Volume 69, Number 1, Abstracts

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Distinguished Lectures


Leslie Gordon Freeman (1935–2012)

Advances in the Study of the Origin of Humanness
by Sally McBrearty

Re-entry into First Creation: A Contextual Frame for the Ju/’Hoan Bushman Performance of Puberty Rites, Storytelling, and Healing Dance
by Bradford Keeney and Hillary Keeney

Bipolar Knapping in Gravettian Occupations of El Palomar Rockshelter (Yeste, South Eastern Spain)
by Paloma de la Pena and Gerardo Vega

Proverbs in Nigerian Pidgin
by Eyo Mensah

Book Reviews

Leslie Gordon Freeman (1935–2012)

Advances in the Study of the Origin of Humannes

Sally McBrearty
Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

KEYWORDS: Homo sapiens, Modern human behavior, Africa, Middle Stone Age

ABSTRACT: In a paper published in 2000, McBrearty and Brooks argued for the cognitive unity of Homo sapiens as a species. We asserted that the cognitive abilities of early members of our species were indistinguishable from our own, and that the early signs of this ability appear in the record of the African Middle Stone Age. Innovations were produced by the normal process of invention and do not require special genetic mutations to explain them. Gaps in the spatial and temporal distribution of archaeological traits are a normal product of the nature of the archaeological record. In this paper I review research since 2000 and conclude that it has vindicated this view and has begun to fill in perceived gaps in the African record for early behavioral modernity.

Re-entry into First Creation: A Contextual Frame for the Ju/’Hoan Bushman Performance of Puberty Rites, Storytelling, and Healing Dance

Bradford Keeney
Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisiana, Monroe, LA

Hillary Keeney
Department of Psychology, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla,
Puebla, Mexico

KEYWORDS: Ju/’hoansi (Bushman), Performance, Healing, Storytelling, Puberty rite, n/om

ABSTRACT: The Ju/’hoan Bushman origin myth is depicted as providing a contextual frame that orchestrates and gives meaning to their puberty rites, storytelling, and healing dance. These performances are shown to be an enactment of a reentry from Second into First Creation, the latter an imagined time when the original people could change into animals, communicate with all living forms, and have eternal life without sickness. Here n/om, or the presumed vitality of life, change, and creation, is infused into the community. Empowerment of adolescent passage into adulthood, renewal of mythological potency, enhancement of community relations, and healing of sickness take place inside the performances that dramatize reentry into First Creation. Bushman religion and ceremonial life are shown to highlight the importance of experiences that enact the way changing forms are given primacy over any subsequent naming or indication that stills movement. The latter is regarded as Second Creation. This recurrent passage between First and Second Creation sets the stage for Bushman transformative experience.

Bipolar Knapping in Gravettian Occupations of El Palomar Rockshelter (Yeste, South Eastern Spain)

Paloma de la Peña Alonso
Institute for Human Evolution and School of Geography, Archaeology
and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and
Grupo de Investigación en Geografía Física de Alta Montaña (GFAM), Universidad
Complutense de Madrid, Spain

L. Gerardo Vega Toscano
Departamento de Prehistoria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

KEYWORDS: Bipolar knapping, Early Upper Paleolithic, Experimental archaeology, Gravettian, Iberian Peninsula, Macroscopic lithic analysis

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the stratigraphic sequence of El Palomar Rockshelter, paying special attention to the levels associated with the Gravettian. The preliminary techno-typological study of the lithic collections of these Early Upper Paleolithic levels reveals a large number of splintered pieces that have previously been linked to two different activities—bipolar flintknapping and the use of intermediate tools (wedges) for working hard materials such as bone, wood, and antler. An experiment was carried out to determine the different characteristics resulting from each process, with special emphasis on macroscopic traces. All the main bipolar knapping features identified in this experimental program were also present in the splintered pieces from El Palomar, thus providing proof that the use of the bipolar knapping method was routine during this period. The implications of the use of this knapping method in El Palomar are also discussed.

Proverbs in Nigerian Pidgin

Eyo Offiong Mensah
Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.

KEYWORDS: Proverbs, Nigerian Pidgin, folklore, culture, orality, genre, society

ABSTRACT: The cross-currents of language and culture can be depicted in the use of oral performances such as proverbs, which are forms of “deeper” communication and means of constructing reality in every speech community. Pidgin languages the world over are said to be linguistically “undernourished” or inferior, even regarded as “children [born] out of wedlock” (Mufwene 2007). I argue in this paper that proverbs in Nigerian Pidgin (NP) offer more creative expressive potential than those in the indigenous Nigerian languages. This evidence is a consequence of the increased dynamism of NP which points to its social expansion process in spite of the socioeconomic pressure on Nigerians to learn English. The aim of this paper is to undertake linguistic, literary, and ethnographic appraisal of proverbs in NP in an attempt to highlight certain social realities, cultural consciousness, and structural versatility these proverbs represent. In doing this, it is established that proverbs in NP, though they may project the wisdom, paradigms, and worldviews of other cultures and subcultures, are mostly self-evolving and specific to particular cultural circumstances, providing stronger evidence for autonomous coinage.

Book Reviews

Keith Hunley and Jessica Gross: A Computational Approach to Statistical Arguments in Ecology and Evolution, by George Estabrook

Lori K. Sheeran: The Primate Mind: Built to Connect with Other Minds, Frans B. M. de Waal and Pier Francesco Ferrari, eds.

Douglas H. Ubelaker: The Bioarchaeology of Individuals, Ann L. W. Stodder and Ann M. Palkovich, eds.

Christine E. Schreyer: Defying Maliseet Language Death: Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, and Identity in Eastern Canada, by Bernard C. Perley

Erve Chambers: Routledge Handbook of Heritage in Asia, Patrick Daly and Tim Winter, eds.

K. Hodges: Ecologies of Comparison: An Ethnography of Endangerment in Hong Kong, by Tim Choy

Bryan Tilt: The River of Life: Changing Ecosystems of the Mekong Region, by Yos Santasombat

Andrew J. Strathern and Patricia J. Stewart (Strathern): Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Architecture of Colonial Power, by Eben Kirksey

Laura Kat Burmeister: Growing Up in Central Australia: New Anthropological Studies of Aboriginal Childhood and Adolescence, Ute Eickelkamp, ed.

David H. Price: Anthropologists in the SecurityScape: Ethics, Practice, and Professional Identity, Robert Albro, George Marcus, Laura A. McNamara, and Monica Schoch-Spana, eds.

Krijn Peters: The War Machines: Young Men and Violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia, by Danny Hoffman

Donna V. Jones: African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson and the Idea of Negritude, by Souleymane Bachir Diagne

Christina Gish Hill: Indigenous Dance and Dancing Indian: Contested Representation in the Global Era, by Matthew Krystal

Erin Debenport: Becoming Indian: The Struggle over Cherokee Identity in the Twenty-first Century, by Circe Sturm

Ron McCoy: Imprisoned Art, Complex Patronage: Plains Drawings by Howling Wolf and Zotom at the Autry National Center, by Joyce M. Szabo

Gilberto Rosas: I’m Neither Here Nor There: Mexicans’ Quotidian Struggles with Migration and Poverty, by Patricia Zavella

Nicholas DeMaria Harney: Darkness before Daybreak: African Migrants Living on the Margins in Southern Italy, by Hans Lucht

Lawrence G. Straus: Ocupaciones Humanas en Aitzbitarte III (País Vasco) 33.600–18.400 BP (Zona de Entrada de la Cueva), Jesús Altuna, Koro Mariezkurrena, and Joseba Ríos, eds.

Lawrence G. Straus: La Cueva de Santimamiñe: Revisión y Actualización (2004–2006), Juan Carlos López Quintana, ed.

G. A. Clark: El Mirón Cave, Cantabrian Spain: The Site and Its Holocene Archaeological Record, Lawrence Guy Straus and Manuel R. González Morales, eds.

Lawrence G. Straus: Hunter-Gatherer Behavior: Human Response during the Younger Dryas, Metin I. Eren, ed.

Graham Connah: Egalitarian Revolution in the Savanna: The Origins of a West African Political System, by Stephen A. Dueppen

Herbert D. G. Maschner: Archaeological Theory in Practice, by Patricia A. Urban and Edward Schortman

Ann L. W. Stodder: The Funeral Kit: Mortuary Practices in the Archaeological Record, by Jill L. Baker

Igor Gutiérrez-Zugasti: Seasonality and Human Mobility along the Georgia Bight, Elizabeth J. Reitz, Irvy R. Quitmyer, and David Hurst Thomas, eds.

Martha J. Macri: Their Way of Writing: Scripts, Signs, and Pictographies in Pre-Columbian America, by Elizabeth Hill Boone and Gary Urton, eds.

Elizabeth Hill Boone: Colors between Two Worlds: The Florentine Codex of Bernardino de Sahagún, Gerhard Wolf and Joseph Connors, eds.

Susan Milbrath: The Ancient Maya of Mexico: Reinterpreting the Past of the Northern Maya Lowlands, Geoffrey E. Braswell, ed. Gregory Zaro: Frontier Life in Ancient Peru: The Archaeology of Cerro la Cruz, by Melissa A. Vogel

Wesley Bernardini: Hisat’sinom: Ancient Peoples in a Land without Water, Christian E. Downum, ed.

J. Andrew Darling: On the Edge of Purgatory: An Archaeology of Place in Hispanic Culture, by Bonnie J. Clark

Department of Anthropology