What Hath White Wrought
plus Maya Towns and Cultural Traits

Volume 59, Number 2, Abstracts

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Peter M. Whiteley
Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024-5192

Leslie White is known as one of the most important cultural theoreticians of the mid-twentieth century. However, his ethnography, on the Keresan pueblos, is generally treated as irrelevant to his general evolutionary theory and vice versa. This paper argues that White’s little-known work among the Hopi, where he led the 1932 Laboratory of Anthropology Field Training Course in Ethnology, reflects a more active conjunction of theory with ethnography. White’s analytical perspectives contain valuable insights for current problems in Hopi ethnology. His arguments, in some brief published paragraphs, in correspondence, and in his field records, provide a flexible, processual model of Hopi social structure in accord with his cultural evolutionism. In some important respects, White’s approach is more explanatorily adequate to the cultural reality than the conventional account established by two of his students in the field school, Fred Eggan and Mischa Titiev. White’s contribution to Hopi ethnology is of neglected importance and reveals a substantive dialog between his ethnography and his evolutionist theory.


David H. Price
Department of Anthropology, Saint Martin’s College, 5300 Pacific Ave., Lacey, WA 98503

William J. Peace
Independent Scholar, 12 Flintlock Ridge, Katonah, NY 10536

This paper examines the public and private context of Morris Opler’s Cold War criticism that Betty Meggers’s and Leslie White’s theoretical perspective was laden with the ideas of crypto-Marxism. While White was significantly influenced by the Marxist tradition, Opler’s attacks went beyond the establishment of epistemological influences and entered the realm of McCarthyistic Red baiting. The climate of McCarthyism gave Opler the opportunity to strengthen his criticisms of Meggers’s and White’s attacks on psychological anthropology with a powerful political threat by linking their work with Stalinism and Marxism. The history of White and Opler’s relationship, and the correspondence of Meggers, Opler, White, and others indicate Opler’s criticisms were influenced by long-standing personal and professional quarrels with White.


Walter E. Little
Department of Anthropology, University at Albany, State University of New York,
Albany, NY 12222

Kaqchikel Maya residents of San Antonio Aguas Calientes and Santa Catarina Barahona (neighboring towns in Guatemala) tell the same origin story. This story is used to root historically their concepts of collective identity and community. However, residents in each town hold that those in the other town have no real claim to the story. Both towns can equally claim this origin story, but the debate between residents of these towns offers an opportunity to discuss how the meaning of place is related to the historical and ethnographic contexts of which that place’s residents are part. By weighing the story and residents’ explanations about why it is theirs against previous historical accounts, I show that Spanish colonialism, religious evangelism, economic competition, and development contributed to divisions between the towns and skewed their concepts of origin.


R. Lee Lyman and Michael J. O’Brien
Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211

The basic analytical unit used by E. B. Tylor, Franz Boas, Clark Wissler, A. L. Kroeber, and other early anthropologists interested in cultural transmission was the cultural trait. Most assumed that such traits were, at base, mental phenomena acquired through teaching and learning. The lack of an explicit theoretical concept of cultural trait meant that the units varied greatly in scale, generality, and inclusiveness among ethnographers. Efforts to resolve the difficulties of classification and scale were made but were largely unsuccessful. The history of the concept of cultural trait reveals not only the roots of modern theoretical difficulties with units of cultural transmission but also some of the properties that such a unit needs to have if it is to be analytically useful to theories of cultural evolution.


Delimiting Anthropology: Occasional Inquiries and Reflections. George W. Stocking, Jr. Madison: University of Wisconson Press, 2001, 404 pp. $45.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Lee D. Baker, Duke University

Darwin and Archaeology: A Handbook of Key Concepts. John P. Hart and John Edward Terrell, eds.  Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, 280 pp. $21.95, paper.
Reviewed by Hector Neff, California State University, Long Beach

Cultural Resources Archaeology. Thomas W. Neumann and Robert M. Sanford.  Walnut Creek, Calif.: Altamira Press, 2001, 304 pp. $24.95, paper.
Reviewed by Patrick Hogan, University of New Mexico

Colouring the Past: The Significance of Colour in Archaeological Research. Andrew Jones and Gavin MacGregor, eds.  New York: New York University Press, 2002, 250 pp. $68.00, cloth; $22.50, paper.
Reviewed by Joanna Brück, University College Dublin

Cultivated Landscapes of Middle America on the Eve of Conquest. Thomas M. Whitmore and B. L. Turner II.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, 311 pp. $75.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Jeff Parsons, University of Michigan

An Archaeology of History and Traditions: Moments of Danger in the Annapolis Landscape. Christopher N. Matthews.  New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002, 162 pp. $69.95, cloth.
Reviewed by Randall H. McGuire, Binghamton University

La protohistoire.  Marcel Otte.  Brussels: De Boeck Université, 2002, 400 pp. 49.50 .
Reviewed by Janet E. Levy, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

La station de l’Hermitage à Huccorgne: Un habitat à la frontière septentrionale du monde gravettien (The Hermitage Site At Huccorgne: An Open-Air Site at the Northern Frontier of the Gravettian World). L.G. Straus, M. Otte, and P. Haesaerts, eds. ERAUL 94. Liège, Belgium: University of Liège, 2000, 229 pp, 90 figs., 8 black-and-white photos, 24 color photos, 37 tables. 37.18 €.
Reviewed by Anta Montet-White, University of Kansas

Holocene Settlement of the Egyptian Sahara, volume 1: The Archaeology of Nabta Playa. Fred Wendorf,  Romauld Schild, and associates, eds. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2001, 707 pp. $145.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Andrew B. Smith, University of Cape Town

Actas de las primeras jornadas de estudios históricos y linqüísticos: El norte de Africa y el sur de la península Ibérica. Mohand Tilmatine, José Ramos Muñoz, and Vicente Castañeda Fernández, eds. Cádiz: Universidad de Cádiz, 2002, 232 pp. 8 , paper.
Reviewed by Lawrence G. Straus, University of New Mexico

K’iche’: A Study in the Sociology of Language. M. Paul Lewis. Dallas: SIL International, 2001, 261 pp. $29.00, paper.
Reviewed by Nora C. England, University of Texas at Austin

Wearing Ideology: State, Schooling and Self-Presentation in Japan.  Brian J. McVeigh.  New York: New York University Press, 2000, 224 pp. $65.00, cloth; $19.50, paper.
Reviewed by Christine R. Yano, University of Hawai'i

Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks within China’s Floating Population. Li Zhang. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2001, 286 pp. $49.50, cloth; $22.95, paper.
Reviewed by Lisa M. Hoffman, University of Washington, Tacoma

Beyond Great Walls: Environment, Identity, and Development on the Chinese Grasslands of Inner Mongolia. Dee Mack Williams. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2002, 251 pp. $55.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Robin Mearns, World Bank, Washington D.C.

The Flying Tiger: Women Shamans and Storytellers of the Amur.  Kira Van Deusen.  London: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001, 260pp. $24.95, paper.
Reviewed by Laurel Kendall, American Museum of Natural History

Russian Culture. Margaret Mead, Geoffrey Gorer, and John Rickman. New York: Berghahn Books, 2001, 320 pp. $69.95, cloth; $25.00, paper.
Reviewed by Dale Pesmen, Chicago, Ill.

Verrier Elwin: Philanthropologist-Selected Writings. Nari Rustomji, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, 385 pp. $19.95, paper.
Reviewed by Georg Pfeffer, Freie Universität Berlin

Advocacy after Bohpal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders.  Kim Fortun.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001, 413 pp. $55.00, cloth; $23.50, paper.
Reviewed by Terre Satterfield, University of British Columbia

The People of Denendeh: Ethnohistory of the Indians of Canada’s Northwest Territories. June Helm. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2000, 412 pp., 66 black-and-white photos, 6 maps, 3 charts, 4 tables.  $39.95, cloth; $27.95, paper.
Reviewed by David Dinwoodie, University of New Mexico

Dance Lodges of the Omaha People. Mark Awakuni-Swetland. New York: Garland Publishing, 2001, 194 pp. $75.00, cloth.
Reviewed by John M. O'Shea, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan

Katsina: Commodified and Appropriated Images of Hopi Supernaturals. Zena Pearlstone, ed Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 2001, 200 pp. $60.00, cloth; $35.00, paper.
Reviewed by Marian Rodee, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe

The Life of the Law: Anthropological Projects. Laura Nader. Richmond: University of California Press, 2002, 275 pp. $29.95, cloth; $19.95, paper.
Reviewed by Howard J. De Nike, San Francisco State University

The Power of the Machine: Global Inequalities of Economy, Technology, and Environment.  Alf Hornborg. New York: AltaMira Press, 2001, 273 pp. $65.00, cloth; $26.95, paper.
Reviewed by E. Paul Durrenberger, Pennsylvania State University

Anthropologists and Indians in the New South. Rachel A Bonney and J. Anthony Paredes, eds. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001, 328 pp. $29.95, paper.
Reviewed by Joe Watkins, University of New Mexico

Cultural Logics and Global Economics:  Maya Identity in Thought and Practice.  Edward F. Fischer. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001, 302 pp., 16 black-and-white photos, 8 maps, 8 charts, 6 line drawings, 5 tables. $50.00, cloth; $22.95, paper.
Reviewed by Charles R. Hale, University of Texas at Austin

Challenging Politics: Indigenous Peoples’ Experiences with Political Parties and Elections. Kathrin Wessendorf, ed. Copenhagen: International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, 2001, 291 pp. $20.00, paper.
Reviewed by Susan Hangen, Ramapo College

Indians, Markets, and Rainforests: Theory, Methods, and Analysis.  Ricardo A. Godoy.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2001, 256 pp. $65.00, cloth; $27.50 paper.
Reviewed by Kim Hill, University of New Mexico

Reproductive Ecology and Human Evolution.  Peter T. Ellison, ed. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 2001, 478 pp. $62.95, cloth; $31.95, paper.
Reviewed by Nancy Howell, University of Toronto

Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution. Susan Oyama, Paul E. Griffiths, and Russell D. Gray, eds. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2001, 377 pp., 26 illustrations. $50.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Osbjorn M. Pearson, University of New Mexico

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