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American Anthropologist 1995

Allen, Catherine J. & Garner, Nathan. Condor Qatay: Anthropology in Performance.American Anthropologist 1995, Vol. (98) 9: 69-82.

This interesting and informative article speaks to the power of dramatic performance in communicating ethnographic insight to both actors and audience. Condor Qatay refers to the name of both the article and the play that the article describes. Catherine Allen, a professor of anthropology, and Nathan Garner, an associate professor of theatre of dance, both faculty at the University of George Washington, collaborated to write, direct, and produce a play based on Allen’s fieldwork with the Quechua-speaking people of the Andes. This process of creating the play is executed in a course at the University of George Washington entitled “Anthropology in Performance”.

The authors note that there have been previous attempts at representing ethnography through performance. The main distinction between these and Condor Qatay is that there is no character of anthropologist present in the former. As previously noted, the play is based on Allen’s field work, and her text, The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural Identity in an Andean Community, became the central text for “Anthropology in Performance”.

The authors outline the plot line of the play by interspersing dialogue from the play throughout the article. The play takes its basis from an Andean folktale about a condor son-in-law. The folktale is told throughout the play by the character of Marcelina, the grandmother, to Suzicha, the granddaughter. The folktale tells of a condor disguised as a young man who woos a shepherdess. When the shepherdess agrees to accept the young man as her husband, he transforms himself back into the condor. The condor takes the shepherdess back to his nest in the mountains, where she is very unhappy and ultimately miscarries the half-condor, half-human they produce. The shepherdess runs away from the condor and back to her parents’ home. The condor comes after her, transforms again into a handsome man, and knocks on the door of the shepherdess’ parents’ home. As the condor waits outside, the family makes a large fire and boils a cauldron of water. They cover the cauldron with a poncho, making it look like a seat, and finally admit the son-in-law into their home. They offer him a seat on the poncho-covered cauldron, which the disguised condor accepts. The son-in-law is boiled and then eaten by his wife’s parents.

The main story line of the play revolves around a parallel retelling of this folktale. Marcelina and Vicente are an elderly couple who live with their widowed daughter, Adriana, and her ten-year-old daughter Suzicha. A road crew is building a road through Chiripata, where they live, and Adriana falls in love with the bulldozer operator, José Luis. Adriana does not tell her parents, because she knows they would not approve. After Vicente finds out that Adriana is in love with José Luis, she and José Luis leave her parents and Suzicha to flee to the nearest big city. In the city, Adriana’s life does not go quite as well as she expected. She has a miscarriage, and José Luis turns to drinking to relieve his depression. Adriana and José Luis return to Chiripata, where José Luis is manipulated by his wife’s parents, like in the folktale. Instead of falling into the boiling water, José Luis is tricked into taking on the role of a peasant.

After this discussion of both the folktale and the plot of the play, the authors discuss the association between the play and Allen’s fieldwork. The play highlights the presentation of Quechuan religious and ritualistic ceremonies. These rituals are what Allen based her fieldwork on; “the small ceremonies of everyday life and on how these are embedded in the daily routine and intensified in religious ritual” (pg. 79). The play presents and teaches the audience of these rituals in a unique way. The story line also speaks to a common occurrence in Andean life: men and women who try to make their way in a big city, but fail, just to return to their remote, rural communities. The presentation of this anthropological information in play-form can provide an audience with a new perspective. It is possible this format might bring up new ideas and observations.

The writing in this article is very fluid and easy to read. There is no confusion when the authors write in the Quechua language, as they always translate the meaning into English.

ERIN QUINN University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Allen, Catherine J. and Nathan Garner. Condor Qatay. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97: 69-82

This article proposes that the value of theatre as a medium for ethnographic description, interpretation, and analysis. Furthermore, this could be a way to provide insights into another culture for both audience and actor. The authors have produced an ethnographic play, Condor Qatay, which is the result of more than a decade of collaboration. The play grew out a class called “Anthropology in Performance”, in which students delved into another cultural world, the world of the Quechua in the Andes highlands, and performed improvisational plays. They soon realized that improvisation and use of English brought out the mannerisms of the actors, which further separates them and the audience from the reality of Andean highland life. The decision was made to a have a formal script that utilized some words and the rhythm of Quechua. They also incorporated aspects of Quechua social life, such as etiquette for chewing coca. The ethnographic details were from Allen’s ethnographic fieldwork and, as a result, the play was “intended it to be viewed, almost as if it were ethnographic documentation”.

The play attempts to give a view of the complex social fabric of rural Andean life through the perspective of a single family. The setting is a harsh highland potato farming community. Life is very hard and opportunities are scarce. Allen’s work and the play focus specifically on the interplay between daily routine and religious ritual. The play interweaves the family’s life and the common Andean folktale of the condor son-in-law, who is eaten by his father-in-law. Writing an ethnographic play can be a very insightful endeavor for the anthropologist. The “totality” of human events has been a theme in anthropology since very early on, yet anthropologists have not figured out how to convey this. A catalogue of cultural traits is boring. To make ethnography come alive and interact with the audience, creating a lasting experience is what theatre can bring to anthropology.

PHILLIP UNDERWOOD California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Arnold, Jeanne E. Transportation Innovation and Social Complexity among Maritime Hunter-Gather Societies. American Anthropologist 1997(4): 733-747

Jeanne E. Arnold does an excellent job of addressing an issue that what she claims so many anthropologists have neglected to do when studying cultures around the world. The author claims that because deterministic views of the role of technology in social evolution are untenable, anthropologists have frequently de-emphasized the social impacts of practical innovations. This means that most anthropologists do not recognize how important technological advancement in simple cultures can affect their society.

The article covers the subject that innovations such as improved canoe making by the Chumash (Native American of Southern California) and Nootkans (native to the Northwest Coast) had a great effect over the course of their history. Arnold feels that booth groups of natives were greatly affected by technological innovations made on their canoes. Although the advancement of their canoe making had different overall effects on their cultures, they serve as good examples of the possibilities of such effects could be.

Archeological evidence supports Arnold’s claim that the Chumash became more dependent on trade as a result of the constant improvement of their sea transportation. The Nootkans, on the other hand, developed a culture that used their canoe improvements to increase their ecological fitness on the open sea. They became more dependent on their watercraft for fishing. In both coastal cultures a hierarchy of have and have-nots was created as a result of the each new improvement. Consequently, Arnold was able to demonstrate through her examples that sociopolitical evolution can be profoundly affected by new technologies and the control over economic trade.

ETHAN JACKSON California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Arnold, Jeanne E. Transportation Innovation and Social Complexity Among Maritime Hunter-Gatherer Societies. American Anthropologist, December, 1995 Vol. 97(4):733-748.

Water transportation technology played an important role in the social complexity among certain maritime peoples. Jeanne Arnold shows that this is especially true for the Chumash of Southern California and the Nootkans (Nuuchannulth) of British Colombia. These two groups are both coastal communities which play and important role as gateways for various social and economic interchanges. The watercraft also facilitated practical and symbolic exchanges, which lead to increased integration.

Arnold explains how the advancement of water transportation plays such an important role among the Nootkan and the Chumash people’s social evolution. The canoe is argued to have a role with information exchange, elite manipulations of goods and services, amassing surpluses of storable foods, moving quantities of cargo over great distances, and controlling intensity of direction of social contacts. The watercraft greatly impacted four areas of the organization of maritime groups; the dietary intake, labor investments and organization, communication and trade, and symbolic and ritual behaviors.

Arnold shows sketches of the type of watercraft each of the groups would be seen using. The Chumash used a tule balsa or plank canoe or tomal and the Nootkan used different types of dugout canoes.

Often between these two groups, as well as in many other maritime peoples, only wealthy individuals and chiefs owned canoes, creating a social hierarchy and a struggle to advance. Since only a few people in a community were owned a canoe they were used for important purposes. Watercraft played a role in morality tales and to reinforce rank. Making a Chumash plank canoe was ritually significant and had symbols of power. This is seen even when the canoe maker or the canoe owner dies, the canoe or pieces of it were placed with the deceased. Secular power was also often seen in the Nootkan’s culture. Here a number of myths link young chiefs with supernatural encounters with canoes and success at hunting.’

Arnold argues in this article how the contribution of the watercraft to social and ideological evolution is greatly under reported. She stresses how boats have played an important role in many areas of life of maritime hunter gather people, maybe the most important role played, in creating social hierarchy among groups.

AMANDA LAMBERT University of Minnesota-Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Battaglia, Debbora. Fear of Selfing in the American Cultural Imaginary or “You are Never Alone with a Clone”. American Anthropologist Vol. 97(4):1995:672-677

Battaglia in full post-modern rhetoric draws attention to the American idea of self and it’s play in the cloning debate amongst intellectuals, the media and the populace with respect to use of market and property for guidelines in conducting human embryo research. The question of the role of the anthropologist in the ethics and exercise of the scientific community is raised and the entry of anthropologist is strongly advocated. She correctly observes the inadequate and deficient arguments from the most vocal side of the issue, those generally against the idea of cloning and critical of the biotechnological industry. She does not take sides but only questions. The media is criticized along with the scientific community for its strong bias and lack of strong arguments for the anti-cloning community and/or those sympathetic. The public, whom this technology is meant to serve, is therefore not fully informed and left somewhat confused. The point that the experiment that started all this debate was carefully constructed to not produce life, and is representative of a very primitive stage of genetic engineering is not considered. There will by no army of clones just yet.

Also the idea of self and individuality in American/European culture does not consider the cultural and psychological factors that make a human what he or she is, not just a product of biology. So human individuality, which by definition is unique becomes something that is given in its totality at birth to everyone by his or her genes and is not a sum of the environmental conditions of living. The article is not entirely clear on her stance on either the issue of cloning or what anthropology can do. I assume that she alludes to the ability of anthropology to look at the issue with much less bias and that we have the ability to understand the benefits of this technology while at the same time being critical of its capabilities. As critical theory has looked into the role of capitalism and its marginalization of indigenous cultures, so must it look into science and the roles that capitalism and ethics play in the development and implementation of technology.

MICHAEL RAMIREZ California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Battaglia, Debbora. Fear of Selfing in the American Cultural Imaginary or “You Are Never Alone With a Clone.” American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol.97(4):672-677.

In this article, Debbora Battaglia discusses how the anthropologist could be more involved with the ethics and practices of science culture, specifically biotechnology. She uses the example of human cloning to back up her argument that self-identity and individuality are important American values. With this she also discusses the complications of anthropology’s attempts to define the “self” and “other”.

According to Battaglia, the dangers of “selfing” lie in constructing the self, including the anthropologist, as a stable, unitary object or point of reference. Left unchecked, Battaglia says “selfing” can create a series of self-concepts that inhibit an anthropologist’s purpose to perform reflexive anthropology. She states that outside of anthropological discourse, the dangers of “selfing” increase as one studies issues “closer to home” (673) such as human cloning.

Battaglia focuses on human cloning as it threatens “selfing” by “positing a total, static, and implicitly substitutable and replicable human object” (673). In 1993, when Jerry Hall cloned a human embryo, a range of practical and ethical questions were raised. Battaglia focuses on individuality, which was presented in the media as a given rather than a constructed or situationally experienced human value, threatened in the view of critics, and not threatened in the view of those who support cloning.

Battaglia says history’s test-tube baby was an original. In contrast, she states that the concrete image of controlled replication elicited the fear that more of one might render the other less: less valuable than the collectivity, but also less of an “original” (675). Therefore, Battaglia believes the replication becomes less clearly a person with an identity, in turn conflicting with the American values of individuality and self-identity.

According to Battaglia, biotechnology came to stand for the concern about diminishing self-identity, and loss of control over the instrumental means and practices of self-production. She relates this to Michel Foucault’s “technologies of self” where the individual is “devalued in its imaginary potential” (675). Battaglia believes that such theories are important for moving anthropological study toward a culturally and historically situated knowledge of issues so far only appreciated as literary.

KARI HIETANEN University of Minnesota – Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Borneman, John. American Anthropology as Foreign Policy. American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol. 97(4):pp 663-670

In this article, John Borneman discusses the task in American anthropology of situating ones self in a clearer position relative to the foreign. By “foreign”, Borneman refers to “the others” in American society whom are continuously made distinct from the native. In order to define the foreign-native distinction, Borneman breaks up his article into four parts. Each of the five components of the article exemplifies anthropology’s involvement in modeling foreign policy.

In the first section of the article, Borneman discusses English literature and language in relation to domestic policy. Teaching English and literature, says Borneman, was initially planned to overcome social divisions and to create unity within a nation. However, as Borneman points out, the democracy in teaching literature proceeded to exclude many minority groups. American literature or “the canon”, as Borneman calls it, became a designation between “westerners” and “non-westerners” at the same time embracing multiculturalism.

Repositioning anthropology to its history is the subject for the second section of the article. Focusing on American anthropology’s concern with native verses foreign, Borneman observes each subfield of anthropology and its contribution. Borneman uses the American Indians to illustrate the development of “foreign” commercial relations during the first and second world wars. In this aspect, Borneman relates the exclusion of minority by English literature, with the anthropologists concern in defining the foreign.

The third and fourth sections of the article, Borneman continues to use the American Indians as references to political economy and race. The pacification of Indians by the American government during the end of the 19th century began the new political economy and the issue of “foreign affairs”. In Borneman’s opinion, the latter part of the 19th century included a greater acceptance of Indian people, however it did not change racial views. Borneman continues by stating that American anthropology and American foreign policy engaged in creating Indian policy as part “of a global strategy in dealing with foreignness”.

Borneman concludes his argument in the fifth section by discussing cultural differences and political boundaries of Whites and Indians. For many anthropologists, attempts to measure civilization by degree of culture became an issue. According to the article, such authors of the time, such as Henry Lewis Morgan, created “treatises on international order”, not documents on social structure. To Borneman, the best example of boundaries formed on the Indians was the Dawes Act of 1887, and as Indian issues became domestic, anthropologists followed American foreign policy to other parts of the world. To conclude, the article remarks that anthropologists must acknowledge the fact that their work is performed in the domain of foreign policy.

The ideas in Borneman’s article were a little difficult to follow, however many interesting points were brought up.

MEGAN WEST University of Alberta: (Dr Heather Young Leslie)

Borneman, John. American Anthropology as Foreign Policy. American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol. 97 (4):663-672.

John Borneman compares the historical development and goals in English literature and anthropology in the United States as critical to the development of domestic and foreign policy relations within this country.

The brief history of English literature as it developed in higher education, leads to an assimilation process for the masses that migrated into cities and began voting after the Civil War. Instead of an elite class of white males learning European Classics for the sake of being a gentleman, there was a shift to teaching the common American the correct relationships in society. Borneman says that American English departments were always a political battlefield for institutionalizing the models of social relations such as: between native and alien, rich and poor, and labor and capital. By defining the West in order to teach a general education, they excluded non-Western traditions and designated them for specialized studies. This became an institution of domestic policy.

Borneman theorizes that the historical development of anthropology was based on the process of distinguishing the native (us) from the foreign (them), the study of the primitive Other, and that it centered less on the systematic study of its subject than on the construction of it. He uses the term Indian to lessen confusion between the concept of native applied to anyone and the term Native American.

The relationships between European settlers and the natives revolved around war and trade, the same arenas in which foreign policy is made. He stresses that the nature of anthropology as a study of Others aided the U.S.’s treatment of the Indians as the first “foreign”. After the Spanish-American War, the same policies developed to interact with foreign Indians were projected onto other foreign peoples outside the country. This is paralleled in the shift from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) moving from the War Department to the Department of Interior as political interests shifted from the U.S. territory to outside. After Indians became more of a domestic issue, the focus of ethnography also followed the shift in foreign policy, for example the “area studies” after World War II.

The BIA’s multiple functionality, from military body to welfare agency, depending on how the native and foreign were defined and differentiated, was due to the ambiguity the U.S. government and ethnographers had in conceptualizing the Indians as both the first natives and ultimate foreigners.

Borneman stresses that reframing our understanding of the past and present in terms of what work anthropologists do and not how anthropology is defined will help us to move forward with more legitimacy while we work with issues such as foreign policy. He encourages anthropologists to continue fieldwork among the foreign and to be involved in foreign policy but to reassess the meaning of these terms and our relationship and position with it more rigorously.

LEANN MOORE California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Brace, C. Loring. Biocultural Interaction and the Mechanism of Mosaic Evolution in the Emergence of “Modern” Morphology. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97: 711-718.

C. Loring Brace wrote this article because American Anthropologist articles have ignored the evolutionary mechanism by which the “modern” configuration of man emerged. The transition between Australopithecus and Homo, and between erectus and sapiens, were changes that occurred that gave these populations a discernable adaptive advantage over their predecessors. Relative brain size had reached its modern level 200,000 years ago, yet physically humans at this time still retained the archaic, more robust traits. Since that time the human skeletal morphology has reduced in robustness, dramatically. There are no known advantages of a more fragile skeleton, so what is to account for this evolutionary reduction. Brace claims that he had suggested this thirty years ago; look to culture.

Humans belong to a “cultural ecological niche” which means that humans are not only biological creatures, but also cultural. This gives them adaptive strategies or behaviors that enable them to overcome certain selective forces that act upon them. The most interested aspect of this idea is the fact that evolutionary result of this is always the reduction of human skeletal morphology, rather than its intensification. Culture relaxes the selective pressures on humans, allowing random, non-adaptive mutations to avoid selection. Since the mutations are always reductionary, he calls this probable mutation effect.

Two cultural innovations clearly illustrate this: obligatory cooking and projectile points. In the northern temperate zone, cooking was a prerequisite in winter because otherwise meat would be frozen and impossible to eat. This innovation lessened the amount of chewing that was necessary. As a result, the selective pressures that maintained tooth size and durability were relaxed. This trend is illustrated in the gradual tooth reduction that occurred over the last 100,000 years in Europe. In Africa, the development of projectile points enabled hunters to kill prey without having to come into direct contact with the prey. This relaxed the selection forces that maintained postcranial robustness. The Qafzeh and Skuhl sites in Israel seem to the crossroads, or meeting point for these two innovations that would drastically change skeletal morphology to its “modern” configuration. Brace is calling for more coordination between biological anthropologists and archaeologists to make sense of “the mosaic nature of human evolution in the latter part of the Pleistocene”, as it is obvious that neither biology nor culture alone could explain this.

PHILLIP UNDERWOOD California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Chazan, Michael. Conceptions of Time and the Development of Paleolithic Chronology.American Anthropologist September, 1995 Vol.97(3):457-467.

The author’s main objective in this article is to establish how the time period of human existence known as the Paleolithic fits into the pre-existing three-age system (Iron, Bronze, and Stone Age). The main focus of the article divides the Stone Age into “Old” and “New”, while incorporating three separate but unique chronological schemes. The first of the three was a paleontological chronology developed by Edouard Lartet (1801-1871). Lartet proposed a Quaternary division into a Cave Bear, Elephant, Rhinoceros, and finally a Reindeer period. Lartet’s system was quite regional and not based on human artifacts whatsoever. The author then leads us to our next chronology developed by Gabriel de Mortillet. Being a passionate materialist and archaeologist, Mortillet divided the Paleolithic into four epochs, the Acheulian, Mousterian, Solutrean, and Magdalenian. Each of these epochs was correlated with major sites, including the geology and meteorology, and fauna. Dismissing a chronological method based on fanual successions, Mortillet felt that stone tool industries were a more natural way to classify the development of mankind. Shortly before Mortillets death, a young devout Catholic, Abbe Breuil developed an interest in prehistory. The major change that Breuil made allowed migration and diffusion to play a role in prehistoric record. Breuil also saw evolution as a process that had to be defined geographically as well as temporally. These changes made a clear distinction of Breuil’s work to that of Mortillet. The author notes the influence of Darwin in the evolutionary process of Breuil’s scheme. Chazan makes the point clear that Breuil manipulated Darwin’s theory in order to fit into his religious ideology. The chronological framework developed by Mortillet and Breuil remains largely intact despite other recent developments.

Upon reading the conclusion, it is apparent that Michael Chazan is clearly postmodern in his writing techniques. He points out the importance of recognizing the differing concepts of the three anthropologists, the archaeological record, and time. For example, he stresses that Mortillet was a materialist who did more museum work than that of Breuil, a devout Catholic who gathered a majority of his data from the field. These differences do not make any of the three anthropologist’s data more valid, rather Chazan is proposing that historical background plays a significant role in how anthropologists develop their ideas.

THOMAS MELZER California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Cole, B. Johnnetta. Human Rights and the Rights of Anthropologists. American Anthropologist 1995 vol 97(3:1): 445-448.

This is a plenary address to open the 93rd annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association that was held in 1994 in Atlanta, Georgia. Human rights are the theme of this convention as well as the theme of Johnnetta’s speech. Her speech is very eloquent and appeals to any person interested in upholding human decency. In her address she confronts many human injustices in the world, as well as in Atlanta. She urges all Anthropologists to maintain a notion of what human rights consist of.

Johnnetta states that, as Anthropologists one of the main concerns should be in the realm of human rights. There are many issues in Anthropology that need to be looked at such as cultural relativism. She uses examples of clitoridectomies in Africa and Sati in India. Questions are posed in cases like these where we have a hard time judging what we think of as morally correct without infringing on any human rights. There is a very fuzzy line between n the two.

Johnnetta goes into great detail stating examples of different areas where human rights are being violated and different historical accounts of such events. She talks of the slave trade during the period of North American colonization. Because of events like this, African American people were not allowed to have their basic rights. It took many years for the American government to grant them the right to vote, right to citizenship and most importantly the right of freedom. The people that colonized North America also took the rights of Native Americans. They were kicked off their land and forced to live on reservations. Jews were persecuted and murdered by the millions during the Second World War when Germany was under control of the Nazi regime. Johnnetta states that sexism is also a major problem in our world. She states that discrimination and the abuse of women has been a constant through time.

She poses a tough question to her colleagues when she asks, ” What if anything we, as Anthropologists, should do and can do about it all.” Her answer is took look to former Anthropologists such as Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict who both spoke out against Racism and the violation of human rights.

Finally, she notes that as Anthropologists also have many rights as humans. At the beginning, Anthropology was a predominantly Western white male field of work. With the changing times and the increase in tolerance, Anthropology has become a multicultural field. Different associations have been maintained to make sure that the human rights are upheld in the Anthropological sector.

ALAN SUKONNIK University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Cole, Johnnetta B. Human Rights and the Rights of Anthropologists. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97: 445-448

This article is interestingly a speech. It is the opening plenary address at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. This meeting was held in Atlanta in 1994. The opening speaker, Johnnetta B. Cole was the president of the historically black, Spellman College, for women. In the beginning of the text Cole dedicates her speech to Pearl Primus who was an anthropologist, dancer, and choreographer. She describes Atlanta as a great city with a rich history. She brings up the civil rights movement as having owed much of it’s origins to Atlanta, and then she goes into the main theme, which is human rights.

Cole notes that the issue of human rights is not new to anthropology. Violations of human rights can be found all over the Third World and even in the developed world. The fate of women so many times is the same in regards to their treatment during wars or economic hardships. She cites many examples through time where human rights were greatly abused, especially, during the reign of Nazi Germany, the slave trade, the systematic and forced relocation of Native Americans, the increase in hate crimes in recent decades, and the fallacy of equality where inequity still exists.

Cole brings up anthropology, its broad understanding and definitions of human rights, and its duty to act. This part of the speech becomes very controversial. Many anthropologists believe their job is only to observe and be objective, whereas, others feel it is their duty to actively step in and use their knowledge to better the human condition. Both arguments are valid and both sides have their sticking points. Cole brings up the fact that the American Anthropological Association passes resolutions regarding human rights and other issues meaning anthropology is taking an activist stance on these issues. So what then of the rights of the anthropologist, she asks. In a world where the anthropologist is no more the white male with nothing to fear, anthropologists are increasingly, the same people they wish to defend. Johnnetta B. Cole herself is an activist anthropologist, so her interpretation is essentially for the activist point of view. The debate still continues amongst anthropologists all over the world.

Cole’s articulation and speech style make this article easy to follow and understand.

TAMER SARIELDIN California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Conklin, Beth A. and Graham, Laura R. The Shifting Middle Ground: Amazonian Indians and Eco-Politics. American Anthropologist September, 1995 Vol. 97 (3):695-710.

This article deals with the relationship between native Amazonians with international environmentalorganizations. In an attempt to force the Brazillian government to grant them land rights the nativeAmazonians took thier issues to an international level creating an alliance with the internationalenvironmental agencies. This alliance was based on the environmentalists shift from complete conservation to promoting sustainable development, which is what they believed the native Amazonians practiced. Unfortunately the truth is the native Amazonians are just as willing to develop the natural resources for their own profit. In the view of the authors, it was naive of the environmentalists to assume the native Amazonians would value the environment more than the quality of life of their families.

It is the conceptualization of native Amazonians as “ecologically noble savages” that led to thisunrealistic relationship. This noble savage was supposed to be free from the corruption of the West,they were lacking a desire to acquire materialistic success. Also problematic is the “global ecologicalinaginary,” in which the people of the West can feel connected to these noble people through a commonconcern for the depleting natural environment. The media also plays an important role in developing thisunrealistic idea. The media portrayed the Amazonians as being harmonious with nature, using their imagesfor marketing and advertisements. It was the media who made this into an international affair. Evenbased on a faulty presumption, this relationship has proven beneficial to both parties. Theenvironmentalists gained further knowledge on the environment and credibility among the people of theWest, developing and image as working together with the native peoples to solve the environmentalproblems, which legitimized their involvement in this and other countries. This relationship also providedthe native Amazonians with an outlet to get their message to the masses. The amount of support fortheir cause increased exponentially. These groups no longer relied on the FUNAI and the Catholic Church(both of which had thier own motives) to speak for them.

Even with the benefits both sides have enjoyed, this relationship is in danger of being broken because of the false presumptions of the environmental agencies. There are three problems the authors point to aspossible causes in the break of this relationship. The first is the naive view the agencies take of thenative Amazonians as solely seeking to promote the environment without regard to their own standard ofliving. Second, is the need for the natives to rely on one spokesperson. This person will come underscrutiny on both sides. If someone chooses to defame that person, it will reflect on the whole Amazoniancommunity. Finally, the authors cite the resentment that developed between the general Brazillian publicwith the native Amazonians. The ties that are made with the outside world, make the native Amazonians considered more of a foreignor to the general public, creating hostility between the them. Even with the problems this relationship faced the authors admit there is still a chance at an honest relationship thatwill be beneficial for both sides.

MICHELLE STOUT California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Conklin, Beth A. and Laura R. Graham. The Shifting Middle Ground: Amazonian Indians and Eco-Politics. American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol.97(4):695-710.

Alliances between indigenous Amazonian Indians and environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were created in the 1980s under the assumption that both groups sought to fight to preserve the rain forest. Based on images in the Western media, the world came to see Amazonian Indians as “Ecologically Noble Savages” who were a part of a global community. The notion of the “Ecologically Noble Savage” viewed the Indian as a “national conservationist” who used natural resources in nondestructive and sustainable ways. This attitude mirrored the beliefs of environmentalists and other peoples from around the world and created a sense of solidarity among people from diverse backgrounds. The two groups were also connected by symbolic images representing the Amazonian Indians. These visions depicted qualities associated with the noble savage- purity, simplicity, and harmony with nature- and included images of colorful and decorated Amazonian Indian people.

However, these images conflict with the reality of Indian goals and desires. Partnerships formed with the global community falsely assumed that Indians and others shared similar worldviews. The environmentalists’ goal was to promote sustainable resource management, while the Amazonian Indian people ultimately sought self-determination and control over their own resources. The truth was the Indians did not always opt for long-term environmental conservation and had in the past chosen environmentally destructive options.

The “Ecologically Noble Savage”, the global ecological imaginary, and the symbolic Indian were false images of Western fantasy that everyone depended on to pursue their self-interests. These images and ideas created tension in forming alliances and were susceptible to contamination and shift in meaning over time.

ABBEY PAULSON University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Conklin, Beth A. and Laura R. Graham. The Shifting Middle Ground: Amazonian Indians and Eco-Politics. American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol.97(4):695-710.

The authors employ an extensive literature review on Amazonian Indians and their connections to the first-world environmentalist movement to illustrate the “global ecological imaginary,” or one’s perceived identification with a nascent world community. This has largely been a first-world development, and stems from the environmentalist community’s increased identification with South American indigenous groups since the early 1980’s. The effect on the environmentalist and native rights movements has been primarily positive, but the authors warn that this relationship is unstable. It has been forged in a specific historical context, and framed by particular ideological and symbolic constructions. Under these conditions the cross-cultural dynamic that currently exists risks reproducing colonial relations in the absence of any reflexive analysis on the limitations of reductionist semiotic politics.

This ideological space can best be described as a “middle ground” between fourth and first world people. Under present circumstances this space is primarily political, an arena of communication, joint action and intercultural communication. But the meanings and messages of said interaction are not stable, and often the middle ground’s premises are founded on misunderstanding.

The authors argue that the middle ground of Amazonian eco-politics was established on the assumption that native people’s worldview and methods of utilizing natural resources were consistent with Western conservationist efforts. In the 1980’s we saw the environmentalist movement increasingly rely on promotional symbols which consciously evoked native groups. Thus rose the notion of the “Ecologically Noble Savage,” a dangerous simplification which would come to directly equate native life with sustainable ecological practices, often ignoring the myriad of ways indigenous people utilize the land.

The myth of the noble savage drew substantial benefits initially. Environmentalists saw increased support and participation from first world citizens who were shown the human side of environmental issues. At the same time, fourth world pro-Indian advocacy groups had a new way to legitimate and communicate native claims in a language that could be understood by outsiders. They soon drew powerful international allies in the form of NGO’s, and were able to rouse enough international attention to make their own governments respond to native concerns.

But the authors point out that, despite these immediate advantages, there are three serious drawbacks to this sort of semiotic relationship. First, it attempts to define “authentic” Indian experience in a way which often contradicts the realities of native people’s lives. Second, it is promulgated by the mass media with few indigenous mediators, and third, the globalization of indigenous politics often collides with nationalist sentiment.

BRIAN M. BLITZ University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Das Gupta, Monica. Life Course Perspectives on Women’s Autonomy and Health Outcomes. American Anthropologist September 1995 Volume 97(3): 481-491.

Monica Gupta primarily writes about women’s inferiority to men and its negative effects on woman, including health, her baby and most importantly status. Life cycles of women are analyzed and separated into two basic patterns. Pattern one societies include peasant societies in Northern Europe, where autonomy is highest among young married adults and decreases with age, where as in pattern two societies comprised of Northern India, it is the exact opposite where autonomy rises with age. Das Gupta focuses mainly on the pattern two societies to support the women’s stance on gender inequality.

The status of a woman in a pattern two society is dependent on her sons. For example, when a young woman is first married, she holds the lowest position in the household. Her status slowly increases when she bears her first son and as her sons continues to grow into men, her ranking rises further. The relationship between the mother and son is essential because the “son’s loyalty to [his] mother [allows her to move up in status although it consequently]… perpetuate[s] the cycle of female subordination” (Das Gupta, p. 484).

This “double powerlessness” in pattern two societies takes a great toll on a women and her children’s health. For example, Das Gupta’s analysis demonstrated that “the mother’s autonomy was significantly negatively related to the probability of her children dying” (p. 485). Also, female children are discriminated against because of the strong preference for male children. As a result, girls suffer from higher levels of mortality during childhood. Because of improper nutrition, heavy workloads, and poor conditions of delivery, a pregnant woman suffers from neglect resulting in adverse effects of her own health and her baby. This also “impairs reproductive health by slowing the process of fertility decline” (Das Gupta, p. 489).

Das Gupta mainly focuses much of her attention on the pattern two societies to provide evidence for women’s’ subordination to men. Her in depth examples of women portrayed in northern Europe and northern India provide the reader with an understanding of their lives. Das Gutpa provides the reader with a well-written and organized analysis of gender inequality that still exists in today’s world.

JULIE TRUONG University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Das Gupta, Monica. Life Course Perspective on Women’s Autonomy and Health Outcomes American Anthropologist December, 1995. Vol. 97 (3):481-491.

In this article the author investigates the relationship between autonomy and health outcomes as it relates to women. Comparing data primarily from 19th and 18th century Northern Europe peasant societies and contemporary Northern India societies, the author identifies two main patterns of power and autonomy structures. In pattern one societies, as exemplified by 18th and 19th century Northern Europe, married youth have a high degree of autonomy while older generations have a lower degree of autonomy. The reverse is the case in pattern two societies and is exemplified by contemporary Northern India. In both patterns, the males are the ones who posses the power and control the household. Further, both societies are characterized by females leaving their homes at the time of marriage to join her husband and his family.

The main focus of this article is on health issues as they relate to the pattern-two societies. The pattern-two societies are characterized by power vested in the older generation, and the new wife, who is coming into here husbands family as a stranger, being placed in the bottom ranks of the household with little status. She is afforded very little autonomy and has no say in matters of the house or her marital relationship. As males are the head of the house and possess the power, females in their old age depend on their sons for survival. As an effect, sons are preferred, and a mother-son bond is persued by females throughout the child’s life. Consequently, mothers and grandmothers, who have rank over the wife and dictate what she is and is not to do, berate her and give her no special privileges, this includes the periods of pregnancy. What we see here are oppressed women oppressing women. In effect, the treatment, or mistreatment, of females has shown to be positively correlated with female mortality rates in these societies. This is seen using a multi-cultural comparative method. Although not a statement of causation, the author states that this pattern appears to be a contributing factor in the poor health of these women.

BRIAN ARMENTA California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Dentan, Robert Knox. Bad Day at Bukit Pekan. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol.(97)2:1pp225-231.

The main focus of this article is the incidence of violence, particularly against defenseless people, with specific reference to the Senoi Semai people of Malaysia.

The author’s objective is to convince the reader that any society can become violent when presented with a certain situation. The author places emphasis on the fact that violent incidences will reoccur and advises that we need to “pay attention”.

The author employs a narrative style to incorporates the author’s fieldwork, and describe the accounts from various Senoi Semai of certain events without, “analysis or commentary” (225). The article is divided up into sections. The article begins with the point that the Senoi Semai are described as “the most peaceful society known to anthropology” (225). This is followed by the question of “what happens when the Semai do become violent”(225). The story unfolds with the author being driven through the countryside in Malaysia and then the arrival at Steit, a Semai settlement. It was here, the author was to meet Uda, who would describe the Chinese massacre in the 1940’s. The killing of innocent Semai women and children caused the Semai to resort to violence. This massacre is compared to those of the Holocaust and in Rwanda in 1994. The evidence of these two massacres illustrates how even a non-violent society can become violent when evil is committed against them. As was the case with the Senoi Semai people.

I found the article very interesting and the presentation very effective. The use of a narrative format, rather than just bare facts is much more convincing for a reader. A picture is painted, one becomes involved in it, and one can obtain a clear understanding of the author’s point that non-violent people can become violent and that undoubtedly, events such as massacres will happen again. Indeed, we must “pay attention”.

MEREDITH ROBINSON University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Dentan, Knox Robert. Bad Day at Butik Pekan American Anthropologist 1995, Vol.97(2):225-250

Dentan’s article examines how it is that the Senoi Semai of Malaysia got the reputation as “the most peaceful society known to anthropology.” The practice of labelling is something that has been unconsciously practised by anthropologists who are now consciously trying to avoid it. In the article Dentan examines the cause behind increased incidences of violence in Semai culture. He does this by retelling stories, as told by Samai killers, of their crimes, including accounts of homicide and genocide. When these individuals describe what they have done they place the blame on outside factors, such as, the British, the Chinese or Communists. However, Dentan believes that Semai violence is caused by conditions that the Malaysian government created in their development polices. Dentan uses the data that he collected in the field and compares it to accounts of Malays’ history, studies of terrorism and colonialism. Dentan suggests that once anthropologists adopt a position they interpret evidence and data in such way as to support the position instead of possibly re-evaluating the position in light of the evidence.

Dentan argues that ethnographies contain unconscious biases. Preconceived notions affect the collection of data and interpretation of results. By retelling the killers’ stories without adding any interpretation or commentary he attempts to make an unbiased point. There are, however, other problems associated with writing an ethnography that seeks to express social reality. It is difficult to understand the feelings and emotions of others and even more difficult for academics to write about them. By presenting a narrative rather than diagnostic analysis he avoids moral judgements and is able to examine a society to show both their positive and negative attributes. This leaves the reader free to draw their own conclusions and make their own judgements.

The author presents his point in a clear and concise manner that is very easy to understand. His examples and evidence, which consist of first-hand narratives, serve to support his thesis thus making this a strong article.

KELLY READ University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Dentan, Robert K. Bad Day at Bukit Pekan. American Anthropologist June, 1995. Vol. 97 (2):225-250.

In this article the author is dealing with the issue of violence, or non-violence, among the Senoi Semai of Malaysia, a group thought by many anthropologists to be one of the most peaceful societies. Claiming that the peaceability of the Semai has become an issue amongst proponents of the theoretical inevitability of violence, as well as a concern for what happens when the Semai do get violent, the author returned to Malaysia to see of his initial account of Semai violence was inaccurate and if in fact was on the rise. This article is a presentation of some of the initial data that the author had collected and which was to be part of a larger work regarding the accounts of violence amongst the Semai.

The author presents a detailed account given by a Semai man, and supplemented by official press releases, regarding the massacre at Bukit Pekan, a small Chinese village, by the Semai in 1949. Evidence of Semai violence were expressed and the author attempts to give an accurate and unbiased account of what was said. Although making a comparison with his own obsessive-compulsive behaviors, the author claims that he does not attempt to further analyze the psychological motives of the Semai, stating, “all I have to go on is what people say and do, and that’s all I have to share here.”

This article, for the most part, is descriptive in nature. The authors aim is to give an account of Semai violence as given by a Semai man. He sums up and concludes this article by stating that he is merely attempting to “recapture the tone and factuality of Semai remembrance for readers who do not know the Semai.”

BRIAN ARMENTA California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Downey, Gary Lee, Juan D. Rogers. On the Politics of Theorizing in a Postmodern Academy. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol.97(5):269-281.

At the beginning of the postmodern era, life with its new technological advances was considered by colonists to be a sign of progress. Postmodern science claimed it would ensure an increased wealth to all and be a giant step towards emancipation. In reality, postmodernism allows for a hegemonic relationship between western and non-western societies. It has done nothing to further emancipation, rather it has created relationships through science that separate the West from the rest of the world. Peoples of non-European descent have been taken over by western society and thereby forced to become westernized. These ‘underdeveloped’ cultures were expected to thrive by following the industrial democracy of the Europeans and Americans.

In their article, On the Politics of Theorizing in a Postmodern Academy, Gary Lee Downey and Juan D. Rogers discuss the problems encountered when theorizing in a postmodern academy. By its ethnographic texts, cultural anthropology has shown that a Western hegemony exists. In ethnographic articles, the author has tried to make it appear as though the Natives being studied were speaking for themselves and by their own will. This was not the case. The author tried to create the illusion that there was no ethnographic interference but he was responsible for constructing and the phrasing of the text. As a result, the texts should be considered empirically inaccurate.

Downey and Rogers believed that cultural anthropology has continued to exploit the peoples being studied. Scientists are still considered to be cultural elites, having too much power over what gets published and what does not. This scientific elite refuses to recognize the legitimacy of other forms of knowledge based on different cultural premises.

The authors assert that the progress in industry has overshadowed such problems as an elite’s domination of class, race and gender. Postmodern society is based on patriarchy and its agenda is control; control of the people in its society and control over other societies they attempt to assimilate.

Downey and Rogers suggest that “partnering” is a strategy worth considering in rehabilitating the legitimacy of academic theorizing and in promoting egalitarianism. Partnering between academic disciplines, within disciplines, academic and popular partnering in Western contexts, and academic and popular partnering in non-western contexts may overcome the restrictions of the distinction between popular and academic theorizing. The goal is the production of a society-serving academy that strives to put an end to hegemonic relations.

This article was confusing and difficult to understand. The idea of “partnering” is not adequately explained and it is hard to understand how it would be implemented.

TEENA SEREDA University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Downey, Gary Lee and Rogers, Juan D. On the Politics of Theorizing in a Postmodern Academy American Anthropologist June, 1995 Vol. 97(2):269-281

As with many postmodern papers, this particular article by Gary Lee Downey and Juan D. Rogers is a difficult read. However, if the reader is intimately familiar with the postmodern vocabulary, then the arguments are accessible. A common thread throughout postmodernism is distaste for science and scientific rigor. The introductory piece for this article is no different as the authors writs, “…science has refused legitimacy to any forms of knowledge not based on its own cultural premises.” It further claims that cultural anthropology has encouraged hegemonic relations. “Cultural anthropology has helped reproduce hegemonic relations through forms of theorizing that presume homogeneity. Theories of culture, kinship, class, race, and deviance have all tended to presuppose elite perspectives and, hence, elite power and authority. Anthropological studies in Western societies have routinely taken white, middle-class positions as representative of broadly shared cultural presuppositions.” Whether the reader agrees with this aspect of not, Downey and Rogers use it to excellent effect to lead to the theme of their paper: how to refigure the legitimacy of knowledge.

In general, postmodern critiques of anthropology, and science in general, have followed one of two strategies for generating non-totalitarian forms of academic theories. One concept presented here maintains the authority of science by demonstrating that scientific practice destabilizes itself and hinders its own quest for total knowledge. This strategy tends to favor quantum mechanics and chaos theory. Though there is no real consensus, all forms of this strategy contain fragmentation, partiality, dynamism, and contingency as important features. The other strategy argues that rejection of totalitarian impulses must be a critical aspect of academic theorizing. This system combats the authority of science through the celebration of diversity and encouragement of pluralism. It is hoped by proponents of this strategy that egalitarianism will change the politics of academic theorizing, making it more harmonious. This system is problematic in that it relies in rebuttal, a method that is combative and negative.

Downey and Rogers then recommend an alternative strategy, that of partnering. The partnerships can be between the academic and a layperson, as in the situation of an ethnographer and an informant from the culture being studied. It is expected that such partnering would give legitimacy to the theories produced by being broad based and non-totalitarian. This would be especially true for anthropology when the people being studied speak for themselves.

HUNTER N. KELLEY California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Fabian, Johannes. Ethnographic Misunderstanding and the Perils of Context. American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol.97(1):41-50

In this article, Fabian addresses the problem of misunderstanding in ethnography. He focuses on language-based ethnography, relating to instances where he himself was involved in a communication in which he misunderstood the messages being conveyed. His argument is that in order to fully understand communication, we need to look at the context in which the communication takes place. He also argues that it is of great importance to correct misunderstandings, rather than neglecting to admit to failures.

Often there are instances in language-based ethnography where simple translation is not sufficient, as there are instances when translation of words and ideas from one language to another is simply impossible. Fabian reveals an occasion where he attempted to translate a song from a play created by actors in Lumbashi/Zaire. He recounts the translation of the song, and it is plain to see that there is something missing from it. It makes no sense when read by someone that was not present when the play took place. There are gaps where translation was simply not possible. He explains to us that the scene was performative, and that without the knowledge of the context in which the song took place, there is a great deal of misunderstanding of what is taking place. He also explains that many of the songs in the play that he attempted to translate were not even in the language he was trying to translate from. He assumed that the songs were in Swahili, but later found out that they were actually in a language called Kizela. His assumption caused a great deal of misunderstanding.

Fabian goes on to relate a story in which he made a mistake of identity. He had a conversation with an African man involved with a religious movement called the Bapostolo. The man told him of an American that was also a member of the Bapostolo. The man spoke in Swahili, and Swahili has no nouns or pronouns that reflect gender. Therefore, there was no mention of whether the member was a man or woman. Also, there is a problem when translating the race of the person. Fabian simply assumed from his past experiences, that the person that was spoken of was a white male. He later found out the error in his thinking when a black woman published her account of being involved with the Bapostolo.

Fabian tells of another instance of misunderstanding. He reports that he held a conversation with Mama Regine, a leader of a charismatic Catholic prayer group. She asked him about his religious background. Fabian felt as though his beliefs were being challenged, and he felt uncomfortable speaking with her about it. As it turned out, though, he took the conversation out of context, and misunderstood her intention. She was merely attempting to have a conversation of testimony, not reprimand him for his lack of Catholicism.

So, it is evident that Fabian’s argument is valid. It is important to look at the context in which communication takes place in order for understanding to take place. It is equally important for ethnographers to admit when they have misunderstood, and rectify the situation. Otherwise, others are gleaning information that is incorrect.

Fabian’s article was fairly difficult to read. He uses very advanced vocabulary, which is quite often puzzling to the reader. His arguments are at times very difficult to understand. His anecdotes, however, are interesting and pleasurable to read.

CARMEN MONCRIEFF University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Fabian, Johannes. Ethnographic Misunderstanding and the Perils of Context. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97 (1) 41-50

The author of this article is taking it upon himself to retrace his ethnographic experiences. He believes by being self critical he will discover the problems with ethnography. This article is extremely introspective in nature. We find the author using words like “I” quite often. This writing technique was borrowed from a French literary style. Fabian is obviously a post-modernist. His goal is to find a corrective variable or tool to aid in understanding information correctly. The ethnographer’s goal, after all, is to achieve understanding in a situation so that eventually, you can attain some sort of truth.

Fabian continues to show the reader that there is no ultimate way of securing truth through language. Through his own experiences in the field he shows how his ideas are valid. Reflecting on one of his experiences he illustrates that we base a good portion of our understanding upon language competence and knowledge of context. He describes one of his experiences where neither one of these corrective measures that we so heavily rely on to understand lead him to any true understanding, in reality, they only masked the fact that he did not understand. Fabian warns of the dangers in being secure with a method or mask that attains no more of the truth than mere misunderstanding. He argues that to interpret any grammatical or lexical meaning one must translate using “historical background knowledge.”

Additionally, misunderstanding can arise at other levels in ethnography. Reflecting on an interview Fabian had with a Catholic Charismatic, he realizes, after the fact, that he misunderstood the interpretation of intentions. There was a misunderstanding on the metalinguistic level. He simply failed at “recognizing irony or parody.” Fabian concludes by stressing that the subject of his paper isn’t an ontological problem yet, a communicative and theoretical one. He is worried about the fate of misunderstanding and not-understanding as they exist in our bodies of knowledge which we wish to communicate. The author is so pressed to make us understand misunderstanding that at times the article becomes extremely hard to follow and essentially, understand.

TAMER SARIELDIN California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Fix, Alan G. Malayan Paleosociology: Implications for Patterns of Genetic Variation among the Orang Asli. American Anthropologist June 1995 Vol 97(2): 313-323.

Fix explores regional biological diversity, in situ versus migrational causes, among the Malay Peninsula aborigines, the Orang Asli. He argues that the biological differences are not as prominent as “widespread impression” would indicate. Such differences, he suggests, are the result of varying social structures and cultural traditions in situ, rather than migration.

Geoffrey Benjamin’s series of papers, on the culture and history of the Malay Peninsula, guide much of Fix’s argument on social structure. He uses Benjamin’s models of pattern differentiation and martial and kinship relations as explanation for the biological variation.

Fix’s argument for the degree of biological variation, however, is based on a broader spectrum of publications. His phenotypes-and-stature means data are compared, with little discrepancy, to the findings of Rudolf Martin, Schebesta, and Polunin. Mitochondrial DNA and craniofacial and dental morphology analysis are relatively inconsequential, as the Orang Asli inferences they provide, cover too broad a common origin. Fix’s analysis of malaria focuses on the history and tendencies of the Malayan vector versus Orang Asli population structure. The wide distribution of Hemoglobin E in Orang Asli traditionally offers supporting evidence for the migrational theory. Fix conversely explains the distribution as possible in situ because of the gene flow of Orang Asli martial traditions and kin dispersal.

Fix’s approach to biological diversity in the Orang Asli is thorough, informative and concise. His examination of social structure considers recent government intervention and the intricacies and inconsistencies of a single cultural matrix. Fix’s phenotypes-and-stature analysis, in contrast, lacks details of his methodologies, as he fails to justify use of a mean statistic.

CATERINA SNYDER University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Fix, Alan G. Malayan Paleosociology: Implications for Patterns of Genetic Variation among the Orang Asli. American Anthropologist 1995 Volume 97(2):313-323

Fix’s article demonstrates the use of historic cultural data to hypothesize on the genetic variation and evolution of populations. The need for this is validated by the lack of biological data which could only become sufficient with the invention of a time machine. History and culture are all we have as anthropologists to look into the past to understand the present. Fix looks into the genetic variation of the Orang Asli population of the Malayan peninsula, an area of constant human traffic and common cultural matrix for at least the last 6,600 years. Traditional explanation for diversity of the Orang Asli is different waves of migration. But Fix proposes that the genetic variation arose in situ and is not due to migration of outside groups. The importance of this is that it shows the invalidity of the concept of race. The Orang Asli have been divided into three different ‘racial’ groups based on physical differences, which Fix says are highly superficial and are not absolute among the three differentiated groups. There are three traditional subsistence strategies: nomadic Semang hunter gatherers, sedentary swiddeners classified as the Senoi and the Melayu Asli who specialized mainly in the collection of jungle produce for trade. These are the groups that also are divided into three linguistic and biological categories but all three do not correspond congruently and in totality.

Fix then looks into the genetic drift of two different alleles dealing with malaria, one for the hemoglobin E and another for Ovalocytosis or elliptic red blood cells. The genetic data of the populations corresponds with kinship patterns and selective forces brought on by subsistence patterns of the groups. If the Orange Asli are thought of as “an inter locking population system, connected loosely through gene flow rather than as admixed static types, problems such as malarial adaptation may begin to be explained.” The racial categories of the past are now becoming archaic. Anthropologists now must look more closely at populations and understand that they are consequences of dynamic history, biology and culture and are not static groups that are easily classified. Fix’s argument is well supported with data and logic. The article is organized in a clear fashion.

MICHAEL RAMIREZ California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Gottlieb, Alma. Beyond the Lonely Anthropologist: Collaboration in Research and Writing.American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol. 97 (1):21-26.

Traditionally, anthropologists have had a rather isolationist view of themselves despite the fact that their focus of study is people. Gottlieb critiques the way anthropologists write with a single voice even though they work with and are affected by various people and factors in the field. She points out that there is a growing literature on the nature of our relationship with informants, friends, and others whom we meet in the field and on the distinction of native/nonnative. But there is little exploration of collaborate work or dual authorship between spouses, domestic partners or colleagues. The fact that anthropology is largely a collaborative effort has been ignored and Gottlieb suggests several possible explanations as to why this is.

The recent recognition of fieldwork as an interactive event, instead of being the lone anthropologist studying culture “out there”, has allowed us to see that we bring social relationships with us and make them in the field. There is also a Western reluctance to let the personal and professional converge, which reflects firm boundaries between public and private. Gottlieb acknowledges gay and lesbian couples being even more restricted in this sense.

There is a somewhat unconscious tendency in the West to see the author as a singular creation despite the large number of coauthored works. Gottlieb (referencing Kennedy, in the same issue) notes that in reading coauthored works, it is rarely clear which author did what. The circumstances and context in which something is written should be explored in order to learn who did what. The acceptance of the single author revolves around the acceptance of the solitary fieldworker; both are inaccurate views of most anthropology.

Other factors that have silenced the voice of collaborative partners are: gender in a male biased field of study (despite the recent advances in feminist critique theory), and the political connotation of the term “collaboration”. Gottlieb mentions Sara Ruddick’s theory that the orientation toward individual achievement is socialized in men, while orientation toward cooperation is socialized in women and that because so many collaborations are male-female pairs this may be why no one has yet to explore the issue. The term collaboration used along with the term informant is connotative of the intelligence community and other dubious political activities. No wonder there is a hesitation by some to admit and explore their collaboration with others in certain political atmospheres.

Gottlieb questions what difference collaboration makes in research, writing, or both. What about the particular kind of collaboration, whether purely professional, personal, or both? She hopes that her questions and those raised by Kennedy will open up a new dialogue among colleagues where we can learn more about the collaborative endeavor of fieldwork and the study of anthropology itself.

LEANN MOORE California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Gottlieb, Alma. Beyond the Lonely Anthropologist: Collaboration in Research and Writing.American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol.97(1):21-25.

Alma Gottlieb in Beyond the Lonely Anthropologist: Collaboration in Research and Writing is concerned with anthropology only focusing on a single type of person and not all the collaboration that goes into most studies. People are beginning to bring their relationships with informants, friends, and others into their writing and better defining the line between “native/nonnative”. Gottlieb argues we need to take one more step and realize the importance of the invisible spouse/partner, colleagues, and co-authors that were part of the research and writing. She asks, “Why the consistent silence?” (21)

Gottlieb’s evidence is broken down into three explanations why there is this silence in anthropology from Western culture’s individualism to private vs. public. Also, she looks at how anthropology is not alone with this silence and how gender plays a role in individualism and collaboration. She brings in examples of anthropologists that worked together as husband/wife or partners, teams of researchers, and wives that have conducted their own studies. Lastly, she looks at the difference collaboration makes in research and writing and the importance of disciplinary flexibility with these practices. Gottlieb states that these are “useful not for the sake of solipsism, but, ultimately, for serving as another tool with which we understand what it is to be human-both for ourselves in our relations to others, and for our interpretations of those others’ lives” (23).

Gottlieb’s intellectual background is framed from her desire to break away from the standard research of objectivity and bring subjectivity into anthropology research.

RIVER URKE University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Grant, Nicole. From Margaret Mead’s Field Notes: What Counted as “Sex” in Samoa.American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol.97(4):678-682

This article is an opposition to Derek Freeman’s critique of Margaret Mead’s Samoan studies as well as being an exploration of her work. there. Grant, with warrant, believes that Samoan girls of the period of Mead’s study were not subject to harsh constraints on their freedom to meet sexual desires, and that they even enjoyed a degree of autonomy which would not at all be modest by contemporary standards.

The opinion of Freeman that sexual freedom was not tolerated among younger Samoan girls was supported by the high regard for virginity in Samoan tradition and a relatively low rate of premarital pregnancy. It may be a reasonable conclusion to arrive at from these facts, which are not inaccurate, but it would not be a correct conclusion.

While retaining virginity until entering into marriage was indeed something to be met with respect, it was just as well not something expected of all. This condition was something required of only those who would proceed to what we may regard as a higher position in their society.

There is also a more serious error in Freeman’s interpretation and assessment of the data. He imposes his own cultural definition of sex and restricts his analysis to it, unaware of the possibilities of what other cultures may define as sexual abstinence and deviance. His perspective is that of a more Western and Christian philosophy where premarital sex is wrong because it is simply wicked, and is not generally understood in terms of the actual negative consequences it may hold. The goal in Samoan ideology is not the restriction of pleasure, but to prevent unwanted pregnancies that may disrupt kinship systems and economic foundations. The adolescents are basically free to meet their sexual desires through techniques such as fellatio and cunnilingus, not something they would be able to enjoy without a degree of sexual freedom definitely higher than what Freeman perceived.

Their acts of deviance that bring on opposition from traditional society are those that engage in intercourse between two unwed individuals that possess the possibility of procreation. They also view dishonesty and misrepresentation as a very negative concept. To not be a virgin when your wedding ceremony arrives may not be preferred, but is at the least acceptable. To claim to be pure and then be found otherwise brings a worse disrespect. There is also a notable claim that if sexual freedom was indeed so restricted, why would being a virgin receive such extreme positive emotion as to bring about weeping. If it were so common, it would more likely be received with a more composed and casual attitude.

There was definitely a more economic mind-set to Samoan tradition. They were more concerned with avoiding the disgrace of an unmarried pregnancy than with the retention of the girl’s purity itself. Unfit acts and their consequences could be somewhat rectified by the simple provision of material goods.

In anthropology we must recognize that there are profoundly different ways to define, approach, and solve a problem. Although, situations such as unwanted pregnancy, sexual foreplay and intercourse are common to every facet of human culture, that is as far as we can generalize them.

THEODORE YADLOWSKI University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Grant, Nicole J. From Margaret Mead’s Field Notes: What Counted as “Sex” in Samoa. American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol.97 (4): 678-682.

In this article, Grant deconstructs Derek Freeman’s critique of Margaret Mead. Margaret Meads study of Samoan culture, and the sexual freedom adolescent girls experienced, was the basis of Freeman’s critique. Freeman claimed that Meads ethnographic analysis of “sex” in Samoa was fictitious, and he based his claim on two different arguments. Freeman’s arguments were that Samoans had a “cult of virginity” and there was a low rate of premarital pregnancies. Grant effectively argues that Freeman fails to disprove any of Meads work, and she provides evidence that dispels Freeman’s position.

The evidence Grant provides concludes “virginity was a requirement only for a selected group of young women who aspired to the title taupau.” The fact that a “virgin bride” was considered an honorable asset for a household provides insight into how intermittent virginity was in the Samoan culture. This information leads to the fact that virginity was not as significant as Freeman claimed. Grant also argues that the definition of sex in Samoa differs from the definition of sex in Western cultures. “Sex” in Samoa did not always consist of intercourse; “oral and manual sex took precedence over intercourse when young women were at risk for untimely pregnancy.”

Grant indicates that premarital pregnancy was disgraceful for all individuals involved, so prevention was of the utmost importance. Boys were allowed to have intercourse with past menopausal women, and they were also allowed to have sex with young girls as long as the actual act of intercourse was not involved. Grant effectively points out the flaws in Freeman’s critique of Margaret Mead, and she illustrates the need for closer examination of cultural definitions.

VANESSA RAMOS California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, (Mark Allen).

Griffith, David. Names of Death. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97: 453-456

This is basically a reflection on death from the perspective of David Griffith. He was inspired to write this by insights he had while driving home after doing research Northwood, Florida. On his drive he had picked up, on his radio, a live press conference for the quintuple homicide of Gainesville students, in which the jury recommended that the killer be sentenced to five death penalties. This emotional experience inspired the connections that he would make in this article. This is postmodern self-reflection at its worst. Griffith created a connection between the many deaths he had heard about in that same week. His research in Northwood amongst the Haitians, African Americans, and Guatemalan Mayans death was a common motif, which had many faces, or names. Not all the deaths were the result of street violence but it was also the death and oppression that immigrants had seen and experienced before migrating to the U.S. He also attended a conference entitled, “The Wisdom of the Maya,” in which he heard more stories of death. This death took the forms of oppressive governments and places. He makes the connection between two prostitutes and some of the Northwood immigrants he had interviewed, all who ran away from a sort of domestic violence. He reads an asylum application put together on behalf of the Q’anjob’al Maya from Guatemala, which is riddled with names of death. Asylum implies death, in that asylum is sought to escape death and terror faced by these people. The application was turned down despite overwhelming testimony describing the horror and terror. Griffith seems to be making a case for human rights awareness and attempts to show that these names of death are created for human beings by other human beings. This article is extremely unclear and the author comes to no conclusion other than about his relationship with his neighbor.

PHILLIP UNDERWOOD California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Gudeman, Steven, Rivera, Alberto. From Car to House(Del conche a la casa). American Anthropologist June 1995 Vol. 97(2):242-249

This article is concerned with how the way research is collected affects the ethnography produced and that perhaps it is time to consider different ways of judging and doing fieldwork. Throughout this article the authors argue the importance of collaborative fieldwork. They argue that joint research is a better tool for studying a culture for many reasons.

The first argument they have is with the meaning of participant observation. They point out that the two words that make up that concept contradict each other. They state that “fieldwork is an encounter, and the anthropologist participates in making ethnography”. To illustrate this concept they give an example about asking a question about something in a culture for which that culture has no answer. The question has made them think of something that they never questioned before and therefore their answer can be neither correct or incorrect because it has never been discussed in that cultural belief before. This is how ethnography is produced.

They have several reasons for advocating joint research. One of them is because it promotes collective learning and shortens the amount of time needed to spend doing fieldwork. When collaborative research is implemented the researchers learn through their own experiences in that culture but they also learn from the experiences of fellow researchers. They also get the chance to watch someone else learn the culture. Collaborative research gives the researchers to ask questions among themselves and present their puzzlements to one another. Thereby, increasing the understanding of the culture to the entire group and presenting ideas and questions that otherwise may not have been thought of by one person alone.

At the end of their article, Gudeman and Rivera close their argument by stating that fieldwork is a means of making conversation, and that this conversation is a how ethnography is produced. They then go on to use the example comparing the building of a house to doing fieldwork and producing an ethnography. The “house” is built using “resources”, which in this case are the elements of the culture being studied. Then after the “house” is built, they stand back and look for weaknesses and problems. This is how collaborative fieldwork is important in making an ethnography, because when the anthropologists stand back and look at the ethnography they can question and collaborate together to point out the weaknesses.

This is a very interesting article. Although it could have been a little better organized and the thesis could have been made more distinct.

AMANDA ROSS University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Gudeman, Stephen and Rivera, Alberto. From Car to House (Del Coche a la Casa).American Anthropologist June, 1995 Vol.97(2): 242-250.

This article, written in a style representative of postmodernism, is a reflection of the authors on the concept of collaborative research. The reader is provided with background information as to how long the two have worked together and under what situations. Gudeman and Rivera compare the work of anthropologists to “artisans fashioning ethnographies by forming communities and making conversations.” They speak of the new ways under which fieldwork is conducted, comparing it to the Latin American idea of un modo de hacer, or a way of doing. It is not something that can be taught, but rather is a “theory in action”. They call to mind the idea that the anthropologist is as much a part of the ethnography they are writing as the people they are writing about. They focus on the benefits of collaborative work, using examples of how each individual’s different interpretations of what is occurring or what is said will elicit a different response. These differences will stimulate assorted memories and hold various significance for each, which, when discussed will prompt new questions to be asked and new ideas to ponder.

Gudeman and Rivera also discuss concerns raised in regards to bringing in outside concepts, ideas and notions to groups, which are not yet familiar with them. Previously the idea was that as anthropologist we should not bring in any outside ideas, Gudeman and Rivera on the other hand suggest that these people are already being exposed to such ideas. They continue by stating that if the use of such ideas will help to convey a message or meaning then why not use them?

They conclude their article by referencing back to the idea of ethnography as a conversation and the anthropologist as an artisan. They focus on anthropology as an ongoing process that will never be finished, and as such can never really be learned. As such, information gathered is more like a snapshot in time. Gudeman and Rivera emphasize the changes that are occurring in fieldwork, as well as the fact that as anthropologists we need to be open to new ideas and other perspectives.

DIANA R. FEREE California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark W. Allen)

Hughte, Phil. A Zuni Artist Looks at Frank Hamilton Cushing. American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol.97(1):10-13.

Hughte has done a series of cartoon drawings depicting Frank Hamiltion Cushing, an ethnographer who lived in Zuni, New Mexico during the late 1800’s. While Cushing was living in Zuni he took on the appearance of those he was studying by dressing in traditional clothing. The cartoons show how he obviously did not fit in no matter how hard he tried.

SUZANNE PLETSCHETT University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Kahn, Miriam. Heterotopic Dissonance in the Museum Representation of Pacific Island Cultures. American Anthropologist. 1995 Vol.97: 324-336

In this article, Miriam Kahn addresses issues regarding museum representation of artifacts, particularly those of Pacific Island cultures. She examines how museums, “influence the definition of tradition and heritage, the status of analytical categories such as art, culture or culture area, and the importance of social values and political ideologies” (324), by collecting, naming and displaying some objects and not others.

Kahn begins by looking specifically at the Margaret Mead Hall of Pacific Peoples at the American Museum of Natural History. In order for the reader to get a clear picture of the hall, the article goes into great detail about its appearance. The author then looks at the hall critically, noting several heterotopic dilemmas. For example, “the mixed character of the hall’s organization indicates a certain confusion about how best to categorize and present the material” (326). Some items are displayed as art while others are displayed as artifacts and, “this mixed message presentation bespeaks frustration with our inability to define and control” (327). Next, Kahn looks at the Field Museum of Natural History’s Pacific Exhibit, focusing on the Traveling the Pacific component. She claims that despite the fact that the displays were created two decades apart from one another and the Field Museum exhibit, “is packaged in the latest fashion when it comes to exhibition technology and tools of educational philosophy” (334), they are really carbon copies of each other. Miriam Kahn believes that the heterotopic dissonance of the exhibits is a result of the confusion of time with space and she outlines a number of ways in which this dissonance will be minimized.

This article is interesting and will be especially so to those interested in the work of Margaret Mead. It poses a lot of questions regarding museum representation and compels the reader to think about such issues. Photographs and diagrams makes this article fairly easy to comprehend however, I recommend a second read to ensure a complete understanding.

ERIN STEWART University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Kahn, Miriam. Heterotopic Dissonance in the Museum Representation of Pacific Island Cultures. American Anthropologist June, 1995 Vol.97 (2):324-336.

This article examines the influence museums have had on the public perception of cultural tradition and heritage. Kahn gives a postmodernist view of the tribulations museums have caused over the years; she uses Pacific Island cultures, two different museum exhibits, and her experience as an exhibit assistant in her argument. Kahn’s work on the hall of the South Pacific at the American Museum of Natural History allowed her to get a first hand experience of what she calls a “political act.”

Kahn states that museums have “served to legitimize racial exploitation at home and the creation of an empire abroad.” The term “heterotopia”, used by Foucault, is applied in this article to describe the way museums disorient their patrons through disorder. The arrangements of objects in a museum are supposed to impose a sense of truth, but Kahn argues that museums use exhibition arrangements as a “kind of magic trick.” She suggests that museum arrangements create a hyper- reality, and museums try to represent a whole culture with just a mere portion of artifacts that have been collected. Kahn states that museums also suggest to their patrons that the only way a culture like the Pacific Islanders can live on, is through exhibition.

The field museum of Natural History produced an exhibit nearly two decades after the original exhibition hall opened its doors. Kahn compares the two exhibits, and claims that although they are stylistically and technologically different, they are nevertheless “carbon copies of one another.” The problems Kahn perceives with the first exhibit are also present in the second. Kahn is very passionate on her position of museums, and she compellingly illustrates her argument.

VANESSA RAMOS California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky. In Pursuit of Connection: Reflections on Collaborative Work. American Anthropologist, 1995 Volume 97 (1): 26-33.

In this article, Kennedy discusses and reflects upon her experiences with collaborative research. It is mainly a personal narrative, drawing more upon her experiences with anthropology and feminism than extensive discussions of social theory. Kennedy discusses three main examples of collaborative work in her career that have had great influence upon her life. She also discusses how they have raised different rewards and problems, as well as relating how feminist theory applies to each of them. The experiences that Kennedy uses to write this article includes research done with her former husband, a book collectively written with four other scholars, and the joint writing and research of a book with a close friend. By examining these experiences, Kennedy also draws upon a discussion of how collaborative teamwork is becoming more prevalent in anthropology.

The author first discusses how the nature of cooperative work has changed since the 1960s, primarily through the development of interpretive anthropology, and feminist and anti-colonial scholarship. To the author, feminism gave her the support to do such work, and also helped her to use the feminist critique of gender hierarchy to do research in other societies. She also discusses how amongst teams, one must think of a way to allow individual expression while also creating a functioning unit.

The first of the author’s three examples of collaborative fieldwork are then described. In the 1960s, she worked with her husband, Perry Kennedy, with the Waunan of South America. Despite the fact that she was the trained anthropologist and he the assistant, the lack of a feminist viewpoint on gender caused varying problems, such as who should have had control over research decisions. The social acceptance in the 1960s of the husband being in charge affected them on an unconscious level, as well. Through her experiences with the developing ideas of feminism, Kennedy concludes that it allowed couples to work with each other more effectively, with less of a gender bias. At the same time, she says that it allowed them to look at the hierarchy levels in their relationships.

The author then describes how she helped to collectively write a book on the impact of feminism in academics, called “Feminist Scholarship: Kindling in the Groves of Academe”. She worked together with four other scholars in producing this book, using the feminist movement of the 1970s as an impetus, both in starting the project, and in continuing their friendships years later. In these ways, she also found that cooperation was important, even in a competitive academic setting. By doing their individual work and combining it with their common views on feminism, the project became a success. However, it also reveals how academic centres give less prestige to a collaborative work than to an individual one, and the author believes that commonly held ideas about concepts such as social life and creativity must be questioned in order to change this.

The author then discusses her third project, a collaboration with her friend Madeline Davis on the book “Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community”. Davis returned to the academic setting to earn an M.A. in women’s studies. As a result of the encouragement of co-operation within the discipline, and the fact that Kennedy was Davis’ advisor, they worked together on a long research project for fourteen years. This showed Kennedy how a team can work effectively with positions in both an academic setting as well as in a local community setting. Through her observations on this project, both in the length of time that it took to complete and the effects that feminism have had in her life, the author shows how egalitarianism and cooperation are shown to be increasingly important to doing anthropological work.

By discussing how new and developing social theories can affect collaborative research, Kennedy makes a strong argument for increasing the importance of reflexivity and co-operation in the academic environment, in an essay that is informative and easy to read.

MIKE MLYNARZ University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky. In Pursuit of Connection: Reflections on Collaborative Work. American Anthropologist 1995 Volume 97(1):26-32.

Kennedy writes from personal experience, the difficulty and hardship of collaborative work. Writing from a feminist perspective Kennedy talks about her collaboration with her husband and later with other women. The introduction of feminist thought during the 1960’s allowed Kennedy and her husband to evaluate their relationship, both personal and professional. The collaborative work done with other women became an example of feminist solidarity and its triumph over individual competition. She chalks up this successful collaboration to the their “individual strengths in the context of our common commitment for feminist transformation”. Their success shows how academics working towards the same goal can enhance each others work. She brings to light the problem in the social sciences, of its refusal to acknowledge and appreciate the work of group collaboration in research. She shows how the social sciences are still only accepting of individual work and their inability to understand that two heads are better than one. Kennedy supposes that the aversion to collaborative work is caused by Western culture and its fixation on the individual genius. She also makes a point of including other professions in her collaborative work as they bring a different perspective. Her writing is easy to read with a personal style and her thoughts are well-organized.

MICHAEL RAMIREZ California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Kent, Susan. Unstable Households in a Stable Kalahari Community in Botswana. American Anthropologist, 1995 Vol 97 (2):297-310.

The author uses a Kalahari community to describe the transition of sedentism and its effects on the organization of society. Once a highly mobile people, they moved onto the Kutse Game Reserve, initially to have reliable access to food and water. Others followed because of a need for social interaction with friends and relatives. Kent describes some of the negative effects of sedentism, such as an increase in illnesses and the increased frequency of fighting as compared to the people’s traditional lifestyle.

Kent specifically argues that while Kutse is a stable community, the households within it are not. The people frequently move camps and construct new huts often, a result of their former nomadic mobility pattern. Parallel to the lack of household stability is the disintegration of the community core. On this note, Kent begins her discussion of four lessons concerning community organization among recently sedentary people. As her first lesson, she states that the community grows from the inside out, with camps becoming increasingly dispersed over time. This dispersal means that many camps end up distanced from the water source, and Kent argues that social factors are more important to the people than close proximity to water. One largely discussed social dimension is that individuals move their camps to follow sharing partners.

She then describes the second lesson, that sharing networks play a prominent role in the structure of a community, and the presence of absence of them influences community conflict. Kent argues that antagonisms build when people observe other camps not sharing with them, and because people are recently sedentary, they have no person to mediate their disputes. Quarrels lead to the movement of camps apart from each other, while camps in close proximity indicate sharing cohesion. The spatial patterning of camps is therefore significantly associated with sharing networks. Her third lesson involves the role of friendship in structuring sharing relationships. Close residential proximity is more often based on friendship than kinship.

Kent discusses the need to be close to family and friends at Kutse, but something of equal importance is to be far enough apart to avoid conflicts. Prior to sedentism, when quarrels occurred people would simply move away, but sedentary life makes this difficult. The author’s fourth lesson is a discussion of the visible lack of spatial, social, economic, political, and architectural differentiation at Kutse. Her main point here is that Kutse is an egalitarian community and is not highly complex like state level societies. She concludes with the idea that Kutse is one example of sedentarization, and Kutse mechanisms of organization can be generalized to other recently sedentary communities. Other communities more than likely have similar patterns for the avoidance of social discord.

This article is easy to understand. It broadly covers multiple aspects of Kutse sedentary life, and will appeal to an audience interested in anthropological models of recently sedentary communities.

JENNIFER SMITH University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Kent, Susan. Unstable Households in a Stable Kalahari Community in Botswana. American Anthropologist June, 1995 Vol. 97 (2):297-312.

Kent looks at the transition of a Kalahari community, Kutse, from nomadism to sedentism. Environmental factors such as rainfall pattern variability and the prevalence of melons influence nomadic settlement patterns. People aggregated around melon patches in the hot dry season from eight to twelve weeks but in contemporary times, they stay four months to two years because of permanent water and other resources not available before. Kent sees the pattern of camp mobility and aggregation as a continuation of the nomadic pattern.

While the Kutse community is stable, households are not. By this Kent means that households move camp frequently, more so for the recently nomadic. Every multifamily camp has a core membership, but no extra status or authority is given to this core. She talks about the disintegration of the community core as central to the organization of the community because it grows from the inside out. The original population in the area lived along a road and by her second visit, five years later, all but one old man had died or moved farther away. The people say that proximity to water is less important than access to wood, escaping fights from the crowded areas, and following a sharing partner.

Kent goes into some detail on the organization of the sharing network of the Kutse. She also compares this sharing network to other Kalahari and Aboriginal people’s sharing relationships that are quite different and in turn lead to quite different social organizations and settlement patterns. One key point of the Kutse sharing network is that it is based solely on friendship, although it can include family members who are friends as well. The distinction from the ecological or kinship based theories of reciprocal relationships and adaptation is insightful because it allows for the spatial distribution of camps to be understood from a non-material standpoint.

She touches on the increased violence due to changing social interactions. People who are not in a sharing network are living close enough to observe other camps not sharing with them and this is the source of much hostility and misunderstanding. Other than changes like this and extended lengths of visiting and staying at one camp, the Kutse have retained their highly egalitarian sociopolitical organization.

There is some focus on cross-cultural comparison in order to examine the differences between sharing relationships and why they exist. Kent is insistent that cultural groups with different types of sharing relationships not be studied as the same because of the significant effect this relationship has on the organization of community and settlement patters.

She hopes that studies like hers will help to develop models of non-Western community organization and structure that can be tested with archaeological data. It could also aid in understanding the transition periods of many regions in the past and how community organization evolved.

LEANN MOORE California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Landsman, Gail. Negotiating Work and Womanhood. American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol. 97 (1): 33-39.

The author of this article stresses the importance of women today, and the pressures of life they confront on a daily basis. The central contradiction of “work and home” was the basis of Landsman’s research. “Nurturance is characterized by contradictory qualities in American culture”; Landsman points out that nurturance can be a source of female power, but it can also be an aspect of subordination.

Landsman began her investigation for this article when she entered into a fourteen-month participant observation. She worked with a coalition that was attempting to pass a state family and medical leave legislation. The coalition had made attempts to ensure justice for caretakers and to show economic inequalities and inefficiencies attached to the work of caring. The coalition hoped to enable “women to compete equally with men in the workforce.” Landsman’s effort as a part of the coalition put her in an unusual position, she was a scholar that was studying activism for parental leave, but she was also one of the people that she was studying. Landsman was a mother of two children, and an assistant professor, this situation led her to a deep understanding of the importance of parental leave.

The Family and Medical Leave Act passed at the national level in 1993. The bill “provides a total of 12 weeks’ leave in any 12 month period and guarantees job security, seniority, and health benefits for workers who need to take leave from work to care for a newborn, newly adopted, or seriously ill family member, or for workers who need leave to recover from a serious medical condition.” Landsman effectively demonstrates the importance of the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the main point of her article states that women should not have to choose between work and family.

VANESSA RAMOS California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Landsman, Gail. Negotiating Work and Womanhood. American Anthropologist. 1995 Vol. 97, Number 1:33-39.

This article ponders the problems caused by conflicting views of women’s rights, the roles women are expected to fill, and the changing definition of family. These issues have effected legislation that would allow pregnant mothers to receive a medical leave without any risk to their job security.

Landsman begins by outlining the ideological differences between two sects of feminist philosophy, one stating that men and women should be treated equally under the law and the other that places emphasis on the “natural roles” of women based on the complementary but distinct roles held by men and women. This debate cumulated in the infamous Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs. Sears, Roebuck and Co. case where both sides utilized the testimony of feminist historian’s concerning the issue of whether women chose to stay in lower wage non-commissioned jobs which are free from the irregular hours and competitiveness that plagues the commissioned employment workplace.

Landsman also offers a reflexive account of her own experiences in fighting for legislation that would allow for a penalty free leave of absence due to pregnancy or other family related motivations. In her experience, it was not only the feminists who disturbed the cohesion of their coalition but other groups who had taken up the cause. These diverse groups, which included the Catholic church and gay rights activists, found that this time the conflict was not about women per se but the very definition of what it meant to be a family, an ever changing concept in modern day America.

Unfortunately for the reader, Landsman offers little in the way of a resolution to either of these conflicts except to applaud the fact that, if nothing else, those who have fought to enact such legislation have brought the subject of family care out of the private realm of human lives and into the public.

JESSICA HOYT University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Laughlin, Robert M. From All For All, A Tzotzil-Tzeltal Tragicomedy American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97:528-.

In this article, the author demonstrates one of the best aspects of postmodern cultural anthropology: the power of applied anthropology to aid the disadvantaged. Laughlin outlines the transformation of the theater group Teatro Lo’il Maxil (Monkey Business Theater) from its humble beginnings to its current state. Founded in 1983 to preserve and reinvigorate traditional Tzotzil-Tzeltal Mayan beliefs and customs, by 1993 it was beginning to look to more modern problems for source material as in Let’s Go To Paradise! which chronicled the harsh lives of the Indian coffee finca workers in the 1930s as they played tricks on the foreman and created a union.

In 1994, the Zapatista revolution was very active. Laughlin discusses the decision making process that led to the creation of the play From All For All a political piece about the reasons for the revolt. This play and its incredible reception superbly demonstrate the power of a play to communicate the ills of a society and, perhaps, what can be done about them. Laughlin points out several instances where they were asked to perform this play or invent another with a similar theme but different circumstances. They were even asked to run workshops to help other people form theater groups and expand the art.

This well written article, which included the text of the play From All For All, successfully demonstrates how applied anthropology can aid disadvantaged people, especially when the aid takes the form of the people themselves working in a manner that is comfortable for them.

HUNTER N. KELLEY California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Laughlin, Robert M. From All for All: A Tzotzil-Tzeltal Tragicomedy. American Anthropologist. September 1995 Vol.97(3): 528-542.

Teatro Lo’il Maxil, or Monkey Business Theatre, since it’s founding in 1983 has committed itself to the reinvigoration of traditional Tzotzil-Tzeltal Mayan beliefs and customs. Occasionally the plays produced by Monkey Business Theatre address controversial political issues. Their 1994 play De Todos Para Todos, or From All For All, was one such play. It addressed ecological concerns and the recent Zapatista rebellion. Robert Laughlin briefly explains how the playwrights, directors, and actors produced the play. He also includes the script of From All For All and concludes with comments on applied anthropology and theatre.

The play-writing process was a cooperative and somewhat rushed effort. The eleven playwrights tried to compose a script that presented a clear moral mixed with comedy and that was understandable for Mayans, other Indians, non-Indian Mexicans, and foreigners. The script described twenty individual characters, but the cast was limited to six people because it would be easier to tour with fewer people.

The final plot is as follows: (1) Campesinos work happily in their milpa; (2) Cattleman claims the land is his and orders them off; (3) Campesino complains to government agent, who, after receiving a bribe from the cattleman, sends them to the jungle; (4) Campesinos depart unhappily, but get good harvest in the jungle; (5) Animals complain about loss of jungle to the Earth Lord, who agrees to send drought and sickness; (6) Six toads give sickness to sleeping campesinos. No doctor ever appears, but a Chamulan shaman, who has dreamed of animals’ complaints, cures all and urges them to organize; (7) Shamed by the campesino’s resolve and inspired by a young man who has returned from studies in the city, they prepare to resist; (8) Cattleman and government agent flees to cave where they are attacked by a jaguar (added later at [Laughlin’s] suggestion); (9) Battle between vigilantes and campesinos. Earth Lord urges peace; campesino demands peace with justice.

Laughlin applauds the Monkey Business Theatre for presenting their cultural values and issues of concern in an entertaining and informative fashion. Inspired by their performance he used a seed grant from Cultural Survival to create bilingual booklets in Spanish and local Tzotzil-Tzeltal dialects describing the Highlands of Chiapas in the sixteenth century. Later, he found that his booklets were adopted only in Spanish due to Mexican educational regulations. Disappointed, he now participates in the forum that creates each new Monkey Business play. He also helps secure funding for the production each year in hopes of making a difference.

LACI HOBBS University of Minnesota-Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Leone, Mark. A Historical Archaeology of Capitalism. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol.97(2):251-265.

In “A Historical Archaeology of Capitalism” Marc Leone looks at the archeological data that exists for settlements where capitalism was developing in early United States history. He discusses at length the problems in the present interpretation of the information available as he sees it.

Leone is concerned about the way the history of these early settlements including Washington, Chesapeake, St. Mary’s City, and Williamsburg among others are presented. His basic argument is that the way archaeological evidence and information is displayed means there is little cultural context on which to base any signifigant conclusions about the development of the United States from its historical colonial state to its present capitalistic empire. This renders the archaeology of these sites inconsequential because the information has little application in other areas of American life.

Leone attempts to rectify this fact by deconstructing then reorganizing the information so it can be used to examine the development of capitalism in the United States. Leone approaches this in two ways. First, he looks at the individual class levels; he seeks to use the information to legitimate those who have fallen victim to capitalism including women, racial minorities, and all other exploited classes. He does this by suggesting that the “origins of modern class-based misrepresentations” (253) can be uncovered in the archaeology of these early American sites. By showing classes of time, when class relations were different, these classes can begin to deconstruct the rhetoric, which exists within capitalism. This rhetoric suggests that exploitation occurs because of the fault of those being exploited or because it is inherent in the system that some must live in poverty so that others may live in wealth. The second way Leone goes about deconstructing and reorganizing the information is by looking at the infrastructure of the cites themselves. He shows the progression from a baroque style of city planning where words were set up to link the most important parts of the city, in essence, government buildings, churches, and jails to create a powerful dynamic between these buildings, to a panopticon where self regulation and disciple becomes important to the perpetuation of capitalism.

Leone’s article is well organized because he is able to lead the reader successfully through the construction of his idea. He begins by acknowledging the presently accepted ideas then leads the reader, step by step, through the process of deconstructing and reorganizing the archaeology of sites before concluding with the consequences of such a process.

KRISTEN RUMOHR University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Leone, Mark P. A Historical Archaeology of Capitalism. American Anthropologist June, 1995. Vol. 97 (2): 251-268.

Leone’s article is a brilliant application of the tenets of postmodern theory to the discipline of archaeology. Through the means of deconstruction and hermeneutic readings of historical sources, he has come up with a historical archaeology that is relevant and necessary in today’s world. Leone gives much credit to Michel Foucalt whose study of the technologies of power in Discipline and Punish had a major impact on his archaeological work at Annapolis, Maryland. He credits Georg Lukacs and Jurgen Habermas for presenting a methodology in which historical archaeology can connect itself with local politics and political action.

Leone is frustrated that there is no connection between what is on display in museums and what is going on in contemporary American life. Leone says, “The pottery and the other artifacts collected and displayed in museums are not connected to issues involving patriotism, toleration, urban conditions, economic conditions, class life, city locations, poverty, slavery, or emancipation. Nor do they explain why the archaeology of such a heritage needs protecting.” Leone is out to obliterate the “ideology of inevitability” which surrounds most of the archaeology in the Chesapeake region. This represents the mindset that “a specific colonial ‘then’ led to all of ‘us’ here now.” But who would benefit most from a deconstructivist view of American history? Perhaps those individuals who are not represented in the “traditional” history books. Any group maligned, or marginalized might gain great insight into their respective heritages when granted access to the evidence available in the archaeological record. Byron Rushing averred that African Americans “want to know how they got to be here now.” Information of any kind, as long as it had nothing to do with slavery, was greatly appreciated. African Americans know about slavery and find the topic demeaning and degrading. Not all blacks are descended from slaves and slavery was not the only condition African Americans had ever known. The information that would be most valuable would be information on life in freedom, before and after emancipation. And in particular, any remains of purely African material culture. The findings at Annapolis revealed artifacts, like table settings, that were no different from those used by whites. Furthermore, there was evidence that blacks made use of white-dominated markets and had an established African cuisine. And, they “used some items in symbolic ways that were different from white usage.” In short, and most importantly, “A persecuted people strategically maintained cultural integrity. Thus there is now some history of African Americans in a city where their historical presence has long been implicitly denied.”

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention Leone’s description of the social control exhibited with Baroque architecture and the Big Brother attributes of panoptic city planning. This is a truly fascinating article.

WILLIAM R. GILLEAN California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark W. Allen)

Lieberman, Leonard and Jackson, Fatmah Linda C. Race and Three Models of Human Origin. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol.97: 231- 240.

This article goes into great depth on the principle ideas of race and how these ideas are implemented in the three models of human origin. The authors tell how the future of the concept of race relies heavily upon its use in the following models: the out-of-Africa displacement model, the multiregional continuity evolution model, and the Afro-European-sapiens hypothesis. Since these models were the hot topics of debate at the time, they appeared in many journal titles resulting in the validity of the concept of race. The three processes involved with the rise and fall of this concept are stated and are used to show what has to be done to keep the ideas of race alive.

The idea that race no longer held one of the central positions in anthropological thinking is described. Lieberman and Jackson state that in 1985 the concept of race was almost completely dismissed. This was mainly due to the fact that physical anthropologists no longer acknowledged the idea that there were different races in the human population. Not only did the academics push aside the concept but university textbooks began to diverge from the notions of race as well. There were four main reasons for the discrediting of the ideas of race and they are thoroughly explained by the authors. They also give detailed examples of the main anthropologists who decided to develop their own ideas about different types of people (one example being Franz Boas).

Lieberman and Jackson then go on to describe each one of the models of human origin and how they use the ideas of racism in their arguments. Each model is given a detailed description, including examples of the academics that follow the principles. All three of the models are then compared in a table allowing easy access to the information so that you can see exactly how the model formulates the characteristics of race. Also, the authors provide criticism of the models separately and as a collective.

In conclusion they state that population and clinal gradations are the keys to expressing races due to the poor development of racism concepts in the three models.

This long and very descriptive article gives an excellent account of the three models of human origin, the ideas of race, and how they have changed over time. It also provides a student with a tremendous number of examples and issues involved in the concept of race.

TAYLOR ROGERS University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Lieberman, Leonard and Fatimah Linda C. Jackson. Race and Three Models of Human Origin. American Anthropologist. 1995 Volume 97 (2): 231-239

In this article, Lieberman analyzes the implications of the concept of “race” and its various theories. He presents the reader with three models: the “out-of-Africa model”, “multiregional continuality evolution”, and the “Afro-European-sapiens hypothesis”. The out-of-Africa displacement model proposes that modern Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa and replaced the populations in Europe and Asia. This is supported by mitochondrial DNA, blood groups, and skeletal analysis. Multiregional continuality evolution claims that Homo sapiens evolved independently from Homo erectus in different geographic regions after Homo erectus left Africa. This is based on comparative skeletal analysis. The Afro-European-sapiens hypothesis suggests that Homo sapiens were originally from Africa, but migrated to Europe and Asia where they experienced gene flow as they absorbed the local populations. This hypothesis is also based on comparative skeletal analysis.

Lieberman gives four reasons for the rejection of race. The first is empirical: the populations that were once labeled as races are not subspecies because most variation is inside populations and not between them. The second is definitional: based on most definitions, “race” could easily be replaced with “population”. The third is the availability of alternative concepts: words like “cline” or “population” could easily replace “race” and would not carry as much sociological baggage. The fourth is humanitarian: race has a problematic history and is not a purely physical anthropological concept. Each of the three models fails to define race, but they take the concept of different races as reality. The problem with this approach is that it encourages the use of “race” while “population” or “cline” would be just as effective.

BROOKE BURNS California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Low, Setha M. Indigenous Architecture and the Spanish American Plaza. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97: 748-762

The built environment is a product of conflicting sociopolitical forces. Architecture represents and reinforces the dominance of one group over another. With this in mind, this article sets out to show that the Spanish American plaza a New World phenomena that is neither wholly European, as many have traditionally argued, nor indigenous. Scholars have always looked at the plaza as a European phenomena imposed upon the indigenous peoples as vehicles for colonial control. However, early Renaissance cities in Europe lacked the organization of pre-Columbian cities. Tenochtitlan was a large city organized around a ceremonial plaza, to which all the major avenues went. Mayan cities were not as well organized but the at the center of the city there would always be a large ceremonial plaza. It is well documented, that the Spanish, often, built directly on top of the preexisting city and retained features of its original design. The Mexica and other Mesoamerican peoples built their cities as spatial representations of their supernatural world. As a result, these cities retained some of the original cultural meaning to the indigenous peoples.

Low is attempting to balance out the traditional view that the Spanish American plaza was purely European, with documentary and archaeological evidence that shows the indigenous influence on this New World phenomenon. To illustrate this point, three cities and one archaeological site are discussed. Tipu in Belize is an excellent example of how the Spanish initially used the same town design and did not change it until after they had put down a rebellion twenty-five years later. It is clear that indigenous peoples still associated the spatial representation with their own culture, as is shown by the fact that pre-Columbian artifacts predominate and that traditional religion was still being practiced. Santo Domingo, the first Spanish town in the New World seems to have been influenced directly by the plazas of the Spanish and Islamic traditions. Tenochtitlan is another excellent example of the Spanish using the preexisting spatial organization. The Spanish used this to their advantage. They inserted themselves spatially in place of the previous ruling elite. Therefore, the early stages of building were directly modeled after the Mexica plan. It appears that the same was done in Merida, Yucatan, but there is a lack of evidence as to the details of the original town plan. More research must be done on these plazas. Low claims that know virtually nothing of what these plazas meant, but the information we do have suggests that the Spanish American plaza is the result of the interaction between the Spanish and indigenous peoples.

PHILLIP UNDERWOOD California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Low, Stetha. Indigenous Architecture and the Spanish American Plaza in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol. 97(4): 748-762.

The article’s main point is how native architectural patterns survived the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerican and the Caribbean and how they influenced the colonizers. The author focuses on the plaza area, the main gathering point for the town and where the town’s important buildings would be located. There is a belief that the Mayan and Nahuan villages lacked plazas before the Spanish came in the 1500’s. Allegedly, the towns were laid out in a haphazard fashion with lack of straight walkways and general meetings places. The Spaniards introduced such things as straight, wide walkways because this is what the city planners of the Renaissance were suggesting and the Spaniards wanted to try it. Low argues that the towns in Mesoamerica were the ones with plazas and straight walkways, and the Spanish had little influence. They were made aware of plazas in these Mayan and Mexica cities base on archaeological excavations in cities that have been inhabited since pre-colonial times. These examples demonstrate how the Spanish turned existing structures into churches and administrative buildings, as well as what influence the natives had when they had to build such places for the Spanish. She also demonstrated that the cities and towns the Spanish built for themselves were different than the ones they conquered from the Mexica. There are several figures showing the cities and layouts drawn by Spanish settlers and explorers.

SARAH NISKANEN University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Mageo, Jeannette Marie. The Reconfiguring Self. American Anthropologist June,1944 Vol.97(2):282-296.

Studying examples from the Samoan culture, Mageo focuses on the idea of the self. Her main emphasis is to use the concept of identity to find a middle ground between extreme cultural relativism, seeing all cultures as separate, unique entities, and essentialism, a theory stating there are basic characteristics that are possessed by all human beings. Mageo uses the concept of self as portrayed through oral dialogs to explain the different ideas of identity. To begin her argument, she asserts that there are two dimensions of self-introspection: Social, the experience of the self as a role player in a culture, and Subjective, the experience of being an individual. These two dimensions form the basic ontological premise of the nature of humanity.

Mageo seeks to express the complexity of the self past this simplistic idea through oral discussions. She goes on to distinguish three types of discourse: moral, compartmental, and strategic. Moral dialogues are used to judge and assess one’s behavior, compartmental discourses relate to the binary relationship of formal and informal language, and strategic conversations employ the use of the other types of discourse to interact in ongoing relationships.

Each of these categories progress to fill the shortcomings of the previous premise. Moral compensates where the ontological premise lacks. The idea is a change from people as role players to the roles people should play within a culture. Compartmental takes the roles people play and dramatizes them into formal and informal actions. In this binary system, a person can assess how he should perform based on the intimacy/distance he has with the one he is speaking to. Strategic breaks up the binary relationship of compartmental discourses and incorporates all the other approaches to accommodate any situation.

This article is postmodern and reflexive in style. Mageo writes in the first-person view and her stance is presented as a personal argument rather than a formulated theory. Her reference to binary contrasts and interest in language hints at Levi-Strauss and his field of structuralism. Specifically with her description of compartmental discourses, Mageo relates to Foucault and his discussion of “discourses of power. Foucault believed relationships in society are influenced by dominance and subjugation, similar to Mageo’s categories of formal and informal ties.

ANGELA KUHLMANN California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Mageo, Jeannette. The Reconfiguring Self. American Anthropologist June, 1995 Vol. 97(2):282-296.

Mageo, describes three discursive practices she decided to show that there is a lack of a unified cultural model of the self. The three practices are the moral discourse, the compartmental discourse and the strategic discourse. Each of them compensates for the other’s shortcomings. Mageo’s data is based on an eight year residence in Samoa from 1981 to 1989 and again in the summers of 1990 and 1991.

The author explains that the ontological premise about the self in the Samoan culture, which is that the people are social actors within a communalistic but hierarchical group. Thus, the moral discourse supports appropriate, respectful role playing that is assigned to an individuals rank. This discourse encourages people to reject personal ambitions that would likely interfere with this role playing, and would otherwise, cause people to seek a dominant role. The compartmental discourse has two parts; one where the individual plays out their respect for the social other, the other where an individual playfully challenges the rank of the other. In the strategic discourse the Samoan people leave the stance of role players and move to the stance of playwrights, they flatter the dignity of everyone and “actively shape the course of social life”.

The theory of self that the author presents in the article shows a path between cultural relativism and essentialism. She explains that essentialism presupposes that fundamental characteristics are possessed by human beings. Mageo concludes that the three discursive practices she describes are not a cultural model of self, but are evidence that there is lack of such a model. To leave the alternative experience out, as some anthropologists do is obviously going to produce ambiguity. Mageo says that anthropologists don’t give cultures enough credit because cultures are indeed usually more preoccupied by the ambiguities that are natural in their society’s idea about the self.

LAURIE SCHMITZ University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Povinelli, Elizabeth A. Do Rocks Listen? American Anthropologist September, 1995 Vol.97(3):505-516.

Do Rocks Listen?, by Elizabeth A. Povinelli, is an abstract article addressing how those with Western values define economic viability. The concern in this article is that there is an entire “fourth world” of people, Aboriginals who remain hunter/gatherers, who are being denied civil rights (particularly to property) because they fail to contribute economically to the same extent as non-Aboriginals. While Povinelli raises many questions, the issue she sees as the cause of the type of dispute she examines is a historical one, and one that is the product of our basic beliefs about economic contributions. She says that while the Commonwealth government has made Aboriginal cultural traditions the productive motor of indigenous land rights, it has splintered the referent of “the cultural” and sidestepped a direct confrontation over how to assess human-environmental interactions and cross cultural notions of labor. The second part of this being that economic value refers to material conditions generally revolving around scarcity and immediate, tangible production. What is needed then to understand her case is a subaltern perspective on labor, political economy and the nature of human environmental interactions.

The case around which she constructs her argument is an Australian Aboriginal one in 1989. A large rock, an Aboriginal Dreaming site, is in the way of a new development. While believers in Dreaming (a kind of way of understanding the environment around you and being in harmony with it) are trying to explain the economic viability of such a site to their culture, the land commissioner finds the argument to be less than it is because he can only understand economy in the Western way, for then it hardly seems economic at all. In reading this article, one realizes that the nation state is, in fact, faced with trying to balance the economic needs of a nation with the cultural traditions and beliefs of a group that represents only a fraction of the population. To build her argument, Povinelli examines the subject of labor, and then dreaming itself. Referencing three scholars and their three viewpoints she provides us with the alternative definition we need as mentioned above. With an entirely different attitude toward the land, the idea of labor changes. Although they rely on environmental sources for their livelihood, by believing spirits populate the land, indigenous people are better able to manage their ecosystems, thereby justifying the economic need for a dreaming site. Dreaming is made both clear and more abstract in the seven case studies she presents as evidence to give dimension and meaning to the spirits in everyday Aboriginal life. The Dreaming can be understood as the given condition of the human and natural world established in the ancestral past. All matter is conceived as the congealed labor of ancestral Dreaming beings. Thus, I got the impression that this labor is work always in progress and therefore, more valuable with each passing generation. Unfortunately for Aboriginals, this type of understanding of economy will likely not be commonly understood for a great deal of time, I imagine. First, political-economic approaches are still privilege to Western forms of assessment, reevaluation of hunter-gatherer productivity in a comparative economic framework is unlikely. Second, it’s initially hard to wrap one’s mind around this approach to economic value, having only one real understanding of economy circulating within popular (dominant) culture.

Not a lot of closure is brought to the issue by the author, she does though encourage anthropologists to not be objective or neutral in these type of disputes but to be players within them. This would make the anthropologist the guardians against the state and international business that would trample unconventional communities.

VICKI UNDERSCHULTZ University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie).

Povinelli, Elizabeth A. Do Rocks Listen? The Cultural Politics of Apprehending Australian Aboriginal Labor. American Anthropologist September, 1995 Vol.97(3): 505-518.

This article by Elizabeth Povinelli is written with a postmodernist perspective in mind. She begins her article as if she were telling a story. The article focuses on the need to have an understanding of the people whom one is trying to regulate through legislative action before anything is actually done. In particular she focuses her attention on the Australian Aborigines and their interactions with the government. Part of the problem, as Povinelli sees it, is that the government officials are not capable of seeing things as the Aborigines do. Since this is the case any attempt by the government to impose their economic concepts and laws on these people will not work.

After her narrative opening she turns her attention to the ideas and definitions of labor and productivity, both in the western sense of the word and in the aboriginal concepts that apply. The connections between the aboriginal concepts of labor are tied closely to their ideas of the Dreaming. As such Povinelli shifts her emphasis to give the reader a brief understanding of the Dreaming, emphasizing the importance the social relations, locations, and gained knowledge. She uses several examples to stress her point. An important difference between aboriginal belief systems and a more western view of the world is that of time. The aboriginal peoples focus on the long term, whereas in western society there is a greater concentration on the immediate results. She states that anthropologists with an ability to obtain a better understanding of the beliefs of these people cannot just leave their work at that.

In concluding, her paper takes on a more political nature, claiming that the anthropologist with their insight into these groups have a responsibility to take action. She takes the position that anthropologists no longer take on the role of neutral observers, but that they take on a more active role on behalf of the groups that they are working among.

DIANA R. FEREE California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark W. Allen)

Powell, Jay V. To See Ourselves As Others See Us. American Anthropologist. 1995. 4(97):661-663.

This article was written about the opportunity to see anthropologists through the eyes of others. Throughout the article, Powell discusses his fieldwork with the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka or Aht Indians) of Port Alberni, British Columbia. The topic of discussion was the dismissal of anthropologist Morris Swadesh from his position with the Nuu-chah-nulth in the 1940’s. Powell’s knowledge on the incident came from an elder named Charlie Watts and from an unnamed member of the executive board that had upheld Swadesh’s removal. Swadesh lived and worked with the Nuu-chah-nulth as he taught them how to write their language. He was considered to be a good scientist and teacher by the Nootka. When his position wasn’t renewed, the current chief of the Aht Indians wrote a letter of distress to the City College of New York where Swadesh was formerly employed. In this letter, which was originally written in the native language, the Nootka stated their opinion of why Swadesh was dismissed. They began the letter by giving their history. After having their land and resources taken away from them, the Aht Indians feel as if they were being discriminated against by law enforcement and by potential employers. They found that Caucasians, ‘White’ man as the Nootka referred to them as, tried to stop them from continuing their traditions and made them feel like children with the Indian act that was imposed on them. Generally they felt as if the ‘White’ man disrespected and degraded what the Aht Indians stood for. The chief ended the letter by saying that Swadesh must have lost his job because he respected the Nuu-chah-nulth or because he was a Jew. After reading the letter Powell investigated Swadesh’s dismissal. He found that there was an investigation and that the non-renewal was supported by the Executive board of the American Anthropological Association. When Powell asked the reason behind the associations’ decision, the informant stated that Swadesh was not well liked, pushy and over-bearing, and due to that he no longer had his job. When Powell reported his findings to the Nootka elder, the elder responded by saying that the Indians had done the right thing for the right reasons while the association did the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. Charlie, the elder, finished by giving Powell insight into what the Nuu-chah-nulth thought. They believed that organizations are there to tell people what they can’t say or do. This article was clear, precise and covered all the detail that needed to be discussed.

JODY WERT University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Powell, J.V. To See Ourselves as Others See Us. American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol.97(4):661-663.

Powell considers the particulars of the Morris Swadesh case to comment on his main theme, the position of anthropologists seeing themselves through others eyes. In 1949, Morris Swadesh was dismissed from his position as Associate Professor at the City College of New York. The American Anthropological Association reviewed the case and Powell describes the particulars as followed.

Upon hearing that Swadesh had been dismissed from his former position, Captain Jack of the Mowachat band, a group of Aht Indians Swadesh had studied, contacted the AAA. In his letter, he defended Swadesh and described him as an upright man. He knew Swadesh as one of the few white men to respect his culture and treat his people kindly. He protested his dismissal and demanded that justice be served to restore Swadesh to his previous position. No news of this letter was mentioned in AAA files pertaining to the case. In fact, very little information was available the annual report. Curious about the lack of data, Powell contacted members of the AAA who were present at the time. From the responses he gathered, Powell found that members of the AAA saw Swadesh as a “pushy and overbearing” man and very hard to get along with. Powell was shocked by the discrepancy of the two views. He states that this case gives a unique look on how an anthropologist can be viewed by different groups.

The article focuses on the objective view of others while observing an anthropologist. Powell relays the basic information of the case and uses the Swadesh example as the meat in defining his argument. The article was brief and easy to read with a large portion of it filled with the untranslated letter written by Captain Jack.

ANGELA KUHLMANN California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Price, Richard and Sally Price. Executing Culture Mus`ee, Museo, Museum American Anthropologist 1995 vol. 97(1): 97-109

This article is concerned with three cultural projects all from separate countries. Each project was a museum and the author Richard and Sally Price were there to record the effort it took to get these cultural projects up and running. Unfortunately each of them was never completed and as a result the Prices’ had to change their mission. The resulting action was as they described it an autopsy of each museum, talking back and forth between questions of exhibition content/presentation and interactions with larger historical political rallies.

Madrid Spain, Cayenne Guyana and Belmopan Belize were all supposed to be home to new cultural centers until each was scrapped for political reasons. The authors of this article (Executing Culture) perform a good job where they described the “wanna be” museums and dissect the reasons why they each politically collapsed. In a since, they did a form of field reporting where they summarized why each project failed. Their purpose appears to be to show the true realities of the cultures that wanted to unite culturally. Unfortunately, the turbulent historical past of each situation as well as the unstable present was ultimately responsible for the failure of each museum.

ETHAN JACKSON California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Price, Richard. Price, Sally. Executing Culture: Musee, Museo, Museum. American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol.97(1):97-109.

This article is mainly a summary of a study presented elsewhere (Price and Price 1994). The authors’ main goal is to review three major museums which were scheduled to open in the early 1990’s. The mission was to observe the openings and complete a thorough examination of each museum to include questions about how the museums present themselves to the public and to their own culturally diverse populations. Also, how they relate to history and the political realities of the country and/ or the people they are depicting within their exhibits. The three museums are, The Musee Regional in Cayenne, French Guiana, The Museum of Belize, and The Museo de America. The museums were each expected to have a different impact or message, for other museums and to the world.

The Musee of Cayenne presents a multiethnic ideal when in reality the state wishes to eliminate the idea of separate cultures through assimilation. This museum shows a false sense of community with the very people they consider to be illegal immigrants. The Museum of Belize’s ideology is to promote a sense of culture and freedom and hold to the postmodernism tradition. While the Museo de America takes on a poststructuralist route. The Museo de America has existed since 1965, but there is a revisionist movement to change radically its older ideology. According to those working on the project, this Spanish museum had the potential to revolutionize museums by becoming more than just objects in glass cages and transforming itself into a living tool of knowledge.

Unfortunately at the time of this writing, none of the projects have been completed. For instance, as with the Musee of Guiana and the Museum of Belize, ground has been broken but no construction begun; either because of funding, political reasons or both. As for Museo de America, its doors are closed to the public due to an older and well established museum bureaucracy which had long been in existence before any plans to renovate the museum. Ideals for the perfect museums so far are unfulfilled.

JEANNE PETERSON University of Minnesota-Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Roscoe, Will. Strange Craft, Strange History, Strange Folks: Cultural Amnesia and the Case for Lesbian and Gay Studies. American Anthropologist September 1995 Vol.97(3:2):448-453

This article evaluates how homosexuality is received by the academic world. Roscoe compares how in previous centuries individuals in power chose to ignore racism to justify enslaving “Others” with how modern day universities and scholars choose to ignore the theories of gay and lesbian studies. Roscoe explains that this blinding is to protect the integrity and ideals of masculine institutions.

Roscoe uses the example of the berdache, a third-gender role once present in many North American societies. Roscoe describes how Claude Levi-Strauss, who wrote an article on the Zuni Indians of New Mexico, purposely omitted the actual social roles, identities and lifestyles of the berdache. Levi-Strauss chose to describe them only as a bisexual being on an intellectual level. Roscoe explains that the idea of homosexuality was too unnatural for Levi-Strauss, who remained grounded in his ideas of dualism, and selectively saw the cultural traits that would support these ideas.

Roscoe’s next example is from the field of history. Many Europeans justified the conquest of the New World by claiming that the Native peoples exhibited cannibalism, incest and sodomy. These supposed acts of the Natives were condemned by the Church and by kings, thereby making it acceptable for Europeans to enslave the people and exploit their lands. Roscoe then sidetracks with theories on how every white man needs an “inner black man and red man”. This is the only confusing and irrelevant part of the article, as it was not supportive of any of his arguments. He discusses how the imagery of these different personalities uniting is homoerotic and that the role of sodomy in conquest can be described as the erotics of racism. Roscoe believes that there is a deep historical and psychic connection between racism and homophobia.

Roscoe brings up “anus-surveillance”, a counterpart of homophobia, as a method used to define the concept of masculinity. He explains how masculine identity involves penetrating, but not the experience of being penetrated. It was acceptable in ancient Greek and Roman culture for men to have sexual relations with younger boys, but it was not acceptable when the boys became men to carry on these relations with other men. Roscoe compares fraternities to being substitute families and women. Fraternities are where men find their equals, which become rivals and evolve into homosexual love objects. This alternation of aggression and rivalry with love and dependence create an emotional and political state resolved only by the institution of anal-surveillance. He states that no matter how high the ideal of equality within a fraternity, the mechanism of producing it creates noncitizens who are both objects of hatred and desire. In other words, the secret of democracy is that there must always be an outsider.

Roscoe concludes that homosexuality is systematically excluded from the scholarly world and that gay and lesbian studies have joined the ranks of the second-class, underfunded departments of ethnic studies and women studies.

KERRY THAM University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Roscoe, Will. Strange Craft, Strange History, Strange Folks: Cultural Amnesia and the Case for Lesbian and Gay Studies. American Anthropologist September, 1995 Vol. 97 (3):448-454.

Will Roscoe, in this article, hopes to point out the need for a reformation in the curriculum of colleges and universities. It is Roscoe’s contention that the incorporation of lesbian and gay studies would be beneficial to these schools. He does not seek to introduce the presence of homosexual relationships in the past, but the role these relationships played in shaping our history and our attitudes toward homosexuality today. Roscoe argues that homosexuality is prevalent to explaining much of what was happening throughout history. Unfortunately, Roscoe points out, the lack of acknowledgement given to the role of homosexuality allows these aspects of history to be ignored. In fact, Roscoe’s description of anus-surveillance going back to Aristophanes, gives insight into the fearful attitudes toward homosexuality of many American men today.

To reenforce his argument, Roscoe takes a look at two examples where the role of homosexuality is ignored. One example is the presence of a two-spirit deity in the Zuni myths named Ko’lhamana. These myths were studied by Claude Levi-Strauss, who managed to ignore the presence of the two-spirit deity while anaylizing the material he had gathered. The only mention of Ko’lhamana is in a diagram where it is listed as a “bisexual being.” Levi-Strauss does not attempt to elaborate on its presence. Roscoe points out that Ko’lhamana is present in two Zuni myths which establish a distinction between male and female and agriculture and hunting, binary opposites which possibly would have enticed Levi-Strauss. The other example of “homoamnesia,” Roscoe cites is in the article written by Hayden White, included in the book First Images of America. White wrote of the debates between Bartolomeo de Las Cases and Juan Gines de Sepulveda in 1550 at Valladolid. These debated focused on the justification of conquest. White claims that Sepulveda’s justification lies in his belief of the Indians as subhumans because of practices of cannibalism and incest. Roscoe claims White ignored the practice of sodomy among the Europeans in the New World. He goes on to explain his theory of anus-surveillance, which is the measuring of masculinity by a man’s ability to control his desire to penetrate others and fear of being penetrated, as an invention of the past that has shaped the current private and political attitudes toward homosexuality.

MICHELLE STOUT California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Roscoe, Paul B. The Perils of “Positivism” in Cultural Anthropology. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol.97 (3) 7: 492-502

According to Roscoe, it is surprisingly tricky to define what anthropological positivism is. Positivism in an anthropological sense can be looked at as an application of scientific knowledge to the amelioration of human problems, to enlightened governance, and to the general improvement of humankind. The image seems to have flourished, in part, because of its use as a weapon for attacks. Critics have no problem identifying positivism, however, they are reluctant to identify its followers.

From the article, it is obvious that the positivist ideal is less threatening than it seems. This is true because positivism is impossible to put fully into practice. Whatever anthropological positivists thought they were doing was assuredly very different from whatever it was they were actually doing. In contrast, the risks that mindless deployment of the image of positivism employs can be detrimental. The ease at which this image facilitates is remarkable, shown by comparisons between methodology in natural science and in social science. The image is almost entirely a construction of its critics.

According to de Waal Malefijt (1974:331) positivism is “a scientific method using verifiability as its code”. Roscoe contradicts this statement by using Tyler (1986:122-125) as an example. The attack is not science itself, but on methodological naturalism, deeming that scientific method is inappropriate to the investigation of the social world. An appropriate alternative would be a hermeneutic method or an ethnographer that provides objective knowledge. The physical facts must be in our minds waiting to be constructed rather than being out in the social world waiting to be discovered. A human web of meanings is what constructs those physical facts and the process of interpretation makes sense only when constituted by this web of meanings. If physical facts are just as constructed as social facts, then they cannot verify or falsify theory in the matter envisioned in positivism. It is this construction of the events that facilitates the ethnographer’s competent participation in the social life.

Roscoe concludes his well-written article by leaving the reader with thoughts about what may happen next regarding the image of positivism. A reassessment of the status of a natural science of culture and society is long overdue. Those who distinguish between natural and social science need to be more sophisticated in their differences. Anthropologists as a whole may begin to discuss ways to destabilize the self-confirming, self-serving, authorial monopoly that most ethnographers still enjoy over their subject matter.

ALLISON TWISS University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Roscoe, Paul B. The Perils of “Positivism” in Cultural Anthropology. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97 (3): 492-504

In this article, Roscoe examines how positivism is used in cultural anthropology. He also tries to deconstruct cultural anthropology’s criticisms of positivism. He wants to understand what positivism truly is and to analyze some of its criticisms. Positivism is sometimes only a negative label. It is used to imply a conservative thought process, put positivism is only spoken about by people criticizing it. Positivism has been used to describe such a broad range of theories and works that it is very hard to identify. However, this could be because while positivism is certainly a study of natural science, it is ambiguous and has never been fully defined.

Roscoe traces Positivism’s roots to eighteenth century French philosophy and begins to deconstruct the reasons positivism has been villanized in anthropology. It’s perceived emphasis on a “science of society” may have contributed to hostilities. Steven Tyler presented the argument that positivism’s emphasis on the presentation of science is its fault, not science itself. Holy and Ellen criticized positivism for ignoring social facts. They also recognized that all facts, interpretive or empirical, are subjective.

Roscoe contrasts the world of natural science with the world of anthropological science. Natural scientists are right if they are met with acceptance amongst other natural scientists. However since the anthropologist works in unique circumstances, only the ethnographer can validate his own theories. Postmodernists (the main critics of positivism) usually fail to recognize these truths and thus overlook some of the beneficial aspects of positivism. Roscue calls for a change in modern anthropological thinking and suggests that, while there are problems with positivism, modern anthropology is too “monopolized” by ethnographers who are the only qualified experts in their field.

BROOKE BURNS California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Sinopoli, Carla M., Kathleen D. Morrison. “Dimensions of Imperial Control. The Vijayanagara Capital”. American Anthropologist. 1995 volume 97

In this intriguing article, the authors take the reader back into the war-ravaged country of pre-colonial India, in order to explore the imperialistic rule of the time. Specifically, the focal point is on the empire of Vijayanagara, and its capital of Karnataka, in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent. Sinopoli and Morrison aspire to prove their theories of how and why imperialism worked for Vijayanagara, through citing its’ control of production, labor, and resources.

Apt detail is given to the history of the Vijayanagaran empire, in an effort to show the progression from small city-state to imperialist giant. From its early expansions in 1340 during the Sanagama dynasty, to the usurping by a warlord and his son in 1486 to form the Sulura dynasty, until they themselves were deposed in 1503 and the Tulura dynasty emerged, the authors profile the volatile nature of this climate as an adequate breeding ground for imperialist ideology.

When the authors begin to center their work around the capital of Karnataka, the reader is already familiarized with many of the methods of imperial control, such as the interwoven status of the King and Hindu religion, as well as the “influence over the ideological realm [used to] mitigate the costs of coercive economic and political control.” (pg.84). The authors then narrow their scope to examine the perspective of monumental architecture and how it expresses the ideas of control and militarism. With exquisite descriptions of the eleven-story tall temples with stepped towers, to the various maps of the carefully constructed routes of movement through the military-centered city, as it once existed, Morrison and Sinopoli successfully testify to the validity of comparing a culture’s art and architecture to its purpose; in this case being imperialistic expansion.

This article is not only a valuable tool in the reconstruction of the history of pre-colonial India, but also magnificently written. The various maps and photos of still existing structures only add to the overall value of this work.

BODHI RADL University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Sinpoli, Carla M. Morrison, Kathleen D. Dimensions of Imperial Control: The Vijayanagara Capital. American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol.97(1):83-96

This article is an archaeological study conducted by Carla Sinopoli of the University of Michigan and Kathleen Morrison of Northwestern University. The subject of research was of the potential economic, social, ideological, and military aspects of imperial control within the Vijayanagara capital in precolonial south India. From 1340 to 1565, three successful dynasties, Sangama, Saluva, and Tuluva, ruled the Vijayanagara Empire.

Although aspects such as ideology and political relations can often be difficult to detect through archaeological research, recognizable art and architecture are used to characterize the material culture. The ideology of the Vijayanagara capital was detected through analysis of the temple and the landscape of the city. Inscriptional evidence suggests that the rulers utilized religious discourse as a part of a legitimating ideology. Also, through archaeological findings it is apparent that based on the urban plan that there was a definite importance of public ritual. Another aspect of the imperial control that was of interest was the role of the military. The capital was heavily fortified and the political elites invested much effort on military training and materials of war. In the area of production and distribution, the political elite were seen as playing a more facilitative role, rather than a managerial or coercive role. There is much evidence to suggest that the elite were investing in road maintenance and the protection of merchants and travelers along those roads. The archaeological evidence is not so clear on whether or not the elite controlled the procedure of the work, plowing, and harvesting of the products. The imperial center did have its own monetary system and taxes and tariffs were paid in currency. Overall, the capital was a sacred and well-fortified military center with rulers that did not rule with absolute power over their people.

THOMAS MELZER California Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Starrett, Gregory. The Political Economics of Religious Commodities in Cairo. American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol.97(1):51-68

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their wide spread popularity in Egypt are offered by the author as an example and mirror image to the mass distribution and production of religious commodities in the same region. Articles such as stickers and bumper stickers, clocks, strings of giant size prayer beads, games, books, fans, framed Qu’aranic verses, ceramics, pocket calendars, shrink wrapped copies of the Qu’ran (Koran) in velvet boxes, and anything else with religious contexts were places in cars, homes, workplaces. These commodities could be used as alternatives to flowers or chocolate when a person was ill. They were used to identify Muslim from Christian. They allowed the people to feel confident that they were protected from misfortune. The popularity of these religious commodities had created some controversy in Cairo. Many people felt as though mass production of religious articles damage the integrity of the Qu’ran and the Muslim religion. Starrett has written a very detailed article describing every aspect of the issues involved with religious commodities and intellectual goods including the people who possess and sell them.

Starrett argues that along with the increase in mass production of these religious commodities, cultural changes occurred altering Egyptian attitudes regarding religious writings and their public display (52). He also examines the role and repercussions of capitalist penetration. Tables, charts, photographs, quotes and anecdotes expose the concentration of religious material goods in Cairo.

The fine lines between acceptable and blasphemous considering material goods and religion are outlined, and some seem contradictory. Starrett does not allow these problems to go unrecognized, and provides explanations for all. The article and its argument is well organized, illustrated, supported and is easily interpreted. Overall, this was a fulfilling read and contains enough detail to provide the reader with not only an understanding of the economy and religious commodity, but of the Muslim religion itself.

ELIZABETH OLSON-GLOVER University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Starrett, Gregory. The Political Economy of Religious Commodities in Cairo. American Anthropologist September, 1995 Vol. 97 (1):51-68.

Gregory Starrett, in this article, is evaluating the shift from craft production to mass production of religious commodities in Egypt. He views this change in production as a result of “altered Egyptian attitudes toward the public display of sacred writing,” caused by the effects of capitalism in all areas, including religious. He discusses how the market economy creates a need to make new things, leading to the development of new types of religious commodities such as bumper stickers or key chains. Such economic changes create an increase in demand of these commodities. This shift in economy is met with both positive and negative reactions.

Starrett often makes reference to Marx, first stating that production generates the need for material goods. He supports this statement evidence of the need for these items to insure prosperity, prevent misfortune and protect that person from the envy of others. These items are in demand during certain times of the year, such as religious holidays, Ramadan and the prophet’s birthday. They are also in demand in June when many students are preparing for exams to enter college. Starrett mentions the preference for religious commodities over chocolate or flowers when visiting a person who is ill, saying their value lies in their permanence, not just their spiritual content. He goes on to compare the demand for religious writings to other written works then compares the importance of placement of these objects in the home to the placement of items for sale in a supermarket. Some are opposed to the sale of these commodities, though. Generally these are the educated middle class who say that mass production can lead to mistakes made in the printing of Qur’an verses, threatening the integrity of the Qur’an. They say the Qur’an actually prohibits such items saying, “Do not sell my signs for a small price.” Again, he cites Marx, saying, “we become servants to the objects we create.” In support of this statement, Starrett describes the intention of putting prayer beads or Qur’an verses in a home as wanting people to know it is a Muslim home as well as having a spiritual function. The spiritual function is the Baraka, which is the quality of the objects that make you think of God. He also shows the dependance on these objects with the example of the person who puts a Qu’ran in his car, not to read but for protection while driving. The belief is that God will protect his word. Therefore, his protection is guaranteed wherever his word is displayed, such as in homes or in cars. Starrett concludes this article by providing further topics worth exploring, such as the complexity of these objects, the effects of representational art and a comparison of these commodities with those of other religions.

MICHELLE STOUT California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Ulin, Robert C. Invention and Representation as Cultural Capital : Southwest French Winegrowing History. American Anthropologist. 1995. Vol 97(3): 519-527.

Using the history of the French wine industry as an example, Ulin described how tradition, the imputable culture that is passed down through generations, was actually created. Therefore, he described how reality is constructed.

While Bordeaux wines from southwestern France were believed to be the best in the world, this was not always the case. Prior to the 12th century, wines from the interior were held in higher esteem. When the English, who occupied Aquitaine, began using Bordeaux as the major export port, all other wines had to pass through Bordeaux to reach foreign markets. Taxes were imposed on interior wines and they were also prohibited from entering the port city until November or December. These measures bestowed an advantaged on Bordeaux wines which they kept after the English were defeated. Thus, the high esteemed Bordeaux wines were not a natural tradition but had been created by certain political conditions.

Bordeaux wines were deemed superior due to ideal soil and climate conditions, which were thought to produce superior grapes. Thus, Bordeaux superiority had been given a natural context. This natural context was also constructed. In the 17th and 18th centuries, when the Spanish and Portuguese wine industries increased their exports, France created the grand crus instead of directly competing. Grand crus were deemed superior because they came from older vines and were aged longer, supposedly giving them better taste. Grand crus creators received special commercial and symbolic status through the 1855 classification and the appellation contrôlée legislation. Wine was even given a legal definition requiring “natural fermentation.” These political moves constructed social standards and quality that were based on “natural” criteria.

These natural criteria were subjective, though, and chosen by those who would profit from them. This elite group was created by the historical and natural constructs. Only those conforming to the constructs and reaching the high legal standards were deemed superior. This created the Chateaus, which were replicas from the Middle Ages and conferred a sense of long tradition. A wine could only receive Chateaux designation if all the grapes were from the same plantation; mixing of grapes from different areas was prohibited. This marginalized smaller winegrowers whose vines were found in various locations. Connoisseurs did believe wines from the chateaux were superior, thus enabling them to sell their wines at very high prices. Power was, therefore, consolidated in the elite who created the system.

Wine, considered to be an integral part of French culture and tradition, was actually a construction of social factors. These constructions were not recognized by the majority of people, who believed the Bordeaux wines were superior because of their the superior natural conditions. This view of certain better “natural” conditions was itself constructed to enable certain winegrower to profit more. By detailing the social constructs of wine, Ulin has shown how realities are created and how those that profit that most from the “realities” are the ones who create them.

KATHERINE VLADICKA University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Ulin, Robert C. Invention and Representation as Cultural Capital: Southwest French Wine Growing History American Anthropologist September, 1995 Vol. 97 (3): 519-527.

Ulin’s article is a postmodern account of the history of French wine growing history, particularly how it has impacted the proliferation of wines from the Bordeaux region. The author states that although Bordeaux wines are coveted today, this has not always been the case. Prior to the 15th century, Bordeaux wines were considered just another swill with no refining qualities. The change in perception of these wines is due both to the economic and political history of the region, and to what the author refers to as “invention,” that disguises what is social and cultural in “natural” attire. Invention of tradition is a major focus of this essay.

In Hobsbawm and Ranger’s, The Invention of Tradition an attempt is made to recast the concept of tradition in processual term, i.e., the past does not exist apart from its social construction or mediation in the present. Linnekin and Handler argue against objectivist views of history. They maintain that “invented” tradition can be distinguished from that which is “authentic” or reputedly established as “real.” In their view, tradition is “an interpretive process that embodies both continuity and discontinuity.” That which we perceive as authentic tradition is itself a product of global political and economic processes. This is the essence of World Systems Theory. Furthermore, inventions of tradition or symbolic constructions of culture are not autonomous social constraints: class and gender will limit what is invented and who does the inventing.

As for the prominence of Bordeaux wines, it’s basically England’s fault. As a victim of English hegemony the Bordeaux elite were granted special behavioral measures against other wine growing regions. Interior wines were subject to taxes from which Bordeaux wines were exempt. And, these wines were only allowed to enter the region after late in the year, thus limiting their selling potential.

The essay is an amusing application of postmodern concepts of deconstructing events of the past in order to put the present into perspective. Things are not what they are just because they are, an ideology of inevitability without context is a dangerous proposition. Each culture’s particular historical past has an impact on the present. The postmodernists did well to include the ideals of Franz Boas’ historical particularism in their theoretical doctrine.

WILLIAM R. GILLEAN California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark W. Allen)

Van Gerven, Dennis P. and Sheridan Guise, Susan and Adams, William Y. The Health and Nutrition of a Medieval Nubian Population. American Anthropologist, 1995 Vol. 97 (3): 468-478.

This article looks at human remains from the medieval site of Kulubnarti in Nubia’s Batn el Hajar in an attempt to explain how the geographical, political and economic factors formed the biocultural evolution of this area’s early populations. The bodies that are examined come from two cemeteries: one on the island of Kulubnarti and the other from the west bank of the mainland, adjacent to the village of Kulb. 218 bodies were exhumed from the island cemetery and 188 from the mainland cemetery. Analysis of pottery found within the graves and the grave architecture indicates that the bodies exhumed from the island cemetery contain elements of the early Christian period, whereas the bodies from the mainland cemetery contain elements of the late Christian period. The authors refer to the island cemetery as the early Christian population and the mainland cemetery as the late Christian population.

The authors purpose differences in lifestyle and stress levels between the two populations due to various political transformations that have taken place in Nubian history. They examine the effects that these differences in lifestyle and stress had on the two populations by studying the various postmortem indications of nutritional deficiencies and psychological stresses. One of these indications included comparing the mean life expectancies of the two groups. It also included studying various indications of childhood stress by looking at skeletal pathologies in the form of porotic hyperostosis know as cribra orbitalia which was thought to be caused by iron deficiency. The second way they studied childhood stress was to measure growth defects by looking at the skeletal and dental remains of children. They found dental defects that develop as bands on the enamel of the tooth known as, enamel hypoplasias. In addition to this the authors found that some of the children’s dental ages surpassed or fell short of their skeletal ages. The results of the data conclude that the children of the early Christian populations showed more postmortem indications of nutritional deficiencies and psychological stresses were therefore more adversely affected by the strains of political and economic changes than the children of the late Christian populations.

This article is clearly laid out and it is easy to understand the argument being presented.

CRYSTAL TRACY University of Alberta. (Heather Young Leslie)

Van Gerven, Dennis P., Susan Guise Sheridan, and William Y. Adams. The Health and Nutrition of a Medieval Nubian Population: The Impact of Political and Economic Change. American Anthropologist, 1995 Vol. 97 (3):468-480.

The authors of this article use a comparative method to identify and explain the changes of a Nubian society during Medieval times in a hope the prove that the later existence of people in this ecologically isolated area were more bioculturally fit. This is accomplished through the use of data collected from two ancient cemeteries found in an area known as Kulubnarti. The article begins with an historical and political over view, which attempts to set, the stage as to what type of population is under consideration. Thus, they divide the population onto two separate historical groups. The first of the two are called the early Christians who occupied Kulubnarti which is an island presently thanks to the Aswan Dam which was built centuries later. On this island there is a cemetery where most of the data was collected about this particular civilization. Across from the island located on the west bank is another cemetery that is the resting-place for the second population termed the late Christians.

Archeological evidence was to compile the different characteristics of the separate eras that these Nubians lived. By comparing the remains of the two the authors were able to support their claims that the earlier civilization endured higher degree of stress in their life times. They compared subadult stresses as well as adult stresses to support their findings. The subadult issues they addressed and compared were childhood anemia, issues of growth interruption, disease, death, growth and development. For the adult population they compared stress and mortality which involved the inspection of fracture patterns and the level of osteoporosis present in each group. By performing these tasks they created a reasonable explanation as to their improved biological adaptation over time.

ETHAN JACKSON California State Polytechnic University., Pomona (Mark W. Allen)

Thoden Van Velzen, H.U.E. Revenants That Cannot Be Shaken: Collective Fantasies in a Maroon Society. American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol.97(4):722-730.

This article in American Anthropologist is concerned with the Ndyuka spirits of the in the African-Surinamese culture, better known as the Maroons. The article deals with “collective fantasies” of the culture and how these historical developments shape the culture and their beliefs. Beginning in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Ndyukas and Saramakas, the two largest groups of Maroons, developed their own religious and political systems.

The Ndyukas have three supreme deities; the supreme deity Gadu or Gaan Tata (Great Father) is the focus of attention in the article. He is known as the divine disciplinarian in the eyes of the Ndyukas. He is the great oracle and all other spirit mediums must present themselves to him if they wish to be taken seriously. The Great Father was brought upon by the Ndyukas to ward of witches that had presently been threatening the survival of the Maroons. Although the creation story is important to the Ndyukas, the collective fantasy itself is the focal point to the article. During the 1970’s, a prophetic movement brought about changes in the cultural and political life of the Maroons. A new prophet, Akalali, arose and succeeded where the Great Father had failed. Akalali created a new collective fantasy and told the people that the old teachings were simply strategies to fool the Ndyukas.

These collective fantasies are structures external to humans, yet are constantly created under economic hardship or political issues by gifted individuals or prophets and widely accepted by the cultural system. In the article, Thoden van Velzen, presents the argument, “the concept of collective fantasies is credited with the advantage of drawing our attention to dimensions such as space, stratification, contradiction, and exaggeration”. The author is clearly a postmodernist in the sense that his work is very self-reflexive and he points out his own faults and limitations.

THOMAS MELZER California Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Velzen, Thoden Van. Revenants that cannot be Shaken: Collective Fantasies in a Maroon Society. American Anthropologist December, 1995 Vol.97(4):722-733.

This article is about the relationships between fantasies and social organizations. Velzen studied the collective fantasy relationships while doing fieldwork with the Ndyuka society of the African-Surinamese culture.

A collective fantasy is a combination of reality and the imagined fiction found in individuals and groups. It consists of myths, oral history, and individual speculations. The collective fantasy legitimizes daydreams of individuals while feeding people’s imaginations like fuel. The fantasies are also constantly being created and revamped.

In the Ndyuka society, there are spirit mediums and oracle priests that regularly speak against the government, social routines, and public morals. However, these messages do not instigate riots or hatred among the Ndyuka, rather, they prompt the people to daydream and make speculations that are most often fictional. The speculations and dreams are usually forgotten and lost until gifted individuals, who are pressured by hard economic times, awaken the dreams.

Ghosts are also part of the Ndyuka society and they represent someone who has died. These ghosts are greatly feared if they plan to avenge themselves because of some past wrongdoing. It is thought that the ghosts cause havoc to the mother’s side of the guilty family member that they are haunting.

The Great Father, another oracle and spirit medium, receives gifts from the people of the Ndyuka society. People give the Great Father gifts because he is the one that helps scare and kill off the witches. A witch is an abandoned or exiled family member that plots revenge while living alone deep in the rainforest. However, the Great Father is sometimes thought of the Great Witch due to his greedy nature with the sacred ground where the gifts are left for him.

Collective fantasies are structured space, created by contradictory statements, and they are stratified. By studying these fantasies, it is possible to find the energy and beginning of the dream stories themselves. The collective fantasy is able to draw attention to space, stratification, contradiction, and exaggeration, which may be important to better understand a specific group of society.

JAY MORRISON University of Minnesota-Duluth (Jnnifer Jones)

Watson, Patty Jo. Archaeology, Anthropology, and the Culture Concept, American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97(4): 683-694.

This article is the text of author Patty Jo Watson’s Distinguished Lecture at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in November 1994. Watson’s argues that the current anthropological landscape is much different than it was 20 years prior. She suggests that anthropology’s four sub-disciplines are breaking apart into their own individual fields of study. She specifically uses archaeology to demonstrate her point, challenging archaeology’s place in the anthropological realm by comparing the thoughts of Lewis Binford and Ian Hodder.

Binford believes that all aspects of societies past could be investigated using archaeology. Binford has little interest in the artifacts’ meanings in relationship to the maker and the user. Binford believes that “culture is humankind’s extrasomatic means of sustaining themselves in a wide array of physical environments through space and time, documents the interplay of climatic topographic, floral, faunal, geological, and other natural factors with human hunter-gatherer-forager subsistence and technology” (686). Binford also rejects the idea of the artifacts being merely markers of time and space. Instead, he sees archaeological material as the “essential means to interpret the interactive dynamics of paleoenvironments and human paleoeconomies in synchronic and diachronic detail” (687).

Hodder strongly opposes most of Binford’s viewpoints, believing that ontological issues were central in archaeology. Hodder believes that culture is mental and takes note of the important role that artifacts play in the “complex, dynamic tensions characterizing human social and societal encounters” (686). Hodder advocates that archaeology is archaeology, rather than archaeology as anthropology. Hodder also heeds a warning to archaeologists alerting them to be aware of their biases and preconceptions—if they don’t the may be creating a past based on the image of their own present.

Although Watson seems to side more with Hodder, splitting anthropology into is four sub-fields is a relevant topic and a personal concern of hers. Watson says, “Perhaps general, integrated anthropology is already or soon will be gone” (690). Overshadowing this dilemma is the simple fact that from this “undisciplined discipline” (690), the world is made better from its research methods and research results.

ANNIE DRESSEN University of Minnesota—Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Watson, Patty Jo. Archaeology, Anthropology, and the Culture Concept. American Anthropologist 1995 Vol. 97(4):683-694

This article contains text from a distinguished lecture that was read at the 93rd annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, held in Atlanta, Georgia. The writer of the article has been an anthropologist/archaeologist for about fifty years. She starts the discussion by differentiating between the major concepts of culture that she was familiar with throughout her career. She recognized Robert Redfield’s definition of culture because it lent itself to archaeological concerns, more so, than did E. B. Tylor’s. She discusses the impact of post-modernism on archaeology and anthropology as a whole. By the 1980s “American archaeology as anthropology,” was rejected. This led to the development of separate departments at many institutions for anthropology and for archaeology.

Watson traces two differing ideas of the culture concept through archaeology. She begins with a discussion on early uses of the term culture in archaeology which usually referred to a geographical taxonomic unit because not much was understood about chronology. In early archaeology no attention was paid to human behavior, function, ecology, or even quantification. Later, she describes a divergence in the view of culture that included two concepts. At this point in time culture was coming to be understood as a mental phenomenon and that material culture was only seen as abstract representations of culture but, not culture itself. With this view archaeologists were seen as technicians who needed anthropologists to produce cultural information from physical material. Nearly, twenty years after that comes Binford and the “new archaeology,” which was materialist, functionalist, and evolutionist in orientation. The new archaeology wanted no part in the symbolic or ideational issues that the previous archaeology had concerned itself with. Archaeologists of this period, usually referred to as the processualists, became extremely quantitative and scientific. The response to the processualists, were the post-modernists, or the post-processualist archaeologists. Ian Hodder is usually recognized with this group. To the post-processualists ontological issues are central. She claims that Hodder and Binford wholeheartedly disagree on almost every issue. In detail, she shows the distinctions between the two schools as Binford and Hodder would explain it themselves. They do however agree on one topic and that is the use of ethnoarchaeology.

Both schools have learned to view this approach to data collection and interpretation as key. Watson called it the sub-subfield of archaeology. Beyond the differences Watson sees a new era coming about where the two distinct views are slowly coming closer. She agrees with many in that it may be too optimistic to expect a synthesis of the two schools. Rather, that the culture concept will still be a sticking point for many in anthropology. As in the beginning of her career there were two distinct ways at looking at culture. However, the old culture concept Watson grew up knowing is not quite the same. She is optimistic in that each new definition brings about new directions in research and new ideas. Unlike many others, who believe that anthropology as a discipline will not last much longer, or it will become several separate disciplines. Watson’s writing is clear and to the point. Her discussion here is of great importance to the future of anthropology and should be of great interest to those who are entering the field.

TAMER SARIELDIN California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Wiener, Annette B. Culture and Our Discontents. American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol.97(1):14-20.

In her presidential address to the American Anthropological Association in 1993, Annette B. Weiner presented her discontents on the future discipline of anthropology. In her view, anthropology was in the middle of a paradigm shift. Many disciplines of the field had divided into “numerous subfields and constituencies” and had fragmented the science. Weiner discusses three areas that tore the field apart: the advent of postmodernism, the concentration of anthropological studies into specialized branches, and the concept of culture solely as an anthropological theme.

When postmodernism first hit anthropology, it attacked the basic practices of methodical fieldwork. Many anthropologists recoiled at the questioning of fundamental procedures and sought to reject the study entirely. In her address, Weiner seeks to incorporate some of the general concepts of postmodernism into the anthropological field. She asserts that postmodernism represents a political role in studying global structures and defines it as a “responses to today’s globalization”. Postmodernism stresses that fieldwork is affected by the political context and personal preferences of the fieldworker and questions the normal objective view of an anthropologist.

Weiner’s second point refers to the dismantling of anthropology as a unified school into concentrated sections. Many branches within the study have formed and caused competitive rifts between scholars. All have become eager to claim rights to certain fields of study such as “my section” and “my discipline”, and threaten the study with territorial bounds and jealousies. Weiner asserts that anthropology should seek to integrate all subfields and share knowledge between all members.

In years past, culture was anthropology’s main concept and an interest that could be attributed specifically to the field. Now, all interest groups realize the benefits and importance of studying culture. As high-speed communication spreads throughout most economies, “culture is no longer a place or grouped to be studied… it is about political rights and nation building.” The concept of culture has become a good that can be bought or sold. Additionally, Weiner states that terms used in previous generations to delineate different groups of people no longer stand in today’s conglomerated global interactions. Weiner states that we need to have a global comparative perspective of anthropology, for our vision remains narrow and leans towards western thought instead of the diversity of people all over the world.

Weiner has a strong hold on the concept of postmodernism in this article. She addresses her view as a personal survey of the anthropological field and discipline.

ANGELA KUHLMANN California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Mark Allen)

Weiner, Annette B. Culture and our Discontents. American Anthropologist March, 1995 Vol.97(1):14-40

Anthropology is in a period of transition, with three main dilemmas threatening the discipline’s survival. These are the relationship between anthropology and postmodernism, increasingly fragmented research interests and divisions between departments, and the primacy of the “Culture Concept” to anthropology in a world where culture has been appropriated by many other groups.

Weiner begins by arguing that embracing political postmodernism, through which all discourse regarding the diffusion of power is now occurring, is necessary for Anthropology to avoid marginalization. She believes that science and humanism are not diametrically opposed and that Cultural Anthropology can be beneficial to a broader understanding of science.

The second threat to Anthropology is the fragmentation of research interests and the separation of biological and cultural anthropology. Weiner believes that these are a signal that postmodernism is acting to change anthropology, and argues that these divisions are weakening the discipline despite the emergence of distinctive subgroups with specialized foci. She believes that a focus on political postmodernism will cause all anthropologists to integrate their studies for greater social and political impact. Tied to a fragmentation of research interests is the danger of “idiosyncratic subjectivity”, where the anthropologist becomes so distanced from their own cultural background in order to fairly portray the culture they are studying that they alienate themselves from their colleagues. Weiner believes that anthropologists should work for an “integrative subjectivity” that integrates individual research with broader themes that are being studied by others.

Weiner challenges anthropologists to let go of the culture concept that traditionally has led anthropology to some of its great achievements because it has been appropriated by other academic disciplines and co-opted by capitalism where an understanding of culture becomes a tool for manipulation. Anthropologists should use the tools of comparison and differentiation, to focus on reevaluating Western political and economic philosophies that derive from older and unchallenged cultural assumptions of superiority. By evaluating these issues in the context of postmodernism, anthropology becomes central to Western political discourse and because anthropology has greater comparative strength than other disciplines it will add much through traditions of holism and comparison to the understanding of the world.

BRIAN BLAKELY University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)