural societies is based on family relationships, but in industrial societies relationships are “contractual” to connect with other aspects of bureaucratic organization. Leeds also hypothesizes that contact with an industrial society leads to rapid creation of new occupations and statuses in the agricultural society, causing personnel shortages to be filled by self-trained people (autodidacts) as well by individuals holding multiple positions (cabides).

These hypotheses were tested by Leeds in his fieldwork in Brazil. His methodology involved interviewing “important local cabides” and mapping their careers and “social genealogy,” defined as structural networks including both “contractual” and family relationships. Leeds cross-checked this interview data with information from local newspapers, which regularly publish career biographies, as well as with other informants and published materials.

Leeds found that Brazilian careers were built up through a conscious process of making relationships known. A person began with a family connection, and then continued to build connections by developing and continuing to use as many other family connections as possible. To make new higher connections, it was necessary to show off previous connections. Careers of cabides and autodidacts were built up and evaluated by the number of connections a person had. Non-family connections are only taken on if they help both parties make new connections or make their existing connections better known. For example, one person might provide a journalist (who could likely be a cabide with several professional positions) with connections to useful people. In exchange, the journalist would publish a biography of the person’s connections, hence showing them off and building their career. Leeds also discussed the situation of “institutionalized poverty,” in which the poor do not have family with connections on which to build and so must remain impoverished.

Leeds described groups called panelinhas, which utilized members’ connections to move the entire group higher up the social ladder. Panelinhas usually consist of “a customs official, an insurance man, a lawyer or two, a business man, an accountant, a municipal, state or federal deputy, and a banker with his bank.” These members are dependent on each other, interact repeatedly with the government and other panelinhas, are able to pool large sums of money, and can often avoid legal requirements in winning contracts. These groups were described as being “quite flexible” in dealing with the rapid technological transfer from industrialized societies.

Leeds provides a visual model of Brazilian society. At the bottom are the “masses” who do not have careers and have virtually no chance of moving to the next level. These “classes” consist of oligarchies or panelinhas with different levels, which themselves are separated by boundaries difficult to cross. Near the top of the class system are specific interest groups which have connections to the “great oligarchies.” At the very top is the cupola, or national government, the position for which the oligarchies compete.

Leeds believes that his model, and the situation he described for Brazil, could be applied to other countries as well. He also believes his methodology could be very useful and “revealing as to social structure, social barriers, social mobility, and mechanisms of social organizations in and beyond any sort of locality.”


COREY HOVEN: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Leis, Philip E. Palm Oil, Illicit Gin, and the Moral Order of the Ijaw. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(4):828-838

Philip Leis uses a case study of occupational change among the Ijaw of Southern Nigeria to address a theoretical debate about the cause of cultural change. While “technologists” see technical development as the main vehicle driving change, “idealists” point to values, beliefs and attitudes as the main cause. Leis comes down on the idealist side, arguing that the Ijaw chose a technological and occupational change precisely because it fit in better with their ideological “world-view.”

Producing palm oil was locally viewed as the principal occupation for Ijaw men but after new technological methods were introduced for turning palm wine into “illicit gin,” distilling became the primary male occupation. In 1958, Leis found that in Ebiama village, only 4 or 5 men out of 122 were producing palm oil full time while half of the village men had turned to the new occupation of distilling gin. Leis offers a detailed analysis of the occupational structure of the village and an insider’s description of reasons for change.

While producing palm oil took less time then producing gin, in order for palm oil production to be profitable, a man had to work with a group of about 60 men (called an “ogbo”) to mash the berries. The men were expected to provide help as soon as they were called upon; otherwise the other members would not help them in turn. This conflicted with the Ijaw value of independence. The “ogbo” also conflicted with the Ijaw value of equality since some men worked harder than others did. In other communal activities there was often “bickering” about equality of work so extreme measures were taken to proportion work equally.

Distilling gin was considered harder work than making palm oil. Since hard work is valued among the Ijaw, this occupation was considered more reputable. The Ijaw collect berries for palm oil from trees that grow close together in the dry portion of the forest, but they collect palm wine for “illicit gin” from trees that grow far apart in the swamps. A man carries out the process of collecting and distilling with only the help of his wives. He himself must tap the trees twice a day “or it is believed the trees will die prematurely.”

While Leis did not suggest that technological change always follows the “moral order,” he does see this as typically occurring where the “moral order” remains stable. In this situation, a new “technical order can be accepted as long as it supports local world view and institutions.”


UNKNOWN Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Lemert, Edwin M. Forms and Pathology of Drinking in Three Polynesian Societies.American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66:361-374.

In this article, Lemert’s goal is to generalize about drinking forms, social costs, and functions. He draws data from three different societies, the Society Islands, Cook Islands, and Western Samoa, to show how much alcohol is “culturally integrated” into their societies. The author briefly discusses the origins of brewing and drinking in these societies as well, all of which are based on historical contact. Lemert classifies the forms of drinking apparent in these societies into three types: festive, ritual-disciplined, and secular. He adds that these three types do not represent the total number of types found, however, they do represent what he calls the “dominant patterns.”

Lemert refers to the drinking styles of Tahiti and Bora Bora, both in the Society Islands, as “festive.” He explains that their festive drinking occurs during the orange harvest season, as their most popular brew is made from the orange, a drink called “ava anani.” The brewing process is a major event in which many of the villagers take part. The author provides a descriptive account of the many processes involved in the brewing. Drinking, among these societies, was on a “come-one-come-all basis,” however, it was strictly for married adults. Lemert adds that many festivities, such as singing, dancing, and music playing, were continually held until the ava anani ran out.

The Cook Islands also illustrated types of festive drinking but essentially were more “ritual-disciplined.” Drinking here has been illegal for many decades, however, it occurs daily on the island of Atiu and brewing, like that in the Society Islands, is also a very important event. The drinkers were “summoned” for the brewing activities upon the “sound of the conch shell.” The author also describes this process in more detail as well. When a drinking session begins on Atiu, there is a first “round” of drinks and then a prayer and church hymn. Atiu has very unique, strict rules regarding drinking, such as the high pressure on people to drink and also that it is “highly disruptive and unaesthetic” when a female is drunk. The author also notes these drinkers as very aggressive. Unmarried men above the age of twenty make up most of the drinkers. Atiu is also very disciplined in its drinking in that the sober “tuati” is in control of each drinking session and can make the call of whether someone is too drunk.

Western Samoa is considered “secular” in its drinking style. The author points out that it is not festive and is not based on ritual. Drinking is described instead as a way to cope with personal feelings and problems. It is a place that illustrates the negative affects of drinking which “directly threaten or destroy cherished values.” The common drink here is “fa’amafu,” which is very high in alcohol content, and brewing of it is very important as much is sold and traded. Drinking sessions mostly consist of talking and gossip and participants are usually young men without titles. It is also noted that drinking starts at a really young age here, such as the early teens, and Samoan women do not take part in the drinking as they find it “distasteful or unappealing.” The author also describes Samoans as “aggressive” drinkers, but different than those of the Cook Islands, in that their aggression cumulates very slowly, building up over time, and then suddenly explodes, often resulting in violent outrages.

The author makes a point of mentioning the kava circle, which is the “prototype for patterns of alcohol consumption in all areas of Polynesia…” He provides a brief history of the kava circle, claiming that kava “was everywhere drunk in sacred, ceremonial, and secular contexts,” and discusses its influence on later Polynesian drinking styles.

Lemert also examines the “drinking pathologies” of these three societies. This “refers to drinking which is costly to society and costly to the individual, costs taken to be the extent to which other values are sacrificed in order to satisfy those associated with drinking.” He claims that drinking pathology does exist in Polynesia, but in a “broad sense.” Drinking works functionally in these societies as well. Lemert shows that although alcohol use can be socially and individually damaging, there is no evidence of serious addiction among these three societies.


LINDSAY GILLESPIE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Madsen, William. The Alcoholic Agringado. American Anthropologist. 1964 Vol. 66:355-361.

Madsen examines the Mexican-American/Anglo-American socio-cultural environment of Hidalgo County, Texas, to determine why agringados have the highest rate of alcoholism within the county’s Latin community. Agringado is a derogatory term for Mexican-Americans who have adopted Anglo-American values. Madsen surmises that lack of cultural identity through ostracism from both Latin and Anglo society, together with the incongruity present within each of the two cultures’ value systems, creates social pressures leading to alcoholism. The analysis was based on data collected by the research staff of the Hildago Project on Differential Culture Change and Mental Health. Fieldwork was carried out over a four-year period on the Texas-Mexico border.

Hidalgo County has two main ethnic groups: landowning farmers of northern European descent, from mostly the mid-west and north, and manual laborers from Mexico. The two ethnic groups had maintained geographic and social separation from each other since settlement of the county in the early 1900s. Since World War II, a Latin middle class has emerged, but the social situation remains largely that of a dominant Anglo middle-class holding itself aloof from a subordinate Latin lower class.

According the Madsen, the agringados, attempting to advance socio-economically, are caught in confusing value conflicts both within their own culture and within Anglo-American culture. Latin cultural ideas of machismo, or manliness, are associated with the sociability of drinking. In fact, it is almost impossible for the non-drinker to develop male interpersonal relationships. However, cultural ideals of dignity and honor usually act as a control mechanism to prevent over-indulgence. But the agringado has rejected his traditional values so that the built-in delimiters (behaving in an unmanly or dishonorable way and thus losing dignity) are removed. Also, he is confused by Anglo ambivalence towards drinking, for while many local churches forbid drinking and public intoxication is condemned by the Anglo community in general, he can easily observe the “rousing good fellowship of Anglo males drinking in private clubs.”

In attempting to gain acceptance in the English-speaking world, alcohol becomes the only mechanism for anxiety relief. The alcoholic agringado who seeks therapy usually fails to achieve rehabilitation. The established techniques of treatment are designed for alcoholic Anglos and do not provide the cultural identification necessary for rehabilitation. For example, Alcoholics Anonymous presents concepts like acceptance of personal weaknesses that automatically negate the Mexican-American values of manhood.

Madsen concludes that while the specific causes of alcoholism are unknown, value conflicts resulting in loss of identity and community together

with traditions that connect drinking to social acceptance, encourage alcoholism as a means of escape for agringado men. A culturally oriented therapy needs to be developed.


CAROL VEILLEUX Southern Oregon University (Dr. Anne Chambers)

Meggitt, M.J. Male-Female Relationships in the Highlands of Australian New Guinea. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66 204-223

The focus of this article is based on work initially done by Read. Meggitt uses the ethnographic information and conclusions of Read as a catalyst into a continuance of many ideals put forth in Read’s work. The points prominently supported by Meggitt are that the ethnographic information compiled in 1954 illustrates that inter-personal interactions in New Guinea have a propensity to be antagonistic. With this in mind she also agrees that across the area normal regional differences should be discoverable. With these two ideas in mind Meggitt attempts a systematic study of the antagonism that exists between men and women and the variability that exists among different regional areas.

In the Western Highlands Meggitt utilizes the Mae Enga to show the relationship that exists between male-female antagonisms associated with the existence of ideals female pollution and illustrated through bachelor rituals. In the Central Highlands Meggitt looks at the Kuma work done by Marie Reay. Finally, as a mediary between these two differing examples Meggitt looks at the Eastern Highland and the Kamano ethnographic information compiled by Berndt. The differences between the Mae Enga and the Kuma seem to differ with the utilization of men’s purification cults, the social status of the women, and the degree of hostility between affinal groups, from which mates are obtained.

The author goes into great deal describing the purification rituals or bachelors in this society. When a Mae Engan child reaches five years of age his male relatives begin to caution him against the potential harm associated with females, including his mother. Very soon the child begins spending more time with his male relatives. The dangers of women stem mainly from their menstrual blood. The fear of contamination affects all areas of the Mae Engan existence. Mae men refuse to hold their newborn children, they cannot be around menstruating females, they are uneasy about sexual contact, they must participate in purification rituals to protect themselves before marriage, and use magic to protect themselves before sexual contact with their wives. On the opposite end of the scale the Kula men do not share these fears. They do not practice the taboos about contact with menstrual blood and are not fearful of sexual relations with their wives when menstruating or breast feeding. The Kamano of the Eastern Highlands, according to the author, seem to be somewhere in the middle between the Kula and the Mae Enga.

The author believes that the main reason for the antagonism that exists between Mae Engan men and women or lack there of in the Kula is associated with the groups they acquire their spouses from. For the Mae Enga marriage partners are gained from affinal groups that tend to be their perennial enemies. This could explain why so much suspicion exists between Mae men and the women they are marrying. The Kula on the other hand are not allowed to marry from groups that are their adversaries. This could explain why there does not seem to be the same level of suspicion that exists with the Mae group. Meggit believes that the taboos that are expressed or unexpressed by the Mae Enga and Kula are geographically defined and that the animosity between the sexes is reflective of the animosity that exists between the groups that marriage partners are obtained from.

Clarity Ranking:4

JANNA L. GRUBER University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)

Merriam, Alan P. Melville Jean Herskovits. American Anthropologist February, 1964 Vol.66(1):83-109

Melville J. Herskovits was an anthropologist who completed an amazing amount of research, writing, and activism in his life. He was born on September 10, 1895 and died on February 25, 1963.

He received his Ph.B. from the University of Chicago, and then a M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University (the latter in 1923). For the next three years, he was a lecturer of anthropology at Columbia University and was on the Board of the Biological Sciences of the National Research Council. Then he went to Northwestern University where he became a full professor in 1935, remaining there until his death. In 1961 he took on the responsibility of the first Chair of African Studies in the United States. As his obituary records, Herskovits was also “a Guggenheim Memorial Fellow (1937-38), chairman of innumerable committees, member of the Permanent Council of the International Anthropology Congress, editor of the American Anthropologist (1949-52), president of the American Folklore Society (1945), member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of official decorations from the governments of Haiti and the Netherlands.”

Most of Herskovits’ work was focused on Africans and African Americans though it showed immense topical breadth. He studied genetic variability in African Americans, race issues, variation in African customs and cultures in different areas of the world, education, acculturation, African American history, and African origins of slaves brought to different parts of the world. He also made extensive studies of African music and art. His research sites included New York City, Harlem, West Virginia, Suriname (Dutch Guiana), Haiti, Brazil, and most countries in West Africa.

Herskovits was actively involved in debates on race. He published many articles pointing out “confusions between race as a physical phenomenon and culture.” He contended with the prejudicial myths of African American history, “refuting charges that only ‘savages of the lowest order’ were brought to the New World.” He was also involved in debates on foreign policy regarding Africa, especially through his association with the United States Senate, and his work was influential both in the U.S. and international circles

Theories of cultural change were of great interest to Herskovits, especially as these played out in the areas of acculturation and education. He was also actively involved in theoretical debates regarding cultural relativism. Frances Herskovits, his wife, collaborated in many of his professional undertakings

This obituary includes a full bibliography of the works of Melville and Frances Herskovits.


COREY HOVEN: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Moore, Sally Falk. Descent and Symbolic Filiation. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(6):1308-1320.

Sally Falk Moore analyzes the symbolic connections between prescribed brother-sister relationships and descent structure. Moore has discovered that brothers and sisters are often symbolically linked as a parental couple in many cultures. Evidence for this comes from mythology and from descent group interactions.

Moore begins by looking at creation myths to find evidence of incest. Many creation myths focus on a first family from whom all other humans have descended. in Christian mythology, Adam and Eve are an example of such a first family. Searching in several archives of mythology, Moore found that 42 cultures had creation myths with instances of incest. Within these cases she found 34 instances of brother-sister incest, 7 instances of father-daughter incest, and three instances of mother-son incest. She found that instances of father-daughter incest generally occurred in patrilineal societies, and that mother-son incest related to matrilineality, but she admits that the sample is too small to give conclusive evidence of a correlation. Moore believes that the emphasis on brother-sister incest is important for descent, however, claiming that “fictive and symbolic incest is often a significant symbol of ancestry and descent.”

Moore then asks the rhetorical question of why there is such a large amount of brother-sister incest in mythology. She turns to psychoanalysis for a possible answer, noting that mythology involving incest could be a reflection of the Oedipal complex, but that this explanation could not work if incest between parents and children actually correlates with the existence of descent structure in society. An alternative explanation could be found in Levi-Strauss’ totemism approach, which maintains that “myth metaphorically and economically states both the unity of man, and that marriage is a substitute for incest.” Finally Moore provides her own analysis, explaining that brother-sister incest could possible represent “the fusion of descent, marriage, and incest” with the norm of same generation marriage.

Moore turns to examples of modern descent groups to elaborate on the brother-sister bond in descent. The close brother-sister bonds in Africa, Samoa, the Trobriand Islands, and among the Murngin of Australia all provide instances where “non-lineal sex has power over the fertility of the lineal sex.” This is expressed through the relationships of children with their mother’s brother, or father’s sister, or through the belief that sisters can control the fertility of their brothers. Moor believes that these brother-sister relationships portray descent as a form of symbolic parenthood. She claims that this interpretation provides a greater “understanding of descent in kin-based societies.”


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Murphy, Robert F. Social Distance and the Veil. 
American Anthropologist. 1964 Vol. 66: 1257-1274

The general topic of this article is about maintenance of social relationships through aloofness, removal, and reserve. Murphy’s overall hypothesis, following the ideas of Simmel, is that social distance may be found most definitively in ambivalent relationships. Murphy uses the Tuareg custom of males covering their faces to interpret this social phenomena. He believes that by doing so, they are symbolically introducing a form of distance between their selves and their social others.

The article gives a short, but detailed ethnography of Tuareg customs with many interesting facts. For instance, the French term for the Tuareg, “les hommes bleus,” is an appropriate term for the people because the dye in their customary robes of indigo rubs off on their skin giving it a bluish tinge. The Tuareg custom is to dress in these robes of blue, and for the males to wear blue veils that fall from the bridge of their noses to below the chin. Through participant observation, Murphy was able to get to know these people and learn about the cultural and social significance of veiling.

He first finds it odd that as practicing Muslims, the Tuareg are not very orthodox in the practice of their religion. He notes that Tuareg women, unlike most Muslim societies, are not kept in seclusion, can be outspoken, and do not wear veils. The men on the other hand, no matter the class rank, wear veils on all occasions. Murphy provides a humorous examples of a young Tuareg man who is attempting to smoke a cigarette and the maneuvers he must go through to accomplish this.

Murphy ponders the veiling practice by assessing some of the more obvious reasons why the custom may have developed. Dust, for instance is prevalent in this region, but he notes that women don’t wear veils, no matter how much dust is in the air, and neither do young boys who haven’t reached puberty. When asked, the Tuareg informant would most likely say that it would be shameful to show his mouth among his people. This sense of shame suggests that the veil is connected with privacy and withdrawal. This makes sense to Murphy because, among the Tuareg, the closer the relationship with surrounding people, the higher the veil is usually worn. Restrictions surrounding the use of the veil are rigid and highly formalized.

Murphy concludes by noting that many aspects of social veiling exist. While the Tuareg’s literal veiling is an interesting study, it is only one of many examples of distancing. He argues that social distance pervades all social relationships, though it will be found in varying degrees in different relationships and societies. “Alienation is the natural condition of social man.”


AMBER GIBBON Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Neale, Walter C. On Defining “Labor” and “Services” for Comparative Studies. American Anthropologist December, 1964. Vol. 66 (6): 1300-1306

Neale’s article offers an “operational definition” of concepts such as labor and services, which are crucial to comparative economics. Arguing from the substantive position that Western economic categories cannot be straight forwardly applied to describe non-western economic systems, he assesses some of the terminological difficulties that confound cross-cultural comparison and proposes some clarifications. Neale uses the works of F. B. Steiner as a foundation for his own discussion. Steiner defined labor as “any socially integrating activity which is connected with human subsistence and which presupposes, creates, and re-creates social relationships, or as activity in accord with laws of society in order to gain livelihood.” However, Neale points out that Steiner’s definition is problematic because the term “livelihood” itself includes a range of economically ambiguous activities. Definitions of the term economics often places different meaning on the word, thus Neale surveys some well-established definitions, such as those of Marshall, Parsons and Smelser, and Herskovits.

Neale argues that these definitions illustrate the two separate roots of economics: rational economizing to maximize the use of means and minimize costs, versus the process of producing and distributing goods. In either of these, however, there is no way to separate actions from labor or services. While labor and service are both paid for in market system activities, defining economics in terms of labor or services becomes more problematic when we look at service activities that do not generate a livelihood. Examples include being served at a table, being fanned in the tropics, a sermon, the sentence of a judge. These services might not be considered economic unless a substantive approach is taken. The concept of “embeddedness” allows services in non-market economies organized by religion, rule, or family obligation, to be included since such social activities do also provide some material means, which are economic. Thus plowing contributes directly to the production of material means while other forms of labor are “economic” because they are embedded in the wider “religious, health, marital or cultural transmitting institutions” through which material means are brought into being. In Neale’s view, no labor or service is inherently economic. Rather, it becomes “economic” when it “contributes to the procuring of material means.”

Neale hopes that his clarifications will be useful to economists, sociologists, and anthropologists engaged in comparative analysis. By clearly stating criteria for identifying labor and service “events” as “economic” using a substantive approach, comparative analysis can finally begin.


TRISH MALONE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers).

Netting, Robert McC. Beer as a Locus of Value among the West African Kofyar. American Anthropologist April, 1964 Vol.66(2):375-383.

Comparative research on alcohol use had shown that when drinking was integrated into a culture and only secondarily used to serve the “needs of the individual” then rates of alcoholism would be low. Netting’s article provides support to that thesis by examining beer drinking among the Kofyar of northern Nigeria. While beer drinking and production are central to Kofyar life, “there is no drinking problem.”

Netting gives many examples of the deep integration of beer into the Kofyar culture. For the Kofyar the gift of beer is a display of a relationship, which given to an equal can symbolize “esteem and affection.” Men often give beer to women during courtship. Beer is also given as a reward to “socially valued roles” such as nursing mothers, a newly married man, and a chief. The loss of the right to drink beer can be a punishment to people that break “social rules” with total expulsion from all beer drinking occasions being the ultimate cultural punishment. Beer is also the basis of the Kofyar economic system, is used to pay for almost anything. It can be sold for cash and is used to pay for almost all labor. Kofyar folklore refers to beer, and brew houses are considered the most sacred grounds. “The Kofyar certainly believe that man’s way to god is with beer in hand.”

Netting also does a cost/benefit analysis of beer drinking of the Kofyar. Locally made beer is “tasty, nutritious, and only mildly alcoholic,” wrote Netting, offering the Kofyar nutritious elements such as B-vitamins, ascorbic acid, and protein. It is considered by the Kofyar to be “superior food.” They value its relaxing effects, but do not try to make the beer stronger or drink it faster. Individuals give beer out slowly to get the most “social mileage” out of it. Everyone can brew so it fits well into the Kofyar’s egalitarian society. It also allows the all the Kofyar to easily set up labor parties.

Drinking among the Kofyar is a group activity and drinking parties are important social times. Individuals do not drink alone. The Kofyar are more relaxed and “talk with animation and freedom” during drinking parties, and Netting attributes this to a cultural norm and not the alcohol itself. As soon as a person starts drinking at a Kofyar party, everyone becomes more relaxed, loud, and boisterous even before they actually begin drinking themselves. While Netting never saw anyone so drunk as to be throwing up or staggering, on the “rare evidence of drunkenness” people are not disgraced, worried or shamed. At times when the Kofyar were worried, they did not drink, nor did they drink for escape.

The deep integration of beer into Kofyar society allows it to have many social benefits while having no social costs.


COREY HOVEN: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Newman, Philip L. “Wild Man” Behavior in a New Guinea Highlands Community. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(1):1-19.

In this article Philip Newman documents a behavior called “being [a] wild pig” by the Gururumba of New Guinea. Newman notes that the justness of the analogy lies in the fact that all pigs known to the Gururrumba are domesticated: “there are only pigs that have temporarily escaped their masters.” So it is when a man goes “wild”; it is a behavior that takes place within clearly defined social boundaries, and the individual is reintegrated into society afterwards. Newman’s observations are based on witnessing two “wild men” outbursts in the same Gururumba village within 12 months and information he had otherwise obtained concerning four past incidences.

When a man goes wild, it is always with an audience. Moving from house to house, he is constantly accompanied by a crowd. Although Newman observed a sense of enjoyment in the spectacle provided, he remarks that there was always someone on hand to restrain the man should he become overly aggressive, or to offer helpful suggestions, often in the form of “new targets for his attacks which would lead him away from a situation.”

An “attack” consisted typically of the wild man entering someone’s home and demanding that they give him something. Usually his arrival was anticipated, “so a few small items were always left in full view.” These he would stuff into a sack, stopping later to take appraisel of his loot or give something away. In describing the items he often exalted their value or origin: a bit of tobacco could become a piece of Australian paper money given to him by a dignitary, for example. Sometimes he would strike somebody or rush at the crowd. After a number of days the outburst would end by the man disappearing into the forest with his bag of loot or being reintegrated forcefully into society through a ritual similar to the one wherein wild pigs are brought home.

Men who go wild fit a distinct description: they are young men, between 25 and 35, confronting the responsibilities of marriage and beginning a family. Within the Gururumba network of familial and affinal gifting and retribution, a young man without pigs or an established garden may find himself in “a seemingly inextricable…situation with respect to demands made on him for debt repayment.” Men who are not under this duress are not permitted to act out as a “wild man” does. A man who does so is reintegrated to the clan with a ceremonial feast and therafter held in a slightly different regard. Newman describes this change as “a reduction of demands made without loss of social support,” and thusly, “the performance can be seen as occasioning the reorganization of what people know about a person.”

Newman’s interpretation of “wild man” behavior follows his assertion that “culture as a determinant can be emphasized to the point where we neglect to see man using his culture, and only culture using man.” Models based solely on social, psychological, or cultural determinants “make man appear to act without self-awareness,” he says. By examining the shift in the wild man’s status after the episode, Newman suggests that “the men who become wild see themselves as persons who will never succeed brilliantly but who also see themselves as doing better than failing miserably,” and that the “wild man” behavior is a way for them to express this to their community.


KELLY McCOY Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Newman, Phillip L. Religious Belief and Ritual in a New Guinea Society. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66 257-271

In this article the author gives an overview of the belief systems of the Gururumba, located in the upper Asaro valley in the eastern highlands of New Guinea. By looking at the most prevalent aspects of the Gururumba belief system the author endeavors to analyze the belief system in its content rather than its function.

The content of the Gururumba beliefs consist of the GwondEfoJE the vital essence of the body, emanating mainly from the liver and found in many of the bodies fluids. The GwondEfoJE embodies the power of the living body. While at rest the GwondEfoJE can leave the body. At death it leaves the body permanently and the individual exists as a foroso. These ghosts or foroso are generally menacing to the living when they are not remembered at feasts or if their bones are not properly interned. In Gururumban beliefs there are aspects that are specifically menacing. Gwumu are witches, whose attacks are on are personal in nature. Gwumu is related mostly to women characteristically exhibiting many undesirable characteristics like stealing and eating inappropriate items. Another aspect of the Gururumba beliefs that can be personally dangerous is EkE’Jindim or dangerous thoughts. The EkE’Jindim occurs usually after a disagreement and can cause the individual being thought badly about serious illness. Finally, there are the nokondisi and the gwomai. The nokondisi is a non-human entity that dwells in certain areas of tree-cover or in grassy lowlands. These entities only attack people when their dwelling places are invaded by strangers. The gwomai or lightening is the only cosmological phenomenon within the religious beliefs of the Gururumba. This natural occurring entity attacks weak men by striking trees on their land and remaining in them and causing illness to the owner.

Newman next examines the Gururumba beliefs as a system. He focuses primarily on the aspects of Gururumban nurturance and strength. Nurturance is seen as a protective and productive aspect of their belief system. Strength on the other hand expresses an aggressive and an assertive aspect. With the combination of strength and nurturance within the vital-essence or GwondEfoJE, the proper human behavior is produced. Though within certain parameters constituting a belief system the author does not see the Gururumban beliefs to be necessarily a system, however he asserts that the vital essence, ghosts, and ancestors all make up a series where one is derived from the other. This structure conveys stress upon the Gururumban strength and nurturance, with the vital-essence or GwondEfoJE emphasized over the others in the series.

Finally, Newman sets out to formulate the major feature of the religious beliefs of the Gururumba. Although he suggests that more investigation is needed on this topic he suggests that the major feature of the religious beliefs of the Gururumba is its individualism. Generally, the major feature of New Guinea social systems is the incorporation of individual autonomy into its society in relation to its religious systems.

Clarity Ranking:4

JANNA L. GRUBER University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)

Orr, William F. and Stephen Cappannari. The Emergence of Language. American Anthropologist. 1964 Vol. 66(2):318-324.

Orr argues that human language emerged as an “epiphenomenon” in conjunction with the evolution and development of “manipulative skills.” He argues that language is a secondary result of other evolutionary adaptations, not a primary adaptation itself.

Orr argues that language would not have been a practical or cost-effective adaptation. Therefore, it must have occurred as a result of neurological changes more closely related to other adaptations. These included an increase in motor skills, a prolonged period of infancy, and extended enculturation.

Orr states that, “Man, like other organisms, retains many primitive features, but these are overlayed and selectively suppressed by those higher in the evolutionary hierarchy.” He argues that the physiological capabilities for language evolved at a time of increased development of certain “recently evolved cortical centers.” The same improvements that gave us better hand-eye coordination also allowed us to control our voices more effectively. These increases in coordination, in combination with longer periods of maturation, led to the emergence of language.


TROY LINVILLE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Opler, Morris E. The Human Being in Culture Theory. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(3):507-528.

In this article, Opler, of Cornell University, addresses the issue of the relationship of human beings to their culture. This is framed as a discussion of the theory of cultural determinism from its beginnings with sociologist William Graham Sumner in the late 19th century, to the more recent work of A. L. Kroeber and other anthropological cultural theorists. Opler’s interest in this topic began when he recorded the life history of an American Indian and then edited it for publication. He was led to consider a host of questions related to the relationship between individuals and their cultures, and to research the voluminous anthropological literature on this topic. He includes a lengthy bibliography with reference to works by Emile Durkheim, Edward Tylor and Leslie White, as well as Sumner and Kroeber.

Opler provides a lengthy summary of Sumner’s approach, which he saw as accepting a “practical and behavioral” struggle for survival that resulted in subordination of individuals to their cultures. Opler views Kroeber’s approach as no different in principle. He provides an overview of Kroeber’s writings and then goes on to connect these to views propounded by George Murdock, which portrayed culture as “autonomous, dynamic and external” while individuals are “dependent and impotent” in relation to culture.

Opler, however, argues that human beings and culture are inseparable. He starts with the basic premise that man evolved from pre-human primates, inferior in their ability to create culture, into humans capable of creating culture and language. This would mean then that humans actually preceded and originated culture, and that they are continuing to shape and develop it to this day. The alternative, as the author asserts, is to say that the initial invention of culture by humans was their “last creative act,” and that culture goes on automatically without any further human input. In conclusion, Opler hopes that anthropology will keep the relationship of human beings and culture to the forefront of the discipline’s interest and investigation.


ANNA WRIGHT Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Parker, Seymour. Ethnic Identity and Acculturation in two Eskimo Villages. American Anthropologist April, 1964 Vol.66(2):325-340

Parker compared the acculturation and ethnic identities of two Eskimo populations in Alaska. He used the term ethnic identity to refer to a person’s sense of membership in their own ethnic group or in other ethnic groups as indicated by the “degree of attraction to or repulsion from these groups.”

Parker focused his research on two populations that were at “different stages of the acculturation continuum.” The village of Alakanuk was small, “relatively isolated,” and composed mainly of “full-blooded” Eskimos. Almost all of them listed their occupation as “hunting and fishing,” and though consumption of western goods was increasing, there was “no strong desire for a qualitatively different economic existence.” Parker considered this group to be in the early “imitative” stage of the acculturation continuum. The village of Kotzebue, on the other hand, had become “an important trade and recreation center for neighboring inland Eskimo settlements, whalers, and prospectors of gold.” About one fifth of the population was white, and they held most supervisory positions. Most houses had western goods such as radios. Almost all of the population listed their occupation as laborers. Parker suggested that young Eskimos in Kotzebue typically aspired to western material and social values. He considered this group to be further along, in the “internalized” stage, of the acculturation continuum.

In addition to his key informant interviewing and participant observation in both villages, Parker also documented the attitudes of village youths by showing them “five pictures designed to elicit stories relevant to ethnic identity.” The stories prompted by two of the pictures are analyzed in this article. Without “interruptions or prompting,” the youths were asked to tell a story about the white people and the Eskimos in the pictures.

In regard to the first picture, Parker found that subjects in Kotzebue expressed more hostility in their stories – 63% of Kotzebue residents mentioned some anger, suspicion, or annoyance in connection with one of the characters while only 24% of the Alakanuk story tellers did so. The Kotzebue subjects also showed higher levels of “inter-ethnic social distance,” “intra-ethnic social distance,” and degree of “attraction to symbols of Western society” as well. Furthermore, responses that indicated the greatest attraction to Western society also indicated the most social distance from the respondents’ own group. Stories elicited through the second picture, which showed white adults and Eskimo adolescents, followed similar patterns though the setting depicted (Western or Eskimo) appeared to be a very important determinant of attitudes.

Parker’s conclusions suggested that Eskimos further along in the acculturation process were experiencing role conflict. Youths who expressed most attraction to western society also had the most resentment towards it, as well as the most hostility to their own ethnic group. “A devalued ethnic self-image and hostility towards Western society emerge from a situation where individuals set new goals, which they perceive cannot be reached.” Parker suggested that understanding this conflict could be helpful for educational development efforts. “Serious social problems may result if innovations in the educational system inculcate widespread aspirations which have but a small chance of being fulfilled in the existing economic structure.”


COREY HOVEN: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Pike, Eunice B. The Phonology of New Guinea Highlands Languages. American Anthropologist, August, 1964. Vol. 66(4): 121-132.

The differing languages of the Highlands are very complex. Pike describes various aspects of the languages of this region. He focuses on the three types of tone systems and two types of stress systems. He also discusses the phonological word and its rhythmic wave as well as the phonemic systems.

Most of the languages of New Guinea have one stressed syllable for each phonological word. The stressed syllable has a higher pitch than the rest of the word. In addition to pitch, vowel sounds also change with syllables. Vowels are longer in monosyllabic words than in polysyllabic words. There is also a change in pitch between words; a syllable that ends a word will have a lower pitch than another syllable. There is also a slight transition between words.

There are three different tone systems in the Highlands. One has syllables with high, low, falling and rising tones; another has syllables with high and low tones; and the last has a high versus low tone on only the stressed syllable. In several of the languages each low tone is lower than the one before it and each high tone is higher than the one before it.

It can be difficult to determine the tone and syllable system in some languages because they also have a morphophonemic system that causes changes in the stress and tone. These changes happen between parts of speech or between parts of a word. Changes in tone often indicate the attitude of the speaker. Some of these attitudes are statement, question, politeness, emphasis, an indisputable fact, deep emotion, and incompleteness.

Out of the twenty-five Highlands languages, only four have nasalized vowels. Most of the languages have five vowels, while some have six and even seven. These vowel systems vary greatly from the Highlands to the Sepik.


STOLI KILLAM The University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo).

Plath, David W. Where the Family of God Is the Family: The Role of the Dead in Japanese Households. American Anthropologist 1964. Vol.66(2): 300-317.

In this article, David W. Plath provides an extended ethnographic description of ancestor worship in Japanese culture. He has two purposes. First, he documents the roles and conceptual distinctions around which household religious practices are organized in Japan. Secondly, he contributes to a clearer theoretical understanding of ancestor worship by differentiating the broader and more emotional category of “memorialism” (i.e. ties to the recently deceased individual forbearers in a household) from “ancestor worship,” more narrowly defined to be religiously-focused ties with the deceased kin who are important as actual ancestors. Looking at ancestor worship as a series of differentiated categories makes it possible to see similarities between Japanese forms of memorialism and other practices associated with remembering individuals after death, including those of Americans.

Plath writes that in Japanese culture an individual is deeply and directly connected to his dead kinsmen. The concern of the Ancestors is whether or not the household line is continuing. Living household members wish to honor those who have started and continued the family line in the past. Therefore, ancestor worship takes on the role of a household religion and provides one of the main modes of contact with the supernatural. Plath explains the roles connected with ancestor worship and how they channel emotional expression.

Plath defines three categories of souls: The Departed, The Ancestors, and The Outsiders. The Departed are souls of household members who died in recent memory, or the souls of non-members whom the living choose to honor. Members may have been born, married, or adopted into the household line. Living members have specific roles that are meant to ensure the continuation of the household line. Generally, the firstborn son would take the role of the head of the household. This is subject to change if the firstborn is not competent or if there is no son. In these cases, another son or a daughter is chosen to continue the household line. Other sons of the household are expected to leave and begin their own lines, while daughters are normally adopted into the lines of their husbands. If a woman doesn’t marry, she stays in her own household line.

These roles are central in understanding a household’s recognition of individuals in the afterlife. All individuals who have died are represented on personal tablets. The tablet is preserved in the house on a shelf or in a cabinet reserved for them. Wives usually share a tablet with their husbands. These tablets for The Departed are brought out only at special celebrations and, in this way, the dead continue to have the same rights and duties as the living.

After several generations have passed and there is no one in the household who knew a departed member found on a tablet, the personal tablet of the individual is destroyed. The individual then becomes honored as one of The Ancestors. The Ancestors also have a tablet in the house, but it is a general tablet for all of the household ancestors. A household only recognizes the ancestors in its family line. More specifically, ancestors are defined as “(1) the founder of a household, plus (2) all subsequent souls who were regular members at death.” This does not include members who have married out, adopted out, or left to found a new household.

The final category of souls is that of The Outsiders. These souls “include all homeless souls who are not regularly affiliated with any household line, or whose line has lapsed.” It also includes non-member souls who have died and remain nearby but who will eventually return to another household to join the Departed. Outsiders are not usually honored with a household tablet. Instead, they are recognized by erecting a temporary shelf outside of the household. Some communities collectively honor their unknown dead. Since the living understand The Outsiders as feeling angry because they have no heir to carry on the family line or have died away from their household, the living feel that they deserve “an occasional charitable nod.”

Plath next describes domestic and personal life cycles and explains how roles expected of the living affect the paths of individuals. He uses the three-phase domestic cycle developed by Fortes to describe Japanese life cycles. The roles of living begin when an individual is born. An individual then becomes either an heir or a bride. If an heir or a bride were to die, they would become a member of the Departed in their household of birth. The ideal path, however, is to live long enough to get married and fulfill the next role in life as a master or a mistress. If a master or a mistress were to die before an heir was born, their souls would revert to their natal households. Ideally, a master and mistress would live to see their heirs marry and then move on to the role of the retired. In retirement, the master and the mistress are replaced by their heirs. Each of these roles must be filled in a household, so in some cases an individual would double in his/her role. A common example is “that of a widowed mistress who steps in as temporary master, assuming both the master’s privileges and his obligations to continue the household line.”

Finally, Plath discusses how both the dead and the living are essential to the existence and continuance of a household. Japanese must respect their ancestors, which they do frequently in celebrations. The living celebrate departed individuals’ death-days every year until they are no longer known by someone in the household or until they decide to retire them. The power of the living to retire a departed individual’s tablet at any time is important. Death-day celebrations may include cakes, announcements, an offering of incense, or even elaborate shows to honor a departed shogun.

The Ancestors may intervene in the lives of the living. In Japanese culture, this is not something to be feared. Instead, Japanese individuals are happy to see their lost family members and see the visitation as necessary. In some cases, if an individual is not honored or is angry about a change made in the household, misfortune will fall upon that household. In other cases, the departed lead the living to places they need to be or tell them things they need to do.

The largest concern of the Ancestors is whether their line is being continued without lapse. The Ancestors not only represent their particular household line, but they also are moral representatives of society as a whole. Though moral beliefs change over time, the Ancestors are not concerned with this. They do not expect specific performance, but rather effective performance, in order to continue their family line throughout the generations and include every member of their household as a part of society.


DANA DEKAY Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Pouwer, Jan. A Social System in the Star Mountains: Toward a Reorientation of the Study of Social Systems. American Anthropologist August, 1964 Vol. 66 (4): 133-161.

The author, Jan Pouwer, begins the article with the geographical background of the Star Mountains. There is an initial emphasis on the scattered population due to rough terrain. She also attributes their method of shifting cultivation to a lack of knowledge of water regulation methods. The people shift approximately every twenty-five to thirty years. All this background information sets up a basis for a detailed account of the social organization that exists in the Star Mountains.

The segment on territorial organization gives a detailed description of the divisions within the different communities. The main organization is the Parish. It is the accumulation of three to ten Hamlets. The Iwol or the “sacred house” is the only permanent fixture in the parish. The article emphasizes social constructions rather than rituals. However, the article still gives insight into social taboos such as the exclusion of menstruating women from the greater society. The excerpt on lineage and clan reinforces the emphasis on Hamlets and parishes rather than clans. The author explains that, “unlike the parish, the clan does not function as unit” (136). This part of the article is followed by a detailed account of social organization and structure. At this point the author differentiates between social structure and organization. Organization is separate from structure because organization is “aim-directed”. Pouwer makes the observation after a series of models and charts on lineage that the social system of the Star Mountains is beyond existing labels. The author points out that it is far too complex to be defined by one or two structural principles such as patrilineal or ambilineal.

The passage on marriage and the neo-local family just adds another level of difficulty. It is another layer in the multi-layered society. Familial constructions and taboos such as the exclusion of close family as marriage partners are not attributed to lineage. This form of social constraint is explained as a response to gifting rather than kinship.

The intention of the article seems to be to show the complexity of the social organization in the Star Mountains. Pouwer shows the inefficiency of previous approaches such as Fortes’ notion of complementary affiliation. The author views all three matrilineal, patrilineal and bilaterate as structural potentialities. The multi-layered flexibility of social construction in the Star Mountains creates a need for new terms.

This article is more of an overview of already existing terms and systems used to define social construction. The Star Mountains culture is merely an example of the complexity of classifying society. Therefore, it fails to adequately explain or explore the reasons for the type of social construction found in the Star Mountains.


JENNIFER LOWERS University of Oklahoma (Dr. Karl Rambo)

Raikes, Robert L. The End of the Ancient Cities of the Indus. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(2): 284-299.

Raikes offers an alternative view to that typically held by archeologists regarding the reason for the end of Indus Civilization (Harappa culture). After critiquing other hypotheses, he suggests that the civilization existed for a much shorter period than previously hypothesized and was brought to an end by an “uplift” of land accompanied with an earthquake that caused a lengthy stagnant flood.

Raikes depicts standard archeological interpretations of Harappa culture as beginning in about 2500B.C. and lasting about 1000 years. The initial date was based on the findings of Harappan seals in Sumerian civilization cites with better dating records. The civilization’s duration of 1000 years was based on an excavation at Moenjo Daro on the Indus River flood plain where different layers of occupation are separated by flood silt (30 feet total). “Consideration of the infrequency of catastrophic floods that could bury a whole city under as much as six feet of silt and over-liberal estimates of the time required to rebuild, when taken in conjunction with the original tendency to think of the end of the culture as coinciding with the arrival of the Aryans, has supported a belief in long occupation of the site [1000 years].” The common belief had been that the end of civilization was described in the sacred Hindu book, the Rig Veda, where Aryan attacks on fortified cities in the Indus Valley were depicted. Some skeletons had been found showing evidence of violent deaths, supporting these theories.

These interpretations do not hold up according to Rakes. First of all, the Harappan culture could not have lasted 1000 years because of the uniformity of artifacts. A culture that had the “creative vigor” to product an empire would not have such a “stagnation” of material culture. Secondly, for the 1000 year duration to be correct, 30 feet of silt would have been deposited during the duration of Moenjo Daro, while in the last 3500 years no more flood silt was deposited at all. Other floods have occurred in the Indus valley without significant changes in the flood plain level. He argues that floodwaters would be moving too fast too create such a large deposit. Finally, the few skeletons that died violent deaths did not necessarily mean an attack. Raikes says these could even be a secondary effect of the end of the cities or not connected with the end at all.

Raikes explanation is geologically based. An earthquake in Hyderabad, Sind in 1819 resulted in an uplift of land due to tectonic movement, causing flooding in 2000 square miles of the Indus plain, which lasted for two years. Raikes states that such “still-water flood conditions” could best explain the great depth of silt. The earthquake may also have caused fires, which had previously been attributed to attacks. It would have also changed the beach line even farther away from many Indus sites. Through aerial photography, Raikes identified beach lines above the current beaches, possibly raised during the uplifts, which would have meant that “practically all” of the Harappan sites would have originally been on a sea or river. Raikes states that geological evidence supports a quick uplift versus a slow lowering of water, because the terraces do not “show signs of having completed an erosion cycle.”

Raikes suggests that his theory fits the archeological and geological evidence better than an invasion does. Raikes, who is not an anthropologist, asks these professionals to give his theory as much “respect” as previous theories.


COREY HOVEN: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Reay, Marie. Present-Day Politics in the New Guinea Highlands. American Anthropologist, August, 1964. Vol. 66(4): 240-256.

Reay defines politics as “the patterning of public affairs in terms of power relations,” as she analyzes the changing political system of the Kuma people of New Guinea. Clans or lineages normally act as political units and have political functions. The old way of politics changed with the coming of the kiaps, an officer of the Department of District Services.

Clans are patrilineal and divided into subclans and sub-sub clans. The only real political community was formed in the agnatic clan. In these clans, warfare was frequent and it was common to fight within the clan. They usually fought over women who were seen as objects of exchange. The fights were usually about pigs within the tribe. When not at war, sorcery was directed toward enemies.

In order to maintain order within the clan, a traditional system of leadership and authority existed. Each sub-subclan had a leader, called “the first,” that managed its affairs and represented it with a locus of power. The leader of the subclan is usually an orator, which Reay calls a Rhetoric Thumper. This person was the most senior descendant from the direct line of the subclan founder. Leadership was valued greatly, but the Kuma would not listen to the ideas of anyone under the age of thirty.

Europeans came into contact with the Kuma in 1933. They placed a ban on warfare in 1950, which required a dramatic sacrifice on the part of the Kuma people. Warfare was how status was achieved, without it many positions were changed. A Court of Native Affairs was established to peacefully settle disputes. A lului was appointed as a representative from each group and he had to attend court when his tribe was involved. Despite the quarrelsome nature of the Kuma and their neighbors, these courts were very successful.

When Reay returned to the Kuma in 1963, an experimental democratic procedure had replaced the authoritarian rule of the lulais. There were now officers who had been democratically elected. This new system did not recognize the already existing political communities and wanted to create new ones. The Kuma created one large political community called The Minj Council. This was made up of 41 councillors, or representatives. A clan was allowed to have one to six councillors based on their size. These councillors are elected by the local government taxpayers, and did not include women.

Because the boundaries of the Minj Electorate go beyond the Kuma territories, Europeans were aloud to vote and several were elected. The Kuma welcomed this because they had shown their incompetence in electing capable leaders. They looked forward to having the Europeans make proper political decisions.

Reay finishes the article with the desire of the Kuma to return to their rule through native officials. They look back at the luluai system as a golden age that is not too farfetched to go back to. They realize they have made mistakes in this new political system and are announcing their defeat.


STOLI KILLAM The University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo).

Reay, Marie. Present-Day Politics in the New Guinea Highlands. American Anthropologist August, 1964 Vol.66(4):240-256.

To begin, Reay talks about organization. The Kuma were originally organized in patrilineal clans, these were divided into sub clans, and further into sub-sub clans. Warfare among clans was usually over women and within the clan over pigs. War was very important to the Kuma although they did not war with every clan because they were exogamous and needed ally clans.

Each sub-sub group had a leader called “the first” among equals. The sub clan had a leader who was “first”, but he was also a great orator. The clan had no central authority only loose association of the smaller clan leaders. These roles were based on heredity but only loosely. If the next kin for the position didn’t fill the role of good orator or if his age was not between 30 and about 56, he would be passed over.

With European control, a system was set up called the luluai-tultul system. Since tradition leaders still existed in the Highlands, these were the men picked to fill the role of the lulai or the tultuls. The luluai job was to get the natives to cooperate and work in the administrations programs, to prevent war, and in general to keep order within the group. The tultul was a minor official appointed to help the luluai and often represented one of the sub clans within the clan. The Court of Native Affairs was set up to hear the complaints that couldn’t be solved by the luluais. The Kuma welcomed the courts and they were extremely successful. At this point Reay gives an example of Konangil, a luluai, and his first meeting with the Kiaps. Kiaps were officers of the department of district services. Konagil was an influential person in Pacification of the Highlands. She goes on to give more examples of those leaders who learned to speak pidgin and who helped influence the native people.

With the new system of local government, the Kuma had to adjust to changes. First of all, the system created new political communities, ignoring the old ones. With this new way, many people thought that new leaders had to be elected and the older Luluais were rarely on the council. Some leaders came to be elected, based solely on their ability to speak pidgin, who were surprising representatives for the group. Size and distribution of some groups have allowed them to become what Reay calls a pressure group. Only those men who pay local taxes are allowed to vote. She notes that some of the groups who don’t agree with the new system would prefer to go back to their traditional ways.

The last thing Reay does is to talk about how the natives have misunderstood the process and had only recently realized that in some cases Europeans could even be elected for council seats. Some native candidates even dropped out to support the European candidates. She suspects that all over different native political aspirations are blossoming according to the diversity of the peoples and the place.


JENNIFER WEBB The University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)

Salisbury, Richard F. Despotism and Australian Administration in New Guinea Highlands American Anthropologist 1964 vol. 66 257-271

In this article Salisbury explains the political conditions of the New Guinea Highlands after the introduction of Australian Administration. Salisbury shows the creation of despotism in the New Guinea Highlands by using the historical research of Brown and his own. Salisbury concludes the article by arguing that these men can be regularized with the political structure of New Guinea.

The historical analysis begins with the description of the village head man (luluais) appointed by the Australian Administration and started by the Germans. The Luluia were war leaders within individual villages. If the Luluia is successful and wealthy is called a ngala (a big man). The Luluia’s supporters would come to live near him. Salisbury also points out that the Luluia has power but not authority. When the Germans decided to create the administrative office they did not select this man but instead used an indigenous title. The Germans recognizing their importance gave them several privileges like exemption from labor service and taxes. They used these officials to displace the indigenous leaders. Salisbury then goes on to describe a Chimbu big man called Kavagl. Kavagl was a pre-administration big man that killed a couple of his wives, any of his supporters who opposed him or had something he desired. He is described as not being a tyrant because he consults his colleagues but also thought he knew everything best. Salisbury then appropriately titles this man despot. Kavagl maintain his position for about 20 years. The author then goes on to list several other examples of despotism after administrative patrols. Under the Australian Administration the luluais officials were appointed by the government to carry out orders given by the district officers and had no judicial authority. Villagers can control their luluais by making it impossible for them to carry out their jobs like keeping the roads clear of weeds. This in turn in rages the patrol officers who take their rage out on the luluais. The luluais use the hollow threat of taking people to court so that they will follow their instructions. After the introduction consumer goods, money, and cash crops despots began to control these areas which made them wealthy. The orders of duty then became of public interest even though they made the luluais wealthy. Salisbury then describes the elective council and the increase despotism and nepotism with the growing frustration of counselors because of their limited power. Within two years of the forming of the council the previous leaders withdrew from participation because it was seen as an insignificant role. In 1961 the Council powers expanded to control over land purchases and the loaning of funds to four separate villages. This brought back the old leaders of the four villages. The counselors still had no power to take action against disobedience and individuals who felt themselves important left the council. Presidents of the council representing populations around 5000 people and are elected democratically. The president would have elegant houses, servants, jobs for their nominees, and the use of council transport for private purposes. The presidents then became symbols of unity and strength of the councils and residence through their ostentatious leaders.

Finally Salisbury argues that through the political changes of the New Guinea Highlands the final council and presidency regularized the political structure. He points out that appointees almost always become big man following their appointment. He also adds that they must continually promote lower ranking individuals and demote the high ranking officials when they become a threat to their position.


THOMAS E. GRUBER University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)

Salisbury, Richard F. Despotism and Australian Administration in the New Guinea Highlands. American Anthropologist August, 1964. Vol.66(4):225-239.

In this article Salisbury talks about how past views saw indigenous leadership in New Guinea as being democratic in which the government appointed Luluais had no native counterpart. These earlier writers argued that the fear of displacement was used to check despotic leaders. He describes the three major stages of Highland history and gives evidence of despotism. In each of these cases despotic leaders can be found who rule arbitrarily, or by their own judgment, rather than by democracy.

Salisbury begins by explaining the term Luluai as being a native word to the Tolai people. Its traditional meaning was applied to war leaders in individual villages, or in more general terms it could mean any forceful person trying to gain followers. These people used force or sorcery to gain power and were seen as bad and yet admired. The Germans were the first to use this native term as an official title and were flexible about their official policy. With Australian administration, the German policies were used but without the flexibility. By the 1930’s, when the Highlands were reached, many of these problems had been worked out.

He goes on to give an example of indigenous despotism by showing how a Highland leader, Kavagl, used force and fear to get his way. If displacement were really used to check these despotic leaders, Salisbury argues that we should see short terms for these type of leaders. He sites several cases from differing areas where leaders were despotic and duration was fairly long. Kavagl ruled for around 20 years, and leaders in Siane rules on an average of 10 years, or 15 years if deaths are not considered.

During the time of government Luluais despotic leaders emerged although the administration tried to eliminate them. Salisbury described several cases where government Luluais were removed from office for exploitation of the people. Checks were put on them so that they could only report offenses by villagers but no try them. The Court of Native Affairs held this job. Salisbury notes that Luluais had no authority, but the people had no control over them either. If anything, during this time despotism was curbed under government influence and Salisbury again uses duration as proof. He says if government rule lead to greater arbitrariness the duration should exceed that of indigenous leaders. In areas less patrolled the average was not significantly different. In areas more patrolled the average was much shorter due to replacement of despotic leaders.

With elected local government, occurrence of despotism increases. Local councils were supposed to keep the peace and help village progression but were not given the power to do so. This stress and the new office of president combined to form authority that is very arbitrary and power is passed along lines not necessarily coinciding with democracy. The majority of villagers even support the more despotic presidents.

Salisbury shows how thought of indigenous democratic people is not correct and that some form of despotism has occurred all through the history of the Highlands.


JENNIFER WEBB The University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)

Scheffler, H.W. The Genesis and Repression of Conflict: Choiseul Island. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66:789-804.

The author of the article discusses conflict as it was dealt with by the Choiseul before the arrival of Europeans on Choiseul Island and the imposition of the pax britannica, which had occurred 30 to 40 years before the time of publication. Before colonization, the Choiseul were frequently at war with one another, a “state of affairs [which had] existed for at least several hundred years prior,” and which Scheffler saw as still permeating modern-day societal assumptions.

The society that Scheffler describes is patriarchal, hierarchal and heavily reliant on descent for the organization of the sinagge, or “cognatic descent category” whose founder is “always a male and usually eight to twelve generations removed.” Each sinagge holds a certain amount of wealth, measurable in kesa shells, property rights, and owed obligations. “Managers,” as men of prestige with control of property, head the sinagges and may be asked to moderate in cases of conflict. “The common Melanesian pattern of the acquisition of prestige through competition and public gift-giving exchange prevails here too,” says Scheffler, and thus managers will often try to promote themselves by throwing feasts. The fidelity of sinagge members, which can change due to internal conflict, is essential to managers’ success should conflict arise.

When conflict does arise, the primary issue is one of wounded pride and prestige can often be restored by a “display of ferocity” without using actual violence. To remain passive in the face of offenses is to display weakness, so some show of force must be made. Scheffler maintains that violence is preferably avoided as it invariably leads to retribution and severs ties between groups. If the offended party does not wish to peacefully settle a dispute, however, he may resort to such actions as “simple revenge”, wherein an agent is recruited to kill the culprit or his kin, or full-scale raids, which could mean as many as 70 fatalities per raid. A manager will provide a feast before a raid is staged and recruit assistance by promising payment in shell valuables upon completion of the task.

Scheffler ends the article with a discussion of different theories on the role of conflict in society, and specifically how it may serve to establish social order on Choiseul Island. Scheffler’s conclusion is that it does only “in the sense in which all interaction may be said to do so.” The author argues instead that group alliances and fighting “are more likely symptoms of fragmentation induced and maintained by the ecological conditions.”


KELLY McCOY Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Smith, Alfred G. The Dionysian Innovation. American Anthropologist April, 1964 Vol.66(2):251-265.

Smith seeks to understand the history and culture of anthropology by analyzing the artifacts and “mentifacts” (conceptual symbols) that have been important to the discipline. In this article he focuses on the “Dionysian innovation.” Ruth Benedict introduced the term Dionysian to anthropology in 1928 to refer to one of several general cultural styles. Since then, the “mentifact” that Smith describes as the “Dionysian innovation” has provoked substantial debate among anthropologists. Smith’s analysis of these debates is intended to illuminate general patterns in human cultural behavior.

Smith first considers the various and contradictory definitions that have been given to the term Dionysian. Benedict had originally linked the Dionysian approach to an approved escape from routine existence through sensual overloading. Successive theorists emphasized other qualities. For example, Herskovits defined Dionysian as essentially extraverted, Keesing as introverted. Hobel saw it as stressing sensate experience. Smith explains how the varied definitions fit with the disciplinary values of anthropology, thus serving as a “diagnostic trait” of anthropological culture.

Smith next turns his attention to the value system in anthropology. He believes that debate regarding the Dionysian concept indicates that anthropologists respect cultural differences, cultural wholes, and cultural coherence and consistency.

He asserts that anthropological use of the Dionysian concept also illustrates role and status groupings within the discipline. Smith noted that anthropologists use the term Dionysian when writing for “patrons” (“students, the public, and professionals in other fields”) but not when writing for “peers” (professional anthropologists). Smith attributed this to the different expectations of peers and patrons regarding “ethnocentrism; cultural relativism; explanations; values; personal identifications; academic identifications; and technical analyses.” For example, Smith says “patrons” have an “ethnocentric interest” in answering questions of their own culture by studying others, while “peers” “study other cultures for their own sake.”

Smith also analyses the Dionysian innovation to find the relationship between “the culture of anthropology” and its “larger cultural setting.” Benedict’s book Patterns of Culture sold millions of copies because it met the “personal needs” of its readers by exploring important issues in their lives. Benedict’s description of an Indian culture whose life had been shattered resonated with the American experience of the 1930’s, where people were experiencing the Depression and coping with changes in norms such as the disgrace of being unemployed. Smith interpreted America as changing from the Dionysian culture of the frontier to an Apollonian emphasis on restraint and control. “Social planning replaced rugged individualism. A managed economy replaced free enterprise. Welfare legislation replaced laissez faire.”

In conclusion, Smith suggests ways in which his type of analysis could be applied to other disciplinary concepts and he encourages anthropologists to extend the methods and hypotheses used in their studies of other cultures to anthropology itself. He suggests “such studies may make anthropologists more objective, for objectivity increases as knowledge about the observers point of view increase.”


COREY HOVEN: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Shepardson, Mary, and Blodwen Hammond. Change and Persistence in an Isolated Navajo Community. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66:1029-1050.

In this article, the authors assess the extent of change in “fundamental action systems” of the Navajo community of the Rainbow Plateau area in the years 1938 to 1961. The authors apply a structural-functional approach in comparing data from these two eras, considering “how Rainbow Plateau did and does what must be done.” The authors have identified four “conditions” which they claim will destroy any society and apply these to the Rainbow Plateau conditions. The 1938 data was collected by Malcom Collier as part of a broader study of local groups on the Rainbow Plateau, while the 1961 data was collected by the authors during 1960, 1961, and 1962.

The authors analyze the “fundamental action systems” of the group in terms of nine “requisites.” The first of these is “provision for adequate relationship to the environment and for sexual recruitment.” Through an accompanying chart, the authors illustrate large population growth of the group, through “marriage and birth,” since 1938, claiming that they have met the first functional requirement. The authors then spend considerable time discussing ideas related to this requisite, including data on their income levels, increase in camp and “hogan” size, patterns of residency, and comparative sizes of clans. Some major changes are the use of automobiles and radios, which were not owned by Navajos in 1938. The authors point out that the children are still taught the traditional ways and “there is no indication of a trend away from herding.” They also explain how the group deals with other societies, with the most obvious changes being the formation of the Navajo Tribal Council, the “revival of the local chapter,” and the use of a formal court system.

“Role differentiation and role assignment” is the second requisite and the authors find this to be unchanged since 1938, with the traditional division of labor still intact. The third requisite, “communication” through language is met as all residents still speak Navajo. There is some desire to speak English, but this language is mainly for educational purposes only. Shared “cognitive orientations” and an “articulated set of goals” are the fourth and fifth requisites, with the authors pointing out that many Navajos still hold traditional beliefs. The sixth, “normative regulation of means” to achieve the common goals remain the same, as members still wish “to preserve the Navajo way of life.” The seventh, “regulation of affective expression,” is still unchanged and showing of “strong emotion” is strictly restrained.

The next requisite, “socialization,” particularly among children, is still the same as they are taught the traditional ways, along with their exposure to modern education. Lastly, “control of disruptive behavior” is divided into two different systems: namely the federal and Navajo Tribal Courts, and the “traditional” system. The expansion of formal court systems into the community has brought about some changes, though “informal methods” are still very commonly used.

The authors next consider four possible ways or “conditions” through which a society can be terminated and they assess the Rainbow Plateau in terms of these conditions, with an eye to determining the possibility of any future changes or “threats.”

The first condition comprises the “biological extinction or dispersion of the members,” something that the Rainbow Plateau, judging by their population and migration increases, has nothing to worry about. “Apathy of members” is the second condition and the authors find no evidence for this. There is still continuing interest in many traditions, such as religion, and also lower rates in divorce and female promiscuity. Also, delinquency among juveniles is “almost nonexistent” and “child abandonment is unheard of.” The third condition, the “war of all against all,” shows no threats, as there is little proof of outright communal conflict. The last condition, namely the “absorption of the society into another society” does pose a clear threat, however. The authors claim that the community is under “stress and strain” as their land base is threatened by the population increase. Jobs are becoming more limited and people are thus forced to leave the land in search of work. The division of labor is also affected by putting young herders in school.

Overall, the authors show that the changes that have occurred at Rainbow Plateau between the years 1938 and 1961 have not been drastic. The “alien authority systems” now incorporated into the community have provided support, and not replacement, of its traditional culture, thus allowing the latter to persist throughout the years.


LINDSAY GILLESPIE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Stone, I.T. An Approach to the Comparative Study of Social Integration. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol.66: 805-820

Stone writes in order to establish an operational definition of social integration and to offer a technique for comparing the extent of social integration in different settings. He assumes that integration and disintegration are connected as a continuum and thus are relative to each other.

Stone defines social integration as the acceptance and enactment of clearly defined reciprocal obligations by interacting individuals within a population. Thus, social behavior within a population can be used to provide the index of integration. First, the extent to which the behavior expresses “recognized mutual obligation” can be considered. Secondly, interactions within “identity relationships” where people have a duty to some matching identity can be assessed. This will entail defining a mutually exclusive series of units within the population. Stone concludes that an “integrated” unit would involve prescribed behavior connected to certain social identities and regarded as proper by all concerned.

To explore the feasibility of his definitions and techniques, Stone carried out a pilot study in three rural Canadian Maritime communities: Fairhaven, Monkeytown, and The Bog. All three towns, previously studied in 1952, lie within the same county and each has a population of 400 or less. Stone describes his methodology precisely and not only analyzes the social integration of each community but also the structural changes that have taken place over the last decade. He concludes that because “a community takes its shape and its institutions are established as a result of the actions of individual people,” a method such as he proposes is advantageous. It focuses on “persons in their interactions” and thus provides insight into how integration develops and changes over time. CLARITY 4

TRISH MALONE University of Southern Oregon (Anne Chambers)

Sturtevant, William C. Obituaries: John Mann Goggin 1919-1963. American Anthropologist, 1964. Vol. 66:385-393.

John Mann Goggin died of cancer in Gainesville, Florida on May 4, 1963 at the age of 44. Though he worked as an archeologist, Goggin perceived himself as primarily an anthropologist and maintained a holistic orientation in his fieldwork. He focused his work on artifact collection and typological analysis. At the time of his death, he had just begun the Florida Ethnohistoric Survey aimed at documenting historical sources relevant to archeological interpretation.

As a child, Goggin spent a good deal of time in the Everglades camping, hunting, and exploring. He gained skills as a field naturalist and anthropologist purely because of his interest in the natural environment. His interests led him to document 8,000 tree snails from the Everglades and that collection is now at Florida State Museum. He also became acquainted with Seminole families living in the area and began locating archeological sites there. He excavated several of these sites on his own.

This early start at archeology and anthropology led Goggin to the University of Florida at Gainesville, the University of New Mexico’s archeological field school, and eventually Yale. When in New Mexico, he was greatly influenced by his professors Donald D. Brand and Leslie Spier. He also got his first opportunity to publish some of his papers in the New Mexico Anthropologist, which was established by Brand and eventually became the Southwestern Journal of Anthropology. Goggin then began an ethnography collection of pieces based around the Pueblos in the area. While away in New Mexico, he still continued his Florida interests and continued to help in excavation of Seminole sites. In 1938, he graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1944, Goggin was accepted into Yale to do graduate work. Florida archeology was the focus of his research for both his Master’s degree and his Ph.D. Goggin was particularly influenced by his professor, Irving Rouse, while at Yale.

After graduate school, he immediately accepted a position as Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Florida. He took his teaching very seriously emphasizing the collection of artifacts, including their typology, aesthetics, functions, construction, and distribution in time and space. He also emphasized the unified approach to anthropological materials because he felt archeology, ethnology, history, and natural history were all deeply interwoven in the anthropological field. In 1961, he became a full professor.

Among other things, he began the Florida Anthropologist Society and the Florida Anthropologist journal. He gave his Seminole ethnographic collection to the Florida State Museum and other Seminole pieces to the Yale Peabody Museum. Research on the banks of the Mississippi, Suwanee, and many other rivers lead to underwater excavations. Though the skin-diving was fun his ultimate responsibilities were to archeology and Goggin felt that he must still have adequate quantitative and qualitative descriptions of the artifacts found.

John Mann Goggin has contributed substantial knowledge and information to anthropology and archeology. His interest in intellect, his generosity, and his quick and open hospitality earned him many respectable and life-long friends. For this reason, he is being recognized and honored in the American Anthropologist.


DANA DEKAY Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Vaughan, James H. Jr. Culture, History, and Grass-Roots Politics in a Northern Cameroon’s Kingdom. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol.66 (5) 1078-1095

This article analyzes the plebiscites used to determine whether the Trust Territory of Northern Cameroon then under United Kingdom Administration would remain as a Trust Territory of the United Nations or become part of Nigeria. Vaughan discovered that previous “predictions of two plebiscites which took place in 1959 and 1961 in Northern Cameroon were almost wholly wrong.” His article is intended to show how culture and history create a matrix in which political actions play out and to explain the complex forces which led to the contradictory plebiscite results. Three dimensions are analyzed: (1) Northern Cameroon cultural and tribal political organization (2) the history of local relations with outsiders, and (3) the contemporary political party situation.

Northern Cameroon consists of two disjointed strips of land, with extremely rugged mountain ranges separating Northern Cameroon proper from the more southern region, which is actually the northern part of the separate political entity of Southern Cameroon. There, the Gulak Kingdom is one of the largest independent Marghi indigenous units. Like other tribal groups in this area, the Marghi have remained largely uninfluenced by external forces of national change. Indigenous political systems such as these unfortunately were not fully considered in organizing the plebiscites. Marghi leadership has both political and divine aspects, and the kingship itself is integrated both into the local systems of patrilineal clans and into territorial sub-divisions. The result is a “hierarchical highly centralized political structure, revolving around a single all powerful divine king.” In contrast to the typical African situation, checks on kingly authority are minimal. Dynastic revolutions which involved killing the kings were institutionalized though these mainly involved a struggle within the royal family rather than a general revolution among commoners.

Historically, relations with outsiders mostly have involved invasions. The Marghi are pagan people who live surrounded by Muslims and they have also endured encroachment from the British and Germany. The neighboring Fulani have come to personify local fear of outsiders. Fulani intrusion into the region came in the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries, first as peaceful migrations of pastoralists and then, in 1806, as a jihad. The Marghi fled to the rugged mountains to escape being taken as slaves. British missionaries and administrators were viewed as protectors from the Fulani and thus were favorably regarded. This fact impacted the plebiscites results dramatically.

As in Northern Nigeria, Fulani ruled Northern Cameroon at the time of the plebiscites. Vaughan provides a detailed analysis of the complex political decision making that the plebiscite engendered and explains why the two plebiscites produced contradictory outcomes. The first plebiscite was in favor of remaining under control of the United Nations while the second Plebiscite supported union with Nigeria.


TRISH MALONE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Wagley, Charles. Obituary of Alfred Metraux 1902-1963. American Anthropologist. 1964 Vol. 66(2):603-613.

Metraux was, according to Charles Wagley, “the world’s foremost authority on the South American Indian.” He was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1902, where he studied until he left for Paris. He received his first degree there in 1927, followed by his doctorate from the Sorbonne in 1928.

Metraux founded the Institute of Ethnology at the University of Tucuman in Argentina. From there, he led an expedition to Easter Island, was a Fellow of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, and taught at Yale before returning to South America in 1939. During 1941, he worked on the Human Relations Area Files and started his work on the Handbook of South American Indians. He also taught in California, at Berkeley, as well as in Mexico and Chile.

In 1947, he started work at UNESCO, heading up various international projects and learning to loathe the “mundane obligations of a staff member.” He continued to pursue his research talents up to the end. He died in 1962, with students waiting for him in Paraguay to study the Guayaki.


TROY LINVILLE Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)

Winans, Edgar V. and Robert B. Edgerton. Hehe Magical Justice. American Anthropologist 1964 Vol. 66(4):745-764.

Winans and Edgerton conducted ethnographic research with Hehe, who make up a political group of nearly thirty chiefdoms located in the Iringa Area of the Southern Highlands Region of Tanganyika. The Hehe use a “moral magic.” This magic is used to punish people who break the moral norms of society, and will not work against anyone who is innocent. A person who uses this magic unjustly will find that the spell reverses against them.

Due to concern for magical retribution, Hehe must be careful to act properly and politely to everyone, even if they dislike or hate that person. When a person is offended by someone else, they choose between two options for sanctioning the offender. One option involves a court where a sub-chief can rule over the case. The other option involves the use of magic. This article describes six ethnographically observed case studies of magical justice to illustrate the circumstances, cultural meanings, and procedures involved.

In the first case, because a son was constantly defying his father and threatening him with magic, the father cursed his son. The son found out and they held a ceremony where he confessed his wrongdoings to his father, so that the curse would be broken. The second case involved the use of litego, a strong retributive magic. A man who fell ill consulted with a mbombwe, a mystic who can identify the sources of magic, and found that his neighbor, angered by a previous quarrel, had put a spell on him. After a ceremony where the sick man apologized and paid tribute to his neighbor, the illness went away. The third case involved a man who had taken care of a woman and her children during a time of drought. When the drought ended, she left the man and married someone else. The man asked her family for retribution, but they refused. The man was offended by the family’s actions and used litego against all of them. Many people died and this was believed to have been caused by the man’s magic. A ceremony was held and the family paid a large retribution to the man. The woman was not punished, however, because it was considered to be her family’s responsibility to guide her.

In the fourth case, one man threatened another man with litego, because he believed him to be sleeping with his wife. The men were related matrilateraly, and therefore were in the same lukolo family group. The offended man did not want to use magic against a relative so he gave a warning instead. This was satisfactory in solving the problem, because the other man left town to avoid magical retribution. The fifth case concerned an unjust use of litego. In this case a man used litego against his nephews, because he thought they were using magic against him. An incident involving a rooster dying at his doorstep made him realize that he was wrong, so he apologized to his nephews and ended the litego. The final example concerned the issue of witchcraft. The families of two brothers were plagued with death, so they consulted a mbombwe. They were told that their stepfather was a witch, a muhavi. The brothers arranged for a spirit called a likosa to kill their stepfather.

These cases show how important magic is to the Hehe people. Winans and Edgerton assert that magical justice is used as often and has as much respect as litigation. They compare Hehe reliance on magic to that of the English following the Norman Conquest. The Hehe were recently conquered by Britain and Germany, and the authors see their reliance on magical justice as a compensation for rapid social change. Winans and Edgerton claim that the use of litego, retributive magic, is especially effective because the offender must commence his or her own punishment by apologizing to and compensating the victim.


BRANT IVEY: Southern Oregon University (Anne Chambers)