Volume 52, Number 2, Abstracts

JAR Distinguished Lecture:
Spanish Carribean Colonial Archaeology

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Kathleen Deagan
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Archaeological and historical data from two of the earliest sites of Spanish settlement in the Americas (La Isabela, Dominican Republic, 1493-1498, and Puerto Real, Haiti, 1503-1578) indicate that the transformation of Iberian social practice and identity to Iberian-American society and identity was well under way in the households of nonelite Spanish colonists by the early sixteenth century. It is argued that this transformation was conditioned as much by new forms of domestic accommodation-most notably Spanish Indian-African intermarriage and labor-as it was by European economic, technical, or political developments. Social adjustment to the Americas is strikingly revealed in the archaeological records of households in Spanish colonial towns, particularly when that record is organized and considered from a gendered perspective. Historical archaeology, with its unique multidisciplinary evidential base, has been the best source of information about the daily choices and adjustments made by the European, American Indian, and African residents of sixteenth-century colonial America. The implications of this for cross cultural comparative study of colonial adaptation and the development of American colonial identity are explored.


Ann F. Ramenofsky
Departrnent of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M. 87131

Borderlands scholars outside the Southwest have demonstrated repeatedly that infectious diseases were powerful selective agents during the initial century of European contact. Native populations experienced significant, and frequently terminal, decline that affected the structure of native societies. In New Mexico, however, the survival and cultural vigor of native peoples suggest that this region may have been relatively free of infectious parasites prior to the eighteenth century. Between 1540 and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, there are only two documentary descriptions of disease events. I evaluate whether it is likely that New Mexico was relatively disease-free between 1540 and 1680. The discussion is framed in terms of factors that trigger disease outbreaks: parasites, hosts, and setting. These factors are employed to analyze sixteenth- and seventeenth-century documents for information that may pertain to the presence of infectious agents. I conclude by suggesting that a number of Old World infections plagued native Puebloans before 1680.


Donald K. Grayson
Department of Anthropology and Burke Memorial Museum, University of Washington,
Seattle, WA 98195

Between 1856 and 1860, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) experimented with a remarkable means of bringing new members to Utah: some three thousand people pushed handcarts 2,100 km from Iowa City, Iowa, to Salt Lake City. During the fall of 1856, one of these groups-the Willie Handcart Company-was hit by early snows, causing the death of some 16 percent of the group. As with the Donner Party almost exactly ten years earlier, the pattern of mortality that occurred within the Willie Company is well explained by the age, sex, and family membership of those who underwent the ordeal


Richard O. Clemmer
Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208-0174

Analysis of Western Shoshoni "cannibal" myths is undertaken from the standpoint of historical and cultural contexts. By comparing precontact myths with stories originally reiterated at pine-nut festivals (later called "fandangos"), I show how changes in context also brought changes in content. Whites, rather than mythic figures, became the cannibals. Thus the stories conveyed an unmistakable political message: whites are cannibals and thus are neither trustworthy nor respectful of Indians. The "whites-as-cannibals" stories display much of the same structure and symbolism as the precontact cannibal myths. However, the context of meaning is no longer the same. The festivals and fandangos became contextual events in which a new meaning-a sense of nationhood-was nurtured and reinforced.


Never Again the Burning Times: Paganism Revived. Loretta Orion. Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 1995, 322pp., $11.95 (paper). Reviewed by Tanya Luhrmann, University of California, San Diego.

Living Witchcraft: A Contemporary American Coven. Allen Scarboro, Nancy Campbell, and Shirley Stave. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Groups, 1994, 232 pp., $49.95 (cloth). Reviewed by Tanya Luhrmann, University of California, San Diego.

Dangerous Voices: Women's Laments and Greek Literature. Gail Holst-Warhaft. London: Routledge, 1995, 227 pp., $16.95 (paper). Reviewed by Warren S. Smith, University of New Mexico.

The Logic of Incest: A Structuralist Analysis of Hebrew Mythology. Seth Daniel Kunin. Sheffield, Eng.: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995, 297 pp., $52.50 (cloth). Reviewed by Dan W. Forsyth, University of Southern Colorado.

Playing with Time: Art and Performance in Central Mali. Mary Jo Arnoldi. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995, 227 pp. Reviewed by Alexander Alland, Jr., Columbian University.

The American Indian Parfleche: A Tradition of Abstract Painting. Gaylord Torrence. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994, 272 PP., 148 illus., map, notes, bibliography, index, $60.00 (cloth), $35.00 (paper). Reviewed by Ralph T. Coe, Santa Fe, N.M.

L'Algonguin au XVIIE siecle: Edition critique, analysee et commentee de la grammaire algonquine du Pere Louis Nicolas. Diane Daviault. Quebec: Publications de l'Universite du Quebec, Collection Tekouerimat, 573 pp, no date. Reviewed by P.K. Bock, University of New Mexico.

Paleopathology of Aboriginal Australians: Health and Disease across a Hunter-Gatherer Continent. Stephen Webb. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1995, 324 pp., $59.95 (cloth). Reviewed by Jane Buikstra, University of New Mexico.

Mousterian Lithic Technology: An Ecological Perspective. Steven L. Kuhn. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995, 209 pp., $49.50 (cloth). Reviewed by Mark F. Baumler, Montana Historical Society.

Subsistence and Stone Tool Technology: An Old World Perspective. Bradley J. Vierra. Arizona State University Anthropological Research Papers no. 47, Tempe: Arizona State University, 1995, xiv + 283 pp., $30.00 (paper). Reviewed Peter Bleed, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points of the Midcontinental and Eastern United States: A Modern Survey and Reference. Noel D. Justice. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995, xiv + 288 pp., 8 color plates, 54 figs., 104 maps, $39.95 (cloth), $24.95 (paper). Reviewed by Kenneth B. Tankersley, Kent State University.

The Duckfoot Site: Descriptive Archaeology, volume 1. Ricky R. Lightfoot and Mary C. Etzkorn (editors). Occasional Paper no. 3, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1993, 378 pp., $21.95 (paper). Reviewed by Eric Blinman, Office of Archaeological Studies, Museum of New Mexico.

The Duckfoot Site: Archaeology of the House and Household, volume 2. Ricky R. Lightfoot. Occasional Paper no. 4, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995, 171 PP., $19.95 (paper). Reviewed by Eric Blinman, Office of Archaeological Studies, Museum of New Mexcio.

The Archaeology of Rank. Paul K. Wason. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1994, xi + 208 pp., $57.95 (cloth). Reviewed by Jill E. Neitzel, University of Delaware.

Mesoamerican Elites: An Archaeological Assessment. Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase (editors). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994, 392 pp., 47 illustrations and figures, 11 maps, bibliography, index, $15.95 (paper). Reviewed by Patricia A. McAnany, Boston University.

Presente, pasado y futuro de las chinampas. Teresa Rojas Rabiela. Mexico: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Anthropologia Social y Patronato del Parque Ecologico de Xochimilco, 1995, 325 pp, no price given, (paper). Reviewed by Frederic Hicks, University of Louisville.

Digging through Darkness: Chronicles of an Archaeologist. Carmel Schrire. Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1995, x + 276 pp., photos, $29.95 (cloth). Reviewed by Lawrence Guy Straus, University of New Mexico.


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