Volume 66, Number 4, Abstracts

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Modern Nomands, Vagabonds, or Cosmopolitans?: Reflections on Contemporary Tuareg Society
Ines Kohl

The Slippery Sign: Cultural Constructions of Youth and Youthful Constructions of Culture in Tuareg Men’s Face-Veiling
Susan J. Rasmussen

“She Who Mourns Will Cry”: Emotion and Expertise in Yemeni-Israeli Wailing
Tova Gamliel

“Until All The Data Are In”: A Chapter in the History of American Archaeology
R. Lee Lyman

Book Reviews

Modern Nomands, Vagabonds, or Cosmopolitans? Reflections on Contemporary Tuareg Society

Ines Kohl
Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, and Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna

KEY WORDS: Cosmopolitanism, Elite, Ishumar, Mobility, Nomads, Sahara, Transnationality, Tuareg

The Tuareg traditional lifeways of nomadism and pastoralism have been facing vigorous challenges during recent decades. But the Tuareg are not just victims of global processes. Instead, they have developed creative strategies for dealing with and participating in the outside world, and they have shown an extensive capacity to adapt and to cope with transformation processes. This article deals with a part of recent Tuareg society (ishumar) and discusses whether the three terms “modern nomads,” “vagabonds,” and “cosmopolitans”suitably describe this “borderliner” society. Are ishumar “modern nomads” because they move irregularly, adapting to various situations, and, for the most part, according to individual choice or preference in the Libyan-Algerian-Nigerien-Malian borderlands? Are they simply “vagabonds,” owing to their disrupted life circumstances and their lack of traditional morals, norms, and values? Or are they “cosmopolitans” because they are exiles and migrants, and victims of modernity?

The Slippery Sign: Cultural Constructions of Youth and Youthful Constructions of Culture in Tuareg Men’s Face-Veiling

Susan J. Rasmussen
Department of Anthropology, University of Houston

KEY WORDS: Symbolism, Dress, Intergenerational relationships, Gender, Tuareg, Africa

A key focus of semiotic and anthropological investigation concerns aesthetics and social poetics. In poststructural analyses of signs and symbols as fluid and dynamic phenomena, an important domain of study is visual signification: for example, dress. This essay explores nuances of shifting meanings, both within and beyond the control of the wearers, in the tug-of-war between convention and invention, and beyond, in moving toward reinventions of headdress in intergenerational relationships and social upheavals. The focus is on ways in which signs in the Tuareg men’s face veils are manipulated, disputed, and transformed by youths in the Tamajaq-speaking communities of northern Niger and Mali. Moving beyond the veil’s “traditional” meanings, this analysis will examine its refashioning as a “shifter” by youthful Tuareg men alienated by drought, unemployment, and war, in their counter-cultural critique through the use of style.

“She Who Mourns Will Cry”: Emotion and Expertise in Yemeni-Israeli Wailing

Tova Gamliel
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bar-Ilan University

KEY WORDS: Emotion, Expertise, Israel, Wailing, Yemeni

Wailing, a mourning ritual that still persists in the Yemeni community in Israel, is performed by a special woman wailer who composes memorial lyrics for the deceased and chants them in a sorrowful melody in the home of the bereaved family. Having been created in Yemen and brought to Israel with Yemeni immigrants, wailing is currently waning and belittled by the younger Yemeni- Israeli generation, possibly because of its apparent emotionality and religiosity. These characteristics, which locate wailing in the realm of the traditional, also appear to prevent it from being assimilated into modern Israel. Participant observations and twenty in-depth interviews conducted with wailers as well as other members of the Yemeni-Israeli community in 2001–2002 demonstrate how the construction of wailing consists of several interwoven perspectives. One perspective analyzes wailing as a post-traditional phenomenon contrasting with the emotionally restrained mourning rituals of Ashkenazi-dominated secular Israeli society, while another perspective focuses on the interplay of personal feelings and the wailing performance in order to problematize modern constructs such as “hybridity” and “professionalism.”

“Until All The Data Are In”: A Chapter in the History of American Archaeology

R. Lee Lyman
Department of Anthropology
University of Missouri

KEY WORDS: American archaeology, Culture history, Data, Processualism, Unripe time

In the 1930s Paul Radin argued that Franz Boas refrained from generalizing, claimed that the time was not ripe because all the data were not yet available, and believed that once all the data were available they would speak for themselves. This characterization was applied in the 1940s by Clyde Kluckhohn and his student Walter Taylor to the work of culture historian A. V. Kidder. Processual archaeologists obtained the idea that culture historians in general used the unripe time argument based on philosopher of science Carl Hempel’s description of the first step of inductive reasoning as “gathering all the facts,” and they used Kluckhohn’s and Taylor’s characterizations as substantiating evidence. Processualists likely reasoned that because culture historians operated inductively and thus sought to gather all the facts before they interpreted the archaeological record, culture historians also called upon the unripe time argument to warrant their hesitancy to draw conclusions. Evidence that culture historians in fact said they needed more data before drawing conclusions is rare, and in many cases possible evidence is readily interpreted as an unrigorously developed concern for sample sufficiency in the modern sense of a statistically representative sample. The unripe time characterization of pre-1960 archaeology served as one of several warrants for abandonment of the culture history approach in favor of processual archaeology and facilitated the rapid adoption of processualism.

Book Reviews

Review Essay by Ellen Messer: Human Rights for the 21st Century: Sovereignty, Civil Society, Culture, by Helen M. Stacy, and Human Rights Matters: Local Politics and National Human Rights Institutions
by Julie A. Mertus

Martin M. Muller: Sexual Selection and the Origins of Human Mating Systems,
by Alan F. Dixson

Ian Tattersall: The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neanderthals Died Out and We Survived
by Clive Finlayson

Lawrence G. Straus: The Mediterranean from 50,000 to 25,000 BP: Turning Points and New Directions
Marta Camps and Carolyn Szmidt, eds.

Lawrence G. Straus: The Cutting Edge: New Approaches to the Archaeology of Human Origins
Kathy Schick and Nicholas Toth, eds.

Lawrence G. Straus: Transitions in Prehistory: Essays in Honor of Ofer Bar-Yosef
John J. Shea and Daniel E. Lieberman, eds.

Peter Bogucki: Defining a Regional Neolithic: The Evidence from Britain and Ireland
Kenneth Brophy and Gordon Barclay, eds.

Bruce B. Huckell: First Peoples in a New World: Colonizing Ice Age America,
by David J. Meltzer

Mark Aldenderfer: Elite Craft Producers, Artists, and Warriors at Aguateca: Lithic Analysis
by Kazuo Aoyama

James D. Keyser: Archaeologies of Art: Time, Place, Identity
Inés Domingo Sanz, Dánae Fiore, and Sally K. May, eds.

Heather A. Lapham: The Beads of St. Catherine’s Island, Elliot H. Blair,
Lorann S. A. Pendleton, and Peter Francis, Jr., eds.

Lynn E. Fisher: Interactions between Hunter-Gatherers and Farmers: From Prehistory to Present
Kazunobu Ikeya, Hidefumi Ogawa, and Peter Mitchell, eds.

Thomas R. Fenn: Archaeology, History & Science: Integrating Approaches to Ancient Materials
Marcos Martinón-Torres and Thilo Rehren, eds.

Robert Whallon: Hunter-Gatherer Foraging: Five Simple Models,
by Robert L. Bettinger

R. Lee Lyman: Macroevolution in Human Prehistory: Evolutionary Theory and Processual Archaeology
Anna Marie Prentiss, Ian Kuijt, and James C. Chatters, eds.

Patrick V. Kirch: Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire
Patricia A. McAnany and Norman Yoffee, eds.

Anthony F. Aveni: Numerical Notation: A Comparative History,
by Stephen Chrisomalis

Alice B. Kehoe: Inheriting the Past: The Making of Arthur C. Parker andIndigenous Archaeology
by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh

Paul V. Kroskrity: The Bearer of This Letter: Language Ideologies, Literacy Practices, and the Fort Belknap Indian Community
by Mindy J. Morga

Mishuana Goeman: Rainy River Lives: Stories Told by Maggie Wilson
Sally Cole, ed.

Richard O. Clemmer: Pestilence and Persistence: Yosemite Indian Demography and Culture in Colonial California
by Kathleen L. Hull

E. Paul Durrenberger: The Archaeology of American Labor and Working-Class Life
by Paul A. Shackel

Sonja Luehrmann: The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals
by Douglas Rogers

Elizabeth Colson: Immigrant Ambassadors: Citizenship and Belonging in the Tibetan Diaspora
by Julia Meredith Hess

Nancy E. Levine: God of Justice: Ritual Healing and Social Justice in the Central Himalayas
by William S. Sax

Lene Pedersen: Community, Environment, and Local Governance in Indonesia: Locating the Commonweal
Carol Warren and John F. McCarthy, eds.

Miriam S. Chaiken: Uncertain Tastes: Memory, Ambivalence, and the Politics of Eating in Samburu, Northern Kenya
by John Holtzman

Merrill Singer: The Anthropology of AIDS: A Global Perspective
by Patricia Whelehan

Jeannette Magio: Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics
by Niko Besnier

Sarah Lamb: Pursuits of Happiness: Well-being in Anthropological Perspective
Gordon Mathews and Carolina Izquierdo, eds.

Michael F. Brown: Urarina Society, Cosmology, and History in Peruvian Amazonia
by Bartholomew Dean

Eric P. Perramond: Gardening the World: Agency, Identity, and the Ownership of Water
by Veronica Strang

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