Ashmead, Albert S. An Ancient Peruvian Effigy Vase Exhibiting Disease of the Foot. American Anthropologist. July-September, 1907 Vol. 9 (3): 738-740.
Ashmead’s article discusses the implications of the features of a Pre-Colombian water bottle from the Pachacamac Graveyard in Peru with references to his own past research and a brief discussion of related subject matter depicted in ancient Peruvian art. A photograph of the object from two angles accompanies the article. A large sphere forms the body of the bottle. A much smaller sphere with ears and incised facial features and a cylindrical spout opening on top represents the head. The small cylindrical curved handle of the bottle connects the back of the head to the top of the bottleís body. The figure represented holds one pockmarked foot in its hands, sole pointed upwards.
The article centers around Ashmeadís claim that the bottle most likely depicts the effects of uta, or skin-tuberculosis, due to the characteristic perforations in the sole of the foot and the crude mutilation of the upper lip and nose. Ashmead quickly refutes other claims as to other potential causes of the disease, syphilis or leprosy, due to their inability to create both symptoms represented. He also disagrees with Charles W. Meadís claim that the extraction of sand flea eggs may have contributed to the distinctive condition of the foot, citing the extreme size of the pits and the presence of facial mutilations. Ashmead then begins a discussion of this type of potteryís traditional association with the sick, the dying, and the thirsty and the appearance of such vessels in the context of other Peruvian art depicting dances, perhaps used to try to combat the disease.
He also devotes a few paragraphs to the issue of amputation in Peruvian
society, linking the amputation of the feet to the disease uta, a cure
still used in
Due to the relative shortness and overall simplicity of this article, anyone could easily read and understand it. While advantageous in some ways, the brevity of the article is also a shortcoming due to Ashmeadís relatively brief discussion of his evidence and arguments; therefore, it serves best as a jumping off point for further research rather than as a comprehensive source of information.
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Boas, Franz. Heredity in Anthropometric Traits. American Anthropologist. July- September, 1907 Vol. 9(3):453-469.
The principal question examined in the investigation of head form was whether there is a trend in offspring to group themselves around the middle value of the parents, or show a tendency to sway toward the paternal or the maternal type. This research is a continuation of a paper done some years previous, with the help of a Dr. Fishberg and a Mr. Joseph Fish. Data collected were from families of East European Jews, mostly Russian. Measurements of length and width of head were taken. The examination concludes that the index used (cephalic) shows an alternating inheritance, predominantly from father to mother, but also from earlier ancestry. In addition, when taking into consideration the influence of both father and mother, Boas has shown that often offspring vary around midparental values regularly. He attributes this to the increase in differences in parents.
The author states his objective well, then proceeds with less clarity. The article must be read thoroughly and with care to pay close attention to the numerous statistics given.
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Branch, C.W. Aboriginal Antiquities
The authorís objective is to detail the artifacts found
in the area around
There were numerous stone objects found that are thought to range in function, including grinders used to prepare maize, hammerstones used as club-heads, wedges, and other weapons, hatchets used for adzes, wedges, and battle-axes, and others used for skinning and cutting human flesh, smoothing or sharpening other stone and shell implements, woodworking tools, tools used to smooth pottery, and scrapers and knives.
Also found in the area were shell implements. Though there is some debate as to the function of many of these artifacts, some theories of their functions include blades, adzes, wedges, and even spoons.
Many relics were found that appeared to be ornamental in origin. These included beads, shell pendants, and shell and stone pieces that appear to have been artificially altered.
Pottery was also very prevalent in the various excavations and findings in this area. Though many, if not most, of the pieces in fragments, their function is believed to include bowls, platters, and jars. The sophistication used in preparation of the pottery artifacts varies from very unrefined to extremely advanced. The author discusses the variance in firing methods, carvings, and paintings as well.
There are arguably four different petroglyph sites in Saint Kitts and the author discusses the human subjects that dominate the rock carvings. Several sites containing remains of cooking utensils and fossils of crab shells and other fish bones. Finally the author ends with a documentation of the fossil remnants of a human body found near the Saint Kitts site.
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Brennemann, Joseph The Sacral Or So-Called "Mongolian" Pigment Spots of Earliest Infancy and Childhood, With Especial Reference to Their Occurrence in the American Negro American Anthropologist January-March, 1907. Vol.9(1):12-30
Few medical men knew of the occurrence of the pigmented spots discovered on many children. Brennemannís purpose for this article is to present information regarding this phenomenon to gain interest of anthropologists.
Earliest observations come from
Buntaro Adachi found the pigment in different amounts in different races and individuals. He reasoned that it is a normal human characteristic because while he studied and found the spots among white Europeans, others found similar results among Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Eskimo and many more.
Previous records in 1905 show no such spots among Negro children when
examined. Theory in
Epstein examined white children and found consistency in the location, time of occurrence, duration, and color of previously documented data. This evidence tells us that we are dealing with the same entity.
Many superstitions have been attached to this phenomenon but the evidence by Adachi is most satisfactory. Epidermal pigment is formed independently of that in the corium, with the corium pigmentation prominent of the spot. Evidence has shown that these spots are not racially exclusive. This country has special interest in the pigmentation as it may be due to contamination of blood by many possible races.
This article presented clear evidence that each scientist found. In simple language, the examinations of the "Mongolian" spots were explained one at a time. I enjoyed reading this article and gained much knowledge on the subject.
Bushnell, David L. Jr.
Bushnell discovered the documents contained in this article during searches
for materials on the Indians of Virginia during the early days of the
colony, in manuscripts at the
The first section is "Fragments from the Early Records" which
contains a variety of colonial material on events dealing with Indians.
This early material starts with the beginning of the 1607 European invasion
of what is now
"Ethnological Specimens from
"The Indians of Virginia in 1687" is portions of a never before printed letter by Rev. Mr John Clayton describing aspects of Indian culture. The letter focuses on the Indian priest doctor and describing the practice of the doctor. These descriptions include how medicines are obtained, how the doctor is compensated, and how information is instructed to others. Other descriptions of Indian culture include morals, sports, drinking, smoking and an absence of laws.
Bushnell achieves his objectives of providing access to some previously
unpublished material on early
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Bushnell, David I., Jr. Discoveries Beyond the Appalachian Mountains in September, 1671. American Anthropologist, New Series January-March, 1907 Vol.9(1):45-56.
The general issue addressed in David I. Bushnell, Jr.’s article concerns the relevance of the first European crossing of the Appalachian Mountains as recorded by Robert Fallow in his 1671 journal. The article opens with a brief statement from the author, recounting his discovery of Robert Fallow’s journal in the British Museum, and the historical circumstances under which the expedition occurred. Next, Bushnell offers Fallow’s journal as primary evidence of the 1671 commission and expedition: “Thomas Batts, Thomas Woods and Robert Fallows having received a commission from the honorable Major general Wood for the finding out the ebbing and flowing of the Waters on the other side of the Mountains in order to the discovery of the South Sea” (46). Fallow’s journal provides a day-by-day account of the expedition, including the route they followed and the people with whom they interacted. Lastly, following the journal segment, Bushnell provides the reader with an excerpt from a letter written by a Mr. Clayton to the Royal Society in regards to Fallow’s expedition. Bushnell uses Mr. Clayton’s letter to voice his own opinions of the journey’s bearing on history, which contends that Fallow’s crossing was “an interesting addition to the records of early explorations toward the west, and is of value to the ethnologist as showing the location of certain tribes in the latter part of the seventeenth century” (56).
Thus, the premise of Bushnell’s article is that this particular crossing of the Appalachian Mountains was important, because it was the first in a long line of expeditions that lead U.S. settlement west toward the Mississippi River and subsequently provided significant information about the geographical location of some of the first native groups to be forced off their land by settlers.
LAURA MIECZKOWSKI Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
Chamberlain, Alexander F. Thomas Jeffersonís Ethnological Opinions and Activities American Anthropologist July-September, 1907 Vol.9(3):499-509
Alexander F. Chamberlain poses the idea that Thomas Jefferson should be entitled to rank among the forerunners of the American school of anthropologists. He addresses Jeffersonís role as an anthropologist and the amount of time he devoted to his observations and investigations. In addition to Jeffersonís importance as a statesman, "he devoted some time to the consideration of the ethnological problems involved in the history of the Red Man and the Negro in AmericaÖ" (499). Chamberlain summarizes several entries from Jeffersonís Notes on the State of Virginia that he dedicated to the natural history of the Native Indians, African Americans and the language relationship between the Indians and the English settlers.
In order to satisfy his inquiries on the correctness
of opinions and details as to the origin and construction of Indian "barrows",
Chamberlain does a wonderful job of highlighting Thomas Jeffersonís work in the natural history of the Indians, African Americans and the language relationships that were seen during the late seventeen hundreds and the early eighteen hundreds. The article was brief, concise, easy to read and very interesting.
SARAH M. LITTLE
Cushing, Frank Hamilton. Observations Relative to the Origin of the Flyfot or Swastika. American Anthropologist April-June 1907 Vol.9(2):334-337.
In this article, the author's main objective is to present symbols from a variety of cultures, which appear similar to that of the swastika. By explaining the usage and meaning of the pictographs, the author speculates on the possible origins of the European swastika. The idea is to guess as to how, where, and why the idea of the swastika developed.
The use of drawings in his explanation is a big help and assists the reader in visually comparing the pictures of the various pictographs with that of the swastika, and drawing conclusions as to the visual similarities.
The author uses evidence from distant parts of the world, such as ancient
Although the author is clear with his simple explanation of each symbol, he makes no attempt to directly compare the meaning of each symbol with the meaning of the swastika. Not once in the article does the author explain the meaning of the swastika. Without explaining the symbolism of the Swastika, the reader is left to hypothesize as to what symbolic aspects of the various drawings are synonymous with the swastika.
Overall, the short length and simplistic vocabulary used make this article an easy reading. It is a clear-cut article, although the reader may have to learn the symbolic meaning of the swastika beforehand.
The purpose of this article is to inform the reader of the various numeric
systems within the different Native American groups of
The first numeral system
The beginning of this article was filled with technical anthropological
jargon, but otherwise was very readable. The problem that I had was that
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Fewkes, J. Walter A Fictitious
In this article, the author tries to rationalize why
of Tcuhu," a once-believed ruin in the
This article is a short read and includes a few pictures, which are helpful. I had to read it a few times to put all his argument in place.
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SALENA K. KOUNTZ:
Gerard, William R. Virginiaís Indian Contributions to English American Anthropologist January-March, 1907. Vol.9(1):87-112
Presented in this article are numerous words, all of Algonquian lineage, that have been adopted into the English language. A majority of these adopted words are familiar to the people of this country, while some of the words have spanned the oceans and are known wherever English is spoken. William R. Gerard, far from posing an argument, takes a "grass roots" approach in demonstrating the origination of many words that we take advantage of everyday.
The author highlights a number of terms, different senses they have taken, notes on their history, combinations into which they have entered and their etymology. The author highlights a word at the beginning of a paragraph and includes the different spellings and, if available, an earlier spelling of the word. A majority of the words have been corrupted by English settlers in spelling as well as well as in the application of some of the words. The settlers may have changed the spelling or pronunciation of a word that may have been too difficult to pronounce. For example, the Indian word usketehamun was soon abbreviated by the settlers to hominy, a three-syllable word taken from a six-syllable word.
The author moves on to defining the word and stating where the word
originated. All of the words are of Algonquian descent, but many words
have been documented in an etymology as being from the Tapenhanek of
Virginia or the Renape of Virginia. Within each paragraph, different
applications of the word are noted. Although the same word was used between
the Indians and the settlers, different meanings were applied to the
word. For example, in the definition of a Macock, the English settlers
Although this article was written in the form of a dictionary, overall it was interesting and easy to read. The continuous formation of new paragraphs, as you would see in a dictionary, made the article seem short, instead of one long continuous paragraph. Many of the words were new to me, but those words such as raccoon, which we take advantage of everyday, were interesting to see where the word originated from and the way in which the animal was viewed in Indian culture and English culture. William R. Gerard gives an ample amount of information in presenting his article to support his highlighting of a number of terms, different senses they have taken, notes on their history, combinations into which they have entered and their etymology.
SARAH M. LITTLE
Gilder, Robert F. Archeology of
the Ponca Creek District,
The general issue that the author deals with is a study he conducted
of the surface archeology of the northern portion of Douglas County,
Nebraska. He obtained various artifacts, which were discovered beneath
the roots of a large oak tree in the field he designated as the Ponca
Creek district. The artifacts obtained varied from pottery to charcoal
flakes to a fish made from a mother-of-pearl shell. The Ponca Creek district
lies on both sides of a stream by that name, two and one-quarter miles
The author concludes that the builders of these ancient homes were sedentary
people, living in peace with whatever neighbors they had. This information
is based on the isolation of a number of large house sites throughout
the northern part of
The author presents his objectives in a sequential manner. This article must be read carefully because there is a lot of information not pertaining to the important parts of the authorís discovery of the isolated dwellings. This is a tough read because it focuses on the findings more than an understanding of why this particular area is being researched.
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Grinnell, George Bird. Tenure of Land Among the Indians. American Anthropologist January-March 1907. Vol.9(2):1-11.
The author believes the "civilized," or white man, and the "savage," or Indian, (he speaks specifically of Native Americans in the article) have different ways of looking at material things, specifically ownership of land.
The author says that while "our" Indians (meaning
Native Americans) and the white man were similar in their regard of
personal property (ownership
of food, arms and clothing, for example), they differed in the way they
performed land transactions. The author says when
The author makes the point that the Indians, while drawing up land treaties,
were under the assumption they were lending the land to the white men
occupying it. They looked forward to the time when they could repair
the damage made by the new inhabitants and bring the land back to its
original beauty and health. He says that the Blackfeet Indians of what
The author goes on to say that the white man took lands from the Indian, and in the process, pushed him out of his place in society. He said that the extinction of their race could be called the operation of natural selection; the weaker perish while the fit survive.
According to Grinnell, because the government allowed the Indians to rent out their allotted land, they grew lazy. He says the Indians were also unable to make wise judgments in regard to treaties and other business dealings. The only way to solve these problems, according to him, were to create transactions the Indian mind would be capable of comprehending, as the land dealings at the time of the article could never be grasped by the Indian mind.
This article is well-organized and easy to read. However, the authorís ideas are ethnocentric, and his conclusion is rushed and unsatisfactory.
Holmes, W.H. On a Nephrite Statuette From San Andres Tuxtla, Vera Cruz, Mexico. American Anthropologist June, 1907 No. 4 Vol.9 (PL XXXV):691-701.
This article addresses questions raised regarding an antiquity thought to have been found in Tuxcla, Vera Cruz in Mexico. The author offers the opinions of eight experts who examined the actual statuette, pictures of the item, and drawings of the glyphics from the statuette. The responses of the researchers and/or experts are presented in the article.
The object in question is a 6 ½ inch tall and 4 inch wide statuette made of jade, a stone also known as serpentine. It has the head of a human with a beak and the lower part has feathers and bird feet. The main question examined in the article is the authenticity of the glyphics found on the sides, front, and back of the statuette as being authentic ancient Mayan glyphics. There have been middle and ending type of glyphic discovered, but there has not been a primary source of this type of Mayan glyphic. This statuette may be the missing piece; hence its importance. These experts had backgrounds in glyphic writing, American antiquities, native writings, and mineralogy among other disciplines.
The documentation compares the glyphic found on the statute to those of “The Books of Chilan Balam”, Dresden Codex, Leyden Stone, Chichen Itza inscriptions, a figure in “Primer of Hieroglyphics,” and Copan and Quiigua stele. One of the broader conclusions of the article is that the primary stage of Mayan writings may be found in the same area that the statuette was discovered, which will help anthropologists understand the Mayan glyphics development better; as well as an otherwise unknown culture area.
ALEJANDRA CANO Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
Holmes, W. H. Aboriginal Shell Heaps of the Middle Atlantic Tidewater Region. American Anthropologist, January – March 1907. New Series, Vol. 9(1): S113 – 128.
Holmes’s goal in this article is to discuss the cultures living along the Atlantic coast during the aboriginal, pre-colonial, and colonial times based on the conditions and remains of the shell heaps that can still be found there today. His main area of focus is the Popes Creek community in Maryland. This is an area, on the Potomac River, which contains one of the lushest shell heaps discovered as of 1907. On the site is only a railway station, a kiln for calcining (required for turning the shells into fertilizer), and a cottage owned by, most likely, Mr. William D. Merrick who also owned the first kiln in that area. The remainder of the site consists of marshy landscape formed by the creek and river, with a layer of surface strata. Below that is 5 feet of bivalve and univalve shells which have accumulated over a number of years. This area is 50 feet wide at the mouth of the river, extending a mile inland, overlooked by a 50 foot high sloping plateau.
It is on this site that W. H. Holmes found a deposit of shells while excavating and researching. Once uncovered, he discovered some of the tools and other artificial items used by the people who once lived in the region. These include large bowls, used for both eating and preparing food, hand utensils also used to fulfill both these tasks, and certain tools used to find oysters and other shellfish.
Holmes divided his paper into four sections. The first is a brief introduction (S113-115) on shell heaps in general (what they are, how they were used, etc). He mentions that they can be seen along the coast from Maine to Florida, and were mainly used by Algonquian tribes but also some Iroquoian tribes that eventually moved in on the territory. The he begins (S115-118) to describe the landscape of the Popes Creek region where Native Americans once fished the Potomac. His largest section focuses on the shell heaps particular to that region (S118-124). He discusses how he can tell how the shellfish were prepared based on the discarded shells. He can tell where cottages once rested on the shell heap, because in those areas the soil is not as fertile, there are depressions, and the purest shells come from the areas between each depression. Now that the village has been taken down for excavation and for the extraction of good shells used in making fertilizer, 4-6 foot tall mounds of unusable shells stand where the tiny cottages once rested. The last section (S124-128) addresses the tools and remains found in the shell heaps, and there is even some coarse clothing.
Holmes generally seemed to focus more on the tools found in the heap and their ancient uses, rather than how they related to the purpose of the heap.
BRENDAN HOLAHAN Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
J. M. Albert Samuel Gatschet-1832-1907 American Anthropologist July-September, 1907 Vol.9(3):561-569
The authorís intention in this obituary is to expound
on the fascinating life and accomplishments of Dr. Albert Samuel Gatschet.
was born in
Dr. Gatschet immigrated to the
Dr. Gatschetís primary interest was in recording and researching the
languages of Indian tribes. "In 1881, he finished a lengthy study
of linguistic material recorded by Father Pareja from the Timucua tribes
The author reports that Dr. Gatschet spent several years traveling the
In 1877, Dr. Gatschet moved to
This article gives an excellent portrayal of the life of an amazing individual whose pioneering contributions to linguistics and Native Studies has greatly benefited future anthological studies.
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Hartman, C.V. The Alligator as a Plastic Decorative Motive in Certain Costa Rican Pottery American Anthropologist April-June, 1907 Vol.9(3):307-314
This article was mainly focused on the alligator as a main symbol found
in Costa Rican pottery. Hartman discusses pottery that he, along with
a team of excavators, has found in the highlands of
This article was not difficult to read although the descriptions of the pottery pieces did become lengthy. The author was knowledgeable about his subject and reinforced his writing with detail.
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Kennard, Karl S. The Racial Derivation of the Ossetes American Anthropologist April-June, 1907 Vol.9(2):276-286.
The authorís objectives are to figure out why the Ossetes
vary physically from the other groups in the
The Alani were a group of "white complexion and yellowish hair" (283)
who divided and dispersed when the Huns invaded in 176 A.D. They settled
in the mountains around the
Historians conclude the Ossetes were remnants of the Alani, who were a division of the Finns. Lithuanians, Esths, Tchuds, and Russians descended from the Ossetes. This article has a few words that will need to be looked up, like "cephalic index", but overall, it is easy to read and understand.
Laufer, Berthold. A Theory of the Origin of Chinese Writing. American Anthropologist. March, 1907 Vol.9(1): 487-497.
The authorís objective is to present his theory on the origin of Chinese writing. He states the original interpretation done by Chinese scholars could not be believed, because the writing had already been used for three millennia; "Öso that practically they could have known nothing about its original origin"(p.487). He also points out the discrepancy between various Chinese interpretations as being evidence against their theories (p. 488). The author also disregards the work of European sinologues who had explained Chinese writing being pictographic in origin. The pictographic theory explains the origin of Chinese writing as being "developed from an original realistic picture portraying the object which the character is intended to represent" (p.489). He defends his argument with the evidence that realism did not appear in Chinese art until after the beginning of Christianity. The author feels this evidence is enough to rebuke the previously held belief that Chinese writing did in fact originate from realistic portrayals of life. Instead, he argues, Chinese writing originated as "conventional ornamental forms" (p. 491). He states that abstract symbols were used to form Chinese writing symbols such as dots representing rice, or raindrops. In contrast with pictographic representation, these symbols were not attempts to represent their objects realistically.
The author then supports his theory by presenting interpretations of the origins of the writings of two other Asian cultures, the Lolo and the Miaotse. He argues that their writing also originated out of symbolic and ornamental forms, "no doubt originally represented indigenous ornaments of those particular tribes" (p. 492). These are the factors he believes accounts for the differences between the three.
The language and sentence structure in the article are sometimes hard to understand. In order to comprehend the material and the message, it must be read slowly and possibly more than once.
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Mooney, James. The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present. American Anthropologist January-March, 1907. Vol. 9(1):129-152.
Mooney’s main concern is that of Virginia Indian history. His focus is on one of the most influential Indians group within the Virginian state, the Powhatan Confederacy. He aims at giving a detailed account of the tribes’ population and territory both past and present. This article includes a map of the former Powhatan Confederacy territory, population figures for the Powhatan in the first century of colonization, and the names of current living individuals with familial ties to certain Powhatan bands.
Mooney begins his account of the Powhatan tribes prior to the Jamestown colonization of 1607. Here his focus is showing that the Powhatan bands had already known and hated the white man prior to the Jamestown colonists’ arrival. Mooney follows with a description of the Powhatan territory and its members’ relationship the Maryland tribes. Though hostilities existed between the two groups, Mooney decides to consider the Maryland tribes as part of the Powhatan Confederacy. Following this, Mooney gives an account of Powhatan population figures in 1607 and compares them with current Virginia numbers. He estimates the population of the Confederacy to be around 8,500 in 1607, compared to the half million believed to be living in Virginia 300 years later. The influence of the Powhatan tribes is shown by their numbers when compared to the tribes of the Iroquis (New York) and the Tuscarora (North Carolina).
After concluding his description of the pre-Jamestown Powhatan Confederacy, Mooney then turns his focus to the period following the 1607 colonization. He concludes that because of the westward expansion from the coastline by the white settlements, it is nearly impossible to accurately calculate the population figures for the Powhatan tribes at this time. By comparing the population figures for the main Virginia Indian tribes in 1669 and 1670, Mooney estimates the total Indian population of the state to be around 1,700 during the Jamestown colonization. This he sees as a drastically smaller population density then the current state of Virginia. Mooney then continues to discuss the reasons for the decline of numbers within certain Powhatan tribes. He notes certain extinctions of tribes and three Indian Wars.
The purpose for his discussion of population figures is to show the decline of the Powhatan Confederacy after the death of Powhatan. He believes the reason the Powhatan Confederacy was unable to survive the death of its leader was due to its being founded upon conquest and despotic personal authority. He discusses hostility amongst the tribes within the Confederacy after Powhatan’s death as well as the wars that subsequently occurred between the tribes themselves and with white settlements. Mooney gives as detailed account as possible from the historical record of wars and treaties that marked the end of the Indian period in Virginia. He continues by mentioning a few accounts throughout the 1800s of the Powhatan remnants. In 1902, the last living member who spoke the Powhatan language died. Included are a few of the only known words of the language.
The last portion of the article is focused on naming a few living individuals who have familial lineages to certain Powhatan tribes. Included are those of the Pamunkey, Mattapony, Chickahominy, Nansemond, and other bands. These names are of Englishmen but are those whose families have evidence of past intermarriages with the Powhatan peoples.
RYAN THROCKMORTON Loyola University Chicago (Kathleen Adams)
Morice, A.G. The Unity of Speech Among the Northern and Southern Dene American Anthropologist October-December, 1907 Vol.9(4):720-737
Morice is concerned with the morphology, grammar, and specific alterations
that may occur as a language splits into dialects. Morice focuses on
the Dene languages of
In all Dene dialects, the sounds of the correlated sonants and surds b and p, d and t, g and k, as well as the exploded tíl and kíl are indistinguishable. In Moriceís extensive research of the northern dialects, he observed that t in one dialect will occasionally become n in another, and kh may also appear as krh. He states that in no case will a th be converted into a common t, or a kh into a common k, and that these are fundamental laws of the northern Dene phonology. He uses this to law to account for discrepancies between southern and northern dialects by asserting that certain transcribers of southern dialects have missed important sounds when compiling a vocabulary. Upon being criticized for being too dogmatic, he defends his notion that some compilers have misheard or incorrectly transcribed some words by showing the disagreement between translators of southern Dene. He notes that some transcribers leave out the essential clicks and the characteristic th in their writings of the Navaho language while others include these sounds. To support his statement further, he gives examples of Navaho words and northern Dene words that are remarkably similar, with only certain distinct transmutations of sounds.
Morice then moves on to the Hupa dialect, where he finds similar disparities between Dr. Goddardís transcription of their dialect with that of the northern dialect. He states that the Hupa dialect differs more from the northern dialect than the Navaho or Apache, yet he fails to see how the Hupa dialect could have done away with those essential characteristics, the lingual explosions or clicks, the th and the kh, which are found everywhere. Morice shows that the material structure and the grammatical rules of the Hupa conform amazingly to those of the north. He again argues that there must be an error of hearing or transcribing here. He goes on to say that if he is wrong, and the essential sounds have completely disappeared from the speech of the Hupa, then this is a most remarkable and unprecedented linguistic phenomenon.
The author gets his point across with much evidence to his support. The article is complex to read at times because of certain words used that are specific to linguistic scholars.
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Prince, J. Dyneley Last Living
Echoes of the
The authorís objective is to describe how the old customs
of the Natick Indians of Cap Cod, had virtually disappeared. Specifics
are given that
include the disappearance of all but a few words of the
I believe the author accomplishes his objective in this article. However
I believe more research and information about the
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Sapir, Edward. Notes on the Takelma
Sapir provides a detailed outline of the Takelma people composed from notes taken from conversations with an elder Takelma woman. The work also serves as a clear example of what has since been termed salvage ethnography. This was perhaps explained best by Sapir, in direct reference to the Takelma people, when he stated, "an excellent example of the appalling rapidity with which many still very imperfectly known tribes of North America are disappearing and of the urgent need of ethnologic and linguistic study of these remnants before they are irrevocably lost" (257). This style of ethnography accounts for the intense focus on detail and the past-tense terminology used to describe a non-extinct culture as observed by Sapir himself.
Many topics are covered pertaining to the Takelma way of life in such detail that it is well advised to tackle the work bit by bit in order to digest it all. Surprisingly, the language of the Takelma people is only briefly discussed, while a great deal of attention is placed on the linguistic positioning of the people and the way names of locations are created within that positioning with little background provided about the language itself. However, Takelma words are provided next to their English counterparts throughout Sapirís work. In fact this is carried out to such an extent that they become more of a distraction or barrier for those lacking the ability to even pronounce the words, much less understand them. A glossary or table would better serve readers who could then familiarize themselves with the terminology later on if so desired.
Furthermore, despite the articleís richness, the lack of a male informant limits the amount of information available to the reader on male roles and duties within the Takelma social structure and daily life. In direct response to that, his work does serve as an excellent account of Takelma womenís daily lives, duties, and rites. However no religious, mythological, or spiritual beliefs held by the Takelma are discussed at all gender aside.
Despite the amount of information in the article to be gathered, there is a tendency for readers to get lost in the detail and terminology, causing them to perhaps lose more than they gain.
Sapir, Edward. Preliminary Reports on the Language and Mythology of the Upper Chinook. American Anthropologist. July-September 1907 Vol.9(3):533-544.
The authorís overall concern in this article was to describe the basic usage of language and mythology of the Upper Chinook society. The author compares and contrasts the different linguistical usage of the Upper Chinook and lower Chinook. However, the article had a strong focus on the grammatical processes and usage of words and tenses in the Chinook society. The author also discusses the use of mythology in the Chinook lifestyle.
Both Upper and Lower Chinook share the same general morphological characteristics in their language, for example, the incorporation of subject, object, and indirect object in the verb of a sentence. A difference is found in the phonetic system of the Upper Chinook and Lower Chinook. This makes words sound differently when Chinook language is spoken. For example, the short "u" and "I" of the Upper Chinook are represented by the long "o" and "e" of the Lower Chinook. The Upper Chinook have phonetic changes to express diminutive and agrumentative consonants of a word. For example, the word "sk!alkal" means babyís hip-joint but changed to the argumentative usage requires the change of "k!" to "g"; "cgalkal" meaning big hip-joint.
The author discusses many other verb-forms, tenses, and noun usage of the Upper Chinook. The study of these similarities and differences aid in the research that grammatical dialects change from one geographical region of a society to another.
The author does not speak about the mythology of the Upper Chinook in great detail. This is due to the lack of text and material to conclude a complete description and analysis of mythological influence in Upper Chinook society. However, the author discusses the usage of animals in myths. Myths are used to teach lessons and to fix weak points in the society. The coyote is discussed as the main character in these myths; through him lessons on hunting, gathering, survival, death, love, and deceit, are taught to generations upon generations. Other main characters that resemble more of a heroic aspect in the myths are the eagle and salmon. Overall, these myths play an important traditional role in the Chinook society.
The author accomplishes getting his point across in this article. However, the article is difficult to read during the discussion of linguistics section. The article needs to be read carefully and slowly during this section. The section mythology was brief but much easier to read and follow.
Scott, Hugh Lenox. The Early History and the Names of the Arapaho. American Anthropologist July-September, 1907 Vol.9(3):545-560
This article serves to list the early history of the
Algonquian-speaking natives, the Arapaho. To show the variance in language
among Native American
tribes, the author also includes several references to the Arapaho by
incorporating the dialects of tribes that lived within close proximity
to the Arapaho. Aside from Native tribes, many pioneering settlers also
came into contact with the Arapaho tribe. Such settlers renamed the Arapaho
by names of "Gros Ventres" by the French, Lewis and
The author details the early history of the tribe in terms of where
they lived, with who they were in contact, and the beginnings of European
influence. The author borrows many sources to describe the land on which
the Arapaho subsisted. Accounts taken from Native American ledgers and
the words of pioneers authenticate the article. As for where the Arapaho
lived, a detailed description of the Black Hills and the
This article is not easily understandable, yet is informative of the people and the early history of the Arapaho culture. The sources are not clear while reading the text and the author seems to lose focus several times.
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Speck, Frank G. Some Comparative Traits of the Maskogian Languages American Anthropologist July-September, 1907 Vol.9(3): 470-483
This article was an explanation of the range in traits of the Maskogian languages. The Maskogian languages are spoken specifically by the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians. The authorís objective in this article is to present the differences and divisions of Maskogian languages through the divisions of Native American Indians who speak the languages. He groups these divisions as the Choctaw-Chickasaw, Alibamu-Koassati, Hitchiti-Apalachi-Mikasuki, and Creek Seminole. The author sets out to explain and prove that the Indian divisions have distinct dialect traits, though all comparative. These divisions are distinctly described and demonstrated through research the author used done by Gatschet. This research was accumulated by in the region of the Creeks and from the book Choctaw Grammar by Byington. Through this research the author is able to analyze and present in detail the specific grammar traits that are common and distinct among the Maskogian languages between the Indian divisions.
The author presents this information by stating examples of how the Maskogian languages have phonetic unity. He explains that they collectively have the glottal catch. With pronunciation they have similar stops and common sounds. But they also have slight distinctions. For example, Chickasaw and Chocktaw are weak in sonant series, having only b among the stops. In Creek and Seminole the stops are q and c. Some of the other traits that the languages have in common are that the syllables are well balanced with consonant and vowel, and the words and stems themselves show a strong tendency to end in a vowel. He then goes on to explain how Maskogian languages have prefixation, infixation, suffixation, and a form of reduplication. Under suffixes there are active subject pronouns and in Creek and Hitchiti they are quite modal and temporal. When it comes to mood the author tells how through his research of the languages he learned that the Creek express modification in mood and tense. The Choctaw and Chickasaw indicate voice. The author offers a lot of information on the language and the comparative traits, along with the distinctions, which make them unique though comparative.
The author accomplishes his objectives in this very detailed, long article. However, to understand it you must pay close attention to everything being said because its content is complex. The article discusses a lot about the phonetics and linguistics of the languages and states the differences and comparative traits very well. Just read closely and pay attention and it is understandable.
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Speck, Frank G. Some Outlines of Aboriginal Culture in the Southeastern States. American Anthropologist. June, 1907 Vol.7:287-295
The authorís objective is to examine tribes living in the Southeastern
states through enthnological methods. He explains that in the current
time, 1907, very little is known about the southeastern states. The boundaries
under the southeastern states would include "the Atlantic ocean
and the Mississippi river, from the Gulf of Mexico northward to the affluents
of the Ohio river and somewhere in the state of
The aboriginal culture that the author speaks of includes such tribes
as the Yuchi and the Creek. Most of the tribes within the area are friendly
with each other. Contact with outside tribes is frequently taking place.
Within the tribes, social rank is shown by the design of the face paints
that they wear. This tradition has been around for a while along with
the annual ceremonies. Many tribes hold ceremonies during the corn crop
harvesting. These ceremonies include activities such as dancing, starting
a new fire, fasting, and ceremonial games. Some of these traditions came
The author accomplished his objectives in this thorough report that must be read twice in order to understand completely. Read slowly and carefully.
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Swanton, John R. Ethnological Position
In this article the authorís purpose was to try and figure out the derivation of the dialect of the Natchez Indians. He compares and contrasts their language with many other Indian dialects. He talks about many other people who have studied the languages of other Indians and compares what he has found to what they have found.
Both f and q occur more sparingly in
The author discusses the different findings of other individuals concerning
the origin of the
The author does a good job explaining the similarities and differences between the two dialects. It was a very complicated read, and took a lot of discipline to stay focused.
This article was designed to explain how Cahokiaís mound,
found near the base of
Artifacts found at the site were similar to those from the southern
part of the
This short article is easy to read, though the point is not clear until the very end.
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Tozzer, Alfred Ernst Forstemann American Anthropologist January-March, 1907 Vol.9(1):153-159
According to Alfred Tozzer the hieroglyphics of
The articleís basic argument is simple; without Ernst Fostemannís knowledge much of Central American writings and linguistics would have been lost. He presented the first manuscript of Dresden Codex this was a great intellectual achievement. He then produced a colored manuscript of the Maya document.
Dr. Forstemann devoted many years of his life to decoding and preserving these writings. He also published commentaries of both Maya codices, Tro- Cortesians and the Peresianus. The productions of these manuscripts are the greatest single contribution to Central American hieroglyphics writings, according to Tozzer. Forstemann investigated carved stone inscriptions that, along with the three codices, together furnished together the greater part of his works. The scholar acquired a great deal of knowledge within his life span.
Ernst Forstemann worked endless hour of his life to interpret the ieroglyphic
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Willoughby, Charles C. The
In the seventeenth century, tribes known as the Virginia Indians inhabited
the tidewater area of
The author describes in detail every aspect of the life of the Virginia Indians. We get a picture of thriving communities with from two or three to fifty houses. The houses were quite large. Each family had its own plot of land to cultivate. Each community had a fort of sufficient size to house all the residents of the community in the event of attack. Each community had a temple in which there was an image of their god and the remains of deceased chiefs.
Other aspects of Virginia Indian culture detailed in the article have to do with personal grooming and decoration. Hair was cut and styled according to oneís station in life, although different lengths and styles seem to have been acceptable. Tattooing was practiced, mostly by women. Body painting was also practiced, in part as ritual but it also served as a mosquito and vermin repellent. The clothing worn by the Virginia Indians is described in some detail as well as different types of ornamentation, such as earrings, hair fashions and headdresses.
The article describes household utensils, implements and weapons used by the Virginia Indians. It also goes into their hunting and fishing practices. This article portrays the Virginia Indians of the seventeenth century as a self-sufficient people, able to adequately provide all of their sustenance.
This article does not address a problem or theoretical issue; rather it reports the findings of men who had contact with these people. The purpose of the article is to describe and that aim has been achieved very effectively. It is very easy and very interesting reading.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
Willoughby, Charles C. The
Adze and the Ungrooved Axe Of The
Beginning first with ungrooved axes, there are definite congruities
Level of development and usage of the stone-bladed adze in
After studying this data,
Although the author explains his points eventually, it is difficult to draw organized conclusions from the scattered content. Illustrations help in the explanation of tools, however.
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The authorís objective is to dispute the origin of the
particular elephant medals that were found near
The author also provides some explanation for the precise
origin of the medals and speculated on how they happened upon the "Indians".
The Latin words on the medal, "D. Isottoe Ariminensi" were
said to honor the Lady Isotta of
The author thoroughly provides evidence for his position in a clearly stated manner which makes for an enjoyable read despite seemingly racist remarks.
Wright, Frederick G. Recent Geologic Changes As Affecting Theories of Manís Development American Anthropologist July-September, 1907 Vol.9(3):529-532.
The author has two main objectives: one is to use geography to date the existence of man; the second is to illustrate the correlation between geological events and the origin of the human races. Glacial deposits have been a source for finding skeletons and other evidence of man; this evidence suggest that mankind existed in the Glacial period which dates around 6,000 to 8,000 years before the Christian era. The author describes the different locations where evidence of mankind in glacial deposits was found.
The author suggests that the Glacial period strengthened the existing races by geographically separating mankind, suspecting them to different environmental conditions. The arise of enormous ice sheets and the disappearance of others over a short time are exactly the "changes in the physical conditions that would most directly and rapidly affect the development of races of mankind in both their physical and mental characteristics." (531). The changes in physical conditions are what Wright believes to have helped find the "discoveries which form so important a part of the life of mankind even in these later days." (531). Most of the evidence points to these discoveries taking place before the glacial period, although the author presents that there is evidence against this idea as well, for example, the ruder type of implements found that belong to the late Wisconsin stage of the glacier era.
Wright touches on many important ideas and gives one a base for understanding the correlation between changes in the physical environment and the existence and evolution of man. The author also states that we are still "very much in the dark concerning the influences that most affected the rate of the progress and development of primitive man." (532). Some kind of a background or knowledge of geological terms and periods would be useful before reading this short article.
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